Digestion & Elmination

Digest Tea

In Ayurveda teas are one method of delivering the medicinal effects of herbs and spices to the body's tissues. This easy digestive ease tea blend only consist of 3 ingredients and is a revitalizing yet a mild blend that gets right to the point. It helps to warm up your circulation and clear out water retention. Its flushing action simultaneously cleanses the urinary tract and reduces water weight. It stokes the digestive fire restoring vitality, cleanses the blood and gives calm clarity to the mind.

Digest Tea Blend

1/4 tsp Coriander Seeds

1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds

1/4 tsp Fennel Seeds

Boil 1 1/2 cups of water and add the seed mixture and steep for at least 5 minutes or until it is cool and comfortable to drink. Strain and serve. Drink through out the day or with every meal. Best to avoid drinking before bed, otherwise you will have to wake up to urinate.

 

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.

Why Panchakarma?

In Ayurveda, the state of perfect health and well-being is dependent on the body’s capability to metabolize all facets of life. Because of genetic factors and more commonly lifestyle factors, we have weak areas of our body that accumulate toxins, when unaddressed these become disease. Ayurveda understands, if you want to experience optimal health, it is crucial to maintain a strong digestion and eliminate toxins from the body.

Panchakarma is the purification procedure used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. The word Panchakarma means five actions and refers to five procedures intended to intensively cleanse and restore balance to the body, mind and emotions. It reverses the degenerative process quickly and its effects are often profound and long lasting. Ayurvedic practitioners use Panchakarma as a support to a variety of health imbalances and as a preventative. It can be particularly effective for those imbalances that are chronic, metabolic or stress related.

According to Ayurveda, every human being is unique and it is important to address health care based on the individual. The aim of Ayurveda is to ensure good health for a healthy man and to eliminate the disease of a diseased man. In both cases, Panchakarma detoxification is necessary to cleanse and balance the systems of the body and is highly individualized, based on the needs of the individual depending on the constitution, imbalance, age, digestive strength, immune status, along with many other factors.

Panchakarma therapy is known to clear the various microscopic and macroscopic structures of the body such as the respiratory system, lymphatic system, circulatory system, reproductive system, nervous system, among others that are effected by insufficiently metabolized toxins, processed foods and emotions. It removes free radicals, balances cholesterol and triglycerides, regulates blood pressure, and introduces antioxidant enzymes into the body. It can slow the aging process, enhance vitality and mental clarity and because of it’s capability of stress management,

Panchakarma may even prevent heart attacks, stroke paralysis, and cancer. It’s techniques have shown to create measurable brain wave coherence and to lower metabolic activity, thus allowing the body and mind to drop into a profound level of peacefulness. In this state of relaxation, it is possible to further cleanse toxins from the tissues as well as to release deeply held emotional tensions.

Many Ayurvedic experts believe that even healthy people need regular Panchakarma today because our environment is so polluted. According to research cited by Maharishi Ayurveda, up to 100,000 synthetic chemicals (including PCBs, dioxins, and pesticides like DDT/DDE) are used in modern industrial and agricultural processes. Traces of these chemicals pervade our food, water, air, and even our own bodies, and some are associated with allergies, reproductive disorders, certain types of cancer, and other diseases.

Toxins along with undigested food matter, is known as Ama. Ama clogs the body on all levels and, when left unchecked, it becomes the breeding ground for disease. Ayurvedic medical texts describe ama as cold, heavy, wet and sticky, it develops form environmental toxins and internal toxins generated by poorly assimilated food.

If you have high cholesterol, hardened arteries, tooth tartar, a coated tongue, joint pain, body odor, or excess mucus, you have the physical symptoms of ama. Energetically, it lurks in the system as fatigue. Mentally, ama creates dullness, irritability, and greed. According to Ayurveda, Panchakarma addresses the root causes of disease by removing years of accumulated ama (along with excess Vata, Pitta, and/or Kapha) and supporting your agni.

Traditionally Ayurveda recommends a Panchakarma at the junction between each season to clear out impurities generated during the previous season to help you transition smoothly in to the next. A Panchakarma in the early spring is always a goodbecause it can help reduce your sensitivity to pollen and prevent colds. The job of your Ayurvedic practitioner is to tailor a program to re-balance your body and mind.

Panchakarma is a three-stage process. The preparatory phase begins with en-kindling the digestive fire or agni, and loosing toxins while lubricating the body’s subtle channels with internal and external oleation and sweating techniques. According to Ayurvedic theory, these preparatory procedures liquefy the body’s impurities and push them toward the gastrointestinal tract.

After several days of Purvakarma, the practitioner will choose one or more of the five (pancha) actions (karma) of elimination to rid the body of the ama, this can also last up to several days. Once the elimination procedures are completed, it is very important to restore the body and partake in Rasayana (rejuvenation). These internal and external Rasayana techniques are just as important as the other stages of the Panchakarma, to ensure the body has not only been purified but strengthened,  limiting the possibility of future disease.

Like all medical procedures, Panchakarma must always begin with an initial consultation by a qualified Ayurvedic Physician who can determine the individuals constitution, nature of the health problem if any and the appropriate degree of the intensity of the techniques used in the Panchakarma. Specially trained technicians must administer these procedures in a definite sequence in a specified period of time.

Participation in a clinical Panchakarma requires close supervision by an Ayurvedic expert at all times. If your body is not properly prepared for cleansing, or if your techniques are incorrectly administered, you can overwhelm your nervous system or dislodge more toxins then your body can handle, along with other precautions to consider.

Ayurveda has evolved for other thousands of years, it is important to understand and preform each stage of Panchakarma proficiently with the time and grace according to its traditional practice. Most people want a get quick cleanse, but Panchakarma is gentle, soft and slow, though Panchakarma, Ayurveda is trying to create a gentle deep wave of cleansing, not a tsunami, so it may have long lasting profound effects.

Panchakarma may help with most minor and major illness including:

  • Nervous system disorders
  • Stress, Insomnia, Anxiety
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Sports injuries and Arthritis
  • Frequent Illness
  • Allergies, Asthma
  • Infertility & Sexual Health
  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Drug Detoxification
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Weight Gain or Loss
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Digestive disorders
  • Skin Conditions
  • Psoriasis
  • Auto Immune disorder
  • Candida
  • Joint immobility
  • Arthritis
  • Circulation related imbalances
  • Thyroid Conditions
  • Crohn's Disease & IBS
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Heart Disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Blood Pressure
  • Menopause
  • Emotional Health
  • Senior Health
  • Parasites
  • Depression and Bipolar
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

 

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.

Unwanted Cellulite?

Most of us struggle with unwanted cellulite but never know how to handle it. Ayurveda looks to restore the systems of the body by balancing the mind, emotions, and physical attributes based on a persons constitutional make up. Ayurveda also tackles cellulite in this same manner.

According to Ayurveda cellulite is an imbalance in the bodies ability to metabolize fat. The metabolic system for this in Ayurveda is called Meda Agni. Cellulite occurs when the agni (digestive system) is malfunctioning and the metabolism becomes sluggish, in this the digestive impurities interact with the body tissue and becomes toxic (ama).

Do to ama, essentially in the lymph system, the body has a drainage problem. When this occurs, toxins and fluids then accumulate as fat pockets in areas of the body that are constitutional specific. To address cellulite, one must first understand, that the accumulation of ama first starts in the gut. It then spreads through subtle channels of the body. 

By first correcting the digestive system in the gut, along with improving the circulation of the lymph in areas that are prone to cellulite, one can successfully help reduce the cause of cellulite. Since Ayurveda addresses every case differently, its best to have a consultation with an Ayurvedic Practitioner to know specifically what to do for your constitution and circumstance. If this is not possible, simply add a few of these general suggestion to your daily routine:

  1. Drink plenty of water. Sipping warm water with fresh squeezed lemon through out the day help stimulate digestion and clears toxic build up in the system.
  2. Focus on herbs that help reduce ama and promote circulation in your diet. Us more herbs such as ginger, black pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, fenugreek and cardamom in your cooking and food.
  3. Eat two fresh Tulsi leaves in the morning and at night, it helps to regulate fat and has both lightening and dry properties.
  4. Eat three regular meals a day at the same time, making lunch the largest meal of the day no later then 2 pm and dinner no later then 730 pm. This is by far most the important aspect in managing cellulite. 
  5. Have a cup of Kapha reducing tea. 1/4 teaspoon each of dry ginger, dill seed, fenugreek seed, add one clove to 1 cup water. Boil water add mixture and steep for 5 minutes and drink it. 
  6. Avoid High-Fat diet, but take a daily dose of good quality oil, such as Ayurvedic Ghee or flaxseed oil in a cup of warm water first thing in the morning.
  7. Daily self full body Abhyanga with organic almond oil. In the place of accumulated cellulite, us organic mustard seed oil followed by Calamus herb powder. Use rapid long strokes heating and improving circulation through out the whole body.
  8. Exercise is a vital part as diet is in reducing cellulite. Yogasanas like Dandayamana Dhanurasana (Standing bow pose), Ardha Chandrasana (Half moon pose), Utkatasana (Chair Pose) , Supta-Vajrasana(Reclining adamant pose),  Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) and Salabhasana (Locust pose) are recommended.
  9. Daily intake of Triphala and Turmeric. 500 mg of Turmeric in the morning upon waking and 500 mg of Triphala before bed. 
  10. Try Panchakarama. An annual Panchakarma programs which detoxifies many of the bodies channels including the liver, helps improve the bodies ability to metabolize fat. Its the Ayurvedic science of detoxification and rejuvenation and can have a profound transformative effects. 

For More information visit us at our clinics or schedule an online appointment! 

 

 

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

An Ayurvedic Perspective on Healthy Elimination

For many of us, unhealthy elimination is somewhat of a routine occurrence. If we are completely honest, most of us have suffered from constipation, diarrhea or some other affecting bowel imbalance. Yet, generally, we are afraid to talk about our elimination health. Fortunately, Ayurveda is not afraid and has a lot to say about it, and the truth is, for all of us our bowel habits and stools show us a great deal about what our bodies are going through and what we need to return them to balance.

Ayurveda recognizes that the digestive tract is the very first place imbalances arise in the body. According to Ayurveda the digestive system is the root of all disease. Ayurveda places great importance on the digestive system and its abilities to transform foods properly. Without the proper digestion, foods cannot be broken down and absorbed in the body for the use of tissue renewal, instead more waste is created leading to toxic build up and eventually disease.  This being the case, our stools tend to offer us very early warning signs that something is amiss in our physiology. 

If an emerging imbalance is not properly addressed, it will either take root in the digestive tract and become a more serious condition, or spread to other tissues and create imbalances there. If we can learn to understand the early indications of disharmony in our bodies, and respond appropriately, there is the ability to self-correct and heal. It is a wonderful tool Ayurveda has given us to maintain health by paying attention to the habits of our bowels and stool. 

According to Ayurveda, healthy elimination occurs one to two times every day. Generally, the fist bowel movement should happen in the morning, with in a few minutes of waking up. It should not be stimulated by food intake and should be well formed, about the consistency of a ripe banana and should maintain its shape after being eliminated. The color is a light brownish-or yellow color, it should float and has slight oil to it and does not stick to the sides of the toilet. It should only have a mild order, not strong or pungent. 

Most people fall short of this. With the kinds of lifestyle we lead, it is difficult to maintain perfect digestive health, but this is why talking about elimination is so important, so we can foster balance in our lives, in our stool and in the body as a whole. 

In Ayurveda, the physiological systems in the body, such as reproductive, digestive or urinary systems are called channels. All channels have important overall functions to maintain whole health in the body.  Ayurveda accentuates the importance of proper movement in all the channels to preserve health with a body free of disease. The regular movement of the bowels is a fundamental part in keeping the digestive channels following correctly. 

The foods we ingest undergoes the process of digestion and absorption through the action of agni, or digestive fire. An individual’s agni largely determines how well or poorly food is digested and eliminated. When agni, is in balance, it supports strong immunity and a long, healthy life. Balanced agni also adds emotional health and makes the experience of life more enjoyable. The strength of agni is inevitably affected by a poor diet, improper food combinations, and un-supportive lifestyle, emotional disturbances and even damp, rainy weather. With a weaken state of agni, the bodies resistance to disease is weakened.  Strengthening the agni and understanding the individual is the key to finding a truly balanced diet

In general, the qualities of foods are similar to the qualities of the doshas. The intake of food that has the same quality of a dosha will tend to aggravate that dosha, such as when a Vata (dry) personal eats popcorn (dry), will create more dryness in the body. Opposite qualities tend to be balancing, such as when a pitta (hot) person drinks mint tea (cooling). This fundamental principle can help you select foods that are balancing to your own unique constitution. While there are certainly many things we can do to generally foster healthy elimination, identifying which dosha(s) are involved in a specific imbalance allows us to pursue deeper, and enables us to create a more focused therapeutic strategy. 

Sometimes it is very easy to identify personal bowel movement tendencies at a glance- if so, you can find more specific support to help you return to balance. If you remain uncertain, please see a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner to offer a more personalized assessment of your needs. It is also important to know that longstanding imbalances in the elimination channel often involve more then one dosha, and can easily lead to more complex disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. These conditions are more serious and should be treated by a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner. 

Vata Elimination

In Vata elimination imbalances the excess Vata in the channel tends to cause dry, hard, scanty stools, that can be painful or difficult to pass. Vata can also cause gas, bloating, colicky pain, gurgling in the intestines, irregularity in movements and constipation. Some people tend to alternate between constipation and diarrhea. The symptoms are usually accompanied by an irregular appetite and variable digestion. Other related ailments caused by excess Vata include low back pain, sciatica, non-bleeding hemorrhoids, prolapsed rectum and fissures or fistulas.

When Vata is eminent, you must balance Vata’s cold and dry qualities with warmth, a lot of fluids, along with healthy oils to return it to balance. It is also influential to slow the pace of life down, essential to keep warm and to stay hydrated. Support your digestion and elimination with Triphala or Hingvastak or consider taking Haritaki instead of Triphala if Vata is the true primary concern. Focus on the below diet and lifestyle suggestions.

Diet

  • Focus on eating Vata pacifying foods that favors the tastes of sweet, sour and salty.
  • Eat three solid meals a day, ideally at about the same time each day, vata needs consistency. Also eating three solid freshly cooked meals increases the digestive fire and helps with weight control and burning of toxins in the body.
  • Increase sources of fiber in you diet such as oatmeal, wheat brain, oat brain an other whole cooked grains and cooked vegetables. 
  • Increase the amount of good quality oils in your diet such as ghee, sesame oil and olive oil.
  • Eat more fruit, at least one hour before and after other foods, and do not eat it cold, room temperature fruit is the best.
  • Drink at least 60-80 ounces of fluid each day. Warm water and herbal teas are the best. Stay away from ice and cold liquids. Hot water is the best.
  • In addition chew on a slice of fresh ginger about the size of a nickel with a pinch of sea salt, a few drops of lime juice and a 1/4 teaspoon of honey 30 minutes before lunch and dinner. 

Lifestyle

  • Focus on establishing a Vata pacifying daily routine; consistency in the structure of the day is especially pacifying to Vata. Focus on calming the mood and energy, and nurturing the body. 
  • Get plenty of Vata pacifying exercise: Make sure that your exercise routine is not over stimulating, but gentle and grounding instead. Favor activities like walking, hiking, light jogging, swimming, or gentle cycling.
  • Practice Vata pacifying yoga or a handful of slow and purposeful sun salutations each morning.
  • Practice 5-15 minutes of Alternate Nostril Breathing every day on an empty stomach.
  • Daily oil massage with sesame oil after warm shower or bath. 

Pitta Elimination

Excess Pitta in the elimination channel tends to cause frequent or urgent stools that are soft, loos, liquid or oily. The stools my fall apart of being evacuated or my tend toward diarrhea. They are also often hot, causing burning pain when eliminated and have a strong and frequently offensive sour or acidic odor. Excess pitta can cause heartburn, blood in stool, bleeding hemorrhoids, acid indigestion and cause an insatiable appetite. 

In oder to balance pitta, one must balance Pitta’s hot, sharp, light and liquid qualities with food, herbs and experiences that are nutritive, heavy, cooling and dense. It is important to keep the mind and body cool and avoid heavy exercise and especially exercise at mid-day. Support your digestion with Amalaki are with Avipattikar, Triphala is also an option. Focus on the below diet and lifestyle suggestions.

Diet

  • Pitta pacifying diet that favors sweet, astringent and bitter tastes. 
  • Emphasize on cooling foods (not cold), but things that have a cooling effects such as cilantro, coconut water, peppermint tea, coriander, fennel, mint and cucumber.
  • Dink moderate amounts of fluid, mainly at room temperature avoid ice, sour drinks and sodas.
  • Take a few tablespoons of aloe vera juice or gel 2-3 times per day to cool and soothe the channels of digestion.
  • Include moderate amount of good quality cooling oils such as ghee, sunflower oil or coconut oil in your diet.

Lifestyle

  • Focus on Pitta pacifying routines as it helps to ground and cool the sharp intensity of pitta.
  • Sheetali pranayama every day on a empty stomach for 5-10 minutes a day and a few minutes of alternate nostril breathing will help balance pitta.
  • Practice pitta pacifying yoga at a gentle and purposeful rate. Do not make yoga a competition against yourself or others. Moon salutations are useful in balancing pitta. 
  • Daily exercise is important but not overly intense, do it with a relaxed effort. Walking, swimming, cycling, light jogging and hiking are best and its best for pitta to practice exercise when the day is the coolest in morning or evening. Don’t forget to breath through your nose the entire time.

Kapha Elimination
To return to balance, we need to balance Kapha’s heavy, slow, cool, oily, smooth, and sticky qualities with foods, herbs, and experiences that are light, sharp, hot, dry, rough, and clarifying. In general, when Kapha is aggravated, it is important to keep warm and dry, to avoid daytime napping, and to stay active. Use Trikatu to stimulate Kapha digestion, Bibhitaki is better then Triphala, but Triphala can also be used. In addition, the following diet, lifestyle, recommendations will help to pacify Kapha so that the channels of elimination can return to balance.


Diet

  • Focus on eating a Kapha pacifying diet.
  • Minimize the presence of oil and fat in your diet (the best oils for Kapha are sunflower oil and olive oil).
  • Reduce processed foods and sugars.
  • Favor warm and hot beverages and be careful not to over hydrate. Hot water and herbal teas like ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, or clove can help to liquefy, dry, and eliminate excess Kapha.
  • Eat three square meals each day (at about the same time each day) and try not to snack between meals.
  • Focus on making lunch the main meal and eating smaller quantities of food at breakfast and dinner. 
  • Embrace a wide variety of spices in your cooking.
  • Stoke the digestive fire about 30 minutes before lunch and dinner by chewing a slice of fresh ginger (about the size of a nickel) with a pinch of sea salt, a few drops of lime juice, and about ¼ teaspoon honey. About 30 minutes before lunch and dinner, instead.  

 
Lifestyle

  • Focus on establishing a Kapha pacifying daily routine.
  • Get plenty of Kapha pacifying exercise: Make sure that your exercise routine is fun, vigorous, and stimulating – Kapha thrives on activities like walking, hiking, running, cycling, and high intensity interval training.
  • Practice Kapha pacifying yoga or a handful of invigorating sun salutations each morning.
  • Practice Bhastrika Pranayama every day on an empty stomach. You can start with just one or two rounds of 10 breaths, but can slowly build up to five rounds of 10 breaths. A few minutes of Alternate Nostril Breathing make a wonderful complement to this practice.

 

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.