Foraging and Curing Olives

Olive tree

Season (Kala)

As we exit the northern solstice, “Uttarayana,” which is heat dominant (Agneya)  , and transition into the southern solstice, Daksinayana, cooling and moon dominate (Saumya), here in Australia, the earth moves a little more away from the sun in the southward direction.
Seasonal transition (RtuSandhi ऋतुसन्धि) is a significant event in Ayurveda. Not adapting to the outer environment and supporting your biological changes which vulnerably occur at this sandhi (transition) time is considered one of the significant causes of disease.
So that is why in the Vedic culture, 9 nights are designated at these times of transition. These nine nights (Navratri) are provided to go more inward (opportunity for enhanced spiritual connection), eating less or some types of fasting so your cellular energy can be utilised on other biological functions than predominately digestion, and eating certain foods and herbs to assist with this transition.
Here in Australia at this time of year (around late April), nature provides olives. Ripe and ready on the tree to be brined and cured.
Olives being fermented and rich in Lactrobacillus bacteria have the action of sparking up the digestive fire (deepena karma).
This naturally aligns with nature because by the time these olives are cured and ready to eat, it’s winter, and the digestive fire is stronger as it huddles in to keep the body warm and digest higher protein and fatty foods to keep us insulated as we hibernate through winter.
Olives have a delicious abundance of monounsaturated fat. This coupled with biophenol anti-oxidants, helps regulate cholesterol by preventing the bad cholesterol in the arterial walls and supporting the good cholesterol for heart, brain and hormonal health.
Dylan Smith harvesting wild olives
Overall inflammation is reduced in the body by the phenolic compounds in olives when they are had in moderation
However, olives are quite salty and heating. So make sure to consume them in condiment sizes and eat them seasonally - in winter. Pitta types   should eat less of them as they can increase this fire which may manifest as skin diseases, acne, irritable bowel syndrome, hyperacidity and anger/irritability.  
So my fellow Australians and those around the world who are reading this or saving it for when your season comes, look for some wild or generous olive trees and have a go at curing them…

Brine and Cure Method

The basic principle of curing olives is that you are using water and salt to extract the glycoside from them - the chemical which makes olives very bitter when picked. Then you are left with sweeter, bitter, salty tasty fruits.
  1. Soak olives in water - Put your olives in a bowl or esky or drum of pure room temperature water. (It is good to have a tap as you will be draining the water and refilling regularly). Or you can sit your olives in a strainer in a bowl of water for easy removal and water change.
  2. Cover the vessel and leave for two days.
  3. After two days, empty the water and refill with new water.
  4. Repeat this process for about 14 days total. (If you forget about your olives for an extra day or two, that is fine).
Olives in Water
Now it’s time to brine…
  1. In a big jar mix 1L of pure warm-hot water with 100gm of salt non-idolised good quality salt. Warm-hot water is used so that the salt can dissolve evenly throughout the water.
  2. Note you can make 5L or 20L of brine (highly concentrated salty water). Whatever you want. Just ensure the water to salt ratio is 10:1 (10% salt). So if you are doing 5L of water, add 500gm salt.
  3. Once the jar of salt water is cooled to room temperate, add your olives in until they reach the top of the jar. It is good to squish them down tightly in. They should be fully submerged under the brine. To achieve this, add a small plate or some big flat rocks to weigh the olives down.
  4. Keep your jar of olives in a dark place with a stable temperature (like a pantry).
  5. How much time to brine? -  This depends on the size of olives, the ripeness, how long you did the water stage for (if at all, you don’t have to do this stage but it makes the olives tastier and smoother), how salty you like your olives .
  6. Taste your olives after they’ve been in the brine for 2 months and get to know the taste of brining olives. This can take 4-12 months for them to be ready.
  7. After the brine stage - When they are ready, you should strain the brine (this will be very bitter).
  8. Then store your olives by adding them into a new brine (this lasts for up to 6 months), in olive oil or in 50:50 vinegar and water solution.
  9. Add herbs and spices like rosemary, fennel and lemon slices is good to add at this into the jar for the storage phase until you eat them all.
Do you brine your make our own olives?
How do you use olives in your cooking?
Comment below 👇
Olive brining recipe adopted from @milkwood

Aloe Vera: Benefits & Uses of The Hero Herb | Dr. Michael Hayley {Podcast #047)

Aloe Vera: A juicy medicinal succulent that you can implement into your diet and/or your herbal regimen.


Quality & Pure Aloe Vera Products

Aloe Vera Products by Hayley Nutrition: (Juice, cosmetics, plant) - Discount code: VITALVEDA

About Our Guest: Dr. Michael Hayley

Helping people discover the health-promoting benefits of pure, raw Aloe vera is more than a job; it is Dr. Haley’s mission and vision.

Dr. Haley’s health principles are based on science, tradition, and in line with the scriptures.

Dr. Haley owns and operates Stockton Aloe 1, makers and distributors of pure aloe vera drinks and personal care products. He also maintains his private chiropractic practice in Florida. 

Dr. Haley is an expert on phyto-nutrition and superfoods and teaches in the area of organic chemistry and nutrition.

He focuses on a deeper understanding of Aloe’s potential use in a variety of health and wellness needs.


In This Episode We Discuss:

Michael using Aloe Vera to mitigate a huge rope burn from sailing

The Ayurvedic Wisdom on Aloe Vera

The name for Aloe Vera in Sanskrit is “Kumari” - meaning "young maiden."

Which reveals its affinity for the female menstrual cycle and its rejuvenate powers for maintaining youthfulness particularly for woman.

Ayurvedic Energetics of Aloe Vera

    • Rasa (taste) - bitter, sweet,
    • Virya (energy) - cold
    • Vipaka (post-digestive effect) - sweet
    • Gunas (qualities) - guru (heavy), snigdha (unctuous), picheela (slimy).
    • Doshas: VPK - (as the gel and juice); dried gum powder (kala bola) aggravates V

It is considered to be a special herb because it has an affinity for all 7 dhatus, and regulates all three doshas.

Health Benefits of Aloe Vera

Female Hormones and Menstrual Health & Aloe Vera

  • The gel and juice are helpful when there is excess bleeding or clots.
  • Kumari purifies the liver which directly affects raktavaha srotas (blood channels) and the flow of pitta in the blood.
  • This blood cleansing effect also affect the artava srotas, the menstrual channel, as it is responsible for regulating the uterus.
  • Helps promote the onset of menstruation (Artavajanana).
  • It is rejuvenate and building for the female reproductive system.
  • Its cooling and unctuous properties make it very effective for treating the hot and dry symptoms of menopause (source: Bhavaprakasa).

Kumāri āsava - A classical Ayurvedic formulations great for gynaecological conditions.

Digestion & Aloe Vera

As it is a cooling and demulcent herb that directly clears pitta and heals mucous membranes it is a specific for hyperacidity, acid reflux, peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis, IBS, IBD, Chron’s, GERD and any bleeding from the intestines. It reduce the inflammation in the gut.

A lot of people are discovering Aloe Vera because they are on anti-acid medications such as Protein Pump Inhibitors (PPIs), which can burden one with with adverse and addictive effects.

Very helpful in conditions with bleeding stools.

Aloe Vera also contains digestive enzymes.

It stimulates peristalsis.

Microbiome & Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera can help regulate bacteria levels in the intestines indicates use in Candida albicans and as a remedy for improving gastric and intestinal function. (Source: Bland 1985, Murray 1992, Bone 2003).

Aloe can help cool and accelerate healing in leaky gut.

A certain fibre in Aloe Vera promotes micro-biome health.

Kala Bol (Ayurvedic Laxative Preparation Using Aloe Vera)

The solid gum obtained after boiling the whole aloe leaf juice. It is a strong purgative. Becomes a black thick paste after boiling like guggulu.

Boil on coal for some consistency, then low flame for some consistency, then on heat for some consistency.

Put in thermal in cow dung cakes.

Use short term and always consult an Ayurvedic practitioner.

Aloe Vera for Liver Health

  • Jaundice.
  • Viral hepatitis.
  • Reduces inflammation in the spleen and liver (plihayakrdvrdhhihara).

Aloe Vera for Blood Sugar and Diabetes

Inner part of the gel promotes liver to release bile.

Aloe Vera can help to regulate blood sugar in diabetics and lipid levels in hyper-triglyceridaemia. (Plaskett 1996).

This may be because Aloe Vera Gel promotes the liver to stimulate bile release.

Malose, the sugar molecules in Aloe Vera lowers and stabilises blood sugar levels.

Skin Health and Aloe Vera

Helpful in eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, shingles, acne, and other ailments.

The gel contains polysaccharides that are specifically healing for the skin and mucous membranes (Murray 1992).

It has an affinity for bhrajaka pitta and enhances the quality of the skin;

used topically to treat psoriasis, ulcers, eczema, dermatitis and mouth ulcers.

One of the best Ayurvedic herbs for healing burns, scars, wounds and stretch marks.

Good internally for hot, inflamed condition; eczema, hives, ulcers, acne.

Face-lift action and anti-ageing.

Helpful for dark and white spots.

Granti (helps removes tumours), Cancer and Aloe Vera

Acemannan - acemannan causes macrophages to secrete more tumour necrosis (death to) factor.

Aloe Vera for Eye Health

Netra rogaghana - “destroys” eye diseases according to Ayurveda.

Applied topically it is very soothing for eye inflammation and eyelid swelling.

Vishpota - removes pustules.

Visa hará - reduces and pacifies poison.

Aloe Vera for Animals and Pets

The increased use of Aloe Vera in veterinary clinics.

Horses are using it for digestion - demonstrated by the calmness of the horses and improved bowel motions.

Different Parts of the Aloe Vera Plant

  • The inner gel part of the leaf is different to the rest of the plant.
    • This is a much safer part of the plant to ingest, potentially in your daily diet.
    • This is 95-97% water plus a balance of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, photo-chemicals, acemannan  a D-isomer mucopolysaccharide
  • The outer sap has an irritation and laxative effect.
    • This part of the leaf tastes very bitter.
    • This has a strong laxative effective.
    • You need to be cautious with amounts to take.
    • The is what is used for kala bol Ayurvedic strong laxative preparation.
  • Whole leaf gel is also available, which includes both of those components.

Other Forms of Aloe Vera

  • kala bol.
  • Arogyavarhini vati and kaishore guggulu are two other Ayurvedic preparations that contains Kumari.

How to Take Aloe Vera

  • Honouring your digestive power and fire (agni).
  • Mix with ginger, turmeric, cumin to make easier to digest.
  • Blend (slow speed) to make a drink.
  • Cut it up and use on food.

Various Species of Aloe Vera

There are over 250 species.

Common species to use includes:

  • Aloe indica/vera/barbadensis–Herba/ Succinum
  • Aloe arborescens.
  • Aloe vera barbadensis miller - king of Aloe.

Growing and Harvesting Your Own Aloe Vera + Preparations

  • How to purify Aloe Vera - let it bleed then soak it for a few minutes. The water will turn yellow.
  • Removing the bitter taste and strong laxative affect.
  • How to tell an Aloe Vera plant is healthy.

Preserving Aloe Vera

  • Freezing.
  • Fresh is best.

Aloe Vera Products

  • Additives and natural additives.
  • Preservatives and hidden chemicals.
  • Processing methods.
  • If a product says 100% Aloe Vera with no preservative or additives, that may be true, but they have possibly removed some of the good components.

References:

  • Bhavaprakash
  • Ayurvedic Medicine, Sebastian Pole

Resources

Quality & Pure Aloe Vera Products

Aloe Vera Products by Hayley Nutrition: (Juice, cosmetics, plant) - Discount code: VITALVEDA

Stockton 1 Aloe Vera - Aloe drink, personal care, supplements, plants.

Vital Veda Facebook Community - reach out to find someone with a spare Aloe Vera cutting or offer yourself if you have.


Support The Show

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


SHARE

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

Share this episode on Facebook / Share this episode on Twitter


Subscribe


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


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.

 

 

Banana “Kadali” Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients

serves 2

  • 2 large bananas
  • 3-6 medjool dates, stones removed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup of almonds that have been soaked & skin removed. Roughly crushed.
  • Good pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Good pinch of crushed cardamom seeds.
  • 1/2-1 cup of water or coconut milk (optional)

Method

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve at room temperature (since cold drinks and food put out Agni/digestive fire).

*Please note banana is best eaten alone. Combining Banana with some coconut oil (good to reduce the high blood sugar spikes from banana), cardamom and ghee is also fine. This recipe is for those who want to get a bit more creative and transition to a healthier banana smoothie option.

Honey – Nectar or Poison?

Honey, nature’s sweet nectar, was considered by the ancient Vedic sages as one of the most exceptional food items available to mankind. It constitutes unique medicinal properties par excellence. And all this certainly still prevails today, but only when used properly.

In stark contrast, honey when heated is considered fatal and is classified as poison. Not only did ancient vedic sages clearly warn civilisations about this, but now modern science is proving ancient wisdom by confirming the toxicity of heated honey.

I understand that these words condemning heated honey seem harsh, radical and perhaps rather shocking. But many sages (who are considered authentic authorities on the science of life that is Ayurveda) used these exact words for this topic. And by the way, this language was rarely used.

I personally consider heated honey as the #1 Biggest Flaw in The Post Modern Era Diet.

The Importance of Honey

Honey is a medicine, not so much a food.

Honey is only good in little quantities. This is “because of properties like difficult digestibility, dryness and astringency.”(1)

If undigested, honey is very hard to eliminate out of the body. If it doesn’t eliminate, it lodges in the body as ama (undigested food material), which is the root cause of most illnesses. Ama clogs the channels of the body, obstructing metabolic activity, preventing nutrients from being delivered to cells and hampering proper waste elimination.

“Nothing is as troublesome as the Ama caused by improper intake of honey.”
~ Charaka, Ancient Sage.

The best yogavahi (catalyst)

Which means it amplifies the properties of the herbs added to it.(2)

The chief Anupana (Vehicle of Administration)

All herbs need a vehicle to effectively deliver it to the part of body that it is intended for. There are many Anupana’s such as ghee, milk, decoctions, water, sugar, wine and more. Honey is the main Anuapana in Ayurvedic medicine.

Thus, the best way to get your regular dose of honey is to incorporate it into your regular herbal intake.
(see below for other ways to take honey).

Good for the Eyes

Improves the eyesight. Very useful for itchy eyes, trachoma, conjunctivitis, glaucoma and other similar diseases.(1)

Honey is an excellent ‘scraper’ - whether it be scraping undigested food material in the digestive tract, to then be eliminated, or the mature cataracts (when the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque) to stop the growth of the membrane.

It is to be used regularly internally but most effective when applied into the eyes via a specific Ayurvedic herbal preparation. (contact Vital Veda to order Netra Amrit Eye Drops).

Heart Health

Honey is wonderful for the heart. While it’s sweetness give pleasure to pacify the emotional heart, the scraping quality removes the ama that is blocking heart vowels and arteries.

Heart Tonic Remedy - Honey + amalaki juice + lemon juice + mango juice + arjuna kashayam (optional).

Honey Heals the Skin

Topically applying honey to wounds(1), burns, cuts, skin diseases(1) and ulcers(1) is an easy home remedy to clean the area and hasten healing.

Wound Healing Remedy - Mix some turmeric powder with honey to increase the antiseptic effect and stop bleeding(1). Topically apply on skin lesion.

Digestion

  • Honey is considered a boon for those with low digestion (Manda Agni). This is because it scrapes away the kapha coating on top of the pitta (kapha avarana).
  • It helps with diarrhoea and regulates acid levels.
  • It is a vital ingredient during Panchakarma when conducting purification treatments such as Basti (enema) and Vamana (emesis).

Respiratory Health

Honey is highly beneficial in the support of lung health and treatment of all imbalances of the lungs. Honey contains a mixture of "higher" alcohols and ethereal oil that emit soothing and beneficial vapours. Couple this with a combination of Ayurvedic respiratory herbs to breath at ease.

 

Cough

Honey soothes the inflamed mucous membrane of the upper respiratory tract and relieves irritating cough and symptoms like difficulty in swallowing. Honey is also one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory foods for inflammation anywhere in the body.

Cough and Cold Home Remedy – Honey and spice paste.

Weight Loss, Obesity and Diabetes

Honey is Kapha Nisaraka.
“Sara” = Essence.
“Ni” = Take away.
Honey, with its astringent quality, in small amounts, takes away the essence of kapha. Kapha is the factor for fluids, excess fat and heaviness in the body.
Another quality of honey is Stambhana (Stopping). Honey stops the overproduction of the bodily tissues.

Weight Loss Remedy - Boil water at night. The next morning add 1tsp honey + 1tsp lemon juice to the room temperature water and drink first thing after brushing teeth and scraping tongue.

Aphrodisiac and Ojas Booster

Due to a sweet taste and sweet post-digestive effect, honey (when taken right) is one of the few foods that metabolises so well that it nourishes all the tissues and quickly and directly nourishes and builds Ojas (vital essence). Due to it’s yogavahi (catalyst) quality, combined with aphrodisiac herbs it is effective for low libido, premature ejaculation, low sperm count and reproduction.

Ojas Builder and Immunisation for Babies - Swarna Prasha (honey + ghee + gold bhasma) - (available at Vital Veda clinic).

Other benefits:

“Madhu (honey) breaks up solidified materials inside the body, relieves thirst, mitigates kapha, poison, hiccup, bleeding disease, skin diseases, diabetes, worms, vomiting, difficulty in breathing, cough, diarrhoea; cleanses the ulcers, unifies fractures, heals wound.”(1)

Ways to Take Honey:

  • Incorporate into herbal preparations.
  • By itself as a tonic - If you do not take herbs, you can take 1tsp of raw honey first thing in the morning. (Sweet should be the first taste of the day).
  • Fruit + Honey - Drizzle honey on seasonal fruit. Honey + grapefruit is a great breakfast for weight loss. (make sure to eat the white pith of the grapefruit!).
  • Yoghurt + Honey - Yoghurt is one of the heaviest foods available. Thus Ayurveda says “it should not be taken alone without, sugar, green gram soup, honey or amalaki”(3) to make it more easily digestible. Honey and yoghurt is a great snack.

Honey’s Poisonous Potential

On the other hand, honey can easily acquire a poisonous quality. All it takes is heat.

When honey is heated past body temperature (37 degrees celsius) it becomes poison.

 

“100 litres of honey can be spoiled with 1 drop of hot water. Poison.”
Vaidya J.R. Raju

When heated, the molecules in honey metamorphose into glue-like structures and that adhere to the gut membrane, clogging the channels and producing ama. This ama becomes a sly nuisance that is very difficult to remove from the body.

“It takes many Panchakarma’s to remove heated honey.”
~ Vaidya J.R. Raju.

Now modern science is proving ancient wisdom. A study showed that when honey is heated, it produces a chemical called hydroxymethylfurfuraldehyde (HMF), a substance linked in certain forms to toxicity and possible links to carcinogenic effects.

The heat melts the microscopic globules of wax, which is where bees store this toxic chemical (and possibly more). This wax which encases the toxic substances is only eliminated straight out the body if it is not heated.

Beware of Heated Honey

  • Don’t add honey to any food or drink that is hot including tea, chai, porridge, honey soy chicken, honey cake etc. You are safer to leave this out all together rather then letting the food or drink “cool down.” - Remember, 37 degrees celsius.
  • Honey as an ingredient in packaged foods - Care should be taken to avoid cereals, breads, baked goods, sauces, bars and other “health food” products that include honey which has been cooked. Read the labels.
  • What is the source of your honey? - Speak to the bee keeper. Find out how they extract the honey. If the honey is cold-extracted or unheated, this is medicine. However most honey sold in mainstream supermarkets are toxic.

Ayurveda is so strict on this that it even prohibits honey during fever and hot summers.

Who is to say that heated honey is not a primary cause in diseases like colon cancer, infertility, children dying at birth or soon after birth? It will be a while till science conducts studies like these.

Other Notes About Honey

  • Honey gets better with age. I recommend only use honey that is at least 2 months old. This increases the activity levels. If it crystallises this is a good thing. Make sure to store well in a glass container. Start collecting!
  • Beware, “Honey mixed with equal quantities of ghee causes death.” ~ Every major ancient ayurvedic text.
honey collection
My honey collection from 2014. I still hold some of these that are getting good age to them! I save them for when strong medicines are required and for Ayurvedic baby immunisations.

If you have eaten heated honey in the past like most westerners, fear not! you are strong. Even heated honey in very little quantity can be digested to some extent by with those of good physiology. But now you are aware, you can continue to detoxify and further imbue vitality.

“Even Brahman cannot cure the heated honey.”
Vaidya Dr. Raju
“Eat honey, my son, for it is good;”
~ Proverbs 24:13, The Bible

Honey Brand Recommendations:

  • Jelly bush honey from Vital Veda's personal collection..
  • Amber Drop Honey - Discount code: VITALVEDA
  • Maharishi Honey - These guys use a Natural Law based approach to apiculture. They have the bees facing east, play them vedic chants and work closely with the environment. This honey is another level. If you are in Australia order through The Medicine Man.

Get collecting!

References
(1) Astanga Samgraha of Vaghbata, ch. 6,(86-93).
(2) Caraka Samhita, ch. 26, (249)
(3) Caraka Samhita, ch. 7, (61-62)

feature photo: Cereal Mag

Related Listening


Nature Deficit Disorder

Yep it's actually a thing.

This contemporary phenomenon, “Nature Deficit Disorder,” is slightly controversial in the medical industry in regards to it being recognised as a mental disorder.

Richard Louv, an author who came up with this “phrase” has stated:

“Nature-deficit disorder is not meant to be a medical diagnosis but rather to serve as a description of the human costs of alienation from the natural world.”

And boy what health costs it can have…

  • Youngers generations are being at risk of having a shorter lifespan.
  • Behavioural problems are developing as well as Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD) and depression. Studies from the University of Illinois is showing a strong link to ADD, and recently studies in USA showed classrooms and other forms of education that used outdoor classrooms and other forms of experiential education produced significant student gain in social studies, science, language, arts and math.
  • Eye problems like myopia (short-sighted) due to lack of exposure to bright (natural outdoor) light are at jeopardy.(3,4).
  • Childhood obesity is a growing problem and an influential cause of it is separation from nature.(5)
  • A Harvard study showed a strong correlation with mental health as women living in the greenest environments were happier and less depressed.(1,2).

According to Ayurveda, spending time in the nature or green space around plants builds “Ojas” – a substance linked to longevity, vitality and radiant health.

A plentiful reserve of Ojas is reflected in the lustre of the eyes and skin (like the glow in a baby), strong physical strength, immunity and libido, good digestion, vigour and spirituality.

It could be in your garden, or a park. It could be regularly hiking, bush walking, camping or meditating on a beach — it all builds Ojas.

Another one of the best ways to consistently build Ojas is to eat a diet of fresh unprocessed, seasonal whole food and have a balanced agni to support the process. A handful of certain foods even metabolise to nourish and build Ojas more directly and quickly.

Depleted Ojas leaves the body vulnerable to disease.

Regularly employing these methods to building Ojas is an important action to overcome fatigue and increase vitality.

Check out this article:

Ojas: Invigorate your Vitality

“When you feel life coming down on you, Like a heavy weight.
When you feel this crazy society, Adding to the strain.
Take a stroll to the nearest waters And remember your place.
Many moons have risen and fallen long, long before you came.”
~ Xavier Rudd

Photo: Routeburn Track, NZ  by Dylan Smith

References
(1) http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/15-10363/
(2) https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_158317.html
(3) New research an eye opener on cause of myopia". 2011-06-01. Retrieved 2013-10-07.
(4) Nature Deficit Disorder, No Child Left Inside Archived January 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
(5) National Environmental Education Foundation

Kanji (Rice Gruel) Recipe

Kanji is a well-cooked rice soup that is very easy to digest when a light meal is required (in the evening), or whenever agni/digestion is low or has to rebuild (like after a cleanse).

It is as nutritious as it is digestible and is very useful as a short-term diet to quickly clear undigested food material (ama) from the system (a day of kanji or even one meal of kanji works wonders after any eating "mistakes").

Cooking Procedure:

• Boil quality white rice in a generous amount of water in an open pot (approx. 1/2 cup rice to seven cups water—adjust proportions according to need).
• Cook until it gets a very fine, smooth structure and the rice is almost completely dissolved.
• 10-15 minutes before it's done, add a spoon of roughly crushed cumin seed and ajwain seed, with a little black salt for taste, or rock salt.
• After cooking, can keep the kanji in a thermos so it is hot and ready to eat whenever you are hungry (kanji can be taken any time of day when you are hungry).

This is a great food to fast and cleanse. It helps eliminate toxins, specifically out the bowels and helps Apana Vata (Vata in the pelvic floor) imbalances.

How to Fast Safely and Effectively? - Just eat kanji all day!

Hot Milk Elixir

Just like grandma used to cook up for you with love and foresight. This nightly sleep aid and anabolic tonic holds great wisdom, incorporating one of the most nourishing foods: cows milk, with the intelligence of natures herbs and spices. You’ll sleep like a baby and super charge overnight.

Dreaming of a Good Night’s Sleep?

This Ayurvedic remedy will reduce your stress to allow you to switch off and gain a more restful and undisturbed sleep.

Supersede the Stress

Insomnia, which can increase the risk of most degenerative diseases(1) is mostly caused by stress. When we are under stress, cortisol levels (stress fighting hormones) do not decrease, rather they keep us revved up throughout the night and we don’t have the energy to calm them back down.

Modern science has once again proved ancient wisdom by showing milk has certain peptides that lower cortisol and support sleep by 50%. The improvements of sleep are remarkable:

  • Promotes deeper sleep (3)
  • Supports more restorative sleep (3)
  • Provides relaxation at the level needed for sleep (4)
  • Calms anxiety (4)
  • Improves numerous stress markers (5)
  • These peptides further support digestion, emotional state, cognitive function and even cardiovascular function. (6)

Interestingly, these peptides in milk activate GABA receptors.(4) Pharmaceutical drugs that are widely used as sedatives for stress, anxiety, and sleep target these same GABA receptors!(7)

Ojas Building

Even if you sleep well, this night-time tonic will not only upgrade your sleep to be more deep and restful, but also build your Ojas.

Ojas (OH-jas) is considered to be the most refined by-product of digestion, said to reside in the heart. Ayurveda considers ojas to be a bio-celestial substance that is our vital essence.

Our vitality, immunity, vigour, skin, sleep, digestion, spirituality and physical strength are all directly influenced by our reserve of ojas.

Ojas builds our inner silence. It Increases the ability to genetically connect with the circadian rhythms allowing the body to resonate with the rhythms and thrive. If your body is under stress, emergency alarm bells will keep ringing (flight or fight response/sympathetic nervous system) disconnecting you from the genetic ability to hear these rhythms.

Building ojas is an art. Yoga, pranayama breathing exercises, meditation, spending time in nature, sleeping at the right times, laughing, showing love and affection and giving to others, spending time being creative, relaxing, and doing things that make you happy all build ojas.

Perhaps one of the best ways to consistently build ojas is to eat a diet of fresh, unprocessed whole foods in the appropriate season.
Further, there are certain foods and herbs in Ayurveda that are great ojas-builders. These were traditionally blended with warm milk and taken before bed as a sleep aid and an ojas-builder.

 

Ayurveda’s Super Sleep Recipe

Recipe: Hot Milk Elixir with Spices

  • Boil 3/4 cup of un-homogenised cows milk + 3/4 cup of water. You can adjust the ratio according to your taste and digestion - more creamy or more diluted.
  • After you turn the stove on, add 2 strands of saffron + 1 chopped medjool date + 3 crushed and peeled almonds. Boil till it fully foams up (and is about overflow out of the pot)
  • For extra digestive boost and purity, you can let it sit for a few minutes before boiling it again till it foams up. Repeat this process a total of 3 times (including the first boil).
  • After the milk has boiled, add:
  • Pinch of cardamom powder
  • pinch of cinnamon powder
  • pinch of ginger powder
  • pinch of turmericpowder
  • pinch of black pepper
  • ½-1tsp ghee.

*Note you can add or subtract the spices and the food items according to your taste and liking.

Stir well and enjoy.

Recipe: Hot Milk Elixir with Therapeutic Herbs

Boil 3/4 cup of un-homogenised cows milk + 3/4 cup of water. You can adjust the ratio according to your taste and digestion - more creamy or more diluted.

  • Boil till it fully foams up.
  • For extra digestive boost and purity, you can let it sit for a few minutes before boiling it again till it foams up. Repeat this process a total of 3 times (including the first boil).
  • After the milk has boiled, add one pinch of samadhi and 1tsp of ghee.

*Alternative/additional herbs to samadhi that can be used are Dhatu, Swarna Dhatu, Ashwagandha or Shatavari.

Stir well and enjoy.

Samadhi Powder

When to Drink It:

  • Have between dinner and sleep - approximately 45-60mins after dinner and 45-60mins before bed.
  • You can even make this your dinner.
  • Drink one cup of the golden milk each night for 3 months to rebuild ojas levels and support sleep patterns.
  • You can also have this in the morning approximately 45 minutes before breakfast or make it your breakfast, (good for people who don’t have an appetite in the morning). It is also a great replacement to coffee.

"But I Don’t Do Dairy"

If you are intolerant to dairy, it is probably indigestion, some weakness and/or your mind getting the better over you by 'accepting' the intolerance. Additionally, most milk is difficult to digest because it is unnecessarily homogenised, pasteurised the wrong way, added chemicals, pesticides, preservatives and anti-biotic’s.

However, drink the right milk and correct your agni, and you may find you can slowly introduce this medicinal lactation back into your diet.

Most places you can find milk that is non-homogenised without all these nasty additives. Getting non-pasturised or vat-pasturised, (heated at low temperature for short time), is a bonus, but the main precept is to drink non-homogenised milk. This has become so popular that mainstream supermarkets in Australia and New Zeland are now selling it. Additionally, most health-food stores will have it.

If you are very sensitive to milk, I suggest first correct agni, then slowly introduce dairy by drinking thin Lassi with lunch.

You may substitute substitute coconut or (freshly made) almond milk. Though you won’t get the benefits of the milk peptides, you’ll still have a vehicle for the ojas-building foods and herbs and some calming benefits from the warmth of the milk.

Take this milk to build some resiliency towards the stress that prevents us from sleeping like we should.

It’s tasty, nourishing and a great way to end the day, plus it’ll send you off with the clouds for the night.

References

(1) Occup Med (Lond). 2010
(2) The Open Sleep Journal. 2009;2:128-32
(3) J Dairy Sci. 2000 Jun
(4) Ther Umsh. 2009
(5) Eur J Nutr. 2005
(6) Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007
(7) FASEB J. 2001



Mung Dahl Recipe

Mung is an easy to digest lentil that provides adequate protein. Used for both cleansing and building in Ayurveda, one can eat mung dahl everyday and not only will you gain complete nutrition and satisfaction, but soon this will be the stuff you crave!

Anti-Flatulence

Mung is the only legumes that is “vata balancing.” This means that, unlike every other type of beans or lentils, they will not produce any intestinal gas. They naturally are much easier to cook, digest, and assimilate.

Promotes Sattva ("Purity")

Sattva is a quality in us that translates to “purity.” If Sattva is increased, then so is our inner stillness, clarity of mind and contentment. Love radiates and flows back to us in abundance, while the hormone oxytocin (also known as the “bonding or loving hormone”) is simultaneously secreting. Fresh, seasonal whole foods are predominately Sattvic, thus increases the Sattvic quality in us, based on the Ayurvedic law of “Like Increases Like.”

This is why Mung Dahl is considered to facilitate spiritual growth and effectively detox the body. It has long been used to nourish babies and the elderly, the sick, and the healthy during special times of detox, cleansing, and deep spiritual practice.

Ingredients

serves 3-4

  • 3/4 cup of whole green mung dahl (with green skin on) (green gram)
  • 2 or more types of any fresh seasonal vegetables finely chopped - e.g. zucchini, kale, silver-beet, spinach, dandelion, cauliflower,  broccoli etc. - by using seasonal foods, nature is providing the antidote to the harsh qualities that the season may manifest.
  • salt to taste

Spices:

  • 1tsp turmeric powder
  • pinch of black pepper
  • pinch of hing (asafoetida)
  • 1-2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1-2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 10-15 fresh curry leaves
  • leeks, spring onion or onion - all finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped - make sure to purify by removing the inner green sprout.
  • Ghee - Approx. 1-2 tablespoons.

Method

  1. Wash mung dahl and soak in a generous amount of water it for 2 hours. Even 1-6 hours of soaking is ok. The longer you soak the quicker it will cook.
  2. Boil mung dahl in a pot of water - allow water level to be about 1 inch above the food. You can need to add more water as you go.
  3. When the mung dahl is getting more soft (test my squishing a lentil with your fingers), add vegetables that take a bit longer to cook (e.g. thick leafy green stems, broccoli stems, cauliflower, carrot etc.). (add as many vegetables as you like).
  4. After the "vegetables that take a bit longer to cook" are basically cooked, add turmeric + black pepper + salt + hing + quicker to cook vegetables such as leafy greens.
  5. Once the dahl and veggetables are cooked, in a separate pot fry the other spices in ghee along with onion, garlic and curry leaves.
  6. Add the spices in the main pot, mix well for 5 minutes to infuse the spices in the dahl.

You are adding the vegetables in the pot in a timely matter so that when the vegetables are finished cooking so are the lentils.  (Everything is ready and cooked by the end).

Garnish with fresh coriander and fresh lemon.

Make the Meal a Complete Protein

Serve with a carbohydrate such as fresh bread and/rice or quinoa etc.
When you mix grain + legume you have all nine essential amino acids which make up a complete protein.

This explains how ancient cultures like India and Africa have been living off beans and rice for decades.

General Ratio:

  • 50% vegetables (at least)
  • 25 % protein
  • 25 % carbs

Enjoy this warming, comforting and super tasty dish that leaves you feeling energetic and satisfied after you eat.

Less cravings, sustainable energy levels and moving towards perfect health.

Milk Rice Recipe – For Woman’s Health

Here is a very simple recipe that is the prescribed diet during the Banana Treatment.

This is also recommended for woman to eat during their menstrual cycle to balance gynaecological health, particularly in cases of dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation).

Ingredients:

serves one person

  • White Rice
  • Water
  • Full cream, unhomogenised, Cows Milk.
  • quantities vary on how much you want for the day.

Method:

  1. Wash and soak rice (1 hour is enough).
  2. Boil rice in water until cooked.
  3. Strain and wash the cooked rice. This removes the impurities and makes the rice light.
  4. With the cooked strained rice in the pot, add equal amounts of milk and water, till the level of the liquid is approx.  2cm above the rice.
  5. Cook again. (You can also add everything in the beginning (rice, water, milk) & cook all together till the rice is very well cooked. The end result should be nice & soupy, not dry.
  6. Bring to the boil - take off the stove and  - Serve.
  7. Milk Rice has to be made fresh daily / can keep it warm in a thermos (never reheat).

"But I Don't Do Dairy"

It is important to have even a little cows milk with the milk rice during the BT. If you do not want any milk at all, that is also fine, have plain rice.

If the reason for avoiding milk is a dairy intolerance, just avoiding heavy-to-digest proteins like milk will not fix the underlying problem, which is a weak digestive fire (agni). Take a steps action to re-balance your digestion, then slowly introduce the foods in the right way. Contact Me for a consultation to dig deeper into what is going on and get back on track towards optimal digestion.

Guidelines for Banana Treatment Diet:

  • On the days of taking the Banana Medicine, one should not take any medications, herbs, dietary supplements etc. – if you have an issue or query with this, contact me or the Vaidya.
  • The banana herbs should be taken on a completely empty stomach. If you are taking the morning dose of Banana Medicine, you should not consume any food, herbs, or medications etc. that morning. Only plain water is allowed.
  • 1 hour before taking the medicine the patient should completely fast (no food, water etc.).
  • It is important to swallow the banana piece whole – Do not chew it or allow it to touch your teeth.
  • 1 -2 hours after taking the medicine the patient should completely fast (no food, water etc.). After this, the first thing the patient should eat is milk rice (see recipe below).
  • Do not talk for 30 minutes before you receive the banana herbs or 30 minutes afterward. Results are more powerful with inward attention and silence during this time.
  • Every meal during the BT should be “milk rice”. If you have trouble digesting cows milk, try a smaller quantity raw or unhamogensied cows milk boiled. If this is still uncomfortable, you may have plain white rice only.
  • Rarely people feel aversion to eating milk rice every meal. If this happens, and you really cannot tolerate it, have milk rice or plain white rice for the first meal (after taking the BT), then for the meals after that you may add a little cinnamon in the milk rice to add some flavour and reduce the aversion. Note that this is not ideal and for full benefits of the BT. Plain milk rice is best ruing menstruation cycle.  You can also have fresh, simple food throughout if you are really struggling with diet (see diet below on next bullet point).
  • Women who are post-menopause or men who are taking BT have much more leniency with the diet. You can eat normal light food throughout the BT. It is recommended to have milk rice after taking the BT, then you may have normal light food for other meals but aim to keep it as simple as possible (not heavily spiced, flavoured etc.).
  • Continue sipping hot water frequently during the BT days to help remove the toxins more thoroughly.

Click here to read more about Banana Treatment