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After a hiatus of three years due to Covid, Porosh organized the much-awaited picnic for its members on a balmy January 18th along the bank of the holy Ganges. The venue was Nihar-on-Ganges (NoG) at Panihati which is located north of Kolkata.


Although all the members were invited yet a few could not make it due to physical ailments. A couple of buses were arranged from north and south Kolkata to bring the members to the venue. Pre-packed food and water were also served after boarding bus. A few cars were also booked for only those whose residence did not fall along the bus routes. An ambulance was also parked at the venue as a standby for meeting emergency requirements.


By 11.30 am the members started to reach NoG tea/ coffee was served in the lawn. What caught our attention is that the members spontaneously formed informal groups on the basis of their past acquaintances in the previous event. And, thus started adda. After a while, we had several of the members volunteering to either sing, or recite poetry. Time flew by and it was already 2 pm – lunch time.


The spread of menu was as elaborate as one can think of. Care was taken that veg and non-veg items were served as per requirements of the members. Needless to add, the quality of food was impeccable and served hot.


Post lunch session was followed by siesta by a few. Three large rooms were booked in anticipation that some of them may need to take rest. Most of the members, however, preferred staying outdoors basking under soothing rays of the Sun.


In the post lunch session we had a few staff members of Porosh volunteering to belt-out a few modern Bengali songs. Their efforts were well-appreciated by the members. As afternoon gradually paved way for evening, snacks were served once again with tea. But, many preferred to pack the items and take home though. Group photographs were also clicked apart from various moods of the get-together which were already clicked earlier in the day.


At the end all the members went back home with smile on their faces. The entire event was well-orchestrated by the support Staff. Obviously, requests have now started to pour-in for the next get-together around Poila Baisakh, or even earlier!


Today’s theme is not quite meant only for the senior citizens who are Porosh’s members but also for all age groups. While discussing among ourselves on a certain issue we realized that if quality (or, one may even say purity) of blood improves then a lot of ailments that we are subjected to, cutting-across various age groups, can be addressed. So, we are reproducing an article published in https://vibrantayurveda.com.au/build-the-quality-of-your-blood-with-ayurveda-2/


On April 2, 2019.

Blood is a bodily fluid in humans and animals that delivers oxygen and nutrients to the body’s cells and transports metabolic waste products away from the cells. Blood is the fluid of life, as its role is fundamental to the basic process of life.


Ayurvedic view on blood

Blood is known as rakta dhatu in ayurvedic medicine. Interestingly, Ayurveda views blood and plasma as two different tissues.


Rakta Dhatu is influenced by the pitta dosha. If pitta is in good condition, then the quality of the blood tissue will also be good.


The liver and spleen are the principle organs that produce rakta dhatu. The main function of rakta dhatu is to support the body and maintain life.


Qualities of pure blood

  • Glowing skin and attractive complexion

  • Sense organs work well

  • Optimal digestive power

  • Healthy and happy outlook on life

  • Body tissues receive good nourishment

  • Energetic and active


Blood disorders

  • Visarpa – herpes

  • Vidradhi – abscess

  • Kushta – skin disorders like acne, pimples, psoriasis, etc

  • Vata rakta – gout

  • Rakta pitta – hemorrhagic disorders

  • Gulma – tumours

  • Kamala – jaundice

  • Vyanga – pigmentation of skin

  • Agni nasha – indigestion

  • Sammoha – syncope

  • Raktatwaknetra mootrata – redness of eyes, skin and urine


Signs of poor blood condition

  • Feeling cold

  • Reduced volume of urine and sweat

  • Skin loses its lustre; becomes pale, dry, rough, and cracked

  • Coldness causes the body to hold on to heat, leading to constipation

  • Craving for hot, spicy, sour, citrus, and iron-rich foods

  • Collapsing veins

  • Becoming mentally dull, having difficulty processing and understanding new information, confusion and misunderstanding.


Causes of blood imbalance Foods

  • Deficiency of iron or vitamin B12

  • Excess sugar or salt

  • Consuming heating oils and fried foods

  • Toxins such as alcohol, nicotine, drugs & chemicals, pesticides, artificial colors, and preservatives.

  • Unhealthy food combinations

  • Eating sour and fermented foods

  • Eating excess cheese, curds and pickles


Body

  • Excessive exposure to the sun

  • Exposure to radiation

  • Liver & spleen disorders

  • Working in a hot environment

  • Excessive or insufficient physical exercise


Mind

  • Repressed aggression or anger

  • Envy and hate


Ayurvedic management of blood disorders

Purgation therapy (virechana)

Medicated purgation therapy cleanses pitta and purifies blood toxins that have accumulated in the liver and gallbladder. It completely cleanses the gastrointestinal tract.


Therapeutic fasting (langhana)

Fasting brings about lightness of the body. It rests the digestive system and provides the body with an opportunity to detoxify itself.


Bloodletting therapy (raktamokshana)

Bloodletting therapy contributes to organ detoxification, immunity boosting and enhanced blood circulation. It supports the elimination of toxins from the body. Traditionally bloodletting was done with the use of leeches, however in modern times, regular blood donation can achieve the same results.


Ayurvedic herbs for blood cleansing

Single herbs possessing bitter, astringent and pungent tastes (tikta-kashaya-katu rasa) are beneficial for purifying the blood. Such herbs possess qualities of lightness, minuteness, and liquidity. They are usually neither too cold nor too hot. Some of the potent herbs in this category are


  • Neem (Azadiracta indica)

  • Manjistha (Rubia Cordifolia)

  • Saffron (Crocus Sativus)

  • Turmeric (Curcuma Longa)

  • Guduchi (Tinospora Cordifolia)

  • Amla (Emblica Officinalis)


Blood and Emotion

Blood carries emotion and memories. Blood heats up with anger and cools down with depression. As blood carries hormones and genetic codes, it passes to the next generation. So-called blood relationships also mean emotional connections.


Lifestyle to balance rakta dhatu

  • Eat neutral-tasting foods and reduce spicy foods.

  • Drink plenty of water, and eat more fruits and vegetables.

  • Don’t skip meals and maintain regular timings for eating.

  • Drink 1/4 cup of fresh aloe vera juice daily.

  • Avoid daytime sleep and go to bed before 10 pm.

  • Reduce anger.

  • Relax and meditate regularly.


Importance of blood circulation

Proper blood circulation is essential for the efficient transportation of nutrients and energy to all parts of the body. Blood circulation disorders can cause many health problems including, in extreme cases, organ failure.


Some tips for good circulation

  • Keep moving your body every day. Exercise regularly and keep looking for opportunities to do physical activity of any sort.

  • Manage stress. Pause. Take deep and relaxing breaths. Find healthy relaxation activities that work for you. Receive regular massages.

  • Align your spine. Stand tall. Shape your spine for proper blood flow.

  • Eat a balanced diet and find natural sources of vitamins K, C, and E.

  • Eat oranges, sunflower seeds, garlic, ginger and turmeric.

We hope you have gained useful insights from the article on what, why and how of blood and maintaining its quality.


A recent research has thrown light on why when you have an idea of a picture-

perfect holiday season, what actually transpires doesn't always measure up.


An explanation for what actually happens sometimes doesn't match your fantasy of a joyful, picture-perfect holiday season has been provided by a new research.


According to Samia Akhter-Khan, a graduate student at King's College London and the study's lead author, loneliness originates from this. The journal Perspectives on Psychological Science published it.


"Loneliness results from a discrepancy between expected and actual social relationships" Akhter-Khan said.


Together with Duke psychology and neuroscience PhD. Leon Li, Akhter-Khan and colleagues co-authored a paper on why people feel lonely, particularly in later life, and what we can do about it.


"The problem that we identified in the current research was that we haven't really thought about: What do people expect from their relationships?" Akhter-Khan said.


"We work with this definition of expectations, but we don't really identify what those expectations are and how they change across cultures or over the lifespan" In every relationship, we expect certain basics. We all want people in our lives who we can ask for help. Friends we can call on when we need them. Someone to talk to. People who "get us." Someone we can trust. Companions with whom we can share fun experiences. But the team's theory, called the Social Relationship Expectations Framework, suggests that older people may have certain relationship expectations that have gone overlooked.


Akhter-Khan's first clue that the causes of loneliness might be more complex than meets the eye came from a year she studied ageing in Myanmar from 2018 to 2019.


At first, she assumed people generally wouldn't feel lonely -- after all, "people are so connected and live in a very close-knit society. People have big families; they're often around each other. Why would people feel lonely?"


But her research suggested otherwise. "It actually turns out to be different, "she said. People can still feel lonely, even if they don't spend much time alone. What efforts to reduce loneliness have neglected, she said, is how our relationship expectations change as we get older. What we want from social connections in, say, our 30s isn't what we want in our 70s.


The researchers identified two age-specific expectations that haven't been taken into account. For one, older adults want to feel respected. They want people to listen to them, take an interest in their experiences and learn from their mistakes.


To appreciate what they've been through and the obstacles they have overcome.


They also want to contribute: to give back to others and their community and pass along traditions or skills through teaching and mentoring, volunteering, caregiving, or other meaningful activities. Finding ways to fulfil these expectations as we get older can go a long way towards combating loneliness in later life, but research has largely left them out.


"They're not part of the regular scales for loneliness," Li said.


Part of the reason for the oversight may be that often the labour and contributions of older people are unaccounted for in typical economic indices, said Akhter-Khan, who worked in 2019-20 as a graduate research assistant for a Bass Connections project at Duke on how society values care in the global economy.


"Ageism and negative ageing stereotypes don't help," she added. A 2016 World Health Organization survey spanning 57 countries found that 60 per cent of respondents said that older adults aren't well respected.


Loneliness isn't unique to older people. "It is a young people's problem as well,"


Akhter-Khan said. "If you look at the distribution of loneliness across the lifespan, there are two peaks, and one is in younger adulthood, and one is in old age."


Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, world leaders began sounding the alarm on loneliness as a public health issue. Britain became the first country to name a minister for loneliness, in 2018. Japan followed suit in 2021.


Because loneliness affects health, it is more than just an emotion. Chronic loneliness has been linked to increased risks of heart disease, stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease, among other health issues. According to some researchers, it poses risks on par with or even greater than smoking and obesity.


The researchers believe that if we can better comprehend the causes of loneliness, we may be able to address it more effectively.


Adapted from Hindustan Times ‘As we get older, our desire from relationships

changes: Study’ in Nov 21, 2022

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