Dinacharya, Daily Self Care

DInacharya

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!

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.

 

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.

Tips

  • 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

 

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 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 beneficial. 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. Abhyanga 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.

 

 

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.

8 Ayurvedic Uses for Honey

8 Ayurvedic Uses of Honey.png

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

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.

 

 

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 is Kapha Dosha?

What is Kapha Dosha

In Ayurvedic philosophy, there are three doshas, also called humor, that govern our psychobiological functioning of the body. Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas, are present in every cell, tissue, and organ as they are a combination of the five elements. When in balance, they create health; when out of balance, they are the cause of disease. These doshas, are responsible for the vast variety of individual differences and preferences and they influence all we are and all we do, from our choices of food to our modes of relating to others.

The doshas govern the biological and psychological process of our body, mind, and consciousness. They regulate the creation, maintenance, and destruction of body tissue as well as the elimination of waste products. They even govern our emotions and mental state. When in balance, they generate understanding, compassion, love, and health.  When their balance is disturbed by stress, improper diet, and environmental conditions, they give rise to many disturbances such as anger, fear, anxiety, confusion, depression, and disease. All five elements are present in each dosha, but the predominance of two elements create a dosha.

Kapha comes from the Sanskrit word “shish”, meaning “that which holds things together, to embrace, coherent.” Kapha dosha is the combination of the Prithvi (earth) and apa (water) elements. As the water element is contained within the earthen structures of the tissues and skin, the dry earth is moistened by the reviving water element. It is responsible for the gross structure of the body, solid and liquid including phlegm and plasma. Kapha fills the inter cellular spaces of the body as connective tissues.

Examples of these tissues include mucus, synovial fluid, and tendons. The protective and immune system are controlled by Kapha. Kapha is also related to the bodies ojas (natural immunity). Kapha is slow, heavy, cool, dense, soft, greasy, unctuous, sticky, cloudy, liquid and sweet. It holds the body together, gives it shape, form, aids with growth, lubricates, protects, and helps with smelling and tasting. Kapha mainly resides in the chest, through, head, pancreas, stomach, lymph, fat, nose and tongue, but its primary site is the stomach.

Kapha provides moisture to the skin; help heals wounds, lubrication to the joints, moisture the respiratory system, and builds the immunity. It gives stability and resistance, strength and vigor. Psychologically, excess Kapha is responsible for the emotions of attachment, greed, lust, and envy. When Kapha is in the balance, it expresses love, calmness, and forgiveness, when out of balance qualities such as heavy, slow, cool, oily, damp and static will appear.

 

 

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.

 

Warming Ayurvedic Breakfast for the Cold, Dry Winter Mornings.

Warm Ayurvedic Breakfast

Roasted Rice with Dates, Cinnamon & Cardamom

  • 1 Cup Basmati Rice
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 4 whole Dates
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 to 2 pinches of Mineral Salt
  • 3 cups of Water

Preparation

Chop dates. Heat a medium saucepan on low, and add ghee. When it melts, add uncooked rice. Stir continually for 2-5 minutes, until it smells sweet and all the rice is coated with ghee.

Add the spices and dates. Stir for one more minute. Add water and bring to a boil. Cover pot and lower to a simmer. Cook until rice is tender about twenty minutes. Serve with warm coconut milk or rice milk. And top with slivered almonds or nut of choice.

 

 

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 is Pitta Dosha?

What is pitta Dosha

In Ayurvedic philosophy, there are three doshas, also called humors, that govern our psychobiological functioning of the body. Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas, are present in every cell, tissue and organ as they are a combination of the five elements. When in balance, they create health; when out of balance, they are the cause of disease.  These doshas, are responsible for the huge variety of individual differences and preferences and they influence all we are and all we do, from our choices of food to our modes of relating to others.

The doshas govern the biological and psychological process of our body, mind and consciousness. They regulate the creation, maintenance and destruction of bodily tissue as well as the elimination of waste products. They even govern our emotions and metal state. When in balance, they generate understanding, compassion, love and health.  When their balance is disturbed by stress, improper diet, and environmental conditions, they give rise to many disturbances such as anger, fear, anxiety, confusion, depression and disease. All five elements are present in each dosha, but the predominance of two elements create a dosha.

Pitta dosha relates to the internal fire, bile, body heat, digestive enzymes, physiochemical, biological, metabolic, and endocrine systems. It is responsible for the transformation and digestions of all aspects of the body, such as the digestion of the chyle into a protoplasmic substance like sperm and ovum. Pitta is also related to the agni- digestive fire. Pitta is made up of Tejas (fire) and apa (water). This seemingly contradictory combination of fire and water that form pitta, are actually complementary.

Pitta also exists as water or oil in the body, thus preserving the tissues from the destructive aspects of fire. Its qualities are pungent, hot, penetrating, greasy, oily, sharp, liquid, spreading and sour.  Its force associated with the endocrine functions, also effect hormone levels, body temperature, visual perception, hunger, thirst, and skin quality. Primarily, Pitta resides in the eyes, blood, sweat glands, the small intestine, stomach and lymph, with its main site in the small intestine.

Mentally Pitta plays a role in understanding and in digesting the sensory impressions and emotional responses. It promotes discipline, responsibility, and joyfulness when in balance. If out of balance it creates a feeling of constantly seeking, angry and irritable emotions, obsessiveness or dull, uninterested with feelings of deep negativity.

 

 

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 First Step of Health, Forgiveness

You can heal yourself

" When you look deeply you begin to understand, the moment when you understand, compassion is born in your heart. And then it is possible for you to forgive." Thich Nat Han

Charaka, the ancient sage, was perhaps the first to codify the world's oldest continually practiced medical system, Ayurveda. For over 5000 years, Ayurveda has been the holistic medical system practiced by millions in India and through out the globe, and now this ancient wisdom is coming to the West, as a result of the popularity of Ayurveda's sister-science, Yoga.

Ayurveda, Yoga, and Tantra are a sacred trinity of systems the ancient Rishis (seers) practiced to develop the individual towards liberation. Ayurveda develops the individual's body, Tantra the mind, and Yoga the spirit. Practiced together, the individual achieves an ideal, integrated balance of physical health, mental focus, and spiritual enlightenment.

In our rapid modern time, we find it hard to do the things necessary to reach the harmony that Ayurvedic sages have taught us, although we know what it is we need to do, we often find excuses for our behaviors and we procrastinate actions that would lead us towards better health. Many of us get bogged down from all our the modern demands and we fall into the pattern of negative thought. In general 80% of most humans thoughts are negative. Daily we struggle with self -judgment and criticism, thus feeding the cycle of limited self development and overall wellness and health.

So what do we do to change this? Most start by setting unrealistic goals of yoga, tantra and Ayurvedic health practices, saying they will practice yoga 5 days a week, only eat healthy home cooked Ayurvedic food, and practice meditation and tantric breathing exercises every day for an hour. This is an unrealistic! I would like to suggest to you to take the step of finding forgiveness for yourself and those who have impacted us negatively as the first step..... So how do we do this? Its simple, its with love. More love, more compassion, form ourselves, for ourselves and to others. Start by making friends with yourself. Be willing to truly know who you are, what you're doing or not doing, and why. And then team up with yourself to do whatever is necessary to bring yourself back into love, and the health and balance you seek will follow quite easily.

Once you commit to re-establishing self- love, now focus on the necessary attribute for self-change. This Ayurvedic or yogic concept is known as"Tapas," . Tapas is Sanskrit for "inner fire." Tapas refers to austerity, determination, and the willingness to do whatever is necessary to bring yourself back into balance and health. In order to be successful in this we must identify and acknowledge your crimes against wisdom or your contributions to your own ill health. Then, instead of beating yourself up about it, realize your inner empowerment. Accept the reality that you've helped cause your illnessor imbalances. In this, it provides the power of Tapas and can stop causing your illness. This realization can now bring you back onto the path of Dharma and renewed health.

Now with this self love and self realization you have the force behind you to do something about your health. Draw upon your inner resources, your courage and resolve, your patience and perseverance. Reach out to your family and friends, Ayurvedic books, therapists, practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine, the internet, get all the information and assistance you can. Be willing to let go of the past to move forward into a future of wellness. Change your diet, change your job, change your life – Reach down inside yourself and find the Tapas to heal yourself. In the end No one can heal you, they can only assist you, you are the one that needs to do the work to heal yourself. You got this!

Contact us to schedule an online Ayurvedic Wellness Session here.

 

 

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.

 

Sadhana and the power of Aum "om"

Sadhana and the power of Aum "om"

In vedic philosophy there is a concept known as Sadhana. Sadhana is a Sanskrit word whose root, sadh, means to reclaim that which is divine in us, our power to heal, serve, rejoice, and uplift the spirit. Sadhana practices encompass all our daily activities, from the simple to the sublime. The goal of sadhana is to enable you to recover your natural rhythms and realign your inner life and daily habits with the cycles of the universe. When you begin to live and move with the rhythms of nature, your mind becomes more fluid and more peaceful and your health can improve. Your entire life can become easier.  

So as you begin your journey with yoga and Ayurveda along the path of practice, you firstmust make the promise to your practice that you are willing to take a very clear look at yourself. Allow yourself to recognize the various disguises and false faces that you have assumed over the years. As you come to acknowledge and know each one, you will also come to see beyond them to your truest self. As you find out more about yourself and your strengths and weakness, you will also learn about your body, mind, and spirit and their innate power. You will awaken to your own self-healing abilities. In Ayurveda, there is a belief that disease happens from within, and so must any cure. In this we can decide that any lack of peace or disease or illness becomes an occasion to go deeper into ourselves, to examine where we must make changes in order to heal our bodies, feeling or lives.

Each of us has a unique purpose on this earth for which we have been born. The vedas call this our dharma and by following the path of sadhana, you will be in harmony with this purpose. Harmony already exists at the core of every human life. Once we become conscious, we are able to recognize it. We become aware of the blessedness that surrounds us, the serenity in our living space after a long days work, the beauty of dusk glimpsed through the windows and the sweetness of sparrows singing their songs, and the warmth of the colors of the autumn leaves.

When we are aware of our inner harmony, our power of intuition becomes active. We become more expressive, more fully alive, and more in tune with our bodies and all our healing energies. This intuition, together with our rational mind, will help us heal and get our lives more in balanced.

Aum represents pure consciousness, through the practice of vedic chants known as mantras, each one beginning and ending with Aum, we harness the inner power of our intuition. Similarly the Biblical word 'AMEN' and Koranic word 'Amin' mirror the Aum sound. Thus the sound Aum is not a religious or ritual word. It's the highest vibrational sound of the Universe, for the Universe and from the Universe. The vedic seers tell us that the universe’s most sacred sound, Aum resonates within in the space of the sixth chakra, located mid-brow, between the eyes, in the area known as the “third eye." In modern science this is known as the connection to the pineal gland, that which regulates the hormone and glands in the body.

These words of Aum, and Amen should always be used very reverently as though one were handling or touching one of the most sacred symbols of Divinity. They are not magic words nor are they curative or therapeutic words to be used in pain and suffering; but purely Divine words to bring about atunement, and at-onement with God in the highest spiritual sense.

Chanting Aum is used as a practice to encourage Sadhana. The purpose is well stated in the Upanishads: “What world does he who meditates on Aum until the end of his life, win by That? If he meditates on the Supreme Being with the syllable Aum, he becomes one with the Light, he is led to the world of Brahman [the Absolute Being] Who is higher than the highest life, That Which is tranquil, unaging, immortal, fearless, and supreme.” – Prashna Upanishad 5:1,5,7

In the yoga tradition, Aum is the most sacred of holy words, the supreme mantra. Aum is also called the Pranava, a Sanskrit word which means both controller of life force (prana) and life-giver (infuser of prana). Each of us has the capacity to enter the vast universe within ourselves and become conscious of the Divine spirit that is beyond the material reality we understand through the five senses. The chanting of Aum daily in your mundane practices such as cooking, cleaning, taking a shower etc will help you learn to shift your perspective and enter a meditative state of mind many times though out your day. In this you will come to see all obstacles and challenges in your everyday life as opportunities to learn more about yourself and your individual inner strengths. This simple practice of Sadhana can have profound impact on yourinner harmony and path to health and happiness.

 

 

 

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 is Vata Dosha?

What is Vata Dosha

In Ayurvedic philosophy, there are three doshas, also called humors, that govern our psychobiological functioning of the body. Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas, are present in every cell, tissue and organ as they are a combination of the five elements. When in balance, they create health; when out of balance, they are the cause of disease. These doshas, are responsible for the huge variety of individual differences and preferences and they influence all we are and all we do, from our choices of food to our modes of relating to others.

The doshas govern the biological and psychological process of our body, mind and consciousness. They regulate the creation, maintenance and destruction of bodily tissue as well as the elimination of waste products. They even govern our emotions and metal state. When in balance, they generate understanding, compassion, love and health.  When their balance is disturbed by stress, improper diet, and environmental conditions, they give rise to many disturbances such as anger, fear, anxiety, confusion, depression and disease. All five elements are present in each dosha, but the predominance of two elements create a dosha.

Vata dosha is comprised of akasa (ether) and vayu (air). The root ‘va’ means “to spread’ and vata is responsible for all movement in the body. This includes; the flow of breath, pumping of blood, waste elimination, movement of muscles, limbs, diaphragm, regulations of nervous system,the gut’s secretor-motor functions, expression of speech and also stimulates the function of intellect and transmits sensations. The bones and nerve network of the mind and body are also primarily affected by Vata.

Vata is known as the master dosha, as with out it all of the other doshas would be inert. It is the messenger and is involved in the movement and regulation of pitta and Kapha. The reason for this can be shown as in; when the movement of air is unrestricted by space (as in the open ocean) it can gain momentum to become hurricane winds at speeds of over 150 mph. When air is restrained in a box, it cannot move and becomes stale. Without movement or with too much movement the doshas cannot remain in harmony in the body, the will become vitiated.

Vata’s qualities or Panchamahabutas are cold, light, rough, mobile, subtle, clear, dry and astringent. When Vata manifests in the body, these qualities are apparent. The primary site of Vata is the colon, but Vata also resides in the thighs, ears, bones, and bladder. It also participates in mental functions such as, imagination, sensitivity, spontaneity, intuition and emotions like exhilaration, fear, insecurity and doubt.

 

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.

 

Eating for the Season: Recipes to keep Kapha in Balance!

Eating for the Season

Coming out of November and into December we are moving from the Vata season to Kapha season. As the cold and wetness of winter settle in, the effects of the winter climates are obvious, but even in more temperate climates, you can still notice the subtler changes that come with winter. With any shift in season, there are steps you can take to stay balanced through your diet. During this time Kahpa and Vata are both vulnerable so its best to approach a diet that concentrates on herbs and foods that carry dual tastes in order to avoid aggravating your Vata while balancing Kapha.

In general avoid refined sweets, excessively cold, dry,  unctuous, salty and fatty foods. I know it seems hard with the holidays, but if you keep this in mind you may notice the ease that it creates in your health during this time. It’s best to slightly increase the pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes in your meals during Kapha season. However, as it is also important for Vata to pay attention to your sensitivity to these tastes, and learn to adjust your diet according to the daily conditions. For example, if it’s a strongly Vata day (i.e. dry and windy) despite being Kapha season, focus on more Vata-balancing foods and tastes. Otherwise, eat to balance Kapha and Vata with warming meals. Also be mindful of your agni or digestive fire. Since Kapha season can contribute to sluggish digestion, eat at regularly scheduled times without skipping meals or overeating. As always, eat your largest meal at lunch, when the digestive fires of Pitta are strongest.

Here are some simple recipes that can support you in balancing your diet this time of year.

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup (serves 4)

  • 1/2 gallon of water
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon of finally chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of grated fresh ginger
  • juice of 1 fresh lemon
  • 1 tablespoon rock salt
  • 1 tablespoon soya oil
  • 2 scallions chopped
  • parsley
  • landcress

Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add squash, oats, cilantro, spices including black pepper and salt, fresh ginger, lemon juice. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 35 minutes. Use a flat bottom ladle and puree the squash. Heat oil in a small skillet and saute scallions for about 2 minutes, then add to the creamed soup. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Serve hot and garnish with fresh parsley and landcress.

Seven-Grain Bread (serves 4)

  • 1 Tablespoon of natural yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame butter
  • 1/2 spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup unbleached whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup soya flour
  • 1/2 cup millet flour
  • 1/2 cup of oat bran
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cracked wheat
  • 1 tablespoon of Sucanat
  • 1/2 teaspoon of rock salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water

Dissolve the yeast in warm water, then dilute the sesame butter in the yeast solution. Combine the flours, bran rolled oats, cracked wheat, Sucanat, salt and remaining water together, then add the yeast-sesame butter mixture. Kneed into a sticky dough. Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl. Cover securely and let rise in a warm place for 40 minutes. Punch down the dough, cover, and let rise again for 40 minutes, until it doubles in size. Form dough into four rolls and place on oiled backing trays. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Whole Mung Dhal (serves 4)

  • 1 Cup whole mung dhal
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 minced green chili pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Masala
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Wash mung dhal until water runs clear. Soak in 3 coups of cold water overnight. Drain. Boil 2 cups of water and add dhal, turmeric, and salt. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 50 minutes. In a small skillet, heat ghee, green chili pepper, and ginger for a few minutes. Add the Masala toward the end of browning. Add to dhal with lemon juice and remaining water. Cover and continue to simmer for an additional 30 minutes over low heat.

Sauteed Golden beets with Masala (serves 4)

  • 4 golden beets
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon masala
  • 2 yellow onions of shallots, half moon slices
  • 1 teaspoon rock salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Scrub the beets and cut into bite-size pieces. Heat cast-iron skillet with sunflower oil. Stir in masala until slightly browned. Add shallots, beets, and salt. Stir and add two tablespoons of water. Cover and allow to cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, garnish with fresh parsley and serve hot.

Caraway Brown Rice (serves 4)

  • 2 cups long-grain brown rice
  • 3 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons of caraway seeds

Wash rice until water runs clear and add to boiling water. Add salt. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 25 minutes. Dry roast caraway seeds in a small cast-iron pan until golden. Add to rice mixture and cook and additional 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Red Cabbage and Onion Soup (serves 4)

  • 1/2 gallon of water
  • 1 small red cabbage shredded
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of rock salt
  • 1/4 cup cashew butter
  • 1 red onion, thin- half moon slices

Bring water to a boil in a large soup pot. Add the cabbage and onions, along with the coriander and cayenne powders, dried dill, parsley and salt. Lightly crush the garlic cloves with a hand stone and remove the skin. Add the lightly crushed cloves of garlic to the soup mixture. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 35 minutes, until onions are practically dissolved. Add cashew butter and stir the soup until it dissolves. Garnish the hot soup with thinly sliced red onions remove from heat, cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve hot with a heaping dollop of Millet Supreme.

Millet Supreme (serves 4)

  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups millet
  • 1/4 cup fresh peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ajwain seeds
  • 1 teaspoon rock salt
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1/4 cup currents
  • 1/2 cup roasted almonds, slivered
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Bring water to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Thoroughly was the millet and add to boiling water, along with the peas, turmeric, cumin powder, ajwain seeds and salt. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes. Heat the oil in a small skillet, and add the currants and almonds. Stir for another few minutes until currants begin to swell. Add the lemon juice. Add to the millet, and continue cooking for 10 minutes more. Serve warm.

 

 

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.

 

Bedtime Treat That Helps You Sleep

AyurvedicSleepSupport

This Ayurvedic Ojas Rasayana is a delicious drink easy to do at home. It can help ensure a deep and restorative sleep. The recipe makes about two servings and can be diluted with water if it is too thick for your liking.

  • 10 almonds, soaked for 8 hours
  • 1 cup whole milk (dairy, almond or rice)
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • 4-5 dates, preferably Medjool
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp of cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  • A pinch of cumin
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • A pinch of nutmeg

Liquefy all the ingredients in a blender until it reaches a smooth consistency then pour into a pot on the stove on medium heat and bring it to a very gentle boil. Stir and serve.

If you haven't pre-soaked the almonds, you can simply blanch them in boiling water for 1 min. Drain and run them under cold water, then remove and discard their skins.

For a delicious dessert, stir in 1 cup of natural yogurt after removing mixture from heat, spoon into small bowls and drizzle maple syrup over each serving.

 

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.

 

 

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.

Healing Music for Your Ayurvedic Type

HealingMusicDosha

Each of us has a unique connection to music. Most of us experience the affects music has on our mind and body daily. Its a joy to think that we are all inherently musicians who can play the rhythms of life and spirit through music, we must only find the rhythm that we most connect with. Ayurveda teaches that using music according to our"type" gives us a deeper ability to impact our balance state of health and wellness. The Ayurvedic types, or doshas govern all the physiological and psychological functions of an individual. Determining your inherent dosha is important in finding the right music for you to play, create or simply enjoy. Once you have determined your particular dosha, you can follow these guidelines to select the kind of music that is best suited for you in healing.

Music for a Vata Type: In general a Vata person or someone who is experiencing a Vata imbalance is good to listen or play instruments with soft, low and mellow tones, such as music with the guitar, mandolin, bass, violin and wind instruments such as chimes and didgeridoo. Learning to play Himalayan singing bowels and the harmonium can be very healing and meditative to a Vata type.

Music for Pitta Type: Focus on rhythmic soft music with a middle tone. This includes instruments such as flute, clarinet, saxophone and mouth organ. String instruments that are balancing for Pitta are the violin, dulcimer and mandolin. All types of percussion that are gentle are also very balancing

Music for Kapha Type: Kapha wants to focus on energizing music with a solid bass and higher tones. All types of drums such as the Indian dholak and tabla, African Congo and water drum. Bells, chimes, Incan panpipes, accordion, electric keyboard and piano are all great instruments for a Kapha person to learn to play.

 

 

 

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.

 

Easy Summer Pitta Pacifying Recipes

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One of the delights of summer is the joyful abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables tumbling off the grocery shelves. According to Ayurveda, sweet fruits and bitter greens help pacify Pitta dosha.  According to the scientific community (and our own common sense) fruits and veggies also protect us from falling ill.

A recent international research study conducted by the University of Adelaide found that people who consumed a diet high in fruit, vegetables and certain grains had a lower risk of developing not just one but multiple chronic conditions including anemia, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, arthritis, hepatitis, coronary heart disease, asthma, stroke, fracture and cancer. The study found that people who eat a higher amount of fruit are less likely to develop any chronic disease, while a high intake of vegetables helps prevent people with one chronic disease from developing a second. Here are some delightful Pitta Pacifying recipes to try this summer!

Cooling Mint Tea
1 cup fresh peppermint leaves
1 quart boiling water
1 quart room temperature water
2 teaspoons sweetener

Pour the quart of boiling water over the mint leaves. Cover and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain the tea into a pitcher or glass jar. Add cool water sweeteners. If you are adding honey, make sure the water has cooled down first. This is a great drink for aiding digestion. Drink at room temperature for maximum assimilation. Remember that iced and chilled drinks dampen our digestive fires, making it difficult to properly digest our food.

Asparagus and /or carrots with lemon-herb sauce
Steam your chosen amounts of asparagus and/or carrots to the point where they are "fork-friendly". This means a bit more than al dente but not soft or mushy. Then pour the following lemon-herb sauce over the vegetables.

Lemon-Herb Sauce: Juice one lemon. Add a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of honey (use only unheated honey). Mix together in a blender with a few leaves of fresh basil and mint. Puree until smooth.

Cucumber Raita
This side dish goes well with dal, rice, curries and other Indian dishes.
Combine in a mixing bowl:
1 cup fresh yogurt
1/4 cup cucumber (peel and dice finely_
1 tablespoon ginger root, peeled and grated
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro (the leaves of the coriander plant)
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
salt to taste

Dandelion Salad
If your lawn is full of dandelions, stop complaining and start picking. Dandelions are one of the most nutrient-dense plants you can eat. Their leaves, when young and tender, have a slightly bitter taste like arugula. The older the pant, the more bitter the greens. Before you start picking, be sure that the yard in which the dandelions are growing has not been treated with chemicals.
1 cup dandelion greens, washed and dried
8 large leaves of butter lettuce, washed and dried
1/2 cup feta cheese or goat cheese, chopped or crumbled.

Dressing
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 cup olive oil
sweetener to taste (just a bit is needed)
1 tomato chopped
fresh basil
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Boiling the dandelion greens is better for older, larger leaves as it removes their bitterness. Some even recommend boiling the older greens twice: once for 2 minutes, drain and boil again for 2 minutes.


For information on consultations with Ayurveda experts or to take a dosha quiz and discover your individual mind/body type, visit us at our clinic or online.

 

 

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.

Marma Points of Ayurveda

In every science there are two aspects: the theoretical and the practical (applied). In medicine and the healing professions, it is the day-to-day practical application that rests on a body of knowledge and foundation of solid principles. Marma chikitsa or Ayurvedic marma therapy is an essential hands-on practice of Ayurveda, based on ancient, field tested knowledge. Its benefits and affects are often profound. 

Marma chikitsa is the precise action or art of touching an individual in exactly the right place at a critical moment of time, for the purpose of balancing the body's systems and promote healing. The mama points, which are similar to those acupoints of Chinese medicine, are the vital energy point located on the surface of the body. In sanskrit the word marma actually means mortal or vulnerable point, suggesting access to areas that may be tender, weak or sensitive. They are located at anatomical sites where veins, arteries, tendons, bones or joints intersect. 

Throughout Ayurvedic history these points have been used to support a communication between cells, serving to maintain their functional activity and coordination. As prana (life-force) flows through the marma points the nadis (panic pathways) within the body, it transmits information, linking healing between the mind and body by facilitating communication between deeper internal organs and tissues. The action of this also has a great response in the mind, helping it calm, leading to increased clarity of perception and more effective communication. 

Stimulating a marma in relation to a particular tissue helps maintain its normal functions and addresses a specific imbalance if it is present. As it relates to the doshas, marma chikitsa can either be used to stimulate or pacify a dosha. It can promote a healthy response of the dosha and is used in balancing prakruti and vikruti and supporting to restore it to its natural state. Often these points are used as a mechanism of pain relief. Pain is generated by an impeded flow of prana resulting from tension and stagnation in the body. Mama chikitsa alleviates this pain by stimulating the flow of prana to the area, pacifying the accumulated dosha. 

There are 117 primary marma points that are classified according to location, elemental associations, dosas, dhatu, mala, corresponding organs, srotamsi and degrees of vitality. The vitality of marma is intimately related to ojas, tejas and prana, because they are the basic support of the vital essence of life. Marma chikitsa is rarely used alone as a practice, it is utilized as a part of a comprehensive, multi-faceted program treatment program. It is important that the Ayurvedic practitioner has a broad and in-depth understanding of etiology, symptomatology and the stages of pathogenesis as well as a sensitivity and skill in Ayurvedic diagnosis in order to design and integrated approach of marma chikitsa. However, it can be used effectively for immediate pain relief, long term pain management and for first aid. Though using mama therapy in these conditions may not eradicate the pathogenesis completely, it can give temporary symptomatic relief that may prevent serious complications from arising. 

Marma locations are in accordance to their region of the body and their relationship to the internal and external features of the doshas and their sub-doshas. Sushruta, an expert surgeon of Ayurveda, describes mamas according to the six major parts of the body: the four extremities, trunk, head and neck. He also divides the points in reference to the five Ayurvedic principals of the body's physical structures: mamsa (muscles), sira (veins), snayu (ligaments), asthi (bone) and sandhi (joints). 

The marmas located on the scalp are immediately connected to the brain and distally to the other organs as well. On the chest and upper back, the points are connected with the heart and lungs. On the lower back, the points are connected with the kidneys, stomach, the digestive organs and so forth. Each of the five elements of Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth is also associated with a particular region of the body. Each mama located in these regions activates the energy of its associated element. 

The language of the doshas is absolutely key in understanding the Ayurvedic view point of health and disease. Knowing how energy points affect the dosha is crucial to achieving excellent therapeutic results. In this, mamas are also classified according to the seat of a dosha. For example, chest and lung marma points stimulate Kapha, umbilical points affect Pitta, and colon points will influence Vata. 

There are eight great marma points that are essential to life. These are considered to have the most vitality of all the points. Sushruta also described how injuries at these marma points, whether superficial or deep, can disrupt the panic energy, flow and decrease vitality. These points are known as the Sadyah Pranahara Marmani: Murdhani (crown), Brahmarandhara (anterior to crown), Shivarandhra (posterior to crown), Ajna (third eye), Shanka (right and left temple), Hrdayam (heart), Nabhi (umbilicus), Guda (anus). There are so five extra vital points that can cause death or serious injury when traumatized: Kantha, Griva, Basti, Vrushana, and Yoni Jihva. 

Sadyah Pranahara Marmani

 

  • Anja to benefit the eyes and nose, regulate hormones, and function of pituitary. 
  • Shivarandhra to stimulate memory, calm the mind and balance emotions.
  • Hridayam to enhance the energy of love to the heart.
  • Nabhi to directly enkindle the gastrointestinal agni.
  • Murdhani to enhance cerebral circulation and circulation of the cerebral spinal fluid.
  • Brahmarandhra to relieve headache and facilitate optimal pituitary gland functions.
  • Shankha to strongly pacify pitta, relieve stomach pain and decrease acidity, influence speech.
  •  Griva to enhance circulation of plasma and lymphatic fluid, benefit the throat and thyroid. 
  • Guda to balance over strength, vitality and to be grounded. 

In general, stimulating the mama enhances the flow of prana locally and for mild and shorter condition, mama therapy alone can be quite effective. As the complexity of a disease increases, other Ayurvedic therapies become essential. These may include herbal or dietary recommendations, panchakarma, and exercise and lifestyle changes. 

 

 

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.

Ayurveda 101

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Ayurveda, one of the oldest forms of health care, it is the tree of knowledge from which many popularized therapeutic interventions and medicines have grown. Used for 5000 years by many thousands of doctors on millions of patients, Ayurveda is the time proven medical system of India. The term Ayurveda is Sanskrit and literaly means the “Science of Life.”   It encompasses a variety of natural therapies and philosophies that support and enhance individual balance, health and wellness. It has made huge advances in the fields of surgery, herbal medicine, herbal extracts, medicinal effects of minerals and metals, human anatomy, physiology, psychology, nutrition and exercise

The World Health Organization (WHO) has defined health as a state of complete, physical, mental and social well-being - not merely the absence of disease. Ayurveda goes a step beyond this as it is not just a medicinal approach to health, but rather a complete philosophy of life. It gives equal importance to all aspects of life as well as those that are subjective and intangible when addressing disease and imbalance. Ayurveda has had its success and longevity because it helps us to maintain the knowledge of living. It teaches us how to live vibrantly by creating good health every step of the way.

Ayurveda is multi-faceted, and practitioners often undergo years of education. It is an extremely sophisticated system of observation, and categorizes its clients by distinctive anatomic and metabolic “types” also known as “Prakruti.”  According to Ayurvedic beliefs, each person has a distinct pattern of specific combinations of physical, mental, and emotional characteristics of the body. The course of illness and remedies are determined in part by each client’s constitution and the environment in which they exist.

In Ayurvedic philosophy, our Prakruit is made up from a combination of doshas. There are three doshas that govern our psychobiological functioning of the body known as Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The doshas are a combination of the five elements (panchamahabhutas) and are present in every cell, tissue and organ of the body. All five elements are present in each dosha, but the predominance of two elements create a dosha. The doshas are responsible for the huge variety of individual differences and preferences and they influence all that we are and all that we do, from our choices of food to our modes of relating to others. 

The doshas also govern the biological and psychological process of our body, mind and consciousness. They regulate the creation, maintenance and destruction of bodily tissue as well as the elimination of waste products. They even govern our emotions and metal state. When in balance, they generate understanding, compassion, love and health. When their balance is disturbed by stress, improper diet, and environmental conditions, they give rise to many disturbances such as anger, fear, anxiety, confusion, depression and disease. Thus, when in balance, they create health; when out of balance, they are the cause of disease.

The goal of Ayurveda is to protect the health of a healthy person and restore health of a sick person by maintaining or bringing the body back into constitutional balance (doshic balance). Many factors can disturb the balance of the body such as stress, unhealthy diet, toxins, weather, work, strained relationship and lifestyle choices. Such disturbances are expressed in the body as disease. Inherent in Ayurvedic principles is the concept that you are capable of taking charge of your own life and healing. When a person becomes ill, the illness is not likely to completely cure unless you change behaviors that caused it. Understanding genetic make up and getting to the bottom of these factors is an important process of the Ayurvedic medical science.

An Ayurvedic practitioner creates specific health programs according to each individual's doshas patterns, addressing each person's illness different from the next. Ayurvedic treatments may include internal and external medicinal remedies, diet plans, exercise, daily lifestyle programs, external body therapies, yoga, meditation and practices of detoxification and rejuvenation. Through a combination of these techniques and understanding individual uniqueness, Ayurveda can provide a complete system of healing with long-term solutions.

 

 

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.

Your Ayurvedic Dosha in Menopause

Ayurveda and Menopause

The word Ayurveda itself means “knowledge of life,” and to know Ayurveda is to comprehend the dynamic relationships between your body, mind and spirit, and how each relates to the world around you. While we will always know our own bodies better than anyone else ever could, when we reach an impasse, talking with an experienced practitioner of Ayurvedic medicine can be helpful. Many women have found not just relief during menopause, but improved overall health and longevity by integrating conventional, modern approaches with alternative practices such as Ayurvedic medicine.

There are many approaches in the Ayurvedic science to support menopausal symptoms. First we must understand the doshic system as it serves as a central guide. One is born with a fundamental constitution, or Prakriti, that remains with us through out life. Acting upon our constitution are the three doshas Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, which influence our state of health or imbalance. These three doshas are responsible for the manifestations, appearances of the natural forces at work in the bodies systems. Each dosha is defined or represented by two of the five natural elements: either, air, fire, water earth.

Vata, the space and air principle, is embodied by ether. It resides in the spaces of your body, filling empty airspaces and channels, and helps govern the function of the nervous system.

Pitta, the fire and water principle, exists within your body mainly as bile and acid, and is most closely associated with the digestive and elimination systems.

Kapha, or the water and earth principle, relates to the respiratory system and mucous membranes and governs the majority of our physical composition.

In Ayurvedic medicine, a course of action is always individualized and will generally be based on the individual's imbalances also known as Vikriti. If you have an imbalance or excess in one of the doshas throughout menopause, the resulting imbalance tends to produce certain symptoms that are characteristic for that dosha. Recognizing which dosha dominates your system in menopause will help to identify which Ayurvedic suggestions would best match you and ease your symptoms. Below are signs or expressions of what dosha is showing to be predominate.

Vata

  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Insomnia
  • Mild hot flashes
  • Poor skin tone
  • Constipation
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Depression

Pitta

  • Irritability
  • Angry outbursts
  • Short temper
  • Skin rashes
  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Urinary tract infections

Kapha

  • Sleepiness
  • Sluggishness
  • Yeast infections
  • Slow digestions
  • Weight gain
  • Fluid retention

 

Ayurvedic advises for Vata-dominated menopause: The first thing you should do is follow a general Vata pacifying diet and lifestyle plan. Create a routine in all that you do from the time you get up in the morning, meal times, to the time you go to bed. Going to bed early can also help balance excess Vata.

Use herbs such as cardamom, fennel, cumin and ginseng in warm teas and in your food. A daily self oil massage with a blend of sesame and almond oil can be one of the best Vata pacifying actions.  The use of essential oils such as sandalwood, frankincense, cinnamon and myrrh as vapor or direct application through the massage will also be effective.

Dietary habits that decrease Vata include frequent but small meals, prepared freshly cooked, warm and mildly spiced with herbs. Warm drinks and foods build strength, and it is good to try to avoid eating when you are nervous or worried about something.

In general taking Ayurvedic herbs and formulas under the guidance of an experienced Ayurvedic medical practitioner is suggested. Some gentle Ayurvedic herbs that could be used would include; Ashwaganda, Licorice, Haritaki, and Tulsi.

Ayurvedic advises for Pitta-dominated menopause: Follow a Pitta pacifying diet and lifestyle plan.  Ayurveda suggests that a good way to calm your fiery pitta-dominant menopause is with coconut and sesame oil application. You might also try massaging with clarified butter (ghee),  or take it internally. You may also benefit from the very relaxing, pitta-balancing essential oils of gardenia, honeysuckle, geranium, lotus and peppermint.

The anti-Pitta diet is also designed to cool. It consists of lots of cooling, heavy foods, warmly cooked or small amounts of raw foods. The taste should be relatively plain and not cooked in a lot of oil or heavily laden with hot spices. Its important for Pitta to eat three regular meals a day around the same time each day.  Sweet juicy fruits like grapes, pears, plums, mango, melons, and apples between meals can also benefit. It is helpful to avoid alcohol and drink generous amounts of cool clear water to stay refreshed and hydrated.

Ayurvedic practitioners also suggest and encourage women to avoid pungent, sour, salty, and hot spicy tastes and hot drinks. Incorporate herbs such as coriander, cilantro and cardamon in teas and foods. Use Pitta pacifying Ayurvedic herbs such as Amalaki, Aloe Vera, Shatavari and Bhrami daily.

Ayurvedic advises for Kapha-dominated menopause: Insure to follow a Kapha pacifying diet and lifestyle plan. It is good to remember to stimulate the mind and body at this time. According to Ayurvedic practice, lessening Kapha through your diet means eating light, dry and warm, so it’s best to avoid sweet and cold foods, as well as oily or heavy foods like meats and cheeses. Instead, women with Kapha dominance are encouraged to eat mild fruits as opposed to very sweet or sour ones, warm and drying whole grains such as millet and buckwheat rather than wheat, smaller legumes such as mung beans and red lentils, and pungent and bitter vegetables such as greens.

Any and all spices (but salt) are fine, including black pepper, turmeric and ginger. Women with Kapha dominance often find they feel best when they avoid big meals, strive for a light breakfast and dinner, and make lunch the heaviest meal. Avoid using most cooking oils, light to none if possible.

Essential oils such as basil, cedar, frankincense and black pepper can be used as a vapor or directly applied to the body. Try adding spices such as cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper ginger, turmeric to warm teas and through out the day. Ayurvedic herbs such as Guggulu, Bibhitaki, and Pippili can be taken in moderation.

 

 

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.

Yummy Radishes!

Today I was working in our beautiful organic garden and as we harvested our delicious multi-colored radishes, I thought,  "Wow, what an understated vegetable, why don't more people enjoy them? And more so, why are they never mentioned for how good they are for our health?"  This unassuming root vegetable actually packs more health benefits than you may suspect, like, the simple fact that they stimulate the flow of bile in our system which makes them a useful tool for cleansing fat, blood and the liver. Radishes have also been used to break up gall stones and kidney stones. 

Radishes contain magnesium, manganese, calcium, vitamin B6, folate, riboflavin and a good amount of copper. Radishes are excellent for blood pressure, as they high in potassium, which supports the body in keeping the blood pressure at safe levels. Since potassium is a diuretic, it flushes stored water from the body and the National Institute of Health DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) recommends increasing potassium, calcium and magnesium to keep blood pressure in balance.

Radishes are also a very good source of vitamin C – 25% of the daily recommended value – helping to rebuild tissues and blood vessels, and keeping bones and teeth strong. Vitamin C fights disease and rescues the cells from an onslaught of destructive free radicals. This is done through electrolytes and natural antioxidant action of this one vitamin, increasing immunity of the body, and helping to fight against all kinds of diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

Radishes can also have effects on relieving congestion, and preventing respiratory problems such as asthma or bronchitis. They have antibacterial, antifungal, and detoxifying properties, and contain compounds that soothe rashes, dryness, and other skin disorders.

Most people eat radishes raw, but from an Ayurvedic prospective it is best to eat them freshly cooked. Radishes can provoke the pitta in the digestive tract. This is good for both Vata and Kapha, as it clears food stagnation and has a laxative effect due to its diuretic nature, all while having a cooling effect so the vegetable can be eaten by Pitta in moderation. If you are a Vata individual you may find a raw radish to be difficult to digest and they can create gas sotry to avoid eating them raw, but don't leave them out of your diet, as they are Vata balancing.

White Radish With Mung Dal & Radish Greens Recipe

Ingredients:

For the seasoning

2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 to 3 dry red chilies, broken into bits
1/2 tsp asafetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
radish greens cut from the radishes, finely chopped

500 gm or 2 white or pink radishes or, finely chopped
100 gm (1/2 cup) mung dal
1 tsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt or to taste
3 to 4 tbsp grated fresh coconut (you can also use frozen)

Method:

In a small or medium sized sauce pan pour in enough water, add in the mung dal, bring to a boil over a medium flame and cook until half cooked, about 12 to 15 minutes.

In a wok or kadhai, heat the oil over a medium flame. Reduce the flame before the oil smokes and put in the mustard and cumin seeds. When they pop, add the chilies, asafetida, turmeric and radish greens. Stir fry for 30 seconds.

Add the finely chopped radish, cover and cook on a medium low flame, stirring in between until the radishes are half cooked, about 7 to 8 minutes. Put in the mung dal, mix well, cover and cook until the radishes are fully cooked, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the coconut, give it a good mix and switch off the flame. Serve hot with rotis or rice.

 

*Note that raw brassicas contain chemicals that can block the thyroid function called goitrogens. These chemicals are easily inactivated by steaming or cooking, so always ensure you eat this nutrient packed foods freshly cooked. 

 

 

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.

Shriodhara in Infertility

Infertility has been on a steady rise among men and women the last few decades. As an Ayurvedic practitioner,  I work with clients with infertility cases by applying diet and lifestyle practices along with herbal formulas, stress management tools and Ayurvedic herbal body techniques. Since ancient times, Ayurveda has been using one body technique in particular that has had great success in supporting infertility problems. This technique is known as Shirodhara. 

Shirodhara is a simple yet profound technique that works specifically on balancing and stabilizing the nervous system and the activities of the mind. In this application warm specific herbal oils are streamed over the forehead and "third eye''.  Shirodhara is highly effective in normalizing sleep cycles, reducing stress, infertility and is unique in its ability to calm the nerves while at the same time awakening the senses. 

Modern scientists now recognize the relationship between what eastern cultures have referred to as the "third eye" through deeper studies of the brain. In Ayurveda, this region has been identified as the hypothalamus, pituitary and pineal glands situated deep inside the brain. The hypothalamus, pituitary and pineal gland are in charge of the production of most of the hormones in the body, including reproductive hormones. The follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) plays an important roe in the health of the reproductive system. This hormone which is secreted from the pituitary gland through the bloodstream, in women, stimulates the growth of ovarian follicles in the ovary before the release of an egg at ovulation. Without sufficient FSH, ovarian follicles may not grow properly and could result in a faulty release of an egg, thus leading to infertility. In men, FSH is required for the proper development of the testes along with sperm production. 

Normal levels of FSH are needed for fertility in both men and women. When it is either too high or too low it will greatly lower the chances of pregnancy. Raised levels of FSH are a sign of malfunction in the ovary and testes, and in a female it may indicate that she is entering into menopause even during fertile years. Diminished secretions of FSH in males can be indication of the testes failure to produce normal numbers of sperm. 

The application of the specific herbal oils on the focal point of the "third eye" stimulate the hypothalamus, pituitary and especially and pineal gland to create the proper communication need better these glands to secrete adequate amounts of hormones including FSH. The hormonal secretions in this region are not only responsible for our reproductive secretions, but it governs the hormones that support our autonomic responses, which include digestion, breath, elimination, etc. These hormones are also deeply responsible for our mood and emotional states. Through the application of shirodhara, one provides harmony between these bodily systems and hormones, thus increasing the chances of fertility and over all wellness. 

 

 

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.