Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, May 31, 2002
Hope for AIDS cure in ayurveda?
Siro Dhara in progress at Dr Franklin's Panchakarma Institute & Research Centre, Thiruvananthapuram.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, May 30
SUSTAINED and focused research by a well-known Thiruvananthapuram-based ayurvedic practitioner has succeeded in breaking the nightmarish Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) conundrum into nickels and dimes and even suggesting a generalised course for treatment.
A detailed study of the process of metabolism has proved that it is the "unhealthy state of the human body" (vitiated doshas) that attracts a host of exogenous factors known to cause AIDS, according to Dr V. Franklin, Managing Director, Dr Franklin's Panchakarma Institute and Research Centre at nearby Chowara.
Dr Franklin told Business Line that in ayurvedic parlance, the health of an individual depends mainly on doshas, dhatus and malas.
Dhatus are the basic tissues and malas the waste products of the body.
The digested food gets divided into two parts, namely sara (essence) and kitta (waste products).
The sara of food undergoes further transformation and becomes rasa dhatu, the first dhatu. It contains nutritive materials required by the other dhatus in the chain.
The nutritive material is acted upon by the dhatwagni (digestive fire present in each dhatu) and is in turn converted into sara and kitta. The sara of rasa dhatu is converted to rakta dhatu, which contributes to the formation of mamsa dhatu and so on.
Hence, it is said that one dhatu feeds another. The last dhatu in the chain, sukra, is responsible for the most important function of reproduction.
The improper or incomplete transformation of any of these dhatus can lead to a state of ill-health - namely the vitiation of vata, pitta and kapha.
The process of transformation itself depends upon the potency of the agni (the digestive fire) which burns the food and dhatus.
This process must conform to a set pattern and proceed without hitches in order to ensure a healthy state of being.
AIDS transliterates itself in ayurvedic parlance to weakening of ojas, the essence of the dhatu chain ending in sukra. Ojas is located in the hridaya but pervades all parts of the body and its functions. Its sustained loss can lead to even death.
Ojas is largely responsible for ensuring the body's natural immunity system (sahaja) and the acquired versions, kalaja and yuktija. From this, it is clear that ojas is a vital ingredient for general health, depletion of which leads to the immune deficiency syndrome.
Ojas will run itself out on account of abhisanga, or assault by evil spirits and micro-organisms such as bacteria and virus. The dhatwagni gets contained, leading to improper transformation of dhatus.
The undigested dhatus get accumulated inside the srotas (channels in the body) leading to the vitiation of doshas and ojas kshaya (depletion of ojas).
Dr Franklin says that the treatment should seek to increase the potency of the digestive fire, remove the impurities from the body and restore the equilibrium of the three doshas.
There are many herbs which ayurveda prescribes to keep the digestive fires burning so that the dhatus keep transforming into one another.
He also says that he has chosen seven herbs that hasten the transformation of all the seven dhatus in the chain.
These herbs should be administered for 41 days so that the process of transformation of the dhatus is triggered.
The transformation of the entire chain will take about 287 days.
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