In old age certain changes occur in the body. Most of these changes are due to high Vata, low ojas, low immunity, and low strength due to weak tissues. As we get older, the sattva quality of mind also decreases. Some psychological changes also occur due to increase in rajas and tamas. The digestive power becomes very weak and the general vitality is also very low.
Changes during old age- Bones become brittle and there are more chances of fractures, many neurons die and therefore loss of memory is common. Various other functions of central nervous system, sense organs and motor organs also lose their power. Heart and lungs become weak, prostate gland increases, and chances of cancer increase. Endocrinologists, immunologists, and geneticists from all over the World, are working to find out the exact cause of why we age and why senile changes occur at certain age.
- Every cell in our body has a certain biological age. If the free radicals (formedby metabolic changes associated with waste material) are not properly eliminated from the body, these free radicals decrease the life of the tissues and aging takes place.
- Various changes in the cell result in accumulation of a sticky substance called AGE – advanced glycosylation end roduct- is also responsible for these changes.
- Some changes in genes do not allow the waste material to be eliminated from the body. ‘C phos” genes are responsible for immunity, most notably the interlukin. Lymphocytes T and B are not produced properly, hence immunity decreases and senile changes occur.
- Mental tranquility also plays very important role. If rajas and tamas qualities are disturbed, or if there is lot of stress and strain, the aging process is accelerated.
For proper physical and mental healtjh during old age Ayurveda has explained two special branches: rejuvenation (Rasayana) and Aphrodisiacs (Vajikarana).
Many herbs have been described in this category. Rejuvenation herbs can be grouped according to their particular function. For example, nervine tonics include Brahmi, gotu cola, ad skullcap. Heart tonics include arjuna and inula racemosus. They can also be grouped according to the constitution as follows:
- Ashwgandha, calamus, ginseng, and haritaki. Either of these can be given in dose of 1 gm. Every day. Ashwagandharishta 15 ml. 3 times day is ideal rejuvenating tonic. This is helpful in Alzheimer treatment
- Amalaki, shatavari, gotu cola, brahmi, comfrey root. Any one of these can be given in 1 gm, dose a ay for 3 months. Chyavanaprash 1 tea spoon twice aday is ideal. This is also helpful in Alzheimer Treatment
- Triphala, guggulu, shilajatu, elecampane, and garlic. Triphala powder at night with warm water is ideal.
- vajikarana herbs are useful for increasing the immunity and the reproductive tissue. These herbs give good power and vitality to the body. These are fo-ti, angelica, ashwagandha, ginseng, licorice, lotus seeds, marshmallow, rehmania, solomon’s seal, and wild yam.