‘Body Constitution and Lifestyle’ Ayurveda Lessons
SDCOA 500 HR Course
As I meditate on the many differences between Western Nutrition and Ayurvedic nutrition, I am overwhelmed at the numbers. The difference that is impacting me the most right now is the difference in living and lifeless food. In western nutrition the focus on calories and nutrients relies on over processed over packaged “food” that contains no familiarity to the food this product used to be. If you go to the grocery stores you can see “whole grain” cereals or breads.
Where is the whole grain after it has been genetically modified, harvested months or years in advance, bleached, processed, enriched, colored, molded and made into “low calorie”? The same can be said of fruits and legumes canned, of homogenized, pasteurized milks and juices, dessert yogurt! The list obviously goes on and on. Parents are routinely feeding their children breakfast cereals and chicken fingers. The point is the food is dead. Western nutrition may have ways of adding nutrients back into a box of chocolate cereal for your kids, but at the end of the day it is still empty calories, where is the Rasa? The nourishment? How can we expect to receive satiation from lifeless food?
Ayurvedic nutrition is the most beautiful practice we can incorporate into our daily lives and the lives of our children. Living food. Rasa that is nourishing to our dhatus, satiating to our minds, bodies and spirits. The focus is on fresh living food that brings a sattvic mind. Ayurveda knows that every living being has a consciousness. Ayurveda understands the value of living and eating in HARMONY with nature and the environment, being reverent and aware of what we are putting in our bodies to attain balance and harmony within. We understand from an Ayurvedic perspective that everything we consume has a karma and a prana, so we must be mindful and respect the cycle of life that we are a part of. When we eat a box of over processed cheeze-its we are disrespecting nature, ourselves, the universe. When we strive to be mindful of ourselves and our needs we eat only fresh living food, prepared with deep gratitude and love. This allows us to be satiated physically as well as mind and spirit and gives us healthy, balanced dhatus, and dosas, with strong agni. Living foods naturally have the nutrients and vitamins that must be enriched into processed foods, and our bodies are naturally able to absorb these living nutrients, unlike the additives found in a package of frozen pizza pockets.
In my perspective the difficulty in addressing those who follow a western approach to nutrition will be in getting them to be aware of the difference in getting your “daily allowance” of nutrition from food that is lifeless and fortified versus going the extra mile to a Farmers market, or more trips to the organic section of your grocery to get living food wherever possible. I know many people do not have access to fresh that day groceries. I know many people are on a budget, I know many stores do not carry very many living options for people. Also many people eat socially and therefore eat at restaurants a lot. This food is definitely without prana, so we are asking people in essence to change their lives and habits. This will be difficult.
Sadhaka Pitta is a sub dosha of pitta, generally referred to as our ‘IQ’ – our intellect.
Now, Lets try to understand Sadhaka Pitta in terms of Pitta imbalance.
Hina Pittasya tu Sleshma….Janayatyana – avisthatam (C.Su 17/55)
Weakness of pitta –means decreased digestive activity(manda-analah), Coldness in body as well as ‘MIND’ (SADHAKA pitta), and loss of complexion(prabha-hani – bhrajaka pitta).
How does this weakness of ‘Sadhaka’ pitta, in the ‘mind’ taking place?
First, what is sadhaka and where does it reside.
Lets’ understand that the SADHAKA PITTA connects the hridaya [heart] and Manasa (Mind) and forms a channel of connection through them – energetic.
Some vaidyas say that Manovaha srotas are originating in heart but powered through the engine of ‘SADHAKA’.
So, we concur with them. We are saying if Sadhaka is controlling the srotas of the heart and the mind — it is also connected to prana vata (life force, or, chi) and vyana vata Ccirculation). It is helping ‘regulate’ the energy of vata which includes the nervous system and the senses. It is controlling homeostatsis, helping hypothalamus, energizing the neuro transmitters.
Think of Sadhaka as an inner spiral of energy.(Not only energizing the mind, and, intellect, but, also our emotions)
An article I read recently describes it as movement, which essentially sorts out our external experiences into an internal ‘felt’ experience.
Why and what is happening when sadhaka is down. Many scenarios can happen to our heart, our ability to process emotions, converts thoughts into ideas and so on.
Sometimes, Kaphaja has blocked the Vata causing coolness, heaviness in body and mind? The pitta has decreased –agni that causes digestion of thoughts is low.(In the ‘mind, and intellect)
Let’s look at increase or Vrddhi of pitta
What increases when pitta increases — Snigdha(oily), Ushna(heat), Tikshna(Sharp), ‘Amla(Sour), Sara(fluid) and Katu(Pungent) qualities.
This is ‘increase in pitta’. How does that affect the mind and the sadhaka? Could it be related to Prana Vata? Vyana and harmone regulation –related to depression, stress is being ‘energized’ by sadhaka. A low sadhaka means unable to process sensory input, even, emotional input.
It will cause Krodha(Anger), Impatience, Bhaya(Fear), Daha(burning sensation)
So, when sadhaka is imbalanced due to INCREASE of pitta –hyperactivity –impatience and anger may be seen. When it is LOW, then the energy of transformation –the energy that processes ‘sensory’ data, information, emotions, thoughts and feelings may be low. Manovaha srotas are blocked. so, depression can also be called low sadhaka. (Dr. Marc Halpern)
Does that make more sense??
Of course, I dont have a ‘context’ here, so, this is a hypothetical context.
Dr. Hemant. K. Singh refers to mental imbalance connected to prana, vyana and sadhaka as :
Primary psychological conditions caused purely by mental disorders are kama (lust), krodha (anger), lobh (greed), moha (delusion), irshya (jealousy), mana (pride), mada (euphoria), shoka (sorrow, grief), chinta (anxiety), udvega (neurosis), bhaya (fear), harsha (happiness). The psychiatric conditions caused by a combination of physical and mental (psycho-physical) disorders are unmada (psychosis), apasmara (convulsive disorder), apatantraka (hysteria), atattvabhinvesha (obsession), bhrama (illusion, vertigo), tandra (drowsiness), klama (neurasthenia), mada-murchha-sanyasa (loss of sensory perception leading to coma), madatyaya (alcoholism), gadodvega (hypochondriasis).
Here is an excerpt from Dr. Vasant Lad’s article. According to him sadhaka in mind causes emotions, and, sadhaka in heart PROCESSES the emotions and information:
“sadhaka pitta processes emotions into intelligence and sadhaka pitta in the heart processes emotions into love and compassion. If this functional integrity of sadhaka pitta in the brain and sadhaka pitta in the mind is affected, then the person builds emotion. This unresolved emotion is accumulated into the connective tissue because unresolved emotion becomes crystals and these crystals of unresolved emotions accumulate into the connective tissue and there it becomes psychological trauma. “
Research Cycle of Seasons and Ayurveda
by Zach Bubeck – Ayurveda Wellness Practitioner Student (San Diego College of Ayurveda)
Tuesday, 23 August 2011, 10:19 PM
Within the entire observable universe, the most common reoccurring shape is the circle. This pervasive shape reflects the cyclical nature of all things. Our galaxy along with others, rotates around a common center. Our solar system rotates around the center of our galaxy. Our planet orbits around the sun , our moon orbits around the earth and our earth orbits around its axes. We can even witness this phenomenon on a microcosmic level where we can observe electrons revolving around the nucleus of atoms. We can also derive many other cyclical abstractions through our observations such as a trees lifecycle or the food cycle etc etc.
The human being can be considered a system is embedded within a larger system. Within and without these systems there is a constant exchange of energy that moves in cycles. Ayurveda provides us with a model for understanding the direct effect that the greater cycles within this system have on us as humans. Utilizing this information we are given the opportunity to adjust our lifestyles in a way which will correct any imbalances in our microcosm caused by these external influences.
The first cycle to be considered is the earth’s rotation. During this cycle we experience changes in the amount of direct exposure we receive to various forms of light and other subatomic particles. This creates changes to the doshic quality of the atmosphere around us and directly within us. Although the times of these phases change through the course of the year depending on your location, the following is a general overview of the doshic influence of different times of day:
3AM to 6AM Vata
6AM to 10AM Kapha
10AM to 3PM Pita
3PM to 6PM Vata
6PM to 10PM Kapha
10PM to 12AM Pita
12AM to 3AM Kapha
Those of us who seek balance should consider these cycles and the principal of like increasing like when making decisions on how to conduct our day to day activities. A great global example of this is that most people would be served best by having their largest meal of the day at noon when pitta is highest and feeding the Jathara Agni.
Moving out to slower cycles, we should also consider the seasons which are caused by the earths relation to the sun over the course of its annual orbit. The seasons effect on the body should be offset according to the season itself and the individuals constitution. For example, a kapha during the winter may need to eat a heating diet where a pita would be best served to maintain a balanced diet during the winter with only occasional heating foods. During the summer the pita person may need a mostly cooling diet where the kapha may be able to eat more heating foods.
In addition to the considerations of the current season we must consider the effect of seasons as they change and what they leave behind. During the winter for example, there is frequently buildup of Kapha. Pita can buildup during the winter as well because of the increased storage of internal heat as a response to the external coldness. Considering this potential buildup, the need for spring cleaning takes on new meaning as this is a great time for panchakarma or other cleansing protocols to be implemented. Seasons are different in different places, but generally the following Dosha’s are associated with the following seasons:
Early Winter Vata
Late Winter Kapha/Vata
In addition to these two important cycles, Ayurveda will also take into consideration more subtle influences such as the moon and other celestial bodies. The tides are managed by the moon and our bodies are made mostly of water. It then stands to reason that our bodies will be effected by the moon as well. It is a verifiable fact that more child labors start on full moons than any other day. Ayurveda also teaches us that other celestial bodies have a direct influence on our being as well.
Our environment does not only include the weather. Where we live, the people we are around, the cleanliness of our home and the wind that brought in the very air we breath will all play a role in influencing our constitution at any time. These facts all serve as wonderful reminder of the need for holistic thinking when approaching health from an Ayurvedic perspective.
July 20th 2011 – 3 days –
Panchakarma workshop and retreat will include:
• Basti •
Introduction to Panchakarma (detoxification) & Shaman Chikitsa
Therapy workshop for Massage Therapists, Ayurvedic Practitioners, and Herbalists. Registered Nurses can also attend, as well as Physical Therapists.
Learn and experience first hand the cleansing detoxification therapies of Ayurveda that include Abhyanga, sweat therapies, purgative herbs, Vamana, Nasya and Shirodhara. Learn to cook Panchakarma detox therapeutic food and principles of Ayurvedic nutrition.
Introduction to Panchakarma Theory
We will discuss the theory of Vamana, Virechana – Shodhana and Rasayan therapies herb protocols. • Shamana Chikitsa and minor health imbalances. • Panchakarma DETOX recipes due to diet, season and environment.
Kapha Imbalance - Diabetes 2, congestion, sinus issues, insomnia and extreme stress. Pachaka Pitta, Sadhaka Pitta and Rakta Dhatu Imbalances – Acid reflux, Pitta headaches, skin disorders and adult
Vata Imbalances that affect Asthi Dhatu, Mamsa Dhatu and Apana Vata – arthritis, joint pains, muscle issues and chronic constipation.
725 North Quince Street
by Dr. Santosh Jalukar
Online Faculty: San Diego College of Ayurveda
All of a sudden a phone bell rang and an old friend after long time said, “Hi doc, how are you?”
I am fine, how about you?
“I have been facing one problem for couple of months and I need your advice in this issue.”
“Tell me what it is about.”
“It is about bad body odour. As a part of my routine, I bath, put some good talcum powder over the body and leave for day to day activity. Within 1-2 hours my shirt gets a peculiar offensive odour. I tried different soaps and also started using perfumes but the problem still exists. Can you suggest some way out?”
This was the first time someone seeking advice for such an health issue. Normally using anti-perspirant helps to get rid of this issue, but, since he asked, I had to think something different and effective. Remembered one herb, read in the books about 15 years back, as that herb when consumed orally, eliminates bad body odour. Incidentally I had a chance to try the recipe on this friend.
The name of this herb is BEL in vernacular language and identified as Aegle marmelos in botanical language. I suggested him to take this powder with Triphala powder, mixed in equal quantity. The recommended dose was just half teaspoon at bed time with a sip of water. After this suggestion, I was eager to know the outcome after 1 week. I received his call on 11th day. In his words, “I am using the same shirt for last 2 days and now putting it for laundry as it is soiled. I am really shocked to notice the effect. Despite using it for 2 days, there is no stink”.
Skin is the largest sweat gland
Seldom, it may happen that you suggest some remedy for certain condition but the disease would have normally settled by that time. It could be just co-incidence even. Hence, concluding was not logical unless it shows the same effect in few more individuals. Now the question was how to get guinea pigs? Suggesting this recipe to someone for bad body odour may be emotionally hurting. Suddenly I remembered one smart girl in our office having this problem. Whenever she used to enter the cabin for some work, I used to finish her task on priority basis so that she will move out at the earliest. I personally procured the above mentioned herbal powders and offered it to her.
“Sir, what is this powder for?”
“You are too weak and also anemic. I noticed you become little breathless on climbing even 2 stairs of our office”.
“Thank you sir. In fact I was about to ask you some safe treatment for this problem. When should I consume this and how much quantity?”
“Just half spoon at bed time with a sip of water. Don’t forget to give me the feedback after a week”.
After about 10-12 days she reported “I don’t feel any improvement in symptoms. I am still getting breathless and feeling exhausted”.
“O. K. Just continue it for some more days”.
“Meanwhile, my mother noticed some positive change and she told me yesterday that my clothes had very offensive odor which has suddenly disappeared”
“Now I will tell you the true story of this herbal mixture. This preparation I gave you for eliminating bad body odour but I did not want to express it. I was hesitating to convey it considering you may feel offended”.
“Sir, I just can’t express my contentment. I tried different soaps, perfumes, body sprays but the problem was never controlled.” The conversation ended with bunch of appreciation, thankfulness and gratudes.
The effect of this combination was now established for treating bad body odour. The mind did not allow me to breathe happily after this success but raised a basket of new question ahead.
What is actually the patho-physiology involved in body odour? How oral medicine would reach there and successfully treat it? What is the mechanism of action? It was now essential to discover all these various aspects before concluding.
The step by step study went on progressing and I was happy to arrive at some concrete findings.
There are about 2 to 4 million sweat glands situated under the skin. They function mainly for regulation of body temperature and provide an emotional response. The watery secretion produced by these glands make the body moist and helps to cool the body temperature. The glands are under the control of sympathetic nervous system. Sweat contains water and some salts like sodium, chloride, potassium, urea, bicarbonate, calcium and other excretions from the body such as amino acids. There are 2 types of sweat glands in human body.
They are Eccrine glands and Apocrine glands. Eccrine glands are situated all over the body whereas the Apocrine glands are situated in Axilla (underarm), Perianal (near the anal area), Areole (nipple), Periumbilical (around the belly button), Genital area, External ear canal, and Eyelids. The sweat is actually odourless but on drying, the Coryneform bacteria decompose which produces a peculiar bad odour. Hyperthyroidism is one of the major causes of excessive sweating. Therefore it is essential to have better control on thyroid hormone. While studying this, a research paper came to notice indicating that the leaves of this plant contain Scopoletin (7-hydroxy-6-methoxy coumarin), which regulates the hyper secretion of Thyroxine hormone. Along with that it also has the property to detoxify Liver.
This gave a partial satisfaction of the observation. Now the question of Triphala, how would it be performing the activity to treat the bad body odour. Incidentally one more research paper, which proved that the phenolic compounds and tannins exhibited comparable antimicrobial activity. The complete scientific rationale was established and the respect for Ayurveda was uplifted. The two activities required for treating bad body odour, controlling the excessive sweating and regulating bacterial decomposition was established. It is very important that Ayurveda, an Indian medical science, which is claimed to be older than 5000 years has such an enormous potential hidden within. There were no laboratories, no scientific instruments, no technical support to study; even then the formulations were established with such a great accuracy.
The scientists today study with huge available infrastructure and get doctorates in these subjects but conveniently forget that the answers are already available in our own age old ancient science. We only find as how our ancestors arrived to these findings. It is like the answer to complicated sum is given, we simply make an attempt to study the steps. Ayirveda is an ocean of millions of PhD subjects; we only need to explore the hidden treasury.
Swedanam or Steam Therapy followed by Abhyanga OIl Massage is of utmost importance in Ayurveda. Steam therapy increase elimination of toxins through the pores when done in conjunction with organic massage oil treatments, they make the detoxification more effective.
Abhyanga OIl Massage is often followed by a herbal steam bath with camphor, eucalyptus, rose, sandalwood, lavender essential oils and other herbs. This further helps detoxification of the entire body system. The Swedanam therapy includes many different forms of heat treatment. The heat to the body can be applied dry or damp, locally or to the whole body. Dry Heat is good for weight loss for Kapha, Wet heat is good for congestion and Pitta for a small time.
Swedana is the Ayurveda therapy for revitalising the skin. Herbal mixtures are prepared with various herbs and medicated powder. Your entire body is massaged with these specially for you made mixtures after they are warmed in medicated oils. This promotes circulation and increases perspiration of the body thus resulting the skin to eliminate the wastes and so the skin tone improves.
After the application of medicated oil, your entire body is made to perspire by the external application of medicated rice packs in the form of small bags. This ayurveda treatment vitalize your skin and makes it glow. A gentle application of warm special herbal oil is first applied to the skin. The massage of the body helps eliminate toxins from the skin’s surface while the oil protects the pores from becoming too loose during the Ayurveda steam treatment. The individual therapy taker is made to perspire intensively inside a steam chamber that lets out herbal steam from aromatic herbs that promote cohesion between cells. Through this Ayurveda application the steam will open up the very small pores of the skin thereby removing all wastes. An excellent therapy for toning the skin and giving it a special long term glow.
Though Swedana procedures are a pre-requisite for Panchakarma, they also give relief from health problems like asthma, catarrh, hemiplegia and many other diseases caused by Vata disorders.
There are various sweating methods in vogue. Prominent among them are :
Pinda Sweda / Navarakizhi
Ooshma Sweda / Bashpasweda
Avagaha Sweda –
Panchakarma (Five Ayurvedic Therapies)include therapies that are administered in the beginning (Purva Karma), as the Base therapy (Pradhana Karma) and finally the Last Therapy to clean, detoxify and heal holistically. (The last sessions are included in Pashchata Karma.).
Ayurvedic Herbal Panchakarma kit includes:
1. Medicated Herbal Ghee and Sesame oil mix (4 Oz.)
This Ayurvedic Herbal Ghee (Clarified butter with herbs) can be used for Abhyanga as well as a supplement during Purva Karma, as well as for purifying atmosphere. (Havan Samagri)
2 Herbal Svedana Powders that can be used to make oils for Vata, Pitta or Kapha, mixed in boiling water to create herbal steam or burned with Herbal Ghee (above) to purify the atmosphere.
Ingredients: Dried Leaves of Eucalyptus, Camphor Leaves, Dried Orange Leaves, Ayurvedic Herbs, Dried Basil, Dried Rose Leaves, Dried Edible Flower Leaves
By Dr. Santosh Jalukar
Faculty: San Diego College of Ayurveda
It is true that “intellectual strength is more important than just physical strength”. This is all time true statement. For significant achievement in any field, Intellectual performance is rather most important tool and there could be hardly anybody who will disagree to this. Every parent dreams about best scoring of their child in academics in all the fields. There are end numbers of products available in the market today claiming such therapeutic benefits and also new products are coming up every other day. It creates confusion amongst consumers as to which products are genuine and which are not. The advertisements are also rivaling and hence it is essential to identify the appropriate one. Besides this, what are the other treatment options, what are the correct doses, how these formulations work, how is the knowledge stored, how does the recall process work, what diet is good for nourishing the activity of brain, importance of diet, importance of prayers, significance of exercise and rest? Here you will find answers to all such questions and their scientific basis. Ayurveda and Memory:
Ayurveda and Common Cold: While during common cold, blockage of olfactory nerve there is a total loss of sensation of smell. This is very common example experienced by most of the people. Similarly, if there is any kind of blockage in the optic nerve, the sensation of visual experience will be blocked; auditory nerve will result in impaired listening etc. You can buy a Kapha Massage Oil with Mustard, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Camphor for and rub in and around nose, outer lips.
For acquiring the knowledge, the body uses 5 sense organs. Ears, Skin, Eyes, Tongue and Nose are collectively called sense organs. The sensations experienced by these sense organs are transmitted to the brain. The sensory nerves conduct messages through chemical transmission and then they are stored in the brain. Unless the knowledge is stored properly, one can not use it at any point of time. To explain this concept, I wish to give one example. An infant, who is deaf since birth, remains dumb throughout the life. His vocal organs may be absolutely normal despite he could not process the knowledge of speaking which is essentially linked with hearing. Hence he or she will never know “what word is and how to pronounce it”. The prerequisite for uninterrupted transmission of these senses is to have the healthy state of the nerves and also they should be properly lubricated. The myelin sheath of nerves is made of about 80% lipid and about 20% protein. Therefore it is essential to maintain the lubrication by way of providing adequate unctuous vehicle. Proper lubrication to the sense organs help to improve the oxygenated blood supply and thereby help to establish the physiological functioning of specific sense organ. Applying a drop of oil or any other lubricant to finger facilitates inserting the odd-sized ring easily. This is an easy example to understand the importance in relation to the grasping ability of the sense organs. Oil and ghee are the main natural lubricants available since time immemorial. Ayurveda has described the properties of cow-ghee as follows:
“शस्तं धी स्मृति मेधाऽग्नि बलायुः शुक्र चक्षुषाम् ….”
It means that cow ghee improves grasping, storing and recall, the three aspects of brain function. You can buy cow-ghee for common cold here. It also stimulates appetite, improves quality of life, physical endurance, vigour and eyesight. Nose is the gateway of brain and any product introduced through the nostril has immediate access to the brain tissue. Even modern medicine has identified the potential of this path which bypasses the blood brain barrier and without much efforts, the valuable drug can be made bio-available in plasma and CSF in just 1.5 minutes. Use of nasal insulin is a well-known example to understand this phenomenon. Recently there is also nasal spray for calcium supplementation. Here is the first step towards improving the grasping capacity of the brain which mentions administration of ghee based product through nostrils. Ayurveda has described this mode of administration 5000 years ago by the name of ‘Nasya’ treatment. Besides cow-ghee, some valuable herbs like saffron help to impart phenomenal antioxidant effects on brain cells. It is scientifically proved and possesses a strong supporting reference. Nose is directly connected to the brain through olfactory apparatus; it is connected to ears through Eustachian tube, to eyes through lachrymal ducts. Therefore nasal treatment helps to restore the physiological functions of all these organs and nourish the brain’s grasping capacity. Ayurveda recommends 4-4 drops in each nostril daily to achieve the said therapeutic benefit. Despite improvement in intellectual competence, unknowingly this treatment imparts lots of other advantages like prevention of recurrent attacks of common cold, arrests hair fall, overcomes fatigue of eyes due to excess-reading, combats burning of eyes, protects occasional blocking of ears, protects vision defects etc. The ideal time to administer these nasal drops is early morning or late evening after the sun-set. One should lie-down for 5 minutes afterwards. Rarely the feeling of the drops coming into throat is noticed which may be ignored or one can have a sip of warm water. This nasal medication helps to speed up the grasping process of knowledge without any difficulty. A readymade preparation by the name of Cleverin nasal drops has been recently developed and approved by the Food and Drug administration which possess multiple therapeutic benefits attributed to grasping of knowledge by empowering the neurotransmission by cleansing and lubricating the sense organs.
Ayurveda to Build Memory in Children: After grasping, the second step of improving the intellectual process is of increasing the storage capacity. The knowledge acquired has to be stored properly which can be utilised later as and when required. It is scientifically proved that the active constituents from herbs like Brahmi, Shankhapushpi, Shatavari, Ashwagandha helps in improving the intellectual performance by different mode of action. Some help by way of enhancement of protein kinase activity, Increase in protein in hippocampus, alleviate stress and help to minimize the release of stress hormone, some have neuro-regenerative activity, some help by improving the oxygenated blood supply to the brain and some prevent oxidative damage by imparting anti-oxidant activity. In short these herbs play a major role to improve the storage capacity of the brain. It is as simple to understand that if more books are ordered in the library, it becomes essential to make additional arrangement of accommodating them by adding number of shelves. Most of the marketed Ayurvedic and herbal formulations work on this principle. The activity starts in about 2 weeks. Nobody can deny the fact that memory related functions can’t be measured like body temperature. Even then their efficacy remains unquestionable as huge amount of data is available across the world and also the safety parameters are well established. The important aspect is to know the quantity of each item in the formulation. If inadequate quantities are consumed, one can not expect the therapeutic benefits in desired time. Besides improvement in intellectual abilities, these herbs also possess several other benefits like improvement in physical endurance, improves hemoglobin level, keep RBC, WBC in right shape, improves the immunity, hair melanin, prevent calcium depletion, and delay ageing process. Besides dosage, it is also important to check the taste of the product as children are very fussy about taste. The herbs are basically bitter in taste but many brands are available which mask the bitterness perfectly and make the product not only palatable but worth loving. Cleverol is one of such approved brands which possess chocolate flavour and acceptable palatability.
The third step: The 3rd and most important step of memory enhancement is the “recall process”. Many factors are responsible for affecting this process. Stress, fear, loud noise, lack of interest, inadequate exercise, wrong diet, weak concentration etc. are some major factors, which should be taken care of during the course of studies. Recently German researchers found they could use specific perfume at night to re-activate new memories in the brains of students during sleep and the volunteers remembered better on the next day. The test conducted showed the 97 % result and the control group performed only 84 %. During the studies, fMRI scan showed that the activity of Hippocampus was stimulated during inhalation of particular odour. Based on this research, a novel product in the form of Dhoop stick is prepared. This Cleveroma stick does not contain strong perfumes but it is composed by Ayurvedic aromatic herbs like Tulsi, Jatamansi etc. which improve the recall function of the brain. Students should light this stick in the bed room where they intend to sleep because the activity of hippocampus is at its best during sleep.
Prayers have scientific base: Prayers towards God and offering respect to seniors helps to strengthen the brain’s overall performance. This statement can be scientifically proved here. To understand this, we must match up few things together. It is an established fact that cortisol hormone is released due to stress or fear. This is therefore called stress hormone. Cortisol causes serious damage to the brain. Hence in acute and serious situations an individual becomes insane. He or she could not make any logical decision. Second situation when a child is thrown up, he laughs as he enjoys it. The confidence level of the child is to the extent that he is 100% sure about his security. Therefore in a situation where he should be afraid, he rather takes pleasure out of it. The hormone cortisol is not released and the brain remains away from its ill effects. A prayer towards God and offering respect to the seniors gradually builds the confidence level that a person feels enormous support. In olden days, it was a tradition but has a scientific base to offer respect to seniors and pray God before leaving for long journey. As there were no vehicles and even roads, people used to travel in either bullock-cart or ride on horses. Getting food during travel, climatic conditions, and possibility of attack from wild animals were major hurdles and only blessings used to be the moral support. The customs were simply followed but the hidden treasure is now understood by the modern world.
The purpose of lighting candle or oiled light during prayer also has a scientific implication as it plays a role of Tratak (a yogic practice for improving concentration). Lighting of Agarbatti and the aroma helps to improve the blood circulation to hippocampus which plays key role in recall process of the acquired knowledge. There are lots of Mantras to perform during prayers and the aroma helps to rehearse them in proper order and manner.
Importance of regular exercise: How much exercise you do is not important but how regular you perform it is rather more important. A 76 years old man reached the wedding hall slightly late for his own wedding is a fact known to the author. This was because he did not want to compromise with his exercise schedule. No doubt those taking rigorous exercise look well-built but, most of the times, their immunity is not up to mark. Their bones are also brittle and get fracture even with a small trauma. It is also found that such well-built individuals do not have an issue. This is because the optimum nutrition is utilized by the muscular portion and other systems remain under-nourished. Therefore is good to perform little but regular exercise. Apparently such people would not look as attractive in physical built, but their overall physical and intellectual abilities will be far better than a robust individual.
Intellectual exercise: As regular exercise can build good muscle power, same is the case with brain tissue. The more you keep them functioning, their performance will improve to the top. In the course of exercise, the muscular action is repeated in the same sequence many times which tones-up the muscle fibers. The brain also achieves improved ability by repetitively doing the same task. Forgetting is a natural process in living creatures. Man forgets more because his mind is diverted to too many subjects throughout the day. Intellectual performance can be further improved by meditation as it tones up the brain to stick to one subject and not to get diverted. Very few people remember the dreams on the next day. The only reason for this is the moment you get up, you see the watch, then think of the studies, then think of the bank balance, then the medicine to be consumed on empty stomach and so on. There are hundreds of such things that vanish off the experience of dream. Same is the case with studies. Try to focus more and more on the task and nothing other than your commitments. This is nothing but an intellectual exercise.
Some important things about diet: Human digestive system is fabricated by the creator of the universe for consuming vegetables only. If non-veg diet is cherished; make sure that it should not be more than once a week. There is a special recipe described in Ayurveda by the name “Pancha Khadya” which contains following 5 items. Dry dates, Raw dates, Coconut, Poppy seeds and cane sugar. This recipe helps to improve various brain functions and is extremely delicious too. Instead of fast-food, wafers, cookies,etc, this can be a best alternative to schooling children as recess time breakfast.
Tatak: Focusing vision at a particular point like a flame of candle or incense stick light for 2-3 minutes can help to improve concentration.
Many people ask as how long should the treatment be continued. It is essential to understand that these recommendations should not be considered as treatments. The recommendations are for improving intellectual performance. For better understanding, I always quote one example. Regular exercise is good for health. There are many people who do not perform any exercise at all even then they survive. But ultimately an overall health profile of both such individuals will differ in long term. These recommendations improve mental well being and also physical fitness. It is up to the consumer as how long they wish to be fit and fine.
Kapha Massage Oil for Common Cold
Ayurveda Yoga Wellness Center
By Shea Street
Student: San Diego College of Ayurveda
Right diet is the main factor in the treatment of the physical body. Without changing our diet, we cannot expect the body, which is its product, to be completely cured. By correcting the diet, we eliminate the causes of disease. Herbs and foods follow the same energies and can be looked at according to the same principles. Both involve taste, energy, elements, and doshas. Herbs provide subtle nutrition while foods provide more substantial nourishment. One’s diet may enhance, or counter-act the effect of healing herbs.
Ayurveda is primarily concerned with the quality and energy of food as a means of balancing the doshas. Its concern is that the food we take in, and the manner in which we take it, is in harmony with our nature. Furthermore, food and drink affects our mental processes, both emotionally and spiritually. While care should be taken about the nature of food, other factors of food intake should be considered. These include right preparation of food, right combination of foods, right amount of food, right frequency of meals and right times and places for eating.
Seasons, climate, age and sex all have a lot to do with the kind of diet we should have. In old age and anti-Vata diet is more appropriate. In middle-age an anti-Pitta diet is better. In childhood an anti-Kapha diet should be considered. Because male energy is more Pitta (fiery), men should consider an anti-Pitta diet. Women should consider a more anti-Kapha diet because female energy is more Kapha (water). These factors should enhance, not replace, the basic diet for balancing one’s dosha.
By Courtney Bean,
Student: San Diego College of Ayurveda
Nadi- Literally, a river, a channel or passageway; the pulse; there are innumerable nadis in the human body, from the very subtle to the very gross, carrying substances into, out of, or throughout the body.
(Lad, M.A.Sc, Vasant, 2002)
In many eastern health sciences, nadis are considered channels or tubes in the human body that carry prana. Prana is also known as energy or life force. These energy channels, or nadis, can be found in both the physical and the subtle body (Kripalu, 2008). In Chinese medicine, nadis are known as the meridians. “Although unlike meridians, nadis are not defined in the limbs” (McAllister, 1998). According to yogic philosophy there are said to be 72,000 nadis in the human body (Johari, 2010).
Our life experience is the flow of substances and energies through these tubes, or nadis. In order to remain healthy, these tubes must remain freely open and unblocked. Painful life experiences can cause restriction in nadis, often leading to survival mechanisms such as “numbness” and “disassociation” (Kripalu, 2008). These blockages can ultimately lead to health problems. Coming back in touch with our true selves through opening these channels, or nadis is important for our health and wellbeing
There are nadis found within the physical body. These nadis make up the nervous system, the circulatory system, the digestive system, the respiratory system, the lymphatic systems, etc. Any blockages in these nadis can result in physical health conditions (Kripalu, 2008).
Additionally, nadis can also be found in the subtle body. These nadis carry thoughts, feelings, and nerve impulses. When these nadis are blocked, we loose our ability to feel, to truly connect with others, to connect with our environment, and to even connect even ourselves. Various pramayama techniques aid in helping to keep these nadi channels open (Kripalu, 2008).
The chakras are also closely related to the nadis. According to website, Human Spiritual Structure: The Nadis, McAllister states, “the petals of the manipura chakra all correspond to nadis. The lotus aspect of the chakras is due to the nadis connecting to them. The seven chakras play a very important role in governing the energetic body, and the nadis are closely linked to them.
Although many subtle and gross nadis exist throughout the human body, there are three primary nadis and fourteen standard nadis. The three primary nadis are Sushumna nadi, Ida nadi, and the Pingala nadi (Johari, 2010).
The Sushumna nadi is different from all the other nadis because it is said to flow from the physical body directly to the soul. When prana flows freely through the Sushumna nadi, human beings experience a strong sense of inner focus and meditation comes easily. This nadi enables a strong connection to our inner being (Kripalu, 2008). The Sushumna nadi is located along the spinal column. It begins at the base of the spine in the Muladhara Chakra, or root chakra, and ends at the Sahasrara Chakra, or crown chakra. As it winds its way up the spine it dives into the anterior and posterior branches along the spinal column (Johari, 2010). This nadi can become activated and purified through pranayma and yoga asanas (Kripalu, 2008).
Another nadi is the Ida nadi. The Ida nadi travels to the left of the Sushumna nadi along the spinal column. The Ida nadi is considered to carry feminine energy. It ends in the left nostril, but activates the right side of the brain. This nadi helps to purify and nourish the mind and body
Additionally, the Pingala nadi is the nadi that travels to the right of the Sushumna nadi along the spinal column. This nadi carries male energy. It is also considered to carry solar energy, vitality, physical strength, and efficiency. It ends in the right nostril, but activates the left side of the brain (Johari, 2010).
Moreover, other notable nadis are Gandhari, Hastijihva, Yashasvini, Pusha, Alambusha, Kuhu, Shankini, Sarasvati, Payasvini, Varuni, and Vishvodara (Johari, 2010).
Gandhari nadi travels behind the Ida nadi and is associated with the Urinary Bladder.
Hastijihva nadi is also associated with the Urinary Bladder. It travels with the Ida nadi, the left big toe, and the right eye or ears.
Yashasvini nadi runs behind the Sushumna nadi along with the Hastijihva nadi and is associated with the Urinary Bladder as well.
Pusha nadi travels behind the Pingala nadi to the right ear. It is also associated with the Urinary Bladder.
Alambusa nadi runs from the anus to the mouth. It is associated with the Conception Vessel.
Kuhu nadi starts near the pharynx and then ends at the tip of the nose or genitals. Kuhu is associated with the Liver. It lies in front of the Sushumna nadi.
Shankini nadi lies in the throat, but travels to the anus, penis, and the ears. It is associated with the Kidneys.
Sarasvati nadi travels to the left of the Sushumna nadi and is said to be linked to the Spleen.
Payasvini nadi runs between the Pusha and Sarasvati nadi and ends at the ears. It is associated with the Gall Bladder.
Varuni nadi is said to be linked to the large intenstine, urethra, and fallopian tubes.
Vishvidara nadi is corresponds to the stomach. It is said to run between Kuhu and Hastijihva nadis. (McAllister, 1998).
Although there is said to be over 72,000 Nadis found in the body, these are some primary Nadis that are, “deemed of particular significance” (McAllister, 1998). Maintaining open and unblocked Nadis is extremely helpful peoples for overall health and wellbeing.
Kripalu, . (2008). Kripalu yoga teacher training. Stockbridge, MA: Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health.
Lad, M.A.Sc., Vasant. (2002). Textbook of ayurveda fundamental principles. Albuquerque, NM: The Ayurvedic Press.
Johari, Pratibha. (2010). Tantra-kundalini, ancient teachings of tantra and kundalini. Retrieved from http://www.tantra-kundalini.com/nadis.htm
McAllister, Alan. (11, 1998). Human spiritual structure: the nadis. Retrieved from http://www.wholebeingexplorations.com/matrix/SpSt/nadis.htm
Ayurveda yoga Massage
Asofoetida: Asafoetida is a hard resinous gum, grayish-white when fresh, darkening with age to yellow, red and eventually brown. It is sold in blocks or pieces as a gum and more frequently as a fine yellow powder, sometimes crystalline or granulated. It comes from the sap of the roots and stem of the ferula species, a giant fennel that exudes a vile odor. Asafoetida is known as an antidote for flatulence and is also prescribed for respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis and whooping cough. Its vile smell has led to many unusual medical claims, mostly stemming from the belief that its foetid odor would act as a deterrent to germs. In several European countries a small piece of the resin would be tied on a string and hung around children’s necks to protect from disease. The shock of the sulfurous smell was once thought to calm hysteria.
Turmeric: Turmeric is an ancient spice, a native of South East Asia, used from antiquity as dye and a condiment. Although as a dye it is used similarly to saffron, the culinary uses of the two spices should not be confused and should never replace saffron in food dishes. Its use dates back nearly 4000 years, to the Vedic culture in India where it was used as a culinary spice and had some religious significance. Turmeric is the rhizome or underground stem of a ginger-like plant. It is usually available ground, as a bright yellow, fine powder. The whole turmeric is a tuberous rhizome, with a rough, segmented skin. The rhizome is yellowish-brown with a dull orange interior that looks bright yellow when powdered. Turmeric is a mild digestive, being aromatic, a stimulant and a carminative. An ointment base on the spice is used as an antiseptic in Malaysia. Curcumin, the main substance in Turmeric, has been shown to be active against Staphlococcus aureus. Research is now showing that besides being one of the best cancer antidote spices, turmeric is shown to help people with dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Cilantro/Coriander: One of the most widely used and loved herbs and spices in the world are derived from the same plant, Coriandrum sativum. The leaves of this plant are frequently referred to as cilantro, while the seeds are most commonly called coriander. Coriander is one of the herbs thought to have aphrodisiac qualities. Originally grown around present day Greece, cilantro has been used as a culinary herb since at least 5,000 B.C. Spanish conquistadors introduced it to Mexico and Peru where it now commonly pairs with chilies in the local cuisine. Cilantros leaves have pungent smell described by some as “soapy” The stems also have a strong odor and flavor. Cilantro is considered an aid to the digestive system. It is an appetite stimulant and aids in the secretion of gastric juices. The essential oils of the cilantro leaves contain antibacterial properties and can be used as a fungicide, and rich in Vitamin C.
Saffron: Coming from the three dried stigmas of the saffron crocus, it takes 75,000 blossoms or
225,000 hand-picked stigmas to make a single pound which explains why it is the world’s most
expensive spice. The stigmas are delicate and thread- like, and its color is a bright orange-red.
Saffron finds many uses in Ayurveda, Unani, Chinese and Tibetan medicine. It is popularly known as a
stimulant, warm and dry in action, helping in urinary, digestive and uterine troubles. In Ayurveda, saffron
is used to cure chronic diseases such as asthma and arthritis. It is also useful in treating cold and cough.
Ayurvedic medicines containing saffron are used to treat acne and several skin diseases. A paste of the
spice can be used as a dressing for bruises and superficial sores. Ancient texts on Ayurveda have
information about the herb’s use as an aphrodisiac. It is largely used as an indigenous medicine across
India. It also counteracts spasmodic disorders and sustains involuntary muscle contraction. It is beneficial
in the treatment of several digestive disorders. Its use has been found specially valuable in flatulent colic.
It is used in medicines that reduce inflammation. A combination of saffron and ghee is used to treat
diabetes. Saffron also merits usage as a strengthening agent for the heart and as a cooling agent for the
brain. It acts as a diuretic if soaked overnight in water and administered with honey.