Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Ayurvedic practitioners manage CFS by improving digestion and eliminating toxins and allergies. Diet modification and cleansing programs are used to get rid of toxins. They also improve sleep patterns by their action on the psychosomatic elements. Sleeping is very important in health. Some of the herbs used ashwaganda, amla, bala, triphala, and lomatium. The proportion and combination of the herbs used is custom designed for each patient based on his or her mind-body constitution.
Before coming up with a remedy, it is important to decide the cause of the fatigue. Ayurveda suggests that fatigue can come form both physical and mental stress. Fatigue does not necessarily has to come from overwork. People can feel tired when they are not working hard. In this case fatigue has its genesis from boredom or lack of motivation.
If the fatigue is due to boredom and lack of physical effort, an ayurveda practitioner may recommend walk or some physical work in order to get rid of fatigue and to increase their energy level. So the first thing to determine is whether the tiredness is due to too much physical work or too much idleness!
Ayurveda suggests that fatigue may be due to low gastric fire, weakness of the liver, low adrenal energy, or anemia. It may be caused by immune deficiency that results in virus infection such as Epstein-Barr virus. The immune deficiency and the virus arises due to high stagnant pitta in the liver.
So, it is critical to determine what is the cause of the fatigue before prescribing remedies for it. We will examine some of the common remedies prescribed for CFS.
For Fatigue After Exercise Or Hard Physical Work.
Dr. Vasant Lad, author of "The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies," recommend drinking a cup of fresh orange juice with a pinch of rock salt. Add 10 drops of fresh lime juice to help pacify pitta.
Alternatively, drink 1 cup of ginseng or ashwagandha tea once or twice a day.
If the fatigue is due to anemia, treat the anemia with blood builders such as pomegranate juice, grapes and/or grape juice, beets or beet and carrot juice, or the herbs abrak bhasma and loha bhasma
For Epstein-Barr Virus and Immune Deficiency
Ayurveda suggests that depleted immune system is one of the causes of fibromyalgia. From the mind-body constitution, this is viewed as a Pitta excess, often caused by burn-out and overwork. Swami Sada Shiva Tirtha (The Ayurvedic Encyclopedia, Ayurveda Holistic Center Press, NY) recommends a two-fold therapeutic approach to treat CFS:
I) Immune-boosting herbs that do not aggravate Pitta (e.g., shatavari, shilajit).
2) Pitta-reducing herbs to reduce infection and virus, and cleanse the blood, liver, gall bladder, spleen, and lymphoid system (e.g., manjishtha, turmeric, bhumldmalaki, kajuka, yellow dock, and bhringaraj).
A Pitta-reducing diet and lifestyle are also essential for healing and rejuvenation.
Dr. Lad recommends the following herbal formula:
Take 1/2 teaspoon of this mixture 2 or 3 times a day with 1 teaspoon of shatavari ghee. This will strengthen the liver and help to remedy chronic fatigue syndrome.
To Strengthen Gastric Fire
Ayurveda pays special importance to the metabolism and indigestion. For your digestion to work properly, you should have adequate agni or gastric fire. When your agni (gastric fire) is low and your digestion slow, nourishment from the food you eat will be poorly absorbed and assimilated. If the nourishment you derive from eating is insufficient, naturally your energy will be low.
To maintain gastric fire, avoid cold and iced drinks, especially during or after meals. Instead of drinking ice cold water, drink warm water (preferably herbal tea.) during the meal.
Ginger is an excellent herb to kindle your agni. Before each meal, chop or grate a little fresh ginger, add a few drops of lime juice and a pinch of salt, and chew it up. You can also cut a thin slice of fresh ginger, put on a pinch of salt, and chew it.
Yoga Postures And Pranayama
Unless fatigue is due to idleness, Ayurveda does not recommend much exercise for cases of fatigue. The reason is that exercise will burn ojas and may increase rather than decrease the feelings of fatigue. Gentle stretching exercises of yoga are preferred to strenuous exercises. Breathing is also very important. Alternate Nostril Breathing and some gentle yoga stretching can be beneficial to kindle the gastric fire.
To Build Strength And Energy
Chronic fatigue syndrome is accompanied by lack of strength and energy. A few common sense techniques can be used to improve your strength and energy.
Drink one cup of fresh mango juice, followed an hour or so later by 1/2 cup of warm milk with a pinch of cardamom, a pinch of nutmeg, and
one teaspoon of ghee.
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