"Beet The Heat" ~ Beet Recipe

 

Beet The Heat
By Deepika Dabhi

Oh my goodness. Does it feel like the sun is following you for the last two days? Do you feel like you're melting? As of few hours ago my phone sent a heat wave alert … second day in a row! The headline for SoCal News today reads: "Winds Pick Up as San Diego County Is in 2nd Day of Extreme Heat”. My immediate thought was, "Well, there goes my dinner plan." Followed by one inevitable question I think that unites all mothers, fathers or anyone who is in-charge of the kitchen ... "What am I going to cook tonight?”

The original recipe was inspired by my own variation of Gazpacho that I like to make with watermelon, tomato, and cucumber during the hot summer days. However, as the season as transitioned, Mama Earth has  also transitioned to providing what is appropriate for us now. Thus, Beet The Heat, a cool soup for this heat wave was birthed!  The other special consideration I included for this soup is making sure it is still Vata-Season friendly for the SoCal climate.

 

BEET NOTE:
Beets are naturally sweet and Vata pacifying. Beets cleanse and cool the blood, nourish the liver, and improve the eyesight. Beets are good for anemia and stamina. Raw beets aggravate Pitta but cooked beets are Pitta pacifying.

How?
Cooked beets transform the starches into sweeter sugars that are cooling.

SENSIBLE NOTE:
During these high heat and erratic winds, focus on nourishing foods that are sweet and smooth in nature. The recipe below is an example of foods that can keep that metabolic fire (agni) LIT with ingredients like ginger, black pepper, and salt. Meanwhile, keeping the body and mind cool with the sweetness of beets, coconut milk, and of course your choice of a generous amount of garnish of basil or parsley.

MY NOTE:
Remember, "Like Attracts Like; Opposite Heals"
When you are feeling particularly extra dry, increase your fluid intake by sipping on water more often rather than big gulps. Be sure include a lil bit of extra good fat to your food.  Good fats like Ghee, Olive Oil, and Avocados are few examples that are appropriate for gut health and for glowing dewy skin.

YOUR NOTE:
Please tell me how you like this recipe. I’d be honored if you’d share it with your loved ones. Post your photos with #wholeheartedwellness so we all can see and enjoy. When I see you integrate it, it makes me feel like we are all in the this together supporting and celebrating one another.

Recipe: Beat The Heat
Meal Type: Dinner or Lunch, Gluten-Free, Almost Vegan ?

INGREDIENTS:
•1 tablespoon GHEE
•1 large yellow onion, diced
•3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
•1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
•3 large red beets, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
•5 cups vegetable stock, divided
•12 cups coconut milk
•1/2 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
•1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
•Parsley or Chives or Basil (optional)
•Dollop of Yogurt of your choice (optional)

PREPARATION:
In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté onion, 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger; cook, stirring often, 5 minutes. Add beets and 4 cups stock; bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until beets are fork-tender, 20 minutes. With an immersion or regular blender, puree soup, adding remaining 1 cup stock as needed to reach desired consistency. Stir in coconut milk, salt, and pepper. Let it cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for 20 minutes. Garnish with parsley or basil before serving. Add a little dollop or drizzle of Yogurt for a little creaminess, for the love of nourishment.

 

About The Author

Deepika Dabhi combines traditional healing practices of Ayurveda and Yoga with a modern scientific understanding of health and the human body. Deepika states that, "As a client, you will receive customized care that is sustainable, accessible, and effective to address your core health concerns. I am honored to offer you healing protocols and wellness programs in-person or remotely via Skype, Phone, or FaceTime."

To learn more about Deepika Dabhi,
Please visit WholeHeartedWellness

 

 

 

 

 


Mustard Seeds ~ Not Just For Hot Dogs & Burgers + Mustard Seed Cauliflower Recipe

Health Benefits Of Mustard Seed
When mentioning mustard, most of the western world will think of the delicious accompaniment to hot dogs and burgers. However the origins of the mustard seed are well documented with vast health benefits – when used correctly. There are over 40 varieties of mustard plants yet there are three main types that are used to make mustard seeds – black, brown and white. The black mustard seeds are the most pungent and the brown mustard seeds are usually used to make Dijon mustard. The white ones, which are actually yellow in color, are the most commonly used to make American yellow mustard as they are the mildest of the three.

Ayurvedic Cooking Essentials  - Stimulate Your Digestive Fire

A common cooking spice, mustard seeds can be found in kitchens all over the world. These beautiful little seeds are a wonderful addition to savory dishes especially during the spring months. They have a pungent flavor and a heating quality that makes them particularly useful in home remedies to aid in colds and congestion. In addition to its stimulating effect on the lungs and digestion, it also contains important phytonutrients that have been studied for their anti-carcinogenic effects. Mustard seeds are also excellent sources of magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, copper, vitamin B1 and not to mention, omega-3 fatty acids! These nutrients have been shown to, amongst many health benefits, alleviate symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, decrease asthma severity and even to help prevent cancer.

Pickled Mustard Seed 

Mustard seeds work particularly well in cases of krumi (worm, parasites) and have carminative, analgesic and expectorant effects as well as rheumatic properties. This makes them very beneficial in cases of joint pain and breathing difficulties.

Kitchari Spice Kit Online
This kit provides all the basic supplies you need to make Kitchari for 7 days.

Properties

Mustard seeds are light, dry and penetrating with a pungent and bitter taste. They have a heating effect in the body and their post digestive effect is also pungent. They have a strong affinity for the digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems. 

Some indications, amongst others, include:

  • Low or weak/sluggish digestion
  • Intestinal worms
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Pain and swelling
  • Constitutional kapha conditions
  • And many more!

 

It is important to be aware of some of the contraindications of using mustard seeds. It is advised against usage in inflammation and other high pitta conditions.  Always seek a physician’s advice before undertaking herbal supplementation.

Usage

There are many combination compounds that involve Mustard seeds to address certain conditions. Some being:

  • Mustard seeds with ginger, guduchi, pippali and black pepper for low digestive fire
  • Mustard seeds with guggulu myrrh and frankincense for arthritis – particularly rheumatoid
  • Mustard seeds with pippali, pushkaramoola, anthrapachaka for lung congestion

 

There are numerous recipes which use Mustard seeds and it is used abundantly in many savory dishes. A delicious way to experience the benefits of mustard seeds is in a cauliflower dish! This is a flavorful meal that can bring digestive ease in a soothing and delicious way!

~Mustard Seed Cauliflower Recipe~

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower washed, stripped and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 medium sized yellow onion chopped
  • 1 tsp of  chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp of chopped ginger
  • ½ cup of chopped cilantro
  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes chopped
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 tsp coriander powdered
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp hing
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (brown preferably)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp of salt (more or less can be adjusted according to taste/need)

 

Steps

  1. Sauté the onions, ginger, garlic and cilantro in the ghee in a large saucepan until they are soft and slightly browned
  2. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and continue sautéing for a further 5 mins.
  3. Add the rest of the spices (turmeric, salt, coriander, hing and garam masala) and cook for a further 5-7 mins.
  4. Add the potatoes and stir well so that the mixture (tharka) covers all the chopped pieces. Cook for about 5-7 mins.
  5. Add the cauliflower and again stir well. Cook on medium-low heat until the potatoes and cauliflower are soft and can break apart with ease.
  6. Finally add the kale and stir into the vegetable dish. Let cook on low heat for a further 10 mins.
  7. Serve hot with a little ghee and a garnish of parsley. Enjoy with Paranthas!

 

  • Other vegetables and herbs can also be added or replaced as desired.

 

References

  • Lad, V. (1999). The complete book of Ayurvedic home remedies. New York: Three Rivers Press.
  • Sharma, H. (2011). Ayurvedic Healing. Singing Dragon
  • Lad, V. (2002). Textbook of Ayurveda. Albuquerque, N.M.: Ayurvedic Press.
  • Lad, V., & Frawley, D. (1986). The yoga of herbs: An Ayurvedic guide to herbal medicine. Santa Fe, N.M.: Lotus Press.
  • Pole, S. (2013). Ayurvedic medicine the principles of traditional practice. London: Singing Dragon.
  • Green, J. (2000). The herbal medicine-makers' handbook a home manual. Berkeley, Calif.: The Crossing Press.

The Complete Guide For Making Homemade Ghee

Making Homemade Ghee

As a wife and mother, I am always on the lookout for wholesome and healthy food for my family. Having studied Ayurveda – a holistic science dating back thousands of years – I have been able to help bring some of that knowledge to the dinner table. However it is hard work! Finding the right types of foods and organic local products is a constant work in progress!

So I decided to start simple. And I stuck with the basics. Oil! The basics of cooking usually start with some sort of oil or butter that the main dish is created in. This particular type of fat can affect the whole chemistry of the dish. It can bring health, a conglomeration of the foods together and not to mention taste to a whole other level. Since I have been personally raised on ghee and have been aware of its wonderful healing properties, I knew that my family would benefit from consuming this wonderful tasting yet healthy fat.

In the past, due to time constraints, I have purchased my ghee from organic sources. However, the more I studied, the more I realized that each of the many stores and businesses I would purchase ghee from, were lacking in some of the important steps in its creation. Some would consider being organic enough. Others cooking on the full moon or having some mantras and prayers imbibed into them enough. Some have made their ghee’s from salted, unsalted, sweet cream or sweet butter. Is this really the truest form of ghee? I knew that as my schedule lightened, I would have to create my own authentic traditional ghee to help my family and myself reap its truest benefits.

Ghee

But what actually is ghee? Simply put, ghee is a clarified butter, however is that all it is? Ghee is one of the most revered of fats and is sometimes referred to as a ‘clean butter’ meaning that it is butter with all the water and impurities boiled off. Nevertheless it is still much more than that. True authentic and traditional ghee was made with a few points to consider:

  1. Real ghee should be made from 100% raw grass-fed milk. The process is quite lengthy but if done correctly, yields a delicious golden nectar from the Gods themselves! Considering the time constraints in this modern age, the next best thing is to make ghee from organic cultured butter preferably from grass-fed cows.
  2. Ghee cooked during the waxing and full moon is most beneficial as it imbibes some of the soma (essence of bliss) qualities of the moon itself. This phase of the moon is a most auspicious time and imparts the vitality and expanding properties of itself into the consciousness of the food thereby nourishing our bodies.
  3. Using prayers or mantras, in particular the mritunjaya mantra is especially valuable as the healing energies and positive vibes are ingrained into the ghee and renders it far more advantageous to health.
  4. The consciousness of the cook is vital in creating any dish, however more so with ghee. Since ghee is used so widely and as a wonderful base for cooking, it is particularly important to have the person making it, remain in a calm meditative and happy state.

 

Health Benefits Of Ghee

The health benefits of ghee are numerous! Amongst improving digestion, memory and a healthy immune system it is also chockful of nutrients and can improve mood and support a healthy weight loss regime.

  • Ghee is full of vitamins A and E – thereby promoting good vision, a healthy immune system and proper organ function as well as antioxidant properties
  • Ghee also contains Conjugated linoleic acid – if it is made from grassfed cows – another important note to consider using grassfed milk! Consequently it can help to reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Ghee is full of short chain butyric acid – which is useful in intestinal support and production of T cells thereby supporting a healthy immune system
  • The energy from the short chain fatty acids helps to burn fats promoting a healthy weight
  • Ghee is rich in vitamin K2 – an important nutrient for facial and dental health. Therefore ghee can literally make you beautiful! Pregnant mothers would particularly benefit from a regular ghee intake
  • The list can go on for eternity!

 

The Process - From Scratch!

Milk
In order to create ghee, I searched for a reputable source for raw milk. I wanted the process to be as authentic as possible and searched many stores. Luckily I came across a local dairy farm that prided themselves on their well cared for and happy cows. They were also 100% grassfed! Happily I purchased several gallons – having researched that the yield of butter from this much milk was not a large amount!

It is important to note here that some companies which sell organic cultured butter are labelled as pasture fed. On further enquiry I realized that these organizations have cows that are grass-fed 90% of the time, but during winter months are fed grain understandably so. The grains are hormone and antibiotic free and keep in line with the organic diet and regulations. Therefore these butters cannot be labelled grass-fed even though the cows have a predominantly grass-fed diet, and are supplemented with only organic grains. I have had great success using cultured butter made from these cows and I continue to use them even today. I would also recommend making ghee from these types of butters as they are as close to the traditional authentic ghees without having to make your own butter!

The Churn
Churning is essential to the butter making process. I looked at various churns and came across some lovely traditional wooden ones. However I rather preferred the heavy duty glass jar and stainless steel Dazey churns and stuck with that, although the novelty wore off after a few hours of churning! Another important detail to look into is the material of the items that are worked with. Some churns are made from plastics, aluminum and rubber. Not wanting these materials leeching into my butter, I chose to stick to glass and stainless steel. It is also rather simple to create your own butter churn using wood and a large stainless steel pot. Attaching the wooden stick to a stable post and using rope to churn the curd in the pot is a simple yet delightfully traditional method to creating the butter.

Curd

Curd is the wonderful thick mixture used to create butter. But what is curd? Curd is sometimes (wrongly) classified as yogurt. However there is a simple yet important difference between yogurt and curd. Curd is simply the milk solids that have separated when a natural sour source has been added to the milk. Some of these natural sources include lemon, vinegar, tamarind pods and even chili peppers. Yogurt on the other hand is created by bacterial fermentation using a bacterial inoculation of cultures such as Streptococcus thermophiles, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Lactobacillus acidophilus amongst others. Whilst both curd and yogurt are great for gut health, I wanted to stick to the traditional use of curd or ‘dahi’ (as it is known in India) in the creation of ghee.

Making curd is simply adding a sour product to warm milk – which then turns to (yes you guessed it!) curd. Sounds simple right? Not so! I had a great learning experience by creating an ineffective curd starter! A curd starter is simply the initial curd used to create a larger batch of curd. My first batch of curd did not set correctly as I didn’t add an adequate amount of starter curd to it. When I tried my second batch, it came out wonderfully and I realized that the curd starter was an interesting aspect to the curd making process. The temperature of the milk is an essential point to note here; when it is too cool it will not set properly and will not turn into an efficient curd.

I wanted to experiment using tamarind pods and chili peppers to see which was the most effective curd starter.

Results
I used three different curd starters – one with just tamarind pods, another with just chilies and the third with both. They all turned out wonderfully! The chili pepper curd yielded a spicier buttermilk and butter that was simply delicious! Although probably not the greatest butter to use for making ghee! I found that even the curd created using the tamarind and chili was still too spicy. However the curd created using tamarind only was perfect! The butter was thick, delicious. Despite it coming from a smaller batch of curd, it yielded twice as much butter in comparison to the chili curds. The buttermilk produced was milder yet creamier and had a tangy delicious taste.

The steps to making curd starter

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of raw grassfed milk
  • Whole tamarind pods
  • 3 chili pepper stems and 1 chili pepper

 

  1. Bring the milk to a boil and let it gently simmer for 5 minutes. This effectively kills any unwanted pathogens that may have gotten into the milk.
  2. Let the milk cool to body temperature or 110 degrees
  3. Pour into a glass jar and add the tamarind pods snapped in half and/or chilli peppers
  4. Half cover with the lid, allowing it to be exposed to some air to provide live cultures
  5. Leave for 12 hours or overnight
  6. Curd starter is created! There should be a curdled milk solid which can now be used to create a larger batch of curd
  • Note: ideally use a stainless steel pot when cooking and/or boiling milk. This is not an easy thing to find since there are many on the market with tri ply – meaning a core of aluminum. So it is wise to be watchful of the material that your food is placed or cooked in.

 

The steps to making curd

Ingredients

  • 2 gallons of raw grassfed milk
  • 6 -10 tablespoons of curd starter

 

  1. Bring the raw milk to a boil and continue slow boiling for 10 minutes. Experimentation taught me that raw milk needs a slightly longer boil time to yield good curd.
  2. Once the milk has cooled to body temperature or 110 degrees, place into a large glass container or stainless steel or clay pot.
  3. Add the curd starter and gently stir, then cover and wrap in cloth and keep in a warm place overnight.
  4. Once the curd has set, it should be quite firm and have a slightly sour smell but not putrid. It should taste quite like a mild yogurt.
  5. Place in the refrigerator for a few hours
  6. Now we are ready to churn!

 

Burning butter by making butter!

Once the curd is cool, we can place it in the butter churn and start churning! This can be a lengthy process and it is important to be patient and churn in a clockwise and anticlockwise direction to really churn and not mix. I used the lever of the dazey churn to go back and forth, thereby creating this clockwise and anticlockwise process. It took an hour for the tamarind curd to separate into butter and buttermilk and it took almost two hours for the chilli pepper curd to separate.

Once you see the yellow clumps of butter floating on the buttermilk you are done! Sometimes adding a little ice water to the mixture can help to clump the butter further and you can take it out quite easily. Washing the butter is important since any buttermilk left in the butter can make it go rancid quite quickly. Simply use ice water to scrape the butter in a bowl and rinse until the water runs clear. Now we have collected enough butter to make ghee! But what about the leftover buttermilk?

Buttermilk
Buttermilk has tremendous health benefits. The buttermilk that is left once the butter is taken out is considered true lassi or takra. The health benefits are vast! It is a delicious and refreshing drink for the entire family! 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. Adding a pinch of roasted cumin powder and/or black pepper can greatly help with its digestive effects – not to mention making it even more delicious!

“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

Steps for making ghee – finally!

The Butter

And so we reach the ghee process at last! As I mentioned earlier, this long procedure to arrive at butter is time consuming and can be a little exhausting (think churning!). So in order to cut some time and create your own batch of divine ghee I would recommend looking into the butters available on the market. Ideally organic grassfed cultured butter is your best bet for making ghee as authentic and pure as possible. However the more I looked into the butters I realized that even cultured organic butter raises questions. For example, what is the difference between European and American cultured butter?

European butter is simply butter obtained using cultures from Europe! However it is also defined as a cultured butter that is churned longer in order to achieve at minimum 82% butterfat. Compared to American cultured butter which is churned to obtain at least 80% butterfat, the European butters usually have a richer flavor and a softer texture.

~Ghee Recipe~

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of cultured organic butter (preferably homemade!)

Utensils

  • Stainless steel pot
  • Cheesecloth and/or fine sieve
  • Airtight glass jars

 

  1. Place the butter in a stainless steel pan and melt gently on a medium flame. Gas burners are a more preferable method of cooking ghee.
  2. Once the butter has melted, lower the heat until the butter is gently boiling
  3. Foam will start to gather and rise to the top – if you want to remove it, do so gently using a wooden spoon – being careful not to stir the ghee. Some sources advise against removing this foam – arguing that it contains medicinal properties. The milk solids will start to gather at the bottom of the pan and it is important to not dislodge this into the ghee.
  4. Ghee can easily burn so care must be taken to watch over it and prevent too much vigorous boiling- if it has become too brown and gives a nutty aroma it has burned.
  5. Once the ghee starts to become clear – and you can see the milk solids at the bottom of the pan – it is almost done! The golden liquid will give off a most delightful buttery popcorn aroma – making your kitchen an aromatic heaven!
  6. Adding a drop of water to the ghee is a good test to see if it is done. If it produces a crackling sound, your ghee is ready! Once the ghee stops sputtering and popping you can switch the gas off. Let it cool down a little – once it is warm it can be filtered into glass jars. It is important to not let it cool too much or else it will conglomerate with the milk solids and all your hard work will be ruined!
  7. Filter using cheesecloths or fine sieves into dry glass jars or stainless steel containers. It should be kept airtight and in a dark place away from light. Ghee does not need to be refrigerated. Using dry jars are important as even a drop of water can ruin the ghee!

 

  • Ideally ghee should be made during the waxing or full moon – it is useful to consider that the true full moon will only last a minute! So any time after the exact full moon is considered a waning moon. Therefore cooking a few hours before the exact time of the full moon is most beneficial. Be wary of companies who market their ghees using the full moon – it may be helpful to enquire further of the exact time and date that these ghees are created.
  • Using mantras or prayers can imbibe the ghee with additional protective healing energies. It is also helpful to keep the cook mindful while he/she is chanting these prayers.
  • Placing the ghee on a sri yantra once it is cooked is another consideration. The sri yantra is a sacred geometrical shape which is particularly effective in energizing foods and drinks when used correctly. 

 


Healthy & Delicious ~ Rhubarb Berry Crumble Recipe

The Wonderfully Interesting Rhubarb
Rhubarb is a wonderfully interesting vegetable ... fruit … herb?  Of course there are many discussions of where to place rhubarb, as it has been classified as both a fruit and vegetable. It is, however, an ancient plant that was originally imported from China and Tibet. It has an incredibly tart taste, because of which, it is frequently used with sweet dishes and is therefore classified as a fruit. However, technically it is a vegetable and has been used popularly as such around the world.

The rhubarb plant is a perennial which grows most abundantly in the Himalayans. The root of the rhubarb is used for medicinal and dietary purposes. However care must be taken when using the leaves – they are known to be poisonous. There are certain precautions to be aware of when using rhubarb. It has wonderful laxative properties, but because of this, there can tend to be reliance on the plant for bowel movements, and should be used only short term. 

Super Easy Dessert Recipe - Rhubarb Crumble

Contraindications

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Emodin is a resin found in rhubarb which can be transmitted to infants during pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Gout - The oxalic acid content in rhubarb can affect individuals with gout
  • Intestinal obstruction and inflammation of unknown origin
  • Diarrhea
  • General debility
  • Anemia – as it can reduce iron absorption
  • Cardiac  issues
  • Hyperkalaemia – can be further aggravated by potential loss of electrolytes

 

Despite some of these contraindications, when used correctly, rhubarb has wonderful healing properties. It is particularly beneficial in pitta and kapha conditions but can aggravate vata in excess. It has an affinity for the digestive, excretory and circulatory systems. It is a fantastic blood purifier in addition to its laxative effects.

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Properties
Rhubarb is light, dry and penetrating with a bitter, astringent and pungent taste. It has a cooling effect in the body and its post digestive effect is also pungent. It is very effective on the plasma, blood and fat tissues.   

Some indications, amongst others, include:

  • Constipation and Diarrhea – its action is dependent on dose.
  • Removing toxins
  • Dysentery
  • Abdominal tumors and obstructions
  • Hepatitis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Liver congestion
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Endometriosis
  • Fibroids
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Ulcers
  • Hemorrhoids
  • And many more!

 

As mentioned above, it is important to be aware of the contraindications of rhubarb. Always seek a physician’s advice before undertaking herbal supplementation.

Usage

There are many combination compounds that involve rhubarb to address certain conditions. Some being:

  • Rhubarb and ginger, fennel, peppermint for gripe
  • Rhubarb with psyllium husk, licorice and hemp seed for dry colon
  • Rhubarb with shatavari, amalaki and manjistha for high pitta and gastrointestinal tracts ulcers
  • Rhubarb and turmeric, myrrh and pippali for ama in female reproductive stagnation issues

 

There are numerous recipes which use rhubarb and it is used abundantly in many sweet fruit dishes. It is well used with strawberry in a pie. However personally, I prefer the rhubarb in a crumble. Here is my recipe – feel free to adjust according to taste!

~Rhubarb Berry Crumble~

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup of ghee
  • 1 cup of flour
  • (all-purpose flour is most popular but can substitute other types)
  • ½ cup of coconut sugar (or your choice of sweetener)
  • note: not honey as it shouldn’t be heated
  • ¼ cup of turbinado sugar
  • ¾ cup of mixed berries
  • ½ cup of chopped rhubarb roots (NOT leaves)
  • Pinch of rock salt
  • ¼ tsp of cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp of cardamom
  • ¼ tsp of fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp of vanilla essence

 

Steps

1. Place the turbinado sugar and the chopped rhubarb into a saucepan with the vanilla essence. Let simmer for about 15 mins until soft.

2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.

3. Place rhubarb mixture along with the rest of the berries and the fennel seeds in an ovenproof dish

4. To prepare the crumble, mix together the flour, coconut sugar, spices and salt. Gently using your fingers add the ghee until large crumbs are formed.

5. Sprinkle crumble onto the berry rhubarb mixture and bake in oven for 35-40 mins until crumble is crispy and fruit juices are bubbling.

6. Enjoy with a mint leaf!

Note: this recipe can be varied and adjusted according to taste.

References

  • Lad, V. (2002). Textbook of Ayurveda. Albuquerque, N.M.: Ayurvedic Press.
  • Lad, V., & Frawley, D. (1986). The yoga of herbs: An Ayurvedic guide to herbal medicine. Santa Fe, N.M.: Lotus Press.
  • Pole, S. (2013). Ayurvedic medicine the principles of traditional practice. London: Singing Dragon.
  • Green, J. (2000). The herbal medicine-makers' handbook a home manual. Berkeley, Calif.: The Crossing Press.

Health Benefits Of Pomegranate + Pomegranate Chutney Recipe

Health Benefits Of Pomegranate
Revered since ancient times, this bright beautiful red fruit has become well known for its sweet astringent taste and healing properties. It also plays a role in myths and poetry! In fact, in one of the most popular Olympian telling of the story of Persephone, pomegranate seeds play an important role!

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According to Ayurveda, amla is the best among rejuvenative herbs.

This is an excerpt of the story:
Zeus, the king of the gods, it is said, permitted Hades (god of the underworld), who was in love with the beautiful Persephone, to carry her off as her mother Demeter was not likely to allow her daughter to go down to Hades. Persephone was gathering flowers in a field when Hades came to abduct her, bursting through a cleft in the earth. Demeter, when she found her daughter had disappeared, searched for her all over the earth. In most versions she forbids the earth to produce, or she neglects the earth and in the depth of her despair she causes nothing to grow. Finally the sun, who sees everything, told Demeter what had happened and at length she discovered the place of Persephone’s abode. In the end, Zeus pressed by the cries of the hungry people and by the other deities, forced Hades to return Persephone. Hades complies but first tricks Persephone by giving her some pomegranate seeds to eat. Persephone was released, but because she had tasted food in the underworld, she was obliged to spend a third of each year (the winter months) there, and the remaining part of the year with the gods above.

The Health Benefits Of Pomegranates

Pomegranate has inspired many comparisons of beauty in texts and other legends. Yet as beautiful and delicious as this fruit is, its healing properties are even more so! It is particularly effective on the circulatory and reproductive systems as it is a well-known aphrodisiac that has hemostatic properties.

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In addition to being a tridoshic fruit, pomegranate also has fantastic antacid and carminative actions. Despite pitta being aggravated by the sour taste, pomegranate is an exception to the rule. It is also particularly useful in cases of digestive disorders with inflammation. The rind of the fruit should be avoided during pregnancy and pomegranate is not recommended in cases of constipation.

Properties
Pomegranate is light and unctuous with a sweet, astringent and sour taste. It has a heating effect in the body and its post digestive effect is also sweet. It has a strong affinity for the digestive and reproductive systems. 

Some indications, amongst others, include:

  • Hyperacidity
  • Inflamed stomach
  • Inflamed intestines
  • Dysentery
  • Parasites
  • Excessive, sharp appetite
  • Bleeding
  • Weak heart
  • Leucorrhoea
  • Prostate conditions
  • Menopause
  • Nervine debility
  • And many others!

It is important to be aware of some of the contraindications of using pomegranate. It is advised against usage in pregnancy and other constipation as it has binding actions.  Always seek a physician’s advice before undertaking herbal supplementation.

Usage

There are many combination compounds that involve pomegranate to address certain conditions. Some being:

  • Pomegranate seeds or the juice with coriander and cumin for pitta digestion
  • Pomegranate rind and juice with haritaki and amalaki for diarrhea and acidity
  • Pomegranate rind with rhubarb root for tapeworm
  • Pomegranate with shatavari for menopause

 

~Pomegranate Chutney Recipe~

A delicious and easy way to incorporate pomegranate with our daily meals is by using it in chutney. This recipe is simple yet divine!

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons of dry pomegranate seeds
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup of fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp fennel powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ onion chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tablespoons of water
  • Sugar and/or chili powder to taste

 

Steps

  1. Wash the pomegranate seeds well.
  2. Add all the ingredients into a blender with a little water and blend until smooth
  3. Place into a container and enjoy!
  4. This chutney can be kept for up to 3-5 days in the fridge
  • There are many variations that can be used according to one’s taste or preference. Different spices can be added or removed to create your own perfect pomegranate chutney!
  • Also adjust the amount of water to create the desired texture of the chutney

 

References

  • Lad, V. (1999). The complete book of Ayurvedic home remedies. New York: Three Rivers Press.
  • Sharma, H. (2011). Ayurvedic Healing. Singing Dragon
  • Lad, V. (2002). Textbook of Ayurveda. Albuquerque, N.M.: Ayurvedic Press.
  • Lad, V., & Frawley, D. (1986). The yoga of herbs: An Ayurvedic guide to herbal medicine. Santa Fe, N.M.: Lotus Press.
  • Pole, S. (2013). Ayurvedic medicine the principles of traditional practice. London: Singing Dragon.
  • Green, J. (2000). The herbal medicine-makers' handbook a home manual. Berkeley, Calif.: The Crossing Press.

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.


The Ayurveda Guide: Spring Season

 

The Ayurveda Guide: Spring Season
The shift to springtime weather and energy has begun. Fickle, changing hot-and-cold days send mixed signals to the body. This natural weather flux demands more flexibility in the body, because the body senses the shift of seasons on a cellular level and begins a natural detox. Many of us experience that, during the cold weather, we tend to eat more. Eating more then is natural, as it is Vata-pacifying (Vata is the mind-body operating principle that governs movement and is associated with fall and winter). The extra weight naturally keeps us warmer and feeling more comfortable in the cold winter months.

Ayurveda honors that change within ...

We have all had the experience of feeling cold when we have missed our main meal. Food is the fuel that allows our metabolism to keep us at normal body temperature. This increase of winter food can also lead to the build-up of ama, or toxins. Animals living in nature slim down in the spring, losing their winter fat, and we humans, by design, naturally move in the same direction. Ayurveda has long recognized that different things are happening inside of us during each season. Ayurveda honors that "change within" and recognizes – and supports – that the body wants to do something different as the seasons come and go.

Spring is invigorating. It's a time of renewal and rejuvenation. The sunlight and warmth return. Life leaves behind the chilly winter silence and starts to stir again. Cleansing is natural in spring – we often feel a deep urge to rid ourselves of old unwanted items and create a new space. Ayurveda understands this deeply-seated tendency as something very significant: a powerful natural movement within; a physiological trend to clean out. Ayurveda offers a great number of tools for just such deep cleansing.

The Winter Ama Build-up

Over winter, toxins can build up in the body. They find their way into us through foods, the air, water, chemicals, GMOs, pollution and preservatives. Our own digestive fire, called agni in Ayurveda, also plays a role. Overeating during the holidays, and overall poor eating habits, can dampen agni and lead to a build-up of ama – which results in sluggishness, extra pounds, poor sleep or worse. Pressure from work, family and financial concerns may also build up and bog you down physically and mentally.

The build-up of ama, or undigested material, ends up stored in our cells, circulatory and microcirculatory channels, slowing everything down and gumming everything up, including the digestion and elimination processes. The Ayurvedic solution is this: given an opportunity, the body will detox naturally – it's built to do that.

The build-up of ama, or undigested material, ends up stored in our cells, circulatory and microcirculatory channels, slowing everything down and gumming everything up, including the digestion and elimination processes. The Ayurvedic solution is this: given an opportunity, the body will detox naturally – it's built to do that.

The build-up of ama, or undigested material, ends up stored in our cells, circulatory and microcirculatory channels, slowing everything down and gumming everything up, including the digestion and elimination processes. The Ayurvedic solution is this: given an opportunity, the body will detox naturally – it's built to do that.

At-Home Ayurvedic Detoxification

Ancient Herbal Formulations – Ayurvedic formulas carefully crafted by Maharishi Ayurveda can help the detoxifying process any time of the year. There are two formulas in particular that can gently and efficiently jump-start a refreshing, springtime cleanse.

Using 18 traditional Ayurvedic herbs, Elim-Tox works to detoxify the colon and digestive tract. It continues on to cleanse the liver, sweat glands, blood, nutritive fluids and fat tissue. Each pore is purified as the micro-channels of the body release waste, and cellular pathways for vital nutrients are renewed.

Elim-Tox-O is a similar but gentler formula for those who experience heartburn, acne and excess stomach acid (tendency toward Pitta imbalance). Absorption of nutrients is promoted as the liver gently detoxes. At the same time the blood, fatty tissues and muscles are purified.

Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus) contains three revered Ayurvedic fruits — Amla, Chebulic myrobalan and Belleric myrobalan. It accomplishes two important tasks overnight: creating ojas, the finest by-product of balanced digestion, and strengthening and balancing agni, the digestive fire. Each of the herbs in this traditional formulation rejuvenates and supports wellness. It is an Ayurvedic Rasayana, acknowledged for its ability to nourish at the deepest levels of the body and mind. For this, it is considered one of the most valuable Ayurvedic herbal preparations in the world. In addition, a fourth ingredient, Cabbage Rose, is added to support the synergy of the other ingredients and promote their effectiveness.

Supporting Spring Immunity

Beej-bhumi: Immunity is traditionally explained in Ayurveda using the beej-bhumi illustration. It means "seed and land." The body is the land, and pathogens are seeds. If the body is filled with ama and lacking in ojas (the finest product of good digestion), the pathogens find fertile ground for growing. If digestion is strong, and ojas rather than ama predominates in the body, then the seeds don't take root.

Take a Breath: Everyone is more susceptible to respiratory problems when the seasons are changing, such as in the fall and early spring. This is because the body functions differently in each season, and in the transition between the hot and cold seasons the agni, or digestive fire, can start to fluctuate dramatically. If you do not adjust your diet and routine and follow the Ayurvedic guidelines for the seasonal transitions, you can build up ama. The soil is then primed to grow a seed.

That is why respiratory issues and allergen reactions abound for some in the fall and early spring. In the early spring, there is an added factor, because ama accumulated during the winter starts to dissolve in our system, flooding the micro-channels and overloading the immune system. The body's immune system is weakened, and becomes a fertile ground for bacteria. In the case of allergens, the body misidentifies and attacks itself, resulting in the allergen symptoms that make us feel so uncomfortable.

Bio-Immune combines traditional purifying herbs with Ayurvedic minerals, including mica. Because it is made traditionally, it takes over six months to prepare! The herbs and minerals together help the immune system without side effects. This herbal combination also helps eliminate digestive impurities and toxins that can affect natural immunity. Bio-Immune tablets, Sniffle Free tablets, and Cold Weather Defense tablets are all immune-promoting herbal supplements that you can take during the winter and spring season to support respiratory health. The herbs in Bio-Immune promote neuro-immune responses, purify the liver and blood, and dissolve ama and amavisha (a more reactive form of ama that has settled in one part of the body). Take one or two tablets of Bio-Immune each morning and evening to support overall immunity.

Premium Amla Berry (formerly ReGen Vitality) – a potent Rasayana (nourishing blend of herbs) for overall rejuvenation. Good nutrition requires a balance of the six Ayurvedic tastes — sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent. Amla is one of just a handful of herbs that contain five of the six taste categories — all except lavan, or salty. Such balanced nutrition means that Amla helps balance all three of the basic operating principles of mind and body — Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Taken in combination with Bio-Immune and Organic Digest Tone, it is a powerhouse for supporting immunity.

Cold Weather Defense promotes the body's natural defenses by offering nutritional support.

The herbs have a variety of functions:

  • Promote well-being and comfort
  • Help balance the moisture level and mucus in the lungs and sinuses
  • Aid digestion for decreased production of toxic food residues
  • Help remove toxins that can weaken resistance
  • Nourish the body's natural defense mechanism

 

Sniffle Free – Cold weather can compromise your body's ability to handle cold temperatures that can dampen the digestive fire (agni) and weaken the body. Sniffle Free supports natural agni, which is often compromised by colder weather. This formula also aids your resistance to the cold, helps lubricate the lungs and helps restore your body's balance of moisture and mucus.

Organic Genitrac – The traditional Ayurvedic herbs in this formulation help cleanse and purify the urinary tract. When the urinary tract isn’t functioning properly, toxins accumulate, breeding bacteria, which leads to more toxins, further impeding urination. One out of five women will be affected by a urinary tract issue. While it’s much rarer for men to experience urinary tract issues, it can be much more serious when they do. The best approach is to maintain the health of the genitourinary tract in the first place.

There a number of Ayurvedic herbals supporting immunity. The complete list can be found here.

Best Ama-Burning Diet Tips

Spring is an ideal time to do gentle purification treatments called Panchakarma. The transition periods between the seasons, in fall and the early spring, are when the body is primed to purify itself of accumulated toxins. Panchakarma includes a full program of Ayurvedic massage, steam baths and intestinal cleansing treatments, to rid your body of ama accumulated during the previous season. Panchakarma also strengthens your agni, or digestive fire, so more ama won't be accumulated.

If you can't go to a clinic for panchakarma, you can still follow an Ayurvedic regimen at home to cleanse the body of ama during the transition between the seasons. Diet is key. Eating warm, light, nourishing foods such as soups, or light meals of mildly-spiced vegetables with grains such as quinoa, couscous and millet, helps the body cleanse. Enjoying a lighter diet for a few weeks while the weather is changing helps burn away ama rather than accumulate it. Lots of rest at the optimal times is a powerful, age-old secret of Ayurveda. So is drinking plenty of warm fluids, daily walks and other exercise suitable for your body type.

If you feel less hungry at mealtimes than usual, or if you feel heavy and dull in the two hours immediately after a meal, these are indications that your digestive fire is burning low. To help enhance your agni, make a delicious Pomegranate Chutney to accompany your meal.

Cooking your food with immune-supporting spices such as cumin, fennel, coriander, turmeric, ginger and black pepper is also an important way to enhance agni and reduce ama.

You can also take one tablet of the Maharishi Ayurveda herbal supplement Herbal Di-Gest with each meal to promote digestion or, if Organic Digest Tone does not stimulate elimination, take two to three capsules of Herbal Cleanse at night if you are feeling constipated from time to time.

Consider adding the traditional Ayurvedic herbs that support respiratory health. Protection Plus Respiratory System contains 26 herbs that act synergistically to protect the lungs from respiratory problems. This formula separates ama from the Shleshaka Kapha, the subdosha related to joint lubrication and body fluids, making it easier to cleanse the lungs. It also cleanses the channels of ama and nurtures, lubricates, and restores balance to the lungs as the impurities are dissolved, supporting the body's natural immunity.

You can also drink a warm, immune-supporting tea such as Sniffle Free Tea twice a day, with your meal or after it. The herbs in this thermogenic tea will help balance Kapha immediately. If your head is feeling heavy or congested, you can also use Sniffle Free Aroma oil to help create balance and clear the sinuses.

Tips for a Deep Spring Detox

  • Take advantage of the abundance of fresh organic spring greens and organic grains.
  • Enjoy organic fruit, juices and whole milk rather than more-processed options.
  • Drink plenty of purified water.
  • Consuming at least 2 quarts a day will help flush out toxins.
  • Enjoy exercise outdoors on a regular basis.
  • Favor foods that are warm, light and easy to digest.
  • Reduce or avoid red meat, refined and canned foods, salt.
  • Limit or avoid coffee, dairy products and alcohol intake. 

 

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.


The Story Of Disease: An Ayurvedic Understanding

The Story Of Disease
There's a fascinating story I've heard that describes the "Summary of The Process of Disease Formation," according to Ayurvedic Medicine. First, disease begins when we forget our true nature. This is known as the "Primordial Cause" of disease. We forget how we as spirit are spiritualizing through the human experience. According to Marisa Laursen, a professor at the California College of Ayurveda, "the mind is a place of purity and clarity. The thought comes along and disturbs the mind."

the "Primordial Cause" of disease.

"Thought is part of ego and the chatter becomes the smoke screen that disturbs us from the true self." The ego creates stories and draws upon attachments to the past and projections of the future, constantly shape-shifting and vacillating between the two; preventing us from being absolutely absorbed in the present moment because it fears its cessation. There is a sacred text called the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the first line of the yoga sutras states "yoga chitta vritti nirodha", which means that "Yoga (union/merging) involves the cessation of the disturbances of the mind." There are 195 sutras or verses and of the 195 versus the 194 verses show us how to accomplish verse number one.

"Ayurvedic Living" By Dr. Marc Halpern

The process and movement of time, which is known as "Parinama" or that which relates to things that change, is the next cause and contributing factor. There are two aspects to time. One relates to Linear time, which is out of our control because this involves the cycles of the earth revolving around the sun and the changes of season. The second form of time consists of Biological time, which, though is in our control, it is dynamic. This is because the pacing of biological time changes with response to our motion and as motion increases, the rate of biological time increases. With this, the body either ages faster when we are moving faster and more slowly when we slow down. A busy mind causes us to perceive time as moving quickly and a mind that is still and more anchored in the present moment, time slows down. When the mind moves quickly, the body will reflect this and as the mind moves slower, the body will reflect this too.

“and a mind that is still and more anchored in the present moment" ... 

Once we experience a busy and chaotic/distracted mind, we come to the next step where disease develops. This experience is called "Prajnaparadha" or "crimes against wisdom/failure of intelligence". What happens here is that on some deep level we know what is right for us but we allow our minds to convince us otherwise and we make opposite choices. Our intellect is constantly being used to make decisions and it prefers to choose between pleasure and harmony. This is where the ego feeds off the senses and uses the senses to support its own happiness somehow as it pursues outer pleasures to satisfy itself and perpetuate its own existence through separation/division. Dr. Marc Halpern, President and Founder of the California College of Ayurveda, says "While the ego and the senses speak loudly within the great hall of the mind, the soul speaks in whispers." When we allow our inner wisdom to be ignored, it's because we have given our power away to our senses and this leads to the next place where the five senses, the eyes, ears, mouth, the skin, and smell dictate our interaction with the world.

Amrit Nectar  
Enhances coordination of mental and physical functions; supports balance between the heart and the brain; powerful antioxidant.

This is called "Asatmendryartha Samyoga" or "unwholesome conjunction of the senses with their objects of their affection." Dr. Marc Halpern further explains: "When people take into their body that which does not match their constitution, they are considered misusing their senses. In addition to taking in what is not harmonious, a person may also take in too much or too little of what is energetically harmonious for that person. This too will cause disease."

... only Ayurveda has a full definition of what is health.

What is amazing is that of all the healthcare systems in the world, only Ayurveda has come up with an adequate and full definition of what is health. Other systems, like Allopathy, define health as the "absence of disease" but Ayurveda says this "Sama Dosha Sama Agnis ca Sama Dhatu Mala kriya Prasannatmendriya Manah Svasta itiabhidyate" which means "balanced constitution(Vata/Pitta/Kapha), balanced digestion, balanced tissues, balanced waste products (urine, feces, sweat), balanced senses (eyes, ears, nose, mouth and skin), balanced mind (sattva, rajas,tamas), and alignment with spirit is what healthy is." Any disturbance or abnormality in any of these is an indication of disease.

Stages Of Disease ... 
Additionally, Ayurveda has broken down disease pathology into six stages, known as "Samprapti." Each of the stages can be understood as such: Accumulation, Aggravation, Overflow, Relocation, Manifestation and Diversification. There is an image that helps to grasp these concepts more easily. Let's say we have a tree and the roots are the doshas (tendencies towards imbalances based on constitutional determinants, of Vata, Pitta and Kapha) and these roots are below the surface. What is above the surface is the trunk of the tree and this represents Overflow, where the blood and plasma exist as part of the circulatory system. As the tree progresses upward, the branches form and this is known as the Relocation Phase. From the branch, we have a bud and this budding is the Manifestation of the disease. After it starts to bloom and this blooming is the full-fledged experience of the disease, known as Diversification. According to Ayurvedic prevention and management of disease there is a natural cycle that happens throughout the year and with each season. As one season is present, that is the Aggravated Phase and the season that just left has now been Alleviated but while we are in the Aggravated Phase the next season is already Accumulating.

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

A Closer Look
As each Dosha (biological constitution, that is prone to decay) undergoes this experience of time/season change, the natural Alleviation of particular symptoms occurs. IF or WHEN, for some reason or another, this cycle is interrupted and Alleviation is prevented, we enter into Overflow and this is when a disease is really progressing. In other words, it is during the Accumulation and Aggravation phases that this is the beginning of a disturbance that begins in the digestive system. Commonly ignored, may appear subtle or overt, disturbances would be: sluggish digestion (weak/low digestive fire = Manda Agni), gas/dry stools (variable digestion = Vishama Agni), and/or burning indigestion (sharp digestion = Tikshna Agni). Low digestion relates to Kapha. Variable digestion relates to Vata and sharp digestion relates to Pitta. Balanced digestion is called Sama Agni where there are no digestive disturbances. It is during the Accumulation and Aggravation phases that we can catch a disease from further progressing but we are usually too busy and less sensitive to notice and we keep pushing ahead until other symptoms develop and scream for out attention. It is at these stages that, according to Ayurveda, that we can simply balance our diet and lifestyle, making better choices that we can prevent diseases from increasing. When the symptoms have progressed and they enter into the circulatory system then we have to intervene with herbs/medications and other therapies. Regardless of what stage a disease is at, diet and lifestyle must be adjusted in order to secure the optimization of health. Herbs/medications alone are not meant to do the job completely as we are whole beings and not just treating parts of a body/mind. This is the holistic approach and effort. Even when herbs are administered, diet and lifestyle provisions are made to ensure success or at least make some improvements.

Disease starts out as "dis-ease".

Prognosis is about the likelihood of improvement and/or correction of a condition. Disease, depending on what stage of development it is at can always be managed. There are diseases that are Easy to cure, Difficult to cure, Incurable but not terminal and Terminal.  Disease starts out as "dis-ease" and picks up momentum until it has completely manifested itself as disease and by returning ease through our diet and lifestyles we can encourage disease to return back to ease. Importantly, this ease also involves supporting the well-being of a person through their state of mind. I've said for many years now, that it's about the little things that build up to the big things.

There are of course extenuating circumstances that are to be factored into all this, circumstances such as external factors like accidents and other outside variations of trauma that can influence health and disease pathology. Karma falls into this and it is important to remember that karma is not about blame or judgment but about balance. Karma is not about punishment or reward, it is about balance. In Ayurveda and Yoga, we know that karma is a result of selfish acts and by being selfless we can release ourselves from the cumulative effects and experiences of karma. This is a discussion that requires further exploration at another time and escapes the main purpose of this present article which is meant to give a general understanding and summary of the cause of disease. This current article is meant to share a perspective and expand our lens on the possibilities that surround dis-ease leading to disease. Simply, we can always either prevent or manage.

In summary, take note of what your senses are doing. Take control of them. They are like the five horses without a charioteer and once the charioteer takes hold, the horses can be guided. Similarly, our innermost and highest version of ourselves is the charioteer and when we take hold of the five senses we can get a better handle on our lives. Ayurveda has in place a five sense therapy protocol designed to support this process and journey. With regard to other stressors, by reducing the stress we experience as the mind stresses because of past and future projections and attachments, we can feel more in touch with what is happening to day and embrace the grace of the moment that invites us to be intimate with it. Practices such as, yoga, Ayurveda, meditation, Tai Chi, and other holistic modalities are meant to support us in remembering who we are and what we have come here for. When we remember who we are by escaping the illusions and story-telling of the mind rooted in the attachment to past and future events, we will find our interactions with the world coming from a more wholesome place and the choices we make will be more in alignment with what is true in our hearts and not what we think is true in our minds.

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. Vishnu is currently enrolled in California College of Ayurveda with the intention of obtaining his doctoral degree in Ayurveda. 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 contact him at Still Point Ayurveda.


Health Benefits Of Lemongrass + Lemongrass Vegetable Stir-Fry Recipe

Health Benefits Of Lemongrass
Lemongrass or Bhutrna, which literally means “earth grass”, is an aromatic and flavorful herb which brings excitement and delight to many recipes worldwide. It is a stiff, sharp bladed perennial which is native to India but has made its way to south eastern Asia, where its popularity is second to none. Its usage in recipes is extensive, and can be consumed dried, fresh or powdered in teas, soups and a variety of dishes.  Although it adds a unique citrusy flavor to numerous cuisines, it is nonetheless revered for its medicinal properties.

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

Lemongrass: Grow Harvest & Preserve EZ method

Properties
Lemongrass is a light dry and penetrating herb. It has a bitter pungent and sour taste with a cooling effect in the body. Its post digestive effect is pungent and it has a particular affinity for the respiratory, digestive, and water channels in the body.

Some indications, amongst others, include:

  • Abdominal Cramping
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • colic
  • Asthma
  • Fevers
  • Arthritic inflammation
  • Joint pain
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Low breast milk production

There are no known contraindications, however since Lemongrass is essentially quite cooling, its use should be monitored in excess kapha conditions. As an essential oil lemongrass has excellent circulatory stimulant effects. Always seek a physician’s advice before undertaking herbal supplementation.

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

Usage

There are many combination compounds that involve Lemongrass to address certain conditions. Some being:

  • Lemongrass and Fennel, coriander and mint for gas, bloating and proper digestion
  • Lemongrass with Vasa and pippali for respiratory issues
  • Lemongrass  and Ajwain, ginger and turmeric for menstrual pain
  • Lemongrass with tulsi and cinnamon for fevers

Lemongrass Vegetable Stir-Fry

A great way to experience the taste and energetic effects of lemongrass is in food! This stir fry is a healthy and delicious recipe guaranteed to make your taste buds sing!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked brown or white rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt & ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup vegetable broth divided
  • 2 stalks lemon grass, outer leaves removed, yellow stalk trimmed and minced
  • 2 shallots minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon  Thai or Vietnamese chili paste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons low-fat coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy or Tamari sauce
  • 12 mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced or grated
  • 1 celery rib, sliced
  • ½ cup scallions, sliced
  • ½ cup broccoli florets, chopped into bite-sized pieces

Steps

1. In a saucepan, combine the rice, water and bay leaf and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. Keeping a close eye so it doesn't stick. Remove from heat covered. Remove Bay leaf and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine the lemon grass, shallots, ginger, garlic, chili paste and lime juice. Set aside.

3. In another bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, ¼ cup of the vegetable broth, maple syrup and soy sauce. Set aside.

4. In a large sauté pan or wok, heat ¼ cup of vegetable broth over medium heat. Add the lemon grass mixture and stir-fry for about a minute. Add the mushrooms, carrots, celery, scallions, and broccoli and stir-fry for another minute. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the coconut milk mixture. Cook for 5 minutes or longer or until the vegetables are tender but still crisp.

5. Serve spooned over the rice.

6. Enjoy!

  • As a variation, tofu, shrimp, other meats or vegetables can be substituted as desired. Noodles or quinoa can also be used instead of rice.

References

  • Lad, V. (1999). The complete book of Ayurvedic home remedies. New York: Three Rivers Press.
  • Sharma, H. (2011). Ayurvedic Healing. Singing Dragon
  • Lad, V. (2002). Textbook of Ayurveda. Albuquerque, N.M.: Ayurvedic Press.
  • Lad, V., & Frawley, D. (1986). The yoga of herbs: An Ayurvedic guide to herbal medicine. Santa Fe, N.M.: Lotus Press.
  • Pole, S. (2013). Ayurvedic medicine the principles of traditional practice. London: Singing Dragon.
  • Green, J. (2000). The herbal medicine-makers' handbook a home manual. Berkeley, Calif.: The Crossing Press.
  • Lad, V. (2012). Ayurvedic perspectives on selected pathologies: An anthology of essential reading from ayurveda today (2nd ed.). Albuquerque, NM: Ayurvedic Press.

Absolute Health With Yoga

Absolute Health With Yoga
By Priya Singh

From the moment we begin to exist, our mind and body is absorbing sights, sounds, touch impressions, and emotions. Every single stimulus is recorded in our brain, cells and tissues on a cellular level. This concept of mind and body is widely discussed, but do we actually fully understand it? Do we understand the enormity of the emotional and physical toll life takes on us? Our environment, every stress and every positive/negative emotion essentially affects us to a level that changes our very being, body and inherent spirit.

the body is not separate from the mind & spirit

In times past, Asian cultures made esoteric practices a part of their daily life, wherein these practices included prayer, and means to strengthen and cleanse physically and mentally. At the crux of these practices, it was always understood that the body is not separate from the mind and spirit, and the neglect of one leads to the deterioration of the other two facets. Though we regard our lives as solely physical, emotions breach into each of our moments, and how we deal with it on a day-to-day level is what keeps us healthy and well – both emotionally and physically. Building up a level of awareness to your mental and physical health brings you to a place where you are conscious of the smallest change that takes place in your body. 

The Origin Of Yoga By Sadhguru

You will notice that there are people who ‘process’ their emotions faster than others, and are a lot more evolved in their thinking about life in general. Usually these are people who have developed some sort of a practice in yoga, tai chi, meditation, martial arts etc. All these disciplines instill an emotional and physical resilience that helps ‘digest’ life better and prevent disease from making a home in your body simply by burning away the toxins (Ama).

Often, for people not entrenched in yogic practices, the beginning of disease is a single small symptom that remains unnoticed; say for example feeling uncomfortable after a meal, then feeling bloated, maybe pain, constipation/diarrhea - till one day you are sitting at the doctor’s and being diagnosed with colitis. The point is that it took you possibly years to get to this stage, where sheer lack of awareness and neglect debilitated you.

one of the most effective methods to instill awareness

From my 30 years of experience as a Yogi, I can profoundly suggest that one of the most effective methods to instill awareness, cleanse your toxins and stay healthy in mind/body/spirit is the traditional practice of Hatha yoga. There are many styles of yoga being taught out there, but the traditional method that encompasses Asana (postures), Pranayama (breathing techniques) and Dhayana (concentration – which leads to a spontaneous state of meditation) is the style that keeps your Agni balanced, Nadis (channels) opened, muscles supple and joints healthy. 

Yoga is one discipline, that even 5000 years ago recognized the importance of the health of the gut. One can participate in the cleansing of the gut – from esophagus to rectum by engaging in supervised cleansing practices  (shatkarmas); this allows the gut to release unwanted physical and emotional toxins, and as the flora of the gut recalibrates and calms down, your health improves by leaps and bounds.

One of the biggest benefits however, is the balancing of the digestive fire (Agni) in the gut. The digestive system in our body plays a huge role in our overall health, with the  “little brain” hidden in the walls of the digestive system called the enteric nervous system (ENS). The ENS is two thin layers of more than 100 million nerve cells lining the gastrointestinal tract from esophagus to rectum; and the ENS, while not capable of thought, communicates back and forth with our big brain. Once the body is cleansed of toxins and the digestive fire is balanced, you will see your skin clear up, eyes brighten, and experience vitality of mind and body.

That being said, it requires discipline and intent to incorporate a daily practice into your life. It usually takes 40 days to establish a habit, so choose a time that works best, set out the yoga mat, and begin your practice. If Yoga is completely new to you, then start by attending a few ‘beginner’ yoga workshops, pick-up what works best and makes most sense, and gently establish a routine. Assuming that you have a 45 min/one hour time slot - divide the time equally between postures, breathing and concentration.

You will begin to see the benefits within a week, as physically your circulation improves, posture changes, stiffness, aches and pains lessen, sleep comes easier, fatigue reduces and energy level increases. On an emotional level, moodiness dissipates, depression lifts, anxiety attacks calm down, you feel joyful, and things that stressed you out earlier, don’t seem as insurmountable. To experience the vast benefits of traditional Yoga, you must embark on a journey of self-exploration and create a practice that works towards optimizing you – body and mind.

About The Author

 Priya Singh
Born and bought up in India, Priya has been entrenched in the practice, study, and teaching of classical Hatha and Kriya yoga for the past 30 years. Her passion and interest in Yoga encompasses the allied study of Ayurveda, Yoga therapy, Applied anatomy and Homeopathy. Priya is also a trained Integrative Health Coach from Duke University, NC, where she had the privilege of teaching yoga at some seminars. In addition, she has been teaching yoga fundamentals and anatomy at Yoga Teacher training programs in the Bay Area. Priya owes her love for yoga and healing to the blessings of all her teachers, mentors and Guru.  
 

With an interesting blend of Eastern roots and Western sensibilities, Priya is uniquely qualified to engage her students in a style which empowers them to take steps towards achieving personal goals. She practices a synergetic approach to healing, taking into consideration the complete history, current health and long-term health targets of her clients. 

The individual sessions begin with an assessment, and are personalized to the client’s preference; and can include a combination of Health Coaching, Asana, Pranayama, meditation, lifestyle conversation and nutritional guidance. The group classes are taught in an easy, non–competitive environment, keeping individual needs and constitutions in mind.

To contact Priya Singh please visit: 
www.PriyaSinghYoga.com
Facebook: Yoga and Health with Priya

 


The Healing Power Of Spices: Five Magic Spices!!

 

The Healing Power Of Spices
Five magic spices to help improve your respiratory and digestive health

Eating all the wholesome and healthy foods in the world is of little value if your body is not able to digest and absorb the nutrients in order to put them to good use. Therefore, we put together a list of top 5 healing spices to help improve both your respiratory and digestive health.

Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus) 
Good health depends on strong, efficient digestion.

Want to know how to use cardamom?

Top 5 Healing Spices... 

1. Ginger called ‘vishvabheshaja’ - "Universal Medicine"
Ginger effectively works on digestive and respiratory systems and is therefore useful in managing cough, asthma, bronchitis, allergies and congestion. Ginger is also well known for improving digestion and helping to relieve abdominal cramps and indigestion. Ginger is also considered good for arthritic conditions and the local application of dry ginger paste is used for sinus headaches and painful joints (except burning sensation and redness).

2. Cardamom is the king of digestive stimulants.
Cardamom has well known beneficial effects on the digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems. It's thought that cardamom helps to detoxify some of the undesirable effects of caffeine in coffee. Cardamom also helps to improve digestion, helps alleviate nausea and vomiting, belching, and even effective in relieving colic. Cardamom acts as an appetizer, deodorant, digestive and has expectorant properties therefore useful in cough and asthma.

3. Basil (especially Holy Basil, Tulsi)
Basil acts mainly on the respiratory system. Basil is an effective expectorant therefore useful for productive cough. It helps to removes excess mucus from the lungs and nasal passages. Similarly, Basil is effective for colds, sinus congestion, headaches and even has antibacterial properties. Of course, Basil also helps to stimulate digestion.

Organic Tulsi 
Tulsi (holy basil) has been used for thousands of years and helps to support a healthy respiratory system, including lung health.

4. Black pepper called Marich in Sanskrit, the name for the sun.
Black pepper works mainly on the respiratory, digestive and circulatory systems. It helps to reverse sluggishness and reduces mucus secretions. Black pepper is a powerful appetite and circulatory stimulant. Therefore, black pepper is considered useful in loss of appetite, indigestion and sluggishness.

5. Pippali called Chapala (giving instant action).
Pippali works on the digestive, respiratory, reproductive system. It helps to improve appetite and metabolism while helping to rid the body from toxins. Pippali is useful in colic, indigestion, liver and spleen disorders (i.e. enlargement of liver). Pippali has expectorant actions and is considered beneficial in managing bronchitis, asthma, laryngitis and productive cough. It's used as a tonic in tuberculosis, works as an aphrodisiac, reduces seminal debility, and even eseful in painful labor; under the guidance of a qualified professional.

About The Author ...

Maryna Stasiuk
Maryna Stasiuk is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and Yoga counselor. She started her Ayurvedic journey more than five years ago. Experienced in management of chronic as well as acute health conditions, Maryna follows traditional Ayurveda in her daily life and professional practice. She believes in power of Ayurveda as a natural and comprehensive approach for health management.

You can contact Maryna Stasiuk through her Facebook page: Ayurvedic Way 

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.