Dr Deepa Apté, our Indian medicine guru, explains how to combat chronic fatigue syndrome
According to ayurveda, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is due to a combination of toxins and excess heat in the body. It is believed that tiredness is due to weak digestive fire, leading to toxin formation. Along with this, excess pitta (fire) gets stagnated in the liver causing further ailments. The main symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome include excessive exhaustion and fatigue, weakness, and general body pains. The degree of severity may differ from person to person. Here is how we would treat the condition using ayurveda.
- Chyawanprash, an ayurvedic food supplement, when taken mixed in hot water helps to get rid of toxins and boosts the immune system.
- Drink plenty of liquid.
- Avoid excess spicy and sour foods as they increase the heat in the body.
- Concentrate on tastes that are naturally sweet like fruits, and bitter like cooked greens or steamed salads.
- Fresh grated ginger with some lemon juice is very good to stimulate the digestive fire.
- Avoid extremely cold foods and drinks as they build up toxins in the body.
- Eat five almonds (that have been soaked in water overnight and peeled) everymorning to strengthen the immune system
- Regular whole body massages with an oil, known as abhyanga, will help to restore energy back into the body.
- Marma massage (ayurvedic energy point massage) is highly recommended for chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Shirodhara, where oil is poured over the thrid eye, has also shown great results for people suffering from CFS.
- Triphala not only gets rid of toxins but also helps to regulate excess pitta.
- Shatavari is very good to reduce the excess heat or pitta in the body.
- Turmeric helps to prevent any recurrent infections and bouts of tiredness.
- Once the majority of the toxins are eliminated, then ashwagandha works really well on the nervous system, not only to calm it down but also to strengthen it.
- Plenty of breathing exercises are recommended. Oxygen helps to flush out lactic acid which may also be the cause of tiredness.
- The best breathing exercises are alternate nostril breathing, breath of fire, left nostril breathing, and right nostril breathing.
- Practising the corpse position or child position helps to rejuvenate the system.
- A regular liver cleanse with herbs like triphala, turmeric, neem and manjistha will help improve the condition.
- Regular purgation with castor oil is also recommended.
- Classic ayurveda recommends panchakarma which is its signature detox therapy.