Mental Health

World Health Day – Jivha Pariksha

“On the occasion of World Health Day, we must learn the importance of our health and work towards making it better. Happy World Health Day.” World Health Day is celebrated Every Year on 7 April.

This is an Initiative by WHO to spread awareness about the importance of Good Health, whether it be Physical or Mental. This Day is celebrated Every Year since 1950. Let us use this opportunity to make a promise to ourselves that we will put our health first in all circumstances. This can be started from Tongue or Jivha Pariksha as it’s a roadmap to your gut health.

Tongue - A Mirror of your gut health

Do you feel a bitter, metallic taste on your tongue?
Have you experienced a white sticky coating on your tongue frequently?
These all observations related to the tongue are reflections of your metabolic health.
In Ayurveda, the appearance of the tongue is very important in the diagnosis of metabolic or gut health. The tongue is considered a reflection of gut health.

Ayurveda mentioned 8-fold diagnostic tools while taking a brief history for assessment of diseases. Jivha Pariksha is amongst them. Thorough observations of the tongue including its size, shape, color, and appearance are very important for knowing gut health.
According to Ayurveda, many diseases originate due to disturbances in gut health or metabolic health. The tongue always reflects these changes on its surface and its unique diagnostic tool.
A healthy tongue that is uniformly pink in color, neither too thick nor thin, and moist, without any coating reflects good gut health. It also shows differentiation according to individual-specific Prakruti. But slight variation in its appearance always shows underlying changes in metabolic health or gut health.

The following entities can be assessed by Tongue examination.

Agni / digestive fire – Coated white tongue always reflects poor gut health with low digestive fire. Poor appetite, constipation, and gases are associated complaints with this white coating. Coated tongue and recurrent mouth ulcers together explain poor digestion and constipation.

Samata / niramata – accumulated aam or dietary toxins produced by poor digestion get reflected on the tongue with a whitish/ yellowish coating. A foul smell is always associated with it. Poor appetite and lethargy are associated symptoms.
Vitiated dosha – discoloration or patches on the tongue are reflections of vitiated doshas. Black spots or patches are due to vitiated Vata, the reddish-brown color associated with mouth ulcers shows pitta vitiation.

Hence tongue examination is very important which gives a proper idea of gut health. By mere observation of the tongue, many times simple dietary changes can give the best results in today’s health complaints. Also, it is a way of assessment of risks or probable underlying health problems.
So, it is the easiest way to assess your gut health daily. So, keep your eyes on your tongue too for better health.

Happy World Health Day

Dr. Gayatri Kulkarni – Mulye (MD Ayurved),
Vaidya Tejaswini Bhale – Borse (Ayurveda Physician),
Shruti Kulkarni (Clinical Nutritionist)

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Vasant rutu – Season of Detox and self-care

Nature is blessed with blooming of flowers, cold breeze in the nighttime and colorful trees around is the perfect picture of Vasant rutu or spring.
Sunny hot days and colder nights create fluctuations in the inner health causing health issues. It also brings many festivals and events in their months of Chaitra and Vaishakh.
Nature is the best healer and destructor too. On the same principle Ayurveda has described the food, exercise and sleep pattern which is called Rutucharya.
It emphasizes the importance of self-care, mindfulness, and a connection with nature. By following the Vasant Ritucharya, one can promote physical, mental, and emotional health, and also can prevent diseases. In the Vasant rutu, sweetness, Unctuousness in the body provokes which was accumulated in the previous rutu of Shishir. These are the properties of kapha dosha or water element. It shows heaviness, sluggishness and excess mucus secretions in the body.

As blooming of flowers is going on it causes allergies showing cold, cough, running nose or skin issues.
Everyone should follow a regime to detox and balance this kapha. This is the best time of the year to detox, rejuvenate and gain health.
Vamana is the detox process that comes under Panchakarma therapies and is the most suggested treatment in Vasant. Also, Nasya, karnapurana therapies help to detox the body.

Avoid afternoon sleep in Vasant as it provokes kapha but proper rest and nighttime sleep is needed to gain strength and vitality.
Digestive fire becomes weak and so food should be warm, easy to digest and with spices. Soups, green gram recipes, rice flour, cooked or tossed salads, leafy, fruit vegetables and rice recipes are recommended.
Strength of a person is fair in Vasant which suggests doing Yoga and exercises in the morning time.

In conclusion, Vasant Rutucharya offers a holistic approach staying healthy. By incorporating diet, exercise, rest, self-care practices and herbal therapies, one can detoxify, maintain balance and improve vitality during this time of rejuvenation. All should maintain balance and harmony in both the mind and body and promote overall health and well-being.

Author- Vaidya Tejaswini Sameer Bhale
Ayurveda Physician
Nadi Pariksha and Product domain expertise, Nadi Tarangini, Atreya Innovations Pvt Ltd

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Mental Health Stigma

A Big Challenge For Society
  • A good friend struggling for getting admission into professional courses attempts suicide, a case of neglected depression.
  • Senior citizen struggling to memorize home address, finally brought into a nearby police station, a case of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Small fights between kids concluded with a serious injury to one of them due to uncontrolled, extreme anger, a case of behavioral problems in kids.
  • Stress at job places, depression, anxiety during educational ages, bad relationships, money vs need struggles and its stress, postpartum depression, menopausal depression, loneliness, etc are common invisible impact factors observed everywhere these days. These have increased in manifolds after the pandemic period.

According to Ayurveda, health is a fine balance of all factors including physical, mental, and spiritual health. But all of the above stress factors impact mental health the most.

More to that, the stigma associated with mental health problems is a much bigger obstacle in treating mental health disorders.

Physical and psychological health are two sides of the same coin which always have interlinked impacts on each other. But the picture related to psychological health awareness, treatment and education are much different. According to Ayurveda, imbalances in Rajas and Tamas Gunas of Mana lead to mental illness. This imbalance can be corrected with proper lifestyle modifications. Assurance or counseling ( Aashwasan chikitsa) is also part of the treatment according to Ayurveda. In fighting against social stigma, this assurance from family, friends, counselors, and society is very important.

• Around 60% of adults with a mental health illness don’t receive care – NAMI
• 98% of people agree that mentally ill people experience stigma and discrimination – Mental Health Foundation

Stigmas in society are commonplace. They can be difficult to dismantle and overcome once they become established over many years. The pressure of mental health stigma can come from family, friends, coworkers, and society on a broader level. It can prevent people living with mental illness from getting help, fitting into society, and leading happy and comfortable lives.

Stigma against a person living with a mental health condition can make their symptoms worse and make it hard to recover. A person may also be less likely to seek help if they live with stigma.

Social isolation, poor housing, unemployment and poverty are all linked to mental ill-health. So stigma and discrimination can trap people in a cycle of illness. The effects of stigma can include social isolation, low self-esteem, hopelessness, shame, avoiding treatment, worsening symptoms, discrimination at work, etc.

In the above scenarios, the role of assurance therapy ( Aashwasan chikitsa ) described by Ayurveda plays a very important role. Proper counseling, motivation, encouragement, and appreciation are essential and very crucial steps in fighting against mental illness.

So on the occasion of “Mental Health Awareness Month”, let’s try to fight against stigma by

1. Understanding basic symptoms of mental illness – Ignorance is very common in such types of illness. Neglecting a single symptom for a long period often creates huge negative impacts. Hence understanding the early symptoms and seeking early help will be the first required step.

2. Helping people to take consultation from doctors at a very early stage – Many times, people find their friends, colleagues, and co-workers showing symptoms related to mental illness but choose to ignore them. It’s everyone’s duty to counsel him/her for early help from professionals.

3. Try to push people to complete their whole treatment until recovery – social stigma is the main reason behind incomplete treatment many times. So pushing people with mental illness for proper and complete treatment is much needed.

4. Educating people about mental health – Educating people from school age about mental illness, its treatment, social stigma and its impact on patients, ways of proper help should be included for better management of illness

So let’s help each other to fight against mental illness and the social stigma associated with it because this stigma is a much bigger obstacle or challenge in the treatment of illness.

‘“ I lie about being sick sometimes, because people understand if you have a cold, but not if you have depression.”
“ People with mental health conditions deserve just as much support and compassion as people with physical health conditions “

Dr. Gayatri Kulkarni – Mulye (MD Ayurved),
Vaidya Tejaswini Bhale – Borse (Ayurveda Physician),
Shruti Kulkarni (Clinical Nutritionist)

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