The Ayurvedic View, Medicinal Qualities and Risks of Onion & Garlic (2nd Biggest Myth Of Ayurveda) | Dylan Smith #082

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When ancient wisdom gets popular, confusion and misunderstanding tends to arise within.
The essence and authenticity tends to blur, and this has happened with the knowledge of Ayurveda - the Sacred Science of Healing and Higher Consciousness.
Ayurvedic practitioner and educator Dylan Smith, known for his authenticity and devoted role to keeping the purity of Ayurveda alive and thriving, dispels the 3 Biggest Myths of Ayurvedic medicine.
These MYTHS are:
  1. “You have to be vegetarian” according to Ayurveda - or even that “Vegetarian is the best diet.”
  2. “Onion and garlic are prohibited”.
  3. “Ayurvedic medicines are commonly contaminated with heavy metals.”

In this Episode we Discuss:

The Principle of The Three Gunas

The three maha gunas (great qualities) are: 
  • Sattva: purity, harmonious, creative & virtuous. 
  • Rajas: passion, acceleration, agitation. 
  • Tamas: trapped light, inertia. 

The Emergence of This Myth Being Rooted in The Realm of Yoga

Yogis and Brahmacharis typically avoid onion and garlic in their food because they are high on the rajas guna
  • They stimulate the nervous system and can possibly lead one to break bows of austerity like celibacy or brahmacharya which require the enlivening of the sattva guna instead of rajas

How to Purify Onion and Garlic to Facilitate Digestion & Reduce The Rajas Guna

It is very important to purify these foods in order to make it easier for your body to digest them, and to also enliven the sattva and simultaneously reduce the rajasic qualities in them. 
Purifying garlic: 
  1. Take out the inner green sprout (in GMO Garlic it tends to either be white or indistinguishable) and discard it. 
  2. Fry the garlic in ghee
Purifying onion: 
  1. Remove the skin from each side of the layers. 
  2. Fry it in ghee. 

The Medicinal Qualities of Garlic

Garlic is a very powerful medicine in Ayurveda, prized as a rasayana (literally meaning “that which spreads the elixir of life [rasa]” or anti-aging elixir). 
  • In India, they even call garlic “poor man’s gold”. 
Garlic is good for boosting immunity, fever, sore throats, asthma, various heart conditions and acts as a powerful blood purifier. 
When experiencing a cough/cold: garlic with chili powder and rise is a recommended food. 
It is used in the patra poultice treatment (Ayurvedic massage with boluses of herbs that help with joint pain and various other conditions). 
  • To learn more about this treatment click HERE.
According to the Aṣṭāṅgasaṅgraha of Vagbhata Sutrasthana (Ch.7), garlic is good for:
  • Heart and hairs
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Unctuous
  • Improves taste and digestion
  • Helps unions and/or fractures
  • Gives strength
  • Vitiates blood and pitta (caution here!)
  • Cures lucademia, leprosy and other skin diseases
  • Abdominal tumors, hemorrhoids and diabetes
  • Worms
  • Diseases caused by kapha and vata
  • Hiccups
  • Nasal cataracts
  • Dyspnea and cough
  • Rejuvenates the body 
A very rare feature of garlic is that it has all 5 out of the 6 tastes. 
  • Sweet
  • Salty
  • Bitter
  • Pungent
  • Astringent
Using the gunas (qualities) of garlic to heal certain imbalances in the body.

The Medicinal Qualities of Onion

Onion is cooling
It pacifies pitta when it’s cooked because it turns from pungent (raw) to sweet (cooked). 
Onion gives you energy and enlivens healing when the body feels drained. 
Onion acts as a breast milk purifier & increases sperm count in semen. 
Onion is an aphrodisiac and invigorates strength in the body. 
Good for the respiratory system: congestions and colds. 
Good for nausea.
Good for nose bleeds: cut an onion in half and give it a good sniff. 
It has a sweet post-digestive effect which is very nourishing for the body. 
Great for pitta and kapha

Why Onion And Garlic Tend to be Hard to Digest & How to Amend That

They have certain carbohydrates called fructans.
These fructans react with the gut’s flora and produce gas & bloating. 
Onions also happen to be really high in sulfurous compounds. Sulfur tends to smell quite bad, so it stands to reason that any ‘byproduct’, released as these compounds are digested, will smell quite bad too. 
Onions contain a natural sugar called fructose. Like raffinose and sorbitol, fructose contributes to gas when bacteria in the intestines break it down.
The key to solving “intolerances” to these foods is to improve your digestion. You are not really intolerant to anything! It simply is a matter of teaching your body to digest a certain food! 
  • To learn more on how to enhance your nutrition with Ayurvedic principles you can check out our Essence of Ayurvedic Nutrition course.
  • If you are interested in overcoming a specific “food intolerance” you can book a consultation with Dylan HERE
  • To read more about overcoming food intolerances check out our article: "How to Overcome Food Intolerances".

Resources

The Essence of Ayurvedic Nutrition -  Online Course

Aṣṭāṅgasaṅgraha of Vagbhata Sutrasthana (Ch.7)


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How to Be Vital & Healthy In The Second Half of Your Life | Dr John Douillard #074

Vital Veda Podcast Banner: Dr. John Douillard
The lifespan for today’s era according to Ayurveda should be around 120 years old.
This doesn’t mean living into old age feeling frail and in a state of cognitive decline, it means feeling vital and able to share your wisdom and joy with full cognitive function for all to enjoy.
At 65, Dr. John Douillard is an exemplar of what it means to be healthy in the second half of life.
Dr. John is a globally recognised leader in the field of natural health, Ayurveda and sports medicine and practices what he preaches.
He has personally been a significant inspiration to me (Dylan) and has taught me a lot in my years, along with thousands of other practitioners of Ayurveda.
Dr. John’s specialty is integrating ancient Ayurvedic wisdom with modern science, which he shares generously through Lifespa.com - the leading Ayurvedic health and wellness resource on the web.

About our guest: Dr. John Douillard

Dr. John Douillard, DC, CAP is a globally recognized leader in the fields of natural health, Ayurveda, and sports medicine. He is the creator of LifeSpa.com, the leading Ayurvedic health and wellness resource on the web with over 9 million views on YouTube and over 130 thousand newsletter subscribers. LifeSpa.com is evolving the way Ayurveda is understood around the world, with thousands of articles and videos joining ancient wisdom with modern science.

Dr. John is the former Director of Player Development for the New Jersey Nets NBA team, author of 7 health books including his newest Amazon bestseller Eat Wheat, a repeat guest on the Dr. Oz show, and newly released Yoga Journal video course Ayurveda 201 on Ayurvedic Psychology. 

He directs LifeSpa Ayurvedic Clinic, the 2013 Holistic Wellness Center of the Year in Boulder, CO.

Dr. John Douillard

In this Episode we Discuss:

Dr. John’s Journey of Adopting Ayurveda in the Early Days

Studying with the Raju Vaidyas
His own personal journey as a practitioner & how his relationship with Ayurveda evolved to what it is today.

Blending Ancient Wisdom With Modern Science

The fine balance between surrendering to a higher intelligence that appears to be less tangible and more unknown, while striving to intelligibly cognize the How’s and Why’s behind the ancient principles of Ayurveda. 

The Promise of The Second Half of One’s Life

“The Wisdom Years” or the Vata stage of life. It’s a time to apply the wisdom attained during one’s lifetime. 
Approaching life with a more mature and self-aware perspective. Knowing what our purpose is, what serves that purpose and what doesn’t; and acting accordingly. 
Having more time to be fully immersed and devoted to one’s own sadhana, dinacharya and ritucharya.

The True Purpose of Ayurveda

Allowing not only for the physiology to be in optimum condition, but to also achieve a still & fulfilled state of mind that empowers one to engage with life wholeheartedly.
Aligning one’s actions not only with mother nature, but with the essential nature of the Self (atma), so that the inner light that each of us hold comes to the surface for all to enjoy and thrive upon.

Ancient Techniques That Refine Our Capacity to Live Life to The Fullest

Using pranayama, mantra, asana, meditation, nasya and other techniques to cleanse & purify the mind of the different samskaras or impressions that have been imprinted on us during our life, especially our childhood.

The Often Overlooked Benefits of Nasya Therapy & Panchakarma

The Nasya technique was not only intended to heal the sinuses on a physiological level, but rather to cleanse the mind and heal it on a higher vibrational and spiritual level.  
Panchakarma cleanses the body of gross impurities and samskaras, so that it can have more clarity on the subtlest levels of perception - allowing for the letting go of patterns of deep-rooted emotional behaviour.

The Science Behind Pranayama

The relationship between oxygen assimilation and carbon dioxide levels. 
Why it is essential for us to practice intermittent hypoxia. 
To learn more about the science of breath & its therapeutic applications, listen to "Just Breath: Science of Breathing for Optimal Health | The Breathing Diabetic (Nick Heath) #072"
Recommended breathwork techniques:
  • Kumbhaka
  • Pratiloma (a.k.a. Inspiratory Muscle Training). 

Seasonally Drinking Cow's Milk

In Spring cows are having their calves, so during the spring & summer their milk should be for them. 
During the fall & winter there is a window for the dairy farmer to step in and take some of that milk to drink, make ghee, etc. 

Food Intolerances & The "Gluten Free" Concept

It is not advised to stop eating gluten. 
The hard-to-digest foods (wheat, dairy, nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, nightshades, etc.) are irritants to the intestinal lining, and one of their many benefits is that they significantly stimulate gut immunity, which in turn represents 70% of your immune response. 
If intolerant to some type of food, there’s work to be done so that you can overcome the intolerance and allow your body to properly digest said food. 
  • To stop eating certain foods is never the solution; the underlying imbalance that prevents you from eating them is still going to be there. 
  • To read more about how the Ayurvedic view on food intolerances & how to overcome them click HERE

Resources

Dr. John's Website HERE

Dr. John’s Instagram (@lifespa) HERE 


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


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


How to Overcome Food Intolerances

Almonds, a very common food intolerance
Food intolerances have become common currency these days.
Some surveys even suggest that a stunning 25% of the Australian population believes they have at least one food intolerance.
I personally have worked in my clinic with many patients who believed they were intolerant to some type of food, and have now managed - with proper care and the mindful implementation of very simple & straight-forward Ayurvedic principles - to reintroduce said foods in their lives, allowing them to enjoy the treats they had already sworn off a long time ago.
Overcoming food intolerances is possible when you have the proper tools and the right understanding of how digestion & nutrition work.

Factors that increase your susceptivity and reactivity to food intolerances and allergies

Food Quality and Food Transformation (samskara):
For example, one may experience inflammatory reactions after drinking cold homogenised milk extracted from stressed cows. But non-homogenised cows milk, diluted with water, then boiled… this “lightens up” the milk: reduces kapha (mucous creating, congesting qualities), and makes milk more compatible for one to tolerate and enjoy.
Especially if a food item is hard to digest for you or triggers any health implications - those who are wondering how to overcome food intolerances need to obtain quality food and “transform it” the right way, then try & reintroduce.
Poor digestion (low digestive agni):
This is a key factor when it comes to food intolerances.
The agni is the digestive fire in your gut. If the agni is not enlivened enough, you won't be able to digest properly the foods that you eat, especially the ones that your body is "intolerant" to.
In a lot of cases, it is not so much the food you are eating, but the poor function of your metabolic pathways and digestive health that impedes you to properly digest food.
I have worked with coeliacs and many managed to eat wheat again. They don’t eat it every day, but they enjoy this nourishing grain weekly in moderation with the right tools, knowledge and intuition of their own body. They enjoy high-quality wheat cooked fresh, reaction-free.
Those who eat even a tiny amount of onion and garlic and bloat like a balloon…
Those who can’t eat oxalates (e.g. almonds, spinach, peanuts, soy, beetroot, swisschard, rhubarb, cashews, sesame seeds, etc.) without swelling up, getting a runny nose, abdominal discomfort, or itchy skin…
A lot of it can be healed. And from what I have seen, it can be easy as organic ancient grain pie.
The Mind
Another key point.
It’s amusing and fascinating how many times I see patients that only after they get their “allergy prick test”, do they get reactions after eating the foods for which they tested “positive”.

When one unquestionably “accepts” the laundry list of foods they were told to avoid (in some cases, for the rest of their life!) their mind and body accept these “allergies” and reject the food whenever it comes.

Allergy Skin-Prick Tests

For the best part, as a study in the Journal of Paediatrics showed, allergy skin-prick tests are incredibly inaccurate.

One of the problems with them is that, according to another study, patients show skin reactions to allergenic foods in 50-60% of the tests- even if the person is not allergic to that food.

Food sensitivities can be complex, however, they can be healed.
Food Intolerance Skin Prick Test

How to Conquer Food Intolerances & Allergies

There are many variables & possibilities for those wondering how to overcome food intolerances.
My general principle for healing food intolerances is - first fix the digestive fire (agni), then slowly introduce the foods in a methodical way.
Also take into consideration the nervous system, gut-brain connection, toxic exposure & more.
Just eliminating the food is not the solution. You need to fix the underlying imbalance. Because if you cannot digest wheat or milk, how are you going to digest the carcinogenic glyphosate that is being spread across the air and rain onto your organic kale? Or the vaccines and spike proteins that are being passed around. Or the external stressors, electro-magnetic fields & any toxin your body has to metabolise.
It's not a matter of avoidance, but rather of applying the proper principles to reintroduce those foods that you have labeled yourself as "intolerant" or "allergic" to.

If you want to work towards superseding food restrictions and optimise your digestion health, check out my recent online offering: “The Essence of Ayurvedic Nutrition”, and/or book an online consultation.
The Essence of Ayurvedic Nutrition - Online Course

How did you overcome your food intolerances? Comment 👇


Surya Tarpana: Remedies (Upāyas) to Enliven Sun Energy

Dylan Smith doing Surya Namaskar (salute to the Sun)
Here are some techniques to enliven Sūrya (sun) energy.
You may have been prescribed these “remedies” (Upayas) by a Jyotishi (Vedic astrologer) for your unique birth chart.
The following techniques help strengthen Surya energy and connect to the sun.
Although a lot of these are generic ways to honor the sun that is good for many people, we recommend consulting a quality jyotishi to refine how you personally should be engaging deeply in communion with celestial planetary bodies.

Surya Energy

Surya is the cosmic energy that correlates with:
  • The Self. The Soul
  • Ego, power
  • Consciousness
  • Dignity
  • Organising power
  • Leadership, Government, King - the sun governs the solar system.
Further Jyotish details:
  • Exaltation: Aries (Meesha)
  • Debilitation: Libra (Tūla)
  • Moolatrikona: Leo (Siṃha)
  • Father - relationship with one’s father
  • Education
  • Pitta dosha
  • Cakra: Ajña cakra (third eye)
  • Direction: East
  • Sun in Balance: “Atma Śatki”

Practices / Remedies to Strengthen Surya Energy:

Surya Tarpaṇa

Lord Surya, or Sūrya सूर्य is the cosmic sun.
Tarpaṇa तर्पण has many meanings:
  • Fuel
  • Food
  • Satiating
  • Refreshing
  • Gladdening
  • Saturation
Sūrya Tarpaṇa is the process of imbuing Lord Surya with refreshing nourishment and energetic attention.
Surya Tarpaṇa (Offering Water to Lord Surya) Procedure:
1. Fill a cup or vessel with pure water.
2. Face the sun (sunrise and/or sunset time is ideal).
3. Pour the water in front of the sun and look through the “waterfall” at the sun.
Dylan Smith Doing Tarpana for Lord Surya
4. If you are not performing this in or at a body of water (e.g. riverside, in a river, ocean shore or in the ocean), such as an urban setting, you can pour the water into a pot plant or garden.
5. This practice is best done after taking bath (snān). Traditionally one would bathe in a river first and then offer Tarpana to Surya. This way you are purified and energised before subtly connecting with the sun.
6. Practicing Sūrya Tarpana on Sundays should be prioritised if it is not able to be done daily.
Profound Qualities:
  • The waterfall in between your eyes and the sun is not only a protecting buffer to potentially harmful direct sunlight, but also provides a “healing filter” so the sunlight can invigorate the body and eyes that it hits. Safe and effective “sun-gazing.”
  • This is a form of Surya Namaskar: “honoring the sun” - this creates a reciprocal exchange of energy that absolutely uplifts and energies both our individual self and the essential life-giving aspect of nature.
  • Offering water to the sun cools the sun and invokes Gayatri: the feminine principle of the sun, (in you and in the environment).

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations)

Surya Namaskar has been described as the most complete mental and physical exercise available.
It involves a sequence of twelve physical yoga postures or asanas that are so much more than just an exercise.
Surya Namaskar generates prana (life-force) and charges us up like a battery through solar vitalisation.
It is a medium to enhance the energising quality of the sun in us and in the environment.
Procedure:
Dylan Smith with a Group, doing Surya Namaskar
  1. Learn Surya Namaskar from a quality yoga teacher (consider potential adjustments for your unique physiology).
  2. Perform 1 - 13 rounds of Surya Namaskar while facing the sun. This can be done at anytime, but when done at sunrise and/or sunset, there is greater power.
  3. Star with 1 round daily, and can increase to 3, 7, 9, 12 and 13 as is comfortable.
  4. Avoid Surya Namaskar when yoga asanas are contra-indicated, such as when feeling ill, during menstruation and certain medical conditions etc.

Sun Bathing (Responsibly)

Sunbathing with gratitude for the energy and life force Sūrya gives to you.
Responsible sun-bathing considers the three principles of Ayurveda:
1. Desa (habitat) - Where are you in the world. Are you in Scandinavian summer or the Australian summer?
2. Kala (time period) - What time of the day are you sunbathing? In what season of the year? For how long?
Man sunbathing at the beach
3. Patra (unique individual) - What is your skin type? Are you fair or dark-skinned? How is your tan? How used to the sun are you?
These will determine the amount of sun you should expose yourself to and when to get it.
Start with a little sun and gradually increase day-by-day. Getting a little pink is good but you do not want to burn.
Putting oil on and/or the practice self-abhyanga can help protect you from the sun and metabolise the healing properties.
Ayurveda prizes the time periods near sunrise and sunset to be exposed to the sun.
Do not fear the sun, but connect with this Divine Sentient Being.

Listen to Āditya Hṛdayam (Aditya Hrudayam)

Ādityā Hṛdayam is a Sanskrit devotional hymn dedicated to Lord Surya.
It was recited by the sage Agastya to Rāma (the “perfect” expression of the dharma) on the battlefield before fighting with the demon king Rāvaṇa.
This hymn teaches one to ascend to “defeat” the ultimate “enemy”: the darkest negativity or ignorance in one’s own life.
Āditya आदित्य is one of the names of the sun that expresses the infinite cosmic mother, the divine maternal nurturing aspects of the sun.
Aditi is one of the many names given to the cosmic Mother, Mahaśakti. She is the mother of all expressions of consciousness and the source of creative power.
Hṛdayam ह्र्दयम् has a range of meanings:
  • heart, core, essence, best or dearest part of anything
  • true or divine knowledge
  • science / veda
  • going to the heart
Āditya Hṛdayam is the sounds that sequentially enliven the true divine knowledge which is the heart of Sun energy within the heart of the beneficiary (who chants it).
Best to find Āditya Hṛdayam chanted without music or minimal music.
Procedure:
Simply listen to the Āditya Hṛdayam being chanted while you are in a de-excited state (e.g. after meditation, while resting, while sun-bathing).
Listening to Āditya Hṛdayam on Sundays and on Sūrya Jayanti (Sūryas annual birthday) should be prioritised if it is not able to be done daily.

Fasting on Sundays

Fasting the day when Surya energy is strongest makes one “less heavy” (tamasic), thus more pure (sattvic), therefore increasing our capacity to connect with the subtle energies available on Sunday (Sun energy).
There is a diverse range of approaches to fasting, and it is best to consult your health practitioner on how it is best for you. In our online course, The Essence of Ayurvedic Nutrition, we go through the variety of ways you can fast so you can choose the one that is biblically right for you.

Gayatri Mantra

Gayatri mantra is the most commonly used mantra in Yoga.
It consists of primordial sounds that invoke the aspect of the sun that governs transformation and potential illuminating intelligence, called “Savitri”.
Savitri, represents the transformational power inherent in the Sun.
Savitri is the force of nature that changes night into day.
Savitri is dominant in the moments before sunrise, when the environment shifts from darkness (of the ego) into the infinite light of the higher Self.
Chanting inwardly or listening to Gayatri mantra enhances the impulse of Divine Savitri, which activates our power to move into the realm of Divine light.
It is particularly chanted at sunrise, midday and sunset.

These are general recommendations and it is always best to consult a Jyotishi for specific advice.
We also advise you be barefoot during the practice of these upayas.

What practices do you do to honor lord surya? Comment 👇