Q.1: I have a pain in my knee joints and had menopause 10 years back at the age of 46, my doctor got my bone density checked and informed that I am suffering from early stage of Osteoporosis. Can Ayurveda treatment held me? — S. K. Munjal, New Delhi. Answer: Osteoporosis is derived from two roots i.e. Osteo means bones and porosis means turning porous. So your bones are going to become porous i.e. they are going to lose hardness. There are various causes for bones turning porous or losing hardness like low intake of calcium in diet and deficiency of vitamin D3. Our bones become stronger with calcium depositing in them and this takes place only in the presence of vitamin D3 in our body. We get calcium and vitamin D3 from milk, vegetables, fruits etc. when sunlight falls on our skin vitamin D3 gets synthesized. Ayurveda terms this disease as Asthi kshaya (bones loss) and is considered as a metabolic disorder related to formation of bones.
In women after menopause level of oestrogen hormones come down and it is responsible for calcium not getting deposited in bones which looks to be reason in your case as your problem developed after menopause. An Ayurvedic herb shatavari (Asparagus racemosa) contains oestrogen hormone in herbal form (phyto oestrogen) if it is taken after menopause not only menopause related osteoporosis is prevented but many other features like hot flushes, mood swings, sadness, lethargy, sleep disturbance, body pain etc. can be prevented. This herb is available in raw form with herbalists as well as in capsule form marketed by D.A.V. Pharmacy. Also calcium in organic form like Shankh bhasam, coral (Parval bhasam) Pearls (Mukta pisthti) can be taken in appropriate doses under medical consultation. Aloe Vera juice preferably freshly prepared also helps in relieving pain arising out of osteoporosis changes in knee joints. Life style is very important factor as per Ayurvedic system of medicine. Osteoporosis is not caused only because of oestrogen hormones deficiency, or calcium & D3 deficiency but important cause of osteoporosis is lack of physical activity or weight bearing in woman. Calcium deposition takes place in bones only when they are subjected to strong physical activity. In rural areas or labour class women who perform strong physical activities you will not find osteoporosis. This disease has been observed more in urban elite class with sedatory and comfortable life style. If you start physical activities and Ayurvedic treatment your problem can be solved. For relief of pain in knee joints some of guggulu preparations are better and without side effects of pain killers. In the women menopause is unavoidable phenomenon but it can be handled better if women keep on performing physical activities like 45 minutes swift walk in pre-menopausal age as well as after menopause, this event of life will not put any effect on their health.
Q. 2 : I am suffering from high blood pressure for the last 3 years although it is under control with use of allopathic medicines but I feel weakness and depressed mood which recovers if I stop medicine, but blood pressure again shoots up. Kindly suggest some Ayurvedic medicine.
—Suresh Malhotra, Ghaziabad.
Answer: Dear Mr. Malhotra, I will like to explain you that our heart pumps blood to all the body organs and cells and the force by which it strikes walls of Arteries (blood pipes in which blood flows out of heart) is called blood pressure. This pressure depends upon the lumen of the arteries and elasticity or flexibility of walls of arteries. For a normal blood pressure lumen of the arteries and elasticity or flexibility should also be normal, but because of various factors like stressful family and professional environment, over busy working schedule, lack of exercise, not taking optimum sleep or sleeping late in the night, handling many jobs at a time, highly possessive nature, anger, jealousy, greed, sinful activities, finding pleasure in criticizing the others etc. some nerves impulses constricts the lumen of arteries as a result blood pressure increases. Also some of the foods like oils, ghee, butter causes thickening and hardening of walls of blood vessels which results into high blood pressure. Intake of excessive salt also increases blood pressure.
You have mentioned that your blood pressure comes to normal with use of medicine, but you feel weakness and sadness. It is one of the side effects of most of the conventional medicines used these days to handle high blood pressure. So long as you keep on taking these medicines your blood pressure will remains normal but when you stop it, it will increase as these treatments are temporary one.
Ayurvedic principle of treatment is to avoid cause of the disease and not merely handling symptoms. For that we should improve our social environment through spiritual lessons and management of professional working. Yogic exercises and meditation have potent role to play in handling high blood pressure. 45 minutes swift walk improves body biochemistry and one becomes cheerful and can handle stressful daily events. Some mood elevators like endorphins are produced with physical activities and walking these naturally tackles mental stress. Avoiding late sleeping and having seven to eight hours sleep helps in managing high blood pressure. Avoiding salt and taking lot of fresh vegetables and fruits in foods are very useful for high blood pressure. Our diet should have minimum fats. Garlic upto 6 gram (six small cloves) taken daily improves flexibility of arteries walls, turmeric powder 5 gm. Daily is also useful, Arjun bark powder is another remedy not only for blood pressure but for strengthening heart muscle also. Sarpgandha roots powder 250 mg. to 500 mg. instantly lowers high blood pressure. Punarava (Hindi-Itsit, Punjabi-Bishkapra) improves blood pressure by increasing urination. Gokshru powder, Corn hair, Melon skin powder, Varun bark powder also work on the same principles to lower blood pressure.
Professor Dr. Raj Kumar Sharma,
Dayanand Ayurvedic College, Jalandhar-144008