panchkarma part 2

Since my last blog I have begun to write on this most effective Ayurvedic treatment called ‘Panchkarma’. I may sound repetitive to my regular readers but I can’t help reiterate the immense benefits this gem of a treatment offers to the human mind & body.

In my last blog I also gave the basic information about what panchkarma is and its Purv Karma-the preparatory treatment prior to beginning any of the five processes.

In a layman’s language ‘snehan’ is massage. Now you would all agree that massage by itself is the most enjoyable experience for everybody. Now imagine when it is done as per the guidelines of Ayurved and using the right oils that suit your individual ‘Prakriti’! The results of such systematically performed snehan by an expert therapist are truly astounding.

Snehan relieves:

  • Stiffness of the body
  • Pain
  • Heaviness
  • Dryness

When you are being given this massage, you would realise that the therapist is giving you the massage in a certain manner…the way the therapist’s hands move has a significance that is relevant to the body’s blood circulation and dosha movements. Different oils, different concoctions of ghee (clarified butter) are used with ‘Individual Prakriti relevant herbs that are infused for the right results.

This is followed by ‘Swedan’. the steam bath treatment. There are various types of steam baths but I won’t go into it to avoid jargon here. Swedan has numerous benefits besides merely opening pores of the skin as is generally misconstrued. Swedan liquefies the Doshas and facilitates channelizing them to Koshtha, from where they can be expelled by subsequent Panchakarma procedures.

Indications for swedan:

  • Neuro muscular disorders – Hemiplegia, Para plegia, sciatica, etc
  • Rheumatological problems – Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Post fracture stiffness of joints, etc.
  • besides being an excellent rejuvenation therapy

Conclusively, let me line up some precautions or care that you need to take while in treatment to make your treatment effective:

  • Take adequate rest (avoid over working, physically strenuous routine)
  • Avoid day time sleep
  • Avoid heavy, oily and spicy foods
  • Consume warm water in small quantities throughout the day or whenever possible
  • Avoid late nights
  • Avoid sex


Now you would ask me “why” all this…So let me explain.

Snehan & Swedan primarily relaxes the body, opens skin pores and also facilitates movement of the doshas. Therefore in such situation the body is also vulnerable and susceptible to contaminations in the air, and water. Similarly the systems are in a stage where all the extremities of doshas are being thrown out or regulated.

The warm water helps speeding up the internal cleaning process. Rest and absence of physical activities including sex avoids stress to the already vulnerable body &helps the body rejuvenate at its own pace. Same goes for food. If the food is light, digestion and utilization of it becomes easier for the digestive system.

I am sure that just by reading about snehan & swedan you must have started feeling relaxed and then you may also have questions. But remember that merely the massage or the steam bath is not effective to holistically address your medical conditions or ailments.

Dr. Manjiri Joshi, Pune, India




Panchkarma The Gem Of Ayurvedic Treatment

Hello my readers!
Today I am starting a new series of a subject which is one more gem from the ancient wisdom of
As in everything medical and health related issues, Panchkarma is also caught in the fog of
misconceptions and myths not to mention common fears & apprehensions of people towards the
treatment. When I advice ‘Panchkarma’, many of my non medical acquaintances and my ‘first-timepatients’ always ask me and quite fearfully, if I am going to make them drink huge quantities of Ghee
(clarified butter) or whether I am going to administer medications to make them vomit their guts out
This led me to begin this series. The second reason is like I mentioned earlier, ‘Panchkarma’ is a gem
of the Ayurvedic treatment that is basic to begin treating almost all diseases… Preconception,
diabetes, OA, heart diseases or CVD, skin disorders and hyperacidity and so on.
Ayurvedic treatments are basically divided into two parts namely
1. Samshodhana chikitsa (bio-cleansing therapy) (संशोधन चिकित्सा)
2. Samshamana chikitsa (pacifying therapy) (समशमन चिकित्सा)
Shodhana consists of panchkarma treatments that are mainly recommended to help eliminate the
toxins or ama from the body and thereby enhancing the immunity. Panchkarma also significantly
increases the acceptability of the body to various regimens of treatment & medicines as well as
helps easy absorption of the medicines. That is why it is suggested as a basic treatment.
All panchkarma treatments eliminate the basic cause of the disease that is ‘Hetu’ and thus maintains
the equilibrium of the doshas.
The five procedures of panchakrma include:
1. Vaman
2. Virechna
3. Basti
4. Nasya &
5. Raktmokshan
Let me again go back a little…
Agni is identified as the prime factor for promotion of health and cure of a disease. Most of the
diseases are generally resulted from hypo functioning of Agni. Agni is classified into thirteen
varieties; i.e. Jatharagni, five Bhutagnis, seven Dhatwagnis. The term Jatharagni (Kosthagni)
connotes various kinds of digestive juices which split the different complex organic components of
food substances into their simpler forms, thus rendering them fit for absorption. The terms
Kayagni/Dhatwagni represent the activity of various cellular enzymes, hormones, oxygen etc.
involved in various metabolic reactions. Therefore Ayurvedic therapeutics always focuses on
restoring normal status of Agni. There are numerous Ayurvedic drugs explained to be useful in such
a diseased condition; termed as Deepaniya (Stomachic) and Pachaniya (Digestants).
Prior to these five main procedures (pradhana karmas), preparatory measures(purva karma)are
advised to be done for better results. Deepaniya (Stomachic) and Pachaniya (Digestants) are given to
the patients for two days prior to starting the course of treatment.
Any Panchkarma treatment always begin with two more purva karmas:
 Snehana
 Swedana
After the main treatment, paschat karma (ऩश्िात िमम) or samsarjana karma (a special diet and
lifestyle) is recommended to every patient.
Let me again give you a basic information …
The toxic products of the body metabolism can be broadly divided into water soluble, fat soluble and
volatile substances. The volatile substances like CO2 can be removed easily from the body through
the lungs. While there are numerous mechanisms in the body to get rid of water soluble toxic
materials through kidneys, sweat and other body secretions. Among all the three toxic products, fat
soluble toxic material is the most difficult to remove out of the body and only the liver can play a
role in the entire process. The use of different oils and ghee or any kind of ‘Snehana’ in all
Panchkrama procedures makes it possible to eliminate these toxins out of the body.
This is followed by ‘Swedana’. Swedana is a form of therapy that uses herbal steam to release toxins
from the body through the skin. During this therapy, sweat is released through the pores of the skin
which release ama, or “toxins,” that are rooted deep in the body. This therapy is effective in
relieving muscular tension, restoring flexibility, clearing energy passages, detoxifying the body, and
helping with muscular inflammation, hypertension, blood pressure and circulation.
Before doing the panchkarma procedures, your Ayurvedic physician will decide on the dose of the
medicines, and frequency of treatments after a thorough check up and on a complete
examination of the patient based on patient’s age, strength, seasons, disease stages and severity
of the disease, constitution as well as the medical condition.
Let me conclude this by highlighting that only then will your Ayurvedic physician decide which
treatment/s is to be advised.

Dr. Manjiri Joshi

91 9403360452

langhana fasting


My last two blogs were focused on infertility & obesity. I had also put forth various causes leading to both the conditions. Today I am highlighting a very common remedy that takes care of most of the digestion related  conditions & help improve metablism… ‘Langhana’ or fasting!

I have seen that there are a plethora of misconceptions and myths surrounding langhana which actually lead to worse health conditions.

Fasting or langhana is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. Langhana is an important treatment to address obesity, as well as to eliminate  toxins out of the body and naturally then to maintain good  health. Langhana is a non invasive, non pharmacological treatment mentioned in Ayurved texts to treat obesity . However it must be done under proper professional care.

The duration of the langhana must depend upon the age of the individual, the nature of disease, climatic conditions, & constitution of the patient.

How does langhana exactly work? 


We all look forward to a relaxing weekend. Because we are basically tired and physically worn out. Similarly our body cells, our digestive system also get tired with constant work. The cells, the body organs, the digestive system need rest. Langhana or fasting one day in a week, allows rest to the digestive system.


Now fasting or langhana  doesn’t mean not  to eat anything  for the whole day. Ayurved recommends eating  light and light food, infusing more liquids in the diet that help digestion. By this, we are reducing usually burdened digestive system, the cells and organs.


What is healthy langhana?

Initially begin with langhana once a week which is adequate in ensuring balanced health. Please note that the duration of langhana and its frequency  again depend upon the age, constitution, disease, climate and even the place (geographic) of residence. Of course if you have a known medical condition then you should consult your doctor before fasting.


It’s healthy to start the day with breakfast comprising of fresh fruits and soaked almonds, resins the quantity of which should be regulated as per your doctor’s advice. It is a way to digest food efficiently.

Eating fruits, is like reducing extra burden on the digestive system. During langhana period, the digestive system is not supposed to be bombarded by constant supply of food. This is a qualitative period you are offering to your digestive organs and an opportunity for the vital organs that are responsible for ongoing detoxification, to rest and rejuvenate…yes, your liver, kidneys, lungs, & even your skin are the vital organs. Isn’t it?

A day starting with fruits, provides enough nutrients so as to make sure that you don’t starve for sugar and  the nutrients in the fruits are easily digestible which lightens the burden on the digestive system and enhance ongoing detoxification.

You may take a bowl of hot herbal soup (refer to my previous blogs of soup) midmorning . The spices we use in the soups have appetizing & digestive properties that further boost the detoxification process.

For lunch you can eat a rice porridge with ghee and spices, buttermilk, some salads, or moong dal. This lunch will ensure adequate energy for your body throughout the day. It will also simultaneously help and gear up detoxification.  Please remember food (& drink)that is warm to hot eliminates toxins from the body and not cold. It is therefore imperative that you avoid cold juices, cold water, refrigerated food.

In the afternoon you can give a shot of herbal tea and light snacks to boost detoxification. It is recommended to have early dinner (& same as lunch). I’d say it’s really good to go on a fast for one day every week. Call it a fancy diet plan instead of ‘langhana’ if you like the sound of it.


The uniqueness of Ayurveda is that does not deprive your body of food nor does it bombard with only juices or fruits or smoothies as hugely publicised in most western diets and by modern dieticians.

But mind you, this is effective only if you are eating properly for the remaining six days of the week.


Benefits of langhana or fasting:

The benefits of ‘Langhana’ are many. Especially when you follow the directions of your Ayurvedic physician Langhana gives you specific advantages, the major being metabolism improvement.Physicians of all cultures, throughout history, have recommended extended fasting as therapy for various conditions. The highpoints however, are as follows:

  • Basically langhana improves digestion and appetite thus improving the metabolism.
  • So langhana is helpful in almost all metabolic disorders like obesity, diabetes, thyroid issuses , PCOS, infertility and even in the treatment of menopause.
  • Once the metabolism is normalized, what happens is the fat reduction begins, plasma glucose starts to regularize in diabetics as well as hormone balancing in the body.
  • Langhana helps normalizing circulation thus improving the immune system.
  • It enhances the body’s immune system by eliminating toxins out of the body.

I am sure now that you have read this, you would give up all fanciful misconceptions and myths and head straight to consult with your physician who will, after checking your ‘Prakriti’ & lifestyle give show you the right way to fasting!

Dr. Manjiri Joshi







obesity the main cause of female infertility

Since my last blog, I have begun the discussions on infertility that is slowly becoming the
bane of the modern society couples. I had also promised to discuss obesity which is one of
the major causes of infertility as well as the result of this so called modern lifestyle!
One of my female patients, who got married at the age of 30 and had waited for conception
till she attained the age of 35. Before approaching me, she had undergone IVF treatment
despite which she had failed to conceive. When she approached me I also realised that she
not only weighed a huge 110 kg. but was also very obese. It was a serious situation even as
far as her general health was concerned.
I advised her to make changes in her lifestyle. I also advised her to follow a strict regime of
regular timing for meals and a diet with strict restrictions like total absence of sugar, ‘lowcarb-foods, & absence of oil. I also gave her a regimen of regular exercise ,yoga &
Simultaneously, I started her on panchkarma vaman, virechan, basti… all this within the first
3 months of her having approached me. Within these 3 months she lost 15kg.
Simultaneously I started her on medications for improving proper functioning of uterus &
ovaries. This was a holistic 360 degrees approach, that finally helped her conceive within
just those 3 months of treatment. Further, I am happy to tell you that she delivered a healthy
baby and without any complications during the pregnancy!
So you would ask me what was wrong…In her case, all the inter related factors like obesity,
wrong lifestyle, infertility and hormonal disturbance, were holding her in a vicious cycle.
While advances are made in healthcare, modern medicine has eliminated the threat of death and
disability from most of the infectious diseases. However, an all new epidemic called ‘LIFESTYLE
DISEASES’ has emerged very strongly. Obesity is one such result of this lifestyle and one o0f the
causes of infertility.
Ayurveda gives more emphasis on lifestyle and diet, the science suggests lifestyle changes to control
or treat the obesity.
According to the old wisdom of Ayurved following are the causes of obesity:
 Dietary
 Viharatmak (regimens)
 Manasik
Sometime back after my visit to the U.S. I had described the American lifestyle and dietary habits.
You would also know that the Americans are struggling with the problems of obesity especially
among their children. The main culprit in such situations is wrong foods and excess of it too… Pizzas,
pastas, bakery products, excess consumption of sugar, sugary drinks, aerated drinks, French fries and
chips…mainly excess carbohydrates and fried foods!
Add to this food extremism, absolute lack of physical exercise, this new breed of ‘couch potatoes’
are bringing total physical devastation upon themselves.
Similarly, depression, mood swings which are sometimes the result of such inactive life, stress
related depression also effectively contribute to obesity.
Among some of my women patients who are obese, I have also noticed prevalence of menstrual
disorders too! I routinely also advice my patients with weight issues to completely cut down on
especially bakery products.
However, this alone is not adequate. You have to ensure that all the above mentioned 3 aspects
have to be taken care of to avoid weight related and weight resultant medical conditions.
Happy parenthood to you all.

Dr. Manjiri Joshi


female Infertility

Coming home from work only after 9.30 or even later…then having the food that had to be reheated for
consumption or sometimes skipping hot fresh food and compromising on a pizza or something…waking
up late next day to catch the late morning shift and finally once the week is over, the weekend parties,
late night movies and malls call! Sounds familiar..?
Most of my patients (even male) who come from these kind of professional backgrounds and such
above mentioned lifestyles have one more thing in common… INFERTILITY!
Infertility is a prevalent problem affecting about 12 to 15 % of the couples worldwide. Infertility basically
is the inability to conceive or to carry a pregnancy to full term, after 1 or more years of regular
unprotected sexual intercourse.
So what are the causes of infertility among women particularly
We can broadly classify the causes of female infertility between the common causes and the
reproductive system causes or specific causes. The most common cause is over consumption of OC pills,
about which I have written in my last blog.
Common causes can be:
 Obesity
 Wrong diet
 Smoking
 Alcohol
 Medical conditions like TB, diabetes, infections
 Environmental pollutants
 Medications (many anti psychotic drugs have an adverse effects on the reproductive system,
continuous use of OCP)
 Family history
 Stress
 Woman’s advanced age
Specific causes (may be anatomical or physiological)are:
 Hormonal abnormalities (FSH, LH, Prolactin, TSH, testosterone)
 Ovarian function disturbance
 Endocrinal (irregular menses, etc.)
 Endometriosis
 Fallopian tubal block
 Damaged tubes
 Cervical stenosis, tight hymen, chocolate cyst
 Infection to cervix
 Septate uterus
 Uterine TB
 Sexual abnormalities(low libido, vaginismus, etc.)
Many times the cause of infertility is unknown or unexplained. Almost 20 % couples suffer from this
unexplained infertility where all the reports are normal and the couple is compatible.
I always advice such patients the following steps:
 Evaluation of the patient’s prakriti (plays a very significant role in treatment of infertility)
 Dietary management (for overall body care and specific diet according to the cause of the
infertility, detox diet, prakriti specific diet)
 Panchkarma(it includes a verity of treatments based on cause, person’ prakriti, age, etc.
 Internal medicines
 Lifestyle changes (to reduce the stress levels, regular diet, exercise.)
 Yoga, pranayama for mental health
But remember that in such a case when you want to treat this condition, the first and the most vital step
is to ensure that there is a healthy communication between you and your partner. This not only helps
you both to reach your aspirations of parenthood effectively, but helps you avoid uncalled for stress in
your married life!
So now while you are thinking what may have been going wrong, let me leave you with yet another hint
of my next blog…’Obesity and how to address it’!
Wishing you a happy parenthood!

Dr. Manjiri Josshi



the pills

Ayurveda has always propagated that we should never ever go against nature and has on many occasions given us summaries of consequences of doing just that…going against Nature! Ayurveda, for example says,” eat food that is grown regionally and in seasons that such foods grow”. We are worried about pollution of any kind but won’t do anything to at least curb it in our personal capacities. Have we ever wondered what harm we inflict on our bodies with what we proudly call “inventions of medicine..”? what about polluting the body..?

I am not in any way suggesting that these inventions are bad or harmful. But going crazy over these or using these inventions mindlessly always exhibit very adverse results on the physiology. Then why blame these inventions?

Take the example of the ‘Pill’. Yes, I am referring to the oral contraceptive that has become a rage amongst the modern women…Age & frequency of usage no bar(Unfortunately)!

But before I go into a detailed discussion on this, let me tell you why I have chosen this topic. During my travels across the globe and having made my presence felt through my lectures and paper presentations in global symposia, the one thing that I came across was the uninhabited use of the ‘Pill’ especially among young girls! And even before I begin to tell you why I strongly feel against continued use of the pill, let us look at what it is:

The birth control pill (also called “the Pill”) is a daily pill that contains hormones to change the way the body works and prevents pregnancy. Hormones are chemical substances that control the functioning of the body’s organs. In this case, the hormones in the Pill control the ovaries and the uterus.

And how Does It Work?

Most birth control pills are “combination pills” containing a mix of the hormones estrogen and progesterone to prevent ovulation (the release of an egg during the monthly cycle). A woman cannot get pregnant if she doesn’t ovulate because there is no egg to be fertilized.

The Pill also works by thickening the mucus around the cervix, which makes it difficult for sperm to enter the uterus and reach any eggs that may have been released.

Wow, what a fine invention it is. Isn’t it..?

Of course it is! But let us go back a little and ponder one aspect of the pill. What does it do..? It stops some natural processes that are intrinsic to a woman’s physiology and natural physical processes. And with longer usage (I prefer to call it an overdose or a premature dose as when young girls across globe use it regularly to avoid unwanted pregnancies), the body gets conditioned to this force-changed process.

But beware! there are a number of side effects of the pill too!

The hormones in the Pill can also sometimes affect the lining of the uterus, making it difficult for an egg to attach to the wall of the uterus besides:

  • Nausea, Weight gain
  • Sore or swollen breasts
  • Small amounts of blood, or spotting, between periods
  • Lighter periods or even missed periods
  • Mood changes & of course,
  • Reduced libido

Experts have always cautioned that the following side effects, easily remembered by the word “ACHES,” are less common but more serious. These symptoms may indicate a serious disorder such as, Liver disease, gallbladder disease, stroke, blood clots, high blood pressure, or heart disease. They include:

  • Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
  • Chest pain Headaches(severe)
  • Eye problems (blurred vision)
  • Swelling or aching in the legs and thighs

Birth control pills that contain drospirenone, including YAZ and Yasmin, have been investigated by experts because of the possibility that they may cause an increased risk for blood clots.

I get a number of cases these days when women have postponed their pregnancies after marriage to pursue the bliss of married life or to continue their economic or social or ‘whatever-they-prefer’ goals. And now when they actually want to bear children, they realise that they are not getting pregnant. Sounds scary, isn’t it..?

Thankfully, I have had a more than satisfactory rate of success in treating the infertility related conditions among my patients yet, I still worry!

But the question is does it make YOU worry..?

Dr. Manjiri Joshi

91 9403360452




My visit to Israel 2

Some places like some people leave their imprint on our minds. I have always been very fascinated by the way the people of Israel go about their lives. They value expression, friendship, professionalism and are equally open hearted once they get to know you.

However my recent visit added yet another dimension… The working of our embassy there! My experience before, during and after my lecture there can be expressed in just one word…Overwhelming! The amount of courtesy and attention that was accorded to me, especially by the Deputy Chief of mission and the Counsellor (press, information…) was simply next level!

During the question- answer session I came across what I have seen the world over… Consequences of the fast paced urban life are similar the world over. But then, such health problems or wrong practices, & myths do need immediate attention by all concerned.

I wrote about life styles and social pressures that affect women in general and  I mentioned a woman’s life stages described in Ayurved. In all my overseas travels  I have also observed one more disturbing practice…excessive use of oral birth control pills. The practice is rampant not just among married women or unmarried woman of age but predominantly among teenagers. ( I am not being a prude though) But what I am perturbed at is the rampant use of such methods  by women regardless of age and why am I perturbed is because it’s common knowledge that birth control pills as much as these are convenient to avoid unwanted pregnancy, these also have serious side effects and the direct impact such consumption invariably has on fertility and the natural ability to conceive! and hence let me once again reiterate,

” In the pursuit of life’s objectives, the woman has always been the pivot…creating life, giving happiness, lending energy and the much needed protection for evolution!”

Starting from the age when menstruation begins (was considered roughly as 12 years) through puberty, child bearing and finally menopausal, Ayurveda has established a specific code of conduct that explains all aspects of a woman’s life holistically. Ayurveda details diets, exercises, the various methods of ensuring a robust psychological and mental makeup as well as the various methods to deal with these constant changes that impact a woman both physiologically and psychologically as well.


Menarche is the medical term for a woman’s first menstruation, commonly known as her first period. Menstruation is the monthly shedding of the uterine wall. Most women can recall the exact details of when this happened and how they felt. It may be exciting for some or scary for others. However, this change frequently impacts girls because they are crossing the threshold of adolescence to adulthood. Menarche is a sign indicating that a girl is transforming into a woman capable to becoming a mother.

In any case, it is a difficult time for the girl because of this transformation she is going through physically and emotionally. A girl going through menarche may sometimes feel that she is not normal, especially if it occurs before or after her friends. And this where counselling and communication becomes absolutely vital. Remember, Every woman develops differently and it is normal for girls to experience light or irregular periods for the first couple years after menarche.

Age & Development:

Ayurveda opines that menarche is generally attained at 12 years of age. During this phase a girl should adopt a carefully planned healthy diet and lifestyle to support the physiological changes. Late nights, sleeping during daytime, sedentary lifestyle lack of physical activity, excessive exposure to sexual content on television, internet, etc. should be avoided. The girl’s constitution is important and her body will respond to these changes physically and mentally in line with her ‘Prakriti’. During this stage individual consultation, systematic diet planning and life style management under the guidance of an expert Ayurved practitioner is recommended.

Lifestyle guidelines during menstruation
During menstrual phase, a woman should take nutritious diet. The food should be freshly prepared, light to digest, warm and unctuous. She should restrict excess intake of salt, spicy food, fried food, and processed foods. She should avoid excessive physical activity, strenuous physical exercise, sexual indulgence, mental strain, exposure to extreme weather.
I am sure now that I have explained this most vital stage in detail, you all will be able to look at your own life as well as that of your youngsters and the introspection would lead you to begin creating a solid foundation of life!

Dr. Manjiri Joshi


my visit to Israel

Israel… There is so much more to it than those six alphabets. These six alphabets define a unique
identity, an ethos, an ability to not merely survive every formidable challenge but create superlative
bench marks for the entire world to emulate.
It has been almost six years since I visited this great nation of equally great people and I can’t still get
that OMG feeling out of my heart when I meet people there! Some of them didn’t just move into my
life but landed with a pleasant Bang! Tali, ofra Bar Gil, Mira and Nathan, Anne and Yael to name just
a handful, are people who have become my extended family and the mere thought of meeting them
brings a huge smile on my face… always!
These are some of the most successful professionals in their chosen fields. But what brings them
together to India and binds me in with them is a common love and a huge respect for the oldest
Indian wisdom…AYURVEDA!
This common bond once again saw me winging my way to that fantastic city of Tel Aviv. This time
these friends had organised a week full of packed schedule for me starting with a lecture on ‘Women
In Ayurveda’ at our very own embassy in Tel Aviv.
Today, I begin sharing some of the thoughts that are magnified in my mind which are basically an
outcome of my interactions with senior Ayurved practitioners as well as people in Israel who came
to meet me out of curiosity for Ayurved, while some met me as patients.
When I see the world over, or at least those parts of Europe, U.S. some Asian countries that I have
visited on various personal as well as professional engagements , I realise that while technology has
brought mankind immense luxuries, yet on the other hand, it has also introduced us, especially
women, a great amount of stress, anxiety and has generally jeopardised our emotional, physical well
being too! And the Indian society too is not an exception to these symptoms, although the degrees
may vary.
Take the case of social liberalisation…the concept of boy friend/ girl friend, or of dating, and the
various so called ‘nights’ (am I talking about the prom nights..? I wonder!) or ‘evenings’ that bring
them together in celebratory modes. The results can be quite predictable, isn’t it..?
As an Ayurved practitioner, I have always upheld certain lifestyle rules even beyond the so called
social sensibilities. And especially where women are concerned, my views are absolutely
unwavering. And mind you, it has nothing to do with conservatism. I am always concerned about the
impacts these lifestyles have on the woman’s mind & body! But then, let me explain why…
The ancient Indian scriptures from a thousands of years ago venerated the woman for her
capabilities of creation. The scriptures expound the concept of ‘Prakruti’ and ‘Shakti’ as the primeval
force behind all that is!
The ancient sages handed over their wisdom to the world had understood that the energy that is so
divine and abundant is embodied in the woman… of paramount value in the attainment of all life’s
In the pursuit of life’s objectives, the woman has always been the pivot…creating life, giving
happiness, lending energy and the much needed protection for evolution!
Acharya Sushrut among other ancient sages who are the pillars of Ayurveda also has put up
numerous theories and given special attention to the woman’s health in particular.
We all aware that the life begins from the mother’s womb and naturally reflect in our genes,
metabolism, even our emotional & Psychological state…in short our entire life! We all are primarily
the manifestations of our past generations, their physical & mental traits and have also been
impacted by everything that happened around us right from the moment of our conceptions…the
season of the year, the place with its own special energies, the planetary positions, the state of the
mother’s womb, her mental and physical state of balance. And that is why it is extremely vital to
ensure that the woman in all her stages needs special care.
Ayurveda considers 7 stages of a woman’s physical and emotional life stage separately and
independently. Ayurveda further has also minutely recorded the various rhythms and natural
changes that occur over these stages. These distinctive psychological and physiological features of
women were studied by these ancient sages and a scientifically designed classification was
established roughly grouping these by age.
So, for the next few weeks I shall be presenting to you all those crucial topics that revolve around
the so called fads of the liberal moral values and its psycho-physical impacts on the woman’s mind,
body and spirit.
Till then I would like you all to reflect how calm and serene were the lives of women just a few
generations away in the past. How our grand mothers or their mother lived a ‘complete’ life even
despite the absence of some of the basic comforts.

Dr. Manjiri Joshi




As the times of festivities approach, especially in Indian subcontinent and also the world over, various delicacies are planned. Especially the various desserts and prominent among them besides the conventional and regional-specific is various fruit laced preparations like fruit salad!

And speaking about fruits, I am routinely asked one question, “when is the best time to eat a fruit?”

Some also tell me that when they eat fruits, they suffer heaviness or even acidity.

On the other hand, the social media is always abuzz with some ‘free advice’ on matters of health.

But then today I am going to highlight how fruits should NOT be eaten and what Ayurveda  maintains…

Fruits are recommended for eating separately. Ideally there should be at least 45 minutes gap between eating a fruit and eating some other food. This applies to people of robust health. Older people, people suffering from ailments, even minor, should enhance this gap to avoid further complications. While some fruits can be eaten as a snack all day long, some  shouldn’t be eaten in the evening onwards at all.

We all know however, the most suitable time to have a fruit is morning: it should be the first food of the day and eaten on an empty stomach. This way it’s processed easily and empties the stomach for the next food. It’s not recommended to eat fruits for dessert as they start fermenting in the stomach while waiting for their turn to be assimilated. While many experts insist that there is no such thing as assimilation,  I personally would not recommend it. While the young and healthy ones may not feel much of the difference, the ailing and the elderly or the weak ones would definitely complain of acidity or gases.

secondly, contrary to belief and practice fruits DO NOT mix with a variety of foods…

  • Fruits other mangoes NEVER mix with milk or milk products
  • Never mix fruits with meats & fish ( I am aware that fruits like mangoes, pomegranates are routinely used with poultry or even fish in many parts of India and overseas)
  • When it is eaten with (or after) heavier foods, it generally stays in the stomach for too long, & is “overcooked” by our digestive juices and begins to ferment (think a bucket of ripe fruit sitting in the sun)
  • From an Ayurvedic perspective, it is taught that fruit also combines poorly with certain vegetables

The inappropriate consumption of fruit is a pretty significant contributor in our diets. We get it wrong all the time, several meals a day, seven days a week! How wrong?

We have strawberries on cereal with milk; bananas on oats porridge; raspberries and ice cream on pancakes; cheese and apple snacks; fruit-filled yoghurts; banana smoothies; fruit juices with meals; fruit salads with cream after meals; and fruit platters with cheese at parties. If you think about it, when we eat fruit or fruit juice, we nearly always combine it with other foods, particularly heavier foods like dairy products and grains. From an Ayurvedic perspective, these smoothies, along with fruit/veggie juice combinations, are also confusing to the digestive fire and will result in indigestion and the production of ‘Ama’.

Conclusively, t he secret to healthy fruit eating is to keep it simple. Favour fruits that are local and in-season. Eat fruits whole, one at a time instead of complex, extravagant salads, juices or smoothies. This will ensure you don’t eat too much. It will also help you to get to know your fruit better. When you eat fruit on its own you can genuinely distinguish how each fruit tastes and feels in your belly, unadulterated. And, as you gently feel into the tastes and their effect on you, you can prepare fruits in different ways to make them more appropriate for your constitution – sprinkling desiccated coconut and cardamom over a banana, stewing apples and pears with cloves and cinnamon, squeezing a little lime over papaya etc.


But really, the most important thing is to enjoy your fruit eating – treat fruit as a treat! Savour each delicious morsel with mindfulness and gratitude, enjoying the sheer beauty of the experience. No fructose-guilt allowed!

Stay healthy, stay blessed!

Dr. Manjiri Joshi






milk III


In my second blog I discussed different types of milk and its advantages and their respective properties. I also touched upon varying views about its consumption. This time I bring to you a few views that explain why milk becomes intolerable to a few…

Like in every field even here also we have two schools of thought. One that propagates consuming milk in the morning if you are the body building type or are involved in extreme physical work. To get even more benefits, one can have it with energy boosting tonics like Ashwagandha. While the other thought maintains that milk consumed in the morning, becomes quite heavy to digest. It also makes you lethargic. People who drink milk right in the morning often complain of having acidity. We generally do not recommend milk in the morning to patients above 5 years.

It is also an absolute ‘NO-NO’ to have salty foods along with milk. In many parts of India it is quite customary to have a milk-mixed-tea post breakfast. And the breakfast which usually contains salt. My patients also tell me that they have been having their milk teas immediately after such salty breakfasts for ages and nothing is wrong. WRONG! such practice always begins with a bit of heaviness and ends up with acidity induced ailments.


Milk should be organic, whole and non-homogenized. Homogenized milk is very difficult to digest. It is also possible that the milk that is not certified as organic may contain rBGH. This is a hormone that artificially increases milk production in the cow. The only way we know to avoid rBGH is to purchase organic milk, avoiding milk & milk products that may have come from cows injected with this hormone.

Many patients tell me that they are allergic to milk which broadly means that they are lactose intolerant. While it is true that most people show their intolerance to lactose early in life, people can also get it in their teenage years or even in adulthood. Lactose intolerance is caused by a deficiency in the enzyme lactase in the inner lining of the GI wall. Since the GI track cannot absorb lactose whole (it must be broken down), it stays in the gut. This causes water to move into the gut which results in diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Most people with lactose intolerance have their symptoms when they consume lactose containing foods too.

Ayurveda recommends against the following combinations with milk:

  • Milk + Sour Buttermilk: This will result in curdling in the digestive tract and will be more difficult to digest
  • Milk + Meat
  • Milk + Fish
  • Milk + Sprouted Grains
  • Milk + Yeast: increases Pitta
  • Milk + Radish: Radish is pungent (ushna virya) and milk is sweet (sheet virya)& that is why the two do not mix well
  • Garlic + Milk: The exception is Garlic Milk (follow Ayurved recommended recipe given at the end of this blog)
  • Milk + Holy Basil
  • Milk + Sour Fruits
  • Milk + Citrus Fruits: The acidity of the citrus will cause curdling of the milk in the stomach and make it harder to digest
  • Milk + Fruit Juice: Most juices will cause milk to separate and agglutinate, making it hard to absorb and digest.

To make Garlic Milk:

  • Crush 4-8 cloves of garlic and place in a clean muslin cloth pouch
  • Mix ½ cup of milk and ½ cup of water in a clean vessel or saucepan
  • Place the pouch into the milk-and-water mixture
  • Boil & reduce the mixture until only ½ cup remains while stirring occasionally
  • Squeeze the milk out of the pouch and allow it to cool to lukewarm before drinking

I am sure that by now you have a fairly good idea as to how to select the right kind of milk and reap the benefits! In case you still have any doubts, you can always visit my clinic.