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Ayurveda

I have just returned from a four month trip to Southeast Asia and India. I was nervous about managing my symptoms while I was away, but I knew I had to go and not let my disease hold me back from my desire to travel. I did have many experiences where diarrhea would come at the least opportune time, but I managed.

Going to India was not on my travel plans at the time. My plan was to travel to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Viet Nam, but after watching "Eat Pray Love" :p with Juia Roberts, I decided I wanted to visit an Ashram as well, and since I was visiting Asia anyway this was the time to do it.

I searched online and applied to different retreats when I stumbled upon an Ayurveda retreat. Ayurveda is India's traditional medicine, practiced for
5-10 000 years. I even came across one website that specifically treated Crohn's. So I applied to a few and finally I was ready for my journey to India. At the retreat, on my first visit with the doctor he stated he was confidednt that he could heal my ulcers and manage my disease. They told me my problem was of function rather than structure, and with that I began my detox.

Punchakarma is what Ayurveda describes as a cleanse to rid your body of all toxins and reprogram your cells. I underwent 7 days of enemas, 5 days of Ghee treatment followed by purgation (which is the process of eliminating the toxins brought out by the Ghee by inducing diarrhea). I also practiced yoga and mediatated daily for a month and ate only an Ayurvedic diet provided by the retreat along with medications prescribed by the physician. What is important about Ayurveda is that no two people would be treated the same, even if you had the same diagnosis. I think this is a mistake in western medicine, you get diagnosed with an illness and there is only one route to take medically. This doesnt make any sense since we are all genetically very different. Ayurveda is a holistic approach and focuses on the whole individual not just the illness.

I have been home for almost three weeks now, and I just had my abdominal ultrasound. I have significant improvement since my last ultrasound. They were not able to identify any inflammation at all and most importantly my symptoms have improved immensly.

Although healing myself physically was the reason I went to this retreat, what I really found was my true self. I was able to heal myself emotionally, spiritually and physically. This is the true way to heal, although I am still and will always be learning about myself, this was the first step in the right direction. I will never forget the love and support that was offered to me from all the patients and staff. It was truly an amazing and life changing experience that I will appreciate and cherish for the rest of my life.

I wanted to share my experience with you, because this treatment is truly effective, and I think we need to find some alternative to our western medicine that incoporporates a holistic approach from people who actually care about you. On a side note, when I went to the ultrasound the technician said he was having a boring and slow day because no one critical came in and everyone was healthy and I thought wow, instead of being happy for these healthy people you really just think of everyone as an object and not a real person, just for the sake of having an exciting day. It really saddens me.

Anyways if anyone would like more information on Ayurveda I would be happy to help out!

Thanks for reading

Lots of Love,

Michelle
 
Hey!

I went to "Ayurveda Yoga Retreat" in Coonoor India. This is their website: http://www.ayurveda.org/

This place is relatively expensive, but so beautiful...there are many more less expensive Ayurveda retreats in India which are just as effective in healing, but aren't as pretty. When I go again I will look for something a little less expensive.
 

David

Co-Founder
Staff member
Thank you for sharing your experience :) I think there is a lot of wisdom in Ayurveda. I also think many today (especially here in the west) are teaching it in a manner that doesn't honor that deep wisdom. I'm pleased that your experience was a good one.
 
This is great! I would love to go on a retreat like this someday when my budget allows it haha... By the way, can I ask around how much the retreat cost? Right now my nod to holistic care is mostly just doing yoga occasionally and drinking ginger tea (which is actually quite useful; that simple drink got me out of a small flare recently), but I really want to get more into natural medicine.
 
ah ya I drink ginger tea all the time too. I feel soo much better when I drink that stuff. the retreat cost me 3500 canadian for one month, not including airfare. I discovered well I was there that there are cheaper ayurveda retreats that offer the same effects, so when I go for another detox I am gonna try a different spot.
 
Crohn's + Ayurveda

Hi Michelle,

Great to hear your story. I have a very similar one but unfortunately it didn't end as happily as yours. Calgary is a hot spot for Crohn's, I was diagnosed there 18 months after it struck. I subsequently took off for India after using Prednisone for a couple of months (scared me off). I went to an Ayurvedic University which had a hospital and stayed there for a month where I would get a Punchakarma (oral ghee consumption) and a Basti (ghee enemas). Despite the Doctor's assurances it didn't help much, I still had the same intolerances and same degree of inflammation. That being said I am Indo-Canadian and I probably was not in the best facility I could have been. I only chose that place because I have a cousin who lives close by. That hospital is used by the poor and was in very bad condition. After my trip, I moved back to Toronto from Calgary to live with my parents. I like it better here, more sunshine, not as dry, and much warmer.

I got lucky a few months later and found out about mesalamine from someone who has ulcerative colitis. I have been on it for about a year and it works great with much less harmful side effects than prednisone. I no longer walk around with a significant fecal odor. However I can't travel anywhere far and can only eat certain homemade indian dishes. Since ayurvedic cooking and indian cooking are the same thing, I would recommend it to anyone.

Crohn's hit me in May of 2009 and the bleeding and insomnia would fade away once I started eating specific indian dishes a few months later. Indian and ayurvedic cooking are essentially the same thing. Just don't make foods spicy, and avoid eating wheat, dairy and sugar. I eat rice, quinoa, and tapioca flour'd roti's with different mixed vegetables each night (FODMAP compliant - ie no peas, cauliflower, cabbage) and light lentils and rice.

My only problem now is that I am tired of using Mesavant (mesalamine) as it costs $240/mo and there are side effects like anxiety, mood swings, and depression which are getting on my nerves now. Boswellia Serrata looks promising, I'm going to give that a shot in short order.

Ayurveda definitely is the way to go though. Glad to see something good came out of that crappy movie. Indian cooking is really the only flavorful cuisine out there that has tumeric and ginger (great for Crohn's) in most of their dishes. Plus it's vegan friendly!!

I still wouldn't mind going on that retreat though. I'm going to check it out.

P.S. There is an Art of Living Center in Calgary that teaches amazing breathing exercises and special yoga postures for detox. I just started since July and feel much better doing them. The teacher's name is Pooja and she is from India.
 

CrohnsChicago

Super Moderator
I started practicing mindfulness meditation a few years ago when I realized I had anxiety issues. Not only did it help reduce my stress/calm my mind but my physical ailments/symptoms seemed to decrease as well. I am all for these types of techniques as added support.

I am also looking for information on helpful diets. That is another aspect of my maintenance and overall lifestyle in general that I would like to place more concentration on


I would love more info if you have it.

Glad to hear you were able to find healing!
 
Hi michelle!thats wonderful that ayurveda helped you so much!i tried it soon after being diagnosed but not at a center. It was through a western doctor who had studied it and applied his western medical model with Ayurveda. It wasn't so successful for me unfortunately at the time but I am willing to give it another go. I would much rather try this method than continue on with all the toxic medicine I have been given in the past and now.
It's interesting because I find that even during a flare up, the food I can most easily tolerate is Indian food.i lived in India for the better part of a year prior to being diagnosed with crohns and love love love the food! I find I can tolerate the veg so much easier because it is cooked. Even aloo gobhi with that cauliflower doesn't phase my gut!
Strangely, I find that the stress of just traveling sends me into a flare up..tried last spring to go to Europe thinking it was just developing countries..ended up in two hospitals in two different countries! Which saddens me as I love to travel!
I know there is a renowned Ayurvedic institute in new Mexico so perhaps that may be an alternative for those of us unable to travel overseas because of finances and or health issues..
Thanks for sharing your experience!its got me thinking I need to really give it another go!
 

nogutsnoglory

Moderator
I think the eastern medicine has so much to offer. Glad to hear you are benefitting.

I am always afraid of Indian food because of all the spices.
 
Nogutsnoglory..I was hesitant too about Indian food but seems the tumeric and ginger help digestion a lot.. I steer clear from the hot spicy things though.and also the cream laden things usually denoted by 'something korma'
 
Iam very happy you shared that with us!I am willing to try out an ayurvedic treatment in india too.
I never did well with the meds, it seems to me that it has no ending when you go to a GI telling a side effect of the meds and he just gives you another one...and that never ends.
I have the same felling about the doctors that you talk about at the end...it seems to me, they rather deal with you if you get worst, they love an emergency and do not really like a simple conversation to know about how is the diet, and how are you felling as a hole person. And for our disease it makes diference!It is all about how we eat, what we eat and how we fell...because there is no cure, it is only the remission we can have.
I would like to know more about the treatment, if you can. I must say I am a litlle afraid of this induced diarrhea. Because I am trying now for 3 years to get out of the diarrhea!!
But am absolutelly sure that the oils, massages and herbal meds along with alot of relax can make my pains go away. I am already speaking with one resort and trying to start the treatment on january.
Each individual is different, and off course we might need different treatments. I understand that, I just want to be prepared.
thank you.
 
Michelle,

I moved to Texas from India in 2000. I was diagnosed with Crohns in Apr'2008 in Oregon. I am currently on Humira (2/month) which keeps it in remission but with fewer side effects (stomach pain which goes away in 4 - 5 minutes by drinking goat's milk or Ensure).

I contacted the doctor at "Ayurveda Yoga Retreat" in Coonoor India after reading your post. He mailed me yesterday to prescribe a treatment similar to what you had listed earlier (panchakarma+ yoga+ a regimented diet). The hospital is actually in my home state in India.

I am trying to understand more in terms of feedback about what happens one you are back from the treatment and what to expect from your body/ In order words will you be back to where you were within a few years? OR in other words, is the treatment a way to keep the disease in remission long term or is it more of a cure supported by restricted diet? Did you have to get back to your old medicines again?

I am seriously considering making a trip to the hospital within the next 2 - 3 months. Any feed back that you can provide will be very helpful in me making a decision.
 
This is great! I would love to go on a retreat like this someday when my budget allows it haha... By the way, can I ask around how much the retreat cost? Right now my nod to holistic care is mostly just doing yoga occasionally and drinking ginger tea (which is actually quite useful; that simple drink got me out of a small flare recently), but I really want to get more into natural medicine.

I just got a quote back today (01/01/2013) (in case you have not received one yet). It roughly starts at 89 Euros/day (for a basic room) goes up to 109 euros/day.
 
Hi all!

Thanks for replying to my thread!

It has been a year now since I was at the retreat, I have good and bad days still. Its partially my fault, I dont eat a restricted diet when I should. I am thinking about doing a cleanse, I have read good things. I wouldn't say ayurveda was a cure for the disease, although while I was there I had never felt better. I think its important to detox especially with all the preservatives, antibiotics and genetically modified foods that are common part of our diet.

They give you some medications to treat ulcers also and my ultrasound after the treatment was improved. It will be interesting to see where I am at now. Next ultrasound is in March.

Vnag- I have been taking Imuran for two years now. I was also taking it during treatment in India... Not sure if Ill ever be off it.

Hope everyone is well and staying off the toilet :)
Michelle
 
Hi michelle!thats wonderful that ayurveda helped you so much!i tried it soon after being diagnosed but not at a center. It was through a western doctor who had studied it and applied his western medical model with Ayurveda. It wasn't so successful for me unfortunately at the time but I am willing to give it another go. I would much rather try this method than continue on with all the toxic medicine I have been given in the past and now.
It's interesting because I find that even during a flare up, the food I can most easily tolerate is Indian food.i lived in India for the better part of a year prior to being diagnosed with crohns and love love love the food! I find I can tolerate the veg so much easier because it is cooked. Even aloo gobhi with that cauliflower doesn't phase my gut!
Strangely, I find that the stress of just traveling sends me into a flare up..tried last spring to go to Europe thinking it was just developing countries..ended up in two hospitals in two different countries! Which saddens me as I love to travel!
I know there is a renowned Ayurvedic institute in new Mexico so perhaps that may be an alternative for those of us unable to travel overseas because of finances and or health issues..
Thanks for sharing your experience!its got me thinking I need to really give it another go!
Sorry to hear you ended up in the hospital twice! I dont travel well either! What do you think it is? I blame it on stress, pressure changes while flying, and eating out and airplane food!. I hope the Ayurveda institue in New Mexico helps! I definitely think its worth a try! Traveling long distances can be hard on your body. After the retreat I flew for 42 hours to get back home to Canada and I felt awful. It took me a couple of days after that to get better. Crohn's Sucks! I hope that you're feeling alright!
 
This is in relation to a post a fair way back. I add ginger to almost everything that I cook - stir fries, soups, stews, casseroles - and turmeric to many of them, too - I am sure that they are a great help. Carrot and ginger soup is amazing - there has to be enough ginger to really taste it strongly, but not completely drown out the sweetness of the carrots.
 
Thanks Michelle. I'm taking the plunge! I am going to India in Feb for a month to the hospital to get treated. Hopefully if I can get my dependency on Humira reduced by the end of my treatment, that is what I am hoping for...
 
Hi,
I am new to this forum. I have a loved one who is suffering from Crohn's Disease and she is interested in Ayurvedic remedies but a retreat in India may not be possible because of expenses and the stress of traveling in her condition.

I had an active interest in Yoga and Tantra and Ayurveda several years ago and I am familiar with some cleanses but how would I know if they were safe to recommend to someone with Crohn's Disease?

She has already lost so much weight. When I learned about Panchakarma, Bhasti was specifically contra-indicated for individuals with diarrhea or blood in the stool. Do the doctors at this retreat assign a special diet first so it is safe to perform Bhasti on a patient with Crohn's Disease?
 
Hi,
I am new to this forum. I have a loved one who is suffering from Crohn's Disease and she is interested in Ayurvedic remedies but a retreat in India may not be possible because of expenses and the stress of traveling in her condition.

I had an active interest in Yoga and Tantra and Ayurveda several years ago and I am familiar with some cleanses but how would I know if they were safe to recommend to someone with Crohn's Disease?

She has already lost so much weight. When I learned about Panchakarma, Bhasti was specifically contra-indicated for individuals with diarrhea or blood in the stool. Do the doctors at this retreat assign a special diet first so it is safe to perform Bhasti on a patient with Crohn's Disease?

Hi Mango_Grove,

Sorry to hear about your loved one,

I was at the retreat for a month and they started me on some medication and a diet to start and I was not sick when I arrived. In this situation, I don't think you should start panchakarma with someone who is actively in a flare up. Especially if you aren't trained in Ayurveda. You dont want to worsen her condition.

Has she seen her gasteroenterologist? Perhaps she needs to be reassessed with her medications? What is she on? When was her last colonoscopy or CT scan? If she is having severe diarrhea I would try to encourage her to drink lots of water and follow a crohns diet. She is at risk for dehydration, malnutrition and electrolyte imbalances. You could try something pureed (vegetable soups, oatmeal). Nothing too heavy, but easy to digest. If possible, avoid wheat/ gluten products also. They can be irritating and inflammatory. If she continues to get worse, make an appointment with her GI or visit the Emergency Room. I think when her condition improves you could revisit the idea of panchakarma under the supervision of a trained professional.

I really hope she feels better, and I know sometimes it can feel like there is no hope and you're willing to try everything to help alleviate the symptoms. I have been there! You may also want to try a second opinion if your current physician is not helpful. I saw three different GI's before they found I was actually obstructed and perforated and needed surgery.

Hope this helped a little. Sending you lots of love and light xxx

Michelle
 
Please do contact an Ayurvedic doctor before deciding for/against panchakarma. I did contact the ayurvedic doctor via email and explained my condition before he suggested doing it.
 
Thanks guys. You're right I am not an Ayurvedic doctor, but it should be ok that I cooked her a pot of Kitchari, right? Is there any way that could do any harm?

She doesn't tell me any details that she thinks would gross me out, but what I know for sure is that she was in the hospital for a month starting in February and at the end they did not have to operate. Since then she has not gained back the weight she lost.

Thanks for the replies.
 
hey, would love to try ginger tea, how do you prepare it? do you use milk? I love tea, but just cant have milk with Crohns, hence wondering how u do it?
 
I would peel a thumb sized ginger nub (at the very least), chop it up into thin chips (thinner better), toss it into a pot with three or four cups of filtered water, put a lid on it and bring to a low simmer for 20 minutes.

If you have some sort of muslin cloth, maybe try to squeeze out as much juice from the chopped ginger back into the water as possible. Let cool a little and add maybe a little real honey.

Some people add a squeeze of lemon. I like it in white tea. Mmm,sounds good to me, I'll have to make some tomorrow morning; it's been a while.
 
Its nice to know that Ayurveda helped you. Hope you continue to find your true self through Ayurveda and meditation.

I have said this so many times on the forum that Ayurveda has the answer to this disease. It was only in the beginning of my crohns that I ever faced any real problem, and I have been doing alright ever since I started my diet as per Ayurveda . I would also consider myself lucky that in India here most of the regular diet is naturally healthy. mostly vegetables and fruits and and spices which actually are good for your system. I know people in west are afraid of Indian dishes because its spicy, but am sure many of you don't know that these spices are of great medicinal properties that help your system. Anyway I wouldn't go on talking about Ayurveda as it would sound as if am trying to advocate for my culture, but I very honestly wish that people suffering from this nasty disease gives atleast one try for ayurveda..just one try before they give up.
 
Thanks did. However, I haven't yet tried Ayurveda, I want to know more about it. Let me know how you got the treatment started, what was it all about, and where? It would be really helpful for me, thanks
 
I did that at ...

You may want to email them and talk to the doctor first. It surely helped me for a long time. Per the concept in ayurveda, crohns is heat induced. So the diet restrictions involved you eating a lot of food that geneates less heat. Do contact the doctor at the link. That will get you started.

worst case scenario is to get enrolled in clinical studies for crohns.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
I did that at http://www.ayurveda.org/index.aspx

You may want to email them and talk to the doctor first. It surely helped me for a long time. Per the concept in ayurveda, crohns is heat induced. So the diet restrictions involved you eating a lot of food that geneates less heat. Do contact the doctor at the link. That will get you started.

worst case scenario is to get enrolled in clinical studies for crohns.
Dear vnag,

Thanks a lot. Il get in touch asap. What was the diet you were asked to follow? My diet includes wheat, rice, vegetables, egg, fruits, chicken and fish. Any of those causes slot of heat?
 
Ayurveda diet recommends vegetarian food primarily. so that excludes egg, chicken and fish. Most of the focus is on vegetables and fruits...

To give you an idea - all form of beans are to avoided unless they are sprouted (as they cause flatulence otherwise). All root vegetables are exothermic (heat producing) which have to be avoided (carrots, beets are allowed though). Wheat is better is broken form as it may be easier to digest.

You may want to avoid fruits with acid (like citrus especially since they aggravate any inflammation in the digestive system). Pomegrates and flax seeds are very good.

The general rule of thumb would be food that is easy on the stomach for digestion. Probiotics are good (but avoid "culturelle"). Fermented and steamed food are good for the gut. Buttermilk is very good (but from what I understand some of the patients do not tolerate diary well).

Typically a food list is suggested by the doctor. However, you may want to follow the list and but still avoid the items on the list that cause symptoms to flare up.

I have provided ideas which are a combination of what the doc suggested and how my gut responded to some of the items. Do make changes as needed (as no 2 patients are the same).
 
Ayurveda diet recommends vegetarian food primarily. so that excludes egg, chicken and fish. Most of the focus is on vegetables and fruits...

To give you an idea - all form of beans are to avoided unless they are sprouted (as they cause flatulence otherwise). All root vegetables are exothermic (heat producing) which have to be avoided (carrots, beets are allowed though). Wheat is better is broken form as it may be easier to digest.

You may want to avoid fruits with acid (like citrus especially since they aggravate any inflammation in the digestive system). Pomegrates and flax seeds are very good.

The general rule of thumb would be food that is easy on the stomach for digestion. Probiotics are good (but avoid "culturelle"). Fermented and steamed food are good for the gut. Buttermilk is very good (but from what I understand some of the patients do not tolerate diary well).

Typically a food list is suggested by the doctor. However, you may want to follow the list and but still avoid the items on the list that cause symptoms to flare up.

I have provided ideas which are a combination of what the doc suggested and how my gut responded to some of the items. Do make changes as needed (as no 2 patients are the same).
Vnag,

Thanks for the info. Will keep in mind.
Buttermilk, citrus fruits is definitely a no- no for me as it causes flare up. Any idea on whether avocado/ watermelon is good? What about including rice in the diet?
 
I do not know about avacado. But watermelon is good. Rice is has been working very well for me and is good too (as it has not gluten and is primarily steamed).
 
This sounds amazing! I have started acupuncture and diet through Traditional Chinese Medicine, but the idea of going to an Aryuvedic retreat sounds like a phenomenal experience. Does anyone know if there is something similar in China/nearby countries?
 
Hi , I was diagnosed with Crohn's in Feb 2015 . I had a couple of flares and mine is mostly cramping pain in my abdomen with terrible nausea . I am on Azathioprine since diagnosed. Was using steroids during the flare-ups . After the second flare in June , I became intolerant to a lot of foods ,got worried and went to India from Australia to get Ayurveda treatment .Since I stayed only for 12 days in Palakkad ,all the treatments were well set during my stay and the doctor asked me to pretty much eat everything except chilli. Now I am back to Aus and continuing my medications .The medications I have been using are
Vivaldi gudika , alsarex , manasa mitra , guloochyadhi kashayam ,hinguvachadi and Amrith kalash
. Except banana ,I was getting burning sensation with other fruits and now I noticed the legiyam (paste) I am having is made of variety of fruits .I am still experiencing Slight pain, burning and nausea and there is an unexplainable funny feeling that's constant in my tummy .
Does it mean the disease is still active ? And are these symptoms due to the Ayurveda medicines ?
I am Indian origin and I believe in natural treatments and want to cure or at least be in remission .Pls help . Thanks
 
hi,
I know iam trying to reopen a old thread.

My daughter has been diagnosed with Crohn's and we want to try Ayurveda for this. Just wanted to know if anyone has tried Ayurveda for Crohn's in the recent times.

regards,
Uday.
 
My personal experience with Ayurveda: It takes a long time to get some benefit but the benefit lasts for a long period of time. I tried this for a month and was relatively symptom free for about 3 months. Eventually, the symptoms came back (even with restricted diet). It is not helpful when with conventional medicines which makes it hard for someone with symptoms to put up with it through the course of treatment.

I switched to a more rudimentary but radically different approach (with probiotics) along with restricted diet and no conventional medicines. This has been working very well for me.
 
I do not know about avacado. But watermelon is good. Rice is has been working very well for me and is good too (as it has not gluten and is primarily steamed).
Everyone is different, you have to do your own trial and error on foods that work for you and foods that don't. But, for me, avocado is one of the best foods to help manage my Crohn's symptoms. It's great to add to smoothies to give a creamy texture.
 
i have been on Ayurveda treatment and specific veterinarian diet for last 6 month.

i still have inflammation in my large and small intestine and random pain around navel and lower part of abdomen.

i also see red veins in my eyes and also got sensitive to lights . has anybody got similar problem , what treatment was tried? i think it may be related to vitamin deficiency but i am not sure so i will get this checked.

i stopped tasking steroid long back. my gastroenterologist doctor is asking me to go on infliximab medicine to suppress my immunity but i have been saying no to it . everytdya i am thinking about treatments.

will punchkarma give long time remission?

person who is in remission can also suggest what else been tried to get into remission?

thanks.
 
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