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.
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.
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
acne. Vata Imbalances that affect Asthi Dhatu, Mamsa Dhatu and Apana Vata – arthritis, joint pains, muscle issues and chronic constipation.
In the 21st Century, the popularity of holistic methods has grown, especially in the United States, as people realize the importance of mind over body and choosing homeopathic alternatives rather than Western medicine. This could be because of the expense of healthcare costs and medications. As a result, benefits of the low cost of Ayurvedic treatments, the World Health Organization in 1978 has recognized Ayurveda as being beneficial to economically impaired countries as it reduces expensive drug dependence on industrial states, especially those in the pharmaceutical industries. In 1983, the first International Ayurveda Congress was formed.
Ayurveda has also become popular because of such supporters as Deepak Chopra, Dr. Vasant Lad, Dr. David Frawley and my personal favorite, Brigit Heyn who is a Viennese pharmacist and has studied Ayurveda over many years and publish books such as “Ayurveda, The Indian Art of Natural Medicine & Life Extension” from her studies and research.
Ayurveda has now spread out into many countries all over the world. It is classified as a system of complementary and alternative medicine or CAM but not a replacement to Western medicine. Though the struggle to become recognized by mainstream society has been long, there are signs that Ayurveda will not only become main stream but a standard way of life for many.
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:
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.
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
I believe that herbal medicines are important to us because they connect us with the very source of our life that is the nature, which is full of vitality and pure energies. Further more, herbal medicines are the time tested holistic and preventive medicines that have least side effects if at all.
It is said that the many of the herbs on the market are wild grown and the destruction of the natural habitats and the growing needs for herbs are inviting the phenomenon of over harvesting which are risking the extinction of potent and popular herbs grown in wild.
By choosing herbal medicine, one must recognize the value of the nature and the five elements within. Herbalists must become aware of the environment that surrounds not only themselves but also the environment that surrounds the very plants that save us from suffering. It is crucial for herbalists to learn about the local cultures and the lives of local people and how the plants are harvested.
It is important that we become aware of the circumstances of the plants and that any suffering of the source we use for the medicine will directly affect the effect of our medicine not to mention the extinction of the source. It is also important that herbalists
and the practitioners of traditional medicines unite themselves in the protection and conservation of the nature.
To protect the future of the herbal medicine, cultivation and certification of herbs must be encouraged and the practitioners of Traditional Medicine and herbalists should make a conscientious choice of correcting cultivated and certified herbs instead of wild grown endangered herbs for their practices.
By choosing the way of herbal medicine, not only we have chosen the holistic health for ourselves but also chosen the holistic way of life in which we must stand aside with the nature and wildlife and participate in a conscientious and ethical practice of collecting herbs.
In general, low dose restores, stimulates, or cleanses the target system by balancing related dosha; medium dose directory affects the target dosha and counteracts to the symptoms of its imbalance; and high dose dramatically increases or decreases the target dosha whereby causing aggravation of non-target dosha.
I would prescribe low dosages as prevention of imbalances, medium dosages for treatment for mild imbalances, and high dosages for severe imbalances. I also would monitor the patient during the medium and high dosage treatment and follow up with treatments for the secondary aggravation of doshas that may occur during or after the primary treatment.
Sweet taste restores and nourishes Vata and Pita in low and medium dosages, calms nervous system and Vata imbalance but aggravates Kapha in high dosage.
Sour, salty, and pungent, tastes stimulates Agni but sour, salty and pungent increases Pitta in low dosages.
Sour and salty moistens and balances Vata but sour aggravates pitta and salty aggravates Kapha in medium dosages.
Sour contracts the organs in high dosage and salty breaks accumulations but aggravates all doshas.
Pungent stimulates circulation and increases Pitta in medium dosage but aggravates Vata and Pitta in high dosage.
IAhrb101 Module 1 Student Assignments Midori Hatakeyama September 12, 2010
Student: San Diego College of Ayurveda
Bitter stimulates digestion, clears Kapha and activates nervous system in low dosha, detoxified the liver and blood and reduces ama, in medium dosages, cleanses bowel and bladder and clears Pitta in high dosages but decreases Agni and aggravates Vata.
Astringent taste clears mucus, Pitta and Kapha in low dosages, maintain the organs and tissues in place in medium dosages, stagnates the blood, liquids, and prana movements aggravating Vata.
What sour, salty and astringent have common is that they become more harmful than beneficial in high dosages.
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.
The sanskrit word ‘udvartana’ is done ‘in’ upward strokes and promotes lymphatic circulation. In India, this treatment was done on brides before the wedding. Excellent for reducing edema, lymph drainage, rosacea, eczema, or any pitta skin conditions like adult acne.
Especially, where ‘oil’ cannot be put on the body.
The name can be attributed either to the treatments ability to improve the body condition or to the upward strokes used in massage here, unlike in other Ayurvedic treatments.
The oil massage cures many kinds of nervous disorders and the dry one is effective for treating obesity, rheumatoid arthritis and various kapha disorders. Udvartana done in the seven positions for a specific period considerably reduces excess fat accumulated in the body mostly in the sub cutaneous tissues.
This therapy effectively reduces the fat collected around the abdomen and in the inner thighs of women due to nutritional disorders.
This powder can also be put in bolus bags for treatment. See photo, below.: