Sunday, February 17, 2008

Our health....

“But it also makes sense. If you live longer, then you cost the health system more.”

Read this news a few days ago and ever since I have been thinking....

This reporter seems to be disturbed / frustrated that people are living longer. So now what? Will they let them smoke and do all those things as per research one was not supposed to do? One day it is drink coffee, the next day the research says don’t. And then back to tea and tomatoes while now it is all organic and Soya. But it seems to be costing someone dearly so I guess now a long life is only for the rich who can afford it.

This reminded me that our Grandparents did live a long and healthy life though I did not find them popping pills to keep that way. The only demand (occasionally) for both my grand mothers were the Kottakkal Aryavaidyashala products “Lehyam”, “Kashayam” and their favourite hair oil which makes them smell so heavenly. Wonder why I never used it though my mother does. I guess people may not come near me!

Arya Vaidya Sala uses more than 4000 tons of raw material (about 600 items) in a year to produce 530 formulations for the market. A rough estimate of annual consumption by Arya Vaidya Sala:

1. Milk - 13 lakh litre
2. Oil - 5 lakh litre
3. Ghee - 180 ton
4. Honey - 290 ton
5. Jaggery - 750 ton
6. Saffron - 856 kg
7. Cardamom - 14 ton
8. Tippali - 30 ton
9. Ativitayam - 12 ton
10. Kurumtotti - 480 ton

As for my Grand father (maternal) he ate whatever he liked until his death at 89. His favourite desert was curd with plantain and sugar! It tastes great but the minute I try to enjoy it, I keep thinking of the calories in the sugar and curd! I have already cut down on my sugar intake.. just for precaution sake. Sigh...

My grand mother (paternal) lived to 90 and lived all alone with just a lady to cook and keep her company at night. She refused to move in with any of her children. I think the secret of her health was her bath. She used to sit on a stool and rub “Taila / Kuzhampu (Oil based)” all over her and then stay thus while separating the “Incha”. Then a long warm bath followed.

Hubby’s grandma lived 100 years! She never took any medicines either and loved sweets until her death. She could do all her bodily needs all alone until her death. So what are we up to?

Whatever they did, none of them depended on medicines. But my father was diagnosed with BP and cholesterol in his early 40’s. He loved good food and he was big built so I guess he settled for the medicines instead of diet. But still mother banished poor coconut oil for gingelly oil and sometimes instead of meat she used to cook soya chunks. Ugh! As for my mother, she still refuses to take medicines. I think once you start taking medicines for BP, you are doomed to continue it, while one can still control it with diet and exercise.

As for our children, if any of them falls sick we are too quick to start antibiotics while many doctors advice us not to do so, but manage the fever for at least 3 days and then start antibiotics if still needed. But we don’t have the patience to do so. We need to send them to school and can’t take a day off too. One of our cousin’s son developed grey hair when he was in 2nd standard. The doctor said it was due t over usage of antibiotics. I have tried my best too, to keep myself away from this, whenever I can and my kids too.

Do we really need all these medicines?

Do we really need to listen all those research findings?

Our grandparents never did and they lived a long and healthy life.

And today I read this..

Israeli Arab says she's world's oldest person
Mariam Amash, who applied for a new identity card, says she's 120

Wow.. nd did the Israel government keep her that way or did she do it all alone. Beats me. and we have the Bible which tells us that people did live long... with no medicinces or modern hospitals.

I am not saying we dont need them but we should not depend upon them completely.

Anyway I hope now the researchers won’t find means to let us poor folks die early so that we are not a burden to the state. Or have they already?


  1. I liked your writeup, came across it in Mysore Blog Park. If we compare our lifestyle with our grand parents, physical activities have reduced while the intake is same, if not more. This may be the cause for health problems.

  2. Even my generation who were born in 1940s used to walk (I still walk living in Europe) and if the distance was a few miles, we used a bicycle. We attended classes in the engineering college (it was the only one in Mysore at that time)commuting
    on bicycles. There were not many 'pot bellied' young men or even middle aged men seen, type2 diabetes was not prevalent and no asthma cases that I knew.
    In the late 1960s, the scooter culture took over, and I resisted.
    Soon three of my friends in their 30s who had no illness until that time developed gastritis. These three who were lean and trim developed pot bellies, put on weight and two of them had cardiac problem and one developed diabetes.

    When I visited Mysore a few years ago, I was the lone walking individual in our neighbourhood. One car driver saw me walking, and offered a ride in his car and I accepted to chat with him. He used to be my student in early 1970s, represented our engineering college in athletics. He said he was advised by his doctor to shed at least 2 stones and take exercises. He said walking was out of question as the streets are full of automobiles, and the footpaths were unusable in many places etc.. etc..

  3. man has always wanted feel well, from historic times. I once heard from a friend in Sweden that the doctor told him, bring the kid to see the doctor only if the temperature hits 102, otherwise, leave it be, the kid will recover on his own from the infection after some days.

    The problem is most of the time, the animal instinct to laze takes over, more in some, less in others.

  4. Diet too has changed to include cuisine from other cultures which maybe includes a lot of not-so-good-for-us stuff.
    But to eat a little of whatever you fancy, sounds so ideal.

    If we could do without instant relief for all our aches and pains, we might be better off as you say.

  5. antibiotics are horrible. i was in india this past december. doctor prescribed me antibiotics for an allergic reaction. :/ i hven't had antibiotics ever before in life. they don't just prescribe them in canada without a properly strong reason. this doc in india was a well known doc in the city. much regarded. so we figured he knew what he was talking about. u can well imagine what the rest of my trip would've been like. horrific! i was weak, throwing up, miserable really. down with the medics. :|

    well written, enjoyed reading. :)

  6. Indrani Ghose: thank u.. yep we have become a lazy lot

    Guru: Even my Grandfather's fav vehilce used to be cycle and I dont how much distance he has covered on it.. but it did good for him

    Maddy: u r right

    Kallu: patience is what we lack in our modern life style and we pass the same to our kids too

    rr: Thank u


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