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


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Brahma Muhurtham, the Divine hours

I really don’t know how it happened but I suddenly started waking up at around 4.30 am since last two weeks. During one such day while going through my Youtube subscriptions ,  a video popped up about ‘Brahma Muhurtam’ . I do know that this is an auspicious period which is sometime during the early hours of the morning but didn’t know the exact timings or anything more about it.

I got curious about this video and started watching it. I learnt about a Ghadiya , a Muhurtam , number of Ghadiyas in a Day and how the exact time period of this Brahma Muhurtam is calculated on any particular day.

It is understood that the period from 3 am to 5.15 am approximately is Brahma Muhurtam and that it is good to meditate or do puja/prayer or exercise during this period.

I continued to automatically wake up at around 4.15 to 4.30 everyday. I started doing meditation followed by pranayama . I then go for a walk for 30 mins.

Meanwhile, I started watching more videos about this and learnt that waking up during these hours is beneficial to us.

  • This is the calmest period of the night when the mind is still,
  • everyone is asleep, no noise whatsoever
  • the air has the maximum amount of oxygen during this time
  • this is the best time for students to study because there is no distraction and memory power too is greater
  • this is the best time to Meditate which helps in reducing stress
  • you get solutions to  your problems , your thoughts and Intentions are clear , it is possible to manifest your desires
  • one can do puja or prayer
  • is also good to do yoga or exercises.

Several health benefits can be experienced when people wake up regularly during this period.. The production of Melatonin hormone by the pineal gland is the highest during this period. The pineal gland is located in the center of the brain. This hormone is a powerful antioxidant , it reduces the production of cortisol (by the Adrenal Glands) which in turn reduces stress and anxiety , reduces Blood Pressure, heart burn etc etc.

It is said that one should wake up during this period without any external help from an alarm or someone else waking you up. One video also mentions that if you can wake up automatically it is a sign of being blessed by the Almighty 🙂

All living beings are supposed to follow the rhythms of nature . Dinner to be done by 6pm ( before sunset ) and to sleep as early as possible….latest by 9pm . It would then be easy to wake up comfortably at 4am , much before sunrise .

Our body functions are actually designed to be in sync with the rhythm of nature whereas we have upset these functions by staying up late and waking late . This is resulting in several mental and physical issues.

Am glad I am finally able to tune into this rhythm. Hope to reap all the benefits.

It is almost 2 weeks since I started meditating during this period and I can confidently say that I am not as anxious as I used to be…I feel very calm and in control throughout the day. Overall it is a great feeling… I try to sleep as early as possible …around 10ish …my internal alarm clock is now set to wake me up between 4 to 4.30am.

~~Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi~~

 

 


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The Millet Man ! Positive grains and Healing

Been watching a lot of videos on YouTube during the last couple of months.

One speaker that I am watching on You Tube these days is Dr Khadar Valli. He is passionate about making people healthy and free from all diseases that are being caused by wrong food habits and lifestyle. His talks are highly convincing and is very popular on You Tube. He has been travelling to various towns and cities in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to share his knowledge. Has been researching on the health benefits of Millets since last 15 years . He gives several tips on treating diseases by eating the right foods especially Millets. Not just Millets , his speeches are about the right way of living , be it exercise/walking , tips to clean fruits and vegetables that are full of pesticides, drinking water from copper vessels, using cold pressed oils etc sprinkled with lots of simple natural treatments for minor ailments .

Surely appears to be an Angel on Earth who has come to prevent/treat/relieve us from several ailments.

I have been incorporating Millets in my Diet since last one month. I was already incorporating Foxtail Millets since last one year and now started including other Millets like Foxtail millet , Kodo Millet, BarnYard Millet, Browntop Millet and Little Millet. I now include Millets in two of my meals each day.

Quite happy/comfortable eating Dosas, Uthappams , Idlis , Pongal , Vegetable Kichdi , Payasam , Pulihora with Lemon or Amla , Millet Rice etc made with the 5 types of Millets. Millet Rice can be eaten with the regular curries. All these dishes are usually prepared with Rice and are equally tasty when prepared with Millets .

Dr Khader Valli has been popularizing 5 types of Millets namely Kodo, Little, Barnyard , Proso , Foxtail. He has named them ‘Siridhanyalu’.

He has categorised various grains based on their effect on the body :

Wheat and Rice : -ve grains – Can harm the body

Jowar/Sorghum, Finger Millet/Ragi and Bajra : Neutral grains – Neither heal nor harm the body.

Kodo , Barnyard, Little , Browntop , Foxtail Millet’s : +ve grains – Heal the body

Dr Khader Valli is confident that lifestyle diseases like Diabetes , Heart problems and even Cancer can be prevented/treated by consuming Millet’s. They are rich in Soluble and insoluble fiber, Gluten free , rich in nutrients , are usually Organic and alkaline in nature.

Dr Khader Valli has become very popular and currently there is a lot of demand for Millets. Got to see how the Supply/Demand of Millets wavers. The prices of Millets has been steadily increasing. Hope the production too increases.


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The Mask

mask cartoon

Nothing shady about the title 🙂 . Nothing to hide 🙂

Am sure I reminded you of ‘The Mask’ and Jim Carrey 🙂

This post is all about how the ‘Mask’ has become one of the most important accessories  during the last 9 months.

My ‘Mask’ is now a constant companion from the moment I step out of the house.

Having struggled with frequent Sore throat problems and dust allergies followed by Antibiotics all these years, I wanted to check if  a Mask would help me stay away from these issues. I invariably end up with a Sore throat if I inhale any kind of dust .

Before I went ahead and bought a mask, I did some research on the internet on the varieties of masks that are available.

Long ago I had read about how an N95 mask can protect the wearer from viruses .

I also learnt the difference between a Respirator and a Surgical Mask.

A Respirator protects the wearer from the environment. Learnt that the N95 Mask is a Respirator.

A Surgical Mask protects the Environment from the wearer of the Mask, so that the wearer of the mask doesn’t transfer any unwanted viruses/bacteria to others.

Bought one N95 Mask that appeared simple , lightweight and comfortable to wear and not too expensive , on Amazon. There are several varieties that one can easily buy online.

Unfortunately I was unable to wear this beyond 5 minutes. Felt suffocated and it was too tight on my face.

simple respirator

The above image is a simple N95 Respirator that I tried.

With the bad experience of wearing an N95 mask , I wanted to try the surgical Mask . If a Surgical Mask can stop letting viruses go out while we breathe/talk then obviously it can stop viruses from getting in too 🙂 . With this conclusion I bought a few normal surgical masks. These are very light and so comfortable to wear. Hardly any suffocation. I liked wearing these even if it meant that I appeared like hospital staff who forgot to remove the mask after leaving the Hospital 🙂

mask.jpg

I now keep a bunch of these in the car seat back pocket.

I began using these when visiting public places like Supermarkets, farmers markets, Malls and Movie theatres . Initially I did feel a little awkward and tried covering my Masked face with my Dupatta/chunni.

A Dupatta/Chunni is like a long scarf worn over the shoulders.

Very soon I felt the Dupatta was restricting my head/facial movements. Stopped using the Dupatta and felt relieved and free. It is not my problem if people are uncomfortable looking at my masked face 🙂 🙂

There are times when I travel through dusty roads and in spite of sitting in a car I felt I should be using a Mask . All the vehicular pollution was making me depressed. I was sure that some of the polluted air was entering the car too. I didn’t want to take any risk of being exposed to any kind of dust.

Very soon I was wearing the Mask everyday on my way to work and back home even while seated in the car :).

I soon started noticing the benefits of wearing a Mask. I haven’t experienced a Sore Throat and Bronchitis issues ever since. It’s been 8 months since I started using a Mask.

I always carry a few Masks in my handbag too. These are disposable Masks which I discard every 2-3 days. Initially I was buying Masks in 10s from the local Pharmacy. Very soon I bought a big box of Disposable ones online and now I don’t have to worry about running out of them. They are very affordable and effective.

I wish more and more people begin using these Masks thereby protecting themselves and also  not transmitting viruses to the environment and those around us.

A lot of men and women in all the cities in India are using Handkerchiefs , Dupattas/ Chunnis to protect themselves from pollution. I sincerely wish that those to see me will be inspired to use these disposable masks  🙂


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Herbal tea for prevention of Cold , Cough , Asthma

Here is the recipe for preparing Herbal Tea for preventing Cold , Cough and Asthma. The Tea can be taken every day.

Check out my previous post on how one can prevent/manage Cold , Cough and Asthma without having to take Antibiotics.

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

Recipe for Herbal Tea

Ingredients:

  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp , Raw turmeric root can also be used (1/2 inch piece)
  • Cinnamon – one inch piece or 1/4tsp cinnamon powder
  • Cloves – 4
  • Peppercorns – 10 or use 2-3 pinches of pepper powder
  • Coriander seeds – 1/2tsp or Corainder powder 1/4tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp (optional)
  • Basil leaves (Tulsi)- 10 leaves
  • Ginger – one inch piece
  • Salt – one pinch
  • One glass of water

Not to worry if one or two of the above ingredients are not available at any point of time. Go ahead with whatever you have on hand.

Procedure:

Crush the ginger and raw Turmeric .

Add all the ingredients to the water and boil for 5-10 mins.

 

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Drink this tea on an empty stomach.

During Summer , reduce the quantity of Pepper and Ginger as these increase the body heat.


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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 .

https://www.practo.com/healthfeed/ayurveda-treatment-for-allergies-asthma-29041/post

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ayur

 

 

 


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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 Antibiotics and Steroids, for the first time in my life.

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 🙂 .


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Raw Turmeric Vs Turmeric powder

I am in love with Turmeric, the Golden spice. A lot of research has been done on the health benefits of Turmeric and a lot of people the world over are experiencing positive results.

My being alive on this planet is primarily due to Turmeric.

Turmeric is widely being used to treat several illnesses from minor to major chronic illnesses of the body and the mind. There is a lot of information on the Internet.

Everyone is aware that prevention is better than cure but how many actually take the effort to be healthy.  We don’t even know what to do to prevent illnesses. With the kind of diet and pollution levels ,most people should be worried about ending up with some kind of illness, but are clueless as to how to prevent.

By consuming Turmeric we can greatly reduce and even delay the probability of occurrence of illnesses.

Almost all Indians consume Turmeric via their food . Turmeric powder is one of the key ingredients in most Indian recipes. However , the quantity and quality of the Turmeric powder that is used should be increased so as to get the maximum benefit.

Turmeric can be used in the form of a powder or as raw turmeric. It is preferable to use Raw Turmeric .

The store bought powders may be adulterated. It is best to prepare the powder at home using dried Turmeric root. First crush the root into smaller pieces and then grind it in your mixer grinder.

It is best if you can get hold of raw Turmeric root. You can also grow it in your garden.

Here is a link that tells you why –

https://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-queries/7-reasons-why-raw-turmeric-maybe-better-than-powder#rawturmeric

This website has a lot of information on the health benefits of Turmeric.

Hope you too will benefit from this Golden spice.