PK Guidelines & Support
Welcome to Hyderabad and Our Panchakarma Intensive Program
For maximum results from your PK, please review the following points before you travel to Hyderabad. More information will be provided to you when your PK program begins.
Raju Intensive Panchakarma
“The panchakarma which we give here is an intensive treatment. It is like doing a whitewash to the whole wall (whole physiology). When painting after the whitewash, whatever color you put it will reflect more bright [same for the physiology with PK ~ both positive and negative influences will reflect more strongly]. So after the PK you need to rest well. And during PK also you have to be very careful about what you are exposed to ~ going to some restaurants, eating over there, etc. You should not move here and there during PK, especially during the basti program you should not go outside our neighborhood. And after panchakarma, if you have good strength from rest it is always better for the results.”
Vaidya Krishna Raju
Please review the following documents before you come to Hyderabad
Arrival & Panchakarma (PK) Routine
The following points will help your first days in Hyderabad flow smoothly. Our full Panchakarma Handbook gives more detailed information and instructions about the PK process. Please be sure to review the PK Handbook carefully during your stay in Hyderabad, as it contains important points for gaining maximum benefits from your PK including special instructions for certain treatments you will receive.
When you Arrive in Hyderabad
The driver will carry your bags to your pre-assigned room. If you arrive in the night please take good rest until morning, not minding if you sleep late.
In the morning, please report to the office for your PK Orientation with our staff and your initial consultation with the vaidya. If you arrive later in the day, please let the office staff know you have arrived so that you can receive your PK orientation as soon as possible and confirm your first appointment time with Dr. Krishna.
Please see dietary guidelines below for this consultation, as an empty stomach is required for the clearest pulse reading. Note that you will fare MUCH better with the jet-lag if you do not sleep during the day and go to bed early at night!
Dr. Padma Raju asks that all new PK Guests give her a call your first day here, so she knows you are comfortable in your room and to answer any questions you may have. The office staff can give you her phone number or dial for you on the office phone.
RESIDENCE BUILDINGS: There are two Raju PK Center buildings located very near to each other on block 8 of the Sahara States subdivision (#8/19, yellow building, with the office on the ground floor, and #8/28, purple / multi-colored building). Normally, our PK guests are housed in one of these two buildings (or in alternative nearby locations during peak PK times).
OUR DINING HALL HAS MOVED to our new residence building on block 7, Sahara States (building #7/5 with the BLUE GATE). This building is just one block over from block 8, and to the left, towards the park & commercial center.
Initial Pulse Diagnosis with the Vaidya
At the Raju PK Center, PK guests will see the vaidya briefly (5 min) every morning or on alternate mornings for daily pulse check (diagnosis of the physiology & PK needs through the subtle impulses of the pulse).
First day (arrival) consultations are approx. 10-15 minutes and start about 9:00 - 9:15 am on the ground floor of building #8/19 (office), though may be possible later if you arrive in the afternoon. Please bathe and dress in clean clothing before coming to your appointment so that you feel fresh and alert when you first meet Dr. Krishna.
It is important to see the vaidya for the first time without food in your stomach, so please do not take hot milk or breakfast until after you see Dr. Krishna your first day here. You may go directly to the dining hall for breakfast after the consultation. Please DO continue drinking water (sipping hot water frequently is best, and it is important to continue this throughout your panchakarma and at home). Purified water dispensers are on every residence floor and in the office, dining hall & treatment aisles.
Avoid caffeinated beverages for 12 hours prior to your consultation (important to avoid caffeine in general during PK).
On your second day here you may have hot milk (only) before seeing the Vaidya. Thereafter it is fine to finish breakfast 30 minutes before your pulse check. There are some exceptions to this rule during special treatments—see PK Handbook for details.
Daily Treatment Schedule
Generally, new patients will see the vaidya in the morning of their first day, or later depending on arrival time, and will begin treatments the same day (or the next in some cases). The office staff will advise you of your treatment time.
Initially, your technicians will come to your room to escort you to the treatment center building just a few blocks away. When you are more familiar with the routine, your technicians will simply tell you what time to come for treatments. Please arrive punctually to avoid complications and delays for others.
Be sure to bring a towel, shampoo and comb with you to all treatments. Initially you will receive treatments once a day, but soon you will switch to TWO treatment blocks daily along with the nightly 'shiro pichu' (oil application to the head) and 'pada-abhyanga' (foot massage) in your room before bed.
There is a driver available for rides back and forth to the treatment center, or you can enjoy the short walk once you know the way (as long as you don’t feel tired or have not had a big basti or nasya treatment that day).
The office staff will prepare a PK Kit-box to keep in your room. Please be sure you have this before the evening of your first day, as it contains oils for your nightly treatments as well as daily herbs to increase the effectiveness of your PK.
Meal Timings and Food & Drinking Water Safety
Meals are served on the ground floor of building #7/5 (new building with the BLUE gate). Dining is self-service. Our food is prepared with great care in regard to nutrition & sanitation for your health and safety.
Morning hot milk is served by about 7:00 am and breakfast by about 7:30 am (important to have milk 30+ minutes before breakfast, so the milk doesn’t curdle in your stomach and disturb digestion / never combine milk with savory foods).
Lunch is served by about 12:30 pm, and dinner about 6:30 pm. Please see the PK Handbook for further dietary guidelines.
Please be certain that you drink (and brush teeth) with PURIFIED WATER ONLY. Bottled water dispensers are on every residence floor and in the dining hall. The Sahara States tap water is filtered but not enough for safe drinking—cups washed in tap water must be thoroughly dried before use. Note that the dining hall sink is equipped with an R/O unit for dish-washing.
You must be very careful about any 'outside' food that you eat and only do so with the Vaidya's approval for where and what you will be eating. The clinic food is prepared with great care in regard to sanitation for your health and safety. Outside food is also too heavy for your PK physiology and will reduce benefits if too much is taken.
Important Information for Ladies In Menstruation
The Banana Purification Treatment (BT) is a unique and powerful treatment for women given during the menstrual cycle—all women of menstruation age should plan their PK timing to include BT (twice is best with PK inbetween). Be sure to see our full PK Handbook for important further instructions about this precious healing therapy, as well as the BT page on drraju.com: Banana Purification Treatment.
If you are in the days of menstrual flow when you arrive in Hyderabad, please call for a staff member from outside the clinic building when the office is open and tell them you need to start Banana Treatment. The stomach must be completely empty before receiving the banana herb, and even water must be stopped one hour before and one hour after each dose. If you arrive in the early evening, please call Dr. Padma or Dr. Krishna to schedule the treatment (first dose).
During the days of flow, you will not take PK treatments or see the vaidya for pulse or attend vedic recitations. It is traditional for women not to touch anyone or have anyone touch them during menstruation as many impurities are exiting the body during this precious cleansing time, and BT amplifies the purification many fold. So please do not enter the Office ground floor (including foyer & puja room), 8/28 Puja Room, Raju residence, or the dining hall during menstruation. Special BT meals will be delivered to your room. If you need to meet someone, please ask a staff member for assistance.
AND WHEN YOU GO FOR BT, it is important that the vaidya does not see you before the BT herbs are prepared. So when you arrive at the Vaidya's house to receive the treatment, please sit outside and let a staff member know you are there for "banana." Thank you for your cooperation with these policies.
Welcome Ceremony & Vedic Recitations
The clinic pandits will perform a welcome ceremony to give blessings through the Vedic Tradition for your panchakarma. This ceremony usually takes place at approximately 7pm on your first day here in the 8/28 puja room. Before the ceremony, please bathe and put on fresh clothing (no shorts or revealing attire), remove your shoes and wash your hands and feet in the faucet outside whenever you enter the puja room. Please ask the office staff for the current daily & weekly recitation schedule / Special monthly & seasonal Vedic performances will be announced.
Morning & evening Dhanvantari pujas.
Morning & evening recitations & daily Rudra Abishek.
Daily Blessing ~ Similar to your welcome blessing, offered individually at approx. 7pm every evening in the 8/28 puja room.
Mahalakshmi Fire Yagya ~ Approx. 5:30 pm every Thursday on the 8/19 (office) rooftop.
PLEASE NOTE ~ Ladies on their menstrual cycle may not participate in the welcome blessings or other Vedic performances, nor enter either puja room or ground floor office area until their cycle is over.
Helpful Points for your Daily Comfort & Security
Sahara States is a family neighborhood and a very secure and good area. The security in the area is excellent, so you can feel quite safe here. It is important, however, to keep your room locked and not carry a lot of money/valuables with you to the treatment rooms. Security safes for valuables are in every residence room (with combo lock you can reset yourself). Note that housekeeping personnel do not have keys to the rooms and will only clean, by your request, when you are in your room.
There is an easily accessible ATM (Access ATM). just outside the Sahara States main gate (on the main road). Please ask the office staff for help with directions and to arrange a ride.
Shops for personal-care items, stationary, clothing, etc. are in the Commercial Center where you receive your treatments. If your needs are more diverse, a nearby multi-purpose store called Big Bazaar (about 10-15 minutes away by cab or auto-rickshaw) will very likely have what you need. The office staff can help you arrange a ride (note that you will be returning to Sahara States, Block 8, house # 8/19 or 8/28).
It is important that you have the vaidya’s approval whenever you go ‘outside’ Sahara States, especially for any outside food you may have, both for WHERE you can eat safely and WHEN to go so as to not disturb your PK progress.
Please notify the office staff a day in advance whenever you will be missing a meal, and arrange with your techs a day or two in advance if you need to adjust your treatment times to allow for any outside trips. Note that technicians must obtain supervisor approval for any schedule change of this sort, so last-minute requests are not possible.
In general, it is very important to LIMIT outside trips that require treatment schedule changes—they should be FEW and FAR BETWEEN for everyone’s sake (especially yours).
If you have any day-to-day needs for your room (toilet paper, bulbs, etc.) or any room maintenance needs, please notify the office staff.
Please be sure to carry your room key in a safe and secure place (inner pocket, zipped bag, wrist, or neck string) to ensure that it is not lost. And please take extra care not to lock your key in your room, as opening the door requires a Raju family member to come and unlock the door for you (staff members do not have independent access to any backup keys).
Lost keys create significant problems as replacement keys must be ordered from out of town because of the master-key backup system we have. It is therefore VERY important that you leave your key in your room (or in the door itself) when you travel home. Thank you for taking good care of your key while you are here.
MAID and LINEN SERVICES ~ Room cleaning is available daily or every other day with linen exchange 1-2 times per week.
Feel free to request additional cleaning as needed when housekeepers are in your room. Clear personal items so cleaning is efficient. Always stay in your room when housekeepers are present, as you are responsible for the security of your belongings.
We have a professional laundry service who will come by your room to collect clothes for washing. Please ask the office for their schedule and fees (you will pay the laundry service directly). Note that keeping a list of items sent for washing is advised and best to wash valuable clothing by hand yourself. You are also free to hand-wash everything yourself; drying racks are available in every building on the porches, rooftop, or hallway.
Please Stay in Touch After Your Panchakarma
Email ~ email@example.com
Raju PK Center Evaluation
Thank you for for taking the time to give us your feedback in writing to help us improve our services to you. Please be as specific as you can ~ we want to hear whatever you feel is important for us to know. With Gratitude and Appreciation ~ The Raju Family.
Raju PK Progress Reports
End of PK progress report
Three-month progress report
Six-month progress report
Important Instructions for Maximum Results After PK
The following guidelines provide a summary of points that will be useful for everyone—not only for after PK but for anyone wanting to improve their health through authentic Ayurveda.
“The body is like a clean white cloth after PK, so you can paint anything.” Vaidya. Krishna Raju
Take-home Rasayana (herbal) Therapy to maximize your PK results: The majority of the long-term benefits gained from PK develop during the three months after treatment. During this time, the impurities softened by the PK continue to flow out of the body and concurrently the body rejuvenates itself. The PK itself has more to do with removing the blockages and the time after PK with rejuvenation.
In the last days of your stay in Hyderabad, Dr. Krishna will assess your pulse and recommend take-home herbs for you. This follow-up program is essential for gaining full benefits from your panchakarma, because healing is a two-step process. First, PK clears the body of toxins which then allows the rasayanas to nourish and rejuvenate the body much more effectively. A rasayana in ayurveda is ‘that which nourishes’ and the Raju family herbal rasayanas are unparalleled for their effectiveness.
Be sure to ask Dr. Krishna all your questions for every herb he prescribes (good to take notes) so that you understand their purpose, correct dosage, etc. Note that many of the herbs are very inexpensive and a few are quite costly, so be sure you understand from Dr. Krishna what the priorities are for you (Harish will provide you with prices).
The vaidyas recommend you bring home a 6-12 month supply of post PK herbs, since you may come from a country with shipping restrictions and liquids, including oils, cannot be mailed internationally from India at this time (we are exploring solutions to this and hope the situation changes soon).
When you travel home, follow these guidelines from Ayurveda to minimize stress and strain from your journey.
Get plenty of rest, especially for the first month after a 3–4 week PK, and always do your best to balance activity with rest in your day. Insufficient rest causes stress and strain to build up in the body, weakening agni (digestive fire) and causing ama (blockages in the physiology) to develop.
Avoid stress: “Do not prolong being in stress—escape from that!” Dr. Krishna Raju Stress contributes to disease because it disturbs agni, thereby causing ama to increase. Agni automatically improves with reduced stress. “Whenever you are straining an organ you are causing imbalance in that organ.” Dr. Krishna Raju.
Sip pure, hot water frequently, especially for the first 3 months after PK. This is incredibly effective to remove any new ama and to dissolve the PK-softened impurities and move them out of the system. Continue sipping hot water frequently for the rest of your life (frequency is important, not quantity).
Be very careful about what and how much you eat after PK. Transition gradually back to a normal diet, taking freshly cooked (not pre-cooked and packaged, canned, frozen, or old) pure food that is pesticide free whenever possible. Genetically modified foods should be strictly avoided as they “confuse” the natural order of the DNA and will lead to disease over time.
Old foods and reheated foods are heavy with ama and must be strictly avoided (not possible for the body to digest them properly).
It is ideal to follow a PK diet of properly cooked, easily digestible foods in proper quantity. Raw foods should be avoided except for ripe, seasonal fruit and small amounts of grated raw vegetables with strong pitta qualities at lunch, like carrot, beet-root, ginger, cucumber, etc.,(vegetables with strong pitta characteristics). Fruit with meals is best taken cooked and spiced, like in chutney, as fruit is raw and will “rob” the agni too much and harm digestion of other foods in the meal. When food is not cooked the stomach has to “cook” it, which puts a big load on the body and harms proper digestion.
Be particularly careful of heavy foods like cheese, oils, all cold and fried foods, and nuts, as these are especially hard to digest. Cold and/or carbonated drinks vitiate vata and disrupt the digestion; they should be avoided. Nuts can be taken in small quantity when soaked overnight if you digest them well. The fresh, soft cheeses are much easier to digest but should still be taken only at lunch when agni is strongest. “Ghee [clarified butter, taken according to your digestive capacity] is the best cooking oil and brings healing intelligence to every system in the body.” Dr. J.R. Raju.
A vegetarian diet is best if that is comfortable for you. It is much easier to digest and absorb nutrients from vegetarian food, and less ama producing. If becoming vegetarian is a strain for you, take non-vegetarian foods only at lunch when agni (digestive fire) is strongest. Try to avoid red-meat entirely, or gradually reduce (especially cow’s meat) as it is much heavier and harder to digest than other foods.
Any undigested food will produce ama and disturb your rejuvenation process, so stick with the foods that digest well for you. Dr. Raju summed this up with these words, “You can eat health or disease, and you choose each time you put something in your body.” Dr. J.R. Raju
Favoring lighter foods, especially for dinner, is highly beneficial to PK results and as a permanent habit for ongoing good health. This doesn’t mean you can’t eat to satisfaction—it’s just good to avoid foods that are too heavy to digest well, and leave enough free space in your stomach so it can churn and digest the meal properly (stomach should never feel hard or heavy after you eat).
Practice self-pulse technique frequently, to increase the self-referral connection to your own physiology and help the body clear stress more effectively. SEE LINK: Self-Pulse Technique
FOR WOMEN (during menstruation): “Try to rest as much as possible during the period, and not to eat very spicy foods or hard to digest food (have to take light foods, and well cooked foods). And sip hot water frequently. Also, avoid lifting the heavy things.” Dr. Krishna Raju. It is important not to take baths during the days of menstrual flow (only showers) and don’t do abhyanga during your period. Resting more during menstruation allows the body to cleanse itself more completely and is very good for improving reproductive health. SEE LINK: Banana Purification Treatment
Valuable points for improving health through diet ~ Timing of meals and cooking of food; rasayana, healing foods; foods to avoid. SEE LINK: Diet After PK
The importance of daily abhyanga ~ The value of regular self-abhyanga for maintaining your PK benefits and promoting lifelong health cannot be emphasized enough. Nothing pacifies vata dosha (change / instability) and keeps it balanced better than daily abhyanga. So abhyanga is the best health insurance, because Vata Dosha is a key player in ALL health problems, and leads the way whenever imbalances occur. SEE LINK: Self Abhyanga
Useful quotes from the vaidyas for after PK and any time ~ SEE LINK: Quotes from the Vaidyas
Dietary Recommendations After PK:
The list below is a summary of dietary recommendations from the Raju vaidyas that are important for everyone long term, but particularly so right after panchakarma:
PK clears out the stress and toxins so much that after PK the body is free to take care of many things it was simply unable to before. This restructuring is significantly higher when the body does not have to deal with digestive strain.
Even without PK, much can be accomplished for your health by improving digestion. "Diseases mostly come from the food. If we are eating the healthy, proper food it is increasing and reminding of the health. If you are eating opposite to what you need, you are increasing the disease. Balanced doshas are the health. Very healthy food, even, can increase [imbalance] the doshas and bring diseases if overeating." Dr. J.R. Raju SEE LINKS:
Eat fresh-cooked food and avoid food that is old or reheated (pre-cooked then packaged, or cooked on previous days). When food is old or reheated, it's natural structure breaks down and becomes more disorderly, bringing ama (heaviness) to the food that puts a big load on the body's agni (digestive fire). This makes it much harder for the body to properly digest the food and assimilate its nutrients.
AVOID UNDIGESTED FOOD (causes ama/blockages to build up): Never take new food when earlier food is still being digested. It’s best not to snack between meals for this reason (taking lassi is fine if hungry between meals or fruit if need be). If the previous meal is not digested when it is time for the next meal—skip the new meal, or wait till you are hungry before you eat again.
Learn to recognize the signs of undigested food and how to avoid this for yourself to prevent the build-up of ama in your body.
The accumulation of ama is the #1 causative factor for health problems to develop over time. “If we improve our digestive fire properly then the metabolism, dhatus [tissues], and ojas [strength-giving fluid] formation will be very good. Complete digestion of earlier food has to happen properly—then you can start to increae the agni.” Dr. Krishna Raju
Take food at proper times: Eating in harmony with the daily path of the sun is very important for strong agni and good digestion. Breakfast should not be heavy and must be fully digested well before lunch; take your main meal in the middle of the day when the sun is high and agni (digestive power) is strong; have a light dinner in the early evening when the sun is low and agni is less. Soups are good for dinner, or boiled milk with ghee (can cook with a little semolina or sweet grain if hungrier).
Avoid raw foods: Ayurveda tells us that for food to digest well and assimilate properly, SAMSARA (transformation) is required to change the structure (form) of the food. Cooking is a samsara process that makes food more digestible in many important ways. If our diet contains many raw foods, the samsara is missing which makes digestion very challenging and draining because the body has to do ALL the transforming on its own. Exceptions are: small amounts of grated or finely chopped raw foods which have good pitta qualities, taken at lunch when agni is strongest, e.g. carrot, beet root, ginger, white radish, lemon, fresh coriander, mint leaf, cucumber. “Raw food is not at all good…let everybody know about raw food. You might get good bowel movements, but the absorption will not be there. Nowadays the biggest problem is gut…so many people are not absorbing the food properly and elements properly. All these things are due to not having the food absorption level. So when these things—raw food and all—are there, then the food is not properly digested…not properly churned well, and not properly made into the fluid (rasa)…not properly cooked. When the food is not cooked, the stomach has to cook the food, because the uncooked food will not be absorbed properly, and this strains the body.” Dr. Krishna Raju
Important to take cooked greens in modest quantities (too many greens aggravate vata, especially in the joints). “[Leafy] greens are not good for us raw—even cooked, good not to have too much.” Dr. J.R. Raju
To preserve nutrients, cooking should be done with low to moderate heat (not cooking on high heat or using a pressure cooker). Note that extremely low heat which requires hours and hours for cooking, like in a crock-pot, is also not good (not enough agni for proper cooking). “Cooking should be slow…slow cooking, and the pressure cooking is not good. The nutrition value will not go this way. And while you are cooking the food, the food will also have some ama [some heaviness]…that ama should go away. It’s best to cook without the lid on for this [or leaving the lid slightly open]...releases the heaviness.” Dr. Krishna Raju
AVOID MICROWAVES: “In the microwave it disturbs the whole memory of that particle. When you are taking the food you are giving that memory into your body, because after the food, the fluid it becomes is the first dhatu and the nutrition of our body starts from the first dhatu [dhatus are the 7 layers of tissues in the body]. That is why always, cooking is given more priority. Usually in the earlier culture, ladies were not working, they stayed home and cooked only. Cooking is not a small job; it’s a very big job.” Dr. Krishna Raju
Use a good quality ghee (clarified butter) for cooking (homemade is most reliable, recipe below): The amount of ghee you eat should be according to your digestive power (won’t increase cholesterol if taken in proper quantity). “Ghee brings healing intelligence to every system in the body.” Dr. J.R. Raju
RECIPE FOR HOMEMADE GHEE: Choose from the following two recipes, according to your ability and needs: The easiest way is to buy good quality, unsalted butter (can use cultured butter if available) and cook it at low temp for several hours (a crockpot, on one of the higher settings, is ideal so your ghee doesn’t burn). Note that the little brown flakes from the browning crust that forms on top have to start settling to the bottom, then you know it's done (important that ghee is not under-cooked). If the cooking temperature is too too low, the ghee will take hours and hours to make and liquids will remain (settled at the bottom) that become obvious when you strain off the crust. It is important that the cooking temperature is high enough for this liquid to evaporate off, so first try the medium or high setting on your crockpot and keep a good eye on it the first time (low may be too slow, but too fast isn’t good either). Note that at the right temp, it will still take approx. 5+ hours to make your ghee.
For highest quality ghee: Dr. Krishna says to make it with milk from the "wild cow" (raised naturally) and best not to separate the cream from the milk or homogenize it. Boil the milk and make yogurt with it in the normal way (detailed recipe below). In the morning, take the yogurt and churn it to make butter. Then take the butter from this and cook it slowly to make ghee, as above.
Cooking with spices removes the toxins and saves the good health. “Cumin, ajwain, turmeric, ginger, and garlic will change your life.” Dr. Padma Raju (Note that turmeric should be added AFTER the heat is turned off, as cooked turmeric is not good for cholesterol. It is also important to remove the green sprout from inside the garlic cloves—contains toxins. Without the sprout, garlic is highly purifying and very beneficial for health)
NEVER mix salt with milk: “Even a little sodium chloride in the milk, it becomes poison [mixed or eaten with milk]. It makes not only the curd, but completely destroys the potency [nourishing power of the milk]. When it is absorbed in post-digestion, all the effects of the food on the dhatus (tissues) are destroyed. Only mango can be mixed with milk. Banana is the worst with milk [very blocking]. Dried dates are ok with milk, figs if they are washed well (must be clean so they don’t contain acids). Dr. J.R. Raju
Favor fresh, seasonal foods and locally grown foods whenever possible: straight from the garden to the table is ideal. Whenever you can, try not to refrigerate fresh vegetables and fruit (causes them to lose their prana value). Higher food value is there without refrigeration.
Vegetarian diet is best: It is much easier for the body to digest and absorb nutrients well from vegetarian foods, and much less ama producing. If becoming vegetarian is a strain for you, take non-veg foods only at lunch when agni is strongest. Try to avoid red meat entirely (very heavy and hard to digest properly / increases ama, blockages, a lot). Strictly avoid cow’s meat. It is much heavier than any other food, and causes ama to increase significantly (ama is the #1 causative factor for developing disease, so this is very important for your good health).
Eat a more high protein diet (mainly through pulses): Mung dal is the best nutritionally, also can take urid dal, toor dal, black-eyed peas, lentils, etc.. “Dal is very important. It is not to be missed—brings the health. Yellow mung dal is the best, and neither increases or decreases the weight. Can’t overcook dal…no one can spoil it! Best thing is to cook it and put it in the thermos to keep if you need it later [don’t refrigerate or reheat].” Dr. J.R. Raju
You can take nuts in small quantities if you digest them well—they are rich in protein (roasted nuts are the best for easier digestion or soak them in water overnight).
Hard cheeses and even panir are not good (too heavy to digest properly). The fresh, soft cheeses are better—hung yogurt is the best (hang freshly-made yogurt in a cloth for several hours till the liquids drain out and it is thick and spreadable).
INCREASE LASSI (ayurvedic buttermilk) in your diet to improve digestion, balance pitta dosha, and clear the physical channels (best snack if hungry between meals). Frequent thin lassi is also excellent for improving calcium absorption, and lassi daily is the best natural probiotic. Using “Homemade yogurt is important and making it daily…” Dr. Krishna Raju (recipe below). Blend the yogurt well before use so it is smooth, then dilute at least 1 to 3 parts water, or more, for digestibility.
If dairy intolerance is there, lassi should be very, very thin and only taken in sips so that the body can get used to digesting it gradually.
You can add spices to lassi as desired: pan-roasted cumin seed, then ground in a spice-mill (ajwain is also good this way), cardamom, fresh coriander, and a little black salt if you like (whatever combination of flavors you prefer). Note that taking thin, salt lassi often really helps hemorrhoids.
It’s best not to have sweetened lassi between meals (body thinks it’s another meal because sweet is the heaviest taste). It is important to remember that store-bought yogurt is not freshly made and thus has heavy properties which will increase ama, even in lassi form, so it’s best (important) to make your own yogurt frequently....daily is best.
Straight yogurt has a blocking quality and should mostly be avoided (only take in small quantities if your agni is strong and not daily (best mixed with raw honey to reduce the kapha heaviness).
RAJU FAMILY SWEET YOGURT RECIPE: In the evening, boil fresh milk for 10 minutes with a slice of ginger; cool till it is a little warm to the touch (can’t be hot!) and transfer to a thermos; add ½ to 1 spoon good yogurt and leave overnight in a warm place or wrapped in a towel. If your yogurt comes out with a lot of watery liquid, then the milk temp was too hot. If it isn’t done by morning, just leave it to sit longer till done and try a little warmer milk temp next time. You can make each next batch of yogurt with a spoonful of the current batch as long as it has not become sour (if so, need to start over with a fresh starter so your yogurt comes out SWEET).
Milk increases the longevity: Milk is a very important rasayana (healing) food which brings ojas (strength) and the qualities of balanced kapha (stability, unctuousness, etc.) to the physiology when properly cooked and taken according to digestion.
Milk should always be boiled for 10-15 minutes before drinking and should never be combined with sour or salty foods. For better digestibility, it is advised to dilute milk with an equal part of water and then boil off the water (can also boil with a slice of fresh ginger and/or fresh-ground pepper if desired, and after cooking can add turmeric to further reduce the mucous-producing qualities—tumeric becomes bad for cholesterol when cooked). If milk intolerance is there, start first by sipping very thin lassi made with fresh yogurt—gradually the dairy tolerance will come and you can eventually try sipping small amounts of milk, diluted and boiled as above, building up quantity very slowly as tolerance grows.
Be very careful with sugar: “Sugar also we have to be really, really careful of. It may be better to give up. Don’t mix jaggery with milk because it may contain salt, and can also create parasites. Jaggery has the tendency of growing the parasites (best diet for parasites). Sucanat is also not good with milk because it is like jaggery. Good to make the habit of PLAIN milk, unsweetened. Natural rock sugar, on strings or powdered, is ok with milk [in moderation]. Stevia is ok with milk. Chai can be sweetened, but the natural rock sugar is better. Tea and coffee mixing with the milk is not really a good idea, but tea is better…mixed with the milk they create a heavy load on the liver." Dr. J.R. Raju
Avoid yeast and bicarbonate of soda (baking powder): These additives used in baking promote harmful bacteria growth in the GI tract which disturbs the important balance of healthy bacteria in the gut. Unleavened breads (like chappati or tortillas) which are freshly made before eating are very good. Natural sourdough breads are also fine if freshly made (though not to be taken daily). Dr. Raju once commented on store-bought tortillas (cooked, packaged, and frozen before sale) that they were “a little bit better than potato chips” for health, because they were twice-cooked and not fresh when eaten.
Rasayanas for Everyone:
It is recommended for your take-home herbs to include the following rasayanas that are highly beneficial for everyone: They are a baseline program for keeping the results of PK working best for your body long term. In your take-home herb consultation with Dr. Krishna, he will focus on the main priorities for your health. If you are inspired to gain more rasayana support from the list below, please discuss additional items for his advice—it is always up to you how much you want to include in your health regimen. Be sure to consult with the vaidya before using any of these preparations on pregnant women or children, as dosages may be different and age restrictions may apply. Note that the dosages below are standard dosages for adults. If the vaidya has recommended a different dose for you, please follow that instruction.
Smriti Vardhak Yog (if comfortable financially) ~ One flat teaspoon daily to restore the memory of Self and health, taken in the early morning between 3:30 and 5:30am if you are awake then or whenever you wake up. Do not take with hot liquids (contains honey which becomes toxic when heated.) "Smriti works in all the areas because it works on the cellular level and makes the cell to create its own memory...brings the cellular DNA back to its proper sequence.” Dr. Krishna Raju
Shodhana Vati ~ 3-5 tabs before dinner, to remove toxins everywhere in the body and prevent the metabolizing of toxins if dietary mistakes or negative influences occur.
Nasika Thailam ~ 1-2 drops in each nostril several times/day to clear and protect the brain and sinuses and remove finer toxins everywhere.
Gandusha Gargle ~ Daily herbal oil gargle to draw out toxins through the oral channels, rejuvenate the tissues, protect oral health and much more.
Ananda Sidhi Yog ~ 1-2 teaspoons daily to boost immunity and strengthen/repair all the 7 layers of the dhatus (tissues. Do not take with hot liquids (contains honey which becomes toxic when heated.) ASYog nourishes the most refined levels in the physiology where “soma and ojas [the finest products of digestion] are supporting the health and consciousness.” Dr. J.R. Raju
Kesha Rasayana ~ 1-2 teaspoons daily, Good for calcium absorption, healthy hair and skin, and strong bones—nourishes all the seven layers of the dhatus (tissues) in the body. Milk is the best vehicle for kesha rasayana (brings more nourishing power to the herb / can mix into hot milk as this rasayana does not contain honey). "Kesha Rasayana is so restorative it is a cancer preventer & can even reverse cancer in the early stages. Every woman should always take it ~ good for all the tissues, skin, hair, everything (not just good for women / good for men too!)." Dr. Padma Raju
Kumkumadi paste (or powder) for daily self abhyanga / oil massage ~ herbal curing agent for abhyanga oil to maximize the removal of impurities via the skin. Daily abhyanga with kumkumadi oil improves whole-body health by taking care of the skin which supports every organ and bodily system. Note that using proper herbalized oil is important for maximum abhyanga results—plain oils do not significantly draw out the toxins. For details, SEE LINK: Self Abhyanga
Concentrated Special Matra oil (small herbalized oil enema) for periodic use, or other matra oil as prescribed by the vaidya (enhances and extends PK benefits; relaxes the entire physiology and promotes good sleep; draws out impurities and rejuvenates the system. Be sure to check with Dr. Krishna on dosage details and benefits for you. Home matra basti is not required for everyone, but it is highly beneficial to ALL, especially if you cannot do good PK regularly. You may also purchase matra applicator supplies to bring home with you.) “For some things, the bastis are very important. If you cannot do so frequently (special matra) then do once per year very good PK. Without this knowledge, then you have to do PK many times.” Dr. J.R. Raju
Special Sneha, internal cleanse (1/2 teaspoon taken on an empty stomach immediately before dinner; no water for one hour before hand. The downward influence of digestion is essential for the sneha to work properly, so do not take the sneha until your dinner is ready to eat.) "Special sneha is the safest, [best cleanse]. Taking the ghee [oleation] and doing the virechena [castor oil cleanse] should be under the vaidya's supervision. Special sneha is the best way, can do it very easily with much better effect than ghee oleation and castor oil. Because when every day you are taking that increase of the ghee, for every individual what is needed is different, but anyone can do special sneha." Dr. J.R. Raju
For women only: PH / Pichu Ghee (special herbal ghee preparation inserted vaginally at night to protect and restore the internal tissues, promote hormone and PH balance, and draw out the toxins. Brings powerful and rapid relief to menopausal dryness and sensitivity. Regular use can help to improve fertility during childbearing years. Apply a small to medium amount on a small piece of cotton and insert at bedtime; remove in the morning.)
Other natural preparations to have on hand at home if the need arises:
Mahaganda Prana Oil (herbalized oil for aches and pains and to promote deep healing. Apply topically as needed to increase blood flow to the area, draw out impurities, and speed healing. Not for use on broken skin, head or face. Optional to follow with heat application (hot water bottle) for deeper healing effect. If you do daily abhyanga followed by a shower, you need not wipe the MGP oil off after applying it. But if you use MGP oil without the above (or any special Raju medicated oil) you need to wipe it off after 45 minutes to remove the toxins the oil has drawn to the surface. Even if the oil seems fully absorbed, it is important to still wipe the area well.)
Prana Drops (inhalation drops used for nasya in PK can be used at home whenever there is sinus or lung congestion—1-2 drops at a time in hot water and repeat as needed, being VERY CAREFUL that the hot water pot is set low, stable, and safe so it will not spill and cause injury (can even do quick prana inhalation in a cup of hot water). Good to follow by wiping a little nasika in the nostrils and sniffing to prevent dryness in the tissues. You can also take 1-2 drops of prana oil in a little hot water internally, 1-3 times per day, for digestive acidity or to prevent infection tendency—best to start with only one drop per dose as prana oil is strong.)
Blue Pills (2 tabs, 2 times per day (3x/day if stronger need) to help the body fight viruses or infections—be sure to check with the vaidya and your home health care provider if any significant health concern is there.)
Some reminders about rasayana therapy:
The PK itself has more to do with removing the blockages and the time after PK with rejuvenation. So after PK is the time when rasayana therapy is the most effective because the body’s response to the herbs is much greater when the toxins are cleared. If it is not possible to do panchakarma first, taking rasayanas will still help a lot, and the vaidya can prescribe other ways to reduce toxins / remove blockages until proper PK can be done.
Be sure to continue your take-home herbs regularly, as prescribed by the vaidya. Unless otherwise stated, these recommendations are good for 6 months or more and should not be stopped without checking first with Dr. Krishna. Short-term or irregular use will significantly reduce results. If important questions come up, ask the vaidya so that you can continue with confidence.
Remember that the body has to go at its own pace for healing to be thorough and stable. With so many changes going on after PK, you will not be fully aware of every improvement taking place. So for maximum results, it’s very important to give the body time to finish all these adjustments with the support of the herbs.
Make sure you get the knowledge and support you need to follow through properly after PK, or during any important health situation, so that you do not walk away from results that are quietly coming your way.