7 tips to Avoid Ama over Christmas and the Silly Season

Festive season is here! and along with it an abundance of edible delights seem to be just about everywhere! It is hard not to over indulge and accumulate Ama, the toxic waste-product of incomplete digestion.

Tempting sweets and mouth watering food platters that pull you in by the eyes and nose can lead you to over-eat and snack at irregular times, promoting the accumulation of Ama.

Ama is a sticky, thick, mucus-like substance that if not cleaned out, will clog bodily channels and vitiate the “weak part” (Kavyaguna) in your body.

Joints are typical weak spots, but the ama will vitiate different tissues and areas depending on the person. Some people may experience respiratory symptoms, constipation, gas, bloating, skin rashes or breakouts, congested lymphatic system, weight gain or stress.

The accumulation of ama is the first of The Six Stages of Disease (Shat Kriya Kala) according to Ayurveda. After that, it will eventually manifest into disease and more full blown clinical features.

This is the beauty of the prevention aspect of Ayurveda. It can detect disease way before it gets even slightly complicated.

A key solution for conquering Christmas-time Ama is to keep your digestive fire (Agni) burning and balanced.

We want our agni to digest the food and from it create a thin liquid substance that Ayurveda calls "Ahar Rasa." This is the essence of the food. This essential bi-product of digestion will nourish your body and provide the required nutrients and energy for you to thrive.

The following tips will help keep your agni strong and balanced.

Tips for Less Ama, more Nectar:

1. Eat Seasonally

Digestion is stronger in winter and weaker in summer.

"The temperature of the body beaten by the cold wind goes deep inside, gathers like a lump in the stomach increasing the digestive fire; hence, [in winter] people have the ability to digest foods which are hard by nature."
~Astanga Samgraha of Vaghbata, Hemantartucarya (regimen of winter), ch. 4, (8-13).

Modern science is now proving ancient wisdom as studies show the amylase enzyme (which increases our digestive strength), increases in our body in winter and decreases in summer. What more is that the parasympathetic nervous system, AKA the “Rest and Digest” nervous system, also increases in winter and decreases in the spring and summer.

Our digestive fire is hot, fiery and acidic. We don’t want that in summer, we want that in winter to keep us warm and insulated and to help us to break down the hard to digest, high protein, fat and dense foods like grains, nuts and dairy that nature intelligently organised to be harvested for the winter time.

If your holiday season comes in winter your lucky that you do have stronger digestion but still do everything in moderation and follow the tips below to remain balanced.

If your holiday season is in summer choose loads of fresh local fruits as your party foods. Fruits have been ripening on the vines all year long and assist in dissipating the heat out of your body. Fruits are easy to digest for your weaker summer agni. Ironically barbecues and ice-cream by the beach are more appropriate for winter time. Stick to light foods.

fruit platter.jpg

2. Eat Your Main Meal at Midday

Your agni (digestive fire) is regulated by the sun.

When the sun is strongest your digestion is strongest and more robust.

Modern sincere is once again proving ancient wisdom by showing that not only is our digestion stronger, but the food you eat deliver more nutritional value at the middle of the day when the sun is up rather then at night time.

Start preparing your Christmas lunch earlier so that you can stick to a 12pm-2pm meal time schedule.

If you do have an evening party, make it earlier while the sun is up around 5pm.

Dinner should be the lightest meal of all. A big meal will not only tax your digestive system but will disrupt your sleep as your body will be burdened with this unwanted task. Your body’s job at night is to detox the liver and regulate hormones, not digest food.

3. Avoid Snacking

Sticking to three meals a day, no snacks will allow your digestion to rest in between each meal. Further more, it will trigger fat metabolism as you will be using fat as your source of fuel. Fat is the stable, long-lasting, calming, detoxifying, non-emergency fuel. If you are eating every 1/2/3 hours, the body will continue to burn the readily available fuel from these foods. This fuel source is sugar. Sugar burns quickly and often comes crashing down along with your energy levels, leaving your body craving another short term “pick me up.”

Fat on the other hand as your primary fuel source is effective for stabilising mood, emotions, good sleep, increasing cognitive function, less cravings, loosing weight, balancing acidity and maintaining good energy levels.

Re-establish fat metabolism by eliminating snacks.

4. Use Herbal Digestive Support

Over 99% of us are going to break the rules and indulge. Fine, enjoy it, (guilt free). But accordingly support your agni with nature’s intelligence through the use of herbs and spices:

Shodana VatiDetoxification agent and whole-body cleansing rasyana. 3 dosha balancing. 
Best free radical scavenger & anti-oxidant; immune modulator and blood purifier. Good for gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, tooth and oral problems, female problems, high cholesterol, chronic cough, eye disorders, addictions, and helps clear the skin and more.Raju family formula.

Shodana Vati is my herb of choice for mostly everyone to take. We live in a time where toxins are prevalent. In the US, a whopping 4 billion pounds of toxins are being dumped into the environment each year—72 million of which are carcinogenic.(1) Even your organic kale may have mercury on it.

Contact me to order Shodana Vati.

Triphala – An inferior digestive support option to Shodana Vati. Take 1-3 grams of quality triphala before dinner.

Digestive Tea:

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon lightly crushed cumin seeds +
  • 1/2 tsp lightly crushed ajwain seeds +
  • 1/2 tsp lightly crushed fennel seeds +
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder or freshly grated ginger.
  • Put the powdered herbs in 1.5 cups of water and boil down to 1 cup.
  • Strain and add 1 pinch of black salt.
  • Sip hot/warm as a tea after each meal and if you experience digestive discomfort.

You may make larger quantities and keep in thermos for the day.

Tridoshic Digestive Tea

Vital Veda’s own digestive tea containing over 20 organic herbs and spices.

4. Sipping Hot Water

This is a powerful technique to melt toxins and flush them out the body.

Like washing the dirty grease of dishes with hot water, the same thing happens in your intestines. Sipping plain hot water regularly (frequency, not quantity matters) dilates the channels in your body so things can move better. Don’t underestimate this powerful tool.

Click here for more on this surprisingly powerful detoxification technique. 

5. Fasting

Just incase you strayed from the Ayurvedic path and collected Ama along the way, fasting is a quick and effective fix.

In Ayurveda it is said if you eat a heavy meal that did not digest properly, skip the next meal. If you had a ridiculous dinner, skip breakfast or just have hot milk.
If you put out your agni with a heavy lunch, skip dinner.

Ayurveda also recommends fasting one day per week. Fasting does not mean no food. You can have liquids such as hot milk, lassi, fruit juices, and even fruits if your current body-type is uncomfortable to fast. Also at night if you feel you may take light vegetable soup.

A gentle fast allows the agni to recover its strength and burn away accumulated ama, leaving you feeling light and energetic.

Always sip hot water frequently on fasting days to assist in removing the ama.

6. Avoid Agni-Destroying Foods and Drinks

Some foods are especially hard to digest and easily produce ama. Heavy foods produce “tamas” or dullness in the mind and body. Fresh foods are easier to digest and contains more Prana (life force).

Items that diminish agni and contributes to the accumulation of ama:

  • Leftovers – will oxidise and are very tamasic.
  • Deep fried foods are hard to digest.
  • Raw foods are hard to digest. Why make your internal fire do the cooking? Lets the external fire do the cooking to make the food more compatible for you body.
  • Cold foods and drinks will put out your agni digestive fire.
  • Ice-cream – cold, sweet, heavy and dull are the same qualities of ama. Like increases like.
  • A lot of water with meals dilutes the digestive enzymes. Iced drinks with meals is like throwing cold water onto a fire. Lassi is the best to have with a meal.

7. Panchakarma Detox Therapy / Vital Short Home Cleanse

Despite all your good efforts to keep balanced, our physiology still needs regular detoxification and rejuvenation.

Panchakarma (“PK”) is a methodical combination of taking herbs, treatments and adjusting diet and lifestyle to cleanse and renew the body. These treatments are hands-on, rejuvenating techniques that purge the physiological stress and toxins out of the body that cover the underlying natural state of perfect health residing in everyone.

This detox and rejuvenation program is best to be immersed in-residnce at an authentic, safely practiced ayurvedic clinic. I highly recommend Dr. Raju’s Institute of Ayureda.

If you can’t run away to India, the Vital Veda clinic in Sydney offers PK for 5, 7, 15, 23 or more days where your program will be tailored to tie in with your home and work life.

If you want to DIY at home, check out my free Vital Short Home Cleanse.

I wish you a happy holiday season filled with unity and relish.

“Even if you eat ice-cream, enjoy it.” ~ Vaidya J.R. Raju 

References

(1) http://www.mountsinai.org/patient-care/service-areas/children/areas-of-care/childrens-environmental-health-center/childrens-disease-and-the-environment/children-and-toxic-chemicals

7 Ayurvedic Super Foods

According to modern science, food nutritionists, food industry leaders and dieticians, so called “superfoods” aren’t exactly “super.” Wikipedia describes that “Superfood is a marketing term used to describe foods with supposed health benefits..”

The European Union has even prohibited the marketing of products as “superfoods,” unless accompanied by a specific medical claim supported by credible scientific research.(1)

Not particularly inspiring…so I will redefine the word from an Ayurvedic perspective.

First of all, there is no need to exaggerate that foods are “super.” Whatever one uniquely needs will be their superfood. Additionally, everything is actually superfood if you know how to transform and use it.

In general, for a food to be “super” it must:

1. Promote ‘Sattva’

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 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.”

2. Detox and Heal the Body

Some Ayurvedic foods are prized for their powerful medicinal properties. Ayurveda valuably teaches us how to use food as medicine.

3. Directly nourish ‘Ojas’

Ojas is the vital essence of our body that translates to “vitality.”
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.

'Ojas' is considered to be the most refined product of digestion. Every food must metabolise through all the body’s tissues before it can become Ojas.

Ojas: a bio-celestial liquid substance that (predominately) resides in the heart, as well as all over the body in a less concentrated matter.

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 (some listed below) even metabolise to nourish and build Ojas directly.

The Super Seven!

The seven Ayurvedic super foods I have chosen genuinely are super. They aren’t just packed with a dense hit nutrients, minerals and essential constituents, but actually promote and support your bodies natural intelligence to absorb and produce its own required constituents itself! Further, The Super Seven promote strength, immunity, peace and contentment in the body and mind. And best of all, they are readily available to everyone! Here they are…

1. Hot Water

I am about to reveal to you a very special Ayurvedic purification technique that is excellent for eliminating toxins from the body’s system…
It sounds very simple, but you’ll find that is has a powerful influence in purifying and strengthening the gastrointestinal tract, as well as detoxing and rejuvenating the major systems of the body.

All you have to do is sip hot water frequently throughout the day.

Sipping frequently (rather than focusing on quantity) flushes the lymphatic system, softens hardened tissues (just like hot water will soften leather, unlike cold water) and dilates channels and deeply hydrates the body. It also heals and repairs the digestive system.
In a short time you’ll begin to appreciate the soothing and balancing effect of this technique. Once you have gotten used to it, you will look forward to drinking hot water on a frequent basis.

“Hot water is the most superfood.”
~ Dr. J.R. Raju.

 

 

2. Ghee

Ghee is the crown jewel that joins Ayurvedic medicine and Indian cooking. Ghee is clarified or purified butter. With all the lactose components & milk solids removed, no-one is allergic to ghee.
Ghee is light to digest and has the special quality of enkindling Agni and supports fat metabolism. It effectively detoxes the gut and is an effective source of internal lubrication.
This concentrated golden substance is highly Sattvic and directly nourishes Ojas.
Click HERE for more on the benefits of ghee

3. Cows Milk

Dairy has a bad name in the press these days. With people increasingly claiming dairy intolerances, it has become perilous in todays new-age health scene.

Let me clarify two reasons why this has developed:

1. The dairy industry in the west is increasingly producing homogenised milk from poorly treated, stress inundated cows that are being fed grains. Further, the milk is pasteurised the wrong way, with added chemicals, pesticides, preservatives and anti-biotic’s.

2. A lot of kids drink cold homogenised milk with sugar filled processed cereals, and topping it off with some fruit in their bowl or having a glass of OJ on the side – a highly “un-ayurvedic” recipe for an incompatible digestive disaster.

Hence, people develop a dairy intolerance. And it may only hit them down the track. Possibly when they finally begin to tune into their own body and become more conscious.

Let me also add, if you believe and accept the notion that “dairy is bad,” you negatively charge the micro-biome in the foods, stress out your own body and if when you eat dairy with guilt it will not digest well due to lack of harmonious compatibility. Mind is the culprit here.

However, Ayurveda on the other hand prizes dairy as one of the most medicinal and nourishing foods and one of the most anabolic foods that directly builds Ojas. Rest assured, it is not a requirement for anybody to drink milk all the time, but if someone is in need of strength or Ojas, milk is one of Ayurveda’s top choices.

What more, it is a classic Ayurveda sleep remedy to drink boiled milk with spices before bed, also having a profound stress reducing action. Modern science has proved ancient wisdom by showing cows milk has certain peptides that lower cortisol and support sleep by 50%.(2)

Cows are considered sacred animals in India and cow milk is highly revered in Ayurveda as one of the most Sattvic of foods.

Please note: milk should always be boiled with equal amounts of water and un-homogenised and preferably organic. This will make it easier to digest.

If you have difficulty with cow’s milk don’t worry, first correct your agni, then slowly introduce dairy. (Consult an Ayurvedic practitioner). Also, there are six other superfoods on the list to choose from!

 

4. Lassi

Lassi is buttermilk, or diluted yoghurt.

  • Improves digestion and a fantastic pro-biotic.
  • Lassi is the best alkaliser.
  • As Lassi improves digestion and absorption it ultimately supports calcium absorption and bone health.
  • Balances heat (pitta) and clear the physical channels.
  • It is the best remedy (with a pinch of salt) for haemorrhoids and anal fissures.
  • A great food to introduce dairy to a lactose intolerant person after they have corrected their agni.
  • Lassi is very hydrating, and a great drink to have with lunch.

*Yoghurt should be fresh.
Ratios of Yoghurt : Water: 1:4, 1:6, or 1:14.

Lassi recipe here

5. Honey

Honey is super Sattivc and directly nourishes our own life-nectar, Ojas. It is actually more of a medicine than a food. Due to its richness, it should be taken in moderation.

On the other hand, Ayurveda teaches that honey will be poisonous when heated above body temperature (that means no honey in hot teas, hot porridge, cooking with honey etc.) as it perniciously clogs the channels. This is why is it always important to purchase honey that is extracted at low temperatures.

Learn more: Honey: Nectar or Poison

6. Turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) is the most thoroughly researched plant on this planet! and i don’t blame the scientists for the 5600 peer-reviewed and published biomedical studies.

Turmeric has a vast catalogue of health benefits, but here is an essential summary on why to use Turmeric as medicine in your daily cooking:

  • It is the best anti-inflammatory.
  • It regulates mood and boosts cognitive function.
  • Protects the gut and stomach lining.
  • Supports joints: (pain, stiffness, swelling, arthritis) and healthy blood.
  • Since turmeric is anti-carcinogenic, it is vital to use when cooking meat due to the high risk of carcinogenic properties in most meat these days.

Turmeric powder is best advised, always with a pinch of black pepper, as black pepper increases the absorption of turmeric by an astonishing 2000%!(3)

Learn More: The Essential Uses of Turmeric

7. Almonds

Almonds are also Sattvic and help to maintain our Ojas. They are a good source of zinc, strengthen the body and grounding for the mind. But they are also quite rich and heavy, so again, moderation is the key. Half a handful of almonds a day is enough. To make them lighter and easier to digest, always soak almonds overnight in water and remove their skins the next day.

If you are in any doubt about your health please be sure to consult an Ayurvedic Practitioner or your local health physician.

References:
(1)  "Superfood 'ban' comes into effect". BBC News. 2007-06-28.
(2) The Open Sleep Journal. 2009;2:128-32
(3) Research done at St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore, India Planta Med. 1998 May;64 (4):353-6. PMID: 9619120

article originally published on Welcome Earth

Summer Regimen

“Quantity of water gets reduced by the strong heat of the sun, rivers have very little water, trees have no shade under them because of falling of ripened leaves; the leaves, bark and entwining ceepers are all dried up.”
Astanga Samgraha, ch. 4 (27-37)

Summertime... and the living is easy..

It’s also hot and dry! and it's wise to protect yourself by keeping cool. To work in harmony with this season to thrive during it. Imagine feeling prime during summertime.

The very hot sun takes away the strength of the earth and all things on earth. Scientists call this “thermal accumulation.” Particularly in the second half of summer you may begin to feel inner heat accumulate.

Summer Pathogenesis

  • The heat in your body rises, which dries out your skin and sinuses, leaving them your senses sensitive and irritated.
  • You may notice your sinuses beginning to run a lot. Creating reactive mucus is the body’s response to this dryness.
  • You may experience looser stools – the body’s response to to remove the heat. Your intestinal villi might be irritated and inflamed.
  • You may experience anger, frustration, aggressiveness - other ways your body reacts to this heat (excess pitta).

Summer (especially the second half) is an important time of year to not let the heat take over and dry us out. Take this seriously. If you don’t get rid of the heat now, the heat will turn to dryness and you will suffer the following winter.

Going from hot/dry (summer) to cold/dry (winter) will profoundly increase vata - weakening ojas - leaving you susceptible to creating the perfect breeding grounds for colds, flus, and other undesirables.

Especially if you missed the cleansing train the past spring, you may be building an accumulation of mucosa that is starting to bake onto your intestinal tract with all this heat. Ewww, right?

Well, you can mitigate this by eating the cooling fruits and vegetables from the summer harvest and incorporate some herbs, therapies and other cooling techniques.

Stay Cool, Calm and Hydrated

Summer Regimen (Grimsa Ritucharya)

Summer Diet

In the summer, when the days are long and hot, we require cooling and high-energy foods such as fruits and vegetables.

This gift of extra fruits and veggies is nature’s antidote to the hot and dry weather. They have specific microbes that move excess heat out of the body, protect the intestinal mucosa and prevent irritation and reactive mucus.

  • Food should be sweet, cold (potency/energy) and liquid;
  • Avoid, substances which possess pungent, sour, and salt tastes and hot potency (virya).
  • Pitta aggravating foods such as coffee, spicy foods, red meat, yoghurt, cheese, fermented foods.

Fruit Rules

Ayurveda says fruit should be eaten alone for optimal digestion and health.

During the summer digestion is a little weaker, allowing you to enjoy fruit (which is light) as a full meal.

Experiment with this by having fruits (alone) for breakfast and seeing how long it will last you through the day. Also fruit can be had as an afternoon snack, which can perhaps supplement for dinner.

The fruits listed below, if you eat enough of them, will encourage looser stools and/or frequent urination – stimulating the body’s heat-removing channels.

Apples

Remove heat through mild purgation. Numerous phyto-nutrients support blood sugar. Eat only organic apples! as they are one of the foods that have the most pesticides.

Pomegranates

Very powerful anti-oxidant, pitta reducing, circulates the blood and lymph. Be sure to eat the white pith.

Watermelons

Naturally cooling and hydrating. Mild-diuretic. It may seem odd, but try the Ayurvedic combination of sprinkling some black pepper on watermelon to reduce water retention. It provides a cooling zing!

  • "Rice, milk, ghee, grapes, coconut water and (raw) sugar is indicated;"(1)
  • Cooling vegetables such as asparagus, coriander (cilantro), broccoli, and leafy greens.
  • Lassi - Make it thin. View recipe.
  • Drink Coconut Water - to keep cool and hydrated. Drink fresh whole coconut rather than packaged liquid.
  • “Alcoholic drinks should not be taken, or in very little quantity with addition of large quantity of water, otherwise it will produce oedema, looseness of the joints, burning sensations and delusion;”(1)
  • Reduce Coffee - Like alcohol, coffee dehydrates the body. Ensure you sip hot water before and after both alcohol and coffee.

General quantities of your plate should be:

  • 1/2 veggies (fresh, lightly steamed etc.) (at least)
  • 1/4 protein - lentils, animal protein (meat should be no more than 10-15% of diet), and especially less in summer.
  • 1/4 starch - grains, carbohydrates.

Summer Regimen

Avoid excessive exercise.
• Avoid basking in the midday sun as it is to draining for the body. Afternoon sun is best.
Get Vitamin D - Basking in the rising and setting sun is indicated. Take advantage of the adequate amounts of UVB rays that the sun offers more so in the summer. We need about 10-15 minutes of direct mid-day sun 3-4 days a week in summer, without sun protection (sunscreen). 45 minutes of setting sun is best.

Avoid jumping in the water soon after sun bathing

“Immersing oneself in cold water soon after prolonged exposure to sunlight is the cause for disease of the skin and eyes and increase of thirst also.”(2)

  • If the body is heated up and then immediately you jump in the ocean, a lake or a pool, the heat that has been built up will immediately come out, thus causes these diseases. The nervous system will also be shocked.
  • Further, if you take a shower or jump in a pool within an hour of getting your rays – you can wash off the pre-vitamin D that sets up on your skin. You will wash it off before it undergoes the process of converting to vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol to be transported to be stored in the liver.

 

  • Protect yourself from the sun - The best way to protect yourself from the sun is by staying in the shade or by the use of hats, protective clothing, etc.
  • Stay Cool - use fans rather than air conditioning as the latter is more drying and strips away oxygen.
  • "Beautiful lakes, rivers and forests which are cool and spreading pleasant fragrances are good for recreation and to relax;"(1)

Sandalwood Paste

Anoint your forehead with paste of sandalwood to stay cool; Woman can also apply on cheek bone. Good for headache. Must use quality sandalwood paste.

Takra Dhara

A treatment important for Pitta body types during summer and anyone who live in climates where it gets hot during summer. This (authentic) treatment is a bit rare on the ‘Ayurvedic market’ but if you can receive a series of it to cool you and your hormones down, it should do you good for the summer.

Abhyanga - using cold-pressed coconut oil (preferably) prepared with herbs that mitigate pitta. Daily.

Avoid Sunscreen

According to the Environmental Working Group, only 2 out of 10 commercial sunscreens are considered safe, and only 1 out of 10 of the 1700 sunscreens tested fully protect your skin from the sun.

Sunscreen is contra-indicated because it can have chemicals that can potentially be cancerous to the body. Further, most sunscreen blocks UVB rays (rays that make vitamin D) and does not block the UVA rays (rays that can irritate, disrupt hormones, cause allergies or are carcinogenic).

Simply, when they created sunscreen they got mixed up with the rays!

In Ayurveda, the skin should be strong enough to protect itself and gain energy from the sun, rather then run away from it.

No doubt, skin under intense sun will need protection of some kind. Coconut oil is adequate for shorter amounts of time exposure. Shade and clothes are the best choice.

detailed article about what sunscreen to use coming soon...

Weaker Agni

It is important to be mindful that our digestive fire is weaker in the summer, thus we will have a harder time digesting heavy, fatty and rich foods.

Nature is cooking all the fruits and veggies on the vines and trees all summer long, so the need for us to turn on a big furnace of digestive acid to cook foods that are already pre-cooked by the sun is unnecessary.

Conclusion

So think twice this summer before indulging in barbecued ribs, milkshakes, ice-cream, pizza breads and cheese, as these are (poor quality) winter foods that our body simply does not have the acids to digest.

If you do indulge in these popular summer foods, here are some things to remember:

  • Enjoy these foods as a larger mid-day meal when agni is strongest, rather than in the evening or late at night when the digestive fire is much less efficient.
  • Yes, it is OK to eat some of these harder-to-digest foods in the summer. Just do your best do eat smaller portions on the barbecue and much larger portions of the salad, fruits and veggies.
  • Eat these foods by incorporating local ingredients and limit heat or pitta increasing foods and increase heat-reducing foods.
“Even if you eat ice cream. Enjoy it (guilt free, with love and gratitude).”
Vaidya Dr. J.R. Raju

 References:

  1. Astanga Samgraha of Vaghbata, ch.4 (27-37 1/2)
  2. Astanga Samgraha of Vaghbata, ch.9 (5)
  3. Credits: Dr. John Douillard Lifespa

 

Waning The Winter Woes

Become immune to the common cold or flu - Prevent it!

But if it does hit you, do not resist it. Rather, accept it and apply some of the tactics listed in this article to actually make the flu work for you!

What Exactly Is the Flu?

The flu is not a disease that calls for panic or that needs to be “treated”.

The flu is a natural detoxification that the body’s intelligence wisely instigates to “clean the house” (the body). So do not suppress it!

Your body “vents” (clears) toxins 24hrs a day. But sometimes (particularly as the seasons become colder) it gets overwhelmed and opens up all the vents for immediate clearing. This clearing comes in many forms: perspiration, breathing, sweating, rashes, diarrhoea, colds, flus and so on.

So we must facilitate this process of “cleaning the house” by allowing and assisting the toxins to be eliminated. Unfortunately people aren’t facilitating this process enough.

Common Treatment Process of the Flu

  • People are masking the symptoms with pharmaceutical drugs that fool the body into feeling that it doesn’t have any toxins to eliminate.
  • The drugs may also clog or block these “vents” (elimination channels).
  • These toxins then will get trapped deeper into the bodily channels, causing deeper problems down the track.
  • Additionally, drugs and vaccines will further add to the toxins that are trapped in the body and increases the risk and severity of "Dis-Ease" later on. No one currently knows the long term impact of these ‘foreign’ substances that are being injected into the blood streams of many people (vaccinations).

Vent the Body to Prevent Disease

If your body is not able to “vent” toxins coming in (undigested food, environmental pollutants, stressful relationships, stressful work situations etc.) you will experience discomfort.

So in winter, if you or your children get the sniffles or a severe cold, rather then stressing, here are some simple home remedies to keep these “vents” open and working effectively:

Home Remedies for the Cold and Flu

Realise and become aware that your body is “cleaning the house” during this period and the best thing you can do is to support it during the detoxification process.

  • Avoid suppressing the symptoms with a pharmaceutical drug. Yes, you might get some symptomatic short-term relief but the effects of the toxic residues that are left behind will show up down the road and your body’s natural intelligence to function will be weakened. There are other ways to relieve the discomfort as listed below. However, after you have tried natural remedies to relieve the symptoms, if you are unbearingly suffering it is sometimes better to take the pharmaceutical drugs than suffer.
  • Rest - The most important. Avoid the cold wind outside, avoid strenuous work, late nights. Stay warm.
  • Eat lighter - Cut down on your intake of meat and animal products such as cheese and yoghurt. Dinner especially should be light (soups are best).
  • Liquid diet day - any cooked and pureed foods or soups, lassi, fresh fruit juices and herbal teas can help you overcome a virus much more easily. Avoid vegetable juices.
  • Fasting (with your body type in mind) coupled with sipping hot water all day is “the best/chief among those which cure fever.”(1)
  • Sip hot water - Plain hot water is the best to clear all body’s channels and hydrate the body. Plain is best because is works on all the body’s channels, rather then specifically targeting a certain area. Plus, plain hot water is even more hydrating than lemon water! Frequency is what matters, not quantity. Sip every 10-15 minutes. You can also make a tea with turmeric + a little black pepper or cumin + ajwain tea.
  • Avoid therapies such as massage, nasya (oil administered in nose) and exercise.

Plants and Whole-Food Remedies

These can provide instant relief and still support the body and it’s natural defence system to vent.

 

Honey & Kitchen Spice Paste

Cough and cold remedy, increases immunity, fights infections. Recipe Here.

Tulsi tea - English name “Holy Basil.” Also known as the “Queen of Herbs” in Ayurveda. Tulsi is especially effective for lungs and to decongest the respiratory system.

Salt + warm water gargle - Can do all throughout the day, especially if experiencing sore throat. Use 1/2tsp-1tsp of black salt for best effect. Can add a little turmeric to the water for stronger bacteria-fighting help.

Gargle with liquorice tea - Soothe a sore throat and reduce inflammation.

Steam inhalation - Perhaps one of the most effective remedies. Add 2 drops of Vital Veda/Raju Prandhara into a bowl of boiling water, cover head and bowl with towel and inhale steam till steam is finished. Mini Steam inhalation: 1 drop of prandhara in a cup of boiling water, inhale steam until steam is finished, then drink liquid. Can do a few times a day. Order Prandhara from Vital Veda clinic. Alternative to Prandhara: 10-15 drops of eucalyptus oil in a big bowl of boiling water and inhale.

More complex herbs for deeper seated problems. Available from the Vital Veda clinic or a good Ayurvedic practitioner.

Act early

Prevention is a key component in Ayurveda. If you notice the initial stages of a symptom - waking up with a slight sore throat, then gargle with salt water, eat the Honey & Spice Mix or better take some complex herbs.

If you are beginning to feel a bit congested in the sinuses or lungs, incorporate steam inhalation into your morning routine. Jump in early to work WITH the viruses or toxins to ensure their effective elimination.

Act even earlier

Adopt an Ayurvedic diet, lifestyle and perhaps take some herbs to maintain optimum immunity and vitality and hardly ever see the start of a disease or symptom. Especially the cold or flu.

Read my articles in the blog or book in with me for a consultation to acquire a detailed lifestyle and dietary plan to tune yourself into optimum balance and wellness.

 

References:

(1) “Astanga Samgraha (of Vagbhata)” - Chaper 13: Collection of the Best, Agryasangrahaniya Asdhyaya, translated by Author: Prof. K R Srikantha Murthy

 

Cough & Cold Home Remedy: Honey + Spice Paste

This is a simple and very tasty paste that you can make up and jar it to have on hold, especially for the autumn-winter-early spring time of year.
This cough and cold remedy increases immunity and fights infections.

Recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon of Honey*
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 10 drops of fresh ginger juice or 1/4tsp ginger powder

Mix a large batch of this up, keep it in a glass jar ready for use.

Dosage: Lick 1tsp 2-3x a day or when needed.

*Honey should be unheated (not above body temperature). Ensure the honey you buy is extracted this way.  Most honeys in the supermarkets, even health food stores (organic included!) will be extracted at temperatures higher than 37 degrees. I suggest going to your local farmers market and speaking to the apiarist.

To learn What Exactly Is The Flu, + more simple home remedies, click HERE