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Dr K K Aggarwal

Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee

In every traditional gurukul, no studies start without chanting the following

Saraswati namasthubhyam

Varade kaama roopini

Vidyaarambham karishyaami

Sidhirbhavatu me sadaa

“O Goddess Saraswati, the giver of Boons and fulfiller of wishes, I prostrate to You before starting my studies. May you always fulfill me.”

Indian Vedas consider knowledge about self as the supreme knowledge and all tools for the same are considered sacred and divine and must be given respect. The traditional custom is not to step on any sacred educational tool.

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Regular consumption of polyphenol–rich cocoa products like dark chocolate may be considered a part of dietary approaches to lower BP, provided there is no total gain in calorie intake.

Drug treatment is the basis of blood pressure control, and it should always be accompanied by lifestyle measures such as exercise and proper diet.

The recommendation is an occasional cup of cocoa but not chocolate milk, because it is high in sugar and fat.

According to a survey of medical literature by German researcher, Dr. Dirk Taubert from the University Hospital of Cologne, cocoa–rich products, and not tea, help lower high blood pressure. They covered 10 studies on cocoa that included 173 participants and five tea studies with 343 participants. The cocoa studies lasted an average of two weeks, with four out of five trials reporting a reduction in both systolic and diastolic BP.

The average reduction was 4 to 5 mm Hg in systolic pressure and 2 to 3 mm in diastolic pressure –– enough to reduce the risk of stroke by 20% and of coronary heart disease by 10%. No such reduction in blood pressure was noted in any of the tea trials, which lasted an average of four weeks. Tea and cocoa contain different kinds of polyphenols –– flavan–3–ols in tea, procyanids in cocoa.

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1. Cut down on caffeine: Caffeine drinkers may find it harder to fall asleep. Even a single cup of coffee in the morning may lead to a sleepless night. Caffeine blocks the effects of adenosine, a neurotransmitter thought to promote sleep. Caffeine can also interrupt sleep by increasing the need to urinate during the night. Because caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches, irritability, and extreme fatigue, it may be easier to cut back gradually rather than to go cold turkey. Those who can’t or don’t want to give up caffeine should avoid it after 2 p.m., or noon if they are especially caffeine–sensitive.

2. Stop smoking or chewing tobacco: Nicotine is a central nervous system stimulant that can cause insomnia. If you continue to use tobacco, avoid smoking or chewing it for at least one to two hours before bedtime.

3. Limit alcohol intake: Alcohol depresses the nervous system, so a nightcap may seem to help some people fall asleep. Alcohol suppresses REM sleep, and the soporific effects disappear after a few hours. Alcohol also worsens snoring and other sleep breathing problems.

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• More experiences of telepathy

• More experiences of reverse telepathy • More spontaneous fulfillment of desires

• Increased tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen. Work done with the least effort.

• Change in the nature, more smiling, laughter and thankful nature.

• Feelings of being connected with others and nature. • Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation.

• Tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fears based on past experience.

• Ability to enjoy each moment.

• Living in the present.

• Loss of worry.

• A loss of interest in conflict.

• A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.

• A loss of interest in judging others.

• A loss of interest in judging self.

• Gaining the ability to love without expecting anything in return.

• Quality of converting an adversity into opportunity.

• Dislike for drugs, smoke and excess of alcohol.

• Happiness in doing random acts of kindness.

• Looking for good in every one.

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Link between Influenza and NCDs

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Seasonal influenza is a major public health problem globally, causing significant morbidity and mortality, especially in high-risk groups. Children and adults with underlying chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are especially vulnerable to complications, hospitalizations and even death from the infection. However, the link between NCDs and influenza is frequently underestimated. Vaccination against influenza is the single most effective way to reduce this vulnerability in people living with NCDs. Nevertheless vaccination rates in this group fall short of the WHO recommended target of 75%. (WMA.net)

• Improving influenza vaccination coverage among people living with NCDs is a complex task, and multiple strategies are needed at global and country levels to achieve the goal of 75% vaccination rate among this group.

• At the global level, it is critical to include influenza immunization as part of the monitoring framework for NCDs and underscore the vaccine’s importance in secondary prevention of these diseases.

• At the country level, strategies should target not only those at high risk of influenza complications, such as NCD patients, but also those at elevated risk of both contracting and transmitting the virus, such as schoolchildren and healthcare workers.

• The general lack of awareness by healthcare workers and particularly clinicians of the explicit relationship between influenza vaccinations and NCD management may be an important impeding factor in vaccination uptake among the vulnerable groups, especially people living with NCDs.

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Health is not mere absence of disease; it is a state of physical, mental, social, spiritual, environmental and financial well-being. Allopathy does not define all aspects of health.

During MBBS, medical students are taught more about the physical health. Social and mental health are covered only in few lectures. Community health is a separate subject but never given its due importance. Spiritual health is not defined at all and financial health is hardly covered.

Yet, in day-to-day practice it is the social, financial, spiritual and community health, which is the most important during patient-doctor communication. It is incorporated in the four basic purposes: dharma, artha, kama and moksha.

Dharma and artha together form the basis of karma which is righteous earning. You are what your deep rooted desires are. Most of the diseases today can be traced to a particular emotion, positive or negative. Anger and jealously are related with heart attack, fear with blood pressure, greed & possessiveness with heart failure. Unless the mind is healthy, one cannot be free of diseases.

The best description of health comes from Ayurveda. In Sanskrit health means swasthya, which means establishment in the self. One is established in the self when there is a union of mind, body and soul. Most symbols of health are established around a shaft with two snakes and two wings. The shaft represents the body, two snakes represent the duality of mind and the two wings represent the freedom of soul.

Sushrut Samhita in Chapter 15 shloka 10 defines the ayurvedic person as under:

Samadosha, samagnischa,



Swastha iti abhidhiyate.

From the Ayurvedic point of view, for a person to be healthy, he must have balanced doshas, balanced agni, balanced dhatus, normal functioning of malkriyas and mind, body, spirit and indriyas full of bliss and happiness.
Human body is made up of structures (Kapha) that perform two basic functions: firstly, metabolism (pitta) and movement (vata). Vata, pitta and kapha are called doshas in Ayurveda. Samana dosha means balance of structures, metabolism and movement functions in the body. Agni in Ayurveda is said to be in balance when a person has normal tejas and a good appetite.
Ayurveda describes seven dhatus: rasa, rakta, mamsa, medha, asthi, majja, shukra and they are required to be in balance. They are equivalent to various tissues in the human body.

Ayurveda necessitates proper functioning of natural urges like urination, stool, sweating and breathing and that is what balances in malakriya means.

Ayurveda says for a person to be healthy he has to be mentally and spiritually healthy which will only happen when his or her indriyas are cheerful, full of bliss and devoid of any negativities. For indriyas to be in balance one has to learn to control over the lust cum desires, greed and ego. This can be done by learning regular pranayama, learning the do’s and don’ts in life, living in a disciplined atmosphere and learn to live in the present.
Regular pranayama shifts one from sympathetic to para sympathetic mode, balances the mind and thoughts and helps in removing negative thoughts from the mind. For living a disabled life one can follow the yama and niyama of yoga sutras of Patanjali or dos and don’ts taught by various religious gurus, leaders and principles of naturopathy. Living in the present means conscious or meditative living. This involves either learning meditation 20 minutes twice a day or learning subtle mental exercises like mind–body relaxation, yogic shavasana, self–hypnotic exercises, etc.
According to Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a person who eats thrice a day is a rogi, twice a day is a bhogi and once a day is yogi. The take home message is: to live more, eat less.
Swar yoga defines the importance of respiration and longevity. According to this yoga shastra, everybody has a fixed number of breaths to be taken during the life span.
Lesser the number a person takes in a minute more is the life. It also forms the basis of pranayama which is nothing but longer and deeper breathing with reduced respiratory rate. To be healthy one can remember to follow the principle of moderation and variety in diet & exercise, regular pranayama & meditation and positive thinking.

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A spoonful of honey can quieten night time cough in children and help them and their parents sleep better.

When compared to the cough syrup ingredient dextromethorphan or no treatment, honey comes out on top. As per a study from Archives of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, the results are so strong that one is able to say that honey is better than no treatment and dextromethorphan was not. There is currently no proven effective treatment for cough due to an upper respiratory infection like the common cold. While dextromethorphan is widely used, there is no evidence that it works and it carries risks.

Honey is used around the world as a home remedy for cough, and might provide a safe, effective alternative to cough medicine. To investigate, the researchers compared buckwheat honey, a honey-flavored dextromethorphan preparation, and no treatment in 105 children who had sought treatment for night time coughs due to colds. Among the three groups, children given honey had the greatest reduction in cough frequency and severity, and the most improved sleep, as did their parents. Its sweet, syrupy quality may be soothing to the throat, while its high antioxidant content could also be a factor. Honey also has antimicrobial effects. Honey is not recommended for infants younger below one year of age because of the risk of botulism spores.

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• Sit on a straight–backed chair or cross–legged on the floor.
• Focus on an aspect of your breathing, such as the sensation of air flowing into your nostrils and out of your mouth, or your belly rising and falling as you inhale and exhale.
• Once you’ve narrowed your concentration in this way, begin to widen your focus. Become aware of sounds, sensations and ideas.
• Embrace and consider each thought or sensation without judging it good or bad. If your mind starts to race, return your focus to your breathing. Then expand your awareness again.
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