Shutterbug's Blog

Living with Multiple Myeloma in Hyderabad , India . Random musings .

Leave a comment

Cough , Cold , Allergy , Asthma : Ayurveda for Prevention and Treatment

I am one of those  who are highly allergic to all kinds of dust and frequently end up with a Sore Throat followed by Bronchitis. A visit to the Doc , followed by Antibiotics and Nebulization … a ritual that was inevitable. 

I was able to successfully get over a recent episode with Ayurvedic Medication and no Antibiotics. I am extremely happy that I can now manage my problem without Antibiotics. Thanks to Dr Nithin, Ayurveda.

However, I still did not get an answer as to why only some people are affected by dust and pollution. Millions of people around us are unaffected and continue to live/work in highly polluted environments. How are they managing ?

Here is a beautiful article that explains  how and why a person ends up with Cough/Cold/Asthma. Understanding ‘Cockroach Theory’ will help in understanding how the Immune System works in our body .

This article is written by Dr Nithin ,Ayurveda .

I had to read this article a few times before I fully understood the how and why and what has to be done to prevent an occurrence of Sore Throat and Asthma.


Here is a summary of what I learnt from that article –

Cockroach Theory : A panic reaction to a situation , whereas the solution is to respond in a calm and composed manner. An example : Customers in a restaurant get panicky and react clumsily on seeing a cockroach whereas the waiter , on whom the cockroach finally lands , stays still , is able to catch hold of the cockroach and throws it out.

The above theory will help us understand how the Immune cells in some bodies overreact instead of responding , when rogue viruses/bacteria enter our body. This overreaction results in excessive production of mucus which clogs the respiratory system. The body then tries to expel this mucus by coughing resulting in a Sore throat. The reason for this kind of reaction by the body is ‘Aggravated Pitta’ .

‘Pitta’ has to be reduced by the following methods (from the article):

  • Recipes like sesame seeds boiled in milk or pumpkin pulp roasted in homemade ghee or almond porridge, halwa etc can be taken.
  • Liberal use of turmeric either in milk or dal to be encouraged as Turmeric reduces inflammation and also breaks rigid bonds of thick mucus which can be expelled easily.
  • All asthmatic and allergic rhinitis patients should take herbal tea of ginger, black pepper, Tulsi leaves, clove, and coriander seeds.  
  • They should eat less of wheat and rice and should consume more of millet like Jwari or Bajri .
  • Once in a week all asthmatic should take Kulthi (Horse gram) dal.
  • Patients of allergic rashes can try having mixed powder of black pepper- 1 or 2 pills + ginger 1/4th teaspoon and candy sugar one teaspoon, once or twice a day.  
  • All of them should strictly avoid all kinds of fast or junk food, pickle, sauces, milkshakes .
  • They should not consume curd, non vegetarian food, heavy , fried food  at night time.
  • All asthma, allergic rhinitis and urticaria patients should religiously do pranayam, as deep breathing will reduce hyper activity and will relax smooth muscles of the air ways, thereby reducing spasms in the air ways and reduction in the episodes of Asthma. Plus deep breathing also helps in reducing inflammation in blood vessels thereby reducing allergic rashes. 


My Plan of Action :

I have started consuming Herbal Tea (ingredients mentioned above) . Will write a post on how I prepare this Herbal Tea.

I just bought Horse gram and looking for recipes on the Internet.

I have to further reduce intake of rice. I rarely consume wheat.

I include Turmeric in the Herbal Tea.

I avoid junk food and don’t consume curd/non-veg at night.






Leave a comment

Metabolic Profile C – Test/Reports

It’s been three years since I started consulting Dr Nithin, Ayurveda and began taking Ayurvedic Medication for Multiple Myeloma.

He recently advised me to get a test named ‘Metabolic Profile C’ done.

This was the first time I was hearing about this test. 

Checked on the Internet and learnt that it is a package of 137 tests. Here is a link.

I glanced through the information and guessed/concluded that it is a comprehensive test to check the levels of all the various Minerals and Vitamins in the body.

This test is offered only at Thyrocare diagnostic centers in India.

At the lab , three fasting blood samples were collected and it took 2 days for the reports to be ready. I was surprised to see the bunch of printouts . The Report had 24 pages in all 🙂

Started turning the pages one by one to find status of parameters like Magnesium, copper, Iron, Zinc, Vitamin K , Vitamin A , lipid profile, Glucose , B Vitamins , Vitamin D etc etc .

Almost all the parameters were in the Normal range except for B12 and Total Cholesterol which were just a wee bit more than the normal range. ESR was high as usual.

Sent the scanned copies of the reports by mail to Dr Nithin .  He said that almost all the parameters are normal. 

He also said there is no trace of any cancer. Yayyy !!!

But what are the parameters in this test that help in detecting Cancer ??!

When I checked the above link once again , I also learnt that the test reveals the levels of Amino acids in the body. There are around 20 Amino acids in all . The levels of Amino acids indicates the Metabolism in the body. It is the Mitochondria inside the cells which produce several of these Amino acids . The Protein in our diet is broken down into Amino acids in the gut . Mitochondria is one of the important Organelles inside the Cell and it is the Powerhouse of the cell. Only healthy Mitochondria can produce sufficient Amino acids to maintain a Healthy body. Amino acids are required for each and every function in the body.

Unhealthy Mitochondria are unable to produce sufficient quantities of Amino acids and also release lots of metabolic waste which is the initial stage of Cancer. 

Is there a way to  improve the function of Mitochondria ?

Yes, by Exercise, Intermittent Fasting , exposure to the Sun , reducing consumption of Sugar etc.

Here is what Dr Nithin has to say about the ‘Metabolic Profile test’ , in his own words –

Metabolomics is the latest in understanding the process of Cancer.

Metabolic profile is for detecting the defect in Metabolism by Mitochondria, a powerhouse of the cell , which becomes dysfunctional and causes fermentation on glucose instead of oxidation, causes release of lots of metabolic waste , which is the most initial step in cancer.

If these levels are normal , it indicates good functioning of Mitochondria. Which can be further inferred that Cancer process is being stopped or arrested. “

That was a revelation !!

As per my report , all the Amino acids are within the normal range.

My B12 level is a wee bit on the higher side. I was taking one capsule of Methylcobalamin (a form of B12) every day. Was advised to stop for 6 months.

I will be continuing to take Curcumin, Ashwagandha etc.





Celebrated the good news by going to a restaurant and ordered Molten Chocolate cake 🙂 . I usually  avoid eating cakes as the main ingredient is all purpose flour (Maida) .



Leave a comment

Back to Curcumin from Turmeric

Went for a few routine tests namely CBP , LFT and RFT on 23rd Jan 2018 and noticed that my Globulin Serum had further increased from 3.8 (Nov 2017) to 4.0 . I was a little worried and expressed the same to Dr Nithin , my Ayurvedic Doctor who then changed my medication from Turmeric to Curcumin. I was advised to use Turmeric instead of Curcumin , for a few months during the later part of 2017.

I guess it was too early for me to make the change from Curcumin to Turmeric . Curcumin is an extract from Turmeric and hence more powerful. It is the Curcuminiods in Turmeric which are effective in the activation of Apoptosis (cell death) in the cells.

It is now one month since I changed back to Curcumin. Meanwhile I was down with Sore throat and took Antibiotics during first week of Feb 2018. I discussed with Dr Nithin and he decided to increase the dosage of Curcumin (500mg) from 3 caps / 3 times a day to 4 caps / 3 times a day . Ashwagandha (500mg) was also increased from 2 caps / 2 times a day to 2 caps / 3 times a day.

Its been a month since my last tests and hence went for the routine tests yesterday. The reports were very good. All parameters were normal .

Hb is 11.2

Creatinine is .9

ESR is 34 , not yet in the normal range (0 – 20) . Not too bad , it was 65 last month.

Globulin serum is back to the normal range (1.8 – 3.6) . Reduced from 4 to 3.6 .

This is great news 🙂 . This was something that was worrying me. Feeling very happy now 🙂

Dr Nithin also told me to do a test named Metabolic profile c .
Awaiting the results of this test.

Leave a comment

Resistance to Antibiotics and Ayurveda to my rescue.

I had been resistant to Antibiotics much before I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2011. My frequent bouts of sore throat would not go away in spite of using Antibiotics prescribed by the ENT Doctor. He would often tell me to meet him and give feedback after using Antibiotics. At times there would be an improvement and at times I would not get any relief. When there was no relief he would give me another set of medications which I would promptly gulp down . The pain and symptoms were so bad that I would not think twice about what I was gulping.

I was diagnosed with MM in Oct 2011, underwent a Stem Cell Transplant in Jan 2012.

I continued getting these attacks and as usual I was taking Antibiotics. These attacks are always triggered due to any kind of dust. I reduced my visits to Malls, Supermarkets , clothes stores, theaters, exhibitions and other public places . But dust finds its way into my body some way or the other 😦 . There is no way I can completely isolate myself from all kinds of dust. Another trigger for an attack is eating/drinking cold foods like ice cream or any cold drink which I stopped having anyway.

Had another attack recently and this time I consulted my Ayurvedic Doctor about my condition and whether I should take this new set of Allopathic medication. He said that I should not be taking Antibiotics as they affect the Bone Marrow and that the new set of medications were Steroids which are an absolute No-No.

What do I do now ??! , I was very sick …I had a very irritating wet cough , a runny nose , had fever that went up to 102 deg and my bronchitis was also severe. I continued the nebulisation with Levolin and Budecort. I was afraid I would end up with Pneumonia. Meanwhile my Ayurvedic Doctor recommended that I do a Sinus X-ray, Chest x-ray, LDH Serum and Urine Culture . Had to wait for two days before all the reports were out. Was glad that all the reports were negative :).

Meanwhile he recommended a herbal tablet for the runny nose and Kantakari Lehyam for my Bronchitis. This Lehyam is like a paste ..a sweet , pungent paste similar to Chyawanprash. My symptoms slowly reduced. A lot of patience was required as each painful hour went by very slowly. Took 5 days off from work . Felt like a dead person during those days and finally when I was ready to go to work I felt as if I was reborn and like a bird that just got out of a cage 🙂 .

So glad I was able to escape from using Steroids, for the first time.

Meanwhile my Ayurvedic Doctor also sent a Mishran which I am supposed to take with Warm water.

The meaning of the word Mishran is ‘a mix’ , a mix of several herbs in a powdered form, for improving immunity.

Am almost normal now but continuing the new Ayurvedic medications along with Curcumin, Ashwagandha , Satavari etc.

I am envious of people who are able to dig into ice creams and soft drinks and are able to withstand any kind of pollution/dusty environments.

Looking forward to a day when I can move around without fear of another attack. A day when I can eat an ice-cream and have a cold drink 🙂 … hmmm , I know I am asking for too much 🙂 .

Leave a comment

Random Musings Feb 2018

A long drive:

Time for another loong drive a little away from the city.

This time we chose to drive towards Vikarabad.

So glad that our Driver agreed to come on a Sunday. A cool guy who almost always  agrees to come even on a Sunday, whenever I am in the mood to go out. Went with Mom and dragged my brother too.

We drove via chevella , reached Vikarabad … continued to drive towards kotpally reservoir/dam. We didn’t go close to the dam but got a glimpse of the reservoir. Very beautiful serene place. It is unbelievable that such a beautiful lake exists on the outskirts of the city. A few folks from the city seem to get away from the hustle bustle of the city to spend a day here. Do take a lot of food and water when you plan to visit this place. Don’t expect to find any food or water anywhere near the reservoir. Came across groups of bikers who seemed to enjoy an early morning ride to the reservoir.

All through the route we noticed that it was mostly forest like area with hardly any cultivation. Came across very few villages and hardly saw people in these villages except for a few shepherds with their flock.

Not much greenery during this time of the year.



I liked the way the houses were built in some of the villages around this area. They were built in the shape of an L or U or a square with a central courtyard. All the houses were creamy/white in colour as they use the famous Tandur stones to build the walls and roofs of the houses. This place named Tandur is very close from Kotpally. Tandur tiles are very popular in constrcution of houses in Urban area s too. These stones are mined around this town.

Was tempted to go and knock on one of these houses but didn’t 🙂 . There is always another time.

We decided to drive back home via Mominpet and Sadashivpet.

One doesn’t have to go very far out of the city for taking a break once in a while , to breathe in some fresh air and to soothe the soul.

My Garden :

I was lucky this time with growing ‘Chukka koora’.



A green leafy veggie which is also called ‘khatta palak’ in Hindi. I harvested the leaves three times so far. This leaf is used for preparing dals , chutneys and other recipes.

I also got a few Petunias, Pansies and Dianthus for my Sunny balcony. Love these flowers . They bid farewell in the morning and welcome me back home in the evening.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


I lost a few of the Petunia plants due to over watering. The roots of these plants  rot due to water logging . Learnt my lesson 🙂

Fell sick :

Was down with  runny nose , Sore throat, Bronchitis again. Had to take Antibiotics  😦 . I have been avoiding supermarkets,Malls etc. This time the reason for the attack is a visit to one of the manufacturing shops in our factory. The meeting was in the Conference room inside the shop floor but there was no escape from the dust.  



Leave a comment

Status update on my MM : 23 Jan 2018

Been a while since I updated my status wrt MM.

Got the CBP , LFT and RFT tests done a couple of days ago.

All renal parameters are fine. Potassium , Glucose , TLC are also within normal ranges.

ESR : 51 ( This is expected , 0-20 is the normal range)

Hb : 10.6 (was 11 in November 2017 )

Globulin Serum : 4.0 (increased from 3.8 in November, normal values are between 1.8 and 3.6 )

This is a cause of concern.

Spoke to my Ayurvedic Doctor who felt there is nothing to be worried about. However I am not comfortable and asked him if I can increase the dosage to 3 capsules three times a day. He actually wants to reduce my dosage if possible. But I am not yet comfortable reducing the dosage right now.

I have been observing a little dip in my energy levels and was also feeling cranky during the last one month.

I had been taking 3 caps of Curcumin for almost 2 and half years since May 2015. All was well during this period and hence a few months back I was put on Turmeric. But the tests in November 2017 revealed that Globulin Serum increased to 3.8 . I was back on Curcumin 500mg 2 Capsules three times a day in December 2017. With the latest reports I feel the dosage of Curcumin has to be further increased .

Glad he agreed and I am back to my original dosage of 3 capsules of Curcumin 500mg three times a day. I will continue to take Ashwagandha , Tinospora Cordifolia , Satavari along with Curcumin . I am hopefull that my counts will jump back to normal very soon.

I shared the reports of my results with a confidante at work. She knows a lot about me and my style of working and feels that I have been exerting myself at work and it is better that I slow down a bit 🙂 . Will do something about this .

In my next set of tests after a month I will be including tests for Vit D , B12 , Uric acid and Calcium levels.

That’s all for now.

Time to take loong deeep breaths and relax :))

Leave a comment

My new possessions : Traditional Indian cookware

Time to display a few cute things from my kitchen… new Possessions….I find them cute and beautiful … these are the Traditional Indian Cookware that I have been collecting since a year .

After a lot of googling on the Internet as to why to use Traditional cookware , where to buy, what to look for and how to use them , I finally decided to buy some stuff and experiment. I bought a few online . I purchased one from a local Organic Market and also bought another one from a local potter too. The micro nutrients from the materials used in making these cookware, make the food tasty and these nutrients are also required for a healthy body. Food gets cooked faster in these cookware.

Here they are:

My Cast Iron cuties :

Appa Chatti This is the cutest one. Quite heavy .


This one is actually used for making Appams but I cook everything except Appams in this :). I use it to cook a small quantity of veggies for making chutneys (roti pachchadi). It also comes in very handy for preparing Tadka . I stir fry some soaked beans/lentils for a quick evening snack. I sometimes use it for making a small quantity of Aloo fry , Okra fry brinjal fry  etc as the size is small.

Dosa Pan Love the pan . It now has a smooth finish just like a non-stick pan. Requires very less oil for making dosas. Dosas cook quite fast and are tasty too compared to those cooked in a non stick pan.

Skillet This one is also equally heavy  .


Am yet to start using this one. I see myself preparing curries , vegetable fries and maybe chicken fry too. This is being seasoned right now.

All of these are very heavy and have to be handled like lil babies, so as not to drop them on the floor or on your feet 🙂 . Cast iron products are brittle and can break if dropped on hard surfaces and in turn break your floor too and also the bones in your feet :). Got to be very careful.

Clayware :

Clay Pot : I have been cooking almost everyday in this pot, on a gas stove top.


Usually , in rural India , these pots are used for cooking using firewood as fuel. After reading several reviews about using them on a Gas stove top , I went ahead and bought this one at an Organic Farmers market in the City. Very useful for cooking Dals ,Sambhar and Pulusu. 

Kadai : Once I started using the Clay pot and got the confidence I started eyeing one potter by the road side, close to my place of work. This woman had a variety of clay utensils. Water Jugs , Curd pots, Pots for curries in different sizes,  a flat thick  pan with holes for making Phulkas , kadais . I bought this Kadai.


A kadai is much deeper than the Appa chatti . I have been cooking all varieties of  vegetable fries using this.

This type of Clayware is very light in weight and have to be handled carefully. They will break into pieces if dropped on a hard floor.


Kal chatti : 


This is my latest possession. In the process of seasoning.

I have started bragging about my possessions and experiments with recipes to my family , friends and colleagues.

Cooking using Non-stickware , Ceramic ware,  Stainless Steel or Aluminium is no big deal. But when it comes to using traditional cookware one should first appreciate the benefits of cooking in these types of cookware and fall in love with them 🙂 . Next step is to learn how to season these types of cookware . Once the pots and pans are seasoned ,you are ready to start cooking . This is not the end of the story 🙂 . One should also know how to clean and store them so they last long and are ready for the next recipe. The only downside is that these have to be handled carefully.

I bought the appa chatti , the skillet and Kal chatti  online from and .

Go ahead and revive the traditional way of cooking. Eat tasty food and also stay healthy.

Happy cooking !!