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Dr K K Aggarwal

The skill of controlling anger

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Cynicism is a recognized risk factor for coronary artery disease. And, anger, jealousy and irritability form the triad responsible for this.

Anger is the enemy of peace, knowledge and devotion. According to Ayurveda, anger is a manifestation of Pitta (metabolism) imbalance and is a predisposing risk factor for heart attack, paralysis, gall bladder stone, kidney stone, acidity, ulcer and cancer.

In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna describes the pathway of anger leading to destruction in Chapter 2 Sloka 62 and 63. According to Lord Krishna, when a man’s desires are not fulfilled or expectations are not met, then he/she becomes angry. When one is under the influence of anger, he does all types of sinful activities. One loses the distinction between good and bad, loses one’s memory, understanding becomes clouded and the intellect gets perverted. Loss of intellect leads to animal-like behavior, and ultimately to destruction of oneself.

Many kinds of repercussions can occur with anger such as injustice, rashness, persecution, jealousy, taking possession of other’s property, killing, speaking harsh words and cruelty. The degree of anger may vary from irritation, frowning, resentment, indignation, rage, fury and wrath.

Anger is not always bad. It is only when the anger is an outcome of greed or selfish motives, is it bad.

Righteous or spiritual anger is a type of anger caused with good intentions. This anger passes off the next moment. The classical example of righteous anger is when you become angry in a situation where you see a person doing something wrong to check that person.

The root cause of anger is ignorance, egoism, and passion (strong desires), with passion being the root cause. To control anger, therefore, passion should be controlled first.

In Vedic language, both anger and passion are Rajo-Vriti disorders and get exaggerated with any Rajas-increasing lifestyle. Living a life with less of Rajas characteristics will reduce the chances of getting into passion and anger.

Rajas-increasing foods are eggs, fish, onion, garlic, fermented foods, etc. Modern fashion, night clubs, reading novels with stories of violence, living in the company of bad people, indulging in sexual talks, use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs are all Rajas-increasing life styles. A typical Rajasik person is one who indulges in eating, drinking and procreating.

Controlling anger and passion involves effort. As a fish swims upstream against the current in a river to breathe, a person has to work against the disturbing thoughts. To balance and stabilize the mind, consuming ‘satvik’ foods like fresh food, vegetables, milk, and barley bread will help. Many exercises can also help to control anger. For example, observing silence for 20 to 30 minutes in a day, walking regularly, practicing speaking kind words, doing regular meditation, practicing non-violent communication daily and learning to think differently.

During an episode of anger, one can try left nostril pranayama, a short deep breathing exercise, taking a walk, drinking cold or simple water or chanting AUM or I AM. With inspiration, one chants “I” and with expiration “AM” reminding one who I AM. That I am the expression of pure spirit and my purpose of life is not to become angry. Remember, a person who gets angry will have high blood pressure. The person who you are angry with may not have any change in the blood pressure.

One should realize that during anger, the power of discrimination is lost along with intellectual impairment. Therefore, anger has to be controlled much before it becomes full blown. The initial stage of anger is irritability, and therefore, with the onset of irritability, one should try to control it at the earliest.

One should never judge an individual with his own level of perception. One should realize that if a servant starts working with your level of expectations, he or she will not be working with you as a servant.

One should also make sure that one is not hungry at the time of feeling angry or irritable. Regular meals prevent development of anger.

Anger can be expressive or suppressive. Expressive anger presents with aggressive behavior and the outbursts of anger can cause social unhealthiness. It can cause sudden rise in upper blood pressure or cause rupture of a plaque in the artery supplying blood to the heart precipitating a heart attack.

Suppressive anger can lead to acidity, asthma, formation of plaques in the heart arteries etc. In the long run, suppressed anger, if not expressed, may end up with depression, despondency, guilt etc.

Therefore, anger should neither be passed on to others (expressive) nor taken within (suppressed or repressed). Anger, therefore, should be altered, neutralized, or modified. This can be done by temporarily holding it for some time and then taking timely action. Temporary holding can be achieved by using the above exercises. Remember both passion and anger are energies which should be conserved and not wasted.

The mythological explanation of Shiva, the Neelkanth is also the same. One should neither throw the poison (anger), nor drink it but keep it in the throat for some time and take the right action after the anger manifestations are over.

From Vedic point of view, every thought arises from the silent potential web of energized information or consciousness. This thought from the mind is then analyzed by the intellect and the modified by the ego. At this stage it leads to an action. An action lead so memory and memory leads to desire for the action again.

If this desire is fulfilled, it leads to action again and then desire again. Repeated fulfilment of desires leads to habits formation, addictions and development of a particular personality.

If the desire is not fulfilled it leads to irritability and irritability leads to anger which then can be expressive or suppressive.

The answer therefore lies in changing the perception at the level of the thought or controlling the desires and or the expectation.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).

Think differently in mythology

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Lord Ganesha’s elephant head depicts that one should use his/her wisdom before taking any decision.
  • Vishnu’s first incarnation, fish, symbolizes need to learn to swim in the opposite direction.
  • Brahma’s five heads mean to use all five senses before taking any decision.
  • Shiva’s third eye means to think differently in difficulties.
  • Ravana’s 10 heads mean using your ten senses before taking any decision (but he used them for negative forces).
  • Mahamrityunjaya mantra starts with saying that we worship the three eyed Shiva.
  • Gayatri mantra means that one should ask the heart to direct the intellect to take the right decision.

The 3H philosophy is linked to the same. The first H is ask the head for options; second H is to ask the heart to choose one of the options and the third H means to order the hand to do the action.

The Science behind eating Khichdi in Paush Month

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • It is wet winter full of fog and smog.
  • From Ayurveda point of view, Kapha is aggravating, Vata is accumulating and Pitta is at its minimum.
  • The food intake should therefore contain Kapha-pacifying foods, which are light, easily digestible, hot, warm and Pitta increasing, so that they can increase the digestive fire to digest.
  • One of the main foods is eating Khichidi or a mix of brown rice and lentils /moong daal/ or bajara khichd
  • Khichdi or lentil rice mix is light to eat and digest.
  • In Allopathy terms when we eat proteins it must contain all essential amino acids. Normally foods from animal sources, such as meat, eggs and dairy products, are complete proteins. Soy and quinoa are the only two plant-based protein sources that provide complete protein. Incomplete protein sources lack one or more of the essential amino acids.

The essential amino acid deficit of one plant food can be overcome by combining it with a complementary plant food that provides adequate amounts of the limited essential amino acid.

As an example, grains (rice) are low in the essential amino acid lysine and high in methionine, whereas legumes (lentils, pulses, beans) are low in methionine and high in lysine. Peanuts are another complementary protein for rice.

Pairing complete proteins, such as milk, soya, meat, fish or eggs with incomplete proteins like brown rice also provides complete protein. Rice and dal is therefore eaten with curd as a tradition.

You don’t need to consume complementary proteins at the same meal, but you do need to consume them in the same day. The adequacy of protein intake is determined by the total quantity of protein and amino acids from the variety of foods consumed during the day.

  • Khichidi gives energy. All Gods are worshipped in this season with this food. In khichidi Rice and pulses should be in ratio of 1:2.
  • Bajra khichdi is another favorite food item in this month. It is health-friendly as it has complex non refined carbs. To balance it is served with desi ghee to take away its dry effect.
  • To make it equivalent to 56 bhog of winter, heeng, saunth (garam masala has less saunth), peepali, mirch, ajwain, javitri and jaiphal are added.
  • Bajra khichidi is usually eaten with garlic (counters constipation), less butter/ghee.
  • It is also eaten with garlic chatni, or amla chatni ( both are good for the heart)
  • In constipation: eat khichdi with curd, salad, white butter, ghee

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).

Tips to prevent anemia from becoming severe during pregnancy

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. Eat iron-rich foods such as meat, chicken, fish, eggs, dried beans and fortified grains. The form of iron in meat products, called heme, is more easily absorbed than the iron in vegetables. If you are anemic and you ordinarily eat meat, increasing the amount of meat you consume is the easiest way to increase the iron your body receives.
  2. Eat foods high in folic acid, such as dried beans, dark green leafy vegetables, wheat germ and orange juice.
  3. Eat vitamin C-rich foods such as citrus fruits and fresh, raw vegetables.
  4. Cook in cast iron pots as this can add up to 80% more iron to your food.
  5. Take your prenatal multivitamin and mineral pill which contains extra folate.

Think differently in mythology

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off on Think differently in mythology

• Lord Ganesha with the elephant’s head depicts that one should use their wisdom before taking any decision.

• Vishnu’s first incarnation, fish, symbolizes learning to swim in the opposite direction.

• Brahma’s five heads denotes using all your five senses before taking any decision.

• Shiva’s third eye means to think differently in difficulties.

• Ravan’s ten heads mean using your ten senses/emotions before taking any decision. But, Ravan used them for negative forces.

• Maha Mrityunjaya mantra begins as we worship the three-eyed Shiva.

• Gayatri mantra means that one should ask the heart to direct the intellect to take the right decision. The 3H philosophy is linked to the same. The first H is ask the head for options; second H is to ask the heart to choose one of the options and the third H means to order the hand to do the action

You should be not only positive, different but also persistent. In ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu, the first one was a Machhli (fish) which indicates to be different in life. The second incarnation is tortoise which indicates that you should be different but learn to withdraw when the need arises. The third is a boar which indicates persistence.

The mantra of a successful life is to be positively different and persistent and yet learn to withdraw when the situation arises.

The medicinal use of chocolate has a long history in North America dating back to the 16th century. From Mesoamerican Codices and European Treatises scholars have determined that for hundreds of years the beverage called chocolate was administered to the sick and prescribed homeopathically to prevent illness.

Cocoa and particularly dark chocolate are rich in flavonoids and it lowers the blood pressure. Blood pressure lowering effect was shown in a Novel Study by Al-Safi SA and group from Texas Woman’s University, College of Nursing in Jordan in 2011.

The data that plant sterols combined with dark chocolate reduces bad LDL cholesterol was published in 2008 in the journal

A Harvard study published in 2011 in Clinical Nutrition by Diousse L and group from Brigham and Women’s Hospital has shown that dark chocolate consumption is inversely associated with prevalence of coronary heart disease.

Dark chocolate improves endothelial functions and the platelet function was shown by Hermann F and group in 2006 in the Journal Heart.

Franco OH and group from Erasmus MC University Medical Centre Rotterdam, Netherlands in 2004 wrote in British Medical Journal that the polymeal concept is a more natural, safer, and probably tastier than the Polypill strategy to reduce cardiovascular disease by more than 75%. The evidence based recipe included wine, fish, dark chocolate, fruits, vegetables, garlic, and almonds.

Another study published in 2007 in Heart Advis has shown that small dietary changes yield big blood pressure benefits. One should limit sodium, eat more veggies, and add modest amounts of soy nuts and dark chocolate to improve the heart health.

In 2009 Sirtori CR and group from University of Milano, Italy wrote in Nutr Res Rev journal that dark chocolate is gaining much attention as a functional food for its multifunctional activities, useful both for the prevention of dyslipidemia as well as hypertension.

Loffredo L and group from I Clinica Medica, Viale del Policlinico Italy has shown in the journal Heart in 2011 that the acute effects of dark chocolate in smokers are due to NOX2-mediated arterial dysfunction. Cocoa enhances artery dilatation by lowering of NOX2 activation as assessed by blood levels of soluble NOX2 derived peptide.