Kutki - A Popular Liver Tonic

Kutki - A Popular Liver Tonic
Kutki (katuka) is a popular liver tonic herb. Although its name means ‘pungent’ it also has a strong bitter taste. It grows at high altitudes in the Himalayas and is also known as ‘Dhanvantarigrasta’ because it was said to be consumed by Dhanvantari (father of Ayurveda). It pacifies excess heat in the body due to its antinflammatory properties.  It is a light and dry herb and therefore can increase these qualities in the body; hence its use must be carefully monitored. Kutki works especially well with diseases related to the liver and has antibacterial and expectorant properties. As it also works on the immune system by stimulating it, it is sometimes said to be contraindicated in certain autoimmune diseases.

Actions:
Kutki has several ayurvedic actions which make it a desired herb in some diseases. It has a strong scraping effect which assists in the removal of toxins. It also kindles digestion and reduces heat in the blood due to its cooling properties. It is said to destroy poisons and also alleviates skin disorders.

Properties:
Kutki is a light and dry herb and has a bitter, pungent taste with a cooling effect in the body. Its post digestive effect is pungent and it is also effective on the digestive, circulatory, nervous and respiratory systems.

Some indications, amongst others, include:
·        Liver damage
·        Cirrhosis
·        Inflamed/ enlarged liver
·        Acidity
·        Nausea
·        Palpitations
·        Allergies
·        Bronchial Asthma
·        Rhinitis
·        Arthritis
·        Psoriasis
·        Dysentery
·        Parasites

GREAT VIDEO DISCUSSING THE HEALING BENEFITS OF KUTKI! 

Usage:
There are many combination compounds that involve kutki to address certain conditions. Some being:
·        Kutki with manjistha, amalaki, guduchi and bhumyamalaki in liver inflammation and liver infections
·        Kutki with pippali and licorice in allergic reactions
·        Kutki with amalaki, manjistha and shatavari for intestinal inflammation
·        Kutki with ashwagandha and licorice for boosting immunity

Caution:
It is important to be aware of some of the contraindications of using kutki. In cases of excess lightness and dryness in the body, it is not recommended. It can also cause diarrhea and gas and therefore not suggested in a weak digestive system. It is also contraindicated in pregnancy. Always seek a physician’s advice before undertaking herbal supplementation.

References
·        Lad, V. (2002). Textbook of Ayurveda.
·        Lad, V., & Frawley, D. (1986). The yoga of herbs
·        Pole, S. (2013). Ayurvedic medicine the principles of traditional practice
·        Green, J. (2000). The herbal medicine-makers' handbook a home manual
·        Lad, V. (2012). Ayurvedic perspectives on selected pathologies


Easy And Healthy Ways To Lose Weight

Easy And Healthy Ways To Lose Weight
From an Ayurvedic standpoint, weight gain occurs as a result of excess earth and water elements in the body. This creates sluggish/weak digestion which leads to low metabolism. Signs and symptoms associated with obesity include lethargy, breathlessness on exertion, excess sweating, excess thirst as well as weight gain. Usually the etiological factors of obesity are due to poor diet and lifestyle choices. The typical American diet is extremely counterproductive in the maintenance of good health. Fried foods, excess salty and sweet foods as well as sodas have become a part of the ‘norm’ in todays society. The use of ice in drinks and the popular usage of frozen foods has also contributed to the rising levels of obesity.

There are some simple ayurvedic recommendations to target weight gain. However, it is important to note that each case is different and will require a more individualized approach to best suit ones needs. It is vital to establish the cause of obesity in each person as many different etiological factors can come into play. An individualized health plan created with ones own physician and practitioner is advised.

Easy And Healthy Considerations

Diet:

  • Drinking a cup of hot water with 1 tsp of honey and 10 drops of apple cider vinegar is a wonderful way to start the day. Honey and apple cider vinegar have scraping effects and can help with reducing excess adipose tissue.
  • Eliminating alcohol, caffeine and smoking. There is abundant information on how many negative effects these substances induce in the body. They can alter the digestive fire and create cravings for unhealthy foods.
  • Reducing dairy and meats from the diet. These foods are heavy, gross and can lead to slow, sluggish digestion which will increase the same qualities in the body. Therefore one will have excess heaviness, lethargy and poor metabolism with overconsumption of these foods.
  • Consume the largest meal at lunch – when digestion is strongest and keep dinner a simple and light meal.
  • Incorporate ginger pickles and teas in the diet. Ginger is an effective herb for stimulating digestion and removing toxins from the body. It will also help to increase metabolism.
  • Reducing the cold element in the diet and incorporating more hot meals will also bring changes to health.
  • Fresh vegetables such as beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, leafy greens, onions, garlic, peppers and sprouts will help increase the light element in the body. Fruits to favor include; berries, apples, pears, pomegranate, raisins, lemons, prunes and apricots. Generally heavier and sweet fruit and vegetables such as potatoes, cucumber, zucchini, bananas, coconuts, avacados, oranges, grapes and pineapples are best avoided.
  • In some cases, a 24 hour kichadi or water fast can be beneficial. Fasting in an approptiate manner and under the care of a physician/practitioner, can bring tremendous health benefits. It can reset the body and help one get onto the right track.

 

Lifestyle:

  • Exercise is an important part of life. It increases metabolism and burns fat and also brings balance as well as mental clarity. The health benefits of yoga are vast. Taking up a daily yoga practice along with breathing exercises (pranayama) is an effective way for maintaining a healthy body weight.
  • At the very least, a 20 minute brisk walk should be incorporated into a morning daily routine. This will move lymph and reduce adipose tissue.
  • Napping during the day will increase the qualities that lead to weight gain; heavy, slow, dull, oily, gross and soft. It is best to obtain a good night’s sleep and to establish regular arising and sleeping times to set the body into a healthy routine.
  • Meditation and self – love. It is important to nurture one-self and to develop love and acceptance, as negative emotions can offset emotional hunger and depression. Meditation brings peace and harmony into life, therefore a daily 20 minute practice is recommended to bring overall awareness and balance. The many health benefits of meditation and positive affirmations are extensive. It is recommended to be forgiving of one-self and to eliminate the aspect of emotional guilt leading to acceptance, love and peace.

 

Herbs:

  • Herbs such as kutki, chitrak, trikatu and shilajit are extremely efficient in targeting fatty tissues and increasing the digestive capacity of the bodily tissues amongst many other benefits. Taking these herbs under a practitioners guidance will increase metabolism, scrape excess fat, control hunger and improve liver function.
  • Drinking triphala at night will also promote healthy bowel movements and cleansing of the colon as well as bringing balance to all the elemental properties in the body.

 

References

  • Lad, V. (1999). The complete book of Ayurvedic home remedies.
  • Sharma, H. (2011). Ayurvedic Healing. Singing Dragon
  • Lad, V. (2002). Textbook of Ayurveda.
  • Lad, V., & Frawley, D. (1986). The yoga of herbs: .
  • Lad, V. (2012). Ayurvedic perspectives on selected pathologies
  • Pole, S. (2013). Ayurvedic medicine the principles of traditional practice
  • Green, J. (2000). The herbal medicine-makers' handbook a home manual