Open Up & Say "Ahh" - Tongue Diagnosis

 

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

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

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

Diagnosis By Looking - Registered Acupuncturist & Herbalist Paul Johnson 

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

"Ama" - At Various Levels Of Digestion 

At The Level Of Gross Digestion
Poorly digested food in the GI tract creates a thick and slimy substance which then lines the walls of the bowels and impedes the absorption and assimilation of nutrients; i.e. malabsorption.

At The Level Of Cellular Digestion
Metabolic process of cellular digestion [i.e. oxidation] along with external impurities [“gara visha”; exogenous toxins] such as pesticides and pollution can create physiological by-products which are damaging to the cell. For example, free radicals [“ama visha”; reactive ama] and the accumulation of toxic metabolic by-products are known to be the cause of aging and disease and collectively may be referred to as “ama” from a cellular perspective.

Rasayana – Nature’s Greatest Antioxidant!!
According to Ayurveda, Amalaki is considered one of the most nourishing and rejuvenating herbs. Amalaki is a strong natural antioxidant containing high levels of vitamin C and acts as a powerful immune strengthener. Amalaki is one of the best sources of natural vitamin C and contains 20 times more vitamin C than an orange.

Premium Amla Berry
Works as a powerful antioxidant for people of all ages which supports the mind, eyes, heart, skin, and digestion; helps growth of muscle tissue by promoting nitrogen balance; promotes cellular generation; supports lungs and natural immunity.

Amrit Kalash: Full-spectrum antioxidant:
Traditional ayurvedic formula of 13 herbs that supports the health of mind, brain, and nerves; increases vitality and inner strength; powerful antioxidant — research shows it to be up to 1,000 times more effective than vitamins C and E.

At The Level Of Mental Digestion
Similarly, unprocessed thoughts, feelings, and emotions can also become “mental ama” which may then crystallize and manifest as stress in various physiological expressions; i.e. depression, hypertension, etc.

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

Worry Free
Calms the mind and emotions; supports clarity of mind and deeper sleep; natural support for everyday stress and tension.

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

 

Management Of Ama
According to Ayurveda, the management of “ama” first begins with identifying the cause. Often the treatment of “ama” is simply adjusting to a proper diet and lifestyle suitable to one’s needs. For example, “ama pachana” – which is the ‘burning off’ of ama and  can often be done by the use of certain spices and herbs – with supervision of a qualified Ayurvedic Professional.

Spice Selections To Improve Digestion
Ready-to-use spice mixtures satisfy the six ayurvedic tastes considered essential for balance.

“Prevention Is Better Than Cure.”
Although simple, these principles if followed routinely are often enough to help improve digestion and overall health. It’s often the simple things that are most effective and oddly enough – most overlooked. That said, let’s quickly take a look at the basics.

Avoid the following common causes of “ama” 
– overeating and consuming cold substances
–  irregular eating habits
– overconsumption of raw food
– eating heavy and fried food
– incompatible food combining
– eating with extreme emotions [i.e. anxiety, stress]
– sleeping before food is properly digested

Trikatu – The Digestive Herbal Formula:

Another great consideration is Trikatu – a formula combination of equal parts ginger, black pepper and pippali. The name trikatu means three peppers or the three pungents. It is a wonderful herb with strong digestive properties.

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.


Gut Health & "Ama" [Toxins]

 

Gut Health & "Ama"
Over the course of a lifetime, we ingest roughly 50 tons of nutrients and our ability to properly digest these nutrients determines to a large extent the state of our health. “Ama” is a concept of Ayurveda which can be best understood as the accumulation of toxic metabolic by-products at various levels of physiology. More simply, ama is the by-product of poor digestion and according to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda - ama is the root cause of nearly all diseases.

Ayurveda states that proper diet and optimal digestion are the major pillars of good health. Similarly, optimal function of the GI tract requires proper mucosal integrity and a balanced microbial ecosystem in the gut. In essence, “gut health” relies on “good bacteria”. Any compromise to the mucosal integrity and/or disturbances in the bacterial flora in the gut may give rise to what’s often considered “leaky gut syndrome” - the epitome of ama. Ultimately, the absorption of poorly digested food material [“ama”] along with toxins from the environment blocks the physiological channels at various levels and therefore undeniably becomes the root cause of disease.

Top 7 Foods For Healing Leaky Gut - By Dr. Josh Axe 

The top 7 foods to get rid of leaky gut for good are:
1. Bone Broth
2. Kefir or fermented yogurt
3. Fermented vegetables
4. Coconut oil
5. Wild caught fish like Salmon
6. Flax seeds
7. Steamed vegetables or vegetables in the crockpot
[broccoli, cauliflower, celery carrots, cabbage or squash are all great]

 

Digestion - At Various Levels:

At The Level Of Gross Digestion
Poorly digested food in the GI tract creates a thick and slimy substance which then lines the walls of the bowels and impedes the absorption and assimilation of nutrients; i.e. malabsorption.

At The Level Of Cellular Digestion
Metabolic process of cellular digestion [i.e. oxidation] along with external impurities [“gara visha”; exogenous toxins] such as pesticides and pollution can create physiological by-products which are damaging to the cell. For example, free radicals [“ama visha”; reactive ama] and the accumulation of toxic metabolic by-products are known to be the cause of aging and disease and collectively may be referred to as “ama” from a cellular perspective.

Rasayana - Nature’s Greatest Antioxidant!!
According to Ayurveda, Amalaki is considered one of the most nourishing and rejuvenating herbs. Amalaki is a strong natural antioxidant containing high levels of vitamin C and acts as a powerful immune strengthener. Amalaki is one of the best sources of natural vitamin C and contains 20 times more vitamin C than an orange.

Premium Amla Berry
Works as a powerful antioxidant for people of all ages which supports the mind, eyes, heart, skin, and digestion; helps growth of muscle tissue by promoting nitrogen balance; promotes cellular generation; supports lungs and natural immunity.

Amrit Kalash: Full-spectrum antioxidant:
Traditional ayurvedic formula of 13 herbs that supports the health of mind, brain, and nerves; increases vitality and inner strength; powerful antioxidant — research shows it to be up to 1,000 times more effective than vitamins C and E.

At The Level Of Mental Digestion
Similarly, unprocessed thoughts, feelings, and emotions can also become “mental ama” which may then crystallize and manifest as stress in various physiological expressions; i.e. depression, hypertension, etc.

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

Worry Free
Calms the mind and emotions; supports clarity of mind and deeper sleep; natural support for everyday stress and tension.

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

 

Management Of Ama
According to Ayurveda, the management of “ama” first begins with identifying the cause. Often the treatment of “ama” is simply adjusting to a proper diet and lifestyle suitable to one’s needs. For example, “ama pachana” - which is the ‘burning off’ of ama and  can often be done by the use of certain spices and herbs - with supervision of a qualified Ayurvedic Professional.

Spice Selections To Improve Digestion
Ready-to-use spice mixtures satisfy the six ayurvedic tastes considered essential for balance.

"Prevention Is Better Than Cure."
Although simple, these principles if followed routinely are often enough to help improve digestion and overall health. It’s often the simple things that are most effective and oddly enough - most overlooked. That said, let’s quickly take a look at the basics.

Avoid the following common causes of “ama” 
– overeating and consuming cold substances
–  irregular eating habits
– overconsumption of raw food
– eating heavy and fried food
– incompatible food combining
– eating with extreme emotions [i.e. anxiety, stress]
– sleeping before food is properly digested

Trikatu
The Digestive Herbal Formula

Another great consideration is Trikatu - a formula combination of equal parts ginger, black pepper and pippali. The name trikatu means three peppers or the three pungents. It is a wonderful herb with strong digestive properties.

 

The Ultimate Detox - Panchakarma
The word “Panchakarma” comes from the classical Ayurvedic texts and literally means ‘five actions’. These five actions of panchakarma are a broad class of therapy used to help remove impurities [“ama”] from the body.

 

Disclaimer
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.


Is Arthritis Due To Gut Disturbance?

 

Is Arthritis Due To Gut Disturbance?
Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis and according to the CDC, over 52 million Americans have been told by a doctor that they have some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or fibromyalgia. Interestingly, the ancient science of Ayurveda has long described three basic types of musculoskeletal joint diseases, namely sandhivata [osteoarthritis], amavata [rheumatoid arthritis], and vata rakta [gout], that are characterized by pain and swelling of the joints. Management for each type of arthritis is unique, as we shall discuss below, but for nearly all cases, it’s important to acknowledge that arthritis begins in the colon.

“All disease begins in the gut.” - Hippocrates

According to Ayurveda, there are three doshas called vata, pitta, and kapha. We can think of these three doshas as the guiding principles that keep all our bodily functions balanced and healthy. Ayurvedic literature states that vata dosha and asthi dhatu [bone tissue] are intimately associated and that the colon houses vata dosha. Therefore, the colon - being the home of vata dosha is primarily responsible for the development of vata disorders [i.e. osteoarthritis]. Similarly, the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis [“ama vata”] is considered to be due to the formation of metabolic waste products ["ama"] in the intestine caused by impaired digestive power [“agni”]. Finally, the origin of gout [“rakta vata”] is believed to be in blood. More specifically, when vata leaves the colon and invades both blood and joints, it produces gout.

Calcium Support
Calcium Support provides natural calcium and increases calcium absorption; supports healthy nerves and joints; nourishes bones. Natural calcium assimilation = healthy digestion & metabolism.

Osteo Relief
Nutritional support for healthy joints and bone tissue; assists in healthy renewal of cartilage; provides an absorbable source of calcium to aid bone-building.

Janu Basti - Ayurvedic Management For Osteoarthritis

Simple Ayurvedic Considerations:
- vata imbalance in the skeletal system [“asthi dhatu”] creates osteoarthritis
- vata imbalance with toxins [“ama”] entering bone creates rheumatoid arthritis
- vata imbalance in blood [“rakta dhatu”] entering into boney tissue leads to gout
- vata imbalance in muscular tissue [mamsa dhatu] creates fibromyalgia

 

Healthy Digestion - Healthy Bones:
Enjoying a balancing diet and lifestyle can help maintain optimum health. Some key points to remember in addition to the above causes include:

  • Avoid ice drinks and cold foods. This will weaken the digestive fire.
  • Eat the largest meal between the hours of 11am and 1pm when digestive fire is strong.
  • Eat a light meal for dinner to avoid overtaxing the stomach.
  • Avoid overeating and emotional eating. This can make it hard for the stomach to properly digest the overloaded food.
  • Get moving! Taking a walk after meals can aid in digestion and increase digestive fire.
  • Certain yoga poses and pranayama (breathing exercises) are also particularly beneficial to improve digestion.
  • Following a daily routine of meditation, oil massages and self-care will bring overall balance and contentment.

 

Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus)
Supports digestive system and elimination; assists body in absorbing nutrients; high-quality antioxidant; wide range of benefits. Good health depends on strong, efficient digestion.

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

Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis from an Ayurvedic perspective is a vata imbalance which settles into bone tissue and creates symptoms of pain and stiffness in joints. Often, osteoarthritis begins with pain in one joint but subsequently spreads to other joints. Vata, the main acting dosha, has the ability to bring toxins [“ama”] from the colon and travel throughout the body, lodge in bone tissue, and give rise to pain and stiffness characteristic of arthritis. Therefore, it is important to discuss causative factors which can further worsen vata imbalances and therefore create symptoms of arthritis.

Factors which may worsen vata dosha; therefore avoid:

  • cold foods such as salads
  • avoid cold and iced drinks
  • beans, drying grains such as barley and corn
  • nightshades such as tomato, potato, and eggplant

Improve Digestion 
Vata dosha can create a “hard” digestive tract and therefore may create symptoms of constipation, abdominal distention, flatulence, and even develop a nervous appetite. Instead, we should consider a vata pacifying diet which is centered around warm and nourishing meals.
"Leaky Gut" - The Root Cause Of All Disease?

Organic Spice Mix - To Improve Digestion
Ready-to-use spice mixtures satisfy the six ayurvedic tastes considered essential for balance.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis is considered the formation of “ama” which are by-products of poor digestion within the intestines and generally caused by diminished digestive power [“impaired Agni”]. Interestingly, “ama” resembles kapha, thus it tends to deposit in kapha locations, primarily the joints. Therefore, the management for Rheumatoid Arthritis first begins by breaking the chain of toxins [“ama”] within the colon by simply fasting or eating light foods. This again, acknowledges and stresses the importance that the root cause of rheumatoid arthritis may very well be gut disturbance and impaired digestion. The management of rheumatoid arthritis may be rather complex and often requires “Panchakarma” under the guidance of a qualified Ayurvedic professional.

Joint Soothe II
The perfect companion to therapeutic massage, which supports natural circulation around the joints. Circulation is essential for lubricating the joints, eliminating impurities and delivering vital nutrients to the joints.

Veda 2240
Supports a healthy inflammatory response; traditionally used for occasional joint discomfort and muscle aches; supports detoxification and healthy flexibility.

Turmeric
Turmeric is one of the oldest, most important spices known to humankind. Turmeric helps purify the blood and acts as an antioxidant; supports healthy heart, liver, lungs, circulation and nervous system.

Panchakarma
Panchakarma is a an Ayurvedic Detox & Rejuvenation Process. Ayurveda gives priority not only to preventive and therapeutic procedures but also to purification and rejuvenation therapies. Panchakarma or five therapeutic procedures are part of  ‘sodhana’ treatments. Ayurveda also described ‘shamana’ which are considered less intense procedures for prevention and curing of diseases.

 


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.


Ten Health Tips For The Holidays

Ten Health Tips For The Holidays

Ama, the toxic waste-product of inefficient digestion, can accumulate at any time of the year. During the holidays, we’re particularly susceptible to it. The bounty of festive meals and lots of sweets tempts us to overeat and eat at irregular times, and these are all triggers for the build-up of ama. If left unchecked, our body can become clogged and our immune system weakened by the accumulation of ama. Do you experience lack of appetite, stiffness in the joints, occasional constipation, respiratory issues, allergen reactions, or weight gain? Ama is the most likely culprit. So, what is the ayurvedic tool for conquering ama? Agni — our digestive fire! If we keep our agni strong, our bodies will be able to digest the food we eat without creating toxic by-products, and we can “avert the danger yet to come.” What a relief!

How do we keep agni balanced and avert ama build-up? These simple tips are a great place to start:

  1. Eat Our Main Meal Midday

    Instead of a big late-afternoon meal or a heavy dinner, we should try to have our main meal between 12:00 and 2:00 p.m., when our digestive fire is the strongest — when the sun is highest in the sky. Eating a big dinner will not only tax the digestive system, but can disrupt sleep. To avoid the discomfort of feeling too full and not being able to sleep well, eat a light easy-to-digest dinner at least three hours before bedtime.

  2. Keep Regular Mealtimes

    Miss a meal? Skipping meals disrupts and weakens agni. However, eating three times a day around the same time of the day keeps digestion balanced. Eating a meal before the previous meal is completely digested also disrupts agni. Our bodies need at least three hours to finish digesting a meal before eating the next one. An afternoon snack is fine as long as it is small and light: a piece of fresh fruit, dried fruits or soaked nuts are great options for in-between meals! How do we know when our body is done digesting the previous meal? We experience hunger — listen to your body!

  3. Avoid Overeating

    This advice might be the hardest to follow, especially during those big holiday meals, but it is very important. Always eat according to hunger level. Our body knows how much food it can digest; we just have to listen. Take smaller portions, eat slowly and don't go for seconds if you are not hungry. When you eat slowly, your body will naturally tell you when you are full. Eat to only ¾ of your capacity. Even good food in excessive quantities can create ama.

  4. Find Herbal Aid

    If we happen to occasionally break one of the above rules, no worries! The holidays are a time to enjoy. We can use nature’s intelligence, ayurvedic herbs, to support agni. We can increase our appetite and gastric juices by occasionally drinking warm water, ginger water or cumin tea, or by eating a thin slice of fresh ginger with a pinch of salt before meals. Or for the sake of convenience, balance and promote digestion with one or two Herbal Di-Gest tablets before a meal.

  5. Avoid Agni-Destroying Foods

    Some people say certain foods taste better the next day, but ayurveda does not recommend eating leftovers — not even holiday ones. Eating freshly-prepared foods is preferred, because freshly-prepared food is easier to digest and contains more prana, or life energy! In addition to leftovers, avoid heavy, deep-fried foods and cold foods and drinks that diminish agni and contribute to the accumulation of ama. Think of throwing cold water on a fire. That is what we do when we have cold drinks just before, during, or after meals.

  6. Watch the Sweets

    This is another area where moderation can save us from dampened digestion and weight gain. If we have a sweet tooth, eating homemade pies and cookies instead of "junk" sweets is favorable. The latter usually contain preservatives, artificial flavors and colors which are toxic for the body and will turn into ama. They also lack nutrients and prana, and are heavy to digest. Commercial pastries and cakes also tend to contain more sugar and fat than our body needs.

  7. Take in All Six Tastes

    Sweet might be the taste of choice — but we know we can’t eat just sweets! Ayurveda identifies six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent. For each of our meals we can strive to include all six of these tastes. This will tend to make us feel more satisfied and ultimately have fewer cravings. The vpk® by Maharishi Ayurveda Churnas are excellent spice mixes that include all the six tastes, and as an added bonus they also improve digestion.

  8. Balance Meals

    In addition to all the tastes, meals ideally include a balanced combination of carbohydrates, protein and fat. If we eat only carbohydrates, our blood sugar will rise quickly, but leave us feeling fatigued or lethargic later. Not all fats are bad. Why? Because healthy fats such as olive oil and ghee are essential for carrying the nutrients to our cells. Ayurvedically, varied foods and menus supply all the nutrients necessary for complete nourishment. According to ayurveda, when we eat properly we don’t need to supplement our diet with concentrates or extracts.

  9. Daily Exercise

    Regular exercise, at least half an hour a day, will not only help keep the extra pounds off, but will improve agni and reduce ama. A short walk after a meal, for example, is a great way to help digestion. Yoga asanas are the ideal way to balance mind and body and help digestion along the way. Read more about winter (Vata season) balancing asanas, here.

  10. Regular Routine

    Being regular is important not only for mealtimes, but for our daily routine as well. Our elimination, bedtime and working habits should all be ayurvedically appropriate in order to keep our immune system strong and our body ama-free. Enjoy holiday festivities, but try to maintain normalcy in daily habits as well!

Click Here:  Promo Code: HealthyAyurveda 
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By vpk® by Maharishi Ayurveda Staff Writers


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.

 


Simple Tips For Healthy Digestion

Simple Tips For Healthy Digestion
In Ayurveda, the oldest system of holistic medicine, perfect health begins with perfect digestion. Ayurveda speaks of Jatharagni (digestive fire), located in the stomach, as being the primary location where either health begins or disease. According to Ayurveda mostly all diseases start in the digestive system; this includes mind since the mind is transforming information by nature. The digestive fire is like the furnace in a house. If it’s not properly working then the house will suffer its consequences. Linked to digestion, according to Ayurveda, are all the other organs that are part of a sequential process that digests food and takes in the essence of food that nurtures every cell on every level, not just physical.

11 Simple Tips:

1. Eat 2-3 meals a day.
Breakfast (I’m sorry to say) is meant to be the lightest meal of the day. We are “breaking fast” from having had our last meal at least 12 hours prior. Digestive enzymes aren’t yet fully available as the morning time is when the body is starting to typically awaken (those of us that have normal schedules) and the body hasn’t enough momentum until we are fully up and about, getting our juices flowing. If we aren’t hungry for breakfast, this is the meal would could skip and have a cup of tea in its place. Lunch is meant to be the main meal of the day since the stomach enzymes are at its’ peek as is the Sun. If we skip this meal, this is when we are more likely to have hormonal imbalances, digestive imbalances such as cravings and/or sugar crashing, along with affected sleep. From my experience with my clients and from the stand point of Ayurveda, simply adjusting the meal situation of the day corrects numerous health conditions. Dinner is “supper time”, also known as the supplemental meal. I say that this meal should be around half the volume of lunch.

2. Eating schedule.
Breakfast should be no later than 8/8:30. Lunch, between 10 and 2. Preferably around 12 and at least 3-4 hours after breakfast. Dinner no later than 7:30/8:00. The later the meal, the lighter it should be.

3. Cold and Ice.
According to Ayurveda there’s a saying “hot water is the nectar of life and cold water is the poison.” Avoid cold beverages and ice. Cold compromises our immunity, depresses digestion and affects our nervous system. Ice is even worse and in Ayurveda, along with Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ice was only meant to be applied topically for wounds, burns and fevers. It was never meant to be taken internally.

4. Sipping hot water.
Sipping hot water throughout the day supports a) hydration b) digestion and 3) lymphatic drainage. Sipping hot water with meals is ideal. When I say sip, I mean simple. Sipping is different than gulping. Taking in too much of liquid with meals can dilute the digestive enzymes. Whereas, sipping supports digestive enzymes. Your last bite and last sip should be coupled together. Wait at least one hour after a meal to drink anything.

5. Snacking.
Ayurveda suggests that we don’t really snack or at least treat the in between times as though it’s an opportunity for another meal. Usually, we misunderstand cravings for snacks for hydration and that the body is trying to tell us to drink more water. The mechanism in the brain for hunger and thirst are the same. If you’re feeling hungry again, drink a glass of hot water and wait 15 minutes. If you’re still hungry, then eat a light snack. If you’re not hungry, then it’s because you were thirsty.

6. Snoozing/Napping.
Avoid napping right after a meal. Actually, take a walk for about 15 minutes to shake off the lethargic feeling that tends to follow after eating. Napping after turns off digestion and keeping it moving after eating stimulates metabolism.

7. Eat Seasonally.
If it’s warm out, eat cooling foods. If it’s cold out, eat warm foods.

8. Greens/Veggies.
Eat salads/vegetables after the meal versus before. This is clean eating and supports cleansing of the digestive tract and increasing healthier bowel movements.

9. Dessert.
Best to eat an hour – hour and a half after meals. Right after causes the digestive  system to shut down.

10. Sitting.
While eating meals, it is best to do it seated. Standing while eating stresses digestion by forcing the food out of the system due to gravitational pull. Humans weren’t meant to eat like horses.

11. Focus.
While eating it is best to be focused on digestion rather than eating while on lap tops, TV watching or cell phone perusing. Digestion and mind are connected. If mind is distracted, so is digestion. This can increase imbalances such as cravings and instability in the nervous system. Put down the cell phone. Turn off the TV. Leave the lap top in the other room. Enjoy eating. One bite at a time.

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

Disclaimer:
This information is strictly for educational purpose only and not considered medical advice. Always first discuss with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.

 


Hey Pitta - Chill Out.

 

Ayurveda recognizes that each human being is born with a unique balance and that this natural balance is responsible for physical, mental, and emotional well-being. By recognizing and maintaining this unique balance, Ayurveda provides simple guidelines to help each person create his or her own state of ideal health. For now, we will discuss the fiery nature of Pitta.

 

Hey Pitta - "Chill Out.”
The first thing which comes to mind when thinking of pitta is the brilliant blaze of fire. The primary function of pitta is transformation and controls digestion, metabolism, and energy production. The fire aspect makes pitta types bright, illuminating, fiery and even hot-tempered.

 

A Dose Of Loving Compassion
One of the best ways to pacify the fiery and hot-tempered nature of pitta types is the enduring dose of antiquated love and compassion. The ancient wisdom of Ayurveda explained perfectly the antidote of the fiery pitta flare ...

“lying on the grass or a veranda in the late evening under the moonlight, listening to a melodious song, exposure to a pleasant cool breeze, having the company of loving, sweet-speaking friends and sweet speaking innocent children, a beautiful looking agreeable partner of the opposite sex, in a house surrounded by cool-water fountains, a beautiful lawn and swimming pool with shallow steps, swimming with a woman, beautiful swans and lotuses that are kissing.” - Ashtanga Hridayam, Sutrasthana, Ch. 13 Su. 5-9
[Translated by Dr. Vasant Lad, Ayurvedic Physician]

 

The Pitta Body
Pitta individuals are usually of average height, build and frame and generally possess good health. Likewise, pitta types often have well developed muscles along with a great complexion. The reason for this shining complexion is due to an oily quality which can also make pittas more prone to acne, rashes, and other inflammatory skin conditions. Shake the hands of a pitta and you will likely feel a warm hand yet firm grip. Pittas are predominately of the fire element and therefore sweat easily and prefer all things which are cooling.

The Pitta Mind
Pitta individuals are characterized as being highly intelligent and perceptive with a remarkable ability to discriminate. They have a sharp intellect, great comprehension along with a competitive streak. It is because of these qualities that pitta types are high achievers, leaders, and successful achieving their respective endeavors. Due to their competitive nature, pitta individuals can also have a fiery temper and at times become domineering.

 

Pittas Are Full Of Passion
Pitta types have a fiery drive and strong sexual appetite. Pitta types can be thought of as the most passionate of all types and are able to get just what they want - so they think.

Sharp Digestion
Pitta types possess a healthy and robust appetite and despite the ability to eat just about anything, their weight often remains moderate. Due to the predominant fire quality, pitta types are prone to acid indigestion and heartburn. Pitta are punctual and the surest way to make a pitta individual irritable is to have them arrive late to a meal.

Pitta Sleep Pattern
Pitta types sleep well. Even if these individuals wake up at night, they are easily able to fall right back asleep. Since pitta types are critical thinkers, their brain continues to work throughout sleep and can manifest as intense dreams, centered around action.

 

Management Of Pitta

The management for pitta types is centered around:

  • Cooling
  • Calming and
  • Moderation

 

Several Considerations For Pitta Types
Several considerations for helping to balance pitta:
– eat foods which are cool and refreshing
– avoid foods which are sour, salty, pungent and spicy
– dairy milk, butter, and ghee are often beneficial for pacifying pitta
– drink enough water and consider aloe vera to help cool down pitta

Sweet, Bitter & Astringent
Ayurveda describes an interesting relationship of taste and its influence upon the body. According to this philosophy, pitta types often are most balanced by sweet, bitter and astringent tastes as these are considered to be cooling and pacifying. Generally, pitta types should avoid heavily spiced meals because they are prone to acid indigestion [i.e. heartburn].

Improving Digestion
The best food for pittas are cool or warm [not steaming hot] with moderately heavy textures. Bitter, sweet, and astringent tastes are ideal. Refreshing food during the summer or hot weather are ideal and cooling drinks such as herbal tea, specifically mint or licorice root tea are pacifying to pittas. A suitable breakfast for pitta types may consist of cold cereal, cinnamon toast and apple tea. In general, vegetarian food is ideal for pitta types as red meat tends to be heating which can aggravate pitta inflammatory conditions. On the contrary, pittas should consume abundant amounts of milk, grains, and nourishing vegetables.

Great Veggies For Pittas
- asparagus
- broccoli
- Brussels sprouts
- cabbage
- radishes
- cauliflower
- celery
- cucumber
- green beans
- leafy green vegetables
- parsley
- sprouts
- squash
- spinach

Awesome Fruit For Pittas
- bananas
- avocados
- cherries
- coconuts
- figs
- mangoes
- melons
- pears
- pineapples
- plums
- prunes
- raisins

Terrific Grains For Pittas
- barley
- wheat
- basmati rice

Favorable Beans For Pitta
- chickpeas
- mung beans
- red lentils


Takra [Buttermilk] - The Divine Healing Ayurvedic Digestive Drink

 

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

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

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

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

– Charaka Samhita Ch. 14

The Ultimate Digestive Drink ... 

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

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

Properties:

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

 

Actions:

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

 

 

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


DISCLAIMER:

This information is strictly for educational purpose only and NOT considered medical advice. Always first discuss with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.

 


Improve Digestion Naturally + Ayurvedic Remedies For Indigestion

 

Improve Your Digestion Naturally
According to the most ancient and revered textbook of Ayurveda, the Charak Samhita, “the distinction between health and disease arises as the result of the difference between wholesome and unwholesome diet.” Similarly, Hippocrates [the father of modern medicine] has said, “leave your drugs in the pot at the pharmacy if you can’t cure your patient with food.”

“Let food be thy medicine
and medicine be thy food.”

- Hippocrates 

Food As Medicine
We have all heard the saying, “you are what you eat”. Though true, it would be more accurate to say, “you are what you eat, digest, absorb, and assimilate”. With that in mind, let us now introduce the most fundamental principle according to the science of Ayurveda. This principle is “Agni” - The Digestive Fire. In Ayurveda, this digestive fire illustrates the body’s ability to digest food; almost equivalent to digestive enzymes. In fact, when managing most health concerns, correcting digestion is often the very first line of management. Digestion is said to be the work of the fire element in the body and it is this fire element which produces the glow of good health and vitality.

Ayurvedic Supplements For Digestion
Good health depends on strong and efficient digestion.

Common Causes Of Indigestion

  • Consumption of incompatible foods, such as bananas with milk
  • Excessive consumption of heavy, oily, dense and hot, spicy foods
  • Over consumption of caffeine, alcohol and smoking
  • Eating in haste
  • Emotional eating
  • Anxiety
  • Side effects of certain antibiotics and/or medications
  • Sometimes a symptom of certain cancers, peptic ulcers and GERD

 

“The best of all medicines is resting and fasting.”
- Benjamin Franklin

Fasting
Giving the body a rest from digestion is sometimes recommended. Observing a hot water fast for a day can bring relief and can reset the body’s digestive fire. Add a pinch of black pepper and ginger for a more effective digestive aid.

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

Dr. Andrew Weil Briefly Talks About The Anti-Inflammatory Properties Of Ginger & Turmeric

 

Natural Remedies For Acute Indigestion

  • In 1 cup of warm water squeeze a few drops of fresh lime juice and a ½ tsp of baking soda, consume quickly
  • Consume a concoction of ½ tsp of honey and ½ tsp of black pepper to ¼ cup of onion juice.
  • Boil 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds in 2 cups of water until the water is reduced to 1 cup.
  • Strain out the seeds and drink ¼ cup daily after each meal.
  • Take ½ tsp of chopped garlic with a pinch of salt and a pinch of baking soda.
  • Every morning consume 1 cup of hot water with 1 tsp of honey and 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice.

 

Herbal Remedies

  1. An effective herbal formula for indigestion is made with Kutki, Trikatu and Chitrak. Taking a pinch of each of these herbal powders with ½ tsp honey before meals will help strengthen digestion.
  2. Ginger is an extremely effective digestive herb. Drinking ginger tea or even consuming ginger pickle before a meal is a beneficial way to help kindle digestion. Before a meal take ½ tsp of chopped ginger with a pinch of salt and a few drops of lime juice.
  3. Another effective digestive herb is Trikatu. This herb is equal parts of ginger, black pepper and pippali. Taking ½ tsp of this herb with a pinch of garlic powder and a pinch of rock salt before meals aids digestion.

 

Prevention is Key
The best way to avoid any disorder is prevention. Enjoying a balancing diet and lifestyle can help maintain optimum health. Some key points to remember in addition to the above causes include:

  • Avoid ice drinks and cold foods. This will weaken the digestive fire and can lead to heartburn.
  • Eat the largest meal between the hours of 11am and 1pm when digestive fire is strong.
  • Eat a light meal for dinner to avoid overtaxing the stomach.
  • Avoid overeating and emotional eating. This can make it hard for the stomach to properly digest the overloaded food.
  • Get moving! Taking a walk after meals can aid in digestion and increase digestive fire. Certain yoga poses and pranayama (breathing exercises) are also particularly beneficial.
  • Following a daily routine of meditation, oil massages and self-care will bring overall balance and contentment.

 

Disclaimer:
This information is strictly for educational purposes and NOT considered to be medical advice. Always first discuss the risk/benefits/alternatives with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.


How To Easily Make Delicious Kitchari

How To  Make Kitchari
For its easy digestibility and flavored simplicity, kitchari has long been valued in nearly every indian household. Despite its name in hindi, which means “a mess” or “all mixed up”, India’s traditional science of Ayurveda considers this dish to be nourishing and is often used as part of its seasonal cleansing programs [i.e. Panchakarma]. Not only is kitchadi nourishing but with certain spice combinations, kitchadi can also greatly help to improve digestion.

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

The Spice Of Life
Spiced generously or by adding extra ginger you can make kitchari a simple lunch on a cool autumn or winter afternoon. Likewise, the addition of ghee [clarified butter] garnished with fresh cilantro and a splash of lime helps to make kitchari the most delicious and satisfying  meal anytime of the year.


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup mung daal [split yellow]
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 -1 inch ginger root [chopped or grated]
  • pinch of mineral salt [approx. 1/4 tsp]
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 pinch asafoetida [hing]
  • handful fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1  1/2 cups of assorted vegetables [optional]


Easy Preparation:

Add 6 cups of water to the rice and daal in a heavy-bottomed pot
Cook on medium heat while covered for approx 20 minutes; until cooked softly
In another saucepan, sauté the seeds [cumin, mustard] in ghee until they begin to pop.
Next, add the other spices [coriander, cumin powder and turmeric] to this mix
Stir the sautéed spices into the cooked daal, rice, [and vegetable] mixture
Add mineral salt and cilantro. Then enjoy.

Resource:
The Ayurvedic Institute - Online Resource: Kitchari Recipe
Photo Credit: BrunchFastClub.com


Revolutionizing Healthcare With The Ancient Wisdom Of Ayurveda

 

Revolutionizing Healthcare
Despite all the advances of the modern world we as a race have never been more sick than ever before.

A Broken System - Approximately ...

  • 600,000 people die from heart attacks annually in the U.S.
  • 800,000 strokes occur annually in the U.S. often related to high blood pressure
  • 50,000,000 people in the U.S. suffer from autoimmune conditions
  • 120,000,000 people worldwide are affected by mental depression
  • 1,000,000,000 people around the world suffer from diabetes and obesity

 

Digest Tone
Good health depends on strong, efficient digestion. Digest Tone supports the digestive system and elimination; assists the body in absorbing nutrients; high-quality antioxidant; wide range of benefits.

It’s very intuitive to acknowledge that in order to regain a state of good health and balance it is necessary to maintain a certain lifestyle in accordance with nature. Let us therefore re-explore natural ways to revolutionize the way we care for our own health; true healthcare.

  1. Nourish the body
  2. Heal the gut
  3. Sleep well & Transcend stress

 

1.Nourish The Body:
In ancient times food was considered medicine. This being the case, people valued food much differently then. Perhaps the greatest detriment to health in human history is the introduction of industrial food processing.

Kitchari Kit
This traditional spice mix helps stimulate your digestive fire so you can absorb all the wholesome goodness from your food.

Three Simple Considerations:
1. eat nutrient dense whole foods like vegetables, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices
2. eat healthy fats as they are essential [absolutely necessary; extremely important]
3. minimize the intake of flour, sugar and other sweeteners, industrial seed oils, processed and refined food, and snacks of all kinds

“Prevention Is Better Than Cure.”  - Wisdom
The wisdom of Ayurveda provides basic dietary guidelines. The best way to avoid any disorder is prevention. Enjoying a balancing diet and lifestyle can help maintain optimum health. Some key points to remember in addition to the above causes include:

  • Avoid ice drinks and cold foods. This will weaken the digestive fire and can lead to indigestion.
  • Eat the largest meal between the hours of 11am and 1pm when digestive fire is strong.
  • Eat a light meal for dinner to avoid overtaxing the stomach.
  • Avoid overeating and emotional eating. This can make it hard for the stomach to properly digest the overloaded food.
  • Get moving! Taking a walk after meals can aid in digestion and increase digestive fire. Certain yoga poses and pranayama (breathing exercises) are also particularly beneficial.
  • Following a daily routine of meditation, oil massages and self-care will bring overall balance and contentment.

 

The Sophistication Of Ancient Wisdom
Even further, the science of Ayurveda explains with great sophistication the importance of eating according to one’s constitution [i.e. dosha type] while acknowledging other principles such as seasonal variations with a knowing that food affects both the body and mind equally. According to the teachings of Ayurveda food not only nourishes the body but also nourishes and affects the mind.

Certain foods which are thought to provide clarity [“sattva”] to the mind include:
- FRUIT: mangos, pomegranate, coconut, figs, peaches
- GRAINS: rice, tapioca, blue corn
- VEGETABLES: sprouts, sweet potato, lettuce, parsley, yellow squash
- BEANS: mung beans, yellow lentils, kidney beans, lima beans

Click Here - To Learn How Food Affects Your Mind

2.Healing The Gut

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 To Help Improve Your Gut Flora:

  • avoid foods and chemicals which irritate the gut mucosal lining
  • eat plenty of fermentable fibers [i.e. starches like sweet potato, yam, yucca, etc.]
  • eat fermented items like kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kim chi, etc.
  • consider taking a probiotic and prebiotic supplement


GHEE + Gut Health

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.

Purchase Organic Ghee 
Click Here
- To Learn More About Ghee

Top 7 foods to get rid of leaky gut:
1. Bone Broth – 8 oz 2 times a day
2. Kefir or fermented yogurt
3. Fermented vegetables
4. Coconut oil
5. Wild caught fish like Salmon
6. Flax seeds
7. Steamed vegetables or vegetables in the crockpot: broccoli, cauliflower, celery carrots, cabbage or squash are all great
- Dr. Josh Axe

3. Sleep Well & Transcend Stress
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.

Blissful Sleep
Natural sleep aid for falling asleep faster and enjoying deeper, more refreshing sleep.

Click Here
- To Learn 8 Tips For Sound Sleep

Transcending Stress
Stress management is perhaps the most important factor regarding health because no matter what diet you follow, how much you exercise and what supplements you take, if you’re not managing your stress you will still be at risk for modern degenerative conditions like heart disease, diabetes, hypothyroidism and autoimmunity.

What is stress?
"... any event in which environmental demands, internal demands, or both tax or exceed the adaptive resources of an individual." - Richard Lazarus; Prominent Psychologist

Stress Management Formulas

Just some of the effects of stress upon the body:

  • Raises your blood sugar.
  • Weakens your immune system.
  • Makes your gut leaky.
  • Makes you hungry and crave sugar.
  • Reduces your ability to burn fat.
  • Suppresses your HPA-axis, which causes hormonal imbalances.
  • Reduces your DHEA, testosterone, growth hormone and TSH levels.
  • Increases your belly fat and makes your liver fatty.
  • Causes depression, anxiety and mood imbalances.
  • Contributes to cardiovascular disease.

 

“Too blessed to be stressed."
- Meditation 

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

The ancient science of Ayurveda has described health to be a state of perfect balance. Ultimately, to revolutionize healthcare we must seek a state of balance. The ancient wisdom of Ayurveda provides a time-tested approach to a state of perfect health.

Disclaimer:
This is strictly for educational purposes only and NOT considered medical advice. Always first discuss the risks/benefits/alternatives with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.