Sep 112019

By Justine Myers, Lic. Ac.

Substance Use Disorder (SUD), more commonly referred to as addiction, is a major problem here in Massachusetts.  According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 10% of Massachusetts residents over age 12 suffer from substance use disorder (SUD).  Common treatments for SUD includes detoxification, behavioral therapy and medications, followed by recovery support services to prevent relapse. 

Massachusetts needs to do as much as possible to help treat and save individuals suffering with substance use disorders.  One effective, simple and inexpensive adjunctive therapy that is not yet being widely utilized within our state is the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association’s (NADA) 5 needle point ear acupuncture protocol (5NP). Proven effects of the NADA 5NP include relaxation, decreased withdrawal symptoms, decreased symptoms of emotional distress (i.e. stress, anxiety, depression, and aggression), reduced cravings, relief of insomnia, mindfulness and prevention of relapse.  The NADA 5NP can be used alongside all the other traditional treatments to enhance the success rates of treatment and long-term recovery.

The NADA 5NP involves the insertion of 5 acupuncture needles at specific acupuncture points of the earlobes (10 needles per person).  Supplies for this procedure cost less than 30 cents per person. If professionals who are already working in addiction programs are allowed to practice the NADA 5NP as part of their job, then the costs to add this procedure to existing care are very minimal.  Thousands of addiction programs, drug courts, prisons, healthcare and trauma units throughout the United States have been using ear acupuncture for many years. This protocol has been used in cooperation with the American Red Cross for trauma relief after 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters.

Why doesn’t Massachusetts already widely utilize the NADA 5NP? The widespread use of the NADA 5NP in Massachusetts will require the passage of an acupuncture detox specialist (ADS) law. Currently, only licensed acupuncturists are able to utilize this protocol, and there aren’t enough licensed acupuncturists available to provide ear acupuncture in every public health facility where access to this treatment is needed. In addition, it is not logistically possible for most licensed acupuncturists to leave their own acupuncture clinics in order to work at another facility for only a few hours a week.

27 states in our country have auricular acupuncture laws already.  Maine just passed an ADS law in June of 2019, leaving Massachusetts behind as the only New England state without an ADS law. Because an ADS law has such great potential to benefit the people of Massachusetts, I and many other licensed acupuncturists are supporting Massachusetts house bill H1880 and senate bill S1336, each titled “An Act Relative to Acupuncture Detoxification Specialists.” Representative Carole Fiola and Senator Michael Rodrigues are each sponsoring these bills that are assigned to the Joint Committee for Public Health. 

These bills would allow for specific licensed healthcare professionals (i.e. nurses, drug counselors, social workers, psychologists, and certain physicians) who aren’t licensed acupuncturists to practice the NADA 5NP following specific training requirements.  Once trained, these professionals would be allowed to perform the protocol within their current scope of practice, bringing the NADA 5NP to more people in the commonwealth. 

Passing the ADS law would be an effective, efficient, inexpensive and safe way to provide one more tool in the toolbox for those in SUD treatment and recovery.  If you’re personally affected by SUD or have experienced the benefits of acupuncture yourself, please help turn these bills into a law.  Contact your state senator and representative, and ask them to support bills S1336 and H1880, “An Act Relative to Acupuncture Detoxification Specialists.”  Together we can work to make SUD treatment and recovery a success for more people in Massachusetts.

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Apr 122019
Gokshura benefits

‘Nerinjil’, also known as ‘Gokshura’ or ‘Devil’s weed’ is a plant that is covered with thorns, comprising small leaves flowers that are yellow in colour. It is the thorns of the herb that are used for medicinal purposes in Ayurveda. The thorn is actually its fruit. Gokshura is commonly found in India and China and is largely used to treat infertility disorders and urinary problems. However, this herb has a host of other health benefits too. Read on to know more about the medicinal values of Gokshura.

Treats female infertility

Polycystic Ovarian Disease/Sydrome (PCOS) is the main cause of female infertility. PCOS may also bring about other health issues such as glucose intolerance and water retention. Glucose intolerance leads to diabetes. Gokshura has the ability to reduce water retention in the body, and the size of cyst can be reduced too. The herb rejuvenates the uterus, is also used as a treatment for low libido, and it helps strengthen reproductive tissues. The herb eases menopausal symptoms too.

Helps boost testosterone in men

Gokshura helps increase testosterone hormone levels, improves libido, helps improve erectile dysfunction and low sperm count. Overall, it helps with a healthy reproductive system in men. The herb is also useful in treatment of prostate-related issues by preventing prostate enlargement, due to the presence of stigma, sterols and beta-sitosterol.

Treats urinary stones / kidney stones

According to reports by Ayurveda researchers, Gokshura seed infusion is useful in treatment or elimination of urinary or kidney stones. For this, the decoction of the fruits and roots of the herb are used thrice a day for a week as medication. The roots of the herb are sweet, cooling, diuretic, lithontriptic and are useful in renal and vesicle calculi, dysuria, and in vitiated conditions of vata and pitta. All parts of the plant are beneficial in treatment of urinary retention, kidney stone, and fever.

Has Diuretic properties

Gokshura is effective in curing urinary diseases, and on regular consumption, the herb easily helps a person find relief from bladder problems and other diuretic ailments. Due to its diuretic activity Gokshura is used through a lot of formulations. It has a cleansing effect on urinary bladder. It is due to the lithotryptic property of the herb that it helps regulate the functioning of urinary system.

Used as aphrodisiac

Since ancient times, Gokshura has been used as an aphrodisiac in different cultures. The herb boosts ovulation in women and sperm production in men. Both men and women dealing with issues such as infertility and wishing to start a family can consume Gokshura. It also improves sperm quality and quantity in men.

Beneficial in treating skin ailments

Gokshura is largely used in Ayurvedic medicine as an internal skin cleanser. Teenagers and adults suffering from acne and break-outs can use this as treatment and to prevent recurrence. With constant use, the healing properties of Gokshura can help lend a clear skin, apart from helping with treatment of wounds, skin inflammations, skin eruptions, itchiness and hives.

Is a good anti-aging agent

With regular use, Gokshura can make your skin appear younger, slowing down the aging effects. This is due to its effectiveness in fighting fine lines, wrinkles and cell degeneration. It also improves the muscle power when consumed regularly.

Prevents cardiac ailments

Gokshura is popular for the major role that it plays in improving cardiac functioning. It is ideal for curing heart ailments like angina, while also reducing the susceptibility of heart attacks. It lowers high cholesterol in the body, and has been proven to reduce blood sugar, hypertension and blood pressure levels.

Helps build body muscle

Gokshura can be of help to men who wish to build their muscles. Rather than opt for supplements and steroid injections, this little herb is a natural way to achieve strong muscles, as Gokshura helps with body building, while the minerals present in this herb helps improve body composition and muscle strength.

Helps improve mental health

The presence of MOA inhibitors makes Gokshura effective in regulating the hormone serotonin, which influences emotional and mental well-being. When consumed on regular basis, it is effective in treating psychological imbalances, relieves tension and stress, calms headaches, and helps manage psychological imbalances.

Other uses of Gokshura:
The herb is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal, and hence is useful as a general tonic and revitalizer for kidneys, liver and urinary tract. The herb is also beneficial in treating a variety of other issues such as hair fall, rheumatism, weak nervous system, obesity, piles, bed wetting, abnormal menstruation, headache / stress, and eye problems.

How to use Gokshura?
Here are some simple ways to use the powdered form of the herb:

  • Powder the fruit, and boil 30g of it in 300 ml water, and reduce it to 150ml. This can be consumed twice a day for relief from kidney stones.
  • Boil a cup of water by adding a large spoonful of barley powder and one spoon of Gokshura powder.
  • The leaves of Gokshura can be added to water, boil it well, and drink it through the day during summer months, to prevent recurrent urinary tract infections.
  • Drinking water boiled with Punarnava root and Gokshura (in powdered form), can have diuretic, laxative and expectorant properties.
  • Apart from adding to water, Gokshura powder can be mixed with a teaspoon of honey and consumed at bed time.


Although Gokshura is an otherwise safe herb, it should be used only under supervision of a medical professional. People with high blood pressure and diabetes should use it cautiously under supervision of an Ayurvedic physician. Breast feeding women, pregnant women, and children should avoid use of this herb.

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Mar 252019
constipation remedies

With modern lifestyle and living conditions, constipation has emerged a major disease in every household, affecting children and adults alike.  Constipation is generally considered to be a condition wherein there is difficulty in emptying the bowels, usually associated with hardening o faeces, involving high level of constraint.

But, did you know that constipation is not just associated with bloating and the inability to pass stools? It has several other associated symptoms too, such as headaches, bad breath, acne, loss of appetite, irritability haemorrhoids, acidity, ulcers in the mouth, disturbed sleep, mood swings, dullness and lack of enthusiasm. Though all of these symptoms may not appear together, constipation is associated with most of these symptoms.

Causes of constipation

Ayurveda believes that constipation is the result of indigestion, which leads to accumulation of faeces in the intestine. Vata (air element) is produced, its dry and cold quality interferes with the functioning of colon, and manifests in the form of heaviness, stomach pain and increased thirst.

As for cause, most of the causes are lifestyle-related. Once you make specific lifestyle tweaks, you can regain a clean colon. Some other causes could be pregnancy, age, and travel.

Insufficient water intake is the primary cause. The food in your intestinal tract needs water to move and reach its final destination. Therefore, with less consumption of water, you are likely to feel constipated. Drinking sufficient amount of water is the best natural remedy for constipation.

Having processed food, meat, alcohol, and excessive dairy intake, involving a diet with nil fibre content, is the most common cause of constipation. Drinking excess tea and coffee can aggravate the problem and cause chronic constipation.

Finally, the sedentary lifestyles that we lead today are a major cause for constipation. So, ensure that you including walks and any form of exercise in your routine.

Few Ayurvedic Remedies for relief:

Listed below are some Ayurvedic remedies that can help you find relief from constipation. Most of these are practical tips and remedies that can aid you in your journey of finding relief from constipation.

A teaspoon of ghee at bedtime can help

Ghee is an excellent lubricator. Ayurveda uses ghee in most of its medications. Ghee helps by lubricating your intestinal tract and helping with smooth passage of faeces. Although oil also works on the same principles as ghee, the latter is the healthier option. A teaspoon of coconut or olive oil may also do the trick. You can also add ghee to warm milk and consume at bedtime.

Pay attention to diet

The nutrients in leafy veggies help in muscle contraction, while the fibrous fruits increase the bulk of the faeces. One best way out is to follow a vata-pacifying diet, by keeping away from cold foods and drinks, dried fruits, salads and most beans. Instead, go for warm foods and drinks and well-cooked veggies.

Triphala is the best Ayurvedic remedy

Triphala is one of the most trusted and effective remedies for curing constipation. Have it in the form of tea. Else, grind together quarter teaspoon each of triphala, cardamom seeds and coriander seeds and have twice a day. The glycoside present in Triphala has laxative properties, while coriander and cardamom seeds help treats flatulence and indigestion.

Liquorice root promotes bowel activity

On consultation with your Ayurvedic physician, you can take a teaspoon of powdered liquorice root, and mix it up with warm water, adding a teaspoon of jaggery to it. This helps in improving bowel activity.

Figs soaked in warm water may be beneficial for kids

The high fibre content presence in figs makes it the ideal remedy for constipation, particularly in kids. Figs also helps keep your digestion strong. They could be included as part of daily diet.

Replace regular tea with ginger / mint / dandelion tea

Ginger, being a warming herb can help generate more internal heat, thereby activating the process of digestion. The menthol present in peppermint has an antispasmodic effect that helps relax the muscles in digestive tract, making it easier for the stool to pass through. Dandelion tea has a mild laxative effect too.

Castor oil is a natural laxative

Since ancient days, people have believed in the power of castor oil, which is a popular natural laxative. This oil stimulates small and large intestine. On consuming 1 to 2 teaspoons of the oil on an empty stomach, one can pass stool within 8 hours.

Water for hydration and moderate exercise is a ‘must’

Drinking sufficient quantity of water is a remedy by itself, as water hydrates the body and helps the food move along digestive system. It helps soften the stools too. Ideally you should drink a minimum 8 glasses of water a day. However, do not replace it with any other artificial or sweetened beverage. There is really no substitute to clean and pure water. Also, ensure that you exercise at least half an hour a day to stimulate bowel activity.

Try inverted yoga postures

As mentioned earlier, Ayurveda believes that excess vata disrupts the downward energy that supports elimination and stability. So what is the solution, you ask? Go upside down with inverted postures! Postures such as ‘viparita karani’ (legs up the wall pose) can help reverse the flow of ‘prana’ in the body, and aids better integration. They stimulate the lower belly and helps settle the pelvic organs that may have been disrupting the whole process.

If these simple measures do not work for you, discuss with your Ayurvedic physician if you need to take any internal medications, and the appropriate dosage and course of treatment to help you find relief from constipation.

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Dec 032018
yoga for cancer treatment

The preliminary results of a recent study, the largest ever multi-centre randomised trial on ‘cardiac rehabilitation and health benefits of yoga’, have revealed that yoga is safe, and offers ‘similar’ benefits as cardiac care that is typically prescribed after surgery.

The study was done in 24 centres across India, and about 4000 patients who were discharged following a heart attack, were monitored. The patients were randomized to undergo a structured ‘Yoga Care’ programme that included meditation, breathing exercises and selective heart-friendly yoga poses, apart from lifestyle advice. The control group were just given conventional lifestyle advice.

Cardiac rehabilitation is usually prescribed for patients following a heart attack and cardiac surgery, to get them back to normal activities. The study lasted for five years, and ended in September 2018.

Funded by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and the Medical Research Council, UK, the results were presented at the meeting of American Heart Association in Chicago last month.

The prevalence of ischemic heart disease in India has grown by more than 50 percent, from 10 million in 1990 to 24 million in 2016. The trial is the largest so far in yoga and cardiac rehabilitation, and has shown that yoga can be an alternative to conventional cardiac rehabilitation programmes. It also meets the needs of cardiac rehabilitation for patients falling into the low income and middle income brackets.

Patients who attended at least 75% of the sessions received the benefits. The results indicate that yoga is safe, comparatively inexpensive and does not require any elaborate infrastructure. It is culturally acceptable and improves quality of life. In fact, independent doctors say that there is also scientific evidence that suggests yoga as being equivalent to conventional cardiac rehabilitation. According to experts, this trial transcends yoga from belief to science-based intervention.

Most people now go on to survive a heart attack, and hence, they can readjust better after such a catastrophic event and make maximum contributions to the society. This is particularly true in India, where heart attacks are seen occurring at a young age, says Prof. Sanjay Kinra, Head, Epidermiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

In recent times, yoga has gained good popularity nationally and internationally as a tool for health promotion, with the United Nations having declared 21st June as International Yoga Day.

Benefits of yoga postures for heart

Cardiac Rehabilitation programs usually combine strength and aerobic exercises with patient education and stress management to improve risk factors and reduce mortality. Such programs can reduce mortality rates by 20% to 25% given their widespread acceptance and adoption to several national, professional management guidelines.
Yoga, on the other hand is the art of relaxing in various postures, while focusing on breathing. This has a positive effect on respiratory system, and hence, affects the heart as well. Yoga is known to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, increase lung capacity, improve heart rate and boost blood circulation. Apart from this, yoga is most effective in dealing with stress, as dealing with stress is vital, particularly, for patients with incidence of heart ailments.

Some beneficial simple yoga postures for good heart health includes Tadasana, Vrikshasana, Hastapadasana, Trikonasana, Veerabhadrasana, Utkatasana, MArjariasana, Adho Mukho Svanasana, Bhujangasana, Dhanurasana, Setubandasana, Salamba Sarvangasana, Ardha Matsyendrasana, Paschimottasana, Shavasana and Anjali Mudra.

Fast paced lifestyles, irregular sleep schedules, and unhealthy food habits have increased the incidence of heart ailments. Therefore, customized yoga exercises for heart patients are natural and desirable. There are specific yoga asanas for heart problems. So discuss with your doctor and yoga practitioner and choose the safer alternative that does not come with any associated side effects. Practice yoga for a healthy heart and live a healthy, hearty life to the fullest.

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Nov 302017

Let me tell you the truth.

One of these Ayurvedic hair oils is certainly going to rescue your hair!

Hair loss and thinning hair, baldness, dandruff and scalp problems, split ends and premature graying of hair are common hair problems. If you suffer from any of these woes, then it is time to reconsider your regular hair oil for an ayurvedic hair oil.

Coconut oil is known to be the best for hair. And herbal infused coconut oil? Even better! If you are wondering what exactly is an Ayurvedic Hair Oil, then I am going to tell you exactly that. For that, let me address your queries one by one.

 What might be the reason for your hairfall?

  • Stress: stress relates to about 30% of the total causative factors of hairfall. This can be temporary unless you take a serious step in managing your stress levels. “When you have a really stressful event, it can shock the hair cycle, (pushing) more hair into the shedding phase,” explains Marc Glashofer, MD, a dermatologist in New York City.
  • Genetic factors: Genes play a role in the hair fall as well. This is likely to happen in the middle age or later years.Unlike men, women don’t tend to have a receding hairline, instead their part may widen and they may have noticeable thinning of hair. But this can be kept in control if one applies oil on the hair and takes care of the roots.
  • Hormonal changes : This might be a major issue especially if you are a female. Generally women with PCOS, Hypothyroidism. Hair fall is also very common during pregnancy as there is a shift in the normalcy of the hormones. Also hair fall is reported with the women using oral contraceptives and the reason is hormones again!
  • Nutritional deficiencies: Anemia and deficiency of vitamin E and B are known to cause hair fall and it is reversible.
  • Chemotherapy and other drugs: Some of the drugs used to beat back cancer unfortunately can also cause your hair to fall out. “Chemotherapy is like a nuclear bomb,” says Dr. Glashofer. “It destroys rapidly dividing cells. That means cancer cells, but also rapidly dividing cells like hair.” Certain other classes of medication may also promote hair loss. More common among them are certain blood thinners and the blood-pressure drugs known as beta-blockers. Other drugs that might cause hair loss include methotrexate (used to treat rheumatic conditions and some skin conditions), lithium (for bipolar disorder), non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including ibuprofen, and possibly antidepressants.
  • Styling products: This is an inevitable cause indeed. Hair fall and dandruff occurs to the harsh chemicals in the shampoos, hair dyes, serums, styling products and chemicals used for smoothening or rebonding the hair.

How does Ayurveda explain hair loss?

According to Ayurveda, hair loss (fall) occurs due to excess of Vata. This vata aggravation is in the site of kapha (as head is the site of kapha). The treatment principle therefore adopted is to regulate Vata and strengthen Kapha. It can also occur due to rasa vaha srotodushti which is blockages in the channels carrying the rasa/lymphatic fluid leading to undernourishment of the hair follicles. (I know that’s a bit of techy! But that’s how serious Ayurveda is about hair loss.) A hair oil is selected depending on the root cause of hair fall.


  • Loss of clumps of hair from your scalp
  • Excessive thinning of your hair/ receding hairline – you may confirm this from your past photographs.
  • Unexplained loss of hair from any part of the body
  • Incomplete hair loss on the scalp and/or eyebrows
  • Flakes or skin on the scalp
  • Dry scales or dust falling to your shoulders
  • Acne on the fore head region
  • Itchy scalp.
  • Unusual change in the colour of the hair.
  • Splits at the end of the hair giving it a rough and shabby look


Do’s and Don’ts for a healthy hair


  • Use a mild herbal based shampoo
  • Prefer a natural hair colour such as henna or Bringaraj to synthetic hair dyes.
  • Take nutritious diet and drink enough water
  • Make oiling your hair as a part of your routine
  • Keep your stress levels down
  • Identify and treat your underlying health issue.


  • Tying the hair tight for a long time. This might damage the shaft of the hair
  • Rubbing your hair when it is wet because wet hair is the most vulnerable to damage
  • Using a lot of hair styling products and creams
  • Overuse of blow dryers and straighteners
  • Alcohol, soda and smoking
  • Usage of oral contraceptives
  • Using combs or hair brushes used by another person.

Recommended diet for a healthy hair

A balanced diet with carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals and fats is essential. Some food stuffs that are beneficial include

  • Amla
  • Curry leaves
  • Eggs
  • Walnuts, Almonds and Raisins
  • Lentils
  • Spinach
  • Yogurt
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Bananas
  • Guavas
  • Green tea

Foods to avoid:

  • Sugary drinks/soda/alcohol
  • Strong tea and coffee
  • Fast food
  • Low carb/Low protein/ Low fat diet

Recommended Lifestyle changes

  • Get enough sleep of around 6-7 hours preferably during the night.
  • Regular exercise and healthy sleep habits will increase circulatory and overall health, promoting healthy hair.
  • Take measures to beat the stress.
  • Make oiling the hair a routine and wash it with a very mild herbal based shampoo.
  • Use natural dyeing products like Bringaraj, Amla, Hareetaki and henna.
  • Limit grooming. Do not over brush your hair.
  • Avoid exposure to chlorinated or excessively salty water.
  • Protect your hair from pollution and the sun when you step out.
  • Don’t smoke. According to one report, smokers were four times more likely to have grey hair than non-smokers and were more prone to hair loss.
  • Practice Bhramri pranayam, Uttanasana, Pavanamuktasana, shirasasana, Vajranasana and Ushtrasana helps in increasing the blood circulation to the scalp and helps in hair growth.
  • Love your hair. Gently massage the cuticles, hair shaft and the roots with your finger tips to improve blood circulation and to maintain a healthy hair.

What should you look for in an Ayurvedic hair oil if you have hair problems?

Bhringaraja (Eclipta alba), Amlaki (Emblica officinalis), Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellerica), Aswagandha (Withania somnifera), Yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) and daruharidra (Berberis aristata),  are the main herbs used in most of the Ayurvedic oils.

  • Bhringaraja– Also known as Kesharaja or kesharanjan due to its unique quality to strengthen the hair roots and to impart colour to the hair at the same time. Tis herb helps prevent hair fall, rejuvenates the hair and restores the natural colour of hair. It is known to prevent split ends. It also makes hair more manageable and brings damaged hair back to life.
  • Amla(Amlaki/Indian gooseberry) reduces all the aggravated doshas by balancing them. Amla is a rejuvenator to the body so it does the same to the hair as well. It strengthens the hair follicles and reduces the inflammation of scalp. The juice of amla fruit reduces the burning sensation of the scalp.
  • Yastimadhu also balances the tridoshas, (mainly Pitta).  Yashtimadhu prevents baldness, greying and reduces hair fall.
  • Daruharidra – Aqueous extract of this drug called as ‘anjana’ is known to promote hair growth and impart colour to the hair.
  • Ashwagandha(Indian ginseng) pacifies vata dosha. It is indicated in various problems like stress,insomnia,which results in hair loss.
  • Bibhitaki is a rejuvenative to aid hair growth and acts as a natural hair dye to reduce premature graying of hair.

What are some classical Ayurvedic hair oils for hair problems?

You cannot make a choice of hair oil by looking at these herbs alone. Hence I am providing you with some top rated classical hair oils and combinations for a healthy hair.

  1. Kayyunyadi Tailam & Amla powder : A very popular hair oil, Kayyunyadi tailam is made of coconut oil using herbs like bhringaraja, guduchi, amalaki, yastimadhu, daruharidra and cow milk. This is right for you if you have split ends, grey hair and hair fall. This combination balances all the three doshas  and rejuvenates the dry and unmanagable hair.
  2. NeelibhringadiTailam & Bhringaraj powder: Another favourite of women, Neelibringadi oil is contains the extract of neeli (Indigofera tinctorea), bhringaraja, amla, liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) and daruharidra. It would surprise if I am to tell you that Neelibringadi contains not only the essence of coconut milk but also of the milks of cow, goat and buffalo. You should try this if you have itchy scalp, scalp related disorders, alopecia, premature graying, hair fall, and dandruff. This oil promotes hair growth and has cooling effects, best for pitta kapha doshas.
  1. Bhringamalakadi tailam & Brahmi Tablets: This is excellent for scalp problems and insomnia. With bringaraja and amla as the main ingredients, Bringamalakadi is soothing for the head and the eyes. It is also used in the treatment of eye disorders and head aches. Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), deservedly called as the Herb of Grace, is used in traditional Indian medicines for centuries for the treatment  blood cleansing , chronic skin conditions, constipation, hair loss, fevers, digestive problems, depression, mental and physical fatigue and many more.
  2. Durvadi kera tailam: Itchy head and dandruff? Durvadi it is! Prepared in coconut oil (or sesame oil), Durvadi relieves dandruff with the potent effects of durva leaves (Cynodon dactylon).
  3. Dhurdhurapatradi Thailam & Triphala Tablets : If you prefer sesame oil to coconut oil, then you can use Dhurdhurapatradi tailam to treat hair fall and dandruff. It is made of the juice extract of dhurdurapathra (Datura metel) and is good for itching of the scalp and dandruff. Just note that some companies do prepare this oil is coconut oil base too. This combination balances kapha and vata, dandruff, itching of the scalp, hair fall due to dandruff. Triphala is known to relieve digestive issues, constipation and increases the absorption of nutrients after digestion. Triphala contains gooseberry and hared that are beneficial for the hair.
  4. Chemparathyadi Thailam: I love this! My mother prepares a variation of this at home. Chemparathyadi is made of ingredients including the juice of hibiscus, leaves of bilwa (Aegle marmelos), paranti (Ixora coccinia), betel leaf, tulsi leaf, neeli, vasini, tamalaki, paste of jeeraka (cumin/ Cuminum cyminum)) and krishnajeeraka (Carum carvi). This is very effective for skin and scalp conditions like eczema, scabies, pruritis and dandruff. You may without doubt use this as your regular hair oil to prevent scalp problems and to promote hair growth.
  5. Malatyadi keram: Malatyadi is coconut oil infused with the extracts of malati (jasmin), naktamala (Pongamia pinnata), karaveera (Nerium indicum) and Chitraka (Plumbago zeylanica). It is very effectively used not only in hair fall but also aloepecia, dandruff and premature baldness. It promotes hair growth.
  6. Kunthalakanti Tailam: This is a highly cooling and soothing hair oil that mainly treats dandruff and premature graying of hair. The ingredients include vibhitaki, bhringaraja, amalaki, jambeera taila, neeli panchagandha and milk.

There are so many hair oils in the market. How to know what is genuine and what is not?

Every day there is a new product in the market and an exciting commercial to promote it. You are not going to get carried away by the words of your favourite celebrity talking about the product. You are going to look at the labels, identify the ingredients and consider the authenticity of the product. At best what you can do is to buy from a trusted dealer and of a known brand.

I feel you should opt for a classical Ayurvedic hair oil rather than follow the latest commercial.

Listen, your hair is waiting for you.

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Sep 062017

Yoga can complement traditional therapies and help in reducing symptoms of depression, claims researchers at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Centre in the United States.

According to Lindsey Hopkins from the San Francisco Medical Centre, yoga is highly popular in the West, and majority of the new yoga practitioners have confirmed stress-reduction and other mental health concerns as the primary reason for practicing yoga.

In the study, presented at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association in Washington DC, the team of researchers explored the antidepressant effects of ‘Hatha Yoga’ and ‘Bikram Yoga’, in a series of experiments.

For this, 23 males participated in the ‘Hatha Yoga’ classes twice a week for eight weeks, while 52 women participated in ‘Bikram Yoga’ classes for eight weeks. Both the methods led to considerable reduction in depression symptoms and improved quality of life, optimism, cognitive and physical functioning.

With increased participation in yoga classes, the more the participants noticed the lowering of their depressive symptoms, the study showed, said Maren Nyer, PhD from Massachusetts General Hospital.

Further, the researchers also considered the potential of yoga to address chronic and/or treatment-resistant depression in two separate studies. The first study involved 12 patients, who had experienced depression for at least 11 years, who participated in nine weekly yoga sessions of nearly 2.5 hours each.

The second study comprised of 74 mildly depressed patients (university students), involving comparison of yoga with a relaxation technique. Results showed that yoga significantly lowered depression, anxiety and stress, the researchers said.

According to Nina Vollbehr, Centre for Integrative Psychiatry in Netherlands, studies suggest that yoga-based interventions have a promise for depressed mood and that they are feasible for patients with chronic, treatment-resistant depression.

However, Hopkins says that research on yoga as a treatment for depression is still in preliminary stages. Therefore, currently, yoga can be recommended as a complementary approach, which could be very effective in conjunction with standard approaches by a licensed therapist.

Although yoga cannot be a ‘cure-all’, it does have a lot of potential, Hopkins concluded.

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Jun 132017

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in an endocrine disorder that causes the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone to be out of balance. This imbalance leads to the development of ovarian cysts which can cause menstrual irregularities and infertility.  While the cause of PCOS is still unknown, women who have PCOS have increased insulin levels, the hormone in charge of sugar and starch usage and storage in the body.  A low glycemic index food diet is important for women who suffer PCOS.

Initially a PCOS patient may show acne due to increased androgen levels in the body and excess hair growth called hirsutism.  Menstrual cycle will be infrequent, irregular and at times absent for many women.  PCOS often lead to difficulties in conceiving due to hormone imbalances and cysts growth on the ovaries.

In my practice, I work with women to eliminate the signs and symptoms of PCOS and assist in improving their chance of pregnancy.  My treatments are a combination of acupuncture, herbs and supplements.

My three favorites supplements for PCOS are:


According to the International Journal of Endocrinology, myo-inositol regulates blood sugar and improves follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) signaling. It also plays a role in the improving egg quality to increase chances of pregnancy.

Folic Acid

Folic acid is necessary to protect against neural tube defects during pregnancy and prevent miscarriage.  PCOS patients are prone to having a B9 vitamin or folic acid deficiency.  Studies have also shown the combination of folic acid and myo-inositol together improve each other’s functionality to reduce acne, reverse hirsutism, correct menstrual irregularities and improve fertility.

Vitamin D

We assume due to the beautiful sunny weather we have in San Diego that we get enough vitamin D, but studies and my patients’ lab tests tell us differently.  While vitamin D is important for strengthening bones, it also affects the way a cell carries out its function affecting fertility.  PCOS patients are also susceptible to vitamin D deficiencies aggravating their symptoms.

To take control of your PCOS, make an appointment today with Dr. Devon at 619-518-4222.

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