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Dr K K Aggarwal

Do Not Ignore Breakfast

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Taking a good breakfast made of carbohydrates and lean protein, can help lessen cravings and hunger during the rest of the day, which can lead to significant weight loss.

A research by Dr. Daniela Jakubowicz, a clinical professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and an endocrinologist at the Hospital de Clinicas Caracas in Venezuela has shown that sedentary, obese women lost almost five times as much weight on the “big breakfast” diet as did women following a traditional, restrictive low–carbohydrate diet. While treating obese people we need to treat carb cravings and hunger.

On waking up in the morning, the body is primed to look for food. The metabolism is revived up, and levels of cortisol and adrenaline are at their highest. The brain needs energy right away, and if one doesn’t eat or eats too little, the brain needs to find another fuel source. To do this, it activates an emergency system that pulls energy from muscle, destroying muscle tissue in the process. Then when you eat later, the body and brain are still in high–alert mode, so the body saves energy from the food as fat.

Also the levels of the brain chemical serotonin are highest in the morning and the craving levels are at the lowest and you may not feel like eating. As the day wears on, serotonin levels dip, and you get cravings for chocolate or cookies, and such similar foods. If you eat these foods, your serotonin levels rise, and your body begins to associate good feelings with them, creating an addictive cycle.

The high protein, carbohydrate mix in breakfast gives the body the initial energy boost it needs in the morning. Throughout the rest of the day, the meals are made up of protein and complex carbohydrates, like vegetables. Because protein is digested slowly, you won’t feel hungry.

If you have to eat chocolate or candy, eat them in the morning because if you eat them when serotonin levels are high, they won’t taste as good, and the brain won’t feel the same serotonin boost. This will eventually help cut down on cravings.

Eating breakfast with high glycemic foods may be harmful. After eating cereal or a doughnut, the blood sugar and insulin levels spike. Once that blood sugar is used up, you’ll still have excess insulin circulating, which makes you hungry and makes you crave carbohydrates.

Why is Ganesha worshipped in every pooja?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Every Hindu ritual traditionally begins with a prayer to Lord Ganesh. The wedding ceremony too begins with a pooja of Lord Ganesha invoking him to bless the couple and to ensure that the ceremony goes off well.

Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, is the harmonious Aacharan or characteristic disposition of man. Remembered and ritually worshipped before starting a new venture, the entity of Ganesha has in store the facets of a complete man.

The elephant head of Ganesha represents wisdom, intelligence and a healthy mind capable of making sound decisions. Think before you speak, implies Ganesha’s head.

The big ears of this elephant deity signify the lending of a patient ear to the echo produced by others’ deeds and speech. It is said that half the dispute is resolved by patiently lending an ear to the words of the other. It also denotes that one must patiently listen to all sides before reaching a decision.

Ganesha’s extremely small mouth characteristically represents the need for a limited dialogue and the vanity of talking too much.

Overexpression through words results in unsought–for problems which could have been avoided.

Ganesha’s small eyes highlight the need for a focused outlook in life. Such an outlook not only re–defines and foresees the right goals, but also relieves one from the stress–manifested episodes in life.

The long trunk identifies with the power of discrimination. Ganesha’s long nose has the strength to uproot a tree and the competency of picking up a pin from the ground. Such should be the approach of an individual who should be capable of perceiving the good and bad for one’s own self, and then have the strength to overcome these against all odds.

The tusks and the small teeth of Ganesha tell us to maintain a balance between loss (broken tooth) and gains (whole tooth) in the life. Man ought to maintain his mental state so that ups and downs do not deter him from his honest endeavors.

The ample stomach of Ganapati Deva advocates the need for retaining information. Acquiring knowledge, utilizing it and retaining it for years to come, is the crux of ‘big–belly commandment’.

The Char–Bhuja Dhari Ganesha, further represents strength by virtue of his four hands in which the Lord entraps his attachments, desires and greed. Two of the arms of Ganesha, which hold a rope, symbolize control over the attachments. The laddoo or sweet in one shows command over desires and earthly delusions.

The mouse sitting near the feet of Ganesha represents greed and gluttony upon which the Almighty rides, exhibiting control over evils.

Ganesha’s physical traits are an assembly of the characteristics most desired in an individual of substance.

Padma Shri Awardee Dr. KK Aggarwal receives the IMA AMS Dr. R.K. Menda Memorial Oration Award 2014

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Felicitated for his contribution in the field of medical ethics at the Indian Medical Association’s annual day held in Kolkata

Kolkata, June 29, 2014: Recognizing outstanding contribution in the field of medical ethics, IMA AMS – the research and academic wing of the Indian Medical Association felicitated Dr. KK Aggarwal with the Dr. R.K. Menda Memorial Oration Award at their annual day function held at Hotel Hindustan International in Kolkata on Sunday. The subject of his oration was “How to respond to complaints of medical negligence”.

 

An eminent cardiologist, President of Heart Care Foundation of India and the Senior National Vice President of the Indian Medical Association, Dr. KK Aggarwal has played an active role in streamlining the procedure of handling medical negligence cases and creating guidelines which all doctors must follow through his books and writings. Medical negligence can have a profound impact on the career of a doctor and therefore it becomes extremely important for them to be aware of the steps they must take to avoid any such situation.

Commenting on the oration, Dr. K.K. Aggarwal, Sr. National Vice President of the Indian Medical Association and the President of the Heart Care Foundation of India said, “The number of medical negligence cases we get at the Medical Council of India and the Delhi Medical Council are increasing by the year. With the increasing work pressure and competition, doctors often ignore some of the basic steps that they must take when dealing with any patient. It is extremely important that all doctors not just follow the line of treatment which has been decided in consultation with the patient or his family, but they must also document what they do and save that incase any dispute arises in the future. Following these three simple steps can help the doctor safeguard himself and his practice”.

Dr. KK Aggarwal is the recipient of three National Awards, namely the Padma Shri for brilliance in medicine and the Dr. BC Roy award for excellence in socio-medical awareness and DST National Award for Outstanding Efforts in Science & Technology Communication. Dr. KK Aggarwal has also served as a Director at IMA AKN Sinha Institute, Finance Secretary at IMA and Chairman at IMAAMS in the past.

In a joint statement, Dr. R.D. Dubey, Chairman of the organizing committee of National AMSCON 2014 along with Dr. S.K. Raj, Chairman IMA AMS HQ Hyd and Dr E. Prabhavati, Hony. Secretary IMA AMS HQ Hyderabad said, “ It gives us immense happiness to present this award to someone as deserving as Dr. KK Aggarwal. His vision and outlook towards creating health awareness and streamlining the medical practice is commendable. We congratulate him on another achievement and hope that he continues to serve the society the way he does in the future as well”.”

A pioneer of leading health initiatives, Dr. KK Aggarwal has been instrumental in bringing treatments such as clot dissolving therapy for acute heart attacks and Colour Doppler Echocardiography in the country.  In addition to this, he has also conceptualized and organized unique consumer driven health awareness platforms such as The Perfect Health Mela and the Run for your Heart as a part of his role as the President of The Heart Care Foundation of India. His most recent project within the NGO called the Sameer Malik Heart Care Foundation Fund is playing an instrumental role in providing heart care for all patients in need of treatment but do not have the financial or technical means to fund it.

Dr. KK Aggarwal’s other roles also include Dean of the Board of Medical Education Moolchand Medcity, Member Ethics Committee Medical Council of India, Chairman Ethics Committee Delhi Medical Council, Editor in Chief IJCP Group of Publications and eMedinewS and Chairman Legal Cell Indian Academy of Echocardiography.

– Ends-

About Heart Care Foundation of India

Heart Care Foundation of India is a National NGO working in the field of creating health awareness for people from all walks of life about all aspects of health incorporating all pathies under one roof using low cost infotainment modules.

For further information please contact:

Talking Point Communications

Naina Aggarwal/ Shriya Mishra

9582363695/ 9650785276

naina.a@talkingpointcommunicaitons.com/ Shriya.m@talkingpointcommunications.com

HCFI Media Coordinator:

Sanjeev – 9871079105

Hcfi.1986@gmail.com

Fever

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Fever does not mean presence of infection. There are many situations where there is fever without infection and hence needs no antibiotics.

  • Sepsis is a clinical syndrome, which results from the dysregulation of inflammatory response to an infection. The temperature is between 36°C to 38.30°C. Heart rate is often more than 90 per minute.
  • Symptomatic inflammatory response syndrome means a clinical syndrome, which results from dysregulated inflammatory response to any infections such as inflammation of the pancreas, inflammation of the vessels, clot formations in the veins.
  • Many antibiotics can cause fever; unless they are discontinued, fever will not subside.
  • Hyperthermia is a condition with elevated body temperature but it is not called fever. Examples are exposure to heat or heat stroke and in response to anesthetic drugs and anti–psychotic drugs.
  • Hyperthermia may not respond to anti–fever drugs.
  • When fever is more than 41.5°C, it is acute hyperpyrexia.
  • Hyperpyrexia is usually seen in patients with severe infections but it may also occur in brain hemorrhage. It responds to anti–fever drugs.
  • High temperature without infection is found in condition of hyperfunctioning of the thyroid gland.
  • Recreational drugs such as Ecstasy can also cause fever without any infection.
  • Mild fever can also occur after exertion.

All about depression

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Depression is a major public health problem as a leading predictor of functional disability and mortality.
  • Optimal depression treatment improves outcome for most patients.
  • Most adults with clinical significant depression never see a mental health professional but they often see a primary care physician.
  • A non–psychiatrist physician misses the diagnosis of the depression 50% of times.
  • All depressed patients must be enquired specifically about suicidal ideations.
  • Suicidal ideation is a medical emergency
  • Risk factors for suicide are psychiatric known disorders, medical illness, prior history of suicidal attempts, or family history of attempted suicide.
  • Demographic reasons include older age, male gender, marital status (widowed or separated) and living alone.
  • World over about 1 million people commit suicide every year.
  • Seventy–nine percent of patients who commit suicide contact their primary care provider in the last one year before their death and only one–third contact their mental health service provider.
  • Twice as many suicidal victims had contacted with their primary care provider as against the mental health provider in the last month before suicide.
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death worldwide and account for 1.2% of all deaths.
  • In US suicidal rate is 10.5 per 100,000 people.
  • In America suicide is increasing in middle aged adults.
  • There are 10–40 non–fatal suicide attempts for every one completed suicide.
  • The majority of suicides completed in US are accomplished with fire arm (57%); the second leading method of suicide in US is hanging for men and poisoning in women.
  • Patients with prior history of attempted suicide are 5–6 times more likely to make another attempt.
  • Fifty percent of successful victims have made prior attempts.
  • One of every 100 suicidal attempt survivors will die by committing suicide within one year of the first attempt.
  • The risk of suicide increases with increase in age; however, younger and adolescents attempt suicide more than the older.
  • Females attempt suicide more frequently than males but males are successful three times more often.
  • The highest suicidal rate is amongst those individuals who are unmarried followed by widowed, separated, divorced, married without children and married with children in descending order.
  • Living alone increases the risk of suicide.
  • Unemployed and unskilled patients are at higher risk of suicide than those who are employed.
  • A recent sense of failure may lead to higher risk.
  • Clinicians are at higher risk of suicide.
  • The suicidal rate in male clinicians is 1.41 and in female clinicians it is 2.27.
  • Adverse childhood abuse and adverse childhood experiences increase the risk of suicidal attempts.
  • The first step in evaluating suicidal risk is to determine presence of suicidal thoughts including their concerns and duration.
  • Management of suicidal individual includes reducing mortality risk, underlying factors and monitoring and follow up.
  • Major risk for suicidal attempts is in psychiatric disorders, hopelessness and prior suicidal attempts or threats.
  • High impulsivity or alcohol or other substance abuse increase the risk.

Heart disease starts in youth

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Autopsy studies of young people who died in accidents have shown that by the late teens, the heart blockages, the kind of lesions that cause heart attacks and strokes are in the process of developing The best opportunity to prevent heart disease is to look at children and adolescents and start the preventive process early. More than a third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese.

The first signs that men are at higher risk of heart disease than women appear during the adolescent years despite the fact that boys lose fat and gain muscle in adolescence, while girls add body fat.

Between the ages of 11 and 19, levels of triglycerides, a type of blood fat associated with cardiovascular disease, increases in the boys and drops in the girls. Levels of HDL cholesterol, the “good” kind that helps keep arteries clear, go down in boys but rise in girls.

Blood pressure increases in both, but significantly more in boys. Insulin resistance, a marker of cardiovascular risk, which is lower in boys at age 11, rises until the age of 19 years.

Any protection that the young women have for cardiovascular protection can be wiped out by obesity and hence obesity in girls at any cost should be handled on priority.

Why do we never eat a breakfast of onion?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Anything which cannot be taken as a full meal is not good for health and either should not be taken or taken in a small amount. For example, we never eat a breakfast of onion or garlic or radish. These are the items, which either should not be taken or eaten only in small quantity only as an accompaniment to the main meal. Onion is good for health and has anti–cholesterol and also blood thinning properties, yet it is consumed only in small quantity. In Vedic language, onion has both rajasik and tamasik promoting properties, which make a person more aggressive and dull.

Defining Acute MI

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • In 1979: The diagnosis of acute MI was based on WHO criteria based on epidemiology
  • In 2000: A Joint committee of European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and American College of Cardiology (ACC) proposed a clinically based definition of an acute, evolving, or recent MI.
  • In 2007: Joint Task Force of the European Society of Cardiology, American College of Cardiology Foundation, the American Heart Association, and the World Health Federation (ESC/ACCF/AHA/WHF) refined the 2000 criteria and defined acute MI as a clinical event consequent to the death of cardiac myocytes (myocardial necrosis) that is caused by ischemia (as opposed to other etiologies such as myocarditis or trauma)
  • 2012: This definition was not fundamentally changed in the third universal definition of MI released in 2012 by the ESC/ACCF/AHA/WHF.

Third universal definition

Any one of the following criteria meets the diagnosis of MI:

  1. Detection of a rise and/or fall of cardiac biomarker values (cTn with at least one value above the 99th percentile upper reference limit (URL)) and with at least one of the following:
    • Symptoms of ischemia
    • Development of pathologic Q waves in the ECG
    • New or presumed new significant ST–segment–T wave (ST–T) changes
    • New LBBB
    • Identification of an intracoronary thrombus by angiography or autopsy
    • Imaging evidence of new loss of viable myocardium or a new regional wall motion abnormality.
  2. Cardiac death with symptoms suggestive of myocardial ischemia and presumed new ischemia ECG changes or new LBBB, but death occurred before cardiac biomarkers were obtained, or before cardiac biomarker values would be increased.
  3. PCI- related MI: elevation of cTn >5 × 99th percentile upper reference limit in patients with normal baseline values or a rise of values >20 percent if the baseline values are elevated and are stable or falling. In addition, either (i) symptoms suggestive of myocardial ischemia, or (ii) new ischemic ECG changes or new LBBB, or (iii) angiographic loss of patency of a major coronary artery or a side branch or persistent slow– or no–flow or embolization, or (iv) imaging demonstration of new loss of viable myocardium or new regional wall motion abnormality are required.
  4. Stent thrombosis associated with MI: Detected by coronary angiography or autopsy in the setting of myocardial ischemia and with a rise and/or fall of cardiac biomarkers with at least one value above the 99th percentile
  5. CABG–associated MI: Elevation of cardiac biomarker values >10 × 99th percentile URL in patients with normal baseline cTn values. In addition, either (i) new pathologic Q waves or new LBBB, or (ii) angiographic documented new graft of native coronary artery occlusion, or (iii) imaging evidence of new loss of viable myocardium or new regional wall motion abnormality.

The joint task force further refined the definition of MI

  • Type 1 (spontaneous MI): MI consequent to a pathologic process in the wall of the coronary artery (e.g., plaque erosion/rupture, fissuring, or dissection), resulting in intra luminal thrombus
  • Type 2 (MI secondary to an ischemic imbalance): MI consequent to increased oxygen demand or decreased supply (e.g., coronary endothelial dysfunction, coronary artery spasm, coronary artery embolus, anemia, tachy–/bradyarrhythmias, anemia, respiratory failure, hypertension or hypotension)
  • Type 3 (MI resulting in death when biomarker values are unavailable): Sudden unexpected cardiac death before blood samples for biomarkers could be drawn or before their appearance in the blood
  • Type 4a (MI related to PCI)
  • Type 4b (MI related to stent thrombosis)
  • Type 5 (MI related to CABG)

Thygesen K, Alpert JS, Jaffe AS, et al. Third universal definition of myocardial infarction. Circulation 2012;126(16):2020–35.

Understanding the concept of Shiva and Shakti

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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After the life force leaves the body even the wife does not like to come near the body (Bhaja Govindam). This life force has no weight, water cannot wet it, air cannot dry it, and weapons cannot cut it (Bhagwad Gita Chapter 2).

The scientific description of this life force comes from the first Maha Vakya, from Aitareya Upanishad in Rig Veda, which describes that “Consciousness or Intelligence is the Brahman (Pragnanam Brahma).

This life force or the intelligence represents the conscious energy, energized consciousness or energized information.

In computer language this intelligence is both the data that has been fed and the software to operate this data. The software is driven by the power of intention and by the process of attention.

In Vedic language the data is the “Purusha or Shiva” and the software the “Shakti” (Sakti). While the data or the Shiva is inactive and idle, without Shakti or energy, the data has no value and it makes” Shiva” a “SAVA”. When Shakti moves toward Shiva it becomes awareness or consciousness. In Vedanta language, it is called as soul or Brahman.

For comparison, what relationship Matter and Energy have in Physics; Purusha and Prakruti in Samkya Philosophy; Infinite and Zero in Mathematics; Potential and Kinetic Energy in Energetics; Meaning and Word in Linguistics; Father and Mother in sociology; the same is with Shiva and Sakti in understanding the mystery of Vedanta.

Shiva and Sakti are thus two inseparable entities in Indian mysticism. Just as moonlight cannot be separated from the moon, Shakti cannot be separated from Shiva. Kashmir Shaivism says that “Shiva without Shakti is lifeless (Sava) because wisdom cannot move without power”.

Shiva and Shakti are different from the masculine and feminine aspects of the human body. In tantric spiritual path, one seeks to develop a perfect harmony and balance between masculine aspects (example mental focus, will, intellect) and feminine aspects (example sensitivity, emotion).

Shiva or the data is classified in the body in three subgroups: creation, protection and destruction. These in Hindu mythology are called “Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh”. Some add another two more dimensions in them making them five and these are “revelation and concealment”. One can find these qualities in anything that’s alive.

The Shakti or the forces (power) are also sub classified in five sub types.

  1. Chitta Shakti: Pure consciousness or the awareness of God.
  2. Ananda Shakti or pure bliss.
  3. Gnana Shakti or the ‘knowledge of God’. It is pure knowledge, which organizes and orchestrates the infinite correlative activity of the universe.
  4. Kriya Shakti or ‘pure action’ which is the actions directed toward God (action which does not have the bondage of karma. Action which has the bondage of karma comes from the ego. It’s based on beliefs and expectations and interpretations and fears and judgments and past memories, whereas non–binding action, which is non–Karmic, is called Kriya—action rooted in pure awareness and creativity)
  5. Desire (Ichcha Shakti: the desire or intention to unite with God)

Deepak Chopra in his Book, Path of Love Describes Shakti as under:

If the voice of God spoke to you, Her powers would be conveyed in simple, universal phrases:

  • Chitta Shakti: “I am.”
  • Ananda Shakti: “I am blissful.”
  • Gnana (Gyana) Shakti: “I know.”
  • Kriya Shakti: “I act.”
  • Icha Shakti: “I will” or “I intend.”

These powers, if used towards acquiring spiritual wellbeing, any action (pure kriya) directed by the desire (pure ischa) leads to pure knowledge (pure gnana) and ends with internal bliss (ananda).

On the other hand, in routine life if these powers are governed by the ego, then the Action (Kriya) leads to Memory (Gnana) and the memory leads to desire (Icha) and then action again.

According to Tantra, Satchidananda is called Shiva–Sakti, the hyphenated word suggesting that Shiva or the Absolute and Sakti or its creative power, are eternally conjoined like a word and its meaning; the one cannot be thought of without the other.

Turmeric can prevent heart failure

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Traditional Indian turmeric prevents heart failure, lowers cholesterol, prevents cancers and gall stones and augments scar formation in a wound.

Studies from the University of Toronto’s Cardiology Division and published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation have shown that Curcumin, an ingredient in the curry spice turmeric, when given orally to a variety of mouse models with enlarged hearts (hypertrophy), could prevent and reverse hypertrophy, prevent heart failure, restore heart function and reduce scar formation.

In the studies, curcumin was given to rats, who then underwent surgery or received drugs designed to put them at risk of heart failure. The rats that received curcumin showed more resistance to heart failure and inflammation than comparison groups of rats that did not get curcumin.

Curcumin treatment also reversed heart enlargement. Curcumin short–circuited the heart enlargement process, though it’s not clear how it did that.

The healing properties of turmeric have been well–known. The herb has been used in traditional Indian medicine to reduce scar formation. For example, when there is a cut or a bruise, the home remedy is to reach for turmeric powder because it can help to heal without leaving a bad scar.

Curcumin has come under the scientific spotlight in recent years, with studies investigating its potential benefits for reducing cholesterol levels, improving cardiovascular health and fighting cancer.

As an herb, turmeric should to be taken 300 mg thrice–daily with meals. It has useful actions like antioxidant, anti–inflammatory, anti rheumatic; cholesterol–lowering, anti cancer and prevention of gall stones. It is also found to be useful in situations like dysmenorrhea, dyspepsia, HIV, muscle soreness, peptic ulcer disease, scabies and uveitis.

Curcuminoids, act as free radical scavengers. They also inhibit leukotrienes and synthesis of prostaglandins. The anti–inflammatory activity has been claimed to be comparable to NSAIDs (such as indomethacin).

Curcuminoids lower blood lipid peroxides, decrease total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, and increase HDL cholesterol. Turmeric has also been claimed to inhibit platelet aggregation.

What are Satvik offerings in Vedic literature?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Food Offerings: Panchashasha (grains of five types – brown rice, mung or whole green gram, til or sesame, mashkalai (white urad dal) or any variety of whole black leguminous seed, jowar or millet)
  • Panchagobbo (Five items obtained from cow: milk, ghee or clarified butter, curd, cowdung and gomutra), curd, honey, brown sugar, three big noibiddos, one small noibiddo, three bowls of madhupakka (a mixture of honey, curd, ghee and brown sugar for oblation), bhoger drobbadi (items for the feast), aaratir drobbadi mahasnan oil, dantokashtho, sugar cane juice, an earthen bowl of atop (a type of rice), til oil (sesame oil).
  • Water offerings: Ushnodok (lukewarm water), coconut water, sarbooushodhi, mahaoushodhi, water from oceans, rain water, spring water, water containing lotus pollen.
  • Three aashonanguriuk (finger ring made of kusha).
  • Puja Items: Sindur (vermillion), panchabarner guri (powders of five different colors – turmeric, rice, kusum flowers or red abir, rice chaff or coconut fiber burnt for the dark colour, bel patra or powdered wood apple leaves), panchapallab (leaves of five trees – mango, pakur or a species of fig, banyan, betel and Joggodumur or fig), pancharatna (five types of gems – gold, diamond, sapphire, ruby and pearl), panchakoshay (bark of five trees – jaam, shimul, berela, kool, bokul powdered in equal portions and mixed with water), green coconut with stalk, three aashonanguriuk (finger ring made of kusha).
  • Panchamrit: A mixture of Honey, Milk, Curd, Ghee and Brown Sugar.

Natural foods and not supplements prevent heart disease

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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One should eat seasonal and locally grown natural food and vegetables grown out of organic farms. Eat less, dinner lighter then lunch, eat natural and in moderation– are few of the mantras.

Eating food supplements can be harmful. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), supplementation with beta carotene and vitamin E, either alone or in combination with each other or other antioxidant vitamins does not prevent heart disease.

High dose vitamin E supplementation (400 IU/day) may be associated with an increase in all–cause mortality.

Supplementation with vitamin C does not prevent a second heart attack.

Beta carotene supplementation may be dangerous and should be discouraged.

Vitamin E supplementation may be of benefit for only secondary prevention of heart patients with chronic renal failure who are undergoing hemodialysis.

As per the AHA, current data do not justify the use of antioxidant supplements for the prevention or treatment of cardiovascular disease risk.

The above recommendations apply to supplementation only. Diets that are rich in natural antioxidants are associated with lower cardiovascular mortality.

How to convert Dakshinayana into Uttarayana at the time of death?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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As per Bhagavad Gita whatever your thoughts are through life will be your thoughts at the time of your death and whatever thoughts are there at the time of your death will be your thoughts in your future birth.

Bhagavad Gita says that the best time to die is Uttarayana, before full moon, in day time or in the presence of Yagna. Does it mean that the people who die in Dakshinayana or 15 days before Amavasya or during night will suffer and will not get liberation or they will go to the hell?

No. If this would have the intention, Bhagavad Gita would not have mentioned it at all as this would have created unrest in 50% of the society.

What they probably meant was that everybody at the time of death should be in a positive frame of mind. If they are not, efforts should be made to create positive frame of mind for them which means that if a person is dying in night or 15 days before Amavasya, one can create an atmosphere of Uttarayana or full moon by creating enough artificial light as if it is day time or doing Yagna in the vicinity of the dying person and/or enchanting of any religious Mantra, for example, Gayatri Mantra in the ear of the dying person.

Efforts should also be made to talk positive in his or her presence. Ayurvedic or Homeopathic consultants can be contacted if they have any medicine which can convert negative state of mind into positive state of mind.

In the process of death a dying person can hear till his last karma indriyas and gnana indriyas are functioning.

In Hindu mythology, chanting of Rama or Aum at the time of death does the same thing.

Water Hygiene

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Safe water is an essential commodity for prevention of most water and food–borne diseases like diarrhea, typhoid and jaundice. These diseases are 100% preventable. All of them can be lethal if not prevented, diagnosed or treated in time. Transmission of parasitic infections can also occur with contaminated water. Here are a few tips:

  1. Travelers should avoid consuming tap water.
  2. Avoid ice made from tap water.
  3. Avoid any food rinsed in tap water.
  4. Chlorination kills most bacterial and viral pathogens.
  5. Chlorination does not kill Giardia cysts.
  6. Chlorination does not kill amoeba cysts.
  7. Chlorination does not kill Cryptosporidium.
  8. Boiled water is safe.
  9. Treated water is safe.
  10. Bottled water is safe.
  11. Carbonated drinks, wine and drinks made with boiled water are safe.
  12. Freezing does not kill the organisms that cause diarrhea. Ice in drinks is not safe unless it has been made from adequately boiled or filtered water.
  13. Alcohol does not sterilize water or the ice. Mixed drinks may still be contaminated.
  14. Hot tea and coffee are the best alternates to boiled water.
  15. Bottled drinks should be requested without ice and should be drunk from the bottle with a straw rather than with a glass.
  16. Boiling water for 3 minutes followed by cooling to room temperature will kill bacterial parasites.
  17. Adding two drops of 5% sodium hydrochloride (bleach) to quarter of water (1 liter) will kill most bacteria in 30 minutes.
  18. Adding 5 drops of tincture of iodine to a quarter of water (1 liter) will kill bacteria within 30 minutes.

What is the importance of silence?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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True silence is the silence between thoughts and represents the true self, consciousness or the soul. It is a web of energized information ready to take all provided there is a right intent. Meditation is the process of achieving this silence.

Observing silence is another way of getting benefits of meditation. Many yogis in the past have recommended and observed silence now and then. Mahatma Gandhi used to spend one day of each week in silence. He believed that abstaining from speech brought him inner peace and happiness. On these days, he communicated with others only by writing on paper.

Hindu principles also talks about a correlation between mauna (silence) and shanti (harmony). Mauna Ekadashi is a ritual followed traditionally in our country. On this day the person is not supposed to speak at all and keep complete silence throughout day and night. It gives immense peace to the mind and strength to the body. In Jainism this ritual has a lot of importance. Nimith was a great saint in Jainism who long ago asked all Jains to observe this vrata. Some people recommend that on every ekadashi one should observe silence for few hours in a day if not the whole day.

Deepak Chopra in his book 7 Laws of Spiritual Success talks in great detail about the importance of observing silence in day to day life. He recommends that everyone should observe silence for 20 minutes everyday. Silence helps redirecting our imagination towards self from the outer atmosphere. Even Swami Sivananda in his teaches recommends daily observation of mauna for 2 hours for ekadashi, take milk and fruits everyday, study daily one chapter of Bhagwad Gita, do regular charity and donate one-tenth of the income in the welfare of the society.

Ekadashi is the 11th day of Hindu lunar fortnight. Ekadashi is the day of celebration occurring twice a month, meant for meditation and increasing soul consciousness. Vinoba Bhave was the great sage of our country who is known for this bhoodaan movement. He was a great advocator and practical preacher of mauna vrata.

Mauna means silence and vrata means vow hence mauna vrata means vow of silence. Mauna was practiced by saints to end enmity and recoup their enmity. Prolonged silence as the form of silence is observed by the rishi munis involved for prolonged periods of silence. Silence is a source of all that exists. Silence is where conscious dwells. There is no religious tradition which does not talk about silence. It breaks outward communication and forces a dialogue towards inner communication. This is one reason why all prayers, meditation and worship or any other practice whether we attune our mind to the spiritual consciousness within are done in silence. After the death of a person it is a practice to observe silence for two minutes. The immediate benefit is that it saves a tremendous amount of energy.

Silence is cessation of both sensory and mental activity. It is like having a still mind and listening to the inner mind. Behind this screen of our internal dialogue is the silence of spirit. Meditation is the combination of observing silence and the art of observation.