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.

Diet :

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 this age.

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 avoided strictly.

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.

Clothes :

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 :

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 :

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 perfect health.

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.


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 boiling.

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 use.

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 one time.

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 morning.

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 bottles.

5. Medicines meant for external use should be labelled as such and kept in a place where medicines for oral use are not kept.

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 stated.

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 going children.

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