Prevention & control of pandemic disease as in Ayurveda

With the end of Shishira Rutu, we have stepped into the next, that is Vasantha Rutu about a week back (on Yugadi). Warm wishes to all, let this new Sharvari samvatsar bring all the goodness to everyone.

Already in the last post, we did highlight the effect of ’Rutu sandhi’. Consequences can be considered as janapadodhwamsa, meaning mass destruction of community. Acharya Charaka has described the consequences of environmental pollution (vikrita vayu – jala – desha (place) – kaala – lakshana) under janapadodhwamsa. He also describes the remedial measures as well.

Primary prevention (before the disease occurrence)
  • Rasayana (Rejuvenative therapy): improves immunity
  • Sadvrutha palana - following codes of conduct
  • Daiva vyapashraya - following rituals & religious practices

Secondary prevention (after the disease occurrence)
  • Bheshaja prayog/ Treatment protocol
  • Panchakarma (detoxification & disinfection measures)

Tertiary prevention (to prevent the spreading & complications of the disease)
  • Rasayana – to restore the immunity
  • Sthana parityaga – leaving the endemic area

By following these, one can keep all types of diseases & disease causing agents at bay..
One among the secondary prevention measures is the panchakarma, during which one should stay isolated and follow the treatment regimen. If one is advised shodhan chikitsa, it lasts for 10-14 days. One can relate it with the ‘quarantine’ that is imposed for controlling the pandemic ‘COVID-19’.

  • A beautiful explanation is given under the heading ‘Aachar Rasayana’. He highlights
  • Truthfulness
  • Have self-control
  • Be away from alcohol & sexual relationships
  • Be away from violence
  • Maintain celibacy (brahmacharya), calmness of mind
  • Have satvic food. Ex: milk, rice, ghee
  • Serve cattles, Brahmins, teachers, elderly, god
  • Have patience & sympathy for other beings
  • Gain knowledge of Desh (Country), kaal (time) and behave accordingly to maintain ecological balance
  • Do aadhyathma sadhana (self-analysis)
  • Do justices always, do charities
  • Treat everyone equally, be with own people
All these have similar qualities as that of a rasayana dravya, which rejuvenates & revives body into full of life.

Along with the above, Ayurveda also has the answer of herbal medicines formulated using various herbs. According to this ancient practice, the medicine must be formulated & prepared using the herbs collected before the pandemic occurs. It is good to have fresh green teas & kashaya to maintain & improve good health and hence preventing the severe effect of disease in individual.

Personal hygiene, self-awareness and maintaining cleaner surrounding have very important role in controlling pandemics. In Indian culture, we had many such rituals, which were instructed & followed by everyone in the society had greatest aim of maintaining socio-economic health.

To highlight few,
  • Speaking/ communicating with others maintaining distance (social distancing). There were no handshakes, no hugs/ kisses to greet. It was namaskar!
  • Leaving footwear outside the home while coming from outside.
  • Washing hands, feet, wiping and stepping inside home
  • Cloths worn outside was never used at home
  • Following few days of isolation on child birth or death in a family. It used to be 11 days, closest family members were not supposed to go out, attend gatherings…
  • Isolation during menstruation
  • Preparing food after bathing.
  • Bathing is must after hair cut & shaving

Everything listed here makes sense?

In kaliyug, life span is limited only upto 100 years. Hence, one should always take care of his physical mental & social health.
Aim of Ayurveda is to maintain the health of a healthy person, which itself is the cure for the sick!

Note: This post credit goes to my friend, Ayurvedic professional Dr. Soumya Bhat, M. D. (Ayu)