Agnistambhasana

There is very little known about the Naths and their history.

As the Naths are still extant, we have some ethnographic accounts of their lifestyle and ideas352. Based on modern day information we can get some glimpses of their sociology. The Naths are a rural based group and are a borderline folk religion. Apparently they were often weavers and cultivators. They might have started as semi-nomads under pressure from Hinduisation and Muslim invasion. Many were (and still are) itinerant groups transacting with the rural population they were passing through. They offered services like hiring out horses and carts, recording of genealogies, selling manure, blacksmithing services, polishing cow horns. The itinerant aspect seems to have been strong among them as they are in the texts often described in deprecating words as beggarjogis’. Some of them were known as snake charmers.

However, today many of them are householders. They occupy a caste position (like the Brahmins do) offering religious services to other groups. So with the Naths we have a rural semi-nomadic population that is hard to categorise: a mixture of a class, a religious group, an economic niche, a tribe, and a rural stratum.

Although dietary supplements and herbs are widely used for relief of Agnistambhasana perimenopausal symptoms, more scientific evidence is needed to support the benefits that have been claimed. AgnistambhasanaPotential long-term risks have not been adequately studied. A review of 29 randomized controlled trials by Fugh-Berman and Kronenberg 2003 concluded that black cohosh and foods containing phytoestrogens, for example whole soy and red clover, are promising treatments for menopause. In reviewing 18 randomized controlled trials, Huntley and Ernst 2003 found no convincing evidence. However, they identified black cohosh and red clover as having potential benefits. It is important to inform women that while there is some evidence of efficacy, it is not conclusive. Similarly, while there is no evidence of harm, long-term safety studies in humans have not been done. Women must weigh this against the known risks of HRT and the severity of the symptoms they are experiencing.

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