Nourishing The Body, Mind, & Soul - An Ayurvedic Perspective

 

Nourishing The Body, Mind, & Soul
Ayurveda is considered the world’s oldest and most complete system of natural healing. It’s said that the knowledge of Ayurveda is eternal and is revealed in order to help relieve the suffering of humanity. Perhaps the most universal aspect of Ayurveda is to establish balance, peace of mind, and happiness.

“The natural force within each of us
is that perfect healer of all.”

- Hippocrates

According to the classic texts, three aspects of the mind include:

  1. Dhi, the ability to learn and acquire knowledge
  2. Dhriti, the ability to process and retain information
  3. Smriti, the ability to recall, memory

 

Recalling Our True Nature
In nearly all ancient cultures, nature has often been considered the greatest healer. Interestingly, in Ayurveda “prajnaparadha” [crime against intellect] is considered the root cause of all disease. Perhaps the greatest crime from a vedic perspective is to separate one’s true identify with that all of creation. Therefore, by thoroughly recalling the wholeness of life springs forth the source of all healing and bliss - within.

Introduction To Ayurveda - Living In Balance With Ayurveda 

Ayurveda and Yoga consultant and educator Myra Lewin provides an introduction to Ayurvedic living and bringing yourself back to balance. Ayurveda an ancient science of life that incorporates diet, lifestyle, spirituality, and healing.

 

"True Nourishment"

Nourishing the mind begins with a healthy daily routine. According to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, health rests upon a foundation supported by three pillars – the three pillars being sleep, diet, and overall balance of life. If any one of these three pillars becomes weakened, it’s thought that the overall health and well-being of a person may be affected. Therefore, in order to function optimally especially during modern times, let us look at specific ways to help maintain balance.

Sleep:
It’s nearly impossible to be healthy without adequate sleep. Sleep is essential for the maintenance and repair of the neurological, endocrine, immune, musculoskeletal and digestive systems. Rather, sleep is necessary for all systems of the body. Period.

Just some of the obvious benefits of a great night sleep:

  • Enhances memory and mental clarity
  • Improves athletic performance.
  • Boosts mood and overall energy.
  • Improves immune function.
  • Increases stress tolerance

 

HOT MILK – The Natural Sleep Aid
Hot milk – milk is a wonderful source of tryptophan which helps induce sleep. If consumed an hour before bed with a pinch of nutmeg, it can provide sound and restful sleep.
Click Here – To Learn 8 Tips For Sound Sleep

Healthy Digestion:
Ayurveda has described the underlying function of digestion and metabolism in our body as Agni [“Fire”]. Regarding the importance of Agni, the father of Ayurveda – Charak stated that when Agni of the individual is balanced then that person would be absolutely healthy and would lead a long, happy and healthy life.

Practical Tips For Healthy Digestion
Although simple, these principles if followed routinely, are often enough to help improve your digestion and overall health. Often it’s the simple things that are most effective and oddly enough - most overlooked. That said, let’s quickly take a look at the basics.

  • All food should be freshly prepared, nutritious, and appetizing
  • Food should generally contain all 6 tastes balanced to one’s needs
  • We should leave 4-6 hours between meals with no snacking in between
  • Eat your largest meal during the day when the sun is at its peak
  • Relax and enjoy your meals in a calm soothing environment

 

GHEE - Heal The Gut & Nourish The Mind
Healthy digestion is considered the fundamental pillar of good health. According to Ayurvedic literature, ghee increases the digestive function and thought to nourish nearly all tissues of the body – specifically the gastrointestinal tract by reducing inflammatory conditions, reducing seepage of undigested food particles, and aids in repair of the mucosal wall.

Click Here
– To Learn More About Ghee
Click Here - To Learn Simple Tips For Healthy Digestion

Overall Balance:
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.

Ayurveda gives prime importance to:
- balanced doshas
- balanced digestion
- optimal function of bodily tissue and waste elimination
- balanced state of mind, clarity of the sense, and happiness
Click Here - To Learn More About Achieving Balance

Happiness & Bliss...

“When the emotional heart is balanced, one gains pure knowledge,
the desires of the mind are always righteous, and one experiences unbounded bliss.”
– Sushruta Samhita

The science of Ayurveda commonly 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.]. Nearly all Ayurvedic treatment is designed to increase the abundance of superior quality of ojas and to avoid reducing ojas – as ojas is considered central to restoring health and preventing illness. Similarly, ojas is thought to be the most important element which designs and shapes the influence our experiences creates upon the mind.

Click Here - For A Guide To Happiness

Nourishing The Soul
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 …

Click Here – To Learn More About The Benefits Of Meditation

Want More?
Click Here - For Healthy Living With Ayurveda


Simple Tips For Healthy Digestion

Simple Tips For Healthy Digestion
In Ayurveda, the oldest system of holistic medicine, perfect health begins with perfect digestion. Ayurveda speaks of Jatharagni (digestive fire), located in the stomach, as being the primary location where either health begins or disease. According to Ayurveda mostly all diseases start in the digestive system; this includes mind since the mind is transforming information by nature. The digestive fire is like the furnace in a house. If it’s not properly working then the house will suffer its consequences. Linked to digestion, according to Ayurveda, are all the other organs that are part of a sequential process that digests food and takes in the essence of food that nurtures every cell on every level, not just physical.

11 Simple Tips:

1. Eat 2-3 meals a day.
Breakfast (I’m sorry to say) is meant to be the lightest meal of the day. We are “breaking fast” from having had our last meal at least 12 hours prior. Digestive enzymes aren’t yet fully available as the morning time is when the body is starting to typically awaken (those of us that have normal schedules) and the body hasn’t enough momentum until we are fully up and about, getting our juices flowing. If we aren’t hungry for breakfast, this is the meal would could skip and have a cup of tea in its place. Lunch is meant to be the main meal of the day since the stomach enzymes are at its’ peek as is the Sun. If we skip this meal, this is when we are more likely to have hormonal imbalances, digestive imbalances such as cravings and/or sugar crashing, along with affected sleep. From my experience with my clients and from the stand point of Ayurveda, simply adjusting the meal situation of the day corrects numerous health conditions. Dinner is “supper time”, also known as the supplemental meal. I say that this meal should be around half the volume of lunch.

2. Eating schedule.
Breakfast should be no later than 8/8:30. Lunch, between 10 and 2. Preferably around 12 and at least 3-4 hours after breakfast. Dinner no later than 7:30/8:00. The later the meal, the lighter it should be.

3. Cold and Ice.
According to Ayurveda there’s a saying “hot water is the nectar of life and cold water is the poison.” Avoid cold beverages and ice. Cold compromises our immunity, depresses digestion and affects our nervous system. Ice is even worse and in Ayurveda, along with Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ice was only meant to be applied topically for wounds, burns and fevers. It was never meant to be taken internally.

4. Sipping hot water.
Sipping hot water throughout the day supports a) hydration b) digestion and 3) lymphatic drainage. Sipping hot water with meals is ideal. When I say sip, I mean simple. Sipping is different than gulping. Taking in too much of liquid with meals can dilute the digestive enzymes. Whereas, sipping supports digestive enzymes. Your last bite and last sip should be coupled together. Wait at least one hour after a meal to drink anything.

5. Snacking.
Ayurveda suggests that we don’t really snack or at least treat the in between times as though it’s an opportunity for another meal. Usually, we misunderstand cravings for snacks for hydration and that the body is trying to tell us to drink more water. The mechanism in the brain for hunger and thirst are the same. If you’re feeling hungry again, drink a glass of hot water and wait 15 minutes. If you’re still hungry, then eat a light snack. If you’re not hungry, then it’s because you were thirsty.

6. Snoozing/Napping.
Avoid napping right after a meal. Actually, take a walk for about 15 minutes to shake off the lethargic feeling that tends to follow after eating. Napping after turns off digestion and keeping it moving after eating stimulates metabolism.

7. Eat Seasonally.
If it’s warm out, eat cooling foods. If it’s cold out, eat warm foods.

8. Greens/Veggies.
Eat salads/vegetables after the meal versus before. This is clean eating and supports cleansing of the digestive tract and increasing healthier bowel movements.

9. Dessert.
Best to eat an hour – hour and a half after meals. Right after causes the digestive  system to shut down.

10. Sitting.
While eating meals, it is best to do it seated. Standing while eating stresses digestion by forcing the food out of the system due to gravitational pull. Humans weren’t meant to eat like horses.

11. Focus.
While eating it is best to be focused on digestion rather than eating while on lap tops, TV watching or cell phone perusing. Digestion and mind are connected. If mind is distracted, so is digestion. This can increase imbalances such as cravings and instability in the nervous system. Put down the cell phone. Turn off the TV. Leave the lap top in the other room. Enjoy eating. One bite at a time.

About The Author: 
Vishnu M.Ayu, BA Psy., LMT, CSP, E-RYT, CS2, is a licensed massage therapist with more than 15 years of experience and Master’s of Ayurveda/Yoga from Hindu University of America. He is the owner of ‘Hidden Health’ Center and offers Ayurveda out of a few locations. To learn more about Vishnu and his practice you can find him at hiddenhealthcenter.com

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.

 


"Leaky Gut" - The Root Cause Of All Disease? + An Ayurvedic Perspective

 

"LEAKY GUT SYNDROME"
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.

Ancient Wisdom Of Ayurveda ...
“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

In Ayurvedic medicine, most treatable diseases arise from the presence of “ama”, a toxic by-product of poor digestion. 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 GI 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.

By-product Of Poor Digestion - Toxic! 
“The signs and symptoms of ama are clogging of channels, sense of heaviness, low energy, restlessness, lethargy, indigestion, congestion/expectoration, accumulation of waste, loss of taste and sexual debility.” - Ashtanga Hridaya Su. 30.23

Unfortunately, the tissues which make up the body actually have antigenic sites which are nearly identical to those elemental by-products of poor digestion. After all, the body is made up from the products of digestion. As a result, when the intestinal barrier becomes permeable [i.e. leaky] then a large protein molecule [i.e. zonulin] enters into the blood and circulates throughout the body. Since these large proteins of poor digestion do not normally circulate throughout the body, the body mounts an immune response and attacks them. Studies reveal that this immune response may play an important role in the development of autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s, type 1 diabetes, among other health conditions. It is also important to note that you don’t necessarily have to have gut symptoms to have a leaky gut. For example, leaky gut can also manifest as skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, even heart conditions and of course inflammatory joint conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

“There is growing evidence that increased intestinal permeability plays a pathogenic role in various autoimmune diseases [including celiac disease and type 1 diabetes]. Therefore, we hypothesize that besides genetic and environmental factors, loss of intestinal barrier function is necessary to develop auotimmunity.” - Dr. Alessio Fasano

"Top 7 Foods For Healing Leaky Gut" - Dr. Josh Axe 

The top 7 foods to get rid of leaky gut for good are:
1. Bone Broth - 8 oz 2 times a day
2. Kefir or fermented yogurt
3. Fermented vegetables
4. Coconut oil
5. Wild caught fish like Salmon
6. Flax seeds
7. Steamed vegetables or vegetables in the crockpot: broccoli, cauliflower, celery carrots, cabbage or squash are all great

Healthy Gut - Strength, Nourishment, Luster
Ayurveda has described the underlying function of digestion and metabolism in our body as Agni [“Fire”]. Regarding the importance of Agni, the father of Ayurveda - Charak stated that when Agni of the individual is balanced then that person would be absolutely healthy and would lead a long, happy and healthy life.

“Agni converts food in the form of energy, which is responsible for all the vital functions of our body. Therefore, Ayurveda considers that Dehagni as the cause of life, complexion, strength, health, nourishment, luster, ojas, tejas [vital-yet-subtle energy] and prana [life sustaining energy].
- Charaka Chikitsa 15/4

Leaky Gut - Fatigue, Inflamed and Depressed
Leaky gut and bad gut flora are far more common than we actually realize primarily because of the modern lifestyle. We can also say that if you have a leaky gut it is likely that you also have an unhealthy gut flora, and vice versa. Even further, we can boldly say that when your gut flora and gut barrier are impaired, you are Inflamed - Ayurveda would likely state this as pitta aggravation with impaired Agni and even diminished Ojas.

Factors Which Can Insult The Gut Flora:

  • antibiotics
  • diets high in refined carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods
  • diets low in fermentable fibers
  • dietary toxins like wheat and industrial seed oils
  • chronic stress and chronic infections

 

Practical Tips To Help Improve Your Gut Flora:

  • avoid foods and chemicals which irritate the gut mucosal lining
  • eat plenty of fermentable fibers [i.e. starches like sweet potato, yam, yucca, etc.]
  • eat fermented items like kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kim chi, etc.
  • consider taking a probiotic and prebiotic supplement


“From the earth came herbs and from herbs
came the seed that gave life to humans.”

- Taittiriya Upanishad


3 Pillars To Healthy Digestion:

1. Reducing & Extinguishing The Inflammatory Cascade. 
Individuals with autoimmune disorders are often in a weakened state and any additional insults can easily worsen the state of health. Therefore, extreme caution must always be considered. Therefore, management should always be under the supervision of a qualified holistic professional and always first discussing risk/benefits/alternatives with one’s primary care physician.

That said, there are certain botanicals with anti-inflammatory properties such as:
- turmeric
- black cohosh
- wild yam
- amla berry
- ashwagandha

In conditions where the gut mucosal lining is impaired, the use of certain demulcents followed by astringent agents are often considered beneficial. Demulcent herbs are considered to be helpful in improving the integrity of the epithelial lining of the gut.

Demulcent agents include:
- aloe vera
- marshmallow root
- slippery elm
- licorice root

2. Support Liver Function + Enhance Detoxification
The importance of liver function in regards to overall health cannot be stressed enough. The liver is responsible for the detoxification of the increasing exposure to environmental contaminants and mutagens which can easily overwhelm the liver.

Briefly, just a few hepatoprotective elements include:
- turmeric
- barberry
- bhumiamalaki
- guduchi

3. Improve The Gut Flora
By supporting a healthy gut flora we can help inhibit the overgrowth of pathogenic microbes. A simple choice may be a non-dairy derived Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum supplement.

Want More?
Click Here - "Nourishing Wisdom" - Food To Never Combine!! 


DISCLAIMER:

This is strictly for educational purpose and NOT considered medical advice. Always first discuss the risks/benefits/alternatives with your primary care physician prior to considering any new changes in your health regimen.


Food As Medicine: The Eight Important Aspects Of Food ~ An Ayurvedic Perspective

Food As Medicine: The Eight Important Aspects Of Food
According to Ayurveda, food is considered to be the best medicine. Of equal importance is the consideration, according to Ayurveda, that poor digestion [koshtha] is the primary origin or causative factor for nearly all diseases.

"Ahara Vidhi Visheshayatana"

The Eight Important Aspects Of Food:
Let's discuss the basic principles of food. The eight important aspects of food are called ‘ahara vidhi visheshayatana’ and they are as follows:

1. Prakruti
2. Karana
3. Samayoga
4. Rashi
5. Desha
6. Kala
7. Upayoga Samasth
8. Upbhokta

A Closer Look:

1. Prakruti - or the nature of food
Depending on whether the food is easily digestible or not, food can be classified as heavy or light in quality. Meat is heavy for digestion while rice and vegetables are light. This is the basic nature of the food and while eating we must take this into consideration.

2. Karana - or processing
Generally, cooked food is better for nutrition. Some food substances like fruit or even salads are better taken as uncooked. Food cooked on natural wood or a coal fire tends to have better taste than food cooked with electricity or gas. Microwave cooking destroys prana [life-energy] in the food. Processing includes other methods like roasting, frying, baking, drying, churning etc. and depending on the method of the process can actually change the qualities of the food making food either become more light or heavy for digestion.

3. Samyoga - means combination
While preparing food the ingredients must be compatible and properly mixed together. For example, combining sour fruits with milk will curd and is not considered beneficial due to poor food combining and incompatibity of ingredients.

4. Rashi- means quantity 
While eating one has to consider the individual ingredient quantity and the total quantity of the food that is consumed. Here, again, we have to consider the heavy and light qualities of the substances that are taken. The quantity of food depends on your digestive fire. There is no fixed criteria for the amount of food according to age, sex, race, etc. However, “parigraha”— takes into consideration the quantity of each item and “sarvagraha” means the total quantity to be consumed.

5. Desha - means place 
Ayurveda has divided place into three types marshy, arid, and normal. We also have to consider the place in relation to temperature and cold climate conditions. Ultimately, food must be eaten in a place which is clean. If the surroundings where one eats are good and sattvic [pure], then the food is better absorbed and has good and beneficial effects upon the body and mind.

6. Kala - means time or period 
Only when the previous meal has been properly digested should one consider eating the next meal. One must also change the type of  food as well as the quantity and quality of food in accordance to seasonal changes. Another important consideration is that the main meal ideally should be taken between 10 a.m. to 2  p.m., which is “pitta time”; optimal for digestion.

7. Upyoga Samastha -  means rules for eating
Food ideally should be consumed while it is hot. This will naturally increase the digestive fire. Likewise, meals must be taken in a relaxed, calm and cheerful atmosphere. One should not eat, when the person is nervous, angry, anxious, or in a disturbed state of mind.

Similarly, eating too slowly or too rapidly along with eating while talking, laughing, thinking or watching television is also not advisable. It is better if we concentrate on the food only with the thought that this food is going to benefit both the body and mind. Smoking or drinking too much water or any other liquid after eating is also not advisable.

Make eating food a ritual
It is recommended to take a shower and wear clean clothes prior to cooking. Our guest is God. Therefore,  food should first be served to him and then children. Chanting of mantras and offering a prayer to God is always advisable knowing that blessed food will always nourish both the body and mind.

8. Upbhokta - Person who takes the food
Every person must take into consideration his own constitution, capacity of his digestive power, the season, time of day, and whether the previously taken food has been digested or not.

Written by Dr.Gaurang Joshi
https://www.atharvaayurvedindia.com
Twiiter @drgaurangjoshi