Q: I stared doing yoga 5 months ago to help with my back problems. While I feel relief in my back, I have also discovered that I have asthma. Please recommend natural remedies for asthma. -CM
A: You can take one capsule of Tulsi twice a day with water. Drinking herbal teas or sipping lukewarm water with honey is helpful. Always take freshly prepared warm meals at regular intervals. Eat less than the full capacity of the stomach. Heavy foods like dairy products, fried food, pickles, cold food, rice, beans and legumes should be avoided. Drink ginger tea mixed with 2 to 3 crushed garlic cloves. Massage the chest with warm sesame oil mixed with salt, it helps to loosen the phlegm deposited in the chest. Take a one-inch piece of Pipali (Piper longum), crush it and put it in one cup of milk and one cup of water. Boil the mixture till it reduces to one cup. Drink this concoction daily for a month. Also eat 4 to 5 dates every day. Avoid smoking and exposure to dusty and cold air.
Q: I am 57 years old and really thin and underweight. How do I bring my weight to a healthy limit? I have no other lifestyle disease such as hypertension and diabetes. -Shruti
A: A person weighing 20 percent less than their ideal weight is termed underweight. If there is no underlying cause, then you can eat 2 to 3 bananas every day followed by yogurt or milk. An effective way to gain weight is to drink a glass of hot milk with a tablespoon of honey. Mangoes are useful in gaining weight. Eat a mango followed by a glass of milk. Or you can have a glass of mango milkshake every day for a month. Have 30 grams of raisins every day. You can also take one capsule of Ashwagandha twice a day with water or milk, and one capsule of Shatawari twice daily with water.
Q: I live in the U.S. and often remedies mention Tulsi. But it is difficult to get Indian Tulsi here. Can American basil leaves be a substitute? -Mekhala
A: Basil is not a substitute for Tulsi. Basil leaves are used in cuisines for flavor. On the other hand, Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) is used as an Ayurvedic preparation to treat diseases. It has anti-viral, anti-bacterial properties, and is most widely used to treat cough and cold. You can check nutrition stores in your area or online sites that offer Tulsi tablets or capsules.
Q: I suffer from frequent pain in my right knee, especially after a lot of walking or exercise. There is also a lot of cracking in the knee. Please recommend some Ayurvedic remedies for this. -Shaina
A: Pain in the knee joint may be due to degenerative changes in the cartilage of joints. You should go for a simple X-ray of both knees to see if there are any changes in the joints. Osteoarthritic changes may start in weightbearing joints like the knee joints and back bone. Cycling is a good exercise. You can also do muscle-strengthening exercises of knee joints. To control degeneration, you can take one teaspoon of Turmeric powder mixed in milk daily before going to bed. One capsule of Shilajit and one capsule of Guggul 500mg twice a day can be taken daily with water.
Q: I suffer from frequent abdominal bloating and discomfort after eating, even if the meal is not very large. I have noticed that this may be more after eating spicy food. Please advise. -Priya
A: There are many causes for bloating such as constipation, high intake of carbohydrate-rich diets, acid reflux. One should avoid large intake of fruits and vegetables which contain sugars and starches such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, prunes, and apricots as these may cause gassiness and bloating. Avoid rice, yogurt, and sour fruits. Also avoid chilies, spices, tea, coffee, alcohol, smoking, and aspirin-type of drugs. Avoid stress also as it plays major role in causing hyperacidity. A cup of cold milk can be taken every 2 to 3 hours. Drink 10 to 12 glasses of water every day. You can also drink coconut water. You can take a capsule of Amla twice a day and half a teaspoon of Mulethi (Glycrrhiza glabra) twice a day with water.
* It is advised that you consult a university-qualified Ayurvedic doctor for determining your constitution, diagnosis and treatment. If you have any Ayurveda-related health queries, please email us at AyurvedaHelpline@Tathaastumag.com
Dr. Harish Verma is one of India’s most outstanding Ayurvedic consultants and is the founder of Sushruta Ayurvedic Therapy Center, Delhi, India. He is also the CMD of Vedic Spa Pvt. Ltd., Delhi and proprietor of Indian Herbal Remedies, Himachal Pradesh, India. Dr. Verma has lectured extensively in Britain to the general public, doctors, universities and hospitals. He is on the faculty of the Honors program in Ayurveda at Thames Valley University, London and is the author of “A Comprehensive Book of Ayurvedic Medicine and Secrets of Ayurveda.” His research into herbal medicines and food supplements has led to the development of a number of products available in the western markets. Dr. Verma’s method of treatment has been featured in many TV programs. Many newspapers and periodicals continue to carry a review of his work.