Burn Dhoopana: From Ashes to Ashes

By Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya

Ayurveda reminds us that in times of increasing diseases, we must reconnect with the environment in which we grow, and go cleanse the land, cleanse the water, cleanse the air, and become aware of time. This is especially important during epidemics, which were known 5000 years ago and called janapada-uddhvansa in Sanskrit. Jana is the people, and dhvansa is annihilation.

Go and clean the land around your house, the windows and area around your doorways, and the path you walk to get from the street to your home. Then clean any water bodies around. Participate in neighborhood cleanups, and be aware of using too much detergent, and too much soap. Clean the air in your home daily, and in your inner home, your lungs. Spend time becoming aware of time. What did you do to connect with the earth this summer? What cleaning projects did you do?

These principles of awareness also teach us to clean the inner environment, by breathing deeply to slow time in the body.

Wash your hands when you rise, when you eat, when you come inside. Do quiet yoga and meditate daily. Breathe deeply several times a day. Use oil drops in your nostrils daily.  Ensure your sense of smell is working by smelling your food regularly. Take a bath daily using herbal powders. Choose to change your daily habits. If you do not take this time out to improve the inner environment of your body, then the disease will easily take it over.

Daily pranayama and movements of the 14 main joints of the body namely ankles, knees, hips, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, and lower spine are important for moving blood and oxygen to the quiet corners of the body.

Daily dhoopana, smoke, and fire cleanse the outer environment. In the house, burn an oil candle daily, preferably with ghee or mustard oil.  Burn pure incense. Create a dhoopana – burn guggul, adding some ajwain, turmeric, neem, coconut husks, camphor, and a few drops of ghee.

Save those skins and paper around the garlic and onion and add it to the evening dhoopana. Try to see the pharmacy in your backyard and in your kitchen. Find juniper, frankincense, and pine. Once the flame gets started, put some leaves on top to get the smoke going.  Don’t use all of these ingredients in each session!

Try using 3-5 and burning a dhoopana twice daily, at sunrise and sunset.  And turn off your smoke alarm before starting this process. Reorient your home automation to allow ancient wisdom to re-enter. Recall that Indian knowledge was perfected by the 1000 years of cyclic infections that plagued Europe and created its Dark Ages while India flourished.

To prevent any respiratory illness at the spring change of season, Ayurveda teaches us to make sure our gut is clean. The gut is the headquarters for empowering the immune system. Adding raisins (draksha), coriander (dhanya) leaves, prunes, spinaches (saag), palak, and dark green leafy vegetables to the diet helps the bowel push contents down and out. If you need a little extra help, try taking 1 tsp of Triphala with hot water at night. If you need more help, contact an ayurvedic physician. You can take 1 tsp of dashmul powder with 1 tsp of psyllium husk with hot water at night. The main goal is to have large bowel movements daily and get the gut clean.

If you are in 40 percent of America with irritable bowel syndrome, currently incurable by modern medicine, drink just 6 oz of coconut milk as medicine daily. It is nourishing and filling, but light to digest and is used to cool the inflamed belly. Most IBS patients benefit from musta and bilva. They take Triphala every night. Use dashmul. Learn how by investing in an online visit with an authentic ayurvedic physician.

In the spring, when “Master Cleanse” is a popular fasting ritual for the body, the superfood Amalaki, liver cleansers, herbomineral medicines, and multiherbal tablets are in use among athletes, nutrition enthusiasts, and holistic experts. In a country where fatty liver disease is abundant, a properly functioning liver is a great asset.

Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya

Images courtesy of (Image Courtesy: Pranayatan Ayurveda) and Provided

Share this post