Ayurveda treatments are in demand during the Malayalam month of Karkidakam
Karkidakam, the month of the Ramayana, calls for purity of the body and mind. While many take care of their spiritual side by reciting the Ramayana, they choose to take care of their health by opting for various Ayurveda treatments on offer.
Many old-timers used to consider Karkidakam a season to unwind. “Kerala is considered a health-conscious State. This harks back to the days of vaidya families in the State whose counsel influenced the people to a large extent. Ayurveda, back then, was a way of life while prevention of disease was a priority,” observes Vikraman, former chief medical officer and physician at Kottakal Arya Vaidyasala, as he adds, “Ancient texts stressed the observance of hygiene and dietary regulations which helped keep illness at bay.”
Sunitha R.T. of Vasudeva Vilasam Aryavaidyasala and Nursing Home elaborates, “There are various treatments for each season. Karkidakam is the month suggested for steps to be taken to improve one’s health. Preparatory procedures like oil or powder massages precede panchakarma therapies used to purge the body of accumulated toxins. The required therapy is prescribed depending on one’s body type. The principle of Ayurveda is based on the prevention of illness.”
Ayurveda physicians advise the intake of oushadha (medicine) in the form of Karkidaka Kanji— a concoction of herbs in rice porridge – throughout the season.
The month also increases the medicinal value of certain leafy plants. “Ayurveda medicines are most effective during this time of the year because the cool weather conserves the energy of the body which is otherwise spent in the summer to adjust body temperature to external heat. Nowadays, holistic and natural treatment is increasingly preferred to avoid the after effects of certain medicines,” says Dr. Vikraman.
According to Dr. Sunitha, Kerala’s climatic conditions make vegetarian food the most suited to its people. Heavy, fried and spicy foods are best avoided. Fruit juices are also recommended.
A controlled diet
“The idea is to reduce the number of meals to two a day – a light breakfast followed by a moderate helping of Karkidaka kanji for supper,” says Dr. Vikraman.
“Generally, after the age of 50, new cells are not formed within the human body. German scientists have now proved that the procedure of pizhichil can help generate the growth of new cells,” he reveals.
“Youngsters opt for therapies to rejuvenate as diseases owing to poor metabolism are on the rise. Ayurveda procedures that involve sweating help eliminate toxins through the pores of the body.” says Dr. Sunitha. “People are more aware of the benefits of staying fit and ask for suitable therapies that help improve their vitality,” she adds. So there you have it, all the reasons why you should take a break from the daily grind to give your body that much deserved rest.SAJINI V. SAHADEVAN