Ama ~ The Root Cause Of Disease According To Ayurveda

 

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

 

 

The Root Cause Of Disease

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

 

 

General Signs & Symptoms Of Ama

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

 

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

So How Does Ama Form? 

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

 

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

 

What Might Impair Agni?

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

 

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

 

Fundamental Principles ... 

  • "like increases like"
  • "opposites oppose" 

 

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

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

 

How Does Ama Cause Disease?

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

 

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

- Ashtanga Hrdayam 

 

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

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

 

 

Ama - The Root Cause Of Disease

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

 

"Leaky Gut" ~ An Ama Perspective

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Ama + Dosha = "Sama Dosha"

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

Trikatu
 – The Digestive Herbal Formula

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

 

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

 

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

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

Resources:

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The 5 Step Ayurveda Cleanse

 

The 5 Step Ayurveda  Cleanse 
Cleansing is perhaps the easiest, least expensive, and most important element of maintaining health. Health implies balance and research shows that the impact of good health on the quality of life is far-reaching, regardless of your age or sex. However, when impurities and toxins accumulate within the cells, the body as a whole suffers. Although, the health industry is a ‘disease and sickness’ industry - Ayurveda, on the other hand, is more than a mere system of treating illness. Instead, Ayurveda is a science of life which offers wisdom designed to help people stay healthy while realizing their full human potential. For example, Ayurveda provides guidelines on ideal daily and seasonal routines, i.e. “panchakarma”.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

The word “panchakarma” comes from the the classic texts of Ayurveda, and means ‘five actions’. These five actions of panchakarma refers to a cleansing process used to remove impurities from the body. Panchakarma is a very powerful and effective cleansing program. Although a complete panchakarma cleanse should always be performed under the guidance of a qualified professional, in this post we will discuss a more simple and practical “home Ayurveda cleanse”. An Ayurveda cleanse is a wonderful detoxification program especially as a seasonal cleanse. This cleanse is beneficial as a routine preventative measure, helps reverse the buildup of toxins [“ama”], and is even helpful for specific conditions as we will discuss later.

Sri Sri Ayurveda Panchakarma - Art Of Living

Sri Sri Ayurveda Panchakarma is an initiative of the Art of Living Foundation, specializing in holistic wellness and rejuvenation through ayurvedic practices and alternative therapies under the guidance of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Sri Sri Ayurveda Panchakarma was established with a vision to bring the best of ayurveda to the world.

"Home Ayurveda Cleanse"
1. Preparation – Slowing Down
2. Internal Oleation
3. External Oleation 
4. Purgation 
5. Rejuvenation 

 

1. Preparation
Before considering a home Ayurveda cleanse, it is advised to gradually become less active at least a week prior to the cleanse. Likewise, dietary choices should become more simple. For example, a kitchari diet is often ideal. Also, evey night during the home Ayurveda cleanse it is advised to have 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of triphala. Tripala has many nourishing health benefits such as being an antioxidant and also has a mild laxative effective. Therefore, every night for the home Ayurveda cleanse, triphala should be taken about 1 hour after your evening meal which will help with both elimination and the cleansing process.

Triphala
Simply add about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of triphala into a 1/2 cup of boiling water. Let the mixture steep for 10 minutes until warm, then drink.

Triphala Plus
Supports digestive system and elimination; assists body in absorbing nutrients; high-quality antioxidant; wide range of benefits.

 

2. Internal Oleation - [Days 1- 3]
We begin our home Ayurveda cleanse with “internal oleation”. This involves ingesting warm liquid ghee [clarified butter] on an empty stomach first thing in the morning - for the first three days. Ideally, consider having 2 tablespoons of warm ghee, either alone or you may prefer taking a few small sips of warm water after ingesting the ghee. The ingestion of ghee provides internal oleation and lubrication, which is necessary to bring fat soluable toxins [“ama”] from deep bodily tissue back to the G.I. tract. Our goal is to bring toxins from deep bodily tissue back into the intestinal tract which will eventually be eliminated; hence purification. Also, as a general rule, It is important to be observant making sure to eat only after true hunger has returned.

Special Considerations:
If not accustomed to having ghee first thing in the morning especially on an empty stomach, you may experience feeling nauseous. Therefore, a few simple considerations to help prevent this uncomfortable feeling.

Vata Types:
Considering adding a pinch of rock salt with your ghee

Pitta Types:
Considering adding 1/8th tsp of roasted cumin powder

Kapha Types:
Consider adding a pinch of trikatu with your ghee

 

3. External Oleation - [Days 4 - 8]
After completing the first three days of internal oleation - which is the ingestion of warm ghee first thing in the morning on an empty stomach - you are now ready for “external oleation” for the following 5 days. External oleation involves applying about 8 ounces of warm oil onto your skin. Gently massage the oil over your body for at least 20 minutes beginning with your feet and working your way up to your head. While massaging your extremities [i.e. arms and legs] make long strokes and while massaging your joints, consider circular motions. Similarly, while massaging your abdomen you should gently massage in a circular motion. Finally, apply oil to your head and hair making sure to include the external ear and this is very balancing and stress reducing.

Moisturizing Herbal Massage Oils
Personalize your daily massage with herbal massage oils.

Rest & Shower
After having massaged your entire body with warm oil for about 20 minutes, it is now a time to rest for about 5-10 minutes before taking a nice warm shower. While resting during this short duration before your shower, it’s important to stay warm. Therefore, in order to remain warm and avoid losing ambient heat, consider keeping your bathroom comfortably warm and stay wrapped in a towel.

A Nice Warm Shower
After having applied warm oil onto your skin and massaging it throughout your entire body - it’s now time for a nice warm shower. Consider, using a mild Ayurvedic herbal soap, for example neem soap and chamomile shampoo. It is also considered beneficial to allow some of the oil to remain on your skin even after having taken shower.

Herbal Body Cleansing Soaps
A special blend of ayurvedic herbs creating a light and fresh herbal soap bar which cleanses deeply.

 

4. Purgation - [Days 6 - 8]
Throughout the entire process of the home panchakarma cleanse, impurities from different parts of the body have been loosened and drawn into the intestinal tract. Now we are ready to eliminate these toxins through the process of purgation. Apart from the recommended evening use of triphala, as described above - the last three days of your home Ayurveda cleanse involves purgation by the use of a medicated enema called “basti”.

Basti
Consider making a dashamula tea for the enema mixture. Simply boil 1 tablespoon of the herbal mixture of dashmula into a pint of water for approximately 5 minutes. Let this dashamula tea cool, then strain, and then use it as an enema. Once the enema has been administered into the rectum, retain the liquid for as long as you comfortably can.

Ayurvedic Detox Program 
2-4 capsules of herbal cleanse before bed will cleanse the bowel.
2 tablets of elim-tox or elim-tox-o morning and evening will cleanse the liver, blood, sweat glands and the elimination system.
2 tablets of organic genitrac morning and evening will purify the urinary tract and assist the removal of toxins.

Note:
We recommend that after completing your cleanse, you continue with organic digest tone (triphala plus) to support healthy elimination and digestion.

A Word Of Caution:
It is always advised to have assistance from a qualified professional for therapeutic procedures such as “basti”.

 

5. Rejuvenation
For maintaining wellness, the purpose of this home Ayurveda cleanse is to purify the body by removing impurities. After completing this cleanse, it is important to begin rejuvenating the body once again so that you can enjoy good health while strengthening the body in order to prevent any future health conditions; i.e. disease. Ayurveda recommends rejuvenatives called “Rasayanas” which brings renewal to all the cells of the body resulting in good health and longevity. According to Ayurveda, “Rasayanas” build overall immunity while providing strength and vitality.

Amrit Kalash - "The Nectar Of Immortality"
Amrit Kalash is thought to be the ambrosial gift to bring about health and happiness for all of humanity. Traditional ayurvedic formula of 13 herbs that supports the health of mind, brain, and nerves; increases vitality and inner strength; powerful antioxidant — research shows it to be up to 1,000 times more effective than vitamins C and E

Full-spectrum antioxidant: targets mind & nervous system

  • 1000x more effective in eliminating free radicals (the root cause of aging) than vitamins C or E1
  • powerful food for the brain
  • significantly boosts immunity & vitality

 

Special Considerations:

Vata Types:
An excellent Rasayana for vata types is ashwagandha. Simply, mix 1 teaspoon of ashwagandha in a cup of warm milk and drink. Consider having this twice daily, in the morning and evening.

Pitta Type:
An excellent Rasayana for pitta types is shatavari. Mix 1 teaspoon of shatavari in a cup of warm milk and drink.

Caution:
If there is any lump in the breast or family history of breast cancer, it is best to avoid shatavari and instead consider substituting guduchi for shatavari as a rasayana for pitta types.

Kapha Types:
An excellent Rasayana for kapha types is punarnava. Therefore. mix 1 teaspoon of punarnava in a cup of warm water and drink.

 

Few Additional Suggestions:
While finishing your home pancharkarma cleanse, it is important to slowly and gradually resume your daily activities. Therefore, make sure to get plenty of rest and making sure to eat accordingly to your appetite making sure not to overindulge. Lastly, it is important to establish a healthy daily routine [“dinacharya”] which incorporates the activities of yoga, meditation, and pranayama.

 

Resource: 
This home Ayurveda cleanse is inspired by the teachings of Dr. Vasant Lad. Dr. Lad is both a physician and professor who is considered one of the foremost expects on the subject of Ayurveda. Each year, Dr. Lad travels throughout the world, consulting privately and giving lectures. Coming to the United States in 1979 and lecturing for over 30 years, Dr. Lad has influenced and touched the hearts of his students.

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.


Endocrine Disruptors - A Reason For Weight Gain?

 

Endocrine Disruptors - A Reason For Weight Gain? 
Whether you’re trying to lose a lot weight or just shed a few extra stubborn pounds, do you ever wonder why getting the scale to go down often feels like an uphill battle? “We’re finding that weight management is much more complex than just energy-in versus energy-out,” says professor Jennifer Kuk who is a professor of health science at York University in Toronto. According to a study published in the journal Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, the researchers hypothesize that environmental factors, such as our food, chemical-filled personal care products, and increased stress, may play a major role in why we’re heavier now [compared to the 1970’s] when all other factors are the same.

“Maintaining a healthy weight is important for overall health
and can help you prevent and control many diseases and conditions.”
- National Institute Of Health; NIH

"Endocrine Disruptors" 
Despite eating healthy and attempting to minimize our exposure to chemicals, it’s still a challenge to avoid them completely. The reason why it’s difficult to avoid them is because they seem to be everywhere. For example, many chemicals such as pesticides, flame-retardants, and preservatives all have an affect on hormones and can often be a cause for the additional weight we seem to put on. Another study, published in the Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, found that exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) or ethinyl estradiol (EE) - two common “endocrine disruptors” in the mother’s womb results in a slower metabolism and lower activity in their offspring.

Interesting Video - Endocrine Disruptors Overview 

 

Our First Defense - “Agni”
As per Ayurveda, “Agni” is the cosmic fire - the principle of transformation of all substances and Ayurveda describes 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. The first and foremost level of Agni is the digestive fire, which digests the food we consume. Even further, Agni represents all that we ‘take in’ - from the food we eat, to all sensory impressions we perceive, and all thoughts, feelings, and emotions we “digest”. In essence, our resilience depends upon the state of our Agni.

Improve Your Digestive Fire
Special Digestive Formulas To Help Improve Your Digestive Fire.

 

“The Fix”
The practical solution is to avoid exposure. We should take all reasonable steps to limit our exposure to chemicals which may be endocrine disruptors. For example, consider replacing vinyl shower curtains for a BPA-free replacement or consider storing food in glass containers rather than plastic containers.

"Major loopholes in federal law allow the… cosmetics industry to put unlimited amounts of phthalates into many personal care products with no required testing, no required monitoring of health effects, and no required labeling."
- Study by Environmental Working Group; 2002

Common Sources Of Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals
Epoch Times recently compiled 10 common sources of endocrine disruptors, as well as what you can do about them.

Here are just a few ...

 

Personal Care Products. Shampoo, hair conditioners, moisturizers, and other personal care products often contain endocrine disruptors.
Drinking Water. Atrazine, arsenic, and perchlorate are three endocrine disruptors that pervade many communities’ drinking water supplies.
Canned Foods. Many cans are lined with BPA which are considered a common endocrine disruptor.
Cleaning Products. Common cleaning products often have a large amount of industrial chemicals which may act as endocrine disruptors. Instead, consider greener alternatives or even create your own cleaning products using non-toxic ingredients such as lemon, vinegar, and good old-fashioned soap.
Kitchen Products. Common kitchen appliances such as nonstick cookware, plastic wrap, and plastic containers may all contain endocrine disruptors; especially when heated.

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

Three Powerful Detox Ingredients:

  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 is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antibacterial and has long been used in the Indian system of medicine to treat a variety of conditions.

 

Panchakarma - An Ayurvedic Purification Process
Ayurveda is a life science which teaches an appropriate art of living in order to achieve longevity. Ayurveda explains unique methods to help guide each and every individual on how to maintain a healthy balance by considering simple changes in lifestyle, eating habits, and exercise. Ayurveda gives priority not only to preventive and therapeutic procedures but also to purification and rejuvenation therapies.

Nature’s Greatest Antioxidant!!
According to Ayurveda, Amalaki is considered one of the most nourishing and rejuvenating herbs. Amalaki is a strong natural antioxidant containing high levels of vitamin C and acts as a powerful immune strengthener. Amalaki is one of the best sources of natural vitamin C and contains 20 times more vitamin C than an orange.

Premium Amla Berry
Works as a powerful antioxidant for people of all ages which 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.

Amrit Kalash: Full-spectrum antioxidant:
Traditional ayurvedic formula of 13 herbs that supports the health of mind, brain, and nerves; increases vitality and inner strength; powerful antioxidant — research shows it to be up to 1,000 times more effective than vitamins C and E.

A Few Stubborn Pounds?
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 today’s 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 & 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, avocados, oranges, grapes and pineapples are best avoided.
  • In some cases, a 24 hour kichadi or water fast can be beneficial. Fasting in an appropriate 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.

 

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

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

 

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.

 

Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus) 
Supports digestive system and elimination; assists body in absorbing nutrients; high-quality antioxidant; wide range of benefits.

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.


Gut Health & "Ama" [Toxins]

 

Gut Health & "Ama"
Over the course of a lifetime, we ingest roughly 50 tons of nutrients and our ability to properly digest these nutrients determines to a large extent the state of our health. “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.

Ayurveda states that proper diet and optimal digestion are the major pillars of good health. Similarly, optimal function of the GI tract requires proper mucosal integrity and a balanced microbial ecosystem in the gut. In essence, “gut health” relies on “good bacteria”. Any compromise to the mucosal integrity and/or disturbances in the bacterial flora in the gut may give rise to what’s often considered “leaky gut syndrome” - the epitome of ama. Ultimately, the absorption of poorly digested food material [“ama”] along with toxins from the environment blocks the physiological channels at various levels and therefore undeniably becomes the root cause of disease.

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

The top 7 foods to get rid of leaky gut for good are:
1. Bone Broth
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]

 

Digestion - At Various Levels:

At The Level Of Gross Digestion
Poorly digested food in the GI tract creates a thick and slimy substance which then lines the walls of the bowels and impedes the absorption and assimilation of nutrients; i.e. malabsorption.

At The Level Of Cellular Digestion
Metabolic process of cellular digestion [i.e. oxidation] along with external impurities [“gara visha”; exogenous toxins] such as pesticides and pollution can create physiological by-products which are damaging to the cell. For example, free radicals [“ama visha”; reactive ama] and the accumulation of toxic metabolic by-products are known to be the cause of aging and disease and collectively may be referred to as “ama” from a cellular perspective.

Rasayana - Nature’s Greatest Antioxidant!!
According to Ayurveda, Amalaki is considered one of the most nourishing and rejuvenating herbs. Amalaki is a strong natural antioxidant containing high levels of vitamin C and acts as a powerful immune strengthener. Amalaki is one of the best sources of natural vitamin C and contains 20 times more vitamin C than an orange.

Premium Amla Berry
Works as a powerful antioxidant for people of all ages which 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.

Amrit Kalash: Full-spectrum antioxidant:
Traditional ayurvedic formula of 13 herbs that supports the health of mind, brain, and nerves; increases vitality and inner strength; powerful antioxidant — research shows it to be up to 1,000 times more effective than vitamins C and E.

At The Level Of Mental Digestion
Similarly, unprocessed thoughts, feelings, and emotions can also become “mental ama” which may then crystallize and manifest as stress in various physiological expressions; i.e. depression, hypertension, etc.

Stress Free Emotions
For natural resistance to emotional stress and fatigue; promotes emotional balance, positive feelings, and feelings of fulfillment.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Trikatu
The Digestive Herbal Formula

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

 

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

 

Disclaimer
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.


Ayurveda Oil Massage [Snehana & Abhyanga]

 

 

Ayurveda Oil Massage
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.

“Love is oily, soft, and gentle.”
- Dr. Vasant Lad

The skin provides the ability to heal through touch. The healing touch may include various modalities of healing such as massage. Ayurveda describes in great detail the benefits of daily oil massage. Not only is massage comforting to the body but essential for overall health and well-being. A dry stick easily breaks but if you soak the same stick in oil it soon becomes flexible. The same happens to the human body. The influence of vata makes the body dry, brittle, and achy via the aging process. Therefore, daily oil massage helps maintain proper functions of the body and ultimately helps to reduce the effects of aging.

Interesting Video: Shirodhara - Gently Pouring Oil Over The Forehead

Shirodhara is a form of Ayurveda therapy that involves gently pouring liquids over the forehead and can be one of the steps involved in Panchakarma. The name comes from the Sanskrit words shiro (head) and dhara (flow).

Ayurveda Soothing & Moisturizing Massage Oils
Personalize your daily massage with herbal massage oils.

Benefits of snehan [oil massage] include:

  • Pacifies vata and pitta
  • Strengthens the body’s tolerance
  • Nourishes the body
  • Helps reduce the effects of aging
  • Increases longevity
  • Promotes good vision
  • Supports regular sleep patterns
  • Benefits the skin
  • Imparts firmness to the limbs
  • Imparts tone and vigor to the dhatus (bodily tissues)
  • Stimulates the internal organs of the body

 

Massaging oil on the body is a great way to keep the skin soft, supple and wrinkle free. It is a rejuvenating technique that improves circulation and, when done at night, induces sleep. Massaging the scalp can prevent hair loss and graying. In the evenings, massaging the scalp and soles of the feet with bhringraj oil can help in achieving a calm, restorative sleep. It is advisable to start with the outer extremities and work towards the heart. One should massage in a linear fashion along the limbs and with circular motions on the joints. Some popular oils used are coconut, sesame, sunflower and almond. According to one’s natural constitution, one should pick an oil that is appropriate to their state of balance.

“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

Ayurvedic Qualities Of Snehan [Oil Massage]
Oily quality provides lubrication to tissues
Liquid quality allows for liquefaction of toxins
Heavy quality grounds the body and nourish tissues
Subtle quality allows the oils to enter into the cells
Mobile quality helps direct toxins from deep tissue to the G.I. tract
Soft quality helps to soften tissue and induce tranquility
Slow quality stabilizes the mind and promote sound sleep
Sticky quality brings support and cohesiveness to the body

 

Which Oils For Who:

Vata Dosha
Vata predominant types can use Sesame oil.
For the body, ears, oil pulling and enema.
Nasya could be sesame, ghee or almond.

Pitta Dosha
Pitta predominant types can use Sunflower oil.
For the body, ears, oil pulling and enema.
Nasya could be coconut, sunflower or ghee.

Kapha Dosha
Kapha predominant types can use Mustard seed oil.
For the body, ears, oil pulling and enema.
Nasya could be sesame or ghee.

Click Here - To Learn More About Oleation & Abhyanga

Amrit Kalash Ambrosia 
Traditional ayurvedic formula of 13 herbs that supports the health of mind, brain, and nerves; increases vitality and inner strength; powerful antioxidant — research shows it to be up to 1,000 times more effective than vitamins C and E.

Snehan For Panchakarma
Modern living is filled with impurities. These impurities are typically stored in adipose/fat tissue and in order to remove these toxins the cleansing process of panchakarma makes use of oleation therapy called “snehana”. Sneha is the application of medicated oils to the entire body with gentle massage and allows the toxins to move into the gastrointestinal tract for easy elimination. It is also administered internally for 3 – 5 days depending on the disease and patient’s tolerance.

Some Indications Of Snehan [Oil Massage]:
- most vata disorders
- dry skin
- constipation
- worry, anxiety, stress
- excessive physical activity
- muscle weakness, tremors, twitching
- sciatica, arthritis
- emaciation or debility
- general health benefits

Few Contraindications Of Snehan [Oil Massage]:
- severe levels of toxins
- very low agni [digestive ability]
- obesity, edema, ascites
- food poisoning, nausea or vomiting
- acute infection

Disclaimer:
These are considered general and basic guidelines for overall health and wellbeing. Always first discuss with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen. This is strictly for educational use and not to be considered medical advice.


Ayurveda - The Movement Of Vata Dosha

 

Ayurveda - The Movement Of Vata Dosha
Ayurveda is the science of life. The science of Ayurveda explains that the human body is a replica of the vast external universe recognizing each individual to be an integral part of the entire cosmos. A unique aspect of Ayurveda is the explanation of 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. Not only do the doshas govern our bodily functions but from a more truer perspective – they are the governing principles of nature. For now, we shall consider vata dosha.

“That which moves things.”

Vata Dosha
The concept of vata originates from the Sanskrit word “vyv” [vaya] which implies ‘that which moves things’. Eventually, vata began to be depicted as wind. In essence, vata is the principle and dynamic force which governs all movement.

Balanced Vata Dosha:
When vata is balanced it promotes great creativity, evokes feelings of freshness and lightness which springs forth the sense of happiness.

Imbalanced Vata Dosha:
When vata becomes imbalanced it then promotes dispersing qualities which can then make the mind and body vulnerable to a wide-range of health conditions. Click Here: To Learn More About Vata Types 

The Movement Of Vata Dosha
Ayurveda recognizes that each individual has a unique balance and that this balance can become disturbed by various factors such as diet, lifestyle, seasonal changes and even the way we think and perceive our experiences. Let us now see how various factors express themselves in the realm of vata dosha.

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

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

Introduce warm qualities such as:

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

 

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

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

Balance cold, dry, and light qualities with:

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

Abhyanga [Oil Massage] & Svedana [Sweating]

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

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

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

 

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

Stressing The Importance Of:

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

The Five Purifying Actions Of Panchakarma:

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

Click Here - To Learn More About Panchakarma

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

Resources:

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


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


An Ayurvedic Purification Purge [Virechana]

 

An Ayurvedic Purification Purge 
According to the ancient teachings of Ayurveda, there are three doshas called vata, pitta, and kapha. These three doshas act 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

Imbalanced Doshas
Each of the three doshas are present throughout the body. They govern our physiology and all activities of the body, mind, and emotions. Ayurveda is a holistic science and recognizes that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. That said, when the doshas become imbalanced it affects the whole body. Likewise, when the doshas become aggravated by various factors such as poor diet, unhealthy lifestyle, negative emotions, etc. this can cause an imbalance to the bodily systems and if not corrected appropriately - may lead to disease.

Imbalanced Doshas + Impaired Digestion = Toxicity
As a result of poor diet and unhealthy lifestyle not only do the doshas become imbalanced but the digestive fire [agni] soon becomes impaired. As the digestive fire becomes disturbed, food no longer is able to be properly digested and the undigested food then accumulates within the G.I. tract. allowing for toxicity [i.e. fermentation, putrefaction]. From this perspective, Ayurveda states that the by-product of poor digestion [“ama”] is the root cause of all disease.

"The signs and symptoms of ama are clogging of channels, sense of heaviness, low energy, restlessness, lethargy, indigestion, kaphatype congestion [expectoration], accumulation of the three malas [wastes], loss of taste and sexual debility." - Ast Hrd Su. 30.23

Goal: Remove Ama [Toxins]

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

Panchakarma
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.

Great Video - A Very Brief Introduction To Panchakarma

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

 

Snehana - Virechana 
Modern living is filled with impurities. These impurities are typically stored in adipose/fat tissue and in order to remove these toxins the cleansing process of panchakarma makes use of oleation therapy called “snehana”. Typically, the oleation process of snehana takes place during a few days. During these several days, one would be instructed to drink melted ghee [clarified butter] on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. The amount of ghee to be ingested is specified by a qualified ayurvedic professional as the amounts typically increase daily throughout the few days. Generally, on the third or fourth day, the person is instructed to skip dinner, take a hot tub bath, then undergo purgation [“virechana”] by ingesting castor oil or other laxatives which are properly indicated

 

The Logical Explanation

Toxins From Fat Cells Get Pulled Into Circulation
Prior to the ingestion of large amounts of ghee there is a brief period of reduced ingestion of fat and/or calories. The reduced ingestion of fat helps fat cells to concentrate impurities and toxins [i.e. PAHs; polyaromatic hydrocarbons] stored within adipose tissue. As one begins to ingest large amounts of ghee this creates a sudden increase in the amount of “impurity-free ghee” within the blood stream. The fat [triglycerides] in the blood stream attract the toxins which are concentrated within fat cells and through the process of diffusion, osmosis, and active transport - the toxins from the fat cells enter into the blood stream.

Circulating Toxins - Pulled Into The Gut
As the toxins leave the fat cells due to diffusion-osmosis-active transport explained above, these toxins then begin to circulate into the general circulation. The fat-soluble impurities which have now been released from fat cells are now unstable in the aqueous circulating blood and therefore seek out other stores of fat to dissolve into. Likewise, the circulating impurities are also unable to return back into adipose tissue due to the imposed concentration gradient created by the ingestion of large amounts of ghee. Finally, due to the increasing amounts of ghee ingested, the “impurity-free ghee” within the gut now creates a favorable concentration gradient allowing for circulating toxins in the blood to enter into the G.I. tract. Now that the toxins are concentrated within the G.I. tract, the next step is purgation.

In Essence:
A concentration gradient was established in order to pull stored fat-soluble impurities from fat cells into the blood stream and from the blood stream into the gut.

 

The Purging Of Toxins 
Now that the toxins are concentrated within the G.I. tract, the next step is purgation. However, before the final purge it’s best to consider a hot bath to induce vasodilation and to further loosen and remaining fat-soluble toxins. Finally, purgation using castor oil [or another laxative] specified by a trained professional results in the elimination of toxins and ghee from the G.I. tract.

Signs & Symptoms Of Proper Virechana

  • tongue looks clean
  • clarity of the mind
  • no gas or discomfort
  • appetite returns a couple hours after purgation
  • creates lightness to the body and promotes sound sleep

 

Caution:
Excess purgation can lead to excessive diarrhea, severe dehydration, and hypovolemic shock and therefore should only be performed under the guidance of a qualified professional.

Disclaimer:
Panchakarma is a specialized Ayurvedic procedure which should be performed under the guidance of a trained and skillful Ayurvedic professional. Excess purgation can lead to excessive diarrhea, severe dehydration, and hypovolemic shock. This is strictly for educational purpose only and not medical advice. Always first consult your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.

Want More?
CLICK HERE - For More Information On Panchakarma

 


Healthy Living With Ayurveda

Healthy Living With Ayurveda

“Samadosha, samagnischa samadhatumala kriyaha
prasanna atmenindriya manaha swasthya ityabhidheeyate”

Acharya Susruta has described the features of a healthy person in the above quote. It follows that the doshas must be in equilibrium, the digestive fire must be in a balanced state and the tissues (dhatus) and malas (wastes) must work in a normal state. The sensory and motor organs and mind, atma must be also in a pleasant state. Such a person is called a healthy person or "Swastha".

Samadosha:
The doshas that are present in the body and mind, namely vata, pitta and kapha, must be in a balanced state in order to keep a person healthy. When the balance of the doshas is disturbed, either aggravated or decreased (vitiated) it produces a state of Dosha Vaishamya, which is called disease.

Organic Teas
To Help Balance The Doshas

Samagni:
In order to keep an individual healthy and digestive fire (koshtagni) and dhatuagni (tissue enzymes) must be in a proper state. When agni is less in quality (Mandagni) it will cause many diseases (“Rogaha Sarvepi Mande Agnou”). It is a well known that the health of an individual depends on the proper strength of his digestive power.

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

Sama dhatu mala kriya:
(Balanced state of dhatus and malas): According to Ayurveda there are seven Dhatus namely Rasa, Rakta, Mamsa, Medas, Asthi, Majja and Shukra. And the excreta or Malas – purisa (faeces), Mutra (urine), Sweda (sweat). The dhatus of the body must function properly and so also the malas of the body.

 Ayurvedic Detox
11 Ayurvedic herbs to gently cleanse the liver & colon of impurities.

Prasanna Atmendriya Manaha:
In Ayurveda, the functions of the sensory and motor organs along with the mind have been given special importance. When these are not in equilibrium and not performing their functions properly, it will lead to a state called disease. Even when the bodily systems function properly the bodily activities must not vitiate or disturb the nature of the mind. The state of mental health is more important than that of physical health of a truly healthy person.

Stress Free Emotions
Powerful formulation with arjuna, amla & ashwagandha

"Swastha" - The Healthy State
"Swastha" or the healthy state maintained from birth along with the three doshas remaining in a balanced state, allowing the person to achieve a well-balanced constitution, attractive appearance, good muscular strength and complete peace of mind. Good health can be maintained until death. For this one should intelligently follow all the rules laid down according to the science of Ayurveda. Only then will a person enjoy an optimum life span of a hundred years without contracting disease. He will also gain recognition in society, friendship with people and honour and wealth as he has the energy and ability to achieve all the goals in life.

How Ayurveda Classifies Food - by Dr. Neelesh Korde

In this video, Dr. Neelesh Korde advises that before choosing a diet, we must understand how the foods we eat will affect our body. Ayurveda  is based on the qualities of the food that are passed on to the person consuming that particular food.

"The aim of Ayurveda is to prevent illness,
heal the sick and preserve life."

 

The Aim Of Ayurveda

This can be summed up as follows:
Swasthyas swasthya rakshanam - to protect health and prolong life
Aturasya vikar prashamanamcha - to eliminate diseases and dysfunctions of the body

And both these are aimed towards the promotion of health on three levels:

• Mentally
• Physically
• Spiritually

 

How can Ayurveda help you to remain healthy?
Specialized Ayurvedic remedies such as Panchakarma chikitsa, Shirodhara or following an Ayurvedic diet, basically endeavor to restore the harmony of the tridoshas. The purpose of all Ayurvedic remedies and herbal medicines is to keep the doshas or the humors in equilibrium, since an imbalance indicates a disease condition. Samsodhana (cleansing process), samsamana (palliative measures) and nidanaparivarjana (treating the causes) are the three main stages through which Ayurvedic remedies usually progress.

About The Author:
Dr. Gaurang Joshi, B.A.M.S. (Gold Medalist, Gujarat Ayurved University) is an international Ayurveda consultant, expert Ayurveda skin specialist, Ayurveda Oncology expert and the Director of the Atharva Multispeciality Ayurveda Hospital, Panchakarma And Skin Care Hospital, Rajkot. He is President of the International Psoriasis Foundation and has been in practice for the last 19 years. Gaurang Joshi has published more than 12 papers in national and international conferences on Dermatology and Oncology research.

  • B.A.M.S., M.D.(Alternative Medicine),M.E.T.C.
  • M.D.(A.M.) from IIAM
  • Consulting Ayurved Panchkarma Physician
  • Expert In All Chronic Diseases
  • Ayurveda Skin Specialist
  • Expert In Ayurveda Oncology
  • President-International Psoriasis Foundation