Ayurvedic Medicine: The “Science of Life”

October 30, 2014 (1:30-3:00pm): In recent years many alternative medical practices have been introduced to the western world. Ayurvedic medicine (also called Ayurveda), one of the world’s oldest medical systems, has gained widespread popularity through the famous author, doctor and practitioner, Deppak Chopra. Originating in India, this system aims to integrate and balance the body, mind and spirit leading to happiness and health and prevention of illness.

Speaker: Ranjit Rai is an Ayurvedic physician from India, now living in Winnipeg. He completed his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) in Alternative Medicine in 2005 and has 20 years of experience as an ayurvedist in India. He founded the Winnipeg Ayurvedic Centre.

Fee & Location: Members $10, Non-members $15 at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg (603 Wellington Cr.).


“It’s elementary” article in the Winnipeg Free Press

(Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 1, 2011 D1)

It’s elementary

Ancient medical practice of Ayurveda is rooted in the five elements and seeks to balance body, mind and spirit

By: Carolin Vesely

Ranjit Rai

Photo: Ayurvedic physician Ranjit Rai gently pours warm oil over the forehead. (WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

It may sound like a version of Chinese water torture, but in India, having a continuous stream of warm oil dripped onto your forehead is something your physician might prescribe.

It’s an ancient Ayurvedic treatment called Shirodhara, and it will drive you blissfully sane.

For the full article, please go to the Winnipeg Free Press’ website. (Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 1, 2011 D1)


“Ayurveda Treats Mind, Body and Soul” from Indo-Canadian Telegram

“Ancient Health Science Promotes Prevention Rather Than Cure”

by Ranjit Rai (from the Indo-Canadian Telegram, Sep/Oct 2011)

The word Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that is a union of two words, ‘Ayu’ and ‘Veda.’ ‘Ayu’ means life and ‘Veda’ means knowledge or science. It is a traditional science which gives us the knowledge of life. It is believed to be the oldest health science in the world. Its antiquity goes back to the Vedas and it is considered the Upveda of Athervaveda. It is a system of herbal medicine, believed to be more than 5,000 years old.

Ayurveda strongly promotes preven- tion rather than cure, treating a person as a whole, considering mind, body and soul. Usually we have so many spices in our kitchens; if we use them properly, we can prevent many diseases. By balancing vata, pitta and kapha, the three elemen- tal energies of the body, it corrects the mental, physical, spiritual and physiolog- ical imbalances of an individual.

It encourages everyone to take responsibility for their own health by practicing healthy lifestyle, yoga and exercises. If anyone follows Ayurvedic lifestyle, with a natural and balanced diet, that person will have good health because of a strong immune system. It not only gives symptomatic relief but treats the root cause of the disease. And above all, Ayurvedic supplements are dietary supplements with no side effects.

Ayurvedic treatment is good for chronic ailments, whereas regular medicine is good for emergency treatments. Ayurveda is recognized by the World Health Organization as an effective, traditional health science because gold stays gold.

Here are a few home remedies:

  1. Eat two pieces of garlic in the morning, preferably on an empty stomach. It will control the cholesterol in the body.
  2. For nausea (feeling of vomiting), take 2 glasses of water and one tsp. (teaspoon) of coriander, 1 tsp. of fennel, 1 tsp. of carom seed and a pinch of Asafoetida. Boil it until you have one glass and let it slightly cool. Start sipping the lukewarm liquid slowly. After sometime it will relieve the nausea.
  3. Take one tomato, one bitter gourd and one cucumber; grind them, squeeze them and drink that juice every morning on an empty stomach. It will control diabetes.

Dr. Rai is an Ayurvedic physician practicing in Winnipeg. For more information on his services, call him at 417-3846 or 295-4846, or email him at winnipegayurveda@gmail.com.



What is Panchkarma?

Shirodhara Herbal Oil Treatment

Shirodhara Herbal Oil Treatment

Panchkarma is Ayurvedic cleansing, detoxification and rejuvenation therapy for healthy and sick persons, according to their doshic imbalance. Panchkarma therapy is divided into three phases:

Poorva Karma

  1. Pachana
  2. Snehana
  3. Swedana

Pradhan Karma

  1. Vamana Karma
  2. Virechana Karma
  3. Basti
  4. Nasya
  5. Raktamokshana

Paschat Karma

  1. Samsarjana Karma
  2. Rasayana Chikitsa
  3. Shamana Chikitsa

Poorva Karma (Pre-operation therapeutics for purifying and strengthening the mind, body and spirit)

  1. Snehna Karma (Oleation Therapy)
  2. Abhayanga (Ancient Ayurvedic Healing Massage): It is a process by which the person’s body is oleated with medicated oils. Abhyanga is performed with specific pressure and movements (gati), taking under consideration the patient’s condition.
  3. Udvartana: It is a dry-body massage in which no medicated oils are used. Dry or misty powders are used instead. It improves the skin complexion and the blood flow.
  4. Unmardana: Massage with certain pressure and strokes for tight muscles.
  5. Lepa: (Ayurvedic Mud Therapy): Application of herbal paste on skin, face or scalp and hair.
  6. Shirodhara: The phenomenon of continuous dripping of medicated warm oil in a steady stream over the forehead for a specific period of time is called Shirodhara. This therapy is helpful in stress care, hair care, mental relaxation and spiritual healing.
  7. Shiro-Abhyanga: Application and massage of medicated or non-medicated oil to the head is called Shiro-Abhyanga.
  8. Shiro-Basti: In this process, a person sits on a chair and he wears a specially designed cap made of leather. This cap is called Shiro Basti. Warm milk, warm oils and liquid Ghee (a form of butter) are poured inside the cap and retained for a certain period of time. Then, the liquid is removed and the person is given a gentle massage of the head, forehead and neck.
  9. Kati-Basti: This process is also known as Kati Tarpana. It is an application of warm medicated oil with the help of a container made of Bengal gram dough (or regular dough). The container should be handmade and should be built around the lumbosacral area to pacify Vata Dosha (pain and stiffness) of the lower back and also to strengthen the muscles and bones of that area.
  10. Greeva Basti or Tarpana: It is a procedure in which warm medicated oil is applied around the cervical area. It strengthens the bones, cartilage and muscles of that area to pacify vata dosha.
  11. Janu Basti or Tarpana: The procedure is similar to Greeva Basti, but the oil is applied to the area around the knee joint to pacify vata dosha.
  12. Swedana Karma: It is a procedure of applying therapeutic heat to any part of the body that is in pain. It is also used for rejuvenating the whole body.
  13. Anagnikrita Swedana: Fomentation without the help of heat, like by exercise, yoga, exposure to sun, wearing or wrapping oneself with warm clothes.
  14. Agnikrita Swedana: It is the fomentation of the body help of heat.
  15. Nadi Swedana: The procedure of applying regular or medicated steam on the whole body or the affected part of the body.
  16. Avagaha Swedana: The Person is made to bath in warm medicated decoction.
  17. Bashpa Swedana (steam bath): The body is made to perspire by the use of medicated steam.
  18. Pinda Swedana: This therapy consists of scrubbing boluses made up of medicinal herbs, hot rice, other grains ground together in milk. These boluses are rubbed over the entire body or specific parts, depending on the condition of the person.
  19. Valooka Swedana: The process of fomentation of the joints with help of hot sand and herbs wrapped within a cloth.

Pradhan Karma:

  1. Vamana: It is the therapeutic vomiting and is advised to eliminate vitiated Kapha and pitta dosha.
  2. Virechana: is advised to eliminate vitiated vatta and pitta dosha through therapeutic purging.
  3. Basti: is advised to eliminate vitiated vatta by therapeutic purification, detoxification and rejuvenation of the colon with Ayurvedic preparations.
  4. Raktamokshana: is advised to subside vitiated dosha by therapeutic withdrawal of blood from a particular diseased site.
  5. Nasya: is advised to correct disorders of head and sinuses by administering Ayurvedic preparations through nostrils.

Paschat Karma:

  1. Samsarjana Karma: They differ according to pradhan karma like patient should take rest; avoid facing direct cold air etc.
  2. Resayan Chikitsa: Patient should be encouraged to have Ayurvedic preparation like chyavanprash, moosli pak for good health and long-life.
  3. Shamana Chikitsa: If after panchkarma (purification and rejuvenation) patient has some specific symptoms, they should be treated accordingly with ayurvedic preparation.

Want a Lecture/Workshops on Ayurveda?

Ayurvedic Teachings & Therapies in Winnipeg

If you are interested in organizing a lecture or workshop on Ayurveda, please contact Ranjit Rai of the Winnipeg Ayurvedic Centre to check on availability and discuss the various topics. Ranjit has recently moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba and would love to have the opportunity to share the knowledge and experience from his practice as an Ayurvedic doctor in India.