Poem to Tulsi (Holy Basil) – The Holiest of Herbs

Sri Tulsi
They say you are the Queen of herbs,
and no doubt thou shall see, that therapeutically.

My dear Holy Basil, you are far more than a queen. You are mother divine whose pungent and bitter leaves shine.

Your shakti (power) provides infinite adaptability. In times of stress, your ability to balance hormones marks my nervous system tremendously impressed.

O what a nourishing caress I feel in my chest when I sip tea invigorated with your potent Prana packed leaves. It’s those powerful volatile oils that spoils toxins that attempt to coil in the soil of my respiratory tract.
My lungs smile when we make eye contact.

Dear Ocinum sanctum, you bring glory to each and every one of my atoms.
For your speciality is to avert, any bacteria or virus that becomes a virulent jerk.
You even purify water. In times when clean structured water is repelled, you help intra-cellularly hydrate our dry thirsty cells.

You reduce inflammation, gift my taste buds with delicious sensations, provide mental alertness for optimum concentration, counter harmful electro-magnetic radiations and boost my immune system’s core foundation.

My dear Sri Tulsi.
It is now winter time and now more than ever I want you to be mine. I will surrender to you and honour you. Then offer you to my cup of hot water, and then into my agni 🔥 .

Sri Tulsi Devi, considered by the Vedas as the most holy plant of earth, I hope every one else gets to experience your supreme medicinal worth.


Where to Get Tulsi

Grow Your Own Tusli

  • Reach out on The Vital Veda Facebook Community to see if anyone near you has a cutting they can share.
  • Try your local Indian grocery store for a tulsi seedling.
  • Try gumtree or ebay.
  • In Australia, Beautanicals may have tusli seedlings.

Organic India

Organic India is a wonderful brand that not only produces high quality organic tulsi, but they also regenerate Ayurvedic agriculture, village communities and protect endangered herbs.

Discount code: VITALVEDA

Turkey Tail: The Most Researched Mushroom Indigenous to Every Continent Except Antartica

Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor), is a common polypore mushroom found throughout the world, including the indigenous Australian bush where we came across it, near the east coast of New South Wales.

Immune System Booster

It is effectively empowers the immune system by significantly boosting killer T cells.

Thus, it is great to use as an adjunct therapy in cancer, not as a substitute, but in association with other treatments like radiation and chemotherapy (if you resort to this), and metabolic therapy + potent Ayurvedic herbal protocol.

It raises base immune function, and especially post-treatment when the body needs to recover.

Two polysaccharide complexes in Turkey Tail are getting a great deal of scientific attention, PSK (or "Kreskin") and PSP, for their cancer-blasting effects, making Turkey Tail the most extensively researched of all medicinal mushrooms with large scale clinical trials.

A seven-year, NIH-funded clinical study in 2011 found that Turkey Tail mycelium improves immune function when dosed daily to women with stage I–III breast cancer.

The immune response including an increase of cancer-fighting cells was dose-dependent, with no adverse effects.

A Common Conventional Treatment for Cancer in Japan

PSK is now approved in Japan to treat cancer, and is often prescribed and paid for by Japan’s national health care system for those undergoing chemotherapy. However, I recommend you take the whole herb, rather than an extract.

In addition to breast cancer, Turkey Tail has been found to hold promise for other cancers, including stomach, colorectal, lung, esophageal, nasopharyngeal, cervical, and uterine.

Helps Treat Infections

Turkey tail is also being used to treat many different infections, including aspergillus niger, Candida albicans, E. coli, HIV, Herpes, and streptococcus pneumonia, and is hepatoprotective. It may also be useful for chronic fatigue.

Turkey Tail Tea

  1. Wipe the dirt of the mushroom.
  2. Rip it up a bit to open the mushroom and it’s medicinal properties.
  3. Boil it in water on low heat for a long period of time and make a decoction.
  4. Sip and enjoy.

Here is a great video for the tea.

References:

Dr. Joespeh Mercola
Clinical Study in US


The Health Benefits of Copper & Ayurvedic Uses

Copper, known as Tamra in Ayurveda, has a multitude of medicinal benefits and is utilised in a diverse range of ways.

Benefits of Copper

Anti-septic, Anti-microbial, Anti-fungal and Anti-viral.

In 2008, copper was recognised by the United States Environment Protection Agency (EPA) as the first metallic antimicrobial agent.

A 2013 study published in the Journal of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology looked at 650 UCU patients and the hospital rooms they were staying in.

Half the rooms has copper-surface objects and the other half did not. 

The research found that the rooms with copper-surfaced objects had half the incidences of infection compared to the rooms without copper. Especially MRSA (methicillin-resistant staph infections). 

Another study published in 2012 in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology found that copper alloy surfaces reduced the “microbial burden” - the bacteria counts (colony forming units) found of surfaces by 83%.

Copper not only is toxic to bad bacteria, it also provides important enzymes that are needed for the healthy microbes in though to survive.

Controls Dehydration

So you do not loose essential elements. Copper has a protective quality protects. It helps prevent wrinkles and support supple skin.

Drinking water from a copper bottle or cup is the best way to get copper this way.

Unblocks Blockages

Copper has a quality of unblocking vitiated channels in the body. It particular is useful in diseases of the ears, dizziness, and ENT disorders.

In these cases, copper bhasama (see below) in combination with other herbs taken internally is the way to use copper.

Anti-Poison

In Ayurveda, copper in combination with other herbs for internal helps deal with poisoning.

In the same way copper also strengthens the heart. 

Tamra Bhasma (Copper Calcified Ash)

As with all bhasmas (minerals that are purified and calcified in a very specific process into ash), the therapeutic use of copper bhasma radically changes depending on what other herbs it is mixed with.

Uses of Tamra Bhasma

Laxative, heals ulcers, easy for digestion, scarificant, effective in anaemia, enlargement of the abdomen, piles, fever, leprosy, cough, dyspnoea, consumption, hyperacidity, dropsy, parasites and colic.

Ayurvedic Properties of Tamra Bhasma

(When properly prepared)

Rasa: Kashaya (astringent), madhura (sweet), slightly tikta (bitter) (vaghbata) and amla (sour) (bhavaprakash)
Virya: sheeta (cooling)
Vipaka: Katu (pungent)
Doshas: PK-

Qualities of Good Copper

  • Unctuous
  • Soft
  • Withstands hard beating
  • Free from iron and lead
  • Ideal for converting into bhasma.

Qualities of Bad Copper

That which is black, dry, rough, very hard, white, not withstanding hard beating, mixed with iron and lead (impurities) is considered bad.

Ways to Utilise Copper

Store Water in Copper

Leave water in a copper cup overnight and drink it the next morning.

Keep water in a copper water bottle and drink it throughout the day.

We recommend Valka Yoga for pure and quality copper.
Discount code: VITAL VEDA for a discount + free shipping + a free coper tongue scraper.

Scrape Your Tongue with a Copper Tongue Scraper

Invigorate your mouth with essential minerals while removing bad bacteria with one of the most anti-bacterial metals during Tongue Scraping.

Make to sure to use a Pure Copper Tongue Scarper.

Copper Furnishing

Implement copper furnishings around your house, especially in bacteria rich environments like bathrooms.

Copper In Ayurvedic Herbal Formulas

This is where copper truely shines. A complex procedure of purification and calcification to make copper ash (bhasma) is then added into various formulas of herbs. Only seek a quality Ayurvedic practitioner who has experience with Bhasmas.

Synonyms of Tamra

Audumbara, sully, udumbara, rauipriya, mlecchamukha and surya paraya namaka - all synonyms of Surya.

Copper Origin According to the Veda

The semen of Kartikeya which fell on the ground became converted to Tamra.

References:

Bhavaprakash and Sarngadhara Samhita for action of copper.


Pearl (Mukta): Uses & Benefits

Pearls, known as Mukta, can be used medicinally, for healing and to promote spiritual growth on many levels.

Pearls Relationship with the Moon

The elemental and mineral composition of pearls correlate and resonate with the elemental and mineral composition of our moon (Chandra). Both pearls and the moon have an affinity for the water element and they reciprocate energy to each other via their unique vibratory astral plane.

Thus, wearing pearl malas (necklaces), a pearl ring on the ring finger (the hypothenar region of the hand, below the ring finger, corresponds with moon) and left hand ring finger, and ingesting quality pearl herbal preparations strengthens the moons power and flow of consciousness (soma) it provides to you.

Precious gemstones, with their specific colour frequencies, resonate on the same wavelengths as the celestial bodies in our solar system.

Synonyms

Mauktika, sautika, muktaphala

Indications

Cooling

Like the moon, pearls are cooling (sheeta virya). They can cool down an erratic and fiery mind, reduce inflammation in the body and are good for the eyes and vision (eyes are a seat of pitta fire).

Strength and Nourishment

Pearl is aphrodisiac, bestows strength and nourishment and is good for the bones (asthi dhatu).

Preparing Pearl Properly

Pearls can be prepared in various ways for internal ingestion. As with other bhasmas (minerals that are purified and calcified in a very specific process into ash), the therapeutic use of pearl bhasma radically changes depending on what other herbs it’s mixed with.

Cerebral Tonic and Nervous System Support

Pearl powder (mukta pisti) and bhasma alone are a very strong stimulants thus helpful as a cerebral tonic in nervous diseases like chronic headache, epilepsy, other convulsive attacks, panic attacks, anxiety attacks and heart attacks. 

In case of emergency in the above conditions, put one pinch of Mukta pisti under the tongue, and it can immediately help activate and balance the nervous system. Clinically, I have seen good results with this when patients apply this during panic/anxiety attacks, intense heart palpitates and even to wake someone up from an unconscious state.

Water Purifier

Pearls purify water.

Ways to Absorb Pearl

Dhatu (Herbal Formula)

Restores and regenerates nerves, bones and tissues, because it nourishes and strengthens all seven layers of the dhatus (tissues) in the body. It is also good for improving calcium absorption. A Raju family formula.

Wear Pearl Malas

This is a necklace. Ideally, the pearls are infused with mantras (primordial sounds) and holy substances during a ceremony like Abhishekam (see feature photo).
Please buy quality pearls from a reputable source like Astrological Gem and do not get ripped off.

Caution: Low Quality "Pearl"

Note that “pearl powder” is becoming popular on the natural health market. Pearl powder from me costs $25 for 3 grams. Keep that price in mind when seeing people market their pearl powder, it is probably cheap crap from China. Not only is the raw material who-knows-what, but once again, as with a lot of herbal preparations - the purification process is not applied due to lack of knowledge in this area.

A Note on Genuine Natural Pearl by Jay Boyle

"True, genuine Natural Pearls are nearly impossible to find today.  They were available up until the early 20th century, but through over-fishing and pollution, they have become extinct. Generally, the only supply of natural pearls is the estate market for natural pearl strands.  Unfortunately, these are previously worn and are drilled so they are not suitable for Jyotish purposes.

Very, very rarely I come upon a Certified Natural freshwater pearl.  Usually, the size range is from 1-2 carats and occasionally up to around 4 carats.  Because of their rarity, these natural pearls are quite expensive.

Natural Pearls are virtually extinct, however, we are very pleased to be able to offer some rare, exceptional, smaller sized Natural Pearls.

If you are looking for an affordable alternative to Certified Natural Pearls, we offer Chinese Tissue-Nucleated Pearls (a form of cultured pearl that is natural material and of top quality)."

~ Jay Boyle, gemstone expert and founder of Astrological Gem

References:

Bhavaprakash and Sarngadhara Samhita for action of pearls.
Image: AstrologicalGem, USA.


Lavender: Uses & Benefits

Lavender is one of the most versatile and widely essential oils. Adored for its beauty and prized aromatic quality, the aroma is fresh, sweet, soft, and floral. It's soothing, balancing, antibacterial and antiseptic properties make it a useful tool in the first aid kit.
Lavender will enliven you when your energy is low, and settle you down when life is hectic.

Energetics

Rasa (taste): Katu (pungent)
Virya (energy): Anusha (neither heating or cooling)
Vipaka (post-digestive effect): Katu (pungent)
Gunas (quality): Ruksha (dry), Laghu (light), Tikshna (penetrating)
Dosha: PK-
Karma (action):Little stimulating.

Indications

Activates Crown Chakra

At the crown of the head is the cerebral cortex, known in the yogic tradition as “Sahawara Chakra.” When this lotus flower at the top of your spine stalk unfolds its petals, the memory of wholeness is restored and integrated into your personality. Keen awareness and alertness is created.
Once this connection to higher self is established and the srotas (channels) are cleansed, karmic blockages that prevent evolutionary progress are removed.

Balances Emotions

Lavender can be universally applied to balance emotions. It helps when patterns of depression and insomnia that manifest due to disconnection from consciousness. Fear and anxiety dissipate because your loose your attachment to specific outcomes and you trust the way the universe unfolds. (Balances Prana Vata and Sadhaka Pitta).
The effects of lavender oil have been studied on human emotional states, on our autonomic nervous system and even on our brain's electrical activity.
It tunes our thalamus to improve alpha brain waves, which becomes destroyed by modern toxins like non-native electromagnetic fields (nnEMF), blue light at night and poor sleep.
Fine Tuning Our Biological Clocks
Lavender supercharges energy metabolic pathways in cells that directly balance your biological clocks. It effectively excites electrons which send frequencies to further fin-tune the thalamus (which digests sensory stimuli and is a prime seat of consciousness).

Things to Know About Using Lavender

  • Make sure you use lavender that is grown outside in the sun, not indoors (hydroponic). The beneficial element of phosphorus in lavender is very active when photosynthesised with sunlight. Know your source.
  • Lavender needs to be mature (over 3 years old.) The best lavender is 8-10 years old, grown in a strong UV geography.

Using Lavender

Put a few drops on your pillow for a restful night (very effective for kids bed tremors), use for aromatherapy or add to a massage oil for self-abhyanga for muscle relief, skin support to calm the nervous system. Its uses are endless and it blends with so many oils.
Lavandula angusifolia is the real lavender. Good for Vata. The hybrid is stimulant for Kapha.

Dylan's Favourite Lavender Sources

Lavender essential oils from Amrita and Rare Earth Oils.

References:

  • Ayurvedic properties have been decided by yukti (intellect) by tasting and feeling the plant as well as discussion with Vaidyas and fellow Ayurvedic scholars

Vaca (Acorus Calamus / Sweet Flag) Uses & Benefits

Vaca (sanskrit) literally means “speaking.”

This herb stimulates your voice, the power of your speech, self-expression and your intelligence. 

Although the roots and leaves have a peculiar sweet smell, the taste sure ain’t sweet. It is pungent and bitter (katu and tikta rasa) and I sure am feeling the throat stimulation after eating a small piece of the root - the dry, heating, stimulating sensation in my throat was particularly strong from lunch till sleep and I can still feel it the next day, 24 hours later.

Thus, as the ancient Rishis (seers) and now I have discovered, Vaca is good for the throat, vocal cords and respiratory issues like cough, cold, asthma and sinus conditions.

Nomenclature

English: Sweet Flag or Calamus
Sanskrit: Vaca or Ugragandha
Latin: Acorus Calamus

Energetics

Rasa (taste): Katu (pungent), Tikta (bitter)
Virya (energy): Usna (heating)
Vipaka (post-digestive effect): Katu (pungent)
Gunas (quality): Ruksha (dry), Laghu (light), Tikshna (penetrating)
Dosha: VK- P+

Ayurvedic Action

Ganas (classical groups):

  • Lekhaniya (Scrapes out accumulations) (Vaghbata)
  • Triptighna (That which destroys the abnormal feeling of contentment or lack of desire in anything). (Vaghbata)
  • Arsoghna (Cures Haemorrhoids) (Vaghbata)
  • Sitasamana (Relieves the feeling of cold quickly) (Vaghbata)
  • Samjnada (Restores Consciousness) (Vaghbata)

Indications

Reduces Cravings and Addictions

Chewing the root pre-occupies your throat with this stimulating sensation thus cravings like cigarettes and food diminishes. Here in the village I harvested the roots from, they give a soft soaked root to babies during teething which boosts their immunity (rasayana).

Balance the Mind (Manas)

Vaca is also one of the best herbs for the mind (manas) - its penetrating quality (tikshna guna) effectively purifies the mind and then rejuvenates the brain and nervous system, including the mind’s subtle channels by sharpening the memory, promoting cerebral circulation and increasing sensitivity. It helps cure epilepsy(1), insanity, coma, shock and vata diseases of the head.

Balance Vata

Vaca is excellent for vata, and perhaps one of the best ways to use it is sniff it up your nose with a medicated oil to your brain - directly revitalise your brain with Prana (life-force). Vaca is one of the main ingredients in Vital Vedas and the Raju families Nasika Nasal Oil for Nasya. 

More Benefits:(1)

  • Rasanaya (Longevity and Immunity) - The root is made into bracelets for children to teeth on.
  • Deepaana (Enhances digestive fire)
  • Digestion - relieves constipation, flatulence, pain in the abdomen
  • Helps elimination - cleanses the faeces, and urine
  • cures insanity caused by kapha and bhuta (evil)
  • Cures worms.

Nasika (Nasal & Brain Oil)

Nasya is the Ayurvedic practice of lubricating the nasal passageway and the brain with herb-infused oil. Vaca is one of the main ingredients in Nasika Oil.

Nasika helps:

  • Moisturise the nasal cavity.
  • Prevent sinus congestion.
  • Enhance the intake of prana (life-force)
  • Promote mental clarity
  • Balance hormones
  • Balance the thyroid gland
  • Promote strong and lustrous hair and prevent premature greying and balding of hair.
  • Protect from environmental pollutants such as building sites, polluted cities and unfamiliar countries.
  • Strengthen all the sensory organs.

Nasika, $20/bottle. Shipping worlwdie. Request to purchase Nasika here.

Note that Calamus is banned by the FDA in USA due to toxicity.

Ayurveda says you should only have small amounts of it and must purify it properly (the knowledge of purification of herbs is scare)

Overall, this is one of the most revered herbs in Ayurveda that has been used for thousands of years, and now grows around the world, particualry in wetlands.

References:

  • (1) Bhavaprakasha, Haritakyadi varga.
  • Ganas (Ayurvedic action) - ASTANGA SAMGRAHA (OF VAGBHATA), Author: Prof. K R Srikantha Murthy, CHAPTER 15: LARGER COLLECTION OF EFFICACIOUS RECIPES

Is CBD Really Worth the Highype?

CBD (Cannabidiol), one of the phytocannabinoids found in the hemp plant (cannabis sativa), is all the rage right now.

An increasing number of people are shouting and sharing health results on their Facebook and I am getting emails from companies I have never heard of, offering me to be an affiliate for a high commission. The CBD market is expected to grow by 700% come 2020 according to Forbes, but I predict this trend won’t last…

Phytocannabinoids are plant-based cannabinoid compounds which support the Endocannabinoid system (ECS): an important biological system expressed throughout the nervous system that orchestrates communication between other bodily systems, such as your respiratory, digestive, immune and cardiovascular systems. The ECS does this via receptors found in every organ, including your skin. The ECS has been neglected by most medical schools and professionals and partially only been discovered in the 1990s.

Whole Hemp May Be Better Than Isolated CBD

But note, the hemp plant contains over 100 different phytocannabinoids, of which CBD is only ONE!

Once again, your superfood biohacking organic GMO-free supplement companies that make products infused with crystals are isolating a single compound from a plant and stripping it away from the rest of its family.

Those of us in botanical medicine understand that the sum of all the parts of the plant is greater than any one single ingredient. Natural products that escape laboratory confinement are WHOLE HERBS, not extracts. What you have is natures intelligence effortlessly organising a complex design of constituents which completes a substance with a foundational microbiome and effective holistic action that is welcomed and absorbed by the body.

“The Entourage Effect” (termed by Dr. Ethan Russo) means having ALL the phytocannabinoids and terpenes (hydrocarbonic compounds in the essential oils of plants and flowers) present to give rise to full clinical and meaningful benefits.

While CBD may be the most dominant phytocannabinoid in hemp, the other phytocannabinoids are essential to nourish and support the ECS in the body.

Two Types of Endocannabinoid Receptors

  1. cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1)
  2. cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2).

Both these receptors are found throughout your body.

One cannabinoid your body produces is called anandamide — a nod to the word "ananda," the Sanskrit word for "bliss," as it attaches to the same CB1 receptors that THC attaches to.

Basically, through meditation and other bliss promoting practices, you can make your own endogenous anandamide, rather than relying on an unsustainable source like weed.

Sure CBD helps the CB1 receptor, but what about the CB2 receptor? CBD does not touch CB2.

The CB2 receptor controls inflammatory cycling, pain signaling, insulin sensitivity and bone building. Clearly essential biological functions of which CBD does NOTHING for.
Better get more holistic.

We need a CB2 agonist. Luckily, if we include the whole family of phytocannabinoids, a full spectrum hemp oil contains these other phytocannabinoids that compliment towards what CBD cannot do alone.

We must get off this single magic bullet bandwagon. We must appreciate the full role of all these phytocannabinoid as a whole and that they compliment each other.

CBD is not the answer to support the endocannabinoid system as a whole.

The story is much bigger than just CBD - clinically, scientifically and legally (Big Pharma has patented isolated CBD so others cannot sell it at a dietary supplement).

Endocannabinoid Levels and Your Health

Endocannabinoid deficiency has been identified in people who have:

  • migraines
  • fibromyalgia
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • pain and inflammation
  • neurological conditions
  • Stress, anxiety and insomnia
  • ocular health
  • bone health
  • neurological conditions
  • a variety of treatment-resistant conditions.

They've also discovered there's an intimate relationship between your ECS and your omega-3 : omega-6 ratio status.

Your Endocannabinoid Systems Role in Your Gut Health

Your ECS is interlinked with the brain-gut-immune system pathway. Communication occurs between your endocannabinoid system and your gut microbiome (the bacteria in your gut).

According to Carl Germano, researchers have also discovered the ECS controls:

  • Motility in the gut
  • Intestinal inflammation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Gut permeability
  • Tolerance to antigens

The ECS also reduces the activity of the stress pathways, including the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) pathways. Anandamide, specifically, participates in the immunological response in the gut.

Finally, Hemp is legal in the USA. Donald Trump signed a farm bill at the end of 2018. Australia will probably follow this year.

Now academic and medical institutions can study it. Now consumers have access to an important medicinal plant.

Hemp oil with full-spectrum phytocannabinoids benefits health when used in the right situations and the right way. Always remain natural and holistic.

Hemp as a Herb in Ayurveda

Hemp (Cannabis sativa), known as "Bhanga" in sanskrit, is used in three principal forms:

  1. Ganja - The flowering heads, branches or shoots of the female plant are pressed into compact masses and mainly used for smoking (more recreationally).
  2. Bhanga - Dried leaves and female flower heads is ground up and used as a therapeutic herb. This is added to ayurvedic formulas or mixed with water or milk to consume a syrupy drink.
  3. Caras - Resin that oozes out from the leaves of the plant and rolled into pills. Like hashish, this has no taste and is chiefly used for smoking.

Medicinal Effects

  • In small doses and taken in the right preparation, the plant is antispasmodic, analgesic, stomachic,  sedative.
  • In moderate doses it is a good sedative.
  • It is habit forming and in large doses, it produces mental exhaustion, intoxication, double consciousness, delusion, depression (lowers dopamine),  loss of memory, emaciation and impotence.

Action: Astringnet, appetiser and narcotic.

Ayurvedic Properties

  • Rasa (taste): Katu (pungent)
  • Gunas (quaities): Laghu (light) and tikshna (sharp and penetrating).
  • Virya (Potency): Usna (hot)
  • Vipaka (Post digestive effect): Madhura (sweet)
  • Doshas: pacifies Kapha but aggravate Pitta.

Buy High Quality Hemp

  • Organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Pesticide and herbicide free
  • Full-spectrum phytocannabinoids
  • Grown from certified seeds and not hybrids with marijuana.
  • Support companies that don't mention CBD on the front panel or quantify it in the Supplement Fact box.

Credits:
Carl Germano and Dr. Joe Mercola


Water: The Basis Of Life, Therapeutic Bathing, Cold Water Immersion & Extreme Wellness | Professor Marc Cohen {Podcast #14}

Water: One of the Foundational Elements of the Universe and The Basis of All Life

What ways can we utilise it to optimise our individual health and the collective wellness of humans on earth and deal with the world water crisis.

About Professor Marc Cohen

Professor Marc Cohen is one of Australia’s pioneers of integrative and holistic medicine and has made significant impacts on education, research, clinical practice and policy. He is a registered medical practitioner with degrees in western medicine, physiology and psychological medicine along with PhDs in Chinese medicine and biomedical engineering.

In 2002 he became Australia’s first Professor of Complementary Medicine and Head of the Department of Complementary Medicine at RMIT University, which was by far the largest such department in the country with around 100 staff and 1000 students. He currently leads wellness research within the School of Health and Biomedical Sciences at RMIT University and serves as Program Leader for postgraduate wellness programs along with teaching undergraduate courses on Medical Diagnosis and Medical Examination.

He is a Board Member of the Global Wellness Summit, Past-President (from 2000-2007) of the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association (AIMA), a member of the RACGP-AIMA Joint Working party and sits on the Editorial Board of five international journals. Prof Cohen has previously held positions as Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Medical and Health Sciences Education at Monash University, Expert Advisor to the TGA Complementary Medicine Evaluation Committee, Member of the NHMRC Grant Review panel on Primary Healthcare, Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the National Institute of Complementary Medicine and multiple ministerial appointments on various Registration and Accreditation Panels. He previously held the position as Director of the Centre for Complementary Medicine at the Monash Institute for Health Services Research.

As a medical practitioner and researcher Prof Cohen has pioneered the introduction of complementary, holistic and integrative medicine into mainstream settings. He has been involved in two landmark surveys of Australian General Practitioners and their attitudes towards, and use of, complementary medicines, which were instrumental in the development of the AMA policy on complementary medicine and the establishment of the RACGP-AIMA Joint Working Party on Integrative Medicine. He has also been involved in establishing acupuncture as a form of standard care in emergency department settings and developing hospital policy on practitioner accreditation as well as co-authoring many high level reports including a report for the World Health Organisation on quality assurance in CM education, a report for the National Asthma Council on CM in Asthma, and a report for the Victorian Department of Human Services on the risks and regulatory requirements of naturopathy and western herbal medicine, which was used to inform policy development for the regulation of natural medicine practitioners.

Prof Cohen has published more than 90 peer–reviewed articles, authored more than 20 book chapters and edited 8 books on holistic health as well as co-authoring the landmark text; “Herbs and Natural Supplements an Evidenced Based Guide”, with the first two editions being short-listed for an Australian Publishing Award in the scholarly reference section. He is also co-editor with Oxford University’s Prof Gerry Bodeker of the landmark text ‘Understanding the Global Spa Industry’ which is the first academic book documenting the global spa and wellness industry. He writes a regular monthly column for Prevention Magazine and is regularly requested to examine PhD thesis from many local and international universities and peer-review articles for numerous international scientific journals.

Prof Cohen has extensive experience in running clinical trials and other multidisciplinary projects. He has been involved in running more than 10 industry-funded randomized controlled trials as well as being CIA on two NHMRC funded trials on the use of yoga for geriatric insomnia and the use of acupuncture for analgesia in Emergency Departments. Prof Cohen is currently involved in research into various aspects of holistic health including the use of organic foods in reducing pesticide exposure, the use of yoga and meditation for insomnia and stress, and the use of various therapies and lifestyle interventions for detoxification from environmental chemicals.

Prof Cohen is one of the most active people in Australia when it comes to organising conferences on holistic and integrative medicine. He has organised more than 10 International Holistic Health Conferences and in 2003 he chaired the Organising Committee for the First World Congress on Chinese Medicine. He also organised the Complementary Medicine Symposium at the XIIIth World Congress on Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics as well as organising the RMIT School of Health Sciences Research Conferences from 2005-2007. He sat on the Scientific Committees for the Third International Conference on Complementary Medicine Research and National Prescribing Service Scientific Conference and currently sits on the Board of the Global Wellness Summit. In this last role he has been involved in commissioning and conducting landmark econometric research into the global wellness economy and been instrumental in the development and implementation of the free online evidence based portal wellnessevidence.com

As well as organising conferences, Prof Cohen is a sought after presenter and has been an invited speaker at more than 100 conferences including more than 40 international and 40 national conferences in Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, India, Indonesia, Turkey, Switzerland, China, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, The Philippines, New Zealand, The United States and Hong Kong. Prof Cohen’s impact on the field is recognised by the media and he has received four consecutive RMIT Media Star Awards as well as the inaugural award for leadership and collaboration from the National Institute of Complementary Medicine.


In this Episode we Discuss:

An overview of water on earth:

  • Just a ping pong ball (water) in a basketball (earth).

but 97.5% of the water is ocean (saline) water.

  • Fresh Water: size of a marble in the basketball.

But most the fresh water is in the ground or in icecaps.

  • Liquid fresh water: the size of a small mustard seed in a basketball. - in lakes, streams, rivers and the water in every microorganism in earth. 

We are 99% water including the molecules in our body.

Water as the Matrix of Life and the Most Important Thing for Life on Earth

The Distribution of Water in the World

  • 1 in 7 people on earth does not have clean drinking water - a survival issue.
  • 4.2 million people (mainly children) die every year from water born illness.
  • 1 in 3 people on earth (2.4 billion people) do not have access the clean water to bathe.

The Dignity, Comfort and Spirituality of Water

Feeling good, not stinking, feeling wealthy and abundant when having access to clean water and bathing.

WELLthy - water is part of what we desire.

Bathe The World

Marc and his business partner and friend Charle Davidson’s initiative: everyone on earth deserves one 10L bucket of water a day to drink and clean with.

We have the technology and resources to provide clean bathing water to everyone on earth but we are more focused on doing thing like going to Mars.

World Bathing Day - June 22.

Global Bathe the World Event

  • June 22, 2022.
  • Marc and Charles’s initiative to get one person from every nation of the world to bathe in the biggest natural hot spring on earth.
  • This happens to be in the center of Australia.

Alternating Between Hot and Cold Bathing as Therapy.

Using the thermal properties of water to change your own physiology and mental state.

Marc as personal the scientist of Wim Hoff (known as The Ice Man).

The Cold Water Hokey Pokey: At Home Therapeutic Bathing Technique 

Benefits of Cold Showers/Bathing:

  • Vascular workout - Vassal dilating your blood vessels (we have about 100,000km of blood vessels in our body which are not normally under our voluntary control). Open blood vessels with hot water and close with cold water.
  • Taking control over your breath = mastery over your body. Psychology. Remaining comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. But for those who cannot be comfortable, it is not good.
  • Immune system boost - High adrenaline response suppresses the immune system. Psycho-neuro-immunology: the link between our mind, nervous system, immune system and our brain.
  • Invigorating 
  • Communicates with and up-regulates mitochondria.
  • Induces brown fat production (around big blood vessels, heart and lungs) fat is brown because it is so dense with mitochondria. These mitochondria produce thermal heat (thermogenesis) rather than ATP. They encourage white-fat metabolism.
  • Turns up metabolism and activates the thyroid gland.
  • Cold suppresses the mTOR pathway, a molecular signaling pathway that is responsible for either growth or repair, depending on whether it is stimulated or inhibited. To up-regulate maintenance and repair, boost longevity, and reduce your risk for cancer, you need to suppress the mTOR pathway, and the most efficient way to do this is to limit your protein intake.
  • Helps sleep.
  • Cells become more efficient - Hypoxia forces your body to clean up the house and become more efficient in how they handle oxygen. When the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues is deficient, the cells freak out, their life is on the line. So any free oxygen radicals get mopped up, any proteins that have malformed get auto-phaged, any cells that are pre-cancerous, aging, not working well, abhorrent get apoptosed (cell death). 
  • Promotes cell stem circulation to regenerate tissues - since stem cells live in hypoxic environments and 

The Risks of Cold Shock

Panic in cold water = sympathetic overload = arterial fibrillation = heart attack. This is rare and hardly seen in voluntary cold exposure (more seen when a "man goes over deck").

The Importance of Easing Gradually and Gently into Cold Water Immersion and How to Do It

  • You want to be comfortable and not shocking.
  • Do so your body is at the point just before shivering. You should not shiver.
  • You should feel pleasant. Do not push yourself.
  • Ideal temperature.

Anything below 12-14 degrees celsius is considered really cold water immersion.

How Cold Showers Trained James Bond to Remain Cool and Calm in Hectic Situations

How Water Came to Earth

How the hottest water in the solar system met the coldest water in the solar system - the topic of Marcs third children’s book.

72 Scientific Anomalies of Water

The Fourth Phase of Water: The gel phase substance beyond solid, liquid and vapour.

  • H3O2.
  • Exclusion Zone (EZ) water - it is pure water that excludes solutes like salt to create an electrical potential difference and forms this gel phase / structured water.
  • This is millions of atoms thick (a lot more than we predicted).
  • Light increases the size of the exclusion zone - infrared radiation adds energy to water, purifies it and structures it.
  • Happens at 4 degrees. This is why the arctic ice is less salty than the ocean.

Extreme Wellness Practices

Explore both edges of your comfort zone, but don't exceed it, through basic physiological processes to find your homeostatic point of balance and thus experience extreme comfort.

e.g. Hot and cold showers, Feasting and fasting, hyperventilation and hypoventilation.

Professor Marcs 5 Factors for Life:

  1. Temperature
  2. Glucose
  3. Water
  4. Carbon Dioxide
  5. Oxygen

Breathing Exercises (Pranayama)

The Importance of Coupling Hypoventilation with Hyperventilation when doing breathing exercises or the Wim Hoff method.

Alkalising the body and reducing lactic acid in the body (what causes muscles to burn) with breath.

Marcs 5 Phases of Breathing for Health

Pranayama to increase the number and sensitivity of endorphin receptors - more blissful comfort and more euphoria.

Our Sensitivity to Light Spectrums

Our Cells Emit Light - Bio-photons get emitted with cellular metabolism.

Hot Water as a Therapeutic Technique

  • Lithian, sulphur, iron, magnesium springs.
  • Immersion in water is more relaxing than immersing in air.
  • Compresses your limbs and pulls blood to your core.
  • Bathing increases the efficiency of heart pumping, while your heart is more relaxed and not creating extra waste products (e.g. producing of carbon dioxide and muscle breakdown products).
  • Detox and relaxation at the same time - Flushing lymphatics and blood.
  • Improves sleep - due to cardiovascular workout, metabolic effects and mineral effects that improve sleep.
  • Helps with pain and inflammation.

The Importance of Magnesium and Why Most People are Deficient In It

Transdermally absorbing magnesium as an effective way to get magnesium - Epson salt bath or float tanks.

Thermohaline Circulation: Interactions occurring at the Deep Depths of the Ocean which Provides us with Oxygen

  • When solutes get excluded from Exclusion Zone Water because they are so heavy and mineral dense it drops down to the bottom of oceans. You get dense salty waterfalls occurring under arctic ocean surfaces that are 500,000 times Niagra falls.
  • It can take one to two thousand years to circulate around the bottom of the earths oceans.
  • This helps to stabilise the whole global temperature.
  • That cold oxygenated salty water hits the hot springs at the bottom of the ocean.
  • You get chemistry which started life on earth and semi-organic molecules form.
  • They travel up till they hit the continental shelf and rise up to form fertiliser for phytoplankton.
  • That phytoplankton photosynthesises and supplies us with oxygen today.
  • The oxygen we breath is because of the interaction that occurred at the depths of the ocean.

What Was the Turning Point for Marc to Go Deeper into Cold Immersion

When Marc got 320 Litres of 8-degree ice water poured on his head in 5 seconds.

This huge adrenaline response made his cells vibrate and enhanced his sensory experiences for the next 2-3 hours.

Our Drinking Water

  • Chlorine as a powerful poison.
  • Moving water, not stagnant, restructures water,
  • Mount Donna Buang, Victoria - 1.5 hours from Melbourne as a source of spring water.
  • Boiling water to reduce chlorine and other toxins.

Conscious Relationship with Water

  • Consciously drinking water to change the structure of water you drink and the water in you.
  • Drinking water in gratitude.
  • Even holding water changes the structure of water, which can be seen through looking at water drops with your eye, no need for a microscope.

Tulsi (Holy Basil / Ocimum Sanctum)

  • Purifies water - Wells in India are contaminated with fluoride. Tulsi absorbs heavy metals and toxic elements from the water.
  • Purifies air - when the Taj Mahal planted thousands of Tulsi plants around the Taj Mahal when it was getting bombarded with polluted air.
  • Cognitive awareness.
  • Blood sugar, diabetes, metabolic syndrome.
  • Relaxation without depression of alcohol.
  • Mouth wash, anti-bacterial, disinfectant.
  • Travel companion - boosts the immune system.
  • Every hotel, room, aeroplane you can get sugar and caffeine drinks.
  • Replace sugar, alcohol, caffeine drinks with tulsi and you start to transform consciousness globally.
  • You can consume it all year around.
  • Every part of the plant is medicinal.
  • Even the soil is healthy - the bacteria around the roots and fungi that grow are medicinal.

Read more about Tulsi: The Queen Of Herbs, here

Building Biology: The Health of Our Homes

Water damaged buildings and moulds and the relationship with toxic illnesses.

Balancing Scientific Validation with Intuitive Feeling and Traditional Wisdom

Marcs Ventures in Life.


Resources

The Fourth Phase of Water: Dr. Gerald Pollack at TEDxGuelphU

Earth From Space - Thermohaline Circulation

Peninsula Hot Springs near Melbourne: Best Hot Springs in the World for three years in a row. They are implementing extreme wellness.

Maruia Hot Springs - Marc's hot spring business in New Zealand which holds Extreme Wellness retreats.

The World In a Drop by a Prof. Dr. Ing. Bernd-Helmut Kroeplin from Stuttgart University.

Herbs and Natural Supplements an Evidenced Based Guide: Now in the fourth edition. 1600 pages. The chapter on Tulsi is 10,000 words and contains around 300 references. 


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Himalayan Herbs & The Future of Ayurvedic Products with Dr. Ketan Joshi {Podcast #011}

Medicinal Plants: from Himalayan Villages to the western marketplace.

Astoundingly incorporating Ayurvedic herbs in common food and cosmetic products that you would have never imagined (ice-cream, chewing gum, cosmetics).

About Dr. Ketan Joshi

Dr. Ketan Joshi is a highly experieced food and drink scientist based in England with a PhD in sugar. After years of creating products for corporates, he wanted to do something different. After identifying one of the current global trends "Go Back to Nature," Dr. Joshi set out on a mission to the Himalayas: to bring organic Ayurvedic recipes to the masses.

Dr. Joshi spent years researching the local people’s way of life and came to know them very well. They shared ancient recipes with him, that had been passed down through their families over generations, which they credited for their long life and vitality despite virtually no wealth. Ketan  analysed these herbs at a scientific level and then created the Wise Herb Company.

Ketan has established an impressive Sustainable Initiative for Local Himalayan Families, employing over 1400 small farming families within a 25-30km radius to growing Ayurvedic herbs as well as sponsoring young girls to get educated.


In this Episode we Discuss:

Ketan’s journey from being a Food Scientist and working with big corporates to creating Ayurvedic herbal formulas.

“Back to Nature” - One of the 12 global current trends of the word which Ketan is pursuing.

Where in the world people are still living with nature. There are only 3 or 4 places.

The crisis of the younger generation of mountain farmers uninterested and leaving for the cities.

Processed food and water and our modern lifestyle that has triggered societies desire to “go back to nature.”

Ketan’s Sustainable Initiative for Local Himalayan Families:

He has employed over 1400 small farming families within a 25-30km radius to start growing herbs for him, rather than them growing foods and selling them to the “Himalayan mafia” for next to nothing.

Sponsoring young girls from Himayalan villages to get educated rather than being forced into marriage in their early teenage years.

Wild-Grown - many levels above “organic.”

The purity of the Himalayan farms and lack of pesticides.

The creation process of herbal formulas:

Hand cutting vs. Machine cutting and why Ketan does not use machines to produce his herbal products.
Heat and certain blade fibres from machines kill volatile oils in the plants. Sattva (purity) and micro-biome are healthier in hand-cut herbs.

The stress levels of plants.

Harvesting particular herbs at particular times of the day.

The Wise Herb Company's Herbal Tea Infusions based on Ketan’s observations in the mountains.

How 80-year-old women carry very heavy sacks up mountains at high altitudes.
How truck drivers drive 30-40 tonne trucks through the windy roads of the Himalayas every day for long hours with optimal mental energy.
How 80-year-old men plough fields with oxen all day from 6 am to till the evening.
How 70-year-old men pulled Ketan and his crew out of rivers.

Turmeric - How to increase its bio-availability and absorb the benefits.
Turmeric varies in taste, curcumin level and colour according to where it is grown.

How to tell if the herbs or tea you are buying is legitimate quality:
Triangular tea bags with extra space for stronger infusion of herbs.
A simple at-home test to see if your herbal teas are 100% natural or if it has artificial colours and flavours:
The herbs should expand and swell.

The uncertainty of India, and why Ketan does all his herbal processing himself in England.

Why Ayurvedic herbs are not going to remain a niche industry.
Big corporates are requesting and enquiring Ketan’s help to implement Ayurvedic herbs into confectionary, chewing gum, chocolate, hair gels, sunscreen - common products! They are watching.
This is all because there is a need of the time to go back to nature.

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Alchemising the Essence of Traditional Medicine with Dr. Jimi Wollumbin {Podcast #007}

Lets not only explore some of the gems, techniques and knowledge from a range of traditional medicine but let's cultivate capabilities to relate with the essence of these ancient lineages in order to heal using a more direct, holistic and powerful approach.

Set at the feet of Mt Wollumbin (Mt Warning) in the Northern Rivers of NSW at Jimi’s healing sanctuary, this interview explores traditional healing gems and techniques derived from a diverse catalogue of ancient lineages.

That is what Dr. Jimi has uniquely cultivated. An ability to cross-pollinate medical traditions then apply that in his clinic and teachings while maintaining professional sovereignty.

Jimi sheds insight into the root causes of disease by exploring deep and subtle primary wounds.

His approach is understanding and communing with the essence of a herb, a medical device, a body system, disease or a patient, in order to heal holistically. This is what makes a physician at the top of their game.

This interview is basically me picking Jimi’s brain on all cool things traditional medicine while he shares his philosophical views and approach. I also enquire about his journey of moving from tradition to tradition to cultivate his own flavour of healing while maintaining respect and authentic identity.


About Dr. Jimi Wollumbin

Whether he is presenting at the UN or at a village health co-operative in rural India, Jimi is always a highly engaging speaker, writer and educator. With 19 years clinical experience and almost as much in community development, Jimi combines his deep knowledge of holistic medicine with a passion for social causes and world health. As the social entrepreneur that founded One Health Organisation in 2005, he has since steered it to become the largest holistic and integrative healthcare NGO in the world - having distributed roughly 9 metric tonnes of medicine to hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged communities across the globe. Jimi’s private clients value his obvious passion for traditional medical practices and the way in which he combines aspects of the traditions of India, China, Tibet and Persia that continue to inspire him.


In this Episode we Discuss:

  • How Jimi got the name Wollumbin - the indigenous name of the mountain where Jimi lives.
  • Mt Wollumbin as the “Ajna” (third eye) of Australia. (6:10)
  • Cross-pollinating medical modalities and reviving living traditions. (8:30)
  • Jimi’s personal journey and experience with medicine. (13:30)
  • Jimi’s journey with Ayurveda.
  • The common grammar that underlies Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine. (16:30)
  • Ayurveda and herbal medicine is a labour of love. (22:34)
  • Jimi’s platform of practice - alternative to the alternatives. (23:10)
  • Accessing deep and subtle primary wounds as root causes of disease. “What really needs to be healed here?” (24:30)
  • Pulse diagnosis: deep intimacy of sentients touching sentients. (35:35)
  • Starting to learn Pulse Diagnosis. How to approach it. “Feel” the pulse. (39:35)
  • Leech Therapy: Raktamokshana (Blood liberation). (44:05)
    • Used in 30 hospitals alone in NSW.
    • Why in the European tradition they used to call physicians “leeches.” (47:50)
  • Pan-Indo European Culture: Root culture of Europe encompassing 450 languages. (48:18)
  • Understanding the essence of a medical instrument or herb. Understanding the basic gestalt of the pattern, principle, idea, notion or spirit of a herb or medical device (such as a leech) in order to know how to apply that to the basic gestalt, pattern and principle of a disease. (50:23)
  • The qualities and nature of a leech: dark, night, yin, cool, feminine, water, flowing. (52:25)
  • Uses of leech therapy:
    • Use for something that is hot and not flowing.
    • The most potent anticoagulant known to man (hirudin).
    • All conditions of the blood and excess heat.
    • “Just as the swan drinks only the milk from a diluted milk, similarly the leeches drink only the bad blood first from the pool of (vitiated) blood.” ~ Vaghbata.
  • Other body treatments Jimi utilises: Svedana, Bastis, Shirodhara. (59:46)
  • Healing response of Kati Basti: Warm oil penetrates drives deep down into the tissues and doshas which allows vata (the primary vital force and subtle winds of the body) to flow and for blood to move.
  • 3 Modes of Ayurvedic Blood Letting and Cupping: (01:01:43)
    • Historically used to suck the disease-causing spirits out of the body.
    • Now used to suck the wind out.
    • Move stagnant blood without opening the vein (a mild form of venesection).
    • Toning through taking blood out.
    • Taking a little blood out of a weak person to stimulate the marrow for strength.
    • Treat “hot” infections.
  • Why anaemic people can die from getting fed iron supplements.
  • Disease is a spiritual phenomenon. Ayurveda is old as nature actually. (01:03:14)
  • Disease manifesting due to violation of natural law.
  • Excess iron causing immunological problems, liver strain and cardiac risk. Especially in men who don’t have a chance to shed iron need iron clearance. (01:08:15)
  • Causes of excessive iron: (01:09:40)
  • Iron age. To much arien arterial energy and not enough venus like yin energy.
  • We have stopped blood letting.
  • Earth pollution and heavy metals interacting with iron.
  • Jimi’s favourite herbs: (01:12:28)
  • Angelica:
    • Finland’s sacred and most revered herb.
    • Shamans would use in a range of shamanic practices.
    • Gained its fame during the plague. It was revered by angels and it was an angel that told suffering humanity that angelica would assist in fighting off the plague.
    • Pungent taste (Katu rasa) helps with phlegmatic, kapha, leukkoria, phlegm on lungs - bronchial infection. Low agni and invisible phlegm.
    • Useful for phlegmatic psychologically and physiologically issues (similar to Kapha).
    • Immune booster.
    • Gentle enough for children to use.
  • Adrenal boosters that are stimulants in disguise vs. adaptogens. (01:15:18) - Ginseng, rhodiola, cordyceps - high doses makes them stimulates, exhausting and healing. In low doses they won’t be.
  • Adaptogens have deep tonic properties are Qi tonics and kidney tonics that form ojas faster.
  • Ashwagandha - an adaptogen whose root literally smells like a horse. Balances vata and the nervous system. The “sleepy nightshade.” (01:18:50)
  • Today’s most common health issues Jimi sees in practice: Endocrine disharmony and hormonal problems that have adrenal fatigue at their root due to flight or fight constantly turned on. (01:21:32)
  • Parasympathetic nervous system: “Rest and digest.” “Feed and breed.”
  • Digestive disorders of vata blowing out agni due to nervous system imbalance.
  • Hypothyroidism - approaching the endocrine system as a web rather than separate glands.
  • Reductionism as a problematic approach to medicine.

Resources


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