Post Panchakarma recommendations

Majority of the following recommendations are TIME TESTED methods and
practices that has kept the health of Kerala population in highest standards of physical and mental health over the centuries

The following are keys for post panchakarma regime to maintain good health.

1.Mindfulness
2.Transition to good habits
3.Appropriate quantity of food
4.Right timing of food
5.Foods that benefit
6.Foods that harm
7.Water and Other Drinks
8.Aids to sleeping well
9.Fasting
10.Lifestyle
11.Exercises
12.A Stretch of Muscle that is often ignored
13.Spiritual Practices

1. Mindfulness

  • Mindfulness is essential to maximise the benefits of all aspects, the following help in mindfulness while eating .
  • Eat in the company of people you enjoy
  • Minimise or eliminate talking; talking gets in the way of interpreting the signals your body is sending you and one can tend to overeat
  • Enjoy all elements of food – taste, texture, smell, looks
  • Avoid watching TV, reading, phone and social media

2. Transition to good habits 

What is the method to adopt to gradually give up bad food habits?

Unwholesome food practices are to be tapered in quarter of quarter [should not be suddenly discarded] and are to be substituted by pathya ahara (Wholesome food practices) in an interval of one, two or three mealtimes according to the condition. [This substitution is to be augmented in a gradual, phased manner].

The above lines are relevant in the case of harmful habits and addictions and in those who are habituated to their consumption and those who intend the withdrawal from drugs tobacco, alcohol, and certain steroids.

The withdrawal from the above is to be done accordingly use by gradual tapering concept, or else, it may result in withdrawal reactions. Conditioning the body (for detoxification) is also to be a gradual practice.

What are dangers of sudden shift from bad to good habits?

Sudden abandoning of food to which the body is adapted even if it is apathya (junk/ unhealthy) and practicing food to which the body is not adapted even it is pathya (healthy) can lead to diseases due to satmyatyaga (abandoning the adapted practices) and asatmyaseva (unadapted conceptions).

3. Ideal quantity of food? How much should one eat?

Good breakfast – if hungry , moderate lunch and very light or negligible dinner is apt habit which all of us know .. we just need reminders….

One should take the ‘right’ quantity of food always (all meal-times), since it is the quantity which helps maintain proper digestive power and not only the item/quality of food. The quantity of food to be taken depends on the gurutva (heaviness) and laghutva (lightness) properties of the foodstuff. The quantity is dependent on the digestive power of an individual which varies from age , season and other conditions. Food should be predominantly in liquid form and ONLY till the point that one feels satiation. There is a DISTINCT difference between eating food till satiation point and over eating( than required ).This is best realised by ‘’feeling ‘’ stomach – because stomach signals us it is over loaded.

 In normal heath conditions, if someone feels the stomach getting full / ”stretched” after consuming food , it implies over consumption. Half the stomach is to be filled with food and one fourth with water. Remaining one fourth is very space to aid normal physiology of digestion. It is recommended to sip warm to hot water along with food ..in multiple sips .NB patients with peptic ulcer and bleeding tendencies and hyperacidity may AVOID hot water sipping.

Food should neither be over consumed or under consumed. Both are unhealthy habits. In today’s society the former variety is more prevalent. Many adults on” different strict diet ” regimen harm the vitality and immunity of body by ”fashion dieting”.

How to determine you exceeded ‘right ‘ quantity ?

In clinical practice we have observed 10 easy to relate presentations by which you can be sure you have exceeded the right quantity If you realise the following after food intake

  1. a) heaviness / pain of abdomen,
    b) regurgitation of food,
    c) difficulty in breathing on exertion or rest
    d) bloated/ distended abdomen e) post meal lethargy / sleepiness within 1 to 2 to 3 hrs,
    f) delayed evacuation of bowels than normal routine ,
    g) multiple toilet visits next day which is actually an indication food was not thoroughly processed in body
    h) lack of hunger for the next 8 to 12 hrs
    i) constipation / vomiting/ diarrhoea/ excess salivation

Harm of being on ‘excess ‘fasting / dieting :

Food when taken in less quantity is not capable of promoting bala (strength), upacaya (nourishment) and ojas (vitality). It also acts as causative factor of all vata rogas (diseases due to vitiation of vata)/ neurological / degenerative.

NB – It would be underestimation statement to describe Vata as ”neurological ” only. It is an umbrella term that has many ramifications in physiology and pathology

4. Right timing of food 

Please have food ONLY if hunger is really prominent –body has more capacity to be alert without extra food than we may assume.

Unless extremely hungry or diabetic with blood sugar fluctuations, space between meal times should NOT be before 3 hrs or AFTER 6 hrs of

last meal time [ except for sleeping hours ].

There is a difference between real hunger and presumed hunger. Intermittent eating, frequent snacking is not advised. (it decreases metabolic capacity) At least a gap of minimum 3 and maximum 6 hrs are usually maintained between meal times. Thirst for water is always important. Dehydration may reflect as unusual hunger and sugar cravings. Avoiding emotional eating is important. Water intake with food is fine.

It is common to find people keeping on munching snacks even before the hunger of next meal time has surfaced. They end up with high levels of cholesterol, fatty liver and uncontrolled diabetes.

Many delay their food timings and ignore the demands of hunger made by body  and eat food at odd hours in far extra quantity or opposite. They end up with migraines, gastric ulcers, constipation and even short-term memory loss due to hypo glycemic status maintained repeatedly due to this by starving brain of essential sugar supply.

Success of next day starts with early dinner of previous day –

ATLEAST 3 hrs before sleep time -which needs to be had in moderate quantities [ to appease hunger – NOT to feel the stomach after consumption]. Very light or negligible dinner is apt habit which all of us know .. we just need reminders….

5. Foods that benefit 

Soup of green grams – mudga in Hindi (bought from any Indian store) – is worth at any meal time-  best vegetarian source of protein that has tissue building property and a DAILY RECOMMENDED food item as per Ayurveda (a pressure cooker can help cook this very quickly – within 15 minutes – please feel free to contact for recipe) .since some people feel this a bit ‘ dry’ .. the tradition in Kerala is to add coconut gratings.. provides the unctuous..  lubricant effect.

In normal life even without therapies ..Ayurveda recommends DAILY usage of

  • Pomegranate -one medium sized , 
  • Indian goose berry 30 to 50 grams ,
  • Honey 10 to 20 grams , Consumed in empty stomach with boiled and cooled water … morning time  .It has properties of Rasayana .. anti ageing effect .It can be had on it’s own or can be mixed in other things – e.g breakfast cereal)
  • Cow ghee 10 to 20 grams with 2 pinches of salt .Ghee consumed in empty stomach with boiled and cooled water … morning time  .It too has properties of Rasayana .. anti ageing effect .It can be had on it’s own or can be mixed in other things – e.g breakfast cere . It is adequate to cook in ghee  . Herbal ghee have greater impact on body and mind.
  • Rock salt – saindha namak – maximum 1 to 2 grams a day .Can be mixed with ghee or just used in cooking is fine too.

Daily –curry leaf plus garlic  as paste in equal quantities totally – 10 gms – usually removes, prevents the effects of toxic deposits of any nature in the channels of circulation. The quantity just has to get in by any means. Garlic needs to AVOIDED in case of hyper acidity, peptic ulcer, body heat , hot flushes or bleeding of any part of body.(curry leaf plant can be purchased in specialised nurseries) .Garlic pills are available too.

Please have butter milk / lassi  – ‘’pulisseri’’ in Malayalam/kadhi in North India  – daily – processed in turmeric powder  and curry leaf. Best effect is on the metabolism. Lunch  time is a good time to have . We can share our traditional recipe.

10 to 20  gms of sesame seed -Tahini  / til in Hindi as a paste for consumption  is excellent in bony tissue strength -if consumed empty stomach – if digestion system is working well.Bottled/readymade Tahini is fine too. In the event of a heavy to digest meal… ginger powder and turmeric powder are excellent in helping stomach recover. 2 grams of each are useful….Easy to have them as powder after meal- mixed with water .

Good food menu needs to have a combination of 6 tastes in a meal. The six tastes that should be present in every meal are sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent. Each of them have their bio chemical actions in digestive process and also in tissue build up in body and various other functions….

6. Foods that harm 

Oily, deep fried food or a heavy to digest dinner, non vegetarian food – red meat , fish , curd/ yoghurt ,vinegar are best AVOIDED at night .

Unfit for regular daily consumption

Raw salads, curd, vinegar, dried/ smoked  meat, pork, meat of sheep and cow, fish

Please avoid  hungry situation ice-cold stuffs of food .Ice creams [ except in harsh summers ] generally tend to diminish the gastric ‘’fire  ‘’ / Agni. Dried meat , Cheese

Cheese has been found to be very much against our healing plans  

Please avoid bakery food items that contain white flour as much possible yogurt at night or morning ,carbonated drinks , junk foods –white flour (maida) – based .They create sluggish metabolism.- 

Refrigerated food and re heated/ repeatedly heated after taking out from refrigerator cause inflammation for almost every one-hence best avoided..Dr Sreejit SP thoroughly understands that this can be very impractical in the western world but choices have their benefits.

Allergic food reaction – concept on fish /Prawns. Combination of fish, especially shrimp (prawns) with milk is extremely incompatible.

  1. Meat eating habits – 8 Avoidable practical life items/ examples

Consuming meat of animals which are habitat of anupa desa (marshy habitat) along with anyone among black gram, milk, honey, sprouted cereals, pulses, radish and jaggery is considered to be viruddha(incompatible).Chicken with yogurt

Sprouted cereals is NOT fit for daily consumption. Idli and dosha of South Indian food have major presence of black grams. But in Kerala rice dominates the ratio of the dough 

Honey is often used to process meat by many as dressing and ”new trend ”.

  1. Milk aspects – 6 Avoidable practical life items/ examples

Combination of fish, especially shrimp (prawns) with milk is extremely incompatible.Food substances which are sour tasted pineapple etc , when taken along with milk are incompatible.

Drinking milk after taking vegetables like radish (raphanus sativus) is also not recommended.

Sour tasting food substances when taken along with milk are incompatible. Same applies for sour fruits plus milk. Drinking milk after taking vegetables like radish is incompatible.

Its fairly common in some parts of Kerala to have milk shakes with ice cubes in it with sour fruits + milk . Highly unhealthy.

The following items/practices are ”To be avoided ”combinations, or else chances of allergic reactions and long term health hazards are high due to this

Black gram soup with radish

Monkey-jackfruit (artocarpus hirsutus) with any one of 5 items black gram soup, molasses, milk, honey and ghee. Jackfruit is widely used in Kerala , declared as official fruit of the Kerala state.

Banana + butter milk , banana + curd ,banana + palmayra { Nongu in tamil and south kerala ,Ice-apple in British English } fruits

Intake of payasa (pudding) –milk porridge  along with Sura (beer) , this is a possibility in late dinner parties.

Taking mushroom (Agaricus campestris) cooked in mustard oil .Mushrooms re heated are not ideal.

Foods that harm skin health – 

Most harmful list -19 items/combinations

Sprouted vegetables/grains with meat ,honey with meat, jaggery with meat, milk or honey with leafy vegetables, curd with chicken, honey heated in any form or taken with hot water, alcohol with kheer/ milk porridge , fish with jaggery or sugar, pork with jaggery, banana with milk, buttermilk or curd.

The very commonly used habits in modern society are Sprouted vegetables/grains with meat,

Dosha[ black gram plus rice ] plus meat , curd with chicken in biriyani parcels, drinking hot tea with honey, 

Moderately harmful list

Excess use of Salt predominant food like pickles, bhelpuri, paapad, chips, namkeen. They contribute to high blood pressure if consumed in excess.

Excess use of sour predominant food like preserved food, curd, lemon juice, vinegar in food , alcohol less diluted, bakery products with excess sour salty taste

More details on Ayurveda food habits  are included in

http://www.agnivesh.info/public-utility-latest-updates/

Please register for free-it is Dr S. P .Sreejit’s website for training doctors and helping public.

7. Water and other drinks

Herbal water of dry ginger 10 grams , coriander seeds 10 grams crushed together and  boiled in 2  litres of water  is the best DETOX herbal water as per Ayurveda that has effects on cardiopulmonary, gastrointestinal and renal system. 

Sipping hot water at bed time and also in morning is very beneficial,this eases out congestion at any level. This ensures a better metabolism and reasonably effective detoxification.

Water is best consumed in small portions (approximately the size of one glass- 200 ml)  in intervals of 2 hrs and always boiled – Never un-boiled.

Please have butter milk / lassi  – ‘’pulisseri’’ in Malayalam – daily – processed in turmeric and curry leaf. Best effect is on the metabolism. Dr Sreejit SP is happy to share the traditional formula.

ONLY Juice diet for the day  – once a week – is a good method to clean up system – pomegranate/ aloe vera / Indian goose berry. 

Juices available in cartons may have challenge of artificial sugar over load

It is fine to have juice when thirsty or hungry or when starting to  feel dizziness- based on the tolerance or threshold capacity .There is NO point in starving the brain from / of  sugar in the name of fasting as most people are working class. Having steamed vegetables adds to bulk in food and attends to extreme hunger episodes.

Green tea, black coffee , black tea drinking  in our experience has been found be counter productive and their avoidance has improved symptoms of locomotor system. However  milk in coffee and tea make it less ‘’ harmful’’ and approximately 30 ml of milk is fine .It is usually fine and required by a 70 kgs body weight person to have at least 2 litres of water. NB Conditions apply based on level of physical activity .. season .. kidney functions .

8. Aids to sleeping well 

Deprivation of sleep or delay in sleep or postponing the body’s demand of sleep HARMS longevity & decreases body’s immunity, decreases METABOLISM capacity of body and accelerates ageing process.

Disconnecting from screen space at least 2 hrs before sleep, listening to Yoga nidra  helps wear off the stress accumulated over the day. Yoga nidra is very useful tool to improve efficiency of mental faculty due to its destress effect on mind .

Yoga nidra audio link shared with you on day one at Athreya has a very effective  power nap effect and very useful to ”destress’ and calm down the pysche and refresh it for next day.

10 to 15 drops of coconut oil over the BREGMA on top of head -retained for half hour duration before sleep usually provides a very deep sleep and better quality of energy on waking up. This is NOT applicable to those who are prone to cold or respiratory diseases or  with sub cutaneous oedema. For them plain castor oil is better solution however sticky it is.

Ayurveda recommends waking up from bed ATLEAST 90 minutes before the actual sunrise as per Indian sub continent conditions.It is called BRAHMA MUHURTHA.

Sleeping with head in the direction of east and north are the best.

9. Fasting 

The practice of observing fasting during Ekadashi day is a very useful traditional practice in India. It is done usually twice a month . In todays’ fast paced working life .. Dr SP Sreejit himself being a 12 hrs daily working person opts to have fruits on extreme thirst and hungry situations on his fasting days .

How can only juice diet and Ekadashi fast work in harmony? This is a common concern and curiosity. Both can go in tandem.

10. Lifestyle

It is beneficial to avoid sleeplessness at night or late waking up in morning and also day time sleep habit. Both these challenge the metabolism and neuro endocrine system. How ever the very weak body persons , old age people and children can be beneficiaries of day sleep if they wish so  It is best to avoid hot water head bathing ,excess heat exposures or fluctuations of heat and cold to the body–it creates inflammation.

Please ensure a clear bowel habit – complete evacuation – for that fibre be added in dinner.

Please ensure the head does NOT remain being wet for over 5 minutes after head bath. This usually prevents sub cutaneous oedema/inflammation. The tradition of rubbing Rasnadi choornam on the head/ scalp of kids after bathing by mothers/grandmothers is inspired by this since centuries

Please avoid sun baths or excess heat exposures or fluctuations of heat and cold very quickly  -these alter the ” blood’s chemistry ” and relevant in skin conditions health.

11. Exercise

Exercise in moderation is the recommendation from Ayurveda. Excess or too less harms health. Attaining dry throat situation means you have OVER DONE the exercises.

Sun salutation is the simplest and easiest workout–minimum 12 to  24 sets a day – starting from 4 per day in 1 st week and 10 , 15 , 20 in next weeks respectively. This is to avoided in spinal disorders / slip disc / some low back ache situations.

A proper ‘cooling down ‘’ is very essential after any exercise regimen. Shavaasana / Corpse posture assumes lot of importance. It is very harmful to take shower or bathing after exercises unless and until body is back to ‘’normal body temperature ‘’ of before starting exercises. 

Many patients of inflammation have been found to have the habit of ignoring this basic rule of body care.

Deep breathing Pranayam is recommended daily – 15 minutes – Naadi Shudhi method.

Mild walking after dinner for 20 minutes is useful habit.

Avoiding the habit of watching TV or  avoiding prolonged seated after a meal time helps decrease abdomen girth from increasing to unacceptable levels.

Ladies need to restrict abdomen girth to 35inches and men to 40 inches.Or else metabolic disorders are a sure threat.

12. A Stretch of Muscle that is often ignored

In modern life rush life .. Stretching of psoas muscle is a very ignored aspect by many.

This 16 inches long muscle is perhaps the most vital muscle connecting upper and lower body. It has huge role in posture maintenance and posture is heavily challenged in today’s long commutation daily life, prolonged seating and inadequate stretching of muscles.

More insights Why Your Psoas Muscle Is The Most Vital Muscle in Your Body can be found in 

https://www.drnorthrup.com/psoas-muscle-vital-muscle-body/

13. Spiritual Practices

Regular chanting of mantra/ hymns has been found to significantly decrease stress levels. We can share a WhatsApp copy of the research conducted and also a video link of study of brain images affected by mantra chanting on 30 volunteers for 100 days.

Among all the gifts that can be given to any one , health is the best gift … hope the above helps in your health augmentation

OM ANG SI VA YA NA MA
ARI OM NA MA SI VA YA
AIYM KLIM SAUM

This document is prepared by Dr Sreejit SP out of the experience and feedback of its efficacy from patients of 104 nations [ since 2006] who trusted their health to the medical team of Athreya Ayurveda centre led by Dr Sreejit SP.

We are happy to share this to those who completed their healing journey at Athreya and even with those who may never be able to come to Athreya.