Use of AYUSH systems of medicine as preventive healthcare

Through this webpage, I would like to share my feelings and experiences on the use of some systems of medicine, mostly as preventive care, under the AYUSH – Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy. The stories, which will be shared here, may be treated as ‘case studies’ for further research or for policy prescriptions by the students and researchers in the field of social and community medicine and / or concerned others associated with the art and science of medicine under the AYUSH systems of health care or else. 

More information on AYUSH is available here: https://ayush.gov.in/.

I am very fond of public health care system of my Country. As and when situation arises, I try to utilise public health care – under the mainstream system of Allopathy. I may share my experiences with the use of public health care system too through this webpage, when possible.  

I pay my homage to the science of medicine. According to my culture, ‘science’ is the supreme Brahman – विज्ञानं परमं ब्रह्म. My understanding of the term ‘science of medicine’ originates and propagates accordingly based on my belief. To me, another term, which probably remains in the co-state of ‘science of medicine’ is ‘technology of medicine’. Science is not tradable, so also, the ‘science of medicine’.  The latter, which originates from the former is tradable. Things or ‘goods and services’, which further originate with the use of the ‘technology of medicine’ are also tradable. As per standard health economics literature, these ‘goods and services’ are generally defined as ‘health care’ whose primary purpose is to improve, or prevent deterioration in, health. The ‘art of medicine’ is a broad term. In my understanding, it accommodates all the arts (including economics), commerce, law, management and governance (and probably many more) associated with the use of the ‘technology of medicine’. In other words, to me, the ‘art of medicine’ is related to delivery of health care (from the supply side – from the side of provider) or utilisation of health care (from demand side – from the side of user). We, as a part of the common mass, mostly deal with the ‘art of medicine’. For example, at personal level, if I say that cost of care, hospitalisation etc. are nightmare for me, then it means that my concern rounds about the ‘art of medicine’.   

Health and health care are two different concepts. The above paragraph is on health care. The classical definition of health is probably known to all. It talks about complete physical, mental and social wellbeing – and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. The state of good health is an ideal condition. If our health condition deviates from the ideal state with some symptoms and impairments, we perceive it as illness. Some goods and services are used accordingly to correct the deviation and achieve good health again. However, there are some exceptions, where ‘goods and services’ do not mean health care. For example, say that I am suffering from fever and I started fasting to get rid of that. Say that I made it a success. Such an act of fasting comes under the system of Yoga and Naturopathy. However, am I utilising any good or service from outside my body? Is it tradable what I did?       

The objective of creating this webpage is to share my personal instances and experiences with some of the systems of health care under AYUSH and consequently increase awareness on the use of such health care among common mass on preventive care. Although, I would like to reach common mass, I do not want to reach them directly – rather I prefer to reach them through health care professionals, managers, entrepreneurs (manufacturers of drugs/food items under AYUSH), policy makers as stated above. For curative care (preventive care as well) one may seek advice from medical professionals of respective health care system under AYUSH or else directly and utilise care. I do not influence anyone to imitate the same what I did in my cases. If someone is not feeling well, please contact medical professionals accordingly. However, just to note that, in India, there are six different official systems of medicine: Allopathy, Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy.

For the sake of common readers (of our Country), I would like to make it clear that in everyday life, we often use the term ‘medicine’ in lieu of ‘drug’, which is not correct. For example, in our locality, by purchasing a paracetamol tablet, it is often said that a medicine for fever is purchased. However, the correct version is that – a drug for fever is purchased. A tablet is a drug. Medicine means system of medicine, such as Allopathy, Ayurveda, Homeopathy etc.

I am a resident of West Bengal and I feel that both the State (https://www.wbhealth.gov.in/ayush/) and Union Governments are doing well to promote AYUSH systems of health care. For example, on the practical side, I have seen the Department of Health in West Bengal to organise AYUSH Fair at different places. Adverting to strategy at national level, in particular, we can see that one of the key principles of the National Health Policy 2017 is pluralism in delivering health care: “Patients who so choose and when appropriate, would have access to AYUSH care providers based on documented and validated local, home and community-based practices. These systems, inter alia, would also have Government support in research and supervision to develop and enrich their contribution to meeting the national health goals and objectives through integrative practices.” (Indian National Health Policy, page 2: https://main.mohfw.gov.in/sites/default/files/9147562941489753121.pdf). In regard to mainstreaming the potential of AYUSH, it is stated in the policy that (page 14): “For persons who so choose, this policy ensures access to AYUSH remedies through co-location in public facilities.”

So, the phrase or the point “Patients who so choose” is very important. No external agency or person is going to dictate or influence anyone to choose a system of medicine, such as, Allopathy or Ayurveda or Homeopathy etc. for a particular type of ailment or morbid condition. The patient or the persons on the patient’s side (usually family members or friends or relatives or else) will choose one particular system of medicine. Similarly, the term “when appropriate” is also very important. One should have access to complete information on what a particular system of medicine can offer that can be used to address a particular adverse health condition. Theoretical researchers know that medical care is different and one of the basic features of it is ‘informational asymmetry’. It occurs when one party to a transaction has more information pertinent to the transaction than does the other party, which may allow the better-informed party to exploit the less-informed party. This is one of the reasons for which market fails. Such problems (of choosing a particular type of health care) may be minimised through proper flow of information and/or through intervention by a third party, such as Government or NGO.

[To understand the issues with health and health care and that why medical care is different, one may read the Chapter on ‘An overview of the normative economics of the health sector’ written by Hurley Jeremiah, which appeared in 2000 in the Handbook of Health Economics, Vol 1A, edited by Anthony J Culyer and Joseph P Newhouse, published by Elsevier, Amsterdam.]

As above, I would like to share my personal experience in regard to choosing an appropriate health facility while I was staying in Japan (in 2010-2011). In the winter of 2011 in Osaka, once I felt severe pain in lower lumber region (so-called low back pain). I collapsed almost totally. I shared about this condition with my host researcher. He shared my condition and symptom with one NGO in Osaka. Consequently, the NGO suggested me some health facilities – based on my symptoms and my location (also, my language – English). Obviously, some orthopaedic clinics were suggested near me. I utilised health care accordingly.

In the above example, one NGO assisted me in choosing an appropriate health care facility or clinic. But I am discussing here about how to choose an appropriate system of medicine. Obviously, one needs some supports from somewhere. The good thing is that the Union Government in India, under the Ministry of AYUSH formed the National AYUSH Mission in 2014 to promote AYUSH medical systems through cost effective services (https://namayush.gov.in/content/introduction). Readers will get a good amount of information about when and in what conditions one can use AYUSH systems of health care by clicking on the page link of “Public Health”. Some links are available and I have summarised those in table 1 below.

Table 1: Public health: awareness for Ayurveda, Homeopathy and Unani

MedicineConditionOfficial AYUSH website link
AyurvedaBronchial Asthma https://namayush.gov.in/content/bronchial-asthma
Cancerhttps://namayush.gov.in/content/cancer
Conjunctivitiishttps://namayush.gov.in/content/conjunctivitiis
Diabeteshttps://namayush.gov.in/content/diabetes
Hyperacidityhttps://namayush.gov.in/content/hyperacidity
Oesteoarthritishttps://namayush.gov.in/content/oesteoarthritis
Obesityhttps://namayush.gov.in/content/obesity
Psoriasishttps://namayush.gov.in/content/psoriasis
Strokehttps://namayush.gov.in/content/stroke
Dyslipidemiahttps://namayush.gov.in/content/dyslipidemia
HomeopathyHomeopathy for healthy childhttps://namayush.gov.in/content/homoeopathy-healthy-child
Homeopathy for Mother Child Carehttps://namayush.gov.in/content/homoeopathy-mother-child-care
Swasthya Rakshan Programmehttps://namayush.gov.in/content/swasthya-rakshan-programme
UnaniAnaemiahttps://namayush.gov.in/content/anaemia
Bronchial Asthmahttps://namayush.gov.in/content/bronchial-asthma-0
Hypertensionhttps://namayush.gov.in/content/hypertension
Lifestyle diseaseshttps://namayush.gov.in/content/lifestyle-diseases
Healthy ageinghttps://namayush.gov.in/content/healthy-ageing
Palpitationhttps://namayush.gov.in/content/palpitation
Obesityhttps://namayush.gov.in/content/obesity-0
Sakta strokehttps://namayush.gov.in/content/sakta-stroke
Treatment hijamahttps://namayush.gov.in/content/treatment-hijama
Source: https://namayush.gov.in/

Although the above-mentioned case specific solutions are very helpful, the initiative should go further. The appropriate authorities (Union and the respective State Governments) may develop protocols and make common people more aware about the use of AYUSH systems of health care more systematically. A directory (or an App., i.e., a software application) may be prepared or developed by the appropriate Authority/Ministry where AYUSH systems of health care are apposite. And this may be done considering all the symptoms and ailments as per the latest (say, eleventh revision) International Classification of Diseases. Such a directory (or an App) may also contain information on the available AYUSH health facilities throughout the Country.

Also, in India, in the field of health care, ‘sibling rivalry’ is not too uncommon! In the family of system of medicines in India, there are six brothers or sisters. One is the eldest (say, with the largest market share) and giving us the lead. Then obviously, she/he should play the right role to minimise the so-called ‘sibling rivalry’ in the process of nation building.

A quote from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, IV 4.5. – as a good thought to achieve and maintain good health:

“You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”

If we think or meditate for good health in line with the above thought, I feel that surely, we will reach our desired goal.

A standard disclaimer is necessary and it appears below:

The contents of this webpage (https://amlan.co.in/preventive-care-with-ayush-systems-of-medicines/), such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on it are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding an health condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this webpage (https://amlan.co.in/preventive-care-with-ayush-systems-of-medicines/)!

Case study 01: My experience on preventing hyperacidity/gas/indigestion

12 January 2024

Use of Triphala to prevent hyperacidity/gas/indigestion

I suffered a lot from hyperacidity. Once, in a clinic, (while I was in Japan in 2010-2011), a thin pipe with a camera (on its front) was inserted in my stomach through nose. I was then shown dark spots on the wall of my stomach, which were displayed on a computer screen. The medical professional uttered the term “ulcer”, as I remember. I also understood what it was. I felt pain in stomach occasionally. My lipid profile was also disturbed with an high triglyceride level. In order to address the issue of lipid profile, I was advised to take more animal protein than carbohydrate (rice etc.). 

I returned to Country in the end of 2011. Although, I was very happy after returning home, I was too worried about the stomach ace with other related anomalies. So, I took an appointment with one famous hospital in Bengaluru for treatment. I booked my railway tickets accordingly. In between, in one morning, I took two teaspoonfuls of triphala churna (powder) in a glass of warm water and drunk. I forgot whether I mixed honey in it or not (nowadays, when I take triphala churna, I add one teaspoonful of honey in the solution). After two hours and 30 minutes or so, I had to go to washroom for 2-3 times and I felt that my whole abdomen and intestines were cleaned. It gave me a great relief both mentally and physically. I repeated the same (taking triphala churna) after 2-3 days. Also, I started taking (although infrequently) coconut water. I was feeling much better. By God’s grace, I have been successful to prevent hyperacidity/gas/indigestion by consuming triphala churna (say, twice in a week, as stated above). My triglyceride level also came down below the normal limit. I cancelled the appointment that I took (as mentioned above) and so also the railway tickets. From my schooldays, I had a fascination of reading books on herbal treatment and Ayurveda. I knew about the benefits of triphala for long, but for the first time I consumed when it was absolutely necessary for me. Still, I remember what I read (in Bengali) – even one mother may do harm to her child, but triphala cannot. It means that triphala is undoubtedly safe. 

Triphala is the combination of three fruits: Amalaki, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki. Those who are not aware of triphala, please Google it! You will get ample information about it. Nowadays, the online pharmacies also publish useful articles (written by medical professionals/nutritionists) on products under AYUSH for common readers/users. One may use such information for better understanding of the subject matter and clear all doubts.

Triphala is available (in the market) in the forms of Churna (powder), tablet, capsule and original fruits. For weekly consumption, triphala churna is a good option (as mentioned above). One may also put all the three fruits in a glass of water at evening and drink the water next day morning. However, this is not a too common practice. For regular consumption, one may opt for either tablet or capsule. In the above-mentioned case, I consumed triphala churna twice in a week to rejuvenate my digestive system and to remove constipation, which is a common problem with hyperacidity and gas. By doing so, I prevented my sufferings from the conditions associated with hyperacidity/gas/indigestion. So, consumption of triphala is a part of preventive care in contrast to curative care of hyperacidity/gas/indigestion. For curative care (preventive care as well) of the same, one may follow advice from the appropriate links displayed in table 1 (https://namayush.gov.in/content/hyperacidity) or else.

During this period, somehow, I felt an urge to change my lifestyle – particularly the food habit. By March 2012, I became vegetarian partially. I had given up taking mutton, chicken, egg etc. Strictly, I avoided sweets etc. By the end of 2013, I gave up eating fish too. I became completely vegetarian. This is not because of my selfish desire of staying healthy. I was very fond of non-vegetarian foods. I sacrificed that desire (when I had the ability to consume those with rejuvenated digestive system!) for some reasons or other (which are in no way related to my selfishness).    

Use of natural vinegar to prevent hyperacidity/gas/indigestion

In due course, I practiced a lot (on myself) to rejuvenate the digestive system through alternate means. I found natural jamun vinegar and apple cider vinegar very useful in this regard. I experimented with the former more than the latter. I used to take jamun vinegar with salad. It improved my digestive system a lot. Occasionally, in case of stomach upset, I used to take jamun vinegar of 10 ml with a glass of normal water. It worked very well.

Detoxification of body to prevent hyperacidity/gas/indigestion

Over the time, I gained more experience from the experiments that I have done on the subject matter. I would like to cite one such experience. For example, throughout the winter and spring seasons, I consume a lot of green vegetables. On the onset of summer, I realise that I am suffering from indigestion again. As vegetables in our locality are cultivated with chemical fertilisers, pesticides etc., probably those are deposited to some extent in my body too. I feel the need for detoxification of my body. I used a composite herbal tablet for that purpose for 25 days (00-00 for five days & 0-0 for 20 days). It really rejuvenates the body and digestive system. Please contact your nearest herbal practitioner / expert in need.

Use of Trikatu & Yastimadhu to prevent hyperacidity/gas/indigestion

Finaly, I will share some more knowledge to prevent hyperacidity/gas/indigestion. I have found therapeutic use of one composite herbal tablet and one single herb tablet very useful for the said purpose – when the both are taken together. These two are: Trikatu (a combination of three herbs: ginger, black pepper long pepper – relieves indigestion improving functions of liver, spleen & pancreas) and Yastimadhu (relieves acidity) respectively. Trikatu and yastimadhu can be taken on SOS basis (SOS – if occasion require) or in a regular manner (as required). They are available in the market in the form of churna (powder), tablet/capsule. I prefer to use tablet over churna for regular consumption, as quantity is fixed in the former. Both the trikatu and yastimadhu tablets are available in various strength. When the both are to be taken together, the preferred strengths are: 125 mg and 250 mg respectively.

The both (if taken together) not only prevents acidity and indigestion, but also exhaustion due to heavy work or travel etc. I am writing this paragraph/case study after closely observing the use of trikatu and yastimadhu (together) for more than 10 years (from 2013).  The both (together) also increases appetite to a great extent.

Those who are not aware of trikatu & yastimadhu, please Google it! You will get ample information about those. Nowadays, the online pharmacies also publish useful articles (written by medical professionals/nutritionists) on products under AYUSH for common readers/users. One may use such information for better understanding of the subject matter and clear all doubts.


My suggestion to introduce a new herbal product using Trikatu & Yastimadhu together

I am so satisfied about the use of the above-mentioned herbs, I would like to suggest the herbal drug companies / license holders to produce a single composite tablet/capsule combining Trikatu and Yastimadhu. It will be much user friendly!

1. I propose a name: Yastri.

2. A combination of Yas-(timadhu) & Tri-(katu).

3. It may be pronounced as Just Try.

4. Yastri – for fun & fantasy with food and journey – prevent acidity, indigestion, gas and exhaustion.  

5. Composition (375 mg): 250 mg of Yastimadhu and 125 mg of Trikatu.


Case study 02: Utilisation of homeopathy by a diabetic elderly person with redness in eye and blurring vision 

12 January 2024

This case study is related to an adverse health condition of my father Shri Ram Nath Majumder. He is a permanent resident of Cooch Behar town in West Bengal, India. He is 83 years old now. He was an allopathic medical practitioner during his working life. He started his career as an Assistant Medical Officer at the Tarajan Tea Estate, Assam in 1967. He migrated to Pundibari (Cooch Behar CD Block II) in 1971 and he served the community in and around Pundibari for the rest part of his working life till 2012. My mother is 73 now, who lives with him. My elder brother (who is a teacher of physics and assistant headmaster of a local high school) and his family live in in different floors of the same building, where my parents stay. Although, my father is 83 only, he is suffering from the conditions associated with ageing for several years. Moreover, he is suffering from diabetes for more than 32 years (since September 1991). During Covid 19 pandemic, he took two doses of Covishield in a timely manner. Both of our parents remained mostly fine during the pandemic period without any direct sign of viral infection, cough and cold etc. My elder brother looks after my parents as long as they stay in Cooch Behar. Occasionally, they visit my place/residence at NBU Campus near Siliguri and then I look after them. I also make occasional visits to Cooch Behar (during holidays and/or weekends) to meet my parents. My residence in Cooch Behar is located one kilometre away towards north from my father’s one. The distance between Cooch Behar and Siliguri/NBU Campus is around 150 kms.

In the first week of March 2021, my father had blood secretion in his right eye. In one morning, one mild red spot was observed in his right eye. Gradually, it increased. In two-three days, the whole white portion (sclera) of his right eye became blood red. On 15 March 2021, he was taken to my NBU Campus residence from Cooch Behar. Next day morning, he was taken to one private eye hospital in Siliguri. The problem was diagnosed as “Brvo with Macular Edema” (as per available records) and he was advised “Injection Avastin” – once in a month for three months. We were told that a single dose of injection from an ampoule will cost INR 20000/-, and the same from a common vial will cost INR 5000/-. We were asked to select one from the above two options. We selected the latter. The first injection was pushed on 16 March 2021. The second injection was pushed on 19 April 2021. Admission to the hospital as an in-patient was necessary (each time) for taking the injections. He was also advised some eye drops. The third injection was not administered because of aggravated situations due to Covid 19 pandemic. We tried to avoid risks associated with travel and hospital admission for our aged father.

In the end of August 2021, the condition repeated again. On 01 September 2021, his left eye was full blood red. I had taken a photo of his condition with my mobile phone camera, which is presented below. Considering the prevailing Covid 19 situation, we tried to avoid hospitalisation in Siliguri or else. We (me and elder brother) decided to go for homeopathy at that time. Consequently, we proposed it to our father and he agreed initially. We know that in India six different systems of medicine are practiced officially – allopathy and five different systems under AYUSH. Especially, homeopathy comes under AYUSH systems of medicine (AYUSH – Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy). There are no standard protocols of selecting a particular system of medicine for a particular health condition. However, the (Indian) National Health Policy 2017 promotes pluralism in delivering health care. When appropriate, patients may choose any of the above or so. Consequently, I talked to one homeopathic physician (who was known to me – as a family friend) and sent him the initial photo (showing the right eye of my father) through WhatsApp on 01 September 2021at 09.27 IST. He suggested me two homeopathic drugs (through telephonic conversation) and asked to administer those following the normal procedure. Those were actually liquids used as ‘drops’ (for therapeutic use), and we continued each of those in every three hours for 3-4 days. The condition of the eye gradually improved.

One of the drugs (as stated above) is very common and is kept in almost every house in our locality – particularly in the families with children and elderly ones. Whenever, any one (particularly, from these two special groups or else) falls down and/or injured, it is administered (in drops or globules for oral consumption) to avoid/prevent blood clotting as well as to get relief from pain. However, in no way, I am mentioning the names of these drugs here, although, they are too common and known to almost all concerned. As a researcher in the field of health care utilisation, I know that “self-treatment” is too common in our society. If the names of the drugs are mentioned here, one may imitate the use of those without consulting a physician or so. I simply try to avoid that. I always suggest to consult a physician in need.

Photo 1: Condition of right eye on 01 September 2021 (08.31 IST)

As above, I was updating our homeopathic physician with photos of the right eye of my father regularly. The situation was improving. From the fifth or sixth day (I am unable to recall now), he advised one more drug (homeopathic), which is normally used in case of haemorrhage. On 10 September 2021 at morning, I communicated him again attaching a photo, which depicted that the eye was almost clear. As per his advice, the third drug was administered for another five days or so. Kudos to homeopathy and our physician. By God’s grace our problem was over.

Photos 2-5: The complete communication with the homeopathic physician (unedited – from WhatsApp chat)

Photo 6: Condition of right eye on 10 September 2021 (08.37 IST)

Let me share with you all that continuing this treatment under homeopathy, was not easy for me and elder brother. As father was an allopathic medical practitioner, in regard to health care, his thought always rounds about allopathy only. Although he agreed initially to go for homeopathy, on the subject matter, both of my parents had a feeling that some nourishments were going on instead of a proper treatment. They repeatedly reminded us that the condition in eye should not be left untreated. In order to honour the emotional sentiments of my parents, we decided to visit one eye hospital (under a ‘not for profit organisation’) in Siliguri. We did so on 06 September 2021. By that time, the condition of the right eye improved a lot with the use of homeopathic drugs. He was diagnosed with “tributary (branch) retinal vein occlusion right eye”. Consequently, he went through all the prescribed checkups. By examining and comparing the previous and current reports, doctors said that the condition of the right eye improved. He was recommended one eye drop for both the eyes for three months and another eye drop three times in a day in the right eye for three months. As his eye condition improved with the use of homeopathic drugs, we administered the allopathic drops after the completion of homeopathic course or so (may be after one week – I am unable to recall now).  Till date, the right eye is fine – there was no repetition of the said adverse condition. 

We preferred Homeopathy in the present case, as it was easy to administer from home under difficult conditions (due to the Covid 19 pandemic) and to prevent repetition of similar condition in future. However, one may consider the cost of care under two different systems, as it is an important determinant of utilisation of a particular health care in general in the context of India. The approximate costs are tabulated below.

Table 1: Approximate cost of different treatments in March-April & September 2021

Item1st Eye Hospital (March-April 2021) (INR)Homeopathy (September 2021) (INR)*2nd Eye Hospital (September 2021) (INR)
Admission and other fees & tests252001900
Injection (two times)2×5000=1000000
Cost of drugs 0 (unable to recall)3×200=6001257
Cooch Behar to Siliguri & return by rented vehicles (same day returns were not possible)2x2x3500=1400002×3500=7000
Total2652060010157
* We bought the imported ones (made in Germany) and so cost was high. If local brands were purchased in loose quantity, the three would cost less than INR 150/- or so. Source: Self-elaboration   

From table 1, it clear that the cost of treatment is negligible in case of homeopathy. Standard empirical health economics literature says that price or cost of treatment affects health care decisions insignificantly. However, we must remember that, such evidences are extracted from studies, which considered one system of medicine only. In a country like India, six different systems of medicine are practiced officially and cost of care varies significantly across medicines. From my experience, I can say that patients, for whom cost matters, take decision to choose a system of medicine accordingly. However, homeopathy did not give us hi-tech graphs and photos depicting many ophthalmic conditions, as allopathy did. When someone is inclined to these advanced analytical reports, she / he needs to pay for it. In other words, with the ‘science of medicine’, one must acknowledge and support the ‘technology of medicine’ too. However, the cost of treatment associated with the visit of the 2nd hospital could be avoided by us. Nevertheless, I considered it as cost of a ‘validation’ service. As per standard health economics literature, an hospital provides three different types of services, such as medical services, hospitality or hotel services (bed and diet etc.) and validation services (fitness certificates etc.) to people. So, the 2nd hospital validated that my father’s health condition improved. It was absolutely necessary for mental satisfaction of him (my father). As per the classical definition of health, absence of disease only does not mean good health. Good health means physical, mental and social wellbeing simultaneously.  My father, who is bedridden now (in the first week of January 2024; due to ageing and associated conditions), will become to some extent social with the publication of this case study. Hopefully, the news and feedback from this event will make him healthy socially too in days to come. 

I have kept all the papers related to this case study under my custody for assisting/addressing possible research enquiry in near future (when permissible from our side).

I am sorry that I had to display photos of my father in adverse health condition. So, I display the following two photos when he was in good health condition. The above two photos were taken on 01 December 2016 when we (almost the whole family) visited my father’s first working place at Tarajan Tea Estate near Dhekiajuli, Assam with nostalgia.     

Photo 7: Tarajan Garden Hospital – my father worked as an AMO during 1967-1971; (Photography by Avijit Das)

Photo 8: Parents in front of Tarajan Garden Hospital; (Photography by Avijit Das)

27 February 2024

A modified version of the above-mentioned case study 2 appeared in a magazine (Ayogya Jeevan) published in Nepali language from Kathmandu, Nepal . I am sharing the pdf version of the relevant portion of the magazine here. My article can be found towards the end. Please find it here.

Case study 3: A refreshing chutney of fresh lemon juice and green chilli paste for immunity

12 January 2024

These days, almost everyone is scared about the unknown happenings. I am too… . I was thinking about how will one individual protect herself / himself by increasing immunity! One day, I spent the full noon to think about it. By evening, one clue came in my mind, which I would like to share. I have observed that at the entrance of almost every shop in our locality, some sort of garlands or chains of fresh lemon and green Chilli are hanging. These are prepared, sold and fixed by priests. In one morning, during one weekend, at around 9.30 am, I went to the main bazaar area of Cooch Behar town. I saw one priest performing puja in shops, taking out the old and dried garlands and putting the new ones. It is common in Cooch Behar and in all other places that priests are paid monthly for performing puja in the shops and fix the said garlands. However, I gently approached him and asked about the garland – its usefulness etc. He replied that it protects the shop from unseen bad intention of others (and so so…). I Googled the topic for several times. It did not reveal much. However, I realised that this is a very old practice, which is being followed almost silently in our traditions. So, I thought that juice of fresh lemon and paste of green chilli together may be used/consumed to improve immunity.

I prepared the solution of fresh lemon juice and green chilli paste in a mixer grinder. First, I took juice of fresh lemon in a pot. Then, I pour the juice with some green chillis in the pot of the mixer grinder and mix them for few minutes to prepare the solution or chutney. I tested it in small quantity. Excellent! Very refreshing! If edible salt is mixed, taste increases further. However, I recommend the solution without salt or with very less amount salt. Immediately after taking the solution or the chutney, it gives an immense feeling or confidence that all the negativities disappeared from the mind and body! As a food item, it is so tasty! 

Photo 9: Fresh lemon (pati lebu in Bengali) and green chilli for making the chutney

[In past two-three years, often I prepared the chutney and used to take it with lunch or else. I would like to take the privilege to share that during different phases of the pandemic, I closely looked after infected persons, transported patients to hospitals etc. However, by God’s grace, I did not suffer. During the whole episode, I suffered once only (from fever) in January 2022, while returning from Jaipur (Rajasthan) after attending the 103rd Annual Conference of IEA. That one was also controlled in a day or two. In order to travel from Jaipur to Bagdogra one needs to transit New Delhi airport. There are some shops of herbal products at the New Delhi airport. During my onward journey, as a precaution, I bought essential herbs to prevent possible fever etc. While returning, when I felt that I am going to suffer from fever, I started taking those instantly as preventive care. I am thankful to the herbal shops and New Delhi Airport Authority for their proper planning to make herbal products available (at low cost / original price) for common travelers like me.]

By reading the story of garlands or chains of fresh lemon and green chilli, one may raise question that whether I am superstitious! My simple and precise answer is that I am not a reductionist. Reductionism is a body of thought, which reduces the capacity of human beings to evaluate others or other ways of knowing something. I respect all beings and cultures from wholistic point of view and try to understand them without attaching any personal or societal value on them.

Case study 04: Use of triphla to prevent piles

12 January 2024

One can prevent piles (early symptoms) with regular consumption of triphala. I have observed that consumption of 00-00 triphala tablet/capsule for 15 days followed by 0-0 for one month works very well. If the condition goes beyond the initial stage, composite herbs introduced by various herbal/ayurvedic companies are needed. Please consult appropriate practitioner/expert accordingly.    

Triphala is the combination of three fruits: Amalaki, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki. Those who are not aware of triphala, please Google it! You will get ample information about it. Nowadays, the online pharmacies also publish useful articles (written by medical professionals/nutritionists) on products under AYUSH for common readers/users. One may use such information for better understanding of the subject matter and clear all doubts.

Case study 05: Use of Curcumin, Goksuradi Guggulu, and Shilajeet (and also homeopathy at times) to prevent further decay in my lower lumber region as well as to prevent so-called low back pain

12 January 2024

For the first time, I felt low back pain in the second half of July 1999. I took admission for Ph. D. at the IIT Delhi. The programme started on 22 July 1999. I started from my native place Pundibari (in Cooch Behar district) 2-3 days prior to the commencement date of the programme (I cannot recall the exact date right now). On the day of journey, before taking bath, I was just carrying a bucket of water from the tubewell to the bathroom. We did not have running water inside the bathroom at that time. At the time of pulling the bucket, I felt a sound in my lower back position and then I felt severe low back pain. The lower portion of my body became very heavy. Simply, I collapsed. Somehow, I took preparation to go to New Cooch Behar Railway Station to catch my train (North-East Express – as I remember). Probably, the train was running late. As my condition was not good, my elder brother arranged a short stay for me at his colleague’s house in Cooch Behar. He also arranged homeopathic drug (globules) for me to get rid of the pain. I was taking it (four globules) may be in one- or two-hours interval. One big trunk and one big bag were with me – with all the belongings to stay at the IIT Delhi hostel (Room No. ND-9, Shivalik House). In the afternoon or at evening, with the assistance of my elder brother and his colleague, I boarded the train. I got the upper berth in a second sleeper class compartment. It was hot summer in July in northern India. I was mostly taking rest in the upper berth and continuing the homeopathic drug. By next day noon, I recovered a lot. Relieved from the pain. When I reached New Delhi, I was completely recovered from low back pain. I completely forgot about it for several years. My thanks to homeopathy.

Although, I have written the above paragraph on low back pain, I was not aware of the reason or causes of that pain. I became familiar with the term low back pain much later. In Bengali, we used to say it “komore tan laga”. ‘Komor’ means waist and ‘tan laga’ means somewhat strain. So, we used to diagnose it as strain in waist. It was too common to have homeopathy drug for such symptom in our locality.

For the second time, I encountered the low back pain in 2003, when my daughter was just one year old. My activity was similar. I was carrying water to get my daughter’s bath done. While carrying the bathtub, I felt one sound at my lower lumber region and I became almost immovable. We were staying at Dinhata College Quarters at that time. With that condition, simply, I hired a vehicle and with family reached at my mother-in-law’s house in Jalpaiguri. Everybody suggested me to have homeopathy and I consulted one physician accordingly in Jalpaiguri and started taking homeopathic drug. The problem disappeared in 2-3 days. Like before, I completely forgot about it (for several years). My thanks to homeopathy.

For the third time, I experienced the same most terribly in one winter morning in Osaka, Japan. I was staying on the 10th Floor of one 11 storied building in Juso. My University was located in Senriyama towards Kita Senri. In the early morning, before going to the University, I did some rearrangement of the locations of the furniture. At that time, I felt that something happened in my waist. When I came out of my apartment, it was snowing heavily. After moving few steps, I was unable to move further. The lower portion of my body became almost immovable. Somehow, I came back to the apartment and was taking rest. My host researcher was out of station at that time. In 2-3 days, he came back and I shared my problem with him.

He talked to one NGO about my symptoms and the NGO suggested me some health clinics based on my symptoms and my language (English). In order to go to that clinic, I was in need of changing local trains twice. Somehow, I did that. I felt severe pain in my waist. I was moving so slow – like a turtle!

After doing registration and other formalities, I was taken to the doctor. Some X-rays were done. The doctor explained me the problem in detail with X-ray reports. I did my Ph. D. in health care utilisation. I read and talked much about the ‘art of medicine’ – the doctor-patient information exchange. However, for the first time in my life I realised what art of medicine is! The doctor was so polite and with difficulty (in English) he was slowly explaining the things to me. I am sharing the X-ray reports below.

Photo 10: Showing my health condition in lumber region in early 2011 (X-rays done in Osaka, Japan)

I did not have worry about cost of care in Japan. As, I had long-term visa, 70% of total cost was under coverage of Japan’s National Medical Insurance Scheme (I forgot the exact name of the scheme now). The rest 30% was paid by the JSPS.  For me, it was cashless treatment. I was advised by the doctor to visit clinic at least twice in a week. I was prescribed traction and some ray at the waist. I was also given one vitamin capsule for nerve. I was advised to wear lumber belt always.

I was explained that with age, gap between two discs decreases. For me it was early. I shared with him that in my young age, I used to climb trees (even betelnut trees) and often jump from trees and roofs etc. Whether such activities impacted the lumber region. The doctor said – no. I then realised that how a tall person becomes shorter in her/his old age – because of decrease in gap between discs!   

I returned from Japan in the end of November 2011. In December, I bought a car, as I used to commute 25×2=50 kms a day to attend College in Dinhata from Cooch Behar. I hired a driver too for driving my car as well as to help me in everyday shopping. I was unable to carry weight. In between 2011 and 2014, I went through MRI (of lumber region) thrice – in Siliguri, Cooch Behar and Bangaluru respectively. Findings are similar to those depicted by the X-ray printouts in photo 10.

I need to mention the story of Bangaluru. My parents were too worried about my health and they asked my elder brother to took me to one good hospital in the South. Cost will be borne by them only. It is a common practice in our locality that for better treatment people visit hospitals in Southern India. We first went to one hospital in Andhra Pradesh, which was under one philanthropic trust. This was a hospital without a cash counter. We reached one day there (via Chennai) and found that the weekly train from Howrah (Kolkata) also reached on the same day. The train was full of patients. We found long ques in front of all the entrances of that hospital. Initial screening was going on at the entrance points only. It was too chaotic and embarrassing. We decided to go to Bangaluru only. We took appointment (by phone) with an orthopaedic doctor of one famous private hospital and we reached Bangaluru the next day. The third MRI was done there only (in a private clinic in the city – outside the hospital, as there was long waiting time in the hospital). I was neither advised any surgery nor any major drugs etc. I was told to do exercise (demonstration was given on exercise) and warned to lead life carefully. I Siliguri too, I was not given any major drug, rather, I was given a list of exercise to be done regularly. I found some differences in treatment between India and Japan. In Japan, it was limited to ‘technology of medicine’ only – traction and giving ray in the affected area. In India, the major treatment was based on physical exercise.  Please note that I was not advised Yoga, rather, I was instructed with some exercises and postures. Yoga is more than simple exercises and postures. However, while practicing those, I follow the modalities of Yoga only.

I understood that the damages that took place between discs cannot be recovered. But I need to delay further decay. I made my mind accordingly. I started thinking accordingly. Gradually, I started searching for appropriate herbs, which can be used to delay the ageing process.

The period from December 2013 to December 2017 has been too crucial to me to identify and learn about the useful herbs for my condition. I have rigorously purchased herbs or herbal products online and tested their applicability for me. Buying pure herbs or herbal products was also a challenge for me. I learnt through trial-and-error procedure. During this period, I have identified ‘Curcumin’, ‘Shilajeet’ and ‘Goksuradi Guggulu’ as important and useful for my condition in lumber region. Before considering Goksuradi Guggulu, I considered and administered single herb Goksura for some time. I realised that in order to get relief from pain, I should keep my renal system fully functional. There should not be any deposit of toxin in my body. At the same time, muscle should also get strength. For that purpose, I took Goksura tablet for some time. Also, I started taking pure Shilajeet in very small quantity. However, gradually, I felt that Shilajeet (and all other herbs) will work better if lipid profile (with uric acid level) etc. remain in balanced or desired condition. By taking Goksuradi Guggulu regularly for a while, I made myself ready to take pure Shilajeet. I also took Shallaki tablet for a while during this period. I realised that stiffness of by body disappeared. And with regular consumption of Goksuradi Guggulu (0-0 every day for three months – then stopped – then say, after one month 0 every day, and so on), I got relief from all kinds of pain in my lumber region and in others parts of my body (if any). So, I discovered Goksuradi Guggulu as Number 01 ‘Pain Healer’. To know more about Goksuradi Guggulu, please Google it accordingly. However, please do not take it without consulting an appropriate practitioner. If an elderly /diabatic person takes it for long (without balanced diet), sodium and potassium level may fall. 

Those who suffer from problems in lumber region, they know that pain is not the only culprit! A frequent spark or a thunder through the nerves towards the lower limbs is too common when reduced disc gap put pressure on nerves. This is not pain – but painful – something like spark or sudden shaking with electric shock or like. The remedy I found is ‘Curcumin’. I took Curcumin for a considerable time to prevent the said happenings. Curcumin is extracted from turmeric. In order to know more, please Google it. As turmeric is a food, so also Curcumin. One may take it for holistic wellbeing even without consulting a physician. Curcumin is expensive. Alternative options are turmeric with Piperine or Haridra Khand etc.

I am privileged to share with you that I have attended the first seminar conducted/Special Lecture delivered by Shri V. Laxikumaran (if I remember correctly) after India wins a victory over turmeric patent issue with US at ICAR-IARI, Pusha, Delhi (most probably in 1999/2000 – I cannot recall now).

I am continuing Shilajeet to prevent further decay in my lower lumber region till date.  I take Shilajeet as pure herb in capsule form (in some cases, triphala or amla churna remains mixed with it).. I started taking Shilajeet after becoming a vegetarian. Even after becoming a vegetarian, I have corrected my lipid profile as a precaution before taking Shilajeet regularly. In order to know more about Shilajeet, please log on to reliable websites. Never start consuming Shilajeet by reading this case study. Please consult an expert in need.

As above, through trial-and-error procedure, I have taken control of my condition in lower lumber region. Hopefully, I could prevent further decay in that region to some extent. I am continuing exercise (in the morning) till date. I always think that my problems will disappear automatically and the lumber region will be rejuvenated again! From early 2017, I did not hire driver for my car. Gradually, normalcy restored in my life. Dependency on car and on others reduced. The fear of low back pain gradually disappeared. I started all kinds of work – driving, cycling, shopping, carrying weights, everyday travelling by bus etc. I gave up wearing lumber belt also from 2017. By God’s grace still I am fine!    

[The above case study is presented for research purpose only. Please do not imitate what I have done. Please consult physicians in need accordingly. I have kept all the papers related to this case study under my custody for assisting/addressing possible research enquiry in near future (when permissible from our side).]  


Announcement

Gradually, I look forward to share more experiences to prevent some other adverse health conditions, such as swelling of feet, pain of any kind including dental pain etc. using herbs. Also, I am open and available to start joint research with appropriate and interested persons / institutions to prevent pain and/or inflammation that is caused by insect bites using herbs as well as some methods under the system of Yoga and Naturopathy. I would also like to participate in research to prevent formation of moles in human bodies using herbs. And many more …   

First published on 12th January 2024


For more information, please write me to: amlan@amlan.co.in.

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