Free radicals, or reactive oxygen species (ROS) are fragments of molecules that are electrochemically unstable. They are like tiny molecular “sharks” that damage every living cell and help cause problems such as heart attacks, cataracts, arthritis and cancer.
Pollution, poor diet, smoking, second-hand smoke, alcohol, pesticides, excessive exposure to sunlight, chemotherapy, and stress are know to contribute to the uncontrolled formation of free radicals, which can then initiate chain reactions capable of causing extensive damage to normal cells and tissues.
Free radicals are damaging because they are unstable molecules containing oxygen. Just as oxygen rusts automobiles and contributes to the burning of forests, so the oxygen in free radical molecules “rusts” and “burns” biological molecules within each cell. The resulting damage tears apart cell membranes, destroys the cell’s energy-producing mechanisms and disarranges the genetic code in the DNA.
This damage not only helps cause 80% to 90% of all diseases, but is also produces wrinkles, grey hair, stiffness and other signs of “normal” aging.
Panchakarma Removes Free Radicals, Promotes Heart Health
Studies on the Panchakarma treatments (traditional Ayurveda detoxification and purification therapies) given at The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa found that Panchakarma:
- Reduces lipid peroxide levels. Lipid peroxides are fat molecules that have been damaged by free radicals. They are thought to be important in the initiation of atherosclerotic heart disease. Lipid peroxide levels in the blood are uses as a measurement of free radical activity.
- Balances biochemistry and improves cardiovascular risk factors: a) *VIP (vasoactive intestinal peptide) rose 80% three months after Panchakarma treatment; this is significant because VIP is responsible for dilating blood vessels and increasing blood flow to the heart. b) *HDL, or “good” cholesterol increased 75% three months after treatment. HDL protects against atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and is associate with decreased incidence of heart disease.
It is proposed Panchakarma achieves its results through tree possible mechanisms.
- The special, pure oils used in the cleansing program, massage and heat treatments of Panchakarma replace damaging lipid peroxides in the cells.
- Panchakarma treatment loosens lipid peroxides from the cells and sets them into the bloodstream from where they can be eliminated.
- The deeply soothing and relaxing influence of Panchakarma reduces biochemical stress factors that contribute to free radical formation.
Panchakarma fights free radicals with unique effectiveness. For more information on Panchakarma treatments, visit the The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa website: