Ayurveda Articles ( Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
ALCHOHOLISM AND ROOTS OF RECOVERY
“Whereas improper use of foods can lead to disease or even death, drinking also leads to loss of self-worth, life path, wealth, true pleasure, intelligence and courage".
- Ashtanga Hridayam
In Ashtanga Hridayam it is said, “Not to produce, sell, buy and drink alcohol”. In the ancient ayurvedic texts alcoholic addiction was called- “Madathyagam”. Drinking excess of alcohol may cause serious impact on the body. Alcoholic addiction is not only a bad habit but is considered as a disease, which needs to be treated in time. There are many ways of alcohol recovery mentioned in the ancient ayurvedic scriptures. The treatment, causes, withdrawal symptoms, stages etc is discussed in details in the text.
No level of drinking can be considered as safe for all people at all times. Everybody is different from others in one or the other way. May be what is safe for one may not be safe for the other. For some drinking one peg or two may be safe while for some others no alcoholic drinks may be safe.
“Prolonged heavy drinking, over a period of years, can result in serious ailments and shorten your life span by 12 to 15 years Knowing the uses and abuses is just as important as reading the instructions on a bottle of pills. You should know how your body handles alcohol, how much is safe to consume, and how your body gets rid of it. When you drink, small amount of alcohol enters directly into your blood stream through the lining of the mouth and throat. The remaining amount of alcohol is absorbed by the stomach or intestine. At this point the alcohol is then dispersed uniformly throughout the body. Its effects are similar to ether or chloroform, affecting all parts of the body controlled by the brain. Your ability to make appropriate judgments and to exercise self-control is affected. Alcohol must be broken down in order to leave the system. More than 90% of the alcohol is oxidized in the liver and the remainder is discharged through the lungs and kidneys. It takes just as long for the experienced drinker to eliminate alcohol as it does for the inexperienced drinker.
Alcohol-related problems occur when a person experiences social, psychological or physical difficulties as a consequence of heavy drinking, or when people close to them are drinking heavily. People of all ages may experience such problems, but older people are more prone to adverse effects because they are more strongly affected by alcohol than younger people. This is because of changes in the way the body processes alcohol as a person ages”.
Properties of Wine and Alcohol
The properties of alcohol are the opposite of life sap and similar to poisons. The only difference is that alcohol is less potent than poison, so it does not kill the person. Alcohol penetrates deeply into the tissues. It is dry and causes drying, sourness; spreads throughout the body, and is heating. Alcohol loosens bone joints, dries life sap and causes mental disorders. All the more there are 3 stages to addiction.
First stage: It causes a loss of life sap and begins mental imbalances.
Second stage: Persons are not in a critical point in choosing harmful activities and enjoying, thinking about them. They begin to think they will receive true happiness from these choices. The mind is primarily in a state of agitation/irritation and dulling during this stage. Persona may go on wild rampages of harmful activity. This is where vices and self-destruction begin.
Third Stage: A person lies lifeless on the ground. The experience is one of being poisoned.
Loss of understanding right from wrong, happiness or unhappiness, beneficial or harmful, suitable or unsuitable. Drinking causes delusion, fear, grief, anger, insanity, infatuation, fainting, epilepsy, convulsions and death. Further loss of memory, awareness and common sense occur.
Stomach: Drinking can cause stomach upsets which can lead to sickness and indigestion.
Liver: The liver becomes less efficient at breaking down alcohol as people age. This is an important reason why older people should cut down their alcohol intake.
Cold: A drink may make us feel warm, but it actually speeds up the loss of body heat and may increase the risk of hypothermia.
Nutrition: A healthy diet is a particularly important way for older people to maintain their good health. Alcohol affects appetite and digestion, and someone who drinks too much may not be eating properly. Extra vitamins and proteins may be needed.
Accidents: The risk of having an accident such as falling over is always higher after a drink.
Dehydration: Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it makes us go to the toilet more often, so body water is lost and dehydration may result.
Sleep: Drinking may send us to sleep but it can also upset the natural sleep pattern.
Excessive drinking: Excessive drinking can cause diseases of the liver, heart, stomach, chest, kidneys and throat. Cutting down on alcohol consumption will help you avoid these and other problems.
Vayu: When one is emaciated as a result of grief, fear, travel, sex, carrying overly heavy objects, eating rough or too little amounts of food and then drinking rough, old wine in large amounts in the night, will disturb sleep. It causes vayu alcoholism.
Pitta: When one takes large quantities of hot, sour and sharp wines, while eating hot and sharp foods, it burns the plasma and lymph, transforming their character into alkaline. The result is internal symptoms of burning, fever, thirst, mental confusion, giddiness and narcosis. This leads to pitta alcoholism.
Kapha: When one takes large amounts of fresh, sweet wine, while eating sweet, oily and heavy foods and takes frequent naps and no exercise, kapha alcoholism is caused.
General: Profound delusion, heart discomfort, diarrhea, constant thirst, mild or severe fever, loss of taste and appetite, pain in the head, ribs and bones, tremors, twitching, sharp pain in the vital organs and upper back, constricted chest, blindness, coma, cough, hiccup, swelling, ear, eye and mouth disorders, mental disorders and confusion, intelligent speech, vomiting, nausea, anorexia, thirst, severe yawning, dizziness, giddiness, delusion, delirium, hallucination, night mares etc.
Vayu: Insomnia, hiccup, difficult breathing, tremors, headache, dreams of wandering, pain in the sides, falling and talking with demons. Speech becomes impaired, talking becomes fast, delirious, slurred and unsteady, activity is hindered, complexion becomes dry and blackish red.
Pitta: Burning sensation, fever, perspiration, fainting, giddiness, delusion, diarrhea, thirst, dizziness, green or reddish yellow complexion, reddish eyes and cheeks, quick to anger, argumentative.
Kapha: Vomiting, excess sleep, skin rashes, anorxia, nausea, and heaviness. One becomes talk less, slurred speech, worry, laziness and lack of enthusiasm, yellowish-white complexion, cold feeling etc.
Tridosha: Symptoms of all 3 doshas.
Miscellaneous: Suddenly starting drinking after stopping for a long time creates 2 types of diseases of vayu origin that are difficult to heal or one type of Pitta origin.
Type I: Expectorating mucus, dry throat, excess sleep, irritated by noise, stupor.
Type II: Severe pain in the head and body, heart and throat disorders, delusion, cough, thirst, vomiting, fevers.
Type III: When one sees blood or develops an increased volume of blood the body becomes stiff; eyes are fixed in a gaze, other pitta symptoms occur.
Alcoholism leads to fainting and develops into a loss of consciousness. The channels of plasma, blood and consciousness become obstructed.
A Questionnaire for those who are addicted to alcohol.
Due to alcoholic addiction -
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- You are facing seviour financial crisis
- You are wasting your precious time
- Your family life is dull.
- Your status in society is lessening.
- You are not interested in your family matters.
- You are not thinking about your aims in life.
- You think that you are lacking in everything.
- Are you blaming yourself for everything?
- Have you undergone any treatment for alcoholic addiction?
- Do you drink while you are alone?
- Do you drink in morning?
- Do you drink while you are in home?
- After drinking do you forget what you have to do?
- Do you drink to get mental relief?
- Do you drink to lessen your shame and curiosity?
- Do you support your (idea regarding alcoholic drinking) alcoholic habits by means of words or habits?
If the number of “Yes” exceeds in your answer then you need to undergo treatment as early as possible.
Regarding treatment what is needed most is patience and willpower on the part of patient. Only then the physician can help the patient to get recovery. Drinking one or 2 pegs on occasions is okay but making it a habit is really bad for your body.
alcoholism are tridosha. So one first attends to the most excessed dosha. If all the 3 doshas are simultaneously imbalanced, one begins healing kapha, then pitta and lastly vayu.
Vayu: When wine causes the air to block the channels, it causes head, bone and joint pain. To moisten vayu i.e., to restore balance vayu reducing foods are taken, followed by salty wine with amalaki and ginger. This improves absorption, sharpness and hotness. This dissipates the obstructions, dispels wind and increases appetite. Foods include sours (e.g. pickles, yogurt), barley enemas, ghee, milk, and oil massage.
Vayu/Pitta: When these doshas are in excess, if one feels great thirst, cold grape juice removes the imbalances. After food is digested, persons drink yogurt/water with sugarcane, followed by cold water boiled with musta and amalaki, to quench thirst. A paste of amalaki, barley flour and ghee may also be placed in the mouth to quench thirst.
Pitta: Alcoholism caused by excess intake of sharp, hot, sour and burning wine is healed by cold, sour, grape wine with sugar, pomegranate and roasted barley flour having secondary tastes of sweet, pungent bitter and astringent. The acid and wine combination neutralizes the alkali. Foods include ghee, cane sugar and amalaki mixed with basmati, rice, peas; green lentils, amalaki, barley flour and ghee may also be placed in the mouth for alleviating thirst. Other therapies include cold drinks and foods, sandalwood water or drinking cool water from gold, silver or bronze vessels. External therapies include cool rooms and breezes, moonlight walks, wearing clothes made of flax and being near lotus and lily flowers. Green gems, pearls and moonstones further reduce pitta alcoholism. For burning sensations, sandalwood, lotus or lily water is sprinkled on the body, cold baths or showers. Further beautiful scenery, melodious music, jokes and peaceful conversation balance this disease.
Pitta/Kapha: When both are excesses in the stomach, it causes burning and thirst. Grape juice or water is taken, and then vomiting is induced to heal this illness quickly. Whenever the desire for alcohol appears; grape juice or water is immediately taken. This stimulates the digestion; which in turn digests the indigested food toxins. If there is bleeding cough, pain in the breasts and sides, thirst, burning excess doshas in the heart and chest, one takes guduchi, vasak, durba, musta, ginger, ghee and sugarcane juice.
Kapha: If alcoholism is caused by faulty or excess drinking it is merely healed by moderation. First, fasting and emesis are used. Later herbs are used to remove ama, improve appetite and return one’s lightness. When thirst and fever develop, persons drink warm water boiled with bala, musta and ginger to help digest the alcohol excesses. When ama is removed and appetite returns, cold wine with water, rock slat and fresh ginger and honey is taken in moderation.
Small portions of food, including barley or wheat with ginger, thin vegetable soup with dried radish and pungent like ginger, sours like amalaki and a little ghee. To promote appetite while seedless grape juice, pomegranate juice, pungent herbs, cardamom, turmeric and black pepper are mixed with raw honey. Foods include hot foods and drinks. External therapies include hot foods and drinks. External therapies include hot baths and steam, physical exercise, staying up late and waking early, no naps, dry body massage and wearing rough heavy garments. Inhaling warm aromas such as frankincense and cedar is also helpful.
If the above measures are not effective, wines should not be drunk, but substituted with boiled milk with cinnamon ghee and honey. Gradually return to small amounts of wine. The treatment for alcohol recovery is a matter of great challenge for the physicians. The treatment has to be undertaken in a very careful manner. What is needed for the patient is a better treatment not sympathy. Here the patient is taken from his world of fantasies to yet another world of reality and truth. This can happen only under the guidance of an expert physician and the task for the physician is of course very challenging for a little loss of concentration/ a slight laziness can lead to something very dangerous. Therefore treatment is done under the guidance of expert physicians. There are many ways to get relief from excess drinking of alcohol. Many herbs are there which are beneficial with regards to alcohol recovery. They are as follows:-Coriander seeds, triphala, nazhunindi, amrith, dried ginger, grapes, nagapoov, ezhathi madhuram, illipakathal, dates, sandal wood, thallimathalaka, chittinthal roots, big lime, fennel seeds, ponnkarandi roots, roots of kuzhumthotti, shatavari etc.
Three months after one has stopped drinking alcohol, one has to undergo snehapanam, pizhichil, dhara, vasthi and many such ayurveda therapies. All this has to be done under the guidance of expert vaidhyars - be it traditional or modern physician.
For a party time its okay or say drinking alcohol on occasions is okay but when one makes it a habit it’s something different. Just one or 2 pegs on any celebrations will do but drinking pegs everyday can change a whole lot on your body. In short it will deteriorate your health conditions. Here is when alcohol becomes a devil and expands its poisonous venom in the body. So be very careful and love your body.
Don’t spoil your Liver
One of the largest glandular organs in the human body that has more functions than any other organ is the LIVER. It has a pivotal role to play in the human metabolism. A person's entire blood supply passes through the liver several times a day, and at any given time there is about a pint of blood there. Because of the significant role the liver plays in maintaining our health, we must do all we can to keep it functioning properly.
To a certain extent drinking limited amount of alcohol has no such serious impact on the body. But when drinking becomes an addiction knowingly or unknowingly it results in ‘liver failure’. Rather than digestion liver is also involved in plenty of our internal body functioning. It controls all the metabolic functioning in the body. So if one drinks alcohol regularly in excess amount it weakens the functioning of liver, which further weakens the whole body. By excess it doesn’t mean the same in everybody. To some, may be 4 pegs will be excess, to yet others just one peg will be too much. Anyhow weakness of liver will not be prominent in the beginning stages, because our liver will be engaged in protecting the body organs even if there is weakness. Liver failure may also occur due to Jaundice especially if Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C infect it. The chance of getting hereditary liver problem is rare. If there is stone in gall balder one need to be very careful regarding liver failure.
Do you have Cirrhosis?
- Vomiting, not feeling hungry.
- A sudden feeling of excess increase of body weight and weightlessness.
- Yellowish colour for eyes and skin.
- Yellowish colour for urine.
- Dark motion with blood
- Body itching without any reason.
- Swelling of leg/foot.
- Lack of sleep.
- Irregular menstrual cycle in women.
- Pain in the lower abdomen.
- Vomiting blood. India tours Destination india Holidays India
These premonitory symptoms echo of cirrhosis. What you have to do is undergo treatment immediately. If liver cirrhosis is due to the excess intake of alcohol you should stop drinking immediately
Vegetables and Fruits
Adding lots of fresh vegetables and fruits will be an added advantage. Its better to have milk, egg, cereals etc, which are protein rich diets.
How you can avoid Liver Cirrhosis
If you drink alcohol, avoid drinking it? Or if you can’t stop drinking it drink in meagre amount. But if you are having medicines its better not to drink alcohol.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- If you have jaundice, undergo treatment as soon as possible. If you come in contact with people suffering from jaundice please take preventives.
- Try not to come in contact with any chemicals in the work place.
Take very good care of your health. To protect your liver, avoid alcohol and caffeine. Drink green tea, exercise and reduce stress. Give this hard-working and essential part of your body a rest and a tune-up, and latter you can find out the difference.