Eat With Your Hands: Maximise Digestion With A Full Sensory Experience | Dylan Smith #088

Vital Veda Podcast Banner - Eating With Your Hands
Eating with your hands is the innate way of eating for all human beings on earth.
This dining practice not only allows one to be more present in the act of eating, but significantly enhances the sensorial experience one gets from food. 
Ayurveda also recommends eating with your hands as a simple practice that boosts digestion. 
In this podcast episode we transcend social conventions and eating etiquette, conquer prejudices and break down the immense benefits of eating with your hands.

In this Episode we Discuss:

The Importance of Proper Digestion

In Ayurveda digestion is one of the most important factors to be considered when diagnosing the state of a person's health.
Digestion leads to two possible byproducts:
  • Good digestion often leads to the generation of Rasa (also known as The Essence of Life), which is a thin fluid that nourishes and sustains all bodily functions. 
  • Poor digestion often leads to the generation of Āma (toxic undigested material), which lodges in weak points in the body, clogs channels, and perpetuates various states of disease. 
    • A great percentage of most ailments can be traced back to a low digestive fire (Agni), poor digestion, and the production of Āma. 

The 5 Senses In The Act of Eating

To make the most out of the eating experience it is important that we include our 5 senses in the act of eating.
This further informs the digestive system that it is time to eat and digest, triggering the production of digestive enzymes & hydrochloric acid in the gut.

The Ritual of Eating: How To Make The Most Out Of It

First of all, it is important to be present in the moment, addressing one thing at a time. Avoid unnecessary distractions (phone in hand, T.V, computer, etc.) - Eating with your hands means you can’t check any of these. With food all over your fingers, you are stuck doing one thing at a time, and this is the time to eat.
  • When the mind is being stimulated by these types of devices the sympathetic nervous system (in charge of fight-or-flight response) becomes activated.
  • Proper digestion requires the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system (in charge of the rest-and-digest response). 
Eating with such awareness is essential for optimum digestion and proper delivery of nutrients. People underestimate how much this can make a difference and a lot of the time - How you eat is more important then what you eat.
Using your hands to eat allows you to feel the temperature of the food and avoid burns (if you can't touch/grab it comfortably, don't eat it).
Some other recommendations for the Ritual of Eating:
Don’t eat when you are angry, depressed, emotionally unstable or immediately after physical exertion. This is the number one "rule" for eating in Ayurveda.
Sitting cross-legged on the floor encourages the right pressure to assist with digestion. The pancreas is squeezed to release digestive enzymes well and you don't overeat because you realise when you are full.
Once your food is served, do a prayer before you start eating. Give thanks to nature for providing you with the food and can thank whichever deity you worship.
CHEW eat morsel at least 32 times, food should be like liquid.
ENJOY in nourishment. Even if you are eating ice cream, enjoy it! (guilt free)

The Mudra of Eating with Your Hands

When you eat with your hands, you bring all of your fingers together to hold a piece of food - this is in itself a mudra called Samana mudra.
  • This mudra enhances digestion and assimilation of food, by means of the samana prana.
The five fingers also represent the 5 elements or mahā bhūtas (fire, water, earth, ether & air).
The thumb represents fire 🔥, the pinky represents water💧, the ring finger represents earth 🪨, the middle finger represents space ✨ and the index represents air 💨.
  • When using all 5 fingers, you are sending a message to your body saying: “may whatever it is that I’m eating bring balance to the 5 mahā bhūtas (and the three doṣas) that reside within me”.

Support The Show

Please leave me a comment below (I love to read every single one).


Spread the word! Tell your family, friends, neighbors and all your social mates.

Share this episode on Facebook / Share this episode on Twitter


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

Top Five Iron Rich Leafy Greens

Dylan Smith in the bush
Leafy green vegetables are a great way to get iron into your body via diet.
Especially for:
  • Vegetarians
  • Vegans
  • Those who want to eat less meat
  • Those who don’t want to overload their liver with nutraceutical supplements such as iron supplements.
Out of the non-heme iron sources, leafy green vegetables are high sources of iron, but you got to ensure your body is absorbing iron well.
In addition to eating iron-rich leafy green vegetables, there are other important interventions you need to understand to enhance iron absorption and Boost Your Ferritin Levels Naturally.
Note: Amounts of Iron Will Vary
The amounts of iron mentioned below per leafy green vegetable is tested using standard vegetables. I don’t know how fresh these vegetables were, nor the growing conditions like the quality and organic state of the soil and farming practices.
Furthermore, these were tested by a couple of standard labs. There will be other researchers testing and getting different numbers.
I would assume if you were to pick the same vegetables fresh the day of or even the day before you eat them, whether you pick them from your garden, your local organic grocery store or from the wild, grown organically, the iron content would be significantly higher than the numbers mentioned below.
Leafy green crops in a field

My Top Five Iron Rich Leafy Green Vegetables

Here are my top five iron rich leafy green vegetables. I chose them because they are tasty, readily available, high in iron, and can be foraged in the wild which will significantly boost the nutrient profile.

#5 Warrigal Greens, AKA New Zealand Spinach (Tetragonia tetragonioides) (cooked)

I love this vegetable because it grows abundantly and has a very tasty slimy texture.
Warrigal Greens is high in antioxidants as well as other minerals, nutrients, and vitamins. It is a common coastal and estuarine species of the Pacific region. It is native to New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Chile, and Argentina.
Warrigal Greens in flower
I love this vegetable because it grows abundantly and has a very tasty slimy texture.
Warrigal Greens is high in antioxidants as well as other minerals, nutrients, and vitamins. It is a common coastal and estuarine species of the Pacific region. It is native to New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Chile, and Argentina.
Caution: Oxalates
Like regular conventional spinach, Warrigal Greens has oxalates, which are compounds that put pressure on the kidney and actually block iron absorption.
Ensure to blanch the leave in boiling water for 20 seconds of so, then rinse with cold water or (even better) put straight into a bowl of cold water, then wash to remove the oxalates.
“Studies have shown that soluble oxalate levels in T. tetragonioides can range from 1.5 per cent in leaves of older plants to 12 per cent in leaves of young plants.”
Amount of iron in warrigal greens:
0.8mg / 100gms  (4% of recommended daily value/DV) (less when raw) (3)
Cooking tip: Don’t cook warrigal greens a lot. Just blanching to remove oxalates is enough.

#4 Amaranth Leaves (cooked)

A lot of us have heard about amaranth as an (ancient) grain, but the leaves of the plant are not only edible but very nutritious.
There are about 70 species of amaranth worldwide and they are all edible (4). The highly nutritious value of the plant was recognised by Aztecs and used in ceremonies. Today it is growing as a common weed amongst urban pathways, sidewalks, gardens and rural agricultural fields.
The most common weedy Amaranths in South East Australia are:
  1. Green Amaranth ( Amaranthus viridis)
  2. White amaranth ( Amaranthus allbus)
  3. The Natives: Amaranthus Mitchellii, Amaranthus Powellii and Amaranthus interruptus
  4. Red Amaranth (Amaranthus tricolor).
Caution: Oxalates in Red Amaranth
Red amaranth and perhaps other amaranths have some level of oxalates.
Blanch the leaves in boiling water for 15 seconds of so, then rinse with cold water to remove the oxalates.
Amount of iron in common green amaranth:
Wild Amaranth
2.26mg / 100gm. (13% DV).(3)
  • Raw Amaranth is also very high in Vitamin K: 1140 mcg / 100gm (950% DV).(3)
Cooking tip: Don’t cook amaranth a lot. I like to wash, chop, then add to the finished cooked hot dish and mix in. This way the hot dish gently cooks the leaves. If using red amaranth be sure to blanch. 

#3 Dandelion Leaves Greens (Cooked)

Dandelion has got to be one of my favourite edible and medicinal weeds, as it is for other foragers.
It is commonly one of the first plants one learns about when learning to forage wild foods.
Dandelion Leaves
The whole plant can be used - root (yum starchy bitterness), flower, and leaves. The bitter taste of this vegetable supports liver health, pitta doṣa and it is impressively high in:
  • Vitamin K: 812 mcg / 100gm (677% DV)
  • Vitamin A: 514 mcg / 100gm (57% DV)
  • Vitamin C: 25.5 mg / 100gm (28% DV).(3)
Amount of iron in dandelion leaves (cooked):
3.23mg / 100gm (18% DV).(3)
Cooking tip: Don’t cook dandelion leaves a lot. Wash, chop, then add to the finished cooked hot dish and mix in. The roots and thick part of the stem you can cook for longer. Root taste like a bitter potato (and feels so much more nutritious)!

#2 English Spinach

Dandelion has got to be one of my favourite edible and medicinal weeds, as it is for other foragers.
It is commonly one of the first plants one learns about when learning to forage wild foods.
It may be a little surprising that this common conventional leafy green vegetable is higher in iron than the other leafy greens mentioned that are much less domesticated and hybridised.
Well, you just can’t beat the iron content of your common English spinach…
Actually you can, see #1.
Remember Iron Variation According to Growing Conditions:
But do keep in mind the consideration of domesticated, non-organic vegetables vs. wild-organic vegetables.
For example, wild foraged amaranth leaves harvested and eaten in the same day could contain significantly more iron than conventional english spinach harvested one week and kept in the fridge before eating it.
English Spinach
Caution: Oxalates
Ensure to blanch spinach in boiling water for 20 seconds of so, then rinse with cold water or (even better) put straight into a bowl of cold water,  wash to remove the oxalates.
Spinach has a higher level of oxalic compared to most vegetables with an approximate concentration of 1000mg/100g [5][7] .This is significantly higher than other vegetable such as kale (20mg/100g) [6], carrot (49mg/100g) [5], beetroot (67mg/100g)[5] and soybean (497mg/100g) [5].
Amount of iron in english spinach:
  • cooked: 3.57mg / 100 gms (26%RDA)
  • raw: 2.71mg / 100 gms (19%RDA)
  • canned, regular pack, drained solids: 2.3mg / 100 gms (16%RDA)
  • frozen, chopped or leaf, cooked, boiled, drained: 1.96mg / 100 gms (14%RDA)
Cooking tip: Don’t cook spinach a lot. Just blanching to remove oxalates is enough.

#1 Moringa (Drumstick) Leaves

Moringa is one of the most nutritious plants on earth.
Known as “śigru” and “śobhāñjana” in Ayurveda, this tree is native to the Indian subcontinent and has a variety of benefits.
Moringa is an Ayurvedic superfood and important therapeutic herb.
The whole part of the tree is used, but the leaves (and less commonly available outside of Asia and the Middle East) the fruit pods, are the parts high in iron.
Moringa is said to have 25x more iron than spinach! (8,9)
Comparing Iron Content of Moringa Leaves and Beef
  • 100 grams of beef has only 2 mg of iron
  • while 100 grams of moringa leaves contain 7mg of iron
  • and 100 grams moringa leaf powder has 28 mg of iron. (10)
Amount of iron in moringa leaves:
  1. raw: 4-7mg / 100gm (22-38% DV)
  2. cooked: 2.3mg / 100gm. (13% DV)
Moringa is also high in Vitamin C, which supports the absorption of iron.
Cooking Tip + How to Eat Moringa Leaves: Moringa is better raw. So just garnish washed fresh leaves over your hot dish of food.
Moringa leaves
Fresh leaves are hard to come across if you live outside of sub-tropical warm climates. So you can purchase and use dried leaves or leaf powder and gently mix it into the food after it is served on your plate.
If using dried leaves with stems still intact, it is better to mix the dried moringa into the hot pot of food after turning the flame off. Then serve onto plates.

To learn more about Moringa and it’s impressive feats and uses, check out the full article: "Moringa: One of the Most Nutritious Plants on Earth - Ayurvedic Superfood and Potent Herb"


  3. Nutritics Research Edition v4.097 
  4. "Diego Bonetto - Get Ready for Amaranth: The Summer Green" 
  5. Muhammad Shoaib Akhtar , Beenish Israr , Nighat Bhatty & Amanat Ali (2011) Effect of Cooking on Soluble and Insoluble Oxalate Contents in Selected Pakistani Vegetables and Beans, International Journal of Food Properties, 14:1, 241-249 
  6. Shimada, Y (2014). The Effect of Soaking on the Soluble Oxalic Acid Content of Spinach. Chugokugakuen J. Vol 13, pp27-31 
  7. Chai,W. Liebman, M. (2005), Effect of different cooking methods on vegetable oxalate content. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 53, 3027–3030. 
  8. J.L. Rockwood, B.G. Anderson, D.A. Casamatta
    Potential uses of Moringa oleifera and an examination of antibiotic efficacy conferred by M. oleifera seed and leaf extracts using crude extraction techniques available to underserved indigenous populations
    Int. J. Phytothearpy Res., 3 (2013), pp. 61-71
  9. L.J. Fuglie The Moringa Tree: A local solution to malnutrition Church World Service in Senegal (2005)
  10. The Moringa Tree, A local solution to malnutrition? Lowell J. Fuglie B.P. 5338 Dakar, Senegal
  11. European Commission (2015). Nutrition Claims. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 28 January 16] /  Nutrient data was provided by USDA SR-21. 

Moringa: One of the Most Nutritious Plants on Earth – Ayurvedic Superfood and Potent Herb

Moringa leaves on a plate
We get excited when an Ayurvedic herb becomes popular in the western marketplace.
And Moringa is probably the hottest Ayurvedic herb or “superfood” in the health scene right now.
Moringa is even spreading beyond natural health modalities into western medicine due to the incredibly high nutrient value of its small green leaves.
But Ayurveda utilises the whole tree for medicinal and culinary use. Known as “śigru” and “śobhāñjana” in Ayurveda, this tree native to the Indian subcontinent has a variety of benefits.

Health Benefits of Moringa

Nutrient Powerhouse

These tiny leaves have enormous benefits.
A variety of essential phytochemicals present in its leaves, pods and seeds enable Moringa to be an effective remedy for malnutrition.
In fact, Moringa is known as “The Miracle Tree” for many reasons, one being it is easily cultivable to provide for malnourished children from third world countries and children deprived of breast milk.(1,2)
Moringa is said to have:
  • 7x more vitamin C than oranges
  • 10x more vitamin A than carrots
  • 17x more calcium than milk
  • 9x more protein than yoghurt
  • 15x more potassium of bananas
  • 25x more iron than spinach (3, 4)
  • high amounts of zinc (5)
(An important mineral for tissue growth & repair)
  • While just under 1 cup (236ml / 8 ounces) of milk or yoghurt can contain 300–400 mg of calcium
  • 236ml / 8 ounces of moringa leaves can provide 1000 mg
  • 236ml / 8 ounces of moringa leaf powder can provide more than 4000 mg of calcium. (19) 
Moringa is considered to have the highest protein ratio of any plant so far studied on earth!
Moringa leaves are about 40% protein, having all of the 9 essential amino acids present in various amounts, which makes moringa a complete protein (rare for a plant to have this feat). (19)
(Essential for oxygenating our body):
  • 100 grams of beef has only 2 mg of iron
  • while 100 grams of moringa leaves contain 7mg of iron
  • 100 grams of moringa leaf powder has 28 mg of iron. (19)
It has been reported that moringa contains more iron than spinach. (19)
Furthermore, iron needs Vitamin C to be effectively absorbed in the body (the inability to absorb iron is contributing to the iron deficiency epidemic), and since Moringa has high Vitamin C, it is an extra bonus to enhance iron levels!
Moringa leaf
Vitamin C:
While 100 grams of orange juice has only 40mg of Vitamin C, 100 grams of moringa leaves contain more than 200mg of Vitamin C.(19)
A good dietary intake of zinc is essential for the proper growth of sperm cells and is also necessary for the synthesis of DNA and RNA. M. oleifera leaves show around 25.5–31.03 mg of zinc/kg, which is the daily requirement of zinc in the diet. (5)
Moringa also has health-promoting amounts of:
  • Copper - 100 grams of leaves has about 1mg copper. This is the daily allowance for an adult. (19)
  • Manganese - 100 grams of leaves has 5mg manganese, (daily intake is 2-5mg for adults), so has a high amount of manganese. (19)
  • Good fats - Moringa seeds contain 30-42% oil. Even the leaves and seeds contain 1-2% fat. (19) Oleifera is the Latin term for “oil containing.”
  • much more!

Premium Provision for Pregnancy

Moringa is like a boon for pregnant women.
About 6 spoonfuls of moringa leaf powder can meet a pregnant woman's daily iron and calcium requirements(6) (remember that pregnant women require a lot more nutrients than non-pregnant women).
Moringa leaves are best added to the diet of the pregnant woman, such as adding to a soup with other spices.
*CAUTION: The Moringa root & bark prevent pregnancy and have a rough impact on the female reproductive system. But the leaves and flowers are nectar for pregnancy! So potent yet so gentle!
We also greatly advise ingesting the whole herb instead of extracts. 
Moringa Flowers

Breast Milk Booster (Galactagogue)

Moringa is rich in phytosterols (phyto-steroids, structural component of biological membranes of plants) like stigmasterol (anti-inflammatory), sitosterol (metabolic enhancer) and kampesterol which are precursors for hormones required for lactation and reproductive growth.
These compounds increase estrogen production, which in turn stimulates the proliferation of the mammary gland ducts to produce milk. (6)
Note: if you are taking moringa in an intelligent herbal formula, the formula may not increase estrogen levels, but in fact, adapt to if your body needs more or less estrogen.
Moringa was utilised by the ancient Indians, Greeks, Romans and Egyptians. It was known as a “motherly herb” (“Dūrga”), because like a mother, it has the ability to support and generate homeostasis.


Śigru (sanskrit name for Moringa) has low calorific, anti-oxidant rich leaves that with its pungent and bitter taste (katu and tikta rasa), heating potency (usna vīrya) and light, sharp and drying qualities (laghu, tiksna and rukṣa guna), it reduces kapha, tumours(18) and excess fat tissue(12) which can contribute to cancer.
There is strong evidence to suggest that moringa helps fight cancer directly.
A 2015 Study showed how Moringa leaves, bark and seeds increased the number of apoptotic cancer cells (i.e. cancer cells which have regained their ability to self-destruct like healthy cells) in both breast and colon cancer.(17)
Quercetin, found in moringa, is a powerful antioxidant that has been specifically shown to protect against cancer.
A 2009 study published in the Journal of Cell Biochemistry found that even low doses of quercetin had the ability to inhibit cancer cell progression.(13)
Moringa leaf is such a powerful antioxidant, that the leaf extract can be used to preserve meat!(15)
Moringa helps prevent the risk of reproductive cancer for menopausal women.
One 2014 investigation published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology found that when menopausal women took 1.5 teaspoons of moringa leaf powder every day for three months, antioxidant levels increased significantly.(14)
Menopausal women are at higher risk of reproductive cancer(15) partly due to a significant drop in estrogen and antioxidant levels.
Moringa contains anti-cancerous agents like glucosinolates (sulfur- and nitrogen-containing compound), isothiocyanates (anti-inflammatory agent that also works to reverse carcinogenic epigenetic landscapes), glycoside (glucose entity) compounds and glycerol-1-9-octadecanoate.(7, 9)
The paste of moringa leaves influences the carcinogen detoxifying glutathione-s-transferase (GST). It increased GST activity by more than 78% in the stomach, liver and oesophagus and show protective activity against carcinogenesis.(8)
Another study in Israel showed Moringa in conjunction with radiation therapy significantly decreased pancreatic cancer cell survival, metastasis and tumour growth.(18)


The anti-inflammatory effects (sophahara) of Moringa, AKA “The Wonder Tree”, helps in many diseases including cancer and acute inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and bronchitis. (10)
The heating energy and light, dry and sharp qualities of śigru helps reduce ulcers (vraṇahara), abscess, and swelling (12) and reduces oedema (śvayathy).
The aqueous and ethanol extract of the stem bark showed significant reduction in oedema. (11)


The drumstick vegetable is known as vajikarana (aphrodisiac) in Ayurveda. The seeds also increase the reproductive tissue (śukra vardhaka). Sukrala karma means “builds reproductive fluids.(12)

Other Benefits and Actions (Karmas) of Śigru:

  • Eye health - this is one of the main benefits of moringa (Chakshushya) (12)
  • Enhances energy levels.
  • Boosts immunity.
  • Antipyretic (prevent or reduce fever)
  • Anti-epileptic (to treat epilepsy)
Moringa Drumstick Fruit
  • Anti-spasmodic
  • Anti-hypertensive
  • Anti-diabetic and reduces fat tissue (Medohara) (12)
  • Krimihara - reduces parasite (12)
  • Diuretic
  • Cholesterol balancing
  • Hepatoprotective - prevents damage to the liver
  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-fungal.
  • Works at the level of the bone marrow, which makes it an invaluable tool in both the prevention and treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancer (20)
  • Great for the health of the urinary tract. Intake of the paste of the root of śobhāñjana along with cold water is useful in curing aśmarī (calculus) and śarkarā (gravels) in the urinary tract. (22)
  • Rasāyana - Has the ability to spread the essence of the biology (“rasa”) which enhances longevity.
  • Kapha-vatahara - reduces Kapha and Vata doṣa (12)
  • Dīpana - enkindles the digestive fire (12)
  • Rochana - increases appetite (12)
  • Hṛdaya - promote heart health (12)
  • Viṣahara - reduces poison and toxicity in the body. (12)

Water Purification

Powdered seeds of moringa flocculates contaminants and purifies water.

How to Consume Moringa?


You can eat the fresh leaves if you have access to the tree. Just wash them well and add to your food.
Unlike most leafy greens, don’t cook moringa leaves as you will lose a lot of the nutrients. I like to mix them in with an already cooked hot dish to warm them up.
Dried leaves can also be found. Same way to add to food as fresh leaves.
Leaf powder is the third stage in the leaf preservation process. This is easily available. Same way to add to food as fresh leaves, just use less as it is concentrated.
Leaves are great from pregnancy, nutrient body as well many of the other benefits stated above.
Leaves are also great to feed cows.
Adding a lot leaves to soup along with turmeric is a wonderful tasty medicinal dish.
Moringa powder

Pod / Drumstick Vegetable

The pod / fruit is actually the main medicinal part used. This is what is very effective for eye health and eye disorders plus most of the benefits of moringa.
This is the common vegetable that is used in Indian dishes like Sambar. Just suck out the flesh from the fibrous skin. 
Moringa Pods inside the fruit


The seeds are great aphrodisiacs. They help purify water and the fluids in the human body & are known as sveta marica or madhuśigru in Ayurveda.

Herbal Formulations with Moringa:

It is always beneficial to combine therapeutic herbs into an intelligent formula for a balanced and effective therapeutic dose.
Anand Sid Yog (“Nutritious Immune Boosting Bliss”)
This rasāyana (longevity elixir) is high in Vitamin C with Amālakī as the main ingredient. The high Vitamin C boosts the iron offerings from Moringa. Plus there are so many other benefits of this superior formula.
Varanadi Kashayam
A classical Ayurvedic decoction that is great to reduce fat tissue, kapha, growths like cysts, fibroids and tumours and help with low thyroid (hypothyroidism).
Murivenna Oil
A classical Ayurvedic medicated oil formula that is for the musculoskeletal structure like fractures and sprains. Also helpful in healing wounds. (21)

Ayurvedic Properties / Energetics of Śigru

Rasa (taste): Katu (Pungent), Tikta (Bitter)
Virya (potency): Uṣṇa (Hot)
Vipaka (post-digestive effect): Katu (Pungent)
Guna (qualities): Laghu (Light), Rūkṣa (Dry) Tīkṣṇa (Sharp)

Names for Moringa Oleifera

Sanskrit Synonyms for Śigru:
  • śobhāñjana = “Glorious for the eyes“. Śobha =“glory”. Añjana = “collyrium.”
  • tīkṣṇagañdha = “sharp smell“
  • akṣīva - akṣī = “eye.”
  • mocaka - mocana = “releases.” Which releases. Moringa releases one from disease and low energy.
Botanical name: Moringa Oleifera
  • English names:
    • Drumstick tree (the long pods used a vegetable)
    • Horse radish tree (the roots may be used to make a spice resembling horseradish)
    • Wonder tree
    • Divine tree
    • Miracle tree
  • Hindi: Sahjan
  • Malayalam: Muringa
  • Tamil: Murunga
According to Bhavamira there are 3 varieties of śigru:
  1. Black
  2. White (Sveta)
  3. Red (Rakta) flowers. (12)
Parts used: Root bark, stem bark, leaf, fruit, flower and seed.
Note, the Moringaceae family contains 14 species of Moringa trees.
Dylan Smith holding a Moringa branch


  1. T. Mutiara Titi, E.S.W. Estiasih - Effect lactagogue moringa leaves (Moringa oleifera Lam) powder in rats - J. Basic Appl. Sci. Res., 3 (2013), pp. 430-4343
  2. J.N. Kasolo, G.S. Bimenya, L. Ojok, J. Ochieng, J.W. Ogwal-okeng
    Phytochemicals and uses of Moringa oleifera leaves in Ugandan rural communities
    J. Med. Plants Res., 4 (2010), pp. 753-757
  3. J.L. Rockwood, B.G. Anderson, D.A. Casamatta
    Potential uses of Moringa oleifera and an examination of antibiotic efficacy conferred by M. oleifera seed and leaf extracts using crude extraction techniques available to underserved indigenous populations Int. J. Phytothearpy Res., 3 (2013), pp. 61-71
  4. L.J. Fuglie The Moringa Tree: A local solution to malnutrition Church World Service in Senegal (2005)
  5. J.T. Barminas, M. Charles, D. Emmanuel
    Mineral composition of non-conventional leafy vegetables
    Plant Foods Hum. Nutr., 53 (1998), pp. 29-36
  6. Moringa oleifera: A review on nutritive importance and its medicinal application 
  7. L. Berkovich, G. Earon, I. Ron, A. Rimmon, A. Vexler, S. Lev-Ari
    Moringa oleifera aqueous leaf extract down-regulates nuclear factor-kappaB and increases cytotoxic effect of chemotherapy in pancreatic cancer cells
    BMC Complement. Altern. Med., 13 (2013), pp. 212-219
  8. Mutt res.1999 apr 6;440(2):181-8.
  9. Oduro, W.O. Ellis, D. Owusu - Nutritional potential of two leafy vegetables: Moringa oleifera and Ipomoea batatas leaves - Sci. Res. Essays, 3 (2008), pp. 57-60
  10. Contribution to the study of the anti-inflammatory activity of Moringa oleifera (moringaceae)
  11. Volume at a dose of 300 mg/kg body weight. J.chem. pharm. res., 2010, 2(3):179-181.
  12. Bhavaprakash
  13. Effects of low dose quercetin: Cancer cell-specific inhibition of cell cycle progression
  14. Effect of supplementation of drumstick (Moringa oleifera) and amaranth (Amaranthus tricolor) leaves powder on antioxidant profile and oxidative status among postmenopausal women
  15. How does menopause affect cancer risk?
  16. Effect of Moringa oleifera leaf extract on the physicochemical properties of modified atmosphere packaged raw beef
  17. Moringa oleifera as an Anti-Cancer Agent against Breast and Colorectal Cancer Cell Lines
  18. Combined Effect of Moringa oleifera and Ionizing Radiation on Survival and Metastatic Activity of Pancreatic Cancer Cells 
  19. The Moringa Tree, A local solution to malnutrition? Lowell J. Fuglie B.P. 5338 Dakar, Senegal
  20. Healing the Thyroid with Ayurveda, Dr. Marianne Teitelbaum 
  21. Yogarantham.
  22. Caraka samhita, cikitsāsthāna, ch 26, 59-68

The Ayurvedic View, Medicinal Qualities and Risks of Onion & Garlic (2nd Biggest Myth Of Ayurveda) | Dylan Smith #082

Vital Veda Podcast Banner
When ancient wisdom gets popular, confusion and misunderstanding tends to arise within.
The essence and authenticity tends to blur, and this has happened with the knowledge of Ayurveda - the Sacred Science of Healing and Higher Consciousness.
Ayurvedic practitioner and educator Dylan Smith, known for his authenticity and devoted role to keeping the purity of Ayurveda alive and thriving, dispels the 3 Biggest Myths of Ayurvedic medicine.
These MYTHS are:
  1. “You have to be vegetarian” according to Ayurveda - or even that “Vegetarian is the best diet.”
  2. “Onion and garlic are prohibited”.
  3. “Ayurvedic medicines are commonly contaminated with heavy metals.”

In this Episode we Discuss:

The Principle of The Three Gunas

The three maha gunas (great qualities) are: 
  • Sattva: purity, harmonious, creative & virtuous. 
  • Rajas: passion, acceleration, agitation. 
  • Tamas: trapped light, inertia. 

The Emergence of This Myth Being Rooted in The Realm of Yoga

Yogis and Brahmacharis typically avoid onion and garlic in their food because they are high on the rajas guna
  • They stimulate the nervous system and can possibly lead one to break bows of austerity like celibacy or brahmacharya which require the enlivening of the sattva guna instead of rajas

How to Purify Onion and Garlic to Facilitate Digestion & Reduce The Rajas Guna

It is very important to purify these foods in order to make it easier for your body to digest them, and to also enliven the sattva and simultaneously reduce the rajasic qualities in them. 
Purifying garlic: 
  1. Take out the inner green sprout (in GMO Garlic it tends to either be white or indistinguishable) and discard it. 
  2. Fry the garlic in ghee
Purifying onion: 
  1. Remove the skin from each side of the layers. 
  2. Fry it in ghee. 

The Medicinal Qualities of Garlic

Garlic is a very powerful medicine in Ayurveda, prized as a rasayana (literally meaning “that which spreads the elixir of life [rasa]” or anti-aging elixir). 
  • In India, they even call garlic “poor man’s gold”. 
Garlic is good for boosting immunity, fever, sore throats, asthma, various heart conditions and acts as a powerful blood purifier. 
When experiencing a cough/cold: garlic with chili powder and rise is a recommended food. 
It is used in the patra poultice treatment (Ayurvedic massage with boluses of herbs that help with joint pain and various other conditions). 
  • To learn more about this treatment click HERE.
According to the Aṣṭāṅgasaṅgraha of Vagbhata Sutrasthana (Ch.7), garlic is good for:
  • Heart and hairs
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Unctuous
  • Improves taste and digestion
  • Helps unions and/or fractures
  • Gives strength
  • Vitiates blood and pitta (caution here!)
  • Cures lucademia, leprosy and other skin diseases
  • Abdominal tumors, hemorrhoids and diabetes
  • Worms
  • Diseases caused by kapha and vata
  • Hiccups
  • Nasal cataracts
  • Dyspnea and cough
  • Rejuvenates the body 
A very rare feature of garlic is that it has all 5 out of the 6 tastes. 
  • Sweet
  • Salty
  • Bitter
  • Pungent
  • Astringent
Using the gunas (qualities) of garlic to heal certain imbalances in the body.

The Medicinal Qualities of Onion

Onion is cooling
It pacifies pitta when it’s cooked because it turns from pungent (raw) to sweet (cooked). 
Onion gives you energy and enlivens healing when the body feels drained. 
Onion acts as a breast milk purifier & increases sperm count in semen. 
Onion is an aphrodisiac and invigorates strength in the body. 
Good for the respiratory system: congestions and colds. 
Good for nausea.
Good for nose bleeds: cut an onion in half and give it a good sniff. 
It has a sweet post-digestive effect which is very nourishing for the body. 
Great for pitta and kapha

Why Onion And Garlic Tend to be Hard to Digest & How to Amend That

They have certain carbohydrates called fructans.
These fructans react with the gut’s flora and produce gas & bloating. 
Onions also happen to be really high in sulfurous compounds. Sulfur tends to smell quite bad, so it stands to reason that any ‘byproduct’, released as these compounds are digested, will smell quite bad too. 
Onions contain a natural sugar called fructose. Like raffinose and sorbitol, fructose contributes to gas when bacteria in the intestines break it down.
The key to solving “intolerances” to these foods is to improve your digestion. You are not really intolerant to anything! It simply is a matter of teaching your body to digest a certain food! 
  • To learn more on how to enhance your nutrition with Ayurvedic principles you can check out our Essence of Ayurvedic Nutrition course.
  • If you are interested in overcoming a specific “food intolerance” you can book a consultation with Dylan HERE
  • To read more about overcoming food intolerances check out our article: "How to Overcome Food Intolerances".


The Essence of Ayurvedic Nutrition -  Online Course

Aṣṭāṅgasaṅgraha of Vagbhata Sutrasthana (Ch.7)

Support The Show

Please leave me a comment below (I love to read every single one).


Spread the word! Tell your family, friends, neighbors and all your social mates.

Share this episode on Facebook / Share this episode on Twitter


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

How to Make Ghee the Vedic Way

Ghee Jars
Written the Gheeru, Dylan Smith
Ghee Making is Very Simple
The article is extensive as there are so many layers of conscious cooking you can utilise when making ghee.
I invite you to read the full article, but just to prove its simplicity:

Ghee Making Instructions Simplified

1. Place high-quality unsalted butter in a clean heavy-bottomed pot.
2. Put on low heat (preferably fire or gas flame).
3. Do not touch while cooking. Let the ghee be, and send it good vibes.
4. When the top layer of the ghee is “crusty” and still, with a reddish/brownish color, turn the flame off.
Ghee jars
5. Remove most of the crust from the pan and dispose of it.
6. Strain the ghee through a thin strainer + cheese cloth into jars for use and enjoy!
Now, much more mindful recommendations on how to make the best ghee ever…

Before You Make Ghee

Ensure the kitchen, yourself, all the pots and utensils are very clean.
Ghee is super-sensitive. It is so rich in micro-organisms that react to your energy as well as other micro-organisms such as food crumbs or scraps.
Ghee, when completely purified and made properly actually gets better with age. In order for it to last with potency, you need to keep your jar of ghee clean. One way to do this is to only use a clean spoon when scooping out some golden nectar that you want to drizzle into your pan or on your plate of freshly cooked rice.
Cleanliness certainly also includes clean thoughts, emotions and state of being of the person making it.
In Ayurveda, we call this emotional state called “Sattva” - which refers to a pure light radiating from the individual.
Be happy, sing mantras inwardly or outwardly, you will be surprised how much this enhances the ghee quality. Ghee is extremely rich in beneficial microbes, particularly Clostridium butyricum, and these bugs become more prevalent and radiate their health-promoting qualities when attention and love radiates in their environment and especially if that flow of consciousness (“Soma”) is directed specifically towards them and the sweet medium of fat that carries them.
Keep all ghee making equipment dry.
Be careful of nearby taps that may splash water during use.
Clean Kitchen
I use paper towels to wipe all the utensils down (pot, ladels, spoons strainers, etc) before use as paper towels have not been contaminated with foods or bacteria, unlike tea-towels.

Other Aspects To Consider

Obtain the best quality un-salted butter possible

  • This means as ethical as possible.
  • Grass-fed, well-treated, happy cows.
  • Cultured butter.
  • Ideally butter made from churning yoghurt.
  • Amount of butter - For greater potency, keep the ghee-making in small batches. This is one factor that will distinguish your tasty homemade ghee from commercial ghee. I think over 8-10kg of ghee per pot in a regular gas stove is too much. It does however depend on the fire you are using to cook.
Butter in pot
In the video above, we used about 6.5kg of butter per pot.

NOTE: Instructions for ghee preparation (e.g. time limit to cook and finish) differs according to a few factors:

  1. The size and weight of your cooking pot
  2. The amount of butter you are using
  3. The strength and size of your flame.

Use a Heavy Bottomed Pot

I like a heavy stainless steel.
We also have a pot only for cooking ghee. This way the ghee remains more pure and un-touched, in a microbial way and a subtle energetic way.

Use a Very Low Flame and Simmer Mat

I like to use the lowest flame possible and I cook it overnight with a lot of butter.
I also use a simmer mat that disperses the heat more evenly, rather than a concentrated flame that fires a small surface area at the pot base centre.
Pot position - Ensure the centre of the pot is directly over the centre of the flame.

The Cooking Process

  1. Cook the butter on a low flame.
  2. After it melts, it will go through various stages of bubbling:
    • big bubbles - this is the Kapha dosha being released (purifying the vitiating earth and water elements out of the butter)
    • medium bubbles - this is pitta (purifying the excess fire element from the butter)
    • small. hard, quick bubbles - this is vata (purifying the air and space element from the butter). This is one of the final stages of the ghee making process.
  3. There are also various stages of “foaming” throughout the process. This is mostly early on in the ghee making process. Sometimes, there are two stages of “stillness” - when the top layer of the ghee is still. The first stage is usually “still foam”, and the “second stage of stillness” is after the second
  4. The ghee is ready when there is a still “crusty” layer at the top. There are hardly any or no bubbles, and the layer is crusty with a reddish/brown colour.
  5. Don‘t touch the ghee throughout the process as much as possible. Let it be.
  6. At the end, you can move the crust/foam with a clean spoon to peak through. You should see what looks like a reddish/dark brown coating on the base of the pot. It may looked burnt and others would even say you burnt it because there is dark gunk stuck to the base of the pot. But it should not be. It can be burnt (black colour, smells burnt), of which is not good. You do want that coating (slightly burnt milk solids and butter impurities) on the case which kind of looks like honey comb stuck to the base.
  7. Scoop out the crust - Scoop out majority of the crust for easier straining. I let this crust sit in a strainer over my plate to collect the drips (every drop is precious).
  8. Strain the liquid gold through a fine sieve + clean cheese cloth (that doesn’t shed strings. I keep my cheese cloth for ghee only in a ziplock bag, which I change every few times of making ghee).
  9. Pour into clean sterile jars and enjoy!

Cooking time

As said earlier, the time to prepare ghee absolutely changes according to the unique factors (butter quantity, flame strength, pot used).
It takes me 10 hours to prepare 6.5kg of butter on my stove (see time-lapse part of ghee-making video, where 10 hours is turned into 36 seconds, highlighting the preperation stages).
The Importance of Proper Purification and Cooking
Here is another factor that will distinguish your ghee from others ghee - cooking it for a long time to properly purify the butter and remove the impurities.
Most people don’t do this for a few reasons:
  1. They don’t understand the importance of proper purification
  2. They are scared to burn the ghee
  3. They are commercially making ghee and/or want more bang for their buck
I Burnt My Ghee, What To Do?
You can tell if you burnt your ghee as it will be a brown or dark golden colour. The main factor is you can smell it burnt, but you can also taste it.
The only use I know of burnt ghee is to use it as fire fuel or for oil lamps. Not for eating.
Note, it may take a few goes to “get to know” your ghee set up (stove, pot, butter amount etc.) before you nail it.
Keep an eye on the ghee, don’t leave it as it can burn very quickly. Don’t leave the stove unattended. Give it your divine attention.

Cleaning Up

This is a big process of making ghee, particularly if you are doing quantities like 6.5kg per pot.
Cleaning the pot:
  1. With a scraper and without much force, scrape off the excess milk solids at the bottom of the pot and dispose.
  2. Soak the pot in hot water + natural soap + lemon juice for an hour or more.
  3. Again scrape with more force the base of the pot and remove basically all the large parts of the gunk.
  4. With steel wool, clean the final remains of the pot and finish.
Cleaning ghee cloth:
I just use very hot water and rub it together. That’s it. Dry in the sun if possible.
Cleaning utensils (ladles, spoons, pouring jugs, etc):
I wipe with paper towel to remove oil and then clean as usual.

Making Ghee According to Jyotish (Vedic Astrology)

Ghee is one of the foods that mostly resonates with Soma - a quality in nature that relates with the cosmic waters, has an unctuous (snigdha) lunar quality and offers consciousness-expanding nectar.
We can increase the Soma quality in ghee by preparing with mantras, good intentions and a blissful state of cooking.
We can also utilise the energy of the planets and stars when cooking to further enhance Soma.
Times that are beneficial and more Soma enhancing to cook ghee:
  • The waxing moon, especially full moon in its waxing stage, and on Fridays and Sundays.
  • Ashwini nakṣatra (constellation)
  • Dīpavali (Diwali festival)
  • Other auspicious events and times.
Times that are inauspicious to cook ghee:
  • New moon
  • Eclipses
  • When a woman is menstruating (her downward flow of energy at the time contradicts with the upward flame of agni/fire).
  • Note, to first consider the inauspicious times. For example, if you are experiencing an eclipse on a full moon, it is better to not prepare ghee.
There is so much to ghee-making. It is a beautiful ritual and can even be a form of meditation.
Keep pursuing until you find your unique way and methods.
Please comment 👇 your experiences and any tips or questions on ghee-making.

Biggest Myth in Ayurveda: Be Vegetarian | The Ayurvedic View on Meat | Dylan Smith #080

Vital Veda Podcast Banner
When ancient wisdom gets popular, confusion and misunderstanding tends to arise within.
The essence and authenticity tends to blur, and this has happened with the knowledge of Ayurveda - the Sacred Science of Healing and Higher Consciousness.
Ayurvedic practitioner and educator Dylan Smith, known for his authenticity and devoted role to keeping the purity of Ayurveda alive and thriving, dispels the 3 Biggest Myths of Ayurvedic medicine.
These MYTHS are:
  1. “You have to be vegetarian” according to Ayurveda - or even that “Vegetarian is the best diet.”
  2. “Onion and garlic are prohibited”.
  3. “Ayurvedic medicines are commonly contaminated with heavy metals.”

In this Episode we Discuss:

Ayurvedic Principles and How They Are Being Taught In Modern Days

Not eating meat is not a part of the Ayurvedic principles.

The Ayurvedic Qualities (Gunas) of Meat

Meat is generally considered to have two gunas: rajas (stimulating, agitating) and tamas (trapped light, inertia). 
Meat is a heavy-to-digest food.

The Ayurvedic Perspective on Meat Eating

Meat being approached as medicine in Ayurveda.

Practical Medicinal Uses of Meat

The Importance of Ethical Sources of Animal Meat

Ways to Replace Meat In Your Diet

It is important when not eating meat to replace complete proteins: this means making sure that you are eating the 9 essential amino acids that make up a protein - now this is not necessarily easy with a plant-based diet, but also not impossible. 
By mixing a legume and a grain (it is important to diversify your grains) you are ingesting the 9 essential amino acids. 
Quinoa, buckwheat & soy contain all 9 essential amino acids. 
  • Soy can affect the hormones (especially estrogen) so it should only be a regular food for those who have been brought up eating soy since childhood & have physiologies that are adapted to digesting these foods. 
There is a lentil in India called the Urad Lentils (Black Gram Lentil) which is often referred to as “meat for vegetarians”. You can either eat that lentil or use Urad flour which is high in protein. 
  • This grain is not to be had every day. 
Mung Dahl is also very good, tridoshic and can be had every day, but has less protein than Urad Lentils. 
Ghee is a very important ingredient that should be present in your diet.

How to Eat Meat Ayurvedically

Your plate should be 50% vegetables, 25% carbohydrates & 25% protein
  • Of that 25% of protein, ideally less than 10% should be meat. 
Have meat only at lunch, never for dinner where your digestive fire is low & your body is undertaking several other processes of repair and assimilation. 
Meat is more of a winter food than summer. 
Add spices to meat; particularly turmeric & then black pepper and ginger are also very good. 
  • These spices are very good to fight back (and kill) the constituents in meat that are not healthy for your body (not to mention the antibiotics & other additives of that nature). 
Cook meat gently, not with extremely high temperatures. 
It is extremely important that you understand the principles of desa, kala & patra and apply them to your own nutrition.

What Meat To Eat?

It is important to diversify. 
Goat meat is the best animal meat you can eat - goats are very fit and they eat a very wide variety of crops and grass. 
  • Find the most ethical goat meat you can. 
 For fish, the smaller the fish, the better - you want to go low on the food chain. 
  • The bigger and older the fish is, the higher mercury contents you will find in its meat. 
  • In general, the fishes to avoid are: bass, lobster, snapper, tuna, grouper, seabass, marlin, shark, swordfish, tilefish (they have the highest levels of mercury). 


Support The Show

Please leave me a comment below (I love to read every single one).


Spread the word! Tell your family, friends, neighbors and all your social mates.

Share this episode on Facebook / Share this episode on Twitter


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

Curry Leaves: Medicinal Benefits, Uses & a Poem in Ode to this Ayurvedic Herb

Dylan Smith Sitting in siddhasana on Deer Skin
Leaves from the curry leaf tree are one of my favourite spices.

Obviously raw is not the nicest,
but when you fry it in ghee, the bitter and astringent leaves acquire a sweet cooling breeze.
Light to digest,
Kaiḍarya कैडर् (sanskrit name) stimulates the digestive fire (dīpana) and appetite (rochana), and metabolises toxins (pachana) in the gut, kidneys and chest.
This spice balances your hormones so you can properly rest,
and enhances immunity, good body physique and strength(1), of which I can attest.
O leaves of Murraya koenigii (botanical name), you improve the voice and soothe sore throats,
like the swan gracefully glides on the smooth water as it floats. (Hamsapadi 🦢) (2)
You even boost intelligence and wisdom(1) in those who eat your leaves,
are hypoglycaemic(3), help in dysuria and purify the kidneys.
You also purify the blood really well,
protect the liver,(4) reduce blood pressure(5) and strengthen the red blood cells.
My sweet curry leaf tree, so many benefits and blessings do you unravel,
I seem to recognise you from afar mostly everywhere I travel.
You generously disperse your trees and offer an abundance of leaves,
it makes me wonder why they sell you at high prices for such abundant spices.
Some people don’t swallow your leaves and leave them on their plate,
unfortunately, they are oblivious to the potential for a healthy fate and the nourishment they could create.
So dear friend, please forage sustainably a mature, well dressed tree,
so you can enhance your food with the tasty and medicinal kaiḍarya leaves.

Alternative Names

Sanskrit - Kaidarya / kaiḍarya कैडर्
Other names:
“Sweet neem” - in a related family to neem Meliaceae)
“Parvata nimba” - edible variety of nimba (neem)
Botanical names: Murraya koenigii and Bergera koenigi - named after a couple botanists.

Ayurvedic Properties

Rasa: kshaya, tikta, madhura
Vīrya: shīta .
Vipaka: Katu (5)
Doṣas: KP-
Gunas: Laghu
Karmas: Deepana, pacana, rochana
  • atisāra
  • dīpana
  • pachana
  • When used with buttermilk it helps to cure ulcers in the digestive system.
Balance hormones.
Curry Leaf Tree
Curry Leaves

Medicinal Qualities


These enhance good body (physique), intelligence, strength and wisdom. - Susruta
hema śvetavacā kuṣṭham arkapuṣpī sakāñcanā // (47.2)hema matsyākṣakaḥ śaṅkhaḥ kaiḍaryaḥ kanakaṃ vacā / (48.1)catvāra ete pādoktāḥ prāśā madhughṛtaplutāḥ // (48.2)varṣaṃ līḍhā vapurmedhābalavarṇakarāḥ śubhāḥ / (49.1)
हेम श्वेतवचा कुष्ठम् अर्कपुष्पी सकाञ्चना ॥ (४७.)हेम मत्स्याक्षकः शङ्खः कैडर्यः कनकं वचा । (४८.)चत्वार एते पादोक्ताः प्राशा मधुघृतप्लुताः ॥ (४८.)वर्षं लीढा वपुर्मेधाबलवर्णकराः शुभाः । (४९.)
This article translates it as such:
“Kaidarya is given mixed with honey and ghee along with other drugs to bestow good growth, intelligence, strength, complexion and goodness for children up to 1 year.”
  • - Astanga Hrdaya (6)
This is similar to a more complex baby immunisation herbal remedy: Pusya Drops
Pusya Drops by Vital Veda

Hamsapadi (Good for the Voice)

Good for the voice (hamsapadi) - improves voice and soothes sore throats.
Hamsa = “Swan”
Padi = “Feet”
How to swan gracefully glides, swan is easy and smooth.
(Caraka Samhita)

Liver Health

Protects the organs, especially liver (hepato-protective) effect - anti-hepatotoxicity - has the ability to prevent damage to the liver.
Great blood purifier.
Krimi Roga (helps in parasites)
How to Use:
Simply fry the curry leaves (we like fresh, but dry is also okay), in ghee or oil with other spices, then add to your dish.
Just like we do in our kitchari or mung dahl recipe.

Other Health Benefits

Restores consciousness (samjnada).
Used in dhupana (fumigation therapy) in apasmara (epilepsy) cikitsa (treatment).
Reduces hypertension (significantly)

Purifies the Kidneys
Hypoglycaemic - diabetes type 2
“Parvata nimba” - edible variety of nimba.  is useful.
Nimba is the best for Prameha.
Acts at the mulasthana of the mutravaha srotas - medas.
Good for kaphaja mutra krcchra (dysuria- juice of kaidarya + honey + ela (cardamom)"
- (Caraka)

Bunya Nuts: The Native Australian Jurassic Fruits

Bunya Nuts
Bunya Nuts only drop their ripe fruits in abundance every 3 years, so when the season arrives, festive abundance emanates from the Aussie bush.
These native Australian trees have been around since Jurassic times!
Just see, feel and breathe the ruthless spiky leaves, tall trees, and monstrous (up to) 10kg cones. It makes sense that dinosaurs used to eat this as food (whole cone)!Today, people avoid parking their cars under these trees, put up warning signs “CAUTION: Large and deadly bunya cones fall here”, and unknowingly or indolently dispose of this free food as garden waste.
But traditionally, there would be large “Bunya gatherings” of indigenous tribes travelling from long and far to feast on Bunya and community love.
There are reports of tribes from as far away as South Australia & Western Australia travelling to the main spot - Bunya Mountains, 200km NW of Brisbane for these gatherings.
Bunya Tree
Dylan Smith holding two Bunya Nuts
This native pine (Araucaria bidwillii) promotes the Vedic energy “Lakṣmī”- abundance of nourishment that connects us to the cycles and rhythms of nature’s intelligence.“Mother Divine Feminine” (Devi / Lakṣmī ) expresses herself through seasonal rhythms of climatic patterns and cyclical harvesting periods.She also triggers the recipients of food harvests and weather shifts to reciprocate to Mother Nature with reverence, which ultimately aligns the intelligence of that individual towards the level of Nature’s intelligence.
A cone can have bonyi 20-100 nuts, so make a social date with your friends & family to process together and have a feast for the soul before a feast for the belly. 
We de-shelled a bunch for cooking in the next couple weeks, and left most of them in their shell to store for longer.
So many ways you can prepare and eat them: make flour, pizza, bread, dosas, pesto, gnocchi (tastes like nutritious potatoes when boiled), roasted, add them to curries, fermented drinks, etc.
People even study Fibonacci’s math with Bunya cones!
Thanks to Bundjalung country and indigenous wisdom for providing and maintaining this food.
You may come across some nuts that are sprouting. Particularly if your bunya nuts have been sitting in moist conditions. If you do, plant these in the ground and spread the Bunya love!
This is what the tribes did on their way home from the Bunya gatherings.
Bunya Nut Harvesting Process
For plenty of inspirational Bunya recipes and ideas, click HERE.
Thanks to Bundjalung country and indigenous wisdom for providing and maintaining this food.
Thanks to @om_cade @soledelriccio @daliagencher @t.karacsay @mousa_meditation for feeding our soul and belly.

Lilly Pilly Chutney Recipe

Lilly Pilly Chutney

Botanical name: Syzygium smithii.

Plant facts: The tree is a summer-flowering, winter-fruiting evergreen tree.

Health Benefits of Lilly Pilly

They say this type of Lilly Pilly, Riberry (Syzygium luehmannii) was used by the Australian native aborigines for its anti-bacterial properties.

It also has great healing components present in it. It is rich in Vitamin C, B12 and folate. It has good astringent properties that improve the firmness of the skin which in turn helps your skin look radiant and youthful.

Dylan Smith Picking Lilly Pilly Fruits from the Tree
Lilly Pilly Bush Plant in a Pot

Lilly Pilly Chutney Recipe


  1. 1kg of soft red Lilly Pilly fruits
  2. 8 oranges
  3. 2/3 cup raw sugar
  4. 10 whole cloves
  5. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  6. 2 peeled and chopped apples


  1. Collect 1kg of soft red fruits.
  2. Keep them in a bowl for 10-15 mins or more so spiders can disperse.
  3. Soak in water so you can remove all the dud fruits, bugs, sticks or any other undesirables.
  4. Place in a pot along with the juice of 8 oranges, zest of 2 oranges, 2/3 cup raw sugar, 10 whole cloves (these Riberry Lilly Pillies are from the same family as clove), 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 2 peeled and chopped apples.
  5. Cook until the fruit softens and the liquid becomes a more "sticky" consistency.
  6. Pour into sterilised jars and refrigerate until ready to use.

Should last a couple of weeks or so! Enjoy 🙂

Lilly Pilly Chutney in a Glass Jar
Lilly Pilly Chutney

The Super-Nectar Ayurvedic Beverage that is Beyond Divine & Simple to Make: Takra | Dylan Smith #075

Vital Veda Podcast Banner: Takra / Thin Lassi
There is a certain beverage in Ayurveda which supersedes “superfood status” and offers an impressive spectrum of therapeutic benefits. This simple beverage is even categorised with “divine status.”
And the awesome part? This beverage is ridiculously simple to stir up.
The beverage is called “Takra” in Ayurveda, which refers to buttermilk or “thin lassi.”

In this Episode we Discuss:

What is Takra?

Takra is the liquid that is left over from churning the butter out of fermented or cultured cream or yogurt.  If cream is left out for a while the naturally occurring lactic acid-producing bacteria will lower the pH, making it more acidic, which then allows the fat/butter to separate.
Butter-milk is of 3 types:
  1. From which fat is completely removed; - kapha, mandagni, low strength.
  2. From which half of the fat is removed; - good for pitta, moderate power of agni, and if the patient has moderate strength.
  3. From which fat is not at all removed. – vayu, strong agni, patient has enough strength.
Takra’s Tri-Doshic Effect
Thin lassi is known as one of the only foods that pacifies all doshic combinations (various body constitutions).

The Vedic Mythology of Takra / Thin Lassi

The Story of Lord Indra, Ahalyā and Maharishi Gautama:
  • Lord Indra impersonating the rishi to be able to lay with his wife, Ahalyā.
  • The vile curse of Maharishi Gautama, and how the Ashwini brothers declared takra to be the cure for it. 
Takram śakra Durlabham | Lord Indra can’t even get Takra.
Other Devatas missing out on Takra:
Painting of Indra and Ahalyā
Indra, impersonating Gautama, and Ahalyā
  • Lassi is the antidote to the poison in Shiva's throat (Nīla Kantha)
  • Ganesh wouldn’t have a belly if he drank lassi (it would help him digest, lose weight and be less bloated).

The Recipe for Thin Lassi

Mix one tablespoon of yoghurt with a cup of water, mix it with a fork, and drink.
The exact ideal ratio of yoghurt to water should be 1:14.
  • Those looking to make the takra a bit more thick can do a ratio of 1:6 or even 1:4.
    • Thick Lassi is great for those suffering from loose bowel motion/loose stools or diarrhoea.
Yoghurt used:
  • Homemade yoghurt - to learn how to make your own yoghurt check out the reel we posted on our Instagram page (@vitalveda).  
Different ingredients to add:
  • Dried mango + cumin seeds roasted in ghee + buttermilk - best drink.
  • Milk and Lassi are always better to have with spices.
  • Anything but sour or fruit. Cocoa or carob.
  • Amla (Indian goose berry) or honey added to the yoghurt will counter the channel-blocking qualities in yoghurt.
      • Amla pickle - wait a year till they turn black
      • Rice + blended yoghurt + Amla pickle.

Thin Lassi for Dairy Intolerant People

Food intolerances are the product of an imbalanced digestive fire, also known as Agni 🔥. 
  • To decide that one is going to stop eating a certain type of food merely because it cannot be digested properly is not a solution to the root problem. 
  • The Agni needs to be enlivened in such a way that allows for the proper digestion of that food and then one can gradually re-introduce said food. 
    • To read more about the Ayurvedic view on how to overcome food intolerances click here.
    • To learn more about how to use Ayurvedic principles to bring your Agni back to balance, check out our online course: “The Essence of Ayurvedic Nutrition”.
Takra, or Thin Lassi, is actually an excellent way to reintroduce dairy once the Agni has been brought back to balance. 
  • You can prepare the lassi very thin and even add a pinch of salt. 
  • Another option is to make the lassi, let the yogurt simmer to the bottom of the glass, and then drink only the water. 

How Often Should One Drink Takra / Lassi

Lassi is described as Nitya Ahara | Nitya Sevaniya Ahara Dravya 
  • Lassi is one of the foods that can be had every day. 
Some Vaidyas even say it is mandatory to be had daily.
Contra-indications: Perhaps not for those with aggravated kapha, suffering of sinus congestion, or with strong dairy intolerance.
When to Drink it:
Especially during the summer, avoid during dinner, with lunch or as a snack.

The Difference Between Yoghurt and Thin Lassi

  • Atyanda (more) Abhishyandi (blocking).
  • One can eat it until 16-20 years old, past that point it is not advised.
  • Amla (Indian goose berry) or honey added to the yoghurt will counter the channel-blocking qualities in yoghurt.
      • Amla pickle - wait a year till they turn black
      • Rice + blended yoghurt + Amla pickle.

Benefits of Takra / Thin Lassi

“Those who daily take takra do get sick not have diseases, and any disease cured from takra will not return. Have no doubt that what Amrita is the Nectar of the Devata, so Takra is the Nectar to Humans.”
~ BhavaPrakash Nigantu

“Pharmacy in a glass”
~ Vaidya JR Raju.
Good for itchy eyes, sore eyes, tired eyes; even for those suffering from degenerative eye diseases. 
Good for eczema, psoriasis, general inflammation, dermatitis, acne and several other skin diseases.
It brings a moist glow to the skin.
Pitta Shamaka:
  • Very hydrating & cooling. 
  • Protects against heat strokes, hot flashes & other heat-related ailments. 
Lactic acid bacteria:
Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) help ‘pre-digest’ your food and also add the bacteria’s digestive metabolites to the food. Pre-digestion makes the foods digestion much easier and brings far more nutrients into the body.
And the bacteria metabolites, which is basically bacteria poop has incredible health benefits since it includes enzymes, antibodies, vitamins, exopolysaccharides, and more!
  • Detoxifies the GIT.
  • Alkaline drink.
  • Increases absorption of nutrients.
  • Good post surgery / pancakarma / rehabilitating gut 
  • Adoption of this procedure will promote and maintain his energy, maintain the kāyāgni and promote his strength, plumpness and complexion.
Helps regulate optimal weight.
  • To loose weight - drink takra
  • To put on weight - add sugar, rose water, cardamom and make it sweet.
    • Spoon off the foamy stuff (part that clogs peoples body, like the foam of ghee).
            • Leave the foam in for weak/debilitated or emaciated people.
Buttermilk cleanses the srotas as a result of which rasa reaches appropriately. 
More benefits:
  • Hair health - good for thinning hair, greying of hair and baldness.
    • In this cases, pitta (fire element) is burning the hair follicles. 
  • Keeping veins and arteries clear
  • Kill viruses
  • Hemorrhoids / piles
    • “There is no medicine, better than butter-milk, for the cure of piles caused by the predominance of aggravated vayu and kapha" - Caraka, Cikitsa Sthana
  • Asthma: add to the Takra mostly fenugreek (also mustard seeds + cumin seeds) cooked in ghee or mustard oil in an iron pot.

Takradhara Treatment

To read all about this treatment click here.


Book a consultation with Dylan HERE

The Essence of Ayurvedic Nutrition Course HERE

Article: How to Overcome Food Intolerances HERE

Recipe for Sweet Lassi HERE

Recipe for Digestive Lassi HERE

Recipe for Cooling Lassi HERE

Support The Show

Please leave me a comment below (I love to read every single one).


Spread the word! Tell your family, friends, neighbors and all your social mates.

Share this episode on Facebook / Share this episode on Twitter


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