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Samwarthika Ayurveda Hospital in Kerala offers the best Ayurvedic treatment in Kochi and Kerala. Unlike other Ayurvedic treatment centers in Kerala, the practice of traditional Ayurveda is predominant at Samwarthika. Modern diagnostic methods using laboratory tests and imaging services are also used to support Physicians in their diagnosis. Ayurvedic treatment at Samwarthika is one of the best and the medicines prepared here are strictly guided and supervised by our Physicians following the classical texts. Oral medicines, physical therapies, and the application of medicaments are advised to the patients after consulting the Physician. A full-fledged pharmacy and five fully equipped treatment rooms are here to support our patients. All Ayurveda treatments including Kerala Panchakarma procedures are carried out here by well-experienced therapists under the supervision of qualified Physicians. Yoga is suggested to the patients according to their disease conditions. Get in touch with us and we are more than happy to help you choose the right treatment plan.

Basic Concept of Ayurveda

A Physician of knowledge needs to enter the inner body of the patient with the lamp of knowledge and understanding to treat diseases properly. Correct diagnosis is essential for effective treatment.

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The diagnosis process in Ayurveda is based on the definition of the inborn constitutional health state of a patient - Prakriti. The biomedical validity of constitutional assessment followed in Ayurveda has received confirmations from genomic studies.Health is an individual, relative state and constitution - prakriti- may explain why peculiar diseases occur to one patient and not to another one. The determination of – prakriti – which is assessed by considering psycho-physical attitudes and socio-cultural circumstances – allows to define how the individual can achieve good health. The patient needs to follow the Physician's Personal guidelines in order to achieve and maintain his ideal healthy state.

According to Ayurveda, all matter in this Universe is made up of five eternal substances in various proportions known as Panchamahabhoothas - earth, air, fire, water and space. It further explains, humans are the micro version of the Universe. These five elements combined with the soul to create a living being. All the five elements exist in all things including our bodies and have specific qualities. These occur as Thridoshas – Vatha, Pitha and Kapha – in humans. Ayurveda speaks on balancing the body, mind and soul for a healthy life through balancing these three doshas.

As three doshas are the essential components of our body, three qualities – Satva, Rajas and Tamas – are the essential components of our mind. Individuals will have a mixed amount of these qualities, but the one predominant will determine the person’s quality. Also there are seven Dhathus or tissues to support the body. These are the structures that make up the body. They are Rasa, Rakta, Mamsa, Medha, Asthi, Majjaand Sukra. While Ayurveda recognizes these Dhatus as the structural basis of the living body, it recognizes the three biological systems –Vatha, Pitha and Kapha. If these three function well, it results in good nourishment and well-being; if there is malfunctioning, it will result in Dhatuvaishamya– elemental imbalance – resulting in various types of diseases. In short, imbalance in doshas causes imbalance in dhathus.

Every individual has a combination of physical, mental and emotional characteristics known as constitution which is determined by analyzing a number of internal and external factors like one’s choice on food, preferred weather, changes in emotions, work and family relationships etc. Imbalance in one’s original constitution is the state of illness or disorder. Ayurveda is all about restoring to the original constitution by regaining the balance through herbal medicines, dietary and physical therapies as well as spiritual and psychological healing. Selecting and practicing the diet and lifestyle suitable to each individual’s constitution will strengthen the body, mind and consciousness.

Vatha
means wind, is the subtle energy associated with movement, composed of air and space. It controls breath, muscle movements, pulsation of the heart and cells. In balance, Vatha encourages creativity and flexibility. When in imbalance, it stimulates fear and anxiety. Interruption in Vatha occurs as gas or muscular/nerve toughness leading to pain.

Kapha
means phlegm, is the energy that forms the body’s structure, composed of earth and water. It supplies water to the whole bodily parts, lubricates joints, moisturizes the skin and maintains immunity. In balance, it gives love, calmness and forgiveness. When in imbalance, it activates greed and envy. Interruption in Kapha occurs as liquid and mucus leading to swelling and discharge.

Pitha
means bile, expressed as the body’s metabolic system, composed of water and fire. It controls digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism and body temperature. In balance, Pitha encourages intelligence and understanding. When in imbalance, it can whip up anger, hatred and jealousy. Interruption in Pitha occurs as acid and bile leading to inflammation.

Rajas
are characterized by motion and stimulation. All desires, wishes, ambitions and unstable minds are the result of rajas. Many types of psychiatric illness are caused by imbalance of rajas.

Satva
is characterized by lightness, consciousness, pleasure and clarity and is free from disease. The senses are active because of its presence. It is also responsible for the perception of knowledge.

Tamas
is characterized by heaviness and resistance. It disturbs the process of perception and activities of the mind. Delusion, false knowledge, laziness, apathy, sleep and drowsiness are caused by tamas.

Rasa
Plasma – dhathu is derived from digested food and nourishes each and every tissue and cell of the body.

Raktha
Blood – is regarded as the basis for life. It nourishes the body tissues and provides physical strength and colour to the body.

Mamsa
Muscle – is the muscle tissue. Its main function is to provide physical strength and support the adipose tissue/Medadhathu.

Meda
Fat – dhathu provides support to the bone tissue/Asthidhathu.

Asthi
Bone – dhathu consists of the bone tissue including the cartilage. Its function is to give support to the bone marrow/Majjadhathu and provide support to the muscle tissue/Mamsadhathu.

Majja
Bone Marrow – dhathu’s function is to fill up the bone and to oleate the body.

Sukra
Reproductive Tissue – dhathu’s function is to help the reproduction and strengthen the body.

Ayurveda believes that the imbalance of Vatha, Pitha and Kapha – Tridoshas – cause disease. The examination of the patient consists of analyzing the cause of disease – nidana, early signs and symptoms – purvaroopa, main signs and symptoms – roopa, exploratory therpy – upasaya, the production of disease – samprapthi and finally the clinical examination. The examination of patients may involve Tenfold examination – Dasavidhapareeksha or Eightfold examination – Ashtsthanapareeksha. This helps especially to evaluate the strength of patient and of the disease.

The Tenfold Examination/DasavidhaPareeksha

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Involves the following aspects.Body constitution – Prkruthi, Pathological state – Vikruthi, Tissue vitality – Sara, Physical build – Samhanana, Body measurement – Pramana, Adaptbility – Satmya, Phychic constitution – Satva, Digestive capacity – Aharasakthi, Capacity for exercise – Vyayamasakthi, Age - Vayas

The Eightfold Examination/AshtsthanaPareeksha

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Includes the examination of Pulse – Nadi, Toungue – Jihwa, Voice – Sabda, Skin – Sparsa, Vision – Drik, General Appearance – Akruthi, Urine – Muthra and Stool – Mala.

Forms of Medications in Ayurveda

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The medicines used in Ayurveda are prepared mainly using herbs and combinations of herbs and plants which may undergo different typical pharmaceutical processes based on ancient scripts to get their typical form. Swarasa – juice of any plant squeezed from it with or without adding water, Kalka – paste prepared by grinding drugs, sometimes soaked with water, Kashaya/Decoction – a drug or combination of drugs are powdered coarsely and one part of it is added with suggested parts of water and boiled to reduce and decoction is separated, Choorna – preparation of drug or combination of drugs in well powdered form, Vati or Gulika – tablets or pills made using different drugs, Asava – a preparation in which drugs are soaked in liquids and allowed to ferment and then filtered, Arishta – similar to the preparation of Asava but the decoction are used for retaining the properties for longer a period, Avaleha – type of preparation that is semisolid in consistency prepared in sugar, jaggery etc., Thaila – prepartion involves many stages in which drugs are boiled in specific oils, Ghritha – similar preparation to Thaila but herbs are boiled in ghee, Lepa – paste used for external application prepared using herbs, and Bhasma – prepared by the process of calcination with various drugs are the different forms generally used in Ayurveda.

4 Pillars for the Cure of a Disease

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Classical texts on Ayurveda describe four pillars for the cure of a disease. They are acquirement of good Physicians, proper Medicaments, support of a good Nurse and a reasonable patient.

Qualities of a Good Physician:
Good knowledge and proper medical education, intense training in both theory and practice of medicine, wide clinical experience, purity of body and mind.

Qualities of Good Medication:
Sufficiency of supply, suitability, multiple form and potency.

Qualities of a Good Nurse:
A rational person with knowledge of nursing, skill, sympathy and affection to the patient, cleanliness, purity of body and mind.

Qualities of a Good Patient:
Obedience to the instructions of the Physician, courage, ability to describe his ailments without any inhibitions.

Diet

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According to Ayurveda, we get the essentials for life through food. Food, being acted by jataragni–gastric juices and digestive enzymes and consequent digestion– contributes to the development of sapthadhatus– the seven tissues that support life. Ayurveda has a personalized approach on the diet of patients and is assessed on the basis of their constitution. Importance is given in regulating the digestive power rather than correction of the calorie of the food. According to the change in space and time, the predominance of dosha may vary. This is also considered in choosing a right diet for the patient. Even wrong food combinations will result in complications.Wrong diet practice is an important reason for disease. Following a proper diet advised by the Physician is one of the most important responsibilities of a patient and it is an essential part of treatment too. It is referred as Pathya in Ayurveda. Food strengthens the body, supports the heat of the system, and retains the humours in their proportion, supporting health and longevity. Various classes of food are described such as sweet, acid, salt, bitter, pungent and astringent.

Sweet articles of food increase fat. They strengthen the tissues, retain the body in health and promote longevity. Acid articles of food increase appetite, promote digestion and are cold in nature but are hot after digestion. They should not be taken often. Salt articles relax the bowels, promote digestion and increase appetite. Bitter food is dry and light to the stomach. Long and imbalanced use of salt and bitter articles will derange the humours. Pungent are of a drying nature which will increase the appetite, but if taken too much they cause thirst and weakness. Astringent are cooling but if taken for a long time they produce costiveness.

Samwarthika provides a pure vegetarian diet from its own kitchen. It is important to become fully aware of our dietary needs considering place of residence, climate, foodstuffs natural to the particular place, the digestive potential etc. Thus what may be good for one person may not be good for another. Our Physicians advise specific diet for each patient considering the disease condition and requirement which is timely updated at our kitchen. Prescribed diet may vary during the course of treatment accordingly.

Ayurveda describes the practices to be followed in daily life as Dinacharya which is charted meticulously, right from getting up early in the morning to the time when we go to bed at night. The wanton violation of obedience to the laws of nature and virtue is the cause of disease.

Daily Regimen/Dinacharya

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Early to rise:

Ayurveda advises to rise from bed before sun-rise. After morning prayers, perform the duties to the nature facing north. After that, teeth must be cleaned. The mouth, eyes and face are to be washed with water. The nails, beard and the hair of the head are to be trimmed and kept clean periodically to promote strength, longevity, purity and tranquility of mind.

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Bathing:

The cold bath removes the impurities, the inordinate heat and irritation of the surface and retains blood pure. Warm water bath is generally prepared with medicinal plants and is used generally or locally. Vapour baths are used for removing pain. The patient is well rubbed with oil and seated on a covered wooden vessel. Basically, rubbing oil has an excellent effect on the system.

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Clothing & Premises:

It is advised to wear silk and warm clothes in winter, light, cool and thin during hot weather. During cold and rainy weather, use warm clothes of medium thickness. Being in clean premises and staying in ventilated rooms are also important.

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Sleep & Exercise:

Sleeping in a comfortable space for an accustomed time keeps the humours healthy, improves colour of skin, the health, appetite and strength. Sleep during the day should be avoided. Ayurveda advises physical exercise to increase strength and keep the body firm. Morning or evening walk is suggested for those who eat rich food.

The Kerala Ayurvedic Treatments

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Poorva Karma – The preparatory treatments

The preparatory treatments – preparing a Patient for Panchakarma treatments are called Poorva Karma have an important role in Panchakarma. Snehana – oleation and Swedana – sudation are the two basic preparatory treatments. Snehana can be further divided into two types; internal and external. internal Snehana is administered through the oral route while external Snehana has many different ways. Swedana includes Kizhi, Pizhichil, Dhara, Steam bath, etc.

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Panchakarma

Panchakarma is a unique process of purification comprising five purification therapies followed in Ayurveda which absolutely expels the toxins out of the body. This bio cleansing process includes Emesis – Vamana, Purgation – Virechana, Enema – Vasthi, nasal drops – Nasya and Bloodletting – Rakthamokshana. Panchakarma has three main stages; namely Poorvakarma, Pradhanakarma and Paschathkarma. Poorvakarma is the preparatory treatments before main treatment; Pradhanakarma is the main treatment and Paschathkarma is the measures employed after the main treatment.

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Abhyanga

Abhyanga is the procedure of application of Snehadravya over the body with mild pressure. It is one of the most popular and ancient therapies of Ayurvedic treatment in Kerala which involves warm oil massage over the entire body.

The Thaila/Ghritha/Vasa etc. are rubbed over the body in directions comfortable to the patient. It improves strength and alleviates Vatha. It can be performed as a therapeutic procedure as well as a preventive procedure. The patient is made to sit on the Abhyanga table with legs extended. The oil heated to optimum temperature is applied over the head, ears, and soles of feet uniformly with mild pressure by therapists standing on both sides of the table. Abhyanga is performed in different positions and at the end of the procedure, the oil on the body is wiped off with tissue paper or towels. A bath can be taken with hot water and medicated powder or soap to remove the oil and to clean the body. A light semi-solid digestible diet may be advised after a bath.

This dates back to the ancient practice of massage to heal people suffering from body stiffness and body pain. In addition to that, Abhyanga massage also helps people to move without the burdens of joint pain. As a result of getting an Abhyanga treatment, the metabolic residues from the patient’s body will be removed effectively. Consequently, there will be increased blood circulation that will help reduce fatigue and stress-related disturbances in one’s body. At Samwarthika Ayurveda Hospital, you can avail the benefits of abhyanga massage for both preventive remedies as well as for therapeutic purposes.

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Pizhichil

Pizhichil with oil is a modified form of Parisheka Sweda developed as a specialty of Ayurvedic treatment in Kerala. It is the process by which the body is made to perspire by pouring warm medicated oil in a specific manner. It has the advantage of producing Snehana and Swedana effects at the same moment. The patient is made to sit on the treatment table – dhroni with legs extended. A gentle massage is performed by therapists attending either side of the patient. The oil for Pouring is heated by keeping the vessel in a hot water bath and the temperature of the oil must be comfortable to the patient. A piece of cloth is dipped in the warm oil and squeezed over the body with the right hand. Simultaneously gentle massage is done with the left hand also. The oil flows in a uniform stream from the thumb facing downwards from a specific height or as per the condition of the disease and patient. The process is to be continued in different positions. After the procedure, the body of the patient is massaged gently and oil is wiped off with a clean towel. Rest is advised for a few minutes followed by a hot water bath. Medicated powder is applied over the scalp and oral medicines according to the condition are given. A normal diet is generally prescribed. This process stimulates the neuromuscular system; increases peripheral circulation, improves the functions of the skin, sense organs, and provides nourishment.

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Shirodhara

Shirodhara is a type of application of oil to the head/scalp, in which prescribed medicated oil/ liquid is continuously poured over the forehead and then allowed to flow over the scalp from a specific height for a certain period. The patient is massaged on the head with suitable oil. In certain cases, whole-body massage is also done before Shirodhara. The patient should lie in the supine position on the treatment table – dhroni with a pillow under the neck and the Shirodhara device is placed over the head. Its height is fixed in such a way that suitably warm oil or medicated liquids should fall from a specific height in a continuous stream of specific thickness over the forehead. The oil/liquid poured is recollected and reheated just above the body temperature and again poured in the dharapatram. The attendant will move the vessel to both sides of the forehead so that the flow of liquid reaches both sides properly. After this process, the oil is wiped off and the patient is advised to take a bath with medicated warm water after half an hour. This procedure is suggested for 7, 14, or 21 days as per the severity of the disease. Light diet, preferably semisolids and liquids are advised. The constant flow of liquid in a specified manner relaxes the mind, calms, and tranquilizes the patients.

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Upanaham

Upanaha is a kind of Swedana– sudation – in which the medicines are made into a paste after boiling with a suitable liquid and applied over a specific area. It is covered with leaves and bandaged with thick cloth which can be removed after a stipulated time. Warm oil is applied in the area where Upanaha is to be done and the herbal drugs mixed with thaila/ghritha paste are applied in bearable heat. The area where the paste is applied is covered and bandaged with a thick cotton cloth. This can be removed and cleaned after the prescribed duration followed by the application of oil. A normal diet is usually advised. It is a type of Swedana – sudation that imparts heat to a specific area resulting in the reduction of swelling and pain. It improves blood circulation and thus, mobilizes the waste materials of that area.

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Kizhi
Pathra Pinda Sweda/Elakizhi

Pathra pinda sweda refers to a kind of Swedana – sudation performed by a specially prepared bolus of medicinal leaves. In this process, leaves of herbs are cut into pieces and fried with rock salt and suitable medicated oil. This hot mixture is tied in cotton cloth as boluses for application over the body. The boluses are gently applied in a synchronized manner. This bolus is applied hot to the skin already smeared with warm medicated oil. To maintain its temperature, the bolus is intermittently kept warm by heating on the frying pan. At the end of the procedure, the body should be wiped off with a dry soft towel and oral medicines are suggested. The patient is asked to be under complete rest for at least an hour and then allowed to take a bath with warm water. A light diet preferably liquids and semi-solids are suggested. It is a kind of Swedana – sudation where heat, pressure, and oil are applied simultaneously with drugs. So this stimulates and strengthens the neuro-muscular system resulting in reduction of pain and inflammation.

Patra Pinda Sweda/Elakizhi is effective in detoxifying and eliminating residues from the affected areas of the skin. it is used to massage the areas of treatment and is said to benefit people who experience back pain, joint pain, muscle cramping, arthritis, problems of stress and anxiety, etc. The treatment is also said to improve one's overall immunity and slow down the aging process.

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Churna Pinda Sweda/Podikizhi

Churna Swedana is a kind of Swedana– sudation given by powder of various herbs made as a bolus and applied over the body after heating. Powder of medicinal plants, seeds, lemon, and rock salt are mixed and fried with medicated oil. This mixture is tied up in a cotton cloth to prepare a bolus. This bolus is heated in oil and applied with mild pressure over the body after a gentle massage. At the end of the procedure, the body is wiped off with a dry soft towel. oral medicines are given at the end and the patient is advised to take complete rest and then allowed to take bath with warm water. Light food preferably liquids and semi-solids are advised. It is a kind of fomentation that stimulates nerve endings, relaxes muscles, and relieves pain.

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Njavarakizhi

Njavarakizhi is a specialty of Ayurvedic treatment in Kerala where the whole body or any specific part is made to perspire by the application of heated medicinal rice puddings externally in the form of boluses tied up in a cotton cloth. A specific variety of rice by the name Njavara is cooked with milk and decoction of herbs is kept in four pieces of cloth to make 4 boluses. Another portion of decoction and milk of the same quantity is mixed and heated at low temperature to dip the above boluses for warming the Kizhi. The patient is properly massaged with suitable warm oil all over the body and head. The warm Kizhi is gently applied in a synchronized manner by two therapists on two sides of the treatment table – dhroni. The heat of the boluses is bearable to the patient and will be maintained throughout the procedure by continuous use of four boluses. This procedure is done in different positions as per the requirement. At the end of the procedure, the paste of medicine remaining over the body is scrapped off and the body is wiped off with dry soft towels. Then medicated oil is applied over the body herbal medicines are given orally. The patient is advised to take complete rest and then allowed to take a bath with warm water. Light vegetarian diets consisting of liquids or semi-solids are usually prescribed during the treatment. By performing this procedure, massage, heat, and pressure are provided to the body simultaneously with nourishment to the muscles and nerve endings.

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Shirolepana

Shirolepana is a procedure of application of a paste of medicines on the head for a specific time. The head of the patient is shaved and medicated oil is applied over the body and scalp followed by the medicated paste applied thickly over the head covered by medicated leaves. After the stipulated time, the head is washed and Rasnadichoorna is applied. A normal diet is suggested. It provides tranquility to the head and brain, soothes the mind and nourishes the brain cells. It is found very effective in mental retardation, loss of memory, and psychiatric problems

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Shirovasthi

Shirovasti is a procedure in which the medicated oil is kept over the head with the help of a cap fixed for a prescribed time. The medicated oil heated just above the body temperature is slowly poured inside the cap over the head without any discomfort to the patient. The oil is filled up to a certain height above the scalp. The temperature of the oil will be maintained by replacing it with warm oil at regular intervals. At the end of the procedure, the oil is to be taken out and head wash is done. After wiping off the oil with a clean and dry towel, Rasnadichurna is applied. Gentle massage is performed on the shoulder, neck forehead, and back depending on the advice of the Physician. A light diet, liquids, and semisolids are preferable. It is useful in neurological complaints, chronic diseases, etc. and strengthens the organs in the head, and soothes the mind.

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Kativasthi

Kativasthi is a procedure in which comfortably hot medicated oil is kept over the lumbosacral area or any adjacent part for a certain time with the help of a cap-like hollow structure. The patient is given abhyanga all over the body and then Sweda – medicated steam on the low back and legs. The oil is heated up to warmness over the water bath and poured slowly maintaining the uniform temperature throughout the process by replacing warm oil. After the prescribed time, oil is removed and the area is wiped off followed by cleaning with lukewarm water. The patient is advised to take a rest. A normal diet is suggested. Keeping the medicated oil for a specific time on the affected area nourishes the nerves, muscles, and joints in the particular region. The heat of the oil also gives passive fomentation. It gives relief from symptoms.

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Uro Vasthi

Uro vasthi is the procedure of retaining warm medicated oil on a specific area of the chest for a specified time. A trough is made with dough on the chest or heart region where medicated oil is filled in it and retained for a specific time. After the specified time, the oil is removed and the oil is wiped off. The patient is advised to take a rest. Usually, the procedure is done for 7days. Normal diet advised. Keeping the medicated oil for a specific time on the affected area will nourish the nerves, muscles, and joints in that particular part.

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Akshi Tharpana

In this process, medicated ghee is retained over the eyes for 15-20 minutes. A gentle massage is given on the head, eyes, and face. A trough is made with dough around both eyes and medicated ghee – a little below body temperature but in liquid form – is filled inside. It is to be kept for 15-20 minutes and then the ghee is to be collected out and the face is wiped off with a clean dry towel.

Eyes are covered with petals of lotus or rose and the patient is advised to sit away from the sunlight for a day. it may be done for 7 to 14 days. This process may nourish the structures in the eyes and strengthens the optic nerve.

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Paschath Karma - Post Operative Regimen

The patient has to take complete rest for an equal period of time for which he/she has undergone the therapeutic procedure. Pashcath karma is done as the patient requires to regain the strength of dhathus and to come to normalcy. The patient has to use hot water for all purposes and should observe celibacy – brahmacharya during Pashcath Karma. Sleeping during the daytime is to be strictly avoided and proper sleep during the night is to be maintained. Natural urges should not be controlled forcibly. The patient has to be free from physical and mental exertion and should not be exposed to smoke, excess cold, sun rays, wind, etc. Traveling, sitting idle for a long time, and talking in a high voice is to be avoided. Soft and low pillows are to be used. Internal medicines as advised by the Physician have to be taken carefully by the Patient for the best results.