INTRODUCTION

Pesticides are designed to kill and because their mode of action is not specific to one species, they often kill or harm organisms other than pests, including humans. The World Health Organization estimates that there are 3 million cases of pesticide poisoning each year and up to 220,000 deaths, primarily in developing countries.

Pesticides includes insecticides, herbicides and fungicides are widely used in Indian agricultures. There is growing public concern about their impact on human health.

Pesticide exposure can cause a range of neurological health effects such as memory loss, loss of coordination, reduced speed of response to stimuli, reduced visual ability, altered or uncontrollable mood and general behaviour, and reduced motor skills. These symptoms are often very subtle and may not be recognized by the medical community as a clinical effect.

Other possible health effects include asthma, allergies, and hypersensitivity, and pesticide exposure is also linked with cancer, hormone disruption, and problems with reproduction and foetal development.

The signs of pesticides will vary depending on the types of toxins that’s lodged in the body. They can range from lack of taste in the mouth to dizziness, skin eruptions, rashes, excessive body heat, heart palpitations, darken skin patches, fatigue and heaviness in the body. Some time it is very difficult to identify the specific toxin that is causing the symptom because there are hundreds of chemicals and environmental toxins that a person could be exposed to.

Ayurveda has evolved Bio- Purification procedures like Panchakarma to detoxify the human body, also it can neutralize toxins created in our body due to the high levels of stress of modern society.

Panchakarma therapy is a preventive health care procedure which will benefit any adult without reference to his present health condition. Ayurveda however is preventive medical science with a goal to maintain the human body in a state of perfect health.

Its goal is to prevent the onset of disease in the human body.

HOW YOU COME IN CONTACT WITH PESTICIDES ?

  • Pesticides are all around us in today’s world, and its important to protect yourself from them.
  • We can come across with pesticides in
  • Soil
  • Water
  • Air
  • And eventually in food

SOIL:

Soil can be degraded and the community of organisms living in the soil can be damaged by the misuse or over use of pesticides. Some pesticides are more toxic to soil organisms than others. Some pesticides may break down quickly when applied to soils, while others may persist for longer periods. The type of soil and the type of pesticide can also affect pesticide persistence.

WATER:

Pesticides have the potential to contaminate drinking water supplies.  They are applied to farmlands, gardens and lawns and can make their way into ground water or surface water systems that feed drinking water supplies.

AIR:

Air quality is a measure of the amount of pollutants in our atmosphere, which includes indoor and outdoor air. Pesticides in agriculture and urban settings have the potential to contaminate our air, affecting human, animal and plant health. Some pesticide ingredients stay in the atmosphere for only a short period of time, while others can last longer.

FOOD:

Probably it’s time to take a closer look at what’s on your platter. Cypermethrin, heptachlor, quinalphos, aldrin, chlorodane, dichlorvas, cypermethrin — these banned pesticides could well be a part of your regular diet. Okras, leafy green cabbages and other vegetables, bananas or oranges and apples that you so relish may be overloaded with some of these harmful pesticides.

A study by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India under the Union agriculture ministry threw up some unpalatable facts. Common food items contain banned pesticides in quantities a thousand times more than the permissible limits. The findings are based on random samples collected from across the country.

From the vegetable basket, brinjal tops the chart with the level of banned pesticide at 860% above legal limits, followed by cauliflower and cabbage. Wheat and rice too had these dangerous chemicals. While the level of aldrin in wheat is 21,890 times more than the permissible level, that of chlorfenvinfos in rice was measured at 1,324% above the allowed limit.

An apple a day needn’t always keep the doctor away. According to the survey, both apples and oranges were found to have banned pesticide level of 140% above permissible limits. “The fruit are waxed with chemicals and pesticides to give them a longer life. Vegetables like cabbage and cauliflower, which are supposed to be very important for women’s health, are dipped in two to three levels of pesticides to keep them fresh.

There is also growing concern about the presence in food of endocrine disrupting chemicals, or “gender bender” pesticides which can disrupt hormone levels and are suspected of being linked to declining sperm counts and increased rates of breast and testicular cancers .

Pesticides come in three different forms:

  • Solids:

which come in powder form (like flour), or in crystal or granular form (like sugar)

  • Liquids:

which look like milky water

  • Aerosols:

which are sprayed out in a fine mist

PESTICIDES CAN ENTER THE HUMAN BODY IN  DIFFERENT WAYS, WHICH ARE OUTLINED BELOW:

Oral entry:

This type of entry is through the mouth in the food we eat or the liquids we drink. Also, if there is any pesticide on our hands it can get into the body when the hands are licked, when the face is wiped near the mouth, or when a cigarette becomes contaminated and is put into the mouth.

Respiratory entry:

Pesticide sprays, vapours or powders can be breathed in through the mouth and nose.

Dermal entry:

Pesticide spray which lands on the body can be absorbed through the skin and eyes. Pesticides are commonly absorbed very quickly through the eyes, forehead and forearms.

Pathophysiology:

ORGANOCHLORINES:

  • The organochlorine pesticides, like DDT, aldrin, and dieldrin are extremely persistent and accumulate in fatty tissue. Through the process of bioaccumulation (lower amounts in the environment get magnified sequentially up the food chain), large amounts of organochlorines can accumulate in top species like humans. There is substantial evidence to suggest that DDT, and its metabolite DDE, act as endocrine disruptors, interfering with hormonal function of estrogen, testosterone, and other steroid hormones.

ANTICHOLINESTERASE COMPOUNDS

  • Certain organophosphates have long been known to cause a delayed-onset toxicity to nerve cells, which is often irreversible. Several studies have shown persistent deficits in cognitive function in workers chronically exposed to pesticides. Newer evidence suggests that these pesticides may cause developmental neurotoxicity at much lower doses and without depression of plasma cholinesterase levels.

 

Mild Poisoning Moderate Poisoning Severe Poisoning
HeadacheAny mild symptoms plus any of:abdominal crampsAny mild or moderate symptoms plus any of:inability to breathe
DizzinessVomitingChemical burns on skin
WeaknessDiarrheaRespiratory distress
FatigueExcessive salivationLoss of reflexes
NervousnessConstriction in throat and chestUncontrollable muscle twitching
Loss of appetiteAbdominal crampsUnconsciousness
ThirstRapid or slow pulseConvulsions
NauseaExcessive perspiration
Irritation of throat and noseTrembling
Eye irritationMuscle incoordination
Constriction of pupilsMental confusion
Blurred vision
Skin irritation
Changes in mood
Loss of weight

 

MANAGEMENT WITH PANCHAKARMA:

The purification therapy is described classically in terms of Sanshodhana by Panchakarma procedures. These five procedures (Vamana,Virechana, Basti, Nasya and Raktamokshana) have been applied in almost all diseases.

Through Panchakarma therapy these toxic clogs are removed to normalize the physiological process. Hence Panchakarma therapy is called as detoxification therapy.

Panchakarma therapy is also used as a purification therapy to cleanse the body before starting a treatment.

So Panchakarma is a full therapeutic role as a promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative procedure.

HOW SHODHANA WORKS?

charakacharya mentioned that in kalpa sthana 1/5: drugs which are having Ushna, Tikshna, Vyavai, Vikasi properties ( shodhana dravyas ) with the help of their Prabhav goes in Hrudhaya and with the help of prabhav they enter in Dhamanies in all over the body. And goes in sukshma strotas and with the help of their ushnata liquefies dosha samuha in the body.

Purvakarma- Snehana Karma (Oleation therapy):

  • Procedure adopted to induce lubrication of internal and external body channels and tissues with Sneha Dravyas.
  • Snehana Karma is of two types
  • (i) Abhayanga (External oleation) by massage with medicated oils. External oleation is done after the completion of internal oleation.. The whole body or body part is massaged with medicated oil.
  • (ii) Snehapana (Internal oleation) for purification or shamana : Internal oleation is done by administering small quantities of medicated oil or ghee internally. Snehana Karma leads to Oleation, Liquefaction, Increased fluidity and Softening.

These steps are adopted to soften the channels and toxins, so that the toxins can get detached and eliminated easily during main detoxifying process.

PURVAKARMA- SWEDANA ( SUDATION THERAPY):

  • Swedana (Fomentation/Sudation therapy) relieves stiffness, heaviness and coldness of body and induces the sweating. Swedana is preceded by Snehana (oleation therapy). As a result the waste materials blocked in the body channels become unctuous and the channels become lubricated. Through Swedana these waste materials are brought into the main body channels (Kostha), before it is expelled through the main techniques of Panchakarma.
  • Both snehana and swedana help to soften the channels and toxin clogs. Elimination of toxins becomes easy when channels are soft and toxins are loose.

PRADHANAKARMA- PANCHAKARMA (FIVE MAJOR DETOXIFICATION THERAPIES):

  1. VAMANA (EMESIS THERAPY):
  • The Ayurvedic treatment which is therapeutic vomiting(Vamana), is to eliminate the kapha. Vamana therapy is conducted in early hours of day, when kapha dosha is dominant. Vitiated doshas and accumulated toxins are expelled through methodically induced emesis.
  • Detoxification through vamana is suggested in diseases which mainly involve kapha dosha.
  1. VIRECHANA (PURGATION THERAPY):
  • Virechana is expelling the vitiated doshas and toxins through purgation. This therapy can be conducted as an individual detoxification therapy or as a follow up therapy next to vamana to ensure complete detoxification.
  • This detoxification method helps to expel toxins and vitiated doshas from blood, liver and intestines.
  1. BASTI (ENEMA THERAPY):
  • Basti karma is expelling body toxins and vitiated doshas by introduce medicated liquids or oils through anus, urethra or vaginal canal. Basti is the most effective treatment of Vata disorders.
  • Basti karma is usually performed after the first two detoxification process namely vamana and virechana.
  • The expelled medicated liquids/Oil brings out toxins and vitiated doshas along with it.
  1. Nasya (errhine therapy):
  • The nose is the gateway to the brain. The nasal administration of medication is called Nasya. Vitiated doshas and toxins which are accumulated in head and neck are expelled through nose and mouth along with nasal and oral secretions.
  • This detoxification method is also known as Shirovirechana. Prana, life force as nerve energy, enters the body through the breath taken in through the nose. Prana is in the brain and maintains sensory and motor functions. Prana also governs mental activities, memory, concentration and intellectual activities. Deranged Prana creates defective functioning of all these activities and produces headaches, convulsions, loss of memory and reduced sensory perception.
  1. Raktamokshana (therapeutic bloodletting):\
  • Toxins present in the gastro-intestinal tract are absorbed into the blood and circulated throughout the body. Also the metabolic waste products not eliminated properly and the free radicals produced by them are the basic cause of repeated infections, hypertension and certain other circulatory conditions.
  • This includes repeated attacks of skin disorders such as urticaria, rashes, herpes, eczema, acne, leukoderma,
  • Extracting a small amount of blood from a vein purifies the Pitta.
  • Bloodletting also stimulates the spleen to produce antitoxic substances which helps to stimulate the immune system.

 

This is the fact that majority of the disorders prevailing in the present community are similar to those caused by Dushivisha as explained in Ayurvedic Texts. So, the treatment principle of Dushivisha(Detoxification treatment) can be used to treat many such disorders which has posed a threat to human health.

In the process of Panchakarma( Detoxification) of the body, it will certainly help prevent the accumulation of fresh toxins in the body besides aid in the removal of existing toxins(Dushivisha) from the body. It is the safe and cost-effective procedures of Ayurveda.

Panchakarma is not only good for alleviating disease due to toxins but is also a useful tool in maintaining excellent health.