The Ayurvedic Pharmacy

The Ayurvedic Pharmacy

Ayurveda has a substantial pharmacology and is a time-proven system full of beautiful herbs and medicines. Being around for thousands of years, Ayurveda pharmacology, is an evidentially proven system of herbal medicine that is still effective to this day. According to Ayurveda, the animal and plant kingdom have similar constituent factors as the human body. The five elements that are found in people and foods are also found in herbs and herbal formulation.

In Ayurveda, the action of the herb is first considered by using the sensory organs. The sense experience the qualities of the shape, color, aroma, flavor, and fracture of the plant. These classifications relate to specific pharmacological actions that the herbs may have on the body. The qualities 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; a herbalist must know a plant’s natural habitat, growing tendencies, climatic preferences and dislikes, shape, color, taste, smell and harvest times, and more importantly the herbs must be experienced 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

The Ayurvedic pharmacy has developed many excellent herbal preparations. As not all herbs are not readily assimilable in their ‘raw’ state, these herbs are usually processed to enhance absorption. The form in which the herb is taken can significantly affect its potency and effect. Much medicinal substance requires a different mode of preparation according to the specific causes and symptoms of the disease being treated. There are also particular preparations that are indicated for certain illness or particular plants. Along with their therapeutic effects the medicated ghees, medicated wines, guggul's 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 advise 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 bodies need essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to maintain our body’s 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 for weight loss to beautifying skin to overall vitality; Ayurvedic herbs can transform your health in so many ways. Plants and herbs carry in their cells the wisdom of cosmic intelligence and the healing vibrations of nature.

Since ancient times, humans and plants have had a profound spiritual connection - we have grown 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 creates a  beautiful relationship that when used correctly holds the key to our bodies homeostasis.

On a daily basis, some Ayurvedic herbs and formulas are safe to use and can be our allies. Using herbs to manage your constitution compliments the changes you make in your diet and lifestyle. For example, Shatavari, Ashwagandha, and Vidari Kanda are some of the main herbs to help support moving excess Vata from the body and maintain balance. Brahmi, Bhringaraja, Neem, and Guduchi are the principal herbs used to remove excess pitta from the body and maintain balance. Bibhitaki, Chitrak, and Punarnava are three of the fundamental herbs used to remove excess Kapha from the body and keep balance.


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

Ama comes from many sources: your body, food, bacteria, and the environment. Cells in your body continuously produce waste that must be filtered and drained. When your lymphatic system is congested or your circulation poor, the natural processes of elimination may be compromised. Similarly, if you are constipated, have trouble sweating, are dehydrated, or your kidneys don’t produce enough urine, toxins may accumulate. Certain foods contain toxins, just like the air we breathe.

Ama irritates your gut, and when it is absorbed into the bloodstream, it irritates your nervous system and makes you feel emotional. When bacteria digest your food instead of your body, they get the nutrients, and you don’t. This can leave you feeling depleted and fatigued and leads to imbalances in the body. Below is a detailed list of how you can tell if you have excess ama in the body.

  • Heavy feeling
  • Muzzy-headed
  •  Unclear thinking
  • Dull eyes
  • Aches and pains
  • Poor circulations
  • Joint pain and inflammation
  • Bloating and or gas
  • Skin blemishes
  • Fever
  • Lack of energy
  • Stickiness of stools
  • Phlegm and urine
  • Foul smells in breath
  • Sweat
  • Sinking stools and or mucus in stool
  •  Turbid urine
  • Lack of appetite or taste
  • Indigestion, tied after eating
  • Sticky or sweet taste in the mouth.
  • Pulse as deep, dull, and slippery
  • Tongue with thick, dirty and greasy coating along with a swollen body.
  • High triglycerides
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Late-onset diabetes
  • High blood sugar levels
  • Some forms of depression
  • Rheumatoid
  • Presence of helicopylori bacteria,
  • Leukocytosis or leukocytopenia (deficient and excess white blood cells)
  • Excess antibodies in the system
  • Candida in the gut and uterus, blood urea, gout
  • Excess platelet count
  • High IgE levels from allergic reactions
  •  Excess red blood cells
  • Gallstones as a sign of excess bile
  •  Kidney stones as a sign of undigested calcium and oxalates
  • High liver enzymes
  • Serum aspartate aminotransferase, intraocular pressure (glaucoma)
  • Bacterial infection
  • Tumors

Panchakarma techniques reduce the amount of ama in the body substantially. It is suggested in Ayurveda to undergo Panchakarma on a regular basis, to keep the body from building up ama.

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

Because of their high nutrient density, mung beans are considered useful in defending against several chronic, age-related diseases, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Clinical evidence continues to show that plant-derived foods have various potential health benefits. Health experts recommend that plant-based foods make up a significant portion of every person’s diet, and many worldwide health organizations have supported an increase in the intake of plant-derived foods to improve health status and to prevent chronic diseases.

As you’ll come to learn, mung beans are one of the healthiest sources of plant protein there is when you consider how many other nutrients they contain in addition to amino acids (the building blocks of proteins).

Daily Dal Recipes
1 cup dal
6 cups water
2 teaspoon cumin seed
3/4 teaspoon mustard seed
2 tablespoons ghee
Pinch of Hing
3/4 teaspoons turmeric
Salt to taste
3/4 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro

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


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.

Vindari Kanda, the Grandmother of Indian Ginseng

Vindari Kanda

Vidari Kanda is known as the Indian Ginseng’s Grandmother, is revealed for its powerful nutritive properties that provide vitality and energy to the body. Vidari is patient, wise and is always willing to look after her ‘grandchildren,’ especially those hormones running wild in the body. It is properties are similar to Ashwagandha, Ashwagandha presenting more masculine qualities and Vidari feminine.

Vidari is a relative of Wild Yam, and it grows as a large tuber in the hotter regions of India. Similar to its Western sister ginseng, Vidari has strong nutritive properties with a particular affinity for the endocrine system. One example of this is how the biochemical glycoside, saponin, and diosgenin contained in Vidari are used by the body to produce cortisol. It is heavy, unctuous, sweet and cool, used to balance Vata and decrease Pitta. In excess, it increases Kapha and Ama. Vida means ‘to destroy, ‘ and adi means ‘enemy,’ and this refers to all to all Vata disorders, Vata being the ‘enemy’.

Depending on the unique needs of the individual, Vidari Kanda can be used in muscle weakness and wasting, Multiple sclerosis, sexual debility, it strengthens breast tissue and the female and male reproductive system. Also,  like a grandmother, it is there to look after you when you have a cough or a sore throat and offer you relief. It is commonly taken with fat such as butter, milk or ghee to enhance its nourishing properties.

12 Properties of Vindari Kanda

  •  Aphrodisiac
  •  In males supports healthy male organs
  •  In females promotes healthy cycle and lactation health
  • Immunity enhancer
  • Supports a robust aging process
  • Useful for the respiratory system and tuberculosis
  • Muscles wasting and weakness
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Pregnancy
  • Hoarse voice
  • Cardiac tonic
  • Nourishes the tissues

Ayurvedic Hibiscus Cooler

Ayurvedic Hibiscus Cooler

Hibiscus flower has many health benefits. It is used in Ayurveda to support the loss of appetite, colds, heart and nerve diseases, upper respiratory tract pain and swelling (inflammation), fluid retention, stomach irritation, and disorders of circulation; for dissolving phlegm; as a gentle laxative; and as a diuretic to increase urine output.

Living in Mexico, I find hibiscus tea served almost everywhere. In homes, in restaurants, on the street. You can find it almost anywhere. Hibiscus tea is a ubiquitous drink in Mexico, people in very hot climates often lose their appetite in the extreme heat. We have come up with an excellent twist to the traditional hibiscus drink. Our Ayurvedic hibiscus tea is naturally cooling and restoring our appetite during the heat. It also promotes urination when treating heat exhaustion and the fluid retention that can come with it. I think another reason hibiscus is so widespread in Mexico is that are chemicals in hibiscus that work like antibiotics to kill bacteria and worms.

Dried hibiscus flowers can be found almost anywhere these days so no matter where you are you can enjoy this drink throughout the spring and summer.

2 quarts water
3 tbsp Dried Hibiscus Flowers (Jamaica in Spanish)
2 tsp Dried Tulsi Leaf
1 tsp Licorice Root
3 large slices Fresh Ginger Root
1/4 inch Cinnamon stick
1 tsp Cardamon seed
1 tsp Golden Raisins
1-2 tsp Coconut Sugar or Raw Honey

Place Licorice, Cinnamon, Ginger, and Raisens in 2 cups of water and bring to the 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.


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.


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.


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


“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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.
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.
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.

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.


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


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



*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.



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.



Shatavari is one of my favorite Ayurvedic herbs. It is has excellent hormone balancing properties and is an ojas (immunity) builder. It also has many other great benefits I will be discussing in this article. It is an herb that can be taken every day and is easily available, making it a fantastic option for the modern women.

There are many terms for Shatavari, the Sanskrit word, Shatavari, comes from the word shat (meaning one hundred) and avari (meaning that the person who takes this plant can get married a hundred times). Another synonym of Shatavari is bahusuta, many children, because it helps to support fertility. It is also called virundivari, taking away the fear of getting married if there is a lack of hormonal flow, pivari, helping to continue marital bliss, narayani  or Lakshmi - the goddess who bestows fortune, shatavirya, giving "100 times" more potency than other herbs, especially for strengthening shukra dhatu, or reproductive tissue.

Shatavari is wonderful for pacifying Vata and Pitta. Shatavari is guru (heavy), sheeta (cooling), tikta (bitter) and svadvi (sweet). It also has a pro-alkaline post-digestive effect. Most sweet tastes become acidic after digestion but Shatavari maintains a high pH even after digestion. These physical properties give Shatavari the ability to pacify Pitta and Vata doshas.

Shatavari balances Apana Vata more than the other Vata sub-doshas. This is because Shatavari helps balance the hormones, which affect the lower part of the body the most, this area is governed by apana vata. Shatavari is also said to be atisarajit, this is helpful to reduce high-pitta diarrhea because it's cooling, bitter and heavy qualities balance the heating effects of reactive toxins that cause high-pitta diarrhea.

Shatavari is said to also give long healthy life to the eyes. Because it is cooling and nourishing in nature it, Pitta in the eyes is pacified.  It gives the intelligence-enhancing properties to the eyes so that they can connect to the brain and the inner eye properly.  Shatavari is also described as medhagnipushtida or nourishing the agnis of the brain.

Finally, when we look at the effect of Shatavari on shukra dhatu (reproductive tissue). Traditionally used to maintain the healthy production of female hormones. As a nutritive tonic, it encourages the healthy production of milk in lactating mothers and the healthy production of semen in would be fathers. It is also useful during menopause and for women who have had hysterectomies. Its unctuous quality soothes and nurtures membranes of the lungs, stomach, kidneys, and reproductive organs. Sattvic (pure, harmonious) in nature, Shatavari calms the mind and promotes love and devotion.


  • Nourishing tonic for women and men*
  • Maintains a healthy female reproductive system*
  • Supports healthy lactation*
  • Supports the healthy production of semen*
  • Promotes fertility and a healthy libido*

Ayurvedic Energetics:

  • Rasa (taste): bitter, sweet
  • Virya (action): cooling
  • Vipaka (post-digestive effect): sweet
  • Doshas (constitutions): Balancing for Vata and Pitta, may aggravate Kapha in excess

Suggested Use:
¼ to ½ teaspoon with warm water, once or twice daily, or as directed by your health practitioner.

Please consult with your health care practitioner prior to the use of this product if you are pregnant or nursing, taking medications, or have a medical condition. Keep out of the reach of children.


Dinacharya, Daily Self Care


Dinacharya is the Ayurvedic daily ritual of self-care. According to Ayurveda, routine plays a significant role in health. A healthy life can best be maintained by creating daily regimen according to each constitution.  Governing all daily actions such as the time you wake up in the morning, the time you eat,  time you begin daily body purification, to the time one goes to sleep is all a part of Dinacharya.

Ayurvedic Dinacharya has been a practice used for thousands of years and has many benefits. It cleanses the body and prevent the buildup of toxins, it helps to keep the senses and mind clear, and is very nourishing. Repeating a routine every morning sets your day and gives you a feeling of stability and steadiness. It promotes a healthy organization of the energy channels and the seating of prana in the body, creating calmness in mind, limiting stress, and cuts down on decision fatigue.

The new science of Circadian Medicine is suggesting that our genes have lost their ability to hear the natural circadian cycles of nature.  In our modern high-tech world, this is becoming a more and more of a challenge, and some people are starting to have symptoms of a “nature deficit disorder.” Modern scientists are only now beginning to understand exactly how important it is for the body to stay in rhythm with nature, while Ayurveda has been rooted in the importance of a connection with nature for millennia. This current research may revolutionize modern medicine as we know it, and Ayurvedic practices can be a foundation for this research to grow.

It is the goal of this article to help you understand the meaning of Dinacharya or Ayurvedic daily routine and support you to designed and maintain a program that reconnects you to your natural rhythms. At first, it may seem overwhelming, but you can take things gradually and ease your way into the routine.

Starting the day right is the most important aspect of Dinacharya. It is said, you will have the best health if you wake up before sunrise and excrete waste shortly after.  During the hours of sleep and in the morning the body is in it’s natural purification time. Dinacharya practices work in harmony to support this rhythm. First thing in the morning Ayurveda suggest tongue scrapping, oil pulling , nasya applications and to drink a warm glass of water with a fresh squeezed lemon or lime to support this process.

Next, to provide a sense of alertness and freshness, one should then rub the body with oils and take a bath. After your shower put on comfortable clothes, exercise and practice yoga for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Light exercise is necessary each day to keep the digestives system high by creating internal heat. It’s best to exercise according to what is correct for your constitution and to be aware not to over exercise. Afterward, rest comfortably on your back with arms and legs outstretched and breath from the lower abdomen, calming the central nervous system.

Self- enhancing practice daily are considered crucial in Ayurveda. The do not have to be difficult but taking 10-20 minutes for meditation, pranayama, yoga, journaling, prayer or other activities that bring well-being to your spirit and mind supports health immensely The more time you allow for these types of practices, the greater you will benefit.

Eat regular meals daily! Irregular meals and excessive snacking can weaken the digestive fire. The natural course of the day sets our digestive system. Having scheduled eating times is essential, with lunch being the largest meal of the day between 12-2pm. When the sun is at its highest, our digestive system is also at its highest, so naturally, this is when the largest meal should be eaten, it is also the best time to eat raw foods and animal proteins.  If possible have dinner before sunset, as the digestion system is set to go to sleep as the sun sets. Breakfast should be before 9 am and something simple and easy to digest. Remember to favor warm, cooked, light meals based on the seasons and on the doshas you want to balance.

It is best to go to bed by ten o’ clock. Keep this regular bedtime as it lets the body know that it is time to wind-down and recuperate. To promote healthy sleep, drink a warm glass of warm cow’s milk or almond milk with cardamom or nutmeg shortly before bed. You can enjoy this while listening to relaxing music, stay away from stimulating conversations, music and television at least one hour before sleep. This suggested regimen follows the flow of energy within the body and its relation to the external environment. It is necessary at all times to remain aware of the flow in natural order to get the maximum benefit from your daily routine.

Check out our video 10 things to do before 10 am for Dinacharya tips!

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.


Empty Bowl Meditation (Agama Nigama Veda)

Empty Bowl Meditation

There are many meditation techniques. I especially like this technique as it focuses is on calming the mind while waking the kundalini shakti, and unfolds a blissful state of awareness. It is easy and effective and can be used daily as a meditation practice.

How to Practice Empty Bowl Meditation

Sit comfortably and quietly in a cross-legged posture facing east or north, with the palms up and placed opened on you knees shaped like empty bowls. Relax your fingers as if you are holding a bowl in each hand. Open the mouth slightly and touch the tongue of the roof of the mouth, behind the front teeth.

Simply watch the movement of the breath, which is the object of awareness. Do not interfere with your breath; just let the lungs do their work with no effort on your part. As you pay attention to your breath, be aware of the tip of your nose and the touch of the air entering the nostrils. Sit quietly and feel you are inside the nose, remaining aware of the movement of air touching the nostrils. Incoming air has a cool touch, while the outgoing air is warm.

After about five minutes, follow the breath with your attention. Go with the air into your nose, throat, lungs, diaphragm, and down behind the belly button, where you will experience a natural ‘stop’ exhalation, as it goes upward from the belly to the diaphragm, lungs, nostrils, which is a second ‘stop’ that is outside the body.

The movement of breath is time. At these stopping points, the breath stops and time stops, and there is only pure existence. Only God (universal life energy) is present and you are surrounded by peace and love. The moment you allow the lungs to breathe and become like an empty bowl, divine lips can touch you and your heart will fill with divine love. God will pour love into you.

Most bowls are full of ambition, competition, thoughts, feelings desires, waves of anger, frustrations, or fear. In Sanskrit, Agama means inhalation and Nigama means exhalation. In these two processes of breath, God is breathing with you and whispering the love divine into the heart of every being. Hence, another name for empty bowl meditation is Agama Nigama Veda.

Practice this meditation for 15 minutes each morning and evening. You may also practice this meditation in a prone position. Spontaneously stay in the “stops between breathing in and out; in whichever stop you feel most comfortable, remain there without effort. In the beginning, it will only be for a fraction of a second, so don't worry if nothing happens. Just do this sincerely every day for a year or so, without expecting anything. Over the days and months you will find your time in each stop naturally prolongs until eventually the inner and outer stops merge at the third eye and everything happens within you.


  • A person should think, “nothing should happen,” then everything will happen on its own accord. This is the skill in the action of meditation. When you stop, naturally and without effort, increase to ninety seconds. In this, you may begin to see the inner light behind the third eye, the blue pearl that is a beautiful dawn on the horizon of bliss. This meditation is a powerful technic that leads to Kevala Kumbhaka, the suspension of breath and thought. Providing calmness to the mind and a deep sense of peace in the heart.
  • On in halation follow the natural breath, with awareness to first stop the breath behind the belly button: stay there for a fraction of a second.
  • During exhalation, follow the breath, with awareness to 2nd stop which is outside the body about 9 inches. Stay there for a fraction of a second


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 Approach to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Balance your Hormones, Balance your Life

In the modern woman of all ages, most women rooted in hormonal imbalances have been brought on by doing too much while getting too little physical and emotional nourishment. Their hormones have been out of balance for an extended period of time whose medical problems range from painful periods, mood swings, fatigue, insomnia, uterine fibroids, hot flashes, and infertility.  

According to Astanga Hrdayam, twenty disorders of the female reproductive tract exist, caused by poor flow, defective ovum and ovary, and past karma. This results in an inability to conceive and other health concerns such as tumors, polycystic ovarian syndrome, hemorrhoids, menorrhagia, endometriosis, etc. The intent of this article is to discuss female hormone and reproductive imbalances associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) from the view point of Ayurveda.

Infertility primarily refers to the biological inability of a person to contribute to conception. Infertility may also refer to the state of a woman who is unable to cary pregnancy to full term. For medical treatment, infertility is the failure of a couple to become pregnant after one year of regular, unprotected intercourse. PCOS is a leading factor causing infertility.

Menstruation is evidence of a woman’s fertility and hormonal balance. When the quality and quantity is healthy she has a healthy, moderate flow. As long as she is in balance, she will enjoy regularly timed cycles. When out of balance, she may suffer from painful, heavy, scanty or irregular periods, headaches, skin breakouts, or extreme emotions accompanying her cycle. A woman’s menstrual cycle is a great indicator of her hormonal balance and when it is accompanied by unpleasant symptoms it is an indication of imbalance or disease.

Western medicine emphasizes the separate domains and functions of various kinds of hormones in the body. Ayurveda emphasizes the context within which they exist and how they relate to each other. Having the right balance of hormones gives us plenty of energy, deeper sleep and healthier menstrual cycles, happier dispositions, easier menopauses, healthier hearts, stronger bones and much more.

The first step in achieving hormonal balance is to understand it. Most people are confused about hormones. Estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin are the primary female hormones affecting women’s health. There are also some amounts of testosterone in the body playing a greater role during menopause. Besides these hormones, FSH (Follicular Stimulating Hormone), LH ( Leutinising Hormone) and Gonado Trophic Releasing Hormones are important hormones secreted by the Pituitary gland. While the ovary is capable of forming and releasing both estrogen and progesterone by itself, it is also the reservoir of the ova.

The ovarian cycle is governed by a hormonal feedback system moderated by the hypothalamus thus it requires constant feedback of hormonal levels for it to properly regulate and release the FSH and LH from the pituitary gland. As hormone levels in the body are imbalanced and the ovum is not released by the ovary the positive feedback mechanism is impeded.

However, Ayurveda does not speak in the terms of “hormones”. It has its own unique language and terms. Hormones are considered as fire elements in the tissue.  The action of hormones expresses the nature of Pitta, the energy responsible for the transformation. All stages of the female reproductive process are a result of the interplay of hormones. The spark of the intelligence behind the transformation of each stage is due to pitta reflected in the influence of the hormones on the different stages of the ovarian and menstrual cycles.

Kapha’s heavy cool qualities nourish the development of the tissues that form and support the reproductive system including the nurturing energy supporting growth of the follicle during the ovarian cycle. It is responsible for the mucosa lining that protects the tissues from digestive enzymes.

Vata is responsible for the movement of the follicle during the ovarian cycle, the rupture of the ovary wall releasing the matured ovum, the movement of the fimbriae - the finger-like projections that guide the ovum into the fallopian tubes and the movements of the ovum towards the uterus. These actions are due to Apana Vayu, the force behind downward movement from the navel down. Apana Vayu is also responsible for the movement of menses during menstruation and the energy behind the downward movement of the baby through the birth canal during labor.

By knowing one’s own prakruti (true nature), one can plan and practice an appropriate daily and seasonal dietetic and behavioral regime. With this simple effort, the body will maintain a balance of the doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha). From an Ayurvedic perspective, this balance is considered the “healthy” state of humans.

Dietary and behavioral activities bring many changes in the rakta dhatu (blood). For example; if a pitta-type woman eats plenty of hot, spicy and acidic foods while indulging in pitta-aggravating activities such as playing in the sun or taking a hot tub bath, getting angry, etc, she will aggravate the pitta in the blood. This can cause excessive bleeding during menstruation or lead to menorrhagia.

As another example; after the age of forty, the body begins to move towards the Vata stage of life and away from the pitta stage of life. During this period, if a Vata-type woman does not sleep well, works until late at night, eats plenty of cold foods and salads and eliminates sweets, salt, and fats from her diet, she will most certainly aggravate Vata in both the blood and the body. This will lead to a more difficult menopausal syndrome. In the same way, when a Kapha-type woman excessively indulges in sweet, rich food, eats plenty of dairy products and nuts, and lives a sedentary lifestyle during peri-menopause, she will be accumulating an excess of Kapha (mucous) in her blood and body which can lead to tumors or depression.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disturbance affecting women between 15-30 years of age. The disorder accounts for 30 percent of all infertility cases with 73 percent of women suffering from PCOS experiencing infertility due to anovulation. Modern medicine has been able to pinpoint a number of important factors indicating the disease, however, the exact cause of the disease is unknown. In PCOS the hormonal imbalance affects follicular growth during the ovarian cycle causing the affected follicles to remain in the ovary. The retained follicles forms into a cyst and with each ovarian cycle a new cyst are formed leading to multiple ovarian cysts. Women suffering from PSOC often present with other associated symptoms including excessive body hair, menstrual disturbance, acne vulgaris and obesity. Ayurveda observes the disease looking for indications of the dosha responsible for the disorder.

Ayurveda classifies PCOS as a Kapha disorder, and by looking at the findings of modern medicine we can correlate the exhibiting features of the disease with the dominate dosha responsible for the disorder. One of the key factors being realized in modern medicine in PCOS is the increased levels of insulin in the blood. These increased levels are due to de-sensitivity of cells to insulin, the blood stimulates androgen secretion by the ovarian stroma, the connective tissue of the ovary and reduces serum sex hormone, binding globin (SHBG) causing increased levels of free testosterone. Due to the presence of increased androgen in the ovary, the follicle undergoing maturation in the ovary cycle is affected causing anovulation of the particular follicle. This presence of insulin also impacts the natural occurring death of the defective cell causing the follicle to continue to survive whereas under normal circumstance it would have perished.

“Kapha getting aggravated by the use of foods which increases moisture leads to slaismiki characteristic by the absence of pain, feeling cold, itching and discharge of pale, slimy blood” -Astanga Hrdayam. The organs responsible for reproduction in the female body are called artava dhatu. The channels that supplies, nourishes and enables the functional action of carrying the ovum to the uterus is called artavavaha srota. All three doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) play important and distinctive roles in the processes behind the female reproductions which includes the ovarian cycle and the menstrual cycle. PCOS is due to the Kapha blocking Vata and Pitta, hence movement is obstructed and the transformation process is suppressed.

Kapha having the first affected the digestive fire, jathara agni starts to affect the metabolic aspect of the seven tissues of dhatu agni. Each dhatu agni is responsible for the nourishment and formation of that particular tissue that resides in. In the case of PCOS the dhatus that are affected are rasa dhatu, lymph and plasma, meda dhatu, the adipose tissue and artava dhatu, the female reproductive system.

Due to factors that aggravate Kapha, kledaka kapha residing in the GI tract increases in quantity and as stated affects the digestive fire in the stomach called jathara agni. As the heavy cold sticky qualities of Kapha suppress the digestive fire, food that is ingested is not properly digested forming ama. As kledaka kapha increases it mixes with the toxins and begins to move out of the GI tract entering the channel of the first tissue. Affecting the dhatu agni of the rasa, the metabolism of the lymph and plasma, rasa dhatu increases in quanity. In woman, the superior byproduct of rasa dhatu is menstrual fluid. The menstrual fluid will also take on the quality of kapha which will, in turn, begin to block apana vayu in artavavaha srota and rajahvaha srota, the channel that supports the functional action of the menstrual fluid.

Increased rasa dhatu circulating the body via the circulatory system being mixed with increased kledaka kapha and ama begins to coat the cells of the body, this begins to affect agni at the level of the cells responsible for the permeability of the cell membrane. Due to the sticky heavy qualities of Kapha the cell membrane of the tissues is coated suffocating the agni affecting the cellular intelligence causing insulin receptors on the cell to not recognize chemical structures that normally engage them. Insulin unable to engage cellular receptors begins to build up in the bloodstream moving towards artava dhatu. Kledaka kapha and ama having affected meda dhatu affects artava dhatu angi increasing tissue formation. Ama entering the cells of artava dhatu begins to affect the cellular function and intelligence as seen when insulin engages receptors on the ovaries causing the production of androgens. A mistake of cellular intelligence is also expressed in the inhibiting of apoptosis, the death of defective cells.

Vata is the principle in the body and in nature that moves things. Both Pitta and Kapha are immobile without Vata. If Vata becomes constricted, it in turns stops both Kapha and Pitta from functioning properly. Apana vayu is a function of Vata. Due to the heavy sticky qualities of Kapha and ama the srotas are blocked and apana vayu becomes stagnant, impeding the flow of Vata in the ovarian cycle. Because Vata is blocked, pitta is blocked as well. As pitta is blocked the hormones that carry the energy of transformation are unable to initiate their activities. The accumulated Kapha is expressed in the formation of the cyst in the ovary as it takes on a heavy white, sticky quality expressing Kapha and ama.

Due to Vata and Pitta being blocked in the artava dhatu the other functions of both these doshas begin to be aggravated. Pitta aggravation at the level of bhrajaka Pitta and ranjaka pitta manifests as acne and increased body hair. Menstrual problems manifest to the aggravation of all three doshas but namely apana vayu. “ Without the aggravation of Vata, the vagina does not get disordered in women, hence it should be treated before Pitta and Kapha” - Astanga Hyrdayam.

Allopathy treats the condition on lines of Hormonal imbalance and the major treatment includes HRT ( Hormone replacement therapy) where subsequent hormones are administered after proper evaluation of the patient. Diet and certain exercise are also recommended. Diabetic drugs like metformin may also be prescribed by a doctor and surgery is also an option. However, all this have their own after effects.

Hormone therapy further depletes the already taxed endocrine system and puts it to sleep. The hormones that are meant to be naturally released by the body, now provided with artificial means pushes the body into lazy mode. The HRT treatment may provide excellent results over a short period of time but it can lead to irreversible metabolic damage.

The Ayruvedic approach is to clear the obstruction in the pelvis, normalize metabolism and assist cleansing and regulate the menstrual system (arthava dhatu). We do this by addressing Apana Vayu. The seats of the function of Apana Vayu are testes, bladder, umbilical region, thigh, groin etc. It controls the functions of elimination of semen, urine; feces etc. The movements related to the delivery of fetus are also governed by it. Vata is the dosha that governs Apana Vayu. Vata is responsible for all the movements in the body. Below are a few suggested Ayurvedic protocols to balance Vata and Apana Vayu.

The first step in creating balance in someone with PCOS is addressing the Ama, as we know PCOS is an imbalance related to the Ama created from Kapha. It is important to provide the patient with herbs that are pachana. Ask the patient to take trikatu or any pungent herb, hingwashtak churna with meals to start loosening the sticky ama. Adding ginger, musta and kumari would help with the digestion of the ama.

After the digestive system is stimulated herbs pacifying Vata and supporting Apana Vayu can be given. This may include shatavari, mahashatavari, ashwagandha, arjun, pipli Aloe vera, cinnamon, fenugreek, amalki, honey, and shilajit. Some other useful medicines include arogyavardhini, dashmool preparations, kanchanar guggul, pushyanug choorna, and chandraprabha. The goal of the herbal medicine is to reduce circulating androgens, optimizing ovarian function and supporting optimal endocrine function.

Herbal suggestions:

Suggestion #1- 150 gms ashwagandha roots,  70 gms arjun bark. Divide both of these into 30 equal parts. Boil 1 part every morning in 3 cups of water and reduce to 1 cup. Filter this mixture and add 1 cup of cow’s milk to it. Boil the mixture again over a low until milk remains. Add 2 cardamoms while boiling. Consume this milk early morning empty stomach. A Little sugar can be added for taste. The remaining ashwagandha and Arjun can be used again for the evening dose. During summer months, shatavari can be substituted for ashwagandha.

Suggestion #2- 5gms ashwagandha tubers, 3gms shatavari tubers, 3 gms putrajivak seeds. Crush them in 3 cups of water and 1 cup of cow’s milk. Boil the mixture till milk remains. Filter and drink empty stomach.

Suggestion #3- 50gms pipil,  50gms Vad, 30gms shivlingi seeds. Dry and them into a fine powder. Intake 3 gms of this mixture with cow’s milk 2 times a day.

Panchkarama protocol helps to high degrees to clear many pathologies which cause a direct inhibition to fertility. Basti treatment proves very benificial. Since Basti is targeted at regulating the Apana Vayu it facilitates the timely release of ovum and also the good production of sperms. Uttar Basti, is helping to strengthen the uterus and help implantation. Purificatory process of Vamana and Virechana also help in patients with a high imbalance of Dosha. Nasya is an important Karma to promote fertility. Nasya with Phalaghritaor simple cow’s ghee is very benficial in women for timely release of an egg, as Nasya is claimed to act directly on the hormonal apparatus. Abhyangam massage with Vata calming oils and Swedana with Vata herbs will also be beneficial.

Diet and lifestyle factors are important when dealing with PCOS. Losing weight is an essential part of the treatment. Weight loss rectifies the hormone imbalances; the serum insulin and sex hormone binding globulin levels in the body go up and the testosterone hormone comes down. Exercise and yoga are aid weight loss, relieves stress and improves blood circulation to the ovary thus naturally curing PCOS. Yoga postures that open and stretch your lower back and hips; arousing your thyroid, pituitary and hypothalamus gland can work.

A diet with at least five servings of fruits and vegetable a day increases the immunity of the body. Since the body has become insulin resistant create a low carbohydrate diet. When eating carbohydrates eat well-cooked whole grains and avoid refined flour, processed foods, and white sugar. Lentils, chickpeas contains phytoestrogens, which reduce estrogen levels. Drink plenty of warm/room temp water and avoid coffee and alcohol. Avoid foods such as soy and meats that or hormone filled. Foods that contain essential fatty acids should be taken, avocado, soaked nuts, and seeds. Make sure food is well cooked and warm and meal times are regular.



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.

8 Ayurvedic Uses for Honey

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The uses of honey in healthcare are traced back thousands of years. In Vedic times honey was seen as a gift, it’s remarkable health properties were valued more than it's taste. Now as honey is being studied, it has been rediscovered beyond its value of a sweetener. Modern research indicates honey has unique medicinal and nutritional properties, something Ayurveda has known for thousands of years. Discover the gifts of honey through these 8 Ayurvedic uses.

1. The skin is the largest organ of the body and benefits greatly by the application of honey. Ayurvedic texts have described how honey is beneficial in the healing process of wounds and sores. The texts say that it acts as an antiseptic, it soothes pain, cools burns and hastens the healing process.  

2. Honey has tissue building properties; it provides energy and heat to the body, all three things are good for old age. One or two teaspoons of honey in a cup of warm water is a refreshing and strengthening drink. Take daily.

3. Because iron, manganese, and copper are in honey, it is excellent for building hemoglobin. In cases of anemia, Ayurvedic studies suggest using honey to maintain the right balance of hemoglobin and red blood corpuscles.

4. Honey is easily digested and assimilated, it is the best sweet food, as it does not require bodily organs to work hard when digesting it. It goes beyond this and is useful in maintaining the health of the stomach. Ayurvedic experts find honey helps proper digestion and prevents stomach disease. It also decreases the overproduction of hydrochloric acid, thereby preventing symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and heartburn. Honey also supports in clearing the digestive canal of putrefied fecal matter and undigested foods.

5. When it comes to keeping your mouth healthy, honey is applied to the teeth and gums daily. According to Ayurveda, it cleanses and gives a sparkle to the teeth, prevents the deposit of tartar, prevents decay and early falling of the teeth. Since honey is a mild antiseptic, it also prevents the growth of microorganisms. Gargling with honey and water is very useful in gingivitis due to inflammation of the gums.

6. Insomnia affects many of us in our modern age. Honey has been used for centuries for the treatment of insomnia. Its properties have a hypnotic action in bringing on sound sleep. Two teaspoons can be taken with a warm cup of water or with warm almond milk before bed. Adding a dash of cardamon and cinnamon makes it more delicious. It’s an excellent remedy for sleepless babies and children.

7. Honey has a natural tendency to clear channels of the body. It has been very beneficial in supporting the body to eliminate an irritating cough. As a demulcent or soothing agent, it produces a soothing effect on the inflamed mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract, relieving cough and symptoms. You can take it internally or use honey with water as a gargle to support this.

8. Honey supplies the body with energy. It can be easily added to the five meals a day. The texts of Ayurveda recommended it in cases of arteriosclerosis and weak hearts. Like-wise it can be taken before bed in a glass of water with lemon juice to provide the heart with energy throughout the night, support cardiac pain and palpitations of the heart.

When using honey, Ayurveda also has recommended precautions. Charaka, the ancient sage of Ayurveda, wrote over 500 years ago that “nothing is so troublesome as ama caused by the improper intake of honey.” Indeed ‘ama‘, or undigested matter in the body, is considered to be the root cause of most ill health by Ayurveda. Many incompatible food combinations produce toxins, but heated honey is one of the most complicated forms to cleanse. Heating honey destroys the enzymes that support the digestion of the body.

Precautions when using honey:

  • Honey should never be heated to above 40°C (104°F)
  • Honey should not be mixed with hot foods.
  • Honey should not be consumed when you are working in a hot environment where you are exposed to more heat.
  • Honey should never be mixed with rain water, hot, spicy foods, fermented beverages (whiskey, rum, brandy) ghee, mustard.
  • Honey includes nectar of various flowers of which some may be poisonous.
  • Honey should never be equally combined with ghee.


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 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 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.

Spice things up with Ayurvedic herbs for Valentines day!

There are many Ayurvedic herbs and spices known for their rejuvenation and aphrodisiac effects that can kick things up a notch for Valentine's day. Outside of proprietary blends, Ayurveda has simple spice suggestions that are easy to find and taste delicious. Nutmeg, clove, cardamom, and ginger are common in most pantries and mixed together as a “chai” is an easy and enjoyable way to enhance libido.  

Nutmeg is known in Ayurveda as “Women’s Viagra”. This almost overpowering aromatic spice is warming and pacifies Vata and Kapha and increases Pitta. It supports blood flow and circulation. Clove enhances attraction and boosts overall libido. It has been used in India and in many other parts of Asia for many centuries. Cardamon is a Tridoshic spice and balances energy and blood flow. It has a very sweet taste, providing energy and vigor. Ginger has an overall warming effect on the body, it boost circulation, helps to pacify Vata and Kapha and increases Pitta.

Two renowned Ayurvedic herbs known for their rejuvenation and aphrodisiac effects are Ashwaganda and Shatavari. Ashwagandha, a plant in the nightshade family, is one of Ayurveda’s most highly acclaimed adaptogens, increasing or decreasing stress hormones such as cortisol, depending on the body’s needs. It has the ability to energize the body when it needs it during the day, and calm overactive nerves for restful sleep at night. Ayurveda suggests this herb is very effective in men. Shatavari or asparagus racemosus, is derived from the roots of “wild asparagus” and is used in dried root or powder form as a tonic for the female reproductive system and can be used throughout a woman’s life.

These two herbs combined with the suggested Ayurvedic spices are a natural way to build vitality, energy and vigor for both sexes. Enjoy this aromatic and delicious recipe to spice things up a bit. Or use it regularly to maintain overall health and vitality in everyday life.

Mix & Store

1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon clove
2 teaspoons of cardamom
2 teaspoons of ginger
1 tablespoon Ashwaganda
1 tablespoon Shatavari

Use 1/2 teaspoon boiled for 5 minutes in 1 cup of milk. Use the milk of your choice, fresh cow, almond or coconut.



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.