Ayurveda recommends the daily regimens to keep the human healthy and fit. Daily regimens explain about various duties from one day to the other. This is again divided into two namely day and Night regimen.
Wake up – Early morning
Ayurveda has recommended special auspicious time for getting up from the bed. A healthy person should arise one and half hours before sunrise.
The period is called Bramha Muhurtha because this is the best time for meditation, which means of acquiring the supreme knowledge and happiness. In early morning, the mind is fresh and the surroundings are calm and quiet. Hence, it is easy for any one to concentrate on meditation. Early morning is the period of Vata, which helps for the easy evacuation of the bowel. It is good to respond the natural calls, before meditation. Ayurveda says over sleep is one of the main causes for disease, hence limited sleep is good for health.
However, Ayurveda gives exception for children, old people, patients and night workers from getting up in the early mornings. One also has to see the status of the digestion of the food, before getting up from the bed. Adequate sleep is required for the proper digestion of the food.
Evacuation of the bowel
Getting a natural call, after getting up from the bed is one of the signs of good health. However, todays lifestyle people do not get the proper bowel movements. To avoid this one should drink 1-2 glasses of water kept over night in a copper vessel. After some time the copper gives strength to the large intestine which helps the natural bowel movements. Ayurveda has recommended this method for long standing constipation. Ayurveda has recommended not using the force or strain for defecation.
After defecation, the anal region should be washed properly with luke warm water and the cleansing should be done softly. Ayurveda recommends not to use paper or cloth since the cleaning will not be proper.
Hands, feet, mouth should be washed thoroughly with soap and water after defecation, after removing the waste from eyes, nose, ear, after cutting nails, before & after taking food, after getting up from the bed, before doing worship and after coming home from the outside.
After defecation, regular brushing is important in the morning for good dental hygiene. Ayurveda texts advise to use astringent, bitter and pungent tastes for teeth cleaning.
Tooth Brush: Ayurveda recommends the shape and size of the toothbrush. The toothbrush should be of 12 finger units. This can be prepared from Neem, and Calotrophis gigantica trees. To make it soft should chew one end of the twig and then that should be used to brush the teeth. Powders like Trikatu or Thriphala should be rubbed on the teeth and gums.
Benefits of tooth brushing: This process cleans teeth, tongue and oral cavity, removes bad odour, and improves the taste sensation.
Contra indications for brushing the teeth: Plants with sweet, sour and salty tastes should be avoided. Herbal sticks should not be old, porous, slimy or foul smelling.
Time for tooth brushing: Ayurveda has recommended the tooth brushing after every meal and after getting up from the bed.
Care of the Tongue
Ayurveda has recommended the tongue cleaning should be done with a metal or wood. Steel or copper is used for this purpose. Tongue cleaning should be done every day. Ayurveda says that by cleaning the tongue the entire digestive system is cleaned which stimulates the digestion.
Ayurveda says that failing to clean the tongue is equal to not washing the face.
Care of the mouth
Ayurveda explains that the cleaning of the mouth is important after eating any food or meals. Ayurveda divides the cleaning process into two called Gandusha and Kavala.
Gandusha: Filling the mouth with medicated oil or prescribed fluid with out moving. One should hold it until the nose and eyes get watering. This is not advised for children below 5 years. One can use oil, milk, hot water for gargling.
Kavala: Filling the mouth with semi solid paste that exerts a soothing and cleansing action on the mouth.
Application of Collyrium
Ayurveda recommends the application Collyrium as a general day practice. It removes the dirt and dusts, relieves the excessive watering and burning sensation of the eye, increases the brightness and increases the ability to withstand the bright light.
Contra indications: After taking food, after washing food, when afflicted with anger, fear and sorrow, during fever, indigestion, headache etc., when exposed to hot sun or fire, after purificatory therapies, when consumed alcohol, in eye strain, when have no proper sleep, cloudy or rainy weather and after strenuous journey or over exertion.
Care of eyes: Ayurveda recommends the following is contra indicated for the eye care.
Cold shower, immediately after exposed hot sun
Steaming or sudation to eyes
Exposure to eyes to dust, fumes or smoke
Obstruct the bout of vomiting
Excessive intake of liquids
Suppression of natural urges like defecation and urination.
Psychological factors like anxiety, hot temper
Excessive sexual intercourse
Continuous observation of minute objects
Eye exercises: Ayurveda recommends the following eye exercise to increase the stress tolerance of the eye. They are as follows
Eye wash: Take water in eye bowl, in which flickering of eye lashes should be done
Put palm on the eyes, and make fast blinking movements of eyes for 5 minutes.
Look at the moon for 2 minutes at night.
Make circular movements of the eye, with out moving the neck
Close the eye with palms and sit quietly for 5-10 minutes
Practice yogic procedures.
Use of nasal drops
Nose is termed as the gateway of head as it is connected to the ears by estuation tubes, with the eyes through nasolacrymal ducts and with the throat by the nasopharynx. It is connected to the brain by olfactory nerves through the cribriform plate, situated at the roof of the nose.
As all the sensory centers are situated in the brain and nasal passage is the easiest way to reach to them by medicinal treatments, hence Ayurveda has given importance to nasal drops.
Benefits of Nasal drops:
It strengthens the olfactory nerve and exerts a smoothening effect on nerves.
It gives a pleasant smell to the breath
The voice become clear and undisturbed
It strengthens the blood vessels, muscles, joints of the neck
Helps to prevent the diseases such as stiffness of the neck, tremors of the head and Bells palsy.
It prevents premature graying of the hairs and baldness.
It prevents the diseases of the central nervous system.
Time for nasal drops: Ayurveda explains the nasal drops should be practiced only depends on the season.
Autumn and Spring
Pitta diseases and winter
Vata diseases, summer and very hot days
Only when the sky is clear
Dosage: 2-8 drops for a healthy person.
Ayurveda defines the medicinal smoking as inhalation of smoke of medicinal herbs through nose or mouth. Usually smoking cigarette made of medicinal herbs (without tobacco) is useful in vitiated Kapha and head diseases.
Method of smoking
Person should sit straight, keep his mouth open and start drawing in the smoke through nostril alternately, three times for each nostril. For the diseases of throat, pharynx, larynx and lower respiratory tract, the smoke should be drawn through mouth. Exhalation of the smoke should be through mouth only.
Time for smoking: Ayurveda recommends smoke after food, after bath, after brushing teeth, after applying Collyrium and just after getting up from the bed in the morning.
Children below 18 years of age
Persons with head injuries, eye diseases, anaemia & bleeding diseases
After purgation and enema
Fainting, excessive thirst and dryness of throat
Persons with wounds
When no proper sleep at the night
After over exertion
Angry or sorrow person
When consumed fish, alcohol and poisonous foods.
Benefits of medicated smoking: This can help in conditions like asthma, cough, running nose, ENT problems. It will increase the voice and tone. The tooth become strong and relieves the bad breath.
Signs of adequate smoking: Feeling cleanliness in the nose, ears, throat, air passages and heart.
Signs of excessive smoking: Hyper stimulation of the sensory organs, dry throat, excessive thirst, drowsiness, giddiness, abdominal distension, hoarseness of voice, hyperacidity, deafness and bleeding diseases.
Chewing betel leaves
Betal leave is prepared by spreading slightly scented, pungent and astringent substances. These leaves are neatly folded and chewed slowly. This exerts the cleansing effect. It removes the bad breath from the mouth, increases the voice. The common substances used in the combination are nut, clove, nutmeg, lime and betel leaves.
Time for taking betel leaves: This is advised in the morning, after bath, after lunch and dinner, before and after sexual intercourse, followed by vomiting.
Oil bath or massage
Rubbing the body is called as massage. Ayurveda recommends the massage should only be done with warm oil. It relieves the fatigue, increases the muscular tone and flexibility of joints, relieves the vitiated Vata, improves the blood circulation in the body, stimulates the nerves system, prevents old age and increases the longevity.
Ayurveda recommends the exercise depend on individual strength. It helps to with stand exertion, fatigue, heat and cold. The gastric fire is improved and the unwanted wastes expelled properly.
Ayurveda cautions while doing the exercise due consideration should be given for age, strength, season, physical conditions, time etc., If the exercise is over done it results exertion, produces many diseases or it may lead to death.
Ayurveda advises warm water for bathing the body and cold water for washing the head.
Ayurveda says that by using the hot water it relieves the fatigue, increases the strength, cleanliness of the body, improves the appetite and relieves the stress.
Ayurveda explains the second important pillar of life is sleep. It is a physiological state of rest to the body, mind, sense and motor organs. Ayurveda says the human spend 1/3 of their life in sleep.
Types of sleep:
Excessive sleep: When lethargy dominates, one easily falls asleep any time in a state of absence of knowledge.
Sleep due to Vitiated Kapha: Increased Kapha in the body results in obstruction of sensory pathway and leads to sleepiness.
Sleep happens because of exertion of body, mind and sense organs
Sleep due to diseased state
An expected or unnatural sleep: bad prognosis
Period of sleep
Ayurveda recommends sleep hours depending upon the age as follows
Hours of sleep
Birth to 1 month
1 -6 months
15 – 18
6 months – 1 year
14 – 16
1 – 2 years
2 – 5 years
10 – 12
5 – 16 years
9 – 10
5 – 6
Indications for keeping awake in the night
Person suffering from Kapha vitiation
Person who is poisoned
Person who takes fatty foods and drinks
Day sleep: Ayurveda says the day sleep is bad for healthy person, how ever it is advised in summer even for healthy persons. If a healthy person develops the habit of sleeping in the day it may leads to headache, hemicrania, diseases of sense organs, heaviness and swelling of the body, body ache, indigestion, cough with sputum, diabetes, itching and drowsiness.
Indications for Day sleep:
Person who awake in the night
Excessive sexual intercourse
Excessive thirst with pain in abdomen
Indigestion caused by less sleep and vitiation of Pitta
Diarrhoea, hiccough, wounded persons, psychological diseases, weak persons, aged persons, ladies and children
Speakers, professors and manual labors.
Inadequate sleep or no sleep is described as Insomnia in Ayurveda. The causes are as follows
Dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhoea
Painful and traumatic diseases
Sudden change in the health
Administration of purificatory therapies like bloodletting etc.
Hard bed or an comfortable bed
Emergency or exciting duties
Smoking in excess
Excessive exercise and muscular cramps
Anger, fear and sorrow
Effects of insomnia: Ayurveda says that insomnia can lead to headache, heaviness in the eyes and body, yawning, drowsiness, bodyache, exhaustion, indigestion, giddiness and Vata diseases.
Ayurveda recommends oil massage with Sandal oil is the best treatment for Insomnia, sweet and fatty foods with milk, meat especially chicken, lobsters and crabs, buffalo milk, curd rice, grapes, sugar cane juice, good environment, presence of good fragrance, alcohol and sexual intercourse.
Ayurveda says the excess sleep can leads to obesity, skin diseases and diabetes.
Treatment for excessive sleep: Ayurveda recommends the following as treatment for excessive sleep.
Induction of emesis
Induction of a conformability like sweating etc.
Strong nasal drops and emetics
Application of strong Collyrium
Ayurveda recommends that dinner should be taken within three hours before sunset. The curds and heavy items should be avoided at Dinner.