Dr. (Mrs.) Swati Samant BAMS, Yoga Practitioner working since 2001 as Ayurveda physician. With diverse experience of working in India and abroad Hungary and Malaysia. Expertise in Ayurvedic lifestyle-diet management, Ayurvedic Body-Mind analysis and selecting appropriate herbs and formulation, Ayurvedic Panchakarma- detox programs. Conducting therapeutic and general yoga classes according to body type. Working as Ayurvedic consultant in Swasti Ayurvedics Bangalore.
Let us find out more about Ayurveda and health tips from Dr. Swati Samant.
1. NS: What motivated you to choose Ayurveda?
Dr. Swati: Being in traditional background, in my childhood I saw my grandmother treating many times with herbs and she use to keep advising other with very good results that used to fascinate me. Later completing my higher secondary I opt for Ayurveda health care system. And I am very proud of my decision.
2. NS: What are the advantages of ayurvedic treatment over allopathic?
Dr. Swati: Ayurveda, the most sophisticated and accurate approach in health care was introduced around 5000 years ago in India. Ayurveda is completely natural and it believes that to follow the nature is the only way to achieve the complete wellness. Ayurveda practice encourages to understands the root cause (imbalance) first and then by use of traditional methods helps to root out the disease from the body to bring back balance (complete harmony), this is the reason Ayurveda achieves the complete wellness and a state of cure and back to normalcy very easily.
Whereas standard practices in allopathy treatment gives importance /works on local symptoms and lack of coordination takes treatment of body in pieces that’s totally objective and incomplete. You keep on plucking the leaves of a tree and this tree will never end…because growth seems on its leaves and branches but the reason for this growth is only one- the Roots.
Same applies on Diseases!
Modern day medical sciences never understand this thing and they keep on suppressing the signs and symptoms alone- not concerned with the Root Cause of a disease.
Ayurveda is all about how to live- life, about state of harmony among main elements of body. So diet and lifestyle are main elements Ayurveda. Medicines are not that important as important is diet and lifestyle and this is being followed completely by Ayurveda.
Ayurveda considers the detoxification as a primary part of the treatments and considers that until unless the disease causing factors are available in the body, diseases will keep on popping up again and again. As modern sciences believe in suppressing the signs and symptoms, these never appreciate to remove the disease causing factors from the body.
Ayurveda is now-a-days excelling Allopathic treatment as people are becoming conscious about their future along with their present. It is also a low cost and high value treatment considering the direct and indirect cost (be it cost of expensive medicines or side effects of allopathy medicine) of allopathy treatment. They want a permanent relief rather than a swift and temporary one. Modern doctors have also started suggesting Ayurvedic medicines.
3. NS: How do you balance between work and family?
Dr. Swati: Work life balance is important thing and need to handle it carefully with proper time management. Managing children’s health and family health as whole is of prime importance and I allocate separate time for family as well for my practice and Yoga for patients. This is possible with good family support. My husband is from IT still he is very supportive in my career aspects and for my work. That makes it possible for me to handle all my work and family with equal ease.
4 . NS: Stress is become part of our life, How should we manage stress in our life?
Dr. Swati: Each of us has experienced stress in our lives, reasons are varied. According to Ayurveda stress is an imbalanced state of mind. When the mind is in a stable state, the individual has the maximum potential to act or behave in ways that continue to keep the mind in a balanced state. The mind has three states or “gunas”. They are “sattva” (knowledge, purity), “rajas” (action, passion) and “tamas” (inertia, ignorance). Mind imbalances are caused when “sattva” decreases and “rajas” and “tamas” increase. One should try to attain the state of high “sattva” and minimize “rajas” and “tamas”.
We use aspects of food for increasing “sattva” and methods of exercise for regulating mind and body, which if followed brings impressive result in reducing day to day stress. For chronic cases of stress ayurvedic remedies are applied.
1. Food: Choosing right ingredients for important meals.
In Ayurveda, food is considered to be an important medicine for both mind and body. In order to reduce stress, one should try to choose foods that increase “sattva”. Fresh fruits, fruit juices, vegetables (raw or cooked or boiled), vegetable juices, sprouts, nuts, dry fruits, honey, milk, ghee, fresh butter, and buttermilk are the best to increase sattva. Do not be misled by “fresh frozen” food items available in stores and try to get “fresh seasonal” items. Try to cut down, or if possible stop, the use of black tea, coffee, white flour products, chocolates, white sugar products, deep fried foods and hot spices.
2. Breathing Exercises and Meditation: Maintaining a right schedule
Exercise is very import in increasing focus, reducing stress and regulating wear and tear of body. This is achieved in two ways, breathing exercises provides right stimulation of mind and body which in turn reduces stress while body exercise increases blood flow in brain which increases our focus and elevates our immunity. And regular meditation for bringing inner calm. With right breathing technique and meditation we can control our mind hence control stress. For busy professionals It is advisable to take short breaks at regular intervals from the busy schedule and relax (by abdominal breathing) for a few minutes.
In fact I recommend allocating some time every day or at least every other day for breathing and other form of exercises and practicing meditation minimum 2-3 times a week religiously.
3. Ayurvedic Remedies for body and mind
Applying oil on the body (abhyanga) at least once a week is a good method to relax the body and mind. Pouring oil on forehead (shiro dhara) is another popular Ayurvedic remedy for relaxing the tension in nerves and head. Also based on case to case certain herbs like Brahmi or Shankhapushpi, Ahwagandha in powder forms are used to remedy of stressful mind.
5. NS: Any advice on diet for Women to maintain health?
Dr. Swati: Women are unique in many ways in comparison to men. Women have a unique body system and Ayurveda has noted down it in a better way. Every woman goes through a series of profound changes during her lifetime.
By knowing one’s own prakruti (true nature), one can plan and practice an appropriate daily and seasonal dietetic and behavioral regime. It is surprising with such a small effort the balance of the doshas in our body (vata, pitta and kapha) could be restored. This balance is considered the “healthy” state of humans. From an Ayurvedic practitioner perspective, it is important that women know their body types and doshas, I offer personalized counseling for women in my clinic (name / address), and this could be availed from other clinics / practitioner too.
6. NS: Any diet tips on maintaining beauty of women.
Dr. Swati: We have many misconceptions about diet and beauty, sometimes women get into diet regimes which actually go do more harm than good.
It is important to know a good diet is as good as the meals in it. Preparing nutritious meal is required and choosing right ingredient is most important. Meals made with poor substances and bad food value such as preservative laden foods and taste enhancers in fast food, ready to eat items are bad for our system. Eating these regularly makes buildup of ama (digestive toxins), clogging the pores and the internal channels that carry moisture and nutrients to the deeper layers of the skin. Aging skin wrinkles, and a dull, gray look is the result of ama in the physiology. Eating foods grown with chemicals and prepared with synthetic preservatives and additives can create the more reactive toxin known as amavisha, and can result in breakouts, rashes and other skin problems.
First of all, you should follow the specific dietary recommendations based on your body type, skin type and season.
(i) Eat plenty of fruits, fresh cooked vegetables that has plenty of vitamin A, E, B complex and mineral calcium, Iron. These are good for your skin, hair and nails and overall bone growth.
(ii) Eat variety of whole grain to nourish your skin. Recommended grains include quinoa, couscous, millet, barley, amaranth, rye and wheat. Combine them in different ways for variety or eat a different grain at each meal.
(iii) Vegetables for fiber and vitamins: Eat a variety of vegetables cooked in skin-friendly spices. Leafy greens are especially good for the skin. They really do make your cheeks rosy because they provide nutrients such as iron and calcium, which help to nourish the blood and skin tissue.
(iv) Ayurveda always recommends using spices in cooking because they aid digestion, which helps overall health and is especially helpful in detoxifying and nourishing the skin. Turmeric is probably the best friend of the skin, because it purifies the deeper layers and also is a potent antioxidant. Cumin, fenugreek, black pepper and turmeric purify the blood and fat tissue. Black pepper and turmeric also cleanse the nutrient fluid and the sweat (the waste product of fat tissue).
(v) Getting a good night’s sleep is very important for maintaining youthful skin.
7. NS: With lot of junk food in diet obesity is getting more common among children, what are your suggestions to control obesity among children’s?
Dr. Swati: Some suggestions on helping children maintain a healthy weight
1.Encourage healthy eating habits.
2. Look for ways to make favorite dishes healthier.
3. Remove calorie-rich temptations!
4. Help kids stay active.
5. Reduce sedentary lifestyle bad time.
To find out more ayurvedic tips about health visit AyurWellSpring
———————–Interviewed by Laxmi Khalap Bhatt, Editor, www.narisakhi.com