Perfect health demands living a principled life. Cultivating
certain good habits and avoiding harmful ones helps keep
good health. The most important of these good habits is
that of cleanliness-cleanliness of body, of clothes and
of the house.
Cleanliness of body :
Bathing keeps the body clean. During summer we should take
a bath every day and during winter at least two times in
a week. Young strong persons can bath in fresh (cold) water
but children and old people should use lukewarm water. Bathing
is not advisable immediately after or before excercise,
tiresome work or sexual intercourse. Pregnent women should
not stay in the bathroom for a long time as it causes weakness
and saps the energy. The body should be dried thoroughly
after bath with soft clean towel. Lukewarm water bath is
useful for persons of all ages and temperaments and in all
seasons. The bathing process should take five to fifteen
minutes. Use of soap helps in removing dirt and microbes
from the skin.
Cleanliness of clothes
Clothes worm next to body (undergarments) must be changed
and washed everyday. Dirty clothes are harmful for health.
Clothes should be changed and washed every three to four
days in all seasons. Bed sheets, pillow covers and towels
used by individual must be washed once every week.
Personal cleanliness :
Personal cleanliness involves cleanliness of skin, mouth,
nails, hair and other parts of the body. Cleanliness of
body can be ensured by bathing. Cleanliness of mouth and
teeth requires special attention. The mouth must be kept
perfectly clean and the teeth regularly attended to. The
best way of cleaning the teeth is to brush them with a 'Miswak',
made from soft, fresh branch of 'Neem', Pilu or Babool.
The miswak not only removes the food particles struck into
the teeth but also keeps the gums strong. Toothbrush is
most common these days and a toothbrush does clean the teeth
most thoroughly but care should be taken to use of soft
brush. Hard stiff brushes are harmful for gums. Some people
rub their teeth by applying manjan (Tooth powder) with finger
tips. This does not help in complete cleanliness. Brush
may be used after applying manjan. The tongue should also
be cleaned every morning. Cleaniness of nails and hair is
equally important. Nails should be trimmed regularly at
least once in a week. Nails of feet should also be trimmed
regularly. Unnecessary hair in the armpits and on the public
region should be removed at least once in a month. Hair
on the head should also be kept clean and combed. Likewise
the hair on the chin (Beard) and the moustaches should also
be kept properly clean and in good trim.
Cleanliness of home :
The windows, doors and ventilation of residential houses
must be kept open to allow free flow of air in and out of
the rooms and also to let the sunlight to enter. Floors
should be kept properly clean. Rooms should not be allowed
to become damp. Special care should be taken to keep bathrooms
and lavatories clean.
A regular habit with regard to eating and drinking is essential.
Food should be selected in accordance with one's age, his
nutritional requirements and according to season.
Diet for children :
It should be liquid, semi-liquied, easily digestable, rich
in protein such as milk, cream, eggs, meat and vegetable
soup, fruit and easily digestable pulses.
Diet for young persons :
Heavy meals of mutton, dry fruit, butter, vegetables, bread,
rice and almost all types of food are easily digested at
Diet for old persons :
Light and easily digestable food should be taken and fats,
mutton and rich food should be avoided.
General instructions about diet
Food should be changed with the change of seasons. Foods
containing mutton and eggs are good during winter while
curd, milk and vegetable foods are good during summer. Food
having large fluids contents such as milk, curd, watermelon
and vegetables are not fit for use during rainy season.
Overeating must always be avoided. One should eat only as
much as ones appetite demands. Moderation in eating is of
great importance. There should be an interval of atleast
three hours between two meals. Hot, spicy and rich food
should be avoided as such food does more harm than good
to our health.
Time for meals :
In a country like India it suficient to have three meals
a day; breakfast in the morning, lunch at noon and dinner
after sunset. If needed, some fruit or a cup of beverage
may be taken in the evening.
How and when to eat :
1. Food should not be taken unless one feels really hungry.
2. Eat only as much as the appetite demands. Avoid overeating.
This will not only prevent upsetting of digestion but will
also keep off other diseases.
3. The food one eats should be well cooked and should be
eaten while still hot. Taking stale or half-cooked food
spoils the health. Special attention should be paid to this
fact during the rainy season.
4. Food should be appetising, clean and delicious so that
one can eat it with relish.
5. It should be masticated thoroughly and should not be
swallowed hastily as it will not be digested easily.
6. When taking food keep your mind calm and free from anxieties.
Serious reading should also be avoided during meals. Food
taken under the influence of influence of grief or sorrow,
anxiety or care, anger or passion upsets the stomach.
7. Taking food while it is too hot is not advisable at all.
8. As far as possible water should not be taken during meals.
It is better to drink water after half an hour but in summer
a small quantity of wate can be taken immediately after
meals. People with hot temperament can have a little water
prior to meals. Drinking of cold water immediately after
eating hot food is also harmful. Iced water should be taken
at least half an hour after meals.
9. Some fruits and green vegetables should also be taken
with meals every day.
10. Certain things should not be taken together, particularly,
eating the following at one and the same time should be
1. Rice and watermelon
2. Rice and Sattoo
3. Pomegranate and Hareesa
4. Kalla Paye and Grapes
5. Fish and Milk
Changes should be introduced from time to time in the pattern
of our food. It is not good to take the same type of food
always. For example, eating rice continuously produces an
excess of fluids in the body which results in loss of appetite
and fatigue. In the same way excessive and continuous use
of citrous food results in weakness of body and hastens
the onslaught of old age. Constant use of sweet meats upsets
the stomach and weakens the nerves. Spicy food causes irritation
in intestines. Chillies are also harmful. Our food, therefore
must be balanced.
The most important function of our clothes is to afford
protection to our body against heat and cold. Our dress
should therefore be adopted to the conditions of the weather.
Light cotton clothing is best suited in summers while woollen
dress is required in winters. When hot winds blow during
summers light dress is to be avoided. By a careful selection
of our dress material we can so regulate our clothing as
to suit different climates and seasons. All tight clothes
should be avoided as they interfere with circulations, respiration,
digestion and action of muscles. While selecting synthetic
cloth for our dress we must make sure that it should be
of such a quality as would not be harmful to our skin. Special
care should be taken with regard to the clothes of children
and aged people as they are more susceptible to changes
of temperature. Loose-fitting garments are better both in
summer and in winter.
Sleep is as necessary for health as is activity. It is the
only form of periodical rest for the mind and the body both.
It brings relaxation and relief to our tired muscles and
nerves and restores the energy lost during work and wakefulness.
But only sound sleep brings the relief and rest mentioned
above. To have a sound sleep it is necessary that the food
in the stomach should be fully digested.
The best time to sleep is at night. It is good for health
to go to sleep early in the night and get up early in the
morning. Food should be taken at least two hours before
going to bed. The amount of sleep required varies with the
age. Infants require 15-20 hours sleep, children 12 hours,
youths 8 hours and old people 6 hours sleep. Late hours
sleep should be avoided.
Exercise is necessary at all periods of life to maintain
health and keep the body in good shape. Exercise makes the
body active and agile. It speeds up the circulation of blood.
There are a number of excercises. But to derive full benefit
from our exercise, it should be systematic and regular so
that every muscle of the body shares in it. Of these, walking
is the easiest. The duration and speed of the walk should
be determined by the age and physique of the person concerned.
Generally 45 to 50 minutes walk is enough. For those who
do bodily work, the work itself is an exercise. Swimming
and riding are considered best forms of exercise. Out door
games also are good. In old age only light exercise should
be done. Yogie 'asans' and massage are also for maintaining
Moderation in all matters is the key to good health. In
all matters we should avoide extremes and keep to the golden
mean. Whenever we eat, drink, sleep, work or make merry
we should maintain a balance. To be constantly worried about
ones state of health is a disease in itself. One should
therefore keep his mind free from such ill-found worries.
A healthy, calm, and contented mind is a pre-condition to
a healthy, strong and vivacious body.
GUIDANCE FOR PREPARATION, STORAGE
AND ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICINES
1. Preparation of medicines :
1. Medicines should be prepared in accordance with the formula
given for each prescription.
2. Where drugs are to the powdered, they should be powdered
finely and seived through a muslin cloth or a seive of 100
mesh, unless it is stated that coarse powder should be used.
3. Where drugs are to be added to water and boiled, the
vessel should be covered with a lid. As soon as boiling
has started, the vessel should be removed from fire, kept
for 5 minutes and then seived and taken lukewarm.
4. Where it is stated that decoction should be reduced to
half, the vessel should be kept covered with a lid on medium
fire, till apporoximately half the water is remained by
5. Sugar, wherever mentioned to be added to powder of other
drugs, should be first powdere before mixing. If Misri (Sugar
candy) is available, it may be used in place of sugar. In
such cases, Misri should also be powdered.
6. In the case of some medicines, the drugs are to the soaked
overnight. If a medicine of this category is to be prepared
urgently in emergent condition, the drugs may be soakedin
water for 3-4 hours in summer and 5-6 hours in winter before
7. Medicine which are to be preserved and used for more
than one day, e.g.7 days, 10 days 12 days, etc. may also
be prepared in reduced or increased quantities. In such
cases care must be taken to maintain the ratio of each drugs
in the formula.
8. Where drugs are required to be taken in equal parts,
the intention is that each drug should be equal to the others
in weight or volume. The quantity to be taken should be
decided in the light of the dose mentioned for one day and
for the number of days the medicine is to be prepared at
II. Storage :
1. Decoction which is to be prepared is for a single dose.
This should be freshly prepared every time and not stored.
In other words decoction should not be prepared in the morning
and taken at night or prepared at night and taken in the
2. Medicine should generally not be exposed to direct rays
of the sun or heat.
3. Containers should be cleaned first, dried thoroughly
in the sun and then the medicines should be stored. The
container should never be kept open.
4. Where it is stated to preserve medicines for more than
one day, they should be kept in clean well stoppered glass
5. Medicines meant for external use should be labelled as
such and kept in a place where medicines for oral use are
III. Dosage and administration
1. Medicines are generally prescribed to be taken twice
daily. In such cases the morning dose should be taken after
light break-fast and evening dose between 4-6 p.m.
2. Medicines to be taken in the morning should be taken
on empty stomach immediately after morning ablutions.
3. Medicines to be taken after meals should be taken about
5-15 minutes after principal meals.
4. Medicines to be taken at bed time should be taken two
hours after the last meal.
5. The quantity given for decoction is for single dose.
6. The doses mentioned in this book are for adults.
IV. Vehicles with Medicines :
1. Vehicles, such as water, sodawater, milk, lassi, or tea
have been mentioned for some medicines. In such cases the
quality of the vehicle is usually one cup unless otherwise
2. Where no vehicles are mentioned, the medicines should
be taken with fresh water and in winter with lukewarm water.
1. Only the simple remedies for common ailments have been
prescribed in this handbook that can be used in the initial
stages of the diseases. In case the patient is not improving
or in acute cases a physician may immediately be consulted
or the patient should be referred to the nearby hospital.
2. In contagious and infectious diseases like smallpox,
cholera, measles etc., the local public health authorities
should be notified immediately. In the case of an epidemic,
the orders of the local authority should to complied with.
A physician should also be consulted in such cases to avoid
likely complications and risks.
3. Smallpox vaccinations, cholera inoculations, etc. should
be taken at periodical intervals, and specially during epidemics
as a preventive measure.
4. Taking articles of food, fruits etc. exposed to dust
and flies should be avoided. This specially applies to school