An Ayurvedic Take On Constipation: The 5 F's

An Ayurvedic Take On Constipation: The 5 F's
Constipation. It's not something that we like to talk about typically. Unless, of course, you happen to find yourself in the world of Ayurveda, in which case elimination is a frequent topic of conversation. Why? Because digestion is at the center of Ayurveda's understanding of health and wellness, and elimination gives us a very good gauge as to the quality of digestion.

Ayurvedic Digestive Supplements
You are only as healthy as your digestion!!

What Is Constipation? 
According to Allopathic (Western) Medicine, the definition of constipation is an adult who has not had a bowel movement in three days or a child who has not had a bowel movement in four days. In Ayurveda we refine that definition considerably and look for at least a daily bowel movement, preferably shortly after waking, as a sign of healthy digestion and elimination. This bowel movement should also come easily, without straining, and be well formed, not too hard and dry and not too loose and liquid.

Regularity ... 
Regularity is important, as a daily bowel movement ensures that wastes and toxins that the body has worked hard to prepare for removal from the body, are actually removed. Waste (as feces) that stagnate in the colon mean that these toxins can be reabsorbed by the mucous membrane lining of the colon, as well as block mineral and water absorption, which is one of the main functions of the colon.

How To Relieve Constipation Naturally

This type of regularity might seem like a stretch for some, but Ayurveda offers many supports to help you arrive at and keep regularity. J. Kashyapa Fisher of the Ayurvedic Institute offers a nice short-hand for these tools, the 5 F's.

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The 5 F's of Regular Elimination

1. Fluid
The easiest and often most effective way to increase elimination is to make sure there's enough water coming in to keep the gastrointestinal tract hydrated. We are a chronically dehydrated society, and many of us could see a plethora of benefits by simply increasing the water (not soda, tea, coffee, kombucha, or other liquids, but WATER) we intake daily. If the mucous membrane of the GI Tract is dehydrated it will make for a dry, rough, and sticky passage for any waste material. I have had many clients start to have a daily bowel movement simply by increasing their water intake.

2. Fiber
It's true, we need fiber to assist peristalsis in the Gastro-Intestinal tract. While 'fiber' might lead you to think of a fiber supplement, we're primarily talking about whole foods here. Fiber comes exclusively from plant-based foods, meaning whole grains, vegetable, and fruits. Upping the amount of plants in your diet, and thus your fiber, is a wonderful way to support proper elimination.

3. Fire
Fire here refers to agni, the Ayurvedic view of metabolic fire. Agni is your power of digestion and transformation, not only of physical food substances, but of thoughts, feelings, and experiences. A balanced metabolic fire will mean that we fully digest our food, keeping that which nourishes us, and eliminating that which does not serve us. A weak fire will mean that we have a hard time fully digesting our food, and the undigested food-stuff that remains putrefies in the GI tract, creating a mucoid plaque that Ayurveda calls āma. Working Ayurvedically to balance agni is a step not only to overall health, but to healthy elimination.

4. Fat
Western medical thinking has finally caught up to Ayurveda's understanding of the benefit of adequate amounts of healthy fats. In Ayurveda we view fat as the second component of hydration after water. If you're taking in enough water, but lacking fats, you'll still be dry. As we already discussed, a dry GI tract will have a hard time smoothly moving waste through. Dry, rough, or pellet-like stools are all signs that you're lacking hydration in the system, and bringing in enough fat is an important component in balanced hydration.

5. Fitness
Our bodily systems were made to be supported by regular movement. Everything functions better when there is enough movement to keep the body from stagnating. Digestion and elimination are no different here. Regular movement like yoga asana, walking, swimming, and tai chi will assist circulation; help tone the musculature of the body, including the muscles of the GI tract (how did you think it moved food through?). If your daily routine has you stationary or seated for a good portion of it be strategic with planning some daily movement. A pre or post lunchtime walk, a few rounds of Sun Salutation in the morning, or other whole body exercise will help to keep digestion and elimination moving.

Schedule
Not an F, but the final "s" in the 5 F's is schedule. The more regularity you create for yourself, the more the body will respond by being regular. Our brains are wired with a circadian rhythm, and while we can certainly disrupt it, we'll be healthiest and usually happiest when we play by the rules of the diurnal clock. By establishing regular times for sleeping, eating, and eliminating we're allowing the body to partner with us in establishing a rhythm. Often just establishing a regular elimination time in which you spend some time seated on the toilet, relaxing, and breathing is enough to cue the body that it has permission to eliminate.

Put it into practice
Ayurveda is a science with a wealth of tools for optimizing digestion and elimination, all based on your unique constitutional balance. As you explore the 5 F's, try making one adjustment at a time so you can really observe the changes that take place. You might want to journal daily the shifts you're making and how they are affecting your digestion, elimination, energy level, sleep, etc. Using Ayurveda is a beautiful way to find more balance in the physical body, making us better able to be present for our work in the world. May these teachings be of benefit.

About The Author

Kara Aubin
Kara Aubin was called to the path of yoga in 1998, and has been a dedicated student and practitioner since. A lifelong lover of movement, she was drawn in by the intention and pranic wisdom of yogic movement, and the profound and challenging nature of yogic stillness. As a ParaYoga Certified teacher and NAMA Certified Ayurvedic Health Counselor based in Kalamazoo, MI and Albuquerque, NM she weaves the teachings of yoga and Ayurveda into group classes, private sessions, workshops, and retreats. Her mission is to guide students toward their bright inherent potential, as well as their right to radical wellness and balance.

Want an Ayurvedic consultation with Kara Aubin? 
Contact her at Kara Aubin


Turmeric & Other Natural Spices For Managing Diabetes

Turmeric & Other Natural Spices For  Diabetes 
It seems that we as a community, are shifting towards natural remedies for many health concerns. This implies returning back to simplicity by improving our dietary intake and correcting our way of living rather than merely popping pills. Ayurveda is considered to be one of the oldest medical sciences known to mankind and is a science of correct living. Ayurvedic principles aim to provide instructions regarding food and lifestyle so that healthy individuals remain healthy and those with health challenges may improve their health.

Turmeric Herbal Supplements
Turmeric is one of the oldest, most important spices known to humankind.

Health Benefits Of Turmeric - Dr. Josh Axe 

Some of the main benefits include:
1. Anti-inflammatory which helps relieve pain
2. Helps balance blood sugar levels
3. Anti-microbial properties
4. Supports detoxification
5. Cleans out your arteries
SOURCE - Dr. Josh Axe

"According to Ayurveda, there is no herb or medicine 
equivalent to turmeric in the treatment of Prameha (Diabetes)."

According to the American Diabetes Association, the total number of people with diabetes is projected to rise from 171 million in 2000 to 366 million in 2030. In other words, this is a very real concern. The science of Ayurveda dates back thousands of years and has explained diabetes as “prameha” which is a collection of symptoms due to various underlying imbalances rather than just a single disease. For example, prameha which means ‘profuse urination’ is categorized into twenty different types according to Ayurveda. It’s interesting to note that the ancient scholars also described diabetes mellitus [“madhumeha”] many thousands of years ago. Madhumeha is made up of two words, madhu and meha - which implies sweet urine. Similarly, the ancient Greeks called this condition diabetes mellitus due to the passing of sweet urine; i.e. glycosuria.

The ancient Ayurvedic scholars have grouped Madhumeda (Diabetes Mellitus) under one among the 20 pramehas. For simplicity, prameha can be grossly divided into three main types:

1. kaphaja prameha [10 types]
2. pittaja prameha [6 types]
3. vataja prameha [4 types]

Note:
Prameha is obviously a vast topic and this post is simply to introduce basic ideas on how to address diabetes from a natural and holistic approach.

The Root Cause ...
Kaphaja prameha reflects, often, the initial and underlying cause of diabetes. In this category there are 10 types. According to the classic Ayurvedic texts,  diabetes [“prameha”] begins with the derangement of kapha which spreads throughout the body and mixes with fat [“meda”] creating a mixture of properties similar to kapha; i.e. mucous. When kapha is mixed with fat and passes into the urinary system, it soon interferes with the elimination of urine which eventually effects the quality of urine. One of the underlying causes of disease, according to Ayurveda, is the clogging of channels and the accumulation of waste. Hence, therefore, kaphaja prameha commonly reflects the initial and underlying cause of diabetes.

Causes of Diabetes
The causes of diabetes have been long explained by the ancient teachings of Ayurveda. The causes include:
- lack of physical exercise [“asyasukham”]
- sedentary lifestyle [“alasya”]
- excess sleeping [“svapnasukham”]
- food & lifestyle which increase kapha [“kapha krut cha sarvam”]
- inherited/genetics [“sahaja”]
- stress [“chinta”]
- grief [“shoka”]
- fear [“bhaya”]

Traditionally, the management of diabetes is carried out with lifestyle modifiers along with appropriate herbal therapies. Herbs are selected based upon properties such as:
- tastes [“rasa”]
- properties [“gunas”]
- potency [“virya”]
- postdigestive effects [“vipaka”]
- unique action [“prabhava”]

Turmeric - The Spice Of Life
Turmeric is one of the oldest, most important spices known to humankind. Turmeric is bitter, astringent and pungent in taste, and has a heating quality. Likewise, turmeric has drying and light properties which effectively helps to eliminate kapha - the primary culprit for the manifestation of “prameha” [diabetes mellitus]. What’s of great importance is that, by taking control of the initial stage [“kaphaja prameha”] the disease process is likely to come to a halt and help to prevent the manifestation of complications with are often incurable.

It’s important to note that in Ayurveda, disease often has one or two predominant doshas that need to be balanced according to one’s constitution. Therefore, one therapy many not be applicable to all patients even though individuals share the same disease. Because of this, we highly recommend to always first seek the guidance of a qualified professional and to always first discuss management options with your primary care physician.

Buy Turmeric Online 

  • Want a Consultation?
    Health is not simply the absence of disease, but is a state of balance that provides for wellbeing, clarity, and joy. Ayurveda – “The Science Of Life” is considered to be the longest continuously practiced system of traditional medicine and emphasizes on creating balance in all areas of life. Not only does Ayurveda examine the body but inquires further about daily diet, lifestyle, relationships, stress, and overall sense of well-being.

Recommended Ayurvedic Practitioners

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Health Benefits Of Turmeric
Some of the many health benefits of Turmeric are:

1. Common Allergies:
A pinch of turmeric in hot water can be used as an effective steaming method to assist in coughs and colds. Add a pinch of turmeric and salt to warm water and use this for gargling twice a day for alleviating sore throats.

Aller-Defense
Turmeric, lebbek tree & holy basil balance the body’s immune system.

2. Asthma & Bronchitis:
As Turmeric has an affinity with the lungs, it can be used with a holy basil decoction to obtain relief from asthma and bronchitis.

Ayurvedic Products – Respiratory Health
Breathe easier all season along.

3. Anti-Inflammatory:
Consuming 500mg of turmeric daily has been found to have an anti-inflammatory effect on joints and has proved more effective than ibuprofen!

Amrit Kalash 
Immunity = Power Up!

4. Anti-Cancerous:
Due to its antioxidant properties, Turmeric has been found to be effective in inhibiting the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. Recent research in rodents suggests that ‘Curcumin’, a factor extracted from Turmeric, is able to inhibit colon cancer growth and spread.

5. General Malaise:
Can’t get out of your bed in the morning? Feeling tired after a walk? A simple yet delicious tip- Take a pinch of turmeric with hot milk twice daily. Increased energy levels and overall fatigue may diminish.

Ayurvedic Detox Program
For people who want a whole-body cleanse.

6. Beauty:
Turmeric is widely used in many beauty products due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Apply turmeric along with honey for lightening of acne spots and for improving complexion. Using flour, turmeric and water, make a paste and apply directly to the skin and/or pimples for a healing effect. It has been found very effective in hair and skin health.

Youthful Skin Line 
Potent ayurvedic formulas to help neutralize oxidants before they damage your skin; provides nourishment for natural, healthy skin cell growth; and helps stimulate collagen synthesis.

7. Dyspepsia:
The use of Turmeric has been found to be successful in cases of dyspepsia. Add a small amount of turmeric to vegetables when cooking.

Ayurvedic Digestive Products
Good health depends on strong, efficient digestion.

8. Alzheimer’s Disease:
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by progressive cognitive deterioration together with declining activities of daily living, as well as behavioral changes. The many various effects of curcumin, such as its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can help improve overall memory in Alzheimer’s patients.

Other Dietary Considerations For Diabetics

1. Bitter Gourd (Bitter Melon)
To help reduce blood sugar levels, consider extracting the juice from 4-5 karelas and drink this juice first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Both the fruit and seeds of bitter melon contain charantin which helps to actively lower blood sugar concentrations.

2. Fenugreek
Fenugreek has numerous studies revealing its ability to help relieve symptoms of diabetes.

3. Neem
By consuming the juice of neem leaves it helps to lower blood sugar levels.

Click To Learn More About Neem

Plus ... 
Consider adding certain pungent and astringent tasting foods such as asparagus, spinach, black pepper, and ginger which are all encouraged for a healthy diet in order to help reduce kapha and help lower blood sugar levels.

Gurmar – The Sugar Destroyer
Gurmar is one of the most prevalent ayurvedic herbs for diabetes. Also known as Shardunika the name Gurmar translates to ‘destroyer of sugar’ and thereby suggestive of its properties as being an effective herb for balancing blood sugar levels.

How To Avoid Sugar Cravings!!! 
One moment, you’re innocently going about your day – the next moment, you discover yourself in the clutches of desire. Despite having a healthy salad for lunch it is now 2:30 pm and you somehow find yourself lost in desire with an overwhelming losing battle for a chocolate cupcake with buttercream icing. Click To Learn More About How To Avoid Sugar Cravings

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.


How To Overcome Fatigue & Tiredness [CFS & Adrenal Fatigue]

How To Overcome Fatigue & Tiredness
We tend to blame fatigue on a “too-busy lifestyle” and much of the time we’re right. However, if you feel tired all the time, it’s not something to overlook. According to the CDC, chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS, is a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue that is not improved by bed rest and that may be worsened by physical or mental activity. About one million Americans suffer from CFS. The challenge with chronic fatigue and extreme tiredness is that its root cause can often be challenging to trace. Due to its complexity, doctors often recommend a battery of tests to rule out possible causes; i.e. thyroid conditions, sleep disorders, depression, anemia, etc.  However, the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda has a practical approach to CFS simply addressing the three fundamental pillars of good health which are diet, sleep, and living a regulated balanced lifestyle.

Ancient Wisdom
“A person who practices regularly a wholesome lifestyle, eats wholesome food, is deliberate in all his actions, not involved in the objects of the mind, who is generous, just, truthful, forgiving in nature, who is service-minded and helpful to one’s own kin – will remain unaffected by disease.”
- Charak Samhita

How To Overcome Adrenal Fatigue - Dr. Josh Axe

“There are three steps you will want to take in order to get rid of adrenal fatigue for good. The first starts with your diet. Foods that you will want to get out of your diet are caffeine, sugar, and hydrogenated oils. Foods that are high in vitamin B12 and Magnesium are going to support your adrenal glands and blood sugar levels so you will want to add these foods into your diet. Foods like coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut, olives, olive oil, raw dairy products, grass-fed butter, organic meats, loads of vegetables, seaweed are all crucial to adding to your diet as well. Secondly, you will want to support your adrenals by taking supplements like adaptogenic herbs (such as ashwagandha, holy basil, and liquorish root), which will help your body to adapt and deal with stress. Additionally a vitamin B complex, magnesium, vitamin D, selenium will support in the healing of your adrenals. Lastly, you should focus on lowering your stress levels. Try getting 8-10 hours of sleep a night, reflect and address your stressors, add fun activities into your routine, and exercise. If you follow these three steps, you will be well on your way to naturally healing adrenal fatigue.” - Dr. Josh Axe

Fatigue Free combines 19 herbs and minerals that help clear out the flow of energy and support the natural growth of energetic new cells. You'll feel revitalized and full of life. Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus) supports digestive system and elimination; assists body in absorbing nutrients; high-quality antioxidant; wide range of benefits. 

“Without proper diet, medicine is of no use.
With proper diet, medicine is of no need.”
– Ancient Ayurvedic proverb

Three Pillars Of Good Health:
The ancient seers of Ayurveda understood the importance of wholesome lifestyle and its importance to health and overall well-being. Likewise, when our lifestyle is not in accordance to the natural principles then this, too, is considered to be the root cause of disease and the aging process. Ayurveda has explained the three pillars to good health as follows:

– Food
– Sleep
– Regulated lifestyle

Food
Ayurveda reveres food as providing nourishment to the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of human life. Even further, if we do not follow the proper rules of eating then the consumption of food can generate ‘ama’ [undigested food material, toxins] and the absorption of these toxins can be a detriment to overall health and wellbeing. “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.

Annaha Brahmaha ... “Food Is Divine”

Quick Fix - Creating A Routine
Eat your breakfast, lunch, and dinner on time, and do not compromise on the quality of your meals. Choose foods that are digested easily and nourish body, mind and spirit. They include fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, ghee, whole grains and light beans like mung dhal. When you eat such foods, you are sure to feel rested and yet energetic. Fatigue Free combines 19 herbs and minerals that help clear out the flow of energy and support the natural growth of energetic new cells. You'll feel revitalized and full of life. Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus) supports digestive system and elimination; assists body in absorbing nutrients; high-quality antioxidant; wide range of benefits.

Spice Selections To Improve Digestion:
Ready-to-use spice mixtures satisfy the six ayurvedic tastes considered essential for balance.
11 Simple Tips For Healthy Digestion

Food Combining 
According to Ayurveda, the improper combining of food items is a major cause of digestive conditions and poor nourishment. It is thought that by combining incompatible food items that this leads to a disturbance in the normal functioning of the digestive system and can even result in a form of toxicity [i.e. fermentation, putrefaction] which can lead to both and physical tiredness and mental fatigue; i.e. lack of clarity. 10 Golden Rules For Food Intake

“How you eat is as important as what you eat.”
– Dr. Vasant Lad, Ayurvedic Physician

Improving The Quality Of Sleep
Sleep is one of the fundamental mainstays in Ayurveda. It is vital to sleep the appropriate hours at specific times in order to achieve balanced health. Sufficient sleep has tremendous health benefits including relieving stress, anxiety and restoring vitality. During sleep the body works to repair and rejuvenate tissues along with aiding protein synthesis and muscle growth. Sleep also promotes metabolic waste removal as well as assisting the immune system. In young children particularly, sleep is vital to the development of brain tissue. Adequate sleep also facilitates learning and memory skills and is therefore an integral part of the maintenance of health.

Before bed, try a boiled cup of milk made with a touch of ginger and sugar, Organic Vata Tea, Organic Rose Petal Spread, or raw honey. (If using honey, add it after the milk has cooled to a warm — not hot — temperature to maintain its beneficial qualities. Any heated or cooked honey, according to ayurveda, is considered to be very hard to digest and toxic.) Or try Slumber Time Tea to help disengage the mind from the senses and promote falling asleep easily.

Prepare for Sleep
Rubbing sesame or coconut oil on our feet, ears, and even head at bedtime can go a long way towards physically relaxing our bodies. It may sound strange, but give it a try! It has an amazing, calming effect that ayurveda recommends for improved sleep. Consider diffusing Calming Vata Aroma OilSlumber Time Aroma Oil, or one of our dosha-balancing formulas — whichever one smells the best to you that evening — as these will further soothe, relax, and assist in falling asleep.

Sleep Herbals
Support good sleep with the power of herbs, which enrich the natural functions of our bodies.
Deep Rest is formulated especially for those who wake up in the early morning hours and have trouble falling back asleep. Blissful Sleep is for those who have trouble falling asleep. Worry Free, taken a few hours before bed, can calm an active mind and soothe those of us feeling frustration at the end of the day. Taking Stress Free Emotions a few hours before bed is also a great choice.
8 Tips For Sound Sleep

Cultivating A Healthy Lifestyle
Knowing nature to be whole and complete, good health implies restoring that natural state of completeness and wholeness. According to the science of Ayurveda, health is a natural state when there is perfect balance of your body, mind, and spirit.

Daily Routine - “Dinacharya”
Daily routine is a vital and integral part of our state of health. A routine that is followed with care and awareness with respect to our individual constitution and balance will bring many health benefits. In Ayurveda there are certain steps to starting the day, and whilst these can take up some time, they are valuable in their relation to boosting vitality.
Daily Routine To Perfect Health

Daily Oil Massage - “Snehan”
The ancient Sanskrit word “Sneha” means compassion and the word “Snehi” refers to a loving friend. Daily oil massage [snehan] implies making a person loving by unfolding the healing qualities innate to the human body. In fact, Charaka – the ancient scholar of Ayurveda states that if you really want to bring happiness and joy to a client, don’t try to discuss their problems but do an oil massage and all the problems will simply dissolve.

A scalp-and-head massage during the week can be very helpful for stress relief. If easy, try to get one in a few times each week. Choose from our variety of vpk® massage oils formulated for dosha balancing. Gently warm a couple of teaspoons of the oil. Those with longer hair may need more, to cover all the hair as well as the scalp. The oil should be warm enough to be soothing, but not uncomfortably hot. Pour the oil on your palm and apply it evenly all over the scalp and the back of the neck close to the hairline. Using your fingertips, gently massage the oil into the scalp, working the oil in for about 4-5 minutes. If possible, the oil should be left on overnight (use a shower cap to protect your bed-linens) and shampooed off the next morning. If leaving it on overnight is impractical for you, leave it on for 2-3 hours, then shampoo your hair well to rinse it off.*

Rejuvenation – Renewing From Inside Out
By renewing and rebuilding your body at the cellular and tissue level, it helps to eliminate impurities and boosts cell regeneration required for complete wholeness. Therefore, it is beneficial to consider certain herbal formulas which are comprised of natural antioxidants and phytonutrients which provides nourishment to every layer of the body — especially targeting the blood, muscle, bone and reproductive tissue.

Rejuvenation For Ladies
Supports emotional and hormonal balance; helpful during the years before menopause; promotes overall health.

Rejuvenation For Men
Helps the body resist the effects of aging, correcting imbalances and repairing damaged cells; supports natural immunity; aids cellular regeneration.

Special Gifts From Nature
Rasayanas are ancient nutritional formulas that have been passed down from generation to generation, in families of ayurvedic specialists and are natural supplements which actually allow the cellular intelligence within the cells to vibrate with bliss.

Amrit Kalash
Amrit Kalash is a traditional Ayurvedic formula of 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.

Premium Amla Berry
Supports the mind, eyes, heart, skin, and digestion; helps growth of muscle tissue by promoting nitrogen balance; promotes cellular generation; supports lungs and natural immunity; works as a powerful antioxidant for people of all ages.

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.


How To Manage IBS Naturally

 

How To Manage IBS Naturally
For many people, the symptoms of IBS are so severe that they can’t even leave their home or have to plan their day-to-day activities around trips to the bathroom. There are nearly 60 million Americans who have disabling symptoms of IBS such as bloating, cramps, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain only to have it dismissed as a “functional” or “psychosomatic” disease; disease caused by the mind. According to Ayurveda, the symptoms of IBS resemble most of what was described many thousand of years ago - a condition called “grahani”. “Grahani” is considered the seat of digestive enzymes [“Agni”] and if impaired, can lead to altered intestinal motility. The predominant symptoms of IBS are alternating diarrhea and constipation accompanied by abdominal cramps and is often referred to as “irritable” or “spastic colon”.

"Food As Medicine."

The Root Cause - Diet & Lifestyle
In conventional medicine, the cause of IBS is essentially unknown. According to Ayurveda, “grahani” or IBS is likely caused by a number of lifestyle factors such as improper diet, improper food-combining, stress, drinking too much fluid [especially during meals], or even suppressing natural urges. Ayurveda describes three doshas called vata, pitta, and kapha and we can think of these three doshas as the guiding principles that keep all our bodily functions balanced. However, due to imbalances caused by the above mentioned lifestyle factors [i.e. improper diet, stress, etc.] this can can affect the secretion of digestive enzymes and impair the digestive function [“Agni”]. Eventually, the by-products of impaired digestion form into toxins [“ama”] which then damages the lining of the intestines. The result is a decrease of intestinal transit time which can cause early evacuation of bowel contents [i.e. diarrhea] alternating with constipation, which is influenced by apana vata. Therefore, management of IBS is often centered around creating balance of vata dosha with emphasis on diet and lifestyle considerations.

Spice Selections To Improve Digestion
Ready-to-use spice mixtures satisfy the six ayurvedic tastes considered essential for balance. Organic Calming Vata Churna is a blend of seven ingredients, including cumin, ginger and fenugreek.

Organic Vata Calming Tea
That 'too-much-to-do, too-little-time' feeling can cause you to be on edge, restless, anxious. A few sips of Organic Vata Tea will help your whirling mind settle down and your body relax.

How To Treat IBS Naturally - Dr. Josh Axe

4 Steps to Treat IBS - By Dr. Josh Axe 
1) What foods to stay away from if you have IBS • Gluten- This inflammatory protein in grain can cause IBS. I suggest at the start of treatment to stay away from ALL grain products (especially wheat.) After about 3-9 months you can start to try adding in some sprouted or sourdough grains. • Casein or conventional dairy products- Kefir or fermented dairy can be helpful but regular dairy can be very destructive for IBS. • Hydrogenated Oils • Raw foods- salads & raw foods can damage the gut if you have IBS so it’s best to eat only cooked foods • Cold foods- Ice water, Ice cream & cold foods are hard on digestive system • Processed or refined/packaged foods

2) Top healing foods for IBS (consume foods that nourish the colon and spleen) • White immune boosting foods ⁃ Cauliflower, Garlic and Onions- Cooked onions and garlic can kill off bad bacteria in the gut • Squashes ⁃ Butternut, Acorn and Spaghetti Squashes are nursing to spleen and colon • Bone Broth- #1 superfood to consume to heal IBS ⁃ Bone Broth soup contains amino acid to help repair and heal in intestinal lining ⁃ A perfect meal would be a crockpot with organic meat, bones/broth, and vegetables such as squash and celery.

3) Quality Supplements • Live Probiotic Supplements • L-Glutamin- amino acid that protects & nourishes gut lining • Frankincense Essential Oil- reduces inflammation • Digestive Enzymes- take at meal to help break down food so it is easier to digest

4) Focus on reducing stress • Schedule 3 things daily ⁃ Long walk in nature ⁃ Read a spiritual growth book, meditate or pray ⁃ Wind down with a detox bath at night ⁃ 1 cup epsom salt and 20 drops oil (Lavendar) and soak away.

Stress Free Emotions
For natural resistance to emotional stress and fatigue; promotes emotional balance, positive feelings, and feelings of fulfillment. Emotional balance = strong mind & body

 

“Gut Health”
In order to be healthy, the microbial ecosystem in the gut must be healthy. If the gut flora becomes imbalanced this can become the root cause of many of the symptoms centered around IBS. For example, the gut flora promotes optimal digestive function, provides a robust immune response, regulates metabolism and even compromises more than 75% of our immune system. It’s extraordinary that the teachings of Ayurveda have stated much of these important functions many thousands of years ago. Of great importance is the consideration of bacterial overgrowth. In fact, JAMA - The Journal of the American Medical Association has acknowledged bacterial overgrowth as being a real syndrome which seems to correlate well with IBS.

Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus)
Supports digestive system and elimination; assists body in absorbing nutrients; high-quality antioxidant; wide range of benefits. Good health depends on strong, efficient digestion.

Herbal Di-Gest
Supports improved digestion and balanced appetite; helps with gas, bloating, and discomfort.

Ginger
Holistic digestive aid. It is a useful digestive aid; helps to maintain good digestion and balanced gas production

Factors which can disrupt normal gut flora:
– antibiotics and other medications
– diets high in refined carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods
– diets low in fermentable fibers
– chronic stress
– chronic infections

 

An Ayurvedic Perspective
The basic approach to improving IBS from an Ayurvedic perspective is centered around pacifying and reducing this quality of vata. Vata is often characterized as being dry, rough, cold and mobile. Therefore a simple approach in helping to pacify vata is simply to eat fewer raw vegetables and eating meals which are grounding and generally warm, soft, and easy to digest.

“Yep, that’s right. Fewer vegetables. Vegetables (as well as some fruits) are often high in insoluble fiber. While soluble fiber can be soothing for the gut, consuming large amounts of insoluble fiber when your gut is inflamed is a little bit like rubbing a wire brush against an open wound. Ouch.” – Chris Kresser; “Gut Health”

10 Golden Rules For Healthy Eating

Common Causes Of Ama:
The main cause for the formation of ‘ama‘ or undigested food material is impaired digestive function. Therefore, factors which impair digestion and increase the formation of  ama include:

– 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

 

Takra [Buttermilk] - The Divine Healing Digestive Drink
Takra or buttermilk, is a liquid preparation prepared by continuously churning yogurt in water. This preparation increases your digestive power and is often used in many health conditions. Takra is considered beneficial for many G.I. conditions such as IBD and Crohn’s disease as well as poor digestion, hemorrhoids, tumors, edema, diarrhea, anemia, urinary diseases and many other health-related conditions.

“He who uses takra daily does not suffer from diseases, and diseases cured by takra do not recur; just as amrita [divine nectar] is for the gods, takra is to humans.” – Bhavaprakasha Chpt 6.7

ENEMA:
According to the teachings of Ayurveda, the seat of vata dosha is in the colon and the therapy of choice is a rectal enema [i.e. “basti”]. This procedure should only be performed under the guidance and supervision of a qualified ayurvedic professional after having discussed the risk/benefits/alternatives with your primary care physician. Ayurveda recommends introducing 1/2 to 1 cup of sesame oil into the rectum and retain the oil for approximately 5 minutes. This is thought to help pacify vata and helps to nourish and support optimal gastrointestinal function.

 

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.


Is Arthritis Due To Gut Disturbance?

 

Is Arthritis Due To Gut Disturbance?
Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis and according to the CDC, over 52 million Americans have been told by a doctor that they have some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or fibromyalgia. Interestingly, the ancient science of Ayurveda has long described three basic types of musculoskeletal joint diseases, namely sandhivata [osteoarthritis], amavata [rheumatoid arthritis], and vata rakta [gout], that are characterized by pain and swelling of the joints. Management for each type of arthritis is unique, as we shall discuss below, but for nearly all cases, it’s important to acknowledge that arthritis begins in the colon.

“All disease begins in the gut.” - Hippocrates

According to Ayurveda, there are three doshas called vata, pitta, and kapha. We can think of these three doshas as the guiding principles that keep all our bodily functions balanced and healthy. Ayurvedic literature states that vata dosha and asthi dhatu [bone tissue] are intimately associated and that the colon houses vata dosha. Therefore, the colon - being the home of vata dosha is primarily responsible for the development of vata disorders [i.e. osteoarthritis]. Similarly, the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis [“ama vata”] is considered to be due to the formation of metabolic waste products ["ama"] in the intestine caused by impaired digestive power [“agni”]. Finally, the origin of gout [“rakta vata”] is believed to be in blood. More specifically, when vata leaves the colon and invades both blood and joints, it produces gout.

Calcium Support
Calcium Support provides natural calcium and increases calcium absorption; supports healthy nerves and joints; nourishes bones. Natural calcium assimilation = healthy digestion & metabolism.

Osteo Relief
Nutritional support for healthy joints and bone tissue; assists in healthy renewal of cartilage; provides an absorbable source of calcium to aid bone-building.

Janu Basti - Ayurvedic Management For Osteoarthritis

Simple Ayurvedic Considerations:
- vata imbalance in the skeletal system [“asthi dhatu”] creates osteoarthritis
- vata imbalance with toxins [“ama”] entering bone creates rheumatoid arthritis
- vata imbalance in blood [“rakta dhatu”] entering into boney tissue leads to gout
- vata imbalance in muscular tissue [mamsa dhatu] creates fibromyalgia

 

Healthy Digestion - Healthy Bones:
Enjoying a balancing diet and lifestyle can help maintain optimum health. Some key points to remember in addition to the above causes include:

  • Avoid ice drinks and cold foods. This will weaken the digestive fire.
  • Eat the largest meal between the hours of 11am and 1pm when digestive fire is strong.
  • Eat a light meal for dinner to avoid overtaxing the stomach.
  • Avoid overeating and emotional eating. This can make it hard for the stomach to properly digest the overloaded food.
  • Get moving! Taking a walk after meals can aid in digestion and increase digestive fire.
  • Certain yoga poses and pranayama (breathing exercises) are also particularly beneficial to improve digestion.
  • Following a daily routine of meditation, oil massages and self-care will bring overall balance and contentment.

 

Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus)
Supports digestive system and elimination; assists body in absorbing nutrients; high-quality antioxidant; wide range of benefits. Good health depends on strong, efficient digestion.

Herbal Di-Gest
Supports improved digestion and balanced appetite; helps with gas, bloating, and discomfort.

Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis from an Ayurvedic perspective is a vata imbalance which settles into bone tissue and creates symptoms of pain and stiffness in joints. Often, osteoarthritis begins with pain in one joint but subsequently spreads to other joints. Vata, the main acting dosha, has the ability to bring toxins [“ama”] from the colon and travel throughout the body, lodge in bone tissue, and give rise to pain and stiffness characteristic of arthritis. Therefore, it is important to discuss causative factors which can further worsen vata imbalances and therefore create symptoms of arthritis.

Factors which may worsen vata dosha; therefore avoid:

  • cold foods such as salads
  • avoid cold and iced drinks
  • beans, drying grains such as barley and corn
  • nightshades such as tomato, potato, and eggplant

Improve Digestion 
Vata dosha can create a “hard” digestive tract and therefore may create symptoms of constipation, abdominal distention, flatulence, and even develop a nervous appetite. Instead, we should consider a vata pacifying diet which is centered around warm and nourishing meals.
"Leaky Gut" - The Root Cause Of All Disease?

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

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis is considered the formation of “ama” which are by-products of poor digestion within the intestines and generally caused by diminished digestive power [“impaired Agni”]. Interestingly, “ama” resembles kapha, thus it tends to deposit in kapha locations, primarily the joints. Therefore, the management for Rheumatoid Arthritis first begins by breaking the chain of toxins [“ama”] within the colon by simply fasting or eating light foods. This again, acknowledges and stresses the importance that the root cause of rheumatoid arthritis may very well be gut disturbance and impaired digestion. The management of rheumatoid arthritis may be rather complex and often requires “Panchakarma” under the guidance of a qualified Ayurvedic professional.

Joint Soothe II
The perfect companion to therapeutic massage, which supports natural circulation around the joints. Circulation is essential for lubricating the joints, eliminating impurities and delivering vital nutrients to the joints.

Veda 2240
Supports a healthy inflammatory response; traditionally used for occasional joint discomfort and muscle aches; supports detoxification and healthy flexibility.

Turmeric
Turmeric is one of the oldest, most important spices known to humankind. Turmeric helps purify the blood and acts as an antioxidant; supports healthy heart, liver, lungs, circulation and nervous system.

Panchakarma
Panchakarma is a an Ayurvedic Detox & Rejuvenation Process. Ayurveda gives priority not only to preventive and therapeutic procedures but also to purification and rejuvenation therapies. Panchakarma or five therapeutic procedures are part of  ‘sodhana’ treatments. Ayurveda also described ‘shamana’ which are considered less intense procedures for prevention and curing of diseases.

 


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.


Natural Ways To Manage Stress + Herbs To Enhance The Mind

Healthy & Natural Ways To Manage Stress
Stress is inevitable and we all respond to stress differently as there’s no “one size fits all” solution to managing stress. It’s as if stress walks in and out of our lives on a regular basis and at times - walks all over us. Fortunately, the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda identifies three important pillars of good health which are needed in order to achieve a state of wholeness and balance.

  • Diet
  • Sleep
  • Lifestyle

 

Healthy Diet
According to Ayurveda, perfect health begins with perfect digestion. Ayurveda speaks of the digestive fire ("Agni"), located in the stomach, as being the primary location where either health or disease begins. According to Ayurveda mostly all diseases start in the digestive system; this also includes the mind since the mind also digests and transforms information that we percieve.
Simple Tips For Healthy Digestion

Organic Churnas 
Ready-to-use spice mixtures satisfy the six ayurvedic tastes considered essential for balance and good digestion.

Sound Sleep
Sleep is one of the fundamental mainstays in Ayurveda. It is vital to sleep the appropriate hours at specific times in order to achieve balanced health. Sufficient sleep has tremendous health benefits including relieving stress, anxiety and restoring vitality. Before bed, try a boiled cup of milk made with a touch of ginger and sugar, Organic Rose Petal Spread, or raw honey to help relax the mind and promote falling asleep easily.

Slumber Time Tea
Helps disengage the mind from the senses to fall asleep easily and wake up refreshed and alert.

Slumber Time Aroma Oil
Diffuse a little before you go to bed, this enchanting blend of six pure essential oils will relax you for hours. Includes sweet orange, marjoram, lavender and jasmine.

Lifestyle
Daily routine [“Dinacharya”] is a vital and integral part of our state of health. A routine that is followed with care and awareness with respect to our individual constitution and balance will bring many health benefits. In Ayurveda there are certain steps to starting the day, and whilst these can take up some time, they are valuable in their relation to boosting vitality.
Daily Routine to Perfect Health

What Is Stress?  

Oil Massage 
Massage yourself with warm organic sesame oil. Sesame is warming and is generally considered beneficial to every body type for this time of year. 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.

Organic Sesame Oil
Enhance immunity and experience a sense of well-being. Our pure golden Sesame Oil is organic, extra-light, chemical-free and cold-pressed, allowing its chemical composition to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin.

“Give yourself a full-body oil massage on a daily basis. It is nourishing; pacifies the doshas; relieves fatigue; provides stamina, pleasure and perfect sleep; enhances the complexion and the luster of skin; promotes longevity; and nourishes all parts of the body.” – Ancient Wisdom Of Ayurveda

Shirodhara – The Most Popular Ayurveda Treatment
Shirodhara is undoubtedly one of the most popular Ayurvedic treatments in the west. The word ‘shiro’ means head and ‘dhara’ means steady flow. Therefore, shirodhara involves pouring a steady stream of soothing oil over the forehead and acts as a method of relieving stress to the restless mind.

The Moving Mind
The science of Ayurveda speaks of vata as being the basis of all movement of the body and mind. When vata is in excess [within the mind] it can result in anxiety, nervousness, depression, insomnia and many other forms of difficulty handling stress. With nearly eighty percent of all diseases in the west being attributed to stress, it is no wonder why Shirodhara has been considered one of the most popular Ayurvedic treatments of modern day.

Organic Vata Calming Tea
Sweet, soothing choice to help restore balance quickly whenever life gets too hectic.

Creating Stillness 
Shirodhara is a classical and a well-established ayurvedic procedure of slowly and steadily streaming medicated oil on the center of the forehead while resting quietly on a comfortable bed. Other liquids like coconut water, buttermilk, milk, etc. are also used depending on the individual need of the patient. Ultimately, this procedure helps to induce a relaxed state of awareness, mental clarity, and even thought to help produce improved “psychoneuroimmunology”; the ability to handle stress.

Stress Free Mind
Supports natural resistance to daily mental stress and fatigue; promotes peace, stability, and calmness under pressure.

Nourishing The Brain
The human brain contains about 100 billion cells which continuously require oxygen. Because of this oxygen demand, the brain is particularly susceptible to oxidative damage; i.e. free radicals. Antioxidants are therefore crucial for longevity and continued effective functioning of the brain.

Amrit Kalash
Amrit Kalash is a powerful broad-spectrum antioxidant and contains Amalaki which is considered the richest natural source of vitamin C, along with a rich balance of other herbs. Amrit Kalash has been shown to be 1,000 times more potent as a free radical scavenger than vitamin C or E.

Herbs - Enhancing The Mind
Ayurveda talks highly about a special class of herbs called “Medhya” herbs. Ultimately, by providing nourishment to the brain, these herbs are especially useful for the mind and helps to enhance learning while improving both the retention and recall of knowledge.

Intelligence Plus
Promotes natural intelligence; rejuvenates mental processes; supports attention span and concentration; promotes positive emotions and self-confidence.

Mind Plus
Stress and fatigue can diminish mental strength and clarity. Support mental functioning under stress and revitalize the mind with Mind Plus.

Organic Youthful Mind
Supports mental functioning as one ages; removes toxins that impede learning, memory, and recall; promotes the development of consciousness.

Benefits Of Meditation
It seems that research centered around the benefits of meditation have now been rolling in steadily validating the ancient wisdom common to both Ayurveda and Yoga. Ayurveda is an ancient science which literally means ‘the science of life’. A basic fundamental premise to both Ayurveda and Yoga is that – both a sound mind and sound body are integral to one’s overall health and well-being.

Just Some Of The Potential Benefits Of Meditation:
– greater clarity and inner calmness
– increased creativity and happiness
– improved sense of emotional stability
– reduced level of anxiety and depression
– improved brain function and memory
– reduced level of stress
… the list can go on and on …

 

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.


5 Natural Ways To A Healthy Heart

5 Natural Ways To A Healthy Heart
Heart disease is a complex disease process and it’s hard to overstate the impact that cardiovascular disease (CVD) has in the world. The likelihood that we will develop heart disease depends on numerous factors, including genetics, diet, lifestyle, and environment. Unfortunately, heart disease is one of the most misdiagnosed and mistreated health condition in medicine. To gain perspective, consider for the moment, the following:

- Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the U.S.
- Every 20 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack.
- One in four Americans has some form of heart disease.
- Every 34 seconds someone in the United States dies of heart disease.
- Heart disease takes more lives than the next seven leading causes of death combined.

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Food Can Reverse Heart Disease 

Heart Friendly Herbs
A clinical study in 1997 established the role of Ashwagandha in slowing down the circulation of adrenaline, the stress hormone that can literally tear heart muscle fibers. Scientists now know that Ashwagandha also reduces plasma cortisol, which impairs heart health.

Organic Ashwagandha
Supports resistance to stress, promotes stamina and energy, and promotes general well-being.

Cardio Support
Supports physical and emotional heart health; fortifies multiple levels of the heart muscle; promotes healthy blood flow; enhances natural resistance to stress.

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

Medicine is now beginning to acknowledge what Ayurveda has long stated which is focusing on the underlying cause of health problems instead of just suppressing symptoms. Ayurveda gives primary importance to diet and lifestyle [i.e. dinacharya] as food has always been considered medicine. According to Ayurveda if we do not follow the proper rules of eating then the food we eat can generate “ama” [undigested food; toxins] and the absorption of these toxins can be a detriment to overall health and wellbeing. In fact, from an Ayurvedic perspective, “ama” is considered to be the root cause of most, if not - all diseases.

 

5 Ways To A Healthy Heart:

  1. Relax & Be Positive
  2. Eat Right
  3. Cleanse
  4. Exercise
  5. Blissful Sleep

 

1. Relax & Be Positive
The heart is not just a pump but is the reservoir of all emotions. A holistic approach to heart health, therefore, requires the nourishment of both the physical heart and emotional heart. Ayurveda talks about “Ojas” as being the end-product of perfect digestion. However, digestion in terms of Ayurveda has a profound meaning. This implies properly digesting all that nourishes us; including everyday experiences of life [i.e. thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc.]. Similarly, by cultivating a positive attitude, inner strength, and poise throughout life helps to promote the formation of ojas. Ultimately, ojas leads to bliss, contentment, vitality, and longevity

Blissful Joy
To help uplift the emotions; helps balance emotional ups and downs; alleviates sadness and feelings of frustration.

Worry Free
Calms the mind and emotions; supports clarity of mind and deeper sleep; natural support for everyday stress and tension.

2. Eat Right
Essentially, the most important step towards heart health is to eat a heart-friendly diet. Simple considerations include eating more servings of fresh fruit and vegetables; start your day with stewed apples or pears; include soaked peeled almonds in your diet; dress your veggies with fresh lime juice; and add certain spices such as black pepper and turmeric to your meals.

Amrit Kalash
A balanced antioxidant such as Amrit is excellent nutritional support, and published research confirms that Amrit helps reduce LDL cholesterol, which has been implicated in plaque build-up.
Simple Tips For Healthy Digestion

3. Cleanse
Arterial plaque is “ama” — toxic matter that builds up in your blood vessels because your physiology cannot get rid of it efficiently. Therefore, Ayurveda recommends a seasonal program of internal cleansing [i.e. panchakarma] to help remove toxins from the body. Similarly, to help remove or prevent the formation of ama [toxins] is simply to sip warm water and herbal teas throughout the day; as indicated.

Elim-Tox
Helps detoxify the gastrointestinal tract, especially the colon; supports healthy digestion and helps regulate elimination.

Elim-Tox-O
Gently purifies the liver and blood; helps the liver to digest quickly and filter impurities; enhances absorption of nutrients.

4. Exercise
The key is moderation. According to Ayurveda, the importance is regularity and simply exercising to half one’s physical capacity [“balaardh”] is considered ideal. Walking 30 minutes 3-5 times per week, ideally, in the morning is not only helpful to your heart but helps to improve circulation, remove impurities, and improve metabolism.

5. Blissful Sleep
Research studies have linked sleep deprivation to blood pressure problems, depression, and other factors that increase the risk of heart disease.

8 Tips For Sound Sleep

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

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

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.


Ayurveda - Healthy Skin Care

AYURVEDA - HEALTHY SKIN CARE
Skin is a remarkable organ. In fact, skin is the human body’s largest organ, which regenerates itself by shedding off dead skin and regenerating a new layer approximately every 28 days. More importantly, skin can reveal information about our overall state of health. For example, rash, hives, and itching may reveal an allergic response, a bacterial or viral skin infection, or even an underlying autoimmune condition. Likewise, a mole may be a sign of skin cancer. In essence, the skin reveals what’s happening within.

Diet
In general, ayurveda recommends healthy, whole foods, consisting mainly of a vegetarian diet for all types of constitutions. Foods which are fatty, fried, refined, and processed are more likely to cause skin conditions - therefore avoid them when you can.

High-Fiber Foods
- Fiber helps to reduce bad bacteria and increase good bacteria (probiotics) in the gut
- The best sources of fiber are:
a. Sprouted Nuts and Seeds (flaxseeds, chia seeds, almonds)
b. Vegetables

High-Quality Protein
- Protein helps to balance blood sugar levels to rid acne.
- The best sources of high-quality protein are:
a. Organic Chicken and Turkey
b. Grass-Fed Beef
c. Wild-Caught Fish
d. Organic Eggs
e. Sprouted Brown Rice Protein

Healthy Fats
- Coconut oil is the best oil to get rid of acne.
- Coconut oil contains antimicrobial properties to kill off bad bacteria and fight off acne.

Click Here - 10 Golden Rules Of Food Intake
Click Here - Simple Tips For Healthy Digestion

Sleep & Exercise
Exercise promotes sweating which helps rid the body of toxins while improving circulation, alleviating stress and calming the mind. “Sleep and exercise stimulate growth hormone, which promotes fibroblast health and allows more production of collagen and elastin to keep your skin taut. They also accelerate the production of epidermis.” - Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Healthy Diet Creates Healthy Skin - How To Get Rid Of Acne - Dr. Josh Axe 

Remove: sugar, gluten, hydrogenated oils
Include: high fiber, high quality protein, healthy fats
Supplements: probiotics, zinc, antioxidants

Probiotics:
- Probiotics kill off bad bacteria in the gut and help boost the immune system.
- 80% of the immune system is located in the gut.
- Consume probiotic-rich foods, such as:
a. Cultured Vegetables
b. Kefir
c. Yogurt
d. Amasai
[Look for 50 billion IU’s daily in a probiotic supplement]

Zinc:
- Zinc helps to repair the gut lining and naturally boost the immune system.
- Taking 50 mg of zinc per day is very effective in fighting acne.

Antioxidants:
- Elderberry is the most effective antioxidant for reversing acne.
- Try adding 1 Tbsp. elderberry syrup or extract in your superfood smoothie.

7 Layers Of Skin
Sushruta, the founding father of surgery, described seven layers of skin, each having its own distinct structure and function with each layer providing support to the layer above.

  1. Avabhasini is the outermost layer of skin, provides the source of complexion, and that which reflects the quality of rasa dhatu [nutrition aspect of blood]. When this layer of skin is affected it can produce acne, pimples, and dandruff.
  2. Lohita is the second layer and supports the outermost layer of skin. This layer also has a connection to rakta dhatu [hematocrit of blood] and when affected by impurities can manifest as increased pigmentation and moles.
  3. Shweta is the third layer of skin described as being white and helps to provide balance to the color and tone of the skin. When this layer is affected by impaired doshas it can manifest in certain conditions such as eczema and other allergic responses.
  4. Tamra is the forth layer which supports the upper layers of skin while correlating well with skin immunity and providing a barrier of resistance to pathogens of the skin.
  5. Vedini is the fifth layer of skin and connects the sense of touch [tactile perception] with the rest of the body through various signal transmissions. Imbalance in this layer can lead to certain conditions such as neuralgia or even the exacerbation of herpes for those previously exposed .
  6. Rohini is the sixth layer of skin which provides skin its regenerative ability to heal. Imbalances in this layer impairs the healing ability of the skin and can impair the process of scar formation.
  7. Mamsadhara is the innermost layer of skin which provides the greatest support to all the above layers. When healthy, this layer provides firmness and youthfulness to the skin. When this layer becomes impaired skin sags and beings to reveal the aging process.

Doshas Types & Skin

Vata Dosha is primarily made of ether and air elements and therefore easily prone to having dry skin due to dehydration. Vata types should remain well hydrated by drinking lukewarm water throughout the day. Likewise, vata types will often benefit by the addition of healthy fats in their diet [i.e. ghee, olive oil, etc.].

Pitta Dosha being mainly fire and water elements tends to have oily skin and often more vulnerable to acne, moles, and other inflammatory skin conditions [i.e. urticaria, rash, and hives]. Of all three dosha types, pitta is most sensitive to direct sunlight and should seek cooling measures. Pitta types should avoid hot and spicy food along with overly sour food as this can aggravate inflammatory skin conditions. Instead, consider cooling measures for both the body and mind.

Kapha Dosha is made primarily of water and earth elements often having more thick skin with additional subcutaneous fat. Since many toxins [ama] are fat soluable, kapha type skin often requires detoxification more routinely. External cleansing and detoxification of the skin may include gentle exfoliation with certain dry herbal formulas. Kapha types should incorporate more exercise into their daily lives, avoid oily fatty food while adding warming spices such as ginger and black pepper to improve digestion.

Oil Massage
Daily oil massage [Abhyanga] over the whole body is a very effective way of keeping the skin healthy and beautiful. According to the Charaka Samhita, abhyanga pacifies the doshas, enhances the complexion and the luster of the skin, tones muscles, and acts as a natural moisturizer.

Vata Type: consider sesame oil
Pitta Type: consider sunflower oil
Kapha Type: consider corn or mustard oil

Benefits Of Abhyanga Include:
- softer, smoother skin
- increased circulation, especially to nerve endings
- toning of the muscles
- calming of the nerves
- lubrication of joints
- increased mental alertness
- improved elimination of impurities from the body
- increased levels of stamina through the day
- promote deep sleep

Want More?
Fresh Cherry Mask Moisturizer
“Apply a pulp of fresh cherries to your face at night as a mask, before going to bed. Leave it on for 15 minutes. This will relieve dry skin and give you a beautiful complexion.” - Dr. Vasant Lad, The Complete Book Of Ayurvedic Home Remedies

Finally - Smile!
Keeping a smile on your face helps to provide a healthy tone of your facial muscles and skin. A simple smile can act as a natural anti-aging face lift and make you feel warm and tingly all over.

Disclaimer:
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.


Autoimmune Conditions [Rheumatoid Arthritis]: An Ayurvedic Perspective + Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Sun Dressing Recipe

Autoimmune Conditions
In essence, autoimmunity is when the body attacks itself. The function of the immune system is to help protect you from disease. However, when the immune system doesn’t function properly it can mistakenly identify your own bodily tissue as an invader and therefore mount an attack - the immune response!

Main Factors Of Health ...
The concept of health according to the ancient science of Ayurveda is explained in terms of healthy digestion [agni], balanced doshas [vata-pitta-kapha], preventing ama [toxins], and preserving ojas [vital essense of life]. When all these factors are balanced then it’s said that the person will be strong, healthy, and live a long and happy life.

“Let food by thy medicine and medicine thy food.”– Hippocrates 

 

Healthy Digestion

According to the most ancient and revered textbook of Ayurveda, the Charak Samhita, the principle of “Agni” – The Digestive Fire illustrates the body’s ability to digest food; almost equivalent to digestive enzymes. In fact, when managing most health concerns, correcting digestion is often the very first line of management.  Click Here - Learn How To Improve Digestion Naturally

Great Video: 10 Steps To Reverse Autoimmune Disease - Dr. Mark Hyman

Balanced Doshas
According to the teachings of Ayurveda, there are three doshas called vata, pitta, and kapha. We can think of these three doshas as the guiding principles that keep all our bodily functions balanced and healthy.

“Health results from the natural, balanced state of the doshas.
Therefore, the wise try to keep them in their balanced state.”
– Charak Samhita

In order to explain how to correct any underlying doshic imbalances it is important to introduce two very simple  principles common to the science of Ayurveda. These two principles are:

  • The Principle Of Similarity: like increases like
  • The Principle Of Opposites: opposites restore balance

 

The Principle Of Similarity
This principle of ‘like increases like’ clearly explains that if one of your doshas [vata, pitta, or kapha] becomes imbalanced then it’s likely that you will experience symptoms which directly reflect that particular quality which belongs to the imbalanced dosha.

The Principle Of Opposites
Likewise, when a certain quality [i.e. hot quality] of a dosha becomes imbalanced the best way to re-establish balance is simply to introduce the opposing quality. For example, cool & cold qualities help to balance the hot quality in order to regain a state of balance.
Click Here - To Learn More About Balancing Doshas

 

Ama - Toxins

As mentioned above, “ama” is the by-product of poor digestion and is thought to be toxic to the body. The by-product of poor digestion may accumulate in the colon and create a hostile environment within the G.I. tract; i.e. supporting unhealthy gut flora. Not only does this support an unhealthy gut flora but even worse, it supports the process of fermentation and putrefaction.
Click Here - To Learn How To Remove Ama

“When food is digested improperly because agni [the digestive flame] is low the undigested food becomes vitiated [disturbed] and collects in the stomach.
It is known as ama [toxins].”
– Astangahrdaya Samhita

Goal: Purify The Body Of Ama [Toxins]
“Due to the purification of the body, the capacity of digestion and metabolism is enhanced, normal health is restored, all sense organs start working with vigor, old age is prevented and diseases cured.”
– Charaka Samhita Ch. 16 Sutra 17-19

 

Preserving Ojas

Having strong Ojas helps maintain optimum health and many diet and lifestyle factors can contribute to either depleting or nourishing ones Ojas. Ojas is defined as the pure essence of the bodily tissues and is considered the refined by-product of healthy digestion. In essence, ojas is referred to as the source of vitality, immunity and vigor in the body.
Click Here - To Learn More About Ojas

 

"The Connection"

Rheumatoid Arthritis
According to Ayurveda, vata dosha and bone tissue [asthi dhatu] are intimately connected. Vata primarily governs the element of space and the porous nature of bone makes the skeletal system one of the primary sites of vata dosha. The colon is also the primary site of vata. Interestingly, the mucous lining of the colon membrane is responsible for the absorption of minerals which support bone tissue. This emphasis the connection that connective tissue disorders and skeletal conditions [i.e. rheumatoid arthritis] begin in the gut.

“All disease begins in the gut.” - Hippocrates

As explained above, if the digestive fire [agni] is diminished then this impaired digestion will lead to the formation of toxic by-products of poor digestion called “ama”. Eventually, the toxic substances of ama begin to accumulate in the colon and begin to get absorbed into the general circulation. Due to the intimate relationship of the colon and bone tissue much of these toxic substances [ama] get carried by vata dosha to the skeletal and connective tissue [primary sites of vata dosha] - this illustrates the initial stages of rheumatoid arthritis. The residue of ama [toxins] that chronically resides on the cell membrane gives rise to an attack on various tissues such as connective tissue, bones, and joints which correlates well with our modern view of the rheumatoid factor.

Prevention Is Key:
Healthy digestion and the prevention of ama are the first steps in preventing disease.

Natural Management

Langhana - Fasting Or Eating Light Foods
The initial management of autoimmune conditions is to break the chain of toxemia.  The first goal is to prevent the formation of by-products of poor digestion [i.e. ama]. Therefore, fasting or eating light and easily digestible food is the initial management. Likewise, to help improve the digestive flame [agni] and burn some of the toxins [ama] you may also want to consider spices such as cumin, mustard, and ginger powder.

Foods which are easy to digest include:

  • rice broth
  • softly cooked rice
  • tapioca

 

Pulling Out The Toxins
Longstanding autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis have residual toxins within the synovial membrane and joint space. Therefore, Ayurveda would recommend applying the principle of heat [i.e. hot sauna, steam bath or hot shower] to help loosen up the ‘stickiness’ of ama. By loosening up ama from certain tissues and/or joint space, one can then apply certain pastes externally on the joints. This will help to pull out toxic ama and help to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. Certain pastes which can be applied externally [onto the joints] are formed by certain powders such as bachan, dhattura, and vacha. All of these considerations should be considered under the guidance and supervision of a qualified Ayurvedic professional and after having discussed these options with your primary care physician.

Bitter Herbs
According to Ayurvedic principles, bitter herbs consist mostly of ether and air elements. These subtle elements of [ether + air] allow bitter herbs to spread into subtle channels of tissue [i.e. articular surface within the joint space]. Generally, bitter herbs are cooling. However, there are some bitter herbs such as rasna, guggulu and parijata which are heating and therefore are able to enter into subtle channels of tissue [i.e. articular surfaces] and help ‘burn toxins’ [ama] - ama being that which is stimulating the autoimmune response.

Pungent Herbs
Pungent herbs like trikatu help to improve the function of the digestive fire [agni] while helping to burn toxins [ama]. Trikatu is a combination of ginger, black pepper, and pippali which helps to clear toxins within both the digestive system and tissues of the body.

Caution:
Because trikatu and pungent herbs can enhance the function of the immune system, it should only be considered under the guidance of a qualified ayurvedic/herbal professional and after first discussing these options with your primary care physician.
Click Here -To Learn More About Trikatu

Panchakarma - The Complete Detox System
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

 

“Through the use of vamana, basti, and rasayana [rejuvenative therapy] as well as proper diet and lifestyle, one can prevent the recurrence of rheumatic fever and rheumatoid arthritis.”
- Dr. Vasant Lad, Ayurvedic Physician
 Click Here - To Learn More About Panchakarma

Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Sun Dressing
Turmeric is widely utilized in Ayurvedic Medicine in treating allergies, immune conditions, liver diseases and neurological disorders. It is considered a holy, auspicious and natural healer.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice + zest of 2 Lemons
  • ¼ avocado
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp. raw local honey — if not vegan
  • pinch of Himalayan sea salt (to taste)

 

Blend all ingredients in a blender.  Add more avocado if you desire a thicker consistency.
Click Here - Benefits Of Turmeric

Recipe Credit To: MindBodygreen.com

Disclaimer:
This is strictly for educational purpose only and not medical advice. Always first consult your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.

Resource:
Ayurvedic Perspective On Selected Pathologies, Dr. Vasant Lad - 2nd Edition


Improving Brain Function With Ayurveda + Benefits of Ghee & Brain-Boosting Herbs

 

Improving Brain Function With Ayurveda
According to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, health rests upon a foundation supported by three pillars -  sleep, diet, and overall balance of life. If any one of these three pillars becomes weakened, our overall health and well-being may become affected. Therefore, in order to function optimally especially during modern times, let us look at specific ways to help maintain a healthy balance for the brain.

Intelligence Plus - with Gotu Kola, Ashwagandha, & Bacopa!!

~The Healthy Brain~
It’s to no surprise that the brain requires oxygen. In fact, the brain can only survive for about four minutes without oxygen before suffering from irreparable brain damage. Not only does the brain require oxygen - the brain requires glucose, fat and protein.

Healthy Fat - Healthy Brain
It’s quite astonishing that nearly 60 percent of the brain is fat. In fact, every single neuron [brain cell] is insulated by a myelin sheath made of fatty material - which stresses the importance of fat required for brain stability. That said, it is also important the differentiate between the quality of fat. For example, it’s important to eat healthy fats from pure oils [i.e. olive oil] and avoid nonorganic, mechanically processed, hydrogenated fats and all other altered fats such as trans-fatty acids [i.e. margarine].

The Importance Of Ghee 
Ayurveda has traditionally considered ghee [clarified butter] to be the healthiest source of edible fat, with many beneficial properties. Ghee is butter from which the water and milk solids have been removed. Recent research has clearly demonstrated the importance of essential fatty acids [EFAs] for normal brain function and stabilization of moods. According to Ayurveda, not only does ghee improve memory and strengthen the brain and nervous system but it’s thought to improve digestion, promote longevity, and even help to protect the body from various diseases.

The Brain-Gut Connection ...
According to Ayurvedic wisdom, by-products of poor digestion [ama] are considered toxic to the body and overall well-being. If these toxins [ama] enter into the general circulation and lodge into certain tissues this can interfere with proper functioning of the bodily systems. For example, in modern medicine we are quite familiar with a particular substance associated with Alzheimer’s disease being an amyloid-beta-peptide ‘plaque’. From an Ayurvedic perspective, this plaque formation is a by-product of poor digestion at various levels [G.I. tract, tissue, cellular, mental]. Therefore, from an Ayurvedic perspective, in order to keep the brain healthy and free of these toxic by-products of poor digestion [i.e. amyloid plaques], it is important to maintain a healthy and balanced digestive function.

The Ayurvedic Brain Gut Connection - By Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary

Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary, the Director of Neurology at Wellspring Health and a pioneer in the field of Integrative Medicine, explains the Ayurvedic view of The Brain Gut Connection.

4 Simple Tips For Keeping The Brain Healthy

1. Black pepper. Modern research suggests that black pepper enhances the uptake and utilization of oxygen by brain cells. Likewise, black pepper helps to improve the quality of digestion - therefore, preventing formation of by-products of poor digestion [ama].

2. Ginger. Ayurveda describes fresh ginger root as one of the best enhancers of digestion - helping to better assimilate food and prevent the formation of toxic by-products of digestion [ama].

3. Turmeric. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antibacterial and has long been used in the Indian system of medicine to treat a variety of conditions. Epidemiological studies show a 4.4-fold lower incidence of AD in Southeast Asian countries where turmeric is commonly used as a dietary spice

Turmeric  - is one of the oldest, most important spices known to humankind!!

4. Avoid eating refined sugar. Alzheimer’s disease has been likened to “diabetes of the brain” and excessive sugar is thought to impair certain enzymes within the brain, such as neprilysin - which can promote the buildup of amyloid plaques [ama] within the brain.

Brain Boosting Herbs
There are a certain class of Ayurvedic herbs which are distinctly thought to improve the functions of the mind and enhance memory which are classified as “medhya rasayanas”.

Shankhapushpi [Aloeweed]
Shankapushpi is revered as one of the best herbs for supporting the brain and mental function. It enhances memory, calms the mind, and thought to improve tolerance to mental stress. Because of these properties, Shankapushpi is often considered “somanasya janana” - the giver of great mental power and bliss.

Brahmi [Bacopa] 
The effects of Brahmi help to calm and balance the mind. Certain scientific studies have demonstrated Brahmi to enhance learning and memory while providing antioxidant support for the brain.

Organic Brahmi  - A Revered & Ancient Brain Tonic!!

Gotu Kola [Indian Pennywort]
Gotu Kola is considered one of the best herbs at enhancing memory. Likewise, Gotu Kola also contains asiatic acid which is a known potent inhibitor for the formation of amyloid plaques often seen in Alzheimer’s disease.


Disclaimer:

This information is strictly for educational purpose only and not to be considered medical advice. Always first seek the consultation of your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.