Ayurveda and a season of sickness

Ime Morales
What kind of healing works for you?

AYURVEDIC HEALER FR. JACOB Gnalian in his garden. Oregano helps bring down fever and keeps cough and cold at bay. All photos by Ime Morales

MANILA, Philippines – The crazy weather we have been experiencing is bringing illness to many, especially to young children.

Even adults are not spared, and even those who lead a healthy life are also affected.

Students are getting afflicted one by one: by dengue fever, tonsilitis, flu, cough and cold, allergies, pneumonia and other viral infections.

During this time of year, illness sweeps through members of many households.

In Mandaluyong, a Catholic priest who is also an Ayurvedic doctor continues to see patients in his clinic every day. His name is Fr. Jacob Gnalian and he has been in the country since 1984.

In 2001, Fr. Gnalian put up Sandhi Ayurveda Clinic to help those who are physically sick, by giving advice on food management and lifestyle changes, and by giving Ayurvedic medicines and therapy.

As an Ayurvedic doctor, Father Jacob believes that healing should happen naturally, by way of natural medicines, exercise and food.

Ayurveda in a nutshell

FR. GNALIAN WITH HIS Ayurvedic oil lamp

Ayurveda is an ancient healing system that originated in India some 3,000 years BC.

It is a way of life that aims to promote health by considering man as a whole, a being with a body, mind and soul.

Ayurveda forms part of the ancient Indian scriptures known as the Vedas, written in 4 books: Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda.

One of the sub-Vedas (upavedas) is called Ayurveda. The term “Ayurveda” came from the words ayus (life) and veda (knowledge, science).

Literally, the word means “science of life.”

The role of food


An ancient Ayurvedic proverb goes, “When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.”

Father Jacob agrees that food plays a great role in Ayurvedic medicine. It may be used in therapy to relieve symptoms or prevent illness.

“Food influences the aggravation or regulation of the doshas, or the body’s constitutional character,” he explains. “But certain foods that are helpful to some patients may be harmful to others.”

If you are taking Ayurvedic medicines, the effects of the drugs may be destroyed if you will eat foods that are not good for you.

“Medicines” in your kitchen

Father Jacob shares some health concoctions that we can easily prepare in our kitchen.

These may help relieve the symptoms of some of the most common illnesses that are going around these days.

For fever:

  • Boil the leaves of oregano or tawa-tawa and drink the tea
  • Healthy individuals may drink this every day to prevent cough, cold and fever
  • As a daily drink, wash 5 oregano leaves thoroughly and throw into your pitcher of water
  • When you finish the water, you may refill the pitcher and use the same leaves up to one or two days

For cough:

  • Combine one tablespoon of honey and one tablespoon of lemon or calamansi juice with one tablespoon of ginger juice
  • Take half a teaspoon every hour to relieve coughing and symptoms of cold
  • If there is fever, you may add oregano

For tummy pain:

  • Shred and boil turmeric and drink the tea
  • Ginger is also good for gas. Just take one teaspoon of ginger juice after a meal
  • Anise is also good for stomach problems. Boil 1 teaspoon of anise seeds in one liter of water for 10 minutes
  • Take the drink with your meal

For dengue:

  • Drink plenty of buko juice and don’t eat meat and oily foods; eat only vegetables and fruits 
  • Neem leaves will also help; boil the leaves in water and have the patient drink the tea
  • Neem leaves are actually good for any type of viral disease

Bacterial infections:

  • Boil basil leaves in water and drink 3 times a day
  • Like virgin coconut oil, basil leaves must not be taken for long periods

Fungal infections:

  • You may boil neem leaves and drink the tea, or make a paste with pounded turmeric and apply directly on the skin

– Rappler.com

For more information on ayurveda and Fr. Gnalian’s clinic, visit Panchakarma Center and Sandhi Ayurveda Clinic at 628 Santo Nino St., Mandaluyong City. Telephone number (+632) 717-2824. Email jacob.gnalian@yahoo.com. 

Ime Morales is a writer and single mother to 8-year old Bowi. She is affiliated with Kuwentista ng mga Tsikiting (Kuting) and Peace Blossoms Internal Arts Society. She is the founder of the Freelance Writers’ Guild of the Philippines and Isang Bata, a volunteer organization that helps underprivileged Filipino children.

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