Nourishing The Body, Mind, & Soul - An Ayurvedic Perspective

 

Nourishing The Body, Mind, & Soul
Ayurveda is considered the world’s oldest and most complete system of natural healing. It’s said that the knowledge of Ayurveda is eternal and is revealed in order to help relieve the suffering of humanity. Perhaps the most universal aspect of Ayurveda is to establish balance, peace of mind, and happiness.

“The natural force within each of us
is that perfect healer of all.”

- Hippocrates

According to the classic texts, three aspects of the mind include:

  1. Dhi, the ability to learn and acquire knowledge
  2. Dhriti, the ability to process and retain information
  3. Smriti, the ability to recall, memory

 

Recalling Our True Nature
In nearly all ancient cultures, nature has often been considered the greatest healer. Interestingly, in Ayurveda “prajnaparadha” [crime against intellect] is considered the root cause of all disease. Perhaps the greatest crime from a vedic perspective is to separate one’s true identify with that all of creation. Therefore, by thoroughly recalling the wholeness of life springs forth the source of all healing and bliss - within.

Introduction To Ayurveda - Living In Balance With Ayurveda 

Ayurveda and Yoga consultant and educator Myra Lewin provides an introduction to Ayurvedic living and bringing yourself back to balance. Ayurveda an ancient science of life that incorporates diet, lifestyle, spirituality, and healing.

 

"True Nourishment"

Nourishing the mind begins with a healthy daily routine. According to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, health rests upon a foundation supported by three pillars – the three pillars being sleep, diet, and overall balance of life. If any one of these three pillars becomes weakened, it’s thought that the overall health and well-being of a person may be affected. Therefore, in order to function optimally especially during modern times, let us look at specific ways to help maintain balance.

Sleep:
It’s nearly impossible to be healthy without adequate sleep. Sleep is essential for the maintenance and repair of the neurological, endocrine, immune, musculoskeletal and digestive systems. Rather, sleep is necessary for all systems of the body. Period.

Just some of the obvious benefits of a great night sleep:

  • Enhances memory and mental clarity
  • Improves athletic performance.
  • Boosts mood and overall energy.
  • Improves immune function.
  • Increases stress tolerance

 

HOT MILK – The Natural Sleep Aid
Hot milk – milk is a wonderful source of tryptophan which helps induce sleep. If consumed an hour before bed with a pinch of nutmeg, it can provide sound and restful sleep.
Click Here – To Learn 8 Tips For Sound Sleep

Healthy Digestion:
Ayurveda has described the underlying function of digestion and metabolism in our body as Agni [“Fire”]. Regarding the importance of Agni, the father of Ayurveda – Charak stated that when Agni of the individual is balanced then that person would be absolutely healthy and would lead a long, happy and healthy life.

Practical Tips For Healthy Digestion
Although simple, these principles if followed routinely, are often enough to help improve your digestion and overall health. Often it’s the simple things that are most effective and oddly enough - most overlooked. That said, let’s quickly take a look at the basics.

  • All food should be freshly prepared, nutritious, and appetizing
  • Food should generally contain all 6 tastes balanced to one’s needs
  • We should leave 4-6 hours between meals with no snacking in between
  • Eat your largest meal during the day when the sun is at its peak
  • Relax and enjoy your meals in a calm soothing environment

 

GHEE - Heal The Gut & Nourish The Mind
Healthy digestion is considered the fundamental pillar of good health. According to Ayurvedic literature, ghee increases the digestive function and thought to nourish nearly all tissues of the body – specifically the gastrointestinal tract by reducing inflammatory conditions, reducing seepage of undigested food particles, and aids in repair of the mucosal wall.

Click Here
– To Learn More About Ghee
Click Here - To Learn Simple Tips For Healthy Digestion

Overall Balance:
Knowing nature to be whole and complete, good health implies restoring that natural state of completeness and wholeness. According to the science of Ayurveda, health is a natural state when there is perfect balance of your body, mind, and spirit.

Ayurveda gives prime importance to:
- balanced doshas
- balanced digestion
- optimal function of bodily tissue and waste elimination
- balanced state of mind, clarity of the sense, and happiness
Click Here - To Learn More About Achieving Balance

Happiness & Bliss...

“When the emotional heart is balanced, one gains pure knowledge,
the desires of the mind are always righteous, and one experiences unbounded bliss.”
– Sushruta Samhita

The science of Ayurveda commonly talks about “Ojas” as being the end-product of perfect digestion. However, digestion in terms of Ayurveda has a profound meaning. This implies properly digesting all that nourishes us; including everyday experiences of life [i.e. thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc.]. Nearly all Ayurvedic treatment is designed to increase the abundance of superior quality of ojas and to avoid reducing ojas – as ojas is considered central to restoring health and preventing illness. Similarly, ojas is thought to be the most important element which designs and shapes the influence our experiences creates upon the mind.

Click Here - For A Guide To Happiness

Nourishing The Soul
A basic fundamental premise to both Ayurveda and Yoga is that – both a sound mind and sound body are integral to one’s overall health and well-being.

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 …

Click Here – To Learn More About The Benefits Of Meditation

Want More?
Click Here - For Healthy Living With Ayurveda


Healthy Living With Ayurveda

Healthy Living With Ayurveda

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

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

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

Organic Teas
To Help Balance The Doshas

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

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

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

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

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

Stress Free Emotions
Powerful formulation with arjuna, amla & ashwagandha

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

How Ayurveda Classifies Food - by Dr. Neelesh Korde

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

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

 

The Aim Of Ayurveda

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

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

• Mentally
• Physically
• Spiritually

 

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

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

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

Ayurvedic Nutrition Tips For Autumn + Wilted Greens Lentil Soup Recipe

 

Ayurvedic Nutrition Tips For Autumn
Autumn brings shorter days, longer nights, and cooler weather which invites a new menu of seasonally appropriate foods - ultimately to keep the body well-balanced. Autumn is considered a transition period characteristic of being dry, light, cool, rough and windy – all which naturally increase vata conditions [i.e. dry skin, constipation, arthritis, stiffness of the joints, rheumatism].

Seasonal Considerations For Autumn:
– eat warming, soothing, and easily digestible meals
– eat foods which are primarily sweet, sour and salty in taste
– drink warming herbal teas such as ginger, cinnamon and cardamom tea
– keep warm and stay out of strong winds
– do regular yoga, meditation, and pranayama breathing exercises

Ayurvedic Recipe For "Tridoshic Dal" - OnlyMyHealth.com

Root Vegetables
Although most root vegetables are available year round, they are often at their peak from fall to spring. Roots such as sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, parsnips, garlic, onions, and ginger generously provide for abundance of flavor and nutrients - especially for the cooler months of autumn.

Immune Boosting & Anti-inflammatory Fruit & Veggies
During autumn, a host of allergens can bring about a run of cough, sneezes, and sniffles. Therefore, it’s important to boost your health with anti-inflammatory foods such as apples and onions - which contain quercetin and block the release of histamine. Foods you may want to consider during autumn seasons are leafy greens such as Swiss chard, romaine, kale, and collards. Likewise, you may want to include pumpkins, pomegranates, pears, grapes and figs to your diet.

Whole Grains And Seeds:
Ideal foods for autumn would not be complete without incorporating nutritious grains such as barley, brown rice, and spelt. Likewise, there are certain seeds which are often used like grains such as amaranth, wild rice, buckwheat, millet, and quinoa. All of these foods contain high levels of B vitamins and therefore provide for good nutrition and health.

Wilted Greens Lentil Soup Recipe

Ingredients:
- 2 cups red lentils, rinsed
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 onion, yellow or white
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 tablespoons ginger, freshly grated
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 3 cups fresh mixed greens (e.g., red winter kale, Swiss chard, and spinach)
- Sea salt (optional)

Directions:
1. Rinse lentils thoroughly and check for small stones.
2. Heat grapeseed oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.
3. Once sauté pan is warm, add minced garlic, carrots, celery, onions, and grated ginger. Cook until onions are translucent.
4. Add spices, vegetable stock, and lentils, and bring to a simmer. Cover and let cook for 30 to 35 minutes until lentils are soft.
5. While lentils are cooking, add the mixed greens to a steamer and cover to wilt for approximately 2 minutes.

Recipe Credited To: Chopra.com 

Want More?
CLICK HERE - For More Ayurvedic Autumn Tips
CLICK HERE - For Tips For Fall/Autumn Season

 


Emotional Eating - An Ayurvedic Perspective + Tips To Cheat Your Cravings

Emotional Eating - An Ayurvedic Perspective

 “Food nourishes the body; love nourishes the Soul.”
- Dr. Vasant Lad, Ayurvedic Physician

 

"Emotional Eating"...
Overeating may occur occasionally and often due to various reasons. However, overeating often takes place because of emotional factors. From an Ayurvedic perspective, when there is undue stress or other emotional factors this can increase the uncoordinated movement of ‘prana vata’ within the mind. This increased movement of prana can then stimulate the gastric fire [Agni] - which produces the “experience of hunger”. However, this experience of hunger may not actually be real but rather an emotional craving for nourishment [i.e. love].

 

What Am I Hungry For?
In a recent book, ‘What Are You Hungry For?’, Dr. Deepak Chopra creates a vision of weight loss based on a deeper understanding of why people overeat. Dr. Chopra explains the underlying reason for overeating often is - “because they are trying to find satisfaction and wind up using food as a substitute for real fulfillment.”

Dr. Deepak Chopra - How To Break Free Of Emotional Eating

Practicing Body Awareness. "Every time you're about to put food into your body, ask yourself - 'Am I hungry right now? How hungry am I? What am I hungry for?' Just by doing that, you break the reflex." - Dr. Deepak Chopra

 

Real Hunger vs. False [Emotional] Hunger 
Before we can break free from the cycle of emotional eating, we first need to learn how to distinguish between emotional and true physical hunger. Ideally, when the digestive fire is stimulated with an empty stomach, a message is sent by prana to the appetite center in the hypothalamus within the brain - this stimulates the sense of “true hunger”. However, factors such as stress, fear and anxiety may create uncoordinated movements of prana within the mind which can create a false sense of hunger - thereby, using food as a substitue for real fulfillment.

Signs Of Real Hunger:

  • appears when the previous meal is fully digested
  • comes at a regular time each day
  • lightness in the stomach
  • tongue is clean
  • appetite so strong that any food tastes good
  • appetite increases after going for a walk

Source - Dr. Vasant Lad, Textbook Of Ayurveda

 

Tips To Overcome Emotional Eating

  1. Light walk. The next time you have an emotional craving for food, simply go for a light walk. A brisk walk for 20 minutes while breathing in fresh air often provides just what’s needed to tame wild food cravings.
  2. Express your feelings. While allowing yourself to feel uncomfortable emotions can be scary - it is important to release any blocked energy in the solar plexus [i.e. Manipura chakra]. Manipura chakra is located around the navel in the area of the solar plexus and is a source of personal power and governs self-esteem, and the power of transformation. The Manipura chakra also controls metabolism and digestion. Therefore, allow your life to become more fulfilled by opening yourself up emotionally.
  3. Yoga and meditation.  Another way to help balance and alleviate any obstructions in your chakras is simply to consider yoga and meditation. At the heart of both yoga and meditation is balance. Although you’ve tried to resist emotional cravings in the past and may have failed believing that your willpower just isn’t enough. The truth is, that you have more power over your cravings than you think. Take time to sit quietly and witness the power of being still and balanced.

 

CHEATING YOUR CRAVINGS
“Eating 1 ripe banana, chopped up with 1 teaspoon ghee and a pinch of cardamom, is effective for pacifying emotional, obsessive eating habits.” - Dr. Vasant Lad
‘ The Complete Book Of Ayurvedic Home Remedies’

Want More?
Gurmar – The Sugar Destroyer
Gurmar is one of the most prevalent ayurvedic herbs for diabetes. Also known as Shardunika the name Gurmar translates to ‘destroyer of sugar’ and thereby suggestive of its properties as being an effective herb for balancing blood sugar levels.
CLICK HERE - To Learn More About Gurmar

Got Sugar Cravings?

  1. Ask yourself: Am I stressed out?
    As discussed above – when you’re under pressure, your body releases the hormone cortisol, which signals your brain to seek out rewards.
  2. Ask yourself: Have I been eating less than usual?
    If you’re eating fewer than 1,000 calories a day or restricting an entire food group (like carbs), you’re putting your body in prime craving mode.
  3. Ask yourself: Am I getting enough sleep?
    In a University of Chicago study, a few sleepless nights were enough to drop levels of the hormone leptin (which signals satiety) by 18% and boost levels of ghrelin, an appetite trigger, by about 30%. Those two changes alone caused appetite to kick into overdrive, and cravings for starchy foods like cookies and bread jumped 45%.

CLICK HERE - To Help Reduce Sugar Cravings

 


The Root Cause Of All Disease - An Ayurvedic Perspective + Practical Tips To Improve Digestion

The Root Cause Of All Disease
Ever get that heavy feeling with unclear thinking and tiredness especially after a meal? According to the science of Ayurveda [“The Science Of Life”] this lack of vitality is often due to the formation of toxins [“ama”] - which arises due to poorly digested food material and is considerered unsuitable to the body. After all, if we eat food to gain energy - why then should we feel deprived of energy after the consumption food? The answer is quite simple as we shall see below.

Respect Your Digestive Flame
In most ancient cultures fire was revered because it provided light, warmth and the ability to cook food. In some cultures [i.e. vedic culture], fire is considered sacred as it represents the transformation between the mortal world and the heavens above. We can use this same metaphor to represent the flame within - the digestive flame called “Agni”. We can think of this digestive flame as a metaphor for all metabolic functions in the body. Therefore, it is thought that by simply respecting the digestive flame “Agni” we can directly influence all significant transformations of the body - digestive function, cellular metabolism, mental perception, and overall health and well-being.

The Importance Of "Gut Health"
Currently there is much attention centered around “gut health” in the scientific community. In fact, Hippocrates - the father of modern medicine is often quoted as saying, “you are only as healthy as your digestion” and “all disease begins in the gut”. Even more impressive is the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda which has stated this same very concept thousands of years ago.

Ancient Wisdom Of Ayurveda
"When food is digested improperly because agni [the digestive flame] is low the undigested food becomes vitiated [disturbed] and collects in the stomach. It is known as ama [toxins]."
- Astangahrdaya Samhita 

The Root Cause Of All Disease - "Ama"
As mentioned above, “ama” is considered undigested or poorly digested food material which is thought to be toxic to the body. We can think of this simply as poorly digested food material which then enters into the colon only to create a hostile environment within the G.I. tract; i.e. supporting unhealthy gut flora. Not only does this support an unhealthy gut flora but even worse it supports the process of fermentation and putrefication. Now, if that sounds pretty toxic to you - you’re absolutely correct, because it most certaintly is.

Common Causes Of Ama:
The main cause for the formation of ‘ama‘ or undigested food material is impaired digestive function. Therefore, factors which impair digestion and increase the formation of ama include:

- 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

Practical Tips To Help Improve Digestion
Although very simple these basic principles, if followed routinely, are often enough to improve your digestion and overall health. Often it’s the simple things that are most effective and oddly enough - overlooked. That said, let’s quickly take a look at the basics.

- All food should be freshly prepared, nutritious, and appetizing
- Food should generally contain all 6 tastes balanced to one’s needs
- We should leave 4-6 hours between meals with no snacking in between
- Eat your largest meal during the day when the sun it at its peak
- Relax and enjoy your meals in a calm soothing environment

Another Great Consideration ... Trikatu - The Digestive Herbal Formula:
Trikatu is 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.

Wait There’s More! ... 10 Golden Rules For Healthy Eating
1. Food should be warm
2. Food should be unctuous [oily]
3. Food must be taken in proper quantity
4. Allow enough time between meals
5. Avoid food with contradictory properties
6. Do not eat in a hurry
7. Do not eat too slowly or too quickly
8. Pay attention to your food while eating
9. Do not eat food which is too hot or too cold
10. Take food with proper respect for yourself