Mung Bean Breakfast Tacos

Spring Green & Mung Bean Tacos

For the Mung Beans


  • 2 tbsp ghee or olive oil


  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds

  • 
2 tbsp coriander seeds


  • 1 tbsp fenugreek seeds

  • 
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger


  • 4 cloves garlic, minced


  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

  • 1 1/2 cups sprouted mung beans


  • 3 cups water
salt & pepper, to taste

If you’re using whole unsprouted mung beans, soak in a bowl overnight to soften.

In a large saucepan, heat the oil and add the spices, ginger, and garlic to the pot. Stir frequently on medium-high heat until aromatic. Next, add the maple syrup and mix into the spices. Add the mung beans and stir until well coate. Pour water in, cover and reduce to a gentle simmer and cook until tender, about 35 minutes. You may need to add more water and cook longer. When the mung beans are slightly tender but not mushy, remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Store or set aside until ready to use.

For The Veggies


  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • 2 small shallots, finely chopped

  • 
6 radishes, sliced in 1/4 inch rounds

  • 2 cups fresh spinach


  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped


  • 1/2 lime

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil and caramelize the shallots. Next, add the radishes and cook until tender. Last, add the spinach and cilantro, sauté until the greens are lightly steamed but not overcooked. Squeeze the lime juice and season with salt and pepper.

To assemble the tacos, heat the tortillas and layer with mung beans, spring greens and top with sliced avocado, micro greens and an extra squeeze of lime.

Ground Vata While Traveling

Ground Vata While Traveling

Traveling is a mix of wonderful and exhausting. While exploring new places, relationships, and foods adds beauty and joy to our lives, travel’s pleasures often come at a price. Amidst the expansive experience of travel, it’s easy to become unsettled and erratic, especially for someone who is vata in nature or has a vata imbalance. The nature of travel is vata, and this dosha embodies movement as well as spaciousness. When we travel, we incorporate the principle of movement into our lives and increase the level of vata. As the subtlest of the doshas, vata is quickly thrown out of balance, which means we must take extra care to stay grounded and stable. But don't worry: Ayurveda offers excellent tips to help better manage your energy and keep your body, mind, and spirit in balance while traveling.

1. Carry your daily routines with you.

The Ayurvedic principle of following daily routines can help us maintain balance not only when at home but also while traveling. Try eating your meals at the same time each day to help your digestive process acclimate to changes in your diet and environment. Regulate your bedtime and morning wake time. These practices stabilize us and help us stay in synch with our natural circadian rhythms.

2. Pack some Triphala.

Have you ever noticed that after a long flight, you do not poop for a day, or two, or three? This tends to happen because the vata elements of air and ether permeating the airplane are cold and dry and moving hundreds of miles a minute. These qualities will naturally increase the vata in your body and affect your bowel movements. To address this issue, start taking Triphala a couple of days before you travel, and continue to take it during your trip. This will not only help offset the effect of the flight, but it will be helpful in digesting the delightful new foods you will be trying.

3. Eat foods that are grounding.

Raw foods, salads, dried fruit, and smoothies are all drying foods that will further aggravate the vata dosha. Skip the chips, and grab a meal that is warm, moist, and perhaps heavier. Root vegetables, soups, fish, chicken, and oatmeal with cooked apples are a few examples of grounding foods. Bring herbal or digestive teas on the airplane with you, and ask for hot water instead of the usual beverages served on board. Also, pack a bag of healthy unsalted raw nuts to eat on the plane instead of the snacks the airline provides.

4. Stay hydrated.

Staying hydrated is key to counteracting the dry qualities of vata! In addition to increasing your intake of fluids and water-rich fruits and vegetables, pack a small amount of ghee or good quality olive oil, and take one teaspoon each morning while you travel. Oils nourish and lubricate the dry, depleted channels traveling can bring. Using fragrant herbalized oils for abhyanga, or self-massage, is another great way to balance vata. This practice not only helps our skin retain moisture but also calms and nurtures us through our sense of touch. Blend sesame and almond oils with a few drops of lavender essential oil and bring it with you for a daily massage before or after your shower.

Sip warm or room temperature water throughout the day. If you sip your drinks instead gulping them, your body will absorb and assimilate the liquids better. Stay away from cold water as it dampens our agni (digestive fire) and can exacerbate a vata imbalance.

5. Rest and reflect.

Often in the effort to make the most of our vacations, we overlook the need to rest and rejuvenate. The new sights and experiences we’re taking in tend to heighten and stimulate our senses, which can prove overwhelming for anyone who’s dealing with an excess of vata. Find the time with in your trip to withdraw your senses. Go inward, though meditation or pranayama. Allow yourself to be present with your experience, and journal daily gratitudes, experiences, or insights throughout your travels.

6. Have a day of rejuvenation upon your return home.

Instead of heading straight into the office after a long trip, take one day to reground at home. Let your body rest; drop back into your daily routines. Allow this day to be a ritual of self-love and reconnection to yourself and the life you have at home.

6 Tips for Holiday Eating: Keeping Your Agni in Balance

6 Tips for Holiday Eating, Keep Your Agni in Balance

Happy Holidays! Is it even possible to eat healthily during the holidays? Yes! And you can do it without FOMO (fear of missing out) or a lot of effort. This month we want to share 6 tips for maintaining your Ayurvedic lifestyle amidst the holiday festivities, balancing your agni (digestive fire), and keeping your doshas at ease in the months to come.

INCLUDE LOTS OF SEASONAL FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Do you decorate for the holidays with a lot of colors? Treat your plate the same way. Seasonal fruits and vegetables will add flavor, color, and nutrients to holiday favorites. Eating these seasonal foods will help keep your doshas in balance during the holidays and help you feel fuller longer, so you can avoid the temptation to overeat.  

GIVE YOUR AGNI A BOOST

Sipping warm ginger tea with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a pinch of black pepper will spike your agni throughout the day. You can also try taking the traditional Ayurvedic formula trikatu 15 minutes before each meal. Trikatu is a classic Ayurvedic herbal blend of pippali, ginger, and black pepper. These herbs work in synergy to stimulate agni, allowing for more efficient digestion in the stomach while promoting proper bile flow, detoxification, and fat metabolism. Mix ¼ teaspoon of the formula with ¼ teaspoon of raw honey and enjoy.

KEEP YOUR ROUTINE

Timing matters especially if you are hosting. Planning events to allow for eating earlier (between noon and 2 p.m.) rather than later is ideal, as agni is most active at this time. Otherwise, aim for a dinner get-together between 5 and 7 p.m., if possible.

Between the obligatory workplace parties and family get-togethers, you will not always have control over your lifestyle practices, and your calendar may be bursting with opportunities to eat and drink outside of your routine. Make a plan that will help you resist plowing through the buffet table—like having a healthy snack beforehand.

BE MINDFUL OF PORTIONS

We all tend to overindulge during the holiday season, and this is okay to do once in a while. In Ayurveda, it’s all about finding balance—enjoying good food with family and friends and being mindful the body’s needs. Remember our stomach is only the size of both hands cupped together. Be aware of your portions; it’s better to enjoy a reasonable portion than to suffer from indigestion.

FIND OPPORTUNITIES TO BE ACTIVE

Keep the inevitable indulgences in check by staying active. Enjoy some winter sports for a change of pace, or squeeze in a quick walk or workout before you head to the next party. This will increase your agni considerably and help reduce the buildup of kapha from the traditional holiday meals.

PRACTICE A BIT OF YOGA

After a bustling day of holiday affairs, take a moment to practice yoga. Supta matsyendrasana is a gentle twist that will support your digestion and is a delightful and relaxing stretch for the whole body, Make sure you practice the pose 2–3 hours after eating. The next day, wake up and practice cat/cow pose (marjaryasana/bitilasana) in the morning for 5 minutes. This abdominal stretch will help stimulate your agni and prepare you for another round of holiday bliss.

Creating Ayurvedic Ritual through Tea

Creating Ayurvedic Ritual Through Tea

Each day I wake up looking forward to the benefits of dinacharya—the practice of building routines into each day that helps the natural rhythms of our body work as they should. In doing this, we support our overall health and well-being. An Ayurvedic tea ceremony is one of my favorite dinacharya practices. For me, the outward-facing ritual of preparing and drinking tea manifests inner harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility. It is a meditation that by providing time and space to learn about the inner self while showing respect for the material world invests not only the tea but also each step of the ceremony with positive value.

It might surprise you to know that there’s a scientific basis for understanding how the tea ceremony works. Modern experts on the topic point out that this ritual can help focus and calm the mind by stimulating both sides of the brain. The  Buddhist monks who developed the tea ceremony in ancient times understood that experiences that comprise a sequence of fixed, repeated steps and that activate all five senses can induce a relaxed yet alert state of mind that fosters a feeling of well-being and inner peace.   

Smell, touch, taste, hearing, and sight converge  with the various elements of the ritual: the earthy aroma of the tea and the straw in the floor matting, the smooth texture of the pottery’s glaze, the flavor of the tea,  the sound of the water bubbling in the teapot, the décor inside the room, and the sights and sounds from the natural environment outside the room. With all five senses awakened and in tune, the entire brain is engaged in the ceremony. The left brain hemisphere enjoys analyzing the material and factual aspects of the ceremony, such as the implements and the steps in the process, while  the right hemisphere focuses on intuitive elements like the beauty and serenity of the ambience and the emotions of the participants. 

When I’m planning a daily tea ritual, my first step is finding handmade ceramics from local artisans. By doing this I am not only supporting my community, but also surrounding the ceremony with a culture of respect for artistry. Equally important, the visual beauty and delightful feel of each container awaken my sight and sense of touch. 

My second step is sourcing fair trade organic herbs and spices from reputable dealers. I’ve committed to this practice because I believe that one person can make a difference. Buying organic supports organic agriculture, which reduces the overall exposure of the soil, air, and water and the food supply to synthetic pesticides whose toxic effects include an increased risk of myriad diseases from asthma to cancer. This commitment also contributes to the growing demand for sustainable farming methods. Over time, if there’s enough demand, the industry will have to change to accommodate consumer preferences. 

The third step in the planning process is creating the right environment for the ceremony. The quality of energy in the environment greatly affects our mental state. Hence it is not always something tangible that might make it difficult to focus when you sit for tea. You should learn to be able to differentiate between the positive and negative vibrations in different areas of your house. This is a relatively easy task. All you have to do is to observe your emotions. Places where you find it easy to think good thoughts are energetically appropriate for meditative rituals. There are surely more than enough corners in your house where you could feel these uplifting spiritual vibrations.

Setting up a dedicated space can make or break your ceremonial tea habit. Imagine you have to put away your current project, clean up counter space, pull out a teapot, tea cups, and tea. By now you’ve exhausted most of your willpower just by thinking about getting to the point of making tea. Choose a place in your house that has the positive vibrations that I mentioned, and reserve this space for your ceremony. The décor should be a very simple reflection of the natural world. Spaciousness and simplicity in your decoration is essential to enable the mind to relax and reflect.

Now let’s talk tea! One of my favorite herbs to use in my daily tea ritual is tulsi. Aromatic, delicious, beautiful, and sattvic (“pure, harmonious”) tulsi is one of those magical Ayurvedic herbs that can benefit just about everyone.

When preparing the tea, stay present with each step: heating the water, steeping the tea, and pouring the warm water over the tea leaves. Inhale the aroma of the tea. Notice the smell: Is it gentle or pungent? Is the aroma cooling or warming? Let your eyes take in the colors as the tea is infusing; notice the texture of the tea leaves. Allow your gaze to take in the colors of your ceramics while your hands are holding the cup. Let your gaze be gentle, passively taking in all there is to see.

Before drinking the tea, offer up appreciation. Take time to remember and give thanks for each being that went into the making of this tea: the sacred water, the cherished plant, and the many hands that tended to the tea that’s now in front of you. By setting this tone you are allowing your senses to embrace the experience entirely, and you will watch stress start to melt away. As you sip, joy will fill your heart, starting the day off with a deep sense of wholeness, gratitude, and self-awareness.

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Staying in Synch with the Doshas

How the Doshas Rule Our Day

Just as they govern the flowering and wilting of plants, the rhythms of day and night and the four seasons rule the waxing and waning of our biologic energies. These energies manifest in the three doshas—vata, pitta, and kapha—that determine our constitution and influence our overall well-being.

Have you ever found that you feel sluggish when you sleep late or that if you stay up too long you get the midnight munchies? Do you sometimes wake up at 4 a.m. feeling so agitated that you have a hard time falling back to sleep? Well, the principles of Ayurveda can explain not only what’s causing these problems but also what you can do about them.

Fatigue, cravings, emotional distress, and other troubling symptoms typically arise when doshas fall out of balance due to internal and external forces that disrupt our biological clock. Our bodies are designed to sleep, wake, and eat at specific times during the day. These times correspond to the rhythms of the natural world as well as to the dosha that predominates during those hours. When stress keeps us awake at night or a busy schedule keeps us from eating lunch or going to bed at a reasonable hour, the resulting doshic imbalances can lead to an assortment of health complaints, as well as a general sense of physical discomfort and psychological uneasiness. If the imbalance persists, it can even make us seriously ill.

Our body is constantly in search of homeostasis. It’s designed to seek balance in the midst of the many demands of the external world—from processing emotions experience to digesting food. Learning to work with the body’s internal rhythms enables us to go with its natural flow, instead of against it, ultimately reducing the stress on our tissues and slowing the overall process of degeneration. Knowledge of the doshas and their effects on us at different times of days is the key to unlocking the secret of sustainable health and vitality.

Every 4 hours over the course of a 24-hour day, one of the three doshas becomes dominant. Vata, pitta, and kapha each have unique qualities that influence our mind and body during the 4-hour intervals when it holds sway. Knowing this, we  can sustain a balanced state of wellness across time by adopting specific practices that capitalize on the distinctive energies that predominate at various points in the 24-hour cycle.

Let’s begin with the vata time of day that occurs in the morning between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. The hallmarks of this dosha’s constituents—air and ether—are clarity and mobility These characteristics align with receptivity to spiritual pursuits; thus, this time of day is perfect for practices such as meditation, prayer, chanting, and yoga. Performing sun salutations or repeating mantras or affirmations are great ways to quiet the mind after a night of restless or disturbed sleep, especially if you have a lot of vata in your nature.

It's also important to take care of your personal hygiene at this time of day. (See General Daily Routines Guidelines to find a supportive routine based on the dosha that governs your constitution.) Remember a successful daily routine is all about consistency and finding what  works for you.  Like practicing yoga and meditation, performing your daily self-care ritual during the hours dominated by vata will help keep you functioning at your peak throughout the entire day.

The next stage  in the daily cycle is the kapha period extending from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. This stage is associated with the stasis and heaviness of earth and water. Waking up at this time is apt to increase these qualities within you, making you feel sluggish and setting a slow pace for the rest of your day. This is why Ayurvedic teachings recommend getting up at around 5 a.m., when the predominance of vata will energize you and clear your head.

During the morning kapha period you should eat a light. well spiced breakfast. A big, hearty meal will only aggravate the feeling of low energy associated with this dosha. Eating a warming, light, and easily digestible breakfast supports healthy metabolic function by sustaining agni (digestive fire). If we think of agni as a campfire, the reasoning behind this practice becomes clear.  This “campfire” has been burning all night and by dawn is running low on fuel. Consuming a large amount of cold or hard, heavy food shortly after waking not only undermines the balancing qualities of kapha but also equates to tossing great big logs on the dying embers of your campfire, thereby extinguishing it. What you want to do is add  just enough kindling to reignite the fire and keep it burning steadily, thus counteracting the tendency of kapha energy to slow your metabolism.

This stage of the morning is also the best time for your daily exercise routine. Kapha gives strength and stamina for exercising, helping you build healthy tissues without exhausting your body. In fact, exercising at this time will energize you both physically and mentally for the day ahead. Working out late evening or toward bedtime is not recommended, as it can elevate body temperatures and disrupt sleep rhythms. A gentle walk after dinner is enough to help you maintain healthy blood flow without overstimulating your mind and body. Also avoid exercise from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the pitta time of day, when agni is primed for the task of digesting your main meal.

Kapha time gives way to pitta time beginning at 10 a.m. and continuing until 2 p.m. Composed of fire and water, pitta governs our mind and body during the hours of peak productivity—the time that the sun is highest in the sky and there’s more heat in the natural world. The fiery heat of this energy can fuel efficiency and advance our goals but needs to be carefully managed. In addition to avoiding direct exposure to the intense midday sun, you should steer clear of strenuous workouts at this time of day, especially if pitta dominates your nature. An overabundance of pitta can provoke symptoms of heartburn, skin rashes, or even flares of temper.

One of the best uses of this midday surge of pitta is digesting a substantial lunch. By maximizing agni, the heat energy of pitta enables us to easily break down complex foods like animal proteins and whole grains and absorb  the nutrients they contain more readily. Our increased digestive fire at the time of day also helps us process and assimilate the thoughts and emotions that serve as food for our minds.

As the cycle continues, a second vata period occurs from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. As with the morning vata time, this interval is governed by the elements air and space (ether). These dynamic elements are associated with creativity, flexibility, movement, and expansive thinking. While these qualities make this time of day suitable for artistic pursuits, problem solving, and communication, they can cause agitation or fatigue when they occur in excess.  Consequently, individuals with a vata nature should take care to get adequate rest and avoid environments where harsh distractions like bright lights and loud noises can overstimulate their senses.

To prevent this delicate, unstable dosha from slipping out of balance, seek a serene environment and focus on grounding activities like curling up with a cup of herbal tea and a cozy afghan or catching a quick nap

When kapha time rolls around again at 6 p.m., its slow, heavy rhythms can help us wind down for the day and  transition into a deep and restful sleep. To spare your body the task of digesting an overabundance of food, eat a light, early dinner. Otherwise you might end up with a case of indigestion that keeps you tossing and turning all night.

As bedtime approaches engage in activities that subdue your nervous systems—gentle yoga moves like hero pose and cat/cow, sipping steamed spiced milk, or listening to soothing music. Turn off the TV, and keep conversations light to avoid arousing strong emotions or causing your mind to race in circles or dwell on problems.

Hopefully, you’ll be sound asleep by 10 p.m., when pitta takes over again. This time of night harnesses powerful pitta energy to reset metabolic functions and cleanse and restore the body. If you’re still awake, your heightened agni may send you to the refrigerator in search of a late-night snack. More seriously, you will be missing out on a vital period of restorative rest. That lapse can cause ama (undigested food, cellular wastes, environmental toxins, etc.) to accumulate in the body, leading to multiple health issues.   

Modern chronobiologists confirm the ancient Ayurvedic wisdom of living in harmony with our body’s natural rhythms.  Their research shows that these rhythms can affect the severity of disease symptoms, diagnostic test results, and the safety and effectiveness of medications.  It’s not surprising then that when a chaotic lifestyle disrupts the natural ebb and flow of our biologic energies, our bodies fall prey to modern afflictions like obesity, insomnia, and diabetes. Ayurveda teaches us how to avoid these problems and achieve balanced health by incorporating its understandings of the doshas and how they rule the course of our everyday life

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How to Create an Ayurvedic Daily Routine

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease

How to Create an Ayurvedic Daily Routine

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How to Create an Ayurvedic Daily Routine

In Ayurveda, we stress the importance of a consistent daily routine for everything from the time you wake up and the time you eat to the time you go to bed. A daily routine sets healthy biorhythms, giving the mind, body, and spirit a chance to ground, cleanse, and receive deeper nourishment. Here are some suggestions for creating daily routines that conform to Ayurvedic principles.

MORNING CLEANSING ROUTINE

Wake up at the same time every day: Keeping this precept allows your body and mind to begin your daily activities gracefully.

Drink warm water with lemon: Drinking a glass of warm water with lemon cleanses and awakens the digestive tract, hydrates the tissues, and encourages a bowel movement.

Rinse face, mouth, and eyes: A splash of cool water is soothing and rejuvenating for the face, mouth, and eyes. It brings a sense of freshness.

Scrape tongue: Use a tongue cleaner to remove the bacteria-filled coating on the tongue and to stimulate the digestive system.

Oil pull: Swishing warm sesame oil in your mouth for 5–15 minutes strengthens the teeth, gums, jaw, and voice while improving your sense of taste.

Brush teeth: Traditional Ayurvedic toothpastes contain herbs that are bitter, astringent, and soothing like neem and licorice.

Self-Enhancing Practice: Take 15–30 minutes for meditation, pranayama, yoga, journaling, prayer, or other activities that bring well-being to your spirit and mind. The more time you allow for these types of practices, the more you will benefit.

Eliminate: Practices that support a healthy digestive system include moving your bowels each morning before taking food. If you are not eliminating daily, increase your intake of fluids, fiber from whole grains, and vegetables, and take Triphala before bed nightly.

Perform Self-Massage: This is a profound practice of rejuvenation and loving self-care. Perform a self-massage with warm dosha-specific oil or a medicated oil suggested by your Ayurvedic practitioner for 15–30 minutes before bathing. Use long, rapid movements to heat the skin and increase circulation. Place a few drops of warm dosha-specific oil in each ear. Learn How

Bathe: Showering will purify the body and bring energy and alertness to your entire being. Rinsing the skin with warm water will generally suffice to remove excess oil.

Lubricate Nasal Passages: Place few drops of medicated nasya oil in the nose right after taking a warm shower.

Exercise: Thirty minutes to one hour of light exercise each day helps fuel the digestive system by creating internal heat. But keep in mind that too much exercise can be detrimental. It is best to exercise according to what is correct for your dosha. Ask your Ayurvedic practitioner what type of exercise is right for your constitution.

Eat Regular Meals: Irregular meals and excessive snacking can weaken the digestive fire. Having scheduled eating times is essential. Lunch, the most substantial meal of the day, should occur between noon and 2 p.m. This is when your digestive fire is at its strongest, and you will be able to derive the most nutrition from your meal. Favor warm, cooked, light meals in accordance with the doshas you want to balance and in keeping with the seasons.

EVENING ROUTINE

Take Triphala with Warm Water: Take one hour before sleep. Triphala is a traditional Ayurvedic formulation and is revered for its unique ability to gently cleanse and detoxify the digestive tract while replenishing, nourishing, and rejuvenating the tissues. It supports healthy elimination upon waking in the morning.

Keep a Regular Bedtime: Having a scheduled bedtime lets the body know that it’s time to wind down and recuperate.

Promote Healthy Sleep: If you want to support healthy deep sleep, consider a warm bath, a warm glass of milk with nutmeg and cardamom, or a cup of relaxing herbal tea, and apply relaxing essential oils to your skin. It is best to stay away from stimulating conversations, TV, or music an hour before sleep.

Daily Use of Essential Oils to Balance Doshas: The regular use of essential oils topically or internally or as a diffusion can significantly impact the balance of the doshas. Below are suggestions for oils for each dosha. Learn More

o   Vata: basil, cardamom, rosemary, frankincense, lemon, wild orange, neroli, and rose

o   Pitta: coriander, chamomile, lavender, fennel, ylang ylang, yarrow, peppermint, and jasmine

o   Kapha: bergamot, lemongrass, clary sage, grapefruit, melissa, rosewood, ginger, and black pepper

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Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacy

The Ayurvedic Pharmacy

Ayurvedic pharmacology is a time-proven system that spans a wide range of gentle yet potent herbal tonics and medicines. Ayurveda pharmacology has demonstrated its effectiveness over the thousands of years it has been in use and continues to do so today. According to Ayurveda, many of the physical and chemical properties of plants that serve as food and herbal treatments are similar to those of the human body.

In Ayurveda, the action of an herb is first considered from the standpoint of its effects on the sensory organs. The qualities of the shape, color, aroma, flavor, and fracture properties of a plant are related to its specific pharmacological actions and provide the basis for the theory behind the energetics of the herbs. The best way to learn about herbs is to become intimately acquainted with them; an herbalist must know a plant’s natural habitat, growing tendencies, climatic preferences, shape, color, taste, smell, and harvest times and, more important, must experience the herb’s effects personally.

“There is nothing in the world which does not have therapeutic utility when applied in appropriate conditions and situations. Drugs act by virtue of their nature and qualities at the proper time, in a given place, in the appropriate conditions and situations; the effect produced is considered to be their action (karma); the factor responsible for the effect is their energy (virya); where they at is the place (adhisthana); when they act is the time (kala); how they act is the mode of action (upaya); what they accomplish is the achievement (phala).” – Caraka Samhita Sutrasthana 26.12,13

Ayurvedic practitioners have developed many excellent herbal preparations. Not all herbs are readily assimilated in their raw state; some need to be processed to enhance absorption. The form in which the herb is taken can significantly affect its potency and effect. The mode of preparation typically depends on the specific causes and symptoms of the disease being treated. There are also specific preparations that are indicated for particular plants. Like medicated ghees, medicated wines, gugguls, and pills retain their potency longer than fresh herbs or powders. An Ayurvedic practitioner can also develop specific custom formulas based upon any imbalances of the doshas. It is best to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner when using these traditional Ayurvedic herbs or formulas.

According to Ayurveda, our bodies are woven from food. The nutrients we ingest are metabolized into the energy and information that form our cells, tissues, and organs. Every day our body needs essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to maintain its delicate balance. Taking Ayurvedic herbs as supplements can be a highly efficient way to create that balance.

Every herb in Ayurvedic herbology has a multitude of benefits for the mind, body, and spirit. Herbs can be used internally or externally (through the skin)—or even used as aromatherapy. These herbs can be useful in a range of  applications from weight loss and beautifying skin to supporting overall vitality; Ayurvedic herbs can transform your health in so many ways. Plants and herbs carry in their cells the wisdom of the cosmos and the healing vibrations of nature.

Since ancient times, humans and plants have had a profound spiritual connection—we have evolved with plants and have adapted and learned from them. Also, plants capture solar energy and convert it into nutrients that humans can digest. Plants do this by transforming sunlight into chlorophyll, which can then be assimilated by the human body, along with many other attributes of herbs that, when used correctly, help our bodies maintain homeostasis.

Some Ayurvedic herbs and formulas are safe for daily use and can be our allies in managing our health. Herbs that help balance your constitution complement the positive changes you make in your diet and lifestyle. For example, shatavari, ashwaganda, and vidari kanda are some of the main herbs that help maintain doshic balance by moving excess vata from the body. As the principal herbs used to remove excess pitta, brahmi, bhringraj, neem, and gudduchi also promote balanced health as do bibhitaki, chitrak, and punarnava, the three herbs most commonly used to eliminate excess kapha.

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.

What are the Signs of Ama?

Signs of Ama

In Ayurveda, the concept of ama is visualized as a kind of toxic “sludge” that comes from undigested food, environmental pollutants, and unassimilated emotions, as well as from normal bodily processes such as cell metabolism.

Ama accumulates in the body’s tissues and channels when improper dietary and lifestyle practices weaken our agni (digestive fire). The role of agni extends beyond converting food into energy to all the metabolic functions that process and remove waste products and cellular debris from our body. In short, excess ama disrupts the body’s natural cleansing process. When the resulting buildup of ama clogs our organ systems and internal pathways, it can give rise to a host of health problems.

The following list details conditions that signal the presence of unhealthy levels of ama in the body:

  •  Unclear thinking

  • Grogginess

  • Dull eyes

  • Aches and pains

  • Poor circulation

  • Joint pain and inflammation

  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies

  • Skin blemishes

  • Fever

  • Fatigue; low energy

  • Weakness

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhea

  • Sinking stools and/or mucus in stool

  • Sticky stools

  • Indigestion; fatigue after eating

  • Bloating; gas

  • Congestion of lungs, throat, and nasal passages

  • Bad breath

  • Decreased output of  urine and  sweat

  • Turbid urine

  • Lack of appetite or impaired sense of taste

  • Sticky or sweet taste in the mouth.

  • Pulse that registers as deep, dull, and irregular

  • Coated tongue/swollen body

  • High triglycerides

  • Atherosclerosis

  • Late-onset diabetes

  • High blood sugar levels

  • Depression and other mood disorders

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Helio pylori  and other bacterial infections

  • Leukocytosis (excess of white blood cells

  • Leukocytopenia (low white blood count)

  • Excess antibodies in the bloodstream

  • Candida in the gut and uterus

  • Elevated blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels (sign of impaired kidney function)

  • Gout

  • Excess platelet count

  • High IgE levels from allergic reactions

  • Excess red blood cells

  • Gallstones from excess bile

  • Kidney stones from undigested calcium and oxalates

  • Elevated liver enzymes

  • High serum aspartate aminotransferase levels (sign of possible liver damage)

  • Increased intraocular pressure (glaucoma)

  • Tumors

These symptoms may call  for panchakarma therapy to substantially reduce the amount of ama in the body. Ayurvedic teachings recommend building regularly scheduled sessions of panchakarma therapy into your holistic wellness routine.

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.

Our Favorite Daily Dhal

Ayurvedic Dhal

Health experts increasingly recommend the adoption of a plant-based diet as a strategy for staving off chronic age-related diseases, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Many plant-derived foods are nutrient-dense, which means they deliver a heaping portion of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, complex carbohydrates, and amino acids without overloading us with calories.

Among these healthful foods, mung beans stand out as a nutritional powerhouse. Packed with B vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients, potassium, magnesium, and fiber, these beans are also one of the richest sources the essential amino acids that enable our bodies to build complete proteins.  Dried, split mung beans (aka “mung dhal”) are combined with dosha-balancing herbs and spices to make this easy and tasty dish, which also goes by the name “dhal.”  

Daily Dhal Recipe

  • 1 cup dried, split mung beans

  • 6 cups water

  • 2 teaspoon cumin seed

  • 3/4 teaspoon mustard seed

  • 2 tablespoons ghee

  • Pinch of hing (asafetida powder)3/4 teaspoons turmeric\

  • Salt to taste

  • 3/4 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro

Clean the beans. Place in pot with the water and bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until  tender (2 to 4 hours, depending on the age of the beans). Melt the ghee in a small skillet over low heat. Add the hing, ginger, cumin seeds, and mustard seeds. Sauté, frequently stirring, until the spices become fragrant and the mustard seeds pop for 1 to 2 minutes. Add to the simmering beans. Stir in the turmeric, and salt to taste. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes for the flavors to blend. Just before serving, add the cilantro.

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.

Vidari Kanda, the Grandmother of Indian Ginseng

Vindari Kanda

The potent Ayurvedic herb vidari kanda is known as the grandmother of Indian ginseng (ashwaganda) because it shares many of that plant’s revitalizing, restorative properties and, like a loving nana, serves as a trusted source of comfort and healing when you’re feeling upset or under the weather. Its qualities (heavy, sweet, unctuous, cool) are also thought to represent the feminine counterpart to ashwaganda’s more masculine energy.

Vidari’s attributes are useful for balancing vata and decreasing pitta. Used in excess, it increases kapha and ama and can cause liver damage. Vida means “to destroy,” and adi means “enemy”; thus, Ayurvedic practitioners rely on this tuberous root to vanquish  all vata disorders. The traditional practice of taking vidari kanda with ghee or milk enhances the nutritional benefits of this nourishing treatment.

A staple of Ayurvedic treatments for centuries, vidari kanda is now under study by Western medical researchers. Evidence to date suggests that this herbal medicine is appropriate for applications ranging from alleviating the mental and physical effects of stress, boosting athletic performance, and promoting wound healing to strengthening the female and male reproductive systems and improving memory. Other beneficial properties of vidari kanda are listed below:

12 Benefits of Vidari Kanda 

  • Increases sexual desire and performance

  • Supports healthy male organs

  • Promotes healthy menstrual cycle, pregnancy, lactation

  • Enhances immunity

  • Supports a robust aging process

  • Strengthens respiratory system and helps manage tuberculosis symptoms

  • Counteracts muscle wasting and weakness

  • Helps relieve symptoms of multiple sclerosis

  • Lowers blood pressure and supports cardiac health

  • Fights inflammation

  • Relieves sore throat/hoarseness

  • Nourishes the tissues

Ayurvedic Hibiscus Cooler

Ayurvedic Hibiscus Cooler

The hibiscus flower has many health benefits. It’s used in Ayurveda to improve appetite; dissolve phlegm; and help relieve colds, heart and nerve diseases, upper respiratory tract pain and swelling (inflammation), fluid retention, stomach irritation, and circulatory disorders. Hibiscus is also useful as a gentle laxative and diuretic.

As a resident of Mexico, I find that hibiscus tea—or agua de jamaica, as it’s called thereis served almost everywhere—in homes, in restaurants, and on the street. One explanation for its popularity is that people in very hot climates often lose their appetite, and this tangy, cooling, drink is just the thing to bring it back. As a diuretic, hibiscus tea also helps relieve the fluid retention that often occurs with heat exhaustion. Another likely reason for this drink’s ubiquity in tropical and subtropical regions is its antimicrobial properties, which protect against the bacteria and worms that thrive these zones.

Try our spicy twist on this traditional Ayurvedic beverage!  

Ingredients:
2 quarts water
3 tbsp dried hibiscus flowers
2 tsp dried tulsi leaf
1 tsp licorice root
3 large slices fresh ginger root
¼-inch cinnamon stick
1 tsp cardamom seed
1 tsp golden raisins
1–2 tsp coconut sugar or raw honey

Directions:
Place licorice, cinnamon, ginger, and raisins in 2 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add all the other ingredients except the honey, and simmer for 30 minutes. Pour liquid out through a strainer into a 2-quart vessel. Now add the rest of the water. Drink at room temperature or slightly cooled.

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.

The Art of Panchakarma

Panchakarma is the Ayurvedic art of detoxification, purification, and rejuvenation. A multiple day in-depth cleansing program that involves herbal advises diet, medicated health spa techniques, and elimination procedure.

These ancient rejuvenation therapies are designed to nourish the physical body and access the subtle body where stored toxins, emotions and thoughts form to create blockages in our body. It is a powerful way to address and eliminate the cause of disease and has been a method for thousands of years to stay healthy, young and vital.

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.

Herb Allies: Lemon and Black Pepper

Ayurvedic Herbs

In Ayurveda, we have a lot of "herb allies." Many of these are common fruits, culinary herbs, and plants that we use in our everyday cooking in the west. Sometimes we forget that we have a medicine cabinet in our kitchens. Two of my favorite daily kitchen ingredients is lemon and black pepper. Not only are they a delicious combination when used in cooking, but they are packed with health benefits. Using them more in your food can be a great way to implement Ayurvedic practices in your daily life.

Most of us know lemons as an excellent, flavorful fruit. Lemon along with its peel is used extensively in Ayurveda in food, medicine and also in purification procedure of metalling Ayurvedic ingredients. Using lemon as a whole has many health benefits due to its many nourishing elements like vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, and protein. It is a fruit that contains flavonoids, which are composites that provide antioxidant and cancer-fighting properties. It is known to help prevent diabetes, constipation, high blood pressure, fever, indigestion, as well as improves the skin, hair, and teeth. Studies conducted at the American Urological Association highlight the fact that lemon juice can eliminate the occurrence of kidney stones by forming urinary citrate, which prevents the formation of crystals.

The connection between cancer and lemons isn’t something new, for decades, scientists have developed numerous studies to determine its validity. High-dose vitamin C has been studied as a treatment for cancer patients since the 1970s. Lemon extract can successfully destroy malignant cells in a wide range of cancers, including breast cancer, colon cancer, and lung cancer. Several research studies also claim that lemons can destroy cancer much more effectively than chemotherapy.

Black pepper is also a kitchen favorite that is more than just a spice, and it certainly pairs well with lemon! An exciting aspect of Perpertin is that it increases the rate of bioavailability of other herbs or medicinal compounds acting as a "driver" making the properties of an herb more accessible to the body. Black peppercorns have demonstrated itself to have impressive antioxidant and antibacterial effects — which is excellent as well as promoting the health of the digestive tract. These beneficial antioxidants may also help stabilize blood sugar.  Regulation of hyperglycemia is one activity offered by peppercorns and their extracts, ultimately helping reduce free radical damage. Researchers found piperine to aid in the up-regulation of the metabolic rate of resting muscle, which in turn can mitigate obesity and diabetes, making it useful in combating obesity and making it excellent for any diabetic diet plan.

It energizes the taste buds to signal the stomach to create more hydrochloric acid. This particular acid is essential to digest proteins along with other foods within the stomach, which when left undigested result in flatulence, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation as well as acidity. The extra hydrochloric acid released help with avoiding these conditions. To assist in digestion, include a tablespoon (concerning the number of servings being prepared) of freshly ground pepper powder in your meal while cooking. It’ll increase the flavor of the dish while keeping your stomach healthy.

One of my favorite aspects of black pepper is that it can keep your brain active and healthy, longer. It is known to help with cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's, depression, Parkinson’s, and Epilepsy. Also, just as lemon, it has anti-cancerous properties its anti-inflammatory effect that can reduce and prevent the creation of cancerous cells. By helping with natural detox, black pepper consequently inhibits the growth of cancerous cells. It might also have the ability to prevent specific chemicals that cause cell mutations, resulting in harmful growth. Black pepper and cardamom together can boost the strength of natural killer cells, thus showing anti-cancer ability. The two foods also increase your immune system and have an anti-tumor effect.

In Ayurveda, pepper is often included in tonics for the respiratory system including colds and coughs. It has an expectorant property that can help to break up the mucus as well as phlegm depositions within the respiratory tract, and its particular natural irritant quality. This feature allows you to discharge the mucus from the act of sneezing or even coughing, that removes the material from the body and helps you to cure of whatever infection or even illness caused the deposition in the first place.

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.

 

Finding Peace, 5 Mindful Practices for the New Year

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“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the world.” ~Marcus Aurelius

Happy new year! To start the new year out right I wanted to share helpful tips for finding peace in the year to come. Finding peace is something we all struggle with, and I see myself daily with many "slip-ups" and re-directions back to this. Below are a few things I have found that help

1. Dinacharya: The tradition of dinacharya (daily routine) is one of the single most potent Ayurvedic tools for improving overall health and wellbeing. Ayurvedic medicine looks at the cycles of nature and bases daily activities around these cycles. Establishing balanced daily routines including waking up at the same time, morning cleansing routines, elimination, exercise, meals, work, relaxation, and sleeping. Having a well-established dinacharya is the framework of finding Peace in your life. More on dinacharya.

2. Practice patience:  Patience is an essential ingredient in attaining the ultimate goal of Ayurveda for your self and others. Understand that health and finding peace takes time. Do not expect things to happen overnight. It is also wise to be aware of how you act towards others when it comes to patience. Other people around you may not be living in the same way that you have chosen to. It doesn’t matter; they will have their conscience to live with at the end of the day, and you will have yours. Choose to respond in a way that will give you peace of mind. Take a deep breath before reacting to people who push your buttons.

3. Know your self: To seek Truth, after all, we have to be able to accept that we don’t always have the right answers, while also trusting that we contain somewhere deep within ourselves all the wisdom we need to navigate our lives with ease and peace. Make a list of all the good qualities you intend to cultivate. Are you going to be kinder, fairer, more tolerant, more magnanimous, more patient, more dignified? What are your responses to difficulties going to be? What principles do you wish to uphold?

4. Let go of perfectionism: Perfectionism is about being perceived as perfect. Since you cannot control other's people perception, perfection then merely is unattainable. Allow yourself to be imperfect, and yet still make progress. Do not make yourself feel worst for mistakes you have made or not attaining the goals that you have. Practice self-love and in stressful situations, look at what you did well. If you’ve been struggling, notice when you make progress. At the end of each day, summarize to yourself how you’ve acted well and kept your integrity.

5. Meditate: Meditation brings the inner peace, the internal stability that is needed for a healthy life. You cannot always control your external environment, but you can control your reaction to your situation. Meditation can be easy and has multiple benefits. Take 5-15 minutes each morning mediate, allowing the day to start off in the direction desired for creating more peace in your life. More on meditation.

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.

4 Benefits of An Ayurvedic Facial

Ayurvedic Facial

Ayurvedic therapies have a unique way of approaching each client differently for the next. If you have dry, aging, combination or sensitive skin an Ayurvedic facial treatment will be the best thing for you. Unlike other beauty therapies, an Ayurvedic facial is known to be the best for any skin type. It is not only the herbal ingredients that makes sure your skin does not erupt, but it also thoroughly cleanses your skin, making it smooth and soft. There are 4 main reason why everyone should enjoy this Ayurvedic technique.

1. Makes your Skin Glow

Outside of having each facial customized to your skin type, in general Ayurveda make your skin glow. The herbal and natural ingredients ensure your skin is well-nourished and in return radiates. Ayurveda offers many herbal blends that cover all aspects of skin care.  For example a facial using lentils, rose or saffron packs, it will keep your lighten your skin and keep it glowing for a long time.

2. Removes Dryness and Supports Aging Skin

Since herbal packs, steams and moisturizing oils are often used in Ayurvedic facials. Those suffering from dry and aging skin problems will benefit in more ways than one. The Ayurveda approach ensures dryness is balanced and your skin stays hydrated. The continued use of proper Ayurvedic skin care practices and products at home is the best way to see long-term results.


3. Treats Pimples and Acne Scars

Ayurvedic facial massage supports the reduction of acne and acne scars. If you have blemishes that leave a dark patch on your skin, a massage with specific oils and packs that suit your skin type can heal this problem. The facial skin is delicate, using harsh products can make your acne worse. Ayurveda offers gentle and natural ingredients, working with your skin's ph harmoniously,  thus creating the desired healing effect.

4. Enhance Overall Well-Being

Besides the fact that an Ayurvedic facial massage is profoundly relaxing it is essential to start a practicing in pay attention to all the muscles and marma points in the face. Our face has numerous marma points that affect the body as a whole. Marma points, which are similar to  acupoints of Chinese medicine, are the vital energy point located on the surface of the body. We have 11 vital marma points on our face, and the stimulation of these points help with everything from stress management to the release of toxins. A massage activating these points helps enhance overall well-being.

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.

 

Delicious Ayurvedic Crepes You Will Crave!!!

Ayurvedic Crepes

When sharing with my Panchakarma clients the art of Ayurvedic nutrition and cooking, they tend to feel overwhelmed. They may feel like they are not able to change their lifestyle to manage it and it may be difficult for their family to be on the same page, enjoying the changes for healthier life. I ensure them Ayurvedic cooking does not have to be difficult and it can be tasty and fun for the whole family. This crepe recipe is a perfect example of an easy way to incorporate Ayurvedic food into your life for the whole family to enjoy.

Spiced Pear Ayurvedic Crepes

4- large eggs
1/2 cup Amaranth flour
1/2 cup fresh organic milk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Beat all the ingredients together thoroughly with an egg beater or in the blender. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into a hot, very lightly oiled skillet, spread by tilting the pain. Cook over medium-high until underside is brown and then turn.

Spiced Pears: 20 mins
5 ripe medium pears (about 4 cups chopped)
1/4 cup of apricot nectar
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon of dry ginger powder
6 cloves
6 cardamom seeds (about 2 pods)
1/8 teaspoon of salt

Wash quarter and core pears. Chop into 1/2 inch pieces. Put all ingredients in medium saucepan and cook uncovered over medium heat for 15 minutes or until soft. Serve hot or warm.

Mango or Blackberry Sauce
This sauce can be made with any fruit. Here at the center when mango is in season, we use mango and when blackberries are in season, we use blackberries.

1 cup of fruit
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
1 tablespoon honey

Mix fruit water and cinnamon and cook on low heat for 10. When cooled, add honey and put in a blender until smooth.

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.

 

Rest and Restore Yoga for The Holdiay Season

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The holiday season is the time for family, friends, and festivities. With so many activities planned, it can be challenging to maintain a peace of mind and sense of care that keeps us grounded and feeling restored. Proper rest, eating healthy and this rest and restore yoga exercise are three things you should be incorporating into your daily life this season. Just take 15 minutes each night as you are winding down for bed, by practicing these simple poses you will be able to  maintain the vigor needed to get through the holidays!

These poses are designed to relax the nervous system and mind, there are a lot of props involved as they will allow you to sink deeply and deliciously into yourself. In each pose, you can also cover yourself with a blanket for greater comfort. Spend at least three to five minutes in each
pose. As you become more comfortable with them, you can stay longer.

Salamba Viparita Karani - Supported Legs-Up-the-Wall Poses.

Start by setting your mat vertically against a wall and placing a bolster across it horizontally. Fold a blanket to the size of a bed pillow; then fold it again two-thirds of the way down, so you have a thinner edge (for your neck) and a thicker edge (for your head). Sit on the bolster with your left hip against the wall. Tip back as you turn your legs up the wall, and lower yourself so that your middle and upper back is on the mat, and your head and neck are on the blanket, forehead slightly higher than your chin. Bend your knees and put your feet through a loop in the strap, tightening it gently around your shins, and reset your legs up the wall. Place another blanket across your torso and a sandbag on your pelvis. Put the eye pillow over your eyes and rest your hands by your sides.

Supported Side bend

Sitting with your right hip against the bolster, lean to the right, placing your right hand on the far side of the mat as you lower down. Stretch your right arm straight along the ground and rest your head on your biceps. Then stretch your left arm overhead and place your palms together. With each exhalation, relax your entire body, paying particular attention to your neck. When you're ready to switch sides, you will slowly turn your body face-down, and then gently press your hands into the ground to get up. Repeat on the other side. After this position gently transition into child's pose and take a few deep breaths.


Salamba Mandukasana (Supported Frog Pose)

From child's pose slowly come up on all fours, with knees wide and big toes touching. Place a bolster lengthwise between your knees and sit back on your heels. Walk your hands forward along the mat until your upper body comes down onto the bolster. Turn your head to one side and deeply relax. On each inhalation, follow the breath into your belly and low back. On each exhalation, release your knees, hips, shoulders, and neck. (Turn your head to the other side when you're halfway done with the exhalation.)

Salamba Bharadvajasana (Supported Bharadvaja's Twist)

Now put a folded blanket at the bottom end of the bolster and sit with your left hip against the edge of the blanket. Turn from your belly toward the bolster, placing your hands on either side and lean down slowly until your forehead touches. Turn your head to the right, tucking your chin slightly. Keep the back of the neck long and the front of the throat soft. Finally, place the eye pillow across the nape of your neck and rest your hands and forearms on the floor. Allow your breath to slow down and deepen; observe how your inhalations root your pelvis and gently enhance the turning sensation in the belly and shoulders. When you're ready, change sides.

Salamba Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Angle Pose)

Prepare a pillow as you did for the first pose and place it on the top end of the bolster. Sit with your back to the bolster; bring the soles of your feet together; and let your knees drop open, positioning a rolled blanket under each one. Lay a sandbag across your feet, and, using your hands behind you on the mat, slowly lower down onto the bolster. Adjust the head blanket, so your forehead is higher than your chin, place an eye pillow over your eyes, and rest your hands on the ground. Allow your breath to slow down and deepen. With each exhalation, allow your abdomen to soften as much as possible.

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.

 

 

An Ayurvedic Perspective on Parasites

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In my practice, I find many people are very concerned about parasites. I wanted to take the time to share an Ayurvedic perspective on parasites from Banyan Botanicals. This article offers tools of what one can do naturally to help decrease the risk of them as well as herbal suggestions to use if one becomes infected.

There are more than 3,000 types of parasites. Though they are most prevelant in populations with poor sanitary conditions, millions of people continue to become infected in developed countries as well. Giardia is still the most common parasite worldwide, it is commonly waterborne, making campers and backpackers most susceptible.  Foreign travelers can also become infected by drinking contaminated water or eating food which was prepared in unsanitary conditions. Parasites, in general, can cause a wide variety of digestive complaints.

According to Ayurveda, parasite growth is encouraged by weak digestive fire or low agni. Weak digestion is a primary causative factor in creating an ideal host body for parasites. Parasites are more likely to affect Vata and Kapha predominant people since they will be more likely to have weak agni. Robust agni, characteristic of pitta dominant individuals, can burn up parasites before they have a chance to make themselves at home in the body. Because of this, it is essential to recognize what is needed to keep a robust digestive system at all times.

Many people have difficulty determining the primary cause of parasitic infection. Even after contact or ingestion of a parasite has occurred, some, like Giardia cysts, can remain dormant yet viable in the body for months until an imbalance occurs, weakening the body's immune system and creating an environment for a parasite to live. Once a parasite takes up residence in the body, it leeches nutrients and creates waste which can become a breeding ground for bacteria, yeasts, and fungi.

In Ayurveda, parasites are classified according to what tissues they inhabit in the body: blood, intestines, liver, pancreas, kidneys, and brain. Most parasites also migrate in the body so the symptoms could change depending on where the parasites are at any given time. This can make diagnosis difficult. The symptoms of parasitic infection are very similar to an overgrowth of yeast, Candida albicans, in the body. The parasites create waste on which the yeast feeds, while the yeast provides a damp ideal environment for the parasites to thrive. So, it is not uncommon to have to rid the body of both parasites and yeast. The Ayurvedic treatment protocol can be used to address both yeast and parasites.
 
Diet
Strengthening digestion and maintaining intestinal flora is most important while cleansing parasites and for avoiding getting parasites. Paying close attention to the digestibility of foods will help you make choices that your body can use while limiting the production of toxic waste. Avoid foods that will create ama or impurities in the body such as frozen, leftover and processed foods. A diet that is little in quantity, light, warm and comfortable to digest will be the most beneficial. Find more infromation on digestion and agni here.

Minimize sweets. Yeast and bacteria flourish with sugars providing more food for the parasites. Choose fresh organic vegetables, fruits, and grains. These will provide the body with vitality and nourishment. Include anti-parasitic foods such as coconut, aloe vera, pumpkin seeds and fresh pineapple naturally. Allow at least three hours between meals to cultivate a healthy appetite. Strengthen the digestive fire by including cayenne, black pepper, dry ginger and asafoetida in your food. Sip ginger tea first thing in the morning and throughout the day to help strengthen the digestive fire and clear toxins.

Many times there is malabsorption in parasitic conditions. Improving the natural flora of the intestines can enhance digestion and absorption of nutrients while making it difficult for parasites to thrive. Include friendly bacteria such as acidophilus, bifidus, and bulgaricus. These are naturally occurring in yogurt and supplemental forms of capsules or liquids.
 
Lifestyle
Strict hygiene is one of the most important preventative measures that should be taken to avoid contracting parasites. Clean bedrooms and bedding. Wash hands with soap for at least 45 seconds, frequently, particularly after using the bathroom and before eating. If you are camping, be sure to boil stream water for at least one minute before ingesting. Wear shoes in areas that may be contaminated with raw sewage. Peel fruits and vegetables if they are possibly from an unclean source. When trying to cleanse parasites from the body by following an herbal and dietary protocol, all family members and pets should be put on a similar regime to minimize the chances of someone becoming re-infected. It is helpful to become familiar with the life cycles of parasites to continue treatment until all parasites have been eliminated.
 
Herbs

Para Cleanse offered by Banyan Botanicals is a synergistic combination of the most effective antiparasitic herbs in the Ayurvedic pharmacopeia. This formula helps rid the gastrointestinal tract of unwanted parasites and eliminates the toxins on which they feed. This highly bitter recipe is based on vidanga and neem leaf. It also contains ginger, black pepper, and pippali to improve the body's digestive capabilities. The three herbs of triphala, amalaki, bibhitaki, and haritaki, are included to help cleanse and tone the colon. Many times there is a worsening of symptoms at the beginning of treatment as the herbs, and healthier digestive environment promotes a mass die-off of parasites and yeast. Persistence is crucial during this phase, as the body will soon be clear of the unwanted parasites.

Rejuvenation is vital after this type of purification to help rebuild and nourish the tissues, and create balance within the digestive organs. Daily self-oil massage, abhyanga, is a nurturing practice that nourishes and protects the skin. Herbs such as Shatavari or Ashwagandha can be taken to help rebuild tissues, especially if there has been significant weight loss. Chyavanprash is very useful to help rejuvenate the mind and body. Triphala should be taken continuously, to rejuvenate and tone the large intestine. Following Ayurveda's ancient wisdom will lead you toward a healthy digestive system while creating an undesirable environment for unwanted parasites.

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.

Ayurvedic Facial Mask

Turmeric-Mask-Ayurvedas-Best-Skin-Exfoliant

Ayurveda offers many natural skincare solutions. The below recipe is for acne and some types of eczema—use the directions below and make into a thin paste. You can mix the herbal powders with water or use whole milk if skin is oily, and ghee if the skin is dry. Apply this to the face for one-half hour at bedtime and one-half hour upon rising in the morning. If you find no irritations, continue to use until imbalances clear.

4 parts chick pea flour
3 parts Mahasudarshan powder
2 parts Triphala
1 part Turmeric
Make into a paste with rose water or milk or ghee. Apply ½ hour before bedtime and let dry. Rinse with warm water.

Herbal Information

Mahasudarshan is a complex formulation of Ayurvedic herbs that bolsters immunity through detoxification. The main ingredients include chireta, kutki, guduchi and other notably bitter and astringent herbs that help relieve imbalances of pitta and kapha. Traditionally used for fever and disorders of the liver and lymph, this synergistic formula cools and cleanses the system. Mahasudarshan decongests the body and enhances the elimination of toxins, assisting the immune system in times of infection.

  • Bolsters immunity and supports the body's natural defenses against bacteria and viruses
  • Promotes elimination of toxins
  • Removes excess pitta from the body
  • Supports proper function of the liver and lymphatic system

Ayurvedic Energetics:

  • Rasa (taste): bitter, pungent, astringent
  • Virya (action): cooling
  • Vipaka (post-digestive effect): pungent
  • Doshas (constitutions): Balancing for pitta and kapha, may aggravate vata in excess

Triphala is recommended and used more than any other Ayurvedic herbal formulation. Popular for its unique ability to gently cleanse and detoxify the system while simultaneously replenishing and nourishing it, this traditional formula supports the proper functions of the digestive, circulatory, respiratory, and genitourinary systems. Translated as "three fruits," it is composed of the dried fruits of amalaki, bibhitaki, and haritaki. Containing five of the six tastes (all but salty), triphala readily removes excess vata, pitta, and kapha from the body, bringing balance and proper functioning to the system. It is commonly taken as a daily supplement to help maintain balance of the doshas.*

  • Assists natural internal cleansing*
  • Gently maintains regularity*
  • Nourishes and rejuvenates the tissues*
  • Supports healthy digestion and absorption*
  • Supports proper functions of the digestive, circulatory, respiratory, and genitourinary systems*
  • Natural antioxidant*

Ayurvedic Energetics:

  • Rasa (taste): sweet, sour, pungent, bitter, astringent
  • Virya (action): neutral
  • Vipaka (post-digestive effect): sweet
  • Doshas (constitutions): Balancing for vata, pitta, and kapha

Tumeric is known for its broad range of beneficial properties. It bolsters the immune system, purifies the blood, and promotes clear healthy skin. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) strengthens digestion and eliminates toxins from the GI tract. It supports proper function of the pancreas, reduces kapha, and promotes healthy blood glucose levels that are already within the normal range. Turmeric soothes and nourishes the joint tissue and promotes comfortable movement. An excellent herb for those with kapha constitutions or imbalances, turmeric supports proper function of the heart and helps clear the channels of the physical and subtle bodies.

  • Cleanses the blood and promotes healthy skin*
  • Strengthens digestion and promotes healthy intestinal flora*
  • Supports healthy blood glucose levels that are already within the normal range*
  • Supports comfortable movement of the joints*

Ayurvedic Energetics:

  • Rasa (taste): pungent, bitter, astringent
  • Virya (action): heating
  • Vipaka (post-digestive effect): pungent
  • Doshas (constitutions): Balancing for all doshas, may increase Vata and Pitta in excess

 

 

Disclaimer
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.

 

 

 

 

Quick and Easy Ayurvedic Cold Remedy

Ayurvedic Cold Remedy Tea

If you ever find yourself or a family member coming down with a cold, this simple easy Ayurvedic formula can help:

One teaspoon ajwain seed
One teaspoon cumin seed
One teaspoon turmeric powder
1/8th teaspoon salt
Cook in two cups of water. Boil down to one cup.

Make and drink this three times a day for 3 days or until symptoms are relieved.

 

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.