One Thing We All Have In Common ...

One Thing We All Have In Common ... 
One thing we all have in common is that we all want to be happy. How we imagine our happiness may differ from one to another. Interestingly, our thoughts form our character and if we want to be happy in life, we must ensure that we keep our brain happy and healthy. When we are relaxed and happy, we exist in a state where our body is significantly different biologically than when we are tense, angry, and sad. Dr. Deepak Chopra in Quantum Healing states, “to think is to practice brain chemistry.” In other words, every thought releases brain chemicals and thinking positive, happy, and joyful thoughts decreases cortisol and produces serotonin which creates a sense of well-being. The ancient wisdom of Ayurveda teaches that anyone can achieve this state of inner wholeness, regardless of circumstances, by learning to balance all levels of life in accordance to natural principles; i.e. “mother nature”.

Want To Be Happy? Then Be Grateful. - David Steindl-Rast

Ojas - The Prescription For Bliss & Happiness!! 
Having strong Ojas helps maintain optimum health and many diet and lifestyle factors can contribute to either depleting or nourishing one’s Ojas. Ojas is defined as the pure essence of the bodily tissues. This is the refined by-product of digestion which can take up to 30 days to be created. Ojas is also referred to as the source of vitality, immunity and vigor in the body. The quality of Ojas is dependent on diet, lifestyle and stress. Possessing strong Ojas can determine how one’s body reacts to certain diseases and infections. Every tissue system in the body is said to have its own Ojas. Whilst all the physiological systems in the body are maintaining their function at optimum levels, Ojas is preserved. However during disease or infections the integrity of Ojas in the body can be compromised.

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

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

It is important to maintain optimum health and thereby strong Ojas by a suitable diet and lifestyle.  There are some practical ways to increase Ojas and it is also vital to be aware of activities that can deplete this vital essence of the body.

Ways To Increase Ojas:
· Meditation
· Moderate yoga suited to one’s constitution
· Pranayama (breathing exercises)
· Consuming fresh wholesome and balanced meals appropriate to ones state of balance
· A daily morning practice incorporating walking in nature, nasal drops and oil massages
· Certain herbs such as Ashwagandha and Shatavari can help in promoting Ojas
· A restful and appropriate sleep is vital to building Ojas

Activities That Deplete Ojas:
· Excessive sexual activity
· Physical and psychological traumas
· Intense and excessive vigorous exercise
· Overexposure to bacteria, virus and parasites
· Diseases such as cancer, chronic asthma, osteoporosis, arthritis, ulcerative colitis, etc.
· Excessive stress and an intense work schedule
· Excessive consumption of foods that have preservatives and additives and other chemicals
· Overconsumption of incompatible foods for one’s constitution

Prana & Nasya = Health, Vitality & Happiness 
Nasya – The Pathway To Our Inner Pharmacy

Breathing is so natural yet we hardly ever think about it. Interestingly, seventy percent of waste is eliminated through the lungs just by breathing. In his book, Breathing: The Master Key To Self-Healing, Dr. Andrew Weil comments on the importance of breathing on our overall health. He states, “improper breathing is a common cause of ill health. If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be to simply learn how to breath correctly. There’s no single more powerful or more simple daily practice to further your health and well-being than breathwork.”

Respiratory Health – Breathe Easier All Season Long!!

Similarly, Ayurveda, explains that “prana” – the vital life force, enters the body primarily through the breath, via the nose which provides the flow of intelligence from one cell to another; i.e. cellular intelligence. Even further, prana is also the subtle energy that flows in the body through various channels and is responsible for our vitality and dynamism [“chaitanym”]. When prana is optimal, an individual will be active, alert and attentive while being happy and cheerful.

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

Moisturizing & Soothing Herbal Massage Oils
Personalize your daily massage with herbal massage oils. Formulated to balance specific skin and dosha types, our herbal massage oils not only lubricate but also purify the skin. They have a balancing effect on the mind and body; they promote the appearance of smooth, youthful skin; and they support vitality and healthy circulation.

Ayurveda - A Guide For Happiness
The ancient teachings of Ayurveda talks in-depth about the profound relationship of the mind’s influence upon the body. These very teachings are thought to reflect the long-lived traditions and principles for upholding a healthy body and sound mind.

Factors Which Increase Ojas:
– wholesome food and healthy digestion
– love and compassion
– being positive and having self-control
– respect towards others and oneself
– cleanliness and simplicity
– selfless service [i.e. charity]

Ancient teachings of many cultures have always discussed the dynamic relationship between thoughts and feelings and its effects upon the body. Let the ancient inner laughter which resides deep within you guide you into a state of perfect health and happiness.

Easy Considerations …
For Health & Happiness

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.

 


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