Ayurveda Q & A PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Dr. Parla Jayagopal   

Dr. Parla Jayagopal
Dr. Parla Jayagopal
Ayurveda has been practiced in the U.S. for only about 30 years, yet it is a 5,000–year–old Indian system of medicine and yoga’s sister science. Readers are invited to submit questions for “Ayurveda Q & A” to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Q: Are there any Ayurvedic remedies for piles/hemorrhoids?

A: From an Ayurvedic perspective arsha roga (piles/hemorrhoids) is a discrepancy resulting from inappropriate metabolization and elimination of food. In the text, the Sushrutha Samhita, Sushrutha (the Indian father of surgery) gives an elaborate explanation of the causative factors, types and management of hemorrhoids and insists that as long as the metabolic impairment persists the hemorrhoids will reoccur.


  • Do not suppress the urge to defecate. Do not strain when there is no urge.
  • Avoid food and drinks that are too dry, such as tortilla chips, crackers or other dry hard food; too hot like chilies, paprika, or cayenne pepper; or too acidic like vinegars, pickles or soda.
  • Dietary habits need to be regular, which means eating breakfast, lunch and dinner at approximately the same time each day.
  • Avoid cold cereals in the morning and cold food and drinks during the day.
  • Avoid heavy food at night.
  • Avoid going to bed late.


  • Eating ginger is an excellent remedy for correcting the agni (digestive fire). Grate a one-inch piece of fresh ginger, add one tablespoon of lemon and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Himalayan salt is recommended but other quality salts such as sea salt are also beneficial. Eat one teaspoon of this ginger concoction just before lunch and dinner.
  • Herbs such as: chitraka (Plumbago zeylanica), musta (Cyperus rotundus), vidanga (Embelia ribes) and triphala can be taken under the supervision of an Ayurvedic practitioner.
  • Spices such as those in the following drink recipe help normalize the diges- tive metabolism and eliminate gases:
  • Drink two cups warm water with 1/2 teaspoon of ghee on empty stomach in the morning to soften the bowels.
  • Chewing a teaspoon of fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) seeds after every meal is beneficial

Q: My jaw tightens when I’m stressed, which I always wrote off as a normal reaction, but it has led to teeth grinding in my sleep, and I often wake up with a headache. Also, I never used to suffer from headaches before, but I find I am suffering from them more often. Normally they come before my period, but sometimes they do not seem related to my menstrual cycle. Also, by way of a disclaimer,
I like to chew crunchy things like crackers and celery, I’m not sure if there’s something to that. Is there anything you can suggest to relieve this pressure?

A: The disparity you are going through shows your vata (air element) attacking the kapha (earth element) in the mamsa (muscle tissue). If neglected, vata spreads all over the body and causes whole body symptoms. Relieving stress is the best way to normalize vata.

  • One of the panchakarmas (cleansing techniques) that you could benefit from is nasya (nose drops) as nasya works locally. You can obtain custom-made nasya formulations. (See sources in the sidebar.)
  • Head and face massage with sesame, bala (Sida cordifolia) ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) or herbalized ksheerabala (traditional herbal Ayurvedic massage formulation that is a nervine tonic) oil can relieve vata.
  • Shirodhara (gently flowing liquids over the third eye) is another valuable therapy to relieve the stress.
  • Lion’s breath and bhramari pranayama (bee humming breath), done five minutes each day in the morning and evening
    helps to ease stress held in the jaw and face.

Before using any of the above Ayurvedic remedies, consult with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare provider. The information given here represents the opinions and recommendations of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of LA YOGA Ayurveda and Health magazine.

Dr. Parla Jayagopal has an M.D. degree in Ayurveda from India and works as an Associate Professor at American University of Complementary Medicine; he teaches clinical doctorate courses and schedules consultations at the university clinic in Beverly Hills. (310)550–7445; aucm.org; or ayurveda-caam.org for more information.

Nasya Oil

Nasya are oil-based herbalized nose drops.Some sources for general formulations of nasya oil include:

  • Banyan Botanicals sells organic nasya oil with brahmi, skullcap, calamus and eucalyptus. Banyanbotanicals.com
  • The Ayurvedic Institute sells Sidha Soma or Super Nasya Oils, Ayurveda.com
  • Herbs of Ayurveda makes custom vata/kapha and pitta-reducing nasya formulas and brahmi ghee. Contact Rich Fisher at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (530)273-1103.
  • The Healing Gardens of Ayurveda offers specialty nasya oil treatments by appointment. Thehealingardens.com; (949)515- 4855.
  • Amrita Veda sells nasya nasal clearing formulations. Amritaveda.com


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