Ketu in Aquarius: Vibration of Ideal Transformation

Vibration of Ideal Transformation
Ketu is a spiritual entity which relates to the South node of the moon. This force contains powerful metaphysical energies which are linked to the Soul’s spiritual path towards Moksha.  Moksha relates to enlightenment and liberation, both in this lifetime, and the next, as it prepares us for transformation at the time of death.  Ketu is a force in which one of the main karmas is to reorient and reorganize our lives to our highest spiritual frequency, to our highest mystical vibration, to an alignment with our dharma and to an alignment with our path towards liberation. Another one of Ketu’s main karmas is that it seeks to employ and express lessons through aligning our lives with our path towards Moksha or enlightenment, and it does that at all costs, often causing undesirable effects on a material realm manifestation.

Path Towards Enlightenment - Moksha
Often times our path towards enlightenment or Moksha is connected towards certain aspects of detachment, loss, and the concept of surrender.  Ketu’s primary force is to encourage us to detach from aspects and areas of our lives that we are most attached to; those areas that we seek to control.  Ketu works through a mechanism of erratic loss, taking away those attachments which are preventing us from liberation.  Ketu encourages surrender of control by causing certain events or life situations to seem completely erratic, unexplainable, and out of control thus forcing surrender and ultimately helping us on our path towards Moksha.

Sometimes there are certain obstacles in our lives that prevent us from an ideal connection with the Divine, bringing us farther away from our path towards Moksha and liberation from the body.  Ketu will place many spiritual obstacles in front of a Soul’s path in order to realign them with their highest spiritual frequency and proper path towards enlightenment. In the ancient text, Ketu is referred to as the presenter of obstacles because it presents profound spiritual obstacles.  When we conquer and move through these obstacles, Ketu realigns us with our spiritual truth and our path towards Moksha or enlightenment.  It is a divine reorganizer and reconnecter to our highest spiritual truth and path towards enlightenment.

Powerful Auspicious Energy
Now is a great time to transform yourself spiritually or work on your relationship to the Universe because Ketu is in Aquarius. Ketu entered the Saturn owned sign of Aquarius January 30th, 2016 and will remain in Aquarius until August 18, 2017. Aquarius and its relationship to Saturn bodes well for Ketu, as Ketu is counted amongst Saturn’s friends and has a powerful auspicious energy in its alignment with Aquarius.

Aquarius is an incredibly powerful sign relating to idealism, optimism, consciousness, and progressive. It is a sign which resembles the most progressive universal consciousness available at any given time and represents the transformation of our consciousness, the transformation towards progression, and our ability to intuitively align with the most ideal potential expression of something. To see the cup as half full and to strive towards that ideal with optimism is to have an Aquarius outlook. To summarize, Aquarius helps us to see the most ideal expression of everything in life. Our ideal consciousness or perception, an ideal way we go about our lives, an ideal way we interact with the world and other living beings, and an ideal expression of what possibilities exist in the world. This idealism lends towards optimistic attitude and power towards innovation, happiness, progressive thinking, and all life endeavors.

Ketu’s alignment with Aquarius is highly potent and is considered an auspicious shift that will encourage rapid and unpredictable spiritual transformation. Ketu, a force which is constantly aligning us to our highest spiritual frequency is traveling in Aquarius which focuses on progressive consciousness, innovation and alignment towards idealism and optimism. This shift will cause Ketu to embody and empower Aquarius type vibrations which means one of the primary transformations that is going on is from the place of the Consciousness. Through Aquarius, Ketu is working to align our individual consciousness with that of a universal consciousness in a very potent spiritual way. This vibration means that Ketu Aquarius is encouraging more unity and harmony in Consciousness, in certain groups in which certain frequencies are aligning. That means progressive consciousness ideals will be aligning and these groups and will be expanding in their expression.

This particular concept can be seen playing out in our political race for President in which a very powerful ideal republic consciousness is aligning around Donald trump. Also a very unique rebellious ideal democratic consciousness is aligning around Bernie Sanders. Even Hillary Clinton, representing the middle road, a more conservative democrat, is having an alignment of consciousness around her. This is a very significant energy in which individual consciousnesses are aligning towards the most ideal universal group consciousness. This is hinting at the powerful aligning transforming, reorienting energy of Ketu combining with the optimistic, ideal, and consciousness provoking energy of Aquarius.

Idealism & Optimism 
Another of the extremely potent karmas that comes out of this combination is that there is a very powerful reorientation and reorganization towards idealism and optimism, especially as it applies to our spiritual path and our journey towards Moksha. This means that where we have strayed away from optimism and idealism, strayed away from viewing the glass as half full, strayed away from believing in the ideal in whichever way presents in our lives, that Ketu and Aquarius are working together to align us with that optimism and ideal. This will not only encourage us to see optimism and idealism in all areas of our life, but to transform and align with that optimism and ideal. We will be able to transform and align our lives with our new evolving progressive consciousness. We will be able to transform and align our lives with all ideals we believe in and work towards those ideals in a very optimistic way.

One of the things Ketu would be known to do as relates to this period would be to place certain key spiritual obstacles in our path in areas of our lives that are preventing us from our ideal expression, that our preventing us from alignment with our consciousness, the universal consciousness, and that are preventing us from being optimistic. In overcoming and working through these profound spiritual obstacles Ketu might will align us with our path towards Moksha as relates to our consciousness, and will align us towards believing in, and striving for the ideal. This is a time of ideal transformation, towards ideal expressions in individual lives, as well as transformation as to what is truly ideal for our path towards liberation, our path towards enlightenment, and our path towards Moksha, both in terms of preparation for transformation when the soul leaves the body, as well of glimpses of enlightenment, samadhi, or liberation we can still experience while empowered in our physical form. This divine Ketu Aquarius vibration is encouraging ideal transformation, both in the subject, objective, and collective sense. May we honor this ideal transformation, and continue to honor that divine Ketu Aquarius vibration which aligns us towards our ideal optimal expression in our path towards Moksha.

Ketu Mantra
"AUM KRAAM KREEM KRAUM SAH KETAVE NAMAH"

In order to honor Ketu it is favorable to perform Ketu Mantra. It is most auspicious to perform this mantra at sunset on Tuesday. It is traditional to read the whole mantra three times, then repeat the seed sound (AUM KRAAM KREEM KRAUM SAH KETAVE NAMAH) 108 Times. Please find translation and transliteration here, as well as video with performing of Mantra to help with pronunciation. Ketu enjoys multi colored and striped items, as well as the gem Cats Eye Chrysoberyl.

About The Author
Ksanati Newman
Ksanati is Currently Offering Jyotish Vedic Astrology Readings by A Suggested Donation. Please Private Message Via Messaging Icon at Kṣaṇāti Jyotish if Interested in Receiving a Reading. Initial Reading is 80-90 Minutes and Includes Chart Overview and Analysis, Planetary Dasha Period Analysis, Fielding of Questions of Interest, Astro Cartography, and Planetary Remediation. Ksanati can also be reached to schedule readings and workshops through email at KsanatiJyotish@gmail.com.
Aum Namah Shivayah.

 


Don't spray that! It's Medicine! [Dandelions]

Don't spray that! It's Medicine! 
Dandelions 

Each spring, I witness the pesticide trucks arriving to spray down perfectly manicured lawns to rid them of the well-known 'weed', the Dandelion. Taraxacum officinale is a common meadow herb of the Asteraceae or sunflower family. There are about 100 species of dandelion, and all are beneficial. It is a native of Greece, but grows in temperate regions throughout the world.  The perennial dandelion grows freely wherever it can find a bit of earth and a place in the sun. Dandelion's nutritive and medicinal qualities have been known for centuries.

On a sunny, spring day, I find joy in locating a lovely patch of organic land and slowly gathering the bright, yellow beauties (with their leaves and roots) for my basket. Dandelion's common name is derived from the French dent de lion, a reference to the irregular, jagged, lance-shaped leaves. Dandelion held a place in the United States National Formulary from 1888 until 1965 and currently, Dandelion Root is a registered medicine in Canada.

A Pesky Weed Or Medicine? 
While many people think of dandelion as a wild, pesky weed, it is full of vitamins A, B, C, and D, as well as minerals, such as iron, potassium, and zinc. Dandelion leaves are used to add flavor to salads, sandwiches, and teas. The roots are used in some coffee substitutes, and the flowers are used to make teas and wines. Dandelion roots and leaves have long been used to treat liver problems. Native Americans also boiled dandelion in water and took it to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach.

Dandelion Medicine

Used In Ancient Cultures ... 
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), dandelion has been used to treat stomach problems, appendicitis, and breast problems, such as inflammation or lack of milk flow. In Europe, dandelion was used in remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea. In the sub-continent of India, within Ayurvedic Medicine, Dandelion is used to treat various liver disorders such as jaundice, cirrhosis of the liver and enlargement of the liver.

Dandelion greens inhibit interleukins and other immune molecules that trigger inflammation. Dandelion may also control inflammation by suppressing COX-2 enzymes, the molecules that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs target. Diuretic properties of dandelion greens make them useful for promoting urine production and reducing symptoms of some liver, gallbladder and kidney conditions. The leaves and roots can also be used as an alcohol extract, syrup, topical liniment or as food -depending on how it is best extracted, the health condition, and the constitution of the individual.

Ayurveda takes the use of herbs and spices to an even higher level.  From the Ayurvedic perspective, we look to the herb’s properties to understand its healing effects amongst the three Doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

Let's Look At the Energetics ...
The properties we focus on are the following:
- Rasa means initial taste.
- Virya is the energy effect an herb has on the temperature of the body; i.e. heating or cooling?
- Vipaka is the post-digestive effect of an herb.

Let's look at Dandelion Root from the Ayurvedic perspective:
- Sanskrit: Simhadanti
- Rasa: Bitter
- Virya: Cooling
- Vipaka: Bitter

HERBAL ACTIONS
Dandelion Medicines- choleretic
- appetite stimulant

- digestive bitter
- cholagogue
- mild laxative
- mild purgative
- hepatic
- tonic
- lymphatic
- alterative
- demulcent

Various Tribes of Native American Indians also used the plant for a number of reasons:

  • Poultice of steamed or wilted leaves applied to ulcers as a dermatological aid
  • Greens eaten to purify the blood
  • Decoction of root taken as gastrointestinal aid (stomach pain)
  • Infusions of root taken as blood medicine (anemia)
  • Infusion of root taken to produce mothers breast milk
  • Laxative tonic
  • Pain remedies -  Compounds of roots and bark were taken for back pain
  • Kidney troubles and cleaning
  • Tonic – total body tonic was prepared as a wine
  • Infusions taken for heart burn
  • Infusions taken to release excess fluids from body
  • Young leaves made into Tea to treat women’s menstrual cramps
  • Culinary use as a spice to flavor drinks

Preparations
All parts of the dandelion have culinary and medicinal value. It is best to harvest fresh young dandelion leaves in the spring. The small, young leaves are less bitter, and may be eaten uncooked in salads. The pieces should be spread out on a paper-lined tray in a light, airy room out of direct sunlight and stored in tightly sealed dark glass containers. Dried dandelion root may be somewhat less potent than the fresh root.

Dandelion InfusionLeaf infusion: 
Place 2 oz of fresh dandelion leaf, less if dried, in a warmed glass container. You may add 2.5 cups of fresh, filtered, boiling water to the herbs. Cover the mixture and steep for 15–20 minutes, then strain. Drink the infusion warm or cold throughout the day, up to three cups per day. The prepared tea can be kept for about two days in the refrigerator.

Tincture:
Combine 4 oz of finely-cut fresh dandelion root and leaf (or 2 oz of dry powdered herb) with 1 pt of 100 proof brandy, gin, or vodka in a glass container. The alcohol should be enough to cover the plant parts and have a 50/50 ratio of alcohol to water. Cover and store the mixture away from light for about two weeks, shaking several times each day. Strain and store in a tightly capped dark glass bottle. A standard dose is 10–15 drops of the tincture in water, up to three times a day.

Precautions
Dandelion acts as a cholagogue, which means that it increases the flow of bile. It should not be used by persons with closure of the biliary ducts and other biliary ailments.

About The Author 
Karla Cain
Karla A. Cain beautifully explains in her own words, "my dream of helping others to remember their true nature started as a child, most likely at birth. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wished to help others understand the sacredness of themselves. In 2010, while continuing my research on healthy living, I discovered Ayurveda! I was overjoyed to discover that all of my thoughts and feelings about humanity the world at large, along with all that I had learned about healthy eating, had a NAME. I only wondered why it had taken me so long to find it!"

To Contact Karla Cain
Please Visit Sattvic Sage Ayurveda
Ayurveda Health Counselor
RYT-200 Yoga Instructor

DISCLAIMER:
This information is meant for educational purposes only and not considered medical advice. Any changes in lifestyle should be reviewed with a qualified practitioner and primary care physician if you are currently under their care for specific conditions.

Sources:  University of Maryland Medical Center & Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine


An Integrated Approach To Inflammation & Immunity - From An Ayurvedic Perspective + Epigenetics & More!!

An Integrated Approach To Inflammation & Immunity 
From An Ayurvedic Perspective 

There has been a rising buzz in medical science around the learning of inflammation and epigenetic factors that contribute towards disease. In over a decade of practicing Ayurvedic Medicine and Advanced Yoga Therapy, I have noticed a trend where patients and students presenting (even sitting around randomly in public and observing the populace) with certain ailments such as bacterial infections, virus’, candida and cancers and other related imbalances seems to come down to the lowest common denominator being inflammation. Inflammation produces an acidic environment and an acidic environment creates inflammation in the body. In an acidic biosphere we create a foundation in which diseases are rooted in. Modern medicine has become more recently aware that inflammation seems to be the underlying cause for numerous, if not all, conditions. To Ayurveda, a system of medicine over 5,000 years old, this isn't new.

Home Remedy To Boost Immunity 

Ingredients:
1. Water
2. Turmeric Powder
3. Honey
4. Mint leaves

Process:
Take the 500 ml water in bowl and boil the water for 5 minutes. Now add the 5 tbsp of honey, 1/2 tbsp of turmeric powder and 10- 15 mint leaves. Boil it for another 5 minutes. Strain the water and drink it to boost the immune system.

Ayurveda is known as the “Science of Life” and is the oldest most complete system of integrated health and medicine. Ayurveda has its roots in nature and the five elements, Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. When we combine Space and Air elements we get the principle of Vata. Vata is the term that refers to the nervous system and catabolism. Pitta, is the term that encompasses the fire and water elements and governs hormones, digestion and metabolism. Kapha, is the final principle that involves the water and earth elements, governing immunity and anabolism. When we look at inflammation in Ayurveda, we understand that many systems can be effected because eventually all the elements are effected. Health is considered ideal when we are balanced in these five elements and when we start to affect one, the others will surely follow.

Everything Is Connected
Everything is connected. In Ayurveda, 80% of diseases are considered a result of Vata imbalance because Vata oversees, per say, the mind/brain and nervous system. What stresses the mind will eventually stress the body. Examples of symptomology that are common in Vata predominant individuals (Ectomorphic) include insomnia, constipation, anxiety, fear, breathlessness, ADD/ADHD, Multiple Sclerosis, involuntary tremors, alzheimers.

Ayurvedic Supplements To Boost Immunity
Full-spectrum antioxidant: targets mind & nervous system,
and boosts your body's best defense.

Next, Ayurveda says that 40% of diseases are a result of Pitta imbalances, which shows up as inflammation. For Pitta predominant individuals (Mesomorphic) examples of such ailments includes anything and all the symptoms ending in “itis” such as gastritis, conjunctivitis, iritis, diverticulitis, types of cancers and viral infections.  Finally, Kapha governs 20% of imbalances, relating to accumulation of sorts  With Kapha predominant individuals (Endomorphic) we have examples including edema, diabetes, depression, sluggishness, fibroids, candida and certain types of tumors. As mentioned previously, that when one of the elements are out of balance so too shall the others be somehow affected.

The ancient texts of Ayurveda, written in the Arthava Veda (one of four Ancient Vedic Texts) and Charak Samhita, discuss this concept of inflammation extensively through its content. Where does this inflammation come from? What are the common categories of ailments associated with this, forming pathologies? How can it be prevented? How can it be treated?

IMMUNITY
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to when something is out of balance and/or has been invaded by an external pathogen of sorts. One of the first actions that the body takes, when something has invaded or gone out of balance internally, is the body temperature increasing. Heat is a biochemical chemical reaction designed to flush it out and support the body in returning to homeostasis. During this time, a battalion of cells in the form of at least white blood cells are sent in defense and an effort to contain the potential cascade of health issues that can ensue if not managed. It’s like when a forest fire happens and the fireman rush to the scene to contain the fire and extinguish it before it spreads and destroys neighboring homes and lives. If or when the body has recovered from this form of trauma, the body eventually recovers its health and can move forward. The body is constantly working on maintaining our immunity from things we see and don’t see. From what we drink to what we eat, how and where we breathe to exercise.

Bio-Immune 
Supports natural immunity; helps detoxify blood and promotes cellular regeneration.

There are so many aspects to how the body works that it would be exhausting and impossible to follow all the processes in any one moment. Suffice it to say that the body is always “working” on something. Sometimes some issues develop, say from tick bites that produce Lyme Disease, or viral infections like HIV that challenge the body on an ongoing basis. Some virus’ the body can handle on its own. Other virus’ are more complex (like Lymes and HIV) and challenge the body’s capacity to maintain balance consistently over time and as we age, which require certain medications to support the immunity so that the body can at least hold the virus at bay. In such instances, inflammation on a subtle level is prevalent.

The virus of HIV itself produces inflammation and then being on the anti-retrovirals (HIV medications) produces inflammation because the liver and kidneys filter all medications, putting stress on the liver; which also is a contributing organ for the filtration and synthesis of healthy blood cells.  The blood is the vehicle in which everything is delivered throughout the body. Picture it like molten lava flowing through the veins, just not as hot, thankfully. The body keeps a certain temperature (98.6 average) for a reason. This is the perfect condition the body feels that everything in the body can optimally function. Too cold and things start to become stagnant and break down. Too hot and things start to burn up.

Ayurveda recognizes that the first line of defense is the skin.  The skin, epithelial tissue, extends from external surfaces such as the outer skin, to lining of sinus passages, ear canal esophageal tissue and ending in the rectal cavity. It covers the body through and through. Inside and out. Inside being the entire digestive tract beginning from the oral cavity and ending in the rectal cavity. This is how we can visualize that the body contains a tube within a tube.  The inner tube being that which I mentioned, from mouth to rectum, to the outer tube being the rest of the body that surrounds this. Even cells themselves possess a layer of tissue that is membranous. The skin alone weighs approximately 12 pounds of the body weight. That's a lot of protection! Essentially, the first line of immunological defense is the digestive tract and equally important is the surface of the skin wrapping the entire body.

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

Ayurveda speaks extensively about this regarding self-care, which includes the necessity to eliminate ice and cold foods and beverages from the diet. According to Eastern Medicine (Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine) ice or cold should only be topically applied to some condition such as a burn or fever, or even stop one from bleeding, because the quality of cold is astringent and this supports wound repair by causing the blood to clot fairly quickly for most individuals. Furthermore, ice and cold are considered poison to the body once it enters into the digestive system.

This act compromises the functionality of immunity, digestion and the nervous system contributing to a large volume, onslaught and cascade of numerous health conditions. Digestion supports immunity.  We may wonder why this is, but if we remember that I mentioned that the body is balanced at 98.6 degrees and extreme variations of this can cause of domino effect of health issues. We know that metabolism and immunity decrease with aging. It’s just part of our human design. When we factor on these two components it becomes an opportunity for us to be more mindful of our health and how delicate it is.

BACTERIAL, FUNGAL & VIRAL ... OH MY!
There are generally five categories which account for how inflammation occurs. Bacterial, fungal and virus' are three of them. Parasites and Somatic Trauma are two. Bacterial, fungi, parasite and virus’ have two pathological patterns and roots in common: 1) They thrive in acidic environments, which is primarily indicated through inflammation. We know that an acidic environment fosters inflammation and that inflammation breeds an acidic environment. 2) They feed off sugar as a means of reproduction.  Implicitly, sugar, especially and in excess, feeds inflammation and therefore increases it. There is a process called “Glycation”, which is the combination of glucose (a type of sugar) combining with protein and creates a host of issues including inflammation.  Let’s look at an example from each category. For bacterial infection, we can use “Strep” (Streptocous). It produces inflammation and accumulates fluids which tend to be related to the grouping of immune cells attempting to ward off the infection. Feeding it sugar will only increase its existence. If the body has pre-existing inflammation it easily finds its home in the body. If we look at the fungal category, we can see how “Candida” (Candidiasis) is like every fungus that grows from sugar and acidic environments. Virus’ like Lymes and HIV, feed off sugar and pre-existing inflammation, producing more inflammation.

Parasites contribute towards inflammation because parasites can invade the digestive system and outer surface of the skin if immunity of these tissues is compromised. Parasites have also been known to mask themselves beneath other symptoms and therefore individuals are diagnosed with conditions that look like conditions that would normally appear from other causes, but become misdiagnosed commonly because parasites aren’t always sought after unless someone has generally stated they were traveling to third world countries. We don’t really even have to travel to places like Peru or Guatemala or even India to return with parasites. Simply eating at a local diner or having sex with someone who has parasites can spread such things. Parasites exist in everyone to a small degree but the introduction of more can wreak havoc and mask as countless conditions. In Ayurveda, we can determine from pulse and tongue assessment whether parasites are prevalent. In allopathic medicine (western), tests can be performed, that are generally accurate, not always because the instruments aren't all that subtle, and can determine whether there are parasites. If parasites are the root cause, then resolution must start from here.  Diet and other lifestyle factors have to be re-evaluated and circumvented in the direction of change. Parasites feed on sugar and love inflammation.

Interestingly, when a trauma occurs, though anything off-setting the equilibrium of the body is considered a sort of “trauma,” the body exhibits a natural response via histamines and other biological features that address wherever a sort of wound may have entered. Say for instance we were in an accident, we obtain whip lash, our neck becomes tense, sensitive, cold, hot, throbbing, sharp etc. These are all rooted in a form of inflammation. Surgeries can also be included here because to some degree surgery alters the body and can generally be a hit or miss procedure that can either cause balance or perpetuate imbalance. Getting hit with an object or getting tossed about causes the body to respond in defense in order to protect itself. The fascial system (connective tissue) of the body distorts and eventually/inevitably effects associated organs and other systems. I sprain my ankle, which pulls my knee, disrupts my hips and later the opposite side of my neck causing a whole domino effect of issues. This pathway is slightly inflamed, stemming from the origin of the imbalance. The body’s systems come into play and attempt to re-regulate, causing stress. Stress causes inflammation and there you have it, again. What’s amazing about the body is that if we suffer an internal trauma related to a condition like a virus, which affects tissues, cells and organs, then the body will align itself accordingly. This is the “inside out effect.” If I injure the body from the outside, then the internal organs related to the location and origin will be disrupted, thereby affecting other systems along the way. This is the “outside in effect.”

DIET
The topic of diet is a touchy subject for a lot of reasons, one being the direct connection with food and emotions/memories.  Ayurveda says “We are what we digest” which is different from what we learned being “we are what we eat.” If there is not food, there is no body. If we aren’t eating the best food, then we will not have the best body which includes health and immunity. Digestion is two-fold. The first relates to the actual physical digestion of food substances in the GI Tract and the second pertains to the effect of how the mind processes/metabolizes information.  With regard to physical digestion, diet plays a vast role in the reduction of diseases, the production of diseases and the prevention of diseases.  General examples of foods that increase inflammation and contribute to all three of the above categories are as such: sugar, processed sugar, excess salt, skipping meals, minimal intake of water, eggs, alcohol, fermented foods (breads, cheeses, pastas, yogurt, cheese, alcohol), night shades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplants), soy/tofu/tempeh, coffee (in excess), beef and especially pork, processed sugar (I.e. candy and soda), and all fast/processed/packaged foods. Highly processed food and even lack of adequate hydration, lend themselves as factors in inflammation. When any of the above conditions are present, they all feed off this previously mentioned list. Let's add to this, Ayurveda's wisdom of “Incompatible Foods” (such as cheese, sauce and bread combined, potatoes and eggs, bread and yogurt (depending on when and who/constitutionally). Lack of vegetables, green leafy vegetables and fiber overall can contribute to inflammation. The chlorophyll, which is the blood of the plant is alkalizing and it alkalizing the hotness of our own blood and reduces inflammation. The cellulose fibers, from vegetable and legumes, also help to clear toxins and transport them from the digestive system releasing them through our bowel movements. They also encourage bowel movements which is an essential daily function highly required for management of our health. When we have a healthy colon, we have a happy mind and healthier body.

Organic Spice Selections 
Rready-to-use spice mixtures satisfy the six ayurvedic tastes considered essential for balance.

A Practical Pearl Of Wisdom ... 
Let’s quickly add here that water/hydration daily
is part of “diet” and is a natural anti-inflammatory.

THE MIND
Mental provision also has a major role in adding to or preventing disease formation. In and of itself, the word disease is simple "dis-ease", which pertains to mental unrest and physical imbalance.  As previously mentioned,  Ayurveda states that “we are what we digest” and that  the digestion of what traverses the canvas of the mind includes the information that passes through “five gateways” being the doors of the senses; eyes, ears, nose, mouth and touch.  What are we seeing regularly? What are we putting in our mouth? What are we hearing/listening to normally? What do we smell/take in such as the quality of air? What do we touch or what touches us? These five doorways deliver information for the mind, which it then metabolizes/transforms/digests/interprets. The subtlety of such things has a profound influence upon our overall wellbeing. What we are exposed to on a daily basis has a sometimes immediate impact.  We can experience this in simple instances of fragrances or how people to speak to us. Unkind words cause emotional duress, usually. Loving words creates a soothing experience like salve for our mind and heart. When the mind is afflicted, we have a form of irritation, agitation and inflammation of the mind. This affects the heart. When the heart is unhappy, neuropeptides deliver messages to the brain from the heart and from the heart to the brain indicating “dis-ease.” It’s interesting to note this because just up until approximately 30 years ago, modern medicine simply looked at the body as a system of parts. Then a shift occurred and the introduction of Mind-Body connection was understood to be another key concept in healthcare/sick-care management.

Stress Free Mind
A special blend of Ayurvedic herbs that are nourishing for the mind, the brain and the intellect.

The mind dictates much of the body, like a king ruling of the kingdom being the body, but similarly and when the body is afflicted by some "thing" the body affects that balance of the mind.  For instance, if the mind is aware of or creates an anger filled thought it will not only disrupt the digestive system but also add to inflammation in the body.  Conversely, unresolved anger, frustration, resentment, hatred and jealousy can contribute towards inflammation in the body.  This is the psychophysical relationship we possess within.  Many of the emotions that cause uneasiness will influence the body in such a way that the body will become a forum and breeding ground for virus, bacteria and fungus related conditions. In the past two years some research was put out showing how depression may be rooted or at least somehow related to inflammation. I would also say that inflammation can add to and or produce depression. I’ve come across many clients dealing with Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia and commonly they speak of being depressed.

Addiction, which is a sensitive and complex area for discussion, is primarily an imbalance of mind (and brain chemistry to a certain degree) that translates to actions which purposely seek to find balance within by externalized (on various levels) superficial and repetitive methods. This pattern also predisposes us to all types of infections and health compromised situations. The mind can also play a vital function in healthcare because a stronger mind creates a stronger resistance to disease thereby functioning as pivotal point within and as immunity. Stress overall enhances the inflammatory response and contributes to its formation.  Stress is inflammatory by nature due to its action of "friction". Anxiety and fear provoke a cold response and therefore increase nervous system hypersensitivity.  This weakens the natural lubricating aspects of the body and mind and from this "dryness" (because fear and anxiety are cooling, drying in qualities) the probability of inflammation increases.

Blissful Sleep
A Traditional Ayurvedic formula to help with sleep.

Sleep is necessary to counteract stress. More importantly, deep sleep is where we are engaged in a parasympathetic process that cools and restores the body. We know that constantly being hyper vigilant and active within the sympathetic nervous response increases friction and yeah in the body. Meditation is also a vital and viable tool to reduce and prevent stress through which we invite the body to be engaged more parasympathetically. Both sleep and meditation are crucial to re-establishing the integrity of the nervous system. Not only just sleep but sleep at night is the best quality sleep.  When we sleep, we let go of ourselves and our outer involvement in the world so that we can let go of this weight and explore the inner dimensions of our consciousness. Meditation can be done anytime, if someone wants to do it.  Sleep does not operate the same way.  Sleep is a natural anti-inflammatory.

BREATHING
Pranayam (breathing exercises that cultivate our life energy and vitality) are tools that the ancient system of yoga offers us in order to support our life. Breathing properly, regularly/consciously and with intention becomes a natural anti-inflammatory for both mind and body. It is a tool to be used with all forms of exercises that will not only maximize efficiency of the body and mind but also promote longevity.  Pranayam is also a tool used in yoga to cross the bridge from the outer experiences of the world and enter into the inner terrain of the body and mind. The respiratory mechanism is both involuntary and voluntary. We can’t really hold our breath long enough where we can cease our own life because the body protects itself from extinction per say. Yet it is voluntary because we can manipulate the breath in many ways. The breath serves us physiologically and psychologically. The yogi’s also know that spiritually the breath is a vital tool. Improper breathing decreases the quality of life. The yogi’s knew that longer, deeper and fuller breaths add on to life and that short, shallow breathing increases degeneration. Dr. Vasant Lad, an internationally known and master yogi and physician, gave an example of life span to breathing. He taught us to observe how a dog breathes. Short, quick bursts of breath; the dog doesn’t have a long lifespan. Yet when we observe the turtle, deep full and slow breaths; the turtle can live approximately 100 years. Amazing! Breath is life. No breath, not life. If we breathe more deeply, slowly and consciously we can support the respiration of not only the body, organs but go as far as the cells and DNA themselves.  This is the difference between sympathetic nervous system response (flight or fight) and parasympathetic nervous system response that involves the vagus nerve and allows us to feel a deep sense of peace and love. When we feel peace, there is no war. When there is no war, there is no inflammation. Eastern medicine says that even cancer tends to be an example of where we are at war with ourselves because love and peace are somehow hiding. The more we breathe, the more we create a space for peace and love to show up.

Pranayam (ones that are soothing and calming, mainly) is also a precursor to meditation. Both pranayama and meditation are natural anti-inflammatories. The more we focus on breathing techniques and inviting meditation into our daily lives, the more we can notice shifts inwardly and outwardly. Pain management techniques are showing that the usage of meditation and breathing exercises helps to reduce pain and other symptoms. Pain is an indication of inflammation.

EXERCISE
This is an important area worth discussing. Exercise is what moves the body on all levels. Improper exercise can build up lactic acid (remember acid is acidity and a great place for inflammation to grow, along with many other ailments.) Improper breathing effects CO2 in the body and lactic acid. The lymphatic system is a system of drainage of toxins and also an important component of our immunity. If we aren’t sweating enough/regularly then already we can have a sort of “sewage” back up. Exercise supports metabolism and with the biochemical marriage of insulin and glucose. When we exercise the muscles use glucose as energy molecules and when we don’t exercise enough this sugar accumulates and can cause the typical Type 2 diabetes. When we exercise we support insulin and the sugars are metabolized accordingly. If we have an excess of glucose and proteins then this becomes a breeding ground for inflammation and is a host to many other disease pathologies.  Exercise practices can be both stimulating and anti-inflammatory.

GENETICS/EPIGENETICS
I added this category because my understanding is that there will be plenty of data to support this connection, if it has already been shown. I attended an Ayurvedic Medical Conference recently and I was introduced to a doctor of pharmacology, practitioner of Ayurveda, who was trained in Epigenetics.  Epigenetics is the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself. Dr. Martha Harkey discussed with us the science of how DNA works and that Epigeneticists are learning about how some genes are turned on and off. From what she shared, methylation occurs and that seems to be a major factor in what happens when certain genes are activated. From my understanding of DNA and genes, being that they are proteins, if I were to increase the heat around any protein it would react in a certain way. Too much heat applied to protein can break it down or cause it to denature, like frying an egg. It is possible, in my humble opinion, that if the body is inflamed and proteins as far as DNA are affected, then I would postulate that maybe one of the reasons why certain genes turn on and someone develops cancer, or diabetes or some neurological disorder that “Aunt Sally” had, is because inflammation was the precursor for it. It is definitely understood in Ayurveda that we can change our genetic predispositions simply by changing our lifestyle, which includes regular meditation, yoga, diet and breathing techniques. Consciousness exists in each cell, however big or small. When we access this consciousness, anything becomes possible. We are not just a bag of parts. Just because we have a genetic predisposition towards any one thing does not mean that one health issue will come to fruition. If we create a new program, by making different choices, we can make great leaps in our own little bodies and minds. If we believe that we can develop that one issue that someone in our family has/had, then we increase the probability of it. Yet if we believe it is true that we can change that course and that is possible too. Therefore, inflammation may need further research to determine its influence in genes turning on and off.

The List
Here is a list of many factors that can create and/or add to inflammation, according to Ayurveda/Integrated Medicine. Before you look, I would like for you to remember this which is that it’s a list designed to create awareness. It is the hope that we can make better choices and to see how health is primarily a result of “cause and effect” as Ayurveda shows us. Some items on the list are simple and others are more complex. Some are easy to digest and others more difficult to process mentally. There is a significant reason for each on that could get explored later on and/or researched accordingly. This list is about increasing mindfulness and educates us on how to make some adjustments, over time. Some items on the list are simply requiring that they be utilized in moderation BUT also remember that “a little of this and a little of that” quickly adds up to a lot of what isn’t ideal.

Ready? Here goes…

1. Fried foods, grease
2. Fermented foods (breads, cheeses, pastas and anything else yeasted)
3. Alcohol consumption (especially in excess)
4. Sweet foods (too sugary and unnatural sweetening... agents) ex. soda, pastries
5. Dairy (based on quality, source, digestion)
6. Lack of sleep. Lack of adequate sleep. Lack of sleeping at the appropriate time.
7. Staying up late (past 11:00)
8. Processed foods containing preservatives (including soy based derivatives)/Fast Foods. Food cultivated in fields of GMO’s and Pesticides.
9. Wheat/gluten (especially overly processed and unclean sources) ex. white flour
10. Caffeine
11. Smoking
12. Drugs
13. Addictions
14. Excess sexual activity
15. Hot and spicy foods
16. Acid provoking foods, things that are sour
17. Meats, red and especially pork (including bacon)
18. Anger (can cause inflammation and be the cause of toxins causing inflammation)
19. Night shades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplants)
20. Exposure, excess exposure to technologies (ie. Cell phones, computers, electronics)
21. Traveling/traveling excessively and/or traveling during the winter.
22. Intense workouts/excessive workouts
23. Excess salt in diet
24. Parasites
25. Repressed/unexpressed emotions
26. Lack of vegetables and legumes.
27. Exposure to dryness
28. Pharmaceuticals/medications
29. Inadequate amount of water intake
30. Excess sun exposure, especially for Type A personality types.
31.  Lack of exercise or improper application of exercise.
32. Intense yoga practices or yoga practices that are excessively heating. (This especially effects pre-existing inflammation and Type A personality types)
33. Exposure/over-exposure to digital technologies. For instance, being on the computer a lot or texting or surrounded by numerous cables/wires, etc.

34. Minimize exposure to political environments. (This was fascinating. This morning I worked on a client that had bronchiole inflammation. I asked him a few questions as I was examining the tissue around his heart area and asked him what has him irritated. He said following the recent political presenters and all that surrounds it. After we had this awareness and I suggested he take a break from such things. Even eliminate it, the irritation in the tissues became cooler and he even stated that his bronchioles bothered him less.) Amazing!

35. Lack of social interactions/activities. Meaning not having a community of people who are uplifting and encouraging can increase inflammation because the mind and heart are connected. If we aren’t surrounded by love, loving kindness and connection then we are missing an aspect of or life that is vital.

36. Disconnection from nature and all that is natural. The body and mind can become restored and heal deeply with exposure to nature. Hiking, camping, listening to the sound of the live ocean and reflecting on the stars with our own eyes can be profound for our soul.

37. Exposure to radiation and radioactive sites.
38. Exposure to power lines, power boxes and power stations.
40. Contaminated water, air and soil.

The list was/is not meant to alarm you or frighten you but offer insight as to taking a look at your life and see what could be contributing towards ill-health. Slowly reducing and eliminating any and some of these will already start to shift things in a better direction.

CONCLUSION
We have spent the time looking at several of the potential causes and categories of inflammation with a few simple antidotes for it. Here’s a recapitulation of what is anti-inflammatory:

  1. Water/hydration is a natural anti-inflammatory.
  2. Good exercise, appropriate for our constitution.
  3. Meditation.
  4. Sleep.
  5. Breathing practices.
  6. Diet according to our constitution.
  7. Environmental considerations and what to avoid.
  8. Maintaining peace in the mind and a loving heart.

So much more could be written and expanded upon regarding the above headings. What was written was enough to wet the palate and get the mind going in considering another approach based on an integrated perspective of medicine and philosophy of health. There’s a lot to consider. So many subtle nuances that can affect us all in different ways based on various degrees. It is safe to say that in today’s day and age we are exposed to so much and that overall there an aspect of life that we are experiencing much agitation and inflammation. In Ayurveda, we say that modern culture is afflicted, because of lifestyle and diet and a lack of peace, resulting from a Vata/Pitta imbalance.  So many of the Ayurvedic doctors and research shared at the NAMA Conference (National Ayurveda Medical Association) indicated that the main cause of disease comes from inappropriate diet and lifestyle; not to mention a mind that has run amuck.

We can say that factors from the external can affect the internal, like those mentioned, but we can also say, according to Ayurveda, that if we strengthen out immunity from the inside out we will be less likely pre-disposed to invasions. In the yogic texts, they refer to Lord Shiva being able to drink poison and process it completely. Ayurveda says that if our digestion is strong we can digest poison and eat rocks without incurring any illness. It’s amazing to consider the possibilities of how we can optimize our health and what we have access to when we turn East and see what the ancient traditions such as Ayurveda and even Traditional Chinese Medicine have been masters of for millennia.

The goal is to increase alkalinity in mind and body. Avoid the major offenders as much as possible. Process emotions slowly, but surely. Follow a healthy diet and lifestyle that is in accordance with not only daily, seasonal, annual but also constitutional understanding according to Ayurveda. Breathe more deeply. Meditate more. Notice where, how and the quality/quantity of your sleep. Eat more whole clean and home cooked meals. Drink filtered water. Get plenty of fresh air. Connect with nature more often. Detox from the digital world on a regular basis. Surround yourself with caring loving individuals.  Align ourselves with the elements more. It is the body's right and desire to be healthy and will continue with relentless and countless efforts, until it can no longer. Is our health worth the sacrifice to lifestyle? If so, then life will be either short lived or just the quality of it will be diminished. We get to decide and affirm life or ill health in every moment. It's up to us to thrive or dive. Inside out and outside in. The ultimate healing of inflammation can only occur through a system of medicine that supports and is well versed in body-mind-spirit. Ayurveda is this system of medicine. Dr. David Frawley stated “there is no other medical system in the world that is as complete and integrated as Ayurveda.” Until we are each taken into consideration as a whole being, we will continue to falter in our capacity to create an atmosphere of optimal health and well-being.

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

DISCLAIMER:
This information is meant for educational purposes only and not considered medical advice. Any changes in lifestyle should be reviewed with a qualified practitioner and primary care physician if you are currently under their care for specific conditions.


Open Up & Say "Ahh" - Tongue Diagnosis

 

Tongue Diagnosis
The human body is one the most fascinating and complex systems in all of creation. It’s truly a remarkable system with each part affecting the whole and certain conditions of the whole affecting each part. For example, we can simply observe the quality of our skin and gather valuable information which reflects the health of the entire body. Similarly, the close observation of the tongue also provides clues which reflect the health of the entire body. In fact, “tongue diagnosis” is a vital instrument used in Ayurvedic Medicine not only for assessing a person’s current state of health but for determining one’s physical, mental, and emotional state of health.

Tongue diagnosis is both an art and science and for thousands of years, visual inspection of the tongue has been a unique and reliable diagnostic method for both Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Ideally, the tongue should be supple, free of cracks, and when briefly sticking out the tongue - the tongue should not quiver or tremble.The tongue of a healthy person has a certain luster and shine with a fresh-looking pale red color along with a thin white coating that is not easily scrapped off. Generally, the coating on the tongue should be thin and may perhaps be slightly thicker towards the back of the tongue. However, an uneven or patchy coating on the tongue may reflect poor digestion and the presence of “ama” [toxins] within the G.I. tract.

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

Diagnosis By Looking - Registered Acupuncturist & Herbalist Paul Johnson 

 

3 Basic Considerations
When doing a basic tongue assessment, consider the following:

  • general impression of the tongue’s vitality
  • tongue’s color, shape, and coating
  • underside of the tongue; evaluate the size and color of veins

 

Herbal Di-Gest
Supports improved digestion and balanced appetite; helps with gas, bloating, and discomfort.

 Aci-Balance
To help maintain proper stomach balance; soothes occasional acid indigestion and heartburn; helps with occasional flatulence and sour belching.

Tip Of The Tongue - Heart & Thyroid
The front tip of the tongue corresponds well with the heart region. For example, any crack or depression at the tip of the tongue may reveal a weakness in the heart [emotionally] or may even reveal an underlying heart disorder [i.e. genetic or acquired heart disease]. Similarly, a protruding red colored tip may reveal internal inflammation such as an overactive thyroid.

Center To The Tip Of The Tongue - Lungs
From the center of the tongue extending to near the tip of the tongue corresponds well with both the lungs. This area of the tongue is most often vulnerable to dryness and cracks which commonly reveals a state of dehydration and lung disease [i.e. asthma, bronchitis]. As we know, chronic smoking may lead to emphysema and this, for example, may reveal a darkened coating in middle region of the tongue.

The Center - Stomach, Spleen & Pancreas
The core digestive function is represented by the central region of the tongue and many underlying G.I. concerns can be seen here. For example, acidic conditions such as heartburn and/or GERD can be noticed by a distinct ulcer in this region. Likewise, swelling or stagnation in this central area may correspond to a more sluggish digestion.

The Sides Of The Tongue - Liver & Gallbladder
The side edges of the tongue correspond well to both the liver and gallbladder. For example, scalloped edges often reveal deficiencies in the liver and the inability to assimilate nutrients properly; i.e. malnutrition.

The Root Of The Tongue - Large Intestines
The root or back portion of the tongue represents mostly the large intestines while both sides of the base represent the kidneys, and adrenal glands. The back of the tongue often reveals years of accumulated toxins [“ama”] held in the colon and can be noticed by a thick whitish coating upon the tongue. This coating on the tongue represents the presence of “ama” in the G.I. tract and from an Ayurvedic perspective, “ama” is the root cause of all disease.

 

Tongue Coating - Yuckiness!!
Observing the presence of a noticeable thick whitish coating upon the tongue is one of the main diagnostic tools for evaluating one’s present state of health. For example, if the coating is excessive or thick it likely indicates poor digestion [diminished “agni”] and reflects the build-up of metabolic byproducts of poor digestion [“ama”] - the root cause of many diseases.

"Ama" - At Various Levels Of Digestion 

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.

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.


Coffee - An Ayurvedic Perspective + Bulletproof Coffee Recipe

Coffee - An Ayurvedic Perspective
For many of us, our mornings are just not complete without a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Whether you’re a local at Starbucks or scoff at Starbucks Venti Caramel Macchiato as not being a real macchiato - the fact remains, we love coffee. According to some research, 54% of Americans over the age of 18 years drink coffee everyday. Let us therefore, explore some of the health concerns centered around American’s favorite drink - coffee!

The Ayurvedic Perspective:
According to Ayurveda, “every type of food can be a poison or a medicine” - depending on what your individual constitution is and how and when you consume it. Ayurveda, is a comprehensive science which takes into consideration one’s unique dosha type - vata, pitta, and kapha.

VATA DOSHA:
Vata types are generally individuals who are easily over-stimulated. Vata individuals are mostly governed by the air element which reflects the increased baseline metabolic rate.

PITTA DOSHA:
Pitta types are typically your “Type-A Personalities’ who tend to be ambitious and competitive. Pitta individuals are more prone to acidic and inflammatory conditions being mostly governed by the fire element.

KAPHA DOSHA:
Kapha types are often the “easy-going” kind and generally have a slower metabolic rate. These individuals are mostly governed by the water and earth elements and therefore are more vulnerable to weight gain due to a slower metabolism.

The Vitality Of Life - “Ojas”
We live in a modern world of over-stimulation. Yet the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda speaks volumes about the quality of stillness. It’s through these various practices of stillness [i.e. yoga & meditation] that one promotes a sense of vitality represented by the production and preservation of “ojas”. Ojas is also referred to as the source of vitality, immunity and vigor in the body and the quality of ojas is dependent on diet, lifestyle and stress.

Stress Response Diminishes Ojas
Some of the more concerning aspects of coffee is our dependence on it for boosting energy, mental clarity and/or keeping the bowels regular. As we know, all of these benefits are very short-lived. Likewise, coffee is a stimulant and increases the release of stress-fighting hormones, which are usually reserved for ‘fight-or-flight’ situations and therefore oppose the concept of “ojas” as explained above. More importantly, DHEA [dehydroepiandrosterone] is a steroid hormone which is responsible for cellular and tissue repair. Unfortunately, for us coffee lovers - DHEA decreases with stress and coffee consumption.

Grass-Fed Butter - DHEA
DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, has become known as the ‘fountain of youth’ and is made from cholesterol by the adrenal glands. Ayurveda has traditionally considered ghee [clarified butter] to be the healthiest source of edible fat, with many beneficial properties - being an excellent source of cholesterol to form DHEA. According to Ayurveda, not only does ghee improve memory and strengthen the brain and nervous system but it’s thought to improve digestion, promote longevity, and even help to protect the body from various diseases. Finally. Grass-fed butter is high in butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid and studies show that butyrate can both prevent and decrease inflammation.

CLICK HERE - Improving Brain Function With Ayurveda

Craze: Coffee + Grass-Fed Butter = "Bulletproof Coffee"

Directions:
Brew 1 cup (8-12 oz.) of coffee using filtered water, just off the boil, with 2 1/2 heaping tablespoons freshly ground Bulletproof® Coffee Beans. (French Press is easiest.)

  1. Add in 1-2 tablespoons of Brain Octane™ to the hot coffee (It’s STRONG – start with 1 tsp. and work up over several days).
  2. Add 1-2 tablespoons grass-fed, unsalted butter or ghee
  3. Mix it all in a blender for 20-30 seconds until it is frothy like a foamy latte

Click Here - More Info On Bulletproof Coffee

Ayurvedic Considerations

Vata Types:
Remembering that vata types are individuals who are easily over-stimulated and also vulnerable to dehydration, constipation, and insomnia [due to the air element]. Therefore, vata types may want to limit their intake of coffee. Likewise, because the sweet taste balances vata types, these individuals would benefit most by having coffee which is both creamy and sweet - as these are grounding and balancing for vata types.

Pitta Types:
Pitta individuals are more prone to acidic and inflammatory conditions which can become exacerbated by the acidic nature of coffee. Therefore, pitta types will benefit most by adding the grass-fed butter [ghee] and/or coconut oil to their coffee. Similarly, pitta types also become more balanced with the taste of sweetness. Therefore, pitta individuals may want to consider adding high-quality maple syrup or organic cane sugar to their coffee - while skipping the cream.

Kapha Types:
Because kapha individuals are mostly governed by the water and earth elements and are more vulnerable to weight gain due to a slower metabolism, these individuals should consider taking their coffee black - no cream, no sugar. Both milk and cream often increase congestion which is already common to kapha types.

The Secret Ingredient?
“If you take the caffeine out of coffee, the benefits cited [below] remain relatively the same. So, if it isn’t the caffeine that is responsible for these benefits, then what is it? There are about 1000 active constituents in the coffee bean and only a few of them are understood. We do know that the coffee bean, the seed of the fruit, is loaded with antioxidants.”
Source - Dr. John Douillard

Want More?

Some Health Benefits Of Coffee:
1. Men who consumed 6 or more cups of coffee a day had an 18% reduction in prostate cancer risk, and a 40% reduction of aggressive lethal prostate cancer. (1)

2. Four cups of coffee a day could reduce your risk of liver cirrhosis by 84% (2)

3. The equivalent of five cups a day for five weeks began to reverse Alzheimer’s damage in the brains of mice by reducing levels of the abnormal protein amyloid-beta, both in the blood and the brain. (3)

4. One to four cups reduced the risk of Parkinson’s by 47%, and five cups a day reduced it by 60%. (4) In this study, the greater number of cups of coffee per day, the lower the risk of Parkinson’s disease.

However ...

  • Raises homocysteine levels – a major risk factor for heart disease. (5)
  • Raises blood pressure. (6)
  • Raises cholesterol. (7)
  • Is associated with heart irregularities. (8)
  • Increases inflammation. (9)
  • Can damage the nervous system. (10)
  • Interferes with neurotransmitters in the brain. (11)
  • Alters DNA repair. (12)
  • Increases risk of kidney stones. (13)
  • Lowers bone density in women. (14)
  • Interferes with sleep. (15)
  • Is linked to erectile dysfunction. (16)
  • Is linked to increases symptoms of gastric reflux and heartburn. (17)

Interestingly ...
Many of the above-mentioned health concerns “may” be reduced with the introduction of  grass-fed butter, coconut oil, and/or ghee to your coffee. Hence - the “bulletproof coffee” craze!

Disclaimer:
This information is strictly for educational purposes and NOT considered medical advice. Always first seek consultation with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.


Takra [Buttermilk] - The Divine Healing Ayurvedic Digestive Drink

 

The Divine Healing Digestive Drink
Takra or buttermilk, is a liquid preparation prepared by continuously churning yogurt in water. This preparation increases your digestive power and is often used in many health conditions. Takra is considered beneficial for many G.I. conditions such as IBD and Crohn’s disease as well as poor digestion, hemorrhoids, tumors, edema, diarrhea, anemia, urinary diseases and many other health-related conditions.

“He who uses takra daily does not suffer from diseases, and diseases cured by takra do not recur;
just as amrita [divine nectar] is for the gods, takra is to humans.”
- Bhavaprakasha Chpt 6.7

The Benefits Of Homemade:
This type of buttermilk is not like the fermented buttermilk you often find in the stores. Likewise, the properties of regular yogurt are sour and thought to increase water retention [kapha], may cause a variety of [pitta] skin conditions [i.e. acne and rashes] and is generally more difficult to digest. However, when you properly make takra, you lighten the properties of yogurt and remove the sourness so that it becomes a light and beneficial digestive drink.

There is no medicine better than buttermilk for treatment
of hemorrhoids caused by vata and kapha.

– Charaka Samhita Ch. 14

The Ultimate Digestive Drink ... 

Alternative Recipe: 
1/4 cup yogurt
1 cup water
salt as per taste
1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
mint leaves
coriander leaves
green chilies
chopped ginger

Directions: 
- Take 1/4 cup of yogurt into a vessel and add a cup of water.
- Add salt as per taste. Add 1/2 tsp. of roasted cumin powder.
- Mix the ingredients well with the help of a hand blender.
- Garnish it with coriander leaves, mint leaves, green chili and chopped ginger.

Properties:

  • Taste: astringent, sour and sweet
  • Energetics: heating
  • Post-digestive effect: sweet
  • Qualities: binding, light, dry

 

Actions:

  • digestive
  • promotes immunity
  • nourishes the brain and promotes intellect
  • pacifies vata

 

 

Want More?
CLICK HERE - To Learn How To Make Lassi - Refreshing Digestive Drink


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.

 


How To Stay Healthy With Ayurveda - Awareness Is The Key

Staying Healthy With Ayurveda
Prevention is strongly emphasized in Ayurveda and the main goal of Ayurveda is to maintain the health of a healthy person and heal the illness of a sick person. According to this ancient science, much of being healthy is simply being [more] aware.

“The master key to remaining healthy is awareness.”
- Dr. Vasant Lad, Ayurvedic Physician

 

Awareness - The Master Key
By being aware of your [doshic] constitution and remaining aware of how your body, mind and emotions respond to the ever changing world - this itself, allows us to make the informed choices required to maintain good health and well-being. In fact, the lack of this very awareness or “Prajnaparadha” [Crime Against Wisdom] is considered the root cause of all diseases according to the science of Ayurveda. Therefore, by becoming more aware of the root cause of disease and understanding two basic Ayurvedic concepts that “like increases like” and “opposites balance” are enough, and considered suffice information needed, to maintain a state of good health.

"Pure Awareness Being Aware Of Itself." - Professor Rudolph Tanzi

Professor Rudolph Tanzi discusses the function of the cognitive self. This interview is featured
in the upcoming "Science and Nonduality Anthology Vol.5.".

Modify The Cause Through Awareness
The potential causes of disease are constantly arising both within us and around us at all times. Our surroundings are always changing and there is an ever-changing nature of our thoughts and feelings while stressful conditions come and go throughout life. Despite not being able to control all these facets of life - what we can control are our actions bred from thoughtful awareness. Therefore, the first step in staying healthy is developing awareness to the potential causes of disease. For example, we cannot control the weather, but we can dress accordingly so that the cold winds of fall, the rain of winter and the summer’s heat do not create imbalances within us which can later manifest into disease.

Restoring Balance - With Opposites 
Despite being simple and commonly overlooked, restoring balance often involves introducing the opposite quality to which seemingly becomes imbalanced. For example, if you’re cold - consider something warm or hot. Nothing better than a warm soup or hot drink on a cold winter night. Likewise, nothing more soothing than the cooling shade on a hot scorching summer day. In the same manner, to manage any imbalance of the body it’s important to determine which dosha [or combination of doshas] which may be out of balance and then takes steps to normalize it, according to one’s unique tendencies. This process helps to seek out the root cause of any imbalance rather than treating mere symptoms.

 

Developing Awareness
During ancient times, meditation was often considered a way of life. The act of meditation was not something outside of daily life. Instead, meditation was considered a way to bring about harmony to the body, mind and consciousness during everyday challenges. The essence of any meditation is a state of being aware, awareness. In a way, the mere act of being aware is balancing. Observing, listening and being aware of anything without judgment, without criticism, and without liking - nor disliking, you become the center to which all things dissolve into. In the same manner, to be aware of the imbalances within the body and mind without the sense of judgment also allows for the restoration of balance. Truly therefore, awareness is the master key to remaining balanced, healthy and happy.

Just Some Of The Potential Benefits Of Meditation:
– greater clarity and inner calmness
– increased creativity and happiness
– improved sense of emotional stability
– reduced level of anxiety and depression
– improved brain function and memory
– reduced level of stress
… the list can go on and on …

 

Be Happy. Be Balanced. Be Aware.