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Healthy Ayurveda

The word “Ayurveda” is a combination of two words: Ayu means long life and health and Veda means knowledge. Therefore, Ayurveda is the ancient science of how to create a long and healthy life. The science of Ayurveda has evolved from the contemplative minds of ancient seers for the intention to heal all of humanity. Ayurveda remains alive today and is more relevant now than ever before. Our mission at Healthy Ayurveda is to spread this ancient knowledge around the world.

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Ayurveda Guide For Spring Season [Vasanta]

  Ayurveda Guide For Spring Season   Spring is a time of new beginnings. This is a time when nature comes to life. This is a time when it begins to warm from the freezing cold of the previous winter.   Ayurveda explains that “accumulated kapha” from late winter which solidified due to extreme cold now begins to liquefy by the warmth of spring which, consequently decreases Agni — which then, may cause various digestive conditions along with other numerous health conditions. This can be likened to the snow which develops upon mountain tops. As the snow melts, this floods the valley below. Similarly, kapha which developed and solidified due to the extreme cold of winter now begins to melt and begins to flood various regions of the body. This tends to impair digestion and manifests into kapha-related conditions such as cough, cold, congestion and seasonal allergies. Due to the risk of severely impairing Agni, it’s advised to eliminate aggravated kapha and one of the quickest and most effective ways of eliminating kapha is through the process of vamana; therapeutic vomiting.  Also effective, is nasya which helps to eliminate residual dosha. Regarding diet, it’s advised to consume food which is light, dry and easy to digest. Agni is impaired due to aggravated kapha and light & dry qualities helps to reduce kapha dosha. Similarly, consuming food which is predominately bitter, pungent & astringent in tastes helps to reduce Kapha while, simultaneously, helping to improve Agni. We can appreciate the change in dietary considerations from winter when Agni was strong and when it was advised to consume unctuous, heavy and sweet food. However, during Spring, it’s advised to have food which is light, dry & rough. This includes food such as: old grains; i.e. wheat and/or barley that’s over a year old. Similarly, one should consider old jaggery and, of course, steamed vegetables which are easily digested and that which helps to reduce kapha dosha. Exercise is advised such as a brisk walk to half of one’s physical capacity. Since kapha has been solidified within the body throughout winter, this is an ideal time for a deep-tissue massage and the application of dry powder to the body. Often we’re accustomed to applying oil to the body. However, since kapha is already aggravated, Udvarntana [dry massage] is advised. After bathing — one should then apply a mixture or a combination of: Camphor, Sandalwood, Agarwood & Saffron to the skin. Spring is a season for which things come to life. This is a time Āyurveda recommends “liveliness” . Liveliness in the sense of enjoying quality time with family & friends, by enjoying conversation and story-telling amongst the serene beauty of nature. One should enjoy the beauty of romance with one’s significant other. Having fermented drinks and enjoying meat which has been roasted over a fire. All these activities promotes being social, being lively as opposed to being isolated which may tend towards laziness. Such sedentary lifestyle inevitably leads to napping during the day which, of course, would further increase kapha dosha. On the contrary, being amongst others in nature pomotes liveliness … all of which helps to reduce kapha dosha. Various drinks to consider during vasanta include: – āsava, arishta, sīdhu [or fermented sugar cane juice] – fermented grape juice – water mixed with honey – or water that’s boiled and mixed with mustā That which should be avoided during Vasanta are: – food which is heavy and difficult to digest – food which is unctuous, sweet and sour in tastes – avoid a sedentary lifestyle such as sleeping during the day  … all of these will further increase kapha dosha. 

Ayurveda Guide For Late Winter Season

Ayurveda Guide For Late Winter Season Ayurveda explains that whatever there is within the environment is also there within the human body and that such changes within the environment have an influence upon the body. During this time of year, the qualities of nature become excessively cold & excessively dry and therefore influence the body as such.      Essentially, keep doing what you’re doing BUT more so … Meaning, it’s advised to continue the same regimen of early winter during late winter. For example, having meat soup prepared from well-nourished animals with the addition of fat; such as ghee. Having alcoholic drinks made from jaggery and consuming other food made of wheat, black gram, sugarcane and milk products are ideal during winter season. It’s also recommended to have fresh rice, animal fat and sesame oil during this time of year. Normally it’s advised to have grains which have been stored for up to a year since fresh grains are typically harder to digest. However, during this time of year, the digestive capacity is strong and therefore more readily able to digest heavy qualities such as fresh grain. The coldness of the atmosphere creates rigidity to the body which is an expression of increased vāta dosha. To help reduce excess rigidity to the body, it’s advised to exercise and to also have a deep-tissue massage with vāta-reducing oils [i.e. warm sesame oil] to help pacify vāta dosha. After having done some exercise and after having had an oil-massage, it’s advised to remove excess oil with certain herbal powders and then take a bath.  It’s important to stay warm during this season. One may consider clothing & blankets made of cotton. For the sake of lightness, silk and wool are also considered. It’s useful to absorb warmth from the sun so exposing the body to sunshine is recommended and for extra coziness it’s ideal to have nice rugs on the floor along with wearing cozy socks to help keep the feet warm. For the sake of keeping warm, loving embraces from a warm body that’s anointed with the paste of saffron and fumigated with scented herbs helps to eliminate the cold of the season.  And finally, it’s advised to keep your home warm whether it be with warm embers, nice fire or central heating.    The Main Difference  … The main difference between early & late winter is: – early winter: moderately cold & excessively unctuous – late winter: excessively cold & excessively dry It’s best to manage kapha now.  If not, kapha tends to become aggravated during Spring!! Aggravated Kapha During Spring May Cause: allergies, sinus congestion, spring fever.     Therefore, the goal is to prevent excess kapha accumulation. Simple Considerations … Consider food which tends to reduce kapha dosha while at the same time doesn’t provoke vāta dosha. For example, [unyeasted] wholewheat bread, steamed vegetables and warm soup along with ghee are nourishing considerations. In order to promote optimal digestion, consider adding various spices to your food such as cinnamon, cloves and black pepper; this stimulates Agni ~ the digestive metabolic fire. Stay Warm With Warming Herbal Teas: i.e. cinnamon & ginger tea During this time of year, days become more gloomy and may increase the tendency towards sadness & depression; [i.e. “seasonal affective disorder”]. Therefore, it’s helpful to expose oneself to the warmth of sunlight when possible. To help counter the ‘gloominess of winter’, consider wearing bright, uplifting & warming colors [i.e. red & orange] to help improve one’s state of mind and sense of well-being.   When Kapha Is Provoked During Winter … Signs and symptoms of provoked kapha tend to include: – catching a cold – sinus congestion – pulmonary congestion with productive cough – bronchitis Herbs useful to help pacify kapha dosha: – punarnavā – licorice – ginger – pippalī – black pepper – chitrak – kutki IMPORTANT NOTE: Please seek proper advice from an Āyurvedic professional before taking any herbal product for managing dosha imbalances. 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.   “Overall in winter, stay calm, warm and happy, keep good company, and do indoor exercise. That will make your life happy, healthy, and holy,” ~ Dr. Vasant Lad      

Ayurveda Guidelines for Early Winter Season

Early Winter Season Hemanta [early winter] is a pleasant transition from the excess dryness of autumn. Hemanta provides unctuous & cold qualities into the atmosphere. “Whatever there is in the environment is also there in the human body” The Sanskrit word “Rtu” means the seasonal movement of time, while “Charyā” means routine or lifestyle. Therefore, ‘Rtucharyā’ means a seasonal routine or seasonal lifestyle. – Dr. Vasant Lad   During this time of the year [i.e.Visarga Kāla] it’s hydrating as the power of the Sun becomes less … and the gentle qualities of the moon become more predominant. The qualities of early winter [hemanta] are excessively unctuous [utkrsta snigdha] and moderately cold [madhyama śīta]. Increased Agni = Increased Hunger & Appetite   Very Strong Agni [Agni Prabala]  … Because of this cold quality within the atmosphere, the body preserves heat within [i.e. vasoconstriction] which retains the core fire element which ultimately increases the digestive fire, i.e. Agni.  Due to increased Agni [i.e. increased hunger & appetite], one should eat adequately; food with predominately sweet, sour & salty tastes. Sweet, sour & salty taste helps to reduce excess vāta. If not, excess vāta may further aggravate Agni. . Days Become Shorter; Nights Become Longer … As nights become longer, one naturally feels hungry upon waking in the morning.Therefore, after taking care of the morning routine [i.e. restroom etc.], it’s important to have breakfast as to not create a catabolic state; i.e. digesting dhātu/bodily tissue. The coldness of the atmosphere creates rigidity [staimtya] to the body which is an expression of increased vāta dosha. To help reduce excess rigidity to the body, it’s advised to exercise [i.e. wrestling] and have a deep–tissue massage with vāta–reducing oils to help pacify vāta dosha. Now that you’re all Oil–ed Up … After having done some exercise and after having had an oil–massage, it’s advised to remove excess oil with certain herbal powders and then take a bath. After bathing, one can then anoint the body with saffron paste and fumigate oneself with smoke of agaru. Food … Dietary considerations include having meat soup prepared from well-nourished animals with the addition of fat; such as ghee. Having alcoholic drinks made from jaggery and consuming other food made of wheat, black gram, sugarcane and milk products are ideal during early winter season. Exception To The Rule: It’s also recommended to have fresh rice, animal fat and sesame oil during this time of year. Normally it’s advised to have grains which have been stored for up to a year since fresh grains are typically harder to digest. However, during this time of year, the digestive capacity is strong and therefore more readily able to digest heavy qualities such as fresh grain. Stay Warm … It’s important to stay warm during this season. One may consider clothing and blankets made of cotton. For the sake of lightness, silk and wool are also considered. It’s useful to absorb warmth from the sun so exposing the body to sunshine is recommended. And for extra coziness … and for extra coziness it’s ideal to have nice rugs on the floor along with wearing cozy socks to help keep the feet warm. Feet are one of the primary sites of vāta dosha so keeping the feet warm helps to prevent excess vāta aggravation.  What Better Way To Stay Warm?! For the sake of keeping warm, loving embraces from a warm body that’s anointed with the paste of saffron and fumigated with scented herbs helps to eliminate the cold of the season.   And finally, it’s advised to keep your home warm whether it be with warm embers, nice fire or central heating.                 

Digestion 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.      Digestion According To Ayurveda The fundamentals of Ayurveda is centered around digestion and takes into consideration: Rasa: the 6 differing tastes … which are sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent Virya: the potency or power contained within food and/or medicine Vipaka: the influence of food at the tissue level once digestion within the GI tract is complete Prabhava … which will be discussed further in another post     According To Ayurveda … Every substance is made up of a combination of the “5 Great Elements” The ‘5 Great Elements’ called “Panchmahabhutas” are ether, air, fire, water and earth. … and based upon the combination or proportion of the 5 elements [panchmahabhutas] contained within a particular substance ultimately determines the taste [rasa], qualities [gunas] and actions [karmas] the substance [dravya] will possess. It’s important to understand that the food we ingest – changes at every stage of digestion and knowing these very changes allows us  to appreciate the therapeutic nature of  food – allowing us to eat  deliberately according to one’s needs. Taste [Rasa] Our initial perception of food [apart from seeing and smelling of food] is taste. According to the teachings of Ayurveda, tastes have an effect on doshas which then creates an influence upon the body and mind. Before we go any further …  In order to understand the correlation of tastes and its influence upon doshas … it’s important to appreciate the correlation of the elements and the principle of like increases like; and opposites help to balance excess. Samanya Vishesha Siddant  Substances having properties and actions similar to that of dosha-dhatu-and malas …. will bring about an increase in such doshas-dhatus and malas. Like Increases Like … Opposites Help To Balance Excess … The inverse is equally important.  Meaning, substances which have dissimilar or opposing properties  … will cause a decrease in the function of doshas-dhatus- and malas. which have opposing functions.     More Simplified: like increases like opposites tend to reduce excesss     The Correlation … There is a correlation of the 5 Great Elements [ether, air, fire, water, and earth] and the 6 tastes: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. Although all substances contain all 5 elements – Sweet taste contains all the elements but is  predominately water and earth – Sour taste is predominately fire and earth – Salty taste is predominately  fire and water – Pungent is predominately fire and air – Bitter being predominately ether and air – Astringent taste is predominately air and earth. SWEET TASTE …   Sweet taste being that predominately  of water and earth elements has both oily and heavy qualities which naturally increases kapha dosha. The heavy and oily qualities of food that are sweet in nature will naturally increase the inherent heavy & oily qualities of kapha dosha which will then influence the body & mind conditioned to kapha dosha. Sweet tastes is pleasing to the senses and nourishes all 7 bodily tissues [i.e. dhatu]. Sweet taste promotes anabolic growth. Proper intake of sweet taste increases strength & longevity. Sweet taste improves complexion, promotes healthy hair and skin.     SOUR TASTE …  Sour taste is predominately fire and water elements which possess light and oily qualities which will tend to increase pitta dosha. Pitta influences the body & mind with sourness which stimulates salivation, stimulates appetite  … via enhancing the secretion of digestive enzymes. SALTY TASTE … Salty taste is predominately fire and earth elements which has heating and sharp qualities from fire and heavy quality from earth which will tend to increase pitta dosha. Pitta influences the body and mind with conditions such as salty taste stimulates appetite and enhances digestion. PUNGENT TASTE … Pungent taste is predominately air and fire elements  which has dry, light, hot and sharp qualities. Due to these qualities this will naturally increase both vata and pitta dosha which influences the body and mind …. Pungent taste stimulates Agni, improves digestion. Pungent taste clears the sinuses by stimulating nasal secretions … which helps dissolve and remove kapha dosha. BITTER TASTE … Bitter taste is predominately ether and air elements which has light, dry and cool qualities which tends to increase vata dosha. Bitter taste clears the palate. Bitter taste creates firmness to the skin and muscles and due to its cooling nature, tends to be an antipyretic. ASTRINGENT TASTE …  Astringent taste is predomately air and earth elements which has dry, cool and heavy qualities which tends to increase vata dosha. Astringent taste improves absorption and due to its action of reducing excess flow tends to create binding of the stool and can lead to constipation. The Correlation  By understanding the correlation between: – the 5 Great Elements [ether, air, fire, water, and earth] – the 6 tastes [sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, astringent] – and the 3 doshas [vata, pitta, and kapha] we can then construct a chart that allows us to use food in a therapeutic fashion. *Vata dosha is decreased with: sweet, sour and salty tastes. *Pitta dosha is decreased with: sweet, bitter and astringent tastes. *Kapha dosha is decreased with: pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes.  As food moves into the stomach and eventually into the small intestine for further digestion … a more profound effect takes place which is considered virya. The actual Sanskrit word  “Virya” comes from the root Veer; which implies power & potency. Therefore, Virya is the energy, the power, the strength & potency which allows food to exert its actions upon bodily tissue. Generally speaking, Virya can be classified into two categories: Heating & Cooling which then exerts its influence upon dosha & Agni;  which ultimately exerts its influence upon bodily tissue. There is also the school of thought [i.e. Asthavida Virya] which describes 8 separate Virya [hot, cold, oily, dry, light, heavy, soft, and sharp]. These 8 separate virya are considered the 8 strongest of the 20 qualities. Strongest in the sense of : most potent, longer acting, and having more shakti [power]. FOR CONVENIENCE:  We often refer to virya as either being heating or cooling. Since, out of the 8 strongest of 20 qualities … heating and cooling tend to be the strongest. HEATING VIRYA: – reduces both vata and kapha … and increases pitta dosha – since pitta dosha increases; naturally Agni is increased. – more specifically; heating virya leads to dipana [which stimulates Agni] – heating virya promotes pachana which improves digestion. COOLING VIRYA: – reduces pitta dosha … while increasing kapha and vata dosha – since kapha generally tends to inhibit Agni … this will naturally promote growth and anabolic activity. Interesting Note … As mentioned previously, virya means power and potency.  Aside from prabhav [which seemingly is in another league of its own], Virya is the most powerful influence of all the digestive factors [rasa, virya, vipaka]. Because of this, virya is strongly considered in regards to the administration of medicine. Tastes is initially perceived on the tongue as food is ingested. As food becomes further digested in the stomach and small intestine … the more profound and longer-acting influence of Virya occurs … acting upon NOT only dosha … BUT … JaatharaAgni [the digestive metabolic fire]. Digestion Is A Process Digestion is a process and as food is digested along the G.I. tract. There are a series of reactions thereby creating partially digested food-products along the way. Vipaka is the final substance derived from food that results after digestion within the gastrointestinal tract is complete. This substance [with its physical-chemical structure], its qualities and its corresponding influence upon doshas and bodily tissue is vipaka. However, before we can appreciate vipaka … it’s important to discuss Avastha Paka … which is equally fascinating!! All throughout this Process of digestion … are by-products of partially digested food. Each stage of digestion forms a substance which has certain physical-chemical characteristics with corresponding qualities and therefore … exerting specific influence upon the doshas. And the doshas … themselves, influencing actions throughout the body. Let’s take a step back and take a closer look at the food once ingested. We’ve discussed how perception of taste occurs via the tongue … which immediately influences the doshas. Next, as food travels down the esophagus and enters the stomach this initiates a cascade of gastric juices; [i.e. gastrin, mucin, HCL, pepsin, renin] and when the ingested food and the gastric juices within the stomach combine … this creates a “sweet phase” of digestion … called Madhura Avastha Paka … and this causes the formation of kapha … which creates a sense of contentment and fullness. Amla Avastha Paka …  As food continues to become digested, the combination of partially digested food along with gastric juices now entering into the small intestine with the addition of bile and pancreatic juices creates a substance which now has a unique chemical structure, with unique qualities different than … what was initially ingested, and different than what was in the stomach. as food enters the small intestine and mixes with bile and pancreatic digestive juices. This creates the SOUR phase of digestion called “Amla Avastha paka”.  This sourness creates the increased influence of pitta dosha which may also exacerbate certain pitta conditions such as itching, hives, rash and urticaria, etc. As the process of digestion continues …  Food from the small intestine now enters into the large intestine; the colon. As food enters the large intestine much of the digestive process is almost complete as the colon absorbs mainly water and certain minerals. Through this process [of absorption of water] the digested substance now takes on a set of new characteristics which are more  dry and light … and therefore, increases the influence of VATA dosha. This may exacerbate certain Vata  conditions such as gas, bloating, constipation etc. Are We Done With Digestion? Kind of. Once food has entered the large intestine and water and mineral absorption are complete … digestion within the gastrointestinal tract is complete. However, digestion at the tissue level is yet to begin.  Hence, the importance of vipaka; which is the post-digestive effect.  Meaning, the effect of food upon the body;  at the tissue and cellular level. The final substance formed after complete digestion [[within the gastrointestinal tract]] is considered vipaka.  The influence of vipaka occurs on bodily tissue as well as malas [bodily wastes; i.e. feces … which formed within the GI tract]. Although the Classical text of Ayurveda slightly differ. Most consider Vipaka to be of 3; Sweet, Sour, and Pungent. Vipaka has effects on both bodily tissue and waste products [i.e. feces, urine, sweat]. Sweet Vipaka increases Kapha  … and therefore promotes growth [i.e. anabolic action] Sweet vipaka also helps with the elimination of waste products; waste products being feces, urine and sweat. Sour Vipaka  increases Pitta … and therefore promotes metabolic activities. Sour vipaka tends to create loose stool and can even be the cause of diarrhea and it may tend to create acidic urine and sweat. Pungent Vipaka increases Vata … and therefore promotes depletion [i.e. catabolic actions] Pungent Vipaka tends to reduce flow of waste products; therefore being constipating. Hope You Enjoyed!! Disclaimer: All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws.  This information is strictly for educational purpose only and not considered medical advice. Always first discuss with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.

Ama ~ The Root Cause Of Disease According To Ayurveda

  Disclaimer: All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws.      The Root Cause Of Disease “Ama” is a concept of Ayurveda which can be best understood as the accumulation of toxic metabolic by-products at various levels of physiology. More simply, ama is the by-product of poor digestion and according to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda – ama is the root cause of nearly all diseases.     General Signs & Symptoms Of Ama When ama is present within the body it often creates signs & symptoms of fatigue, lethargy, and a sense of uncleanliness. Ama is commonly caused by poor digestion therefore indigestion, low appetite, bloating and constipation are often associated with the presense of ama.   Ayurveda is a Science of “Qualities” … For example, Ayurveda describes Agni as the radiant energy of fire which embodies hot, sharp, light, and subtle qualities.  It is the source of all transformative processes in the body and is responsible for digestion, absorption and transformation of food into energy. Ama, on the other hand, has cold, dull, heavy, and gross qualities … the opposing qualities of Agni!! So How Does Ama Form?  In order to answer this properly we must first have a closer look at “Agni” – the flame of digestion. According to Ayurveda, the digestive fire [“Agni”] gives strength, vitality, and happiness to all human beings. Agni governs digestion, absorption and assimilation of all nutrients of the body. It’s explained that if Agni is balanced then the individual will be happy, healthy and holy. On the contrary, poorly digested food [i.e. “Ama’] within the G.I. tract creates a thick and slimy substance which lines the walls of the bowels and impedes the absorption and assimilation of nutrients; i.e. malabsorption.   by-products of proper digestion is “ojas”; i.e. health & vitality  by-products of improper digestion is “ama”; disease    What Might Impair Agni? Understanding the ‘Agni-Ama’ relationship, we can appreciate the fact that impaired Agni [impaired digestion] may promote the formation of ama; i.e. toxic by-products of poor digestion which can lead to disease. Therefore, the next inquiry is … what might impair Agni. The simple answer … poor nutrition.   “When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” – Ayurvedic Proverb   Fundamental Principles …  “like increases like” “opposites oppose”    Ayurveda, being the science of qualities, takes into consideration the cumulative principle of “like increases like”. For example, the qualities of Agni are hot, sharp, light, and subtle – therefore, food that has similar qualities of Agni [i.e. hot, sharp, light & subtle] will generally promote the function of Agni; i.e. support healthy digestion. On the contrary, food which has the opposing qualities of agni will oppose the function of agni; i.e. impair Agni/digestion. For example, food which has cold, dull, heavy and gross qualities will impair Agni and … promote the formation of ama!!   How Does Ama Cause Disease? Now that we’ve discovered how ama forms [i.e. via impaired Agni] the next inquiry is, how does ama cause disease? The most simple explanation is that the cold, heavy, dull, and gross qualities of ama creates a stickiness which tends to … obstruct and clog bodily channels.    The signs and symptoms of ama are … clogging of channels, sense of heaviness, low energy, restlessness, lethargy, indigestion, kapha-type congestion [i.e. expectoration], accumulation of the three wastes/malas [i.e. feces, urine, sweat], loss of taste, and sexual debility. – Ashtanga Hrdayam    “These blocked channels can mean many things: coronary occlusion, pulmonary embolism, stagnation, venous engorgement or lymphatic obstruction. For all these, they are using just one phrase: sroto rodha which is due to ama in the system.” – Dr. Vasant Lad, B.A.M.S. ‘Ayurvedic Perspectives On Selected Pathologies’     Ama – The Root Cause Of Disease Ama’s stickiness and the ability to obstruct and clog bodily channels causes the accumulation of waste products [i.e. “malas” – feces, urine, and sweat] which, according to Ayurveda, is often considered the root cause to many diseases.   “Leaky Gut” ~ An Ama Perspective Although the phrase “leaky gut” was never well accepted in the medical community, research over the past two decades has revealed that gut health is critical to overall health, and an unhealthy gut contributes to a wide range of diseases including diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, depression and chronic fatigue syndrome.   Mirroring this ancient wisdom is the modern theory of ‘Intestinal Permeability’ [i.e. “leaky gut syndrome”]. Intestinal permeability is the inflammatory response in the digestive tract due to a combination of insults to the gut mucosal lining. As a result, persistent G.I. inflammation eventually disrupts the integrity of the mucosal lining of the gut and tiny perforations allows for molecules much larger than usual to pass through this defensive barrier. As toxic by-products of poor digestion pass through this now weakened defense barrier [i.e. impaired mucosal lining] this initiates an immune response which then allows for the formation of specific antibodies towards these very toxic elemental by-products of poor digestion.   “Sama Dosha” … From Bad To Worse!! The science of Ayurveda is explained by the fundamental principles of doshas [i.e. vata, pitta, kapha dosha]. Very briefly, vata is the governing principle of movement, pitta being the fiery principle of transformation and kapha being the preserving and principle of stability. Once ama is formed within the G.I. tract [due to impaired Agni] … ama may mix with aggravated doshas [vata, pitta, kapha] and enter into the general circulation and travel throughout the body.   Ama + Dosha = “Sama Dosha”   Ama + Vata Dosha = “Sama Vata” When ama mixes with vata dosha this can cause signs and symptoms of erratic digestion [i.e. vishama agni], bloating & constipation, generalized body aches and dry skin. Ama + Pitta Dosha = “Sama Pitta” When ama mixes with pitta dosha this can cause signs and symptoms of acid indigestion/heart burn, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, feverishness along with hives, rashes, urticaria, eczema, etc. Ama + Kapha Dosha = “Sama Kapha” When ama mixes with kapha dosha this can cause signs and symptoms of poor digestion [i.e. manda agni], fatigue, cough, pulmonary congestion, lymphatic swelling, etc.   *IMPORTANT!! The above signs and symptoms are for education purpose only. Such disease conditions should be assessed by an Ayurvedic Doctor before attempting any interventions. Always first seek the advice of your primary care physician before considering other healing modalities.     Management Of Ama According to Ayurveda, the management of “ama” first begins with identifying the cause. Often the treatment of “ama” is simply adjusting to a proper diet and lifestyle suitable to one’s needs. For example, “ama pachana” – which is the ‘burning off’ of ama and  can often be done by the use of certain spices and herbs – with supervision of a qualified Ayurvedic Professional. Spice Selections To Improve Digestion Ready-to-use spice mixtures satisfy the six ayurvedic tastes considered essential for balance. “Prevention Is Better Than Cure.” Although simple, these principles if followed routinely are often enough to help improve digestion and overall health. It’s often the simple things that are most effective and oddly enough – most overlooked. That said, let’s quickly take a look at the basics. Avoid the following common causes of “ama” – overeating and consuming cold substances –  irregular eating habits – overconsumption of raw food – eating heavy and fried food – incompatible food combining – eating with extreme emotions [i.e. anxiety, stress] – sleeping before food is properly digested Trikatu – The Digestive Herbal Formula Another great consideration is Trikatu – a formula combination of equal parts ginger, black pepper and pippali. The name trikatu means three peppers or the three pungents. It is a wonderful herb with strong digestive properties.   The Ultimate Detox – Panchakarma The word “Panchakarma” comes from the classical Ayurvedic texts and literally means ‘five actions’. These five actions of panchakarma are a broad class of therapy used to help remove impurities [“ama”] from the body   Disclaimer: All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws.  This information is strictly for educational purpose only and not considered medical advice. Always first discuss with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen. Resources: Ayurvedic Perspective On Selected Pathologies, Vasant Lad, BAMS – 2nd Edition Revised Textbook Of Ayurveda Vol. 2 & 3, Vasant Lad, BAMS                

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

Disclaimer: All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws.      The Ayurveda Guide: Agni Charaka, the ancient seer of Ayurveda, states that “the individual is the epitome of the universe”. This implies that – that which exist in the vast eternal universe also appears within the inward cosmos of the human body. The entire universe is made from and these elements are referred to as “Panchamahabhutas” … translated as ‘The 5 Great Elements’; i.e. ether, air, fire, water and earth. The Principle Of Transformation: Fire is radiant energy and is active and changeable. It is the source of all transformative processes in the body and is responsible for digestion, absorption and transformation of food into energy. Qualities Of Tejas/Fire: – Hot – Sharp – Minute – Light – Rough – Non-slimy The qualities of hot, dry, penetrating and sharp demonstrate the radiant energy of Fire in the body. Skin complexion, eye luster and intelligence are expressions of the elemental energy of Fire. The liver, stomach and the pancreas are the primary sites of the Fire element. The element of Fire brings the qualities of attention, appreciation, recognition, ambition and competitiveness.     The ancient Vedic culture has long revered Agni [i.e. Fire] as being the bridge between our normal/ordinary state of mind and the Divine Self [i.e. Para Brahman]. Fire is honored as being sacred as it has provided warmth. light, and the ability to cook which has allowed for the survival of man. Similarly, when we eat … we should eat in a way to honor the sacred fire within.           Agni Is [Nearly]   Everything … The digestive fire [“Agni”] is thought to be that which gives strength, vitality, and happiness to all human beings. More specifically, Agni is thought to be the digestive fire which governs digestion, absorption and assimilation of all nutrients of the body. It’s explained that if Agni is balanced then the individual will be happy, healthy and holy.     Functions Of Agni: Pakti: digestion, absorption, and assimulation of food Darshana: visual perception Matroshna: maintains normal body temperature Prakruti varna: maintains bodily constitution & complexion Shauryam: gives confidence, courage, and fearlessness Harsha: creates joy, cheerfulness, laughter, and contentment Prasada: provides mental clarity and wholeness Raga: creates affection, interest, enthusiasm Buddhi: reasoning capacity, logical thinking, discrimination Dhairyam: gives patience, stability, and confidence Dirgham: maintains the span of life Prabha: creates a healthy glow and luster Bala: provides strength and vitality * Above List From: Textbook Of Ayurveda, vol. 1; Dr. Vasant Lad   Agni provides our actual capacity to transform the food—and situations, thoughts and emotions—that we take in so that it becomes nourishment. The very best way to support your agni is to give it the proper time and space to do it’s job.     General Guidelines:  Wait at least 4 hours between meals (with no snacking in between). Drink very little liquid with meals—or even within 1 hour of eating. Small sips of warm soup or tea may aid digestion, but a big glass of icy drink will smother the flame of agni. Eat only during daylight hours. Give the body at least a full 12 hours of night to perform the more subtle aspects of digestion—clearing out the organs and allowing them to rest. Eat only when you feel real hunger. If you don’t know what real hunger feels like, you should experiment a little bit with it (those with irregular or excess agni may often experience “false hunger”). Base your meal frequency and size on your level of activity on a given day. It could be as simple as this: the more physical or mental effort you put out, the more food you need. People with clearly slow agni may choose to fast or to eat very lightly one day a week so that undigested food which is clogging the system may be digested.     Four Main Types Of Agni …   According to Ayurveda, there are Four Main Types Of Agni.  Balanced [Sama Agni] Irregular/Erractic [Vishama Agni] Sharp [Tikshna Agni] Slow/Dull [Manda Agni]   Normal & Balanced Digestion ~ Sama Agni  When Agni is balanced and digestion, absorption and elimination are all normal then this is considered a state of good health. Such a person who has proper functioning Agni not only has perfect physical health but also possess a calm and serene mind with great clarity and bliss. Essentially, healthy happy & holy.       Irregular & Erratic Digestion ~ Vishama Agni Ayurveda explains this type of digestion as being erratic and irregular because at times you may experience diarrhea with lots of gurgling sounds in the intestines. Other times, you you will likely experience abdominal distention, gas, constipation and colicky pain. This type of digestion is commonly associated with Vata types. Vata types often have irregular digestion; meaning very hungry at times and at other times no hunger at all. Vata types are also thought to have a “hard” digestive tract and therefore makes them more vulnerable to experience symptoms of abdominal distention, flatulence, and even develop a nervous appetite. Vata types can have eyes bigger than thier stomach so the first suggestion would be to consider having smaller yet more regular meals. In fact, these individuals do best with small, unctuous, warm, and regular meals. Generally speaking, vata types benefit most from sweet, sour and salty foods that is somewhat oily and even spiced up to one’s liking. Other Common Associations: – dry skin – cracking and popping of joints – low back pain and/or sciatica – insomnia – excessive worry, fear, and anxiety   Improving Digestion: Keeping in mind that prevention is better than cure your goal should be centered on the maintenance this state of equilibrium. Therefore, consider the following: Allow 4-6 hours for proper digestion Eat only when you’re truly hungry Avoid snacking Drink less water during meals Eat calmly in a soothing environment   Sharp Digestion ~ Tikshna Agni  We can think of this type of digestion and being intense in the beginning but often lacking sustenance to endure the entire process of digestion optimally to completion. More simply, you have the ability to eat large meals, frequently. However, in doing so you will also often experience hyperacidity, and even become vulnerable to having loose stools or diarrhea. This type of digestion is commonly associated with Pitta types. Pitta types often have a ferocious appetite and are thought to have a sharp and robust digestive ability. These individuals can digest just about anything they eat. Because pitta types have a “sharp” digestion, they can easily become irritable if they suddenly become hungry and there is no food to be had. Therefore, it is important for pitta types to eat on time. Interestingly, pitta types commonly crave hot and spicy food. In fact, “unbalanced” pitta types often have cravings for alcohol, pickles and of course … spices! Therefore, once again, this stresses the importance of pitta types to avoid spicy foods since these individuals are most prone to acid indigestion and heart burn. Therefore, these individuals may want to consider consuming a mildly sour flavor [i.e. buttermilk or even a few drops of lime] to help regulate their hyper secretion of digestive juices. The best flavors to help manage the fiery pitta type? Generally, pitta types do best with sweet, bitter and astringent flavored food which is cool in nature and lightly cooked.   Other Common Associations With Sharp And Intense Digestion: – heart burn – acid indigestion – gastritis – hypoglycemia – irritability and anger – critical and judgmental attitude     Slow/Dull Digestion ~ Manda Agni You may have wondered at times how in the world can you gain weight simply by taking a small sip of water. Yes, that’s quite an exaggeration. However, it is likely you commonly experience having a slow metabolism, a full sensation in the stomach, and can even go long periods of time without developing a strong appetite. Often, after a meal you may notice a heavy feeling and even feel the need to take a nap. This type of digestion is commonly associated with Kapha types. Kapha types are thought to have the most stable appetite. However, kapha types are also the ones to have a more slower metabolism and digestive capacity. Hands down, kapha types are loving and compassionate. Along the same lines, kapha types enjoy food and if their need for love goes unnoticed, then these individuals are more prone towards “comfort-eating” more so than others. Kapha types often have less secretion of digestive enzymes and therefore will likely find benefit with bitter and pungent flavors. When kapha types are “unbalanced” they will crave both sweet and oily food. However, flavors most beneficial for kapha types are pungent, bitter and astringent flavored foods which can help maintain optimal health for these types. Likewise, since kapha is “heavy and earthy” in nature, these individuals will find benefit with fasting on a routine but structured basis.   Other Common Associations With Dull Metabolism: – weight gain – edema – congestion – lethargy and excessive sleep – attachment and possessiveness   Disclaimer: All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws.  This information is strictly for educational purpose only and not considered medical advice. Always first discuss with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen. Resources: Ayurvedic Perspective On Selected Pathologies, Vasant Lad, BAMS – 2nd Edition Revised Textbook Of Ayurveda Vol. 2 & 3, Vasant Lad, BAMS

Welcome to the next generation. Healthy Ayurveda

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