Intro: Naturopathy instructs the patients to lead a disciplined life as part of their treatment. Their duration of sleep, their bath, their walk, their exercise, their food habits, etc. are very important.
Mahatma Gandhi was the most popular proponent of naturopathy. It is a method of using the nature as the doctor as well as medicines. It considers that if one is free from diseases he is healthy and he enjoys peace. A man with a well built body is not always necessarily healthy. Gandhiji has stated that human body is made of earth, water, sky, light and air. It says that air, water and food are significant factors to keep one healthy.
Dr Jacob’s famous lesson
“Be your own Doctor”
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Naturopathy does not believe in manufactured medicines and so-called modern method of treatments. It makes use of the atmosphere, water and natural edible items to make the man healthy and peaceful. A real practitioner of naturopathy does not use alcohol, tobacco, narcotics, coffee, tea and not even sugar. Gandhiji even advocated celibacy as a part of naturopathy.
Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya also was a naturopathy practitioner. His close associates have recorded that Panditji read a book on naturopathy just for the sake of treating one of his cousins who suffered from a chronic disease. Ultimately the patient was successfully cured.
In Kerala, late Engineer CRR Verma introduced this unique medical system in late 1970s. He practised it free of cost. At that time Vermaji was the Kochi Zilla Sanghchalak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Those days this author was one of the closest organisational colleagues of Vermaji, hence got the rare opportunity to watch his modus operandi of treatment as well as his lifestyle. He had followed a strict routine in his personal life. He was taking only two meals a day. Still his slim body was healthy by all means. He used to prescribe special diets consisting of fruits and raw vegetables for severe chronic diseases and patients were happy to see that they got rid of their health problems sans any sort of drugs or medicines of chemical preparations. He always advocated for vegetarianism.
Naturopathy instructs the patients to lead a disciplined life as part of their treatment. Their duration of sleep, their bath, their walk, their exercise, their food habits, etc. are very important.
Now, in Kerala Dr Jacob Vadakkancherry is the most popular practitioner of naturopathy. He is the founder and director of six non-profit Nature Life Hospitals in Kerala. He is recognised internationally for his naturopathic, health-restoring philosophy of Nature Cure. He conducts regular lecture classes on innate healing power of the body as well as its sacred way of natural detoxification. Dr Vadakkancherry’s teachings cover the significance of listening to our bodies and achieving maximum health sans any medications. “Be your own doctor” is his motto.
Dr Vadakkancherry’s teachings on food habits do not confine to lectures and books. But, they are very much pragmatic. Aruvi Nature Food Restaurant is the translation of his philosophy on food into practice. It has got three outlets in the state: Two in Kochi, and one in Kollam. He believes that there are four different types of food. Or in other words, food we take does four different activities. Removes the accumulated toxins; repairs the damaged cells, supply of energy and formation of toxins. He maintains, a scientific consumption of food will keep us healthy and also help to cure the diseases. Aruvi Nature Food Restaurant conducts such an approach towards food and dining. Food served in Aruvi is unique in nature.
Rock salt is used in Aruvi; and no iodinated table salt, no fried items; pickles are without preservatives. Doctor Vadakkancherry told Organiser that Iodinated salt causes thyroid and impotency. Fresh pickles are made just for the particular meals and served; they are without preservatives. They cook natural rice with bran and sans any polishing. It is not boiled in the mills. What Dr Vadakkancherry says is, rice should not be cooked twice. It causes cancer. He does not approve warming of the cooked rice once kept under refrigeration. Onion, garlic, red chillies and asafetida are not used for cooking. Reason is simple: Whatever we cannot take in large quantities are not fit for consumption. But, ginger and green chillies are used in negligible quantities just for satiating our “traditional taste buds”.
Tomato and green mango are used for sour taste. Split lentils are not used in Aruvi. Water is not served along with the meals; soup and rasam are served to drink. Water should be taken one hour before or after the meals, naturopathy insists because it dilutes digestive enzymes.
Six Nature Life Hospitals have been founded by Dr Jacob. He is the chairman of the group. It was launched in 2000. Over 150 devoted staff does work under this umbrella. They are trained by Dr Jacob. The Thiruvananthapuram hospital is dedicated to the poor. There, poor and needy get treatment at nominal charges. Regular classes and treatments are going on in the naturopathy hospital run by Dr Jacob in Chambakkara near Kochi.
Doctor’s better half Dr Soumya Vadakkancherry is a psychologist; she runs the hospital in Kozhikode. His sister Dr Mary Shine and her husband John Berchman, doctor’s brother Job VP and his wife are with him in his noble mission. Doctor told this weekly that a total of 13 people from within his family are with him to run the show.