Abhyanga: Ayurvedic Oil Massage – Healing & Nourishing Ritual | Dylan Smith #090

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Abhyanga: Ayurvedic oil massage, is one of the most popular and impactful treatments & practices in Ayurveda.

Abhyanga should not only be considered a treatment that is occasionally performed by a trained therapist, but also as one of the essential practices and integral parts of the Ayurvedic dinacaryā (daily routine).

The Ayurvedic sacred texts (Śastras) break down the great importance & healing capacities of Abhyanga, and most particularly the importance of incorporating self-Abhyanga as a daily habit.

This episode is for those that are absolutely new to Abhyanga, as well as those who have already been practicing it for years. On this episode, we break down the ins & outs of this wonderful healing practice.


In this Episode we Discuss:

What is Abhyanga & What Are Its Unique Features

Abhyanga is a form of Ayurvedic oil massage.
Abhyanga can be in the form of self-massage or it can also be performed on one’s body by a trained Ayurvedic body therapist. 
Ayurvedic massage is very different to the more common massages on the market - deep tissue, Swedish, Japanese, Chinese, Thai massage, sports massage, Lomi Lomi/Kahuna, etc.
The main differences are:
The Medicated Oils
This is a key aspect of the Abhyanga. 
Usually, coconut or sesame oil is medicated with various herbs according to the season and the individual's unique constitution.
Ayurvedic massage oils have the power to penetrate through all layers of skin and enter into all 7 body tissues (dhatus) to do their job of effective detoxification, nourishment, and more.
If you want to get a treatment you can either come to the Vital Veda Clinic in Sydney, Australia, or go to a nearby certified Ayurvedic therapist and take our precious medicated oils with you. 
For self-Abhyanga massage, you can buy the oils from us or prepare your own oil at home with our medicinal herb pack called Kumkumadi Powder.
Strokes
The strokes are selected and applied in a vigorous and rhythmic matter according to the client's constitution and imbalances.
Marma Points
Special consideration is given to the Marma Points.
  • Marma Points are the special storehouses of energy and concentrated life force. 
  • The Marmas are enlivened for vast harmonious effects. 
  • Perhaps when performing Abhyanga daily there’s no need for marma therapy or acupressure (which can potentially be very dangerous) as abhyanga already activates the marmas. 
Healing The 7 Chakras
The 7 chakras are also worked on to unblock any problems related to them.


Benefits of Daily Abhyanga

ābhyaṅgamācarennityaṃ sa jarāśramavātahā

dṛṣṭiprasādapuṣṭyāyuḥ svapnasutvaktvadārḍhyakṛt //

- Astanga Hrdayam, Sutra Sthana, Chapter 2, Verse 8.

Meaning:
Whoever does the abhyanga every day, for them:
  • Jarā – aging is reduced
  • Śrama – tiredness is reduced
  • Vāta - dosha is reduced
  • Dṛṣṭiprasāda – improves the clarity of vision and strengthens the eyes. 
  • puṣṭi – gives energy and nourishes dhatus.
  • Ayu – prolongs age.
  • Svapna – induces good sleep (when vata is pacified, you have good calmness and निर्मलत्वाम् / प्रसन्न)
  • tvaktvadādhryakṛt – improves skin tone and complexion.

Abhyanga should ideally be done daily, morning. 

Other benefits:
Lymphatic Drainage
The Lymphatic system is critical for good health according to Ayurveda, and Abhyanga specifically stimulates and strengthens the lymphatic system, thus improves immunity and stabilises hormones, and in this way it improves physical and mental states.
Pacifying the Nervous System 
The skin has more nerve endings then any part of the body, and this is why Ayurvedic massage, through appropriate strokes channelled harmoniously with the body's channels, is so effective in calming the mind down, grounding a frantic mind, releasing stress, promoting proper sleep, and providing a state in which the body can deeply rest. There isn't any other way to pacify 20,000,000 nerve receptors in the body’s skin in just a couple of minutes.
Studies have shown that people with hypertension and depression improve with massage therapy.
Massage appears to decrease cortisol, a disease-producing and degenerative stress hormone.*
It also increases dopamine, norepinephrine & oxytocin, which boost mood, reward, pleasure and wellbeing.*
  • Amazingly, research also shows that oxytocin*:
    • Extends life in cancer patients
    • Reduces cravings for sweets
    • Reduces anxiety and depression
    • Increases sexual potency and desire
    • Reduces cortisol and boosts immunity
Improve Immunity and Increase Stamina.
Massage has also been found to boost immunity and killer T cells in AIDS patients.*  
Enhance blood circulation.
Promote flexibility of the muscles, tissues and joints.
Strengthens The Skin, Muscles & Bones
Promotes softness and luster of the skin as well as youthfulness.
Correct injuries, specifically the muscle and bone tissue.
Enhance positive microbiology in your body (your skin is home to massive colonies of microbes).
Balances The Three Doshas
It opens the flow of Prana (Life Force) by balancing the three doshas.

“The body of one who uses oil massage regularly does not become affected much even if subjected to accidental injuries, or strenuous work. By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts and becomes strong, charming and least affected by old age.”

Charaka Samhita Vol. 1, V: 88-89 (One of the Great ancient texts of Ayurveda)

Protection From Negative or Draining Energies 
  • Healthcare workers
  • Bodyworkers - massage therapists, etc.
  • Hospice
  • Death doulas
  • Drug and alcohol
  • Bacteria and viruses - energetic periphery
  • Viral or spike protein shedding
  • Meditation teachers
  • Occupational therapists
  • Overly sensitive people
  • Etc.
Develops Dhatu Metabolism and Enhances Mala Kriya
Between each of the 7 layers of skin is one of seven dhatu agnis.
Bhrajaka Pitta absorbs nutrients and medicaments we put on our body. 
So the more we do abhyanga, the more dhatu development happens.
 “When we are not oleating daily, and not protecting the communicating intelligence in our skin, then due to the dryness the channels will be blocked. Then the proper knowledge is blocked because the correct pathway is blocked. This blockage is the cause of disease“

~ Vaidya Krishna Raju







How to Do Self-Abhyanga

Download the Self-Abhyanga instruction poster here.
Verse 9: Important Areas in Abhyanga and When to Avoid Abhyanga 
śiraḥśravaṇapādeṣu taṃ viśeṣeṇa śīlayet 
varjyo 'bhyaṅgaḥ kaphagrastakṛtasaṃśuddhyajīrṇibhiḥ
Massage should be especially done on head, ears, and legs (these need to be done more). 
Also ears, feet (increases circulation) big toe good for eyes, navel (main vata places)
When to do - morning or evening before shower. Ideally in the morning.
Śiro Pichu + Pad Abhyanga - before sleep.
“Disease does not go near one who massages his feet before sleeping, just as snakes do not approach eagles”.
- Ancient Saying

Self-Abhyanga Contra-Indications

  • Increase in Kapha in the body
  • Soon after shodana karma like pancakarmas
  • During indigestion
  • During nausea
  • Congestion, cold, jvara, flu
  • Headache
  • Menstruation
  • Strong ama doṣa - e.g. amavata / Rheumatoid arthritis - or give svedana / with certain oils
  • Post certain surgeries
  • New tattoos - avoid that area
  • First trimester of pregnancy
  • 8th month of pregnancy - for receiving abh - or any body treatments, unless your physician applies.

Oils to Use

  • If you can get your hands on an Ayurvedic medicated massage oil that is suitable for you, that will be beneficial.
      • Medicated or herbalised oils are created when herbs are cooked into certain oils. This is different to just adding essentials oils to a base oil, which is not really an Ayurvedic medicated oil.
      • When the oil becomes medicated, it becomes a "nano-medicine" that has the ability to enter the body on a deep level (suksma karma).
  • Sesame oil in winter/cold climate & coconut oil in summer or for those with sensitive skin.
      • You can also use other oils like almond and macadamia, or whatever is locally grown to you, but the former two are primarily recommended by Ayurveda.
  • Warm up your massage oil. This will increase the effect and nourishing quality as the oil can penetrate deeper into the skin and tissues.

Giving Abhyanga to Others

After people receive an authentic Ayurvedic massage, mostly they experience an underlying sustaining bliss, while simultaneously their grounded, relaxed and refreshed mind is surprised. They often ask "what did I just receive?"
If you want to learn to give Abhyanga to others, check out the Abhyanga: Ayurvedic Oil Massage course


References

  • *Altern Ther Health Med. 2012;18;960;11-18 - Massage increases oxytocin and reduces adrenocorticotropin hormone in humans - Vera Morhenn 1, Laura E Beavin, Paul J Zak
  • Massage increases oxytocin and reduces adrenocorticotropin hormone in humans - Vera Morhenn 1, Laura E Beavin, Paul J Zak

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


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


Tamarind Tree (Imlī / Amlikā / Tamarindus indica)

Tamarind leaves and fruits
Sanskrit name: Amikā
Hindi name: Imlī
Sanskrit synonyms:
  1. Cukrikā
  2. Amlī
  3. Cukrā
  4. Dantaṣaṭhā
  5. Amlā
  6. Ciñcikā
  7. Cincā
  8. Tintiḍīka
  9. Tintiḍī
Tamarind Pods

Focus: The Ripe Fruit…

Many parts of the tamarind tree are used medicinally for culinary purposes. Below are the qualities of the ripe pulp (from the fruit pod), which can be bought as pods themselves, as paste, pulp, purée or a concentrated paste.
Rasa (taste): amla (sour), madhura (sweet)
Vīrya (energy): heating
Vipaka (post-digestive effect): amla (sour)
Gunas: ruksa (dry) & guru (heavy)
Doshas: KV- P+
Can increase Kapha and rakta (blood) together if had in excess.
Parts used: flower, seed, fruit, kshara (alkali bark ash / fruit skin), leaves.
Karmas (Actions):
  • Dīpana (increases digestive fire), the ripe fruit
  • Laxative (1)
  • Vasti shuddhikrut - cleanses urinary bladder
Tamarind pods
Tamarind paste

Uses & Benefits

Arthritis

Helpful for arthritis, especially when Vata is trapped in the joints.
The unripened fruit is also helpful for rheumatoid arthritis: Unripened tamarind paste that will suck the expanded ama (undigested toxic food material) to one place, then it is easier to get out of the place with some elimination therapy.(2)
Note that tamarind is not the herb of choice for arthritis.

Digestion

Tamarind is a good pre-biotic. It acts as a laxative and enkindles digestive strength.
Add the Sour Taste for Wholesome 6 Tastes
In Ayurveda, a balanced diet means having all six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, astringent). Tamarind is a great way to include the sour taste. You can do this by adding tamarind pulp, paste or tamarind water (see recipe below) filtered or not.
Sour taste characteristics:
  • Mahābhūta (elements): earth and fire.
  • Vīrya (energy): heating
  • Gunas (qualties): laghu (light), snigdha (unctous)
  • Vipaka (post-digestive effect): amla (sour) - (in general)
  • Doṣas: PK+ V-
  • Karmas (actions): enkindles agni (dīpana), metabolises ama/ undigested toxic food materials (pacana), moves liver stagnation, increases bile, building (bṛṃhaṇa), stopping (stambhana), contraction (contraction), nourishes and energises the body, awakens the mind, nourishes the heart (hṛdaya), satisfying, soothing and appeasing (prīṇanam), washes or clears oral cavity.
Tamarind is part of the recipe for Six Tastes Drink: A Sweet Drink to Enliven the 6 Tastes and Agni (Digestive Fire)
To learn more about the six tastes and how to help recognise the medicinal qualities of food in any food item or substance, check out Vital Veda’s Essence of Ayurvedic Nutrition course.

Ally to Purify Food, Herbs and Cleanse in General

Tamarind water is used to wash and purify fruit and vegetables.
To make tamarind water, add 1 tablespoon of tamarind pulp to 1L of water, mix and mash well. Leave for 15 minutes, mix again and filter.
Tamarind water is a form of tartaric acid - it helps remove fertilisers and chemicals that are on non-organic food.
Tamarind is used for cleaning metals like brass and copper.
Purify pumpkin
The common yellow pumpkin is considered a vata aggravating vegetable, and a vegetable to not have too much of. Cooking pumpkin with tamarind and cumin is an antidote to the vata aggravating qualities of pumpkin.
Antidote to Sliminess of Okra (Lad’s Finger)
For those who don’t like the slimy quality (picheela guna) of the okra vegetable, using tamarind during the cooking process will prevent it from getting too slimy.
Pumpkin Tamarind Gravy
Sambar

Classical Food Recipes With Tamarind

Tamarind Rice is a classic prasadam (holy) dish that is offered in many Hindu temples. It is also used in Vedic astrology in combination with other ingredients to pacify the nine planets. Check out this Nine Planet Tamarind Rice Recipe 
Tamarind is a common ingredient used in small amounts in the classical south Indian dishes Sambar and Rasam, light, nutritious soups that are great for dinner or as part of the main, noon meal.

Ayurvedic Medicines Containing Tamarind

Krishna Paste
Tamarind seed bhasma and tamarind seed root is used in the skincare product Krishna paste.
Shankha Vati (a.k.a. Shankar V)
A classical Ayurvedic medicine used for gastric conditions, dyspepsia, anorexia, high pitta in the gut, and other digestive disorders.
Rasnadi Chūrnam
A powder to apply over the scalp and crown of the head. Used to relieve headache sinusitis or Kapha in the head, and is good to apply after shirodhara/takradhara and/or after bathing post shirodhara/takradhara treatment.

Tamarind Flower Properties and Medicinal Uses

  • Ruchiprada - improves taste, useful in anorexia
  • Meha - diabetes and urinary tract disorders.
  • dīpana - enkindles agni (digestive fire)
  • Rasa
  • Doshas: Kapha Vata hara (KV-)
  • Gunas: laghu (light), vishada (clear)
Tamarind flower

Ripe Fruit of Tamarind Properties and Medicinal Uses

  • atyamla - extremely sour
  • laghu - light to digest
  • asruk krut - causes blood disorders (1)
  • doshas: PK+ V-
  • Constricts channels (2)
  • Clears the urine passage (2)
  • For rheumatoid arthritis: Unripened tamarind paste that will suck the expanded ama (undigested toxic food material) to one place, then it is easier to get out of the place with some elimination therapy.(2)

Semi-Ripe Fruit of Tamarind Properties and Medicinal Uses

  • grahi - absorbent, useful in diarrhoea, IBS
  • dīpana
  • ruchya - improves taste, useful for anorexia
  • doshas: VK-

References:

  1. Bhāvaprakāśa-Pūrvakhaṇḍa āmrādi phala varga
  2. Vaidya Rajus from Hyderabad

Ayurvedic Daily Routine, Guru & Spirituality | Vaidya Aditya Raju #089

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Daily routine, “dinacharyā”, is one of the pillars of health in Ayurvedic medicine.
Integrating certain practices into your daily routine that are rooted in natural law supports one to smoothly flow on their path of evolution with minimal friction and maximum health.
This podcast features world renowned Ayurvedic doctor, Vaidya Ādityā Raju, who generously shares wisdom on the Ayurvedic daily routine in such an elaborate way like you have probably never heard before.
This episode was auspiciously recorded on the eve of the fullest moon of the year, known as "Guru Pūrṇimā.”
Thus, we explore the role of Guru - which literally translates to “that which removes darkness”, and the multitude of qualities of “Guru consciousness."

About our guest: Vaidya Aditya Raju

Vaidya Aditya Raju is a specialist in Panchakarma, Pulse diagnosis and Sukhamarma.
Aditya is the youngest son of J.R. Raju, the foremost disciple of the world-famous Vaidya Balraj Maharishi and head of the Raju Family. He is also sishya (disciple) and devotee of his holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, under who’s guidance he trained for several decades of his life before the Maharishi dropped his body.
He is a visiting teacher in Italy, where he provides consulting and training to hundreds of doctors. He also serves as a consultant to Maharishi Ayurveda products Italy.
He is a visiting Ayurveda consultant to European and Asian Ayurveda Panchakarma centers.
With grace and a pure spirit, Aditya shares his vast and rich wisdom of Ayurveda, hoping to enlighten and assist as many souls as possible during this lifetime.

In this Episode we Discuss:

The Essentials of the Ayurvedic Daily Routine (Dinacharya)

Firstly, waking up in the brāma muhūrta
  • For more information on the brāhma muhūrta click here.
Drinking cool water first thing in the morning (after cleaning your teeth & scraping your tongue) and later hot water the rest of the day. 
  • This assists in the cleansing of the body & the removal of ama (undigested toxic material). 
  • After washing your teeth it is advised that you do some form of gargling or oil pulling (ideally use the special Gandusha Oil or plain sesame oil)
Nasya नस्य (sniffing a drop of nasya oil like our Nasika Oil up each nostril) to lubricate, cleanse and protect the upper srotas (channels). 
  • Advice: don’t do nasya before taking a shower, before having a meal, before going to bed nor when having a cold/flu. 
Abhyanga अभ्यङ्ग massage to stimulate the lymph & blood flow around the body, hydrate the skin & pull toxins out it + much more.
  • You can read more about abhyanga massage, how to do it and its many benefits here
  • After your self-abhyanga practice you can take a shower or bathe in the sea/ocean. The water invokes the essence of ganga, the goddess or supreme intelligence of water that is all-purifying. 
    • It cleanses on the external/superficial level.
Practicing some form of meditation will allow you to de-excite the mind & to establish yourself in a state of pure being. Meditation is the way for you to cleanse the internal and deeper level.  
  • At Vital Veda we recommend the Vedic Meditation practice. 
    • To find a Vedic meditation teacher near you click here & scroll down to “Vedic meditation”. 
There is no need to be strict with your Dinacharya. Start gradually. Explore & implement different practices out of joy.

Other Powerful Practices

Bringing awareness to your hands and observing the three main aspects of the mother divine (Lakshmi, Saraswati & Uma). You can chant the Karaagre Vasate Lakshmi mantra. 

कराग्रे वसते लक्ष्मीः करमध्ये सरस्वती

Karagrei Vasate Lakssmi ∽ Kara-Madhye Saraswati

करमूले तु गोविन्दः प्रभाते करदर्शनम्

Kara-Mūle Bhavet Gauri ∽ Prabhaate Kara-Darśanam

The upper hand is the seat of Lakshmi (fingers). The middle of palm is the seat of Saraswati, the base of the palm (lower pads & thumbs) is the seat of Gauri (Durga/Parvati). The first sight of the day has a special power and makes a deeper impression on the brain ~ especially during Brahmi Muhurta. So when we see our palms first while repeating the Mantra, we are enlivening all three special energies in our physiology because:

Before putting your feet on the ground you can chant the Samudra Vasane Devi mantra. 

समुद्रवसने देवि पर्वतस्तनमण्डले

Samudra-Vasane Devi Parvata-Stana-Mannddale

विष्णुपत्नि नमस्तुभ्यं पादस्पर्शं क्षमस्वम

Vissnnu-Patni Namas-Tubhyam Paada-Sparsham Kssamasva-Me

  • The meaning of this mantra is the following:
    • Line 1: (Oh Mother Earth) O Devi, You Who have the Ocean as Your Garments, and Mountains as Your Bosom.
    • Line 2: O Consort of Lord Vishnu, Salutations to You; Please Forgive my Touch of the Feet (on Earth, which is Your Holy Body).
  • This mantra or shloka beautifully describes the tolerance, compasion, patience and nurturing quality of earth and it is meant to enliven our appreciation for mother nature & all the organisms that it holds & provides for. 
Doing some asanas (yoga postures) and pranayama (breath regulation) early in the morning before the abhyanga
After your morning meditation, you can do a puja पूजा (a ceremonial worship). 
  • Firstly invoking Ganesha (the remover of obstacles) & afterward your Guru(s) and your ishta devata (your personal supreme deity) to show your appreciation & to ask for guidance. 
  • Everything that you do before the puja is a preparation for this moment. You first cleanse your body & mind, get established in being, and only then do you engage with the puja. 
    • This ideally is the first real “action” of the day. 
  • The puja allows for the enlivening of siddhis (divine-human capabilities)

Seasonal Routines

Ritucharya ऋतुचर्या translates to seasonal routine. The ritus are the Vedic seasons & the word charya means “routine”. 
  • The year is divided in 6 ritus of 2 months each:
    • शिशिर (śiśira) – Late winter
    • वसन्त (vasanta) – Spring
    • ग्रीष्म (grīṣma) – Summer
    • वर्षा (varṣā) – Rains
    • शरद् (śarad) – Autumn
    • हेमन्त (hemanta) – Early winter 
“There occur some special changes in environment and humans in every Ritu, and hence certain foods and exercises are specifically told for each Ritu, this process is known as Ritucharya”
Source – aruṇadatta commentary on aṣṭāṃga hrudaya, sūtra 3.1
For more information on the advised ritucharya for your specific physiology & the current ritu please schedule a consultation with Dylan. 
  • You can book a consultation with Dylan by clicking HERE.

Mantras

The regular and intentional practice of mantras allows for them to fully imbibe their essence within one’s physiology, to the point of one being able to recognize the beeja and mudra for said mantra(s) naturally. 
  • When the mantras have been assimilated to that degree, one can recite them & do their mudras at astounding speeds - beyond what can be perceived with the naked eye. 
    • It is a level of mantra-mastery that is often only achieved by the most dedicated brahmins.
  • This deep familiarization with mantras has epigenetic repercussions, to the point where the energetic effects of these primordial sounds on one’s nervous system ends up being passed down to one’s own progyny.

What is “Guru” गुरु?

The traditional role of the guru is to allow for the shishya (disciple) to chip away old habits,  also known as Vṛtti(s) वृत्ति, that do not contribute to the evolution of the spirit.  
  • The cleansing of our karma & samskaras becomes severely accelerated when under the guidance of a master. 
  • When these imperfections are removed by means of a specific sadhana (spiritual practice), all that is left is pure chitta (awareness). 
The meaning of jagadguru जगद्गुरु - a term composed of the words jagat which means “the entire world” and guru meaning “spiritual master” or literally “remover of darkness”. 
  • A jagadguru is a spiritual master of the whole world.
  • There are several jagadgurus recognized in history, amongst them the legendary spiritual master Adi Shankaracharya, founder of the Advaita Vedanta school of philosophy; Veda Vyasa, the master who compiled the Vedas; and even Lord Kṛṣṇa who gifted the world with a lot of wisdom, especially in the Bhagavad Gita.
How Gurus manage to engage with the world in a completely frictionless manner due to their unique level of transcendence. 
  • Being established in pure being allows for one to flow through life effortlessly, free of attachment. 

The field of guru consciousness
A guru can be anything and anyone. A guru is everything that teaches you a lesson and removes darkness from your life. 
  • Guru can be a traditional master, but it can also be a mother, a father, a friend, one’s sangha (spiritual community), an event/experience, and even elements of nature like a tree, a butterfly or a stone.
The Mother is the first guru of everyone.  

Guru-Sishya Relationships
How these relationships come to be.
The love and devotion between student & master.

The Vedas & The Idea of “Spirituality”

Spirituality in the Vedas is not merely religious practices. It is not an isolated concept or something that is practiced in isolation from other things. 
The Vedas show that spirituality permeates everything, and all things can be spiritual. In the Vedas mathematics are spiritual, science is spiritual, the medical system (Ayurveda) is spiritual, etc. 
All things are integrated with each other in the Vedas, everything is a part of the whole, hence there is a Saṃbandha संबन्ध (connection) between all things.

Vargas (Caste System)

The karma of family lineages.

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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"


References

  1. https://www.webmd.com/diet/iron-rich-foods#1
  2. https://www.scu.edu.au/engage/news/latest-news/2015/research-holds-the-key-to-more-native-spinach-on-our-dinner-plates.php
  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: ec.europa.eu [Accessed 28 January 16] /  Nutrient data was provided by USDA SR-21. 
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279618/
  13. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1103341/nutrients

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)
Calcium:
(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) 
Protein:
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)
Iron:
(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)
Zinc:
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.

Anti-Cancer

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)

Anti-Inflammatory

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)

Aphrodisiac

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?

Leaves

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

Seeds

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)
(12)

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

References

  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

Holy Anthills: The Vedic Worldview

A sacred anthill
Written by Pedro Del Riccio
A sacred anthill
Anthills, also known as Vāmalūra in Sanskrit or putthu in Tamil, are not only considered sacred in India, but as real manifestations and embodiments of the Divine.
The place where an anthill emerges is automatically deemed sacred land by those who understand the deep significance & importance of these earthly palaces.
There are many reasons for which Anthills are considered expressions of Divine, here's some of the wisdom I could find surrounding these holy putthus.

Anthills and Mahāsamādhi

It is popular belief in India that wherever an anthill of this nature manifests, an enlightened yogi has attained mahāsamādhi, the state where the realized soul consciously makes the decision to drop the body and become liberated.
Anthills then emerge, and act as beacons and spreaders of the sattvic prana (life-force) that that yogi has left behind on this earth.
Mahasamadhi of Sri Yukteswar

Holy Medicinal Honey

In some special locations in India, those who are local to certain areas can identify putthus inside which bees choose to build their beehives.
The honey that those bees produce is believed to have very special medicinal qualities. It is said that this holy honey can be used to treat cancer and various other serious diseases.

The Nagas (Celestial Snakes)

Another reason to which the holiness of these anthills is attributed is rooted in Vedic lore and philosophy.
It is said that the Nagas (a divine race of cosmic snakes) reside within these anthills (as you can see in the photo, we found the shedded skin of a cobra snake right at the entrance of one putthu).
The nagas are described as a powerful, pure & splendid race of beings that can assume their physical form either as human, partial human-serpent or the whole serpent. 
Their domain lies in an enchanted underworld filled with gems, gold and other earthly treasures called Naga-loka or Patala-loka. They are also often associated with bodies of waters — including rivers, lakes, seas, and wells — and are guardians of great treasures. 
As explained to me by my Guru, since there is no karma in Naga-loka (the capacity to perform good or bad actions) the only way for the nagas to attain moksha  or liberation from the life & death cycle is for them to come and do their sadhana (spiritual practice) on earth (also known as Bhumi-loka).
Anthill with shedded cobra skin next to it
A painting of the nagas
These divine snakes that reside within the putthus are also considered to be embodiments of the Kundalini Shakti (divine feminine energy which flows in the spinal cord), and therefore of the Divine Mother herself, also known as Adi Parashakti or Adi Narayani.
Encountering Naga Maa (The Mother Naga), especially during Naga Panchami, is a very rare and auspicious experience that is said to bring many blessings. 
Doing puja (Vedic worship ceremony) on a putthu is believed to bestow huge blessings to the one who performs it. And worshiping the Goddess after reverently offering milk or ghee to these holly anthills and walking around them 9 times with prayers in one’s heart is said to reduce grievances, provide protection and bestow the boon of children to women who do not have any.

The Soil of The Putthu

The soil taken from these anthills is believed to be very holy and endued with a very special and cherished pranic force. 
In Ayurvedic siddha medicine, this holy soil is used to prepare medicines & for external treatments as well. This earthly medicine is believed to be very effective to reduce cholesterol.
There are special places in India, like the Vaitheeswaran Koil temple in Tamil Nadu, where Lord Siva is worshiped as Idyanathar or Vaitheeswaran meaning the "God of healing”, and the earth taken from different putthus is provided as Prasad (devotional offering) to devotees.
I've even heard from a pandit (Vedic Priest) that there are certain temples that use the soil of the putthus to make Siva Lingams.

Doing Puja To A Putthu & The Nagas Residing Within

I had the blessing & privilege of performing puja to several putthus during my last stay in South India and can personally tell how deeply rewarding & powerful of a happening it is.
It not only is a deeply grounding experience that connects one with Mother Nature, but being able to pay homage and worship to the abodes of such magnificent beings is a very enlightening experience in itself. 
Fridays are the most auspicious days to perform worship on these anthills. 
A simple puja consists of:
  1. Chanting mantras during the whole process
  2. Doing turmeric (haridra) & kumkum archana - offering of turmeric and kumkum powder to the anthill. 
  3. Offering of flowers
  4. Offering of incense
  5. Offering of milk (ideally) or ghee. 

Mantras that you can chant to worship the putthu/nagas:

Sarva Mangal Mangalye Mantra (The Mantra of Durga Devi):
Sarva-Mangala-Maangalye Shive Sarvaatha-Saadhike |
Charanye Trayambake Gauri Narayani Namostute
Naga Gayatri Mantra:
Naaga Devatha Shlokam
Om Naaga Vijayayai Vidmahe
Kanni Roopayai Dheemahi
Thanno Naageshwari Prachodayath
Om Naga Bhooshinyai Namo Namaha
Narayani Beeja Mantra:
Om Namo Narayani
Did you know about the Vedic worldview on anthills & nagas? What do you think of it? Comment 👇

The Ayurvedic Benefits of Gold (Swarna)

Dylan Smith

🎥 : Mathilde Lebouc (https://tildelebouc.squarespace.com/)

Gold’s mystical qualities have attracted human beings since the dawn of history.
Gold is far more than a mere commodity or even a monetary metal.
Now I’m going to be sharing with you some golden nuggets of wisdom…

The Other Names for Gold & Their Meaning

  • “Abhaya” - assurance or “fearless” of disease. Assurance of mental state. money, you feel financially assured when wearing gold.
  • Svarṇa
  • Suvarṇa
  • Kanaka - also a word for “a miner”.
  • Hema - typically used as a “weight of gold.” also a word for “the earth”, “a handsome woman”,  “dark or brownish colour horse.”
  • Hāṭaka - also a word for a “particular magical drink”
  • Tapnīya - gold.
  • Gāngeya - also a word for the holy river Ganges.
  • Kaladhauta - also a word for “bullion”
  • Kāñcana - another word for wealth,
  • Cāmīkara - gold
  • Satakumbhha
  • Kārtasvara
  • Jāmbūnada - could be gold from the Jambu river in Jambudvīpa “the land of Jambu trees” (Indian Blackberry (Syzygium cumini), Dvīpa = island or continents.
Woman wearing Gold Rings
  • Jātarupa - another word for “brilliant”, “beautiful”, “splendid”.
  • Mahārajata - another word for “turmeric” and “thorn-apple” (Datura inoxia).
  • auram” - Which means “to glow” in Latin.

The History of Gold

  • Gold is the earliest recorded metal used by humans.
  • There are records of it being mined for over 7K years. Earliest records are from Bulgaria.
  • But there have been gold nuggets found in Spanish caves over 40K years ago.
  • Vedic tradition has probably been earlier.

Why is gold our metal of choice?

  • It’s not difficult to extract or mine - it doesn’t take any chemicals to get it out.
  • Gold is the most malleable metal there is: just one ounce of gold (28gm) can be drawn into a wire that is 50 miles / 80km long without breaking.
  • Noble metal: it doesn’t oxidise or corrode. It doesn’t tarnish, it maintains its beautiful luster for thousands of years.
      • Pioneer 10 Plaque - Pioneer 10, a spacecraft launched from earth in 1972, is hurtling through space right now bearing a gold plaque inscribed with messages from man kind with drawings of humans and a map of our solar system, just in case the spacecraft is intercepted by intelligent extraterrestrial life. Gold was chosen to bear this message - which will not reach the nearest planetary system for 10 billion years - because gold endures.
      • Gold harvested from Egyptian tombs that is thousands of years old still is shiny and looks new.
      • Gold found in shipwrecks looks as if it just came out of the mint.
  • Gold can be drawn into a few as fine as a hair . One ounce of gold (28gm) can be drawn into a wire that is 50 miles / 80km long.

Karats

  1. 24kt is 100% gold. e.g. gold bhasma. Can’t be used for jewelry.
  2. 22kt is the highest that can be mailable. 22/24 = 91.67% gold.
  3. 18kt - 75% gold.
What is the other %?
Other metals:
  • Copper - 100% gold gives red gold.
  • silver,
  • nickel (white / banned in Europe),
  • silver,
  • palladium.
This is what changes the colour of gold.
Gold Bars & Coins

How Much Gold is There on Earth?

There's estimated to be 187,000 tonnes of gold above ground (that has been mined). Recorded in 2017.
50% of this - jewelry.
40% - investments of this is in - coins, bars.
10% - electrical wires.
Producers of Gold in the World:
    1. Biggest producer - China produces 440 tonnes / year.
    2. Richest area -  22% of the gold in the world is sourced from South Africa.
    3. Asteroid impacts on earth about 4 billion years ago and clears the land for the gold to be mined.
    4. Gold In The Sea - super minuscule. Researchers believe there merely are about 20 million - 10 billion tonnes in the ocean. It's not worth harvesting.

MEDICINAL USE

Gold dust in honey

This was a Roman ointment for battle wounds suffered by great military leaders.

Svarna Bhasma
Virya - Sheeta
Gunas - Guru (heavy), Picheela (slimy)
Karmas and Indications:
  • Vajjikarana (aphrodisiac)
  • Heavy to digest
  • Stoutens the body
  • Good for eyes/vision
  • Improves intelligence, memory and wisdom
  • Good for the heart
  • Extends/improves life span and complexion
  • Confers clarity and stability of voice
  • Cures disease caused by two kinds of poisons (vegetable and animal)
  • Good for emaciation
  • Insanity
  • Fever arising from all three doshas
  • Pulmonary tuberculosis.
If Suvarṇa Bhasma is not properly prepared, it:
  • Destroys strength and vitality of men
  • Gives rise to a large number of diseases
  • Produces misery
  • Can produce death.
Suvarna (Svara) Bhasma

According to the Bhavapraksha Pūrvakaṇḍa, good quality gold should undergo shodana samskara (purification) and be made to bhamsa (ash) in order to be used medicinally.

Smriti

This powerful formula enlivens the cellular memory of perfect health and helps restore the body to balance.

Regular use helps increase consciousness, creativity, happiness, health, and balance in mind and body.

"Smriti" is a sanskrit word where the english word "smart" comes from. Smriti helps enhance cognitive function and capacity for greater performance.

Smriti by Vital Veda

Pragnya

Corrects and brings the intellect back to balance. Promote greater intelligence of the mind.

Pragnya (Refined Intellect) by Vital Veda

Swarna Dhatu

Helps restore and regenerate nerves, bones and tissues, because it nourishes and strengthens all seven layers of the dhatus (tissues) in the body.

Helps to strengthen and stabilise the whole system.

Swarna Dhatu (Golden Nourisher) by Vital Veda

Special Matra Basti Oil

Special Matra Basti oil for Matra Basti (small nourishing enema)

We only use top quality oils procured in a specific manner (mrdu paka = soft preperation).

Special Matra Basti Oil by Vital Veda

Pusya Drops

Essential herbal drops to help boost immunity and build tissues for infants and children.

Precious and potent formula of rare herbs.

Pusya Drops by Vital Veda

Bruhat Vata Chintamani Rasa

A very effective formula often used for cardiovascular disorders.

Bruhat Vata Chintamani Rasa

References

The Gold Primer - Golden Possibilities 1980

Pioneer 10 - https://www.space.com/17651-pioneer-10.htmlBhavapraksha Pūrvakaṇḍa

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
Digestion:
  • 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

Immunity

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.
Hyperacidity
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)
http://52.172.27.147:8080/jspui/bitstream/123456789/31140/1/03_A023_67173.pdf

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)

Introducing Solid Foods to Babies (The Ayurvedic Way)

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

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

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

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

How long to Breastfeed for

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

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

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

What food do I first feed my baby?

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

First Food Recipe: Smooth Rice Porridge

  1. Add ½ tsp of ghee in a pot and let it melt and warm.
  2. Add 1 cup of rice or rice ground* (better because more fibrous) and fry/toast in the ghee.
  3. Add 1.5 cups of water and cook well for another 5 minutes or so.
  4. When the rice is cooked well, add 1.5 cups of non-homogenised full-cream cow’s milk and bring to a “milk boil” (not a strong boil like water, milder so that the milk is boiled).
  5. Add a small pinch of quality raw sugar or organic jaggery (ensure it has no salt) and mix in (optional).
  6. When it starts becoming thick it is ready to eat.
This makes a big amount. Baby should only eat a tiny amount on their lips. Parents should eat also and enjoy.
sitting baby looking and smiling at food
Which rice to use?
Use rice that is old (at least 6-12 months) and that grows as local to you as possible. White or red rice is ideal for this initial feeding.
*First soak the rice for 30 mins and then lightly dry roast the rice on a fry pain and then grind into a coarse powder to make a coarse rice flour.
Administering Instructions for Rice Porridge
  1. Dip a gold ring or silver spoon (these metals boost immunity) in the porridge and give to baby to suck with your right hand.
  2. Even that one little feed is enough.
  3. This can be a regular food for the baby.
  4. Parents or family can have the rest of the rice porridge.

General Notes About Solid Food Introduction for Babies

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

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

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

First Two Weeks of Solid Food

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

Baby Food Mix - Best Stable Food Recipe

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

7 Months – Solid Food Introduction

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

8 Months – Solid Food Introduction

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

Animal Milk - Food Introduction

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

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

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

Herbs for Baby

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

More Baby Food Recipes

Semolina Porridge (start around 7 months)

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

Stewed Apples (around 7 months or before)

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

Baby Kitchari

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

Lentil Soup

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

Balancing Baby Pancakes

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

Constipation Remedies for Babies

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

Remedies for Babies with Digestive Problems

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

Dandelion Leaf Efficiently Blocks C-19 Spike Proteins From Binding to Human Cells

Hand reaching for the sky
A German university study found that the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), which is probably growing organically very close to you right now, blocks Covid-19 spike proteins from entering your body.
Your body has little “keyholes” (receptor sites) that are the landing entrances for spike proteins (SPs) that are attached to the Vaccines to enter into your body.
One way you can help put up a “No Entry Gate” is by eating dandelion. 

How does it work?

Researchers found dandelion to block protein-to-protein interaction between human ACE2 cell surface receptors and a variety of five Spike Proteins.
The fact that it blocks a variety of SPs is very valuable since the virus is continually mutating (thus new Vaccines need to be continually released, to keep up with the natural and intelligent process of mutation).
Researchers showed dandelion blocked not only the Virus in its original spike D614, but also for its mutant forms (D614G, N501Y, and mix of K417N, E484K, N501Y) in human HEK293-hACE2 kidney and A549-hACE2-TMPRSS2 lung cells.

Become adaptable to the every-changing environment, just like a dandelion (they can grow through concrete!).

“Infection of the lung cells using SARS COV-2 spike pseudotyped lentivirus particles was efficiently prevented by the extract [of dandelion] and so was virus triggered pro-inflammatory interleukin 6 secretion.”
Don’t solely expect the dandelion leaves to protect you against Covid-19 and Spike Proteins that are shed from those who receive the Vaccine, implement other measures to boost immunity and thrive (diet, lifestyle, sun, vitamine D, abhyanga, nasya, meditation etc.)
Hit up a local foraging workshop near you and learn to identify edible weeds (in Sydney check my man @theweedyone), or if you can’t forage, you can buy dandelion from farmers' markets or Asian groceries.
Dandelion growing through wooden pole

Dandelion leaves: a close acquaintance of mine

Leaves like the tooth of a lion (“dent de lion”) are available all year long (perennial).
As bitter as you choose (cooking more = less bitter) but I do suggest keep dandelion leaves bitter to pacify your pitta  , clean your liver and make your bile flow like a river.
Freshly foraged leaves provide more Prana (life-force) to deliver this weed winner into your body so you can glimmer.
A tip: Forage sustainably as always and know where you are foraging (is it sprayed?)
Dylan Smith carrying dandelion leaves after foraging

How to consume dandelion leaves

First, wash the leaves.
I like to add the leaves to my food - at the end of cooking, just before I turn off the flame.
Then I mix the leaves in with the hot food and that lightly cooks them, maintaining the bitterness (but not too intense for the taste buds).
The root was not researched here, but the root is medicinal in other ways, it's very tasty, like a more fulfilling and nutritious potato - that you will have to add in much earlier in the cooking process.
You can also have the leaves in tea, though that seems odd for me as it is more of a leafy green vegetable.
A reminder that Dandelion is not the be-all-end-all treatment for anything mentioned here. It may be one (tasty, easy, very cheap/free. fun) way to help protect your organism 💚.

Do you forage dandelion? Where do you get it from? Comment 👇