Ayurvedic Herbal Formulas

8 Ayurvedic Uses for Honey

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The uses of honey in health care trace back many centuries. In Vedic times, honey was seen as a gift—its remarkable healing properties were valued more than its taste. Now that honey is being re-examined by modern researchers, it’s increasingly recognized for the medicinal and nutritional properties that made it a staple of Ayurvedic practices 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 from the application of honey. Ayurvedic texts have described how honey promotes healing of wounds and sores and acts as an antiseptic, a pain reliever, and a cooling balm that speeds recovery from burns.  

2. Honey helps build tissues and generate energy and heat, three properties that make it  good for aging bodies. One or two teaspoons of honey in a cup of warm water is a refreshing and strengthening drink. Take daily.

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

4. Honey is easily digested and assimilated, making it one of the best sweet foods for reducing stress on the digestive organs. It’s also useful for maintaining the health of the stomach. Ayurvedic experts find honey not only supports proper digestion, but also helps ward off stomach diseases and symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and heartburn by preventing the overproduction of hydrochloric acid. Honey also promotes clearing the digestive canal of putrefied fecal matter and undigested foods.

5. As an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, honey helps maintain healthy teeth and gums.  According to Ayurveda, a daily application of honey cleanses the teeth, makes them sparkle, and helps prevent tartar, decay, and premature tooth loss. Gargling with honey and water is very useful in protecting against gingivitis (i.e., inflammation of the gums caused by bacterial infection).

6. Insomnia affects many of us in our modern age. Honey has been used for centuries for the treatment of this common affliction. Its hypnotic qualities help bring on sound sleep. Two teaspoons can be taken with a cup of warm water or with warm almond milk before bed. Adding a dash of cardamom and cinnamon makes this soothing beverage more delicious. It’s an excellent remedy for sleepless babies and children.

7. Honey’s natural tendency to clear the channels of the body makes it very useful in helping the body eliminate imbalances in the respiratory pathways. As a demulcent or soothing agent, it reduces the discomfort of inflamed mucous membranes in the upper respiratory tract, coating them with a protective film that helps relieve coughing and irritation. You can ingest a spoonful of honey or gargle with mixture of honey and water for this purpose.

8. Honey can be easily added to all your meals to supply the body with extra energy. Ayurvedic texts recommend honey for arteriosclerosis and weak hearts. It can be taken before bed in a glass of water with lemon juice to provide the heart with energy throughout the night and to alleviate cardiac pain and heart palpitations.

These Ayurvedic recommendations come with several caveats. The Ayurvedic sage Charaka wrote over 500 years ago that “nothing is so troublesome as amacaused by the improper intake of honey.” In Ayurvedic medicine, ama, or undigested matter in the body, is considered to be the root cause of most ill health. Many incompatible food combinations produce this toxic material, but heated honey is one of the most complicated forms to cleanse. Heating honey destroys the enzymes that support the digestive process.

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. 

  • Honey should never be combined with ghee  or mixed with rainwater; hot, spicy foods; fermented beverages (e.g., whiskey, rum, brandy); or mustard.

  • Honey includes nectar of various flowers some of which may be poisonous.

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 rejuvenating and aphrodisiac effects, which can kick things up a notch for Valentine’s day. In addition to proprietary blends, there are many Ayurvedic recipes for spicing up your love life that use ingredients that are easy to find and taste delicious. Nutmeg, clove, cardamom, and ginger are found in most pantries and, when mixed together as a “chai,” serve as an easy and enjoyable way to enhance libido.  

Nutmeg is known in Ayurveda as “women’s Viagra.” This almost overpowering aromatic spice warms the body, pacifies vataand kapha, and increases pitta, and stimulates circulation. These effects can also be achieved with ginger. Clove ignites attraction and boosts libido. It has been used as an aphrodisiac in India and other parts of Asia for many centuries. Cardamom is a tridoshic spice that balances the three fundamental energies and promotes healthy blood flow. Its super-sweet taste enhances energy and vigor.

The two best known Ayurvedic herbs for revitalizing the body and optimizing sexual health are ashwaganda and shatavari. A member of the nightshade family, the ashwagandha plant regulates stress hormones such as cortisol according to the body’s needs, keeping users alert and energized during the day and allowing them to relax and fall asleep at night. In Ayurveda, this adaptogenic herb is believed to be particularly effective at boosting the sexual energy of men. Shatavari, a species of asparagus (Asparagus racemosus), serves as an equivalent tonic for sustaining women’s sexual vigor and the health of their reproductive organs throughout their life.

These two herbs combined with the suggested Ayurvedic spices offer a natural approach to maximizing vitality, energy, and vigor for both sexes. Enjoy this aromatic and delicious recipe to prime your libido for a romantic occasion. Or use it regularly to maintain overall health and vibrancy 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 ½ teaspoon boiled for 5 minutes in 1 cup of milk. Use the milk of your choice— fresh cow’s milk or 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.  

Bedtime Treat That Helps You Sleep

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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.

Herbal Immune and Lung Support for Spring

Spring can bring many challenges for the respiratory and the immune systems. You may notice many people around you are suffering from colds or flus at this time. This is generally due to excess Kapha in the system, built up from the winter season. Allergrens, pollutants and other irritants can irritate this built up of Kapha. Too much Kapha in our system weakens our agni (digestive fire) and ama or toxic undigested material accumulates. These accumulations then weaken the immune systems and since the seat of kapha is in the chest, imbalance in the respiratory system are most likely to occur.

Ayurveda offers a variety of support for a healthy immune and respiratory system during spring. Our suggestion would be a four part process. First you would want to start by boosting the agni. In doing this, you also cleanse the ama in the system, which is the second part. There are many herbs you can use for boosting agni and burning ama at the same time. These herbs include pippali, ginger, turmeric, and an Ayurvedic formula known as triphala. Make a tea with a combination of these and drink morning and night. Having a warm cup of water with lemon and black pepper upon waking is another easy way to support a healthy digestion.

The next step, would recognize if there is a high imbalance of kapha. If so you would want to create a kapha reducing lifestyle and diet routines while  using herbs to support the respiratory system. When the respiratory or lungs need support, Ayurveda’s traditional formulas of talisadi and sitopaladi would be a good choice. These warming herbal blends are particularly suited for kapha in the respiratory tract. They help in clearing the throat and nasal passages and promote a healthy respiration. Honey is a wonderful carrier in which you can take these mixes with, as it helps target the respiratory tissues and naturally scrapes toxic residues.

The final step would  to create daily herbal protocol to rejuvenate the immune system and build ojas. Chyavanprash is a formula in Ayurveda known for is immune supportive properties. It is an excellent choice to promote proper immune functions and rejuvenation, as well as supports healthy digestion, metabolism, nervous system and respiratory system. Take one teaspoon once or twice a day alone with milk. It is delicious as a jam on toast or other foods as well. 

In addition to Chyavanprash, herbs such as ashwagandha and guduchi are both known to support the body through cycles of stress by promoting energy, vitality and general health. In Ayurveda, the belief is to support healthy elimination in order to strengthen the immune system. Consider adding triphala daily along with your immune supportive herbs to aid in the removal of waste and toxins from the body. Taking triphala before bed each evening is the most effective.

We are happy to help you create a personalized herbal program based upon your mind-body constitution. Please contact us to schedule an in office or 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.

 

Brahmi, the Ayurvedic Nervine Tonic

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Brahmi is perhaps the most essential nervine herb used in Ayurvedic medicine. It revitalizes the brain cells, removes toxins and blockages within the nervous system, It improves memory aids in concentration, while at the same time has a nurturing effect. It also calms the heart and helps guard it against heart attacks.

Brahmi is added to many Ayurvedic formulas as a nervine and antispasmodic agent. It aids in getting over an addiction or bad habits, such as alcoholism, drug abuse, and also helps the body kick sugar habits. It is a blood cleanser, improves the immune system, and is an excellent tonic for venereal diseases as it also cleanses the kidneys while calming and soothing the liver.

Yogis use Himalayan Brahmi daily by eating a few fresh leaves to support and improve meditation. They do this because it helps awaken the crown chakra and balances the right and left hemisphere of the brain. It is also one of the best herbs for balancing Pitta, while at the same time actively reducing Kapha and can reduce Vata if taken in the proper dose or with other anit-Vata herbs, such as Ashwagandha.

According to Ayurvedic texts, Brahmi ghee is an essential medicine for the mind and heart that should be kept in every home. It can be taken in small amounts daily to maintain good health. As a milk decoction, the herb is an excellent brain tonic particularly when it is combined with Ashwagandha. Bhrami taken with Holy Basil and a little black pepper is suitable for all kinds of fevers. A cup of Bhrami tea made with honey before meditation is great to aid the 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.

 

Ayurvedic Bath, Sacred and Healing.

For as long as our civilization can recall, bathing has been a sacred activity. In ancient Greece, water was regarded as a gift of health from the gods themselves. In Rome, ruins of hot and cold sunken baths can still be seen. Napoleon’s wife, Josephine Bonaparte’s bathtub is said to retain its musk perfume, more than 150 years after it was built.

In India, bathing has always been accorded the status of a sacred activity, used for healing. Ancient Ayurvedic texts speak of therapeutic baths with rose petals, honey, milk and turmeric, preceded by a luxurious warm oil, full-body massage and followed by the application of rich herbal paste and floral waters on the skin. These Ayurvedic baths were designed to restore balance in body, mind and spirit.

Ayurveda sees bathing as a therapeutic activity. A daily bath, especially in the morning is an important part of an Ayurvedic daily routine. A bath relaxes tense muscles, opens clogged pores, moisturizes the tissues and clears bad moods. It adds a tremendous healing dimension to your day, and life. Ayurvedic medical texts report many benefits from the healing bath, some of these are; it helps relax the mind and balances the emotions, it helps remove sweat, dirt and environmental toxins from the skin, it enhances physical energy levels and improves metal clarity.

Enjoy these benefits daily, by simply adding an Ayurvedic bath to your daily routine.

Herbal bath recipe:

3 tablespoons of green gram powder
1/2 tablespoon of turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon of ginger powder
2 tablespoon of rose petals
1 tablespoon of raw organic honey
1/2 cup of almond milk or 1 tablespoon of almond oil
5-7 drops of rose, lavender or geranium pure essential oils

Tips for enhancing the bathing healing experience:

Do not bathe in a hurry, take your time.
Practice deep breathing in your bath.
Try to relax, so that both mind and body benefit.
Use natural gentle aromatherapy in the room, not artificial and harsh fragrances, as it adds to the toxic overload in the body.
Make sure your bath water is pure and clean.
After you towel off, spritz your body with rose water and apply dosha specific warm oils.

 

 

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 Amazing Healing Properties of Turmeric

Turmeric is a root plant or rhizome closely related to ginger. Commonly used in curries, turmeric has a warm, slightly bitter taste for coloring or enhancing the flavor of curry powders, cheeses, mustard and more. Many of my Ayurvedic teachers have stated that Turmeric is an answer to most common aliments such as stomach ache, soar throats, cuts, infections, skin problems and many others.

According to Web MD, the list of health-related uses for turmeric is long. It is ingested for stomach problems, such as gas, bloating or diarrhea; arthritis; menstrual pain; fever and such for thousands of years in some areas. A juice version is used as a topical agent and a turmeric paste (warm milk with some powder) is employed as an antiseptic in wounds.

Countless studies have shown the healing powers from turmeric properties. Recent research on the effect of aromatic turmerone, a turmeric extract, shows that the plant extract may help regenerate damaged brain cells after things like a stroke. There are many studies conducted on curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric. Many have dealt with anti-inflammatory abilities in curcumin. In one study, turmeric worked about as well as ibuprofen for reducing arthritis pain. There have also been clinical studies on the benefits in diabetes and pre diabetes, positive effects on cancer, prostate cancer in particular.  Also many that shows it aids in weight management, liver detoxification, and digestive disease such as chrohn's disease.

Turmeric can easily be incorporated in to your daily life. It has many essential vitamins such as pyridoxine, choline, niacin, riboflavin and more. It also contains minerals of calcium, potassium, copper, iron, magnesia, magnesium and zinc. Turmeric in the diet increases the productions of enzymes that digest fat, sugars, and stops cholesterol from forming gallstones. It is an immune support and is antiseptic that kills yeast and parasites when used internally. It is also used for headaches, bronchitis, colds, lung infections, fibromyalgia, leprosy, fever, and menstrual problems. Other uses include depression, Alzheimer’s disease, water retention, and kidney problems

You can take Turmeric as a daily supplement and introduce it to you're cooking. It is delicious in soups, stir fry, curries and as a daily tea. Ayurvedic turmeric paste is a great way to use turmeric to make teas. The paste of honey and turmeric can store easily in a jar. For paste use 1/3 cup  or 80 ml good, raw honey 2 1/2 teaspoons dried turmeric. Work the turmeric into the honey until it forms a paste. You can keep this on hand, in a jar, for whenever you'd like a cup of tea. 

Ayurvedic Daily Turmeric Tea Recipe

  • Heaping Teaspoon of Turmeric Paste
  • Paste Squeeze of lemon
  • Lots of freshly ground black pepper

For each cup of tea, place a heaping teaspoon of the turmeric paste in the bottom of a mug. Pour hot (but not boiling water) into the mug, and stir well to dissolve the turmeric paste. Add a big squeeze of juice from a lemon, and a good amount of black pepper. (pepper is invigorating and helps support the digestion of the turmeric) 

 

 

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.