Digestion According To Ayurveda

 

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Digestion According To Ayurveda

The fundamentals of Ayurveda is centered around digestion and takes into consideration:
  • Rasa: the 6 differing tastes ... which are sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent
  • Virya: the potency or power contained within food and/or medicine
  • Vipaka: the influence of food at the tissue level once digestion within the GI tract is complete
  • Prabhava ... which will be discussed further in another post

 

 

According To Ayurveda ...
Every substance is made up of a combination of the "5 Great Elements"
The '5 Great Elements' called "Panchmahabhutas" are ether, air, fire, water and earth.

... and based upon the combination or proportion of the 5 elements [panchmahabhutas] contained within a particular substance ultimately determines the taste [rasa], qualities [gunas] and actions [karmas] the substance [dravya] will possess.
It's important to understand that the food we ingest - changes at every stage of digestion and knowing these very changes allows us  to appreciate the therapeutic nature of  food - allowing us to eat  deliberately according to one's needs.
Taste [Rasa]

Our initial perception of food [apart from seeing and smelling of food] is taste. According to the teachings of Ayurveda, tastes have an effect on doshas which then creates an influence upon the body and mind.

Before we go any further ... 
In order to understand the correlation of tastes and its influence upon doshas ...
it's important to appreciate the correlation of the elements and the principle of like increases like; and opposites help to balance excess.
Samanya Vishesha Siddant 
Substances having properties and actions similar to that of dosha-dhatu-and malas
.... will bring about an increase in such doshas-dhatus and malas.
Like Increases Like ...
Opposites Help To Balance Excess ...
The inverse is equally important.  Meaning, substances which have dissimilar or opposing properties  ... will cause a decrease in the function of doshas-dhatus- and malas.
which have opposing functions.

 

 

More Simplified:

  • like increases like
  • opposites tend to reduce excesss

 

 

The Correlation ...

There is a correlation of the 5 Great Elements [ether, air, fire, water, and earth]
and the 6 tastes: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent.
Although all substances contain all 5 elements
- Sweet taste contains all the elements but is  predominately water and earth
- Sour taste is predominately fire and earth
- Salty taste is predominately  fire and water
- Pungent is predominately fire and air
- Bitter being predominately ether and air
- Astringent taste is predominately air and earth.
SWEET TASTE ...
 

Sweet taste being that predominately  of water and earth elements has both oily and heavy qualities which naturally increases kapha dosha. The heavy and oily qualities of food that are sweet in nature will naturally increase the inherent heavy & oily qualities of kapha dosha which will then influence the body & mind conditioned to kapha dosha. Sweet tastes is pleasing to the senses and nourishes all 7 bodily tissues [i.e. dhatu]. Sweet taste promotes anabolic growth. Proper intake of sweet taste increases strength & longevity. Sweet taste improves complexion, promotes healthy hair and skin.

 

 

SOUR TASTE ... 
Sour taste is predominately fire and water elements which possess light and oily qualities which will tend to increase pitta dosha. Pitta influences the body & mind with sourness which stimulates salivation, stimulates appetite  ... via enhancing the secretion of digestive enzymes.
SALTY TASTE ...
Salty taste is predominately fire and earth elements which has heating and sharp qualities from fire and heavy quality from earth which will tend to increase pitta dosha.
Pitta influences the body and mind with conditions such as salty taste stimulates appetite and enhances digestion.
PUNGENT TASTE ...
Pungent taste is predominately air and fire elements  which has dry, light, hot and sharp qualities. Due to these qualities this will naturally increase both vata and pitta dosha which influences the body and mind ....
Pungent taste stimulates Agni, improves digestion.
Pungent taste clears the sinuses by stimulating nasal secretions
... which helps dissolve and remove kapha dosha.
BITTER TASTE ...
Bitter taste is predominately ether and air elements which has light, dry and cool qualities which tends to increase vata dosha. Bitter taste clears the palate. Bitter taste creates firmness to the skin and muscles and due to its cooling nature, tends to be an antipyretic.

ASTRINGENT TASTE ... 

Astringent taste is predomately air and earth elements which has dry, cool and heavy qualities which tends to increase vata dosha. Astringent taste improves absorption and due to its action of reducing excess flow tends to create binding of the stool and can lead to constipation.
The Correlation 
By understanding the correlation between:
- the 5 Great Elements [ether, air, fire, water, and earth]
- the 6 tastes [sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, astringent]
- and the 3 doshas [vata, pitta, and kapha]
we can then construct a chart that allows us to use food in a therapeutic fashion.

*Vata dosha is decreased with: sweet, sour and salty tastes.

*Pitta dosha is decreased with: sweet, bitter and astringent tastes.

*Kapha dosha is decreased with: pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes. 

As food moves into the stomach and eventually into the small intestine for further digestion ... a more profound effect takes place which is considered virya. The actual Sanskrit word  "Virya" comes from the root Veer; which implies power & potency. Therefore, Virya is the energy, the power, the strength & potency which allows food to exert its actions upon bodily tissue.

Generally speaking,
Virya can be classified into two categories: Heating & Cooling which then exerts its influence upon dosha & Agni;  which ultimately exerts its influence upon bodily tissue.
There is also the school of thought [i.e. Asthavida Virya] which describes 8 separate Virya [hot, cold, oily, dry, light, heavy, soft, and sharp]. These 8 separate virya are considered the 8 strongest of the 20 qualities. Strongest in the sense of : most potent, longer acting, and having more shakti [power].
FOR CONVENIENCE: 
We often refer to virya as either being heating or cooling. Since, out of the 8 strongest of 20 qualities ... heating and cooling tend to be the strongest.
HEATING VIRYA:
- reduces both vata and kapha ... and increases pitta dosha
- since pitta dosha increases; naturally Agni is increased.
- more specifically; heating virya leads to dipana [which stimulates Agni]
- heating virya promotes pachana which improves digestion.
COOLING VIRYA:
- reduces pitta dosha ... while increasing kapha and vata dosha
- since kapha generally tends to inhibit Agni
... this will naturally promote growth and anabolic activity.
Interesting Note ...
As mentioned previously, virya means power and potency.  Aside from prabhav [which seemingly is in another league of its own], Virya is the most powerful influence of all the digestive factors [rasa, virya, vipaka]. Because of this, virya is strongly considered in regards to the administration of medicine.
Tastes is initially perceived on the tongue as food is ingested. As food becomes further digested in the stomach and small intestine
... the more profound and longer-acting influence of Virya occurs
... acting upon NOT only dosha ... BUT ... JaatharaAgni [the digestive metabolic fire].
Digestion Is A Process
Digestion is a process and as food is digested along the G.I. tract. There are a series of reactions thereby creating partially digested food-products along the way.

Vipaka is the final substance derived from food that results after digestion within the gastrointestinal tract is complete. This substance [with its physical-chemical structure],

its qualities and its corresponding influence upon doshas and bodily tissue is vipaka.
However, before we can appreciate vipaka
... it's important to discuss Avastha Paka
... which is equally fascinating!!
All throughout this Process of digestion ... are by-products of partially digested food. Each stage of digestion forms a substance which has certain physical-chemical characteristics with corresponding qualities and therefore ... exerting specific influence upon the doshas. And the doshas ... themselves, influencing actions throughout the body.

Let's take a step back and take a closer look at the food once ingested. We've discussed how perception of taste occurs via the tongue ... which immediately influences the doshas.

Next, as food travels down the esophagus and enters the stomach this initiates a cascade of gastric juices; [i.e. gastrin, mucin, HCL, pepsin, renin] and when the ingested food and the gastric juices within the stomach combine

... this creates a "sweet phase" of digestion ... called Madhura Avastha Paka
... and this causes the formation of kapha
... which creates a sense of contentment and fullness.
Amla Avastha Paka ... 
As food continues to become digested, the combination of partially digested food along with gastric juices now entering into the small intestine with the addition of bile and pancreatic juices
creates a substance which now has a unique chemical structure, with unique qualities different than ... what was initially ingested, and different than what was in the stomach.
as food enters the small intestine and mixes with bile and pancreatic digestive juices. This creates the SOUR phase of digestion called "Amla Avastha paka".  This sourness creates the increased influence of pitta dosha which may also exacerbate certain pitta conditions such as itching, hives, rash and urticaria, etc.
As the process of digestion continues ... 
Food from the small intestine now enters into the large intestine; the colon. As food enters the large intestine much of the digestive process is almost complete as the colon absorbs mainly water and certain minerals.
Through this process [of absorption of water] the digested substance now takes on a set of new characteristics which are more  dry and light ... and therefore, increases the influence of VATA dosha. This may exacerbate certain Vata  conditions such as gas, bloating, constipation etc.
Are We Done With Digestion?

Kind of.

Once food has entered the large intestine and water and mineral absorption are complete ... digestion within the gastrointestinal tract is complete.

However, digestion at the tissue level is yet to begin.  Hence, the importance of vipaka; which is the post-digestive effect. 
Meaning, the effect of food upon the body;  at the tissue and cellular level.

The final substance formed after complete digestion [[within the gastrointestinal tract]] is considered vipaka.  The influence of vipaka occurs on bodily tissue as well as malas [bodily wastes; i.e. feces ... which formed within the GI tract].

Although the Classical text of Ayurveda slightly differ.
Most consider Vipaka to be of 3; Sweet, Sour, and Pungent.
Vipaka has effects on both bodily tissue and waste products [i.e. feces, urine, sweat].
Sweet Vipaka increases Kapha  ... and therefore promotes growth [i.e. anabolic action]
Sweet vipaka also helps with the elimination of waste products; waste products being feces, urine and sweat.

Sour Vipaka  increases Pitta ... and therefore promotes metabolic activities.

Sour vipaka tends to create loose stool and can even be the cause of diarrhea and it may tend to create acidic urine and sweat.
Pungent Vipaka increases Vata ... and therefore promotes depletion [i.e. catabolic actions]
Pungent Vipaka tends to reduce flow of waste products; therefore being constipating.
Hope You Enjoyed!!

Disclaimer:
All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws. 

This information is strictly for educational purpose only and not considered medical advice. Always first discuss with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.


Ama ~ The Root Cause Of Disease According To Ayurveda

 

Disclaimer:
All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws. 

 

 

The Root Cause Of Disease

“Ama” is a concept of Ayurveda which can be best understood as the accumulation of toxic metabolic by-products at various levels of physiology. More simply, ama is the by-product of poor digestion and according to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda – ama is the root cause of nearly all diseases.

 

 

General Signs & Symptoms Of Ama

When ama is present within the body it often creates signs & symptoms of fatigue, lethargy, and a sense of uncleanliness. Ama is commonly caused by poor digestion therefore indigestion, low appetite, bloating and constipation are often associated with the presense of ama.

 

Ayurveda is a Science of "Qualities" ...
For example, Ayurveda describes Agni as the radiant energy of fire which embodies hot, sharp, light, and subtle qualities.  It is the source of all transformative processes in the body and is responsible for digestion, absorption and transformation of food into energy. Ama, on the other hand, has cold, dull, heavy, and gross qualities ... the opposing qualities of Agni!!

So How Does Ama Form? 

In order to answer this properly we must first have a closer look at "Agni" - the flame of digestion. According to Ayurveda, the digestive fire [“Agni”] gives strength, vitality, and happiness to all human beings. Agni governs digestion, absorption and assimilation of all nutrients of the body. It’s explained that if Agni is balanced then the individual will be happy, healthy and holy. On the contrary, poorly digested food [i.e. "Ama'] within the G.I. tract creates a thick and slimy substance which lines the walls of the bowels and impedes the absorption and assimilation of nutrients; i.e. malabsorption.

 

  • by-products of proper digestion is "ojas"; i.e. health & vitality 
  • by-products of improper digestion is "ama"; disease 

 

What Might Impair Agni?

Understanding the 'Agni-Ama' relationship, we can appreciate the fact that impaired Agni [impaired digestion] may promote the formation of ama; i.e. toxic by-products of poor digestion which can lead to disease. Therefore, the next inquiry is ... what might impair Agni. The simple answer ... poor nutrition.

 

“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use.
When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.”
- Ayurvedic Proverb

 

Fundamental Principles ... 

  • "like increases like"
  • "opposites oppose" 

 

Ayurveda, being the science of qualities, takes into consideration the cumulative principle of "like increases like". For example, the qualities of Agni are hot, sharp, light, and subtle - therefore, food that has similar qualities of Agni [i.e. hot, sharp, light & subtle] will generally promote the function of Agni; i.e. support healthy digestion.

On the contrary, food which has the opposing qualities of agni will oppose the function of agni; i.e. impair Agni/digestion. For example, food which has cold, dull, heavy and gross qualities will impair Agni and ... promote the formation of ama!!

 

How Does Ama Cause Disease?

Now that we've discovered how ama forms [i.e. via impaired Agni] the next inquiry is, how does ama cause disease? The most simple explanation is that the cold, heavy, dull, and gross qualities of ama creates a stickiness which tends to ... obstruct and clog bodily channels. 

 

The signs and symptoms of ama are ...
clogging of channels, sense of heaviness, low energy, restlessness, lethargy, indigestion, kapha-type congestion [i.e. expectoration], accumulation of the three wastes/malas [i.e. feces, urine, sweat], loss of taste, and sexual debility.

- Ashtanga Hrdayam 

 

"These blocked channels can mean many things: coronary occlusion, pulmonary embolism, stagnation, venous engorgement or lymphatic obstruction. For all these, they are using just one phrase: sroto rodha which is due to ama in the system."

- Dr. Vasant Lad, B.A.M.S.
'Ayurvedic Perspectives On Selected Pathologies'

 

 

Ama - The Root Cause Of Disease

Ama's stickiness and the ability to obstruct and clog bodily channels causes the accumulation of waste products [i.e. "malas" - feces, urine, and sweat] which, according to Ayurveda, is often considered the root cause to many diseases.

 

"Leaky Gut" ~ An Ama Perspective

Although the phrase “leaky gut” was never well accepted in the medical community, research over the past two decades has revealed that gut health is critical to overall health, and an unhealthy gut contributes to a wide range of diseases including diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, depression and chronic fatigue syndrome.

 

Mirroring this ancient wisdom is the modern theory of ‘Intestinal Permeability’ [i.e. “leaky gut syndrome”]. Intestinal permeability is the inflammatory response in the digestive tract due to a combination of insults to the gut mucosal lining. As a result, persistent G.I. inflammation eventually disrupts the integrity of the mucosal lining of the gut and tiny perforations allows for molecules much larger than usual to pass through this defensive barrier. As toxic by-products of poor digestion pass through this now weakened defense barrier [i.e. impaired mucosal lining] this initiates an immune response which then allows for the formation of specific antibodies towards these very toxic elemental by-products of poor digestion.

 

"Sama Dosha" ... From Bad To Worse!!

The science of Ayurveda is explained by the fundamental principles of doshas [i.e. vata, pitta, kapha dosha]. Very briefly, vata is the governing principle of movement, pitta being the fiery principle of transformation and kapha being the preserving and principle of stability. Once ama is formed within the G.I. tract [due to impaired Agni] ... ama may mix with aggravated doshas [vata, pitta, kapha] and enter into the general circulation and travel throughout the body.

 

Ama + Dosha = "Sama Dosha"

 

Ama + Vata Dosha = "Sama Vata"
When ama mixes with vata dosha this can cause signs and symptoms of erratic digestion [i.e. vishama agni], bloating & constipation, generalized body aches and dry skin.

Ama + Pitta Dosha = "Sama Pitta"
When ama mixes with pitta dosha this can cause signs and symptoms of acid indigestion/heart burn, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, feverishness along with hives, rashes, urticaria, eczema, etc.

Ama + Kapha Dosha = "Sama Kapha"
When ama mixes with kapha dosha this can cause signs and symptoms of poor digestion [i.e. manda agni], fatigue, cough, pulmonary congestion, lymphatic swelling, etc.

 

*IMPORTANT!!
The above signs and symptoms are for education purpose only. Such disease conditions should be assessed by an Ayurvedic Doctor before attempting any interventions. Always first seek the advice of your primary care physician before considering other healing modalities.

 

 

Management Of Ama
According to Ayurveda, the management of “ama” first begins with identifying the cause. Often the treatment of “ama” is simply adjusting to a proper diet and lifestyle suitable to one’s needs. For example, “ama pachana” – which is the ‘burning off’ of ama and  can often be done by the use of certain spices and herbs – with supervision of a qualified Ayurvedic Professional.

Spice Selections To Improve Digestion
Ready-to-use spice mixtures satisfy the six ayurvedic tastes considered essential for balance.

“Prevention Is Better Than Cure.”
Although simple, these principles if followed routinely are often enough to help improve digestion and overall health. It’s often the simple things that are most effective and oddly enough – most overlooked. That said, let’s quickly take a look at the basics.

Avoid the following common causes of “ama”
– overeating and consuming cold substances
–  irregular eating habits
– overconsumption of raw food
– eating heavy and fried food
– incompatible food combining
– eating with extreme emotions [i.e. anxiety, stress]
– sleeping before food is properly digested

Trikatu
 – The Digestive Herbal Formula

Another great consideration is Trikatu – a formula combination of equal parts ginger, black pepper and pippali. The name trikatu means three peppers or the three pungents. It is a wonderful herb with strong digestive properties.

 

The Ultimate Detox – Panchakarma
The word “Panchakarma” comes from the classical Ayurvedic texts and literally means ‘five actions’. These five actions of panchakarma are a broad class of therapy used to help remove impurities [“ama”] from the body

 

Disclaimer:
All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws. 

This information is strictly for educational purpose only and not considered medical advice. Always first discuss with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.

Resources:

Ayurvedic Perspective On Selected Pathologies, Vasant Lad, BAMS – 2nd Edition Revised
Textbook Of Ayurveda Vol. 2 & 3, Vasant Lad, BAMS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Ayurveda Guide: Agni ... You Are Only As Healthy As Your Agni

Disclaimer:
All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws. 

 

 

The Ayurveda Guide: Agni

Charaka, the ancient seer of Ayurveda, states that “the individual is the epitome of the universe”. This implies that – that which exist in the vast eternal universe also appears within the inward cosmos of the human body. The entire universe is made from and these elements are referred to as “Panchamahabhutas” … translated as ‘The 5 Great Elements’; i.e. ether, air, fire, water and earth.

The Principle Of Transformation:
Fire is radiant energy and is active and changeable. It is the source of all transformative processes in the body and is responsible for digestion, absorption and transformation of food into energy.

Qualities Of Tejas/Fire:
– Hot
– Sharp
– Minute
– Light
– Rough
– Non-slimy

The qualities of hot, dry, penetrating and sharp demonstrate the radiant energy of Fire in the body. Skin complexion, eye luster and intelligence are expressions of the elemental energy of Fire. The liver, stomach and the pancreas are the primary sites of the Fire element. The element of Fire brings the qualities of attention, appreciation, recognition, ambition and competitiveness.

 

 

The ancient Vedic culture has long revered Agni [i.e. Fire] as being the bridge between our normal/ordinary state of mind and the Divine Self [i.e. Para Brahman]. Fire is honored as being sacred as it has provided warmth. light, and the ability to cook which has allowed for the survival of man. Similarly, when we eat ... we should eat in a way to honor the sacred fire within.

 

 

 

 

 

Agni Is [Nearly]   Everything ...

The digestive fire [“Agni”] is thought to be that which gives strength, vitality, and happiness to all human beings. More specifically, Agni is thought to be the digestive fire which governs digestion, absorption and assimilation of all nutrients of the body. It's explained that if Agni is balanced then the individual will be happy, healthy and holy.

 

 

Functions Of Agni:

  • Pakti: digestion, absorption, and assimulation of food
  • Darshana: visual perception
  • Matroshna: maintains normal body temperature
  • Prakruti varna: maintains bodily constitution & complexion
  • Shauryam: gives confidence, courage, and fearlessness
  • Harsha: creates joy, cheerfulness, laughter, and contentment
  • Prasada: provides mental clarity and wholeness
  • Raga: creates affection, interest, enthusiasm
  • Buddhi: reasoning capacity, logical thinking, discrimination
  • Dhairyam: gives patience, stability, and confidence
  • Dirgham: maintains the span of life
  • Prabha: creates a healthy glow and luster
  • Bala: provides strength and vitality

* Above List From: Textbook Of Ayurveda, vol. 1; Dr. Vasant Lad

 

Agni provides our actual capacity to transform the food—and situations, thoughts and emotions—that we take in so that it becomes nourishment. The very best way to support your agni is to give it the proper time and space to do it’s job.

 

 

General Guidelines: 

  • Wait at least 4 hours between meals (with no snacking in between).
  • Drink very little liquid with meals—or even within 1 hour of eating. Small sips of warm soup or tea may aid digestion, but a big glass of icy drink will smother the flame of agni.
  • Eat only during daylight hours. Give the body at least a full 12 hours of night to perform the more subtle aspects of digestion—clearing out the organs and allowing them to rest.
  • Eat only when you feel real hunger. If you don’t know what real hunger feels like, you should experiment a little bit with it (those with irregular or excess agni may often experience “false hunger”).
  • Base your meal frequency and size on your level of activity on a given day. It could be as simple as this: the more physical or mental effort you put out, the more food you need.
  • People with clearly slow agni may choose to fast or to eat very lightly one day a week so that undigested food which is clogging the system may be digested.

 

 

Four Main Types Of Agni ...

 

According to Ayurveda, there are Four Main Types Of Agni. 

  • Balanced [Sama Agni]
  • Irregular/Erractic [Vishama Agni]
  • Sharp [Tikshna Agni]
  • Slow/Dull [Manda Agni]

 

Normal & Balanced Digestion ~ Sama Agni 

When Agni is balanced and digestion, absorption and elimination are all normal then this is considered a state of good health. Such a person who has proper functioning Agni not only has perfect physical health but also possess a calm and serene mind with great clarity and bliss.

Essentially, healthy happy & holy.

 

 

 

Irregular & Erratic Digestion ~ Vishama Agni

Ayurveda explains this type of digestion as being erratic and irregular because at times you may experience diarrhea with lots of gurgling sounds in the intestines. Other times, you you will likely experience abdominal distention, gas, constipation and colicky pain. This type of digestion is commonly associated with Vata types. Vata types often have irregular digestion; meaning very hungry at times and at other times no hunger at all. Vata types are also thought to have a “hard” digestive tract and therefore makes them more vulnerable to experience symptoms of abdominal distention, flatulence, and even develop a nervous appetite.

Vata types can have eyes bigger than thier stomach so the first suggestion would be to consider having smaller yet more regular meals. In fact, these individuals do best with small, unctuous, warm, and regular meals. Generally speaking, vata types benefit most from sweet, sour and salty foods that is somewhat oily and even spiced up to one’s liking.

Other Common Associations:
– dry skin
– cracking and popping of joints
– low back pain and/or sciatica
– insomnia
– excessive worry, fear, and anxiety

 

Improving Digestion:
Keeping in mind that prevention is better than cure your goal should be centered on the maintenance this state of equilibrium. Therefore, consider the following:

  • Allow 4-6 hours for proper digestion
  • Eat only when you’re truly hungry
  • Avoid snacking
  • Drink less water during meals
  • Eat calmly in a soothing environment

 

Sharp Digestion ~ Tikshna Agni 

We can think of this type of digestion and being intense in the beginning but often lacking sustenance to endure the entire process of digestion optimally to completion. More simply, you have the ability to eat large meals, frequently. However, in doing so you will also often experience hyperacidity, and even become vulnerable to having loose stools or diarrhea.

This type of digestion is commonly associated with Pitta types. Pitta types often have a ferocious appetite and are thought to have a sharp and robust digestive ability. These individuals can digest just about anything they eat. Because pitta types have a “sharp” digestion, they can easily become irritable if they suddenly become hungry and there is no food to be had. Therefore, it is important for pitta types to eat on time. Interestingly, pitta types commonly crave hot and spicy food. In fact, “unbalanced” pitta types often have cravings for alcohol, pickles and of course … spices! Therefore, once again, this stresses the importance of pitta types to avoid spicy foods since these individuals are most prone to acid indigestion and heart burn. Therefore, these individuals may want to consider consuming a mildly sour flavor [i.e. buttermilk or even a few drops of lime] to help regulate their hyper secretion of digestive juices. The best flavors to help manage the fiery pitta type? Generally, pitta types do best with sweet, bitter and astringent flavored food which is cool in nature and lightly cooked.

 

Other Common Associations With Sharp And Intense Digestion:
– heart burn
– acid indigestion
– gastritis
– hypoglycemia
– irritability and anger
– critical and judgmental attitude

 

 

Slow/Dull Digestion ~ Manda Agni
You may have wondered at times how in the world can you gain weight simply by taking a small sip of water. Yes, that’s quite an exaggeration. However, it is likely you commonly experience having a slow metabolism, a full sensation in the stomach, and can even go long periods of time without developing a strong appetite. Often, after a meal you may notice a heavy feeling and even feel the need to take a nap. This type of digestion is commonly associated with Kapha types. Kapha types are thought to have the most stable appetite. However, kapha types are also the ones to have a more slower metabolism and digestive capacity. Hands down, kapha types are loving and compassionate. Along the same lines, kapha types enjoy food and if their need for love goes unnoticed, then these individuals are more prone towards “comfort-eating” more so than others.

Kapha types often have less secretion of digestive enzymes and therefore will likely find benefit with bitter and pungent flavors. When kapha types are “unbalanced” they will crave both sweet and oily food. However, flavors most beneficial for kapha types are pungent, bitter and astringent flavored foods which can help maintain optimal health for these types. Likewise, since kapha is “heavy and earthy” in nature, these individuals will find benefit with fasting on a routine but structured basis.

 

Other Common Associations With Dull Metabolism:
– weight gain
– edema
– congestion
– lethargy and excessive sleep
– attachment and possessiveness

 

Disclaimer:
All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws. 

This information is strictly for educational purpose only and not considered medical advice. Always first discuss with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.

Resources:

Ayurvedic Perspective On Selected Pathologies, Vasant Lad, BAMS – 2nd Edition Revised
Textbook Of Ayurveda Vol. 2 & 3, Vasant Lad, BAMS


The Ayurveda Guide: Kapha Dosha

Disclaimer:
All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws. 

The Ayurveda Guide ~ Kapha Dosha

Ayurveda recognizes that each human being is born with a unique balance and that this natural balance is responsible for physical, mental, and emotional well-being. By recognizing and maintaining this unique balance, Ayurveda provides simple guidelines to help each person create his or her own state of ideal health. For now, we will discuss kapha dosha.

When we think of kapha types we often think of loyal and compassionate individuals with a stable quality about them. This unique stability of kapha arises from the predominant elements of both water and earth which can also make kapha types vulnerable to cold, moist, slow and heavy characteristics. The primary site of kapha dosha is the lungs and stomach.

The Disease Process …

The ancient writings of Ayurveda describe “Samprapti” as the disease process which, if understood properly, can actually detect and address certain health conditions at each and every stage; i.e. addressing the root cause. According to this philosophy [i.e. samprapti/pathogenesis], there are six stages for the disease process.

The Six Stages Of Disease:
1. Accumulation Of Doshas – Sanchaya
2. Aggravation/Provocation Of Doshas – Prakopa
3. Spread Of Doshas – Prasara
4. Deposition/Localization Of Doshas – Sthana Samshraya
5. Manifestation Of Qualitative Changes – Vyakti
6. Differentiation & Destruction Of Tissue – Bheda

Stage One – Accumulation [Sanchaya]

During the initial stage of kapha imbalance the 'heavy' and 'cold' qualities begins to accumulate in the lungs and stomach which creates congestion within the lungs and a sense of fullness and heaviness. The heavy and cold qualities of kapha diminishes the digestive fire ["agni"] which is experienced as lethargy and a low appetite.

Qualities – Heavy & Cold 

The “heavy” quality of kapha can be balanced by the opposing “light” quality. Therefore, kapha types will naturally find benefit by eating smaller “lighter” meals and should even consider fasting at times.  Interestingly, kapha types will also benefit from honey [in moderation] in room temperature water as this helps to oppose the heavy quality of kapha and can even help to loose excess “heaviness” or weight from the body.

The cold quality of kapha comes from the predominating element of water. This can cause excess congestion, cough and colds for kapha types. Therefore, kapha types would benefit by introducing heating elements such as cumin, black pepper and ginger into their diet. Likewise, kapha types will do best by having more hot and spicy foods while avoiding food and drinks which are cold.

Stage Two – Aggravation [Prakopa]

As kapha dosha continues to accumulate with heavy and cold qualities, kapha soon becomes aggravated within the lungs and stomach with 'liquid', 'slow', and 'dull' qualities of kapha dosha. The aggravation of kapha dosha creates symptoms of excess mucus production, congestion and nausea ... in addition to the above-mentioned symptoms of lethargy, sense of fullness, and low appetite.

Qualities: Heavy - Cold - Liquid - Slow - Dull

I think we all have, at some time, experienced the dull and slow nature of the body. This dull quality can make one’s thinking sluggish and can even make the body feel like a ton of bricks. This dull nature of kapha combined with the heavy quality [described above] can makes one’s metabolism slow and dull often making kapha types vulnerable to weight gain. This “dull’ quality of kapha is often best managed with the opposing “sharp” quality. An easy example would include stimulants such as caffeine, however, more preferable considerations would include herbs such as kutki, chitrak, brahmī, and even guggulu.

We can already begin to appreciate the management goals of kapha dosha which are centered around:

  • Warming
  • Drying
  • Lightening

Tastes To Pacify Kapha
Ayurveda describes an interesting relationship of taste and its influence upon the body. According to this philosophy, kapha types are most balanced by pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes as these tastes are drying and lightening in nature with catabolic actions.

Kapha’s Secondary Sites:
As kapha dosha increases and begins to become further aggravated in the lungs and stomach [primary site], kapha also begins to increase in the secondary sites which may begin creating certain signs and symptoms associated with kapha dosha.

Stage Three – Spread [Prasara]

As kapha dosha continues to become further imbalanced the 'oily' quality now allows kapha to spread from the lungs and gastrointestinal tract into the general circulation. The aggravated qualities of kapha [i.e. heavy, cold, liquid, slow, dull, and oily qualities] which have entered the general circulation can affect blood tissue [i.e. rasa/rakta dhatu] creating signs and symptoms of lymphatic congestion, water retention, edema and generalized heaviness.

Qualities: Heavy - Cold - Liquid - Slow - Dull - Oily 

Kapha, inherently, is considered oily and because of this oily quality it can lead to oily skin, high triglycerides, increased cholesterol, increased adipose tissue, and even fatty changes within the liver. It is best to balance this excessive oily quality with the opposing dry quality, for example, by eating raw vegetables. In the same manner, kapha types should naturally avoid fatty and fried foods. Lastly, kapha types benefit greatly by having warm water mixed with small amounts of honey.

Stage Four – Deposition [Sthana Samshraya]

This stage in the progression of kapha dosha is particularly significant because the 'slimy' and 'sticky' qualities of kapha allows for the adherence of kapha into weakened tissue [i.e. impaired dhatu agni]. If the integrity of each tissue is intact with optimal function [i.e. dhatu agni] – then kapha dosha will not be able to enter into tissue and will therefore return back to the stomach and gastrointestinal tract – where it belongs.

Stressing The Importance Of:

  • preventing the progression of doshic imbalance
  • maintaining healthy tissue integrity [agni]

Qualities: Heavy - Cold - Liquid - Slow - Dull - Oily - Slimy - Sticky 

The slimy & sticky qualities of kapha dosha worsens the metabolic functions at the cellular level and therefore may lead to weight gain/obesity and swelling in joints. Rough is the opposing quality of sliminess of kapha dosha. Therefore, "lekhana" [scraping effect] with herbs such as kutki, chitrak, vacha, turmeric, rock salt, and honey which all have rough/drying qualities to help balance excess sliminess of kapha dosha.

Very Briefly …
Dhatus are similar to tissue. Dhatu comes from the word “dha” which means ‘to hold’. Therefore, dhatus are “that” – which hold certain functions; which is similar to our modern understanding of bodily tissue. We can think of dhatu agni as being the tissue’s protective barrier to disease. If this tissue barrier [dhatu agni] becomes impaired, this allows the qualities of kapha dosha to enter the tissue and begin to create clinical signs and symptoms of disease.

Stage Five – Manifestation [Vyakti]

During this stage of the disease process [i.e. vyakti] the qualities of kapha predominates, overcomes the qualities of the tissue/dhatu and now the full manifestation of disease occurs.

Qualities: Heavy - Cold - Liquid - Slow - Dull - Oily - Slimy - Sticky - Soft - Cloudy 

As Kapha Dosha spreads throughout the body and enters various bodily tissue [i.e. dhatu] it manifests as characteristic signs and symptoms such as … 

  • Impaired Rasa Dhatu allows for the qualities of kapha to enter into rasa dhatu [plasma] creating symptoms of lymphatic congestion, edema/swelling, and excess mucus production.
  • Impaired Rakta Dhatu allows kapha to enter rakta [blood] dhatu [rakta gata kapha] which may lead to stagnation of blood, thrombosis [i.e. DVT], and worsening edema.
  • Impaired Mamsa Dhatu allows kapha to enter mamsa [muscle] dhatu [mamsa gata kapha] and create symptoms of muscle hypertrophy, myomas, increased production of ear wax and nasal crust which are by-products of mamsa dhatu.
  • Impaired Meda Dhatu allows for kapha to enter meda [adipose] dhatu [meda gata kapha] which can slow metabolism, increased weight gain/obesity, high cholesterol and the formation of lipomas.
  • Impaired Asthi Dhatu allows for kapha to enter into asthi [bone] dhatu [asthi gata kapha] which can create symptoms of joint swelling, formation of bone spurs, osteoma, and excess hair [hair being a by-product of asthi dhatu].
  • Impaired Majja Dhatu allows for kapha to enter into majja [nerve/bone marrow] tissue [majja gata kapha] and may create neurological symptoms of depression, lethargy/melancholy, and even space-occupying lesions.
  • Impaired Shukra/Artava Dhatu allows for kapha to enter into shukra/arthava [male & female reproductive] dhatu and create symptoms of various male and female health concerns.

IMPORTANT!!

The above-mentioned signs and symptoms is ONLY for educational purpose, not exhaustive and only listed to give brief examples to understand the doshic influences upon bodily tissue/dhatu.

Stage Six – Complications [Bheda]

In this final stage of the disease process, the 'hard', 'dense', 'gross' qualities of kapha leads to further complications creating significant structural changes of the already weakened tissue. Here, the individual should seek immediate care of a qualified professional.

Qualities: Heavy - Cold - Liquid - Slow - Dull - Oily - Slimy - Sticky - Soft - Cloudy - Hard - Dense - Gross

Panchakarma
Once the doshas have begun to significantly cause an imbalance or disease, it soon becomes necessary to consider certain purification techniques to cleanse the body of excess doshas. This purification process is called “panchakarma” which involves five cleansing actions.

Panchakarma is an Ayurvedic purification system which helps to remove impurities and toxins from the physiological channels of the body. With proper purification of the body springs forth greater cellular intelligence allowing for optimal functioning of the body as a whole.

The Five Purifying Actions Of Panchakarma:

  • vamana: therapeutic vomiting
  • virechana: purgative or laxative therapy
  • basti: medicated enema therapy
  • nasya: nasal administration of medicated oils
  • rakta moksha: blood-letting; purifying blood

Click Here – To Learn More About Panchakarma

Disclaimer:
All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws. 

This information is strictly for educational purpose only and not considered medical advice. Always first discuss with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.

Resources:

Ayurvedic Perspective On Selected Pathologies, Vasant Lad, BAMS – 2nd Edition Revised
Textbook Of Ayurveda Vol. 3, Vasant Lad, BAMS


The Ayurveda Guide: Pitta Dosha

Disclaimer:
All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws. 

 

The Ayurveda Guide ~ Pitta Dosha 

Ayurveda recognizes that each human being is born with a unique balance and that this natural balance is responsible for physical, mental, and emotional well-being. By recognizing and maintaining this unique balance, Ayurveda provides simple guidelines to help each person create his or her own state of ideal health. For now, we will discuss the fiery nature of Pitta.

The first thing which comes to mind when thinking of pitta is the brilliant blaze of fire. The primary function of pitta is transformation and controls digestion, metabolism, and energy production. The primary site of pitta dosha is located within the small intestine.

 

 

 

Pitta Dosha Disease Process ...

The ancient writings of Ayurveda describe “Samprapti” as the disease process which, if understood properly, can actually detect and address certain health conditions at each and every stage; i.e. addressing the root cause. According to this philosophy [i.e. samprapti/pathogenesis], there are six stages for the disease process.

 

The Six Stages Of Disease:
1. Accumulation Of Doshas – Sanchaya
2. Aggravation/Provocation Of Doshas – Prakopa
3. Spread Of Doshas – Prasara
4. Deposition/Localization Of Doshas – Sthana Samshraya
5. Manifestation Of Qualitative Changes – Vyakti
6. Differentiation & Destruction Of Tissue – Bheda

Stage One – Accumulation [Sanchaya] 

During the initial stage of pitta imbalance the 'liquid & sour' qualities begins to accumulate which may create conditions of periumbilical discomfort/pain along with developing a yellowish tinge in the eyes. Excess liquid quality of pitta can impair the digestive capacity [i.e. Agni] which can lead to acid indigestion/heartburn.

Qualities – Liquid & Sour
Generally, the ingestion of certain tastes such as sour, salty, and pungent can increase pitta dosha. If there is excessive liquid & sour qualities of pitta then one may want to consider avoiding hydrophillic foods such as yogurt, salty foods, and even avoid fruits such as apricots and grafefruit.

 

 

 

 

Stage Two – Aggravation [Prakopa]
As pitta dosha continues to become further imbalanced with liquid/sour and hot qualities pitta soon becomes aggravated primarily in the small intestine with symptoms of indigestion along with the above-mentioned symptoms of periumbilical discomfort/pain, etc.

Qualities: Liquid - Sour - Hot
Food which is heating such as beef, chicken, goat, fish along with certain oils [i.e. sesame, olive, almond], curds [yogurt], buttermilk, liquor/wine, sour/citric fruits [i.e. oranges], and certain spices [i.e. cayenne pepper, chilies, mustard] ... are all ... "heating" ... which can further aggravate pitta dosha. 

 

Therefore the goal for managing this excess hot quality is twofold:

1.] avoid excessive hot qualities [i.e. direct sunlight, spicy food, heated emotions]
2.] consider cooling elements [i.e. coconut oil, neem, sandalwood]

Pitta’s Secondary Sites:
As pitta dosha increases and begins to become further aggravated in the small intestine [primary site], pitta also begins to increase in the secondary sites which may begin creating certain signs and symptoms associated with pitta dosha.

Stage Three – Spread [Prasara]

As vata dosha continues to become further imbalanced the oily quality now allows pitta to spread from the gastrointestinal tract into the general circulation. The liquid/sour, hot and oily qualities of pitta can affect blood tissue [rasa/rakta dhatu] which can create signs and symptoms of fever, hives, rash, urticaria, and other skin conditions such as eczema ... since skin is the by-product of blood [rasa dhatu] according to Ayurveda.

Qualities: Liquid/Sour - Hot - Oily

Often pitta types have a shiny complexion and this is due to the oily quality of pitta. However, this oily quality can make pitta types sensitive to oily foods which can aggravate conditions of the gallbladder. It’s interesting that bile, which is stored within the gallbladder, is considered a common element of pitta. If the oily quality of pitta is increased it’s thought to be a contributing factor for inflammatory gallbladder conditions [i.e. cholecystitis].

Therefore the goal for managing this excess oily quality is twofold:

  1. Avoid fatty/oily foods [i.e. meat, fried food, sesame oil, peanut butter, cheese, yogurt]
  2. Balance oil quality with dry quality and promote sweating

Individuals who have this excessive oily quality may want to consider the opposing dry quality. For example, individuals with persistent acne may want to consider topically applying chickpea flour, brahmī or camphor.

 

 

Stage Four – Deposition [Sthana Samshraya]

 

This stage in the progression of pitta dosha is particularly significant because the sharp & penetrating qualities of pitta allows for the entry of pitta into weakened tissue [i.e. impaired dhatu agni]. If the integrity of each tissue is intact with optimal function [i.e. dhatu agni] – then pitta dosha will not be able to enter into tissue and will therefore return back to the gastrointestinal tract – where it belongs.

Stressing The Importance Of:

  • preventing the progression of doshic imbalance
  • maintaining healthy tissue integrity [agni]

 

Qualities: Liquid/Sour – Hot – Oily – Mobile – Sharp 

The sharp quality dominant in pitta types is a double-edged sword. This sharp quality provides the ability to penetrate into great depths of understanding often making pitta types forthright, direct and outspoken. One the other hand, this sharp quality can also create irritability, ulceration and even worse, perforation. Therefore, the goal for managing the excessively sharp quality of pitta is to:

– avoid sharp and aggravating qualities [i.e. alcohol, tobacco, criticism, judgement]
– consider introducing the opposing dull quality [i.e. milk, āmalaki, sandalwood]

 

Very Briefly ...
Dhatus are similar to tissue. Dhatu comes from the word “dha” which means ‘to hold’. Therefore, dhatus are “that” – which hold certain functions; which is similar to our modern understanding of bodily tissue. We can think of dhatu agni as being the tissue’s protective barrier to disease. If this tissue barrier [dhatu agni] becomes impaired, this allows the qualities of pitta dosha to enter the tissue and begin to create clinical signs and symptoms of disease.

 

 

Stage Five – Manifestation [Vyakti]

During this stage of the disease process [i.e. vyakti] the qualities of pitta predominates, overcomes the qualities of the tissue/dhatu and now the full manifestation of disease occurs.

Qualities: Liquid/Sour – Hot – Oily – Sharp – Light 

As Pitta Dosha spreads throughout the body and enters various bodily tissue [i.e. dhatu] it manifests as characteristic signs and symptoms such as … 

 

 

  • Impaired Rasa Dhatu allows for the  qualities of pitta to enter into rasa dhatu [plasma] creating symptoms of fever with chills [pitta jvara], rash, acne, melanoma, moles, etc.
  • Impaired Rakta Dhatu allows pitta to enter rakta [blood] dhatu [rakta gata pitta]  which may lead to rash, hives, urticaria, eczyema, psoriasis and even hot flashes.
  • Impaired Mamsa Dhatu allows pitta to enter mamsa [muscle] dhatu [mamsa gata pitta] and create symptoms of abcess formation, boils, inflammatory myositis/fibromyositis/tendonitis.
  • Impaired Meda Dhatu allows for pitta to enter meda [adipose] dhatu [meda gata pitta] which can lead to sensitivity to fatty/fried food, fatty diarrhea, gallbladder pain [cholecystitis].
  • Impaired Asthi Dhatu allows for pitta to enter into asthi [bone] dhatu [asthi gata pitta] which can create symptoms of inflammatory arthritis, osteomyelitis, tooth abcess, hair loss, etc.
  • Impaired Majja Dhatu allows for pitta to enter into majja [nerve/bone marrow] tissue [majja gata pitta] and may create neurological symptoms of dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fever, meningitis, jealousy, anger, etc.
  • Impaired Shukra/Artava Dhatu allows for pitta to enter into shukra/arthava [male & female reproductive dhatu and create symptoms of various male and female health concerns.

 

IMPORTANT!!

The above-mentioned signs and symptoms is ONLY for educational purpose, not exhaustive and only listed to give brief examples to understand the doshic influences upon bodily tissue/dhatu.

 

Stage Six – Complications [Bheda]

In this final stage of the disease process, the fleshy quality of pitta leads to further complications creating foul-smelling tissue [i.e. abcess/gangrenous/pus] of the already weakened tissue. Here, the individual should seek immediate care of a qualified professional.

Qualities: Liquid/Sour – Hot – Oily – Sharp – Light – Fleshy 

 

Panchakarma
Once the doshas have begun to significantly cause an imbalance or disease, it soon becomes necessary to consider certain purification techniques to cleanse the body of excess doshas. This purification process is called “panchakarma” which involves five cleansing actions.

Panchakarma is an Ayurvedic purification system which helps to remove impurities and toxins from the physiological channels of the body. With proper purification of the body springs forth greater cellular intelligence allowing for optimal functioning of the body as a whole.

The Five Purifying Actions Of Panchakarma:

  • vamana: therapeutic vomiting
  • virechana: purgative or laxative therapy
  • basti: medicated enema therapy
  • nasya: nasal administration of medicated oils
  • rakta moksha: blood-letting; purifying blood

Click Here – To Learn More About Panchakarma

 

Disclaimer:
All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws. 

This information is strictly for educational purpose only and not considered medical advice. Always first discuss with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.

Resources:

Ayurvedic Perspective On Selected Pathologies, Vasant Lad, BAMS – 2nd Edition Revised
Textbook Of Ayurveda Vol. 3, Vasant Lad, BAMS

 

 

 

 


The Ayurveda Guide For Vata Dosha

Disclaimer:
All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws. 

 

Vata Dosha Disease Process

The concept of vata originates from the Sanskrit word “vyv” [vaya] which implies ‘that which moves things’. Eventually, vata began to be depicted as wind. In essence, vata is the principle and dynamic force which governs all movement. When vata is balanced it promotes great creativity, evokes feelings of freshness and lightness which springs forth the sense of happiness. When vata becomes imbalanced it then promotes dispersing qualities which can then make the mind and body vulnerable to a wide-range of health conditions. Let us now see how various factors express themselves in the realm of vata dosha.

Samprapti/Shad Kriya Kala
The ancient writings of Ayurveda describe “Samprapti” as the disease process which, if understood properly, can actually detect and address certain health conditions at each and every stage; i.e. addressing the root cause. According to this philosophy [i.e. samprapti/pathogenesis], there are six stages for the disease process.

The Six Stages Of Disease:
1. Accumulation Of Doshas – Sanchaya
2. Aggravation/Provocation Of Doshas – Prakopa
3. Spread Of Doshas – Prasara
4. Deposition/Localization Of Doshas – Sthana Samshraya
5. Manifestation Of Qualitative Changes – Vyakti
6. Differentiation & Destruction Of Tissue – Bheda

 

 

Stage One – Accumulation [Sanchaya] 
During the initial stage of vata imbalance the cold quality accumulates which may create conditions of constipation, lower abdominal distention, and gas. Likewise, this increased sensitivity to cold weather can also creates pain and stiffness in muscles and joints. The natural inherent tendency is to warm the stiff muscles and painful joints. In the same manner, our initial goal is to create this same sense of warmth within to help balance the cold quality of vata dosha.

Quality – Cold
The exposure to cold food and cold climate can aggravate vata dosha.

Introduce warm qualities such as:

  • diet: warm and spicy food
  • warming spices: ginger, black pepper, cumin, and mustard seeds
  • lifestyle: dress warm, avoid cold climates and air-conditioning
  • warm castor oil compress on the abdominal region
  • warm water bottle to the abdomen
  • warm sesame oil basti/enema

 

Stage Two – Aggravation [Prakopa] 
As vata dosha continues to become further imbalanced with cold, dry, and light qualities it soon becomes aggravated primarily in the colon with symptoms of fullness in the abdomen along with the above-mentioned symptoms of constipation, lower abdominal distention and gas.

Qualities: Cold – Dry – Light
This may occur with increased intake of raw food, exposure to gusty winds especially during the dry and cold autumn season.

Balance cold, dry, and light qualities with:

  • regular oil massage [i.e. abhyanga]
  • adding extra oil or ghee to food
  • additional warm clothing when exposed to cold & dry climate

Base oils infused with a decoction of one or more Ayurvedic herbs combine nourishing and soothing qualities of oil with the healing properties of the herbs.

– warm dashamula tea basti/enema
– triphala guggulu
– gandharva haritaki

Vata's Secondary Sites:
As vata dosha increases and begins to become aggravated in the colon [primary site], vata also begins to increase in the secondary sites which may begin creating certain signs and symptoms associated with vata dosha.

Stage Three – Spread [Prasara] 
As vata dosha continues to become further imbalanced the mobile quality now allows vata to spread from the gastrointestinal tract into the general circulation. The dry and light qualities of vata can affect blood tissue [rasa dhatu] which can create signs and symptoms of dehydration, dry skin, palpitations, ringing in the ears, cold hands and feet. Likewise, the mobile qualities of vata can begin to create physical symptoms of tics, spasms, tremors and even uncertainty [“shakiness”] within the mind; amongst many other conditions.

Qualities: Cold – Dry – Light – Mobile
Excess mobile quality of vata may arise with increased physical and mental activities such as running, jumping, flying and excess stimulation of the mind such as loud noise, excessive talking, etc.

Balance cold, dry, light, and mobile qualities with:

  • rest & relaxation
  • abhyanga [oleation massage]
  • snehana [self-massage with oil]

Prevention Is Better Than Cure
At this point, vata has now entered the general circulation and has the ability to cause disease if it enters into certain bodily tissue. Therefore, appropriate measures should be taken in order to prevent the progression of disease.

Abhyanga [Oil Massage] & Svedana [Sweating]

Vata Types may use sesame oil for the oil massage followed by swedana [sweat therapy] using a steam box under the guidance of a qualified Ayurvedic professional. Likewise, vata types may want to consider adding a few drops of nirgundi oil to the steam box.

Pitta Types may use sunflower oil for the oil massage followed by swedana [sweat therapy]. Likewise, pitta types may want to consider adding a few drops of sandalwood oil to the steam box during swedana – sweat therapy.

Kapha Types may use olive oil for the oil massage followed by swedana [sweat therapy]. Kapha types may want to consider using a few drops [i.e. 3-5 drops] of eucalyptus oil added to the steam box during swedana – sweat therapy.

Stage Four – Deposition [Sthana Samshraya]
This stage in the progression of vata dosha is particularly significant because the subtle quality of vata allows for the entry of vata into weakened tissue [i.e. impaired dhatu agni]. If the integrity of each tissue is intact with optimal function [i.e. dhatu agni] – then vata dosha will not be able to enter into tissue and will therefore return back to the gastrointestinal tract – where it belongs.

Stressing The Importance Of:

  • preventing the progression of doshic imbalance
  • maintaining healthy tissue integrity [agni]

Qualities: Cold – Dry – Light – Mobile – Subtle
As the qualities of vata dosha circulate through the body, the clinical manifestation of disease depends on which quality of vata predominates and which tissue is most influenced by the predominating qualities of vata dosha.

Very Briefly
Dhatus are similar to tissue. Dhatu comes from the word “dha” which means ‘to hold’. Therefore, dhatus are “that” – which hold certain functions; which is similar to our modern understanding of bodily tissue. We can think of dhatu agni as being the tissue’s protective barrier to disease. If this tissue barrier [dhatu agni] becomes impaired, this allows the qualities of vata dosha to enter the tissue and begin to create clinical signs and symptoms of disease.

Stage Five – Manifestation [Vyakti]
During this stage of the disease process the rough quality of vata predominates and now the full manifestation of disease occurs. The rough quality of vata can create conditions of fissures, fistulas and excessive rough and scaly skin [i.e. psoriasis] amongst many other health concerns.

Qualities: Cold – Dry – Light – Mobile – Subtle – Rough
Rough and raw foods will further aggravate the qualities of vata. Instead, we should consider oily and lubricating qualities such as “maha snehana” – combination of oil, ghee, animal fat and bone marrow – applied at the site of roughness.

 

As Vata Dosha spreads throughout the body and enters various bodily tissue [i.e. dhatu] it manifests as characteristic signs and symptoms such as ...

  • Impaired Rasa Dhatu allows for the subtle and mobile qualities of vata to enter into rasa dhatu [plasma] creating symptoms of fever with chills [vata jvara], dehydration, fatigue, generalized body ache, etc.
  • Impaired Rakta Dhatu allows vata to enter rakta [blood] dhatu [rakta gata vata]  which may lead to impaired circulation creating symptoms of poor circulation, cold hands and feet, blood clots, varicose veins, aneurysms, etc.
  • Impaired Mamsa Dhatu allows vata to enter mamsa [muscle] dhatu [mamsa gata vata] and create symptoms of muscle spasms – tics, restless leg syndrome muscle wasting, etc.
  • Impaired Meda Dhatu allows for vata to enter meda [adipose] dhatu [meda gata vata] which can lead to lack of lubrication with cracking and popping of ‘dry joints’, dry skin, hernias, displacement of internal organs [i.e. descending kidneys and/or spleen; due to diminished supportive omentum [adiposity].
  • Impaired Asthi Dhatu allows for vata to enter into asthi [bone] dhatu [asthi gata vata] which can create symptoms of osteoporosis, lower back pain, hair loss, splitting hair, receding gums, ringing of the ear [ear drum – specialized bone], and even thyroid dysfunction.
  • Impaired Majja Dhatu allows for vata to enter into majja [nerve/bone marrow] tissue [majja gata vata] and may create neurological symptoms of tingling and numbness in extremities, cluster headaches, tics, spasms, neuralgia and sciatica, etc.
  • Impaired Shukra/Artava Dhatu allows for vata to enter into shukra/arthava [male & female reproductive dhatu and create symptoms of various male and female health concerns.

 

Stage Six – Complications [Bheda] 
In this final stage of the disease process, the clear quality of vata leads to further complications nearly abolishing or “clearing out” the function of the already weakened tissue. Here, the individual should seek immediate care of a qualified professional.

Qualities: Cold – Dry – Light – Mobile – Subtle – Rough – Clear

Panchakarma
Once the doshas have begun to significantly cause an imbalance or disease, it soon becomes necessary to consider certain purification techniques to cleanse the body of excess doshas and toxins [“ama”]. This purification process is called “panchakarma” which involves five cleansing actions.

Panchakarma is an Ayurvedic purification system which helps to remove impurities and toxins from the physiological channels of the body. With proper purification of the body springs forth greater cellular intelligence allowing for optimal functioning of the body as a whole.

The Five Purifying Actions Of Panchakarma:

  • vamana: therapeutic vomiting
  • virechana: purgative or laxative therapy
  • basti: medicated enema therapy
  • nasya: nasal administration of medicated oils
  • rakta moksha: blood-letting; purifying blood

Click Here – To Learn More About Panchakarma

 

Disclaimer:
All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws. 

This information is strictly for educational purpose only and not considered medical advice. Always first discuss with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.

Resources:

Ayurvedic Perspective On Selected Pathologies, Vasant Lad, BAMS – 2nd Edition Revised
Textbook Of Ayurveda Vol. 3, Vasant Lad, BAMS


Samprapti ~ The Disease Process According To Ayurveda

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The Disease Process According To Ayurveda
The ancient writings of Ayurveda describe "Samprapti" as the disease process which, if understood properly, can actually detect and address certain health conditions at each and every stage; i.e. addressing the root cause. According to this philosophy [i.e. samprapti/pathogenesis], there are six stages for the disease process.

 

The Six Stages Of Disease:
1. Accumulation Of Doshas - Sanchaya
2. Aggravation/Provocation Of Doshas - Prakopa
3. Spread Of Doshas - Prasara
4. Deposition/Localization Of Doshas - Sthana Samshraya
5. Manifestation Of Qualitative Changes - Vyakti
6. Differentiation & Destruction Of Tissue - Bheda

 

1. Accumulation Of Doshas [Sanchaya]
Accumulation of doshas first takes place in their normal location. For example, vata tends to accumulate in the large intestine/colon, pitta accumulates in the small intestine, and kapha accumulates in the stomach.

 

What Might Increase Doshas?

Accumulation Of Vata Dosha:
Doshas are increased by certain lifestyle considerations [i.e. food and behavior]. For example, factors which promote and increase vata qualities [i.e. dry. light, rough, subtle, cold, mobile] are foods which have predominately pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes. Similarly, dry leafy vegetables, legumes, beans, peas, etc. tend to increase the dry and rough qualities of vata which tends to produce symptoms of constipation, abdominal distention, and excess gas production in the colon.

Accumulation Of Pitta Dosha:
Food which is predominately pungent, salty, sour and hot in potency tends to promote the intrinsic qualities of pitta [hot, sharp, light, liquid, oily] and therefore increases pitta dosha. Similarly, certain lifestyle considerations such as emotional states [i.e. anger and grief] and seasonal/environmental factors [i.e. summer season, midday/noon, mid-digestion] also tends to increase pitta dosha within and produces symptoms of heat/burning sensation and slight discoloration of yellow in the white of the eyes.

Accumulation Of Kapha Dosha:
Food that has predominately sweet, sour, and salty tastes with oily and heavy qualities [i.e. cheese, cream, butter, ghee etc.] tends to increase the intrinsic qualities of kapha [heavy, cold, dense, oily, liquid] and therefore kapha increases within kapha's primary location, i.e. the stomach. Increase and accumulation of kapha produces symptoms of heaviness, lethargy, fullness of stomach and low appetite.

 

Intelligent Cravings Of The Body ...
As doshas begin to accumulate within the primary sites [i.e. vata in the colon, pitta in the small intestine, and kapha in the stomach], the inner intelligence of the body begins craving qualities opposite to which is accumulating in the body.

For example, if vata qualities [dry, light, rough, subtle, cold, mobile] begins to accumulate there will be a desire for oily and heavy foods with predominant tastes of sweet, sour and salty tastes and the desire to sleep and rest. If pitta qualities [hot, sharp, light, liquid, oily] begins to accumulate there will be a desire for cold and dull qualities with sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes. If kapha qualities [heavy, dense, slow, oily, cold] begins to accumulate there will be a desire for hot and spicy foods with pungent, bitter and astringent tastes to help reduce the accumulation of kapha dosha. This desire for the opposite qualities should not be neglected because this is the inner intelligence of the body attempting to pacify the accumulation of doshas within.

 

2. Aggravation Of Doshas [Prakopa]
If certain lifestyle considerations [i.e. food/emotional states] and seasonal factors continue this will increase doshas within their primary location which will eventually cause doshas to reach their maximum capacity in their respective sites ... and the doshas will become aggravated/provoked.

The aggravation of doshas will cause symptoms similar to the above-mentioned symptoms described in 'accumulation' but symptoms will become more significant. Vata symptoms during this stage of aggravation [prakopa] will be increasing pain in the flanks or mid-back, hyperperistalsis, gurgling and even breathlessness. Pitta symptoms will be indigestion and heartburn and kapha symptoms will be cough, congestion, heaviness.

IMPORTANT POINT:
Despite the doshas accumulating and becoming aggravated, the aggravated dosha is still relatively easy to remove since they are still located within the digestive system [i.e. vata in the colon, pitta in the small intestine, and kapha in the stomach]. However, once the doshas begin to spread from the digestive tract into the general circulation and into peripheral tissue management becomes increasingly more difficult and more complex.

 

3. Spread of Doshas [Prasara]
Upon further increase and aggravation of dosha allows for the driving force which moves the dosha from the gastrointestinal tract spreading its way into the general circulation [rasa/rakta dhatu]. Due to certain affinity of qualities [i.e. 'like increases like'] doshas will tend to spread to their secondary sites.

Spreading To Secondary Sites:

Vata dosha tends to spread to the ears, skin, bones and thighs. This will create symptoms of ringing in the ears, dry skin, and cracking/popping and pain in the joints.

Pitta dosha tends to spread to the stomach, eyes, sweat glands, skin and subcutaneous fat tissue which creates symptoms such as nausea, acid indigestion, burning and irritation to the eyes, inflammatory skin conditions [i.e. rash, hives, urticaria, eczema].

Kapha dosha tends to spread to the lungs, sinuses, lymphatic system, breast tissue, mouth and head and will create symptoms such as congestion, runny nose, lymphedema/swelling and lethargy.

 

4. Deposition/Localization [Sthana Samshraya]
As disease progression [samprapti/pathogenesis] continues, the aggravated dosha which is spreading via the general circulation will eventually move into a defective location which has weakness and poor tissue integrity; this point is called "Khavaigunya".

As the dosha enters the weakened entry point [i.e. khavaigunya] of peripheral tissue the aggravated dosha deposits and localizes its qualities upon the peripheral tissue which will eventually influence the structure and function of the tissue. The unique combination/amalgamation of dosha and dhatu [peripheral tissue] is the fourth state of samprapti which is called sthana samshraya.

 

5. Manifestation [Vyakti]
During this stage of disease progression [samprapti/pathogenesis], the aggravated dosha has not only entered into a weakened/defective [khavaigunya] entry point of the peripheral tissue - BUT - the qualities of the aggravated dosha now begins to override the functions of the peripheral tissue manifesting the classic signs and symptoms of a particular disease.

 

6. Differentiation & Destruction Of Tissue [Bheda]
In this final stage of samprapti, not only are functional changes of peripheral tissue/organs/channels become evident but structural changes occur thereby increasing disease severity as well as introducing other associated complications of the disease process.

 

All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws.

 

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. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.


Seasons According To Ayurveda - Made Easy!!

 

Disclaimer:
All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws. 

 

Important: Seasons vary according to region.
This is intended to be a guide for the Northern Hemisphere [i.e. U.S.A]

 

Healthy living is centered around creating a daily routine and a healthy routine helps to establish balance in our lives. In order to determine an appropriate routine, we first need to understand the significance of each season. The wisdom of Ayurveda, stresses great importance on the transition between two seasons. One can think of this transition as a door from one season to the next. As we pass through this transition, we should consider a new lifestyle and new attitude as we pass from the old season and enter into a new season.

 

Spring Season
Spring is a time of new beginnings. This is a time when nature, once again, comes to life as flowers bloom, birds sing and people generally feel more energized. Often the first signs of spring, especially after a long cold winter, are described as God himself breathing new fresh life into his creation. In fact, Lord Krishna [in the Bhagavad Gita] explains when describing himself, “I am the Soul in the body, the mind in the senses, the eagle amongst birds and the lion amongst animals. Among all the trees I am the sacred bodhi tree, and of the season, I am spring.” More simply, spring is the king of all seasons.

 

 

 

The warmth of spring melts the winter snow which brings about moisture to the atmosphere. Similarly, Ayurveda speaks about the springtime warmth also melting the accumulated cold quality of “kapha dosha” which liquefies and often manifest as “hay fever” [i.e. nasal congestion, itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, postnasal drip, and cough].

 

Do’s
The goal during spring season is to pacify kapha with foods that are light and easily digestible. Foods that are particularly bitter, pungent, and astringent as these tastes are considered kapha pacifying – or that which helps to reduce kapha.

Organic Kapha Churna Stimulating Spice Mix
Ready-to-use spice mixtures satisfy the six ayurvedic tastes considered essential for balance. Organic Stimulating Kapha Churna includes ginger, coriander and turmeric.

Don’ts
Avoid food which are heavy and oily while minimizing tastes which are sweet, sour and salty – as these flavors increase kapha. Instead, we should consider foods which are pungent, bitter, astringent – since these tastes naturally help to reduce kapha.

 

Examples Springtime foods – which help pacify kapha

  • Legumes: split pea, red lentils, chickpeas, pinto beans
  • Grains: amaranth, barley, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats, quinoa, rye
  • Fruits: apples, apricots, berries, cherries, mangoes, peaches, pomegranates, pears
  • Veggies: artichoke, asparagus, beets, broccoli, carrots, okra, spinach

Click Here: For More Information On Spring Considerations

Also Keep In Mind:
Late Spring ... Pitta Begins To Increase

 

 

 

Summer Season ...
Ayurveda describes the summer heat as being “pitta-aggravating” which implies provoking the fire element within. It’s intuitive that the basic goal during summer is to stay cool. The foods to favor during summer consist of bitter, astringent, healthy sweet, light and easily digestible foods. One should especially enjoy the great variety of colors of vegetables and fruits such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, cauliflower, turnips, purple potatoes, karela (bitter gourd), cabbage, dandelion, burdock, lettuce, neem, green beans, peas, cucumber, zucchini, yellow squash, apples, pears, sweet berries, ripe mango, peach and watermelon. Prepare the foods with spices such as fennel, coriander, cardamom, cilantro, and coconut. When cooking beets, carrots, tomatoes, pumpkin, okra, spinach, and chard, make sure to include a lot of cooling foods such as coconut, cucumber and cilantro in the menu – especially when living in places where the summer heat is intense.

Click Here: For More Information On Summer Considerations

 

Pearl Of Wisdom:
During the hot summer season, you may have noticed that your digestion is not as strong. That being the case you may want to consider ghee to help improve digestion and to also help cool the body. “Ghee is a pitta pacifying substance that is useful in summer and bitter ghee (called tikta ghrita) is especially cooling, as it contains a number of bitter herbs, including neem. Ayurvedic literature says that taking 1/2 teaspoon of bitter ghee on an empty stomach on summer mornings will improve digestive functions and control pitta dosha.” – Dr. Vasant Lad, B.A.M.S.

 

Towards The End Of Summer,
Vata Begins To Increase.

 

Autumn Season 
The qualities of autumn depict the element of “air” which can easily be understood by the nature of wind. The wind during this time of year becomes more gusty and naturally tends to dry the body [i.e. dry skin, dry eyes, constipation, etc.]. From an Ayurvedic perspective this season is thought to aggravate “vata”. Vata regulates all movement within the body with a special function of communication. Although the principle of vata permeates the entire body, its main sites of the body mostly include the central nervous system, the colon, skeletal system [hair & teeth] and skin. Therefore, as we prepare for autumn season and while keeping the totality of body-mind in perspective it is also important to take these special attributes of vata into consideration.

Other Seasonal Considerations For Autumn:
– eat warming, soothing, and easily digestible meals
– eat foods which are primarily sweet, sour and salty in taste
– drink warming herbal teas such as ginger, cinnamon and cardamom tea
– keep warm and stay out of strong winds
– do regular yoga, meditation, and pranayama breathing exercises

Click Here: For More Information On Autumn Season

Towards The End Of Autumn & Throughout Winter Kapha Increases.

 

 

 

Winter Season
Winter is a time when nature’s energy withdraws back unto herself as nature’s many expressions begin to slow down. According to Ayurveda, a person is a miniature reflection of nature and winter represents a time for much needed restoration. Every season has certain attributes which may cause aggravation and imbalances of doshas. For example, winter is generally considered a “kapha season”. Therefore, colds and other kapha conditions [i.e. congestion] are more common as the heavy, cold, and cohesive qualities of kapha are predominant.

Generally, the food we eat during winter season should be warming, nourishing, and mildly spicy. Likewise, we should avoid cold food and flavors which are excessively sweet, sour, or salty as these are all considered “kapha provoking” and will therefore further increase congestion.

Breakfast
Warm and nourishing breakfast many consist of a small bowl of porridge, oatmeal, cornmeal, barley soup, or kitchari.

Amrit Kalash Ambrosia
Amrit Kalash in the morning is great to help keep your energy and immunity intact and is especially beneficial during winter season. Amrit Kalash is a traditional ayurvedic formula of 13 herbs that supports the health of mind, brain, and nerves; increases vitality and inner strength; powerful antioxidant — research shows it to be up to 1,000 times more effective than vitamins C and E

Full-spectrum antioxidant: targets mind & nervous system

  • 1000x more effective in eliminating free radicals (the root cause of aging) than vitamins C or E1
  • powerful food for the brain
  • significantly boosts immunity & vitality
  • best taken with Amrit Nectar
  • vata, pitta, kapha balancing (vpk®)

Amrit Kalash

Tea
About an hour after breakfast, consider sipping on kapha tea which contains ginger, cloves, cardamom, turmeric, saffron, and black pepper – all help to improve digestion and help to eliminate mucus from the body.

Organic Stimulating Tea
The perfect answer when you’re feeling sluggish or heavy — spicy tea

Lunch
Lunch is to be eaten around noon as hunger will naturally occur. Lunch should be nourishing and wholesome such as steamed vegetables, warm soups, bread and delicious ghee. It’s best to avoid meals which are cold as this will impair the digestive fire “agni”. To improve digestion, we can add certain spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper.

Stimulating Spice Mix
Our ready-to-use spice mixtures satisfy the six ayurvedic tastes considered essential for balance. Organic Stimulating Kapha Churna includes ginger, coriander and turmeric.

Dinner
It’s best to avoid having dinner too late and 5-7pm is often ideal. Again, dinner should be warm and nourishing while avoiding excessive sweet, sour or salty tastes; as these flavors increase kapha dosha.

Dinner Drink
Ayurveda suggest that it may be beneficial to occasionally have a glass of dry and warming wine during the winter season as this will encourage circulation and help to stimulate digestion.

Bedtime
As the winter nights get darker earlier, it’s wise to go to bed earlier. Before heading off to bed you may want to consider a delicious cup of hot spicy milk. Spices such as nutmeg are calming and help to promote sound sleep.

Blissful Sleep
Natural sleep aid for falling asleep faster and enjoying deeper, more refreshing sleep; balances, and nourishes.

Deep Rest
To support sleeping through the night; helps in falling asleep more easily, and in returning to sleep when awakened.

 

All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws.

 

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. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.


The Ayurveda Dosha Clock - A Healthy Daily Routine [Dinacharya]

Disclaimer:
All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws.

THE DOSHA CLOCK
According to Ayurveda, the rhythm of life is governed by cycles and in order to maintain health and balance we need to learn how to live in accordance to nature’s daily cycle. Ayurveda speaks about biological time as a function of three doshas [vata–pitta–kapha] in relation to chronological time with each dosha being more active at a particular time of day and night. To help bring us in tune with nature, and rather our own intelligence, following a dinacharya [daily routine] is essential for establishing great health and regularizing our own biological clock.

Not only is timing of importance but how we approach life is essential. For example, waking up to a jolting alarm clock is enough to set off a cascade of alarming stress responses which is obviously not the ideal way of starting off the day.

Similarly, waking up during the late and lazy time of the morning can create a slow/sluggish feeling throughout the day. Let us now take a closer look at the "Dosha Clock" and see how we can use it to our best advantage in order to harness the natural influences of nature.

VATA TIME ...
Early morning before sunrise is the time of vata. The qualities of vata are expressed with brisk coolness in the air and the beginning of increased activity of nature as birds begin to sing and people begin a new day.


“Brahmamuhurtha – “Time Of Brahma”
Brahmamuhurtha is considered 1 hr 36 minutes before sunrise and thought to be an auspicious time for meditation. This period of time is a junction point between night and early morning and is considered a time of heightened awareness. Therefore, Brahmamuhurtha is considered an auspicious time of day best suited for praying, meditating, and contemplation.

THE MORNING ROUTINE

Whilst this is not an easy task for some, arising early is beneficial in starting the day. The pure and subtle qualities of nature that is present at this time of the day will bring peace and freshness to the mind and senses. People who have more of the earth and water qualities should arise between 5-5.30AM. Those who have more of the fire element should arise between 5.30-6AM and those who have more light, air and space constitutions should arise between 6-6.30AM. After arising it is beneficial to say a little prayer or mantra before getting out of bed.

Elimination
Elimination is one of the three pillars of health according to Ayurveda. If there is proper daily elimination, good health is simpler to attain. When food is not properly digested toxins can build up, creating sluggish digestion. It is important to train the body to have a daily elimination. According to Ayurveda if one misses a daily bowel movement, then the person is said to be constipated. In today’s medical world, constipation is classified as having fewer than three bowel movements a week. To ensure that daily elimination is taking place, one must follow a proper diet and lifestyle for their constitution. Keeping hydrated and the use of herbs, such as triphala, can also help with regulation of bowels.

Washing the face with cold water will bring alertness to the mind. It is a good idea to also wash the eyes and rinse the mouth with cool water. There are a few ayurvedic eye washes that are recommended based upon ones constitution. Triphala tea, rose water and even diluted pomegranate juice are effective eye wash solutions.

Tongue Scraping
An important part of the dinacharya is scraping the tongue. Scraping the tongue can aid in digestion, absorption and assimilation as it stimulates the internal organs. It also removes bacteria. There are a variety of tongue scrapers available on the market today – gold, copper and silver ones. However, stainless steel tongue scrapers are generally suitable for all.

Oral Care
There are many health benefits of oil pulling. This is a technique where a tablespoon of oil (usually sesame or coconut) is swished in the mouth for 10-20 minutes. From promoting dental hygiene to detoxifying the body and increasing energy, oil pulling is an ancient yet current health benefit. However if time is a factor, even a few minutes of oil swishing is advantageous. After spitting out the oil be sure to massage the gums and brush thoroughly. In Ayurveda this practice is referred to as ‘Gandusha’.


Nasya
Administering ghee or oils in the nasal passages can help with lubrication, cleansing and enhancing mental clarity and improving vision. Making sure that one is lying down with their nostrils parallel to the ceiling, add 3-5 nasal drops into each nostril and sniff deeply but gently. It is advisable to lie for a few minutes to allow the nasal drops to nourish prana. There are a variety of nasal drops recommended, such as brahmi ghee, calamus oil (medicated, not the essential oil) and regular ghee or sesame oil. It is important to note that nasya should not be done an hour before or after showering, or after exercising. It is also recommended to do nasya on an empty stomach. The health benefits of nasya are extensive.

Oil Massage (Abhyanga)
Massaging oil on the body is a great way to keep the skin soft, supple and wrinkle free. It is a rejuvenating technique that improves circulation and, when done at night, induces sleep. Massaging the scalp can prevent hair loss and graying. In the evenings, massaging the scalp and soles of the feet with bhringraj oil can help in achieving a calm, restorative sleep.

It is advisable to start with the outer extremities and work towards the heart. One should massage in a linear fashion along the limbs and with circular motions on the joints. Some popular oils used are coconut, sesame, sunflower and almond. According to one’s natural constitution, one should pick an oil that is appropriate to their state of balance.

Bathing should follow abhyanga to remove any excess oil left on the skin. Bathing is not only cleansing and refreshing, but also an activity that improves mental clarity and revitalizes the body. Using natural and chemical free soaps are recommended. During the summer months it is advisable to shower with cooler water than the winter months. This helps the body to keep in tune with nature and the surrounding environment.

Practicing yoga daily is recommended for all body types. There are various postures and poses that can help to alleviate many conditions and diseases. Yoga is a vital and important daily activity that brings balance and serenity into life.

There are many types of breathing techniques that have various uses for the body. From lowering blood pressure to reducing weight and cooling the body, it is important to know which pranayama would be indicated for personal use. Pranayama increases the vital energy force in the body and therefore is recommended for health and longevity.

Exercise is an important part of life. Walking daily, particularly in the early mornings, maintains good health and balance. Although many people practice vigorous exercise, this is not always recommended. Ayurveda advises stretching and breathing whereas straining is to be avoided.The profound health benefits of meditation are staggering. A simple technique, it allows one to connect with the divinity within oneself and should be a daily practice. There are a few methods that one can choose from simple breathing to mantra based meditation. Amongst many benefits, meditation brings peace, harmony and clarity into one’s life.

Breakfast
When kapha is high, digestion is often slow or diminished. Therefore, it is wise to avoid heavy meals first thing in the morning. Instead, we should consider light and warm meals which can be more easily digested.

Activity
Mid-day is when the day heats up as the sun becomes stronger and reaches its peak. It’s the fire element of the sun which brings about light, warmth, and dryness to the day. It’s during this period when the internal and external heat is at its height and therefore is not the most ideal time to exercise or become overly active. Pitta types who predominantly have a fiery element should especially make sure not to overly exert themselves at this time.

Lunch
During mid-day, kapha decreases while pitta increases. As pitta continues to increase you will notice an increase in appetite reflecting when the power of digestion is at its peak. Generally, the largest meal of the day should be eaten at this time when the metabolic digestive fire [“agni”] digests and assimilates food optimally.

During this time of day the air element of vata increases as we notice the day soon becomes cooler and more windy. Vata energy brings about lightness to the mind which makes it more challenging to focus. Instead of struggling with focus, this may be a good time to reorganize your desk, revisit your 'Things-To-Do' list and consider brainstorming new ideas. Also, due to the lack of focus - instead of refilling on coffee it may be more worthwhile to meditate in order to regain focus during this vata time.

Time For Reflection
Sunset is a junction of day into night and is when the daily cycle repeats itself for the latter half of the day – meaning from 6 pm -10 pm kapha predominates as it did during the morning hours of 6 am- 10 am. Just as the early morning kapha times was a time of meditation, so true – kapha time during the evening is an ideal time for reflection. According to vedic philosophy, spiritual activities are amplified when performed at junction points. Therefore, this is a opportune time to meditate, chant, or do a calming yoga practice. Finally, as the suns energy begins to fade, and the cold and heavy energy of kapha dominates we soon begin to feel tired after a long and lengthy day. Relaxation is essential before bed – but first, dinner.

Dinner
Generally, dinner should be eaten early [between 6-7pm]. Eating too late in the evening may lead to undigested food remaining in the digestive tract and thus resulting in the accumulation of undigested food material – toxins [“ama”] in the colon. Similarly, a heavy meal during kapha time of the night can result in excess kapha qualities of heaviness and therefore result in weight gain and/or other kapha-related conditions. That said, pitta types may be able to eat slightly later due to their stronger digestive ability.

Sleep
In order to ensure restful sleep, relaxation is essential before bed. The aim is to be asleep before 10pm. Normally, the qualities of kapha accumulate throughout the evening and the body will naturally be tired. If we are in tune with these natural rhythms of life the body will naturally seek to experience deep and restorative sleep by this time.

Mid-night [10pm – 2am]
There is often great emphasis regarding falling asleep by 10pm because if one stays awake after 10 pm the active nature of pitta can prevent sleep. Pitta continues to increase during these late hours and its primary function is for repair and transformation of bodily tissue. However, if one remains awake during these late hours you will notice an increase in appetite i.e. “mid-night cravings” due to the fiery nature of pitta. Eating during these late hours is not conducive to health because pitta at night is not intended for digestion but rather repair and transformation of bodily tissue. Lastly, sleeping on a full stomach can result in the buildup of partially digested food [toxins] in the gastrointestinal tract and also thought to cause disturbing dreams; preventing restful sleep.

Individual – Unique Needs
The above mentioned influences of vata-pitta-kapha are basic guidelines to help align the individual with the natural rhythms of life. Depending on geographical and individual variations there will naturally be differences throughout the year in regards to dosha influences, the time of sunrise and sunset and seasonal-related influences. Therefore, as we become more in-tune with these rhythms of life we will also be able to develop a knowing on how to adjust our daily life accordingly.

Disclaimer:
All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws.


AYURVEDA ~ The Basics Made Simple!!

Disclaimer:
All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws.

 

 

AYURVEDA ~ The Basics Made Simple!!

The word “Ayurveda” literally means ‘the knowledge of life’. Although the exact age of Ayurveda is not known, it’s thought to span back several millennia. The texts of Ayurveda explain its origin as being a transmission of knowledge upon enlightened beings [rishis] at a time of increased illness and suffering in the world. This transmission of knowledge was solely to help uncover the deepest truths for easing the suffering of mankind.

Charaka, the ancient seer of Ayurveda, states that “the individual is the epitome of the universe”. This implies that – that which exist in the vast eternal universe also appears within the inward cosmos of the human body.

 

Let's Look @ The Relationship Between:
- The 5 Great Elements
- 20 Qualities
- 3 Doshas


Humans are the perfect example of the universe because we are the microcosm of the universe and made of the very elements for which the entire universe is made from and these elements are referred to as “Panchamahabhutas” … translated as ‘The 5 Great Elements’.

ether provides spaciousness which ‘allows’ for movement
air provides the driving force behind all movement
fire represents and symbolizes transformation and illumination
water is lubricating, provides mositure and is cooling
earth provides structure, form and stability

Click For More Info On 'The 5 Great Elements'

 

GUNAS - THE 20 QUALITIES

 

In Ayurveda, we say each substance [i.e. matter] has 'gunas' or characteristics/qualities which distinguish it from other substances. Vagbhat who wrote Ashtanga Hridayam composed all the gunas into a shloka, so it could be easily remembered. The shloka has only 10 gunas mentioned, but when one knows their opposites, one can remember all the 20 gunas.

Guru Manda Hima Snigdha
Slakshna Sandra Mridu Stiraha
Gunaha Susukshma Vishada
Vimshati Sa Viparya yaha”
(Ashtanga Hrydayam Sutrasthanam Ch. 1:18)

 

Translation:
“Heavy, Slow, Cool, Unctuous, Smooth, Dense, Soft and Stable: These qualities, along with subtle and clear and their opposites comprise the 20 qualities.”

- Dusabatva: ability to corrupt dhatu/bodily tissue
- Arambhakatva: the ability to generate disease
- Prakrtyarambhakatva: ability to determine one's constitution

 

 

Prakruti ~ One's Constitution 

 

Our unique constitution is known as “prakruti” ,or rather, our constitution at birth.

 

 

The Doshas

According to the ancient teachings of Ayurveda, there are three doshas called vata, pitta, and kapha. Each of the three doshas are present throughout the body and the principle that recognizes that each human being is born with unique combinations of predominant qualities. Essentially, doshas govern our physiology and all activities of the body, mind, and emotions.

Vata, pitta and kapha move in the whole body producing good or ill effects upon the entire system according to their normal or provoked states. Their normal state is prakrti and their abnormal state is vikrti. - Caraka Samhita Sutrasthana Ch. 17 su. 62

 

 

VATA ... 


Vata individuals are made primarily of the air element and therefore, just like the wind, are always moving. Due to the ‘air’ element, vata types often experience cold, dry, light, and mobile qualities. Often imbalances of vata individuals are dryness, pain, irregularity, nervous imbalance, weight loss, irregular digestion, increased anxiety and worry, and insomnia.

Therefore, from a simple perspective, management for vata types is centered around principles of:
– Warming
– Moistening and
– Weight promoting

Management Of Vata:

Several considerations for helping to balance vata types:
- eat more warm, brothy and easily digestible foods
- eat at regular times to help promote balance in life
- avoid stimulating foods [i.e. coffee, tea, tobacco and spicy foods]
- avoid foods which are dry, cold, and light
- consider eating more ‘healthy oils’ [ghee, flax, hemp, sesame]

 

TASTES:
Our modern view of nutrition is primarily viewed in the form of carbohydrates, protein, fats, and minerals. Ayurveda, on the other hand, has always had a unique perspective of food as being medicine. Each item of food according to Ayurveda is considered to have a unique combination of elements [ether, air, fire, water and earth] and therefore has different tastes. These tastes then go on to have other influences such as being heating or cooling upon the body.

Sweet, Sour & Salty tastes tends to reduce vata dosha.

 

PITTA ...

The very first thing which should come to mind when thinking of pitta is the brilliant blaze of fire. Pitta types are hot, fiery, oily, and intense and often experiences imbalances such as intense acidity, irritability, inflammation, loose stools, fever with nausea.

 

Therefore, management for pitta types is centered around:
- Cooling
- Calming and
- Moderation

 

Management Of Pitta:

Several considerations for helping to balance pitta types:
– Eat foods which are cool and refreshing
– Avoid foods which are sour, salty, pungent and spicy
– Dairy milk, butter, and ghee are often beneficial for pacifying pitta
– Drink more water and consider aloe vera to help cool down pitta

 

 

TASTES
Pitta types often are most balanced by sweet, bitter and astringent tastes as these are considered to be cooling and pacifying. 

Sweet, Bitter & Astringent Tastes tends to reduce Pitta dosha. 

 

 

KAPHA ...

When we think of kapha types we often think of loyal and compassionate individuals with a stable quality about them. This unique stability of kapha arises from the predominant elements of both water and earth which can also make kapha types vulnerable to cold, moist, slow and heavy characteristics. Kapha types, when imbalanced, often experience slow digestion, weight gain, congestion, edema, and poor circulation.

 

Therefore, management for kapha types is centered around:
- Warming
- Drying
- Lightening

Management Of Kapha

Simple considerations for helping to balance kapha types:
- Wake up early, be active and consider exercise daily
- Avoid sedentary lifestyle and daytime sleeping
- Avoid cold drinks and instead consider warm and spicy food and hot drinks
- Consider hot vegetable soups, kapha-reducing herbs
- Consider drinking hot water mixed with small amounts of honey

 

TASTES ...
Kapha types often are most balanced by pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes as these tastes are considered to be drying and lightening in nature with catabolic actions.

Pungent, Bitter & Astringent Tastes Tends to Reduce Kapha Dosha. 

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