Journal of Alternative Complementary & Integrative Medicine Category: Medicine Type: Review Article
Geriatric Care in Ayurved: Evidence Based Review
*Corresponding Author:Rakesh Shukla
Bams, Shri Balahanuman Ayurvedic College, Gujarat, India
Received Date: Jul 15, 2015 Accepted Date: Oct 21, 2015 Published Date: Oct 30, 2015
PROBLEMS IN VRUDDHAVASTHA
- Cardiovascular - hypertension, MI, CCF
- Respiratory - asthma and bronchitis
- Musculoskeletal - osteoporosis, spasm, drooping shoulder
- Gastro-intestinal - dyspepsia and flatulence
- Genito-urinary - nocturia, prostate enlargement
- Locomotor system - osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout
- Endocrinological - diabetes is one of the major endocrinological problems found in old age.
- Ophthalmic - senile cataract and glaucoma are very common in old people
- Hearing - loss of hearing and hard hearing are the major hearing problems of old age
- Nervous - insomnia is commonly found old age problems
- Problems of hair - hair loss and baldness
- Cancer - Cancer incidence and severity increases with age
- Menopausal - in addition to all these, ladies experience menopausal health disorders
Social issues in elderly
Spiritual issues in the elderly
SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS IN OLD AGE
PREVENTIVE AND CURATIVE MEASURES FOR GERIATRICS
Diet and nutrition
- The food should be tasty, nutritious, fresh and good in appearance.
- Too spicy, salty and pungent food should be avoided.
- It should neither be very hot nor very cold.
- Liquid intake should be more frequent and in small amount.
- Heavy food can be prescribed in a limited quantity.
- Heavy food should not be given at night. The proper time for night meals is two to three hours before going to bed. After dinner, it is better to advice for a short walk.
- Heavy physical work should be avoided after meals.
- Mind should be peaceful while eating.
- Eating only whenever hungry and avoidance of over eating.
- Inclusion of sufficient amount of vegetables and fruits in diet.
- Daily intake of vegetable soup and fruit juices.
Concept of Rasayana (rejuvenation)
- Butea monosperma root distillate in the management of age related immature cataract: The root distillate drops of Butea monosperma developed as per I.P Standards has shown significant improvement in visual acuity and quality of vision (disturbance in vision viz haziness and diplopia) in the subjects of age related immature cataract (n=52) .
- Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) as immunomodulatory agent: Clinical studies of Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) have shown significant efficacy in the cases of obstructive jaundice .
- Sallaki (Boswelia serrata) in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): Sallaki 600 mg trice daily and 50 mg of diclofenac sodium 3 times in a day were given in treated and control groups respectively for 4 weeks. The efficacy of sallaki was found to be comparable to that of diclofenac sodium in the patients of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), who demonstrated predisposition for gastric intolerance with anti-inflammatory medication .
- Guggulu (Commiphora wightii) in hyperlipidemia: Cardinal clinical manifestations of disease like precordial pain and dyspnoea were relieved in most of the cases in a clinical study tried with guggulu in the dose of 8 gm/day. Substantial fall in lipid fractions like cholesterol 27%, triglycerides 36%, phospholipids 20% and free fatty acids 37% indicated the possibility of regression of atherosclerosis. The reversal of ECG changes substantiated the anti-ischaemic effect of the drug in the treatment of ischemic heart diseases .
- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) on the process of aging: Root powder of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) was administered in the dosage of two tablets three times daily with milk for one year showed statistically significant increase in haemoglobin, RBC count, hair melanin and seated stature and decrease in serum cholesterol and ESR .
- Management of hemiplegia by panchakarma: Comparative study of 744 hemiplegics revealed that 552 subjects who received Panchakarma therapy showed significant recovery from illness, with improvement in motor functions and quality of life in comparison to subjects who received Shamana therapy (palliative therapy) alone .
- Multi-facetted protective role of Chyawanprasa: Chyawanprasa showed significant immunomodulatory activity (decrease in Ig G, C3 and C4 levels in patients of recurrent cough and cold), cytoprotective action (cancer patients receiving radiation therapy showed a protective role against radiation induced tissue damage) and Genoprotective action (significant reduction in Mitotic Index (MI) and Chromosomal Aberrations (CA) .
- Anti-anxiety effect Mandukaparni (Centell aasiatica), Yastimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra) and Jatamansi (Nordostachys jatamansi): A double blind sequential cross over clinical trial with an Ayurvedic compound containing Mandukaparni (Centella asiatica), Yastimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra) and Jatamansi (Nordostachys jatamansi) as trial drug, diazepam as control and placebo was carried out on 12 patients of anxiety neurosis. The compound formulation is more effective in enhancing the perceptual discrimination and psychomotor performance over placebo and control drug .
Benefits of the geriatric yoga:
- Yoga provides a good balance, blood stream and tissue liveliness thanks to the enhanced flexibility and core stabilization. If the person attends the Geriatric Yoga programme regularly, many problems, which are caused by age, can be prevented 
- It is possible to reload the most essential brain functions with the relaxing characteristic of Yoga
- The person gains experience with his own existence, body andmental performance during the sessions in Yoga practices. He learns to control his body. He analyzes his emotional status about his problem. He gains ability to cope with the symptoms faced
- It reduces sympathetic activity with relaxing techniques. Pain, fatigue, depression and stress decrease with relaxing response. Memory becomes retentive 
The following longevity promoting yogic practices should be performed only under the guidance of qualified Yoga therapist.
Asanas: Surya Namaskar, Pavanamuktasana, Ardha Matsyendrasana, Bhujangasana and Shavasana.
Pranayama: Nadisodhana, Kapalbhati, Bhramari, Neti, Bhastrika and Tratak.
Mudras: Khechari mudra removes diseases and old age problems. Dharana, Dhyana, Swadhyaya and Iswara Pranidhana.
Cutting down smoking and alcohol
To live a long and healthy life is every individual’s wish. Due to changing lifestyle and thus not able to follow the rules of dietetics human beings have led to an emergence of varied problems for the elderly in India. It is obvious that the process of ageing was elaborately described in ayurvedic texts and a separate medical discipline called Rasayana tantra was developed which described a variety of methods and measures to promote healthy longevity. Undoubtedly, it is the strength of ayurveda in the context of geriatric care Rasayana is a therapy which bestows excellent rasa which ultimately results in promotion of longevity, alleviation of old age and diseases so as to enjoy the full span of life. Government of India has also launched a national campaign to popularize the strength of Ayurveda and Yoga in geriatric health care. It is the demand of the hour to develop an effective holistic protocol for geriatric care by combining Rasayana, Panchkarma, Dietetics, Ayurvedic medicines and lifestyle and Yoga.
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Citation:Shukla R (2015) Geriatric Care in Ayurved: Evidence Based Review. J Altern Complement Integr Med 1: 005.
Copyright: © 2015 Rakesh Shukla, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.