Punarnava Ayurveda Hospital, Kerala

punarnava ayurveda hospital Punarnava Ayurveda Hospital, Kerala

Punarnava Ayurveda Hospital

Punarnava Ayurveda Hospital is an ISO 9001-2008 Certified hospital with Green leaf Accreditation which is the highest from the category Department of Tourism, Kerala. We have successfully been into the field of Ayurveda for the past 2 decades. We are the Pioneers in “PRECISE” Ayurveda where we incorporate all the modern diagnostic modalities along with Ayurvedic diagnostic methods so as to get appropriate diagnosis, also to re-evaluate the results of the treatments after a period of time.

Punarnava Ayurveda hospital creates the torch of the age old time tested science of life, Ayurveda in its cradle Kerala , the Gods own country. Punarnava, the word means again new. Punarnava also refers to a medicinal plant [Borrheavia diffusa], widely used in Ayurveda. Punarnava Ayurveda hospital is famous for its specialty panchakarma treatment. Punarnava Ayurveda hospital keeps and practices the sublime discipline of Ayurveda.

Contact Details : Punarnava Ayurveda Hospital Kerala

Edappally North P.O., Cochin,  Pin-code :682024, Kerala- INDIA
Phone: +91-484-2801415, 2801416
Fax: +91-484-2801424,
E-mail: punarnava@punarnava.net
Website : www.punarnava.net

Importance of Ayurvedic Medical Plants

ayurveda plants Importance of Ayurvedic Medical Plants

Ayurveda Plants

Herbs are staging a comeback and herbal ‘renaissance’ is happening all over the globe. The herbal products today symbolise safety in contrast to the synthetics that are regarded as unsafe to human and environment. Although herbs had been priced for their  medicinal, flavoring and aromatic qualities for centuries, the synthetic products of the modern age surpassed their importance, for a while. However, the blind dependence on synthetics is over and people are returning to the naturals with hope of safety and security.

Over three-quarters of the world population relies mainly on plants and plant extracts for health care. More than 30% of the entire plant species, at one time or other, were used for medicinal purposes. It is estimated that world market for plant derived drugs may account for about Rs.2,00,000 crores. Presently, Indian contribution is less than Rs.2000 crores. Indian export of raw drugs has steadily grown at 26% to Rs.165 crores in 1994-’95 from Rs.130 crores in 1991-’92.   The annual production of medicinal and aromatic plant’s raw material is worth about Rs.200 crores. This is likely to touch US $1150 by the year 2000 and US $5 trillion by 2050.

It has been estimated that in developed countries such asUnited States, plant drugs constitute as much as 25% of the total drugs, while in fast developing countries such asChinaandIndia, the contribution is as much as 80%.  Thus, the economic importance of medicinal plants is much more to countries such asIndiathan to rest of the world. These countries provide two third of the plants used in modern system of medicine and the health care system of rural population depend on indigenous systems of medicine.

Of the 2,50,000 higher plant species on earth, more than 80,000 are medicinal.Indiais one of the world’s 12 biodiversity centers with the presence of over 45000 different plant species.India’s diversity is unmatched due to the presence of 16 different agro-climatic zones, 10 vegetation zones, 25 biotic provinces and 426 biomes (habitats of specific species). Of these, about 15000-20000 plants have good medicinal value. However, only 7000-7500 species are used for their medicinal values by traditional communities. InIndia, drugs of herbal origin have been used in traditional systems of medicines such as Unani and Ayurveda since ancient times. The  Ayurveda system of medicine uses about 700 species,  Unani 700, Siddha 600, Amchi 600 and modern medicine around 30 species. The drugs are derived either from the whole plant or from different organs, like leaves, stem, bark, root, flower, seed, etc. Some drugs are prepared from excretory plant product such as gum, resins and latex. Even the Allopathic system of medicine has adopted a number of plant-derived drugs (Table: medicinal plants used in modern medicine) which form an important segment of the modern pharmacopoeia. Some important chemical intermediates needed for manufacturing the modern drugs are also obtained from plants (Eg. diosgenin, solasodine,  b-ionone). Not only, that plant-derived drug offers a stable market world wide, but also plants continue to be an important source for new drugs.

Traditional systems of medicine continue to be widely practiced on many accounts. Population rise, inadequate supply of drugs, prohibitive cost of treatments, side effects of several allopathic drugs and development of resistance to currently used drugs for infectious diseases have led to increased emphasis on the use of plant materials as a source of medicines for a wide variety of human ailments. Global estimates indicate that 80% of about 4 billion population can not afford the products of the Western Pharmaceutical Industry and have to rely upon the use of traditional medicines which are mainly derived from plant material. This fact is well documented in the inventory of medicinal plants, listing over 20,000 species. In spite of the overwhelming influences and our dependence on modern medicine and tremendous advances in synthetic drugs, a large segment of the world population still likes drugs from plants. In many of the developing countries the use of plant drugs is increasing because modern life saving drugs are beyond the reach of three quarters of the third world’s population although many such countries spend 40-50% of their total wealth 4 on drugs and health care. As a part of the strategy to reduce the financial burden on developing countries, it is obvious that an increased use of plant drugs will be followed in the future.

Among ancient civilizations,Indiahas been known to be rich repository of medicinal plants. The forest in India is the principal repository of large number of medicinal and aromatic plants, which are largely collected as raw materials for manufacture of drugs and perfumery products. About 8,000 herbal remedies have been codified in Ayurveda. The Rigveda (5000 BC) has recorded 67 medicinal plants,  Yajurveda 81 species,  Atharvaveda (4500-2500 BC) 290 species, Charak Samhita (700 BC) and Sushrut Samhita (200 BC) had described properties and uses of 1100 and 1270 species respectively, in compounding of drugs and these are still used in the classical formulations, in the Ayurvedic system of medicine. Unfortunately, much of the ancient knowledge and many valuable plants are being lost at an alarming rate. With the rapid depletion of forests, impairing the availability of raw drugs, Ayurveda, like other systems of herbal medicines has reached a very critical phase. About 50% of the tropical forests, the treasure house of plant and animal diversity have already been destroyed. In India, forest cover is disappearing at an annual rate 1.5mha/yr. What is left at present is only 8% as against a mandatory 33% of the geographical area. Many valuable medicinal plants are under the verge of extinction. The Red Data Book of India has 427 entries of endangered species of which 28 are considered extinct, 124 endangered, 81 vulnerable, 100 rare and 34 insufficiently known species.

Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Folk (tribal) medicines are the major systems of indigenous medicines. Among these systems, Ayurveda is most developed and widely practiced inIndia. Ayurveda dating back to 1500-800 BC has been an integral part of Indian culture. The term comes from the Sanskrit root  Au (life) and Veda (knowledge). As the name implies it is not only the science of treatment of the ill but covers the whole gamut of happy human life involving the physical, metaphysical and the spiritual aspects. Ayurveda recognizes that besides a balance of body elements one has to have an enlightened state of consciousness, sense organs and mind if one has to be perfectly healthy. Ayurveda by and large is an experience with nature and unlike in Western medicine, many of the concepts elude scientific explanation. Ayurveda is gaining prominence as the natural system of health care all over the world. Today this system of medicine is being practiced in countries likeNepal,Bhutan,Sri Lanka,BangladeshandPakistan, while the traditional system of medicine in the other countries likeTibet,MongoliaandThailandappear to be derived from Ayurveda. Phytomedicines are also being used increasingly inWestern Europe. Recently the US Government has established  the “Office of Alternative Medicine” at the National Institute of  Health atBethesdaand its support to alternative medicine includes basic and applied research in traditional systems of medicines such as Chinese, Ayurvedic, etc. with a view to  assess the possible integration of effective treatments with modern medicines.

The development of systematic pharmacopoeias dates back to 3000 BC, when the Chinese were already using over 350 herbal remedies. Ayurveda, a system of herbal medicine in India, Sri Lanka  and South-East Asia has more than 8000 plant remedies and using around 35,000-70,000 plant species.Chinahas demonstrated the best use of traditional medicine in providing the health care.Chinahas pharmacologically validated and improved many traditional herbal medicines and eventually integrated them in formal health care system. Green plants synthesise and preserve a variety of biochemical products, many of which are extractable and used as chemical feed stocks or as raw material for various scientific investigations. Many secondary metabolites of plant are commercially important and find use in a number of pharmaceutical compounds. However, a sustained supply of the source material often becomes difficult due to the factors like environmental changes, cultural practices, diverse geographical distribution, labour cost, selection of the superior plant stock and over exploitation by pharmaceutical industry.

Plants, especially used in Ayurveda can provide biologically active molecules and lead structures for the development of modified derivatives with enhanced activity and /or reduced toxicity. The small fraction of flowering plants that have so far been investigated have yielded about 120 therapeutic agents of known structure from about 90 species of plants. Some of the useful plant drugs include vinblastine, vincristine, taxol, podophyllotoxin, camptothecin, digitoxigenin, gitoxigenin, digoxigenin, tubocurarine, morphine, codeine, aspirin, atropine, pilocarpine, capscicine, allicin, curcumin, artemesinin and ephedrine among others. In some cases, the crude extract of medicinal plants may be used as medicaments. On the other hand, the isolation and identification of the active principles and elucidation of the mechanism of action of a drug is of paramount importance. Hence, works in both mixture of traditional medicine and single active compounds are very important. Where the active molecule cannot be synthesised economically, the product must be obtained from the cultivation of plant material. The scientific study of traditional medicines, derivation of drugs through bioprospecting and systematic conservation of the concerned medicinal plants are thus of great importance.


Pada means the foot.  Hasta means the hand .  This posture is done by bending forward and standing on one’s hands.

Techniques of Padahastasana :

1. Stand in Tadasna (Plate I) Spread thelegs a foot apart.

2. Exhale, bend forward and without bending the legs at the knees insert the hands under the feet so that the palsms touch the soles.  (Plate 45)

3. Keep the head up and make the back as concave as possible.  Do not slacken the grip at the knees and take a few breaths in this position.

4. Now exhale, and move the head in between the knees by bending the elbows and pulling the feet up from the palms.(Plate 46) Stay in the pose for about 20 sec. with normal breathing.

5. Inhale, raise the head and come back to position 2 (Plate 45) with the head well up.  Take two breaths.

6. Inhale, stand up and return to Tadasana (Plate I)

Effects of Padangusthasana and Padahasthasana :

The second asana is more strenuous than the first, but the effects of both are the same.  The abdominal organs are toned and digestive juices increase, while the liver and spleen are activated.  Persons suffering from a bloating sensation in the abdomen

or from gastric troubles will benefit by practising these two asanas.

Slipped spinal discs can only be adjsted in the concave backposition as in Plates 43 and 45.  Do not bring the head in between he knees if you have a displaced disc.  I have experimented with persons suffering from slipped discs and the concave back position

proved a boon to them.   It is imperative to get guidance from a guru (master) before trying this pose, because it may not be possible to achieve the concave back position immediately.  One has to master other mino poses before attempting this one.


Pada means the foot.  Angustha is the big toe.  This posture is done by standing and catching the big toes.

Techniques of Padangusthasana :

1. Stand in Tadasana (Plate I) Spread the legs a foot apart.

2. Exhale, bend forward and hold the big toes between the thumbs and the first two fingers, so that the palms face each other.  Hold them right(Plate 43)

3. Keep the head up, stretch the disphram towards the chest and make the back as concave as possible.  Instead of stretching down from the shoulders, bend forward from the pelvic region to get the concave shape of the back from the coccyx.

4. Keep the legs stiff and do not slacken the grip at the knees and toes.  Stretch the shoulder- blades also.   Take one or two breaths in this position.

5. Now exhale, and bring the head in between the knees by tightening the knees and pulling the toes without lifting them off the floor. (Plate 44) Remain in this pose for about 20 sec. maintaining normal breathing.

6. Inhale, come to position 2 (plate 43) , release the toes and stand up.  Return to Tadasana (Plate 1)


Utkata means powerful, fierce, uneven.  This asana is like sitting on an imaginary chair.

Technique Of Utkatasana :

1. Stand in Tadasana (Plate I), stretch the arms straight over the head and join the palms.  (Plate 12)

2. Exhale, bend the knees and lower the trunk till the thighs are parallel to the floor (Plate 42)

3. Do not stop forward, but keep the chest as far as back as possible and breathe normally.

4. Stay in the pose for a few seconds, 30 being sufficient .  It is difficult to balance in this pose.

5. Inhale, straighten the legs (Plate 12), lower the arms, come back to Tadasana (Plate  I) and relax.

Effects of Utkatasana :

The pose removes stiffness in the shoulders and corrects any minor deformities in the legs. The ankles become strong and the leg muscles develop evenly.  The disphram is lifted up and this gives a gentle massage to the heart.  The abdominal organs and the back are toned, and the chest is developed by being fully expanded.  It is a beneficial pose for horsemen.


Ustra means a camel.

Techniques of Ustrasana :

1. Kneel on the floor, keeping the thighs and feet together, toes pointing back and resting on the floor.

2. Rest the palms on the hips.  Stretch the thighs, curve the spine back and extend the ribs. (plate 40)

3. Exhale, place the right palm over the right heel and the left palm over the heel.   If possible, place the palms on the soles of the feet.

4. Press the feet with the palms, throw the head back and push the spine towards the thighs, which should be kept perpendicular to the floor.

5. Contract the buttocks and stretch the dorsal and the coccyx regions of the spine still further, keeping the neck stretched back.(plate41)

6. Remain in this position for about half a minute with normal breathing.

7. Release the hands one by one and rest them on the hips. (Plate 40) . Then sit on the floor and relax.

Effects of Ustrasana:

People with drooping shoulders and hunched backs will benefit by this asana.  The whole spine is stretched back and is toned.  This pose can be tried conveniently by the elderly and even by persons with spinal injury.

Prasarita Padottanasana

Prasarita means expanded, spread, extended . Pada means a foot.  The pose is one where the expanded legs are stretched intensely.

Techniques of Prasarita Padottanasana :

1. Stand in Tadasana (plate 1)

2. Inhale, place the hands on the waist and spread the legs apart 4.5 to 5 feet. (Plate 29)

3. Tighten the legs by drawing up the knee-caps.  Exhale and place the palms on the floor in line with the shoulders between the feet. (Front view plate 30)

4. Inhale and raise the head up, keeping the back concave. (Side view plates 31 & 32)

5. Exhale, bend the elbows and rest the crown of the head on the floor, keeping the weight of the body on the legs. (Plates 33 and 34)  Do not throw the body weight on the head. Both feet, both palms and the head dhould be in  a straight line.

6. Stay in the pose for half a minute , breathing deeply and evenly.

7. Inhale, raise the head from the floor and straighten the arms at the elbows. Keep the head well up by making the back concave as in position 4 (Plate 30)

8. Exhale and stand as in position 2 (Plate 29)

9. Jump back to Tadasana (Plate 1)


Parsva means side or flank.  Uttana (ut=intense and tan =to extend, stretch, lengthen) means an intense stretch.  The name implies a pose in which the side of the chest is stretched intensely.

Techniques of Parsvottanasana :

1. Stand in Tadasana (Plate 1)  Inhale deeply and stretch the body forward.

2. Join the palms behind the back and draw the shoulders and elbow back.

3.  Exhale, turn the wrists and bring both palms up above the middle of the back of the chest, the fingers at the level of the shoulder-blades.  You are doing  ‘namaste’ (the Indian gesture of respect by folding the hands) with your hands behind your back.  (Plate 24)

4, Inhale and with a jump spread the legs apart sideways 3 to 3.5 feet. Stay in this position and exhale.

5. Inhale and turn the trunk to the right.  Turn the right foot 90 degrees sideways to the right keeping the tows and heel in a line with the trunk; turn the left foot with the leg 75 to 80 degrees to the right and keep the left foot stretched out and the leg tightened atthe knee.  Throw the head back.

6. Exhale, bend the trunk forward and rest the head on the right knee.  Stretch the back and gradually extend the neck until the nose, then the lips and lastly the chin touch and then rest beyond the right knee. (Plate 26) Tighten both the legs by pulling the knee caps up.

7. Stay in the pose from 20 seconds to half a minute with noraml breathing.  Then slowly move the head and trunk towards the leftknee by swinging the runk round the hips.  At the same time turn the left foot 90 degrees towards the left and the right foot 75 to 80 degrees to the left.  Now raise the trunk and head as far as back as you can, with out bending the right leg.  This movement should be done with one inhalation.

8. Exhale, bend the trunk forward, rest the head on the left knee and gradually extend the chin beyond the left knee by stretching the neck as in position 6.

9. After holding the pose from 20 seconds to half a minute with normal breathing , inhale , move the head to the centre and the feet to their original position so that the toes point forward.  Then raise the trunk up.

10. Exhale and jump back to Tadasana (Plate 1) releasing the hands from the back.

11. It you cannot fold the hands together behind the back, just grip the wrist and follow the above technique.  (plates 27 and 28)

Effects of Parsvottanasana :

This asana relieves stiffness in the leg and hip muscles and make the hip joints and spine elastic.  While the head is resting on the knees, tha abdominal organs are contracted and toned. The wrists move freely and any stiffness there disappears.  The posture also corrects round and drooping shoulders.  In the correct pose, the shoulders are drawn well back and this makes deep breathing easier.

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana

Utthita means extended.  Hasta means the hand.  Padangustha is the big toe.  This pose is done by standing on one leg, extending the other in front, holding the toe of the extended leg and resting the head on the leg.

Techniques of Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana :

1. Stand in Tadasana (Plate 1)

2. Exhale, raise the right leg by bending the knee and hold the big toe of the right foot between the thumb and the fore and middle fingers of the right hand.

3. Rest the left hand on the left hip and balance.  (Plate 20)  Take two breaths.

4. Exhale, stretch the right leg forward and pull it.  (Plate 21) Take two breaths.

5. Whe you are firm in this position, hold the right foot with both hands and raise it still higher.  (Plate 22) Take two breaths.

6. Now, with an exhalation rest the head, then the nose and lastly the chin beyond the right knee. (Plate 23) Stay in this position and take a few deep breaths.

7. Exhale, release the hands and lower the right leg to the floor to return to Tadasana (Plate 1)

8. Repeat the pose on the other side, keeping the right leg on the floor and raising the left leg.

9. Balancing in position 5 and 6 is difficult and cannot be attained without mastering position 4.

Effects of Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana :

This asana makes the leg muscles powerful and the balance gives one steadiness and poise.

Ardha Chandrasana

Ardha means half. Chandra is the moon.  The pose resembles the half moon, hence the name.

Techniques of Ardha Chandrasana :

1. Stand in Tadasana (Plate 1) and then do Uthita Trikonasana, (Plate 4) following the technique described earlier.

2. After attaining Trikonasana on the right side, exhale and place the right palm about a foot away from the right foot by bending the right knee and at the same time bringing the left foot near the right one.

3. Wait in this position and take two breathes.  Then exhale and raise the left leg from the floor, toes pointing up; satretch the right hand and the right leg.

4. Place the left palm over the left hip and stretch up, keeping the shoulders well up.  Turn the chest to the left and balance (Plate 19)

5. The weight of the body is borne on the right foot and hip.  The right hand is only a support to control the balance.

6. Hold the pose from 20  to 30 sec.  breathing deeply and evenly.  Then slide the left leg to the floor and go back to Trikonasana (Plate 4)

7. Repeat the pose on the left side.

Effects of Ardha Chandrasana :

The posture is beneficial for those whose legs are damaged or infected.  It tones the lower region of the spine and the nerves connected with the leg muscles and it strengthens the knees.  Along with other standing postures, this asana cures gastric troubles.

Note:  Those who feel weak and are exhausted by the standing poses should only practice Utthita Trikonasana (Plate 4) and Utthita Parsvakonasana (plate 8), as these two asanas strengthen the body.  The other standing asanas should be done only by people

who have built up their strength and whose bodies have become elastic.