In tune with climatic changes

Dr N Satheesh Kumar | 01-June-2014

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Acclimatising to climatic changes is a must for healthy living. Though we don’t recognise the changes, our body will react to it very fast. There are some precautionary measures prescribed in Ayurveda to overcome the adverse effects of the changes

By Dr N Satheesh Kumar

Like all living beings, human body and mind are subject to the changes in the environment. In Ayurveda, Rithucharya has described the pathological changes occurring in tune with climate changes and precautions to be taken to tide over the adverse effects.

It is common that epidemics break out in low-lying areas and spread to other parts during monsoon, especially in the beginning. In the case of dengue and chikunguinea, mosquito is identified as vector for respective virus. But the precipitation of these diseases at the time of monsoon is due to innate disease mechanism. Comparing to the older generation, it has been seen that endurance in terms of maintaining good health is reducing day by day. This can be due to unhealthy food habits and defective environment management. 

According to the basic principles of Ayurveda, the elements of body constantly try to maintain equilibrium in metabolism, ageing and in all situations the body has been exposed to. The quantitative control is possible by indentifying signs and symptoms. In animals and plants, the selection is so natural and extreme climate variations minimally affect these species. In our development, we had lost this natural way of living.

Greeshma charya is the health tips for summer. When this climate is altered by monsoon cloud, the initially affecting element is Agnior the metabolic fuel of the body. Various metabolic enzymes daily secreting as per body requirements and considering external factors like heat, humidity can get confused by sudden cooling outside. So during this time, corresponding food and simple drugs like ginger are valuable in uplifting Agni. People may not be aware of the changed requirement of body due to the sensitivity defect, but when defective exposure to micro organism, allergy etc. occurs, clinically Agnibecomes significant.

In epidemics, Ayurveda physicians stress on resuming innate immunological molecules of the body rather than anti-microbial or anti- fever management. In many places of Kerala, when the dengue fever occurred last year, Amruthotharam kashayam which comprises three simple herbs proved effective in managing the disease.

The preventive measures mentioned in Varshacharya (doctrines at arrival of rainy season) are to uplift personal and environmental hygiene by herbs and methods like fumigation, checking insects, mosquito etc. Water quality can be achieved by adding selective herbs, boiling, sterilisation etc. The most important area of management is to potentiate immunity. Selective immunology issues in connection with climate change irrespective of cause like infection or allergic manifestation can be effectively managed in Ayurveda.

During monsoon, all the three vital factors of body tend to vitiate.  Neurological diseases, soft tissue disorders, diseases like asthma, many metabolic disorders etc. may be aggravated in Kerala. This may occur in Europe in snow season as per the biological clock there.

If the medical practitioners in the country identify the public health issues due to climate changes timely, they can be managed with simple medicines. If health authorities educate communities on preventive measures, many future medical issues can be addressed.

(The author is Director of Dhanwanthari Vaidyasala, Thodupuzha)

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