What is ayurveda

Ayurvedic medicine is a system of traditional medicine native to the Indian subcontinent and a form of alternative medicine.

History of Ayurveda

Ayurveda is a discipline of the upaveda or auxiliary knowledge. It is treated as a supplement or appendix of the Vedas themselves, usually either the Rigveda or the Atharvaveda.

Ayurveda vs Science

As a traditional medicine, many ayurveda products have not been tested in rigorous scientific studies and clinical trials.

World Health Organization.

Ayurveda is not only a system of medicine, but also a way of living. It is used to both prevent and cure diseases.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Heart Health System

Seven Common Sense Ayurvedic Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
The statistics are frightening:
  • Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States.
  • Every 20 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack.
  • One in four Americans has some form of heart disease.
  • Every 34 seconds someone in the United States dies of heart disease.
  • Heart disease takes more lives than the next seven leading causes of death combined.
Yet, both modern medicine and ayurveda concur that there are things you can do every day to keep your heart healthy. Here we offer some suggestions to get you started. Pick one or two and start with those if you like, then add a couple more every few weeks until you are naturally living a heart-healthy lifestyle. Bonus: Not just your heart, your entire physiology will thank you.
Soothe away stress
According to ayurveda, a holistic approach to heart health requires you to nourish the emotional heart as well as the physical heart. The heart is not just a pump-it's the fountainhead of all emotions, whether it's joy and exhilaration or sadness and frustration. Mental and emotional stress can disrupt the emotional heart. Practicing the Transcendental Meditation® technique twice daily has been shown in research studies to help in lowering blood pressure, reversing arterial blockage and enhancing resistance to all types of stress. Maharishi Ayurveda herbal supplements Worry Free and Blissful Joy nourish the mind and emotions and contain herbs like Brahmi, Ashwagandha and Arjuna, all renowned for their positive influence on the mind and emotional heart.
Cultivate the positive
While warding off excess stress is essential to prevent the emotional heart from wasting away, actively seeking mental and emotional well-being can help the emotional heart flourish. Ayurveda talks about ojas, the substance that maintains life. The finest by-product of digestion and the master coordinator of all activities of mind and body, ojas leads to bliss, contentment, vitality and longevity. Inner strength and poise and the cultivation of positive attitudes and emotions increase ojas. Spend time everyday on those activities that give you this contentment and happiness. Listen to soothing or uplifting music, enjoy serene natural beauty, practice uplifting aromatherapy and sip relaxing herbal teas. Maintain a positive attitude and walk away from situations that distress or anger you.
Eat right
Arguably the most critical step you can take towards heart health is to eat a heart-friendly diet. For a society used to fast food and eating-on-the-go, this is also arguably the most difficult step to take and maintain. But there are small things you can do to make your diet more heart-healthy-eat more servings of fresh fruits and vegetables, start your day with stewed apples or pears, include soaked blanched almonds in your diet, dress your veggies with fresh lime juice and eat heart-friendly spices such as fresh-ground black pepper and the antioxidant power-spice turmeric. Choose fresh foods over processed foods or leftovers, light foods over rich, deep-fried ones and warm cooked foods over cold, heavy foods. A balanced antioxidant rasayana such as Amrit from Maharishi Ayurveda is excellent nutritional support and published research confirms that Amrit helps reduce LDL cholesterol, which has been implicated in plaque build-up.
Eat mindfully
How you eat is as important for heart health (and overall health) as what you eat. Eat moderately-the ideal ayurvedic "portion" is what fits in your two cupped palms. Don't skip meals, because eating three meals at regular times each day "trains" your digestion to anticipate and digest your food. Stimulate a sluggish digestion with ginger, salt and lime—Maharishi Ayurveda's Ginger Preserve is convenient and tastes delicious. Have lassi, made by blending one part fresh yogurt with three parts cool water, with lunch. Spike it with roasted ground cumin and fresh cilantro for flavor. Don't tax your digestion by eating late at night or eating a heavy meal at dinner.
Cleanse ama from the physiology
Arterial plaque is ama-toxic matter that builds up in your blood vessels because your physiology cannot get rid of it efficiently. Ayurveda recommends a program of internal cleansing with every change of season to help your body flush out ama. The Elim-Tox or Elim-Tox-O herbal supplements are formulated to cleanse the fat tissue (meda) of ama. Other things you can do to clear out ama-drink lots of warm water through the day, go to bed by 10 p.m. to help the body cleanse itself during the natural purification time, eat a lighter diet high in fiber and antioxidants from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts. Avoid drugs, alcohol and smoking.
Exercise moderately and regularly
You don't have to do a strenuous workout five times a week. The key is regularity. If you follow the ayurvedic principle of balaardh—exercising to half your capacity—you can exercise every single day without straining your muscles. Walking is excellent exercise for everyone and excellent therapy as well. The early morning is ideal for taking a 30-minute walk. It will not only help your heart, it will prepare you for the day by charging up your circulation and your metabolism.
Get your zzzs
Research studies have linked sleep deprivation to blood pressure problems, depression and other factors that increase the risk of heart disease. Ayurveda considers sleep just as important as diet in maintaining health. Practice good bedtime habits-favor restful, calming activities as bedtime draws near to help disconnect the mind from the senses. Keep your bedroom clear of distractions—television, computers, other work-related material. Maintain a temperature that’s comfortable. Stay away from stimulants in the evening. Go to bed by 10 p.m. — early to bed and early to rise still work to keep you healthy and energetic through the day.

Fertility System: Ayurvedic Perspective

Enhancing Fertility--The Ayurvedic Perspective
Nans and Jonathan started planning their family even before they were married. "That was something we both wanted--at least two children," says Nans. Ten years later, they have tried every kind of fertility treatment available, some of them painful and all of them expensive. "What seemed like such a simple desire has become an impossible quest," says Nans. They are now looking into adoption, but still wish with all their hearts to conceive.
Stories like Nans' and Jonathan's are more and more common today--much more so than they were even fifty years ago. Studies show that the average sperm count has decreased by 48 percent since 1940. Women's fertility is also on the decline. There are many theories about why this is the case, but many researchers believe increased pesticides and chemical fertilizers could be a cause, as well as the high levels of stress associated with modern life.
Couples such as Nans and Jonathan may now find help from Maharishi Ayurveda, which places great emphasis on health and well-being during conception and beyond. Not only does ayurveda explain how to increase fertility with diet, behaviors, and herbal supplements, it focuses on how to create truly healthy children.
The ayurvedic ideal goes far beyond merely conceiving. Instead the emphasis is on creating a child who is mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy--a wise and well-rounded child who will contribute to society and become an enlightened citizen.
Factors Involved in Creating a Healthy Child
What are the factors involved in creating a healthy child? According to Maharishi Ayurveda, conception takes place due to healthy sperm, healthy ovum, and a healthy uterus. For both men and women, reproductive health depends on the health of the shukra dhatu, or reproductive tissue. In women the shukra tissue creates the ovum as part of the monthly cycle, and in men the semen is formed due to sexual stimulation.
The shukra tissue itself is created as part of a long chain of metabolic transformations, starting with the digestion of food and including the transformation of food to nutrient fluid, blood, muscle, fat, bone, bone marrow and finally, to shukra tissue.
Healthy shukra tissue, then, according to ayurveda, depends on the health of all the other tissues in the body.
Diet and Behaviors to Boost Fertility
There are two kinds of foods and herbs that help enhance shukra dhatu, and therefore help enhance fertility. One is called bringhana, and these foods enhance shukra by enhancing all the seven dhatus. Vrishya foods and herbs target shukra dhatu in particular."
Because the first six dhatus are the raw material for forming the reproductive dhatu, all of the dhatus must be completely healthy in order to form healthy reproductive tissue. That's why the bringhana diet, which nourishes all the seven dhatus, are so important if you wish to conceive.
Foods to Nourish All Seven Dhatus (Bringhana)
  • Fresh, organic fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Dairy proteins, including milk, lassi, and panir (a fresh cheese made of milk)
  • Mung dhal
  • Soaked almonds or soaked walnuts (you can grind them and add them to your vegetables)
  • Sweet, juicy fruits such as mangoes, peaches, plums, and pears
  • Dried fruits such as dates, figs, and raisins
  • Stewed apple for breakfast
  • If your digestion is strong, eat urad dhal (available at Indian grocery stores) cooked with equal parts turmeric, cumin, coriander, and fennel.
  • A banana cooked in ghee, cinnamon and cardamom is a tasty and wholesome dessert for people with strong digestion
Foods to Enhance the Reproductive Tissue (Vrishya)
  • asparagus
  • broccoli
  • milk
  • milk-date shake
  • milk-mango shake
  • rice pudding
  • spices such as ajwain powder, cumin (which purifies the uterus in women and the genitourinary tract in men), turmeric (to improve the interaction between hormones and targeted tissues), and black cumin.
In general, it's important to eat a wide variety of foods in order to receive all the essential nutrients. Keep trying new vegetables and fruits, and rotate your menus to make sure you're not eating the same thing day after day.
A Two-Part Fertility Program
Before taking the herbs, however, The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians recommends first purifying the genitourinary tract. Once impurities and obstructions are removed from the area, the herbs can be truly effective in reaching the targeted tissues.
A Two-Part Fertility Program
Phase I--Cleanse Before Conception
  • Organic Genitrac (2 tablets morning and evening)
  • Elim-Tox-O (2 tablets morning and evening)
Phase II-Increase Fertility during Conception
  • Vital Lady or Vital Man (2 tablets morning and evening)
The internal cleansing program should be done for three months before trying to conceive. After detoxification, the couple should discontinue the purifying herbal compounds and should start taking Vital Man or Lady on a daily basis. During this time they should try to conceive. The bringhana and vrishya diet is ideal throughout both stages. Once the couple conceives, the woman should stop taking Vital Lady and should focus on a diet and daily routine especially suited for pregnancy.
Enhancing Bliss and Devotion
Behavioral recommendations that support the shukra tissue and positive relationships include following a daily ayurvedic routine and reducing day-to-day stress by practicing the Transcendental Meditation® technique. To help allay day-to-day mental stress, take Worry Free Tablets (2 morning and evening). The Worry Free Tea and Aroma Oil can also help. If you need to dissolve emotional stress, take Blissful Joy tablets (2 morning and evening) and diffuse the Blissful Heart aroma.
Increasing Fertility Later in Life
Are there special tips for couples that want to conceive after the age of forty? The Council recommends that both the woman and man focus more on the diet and routine, on vrishya and bringhana diet. Avoid stress as much as possible. Go to bed on time and don't miss your morning massage. Take care of your protein needs, including some dairy protein in your diet, such as panir, milk and lassi. Engage in a spiritual practice such as the Transcendental Meditation technique.
For women, it is particularly important to take care of yourself during menstruation. Follow the ayurvedic guidelines for that time: avoid traveling, avoid skipping meals, eat foods that are warm, light, and easy to digest, and try to avoid foods or aromas that are highly chemicalized. And take real rest during your menstrual cycle. If you want to conceive when you are older, you need to be extra careful about your overall health.
If You Don't Want to Conceive
Even if you don't want to conceive, there is a value in enhancing the shukra tissue. Shukra has a dual function, not only producing the sperm and ovum but also ojas, the finest product of digestion. Ojas creates vigor, bliss, lightness, stamina, immunity, luster in the skin, sparkle in the eyes, and clarity of mind. Ojas is vital to the health and happiness of everyone. Anyone who wants to mental clarity, immunity, and spiritual well-being will find these recommendations useful, because they enhance the shukra tissue and thus enhance ojas."
Those people who don't want to conceive, but want to enhance ojas, should still follow the purification phase for at least 45 days, and more if there are more toxins built up. Then they can take the Fertility Plus tablets, but only one twice a day will be sufficient. Vital Man and Vital Lady are also recommended. With the help of Maharishi Ayurveda, couples such as Nans and Jonathan have a chance to conceive, and every parent has the opportunity to give their child the healthiest possible start in life.

Energy System

Wiping Away Fatigue
Are you feeling brain-dead, emotionally stressed out, or just plain pooped? If so, you have company. Researchers report that the majority of adult Americans today suffer from stress and tiredness.
A stress-driven body and mind is the major cause of fatigue, and unfortunately, for many people this is a normal state of living in today's hectic world. Most people have lost touch with the normal experience of 'calm energy,' which is a state of low tension and high energy that allows for optimism, confidence, and the stamina necessary to enjoy success, love and happiness.
Happily, Maharishi Ayurveda is well-equipped to restore balance and combat the underlying causes of the general, stress-related tiredness that many Americans suffer from today.
What Causes Fatigue?
According to The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians, fatigue is caused by overuse, misuse or no use of the mind, emotions or body. For instance, your job may be easy for you, but if you have to put in a lot of overtime, that can result in fatigue.
Misuse is doing something that is against your nature. If you are an honest person, and you find yourself in a situation where you feel pressured to lie or cheat, that misuse of your mental faculties could cause you to feel fatigued.
An example of physical misuse is knowing that a physical task is beyond your capability, but doing it anyway. Or perhaps your heart is very tender, and you are surrounded by people who are habitually angry -- an example of emotional misuse.
Even lack of use can cause fatigue. Use it or lose it' applies not only to the body, but to the brain and emotions as well.
The first step in correcting fatigue is to determine the cause. You can ask yourself if your fatigue is caused by physical, mental or emotional factors. And is it caused by overuse, misuse or lack of use?
Once you know which behavior is causing the fatigue, you must, of course, stop that behavior. Become familiar with your stress-point and your own level of comfort. The solution to the problem of fatigue is found in one sentence: proper use of the mind, body and emotions.
The Three Doshas and Fatigue
There is a relationship between the three doshas and the three main types of fatigue. Mental fatigue is associated with an imbalance in Vata dosha, emotional fatigue is caused by an imbalance in Pitta dosha, and physical fatigue is caused by an imbalance in Kapha dosha.
Ama, or impurities caused by undigested food, is a major cause of all three types of fatigue. To avoid all types of fatigue, avoid leftovers, fast foods, foods grown with chemical fertilizers or sprayed with pesticides, or packaged, canned, frozen or processed foods.
The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians makes the following recommendations for each type of fatigue:
For Mental Fatigue:
  • Vata-pacifying diet and daily routine
  • Worry Free Tea and Tablets twice daily
  • Go to bed early, avoid mental work right before bed
For Emotional Fatigue:
  • Pitta-pacifying diet and daily routine
  • Blissful Joy tablets
  • Organic Rose Petal Spread
  • Never skip meals
For Physical Fatigue:
  • Kapha-pacifying diet and daily routine
  • To burn away ama, boil two quarts of water and steep with the following herbs: 3 leaves of holy basil, 3 leaves of mint, 1/4 t. cumin seed, 1 piece of clove, 1/4 t. coriander. Drink it throughout the day.Depending on your mind-body type and imbalances, you may be more susceptible to certain types of fatigue.
By consulting a physician trained in Maharishi Ayurveda, you can learn specific recommendations for restoring your natural energy levels based on your body type and imbalances. The following three case histories explain how mental, emotional, and physical fatigue can be addressed using the principles of Maharishi Ayurveda.
Mental Fatigue
Laura, 32 and single, was a buyer for a large department store and had advanced rapidly in the past four years. However, she found herself aging rapidly, and was alarmed to see dark circles under her eyes, premature wrinkles, and a dull, pasty complexion rather than the rosy-red cheeks of her college years. Despite taking prescribed sleeping medication, she was unable to fall asleep at night. At least three times a week she felt utter mental exhaustion by the end of the day. She was frightened that her mind would not be able to keep up with her increasing responsibilities, and suffered from frequent tension headaches. She smoked, took aspirin for her headaches and diet pills to stay thin.

Emotional Fatigue
A 37-year-old mother of two children aged 7 and 10, Maryana held down a full-time job as head of marketing for a major corporation. Her principal complaint was overwhelming fatigue. Her energy level dropped so low that she often felt annoyed to the point of anger by her children's natural needs for her time and attention. She felt guilty for being an unloving mother and neglectful wife. She often woke up in the middle of the night worrying, and caught every flu or cold her children came home with. Drinking 8 cups of coffee to get through each day only added to her irritability and fatigue. In her own words, she was continually upset with her husband, her children, her friends -- even the dishwasher repairman -- about nothing, absolutely nothing at all.
Maryana had placed herself under tremendous emotional stress. She needed to build some deep rest into her day to help eliminate that stress. So she started the Transcendental Meditation program to provide deep rest and eliminate stress. She turned off her portable phone, which she habitually answered even during meals and in bed.
She started on a Pitta-pacifying diet and daily routine, along with Cooling Spice Mixture and Pitta Tea instead of coffee to help balance her emotions and nurture her body-type. She also stopped eating excessive amounts of white sugar for a false energy rush, stopped skipping meals, and ate a pear or a whole-grain bagel between meals when she felt hungry.
Maryana also started on the powerful antioxidant Amrit to retard intracellular decay and energy loss due to excessive free radicals, and to give a boost to her immune system, and on Elim-Tox-O to help remove the toxins that had accumulated in her liver from eating ama-producing fast foods on the run. Deep Rest addressed her Pitta-based sleep problems.
In just three months Maryana reported that she only had occasional fatigue when she would 'overdo,' but not the bone-wearing fatigue that had once been her constant companion. Her emotional and physical symptoms gradually washed away and she felt that her life, though still complex, was back in balance.
Physical Fatigue
A 35-year-old lawyer, Paul was married and the father of one. He had recently become a partner in a large firm, and reported difficulty in maintaining the competitive pace. Exercise had fallen by the wayside, and he had put on 25 pounds in the last year alone. He took a variety of laxatives and antacids for his sluggish digestion and frequent constipation.
Even though he slept eight hours a night, Paul felt exhausted when he woke up. While he used to have great physical stamina, he now found himself with frequent chest congestion and wheezed while climbing flights of stairs. His knees ached and he felt and looked ten years older than his age. Worse, he wasn't sure he could keep up with his job, because his thinking had become slower and duller. He frequently felt congested in body, mind and spirit.
Paul's complaints were due to a Kapha imbalance and lack of exercise. To restore balance, he started a program of gradual weight loss, because that was contributing to a vicious cycle of physical fatigue. He took the Be-Trim tea and tablets to help stimulate his digestion and metabolize fat. His life had become too sedentary and sluggish, so he started on an exercise program,and took Joint Soothe to support his knees and other joints.
A daily abhyanga (ayurvedic massage) using Rejuvenation Massage Oil for Men also stimulated his digestion and moved out toxins. Paul also learned the Transcendental Meditation program, and started a Kapha pacifying diet and daily routine, using ghee in his diet instead of butter. He started drinking five bottles of room temperature water each day to clear away ama, and took Amrit (without sugar) to restore balance to mind and body.
After ten weeks Paul had lost 15 pounds, his mind had become more agile and quick, and he was able to maintain his energy level at a steady pace without any symptoms of exhaustion.
Two final points of advice for dealing with fatigue: Start cutting back on coffee, coca cola, caffeinated teas, and sleeping pills to allow your body to reestablish a natural rest and activity cycle.
Second, schedule enough rest each day. The human nervous system and body is not designed for a constant diet of tension, pressure, speed and excitement. It must have adequate rest to permit natural regeneration and recuperation, and to experience natural energy and joy.

Digestion System

Eating Right, the Ayurvedic Way: Five Tips for Good Digestion

Over 90% of Americans suffer from everyday digestion problems such as gas, bloating, stomach pain, constipation, heartburn, and fatigue after eating. Maharishi Ayurveda provides simple solutions to these common complaints by considering not only what we eat but how we consume our meals. For example, how many times have you seen someone munching on a sandwich while driving through traffic? How many times have we caught a bite to eat at your workstation because we could not take the time to have a proper lunch?
Our bodies need an uplifting and settled environment in order to process and absorb the nutrients from our meals. If that is not available then we should at least be sitting down to eat -- not standing, walking, or driving our way through a meal.
The act of eating is life-giving. The process of eating, according to ayurveda, is something reverent and important for the development of consciousness as well as our physical health. When we sit down to eat our stomach is in a relaxed posture and our awareness is on the taste, texture, and smell of the food. This will greatly improve the digestion.
Another way to improve the digestion is to stimulate the agni or digestive fire before we begin eating. Weak digestive agni may result in fatigue after eating so Ayurveda recommends eating a 1-inch piece of fresh ginger with a few drops of lemon juice and a few pinches of salt on it before a full meal. This starts to activate the salivary glands, producing the necessary enzymes so that the nutrients in the food are easily absorbed by the body.
Balancing your digestive agni is a key principle in Ayurvedic medicine. That's why ayurveda recommends a number of general practices for better digestion. Digestive agni can be compared to a burning fire. If the flame is very low than it will take a long time to cook the food. In the same way if the fire is too big it can burn the food. If we put a huge log on a low fire it will extinguish it. Our digestive fires should be balanced so that we can digest our meals efficiently and smoothly.
The ginger and lemon juice recommendation helps to increase the digestive power. If, however you suffer from an over-active agni, because of which there is too much internal heat and acid, then pomegranate chutney may be more suitable for you.
The next ayurvedic recommendation also addresses agni. Ayurveda recommends avoiding cold drinks at meals and ice cold foods in general. This is like putting cold water on the burning logs. Iced water, normally served at restaurants, extinguishes the digestive fire. Even juice or milk right out of the refrigerator is too cold for the digestion. Juice should be taken at room temperature and water without ice. Once you get into this habit of drinking beverages at room temperature you will notice a dramatic improvement in your digestion and the way your body feels while eating and after the meal. Cold drinks and foods mixed with warm cooked foods can cause stomach cramps, bloating and general discomfort in the stomach area.
If you have a pitta imbalance you can take cool drinks in-between meals. Cold or frozen foods are not recommended for pitta either because even though they may temporarily cool down the heat, the agni is still being over stimulated and the imbalance will continue. Try slightly cool drinks made with Organic Rose Water, or milk blended with dates or fresh mangos.
The next recommendation has to with the time of the day that you eat your meals. Have you ever gone out for a late dinner and found that it was a strain to wake up the next morning or that it was difficult to be efficient during the following day? These are often the side effects of improperly digested food. The best way to avoid these problems is to follow nature's prescription of suitable times to eat. When the sun is strongest between 12 and 2 p.m. is when the digestive fire is also strongest. Agni is associated with the Sun. This is one of the ways ayurveda seeks to connect our mind and body with the environment. Ayurveda recommends that lunch be the largest meal of the day since that is the time the digestive agni is working at its maximum potency. As the sun goes down so does our agni.
Dinner should be lighter than lunch and should ideally be eaten before 8: 00 p.m. Late night meals interfere with sleep and after 10: 00 p.m. the body is working to burn off toxins and continue to digest food from the day. If you eat after 10: 00 p.m., the food may cause toxins to accumulate in the system, and as a result the next day you wake up tired. If you are not able to wake up fresh and clear, then it is important to analyze the quantity of food and the time of night you are eating dinner.
Another ayurvedic tip for digestion is to drink a fresh yogurt drink called Lassi at lunch time. Sweet lassi consists of 1/4 cup fresh homemade yogurt, 1 cup room temperature water and sugar to taste. Blend it for one minute in the blender. Lassi is light and contains lactobacilli, necessary bacteria that lubricate the intestines to help digestion go smoothly. Lassi drinks help to reduce gas and bloating. They also taste delicious and can make a meal more satisfying and nutritious.
There are many recipes for Lassi. The following one is good for warding off gas and bloating:
  • 1 cup room temperature water
  • 1/4 fresh homemade yogurt
  • 1 pinch ground ginger
  • 1 pinch ground cumin
  • 1 pinch ground coriander
  • 1 pinch salt
Blend for one minute. Drink after lunch.

Detoxification System

Spring Cleaning Your Body
It happens every spring. You fling open the windows, shed your winter coat, and suddenly get theurge to clean your house. But do you ever think about "spring cleaning" the toxins from your body?

Detoxifying in spring is an important part of the ayurvedic seasonal routine, called ritucharya. Spring is the Kapha season, because the wet and cool weather reflects the moist, cool, heavy qualities of Kapha dosha that predominate during this time of the year (March-June).

Biologically, nature supports cleansing of the body in spring. In winter the digestive fire is high, and people eat more sweet and heavy food. Most of the time they aren’t able to assimilate these hard-to-digest foods, so Ama (the sticky, toxic product of indigestion) starts accumulating.

When the warm weather melts the snow in spring, it has a similar effect on the body. In spring the Ama melts and the volume of Ama becomes so great that the shrotas, the microcirculatory channels of the body, become clogged.

Symptoms of Excess Toxins in the Body
If you don't assist these toxins in moving out of the body, you can become prone to flu, colds and cough, or allergies. Or you might feel unusually fatigued, sluggish or drowsy after lunch, or lose your appetite.

Sharp headaches, dizziness, mild tremors in the limbs, and unexplained muscle aches, especially in the calf, can also be symptoms. Your tongue may be coated, and your throat may be sore.

The skin can be less radiant, heavier, more oily. You may also find that you break out more often, are more prone to sunburn, and have dry patches on your skin.

Yet, Spring is the best season for detoxification, because nature is already trying to clear out the toxins. It’s the time to help the body to efficiently detoxify the channels and the dhatus [body tissues].

A Kapha pacifying diet and lifestyle is best. If you avoid eating heavy, cold, hard-to-digest foods, and avoid or reduce the sweet, sour, and salty tastes, your digestive system will be more efficient in burning away the accumulated Ama.

Sweet juicy fruits can help cleanse the body, although they should be eaten before sunset, as they have a Kapha-increasing effect after the sun goes down. And you can add spices to your food -- such as coriander, cumin, turmeric, and fennel -- to help stimulate the digestion and detoxify the skin.

In spring you can sip hot water (if you have a Pitta imbalance then drink warm water) to help melt the Ama (digestive impurities) that have accumulated. Daily exercise, and avoiding day sleep will also help.

For overall detoxification on a daily basis, the Elim-Tox and Elim-Tox-O nutritional supplements help improve elimination and clear away toxins from the colon and intestines. These products also cleanse the liver and the blood. Thus Elim-Tox is recommended for one month after every change of season.

Whether you choose Elim-Tox or Elim-Tox-O depends on your constitution and imbalances. "Elim-Tox is very powerful. "But sometimes in the process of activating the detoxification process, it can stimulate the liver, especially if someone has Pitta dosha predominating, or is eating a strong Pitta diet with lots of hot, spicy, sour foods."

Recognizing the need for a strong detox product that doesn't activate the liver, Maharishi Ayurveda formulated. Unlike any other detox product on the market, Elim-Tox-O has the unique ability to detoxify the body and pacify Pitta at the same time. Elim-Tox-O is especially designed for individuals who tend to have more Pitta imbalances due to excessive vinegar and fast foods in the diet, and also due to emotional stress.

Tracy McGrath was suffering from fatigue, overweight, swollen eyes, achy joints, and stiff knees. Her doctor recognized that her symptoms were caused by too many toxins, and prescribed Elim-Tox. When her skin broke out a little and she experienced some tenderness around the liver, her doctor switched her to Elim-Tox-O, which is less heating. "After three months on Elim-Tox-O, I'm losing two or three pounds a week without being on a diet," says Tracy. She no longer suffers from swollen eyes, achy joints, or stiff knees. And she has more

Cholesterol System

Do you love ice cream or potato chips?
A low-fat diet can make a big difference to your health. Yet the latest research shows that diet is not the only factor. The way the body metabolizes fats may be more important than how much fat you eat. Cholesterol is a fatty acid that begins in the liver. It is essential for building cell membranes, vitamin D, hormones and bile acids. Low density lipoprotein (LDL) is "bad" because it carries cholesterol into the bloodstream. Too much can lead to clogged arteries and heart disease. High density lipoprotein (HDL) is "good" because it carries cholesterol out of the bloodstream. The amount of good HDL in your blood is related to fat metabolism — what your body does with the fats in your diet.

Natural program puts you in control
The Cholesterol Protection System™ is a holistic program combining herbs and simple, yet effective, diet and lifestyle recommendations. Each step of the program helps balance cholesterol to improve your cardiovascular health.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Agni: digestive fire

Agni is our digestive fire (metabolism) which is responsible for processing and absorbing the foods we eat. Depending on the strength of our individual agni, each person is capable of digesting certain foods better than others. So rather than, “You are what you eat,” Ayurveda says, “You are what you digest.”
We can eat whatever we want, but if we don’t digest it properly, we will be on the path to getting some sort of disease. Agni is literally a fire in our digestive system and when not fueled properly it can run too hot, or not hot enough. In either case, malfunctioning agni creates ama. Ama is undigested food (it’s toxic!) and is responsible for 90% of all disease. Ama is leftover goo that clogs, sticks, blocks, clouds channels in the body/mind and creates disease. Yucko!
Signs of healthy agni
• tongue is pink
• hungry for next meal
• regular bowel movements
• poop that floats or is very loose
• clarity of mind
• clear, glowing skin
• good energy
Signs of malfunctioning agni
• whitish coating on tongue (sign of ama)
• weak or loss of appetite
• poop that sinks
• clouded thinking
• bloating, gas, constipation, distension
• lethargy or grogginess
Vata people have varied agni. Pitta people tend to have very strong agni because of their natural heat, however pittas need to make sure that their agni doesn’t get too hot. Agni that is too hot can burn the tissues which also results in ama. Kapha have low agni which results in kapha imbalances like lethargy, obesity, heaviness, and dullness of the senses.
Tips on keeping agni strong
 Small breakfast. Our agni is just a tiny fire in the morning…just barely burning from last night’s fasting. We should have a small breakfast to kindle the little fire because if we eat too much, we will squelch it.
• Large lunch. Agni is strongest at noon, so lunch should be the biggest meal of the day. It makes sense because agni relates to the sun. It’s all about nature…when nature is warm, so are we, so let’s use nature to our advantage!
• Small dinner. The sun is going down and agni follows suit, preparing for sleep. If we follow the regimen of eating a large lunch, we shouldn’t be starving at dinner.
• Eat with peace of mind. If our mind is focused elsewhere (eating lunch while working) we are not present or aware of what we are putting in our bodies. That’s 1/2 of digestion right there!
• Ghee. Great for kindling agni.
• Spices. Using spices depending on constitution to increase internal heat.
• Less Water. Don’t drink a lot of water with the meal. Some water is necessary, but too much will put out the fire. Drink water about an hour after the meal.
• Hunger pangs. Wait until there is real hunger and you have clear burps (sounds gross, I know) before eating the next meal.

Kapha: energy of construction


Elements water (aap) + earth (prithvi)
Qualities wet, cold, heavy, oily, static
Season spring
Nature moon
Main Location stomach + chest
Kapha is the dosha responsible for lubrication and structure of the body. Because of their sturdiness, Kapha people tend to be the healthiest of the three doshas, including mental health. Kapha is our lubrication in the brain, around the joints, reproductive fluids, and is responsible for building most of our tissues. Kapha keeps our bodies from turning into raisins.
Since Kapha people are made of water and earth they are very sturdy, grounding and they are difficult to move. They are comfortable and happy in one place and don’t like change. Kaphas are prone to “static & heavy” diseases like obesity, lethargy, dullness of mind, and diabetes.
Kapha personality. Everybody loves a Kapha! They are the peacemakers, the joyous hosts, the listeners, and the nurturers. They are almost always happy. They are extremely tolerant, patient and they are the first one to offer a helping hand. They won’t ever lead, but are very happy to follow. It is not easy to exhaust or upset a kapha, but once you’ve upset a them, they will hold a grudge. Their mind is steady, their attitude is positive and their bodies are very strong. Kaphas need encouragement to get them moving-because they don’t like to. Kaphas also have a tendency to attach to things because remember, they don’t like change. They like to grab a hold of something and stick there forever. Attachment could be anything, like emotions (those grudges I mentioned), the past, people, relationships, and collections of “stuff.” Kaphas looove stuff. Balanced kaphas are gentle, nurturing, and are genuinely happy about everything.
Kapha body. Kaphas have big and strong structure. They have strong joints, thick skin and strong bones. Their skin is usually pale and oily (clammy). Their hair is thick and oily. Kaphas have big beautiful eyes and teeth! Their eyelashes are long, full and curly. Kapha hands are meaty with thick knuckles, thick palms and strong nails. They tend to gain weight easily due to the earth element that is prominent.
Kaphas need to keep dry & light. Kaphas are cold, heavy and static so the best thing they can do is to get moving. Moving will make them feel so much lighter as well as bring up the heat inside the body. If you can get a Kapha to perspire (it takes a while cause they don’t sweat much), they will feel wonderful. Remember, Kapha is water and earth, so they need to soak up the excess water with airy and dry foods (veggies, fruits, salads, legumes). A light diet is best and Kaphas can (should) fast. Fasting doesn’t bother kapha because they hold food for a while. Kaphas would love a daily walk in the morning just before sunrise. And they would be extra happy in a sauna.

Kapha digestion. Kapha appetite and metabolism is slow. Due to their earthy and watery structure, they can easily skip meals (and should) and remain content and happy. Fasting is necessary for Kapha because it will lighten their load and it also increases their agni. Kaphas need to keep dry, warm and spicy! These qualities will help kapha feel lighter and they also strenghten their agni, which is what Kaphas need the most.

Pitta: energy of transformation


Elements fire (tejas) + water (aap)
Qualities sharp, hot, oily, smooth, mobile
Season late spring thru summer
Nature sun
Main Location small intestines
Pitta is responsible for digestion and transformation. Pitta is the heat that transforms food, thoughts and physical exertion into energy. Pitta is the medium and agni (digestive fire) is the content so the state of your pitta dosha determines whether you are digesting food properly. Ama is caused by undigested food and it is toxic. Therefore you have healthy pitta, you have healthy agni, and you won’t get ama.
Since pitta people are made of fire and water, they are more sturdy than vata types and it takes them a moderate amount of time to get out of balance and come back into balance. Pittas tend to be on the warm side and are prone to “heated” imbalances like fevers, hypertension, pink eye, and skin problems (acne, eczema, rash).
Pitta personality. Pittas have firey personalities. They love a good debate or sporting event where they can be competitive. They make great leaders and have very sharp and quick witted intellect. Pittas are quick problem solvers but have a tendency to be opinionated and controlling. They want everything done their way and they want explanations for everything. For example, pittas are the first people to start arguing with the umpire at a recreational softball game. They are the lawyer-types and will argue, using logic until people see things their way. Pittas are also extremely punctual-often times doing a ‘drive-by’ before the appointment so that they are sure to be on time. Pittas are also list-makers and extremely organized. Their socks are probably ironed, folded, in rows, according to color. Balanced pittas have razor sharp minds, glowing skin, a witty sense of humor and have the ability to attract others to follow their direction.
Pitta body. Pittas are medium in size often with an athletic build. Their skin has nice tone and glow and they may have freckles or some moles. The features on their face are sharp – sharp chin, nose, and piercing eyes. Eyes tend to be blue or light in color. The finger nails are pink and strong and their hair is straight and shiny. Pittas have a tendency to have a receding hairline and/or early balding (ask Monica for a nice tonic!). Pittas are sensitive to the sun and can easily burn their skin if not careful.
Pittas need cooling. Since pittas run hot they need to be kept cool, mentally and physically. Nadi shodhanam, sheetalishekali are the best pranayama for cooling. They also respond well to sweetness, so be kind to pittas and give them ice cream! They should be careful of excess salt, cheese, hot spices, sour fruits, yogurt and alcohol. To keep them cool and balanced pittas need sweet fruits, salads, legumes, breads, rice, milk, cucumber water.
Pitta digestion. Pittas have strong digestion and can eat almost anything. They are always hungry and if they don’t get fed (watch out!), they get irritable and angry. If pitta digestion is too sharp, it can result in an acidic stomach, heartburn, and diarrhea. Sweet foods are the best bet for pitta to cool and sweeten their hot and sharp fire.

Vata: energy of movement


Elements air (vayu) + ether (akash)
 dry, light, cold, mobile, rough
Season fall thru mid-winter
Nature wind
Main Location colon
Vata is referred to as the ‘king of the doshas’ because it is responsible for every movement in the body. Without vata, pitta and kapha cannot move. Eyes blinking, heart beating, talking with your hands, jumping, circulation, elimination, are all because of vata.
Since vata people are made of air and ether, they don’t have a lot holding them together. They will quickly go out of balance and quickly come back into balance – think of the wind. Vatas tend to get cold easily and are prone to dry skin due to the dry, cold and rough qualities.
Vata personality. You can pick out who has vata as their dominant dosha because they tend to talk a lot, move a lot, and worry a lot. They are creative worriers and usually have twelve million things going on at one time. Their mind is constantly going and they have a very hard time sitting still. This is due to the movement quality of Vata/wind – mind and body are zipping everywhere often times finding it hard to find peace and grounding within themselves. Because vatas have such creative energy, they make good teachers, artists, actors, and professional speakers. And believe you me, vatas like to talk! And wiggle. And complain. Because something usually hurts, including their brain. They also forget things, tend to be late and change their mind all the time. Balanced vatas are contagiously energetic and are the people you might say, “light up the room.”
Vata body. Vatas tend to be slender and can be tall or short. Bones are prominent, their hair is dry and usually curly. Face is oval in shape and eyes are small with teeny lashes. Fingers are long and nails are brittle with a tendency to split. Dry and thin skinned, vatas are easily browned by the sun.
Vatas need grounding. Vatas like to run around (mentally and physically), so one of the best things they can do for themselves is to slow down – or even stop. Meditation, yoga practice, and pranayama are all wonderful for bringing some grounding and nourishment to vata. Remember, vatas are air and ether so they need grounding to keep them from flying away. Nutritionally, vatas can do this by adding oils (ghee!), fully cooked vegetables, milk, and grains to their diet. Vatas need to keep warm and oiled. In the day-to-day, having a solid reliable schedule is best to ease and ground their fluttery mind. They love the sun and warm, humid weather. Steam rooms are great too.

Vata digestion. Vata appetite is erratic and vata digestion is usually sluggish. Yep, constipation. To help vata digestion, they need oleation (ghee!) and warm foods. Oils & sauces lubricate the body to counterbalance the rough & dry qualities in vata and warm foods will help balance the cold qualities.

The Ancient Ayurvedic Writings