Grapes (Draksa) – The Best Among Fruits

Grapes are the best among all the fruits and the most wholesome according to Ayurveda.*

Health Benefits

The sweet taste (rasa) and post-digestive effect (vipaka) nourish the physiology with strength - whether it be building tissues and energy for the emaciated and depleted, a juicy aphrodisiac or providing mental strength to brush off negativity and mistaken intellect and rise above anxiety or depression.

I like to use Draksadi Kashayam formula - a decoction with grapes + other herbs to boost mental strength in clients.

Grapes are like white plasma (rasa). Thus, according to Ayurveda’s principle of “like increases like,” grapes tonify and nourish rasa dhatu (plasma, extracellular fluid and lymph + more tissue substances that can't be translated into western medical terms).

Grapes cool you down, thus great for pitta, heated conditions, fever, jaundice, eye health (eyes are a site of metabolism/Pitta), bleeding diseases, burning sensations and is fantastic to quench thirst.

Anti-oxidant - The rich phytochemical anthocyanin gives (especially red) grapes the ability to eradicate harmful free radicals from cells that can cause oxidative stress, leading to all kinds of chronic illnesses.

This makes it a great blood cleanser and blood builder (balances rakta dhatu).

The antioxidant polyphenolic generates anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-cancer activities.

Anti-inflammatory - Messaging molecules (such as interleukin) and pro-inflammatory enzymes (like cyclo-oxygenase) that advance inflammation can be defused by grape intake.

Harvest from Vital Vedas family farm in Northern Rivers region of NSW

It’s unctuousness (snigdha) and liquidity (dravam) helps the elimination of urine and faeces and has a laxative action.

Being tantalisingly sweet and unctuous, it also pacifies vata but not necessarily in the alimentary tract, as it can put out the agni (digestive fire) and is a little hard to digest being so sweet (heaviest taste) and cooling.

It’s secondary taste being bitter also helps respiratory issues like dyspnoea, hoarse voice, chest injury, tuberculosis and can help mitigate the effects from intoxication and delusion (coma). 

Unripe fruits are sour so become harder to digest and actually aggravate pitta and rakta (the blood).

Seedless grapes (Abija draksa) or grapes with very small seeds are harder to digest and possibly are genetically modified, however they mitigate kapha.

Dried grapes (raisins, sultanas) have a similar effect, are easier to digest but have a higher sugar level so caution with people with high blood sugar. They contain a concentrated source of iron and is an important fruit for anaemic people along with figs, dates, papaya, kiwi and pomegranate.

Additional Health Profile & Benefits

  • Grapes are rich in micronutrient minerals like copper and manganese, an essential co-factor of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase.
  • Grapes contain the essential hormone and antioxidant melatonin.
  • Grapes contains about 191 mg of the electrolyte potassium per 100 grams.
  • Grapes actually have a low glycemic index and help balance blood sugar.

Grape Juice

For you pitta people, consider fasting on FRESH grape OR pomegranate juice, one day a week, fortnight or month regularly (on the same day cyclically).

Organic grape juice pressed and strained by Vital Veda

References:
* Astanga Samgraha of Vaghbhata and Bhavaprakasa
Dr. Mercola


Skyrocketing Male Infertility Warns The Human Race

Human infertility is one of the most heart breaking and impending epidemics of todays “modern life,” with the technological and chemical “progress” most likely to blame.

Female infertility tends to get the most attention (and that deserves its own article, coming soon), but recently male infertility has made headlines. Recent research showed a dramatic decline in sperm concentration and quality in recent decades.

According to the largest and most comprehensive meta-analysis[1] of its kind published in August 2017, sperm counts around the world declined by more than 50% between 1973 and 2013, and continue to shrink.

Researchers estimated that these men had an average sperm concentration of 99 million per millilitre in 1973 but that that had dropped to an average 47 million per millilitre in 2011!

The most significant declines were found in samples from men in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, where many had sperm concentrations below 40 million/mL — a level at which a man will have trouble fertilising an egg. (Men suspected of infertility, such as those attending IVF clinics, were excluded from the study).

Causes of Male Infertility

"This study is an urgent wake-up call for researchers and health authorities around the world to investigate the causes of the sharp ongoing drop in sperm count."
Hagai Levine, Lead author at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine.

Chemicals and Pesticides Disrupting The Male Endocrine System

One paper published in PLOS Genetics suggests there are endocrine disrupting chemicals such as those in contaminated (common) water, plastics, personal care products and herbicides[2] that directly affect mens reproductive health by lowering sperm count.

The study also confirmed that these chemicals, specifically synthetic forms of estrogen that men are exposed to in their day-to-day lives, have generational effects. 

While studying mouse lineages,
by the third generation the scientists were finding animals that could not produce sperm at all.”
~ Environmental Health News 

 

 

Males exposed to chemicals and EMF during the critical period of being in the womb (pre-natal life), especially while their reproductive organs are being developed, and as a young baby with a vulnerable immune system are especially susceptible from chemical damage causing future sperm issues and infertility.

Everything an expectant mother takes into her body can potentially get passed along to her developing child, and scientific evidence strongly suggests exposure to chemicals is contributing to cancer, reproductive abnormalities, early puberty[3][4][5] and a host of other endocrine, neurological and metabolic problems.

A shocking study conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in 2005 found an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in the umbilical cord blood of infants born in the U.S.!!

After numerous studies were coming out exposing the ridiculously high amounts of industrial chemicals and pollutants in the environment and food of our modern world, the Endocrine Society noted in a 2009 scientific statement:

“The evidence for adverse reproductive outcomes (infertility, cancers, malformations) from exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals is strong, and there is mounting evidence for effects on other endocrine systems, including thyroid, neuroendocrine, obesity and metabolism, and insulin and glucose homeostasis … Effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals may be transmitted to further generations through germline epigenetic modifications or from continued exposure of offspring to the environmental insult.”
Endocrine Society

Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Exposure is Zapping Mens Genitals and Decimating Reproductive Health

I personally believe this may be the most significant factor for the observed decrease in male sperm count.

It was well known in World War II that radar operators could easily create sterility by exposing the groin to radar waves. Radar is microwave radiation and was the precursor to cellphones that use similar frequencies.

In May 2011, the cancer research arm of the World Health Organisation, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, classified radio frequency EMF — such as the radiation from cellphones — a class 2B carcinogen, meaning it is possibly carcinogenic to humans.[7]

This is because EMFs cause excess hydroxyl free radicals which decimate mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, their membranes and proteins. The end result is mitochondrial dysfunction, a core cause of chronic disease.

Keeping your cellphone in your pocket or waist, or your laptop on your lap is simply frying your genitals! 

A man’s testicles are also more vulnerable to EMFs for the fact that they’re on the outside of the body. Women’s eggs, on the other hand, are somewhat protected and shielded from EMFs due to them being further inside the body,[8] (but still should not be reckoned with!).

Indeed, studies have linked low level electromagnetic radiation (EMR) exposure from cellphones to a reduction in sperm motility and viability.[9][10]

Wi-Fi equipped laptop computers have also been linked to decreased sperm motility and an increase in sperm DNA fragmentation after just four hours of use![11]

So, if you care about your reproductive health or sex life, please don’t keep your laptop on your lap or your phone glued to your pants. If you are carrying it in your pocket, keeping it in aeroplane mode massively reduces EMF exposure. 

 

Obesity and Over Weight

One study found being overweight has a significant impact on a mans sperm count. The study concluded that only one in seven! Western Australian men met fertility benchmarks set by the World Health Organisation. 

The decline in sperm quantity and quality isn’t just about having babies.

It has larger implications for men's health. Poor sperm health has been linked to cardiovascular issues, obesity, cancer and testicular diseases.

“Having a low sperm count is a signal…that there’s something wrong in men’s health overall”
Shanna H. Swan, one of the authors of the study published in the Human Reproduction Update.

Strategies to Treat Infertility and Boost Fertility Naturally

First of all, prevention is key. This is why I’m writing this article. You now have the knowledge so stop ignoring what you already know. Prevent yourself from becoming part of the number of this distressing epidemic. Let alone the other chronic diseases that are crippling up the bodies of the majority of the earth's population.

Remove the Cause: Reduce Chemicals

Mainly found in your food, so eat organic as much as possible. If you don’t eat 100% organic, make sure you know the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen” so you know what produce you must avoid (Dirty Dozen) and what foods are “safe” non-organic (Clean Fifteen). Also get in the garden and think about the skin of produce to understand what foods would require more pesticides. 

Only drink filtered water.

Avoid self-care products that contain chemicals, especially aerosol sprays the contain aluminium as that, especially mixed with glyphosate (commonly found on your non-organic produce) is very harmful.

Investigate your environment - What’s being put into the air in your workplace and home? Think cleaning products, industrial pollutants and eating or storing your food with plastic.

Remove the Cause: Reduce EMF Exposure

Step 1 (simple).

  • Is your phone on bluetooth when you are not using it? Turn it off.
  • Use speaker phone or wired headphones to talk on the phone rather than holding a high frequency device next to your temporal lobe that Apple actually advises in their fine print: users should opt for hands-free options, such as the built-in speakerphone, headphones or similar accessories to reduce radio frequency (RF).
  • Get the laptop off your lap. If you really want it on your lap, use a radiation shield.

At nighttime:

  • Turn your wifi off.
  • Switch your phone to aeroplane mode and preferably keep it out of your bedroom.
  • Turn your smart TVs off at the powerpoint since they don’t have an aeroplane mode.

These changes are so simple because your’e asleep anyway and don’t need these devices. People are now starting to hire electricians to wire in a master switch next to their bed to turn off the whole house. These changes will also significantly improve quality of sleep, especially for babies and young kids! Plus other benefits.

 

Step 2:

  • Avoid keeping your phone in your pocket during the day. Keep it on your desk away from you or even better, on a surface at the other end of the room.
  • Using landline phones for phone calls rather than your mobile.
  • Attach an anti-radiation sticker or phone case (this still isn't nearly adequate enough).
  • While carrying your phone in your pocket or having it near you, keep it on aeroplane mode as much as possible. You don’t need to be on call and socially connected and available 24/7. Detach. It’s so liberating. It’s like removing excess, high frequency baggage.

Step 3:

  • Assess your environment. Perhaps you need to make more radical changes to prioritise your health such as shifting offices or shifting rooms around the house.
  • Ethernet Plugin System - There is now a revolution of health conscious people hiring electricians to re-implement Ethernet in their home and banishing wifi altogether.
  • Hire a Building Biologist. A professional in this area who will come to your home with advanced equipment and skills to assess the biology of the structure that shields you (your home). They will show you were the hazards are and give you simple steps to create a healthy home.

Step in before shit hits the fan. Prevention is better than dealing with chronic disease (again, EMF affects so much more than infertility). Step in before you may have to quit your job altogether or spend a lot of money on IVF that is likely to be unsuccessful.

Healthy Digestion Grants Nutrients Access to your Reproductive Organs

Your body wants the food you eat to nourish all your body’s tissues, including your reproductive tissue. Catch is, the food has to not only be digested by your stomach (jathara agni), but every tissue has its own metabolic process (dhatu agni). (There are 7 tissues or dhatus: lymph, blood, muscle, adipose, bone, bone marrow and reproductive tissue).

The reproductive tissue (shukra) happens to be the seventh and last tissue down the line, which means it only will be nourished if each of the 6 tissues above it on the metabolic chain metabolise the nutrient fluid (ahar rasa) properly.

But there is one more step after the seven tissue metabolism.

Under the seven tissues resides a bio-celestial liquid substance called Ojas.

'Ojas' is considered to be the most refined product of digestion. It is the vital essence of our body that translates to “vitality.”

Ojas governs ageing, immunity, radiant skin, vigor, mood, sleep, digestion, spirituality, physical strength and libido and fertility.

Eat Ojas Increasing Foods

Building Ojas is an art. Perhaps one of the best ways to consistently build Ojas is to eat a diet of fresh unprocessed, seasonal whole foods, and have a balanced agni to support the process. A handful of special foods even metabolise to nourish and build Ojas directly, fast-tracking the tissue metabolism process.

Ghee

You should primarily be using this fantastic fat as your cooking oil.

Read more about the Lowdown on Ghee.

Milk

Always boil quality unhomogenised cows milk.

Read more about milk here.

Honey

The source of honey is very important. Don’t over consume honey, reserve it for medicinal uses and herbal preparations

Read more about Honey: Nectar or Poison?

Raisins / Sultanas

Dates

Almonds

Read more about this strengthening, grounding and Ojas building nut and how to eat it here.

Herbal Support

My favourite herbal formula to increase sperm count, improve viability, motility and libido and maintain optimal hormonal balance is a product called Promactil.

This formula consists of 30 herbs that Stimulate, Rejuvenate and Nourish.
(Available at Vital Veda).

Meditation

Effective meditation easily integrated into modern daily life, such as Vedic Meditation, should be apart of your life as much as eating, sleeping and brushing your teeth is. You got to allow the technique to quite your mind, reduce metabolic activity, bathe in deep rest, release stress and so much more on a daily basis. Mediation is also one of the best ways to increase Ojas.

Other Activities that Build Ojas

  • Loving others.
  • Laughing.
  • Acting on things you are passionate about.
  • Giving and serving others.
  • Being in nature.
  • Getting ample sleep - Sleeping before 10pm and up early with or before the sun.

Learn All About Ojas Here

Panchakarma Detox and Rejuvenation Program

If the infertility is lagging, undergoing Panchakarma treatment will be wise to heal the physiology on a deeper level. Panchakarma before conception is perhaps the most important time to so since the state of the sperm and ovum at the time of conception will be transferred to the health of the future offspring. Panchakarma will purify and enhance the physiology of the sperm and ovum

Amalaki (Embilica Officinalis) Uses & Benefits

Amalaki (Embilica officinalis) is not only considered by many to be Ayurveda's most potent fruit, but Amalaki is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda that is used extensively in formulations. 

Nomenclature

English: Indian Gooseberry
Sanskrit: Amalaki, aka Amla (vernacular).
Latin: Embilica officinalis or Pjullantus embilica (less common)

Synonyms:

  • Dhatri ("Mother" or "Nurse") - Amalaki is the ultimate carer and healer.
  • Amrta ("Immortality") - There are only a few herbs which have the Amrta quality. Amalaki is like nectar that promotes immortality.

Energetics

Rasa (taste): Sour (predominately), sweet, bitter, astringent, pungent
Virya (energy): Cooling
Vipaka (post-digestive effect): Sweet
Gunas (quality): Dry, light.
Dosha: VPK-

Tridoshic Fruit

One of the marvels of Amalaki is that it contains all 6 tastes except salt. Thus this fruit mitigates:

  • vata by its sour taste
  • pitta by its sweet taste and cold virya (energy) and
  • kapha by the dry quality and astringent taste.

Usually sour herbs aggravate pitta. Amalaki is an exception, and is one of the very few sour herbs that actually reduce pitta.

Ayurvedic Action

Ganas (classical groups):

  • Vayasthapana (Anti-Aging) - Caraka (The famous sage) quoted Amlaki as the best among the Vayasthapana herbs.
  • Jvarghna (Treats Fever) (Caraka)
  • Kasaghna (Treats Cough) (Caraka)
  • Virecanopaga (Purgative) (Caraka)
  • Kusthaghna (Treats Skin Diseases) (Caraka)

Indications

Rasayana - Longevity and Immunity

Rejuvenator that promotes longevity. Thus is included in the classical group of Vayasthapana. "Rasa" (the essence of properly digested food) is being spread ("ayana") to nourish all the rasavaha srotas: 10 dhaminis (arteries) and heart, as well as the udakava srotas: Talu (soft pallet) and kloma (pancreas/thyroid).

This potent anti-oxidant fruit is fantastic immunomodulator, aphrodisiac and rejuvenator. (Bhavaprakasa).

Digestion

Assists bowels and reduces inflammation in the GIT as it supports healthy intestinal skin. Especially helpful in ulcers, hyperacidity (Amlapitta), colitis, hepatitis, haemorrhoids and intestinal bleeding conditions. Great laxative and liver cleansing action. Healthy intestinal "inner" skin accordingly improves health and lustre of the "outer" skin.

Diabetes and Metabolism

Its Ojas and immune boosting action helps cope with diabetes and urinary disorders (Prameha), (Bhavaprakasa).

Home Remedy: 2.5ml Amalaki juice + 2.5ml Turmeric juice + bit ot Honey (Astanga Hrdayam U.).

More Benefits:

  • Respiratory System - Amalaki's immune boosting action strengthens the lungs and helps in cough.
  • Sattva (Pure Consciousness) - Amalaki’s prabhava (special effect) is having a sattvic effect that raises the quality of consciousness and the overall wellbeing of the body.
  • Raktapitta (Bleeding diseases) (Bhavaprakasa).
  • Caksusya karma (Benefits the Eyes) - Reduces excess pitta in the eyes. Triphala is one of the best formulations for eye diseases (Netra roga). (A.P.I.)
  • Soma Roga
  • Kesha (Hair Tonic) - increases hair strength, reduces premature baldness greying since it pacifying the pitta burning the roots of the hair. A main ingredient in the Vital Veda + the Raju family's Bringraj Amalaka 11 Oil and Rajus Kesha Oil.

Vitamin C Powerhouse

According to the studies, the average Amla fruit (22.5gm) contains 121mg of vitamin C.
The average orange (130 grams) has about 70mg of vitamin C.

So one little Amla berry is packed with more vitamin C than the orange, which a 5.8 times bigger fruit!

Amalaki has 10 TIMES the amount of vitamin C than an orange when we measure equal weights of both fruits.

Research suggests this all-natural vitamin C content contributes to the potent antioxidant capabilities of Amalaki.

This is far from mega doses of vitamin C that people are taking. But what is compelling is the ability of Amalaki to take a small amount of vitamin C and use it to activate an entire matrix of chemicals that deliver a multitude of health benefits.

More about Amalaki herb coming soon.

Important Formulations

Triphala

One of the most popular formulations in Ayurveda and rightly so because mostly everyone can use it and benefit from triphala's actions.

Triphala helps in diabetes and skin diseases. It is fantastic for the eyes (external and internal application) and helps in fever. It helps in digestion and natural, regular elimination (laxative action), thus is an essential supplement to take today when we (even health individuals) are inevitably exposes to environmental toxins. 

Note Triphala is contraindicated for those with loose motions, diarrhoea, bleeding disorders of the GIT. 

"Tri" = Three
"Phala" = Fruits

The three fruits (in equal quantity) that make up triphala are:

  1. Amalaki (Embilica officinalis)
  2. Bibhitaki (Terminalia belerica)
  3. Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)

Shodana Vati - 3-Dosha Balancing and Purification

Shodana Vati's main ingredient in Triphala plus a whole lot more other herbs. If one takes Shodana Vati (superior option) people do not need to take Triphala.

This is a Raju family formula made with love and mantras that is the best free radical scavenger and anti-oxidant; immune modulator and blood purifier. It's good for gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, tooth and oral problems, female problems, high cholesterol, chronic cough, eye disorders, addictions, helps clear the skin and more. Available at Vital Veda.

Chyavanaprasha

Chyavanaprasha is a honey based jam (leham) procured with many herbs. Eating this regularly maintains optimum energy and immunity levels, especially during seasonal and life changes. Chyavanaprasha reduces kapha, colds, and promotes inner strength.

Unfortunately most herbal manufactures are not making proper Chyavanaprasha. The only company that makes it properly to my knowledge is Maharishi Ayurveda, although Maharishi Amrit Kalash is superior.

Anand Sidhi Yog - Nutritious Immune Boosting Bliss

An easy to digest rasayana that strengthens and repairs all the dhatus (tissues). It provides supreme nourishment for rapid healing and feeds the most re ned levels of the physiology, the mind and only the healthy body, not the disease.
It strengthens the lungs, helps in chronic cough and is a great anti-oxidant. "ASY" restores physical vitality, immunity, good digestion and eternal bliss. Amalaki is the main ingredient in this Raju family formula made with love and mantras. Available at Vital Veda.

If taking Anand Sidhi Yog, no need to take Chaywanaprash or Amrit Kalash since ASY is superior.

Check out our Amla Pickle Recipe here.

If you are in India and Amla is in season (around December), take advantage of that and eat them fresh!

 

Credits:
Chywanprash photo - Jiva

 

Amla Pickle (Recipe)

Amalaki (Indian Gooseberry)

This recipe can be for lemon pickle by replacing lemons with amla.

Amla is the common name for the fruit of the Amalaki plant (Embilica officinalis). This is not only considered by many to be Ayurvreda's most potent fruit, but Amalaki is also one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda.

Tridoshic Fruit

One of the marvels of Amalaki is that it contains all 6 tastes except salt. Thus this fruit mitigate:

  • vata by its sour taste
  • pitta by its sweet taste and cold virya (energy) and
  • kapha by the dry quality and astringent taste.

Benefits of Amla

  • Rasayana - Rejuvenator that promotes longevity. Rasa (the essence of properly digested food) is being spread (ayana) to nourish all the rasavaha srotas: 10 dhaminis (arteries) and heart, as well as the udakava srotas: Talu (soft pallet) and kloma (pancreas/thyroid).
  • Good for the lungs and immunity. 
  • Digestion - assists bowels and reduces inflammation in the GIT as it supports healthy intestinal "inner" skin. This accordingly improves health and lustre of the "outer" skin.
  • Diabetes.
  • Fantastic aphrodisiac and rejuvenator.
  • Amalaki’s prabhava (special effect) is having a sattvic effect that raises the quality of consciousness and the overall wellbeing of the body.

Vitamin C Powerhouse

According to the studies, the average Amla fruit (22.5gm) contains 121mg of vitamin C.
The average orange (130 grams) has about 70mg of vitamin C.

So one little Amla berry is packed with more vitamin C than the orange, which a 5.8 times bigger fruit!

Amalaki has 10 TIMES the amount of vitamin C than an orange when we measure equal weights of both fruits.

Research suggests this all-natural vitamin C content contributes to the potent antioxidant capabilities of Amalaki.

This is far from mega doses of vitamin C that people are taking. But what is compelling is the ability of Amalaki to take a small amount of vitamin C and use it to activate an entire matrix of chemicals that deliver a multitude of health benefits.

Read more benefits and information on Amalaki here.

Amla Pickle Recipe

Note this recipe can simply be adjusted to make Lemon Pickle by replacing Amlas with chopped up lemons.

Fresh Amla is hard to get outside of Asia.

Ingredients

  1. Finely chopped Amla fruit - 1 kg
    (or if making lemon pickle, slightly peel the outer layer off then chop 1kg lemon).
  2. Rock salt - 100 gm.
  3. Sea salt - 200 gm.
  4. Turmeric powder - 25 gm.
  5. Dry roasted ground fenugreek powder - 2 tsp.
    Dry roast until it is very good smell and brownish red colour. Then grind to powder.
  6. Dry roasted ground cumin powder - 5 tsp at least.
  7. Lime Juice - 1 tbsp.

Spices to add it at the end:

  1. ghee
  2. mustard seeds - 1 tsp.
  3. cumin seeds - 2 tsp.
  4. fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp.
  5. garlic - 3 cloves finely chopped.
  6. curry leaves - 8 leaves chopped.
  7. dry chilli - 2/3 chopped (optional).

Method

Day 1

  1. Finely chop Amla fruit (approximately into 6 pieces per fruit) and remove the seeds until you have 1kg.
  2. Add 25 gm turmeric power and mix well.
  3. Add 5tsp roasted cumin powder + 2 tsp roasted fenugreek powder.
  4. Leave in a bowl loosely covered with a lid closed for 3 days (72 hours). Mix well at least a few times a day.

Day 4

  1. Add 100 gms rock salt + 200 gms sea salt. Mix well.
  2. Leave in a bowl with the lid closed for 3 days (72 hours). Mix well at least a few times a day.

(A lot of salt preserves and cooks the pickle).

 

Day 6:

  1. Now the pickle is just about ready but requires one last step.
  2. In a pan, heat ghee then fry in the ghee:
    • mustard seeds till they pop.
    • Then cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds till they pop. 
    • garlic, curry leaves and dry chilli until the garlic becomes golden colour.

Store the pickle in a glass jar and it is ready to be used.

This pickle gets better with age when stored in a glass jar.