Ojas: Invigorate Your Vitality

According to Ayurveda, there is a special substance in the body that governs ageing, immunity, vigour, reproduction, mood, sleep, radiant skin, digestion, spirituality and physical strength. This substance is called ojas (OH-jas).

Ojas is a bio-celestial liquid substance that predominantly dwells in the heart and also circulates everywhere throughout the body to maintain life activities.

It is soft and pure, the colour of ghee (initially) and tastes like honey.

It is the first essential element of the embryo, the most refined by-product of digestion, and the physiological expression of pure consciousness. Hence, ojas is strongly linked to spiritual and emotional wellbeing.

It is the chief fluid material of the body on which life depends.

If ojas is destroyed, the human being will also perish. If ojas is healthy the human is kept happy and healthy.

The 10 Qualities of Ojas

  1. Madhura (Sweet)
  2. Sheeta (Cold) - A pleasant cold like the full moon. Oja Soma Atmakam.”
  3. Mridu (Soft)
  4. Snigdha (Unctuousness)
  5. Sandra (Density)
  6. Shalakshna (Smoothness)
  7. Picheel (Slimy)
  8. Guru (Heavy)
  9. Sthira (Stable)
  10. Prasanna (Clarity) - freedom of all defects.

Interestingly, milk is comprised of the same 10 qualities. Thus, milk is an excellent elixir and ojas enhancer.

Two Types of Ojas

1. Superior Ojas (Para Ojas)

  • Eight drops[1] in quantity. Fixed volume. Any diminution in the volume would amount to instantaneous death.
  • Site: Dwells in the heart.

2. Ordinary Ojas (Apara Ojas)

  • Half an anjali (ardhanjali) in quantity. (One anjali represents the volume equal to that of two hands joined in the form of a cup).
  • Site: The vessels attached to the heart and circulates all over the body along with plasma and blood to provide physical strength and immunity to resist disease.
  • The substance is similar to that of Kapha (Sarira 7:15).
  • Diminution is possible, as in cause of diabetes mellitus.

Activities That Increase Ojas

  • Loving others.
  • Laughing.
  • Performing activities that you are passionate about.
  • Giving and serving others unconditionally.
  • Yoga and breathing (pranayama).
  • Meditation
  • Being in nature.
  • Proper sleep (bed before 9.30/10pm, up with the sun. Sleeping amongst minimal EMF exposure).
  • Eating fresh whole-foods in a relaxed manner.

Eat Ojas Increasing Foods

“The root of living being, strength, complexion and ojas is diet.”
Susruta Samhita, Sutrasthana

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.

Activities that Reduce Ojas

  • Anger
  • Hunger - can include fasting for over one day.
  • Worry and stress.
  • Grief
  • Physical exertion - Includes over-exercising. Not taking days to rebuild. Excessive mouth breathing during exercise.
  • Masturbation.
  • Excessive sex both in sperm and ovum (daily for extended periods of time and considering the season and age).

Results of Decreased Ojas

  • Increase of fear, particularly related to loss of life (all fear essentially is the fear of death. Even little fears of unfulfilled desires, “my body only lasts a certain time, and my checklist is not getting ticketed before the big deadline”).
  • Debility.
  • Unstable mind and mental disturbances including excess worry and anxiety.
  • Discomfort in the sense organs including pain.
  • Bad complexion.
  • Dryness, roughness and emaciation of the body. 

How the Body Makes Ojas

Kedarikulyanyaya: The Law of Transmission 

According to Ayurveda, the entire digestive process takes 30 days[2] to complete. Nutrients from food (known as aharasa) are used to build the 7 major tissues (dhatus) of the body. The culmination of this transmutative process is the production of ojas. However, as mentioned, many factors exist that can compromise or block its production.

Here is how it is made, step-by-step:

Step 1: Healthy, wholesome, unprocessed food is ingested. The coordinated efforts of the stomach, pancreas, and liver/gallbladder (jathara agni) prepare the food to be assimilated. Nutrients are drawn out of the food to produce the first product of digestion, a nutrient fluid called rasa.

Rasa is the first of the seven major tissues of the body. It can be likened to plasma/lymph. A small amount of ordinary ojas is released into rasa, while the gradual process of building supreme ojas begins. 

Step 2: The rasa or first product of digestion is converted by enzymes (agni) —into blood, which in Ayurveda, is called rakta. Here, another small amount of ordinary ojas is released into the blood. This process of transmission can take 5 -7 days.[2][3]

Step 3: The rakta or blood converts into muscle or mamsa with the help of blood-based enzymes. A small amount of ordinary ojas is released into the muscles.

Step 4: The mamsa converts into fat or medha with the help of muscle enzymes, and releases a small amount of ordinary ojas into the fat.

Step 5: The medha or fat  converts to bone or asthi, and releases a small amount of ordinary ojas into the bone.

Step 6: The asthi or bone converts to nerve tissue or majja, and releases a small amount of ordinary ojas into the nervous system/bone marrow.

Step 7: The majja or nerve tissue converts into the reproductive fluid, where a small amount of ojas is released into the sperm or ovum. Remember, supreme ojas has been building with the production of each tissue, making the reproductive fluid the bodily tissue with the most accumulated ojas.

Step 8: The final product, supreme ojas, is released and stored in the heart. From there, it nourishes the subtle energy in the body which, in turn, feeds the body’s vigour, vitality, and immunity.

How the Seven Body Tissues Can Deplete Ojas 

When one of the tissues are vitiated, it will disrupt the transmissive process, depriving the body of ojas.

Rasa (lymph) - Stress releases stress-fighting hormones that have acidic waste products. Excess acidity causes lymphatic congestion.
De-stress and improve lymphatic drainage with self-abhyanbga.

Rakta (blood) - Inflamed and toxic blood carries damaging, inflammatory and degenerative chemicals throughout the body.
Liberate toxic blood with Raktamokshana.

Mamsa (muscle) - excessive exercise and exhaustion can deplete ojas.
Restore muscle tissue with abhyanga.

Medha (fat) - excess stress can hamper adipose circulation, leaving no nutrient for ojas. Most toxic chemicals are fat-soluble, hence are stored in the fat in times of stress.
Increase fat metabolism with the Vital Short Home Cleanse.

Asthi (bone) - Chronic issues such as osteopenia and osteoporosis can deplete ojas. These conditions can be caused by stress, lack of vitamin D and sunlight, poor ability to absorb vitamins, minerals and light frequencies.
Enhance your ability to absorb Vitamin D by improving your skin physiology with self-abhyanga.

Majja (bone marrow and the nervous system) - Stress and excessive activities stimulates the release of degenerative hormones which accelerate ageing, invite chronic disease, fatigue, sleep issues, and much more.
De-stress with Vedic Meditation.

Shukra (reproductive fluid) -  Excessive and untimely sex and masturbation will deplete this precious substance.
Rebuild with nourishing rasayanas and golden milk elixir.

Golden Milk Elixir

Just like grandma used to cook up for you with love and foresight. This anabolic tonic holds great wisdom, incorporating ojas building foods with the intelligence of natures herbs and spices. You’ll sleep like a baby and super charge your reserves of ojas.

Recipe here.

References:
(1) Caraka; A.S.V. ch. 19, 29-34
(2) Susruta: Sutra 14:14.
(3) Caraka Samhita, Sutra Stahan, Ch. 28

Credits:
Dr. John Douillard’s Lifespa.

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.

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

How to Make Triphaladi Guggulu (Herbal Preperation)

Triphaladi Guggulu is an Ayurvedic preparation composed of a simple formula of only a few common yet powerful herbs to make tablets. The preparation process (that I employ) on the other hand involves extensive, intricate and labour intensive procedures.

Superior Herbal Preparation Method Rarely Practiced

Note that this preparation process (illustrated below) is rarely practiced by herbal manufactures and herbalists. The methods performed involve high amounts of attention, monitoring and flow of consciousness. 

I was instructed to prepare Triphaladi Guggulu this way by my teachers during my Dhanvantri Diksha (initation), as a preface into the field of herbal preparations (Aushadhi Vijnana).

Purification of Herbs

Most of the knowledge about the purification of herbs have been lost.

Vital Veda employs purification and preparation methods that has been passed down for many generations within the Raju Family of Vaidyas. This ensures safety and enhances potency, and is one of the factors that make our herbal products profoundly effective and treasured by so many.

This method of preparation is by superior and immensely enhances the potency and efficacy of this herbal formulation.

"What Dylan made is worth more than diamonds."
~ Dr. Padma Raju.

Indications:

Triphaladi Guggulu is used to treat an extensive array of conditions due to it's ideal composition. Some of the main uses are:

Inflammation

Anywhere in the body.

Thyroid conditions.

Obesity and cholesterol imbalance

By enkindling fat metabolism (meda agni) thus clearing out ama from the adipose channels (medavaha srotas). This prevents or reverses stagnated fat tissue, causing cravings and false hunger.

Immunity

Strengthens the whole system by removing the causes that turn accumulate into pathogens. Combats allergies, repetitive colds, boils and infections in kapha types by strengthening agni and clearing mucus toxins.

Lungs

It has an action of removing obstructions in channels (Srotorodhaghna) such as excess kapha from the plasma, chest and lungs creating asthma, bronchitis and phlegmy cough. Also for sinus congestion, nasal drip and rhinitis.

Gastrointestinal tract

Scrapes toxins (lakhana) such as ama and kapha in the GIT tract causing poor digestion and low metabolism. Helps in constipation by correcting the flow of apana vata downwards in the digestive tract. Also helps in fistula (Bhagandara) and haemorrhoids by purifying the blood and regulating the flow and direction of vata. Also helps correct low tissue metabolism (dhatu agni) which clears obstructed channels (Srotorodhaghna).

Arthritis

It's hot and dry qualities treats rheumatoid and osteoarthritis that is aggravated by cold, wet, damp conditions when vata and ama have accumulated. It has a specific action on sleshaka kapha and the synovial fluid in the joints with its scraping action (lekhana).

The Process

This preparation took me over 350 hours across 41 days to produce approximately 1200 triphaldi guggulu tablets.

Additionally, a small fraction of this I had a little help from my colleagues, which ended up being a big help.

Special mantras (primordial sounds) are chanted throughout this whole process to infuse vibrations into the highly receptive particles in the plant substances.

This preparation method is traditionally the first herbal preparation a student of Ayurveda and Ayurvedic herbal should prepare. It is appropriate for devoted and physically and mentally strong students. It is not for the faint hearted, nor for the impatient.

Raw Ingredients

Triphala - 3 fruits consisting of:
1. Amalaki (Embilica officinalis)
2. Bibhitaki (Terminalia belerica)
3. Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)

Triphala cleans the bowels, ama and regulates the flow of apana vata (downward movement in the body).

Use the whole fruits dried.

4. Guggulu (Commiphora mukul)

Guggulu scrapes the channels and clears ama out of the system. Specifically works on meda dhatu (fat tissue) and is an anti-inflammatory.

There are 5 types of guggulu. You want the Hiranya type that is commonly used for medicine. This is like gold in colour (Kanaka).

Guggulu is an oily latex/gum/resin exuded from a small tree. Use it in raw resin form.

 

Method

Step 1: Guggulu Purification - Laksha Kutanam Shodana (Banging 100,000 times)

  1. Fill a large mortar and pestle up just below the rim of the bowl (mortar) with raw guggulu resin. 
  2. Pound it 100, 000 (one hundred thousand) times.
  3. Every 10 minutes (approx.), scoop up the squashed guggulu, loosen it up, turn the guggulu inside the mortar and start another round of banging. This is also a break time to rest your arms (see video).
  4. Keeping the guggulu in the sun, while banging it or not, helps soften it and makes it easier to bang.

Counting Method:

  • Chanting mantras while doing it not only enhances the herbs, but also is a tool for counting.
  • For example, I perform minimum 8 bangs per the mantra I use.
  • I chant the mantra 108 times in a row (1 mala), and keep track of how many malas I do. So 1 malas = 108x8 bangs.
  • If banging with my left hand, I count the mantras in my right hand using a beaded mala (necklace with 108 beads).
  • If banging with my right hand, I count the mantras on my left phalanxes.
  • Obtain mantra from your guru or contact me to perform a Dhanvantri Diskha and learn this procedure in person with me in India.

Notes:

  • This will take days. It took me 6 days of basically full time banging (kutanam).
  • Switch hands when you get tired. I switched about every 1-2 malas.
  • This is one of the more laborious steps. It is only for the strong (especially strong triceps, forearms and tough hands).
  • Keep the guggulu inside the mortar and pestle with a lid covered when not in use to protect from dust. Such as overnight.
  • This is a very powerful purification method for guggulu that is hardly practiced. Hand banged is way more effective to enhance potency than using machines.

Step 2: Triphala Kashayam (Decoction)

  1. Take 1kg of raw dried triphala fruits (equal parts of the 3 fruits).
  2. Grind or bang lightly to a coarse consistency (pictured). You can use food processor for this.
  • Boil 1L of the coarse triphala in 10L of water and reduce to half (5L).
  • Strain and you have a decoction.
  • The coarse triphala holds a lot of water, so squeeze it out inside a muslin cloth to get as much as possible.
  • Keep the coarse triphala for other uses.

Step 3: Boiling Guggulu in Triphala Kashayam

Tie the guggulu in a bolus with a thin material such as a muslin cloth. I ended up with about 700 grams.

  • Fully submerge the bolus in the pot but don't let it touch the bottom because that will burn it.
  • Boil on high heat. Be careful so that it doesn't bubble over.
  • The guggulu will exude out of the bolus, into the kashayam.
  • The kashaym will eventually evaporate and you will be left with a slimy like tar substance.
  • You will probably need to keep transferring this process into a smaller pot, 2-3 times, as you will need a smaller pot so that the bolus is submerged as much as possible.
  • Continue this process till the guggulu fully exits the muslin cloth. This can take up to 20 pots for the amount of Guggulu I used (700gm), so perhaps use less.

Step 4: Drying the Triphaladi Guggulu Paste

  • When the matter in the pot is thick, vicious and seems the kashayam / water content has been mostly evaporated (as much as possible), pour it onto a clean plate.
  • You want it to be on a large plate and multiple plates so that it is a thin layer so that it dries quicker.
  • Cover the plate with a clean glass (ideal) or a tight clean cotton cloth, then leave in the sun to dry up the remaining water content and harden. The cover is to prevent dust from coming in. If using cotton ensure it does not touch the paste. Keep the paste very clean.
  • Take it inside at night time to avoid moon (water) exposure.
  • Drying time can range from 1 week to 4 weeks depending on how thick the paste is and the climate.
  • Drying is finished when the paste is hard but you can still squish it if you push hard. It shouldn't be to hard so that you can still manipulate the paste to roll into tablets.

Step 5: Rolling Into Tablets

This step is a little challenging and laborious.

  • Using a knife or sharp scraper, scrape some paste off the plate.
  • Collect the right amount of paste to then roll into one spherical tablet.
  • Put back on a plate for potentially more drying if it is to sticky and water content is not fully removed.
  • When ready, package in containers!

Notes:

  • If the paste is to sticky to work with, add some triphala powder and bang with the paste. 
  • I made large tablets (vati), therefore I prescribe 1 tablet 2x/day before meals.

Vital Veda's precious Triphaladi Guggulu Vati is available for people and for those who really need it.

Enquire within.

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.

 

 

Astanga Hrdaya, Chapter 1 (Sanskrit/English Transcription)

Astanga Hrdayam of Vaghbata is one of the main classical texts (shastras) in Ayurveda which makes it an authoritative authentic text that Vaidyas acknowledge, trust and refer to. 

Here the sanskrit of chapter one of Sutrastana is transcribed into english letters. Note that this text finishes before the end of the chapter before Vaghbata lists the chapters of the whole text to come.

There are two audio recordings of this:

  1. Chanted by Vaidya Krishna A.V. Raju.
  2. Chanted in a call and response manner for you to learn with Vaidya Krishna A.V. Raju.

Chanting along or even just listening to this will enliven holistic aspects of perfect health and Ayurveda in ones physiology on a subtle, yet powerful level.

This is a valuable tool for Ayurvedic practitioners and doctors to immerse more deeply in the primordial sounds of Ayurveda that undoubtedly will enhance their grasp of Ayurveda.

Astanga Hrdaya of Vaghbata, Sutrasthana, Chapter 1

 

rāgādirogān satatānusaktān aśesakāya prasrtanasesān (1)

autskymahoāratidāñ jagbāna yo ‘pūrvaidyāya namo ‘stu tasmai

athāta āyuskāmīyamadhyāyam vyākhyāsyamah

iti ha smāhu rātreyādayo maharsayah

āyuh kāmayamānena dharmārtha sukhasādhanam (2)

āyurvedopadeśesu vidheyah param ādarah

brahmā smrtvāyuso vedam prajāpatim ajigrahat (3)

so ‘ašrinau tau sahasrāksam so ‘atriputrādikān munīn 

te ‘agniveśādikāms te tu prthak tantrāni tenire (4)

tebhyo ‘tiviprakīrnebhyah prāyah sārataroccayah

kriyate ‘stāngahrdayam nātisamksepavistaram (5)

kāyabāla grahordhvāviga śalyadamstrā jarāvrsān

astāvangāni tasyāhuś cikitsā yesu samśritā (6)

vāyauh pittam kaphaś ceti trayo dosāh samāsatah

vikrtā vikrtā deham ghnanti te vartayanti ca (7)

te vyāpino ‘pi hrnnābhyor adhomadhyordhvasamśrayāh

vayo’horātribhuktānām te ‘ntamadhyādigāh kramāt (8)

tair bhaved visamas tiksno mandaś cāgnih samaih samah

kosthah krūro mrdu(r) madhyo madhyah syāt taih samair api (9)

śukrārtavasthair janmādau viseneva visakrimeh

taiś ca tisrah prakrtayo hīnamadhyottamāh prthak (10)

samadhātuh samastāsu śrestha nindyā dvidosajāh

tatra rūkso laghuh śitah kharah sūksmaścalo ‘nilah(a) (11)

pittam sasneha tiksnosnam laghu visram saram dravam

snigdhah śito gurur mandah ślaksno mrtsnah sthirah kaphah(a) (12)

samsargah sannipātaś ca taddvitriksayakopatah

rasāsrn māmsa medo’sthi majja śukrāni dhatavah (13)

sapta dūsyāh malā mūtraśakrtsvedādayo ‘pi ca

vriddhih samānaih sarvesām viparitair viparyayah (14)

rasāh svāduamla lavana tikto sanakasāyakāh

sad dravyam āśritās te ca yathāpūrvam balāvahāh (15)

tatrādya mārutam ghnanti trayas tiktādayah kapham

kasāya tikta madhurāh pittam anye tu kurvate (16)

śamanam kopanam svasthahitam dravyam iti tridhā

usna śita gunotkarsāt tatra virya(m) dvidhā smrtam (17)

tridhā vipāko dravyasya svādvamla katu katmakah

guru manda hima snigdha ślaksna sāndra mrdu sthirāh (18)

gunāh sasūksma viśada vimśatih saviparyayāh

kālārthakarmanām yogo hinamithyāti mātrakah (19)

samyagyogaś ca vijneyo rogārogyaikakāranam

rogas tu dosavaisamyam dosasāmyama arogatā (20)

nijāgantu vibhāgena tatra rogā dvidha smrtāh

tesām kāyamanobhedād adhisthānam api dvidhā (21)

rajas tamaśca manaso dvau ca dosāv udāhrtau

darśana sparśana praśnaih parikseta caroginam (22)

rogam nidāna prāgrūpalaksano paśayāptibhih

bhūmi deha prabhedena deśam āhur iha dvidhā (23)

jāngalam vātabhūyistham ānupam tu kapholbanam

sādhārvam samamalam tridhā bhūdeśam ādiśet (24)

ksanādir vyādhyavasthā ca kālo bhesajayogakrt

śodhanam śamanam ceti samāsād ausadham dvidhā (25)

śarīrajānām dosānām kramena paramausadham

vastir vireko vamanam tathā tailam ghrtam madhu (26)

dhidhairya ātmādrijñānam manodosausadham param

bhisag dravyany upasthātā rogi pādacatustayam (27)

cikitsitasya nirdistam pratyekam tae caturgunam

daksas tīrthāttaśāstrārtho drstakarmā śucir bhisak (28)

bahukalpam bahuganam sampannam yogyam ausadham

anuraktah śucir dakso buddhimān paricārakah (29)

sādhyosādhya iti vyādhir dvhidhā tau tu punardvidha

susādhyah krcchra sādhyaś ca yāpyo yaś cānupakramah

(sometimes this verse is added in)

ādhyo rogī bhisagvaśyo jñāpakah sattvavān api

sarvausadhaksame dehe yūnah pumso jitāt manah (30)

amarmago ‘lpahetvagrarūparūpo ‘nupadravah

atulyadūsyadeśartu prakrtih pādasampadi (31)

grahesu anugonesu ekadosa mārgo navah(a) sukhah(a)

śastrādisādhanah(a) krcchrah sanikare ca tato gadah(a) (32)

śesatvād āyuso yāpyah(a) pathyābyāsād viparyaye

anupakrama eva syāt sthito ‘tyantaviparyaye (33)

autsukyamohāratikrd drstaristo ‘ksanāśanah(a)

tyajed ārtam bhisag bhūpair dvistam tesām dvisam dvisam (34)

hinopakaranam vyagram avidheyam gatāyusam

candam śokāturam bhīrum krtaghnam vaidyamāninam (35)

Credits:

Transcription from sanskrit to english letters by Paolo Scartezzini.

Translation coming soon...

Although there is benefit to not know the meaning of these slohkas as it will enliven these aspects of the science of life in a more holistic way. Translating sanskrit into english will not do justice to what nature is intending to express in order to trigger a memory in pure consciousness. 

 

Dhumapana: Smoke Inhalation Therapy

Smoke Inhalation Indications:

As per Astanga Samgraha of Vaghbata, Sutrasthana, ch. 30.

  • Pains of the head, eyes and ears
  • Ophthalmia and heaviness of the eyes
  • Hemicranial (persistent unilateral headache)
  • Rhinitis, cough, dyspnoea
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Excess salivation, disorder of voice, bad smell from the nose and mouth, hiccup, diseases of the throat
  • Toothache, looseness of teeth, loss of appetite
  • Loss of movement of the neck and lower jaw
  • Worms
  • Itching
  • Anaemia
  • Disorders of the skin and hairs
  • Absence of sneezing or excessive sneezing
  • Stupor, excess sleep
  • Asphyxia
  • Diseases of vata and kapha origin affecting the parts of the body above the shoulders.
  • It is also used to strengthen and purify the head, scalp, sense organs and the mind.(2)

Kinds of Smoke Inhalation (Dhuma Prakaras)

Though the smoke is derived from drugs which are sheeta virya (cold energy), yet with contact of fire, it becomes ushna virya (heating energy). So Dhumapana aggravates pitta and rakta (blood).

3 kinds:

  1. Shamama (suppressing) - a.k.a. prayogika and madhyama. - after gandusha, nasya.
  2. Brmhana (strengthening) - a.k.a. snehana and mrdu.
  3. Shodana (purifying) - a.k.a. virechana and tikshna. - bad colds etc.(3)

also:

  1. Kasaghna (anti-coughing)
  2. Vamana (emetic)
  3. Vrana Dhupana (fumigation to ulcers).

Persons Unsuitable for Inhalation (Dhuma Anarha)

  • Those who have undergone purgation therapy, who have been administered an enema,
  • who have kept awake at night
  • who are injured in the head
  • who have drunk honey, curds, milk, wine, gruel mixed with fatty material, poison and (large quantities of) water, who have eaten fish as food
  • those suffering from anaemia, diabetes, enlargement of abdomen, flatulence, upward movement of vata inside the abdomen (reverse peristalsis)
  • blindness, rohinika (a throat disease), and all others during hot season.

Administration of smoke to the above will produce giddiness, fever, headache, difficulty in sensory perception, dryness and ulceration of the palate, feeling as though hot fumes are coming from the throat, vomiting, fainting, bleeding diseases, facial paralysis and even death.(4)

In all these diseases, it is pitta alone or in combination with vata and kapha that gets increased. So keeping this in mind, use of ghee, decoction, nasal medication, application of paste into the mouth, eye-salve, pouring medicated water over the body and others which are mixed with fatty materials or not mixed with them and cold (in nature and feeling) should be used.(5)

Especially the smoke entering to all the channels produces severe pain, flatulence, redness of the eyes, dyspnoea, cough, nasal catarrh and sourness in the alimentary tract.

In such conditions, use of ghee, milk, sugarcane juice, grapes and sugar; producing vomiting by similar drugs, nasal medications and mouth gargles with drugs of pungent and bitter taste should be adopted.(6)

Dhuma Kala - Time of Administration:

Prayogika (Shamana) Dhuma:

At the end of:

  1. the night
  2. elimination of urine
  3. elimination of faeces
  4. cleaning of teeth
  5. sudation therapy
  6. nasal medication
  7. taking of food
  8. surgical operation

Mrdhu (Brmhana) Dhuma

at the end of:

  1. sneezing
  2. sexual intervourse
  3. laughing
  4. sitting for long periods
  5. yawning
  6. elimination of urine
  7. elimination of faeces
  8. washing of teeth
  9. tarpana
  10. putapaka (instilling decoction and juice into the eye)
  11. surgical operation

Tikshna (Shodana) Dhuma:

at the end of:

  1. nasal medication - (such as Nasya Panchakarma).
  2. anjana (collyrium)
  3. vomiting
  4. bath
  5. day sleep

At the above periods of time, there will be a mild increase of vata and kapha (hence ideal time for smoke inhalation).(7)

The smoke that has been inhaled through the mouth should be emitted only throughout the mouth but not through the nose because of the risk of disorders of vision.(11)

Dosage: Inhalation is done twice - once during day and once at night.

Snaihika (lubricating) dhuma should be done in bouts of three or four inhalations at a time and continued till all the channels start exuding fluid. It should be taken only once in a day and night.(13) - ghee is added.

Tikshna dhuma should be inhaled only through the nose, in bouts of four each time or till the person feels lightness of the channels. It should be taken 3 or 4 x in one day and night.

Apana (one inhalation) = Aksepa (inhaling, sucking) and Visarga (exhaling, expelling out).(14)

Kasaghna (anti-cough) dhuma is administered in the following way:

  • Burning coal devoid of smoke is placed in an earthen saucer and fine powder or pills of the drugs are put on the burning coal.
  • Another saucer with a hole in its centre is kept inverted over the first one, so as tallow the smoke only through its holy, to which the smoking tube is attached.
  • The patient is asked to take in the smoke through the mouth only; when chest is filled up completely, he should let it out through the mouth itself.
  • When the drugs are burnt off, some more powder is placed on the fire.
  • The inhalation should be continued till all the doshas are expelled out or till the patient feels lightness of the organs.(15)

 

 

Vamana duma is done in the same manner, but after the patient has taken the drink of thin krisara (porridge).

Even Vrana dhuma (fumigation of ulcers) is done similarly, to cleanse the wound of its exudations and relief from pain.(16) (External application).

Inhalation of smoke therapy properly done, will clear the impurities from the heart, throat and sense organs, produce lightness of the head and mitigation of the doshas and diseases produced by them.(18)

Samana dhuma is indicated to mitigate vata and kapha individually or their combination and also for the healthy.

Brmhana is ideal for (mitigating) vata and Shodana (virechana) for mitigating kapha.(19)

The Relevance of Dhumapana Today

A lot of people these days are practicing unsafe dhumapana.

The use of pipe and direct smoking is unsafe. Furthermore, most dhumapana recipes call for honey, which is a very complex procedure considering heated honey is poison.

Dhumpana may be promoting the habit of smoking harmful substances and/or excess herbal smoking.

If one wants to practice dhumapana, they can create smoke and indirectly inhale the smoke around them. Herbs like guggulu, sambrani, frankincense (all available in raw form at Vital Veda) can be sprinkled onto coal and inhale as well as topically fumigate onto the body. This is also good to burn in the room where new born babies rest for anti-bacterial action. Also smoke from holy and medicinal woods and substances being burned through Yagya ceremony has medicinal action.

sambrani resin
guggulu resin

Ayurvedic Post Natal Care Plan

The initial 40 days+ after delivery is of immense importance. Both mother and the baby need special attention and care. Ayurveda explains in great detail methods for mother care and baby up-bringing at this vital postpartum time which determines the future health of the newly arrived guest. Here is a detailed post natal care plan.

Immediate Vata and Hormonal Imbalance

After birth, the mother’s hormones are usually erratic. Vata, which governs the nervous system and movement (movement of body fluids, neurotransmitters, hormones, blood and lymph circulation, elimination of wastes) in the body immensely increases. This is because all of a sudden after womb evacuation a vacuum of space has manifested (vata is predominately space). 

Mum needs deep rejuvenation & strength to provide the baby with much required immunity, strength, pure and nutritious breast milk and of course, love.

To help mothers achieve optimal physical, metal and emotional health, we have formulated a post-natal care plan that starts after birth and can continue until the baby becomes a young child.

This post-natal care plan is detailed. Choose which aspects you want to implement, but note the essential recommendations.

One can start this post natal care plan at anytime along the journey. 

 

Immediate Post Delivery Procedures

In order after baby exits the womb:

Umbilical Cord Procedure

Leave the cord intact till it stops pulsating or delay the cord clamping.
Most hospitals prematurely cut the umbilical cord. This causes a loss of blood. Cord-blood is especially rich in containing precious Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). These stem cells are responsible for maintaining blood production throughout our lives.

Science studies have confirmed the validity of delayed cord-clamping.

One study show that when cord-clamping was delayed for just 5 minutes the blood volume increased by a massive 61% from 78 ml/kg (blood volume at moment of birth) to 126 ml/kg. This placental transfusion amounted to 166 ml for a 3.500 kg infant, one-quarter of which occurred in the first 15 seconds, and one-half within 60 seconds of birth.

So even if you aren't the kind to "Lotus Birth" and wait until the cord naturally drops off, consider delaying cord clamping for at least 5 minutes.

1. Ayurvedic Immunisation Program

Swarna Prasa: Honey, Ghee and Gold purified ash (swarna bhasma) is prepared and processed in a highly complex method using high quality ingredients. This is given to the baby after being born to imbue immunity actively through the senses. This immunisation may be continually be administered once a month according to astrology (on pusyami naksatra).

Contact within to order Swarna Prasa.

Learn more here.

2. Breastfeeding

First right breast, then left. Within 1-4 hours or ideally less.

3. Oil Massage

Massage the baby from head to toe with oil. Leave oil on for approx. 45 mins before bath.
Oils used: Vital Veda Baby Abhyanga Oil, cold-pressed extra-virgin coconut or olive oil.
Check out our free Self-Massage Poster to get an idea of how to give baby massage.

4. Bath

Bath (luke warm) and baby abhyanga (oil massage) are the two most important rituals for the baby as they are growing up.

5. Baby Mantra

Parents whisper a mantra (primordial sound) into the baby's ear to induct the baby into the world. This primordial sound is familiar to the baby to ensure "don't worry, you have arrived into a vedic family, you will be enlightened, we will give you knowledge for enlightenment. Relax, you can be a baby now."

Get your baby mantra from a Vedic Meditation teacher.

Optional Gold Ornamentation: Put gold ring on right ear, then on left and then chant baby mantra.

6. Wrap Baby

After baby is finished bath, wrap baby in silk or muslin cloth completely. Especially cover ears. Only expose eyes and nose.

 

Herbal Support

Balant Kadha (Herbal Drink)

A particular fermented herbal preperation (asava) called Balant Kadha is taken once by mum for thirty days to balance the vata, hormones and more. 

This tonic relives weakness, body ache, constipation and cough. Increases appetite, energy, strength and nutritious milk. Tones up blood circulation and helps for the formation of new blood cells.

Time to take: This decoction is ideally taken the day of or the day after giving birth. Even if mum missed that (ie. is reading this article post-delivery), this herb is still highly beneficial and can performs similar action if started up until the baby is 6 months old. This is probably the most important and crucial herb.

Read more about Balant Kadha here.

If still after taking Balant Kadha more Vata reducing is to be done (to be assessed by practitioner or doctor), mum may take 5tsp of Dasmula Arista 2x/day after meals.

Gallakol Lactation Tablets

Increases lactation and purifies breast milk.

This herbal nutritive tonic can be taken by the mother even if breast milk is slightly not 100%, thus good to have on you incase.

Dosage: 2 tabs 2-4x /day before meals or as needed.

Check out our Post Natal Ayurvedic Support Kit

Vital Veda's Post Natal Ayurvedic Support Kit

Post Natal Care (continued)

7. First 11 Days

For next 11 days, no oil massage or oil application. Nor for mother. After the 11th day daily baby-massage is essential. Also for mum.

8. Skin Paste for Baby Girls 

Skin Paste: Channa flour, turmeric + perfumery herbs (sandalwood, rose, usheera). Everyday after massage, before bath. Leave skin paste on for at least for 15-20 mins. To remove toxins and prevent body hair growth. 

9. Clothes

For the first 21 days, new born wears clothes of other babies that have good karma.

10. Intimacy Between Mum and Baby

For 7-13 days, mum and baby should be alone in the room. Only people who are serving and helping can enter. This is to develop a profound intimacy, trust and prevent anxiety.

For the first 40 days, mum and baby continue this and hardly go out of the house. They should remain cocooned and protected in their room. Only people who are very close, who are serving and who have bathed and are pure can visit. 

11. Naming Ceremony

Done on the 21st day (Nama Karana).

12. Piercing Ears

Piece ears on the 21st day, 40th day, 3rd or 5th year for females along with puja.

13. Shaving Head (Mudhana) 

Shave head to improve circulation in the head and to increase hair. Done for both genders before 1 year of age, approximately at 11 months old.

14. Ayurvedic Immunisation (continued)

Once finished the swarna prasayou can administer Raju Pusyami Drops to the baby once a month until young teenage years.

Post-Natal Diet for Mum

  • The two most important foods for mum to balance the vata are ghee and garlic.
  • Garlic - remove inner green sprout and fry in ghee, then use in cooking.
  • Ojas increasing foods like hot milk, dates, coconut, warmed cooked fresh foods.
  • Cumin seeds and fennel seeds. Ajwain seeds if C-section occurred. 

Lactation Increasing Foods

  • Fenugreek, jaggery laddhus, wheat (oats), grapes/grape juice.
  • Fenugreek tea - 2 tsp fenugreek seeds, soak overnight (always soak fenugreek). Next morning boil in 2 cups of water, reduce to half and drink. - Improves child's immunity, quality of breast milk and pancreas. Drink tea 3x a day.

 

Baby Food Introduction

Introducing food to a baby is essential to develop a balanced digestion and diet of the future. We teach how to adjust the tastes provided to prevent digestion disorders, cravings and intolerances from developing. Introduce at 5 months and 5 days or 6 months and 6 days.

Baby food introduction plan coming soon.

C-Section Procedures

  • All similar. Essential to take Balant Kadha. 
  • Hug skin-to-skin contact to regulate breathing, blood sugar, heart rate, and to exchange micro-biome.
  • Vaginal Swab - swab mum’s vagina and place in babies mouth or place on nipples for baby to suck and get micro-biome.
  • Sew up mum while she is doing all these things.
  • Avoid Parisheks for mum.
  • Supplements may be required to replenish vitamins and minerals.

Disclaimer: All these information is just for information. Consult your doctor before trying any of these.

  • For more information and tips pre, during and post pregnancy contact us.
  • These herbs have no known drug interaction.
  • These products and recommendations are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

 

 

Visha Kanyas – Venomous Virgins

Even a kiss can kill. The Visha Kanyas were poisonous young women who served as executioners in ancient India. Any contact with these toxic ladies would mean death. 

These venomous assassins are not only instrumental for the destruction operator in nature, but they also exemplify a fundamental Ayurvedic concept on obtaining immunity, “Oka Satmya” or adapting to habits to create suitable compatibility.

Raising Poisonous Maidens

Visha Kanya literally means “poison maiden.”

From the second day of birth, ancient Indian Kings would feed one tiny drop of snake venom to the baby girl. Gradual feeding of different types of poison continued throughout the girls early age to make them immune to the lethal effects. By the time they reached puberty, these girls were not only beginning to awaken arousal, but were thoroughly toxic and ready to be used as deadly human weapons.

The king could then use these seductive assassins against his most powerful enemies.

Sexual intercourse, a kiss, contact with her sweat or even just sharing a glass of wine with her would be fatal for the victim.

These star-crossed girls were chosen by kings if their horoscope (jyotish) promised widowhood. Even a specific cast was established for them.

The Poison Damsel in Medieval European Medical and Religious Lore

The Pseudo-Aristotle treatise, Secretum Secretorum (“The Secrets of Secrets”) conveys Aristotle warning his pupil Alexander the Great to be careful of lavish gifts from Indian kings.

In one Hebrew version of this treatise, which is likely to be earlier than most, Aristotle says that he fears the clever political strategists of India.

One french version tells a story that Socrates and Aristotle told two slaves to kiss the girl and they both fell down dead instantly. Other versions have her kill by bite, sexual intercourse, or even just an icy glare.

13th century Spanish author Guillem de Cervera declares that Aristotle saved Alexanders life by using the same astrological techniques (Jyotish) to determine a poison maiden and avert the attack.

Incidentally, the german word for poison is “gift.”

Toxicology Branch of Ayurvedic Texts Warning About Visha Kanyas

“A girl who has been exposed to poison from brith, and who has thus been made poisonous herself. She kills a lover just be her touch or her breath. Flowers and blossoms wilt when they come into contact with her head. The bugs in her bed, the lice in her clothes, and anyone who washes in the same water as her, all die. With this in mind, you should keep far away from her as possible.”
Astanga Samgraha of Vaghbata, 1.8.87-89.

Dalhanas commentary on Susrutas verse is even more graphic:

“If she touches you, her sweat can kill. If you make love to her, your penis drops off like a ripe fruit from its stalk.”
Dalhana on Susruta Samhita, 5.1.4-6

Immunity Alteration: Habituation and Suitable Compatibility (“Oka Satmya”)

Satmya is a reason why a diet that works for one culture may not work for another.

When one is introduced to something unwholesome from a young age and becomes habituated to taking it, they can adapt and withstand the negative effects, but not completely.

If one's family have been taking an unwholesome substance or performing an unwholesome habitual action for generations (e.g. working late at night), they further become immune and compatible with that substance or action, but not completely. 

If the unwholesome substance is indigenous to the land and climate that the person resides in, that again increases harmonious compatibility, but not completely.

Harmonious health is not completely maintained because it will can them inflict them later in life. When their immune system becomes weak or they approach vata age (60+).

For example:

There is a story of a king in India named Mahmud Shah, who lived in Gujarat in 1500 AD. He raised his son on tiny doses of poison to avoid threats of poisoning by his enemies. He was also said to chew different poisonous leaves and spit on whomever he wanted to kill. He was said to have 3000-4000 wives, and whenever he slept with one, she was found dead in the morning.

 

Modern food examples:

In Ayurveda, potatoes are considered the worst amongst the vegetable kingdom (C.S.). However, Russians who have primarily been eating potatoes nearly everyday of their lives for generations can digest and gain nourishment from potatoes.

South Indians on the other hand, who have hardly been eating this root vegetable historically, can easily get bloating and gas from potatoes, causing a host of diseases.

The Russians however may get inflicted by this vata increasing vegetable later in their life when their body becomes weak and/or around vata age (60+ years old) .

Dairy and banana mixed together is a classical incompatible food combination (Viruddhanna) in Ayurveda that produces ama (undigested food material), the cause of most disease.

This is one of the biggest flaws in the western diet (think banana smoothies, banana porridges, cereals etc.). Banana and dairy are eaten together in the west only semi-regularly, so it can take a few months up to a few years for the ama to build up enough to manifest into symptoms.

There is however, a town in the Indian State of Andhra Pradesh, whose natives have been eating banana and yoghurt for generations and don’t experience symptoms. It may however very well manifest into disease when they reach vata age.

Similarly, not bringing a child up on cows milk will cause them to be intolerant to that. Impacting digestion, weakening immunity and depriving them of ojas.

Mithridatism: Vaccinating Against Poison

More recently in the 20th century, American Herpetologist (zoology) Bill Haast injected himself with snake venom for over half of his 101-year life. He credited this to his longevity and to surviving 172 venomous bites (which he turned into a tourist attraction in Miami and was validated by the Guinness Book of World Records).

Haast also offered transfusions of his blood in place of antivenin to numerous people who had been bitten by snakes for whose poison no antivenin was available.

This supports the notion that snake venom was also used as medicine in Ayurveda. As long as it wasn’t mixed with blood, taken internally along with rain water (akasha jala) it could cure many diseases.

A painting in Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra.

What is your Satmya and do you respect it? Do you know any of the traditional foods your ancestors consumed?

Credits:

  • Penzer NM. Poison damsels and other essays in folklore and anthropology. Compates tales of the poison damsel from ancient Greece, India and Europe. London: C.J. Swayer; 1952.
  • Phillip Wexler. History of Toxicology and Environmental Health: Toxicology in Antiquity II.
  • feature photo: Pintrest.
  • second photo: Chandra Nandni, Vishkanya TV series.
  • Bill Haast photo: UK Telegraph
  • Cave painting: Indischer Maler des 6. Jahrhunderts, The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202.

Silver Pomegranate Ghee (Rajata Dadima Ghritam)

A divine herbal preparation performed in accordance with astrology. This medicated ghee is a rejuvenator and anti-aging rasayana.

A method passed down to Dylan Smith by his teachers, the Raju family. It involves abhishekam: pouring divine herbal substances on a pure silver Ganesh murti (statue/3D phenomenon of a consciousness state), then collecting the substances in a pure silver laksmi plate and preparing a medicated ghee from it.

Special mantras (primordial sounds) are chanted throughout this process to infuse vibrations into the highly receptive particles of the edible substances.

Dylan only conducts this procedure a few times a year as it has to be on on Sankashti Chaturthi (Ganesh’s anniversary) and when pomegranates are in season.

The Process

Teertam - offerings collected on a silver laksmi plate to be cooked into a medicated ghee (ghritam).

The finished product