Lower Back Discomfort, & Ayurvedic Remedies to Rectify Lower Back Pain

Lower Back Pain
The most troublesome area of the spine is the lumbar (lower back) region. Its problems are multifarious.
The paravertebral muscles stemming from the sacrum and iliac crest become stiff and painful. Vertebral discs become diffused, desiccated (degenerate), herniated or bulge.
The spaces within your spine become narrow (spinal stenosis), putting pressure on your spinal nerves. Nerve obstruction, sciatica where nerve pain radiates in the hips and maybe down the legs.
Torn ligaments in the spine, Spondylolisthesis, (bones slip our of place), vertebral fractures, spasms, osteoporosis… the list goes on.
Problems in the lower back can occur due to injury, improper exercise (you may not even know it), sedentary lifestyle, improper digestion, and the build-up of emotional, sexual, and menstrual tensions.
The muscles of the spine may even become unbalanced if the bodyweight is not equally divided between both legs, due to some imbalances of the lower limbs.
If one is overweight, this adds extra strain on the lumbar (lower back) region.
Back pain
Slipped disc and sciatica are caused when the cartilaginous ring of the shock-absorbing spinal discs ruptures and creates pressure on the nerves between the vertebrae. This can be excruciatingly painful.
If the discs degenerate, friction from one vertebrae moving against the other can cause further wear and degeneration of the vertebrae along with a great deal of pain.
Unfortunately, many have become accustomed to lower back discomfort, and this dull body becomes the norm and they don’t recognise this as an issue, nor act on it. They have temporarily lost the cellular memory of a free and healthy body that is their natural state.
Ayurveda luckily has a wide variety of interventions to help.
I always say to my clients who are considering or who have been recommended any type of surgery, if it’s not an emergency (most cases) try natural methods before lastly resorting to surgery.
Graphic of the Spine Anatomy Labeled
I have seen people turn around the need for spinal surgeries, particularly disc disectomies but also spinal decompression procedures, after implementing proper Ayurvedic treatment coupled with appropriate exercise, sometimes other therapies and definitely a passionate action-filled drive to heal themselves.
Most pain in the lower back can be treated without surgery. In fact, surgery often does not relieve the pain; research suggests that 20-40% of back surgeries are unsuccessful.(1) This lack of success is so common that there is a medical term for it: “Failed back surgery syndrome.”

A handful things you can do for Lumbar Freedom and prevent lower back complications:

1. Regular Yoga Asana (poses) - I highly recommend “Sūrya Namaskar“ or “Sun Salutations”. This sequence of 12 asanas works all the major muscle groups and organs, and regular proper practice of this sequence helps improve the condition of the spine and may very well ensure a lifetime free from back problems. If you already have severe back problems, ensure to work one-on-one with a qualified yoga teacher or therapist to adjust appropriately for you.
2. Move - Counter your sedentary lifestyle with getting up from your desk every 1 hour and perform the 1-minute spinal sequence by Simon Borg Olivier on Youtube. Diversify your work positions - check out @vitalveda Instagram reel on alternative work postures. O, and stop running on concrete - run barefoot on grass or sand instead.
3. Oil Massage - Daily abhyanga (full-body oil massage) will help prevent lower back problems, particularly degeneration but so many of them. If you already have deeper spine issues, use special medicated oils warmed before massaging them into the local areas of concern.
Yoga asana in the beach
Follow with heat. We also have some medicated herbal pastes (Upanaha Leham & Marma Lepam) to apply to the areas of pain and obstruction.
4. Ayurvedic Body Therapies (“Back Bastis”) - This where we really see clients establish lumbar freedom and shift imbalances. “Kati, Greeva & Pṛṣṭa Bastis” are traditional Ayurvedic body treatments where warm medicated, analgesic oil is “held” over the targeted vertebrae. The oil and the herbs penetrate deep into tissues of muscle, fat, ligaments, tendons, bone, bone marrow and nerves. Stiff and tight muscles may instantly become lubricated and softened, to help solve many of the problems mentioned.
    • For our clients outside of Sydney and around the world, we provide a special medicated oil for your local Ayurvedic therapist to use on you. This makes a big difference. Reach out to us if interested.
5. Internal Herbs - Various herbs in Ayurveda work on different problems and the root of them. They help relieve pain, inflammation, sprain & spams, nourish the disc, prevent degeneration, repair nerve damage and heal ligament injury.

Lumbar freedom (lumbaton plus)

Helps give freedom from lower back pain.
Helps restores the freedom of movement and liberate from low back pain.
This medicine is also administrated for joint pain, swelling, and sprain. It is formulated using quality natural herbs.
  • Helps relieve pain and inflammation.
  • Helps relieve sprain and muscular spasms.
  • Nourishes the disc and helps prevent degeneration.
  • Helps repair nerve damage.
  • Helps heal ligament injury.

Cervical freedom (cervilon)

Used for Fibromyalgia, Cervical Spondylosis, Upper Back Pain
Benefits:
  • Corrects the dehydration of the intervertebral disks
  • Arrests the degenerative changes of the cervical spine
  • Strengthen the para-vertebral muscles of the neck
  • Relieves myo-fascial spasm
  • Provides mild anti-inflammatory action
Cervical Freedom is effective in treating neck pain, Upper back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, Cervical spondylosis, stiffness, tingling & numbness.
This medicine is also administrated for joint pain, swelling, and sprain. It is formulated using quality natural herbs.
  • Helps relieve pain and inflammation.
  • Helps relieve sprain and muscular spasms.
  • Nourishes the disc and helps prevent degeneration.
  • Helps repair nerve damage.
  • Helps heal ligament injury.

Sciatino (sciatilon)

Used in the treatment of Lumbar Spondylosis, Sciatica, and many other issues in the lower back.

Swarna Dhatu

Restore, Regenerate & Strengthen Tissues
Stabilises the Physiology
Restores and regenerates nerves, bones and tissues, because it nourishes and strengthens all seven layers of the dhatus (tissues) in the body.
Helps to strengthen and stabilise the whole system.
Similar to Dhatu but more powerful.
Can be used by pregnant women to provide strength for woman and foetus.
Swarna Dhatu (Golden Nourisher) by Vital Veda

Special Matra Basti

Works on apāna vāta (pelvic floor and lower back), helps release nerve obstructions, removes blockages from the musculoskeletal structure, aids with joint health, and works on the cellular level all throughout the body.
Special Matra Basti Oil by Vital Veda

Shodana Vati

A powerful detoxification agent and whole-body cleansing rasayana.
  • Best free radical scavenger and anti-oxidant that helps eliminate ama (toxins).
  • Helps in gastrointestinal disorders, trouble passing bowel motions, dry stools, constipation, tissues, piles/haemorrhoids. 
  • Immune modulator.
  • Blood purifier.
  • Helps in allergies.
  • Helps in tooth and oral problems.
Shodana Vati
  • Helps in female problems and helps clear out toxins accumulated.
  • Helps balance cholesterol and metabolism.
  • Helps in chronic cough.
  • Very helpful in eye disorders.
  • Helpful in overcoming addictions.
  • Helps clear the skin by clearing out the toxins accumulated in the tissues. Helps in eczema, psoriasis, hives and other skin conditions.

MGP Oil

Oil for sore muscles, pain, joint issues, arthritis. Can be used for Ayurvedic treatments musculo-skeletal bastis.

6. Good Diet and Digestion - Particularly associated with the large intestine and excess “air” in the gut.
7. Rest During Menstrual Period - This has a big correlation with the lower back and pelvic floor. Check out our articleAyurvedic Guide to Healthy Menstruation.”.
And there are a lot more things for you to for your specific spine and physiology.
MGP Oil (Joints & Muscles) by Vital Veda
Not only when it gets bad, but to PREVENT common ailments. Reach out for some spinal liberation - we do online consultations and treatments in our Sydney clinic.

Base of Spine, Sacrum and Dūrgā (Divine Power)

According to the Vedas, the lower tip of the spinal cord and the sacrum is the source of energy, called “Shakti”.
This source of power is also known asDūrgāin the Vedas, the aspect of consciousness with immense feminine power to remove obstacles so evolution can transform and proceed.
The sacrum is the center of glandular activities and all of the body’s energy.
The sacral bone in the vertebral column is the base and support of the entire vertebral column and nervous system.
The sacrum has eight nerves that correspond to Dūrgā’s eight arms, according to Dr Tony Nader, author of Human Physiology, Expression of Veda and the Vedic Literature.
The filum terminale is also at the tip of the spine. It is a delicate strand of about 20cm of fibrous tissue, about 20 cm in length. It gives longitudinal support to the spinal cord and represents the infinite silence of the Veda in the first maṇdala of Ṛk Veda, according to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Goddess Dūrgā at the sacrum shields and protects the total infinite silence of her consort Shiva at the filum terminale.
How do you care for your lower back? Comment 👇

Iron Deficiency Anemia? – Boost Your Ferritin Levels Naturally

Red Blood Cells

- The Ayurvedic treatment for iron deficiency -

Iron is a mineral that serves several important biological functions, its main one being to carry oxygen throughout your body via your red blood cells (1). 
Iron deficiency has become the biggest mineral deficiency in the world. (3)
About 20% of women, 50% of pregnant women, and 3% of men do not have enough iron in their bodies. (2)
Adolescent girls are most vulnerable, due to increased iron demand, menstrual blood loss, infection, etc. (4)
Disorders of iron metabolism are among the most common diseases of humans and are related to a broad variety of diseases and clinical manifestations.
The solution for iron deficiency, in many cases, is to consume more foods high in iron. (2)
Iron is an essential nutrient, meaning you must get it from external sources like food and/or quality supplementation (read about effective and safe supplementation below). 
Red Blood Cells

What is Haemoglobin, Red Blood Cells and Ferritin?

Serum iron - the amount of iron in your blood.
Haemoglobin - The body transports oxygen to cells via a protein called hemoglobin, which is mostly iron.
Low iron levels mean you’re unable to deliver oxygen or energy to the cells of your body. This is called anaemia, which means “without oxygen.”
Woman yawning
Symptoms of anaemia include:
  • Tiredness / fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Low immunity
  • Headaches
  • Stomach pain
  • Pale skin (in Ayurveda, the name for anemia is “Pāṇḍu” पाण्डु  which means “pale white”)
  • Joint pain
  • Cognitive decline
  • Mood instability
  • Fast heart rate. (5, 6)
Often these symptoms occur even when iron levels are still in the “normal range” of a blood test.
This may indicate a more common issue, ferritin deficiency. 
Serum ferritin (stored iron) - a protein that stores iron and releases it into the bloodstream as the body requires. 
This is the main factor to consider when assessing your iron panel and blood analysis.
Low Ferritin Levels are associated with: (7)
Total iron-binding capacity (TIBC) - How much transferrin (a protein) is free to carry iron through your blood. If your TIBC level is high, it means more transferrin is free because you have low iron.

Blood Testing for Iron - What are the Ideal Ferritin Levels?

Average normal ferritin levels range from 12 to 300 nanograms per milliliter of blood (ng/mL) for males and 12 to 150 ng/mL for females. (8)
Remember “normal” in standard blood tests is based on the “norm” or average of an unhealthy population. 
Most experts agree ideal ferritin levels are somewhere between 30 and 60 ng/mL. (9)
Above 80-100ng/ml is dangerous (see high iron and hemochromatosis below), and below 20 is too low.

The Relationship Between Vitamin C and Iron

Vitamin C boosts the absorption of iron, so low Vitamin C levels may be a causative factor of low ferritin levels. (10,11,12)
Fruit, veggies and herbs to boost Vitamin C levels:
  • Davidson Plum (Native Australian plum)
  • Citrus fruits
  • Papaya
  • Broccoli
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Mango
Anand Sidhi Yogi, an Ayurvedic herb that helps treat iron deficiency

Ways to Naturally Boost Iron & Ferritin

The Ayurvedic treatment for iron deficiency consists of a holistic approach that will ultimately ensure that you not only incorporate proper sources of iron into your diet & lifestyle, but that your body also develops an enhanced capacity to assimilate iron from these sources.

Iron Increasing Foods

Heme iron sources (animal products, easier to absorb iron), from highest to lower concentration: (1)
  • Oysters, mussels
  • Blood Cockle (iron levels range from 227.85 - 247.98 ppm) - This is very high source of iron so caution even needs to be taken. (16)
  • Goat or chicken liver
  • Sardines
  • Turkey
  • Ham
  • Fish like wild salmon
Oysters served on a plate with lemon slides
Non-heme iron sources (not as easily absorbed, but is possible to obtain sufficient iron), from highest to lower concentration:(1,13)
  • Moringa leaves (can used dried leaves or powder if fresh is not available). Do not cook for maximum iron, just sprinkle on and mix into hot dish.
  • Spinach (lightly cooked, when raw, iron is blocked by oxalates). Organic and fresh as possible is best.
  • Amaranth leaves (lightly cooked)
  • Seeds - pumpkin, sesame, squash and sunflower seeds.
  • Cooked beans and lentils (e.g. kidney beans, white beans, chickpeas, black beans)
  • Firm tofu (beware that soy is a phytoestrogen and may cause hormonal imbalance)
  • Dried figs (careful those with high blood sugar)
  • Baked potato with skin (organic. Beware, increases vata).
  • Plantain (green banana) cooked
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Dried fruits (apricots, raisins, figs, dates, prunes etc)
  • Nuts (peanuts, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, roasted almonds, roasted cashews)
  • Warrigal greens (New Zealand spinach)
  • Broccoli
  • Pomegranate, papaya
  • Figs (fresh), kiwi fruit
Related article: Which leafy green vegetable has the highest amount of iron? (article coming soon!)

Soak Your Beans and Lentils

When you soak beans, a compound called phytic acid is released and removed from the bean or lentil.
If you do not soak the beans, this compound stays in the bean, and when ingested in the gastro-intestinal-tract, it latches onto iron and removes iron from the body.
Related article: Phytic Acid in Beans

Cooking in Iron Cookware

This is actually a significant way to increase iron in the body.
And of course, it is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy for low iron!
When you cook food in iron vessels, it reacts with the metal surface and the iron gets released in the food.
“Food prepared in iron pots increases the haemoglobin concentration of anaemic/iron deficient individuals.” (14)
Foods that have a higher moisture content absorb the most iron.
For example, one study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that the iron content in 100 grams of spaghetti sauce jumped from 0.6 mg to 5.7 mg after being cooked in a cast iron pot! (15)
That iron load is equivalent to about 200 grams of cooked spinach!
So instead of adding 200 grams of cooked spinach into your lunch-time pasta for 52% of your recommended daily iron, just cook the pasta in an iron pot! (or add the spinach to double the iron content).
Other factors that boost the iron content of foods include:(15)
  • Longer cooking time in the iron vessel
  • Frequent stirring
  • Cooking iron-rich foods in an iron vessel.
  • Use cast iron, rather than the glazed iron.
A cast Iron pan
Acidic foods may absorb more iron also, however sour or acidic foods may react with the iron to create an unpleasant metallic taste. 
Iron vessels are also commonly used in certain Ayurvedic herbal preparations.

Related article: Cooked vs. Raw Food Diet: Transcend Food Fads | Dylan Smith #025

Self-Pulse: Self-Referral Technique and Healing Mechanism to Optimise Iron in the Body

Self-pulse reading
Utilising the self-referral technique of Ayurvedic self-pulse reading can be an intimate and effective tool to gain insight into the levels and sufficiency of your own mineral levels and tissue health.
It is particularly useful to use while you experiment with various interventions like herbs, foods or cooking methods to monitor and gauge the changes in your pulse and hence, the changes in your mineral levels.
You may also share your self-research and insights with your Vaidya (Ayurvedic physician) to refine the process.
Self-pulse is a profound way to gain an insight into your mineral levels that has the potential to be far deeper and holistic than standard blood tests.

Ayurvedic Herbs that Boost Iron

When it comes to the Ayurvedic treatment for iron deficiency, herbal formulas become a key component in the holistic approach. 

Here's a list of our top Ayurvedic formulas to increase iron levels and enhance the body's natural capacity to absorb & assimilate iron from food:

Iron Mineral - The Ayurvedic Way: Loha Bhasma (Iron Ash)
Bhasma is the highly acclaimed Ayurvedic process of purifying a mineral or metal, then calcifying it into ash, then utilising it in a herbal formulation for internal use.
This is a highly advanced and extensive process which creates an end-product that is very different to the original elemental metal.
Bhasmas have the ability to penetrate certain parts of the body very well.
For example, iron molecules are too large to enter the cells, but the bhasma is reduced to nano-particle size, so it can enter the cellular level. The body actually absorbs it effectively.
The purification method (śodana saṃskāra) of minerals is given extreme importance in Ayurveda. It not only makes the mineral and metal more hygienic and safe, but enhances the potency.
One of my favourite classical Ayurvedic formulations that involve loha bhasma (iron ash) is Punarnavadi Mandura.
This herbal preparation promotes cellular re-incarnation, revitalises and restores iron and the lymph system (rasa and rakta dhatu).

Blood Toner (Ayurvedic Raktda herb formula)
Raktda is an ayurvedic supplement that helps maintain optimum hemoglobin levels naturally, boosts energy, and is effective for iron deficiency/anemia.
It enhances your bodies ability to absorb iron naturally from your diet.
This formula is safe (and effective) for pregnant woman.
A wonderful benefit of quality Ayurvedic herbs including iron bhasma is mostly they do not cause constipation or have side effects.
Rakda, an Ayurvedic herb that is very efficient to treat iron deficiency

Iron Supplementation (Nutraceuticals)

Iron supplementation is normally not the answer (long term) and will only lead to more oxidised iron in our system and further iron accumulation in the liver.
Just like iron rusts (oxidises), the same happens in your body with excess iron, which accelerates ageing and tissue degeneration.
Furthermore, iron nutraceutical supplements aren’t the easiest to digest. The liver may find it hard to metabolise and it may cause some digestive issues like constipation.
Iron Infusions:
While iron infusions can provide rapid relief when someone is very iron deficient, it usually doesn’t fix the underlying problem.
In my clinic, I see patients who have been recommended or received iron infusions when their blood markers have not been so dangerously low. 
A potential side effect of iron infusions is the strain and pressure on the kidneys. The kidneys will have to process and eliminate iron which has not undergone proper purification. At least when supplementing with tablets, the un-purified iron gets metabolised by the liver. In the case of intravenous supplementation, it is bypassing the liver and digestive process.
We need to look at why the body is not utilising iron properly
Bio-available copper and other minerals play a role. As do hormones, digestion, and absorption capacity. 
I find assessing the overall metabolism, hormones and energy function of the individual with Ayurveda more effective than a reductionist approach of getting caught up with the numbers and levels of specific minerals.
Iron supplementation can be helpful to acutely address iron depletion or deficiency, but please consider using herbal support, diet and optimising digestion to increase iron levels first.

Jyotish (Vedic Astrology)

Iron (loha) is associated with Saturn (Shani).
Wearing an iron ring on your middle finger (check with your local Jyotishi if this is right for you), using iron vessels to cook with, donating iron or using iron in other ways may enhance and pacify Saturn energy.

To learn more about the effects that Jyotish can have on your health check out "Jyotish: Celestial Organisation of Life with Vedic Astrology | Blaine Watson #041"

Sings of the Zodiac

Caution: HIGH Iron Levels

Excess iron in most cases is even more harmful than low iron and more common!
Hemochromatosis - the term for when your body absorbs too much iron from the foods you eat, can be toxic, cause free oxidative damage and even if overdosed can even be life-threatening.
Always get a blood test before starting any iron supplementation.
Hemochromatosis Treatment:
Luckily, an effective treatment for hemochromatosis is very simple and free - donate blood according to your levels. This may have to be done regularly throughout the year.
One Ayurvedic treatment which also helps plus helps work at the root level is rakta mokṣana (“blood liberation”) by blood-letting treatments like leech therapy. 
Turmeric in high amounts is also an effective chelator of iron, which can be used when iron is elevated. (9) Note, those with low iron should not reduce turmeric, it will actually help build blood when you need it, or clean the blood when you need that instead.
How do you balance your iron levels? Comment below!

Depression, Anxiety & Ayurvedic Mind-Harmonisation

Dylan Smith looking at the sea
Drugs for depression, anxiety, and attention problems are given out in huge numbers almost like a new panacea.
Apparently we can change our brain chemistry and balance our emotional state with drugs alone.
We aren’t being taught to first consider natural alternatives or lifestyle changes
In this approach, we are also losing sovereign composure over of our own brain chemistry.
We are now becoming dependent upon and perhaps even addicted to drugs for our sense of well-being and to maintain “balance” in our physiology throughout the circumstances of life.
This doesn’t only refer to anti-depressants, chemical sedatives, benzodiazepine (anti-anxiety), Methylphenidate (ADHD), or amphetamines alone, but we can develop an unsustainable relationship with nutraceuticals, supplements, narcotics, psychedelics, and our bi-monthly “plant-medicine ceremony.”
All the above certainly have their time and place in mental disease or imbalance, and no doubt can be extremely useful. I have seen them to be lifesaving for patients in my clinic. 
Pills
But I believe overall we need to create a greater perception for a holistic way of balancing the mind and nervous system and treating mental illness. 
Luckily, nature did not leave us without natural medicines for the mind. There are special herbs that support improvement of the mind, mental state, senses, brain and nervous system.
There are a group of herbs in Ayurveda called “Medhya Rasāyanas” that have been taken for millennia to “rejuvenate wisdom”, expand states of consciousness, promote deeper meditations, rejuvenate the mind and improve brain function.
And now, they have a new application in our modern age - to mitigate mind disturbance from screens, social media, work, relationships, collective stress, mental toxins, media etc.
One of my favorite Medhya Rasāyanas for this application is the powerful herbal formula “Bliss” by One Eleven Health.
But it is not just about supporting the body’s nervous system and mind with herbal rejuvenators, we also have to consider other such factors for balancing mental health for a radiant mind and body:
Bliss by One Eleven Health
  1. A suitable meditation practice for that individual
  2. Light cycles - what light are you exposed to in the day and after sunset?
  3. Prana (Life-force) content of food, water, and air
  4. Sun-exposure
  5. Time in nature
  6. Counseling
  7. Relationships and community
  8. Time in energetic vortexes of healing (vāstu / Vedic architecture)
  9. Electromagnetic fields
  10. Sleep
  11. Activity, work, service, role in society and community (dharma)
  12. Working with a quality health practitioner
  13. Body-work therapies and treatments
Please reach out for any support in balancing your mind and emotional state. You have the capacity to and birth-right for emotional and mental stability, we have to enliven the memory of that.
How do you promote the health of your mind and nervous system? Please comment below to inspire others.

Health Benefit of Having a Pet Dog (and kissing it) – Microbial Diversity

House dog licking a baby's face
Not only are your* reproductive organs becoming sterile, but your whole physiology as well.
You* are becoming a hyper-sensitive organism that lacks basic resiliency to the ever-changing and developing dynamics of life, which include bacteria, viruses, pathogens, and fungi.
You eat, work, sleep, defecate, and perhaps even exercise in these sterile cubicles, while artificial blue light (screens & lights) aggravates your hormones and mental state.
The only things your bare-feet touch are socks + rubber shoes, chemical floor cleaners and carpets, toxic tap water on your shower tiles cleaned with chlorine or bleach, and your dioxin rich 100% (non-organic) cotton bed sheets.

*By You/Your I exaggeratedly refer to the average of today’s collective. While this is an extreme end of the spectrum, sadly it is the truth for too many people, particularly those living in concrete jungle over-sanitised cities. 

Our microbiome, which makes up most of the human physiology and performs all the vital biological functions, is frailer than ever before.
There are a bunch of ways to enhance microbial diversity and performance, but one way is getting a pet dog!
  • A dog goes outside, gets dirty, and licks everyone.
  • They dump the dirt everywhere in the house.
  • The kids lick the dog.
  • The kid slobbers all over the parents and siblings.
This is a terrific way to get the microbes from outside into you.
Studies overseen by Dr. Brett Finlay were able to identify which families had a dog in the house by detecting (dog) microbes in the children’s feces.
While the contrary may occur (pets bring in infections), we need to drop the “good/bad” microbe/bacteria mentality and enhance our microbial diversity and resilience.
Golden Retriever Dog

How do you enhance the health of your microbiome? Comment 👇


Building Your Child’s Wellbeing

By Amelia Donnelly
Illustration of Durga Devi
Protecting the emotional safety and wellbeing of children is a fundamental concern of every parent. 
Currently, we are experiencing challenges in different ways: lockdowns, school closure, remote learning, rising mental health issues and uncertainty to name the most obvious. Navigating situations like extended lockdown can trigger a range of responses and reactions in children and prompt parents to ask questions about how to support the mental health of their children. Now, more than ever, do we need to engage in conversations that uphold and highlight solutions and strategies so we can transition as a community with greater ease, flow and confidence in the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of fostering resilient kids.  

How can parents support their children during these difficult transitions?

It is vital that parents and educators have language and tools to help not only support their own wellbeing, but nurture their child’s, too. With Google and the internet providing a plethora of information and resources to go to, parents can sometimes feel overwhelmed about where to turn and what information or guidance to follow. 
As a Vedic meditator, primary school teacher of twelve years and an author, I approach wellbeing inspired by Ayurvedic wisdom and knowledge: that what you focus your attention on, grows. 
To delve deeper into this knowledge, if ‘like increases like’, then how can we incorporate this wisdom into how we foster resilience and wellbeing in children? 
The solution? It’s quite simple: let’s bring our attention and awareness back to the present moment and anchor our daily routines in habits that nurture and nourish mind, body and soul. 
How does this connect to the ‘why?’ 
Taking the principle of ‘like increases like’, parents can begin daily conversations around: what does love look like? Feel like? Sound like? What does kindness look like? Feel like and sound like? What does respect look like? Feel like and sound like? Children are naturally intuitive and make connections between everything they see, say and do. 
Establishing values that are consistent with this Ayurvedic principle, will ensure that parents are living and role modelling values and virtues aligned to ‘increasing’ more of the same.
Parents with children outdoors
If we want to create more love, let’s focus our attention, language, emotions and thoughts on enlivening love within ourselves, our relationships and then with children.
Conscious parenting by no means ignores or devalues challenge or adversity; rather it accepts the present moment in all its fullness, and seeks to provide expression and meaning to the depth and beauty of human emotion and experience. This approach defines the ‘why’ – the pinnacle of establishing resilience is the ability to accept and acknowledge the present moment; to surrender to the Now and to gravitate towards fostering deeper connection to truth, being and purpose. 
Resilience is an ‘inside’ job. It’s how we feel. It’s how we think. It’s how we behave. It’s the choices we repeatedly make; it’s the way we communicate to each other, and it’s the values and beliefs we foster with children. 
If love is the most robust emotion, then enlivening this with children is paramount to maintaining safe, positive relationships. Children naturally absorb their parents’ approach to life; as such, they are constantly mirroring with the behavior of their parents and learning first hand by what is said and done. When stress and change take place, parents need to come back to ‘what you focus your attention on, grows.’

Establishing and maintaining daily routines for children include 3 M’s: movement, mood and meditation. 

Movement is vital for encouraging children to get outside, learn new skills, to engage in sports and activities. Fresh air, connecting to nature, exploring new places are all incredible ways to increase wellbeing.
Maintaining mood involves daily routines that work in accordance with nature’s rhythms: getting to sleep at the same time and up every morning, eating healthy, nourishing meals and being creative. Learning to express emotions in a meaningful way; singing, dancing, learning an instrument, cooking, writing, reading all help enliven and move emotions through the body.
Meditation is the corner stone of how I maintain my wellbeing and I have also shared mindfulness practices with my students. Children as young as 5, are able to learn how to breathe deep into their belly and learn how to notice the change in breathing as a response to changes in physical reactions and perceived stress. From breath awareness, mantras, chanting, belly breathing and visualisations, there are so many wonderful techniques and teachers out there who help empower children to learn how to meditate. 
Mom and daughter meditating together

The Golden Thread

In 2018, I wrote a picture story book called, The Golden Thread. Inspired by Vedic wisdom that ‘we are all one’, the golden thread is a thread of pure love that connects anyone to someone they miss or are separated from. The book is based on my own personal experience of losing my brother to a hit and run incident when I was 17.
If children are at home separated from their school, teacher and friends, they can use the golden thread as a framework to help visualise them and imagine thread of love connecting them together.
Again, this approach includes ‘like increases like’ and ‘what you focus your attention on, grows’. Ayurvedic knowledge is activated through action, intent and being; now is the time for parents to remember their nature and inspire a cascade of love in their daily routine, interaction and living.
The Golden Thread book by Amelia Donnelly

www.ameliadonnelly.com

Author of: The Golden Thread available at: www.dymocks.com.au

Content creator of: Zen Zoo Mindfulness Range available Australia wide at www.kmart.com.au


Introducing Solid Foods to Babies (The Ayurvedic Way)

Baby looking at food
When you introduce solid foods to your baby in a methodical and harmonious way, this will help promote digestive health and prevent food intolerances for that whole child’s future.

Ayurvedic medicine holds profound wisdom for post-natal rejuvenation for a healthy baby and mother.

The baby’s overall health is mainly treated and attended to via the mother’s health: post-natal rejuvenating herbs, nutrition, massages and other Ayurvedic post-natal interventions. 

For the baby, there are other interventions like natural Ayurvedic immunisation herbs, baby abhyanga massage, and other interventions mentioned in our Ayurvedic Post Natal Care Plan.

How long to Breastfeed for

Ayurveda recommends breastfeeding for up to anywhere between 1-3 years.
2-3 years is ideal, but consideration is given to the mother's energy levels.
Note, you should not breastfeed while pregnant, and if pregnancy manifests while breastfeeding, Ayurveda advises to stop breastfeeding so as to not take away nutrition supplied to the fetus.

When to introduce solid foods? (Auspicious Ritual: Anna Prāśana)

The very first time you feed your baby solid food is a very special and auspicious activity that is considered a rite of passage according to Ayurveda.
Introducing solid foods, known as “Anna Prāśana” अन्न प्राशन is one of the 16 Purificatory Rites of Passage (“Ṣoḍaśa Saṃskāra” षोडश संस्कार)
The very first time you should feed your baby IS at an auspicious time: when the baby is 6 months and 6 days or 5 months and 5 days; either suffice when it comes to auspiciousness for this rite of passage.
You can also find a specific muhurta (auspicious time period) for your baby, by contacting a Jyotish Vedic Astrologer.
sitting baby looking and smiling at food

What food do I first feed my baby?

The very first food to feed your baby at an auspicious time is cooked rice with a tiny bit of raw sugar (optional), milk and ghee.

First Food Recipe: Smooth Rice Porridge

  1. Add ½ tsp of ghee in a pot and let it melt and warm.
  2. Add 1tsp of rice or rice ground* (better because more fibrous) and fry/toast in the ghee.
  3. Add 2.5 cups of water and cook well for another 5 minutes or so.
  4. When the rice is cooked well, add ¼ - ½ cup of non-homogenised full-cream cow’s milk and bring to a “milk boil” (not a strong boil like water, milder so that the milk is boiled).
  5. Add a small pinch of quality raw sugar or organic jaggery (ensure it has no salt) and mix in (optional).
  6. When it starts becoming thick it is ready to eat.
sitting baby looking and smiling at food
Which rice to use?
Use rice that is old (at least 6-12 months) and that grows as local to you as possible. White or red rice is ideal for this initial feeding.
*First soak the rice for 30 mins and then lightly dry roast the rice on a fry pain and then grind into a coarse powder to make a coarse rice flour.
Administering Instructions for Rice Porridge
  1. Dip a gold ring or silver spoon (these metals boost immunity) in the porridge and give to baby to suck with your right hand.
  2. Even that one little feed is enough.
  3. This can be a regular food for the baby.
  4. Parents or family can have the rest of the rice porridge.

General Notes About Solid Food Introduction for Babies

No/Very Little Salt and Sugar
Preventing habitation to these tastes will prevent blood sugar, diabetes and blood pressure issues. All vegetables and fruits have all the tastes, so no need for high concentrations of salt and sugar. A very little amount of salt and sometimes sugar in cooking is fine.
Ghee is So Important!
Ghee promotes the intelligence and intellect of the baby. It is also very important for the post-natal rejuvenation of mum. 
One Food at a Time: Take it Slow
Start one food at a time give that for 10-15 days before any other food is introduced. Do not combine many new foods together.
First, Soft Foods – Start with soft foods like porridges, banana and soft fruits, carrots, pumpkin and soft vegetables.

What If I Have to Feed My Baby Before 5 Months and 5 Days or have Insufficient Breast Milk?

If you are not getting enough breast milk, refer to our Ayurvedic Post Natal Care Plan and take the recommended herbs and protocols.
If still milk supply is inadequate, you can gradually introduce warm (but fully boiled) cows and goats milk in an appropriate way as well as formula if necessary to supplement breast milk.

First Two Weeks of Solid Food

  1. Grains and Legumes – Lightly dry fry on a pan and then grind into a powder to be ready to cook. Grinding the rice/legume rather than buying powder maintains the fiber.
  2. Little fruit – One fruit at a time. Soft fruits like banana, cooked apple or cooked pear. Whatever is in season, local and organic.
  3. Spices – Add a very little amount of cumin, ajwain and very very little salt.
  4. Ghee – A lot of ghee is the most important.

Baby Food Mix - Best Stable Food Recipe

Give at 6 - 12 months of age or longer. Provides strong bone and bodily tissue formation.
It's fine to make the initial dry mixture in batches that last for 10-15 days.
Ingredients:
Measure 1/2 cup each of:
  1. Split yellow mung dahl
  2. Toor dahl
  3. Urad dahl
  4. Ragi (red finger millet) (optional, more cooling).
  5. Rice
Preparation method:
  1. Wash these legumes/grains and soak each one separately in water for one hour
  2. Drain well and wash again
  3. Dry roast them in a pan all together till lightly browned, along with a teaspoon of cumin and ajwain seeds.
  4. Grind the mix in a blender into fine granules (may need to use a sieve to remove and re-grind larger pieces).
  5. This mixture can be stored and then cooked as needed for each meal.
Cooking method:
    1. Boil a small amount of water in a pan and add the dahl/grain mixture gradually, stirring well to remove any lumps.
    2. Cook on low heat for a minimum of 10 minutes or more, stirring frequently till the mixture is smooth and well-cooked (add more hot water as needed).
    3. Stir in a little ghee at the end, before serving.

7 Months – Solid Food Introduction

  • Now is the time to start introducing vegetables.
  • Whatever you give the baby at 7 months, he will not dislike now or in the future. This is why you must give them all the healthy vegetables (e.g. greens, bitter gourd/melon, cabbage, etc.) and healthy fruits
  • Continue rice and dahls made into a porridge.
  • Vegetables: zucchini, squash, carrot, snake gourd, bottle gourd, bitter melon.
  • See below for more recipes to introduce at 7 months.

8 Months – Solid Food Introduction

  • You can introduce quinoa and more vegetables.
  • Mash carrots, beetroot and spinach are good.
Vegetables and Fruit slices

Animal Milk - Food Introduction

Cow's Milk (Introduce after 1 year old):
Prepare milk according to this recipe Hot Milk Elixir.
Animal Milks for Baby:
Goat's milk - goat eats every leaf - all medicinal values, boil and spices, once every 2 months (also this often for adults).
Donkey's milk once in a lifetime before 1 year to remove Kapha doshas. Boil milk with an equal quantity of water like all kinds of milk.

If Your Baby is Experiencing a Cold, Flu or Any Immune & Respiratory Symptoms:

  1. Boil ½ cup of non-homogesnised full-cream cow's milk + ½ cup of water
  2. Add a tiny pinch of turmeric powder
  3. Chop 4-5 garlic cloves, keep aside for 15 minutes (allow rasayana and beneficial components to release) and tie into bolous.
  4. Dip the raw garlic poultice into the milk to infuse some garlic in the milk (improves immunity a lot) - only add if baby likes the taste as nausea might come. Baby will probably get used to it.
  5. Crush some ajwain seeds in a poultice and also dip for immunity.
  6. Add one baby-sized pinch of swasakasantak yog, mix well and drink.

Herbs for Baby

These are ancient natural ayurvedic herbal remedies for babies:
1. Pusya drops - To be given every month of pusyami naksatra (constellation).
  • 2 drops once/day. Can give to the baby for 3 days from the day of birth.
  • Then give once a month on Pusya naksatra for 3 days.
  • Dosage for one year and above: 10 drops on pusyami naksatra once a day and then continue for 7 days each month.
2. Swasakasantak yog – helps prevent disease, strengthen immunity and prevent allergies.
  • Can give from 6 months. 1 (baby-sized) pinch in the mouth.
3. Samadhi - if the baby can’t sleep well, night terrors or anxious.
  • From 6 months. A tiny pinch in the baby/child's mouth.
4. Dhatu - to further develop tissues. A tiny pinch in the baby/child's mouth or in warm milk.

More Baby Food Recipes

Semolina Porridge (start around 7 months)

Ingredients:
  1. 1tsp coarse semolina
  2. 1/4 tsp ghee
  3. 2 glasses of hot water
  4. 1/8 tsp cardamom powder
  5. Pinch of quality jaggery
Method:
  1. Heat the ghee in the bottom of the pan
  2. Add the semolina and stir while on medium heat
  3. Roast for a few minutes until it becomes light brown in color then add the 2 glasses of hot water and the cardamom and continue cooking.
  4. When it starts becoming thicker, take it from the heat and it's ready to eat.
*Using more water is very important while cooking porridge for babies.

Stewed Apples (around 7 months or before)

Ingredients
  • 1 finely chopped apple
  • 1 glass of water (enough water to soak the apple)
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon cardamon
  • 1/4tsp of ghee
Method:
  1. Boil the water and add the chopped apple on a medium heat until the apple becomes soft.
  2. Add cinnamon and ghee and continue cooking for another 2 minutes.
  3. Mash the apple until it makes a smooth past and serve.

Baby Kitchari

Ingredients:
  1. 2 Tbsp of Rice (washed then soaked for 2 hours)
  2. 1.5 Tbsp of split yellow mung dhal (soaked for 2 hours)
  3. 1/8-1/2 tsp ghee
  4. 1/8 tsp turmeric
  5. 1/8 tsp cumin powder
  6. 2 cups water
Method:
  1. Heat the ghee on a medium heat and add the pre-soaked lentils and rice and infuse the ghee in the rice and lentils for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add turmeric and cumin powder and then add the water.
  3. Cook until the lentils and rice become tender.

Lentil Soup

Ingredients
  1. 2 Tbsp split yellow mung lentils (washed then soaked for 2 hours)
  2. 1/4 Tbsp Ghee
  3. 1/8 tsp turmeric
  4. 2 glasses of water
Method:
  1. Heat the ghee over a medium heat and cook (stir) the lentils in ghee for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add 2 glasses of water and start boiling.
  3. Add the turmeric.
  4. When the lentils become tender, strain them. Keep the water & this is ready for the baby to have.

Balancing Baby Pancakes

Ingredients:
  1. 2 parts semolina
  2. 1/2 part wheat flour
  3. 1 part rice flour
  4. 1/4 tsp cumin powder
  5. 1/4 tsp coriander powder
  6. 1/4 tsp fennel powder
  7. 2 times of total quantity of water
  8. Little salt according to taste
Method:
  1. Mix all the ingredients together with water and stir until it becomes a good past with no lumps.
  2. Leave to sit for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Heat the pan and add 1tsp of ghee
  4. Spread the pancake mixture in a thin layer on the pan.
  5. On a medium heat, let it cook for a few minutes on one side and turn over adding a little more ghee.
  6. It is ready when the other side becomes light brown.
  7. Serve to the child. This is a delicious, nourishing and easily digestible meal.

Constipation Remedies for Babies

It is very important for the baby to have bowel motions every day. This allows the entire system to build for later on.
If constipation is there, please look at the foods the baby is eating and assess the overall health of mum.
Below are some remedies for constipation if it comes in children:
  • Tamarind stick - Inside a bunch of raw tamarind you will find a soft, flexible stick the size of a finger or bigger. With a tiny bit of tamarind on the end (like a match stick), stick it up the anus (very shortly, less than half an in deep). The baby will immediately have bowel motion.
  • Slowly massage clockwise circulate coconut oil in the navel.
  • Fibrous food for mother and child.
  • If still not working – 1 very small pinch of shodana vati powder in hot water before dinner with or without sweet lime.

Remedies for Babies with Digestive Problems

  • “Ajwain breath” - When crying because of stomach/colic pain, the mother must chew ajwain seeds and blow “ajwain air” into the child's mouth. Gives immediate relief to the stomach.
  • Janamghati (herb) - till 1 year - digestive problems.
  • Bonnissan (herb) - after 1 year, you can give forever. For digestion and to increase appetite.
RELATED ARTICLE: AYURVEDIC POST NATAL CARE PLAN

Menstrual Wisdom & Womb Care with Ayurveda | Nidhi Pandya #063

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Ancient women honoured the menstrual blood as the essential life generating material willed by Mother Moon to cleanse and purify their inherited Shakti energy so that new and fragrant life could blossom.

Ancient wisdom for a healthy menstrual cycle and caring for the wombs of all women on earth: the seat of creative intelligence in all areas of life.

About Our Guest: Nidhi Pandya

Nidhi Pandya is a New York based third generation Ayurvedic practitioner working globally. She was indoctrinated into Ayurveda at birth, as her grandfather was an Ayurvedic healer. 
In 2002, she founded a value development school called Vyaktitiva to counsel young adolescents and help them find purpose in whatever they do.
Now, she is a practitioner, blogger, educator and a faculty at the Shakti School of Ayurveda.
Wellness to Nidhi means aligning your body and mind to only consume what nourishes you on both levels. This can only happen when you truly understand your body and are able to tune in to your mind.

Nidhi Pandya
After an in depth study of the scriptures and contemplation, Nidhi came to the conclusion that the ecosystem of the human body is warm and moist. Any deviation from this climate leads to imbalance. She therefore teaches people how to understand this climate; what may take it off balance, and how to bring it back to homeostasis.

In this Episode we Discuss:

Nidhi's Daily Routine (Dinacharya)

How Nidhi's relationship with Ayurveda originated

Being raised within a family of Ayurveic Healers in Mumbai, India.
Moving to New York and realizing the practice of Ayurveda is her true calling.
Eventually practicing and teaching all over the world. 

An introduction into the wonderful power behind menstruation

One of Dylan’s first lessons in his Ayurvedic journey was that one of the greatest blessings a woman has is her menstruation - the cleansing and purification of her Shakti (divine feminine energy).

The wisdom of the menstrual cycle

A woman has the capacity to be a fertile ground - taking the potential that lies within the seed and with her Shakti creating something much bigger and powerful. 
The many variables that play a role in the preservation of this fertile ground that is the female reproductive system. 
The female cycles affecting the doshas and the entirety of the female physiology. 
Why the menstrual cycle is fundamental for the preservation of female fertility. 
How a woman deals with her menstrual cycle determining how she will reach menopause later in life
The menstrual cycle and the preservation of fertility not only being linked to the capacity to birth children but also to the essential qualities of Shakti - birthing creativity and individual expression in the world. 
Lowe half of a female body with the vagina covered by a plant

Menstrual phases according to Ayurveda

1. When a woman has had her period then the body enters the Kapha phase - it starts to build the structure needed to initiate conception (thickening of the lining and building of the fluids) in case a sperm cell happens to be invited into the womb any time soon. 
2. When ovulating the woman undergoes the Pitta phase - the phase of transformation that allows for the sperm cell to fuse with the female egg and transform that into a Zygote.
  • During this phase temperatures increase inside the womb to the optimum levels for that transformation to take place. 
  • The enkindling of that reproductive agni (fire) also leads to an increased libido. 
Diagram of the dosas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha)
3. If fertilization doesn’t occur during the previous phase then the woman enters the Vata phase - the decline. Here the body realizes the structures it has created were not used and therefore destroys them in order to be able to create the optimum conditions again in the future. 
      • The wind/air element in ayurveda is that which destroys - so it’s like a little tornado charged with heat hits these structures and then the lining is destroyed and everything is pushed downwards through a period. 

Ayurvedic Protocols for menstruation

It is of upmost importance during this phase to ground the vata:
  • Very important to avoid exercising, since that wind element will be scattered throughout the body by excessive movement and the cleansing will not properly take place. 
  • Allow yourself to rest; not excessive napping, but slow down.
      • Try not to use your mind as much - avoid studying, overthinking and stress since that will move the Prana (life force) upward instead of downward.  
  • Eat cooling and grounding foods like rice-based dishes, milk (can be warm due to its nourishing properties) and coconut-based dishes. 
  • Avoid hot foods like eggplant, tomatoes, and excessively spicy foods. Also excessively cold foods and raw foods since all of these will only increase that which you are already feeling.
Melting Strawberry ice cream
  • Mainly eat easy-to-digest foods since that will allow for the blood to concentrate in the pelvic floor and to enliven the cleansing process instead of being massively sent upwards to the digestive system in order to take care of a heavy meal. 
  • Generally, any foods that balance out the dry and hot qualities of this period will promote wellbeing.  
  • Sleeping the closer you possibly can to the earth - this is a grounding technique. 
      • Traditionally a grass bed has been used so that a degree of comfort is there, while still being as close to the ground as possible. 
By following these easy protocols many women that had lost their fertility (in terms of having regular periods) have successfully regained it. 
Copulation or engaging in any sexual activity is contraindicated during this period.
Women in their menstrual period should try and avoid cooking for two main reasons:
  • Rest should be primordial during this time. 
  • There is a special warmth and sliminess women experience during their period that needs to be preserved. When physically interacting with food, these properties are going to embed themselves into the food and affect its properties & qualities. 
      • Test this yourself: buy organic rice, handle it with your bare hands and leave it to rest. In a short period of time you’ll see some of the rice grains will hatch. 
When on their menstrual periods, women should avoid visiting the temple and the chanting of mantras
  • All mantras carry a specific energy - some are more heating and some are more cooling. This energy will surely affect the temperature within your body and that will alter the inner body chemistry and possibly trigger certain undesired consequences.
  • Spiritual practices imply the upward movement of the subtle Prana & the subtle vayu (wind), which allows for the elevation of the soul within the individual. 
    • But during this period of menstruation, you are not supposed to be working on the upward movement of the subtle prana but instead the gross body is working on the downward movement of Prana/Vayu

Avoid bathing, Abhyanga and any other activities that stimulate several parts of your body
  • They are naturally vata aggravating → they’ll send that wind to all directions within the body.  

Menstrual Pain

If you are properly taking care of your body health having menstrual pain shouldn’t be normal; there shouldn’t be any. Only heightened sensitivity should be present.
  • The pain is an indication of imbalance.
Three main causes of cramps:
  • A too sluggish environment that is not allowing for the vayu (wind) to move freely
  • Too much movement that leads to excess wind aggravation that in turn causes vayu to go to undesired parts of your body (a part of your back, cervix, pelvis, etc.) and generate cramping.  
  • Excess heat and inflammation due to an over-enlivened agni usually caused by an improper diet
What a woman does between two cycles is also of relevance. 
  • The menstrual cycle is there to cleanse, so if there’s a lot to cleanse then the period will take rougher qualities; but if women take proper care of themselves then there will be less to cleanse and the period will be painless (that’s how it naturally should be). 

Menarche

It is the first occurrence of menstruation
The first 13 years of life are of assimilation - both physically and mentally.
  • The exponential expansion, growth and maturity of a woman’s physiology. 
  • The various types of learning and creation of memories and an individual psyche.
When menarche arrives, that’s when heat increases in the body and the transformation phase begins. 
  • The fire sets in and all of that which was assembled in the previous 13 years is taken into action, into creation - that is the rise and amplification of Shakti (divine feminine energy).
Ayurvedic tradition:
During the first 12 days the girl goes through a very introspective process, either with an elder-woman or alone. On the 13th day there is a celebration honouring the blossoming of this bud. 
A turmeric paste is made and spread all over the body to maintain the menstrual heat and to further purify.  
How parents should address their children’s needs and educate them during menarche:
It is important that the communication is good with their children and that they clearly educate them as to what is helpful and what is not; what enlivens their health and what will act as a detriment to it. 
Making these things clear early in life is better than having to fight these battles later, when non-healthy habits have already been assimilated as “normal” and the consequences start to appear (missed periods, acne, PCOS [PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome], etc.).

Menopause

Menopause is supposed to be asymptomatic
The degree to which you have honoured your periods will determine how rough or mild your menopause will be.

Ovulation Pain

Pain during the ovulation is very often related to low digestive fire. When that digestive agni is debilitated, ama (toxic undigested waste) is created and it blocks the tiny channels within the reproductive system. That blockages will not allow for the prana vayu to flow freely. 
To dissolve this ama you can do several things: a good body cleanse, panchakarma (Ayurvedic cleanse composed of five separate procedures), eating light foods, Laṅghana (Ayurvedic deprivation therapy) and fasting.

Piercings according to Hindu Tradition

Piercings are usually put in stimulating points called marmas. These points are related to different parts/systems within the body. 
Ear piercings are traditionally done when the child is 6 to 8 months old and they support brain health.
The nose piercing (particularly on the left nostril) has more to do with menstrual and reproductive health. For women suffering from pms and other menstrual issues, this is the piercing you should consider. 
  • There is a particular point within the left nostril that is the most auspicious and effective for this cause. It is believed that if done right and in precisely the right place, the piercing will not get infected.    

Other tips and insights that can help with female reproductive health

Warm Castor Oil applied on the lower abdomen and pelvic region will allow for Prana Vayu to be invited downwards with ease.  
  • It is also recommended for women right after they give birth. 
Organic Tampons dipped in Oil - preferably Dhanvantaram Tailam - are very good especially for older women that are already experiencing dryness in their vaginas. 
  • You can even do it once a month and wear it for 2-3 hours and that will help strengthen the whole vaginal environment
  • Our Yoni Ghee or Special Phala Ghee are also very good and can be used in the same manner and for the same purpose. 
  • The more frequently you apply them the better. 
Yoni Ghee
Avoid harsh diets and raw foods while on your period since they enhance the menstrual cramps and related pains.  
Wearing white and smelling jasmine aroma are recommended ayurvedic practices for women on their periods.       

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Please seek advice from a qualified practitioner before starting any new health practice.


Natural Remedies for Anxiety and Depression

Hand reaching for the sky

ANTIDEPRESSANTS may stop us from feeling unhappy, anxious or depressed but that doesn’t mean we then feel happy, radiant and fulfilled.

We just stop feeling. 

We stop feeling into our natural enthusiasm to have shared experiences with other people and other things (Love).
We stop feeling our desire to fulfil the need of the time and the needs of others (Dharma).
We stop feeling gratitude and even awareness for the beauty that permeates every single corner of life (Appreciation).
It’s no secret that anti-depressants inhibit our sex drive.
Through the alteration in cortisol and other hormones, antidepressants not only inhibit our ability to experience love, happiness and fulfilment but also weaken our immunity, making us more vulnerable to nasty diseases.
Natural Remedies for Anxiety and Depression
On the bright side, antidepressants can be life-saving medications in emergency situations.
They have an ability to provide a window of time and space for a person to put their life back together. Note this is short term, and too many people “stretch” this window of opportunity and become dependent and habituated to them
In recent years, the most prevalent mental illnesses in Australia have become Depression and Anxiety, and during the COVID-19 pandemic cases have risen exponentially worldwide.  Here at Vital Veda we have received many enquiries regarding natural remedies for anxiety and depression hence this article.
At Vital Veda, we never advise anyone to go off any medications if you are already taking any. 
We aim to make you feel better mentally, then only under the guidance of your doctor may you gradually wean off the medications if that is necessary for you.

Natural ways to Treat Anxiety and Depression

According to Ayurveda, there are a variety of natural remedies for anxiety and depression. 

At Vital Veda, we explore a variety of all-natural solutions to assist people in healing anxiety and depression without the need for antidepressants.

Here are just a few things to look at and consider.

Woman Meditating on a dock

Meditate

Meditation will quickly allow for your mind to slow down, de-excite itself and achieve a state of inner calm.
Although there are several meditation techniques, Vedic Meditation is the one we recommend the most, due to its high effectiveness and how easy it is to actually learn it.
You can find a Vedic Meditation teacher close to you by clicking HERE and scrolling down to “Vedic Meditation”.

Self-Abhyanga Massage

A daily Abhyanga practice restores the balance of all biological agents, pacifies the nervous system and enhances well-being & longevity.
Your skin is your largest organ, plus it has more nerve endings than any other part of your body. So when you anoint oil on those nerve endings and massage them, it helps ground and strengthen the nervous system.

Find a full Abhyanga Massage guide HERE & Abhyanga Massage Oils HERE

Sunrise in Nepal

Wake up with the sun and go to sleep before 10pm

Waking up early in the day increases Sattva. This is the factor for purity, lightness of being and radiance in one's life. When Sattva dominates, tamas (inertia) which is the quality which leads to depression, diminishes.
When light shines, the darkness diminishes. Feed the light, and the darkness will starve itself out. 

Optimise your sleep

Many of the chemical imbalances that afflict the brain (which naturally often lead to depression, anxiety and stress) are caused by a lack of optimum sleep. Optimizing your sleep will allow for your brain to be rested and to remain strong. 

The lack of optimum sleep has many other consequences that go beyond these three conditions, but if you are trying to address these three, sleep can not be ignored.

Fresh food cooked with love.

Fresh food is full of Prana (life-force). This helps provide positivity in life (Sattva). Left over food, frozen food or microwaved food is tamas (inertia). It is dull, has a low value of Prana and therefore makes you feel low in life.

Herbs

Samadhi

Samadhi opens the physical channels and enlivens wholeness (unity) in the mind and body. It is particularly useful for those afflicted with mental stress, tension and anxiety.
It is also helpful for restoring calm during any stressful situation, including performance anxiety. It also balances Prana Vata (movement in head, central nervous system and life-force regulator).

Manasolassa Vati

It enhances mind-body coordination and connection. Helps pacify overactive and thinking minds, therefore assisting in cases where lack of sleep and insomnia are present. Helps with depression and is useful to transition off pharmaceutical antidepressants.

Drakshadi Kashayam

This nourishing tonic strengthens and stabilises the mind and body. Helps in nervous system disorders, depression, tiredness, dizziness, anxiety and schizophrenia. It is also helpful in the treatment of alcoholism and hangovers. 

Schedule a consultation

Dylan Smith (the head Ayurvedic practitioner here at Vital Veda) can help rectify the root cause of your ailment and liberate the mind and emotions so you can experience a radiant mind and participate in the richness of life.
Click HERE to schedule an online or in-person consultation. 
Have you had experiences with antidepressants and/or natural remedies for anxiety and depression? Comment below 👇

Air Pods & Bluetooth Wearables – The New Death Sticks

Move over cigarettes, AirPods and other Bluetooth wearables are the new death sticks. Man, if they're inserting into your brain, they may even be worse than fags.

The health ramifications of non-native electro-magnetic fields (nnEMF), including radio-frequencies (RF), are highly underestimated and snubbed although they are currently classified in Group 2B possible carcinogen to humans, with research beginning to shift them towards a 2A or Group 1 carcinogen.

Ignoring this prevails due to the fact you can’t see or feel these frequencies (unless you are hyper-sensitive). But the reality is cold in the science, nnEMFs are absolutely biologically active.

Many of you know this (although may remain ignorant to it), but let’s talk bluetooth specifically.

The problem with bluetooth is it emits very specific pulse radio frequency signals.

These have extremely short wavelengths (short = penetrating and damaging) which transmits with an extremely rapid rise and fall in times and distance (pulsation).

It turns out, the rate of change of these fields during the pulsation is what causes the most biological damage. Rather than the complete total energy that they deliver.

Pulsed radio frequency signals have been very well-studied (see the work of Dr. Robert O. Becker).

One of the implications of keeping nnEMF near your body is that it makes your blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeable. This allows toxins free entrance into the brain.
Furthermore, we know how important the gut-brain axis is.
When your BBB is open, anything that happens in your gut is going to directly alter your water chemistry and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). 

So you think it's just in your ear?

Understand that all the blood vessels in your body and in your brain then become electric wires that can send all this flickering information to places all over your body. Furthermore, your blood plasma is 93% water and has salt in it. This biological fluid of yours is a great conductor for all of these devices.

Add some metal implants from surgery or tattoos (heavy metal leeching) in the mix and your conducting these treacherous devices at greater rates.

Now let’s look at bluetooth headpieces specifically.

AirPods have been found to produce an average nnEMF significantly higher than other bluetooth/wired headphones and are constantly transmitting at these levels, even when they are not in use.

When you are wearing two AirPods this makes matters a whole lot worse. They cross communicate - the signal goes from your phone to one of the AirPods, then it sends the signal to the other one, straight through your 🧠 , brain.

So when good intentioned folk like yourself are getting these really weird diseases and doctors don’t know why it happens, it’s because they fundamentally don't understand how pulsed microwaves interact.

When you do go to the doctor and the doctor can't figure out why all of a sudden under your Apple Watch, Fitbit, AirPods or bluetooth headphones you have got this allergic reaction, underachieve thyroid, leaky gut, cancer or an auto-immune condition, it’s because docs aren’t taught this stuff in medical school. This is the domain of physics. That's why it's important to cross-pollinate physics and biology.

This is why 250+ scientists made an international appeal to the UN and WHO warning about the dangers of AirPods and other wireless devices.

I know, Bluetooth and mobile technology can make us more productive. There are positives to this technology and I enjoy them. The problem is we're not being told how it's destroying the cell architecture and how it can affect our medical problems.

45mw is like an Antenna Inserted Into Your Brain

IEEE (the world’s largest technical professional organisation) standards recommend the safe peak exposure rate of a human should be less than 0.08 W/kg.(1)

This is based on the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR). SAR is the power of absorbed RF wave per unit mass of tissue. Ie. how much electric fields polarise the molecules in human body when human tissue near a nnEMF device absorbs the power of the RF signal.

This level of 45mW sure ain’t helpful for your temporal lobe. It’s like having antennas in your brain.

Solution

Ditch the Suicidal Pods (slow suicide), don’t even gift them to someone, and get yourself Air Tubes.

Air Tubes are copper infused wired headphones with hollow air tubes that turn electric signal into EMF-free acoustic signal with high stereo sound quality.

Other Ways to Protect from nnEMF

Related Listening

More Studies on the Health Impacts of nnEMF:

References:

  1. P. Bernardi et al., "Specific Absorption Rate and Temperature Increases," IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory and Techniques, 48, 7, (2000).
  2. 2. Post Inspired by Dr. Jack Kruse and seeing too many people walking around with death stick in their ears.
  3. Cell Phone Radiation: Harmful or Not?, Di Lu, June 9, 2012, Stanford University.


Prana Enhancing & Anti-Viral Necklace (Garland)

Ayurveda recommends necklaces and garlands (Malas) impregnated with certain herbs for various conditions such as:

  • Respiratory issues such a cough, asthma, hiccup (prana vaha srota imbalances).
  • Emit anti-viral and anti-bacterial effect.
  • Protect from negative forces (bhutas, raksasas, dosha drusti).

This is primarily used for children. It is advised for new borns and their mother (even if health) for protection at this vulnerable time.

Garland Recipe

Crush the following:

  • Garlic - 10 cloves
  • Ajwain seeds - 2 tsp
  • Camphor - 5 tablets (such as those used in puja). - replace camphor or add more camphor every 2 days.
  • 1 drop of Prandhara (optional for greater effect).

Directions:

  • Crush all together
  • Make into 5 knots and keep in cloth.
  • Wear over the t-shirt, only on front side, near the nose.
  • Don't let it touch the skin as this can aggravate some children.

Wear as much as you want throughout the day.

Recipe by Vaidya Padma Nayani Raju