Why Sunglasses are NOT Healthy | Light: The Divine Healer | Matt Maruca #069

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The Sun, divine sustainer of all life on earth, also known as Sürya in Sanskrit, can be one of our greatest allies when approached with reverence and understanding. 
Having a clear comprehension of the relationship between the Sun and our own physiology is fundamental to make of this astrological body an empowering force within our lives.
In this episode we break down the science & mysticism behind this astounding & ever-reliable force of nature.  

About our guest: Matt Maruca

Matt Maruca founded Ra Optics to make the world's finest blue light blocking glasses, and created The Light Diet, a diet that directly addresses the root of the modern chronic disease epidemic, mitochondrial dysfunction, after having suffered from poor health and chronic fatigue at a young age due to technology overuse and an indoor lifestyle.
He is now 22 years old and travels the world, studying and teaching about the relevance of light in human health.

In this Episode we Discuss:

The Three Main Causes of Disease In Ayurveda

1) Misuse of intellect (prajnaparadha प्रज्ञापराध):
The term prajnaparadha is made up of two words: prajna translates as “knowledge” or “intellect”, while aparadha translates as “offence” or “transgression”.
This means doing things without properly discriminating as to whether they are favorable or harmful for the body and/or the mind.
Actions taken with prajnaparadha aggravate the three doshas and stimulate the tamas and rajas gunas allowing diseases to become established.  
2) Misuse of senses (asatmendriyartha samyoga तेषां कोपे तु कारणम्):
This term is composed of the words astmaya, which means "improper", indriya which means "sense organs", artha translating as "the objects of the senses" and samyoga meaning "to combine" or "to link". 
Asatmendriyartha samyoga is the improper contact of the senses with their objects, and results in an over stimulation or deficiency of sensory activity. Actions that perpetuate asatmendriyartha samyoga harm the mind-body and lead to an imbalance that prevents the healthy functioning of your organism. 
Being mindful of your 5 senses (pancha Indriya) is a deep-rooted ayurvedic practice that is fundamental for the balance and wellbeing of the body & mind.
The five senses are:
  • Sound (sabda) 
  • Touch (sparsa) 
  • Vision (rupa)
  • Taste (rasa
  • Smell (gandha)
3) Seasonal variations (parinama परिणाम or kala काल):
Parinama in Sanskrit means “change” or “transformation”, and kala means “time”. 
The external environment, be it the seasons or the weather can affect and unbalance the three doshas, triggering diseases in the body. Exposing the body to extreme weather conditions for which it is not prepared very often leads to some form of ailment within the physiology of the body. 
In a more general manner, this also means the passing of time itself and the effects this naturally has on the physical body & cellular decay. 

Sunglasses And The Tamas Guna

When it comes to human-to-human connection, sunglasses are an obstacle that stands in between. 
Sunglasses bring darkness, which in Ayurveda is often linked to the tamas guna (meaning trapped-light and/or dullness).

Rising Above the Detrimental Effects of Wearing Sunglasses

Spiritual masters such as Sadhguru & Dr. Joe Dispenza being avid wearers of Sunglasses and how they can avoid any detriments by becoming true masters of their physiology.
The Yogis who by attaining siddhis have managed to perform extraordinary feats such as living for several years without sleeping or drinking water or eating food. 
Sadhguru wearing sunglasses

The Healing Power of The Sun

Ancient cultures all over the world revered the Sun as a mighty source of healing power. 
  • The ancient Egyptians, Greeks & Romans had a strong reverence for the sun.
      • The Romans used to even have special rooms dedicated to the absorption of the healing powers of the sun, these were called solariums.
Florence Nightingale, a famous English war-time nurse who is believed to be the founder of modern nursing, reported a finding in her practice:
  • She had patients on two wards: one that was exposed to sunlight and the other was very poorly lit. Patients in the sun-lit ward healed much faster than those in the ward with no exposure to natural light.
The recognition that all life on earth is governed by, and fully depends on the energies of the Sun
Florence Nightingale Painting
The etymology of the word "Divine"
  • It comes from the Latin word divnus which in turn has an etymological meaning that comes from an early proto-indo-european language, according to linguistic scholars, is “Daylight Sky-God”.
    • Therefore the idea of something being “divine” implies the acquisition of the properties of the sky, the heavens or that which is above us. 
    • The takeaway being that to be more divine or to be a higher level being, we should embrace the energy of the Sun (that which is above us), invite it & assimilate it into our lives

Circadian Rhythms In The Body & Their Connection With The Sun

The light of the Sun, passing through our eyes is a key variable for proper health since it triggers our circadian rhythms/cycle. 
The term "circadian" comes from two Latin words: circa, meaning “around”, and diēm meaning “day”. 
The circadian cycle or circadian rhythm is the internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle which repeats itself every 24 hours. 
  • This is a very intricate & extremely important process that regulates the production of enzymes & hormones all around the body and determines the availability or scarcity of energy resources that one has every day. 
Studies show that the fission-fusion cycle in the mitochondria within our cells (which in turn regulate the energy resources those cells have) are controlled by the DRP1 protein which is also synchronized to the internal biological (circadian) clock

Woman dancing during sunset
Digestive enzymes & insulin production also being regulated by circadian rhythms.
  • Ayurveda advises that one should have a light breakfast, medium-strong lunch & light dinner
      • Ideally 4 hours before going to bed one should not eat any food. 

Hormones & Light

We have receptors in our eyes called the “Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells” which have a specific pigment called melanopsin that absorbs certain light waves. 
  • These cells are connected to the hypothalamus which regulates all metabolic action within the body.
Dr. Alexander Wunsch and his proposed theory on photo-endocrinology.  
  • How the morning light from the sun stimulates a vast variety of hormones such as the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), the Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and the Luteinizing Hormone (LH). 
    • THS regulate thyroid function, the FSH stimulates the gonads which produce the eggs of females and sperm in men & the LH produces estrogen and testosterone in women & men respectively. 
    • Then there’s dopamine and melatonine along with many others. 
        • Full video available down in “resources”.
The Alpha-Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone, which is in charge of triggering the production of melanocytes in your skin and is itself triggered by the light passing through the eye.
  • This melanocytes produce melanin which is the brown pigment that causes taking.
  • When using sunglasses you are blocking the natural entry of light through the eye and therefore melanocytes are not being produced to the extent that is needed, which can in turn lead to sunburn & potentially skin cancer.
Sunglasses filter sunlight, which consequently causes the pupils to stay dilated. But blue-light is not filtered by the vast majority of commercially available sunglasses, which means that blue light still enters the now dilated and fully-receptive pupils and can damage the retina and cause lots of other issues & imbalances

Resources

RA Optics website HERE - Discount Code: VITALVEDA

Matt's Instagram (@thelightdiet) HERE

The Light Diet Podcast HERE

-

Video by Dr. Alexander Wunsch on Photoendocrinology - How natural & artificial light is impacting human’s endocrine system & hormones HERE

Mitochondrial activity related to the circadian clock HERE

"The Surrender Experiment" book by Michael Singer HERE


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


Birth Control Guide: Become Educated & Aware of Your Options + The Birth Control Pill

Many women turn to birth control pills and other methods because they are not aware of the dangers of them and they are not aware that there are safer options available.

We will explore a range of birth control methods, from conventional, chemical and dangerous methods to natural safe methods.

Become educated and well versed in a variety of natural contraceptive methods, to expand the happiness and fulfilment of your sex life with minimal interruptions.

This article is also important for any MAN who cares about the health and sex life of his partner, daughter, sister, family member, friend or fellow neighbour.

Synthetic Birth Control Methods

IUDs (Intrauterine device): Hormonal (Mirena) & Copper Coil (Natural)

How The IUD Works on the Body

The IUD is an internally planted device in the uterus.

Hormonal IUD (Mirena) artificially manipulates your hormones as it contains the steroid drug levonorgestrel into the uterine cavity.

Side Effects from IUDs

IUDs have been shown to cause serious side effects such as:

  • Pelvic infection - especially if you have a pre-existing infection with gonorrhoea or chlamydia. That’s why your doctor should screen for those common conditions before inserting an IUD.
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Uterine perforation (surrounding blood vessels or viscera become injured) which can lead to surgery.
  • Acne
  • Hair loss
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Yeast infection
  • Weight gain

Even if your IUD is not hormonal (Copper IUD/ Coil) and fitted well, it comes with problems:

  • Irregular bleeding and spotting. Prolonged spotting can lead to iron deficiency.
  • Blocks the channels, causing vata imbalance in apana vata (pelvic floor) which can cause problems down the track like fibroids.
  • Can be a painful installation process that may require painkiller drugs.
  • Can increase period pain and cramps within the one year of insertion.
  • It’s bad for the vaginal microbiome and doubles the risk of bacterial vaginosis, which causes a fishy-smelling vaginal discharge.
  • It might come out. Studies show there is a risk of expulsion which you don’t realise, then you could become pregnant.
  • Pelvic infection
  • Uterine perforation

Pros about IUDs:

  • The IUD, however, has been shown to be more a successful contraceptive method than the oral contraceptive pill (OCP).
  • The hormonal IUD (Mirena) uses about one-tenth of synthetic levonorgestrel hormone compared to the OCP (but still at dangerous levels).
  • It does not completely shut down ovulation, which is important to produce hormones thus feel good!

Conclusion about IUDs:

IUDs are not wise for health.

As a birth control method, it's not as biologically harmonious as fertility awareness method (FAM), condoms, or cervical cap

For hormonal issues like heavy periods, adenomyosis, or debilitating endometriosis pain, the hormonal IUD is a better option than surgery or other types of hormonal birth control, however, there are much better alternatives which one can implement and learn about in a consultation with me.

Patches

Patches are so risky is that you absorb up to 60% more synthetic oestrogen than if you were taking an oral contraceptive. Fortunately, demand for the patch has seriously declined as the warnings have escalated.

Injectable Birth Control

Depo-Provera, or depo-medroxyprogesterone (DMPA), is a progestin that interferes with hormone signalling to prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs. A far stronger synthetic chemical that mimics the progesterone your body makes which carries with it a huge number of negative side effects, esepcially reducing bone density.

Spermicides

Spermicides are essentially chemicals that kill sperm by dissolving their outer membrane.

However, they also kill beneficial bacteria and skin cells. Disrupting the bacterial balance in your vagina can leave you more susceptible to yeast infections and urinary tract infections. And it has been proven they add no additional protection to condoms.

The Oral Contraceptive Pill (OCP)

Artificially manipulating your hormones with potent synthetic hormones, whose adverse health effects have been well documented for nearly four decades.

Clinicians know it. Women themselves know it because they feel better off the Pill.

16 million American women use birth control pills.
50–80% of Australian women use it at some stage during their reproductive lives.

Sure it is great that The Pill can be medicine for debilitating conditions such as severe endometriosis and very heavy periods, but its widespread prescription to “balance hormones” is illogical. 

What The Pill Does To Your Body

The pill induces a chemical menopause which shuts down ovulation, an essential hormonal production process for mood and overall health.

This works by releasing oestrogen and progestin into your body, preventing your ovaries from releasing eggs. The pill also thickens cervical mucus, making it harder for sperm to enter the uterus.

Hormonal Birth Control Does Not Balance Hormones

Prescribing birth control to “balance hormones” is illogical. Birth control does not balance hormones; it shuts them down.

Birth control shuts down ovulation, hence shuts down estrogen and progesterone. It then "replaces" back contraceptive drugs, known as “hormone replacement."

Problem is, this "replacement" is not adequate at all. In fact, the contraceptive drugs are not even hormones and are damaging to the body.

Real hormones are estradiol and progesterone. Contraceptive drugs are molecules like ethinylestradiol, levonorgestrel, and drospirenone.

Contraceptive drugs do not have the same molecular structure as real hormones and do not replace their vital role.

"The Pills" benefit of convenience is largely outweighed by the very serious health risks associated.

Health Risks Associated with Birth Control Pills

They are linked to numerous health risks:

  • Cancer - increases the risk of cervical and breast cancers.
  • Fatal blood clots - double your risk of fatal blood clots and others may increase your risk of heart disease.
  • Thinner bones - lower bone mineral density (BMD).
  • Oral contraceptives can increase your blood pressure.
  • Sexual dysfunction - The pill may damage your libido - permanently - interferes with a protein that keeps testosterone unavailable for women's physiological needs.

Side Effects

Many women also report awful side effects from the pill, which are undoubtedly due to the artificial drugs acting like "hormones" running through your body. These include:

  • Migraines, headaches and nausea
  • Weight gain and mood changes
  • Irregular bleeding or spotting
  • Bleeding of the gums
  • Breast tenderness
  • Yeast overgrowth and infection
  • Thrush (quite common).
  • Birth control pills deplete your body of important nutrients, including Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Zinc.
  • Severe depression, anxiety and mood changes
  • Feeling of congestion in the pelvic area and lower abdomen.
  • Oral contraceptives can also make your baby more vulnerable to allergies when you take OCs for up to a year before becoming pregnant, according to a Finnish study.

A Recipe for Future Infertility

Want to have babies in the future? I recommend stopping using the Pill and other hormonal contraception.

While on hormonal contraception methods, your body loses the ability to secrete its own natural hormones.

So when the time comes and you want to conceive, your body struggles. This is why hormonal contraception is a key cause of  the infertility epidemic.

I see this a lot in the clinic, and it is quite sad to see, as all these couples to want to do it have a baby. Note male infertility is also a big contributor to this epidemic that is under appreciated.

Your Romantic Life Dictated by a Pill

The contraceptive pill may disrupt women's natural ability to choose a partner genetically dissimilar to themselves. A research team analysed how the contraceptive pill affects odour preferences and found that the preferences of women who began using the contraceptive pill shifted towards men with genetically similar odours.

A genetic similarity in couples can lead to fertility problems and ultimately lead to the breakdown of relationships when women stop using the pill, as odour perception plays a significant role in maintaining attraction to partners, researchers said.

Similar to the findings of the study above, researchers found that you are more likely to be attracted to people whose scent is dissimilar to your own. 

And on a much deeper level, it’s alarming that these pills are altering, on a very subtle level, chemical signals in your body.

Using The Pill to Treat Symptoms

If you're using birth control pills for reasons other than birth control, such as to regulate your menstrual cycle or treat irregular bleeding, cysts, endometriosis, acne or skin diseases you are not treating your underlying problem.

You are simply masking it with a potentially dangerous drug.

In these situations, it is essential to balance your adrenal glands, as cortisol levels modulate and control the female hormones - especially progesterone. Book a consultation to balance your adrenal glands, energy, stress and hormones.

In 2007 the FDA approved the first birth control pill to completely eliminate menstruation.

Not only was this pill inadequately tested prior to approval, but the synthetic hormones it contains are also another prescription for disaster for women's health.

But there is an additional concern - long-term suppression of your periods will minimise your blood loss and could contribute to iron overload syndromes that is an overlooked dangerous situation. Elevated iron stores are one of the primary risk factors for cancer and heart disease.

Contributes to Oestrogen Pollution

Synthetic estrogens excreted by women end up in the drinking water supply. This adds to the oestrogens increasingly present all around us, from plastics to canned food and drinks, food additives, household cleaning products, heavy metals, and pesticides, as well as in our waterways as a result of the runoff from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

Quench your thirst with synthetic hromnes?

Safe Alternatives for contraception that women can use

Natural Methods

There are two natural methods:

  1. Barrier Methods
  2. Natural Family Planning or Fertility Awareness Methods (FAM), Conscious Sex - a little more complex but definitely achievable, rewarding and empowering. Been around for thousands of years.

Copper Coil IUD

See above.
Although better than hormonal options, this still comes with associated risks and side effects, even if fitted well by a doctor.

Barrier Methods

Male Condoms

Condoms have a 98% effectiveness rate when used correctly. A water-based lubricant will increase the effectiveness; do not use an oil-based lubricant, however, as they break the latex.

Female Condoms

These thin, soft polyurethane pouches fitted inside your vagina before intercourse are 95 percent effective. Female condoms are less likely to tear than male condoms.

Diaphragm

Diaphragms, which must be fitted by a doctor, act as a barrier to sperm. When used correctly with spermicidal jellies, they are 92 to 98 effective.

Cervical Cap

This heavy rubber cap fits tightly against your cervix and can be left in place for 48 hours. Like the diaphragm, a doctor must fit the cap. Proper fitting enhances the effectiveness above 91%.

Fertility Awareness Methods (FAM) - Natural Fertility

Daisy: Natural Intelligent Fertility Tracker

Daysy is an intelligent fertility tracker that lets you get to know your very own menstrual cycle. Thanks to Daysy, you know exactly when you are in your fertile window and when you are not.

The technology-based temperature method used by Daysy is one of the most reliable methods in the world for fertility tracking.

 Daysy allows every woman who wants a health-conscious lifestyle to monitor her individual monthly cycle and determine her fertile and infertile days in natural harmony with her body.

Check it out HERE

Fertility Awareness Methods (FAM) - Natural Fertility

Not only do these methods assist contracpetion, but they empower you to learn more about your or your partners cycle! This attunes you more to the circadian cycles of you and nature.

The Temperature Method

This is a way to pinpoint the day of your ovulation so that intercourse can be avoided for a few days before and after. It involves taking your basal body temperature (your temperature upon first waking) each morning with an accurate "basal" thermometer, and noting the rise in temperature that occurs after ovulation.

The Mucus Method

This involves tracking changes in the amount and texture of your vaginal discharge, which reflect rising levels of oestrogen in your body. For the first few days after your period, there is often no discharge, but there will be a cloudy, tacky mucus as oestrogen starts to rise.

When your discharge starts to increase in volume and becomes clear and stringy, ovulation is near. A return to tacky, cloudy mucus or no discharge means that ovulation has passed.

There are various devices which help track your cycle and prove to be effective with high accuracy rates.

Withdrawal Method

Not successful enough because even before ejaculation, the penis releases small amounts of semen that can contain sperm.

Tantric Sex or "Conscious Sex"

Not successful enough due to similar reasons as the withdrawal method. Further more, practices like the retaining ejaculation is advanced and more relevant for people who have been doing practices like this since childhood (such as celibate yogis). Although these methods can be learnt and praciticed, caution needs to be taken they can create phyiscal implications on the males prostate and fertility.

Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM)

 Some experts claim that breastfeeding protects a woman from pregnancy by curbing hormones that trigger ovulation. However, every woman's body responds differently to the hormonal influences of breastfeeding, so this method is unreliable.

Explore your options.
Become educated about what implications these contraceptive methods have on the body.
Become aware of the associated history and experience in society.
Then empowered with awareness, decide for yourself.

Bibliography
Dr. Joespeh Mercolas content rich website.
Lara Briden - The Period Revolutionary.

Image Credits:

  • feature image - Simone Van Der Koelen
  • cucumber - Charles Deluvio
  • female condom - nig.gov

Related Podcast


Ayurvedic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy

A woman with her hands over her pregnant belly

Yay! You, your friend or family member is pregnant! Congratulations. I have written this guide and am here to assist you through this exciting (and sometimes scary) period of transition and growth.

According to Ayurveda, pregnancy and delivery can be the most rejuvenating experience of a women’s life, during which every cell of the mother’s body can be transformed. Unfortunately, in the west we did not get that knowledge and mothers often pay dearly with health concerns after a pregnancy.

During pregnancy, everything that the mother-to-be touches, smells, tastes, hears and sees has an imprinting influence on the foetus. Her actions not only form various health and physiological features of the future baby, but blueprint and dwell with the unborn human for their whole life which influences their health, even through old age.

That being said, this is a time for the pregnant lady to relax, retreat and do what she desires. There should be minimal restrictions and rules (these are below). She should be treated like a queen (fellas, I know you always do) and follow her desires with little friction.

Alongside this pregnancy plan, we highly recommend couples to do the She Births Birthing Classes. Discount code: vitalveda10

Guidelines for Throughout the Whole Pregnancy

Flood your Life with Sattva

Everything the mum-to-be does should be sattvic for both the mother and child. 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 in abundance, while the hormone oxytocin (also known as the “bonding/loving hormone”) is simultaneously secreting. 

Recommendations to enhance sattva in her mind, body and spirit:

  • Fresh, seasonal whole-foods cooked with love is sattvic food.
  • Create a nourishing and calm environment in your home and avoid stimulating and toxic (rajasic) environments like loud music and polluted air.
  • Surround yourself with loving, like-minded people and avoid toxic relationships and people who stress you out.

Self-Oil-Massage - It is always better for the soon-to-be-mum to do self-massage rather than getting done by a practitioner. If you don't feel like it, no need to do self-abhyanga in the first 6 months.

If receiving a massage from a practitioner, it should be a very, very light abhyanga, without touching the belly.
Avoid all treatments from another practitioner in the first trimester and eighth month.

Learn how to do Self-Oil-Massage here

Daily Meditation - The key to a healthy pregnancy and happy mother and baby. The foetus also absorbs her peaceful and alert attitude. Vedic meditation is recommended.

Abhyanga oil massage as a good alternative for hand soap

Reduce EMF (Electro-Magnetic-Field) Exposure

Wireless devices emit signals (EMF) that communicate with our mitochondria and cause mitochondrial dysfunction, which is a birth for many diseases. It also generates free radicals, dehydrates our body and thrashes our adrenal stress index. You definitely don’t want to expose your vulnerable foetus to EMFs. Mainstream medicine already knows this by restricting x-rays etc., but has not yet realised the danger of wireless devices like mobile phones, laptops, wifi etc.

Ways to Reduce EMF

  • Turn your wifi, smart TVs, mobile phone off at night and when you are not using them.
  • Whenever your mobile phone is near your body, keep it on aeroplane mode.
  • Avoid high density EMF environments that are like being in a microwave. Offices for example.
  • Purchase Belly Armour - a comfy shielding material to wear when you're out and about.
  • Neutralise nnEMFs with grounding in nature - barefoot on earth, walking on beach, swimming in natural bodies of ocean.

Reduce Ultrasounds

Unnecessary excess radiation. Studies show they do not improve birth outcomes. Get one mid-pregnancy, at 22 weeks to check body parts.

 

Reduce Aeroplanes

Studies showed flight attendants had a double chance of miscarriages because of the dense radiation exposure. Also, flying is probably the number one activity that aggravates vata the most.

Sleep On Your Left Side

Best to not sleep during the day, as proper night time sleep is essential.

 

Listen to Vedic Chants

Primordial sounds vibrate to the foetus to enliven desired aspects of consciousness. The vedic sounds also increase Sattva in the pregnant lady. Some good chants to listen to are the Bhagavad Gita and Hanuman mantras.

Balance Vata

The major theme during pregnancy is to balance vata, the energy of the nervous system. This is because the growth of the foetus and the process of giving birth is governed by Apana-Vata, the downward moving Sub-dosha of Vata. In cases of stress and tiredness, the upward-moving vata – called prana vata – has to step in and is redirected downward to support the needs of the baby. Lack of prana means lack of joyful feelings of pregnancy, which can leave the mum exhausted, depleted, tired and even depressed postpartum.

The key to balance vata is:

  1. Warmth (warm, cooked, nourishing foods, warm climate)
  2. Regularity (regular sleep times, meal times, meditation, regular bowel motions etc.)
  3. Rest - As much as possible. Times are designated to carry out work, travel or anything that requires strain (5th and 6th month).

All the recommendations in this article balance vata.

All 3 of your doshas are aggravated by the significant transition of pregnancy.

Correcting imbalances while pregnant is much easier than once the child is born! Of course it would be ideal if the woman could balance the doshas before conception.

DIET and HERBS

Foods to Avoid Throughout the Whole Pregnancy

  • Papaya - Excess downward movement (Vata anulomana) and too much heat.
  • Pineapple - Certain enzymes which cause miscarriage and too much heat.
  • Undercooked meat (beef and pork) - A risk of contracting toxoplasmosis, parasitic disease that can infect the baby and produce many symptoms that vary from premature delivery and low birth weight, to malformations and mental retardation.
  • Raw and undercooked foods, especially leafy greens, beans and lentils.
  • Raw Fish and Seafood - includes sushi and all shellfish. Some bacteria like listeria and some parasites like anisakis can be found in contaminated seafood; they produce an intestinal infection, which can lead to dehydration. Fever and dehydration during pregnancy can be linked to abortion or preterm birth.
  • Seafood High in Mercury - The bigger and older the fish, the more likely that it’s contaminated with mercury. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) encourages pregnant women to avoid swordfish, shark, king mackerel, and tilefish. According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, pregnant women shouldn't exceed two seafood meals per week.
  • Raw Eggs - Can be contaminated with harmful bacteria, especially salmonella, which can produce a severe intestinal infection that leads to high fever and dehydration, which can be harmful for the baby. Avoid all products that may contain raw eggs, such as homemade dressings, mayonnaise, and eggnog.
  • Caffeine - you should not exceed 200 mg per day. Caffeine is a stimulant, and it may increase your heart rate and your blood pressure, both of which are not recommended during pregnancy. It crosses the placenta to your baby, increasing it's heart rate as well. This has been linked to prematurity, miscarriage, and low birth weight. A cup of coffee may contain anywhere from 150 to 400 mg of caffeine, depending on the type and brew.
  • Hot spicy foods.
  • Artificial flavours, preservatives and chemical additives.
  • Left-overs - Opposite to sattvic food (tamasic).
  • Excess honey - Too heating.
  • Shodana Vati / Triphala / Laxatives / Excess detox foods/herbs - Laxative herbs that cause vata anulomana should strictly be avoided in the first trimester, and also avoided for the rest of pregnancy.

Foods to Avoid Part of the Pregnancy

  • Hing (Asafoetida) - Avoid in first trimester. Vata anulomana and sharp quality, breaks stagnation. Also no external application.
  • Turmeric - For the first 6 months for those sensitive like older pregnant ladies and those prone to miscarriages. A little turmeric is fine but excess is too heating.
  • Raisins in excess.

Indicated Diet

Other than the foods to avoid, don’t restrict yourself too much and honour cravings.
Remember, you are eating for two body types, so you should not follow a strict diet for one body type. Honour your unique cravings in moderation, especially from the fourth month when the cravings you experience are more likely those of the baby.

  • Sweet taste - It is the most sattvic or wholesome for the baby. Dates, fresh breads cooked without oils, whole grains, rice, fruits, quinoa, cooked beetroot, carrot, sweet potato, hot milk, porridge.
  • Ghee, coconut oil.
  • Hot milk - one of the most nourishing, immunity boosting and ojas building foods.
  • Kitchari
  • Almonds soaked overnight then peeled the following day.

Tips to Help with Constipation during Pregnancy

It is important to have daily morning bowel motions during pregnancy.

  • Eat citrus fruits like oranges and mandarins.
  • Pomegranate.
  • Lots of cooked leafy greens.
  • Psyllium husk is okay after first trimester, but consult a good practitioner regarding psyllium.

Herbs Indicated During Pregnancy

Samadhi (Enlivens Unity in Mind & Body)

Samadhi Powder

Dhatu (Tissue Nourisher)

Smriti (Cellular Memory of Perfect Health)

Pregnancy Ghee (Sukhaprasava Ghritam)

Nasika (Nasal & Brain Oil)

Abhyanga Massage Oil

Abyanga Massage Oil (Coconut Based) 1 Litre

Special Phala Yoni Ghee

Yoni Ghee

Morning Sickness

Morning sickness happens because the foreign body (foetus) changes the hormones and system. Some people are not compatible with this.

This does not mean you are unhealthy, in fact, it is traditionally believed morning sickness makes a baby more stronger and helps it survive.

Nausea Remedies

  • Madiphal rasayana - A fruity liquid Ayurvedic preparation that you take a small sip of whenever nausea is there. (Pictured).
  • Citrus fruits like lime.
  • Honey + ginger.
  • Cut the skin of unripe green lemon with your finger nail and sniff it.
  • Clove, fennel and ajwain powder mixed in equal quantities with unheated honey. (little less ajwain ).

Month-By-Month Pregnancy Insight

First Trimester: Extra Careful

This month is the riskiest for miscarriage. Therefore follow all the rules and diet advice more strictly including lots of rest and avoiding stress, work, travel and sex.

Keep it a secret - Mainly for those who are first time pregnant or have been unsuccessful with conceiving or miscarriages. Ayurveda recommends this to avoid bad energy from external people, known as Dristi Dosha (“Bad Eye”).

Prop the foot end of your bed up 8cm to that you are on a slight tilt towards your head. This helps prevent miscarriage.

Pumsavana Ayruvedic nasal therapy can be given in the second month to strengthen the foetus and the mother's ability to carry.

4th Month: Dhauhrda (“Two Hearts”)

According to Ayurveda, in the fourth month the foetus’s heart is endowed with consciousness and the senses are said to develop.
This month is known asDhauhrda,” which means two hearts. This is because through the arteries, the heart of the foetus is connected with that of the mother. Thus, through these vessels (dhamanis), the feelings of the foetus is transferred to the mother. The mother may feel unusual desires during this period, which are probably the desires of the child. It is advisable to give a pregnant woman whatever she desires.

During this month the women should never sleep during the day as proper night sleep is essential.

Foetal Development:

By the end of this month, the foetus is about 8-10 inches in length and weighs 200 grams or more. The mother will probably start to “show” now. The ears are functioning, and there is evidence that the foetus hears quite a bit; the mother’s voice and heartbeat as well as external noise. The umbilical cord has become an engineering marvel, transporting 280L of fluids per day and completing a round-trip of fluids every 30 seconds.

Anguli (finger), Jathara (GIT) and Katipradesha (pelvic regions) forms in the foetus.

5th and 6th Month: Lenient Time

If you have to work or have sex during pregnancy, this is the time. During sex woman should be on their back only and do not strain abdomen.

You may start Yoni Pichu this month if vata (dryness) is high in the vagina, but please consult a quality practitioner before this.

Foetal Development:

  • End of 5th month - Complete formation of Prusta Vamsa (vertebral column). Why Susruta samhita described to perform Upaveshan samskara (string belt) at 5th months in infants.
  • During 6th month - Mukha (face), nasika (nose), srota (ear), bones and cartilages are formed.
  • From the 6th month, the Buddhi (intelligence) starts to form so whatever you stress or actions you perform, you will give this to the baby.
  • Oil and sweat glands are functioning.
  • The delicate skin of the growing baby is protected from the foetal waters by a special ointment called “vernix.” If the baby were born in the month and given the proper care, he would survive.

7th Month: Nearly there

This month is in maintenance mode for a meticulous part of the pregnancy: the 8th month.

Foetus Development:
The baby now uses the four senses of vision, hearing, taste and touch. They can recognise his mother's voice.

8th Month: Vital Time for Increased Rest

The 8th month is very delicate. Where the subtle nutrient fluid called “Ojas,  that supports vitality and immunity, is transferred from foetus to the mother and back and forth.
This process should not be disturbed as it can leave the baby without or with low Ojas.
Thus, you need to get as much rest as possible and avoid what you are meant to avoid and enhance sattva.

Foetus Development:

  • The skin begins to thicken, with a layer of fat stored underneath for insulation and nourishment.
  • Antibodies increasingly build up.
  • The baby absorbs a3.7L) of amniotic fluid per day; the fluid is completely replaced every three hours.

9th Month: It's Coming!

Foetus Completely Developed:
This month the foetus is endowed with all characters and attains complete development. It can remember it's previous birth (purvajanma) which influences the quality of development.

The baby's heart is pumping 300 gallons of blood per day. They are fully capable of life outside the womb.

Research studies have concluded that an easy birth is highly dependant on a relaxed mind. Thus, surrendering the process of labour is key to a quick birth, as well as meditation.

Yoni Ghee

Soak an organic tampon in Yoni Ghee and then insert into vagina.
This softens and relaxes cervix.
Leave overnight or half the night. Changing it over once is good. Can do every 2-3 nights.
You can start this practice called yoni pichu at 37 weeks pregnant.

Can also do matra basti (small nourishing oil enema) with Special Phala Yoni Ghee.

Yoni Ghee

Pregnancy Ghee (Sukha Prasava Ghritam)

Literally meaning  "Easy to Deliver Ghee", this medicated ghee helps prepare the body for birth and to quicken the delivery and make it smoother.

Dose: 2tsp 2x/day before meals or with hot milk. 

Also, massage on belly in clockwise motion during labour for easier delivery.

Buy here

Small Nourishing Enemas "Matra Basti"

Matra Bastis can be given every second day for women that are healthy.

25ml before sleep and retain to absorb. This is to reduce the vata, strengthen the system and nourish the foetus with another lubricating fluid that is medicated.
*Only quality matra basti oil should only be used such as Vital Veda's/Raju's Special Matra Basti Oil or Deva 21 Oilor Special Phala Ghee.

How to bring on labour (if not coming)

  • Abdominal massage - Using a medicated ghee called “Sukha Prasava Ghritam or normal ghee or coconut oil (inferior), apply the ghee on the stomach and massage slowly and lightly in a clockwise direction downward towards the vagina.
  • Ensure you are taking Sukha Prasava Ghritam (“easy to deliver ghee”).
  • Eggplant parmigiana has been reported to bring on labour effectively for many woman.
  • Eat more cumin and leafy vegetables.

IT'S HERE!!

Postpartum, after the baby has exited the womb, is perhaps the most important time to implement Ayurvedic interventions and practices to rejuvenate mum and ensure proper nutrient and immune accumulation for the baby.

See my Ayurvedic Post Natal Care Plan Here

We highly recommend couples to do the She Births Birthing Classes and pregnancy support. Discount code: vitalveda10

Recommended Listening

References:

  • The Raju family
  • Foetal development - Paippalada’s GARBHOPANISHAD, A brief treatise on emberyo and fetus, translated by Dr. Durga Prasad Dash



Ayurvedic Post Natal Care Plan

Mother holding up a newborn baby

article updated April 2021.

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

Immediate Vata and Hormonal Imbalance

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

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

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

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

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

Immediate Post Delivery Procedures

In order after baby exits the womb:

Umbilical Cord Procedure

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

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

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

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

1. Ayurvedic Immunisation Program

Pusya Drops: Essential herbal drops to boost the immunity and build the tissues of babies and children. Precious and potent formula of rare herbs. Can be given until the child’s teenage years.

or give Swarna Prasa: Honey and Gold purified ash (swarna bhasma) is prepared and processed in a highly complex method using high-quality ingredients.

(Pusya drops are a superior choice).

To administer: Mum or dad dab their right finger in a little swarna prasa and put it in babies mouth or give drops of Pusya drops in the mouth.

Time to administer: This is given to the baby after being born to imbue immunity actively through the senses. It can be given 3x on the first day.
Then this immunisation may be continually be administered once a month according to astrology on pusyami naksatra (constellation).

The amount of swarna bhasma used in each dose for swarna prasa is 1 pinhead of the gold ash.

Learn more here.

2. Breastfeeding

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

3. Oil Massage

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

4. Bath

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

5. Baby Mantra

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

Get your baby mantra from a Vedic Meditation teacher.

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

6. Wrap Baby

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

Holding The Baby

According to the aboriginal culture, similar to the Ayurvedic view,  the newborn is always held close to the mother's heart to promote belonging. This prevents blueprinting anxiety on the child which can occur after taking the baby away from the mother like in some hospital circumstances.
According to aboriginal culture, the newborn stays "glued" to the mother for a few days, and only after then does mum introduce the newborn to the immediate family for it to smell, hear and feel it's intimate family.

Herbal Support

Balant Kadha (Herbal Drink)

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

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

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

Dose:
Day 1-10: BK1 - 2tsp 2x/day after food.
Day 11-20: BK2 - 2tsp 2x/day after food.
Day 21-32: BK3 - 2tsp 2x/day after food.
Finish.

Read more about / buy Balant Kadha here.

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

Gallakol Lactation Tablets

Increases lactation and purifies breast milk.

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

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

Check out our Post Natal Ayurvedic Support Kit

Vital Veda's Post Natal Ayurvedic Support Kit

Post Natal Care (continued)

7. First 11 Days

For next 11 days you need to be extra careful. Emulate the womb environment as the baby transitions into the world.

You can give baby oil massage and bathe gently.
No oil massage for mother unless she is doing very well. Need to monitor mum - how much blood or fluids are discharging from vagina? This will determine when she can start abhyanga. Mum may start after 21 days. After 3 months if c-section.
After the 11th day daily baby-massage is essential.

8. Skin Paste for Baby Girls

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

9. Clothes

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

10. Intimacy Between Mum and Baby

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

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

Co-Sleeping - Sleep close with the baby in the same bed, even till they are 4 years old to a young teenager. This helps prevent anxiety and promotes a significant bond.

11. Naming Ceremony

Done on the 21st day (Nama Karana).

12. Piercing Ears

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

13. Shaving Head (Mudhana)

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

14. Ayurvedic Immunisation (continued)

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

Post-Natal Diet for Mum

  • The two most important foods for mum to balance the vata are ghee and garlic.
  • Purify Garlic - remove inner green sprout and fry in ghee, then use in cooking.
  • Ojas increasing foods like hot milk, dates, coconut, warmed cooked fresh foods.
  • Cumin seeds and fennel seeds. Ajwain seeds if C-section occurred.
  • Avoid pulses and legumes until umbilical cord is fully cut, and until C-section wound is healed.
  • Avoid potato and eggplant early on in post natal.

Lactation Increasing Foods

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

 

Baby Food Introduction

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

Baby food introduction plan coming soon.

C-Section Procedures

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

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

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