Menstrual Wisdom & Womb Care with Ayurveda | Nidhi Pandya #063

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Ancient women honoured the menstrual blood as the essential life generating material willed by Mother Moon to cleanse and purify their inherited Shakti energy so that new and fragrant life could blossom.

Ancient wisdom for a healthy menstrual cycle and caring for the wombs of all women on earth: the seat of creative intelligence in all areas of life.

About Our Guest: Nidhi Pandya

Nidhi Pandya is a New York based third generation Ayurvedic practitioner working globally. She was indoctrinated into Ayurveda at birth, as her grandfather was an Ayurvedic healer. 
In 2002, she founded a value development school called Vyaktitiva to counsel young adolescents and help them find purpose in whatever they do.
Now, she is a practitioner, blogger, educator and a faculty at the Shakti School of Ayurveda.
Wellness to Nidhi means aligning your body and mind to only consume what nourishes you on both levels. This can only happen when you truly understand your body and are able to tune in to your mind.

Nidhi Pandya
After an in depth study of the scriptures and contemplation, Nidhi came to the conclusion that the ecosystem of the human body is warm and moist. Any deviation from this climate leads to imbalance. She therefore teaches people how to understand this climate; what may take it off balance, and how to bring it back to homeostasis.

In this Episode we Discuss:

Nidhi's Daily Routine (Dinacharya)

How Nidhi's relationship with Ayurveda originated

Being raised within a family of Ayurveic Healers in Mumbai, India.
Moving to New York and realizing the practice of Ayurveda is her true calling.
Eventually practicing and teaching all over the world. 

An introduction into the wonderful power behind menstruation

One of Dylan’s first lessons in his Ayurvedic journey was that one of the greatest blessings a woman has is her menstruation - the cleansing and purification of her Shakti (divine feminine energy).

The wisdom of the menstrual cycle

A woman has the capacity to be a fertile ground - taking the potential that lies within the seed and with her Shakti creating something much bigger and powerful. 
The many variables that play a role in the preservation of this fertile ground that is the female reproductive system. 
The female cycles affecting the doshas and the entirety of the female physiology. 
Why the menstrual cycle is fundamental for the preservation of female fertility. 
How a woman deals with her menstrual cycle determining how she will reach menopause later in life
The menstrual cycle and the preservation of fertility not only being linked to the capacity to birth children but also to the essential qualities of Shakti - birthing creativity and individual expression in the world. 
Lowe half of a female body with the vagina covered by a plant

Menstrual phases according to Ayurveda

1. When a woman has had her period then the body enters the Kapha phase - it starts to build the structure needed to initiate conception (thickening of the lining and building of the fluids) in case a sperm cell happens to be invited into the womb any time soon. 
2. When ovulating the woman undergoes the Pitta phase - the phase of transformation that allows for the sperm cell to fuse with the female egg and transform that into a Zygote.
  • During this phase temperatures increase inside the womb to the optimum levels for that transformation to take place. 
  • The enkindling of that reproductive agni (fire) also leads to an increased libido. 
Diagram of the dosas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha)
3. If fertilization doesn’t occur during the previous phase then the woman enters the Vata phase - the decline. Here the body realizes the structures it has created were not used and therefore destroys them in order to be able to create the optimum conditions again in the future. 
      • The wind/air element in ayurveda is that which destroys - so it’s like a little tornado charged with heat hits these structures and then the lining is destroyed and everything is pushed downwards through a period. 

Ayurvedic Protocols for menstruation

It is of upmost importance during this phase to ground the vata:
  • Very important to avoid exercising, since that wind element will be scattered throughout the body by excessive movement and the cleansing will not properly take place. 
  • Allow yourself to rest; not excessive napping, but slow down.
      • Try not to use your mind as much - avoid studying, overthinking and stress since that will move the Prana (life force) upward instead of downward.  
  • Eat cooling and grounding foods like rice-based dishes, milk (can be warm due to its nourishing properties) and coconut-based dishes. 
  • Avoid hot foods like eggplant, tomatoes, and excessively spicy foods. Also excessively cold foods and raw foods since all of these will only increase that which you are already feeling.
Melting Strawberry ice cream
  • Mainly eat easy-to-digest foods since that will allow for the blood to concentrate in the pelvic floor and to enliven the cleansing process instead of being massively sent upwards to the digestive system in order to take care of a heavy meal. 
  • Generally, any foods that balance out the dry and hot qualities of this period will promote wellbeing.  
  • Sleeping the closer you possibly can to the earth - this is a grounding technique. 
      • Traditionally a grass bed has been used so that a degree of comfort is there, while still being as close to the ground as possible. 
By following these easy protocols many women that had lost their fertility (in terms of having regular periods) have successfully regained it. 
Copulation or engaging in any sexual activity is contraindicated during this period.
Women in their menstrual period should try and avoid cooking for two main reasons:
  • Rest should be primordial during this time. 
  • There is a special warmth and sliminess women experience during their period that needs to be preserved. When physically interacting with food, these properties are going to embed themselves into the food and affect its properties & qualities. 
      • Test this yourself: buy organic rice, handle it with your bare hands and leave it to rest. In a short period of time you’ll see some of the rice grains will hatch. 
When on their menstrual periods, women should avoid visiting the temple and the chanting of mantras
  • All mantras carry a specific energy - some are more heating and some are more cooling. This energy will surely affect the temperature within your body and that will alter the inner body chemistry and possibly trigger certain undesired consequences.
  • Spiritual practices imply the upward movement of the subtle Prana & the subtle vayu (wind), which allows for the elevation of the soul within the individual. 
    • But during this period of menstruation, you are not supposed to be working on the upward movement of the subtle prana but instead the gross body is working on the downward movement of Prana/Vayu

Avoid bathing, Abhyanga and any other activities that stimulate several parts of your body
  • They are naturally vata aggravating → they’ll send that wind to all directions within the body.  

Menstrual Pain

If you are properly taking care of your body health having menstrual pain shouldn’t be normal; there shouldn’t be any. Only heightened sensitivity should be present.
  • The pain is an indication of imbalance.
Three main causes of cramps:
  • A too sluggish environment that is not allowing for the vayu (wind) to move freely
  • Too much movement that leads to excess wind aggravation that in turn causes vayu to go to undesired parts of your body (a part of your back, cervix, pelvis, etc.) and generate cramping.  
  • Excess heat and inflammation due to an over-enlivened agni usually caused by an improper diet
What a woman does between two cycles is also of relevance. 
  • The menstrual cycle is there to cleanse, so if there’s a lot to cleanse then the period will take rougher qualities; but if women take proper care of themselves then there will be less to cleanse and the period will be painless (that’s how it naturally should be). 

Menarche

It is the first occurrence of menstruation
The first 13 years of life are of assimilation - both physically and mentally.
  • The exponential expansion, growth and maturity of a woman’s physiology. 
  • The various types of learning and creation of memories and an individual psyche.
When menarche arrives, that’s when heat increases in the body and the transformation phase begins. 
  • The fire sets in and all of that which was assembled in the previous 13 years is taken into action, into creation - that is the rise and amplification of Shakti (divine feminine energy).
Ayurvedic tradition:
During the first 12 days the girl goes through a very introspective process, either with an elder-woman or alone. On the 13th day there is a celebration honouring the blossoming of this bud. 
A turmeric paste is made and spread all over the body to maintain the menstrual heat and to further purify.  
How parents should address their children’s needs and educate them during menarche:
It is important that the communication is good with their children and that they clearly educate them as to what is helpful and what is not; what enlivens their health and what will act as a detriment to it. 
Making these things clear early in life is better than having to fight these battles later, when non-healthy habits have already been assimilated as “normal” and the consequences start to appear (missed periods, acne, PCOS [PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome], etc.).

Menopause

Menopause is supposed to be asymptomatic
The degree to which you have honoured your periods will determine how rough or mild your menopause will be.

Ovulation Pain

Pain during the ovulation is very often related to low digestive fire. When that digestive agni is debilitated, ama (toxic undigested waste) is created and it blocks the tiny channels within the reproductive system. That blockages will not allow for the prana vayu to flow freely. 
To dissolve this ama you can do several things: a good body cleanse, panchakarma (Ayurvedic cleanse composed of five separate procedures), eating light foods, Laṅghana (Ayurvedic deprivation therapy) and fasting.

Piercings according to Hindu Tradition

Piercings are usually put in stimulating points called marmas. These points are related to different parts/systems within the body. 
Ear piercings are traditionally done when the child is 6 to 8 months old and they support brain health.
The nose piercing (particularly on the left nostril) has more to do with menstrual and reproductive health. For women suffering from pms and other menstrual issues, this is the piercing you should consider. 
  • There is a particular point within the left nostril that is the most auspicious and effective for this cause. It is believed that if done right and in precisely the right place, the piercing will not get infected.    

Other tips and insights that can help with female reproductive health

Warm Castor Oil applied on the lower abdomen and pelvic region will allow for Prana Vayu to be invited downwards with ease.  
  • It is also recommended for women right after they give birth. 
Organic Tampons dipped in Oil - preferably Dhanvantaram Tailam - are very good especially for older women that are already experiencing dryness in their vaginas. 
  • You can even do it once a month and wear it for 2-3 hours and that will help strengthen the whole vaginal environment
  • Our Yoni Ghee or Special Phala Ghee are also very good and can be used in the same manner and for the same purpose. 
  • The more frequently you apply them the better. 
Yoni Ghee
Avoid harsh diets and raw foods while on your period since they enhance the menstrual cramps and related pains.  
Wearing white and smelling jasmine aroma are recommended ayurvedic practices for women on their periods.       

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


The Power of Mother Divine and “Navaratri” and How to Access Its Regenerative Energy

An Illustration of the divine mother
"Divinity blossoms where woman are respected."
Manu Smriti (ancient Ayurvedic text on gynaecology)

In the Vedic calendar there are a few times in the year when the collective invokes the Mother Divine aspects of consciousness.

Mother Divine or Universal Mother is commonly referred to in the Vedas as "Durga" (remover of miseries), "Devi" (goddess) or "Shakti" (feminine energy or infinite power).

There are many ways to invoke the Mother Divine in us and in the collective.

Aspects of Mother Divine

  • Gracefulness, elegance.
  • Invincibility, capability.
  • Feminine counterpart of the "destruction operator" in nature. - Like a stern mother ensuring we are following the laws of nature, or else, some destruction will occur to shake us up.
  • The Divine personality known as 'Durga' (pictured) sits on her tiger with infinite arms holding shining weapons ready to slay the demons. This is expressive of the capability of pure Being (infinite arms) to dissolve (slay) negativity, stress and disease (demons).

These aspects of consciousness are referred to as Durga in the Veda.

  • Abundance.
  • Increase of flow.
  • Choosing the higher value of behaviour over the lower value of behaviour.
  • Having every resource at the tip of your fingers. Because they align to the value of which nature is desiring for you and the universe.
  • It is our natural-born heritage to be abundant. If mother nature is abundant, then we are.

These aspects of consciousness are referred to as Lakshmi in the Veda.

  • Music, arts, culture.
  • Feminine aspect of creation - the force of Natural Law (prakriti) that creates all expressed values on the basis of pure intelligence (Purusha).
  • Education and knowledge. Personification of divine knowledge.

These aspects of consciousness are referred to as Saraswati in the Veda.

  • Infinite adaptability and infinite organising power. (Shakti)
  • Nourishing, nurturing, protecting. (Devi)

Navaratri: Times of the Year to Access Infinite Regenerative Energy

Every year, a special Vedic celebration is honoured called Navaratri. 

"Nav(a)" = Nine.
"Ratri" = Night.

The festival "Navratri" is the 9 Nights of Mother Divine. This is an opportunity to join masses all over the world in invoking the energy aspect of mother divine.

When is Navaratri: Seasonal & Astrological Significance

There are actually 4x Navaratris each year. They come in the midst of seasonal transition (rtu sandhi) , giving us the opportunity to reset, let go, purify, rejuvenate, and move into the next phase of our life with greater lightness and ease.

There are two main Navratris to counter-balance the seasons that are associated with sickness and death:
Vasanta (Spring) and Sarat (Autumn) in India.

These seasons are called "Death's Teeth" (Yama Danta) because it is when the world is unstable. Spring is detoxifying what accumulated in the winter and autumn is purifying the accumulations and acid from the rainy season.

Furthermore, these two Navratris come at thresholds of the northern solstice (Uttarayana, Agneya) and southern solstice (Dakshinayana, Saumya).

It is at these times that us as a society have special need for grace, and so the Devi’s Navaratri, the Vasanta (spring) and Sarat (autumn) Navratri, are observed as times for special prayer and regeneration.

The "main" Navratri that is most celebrated and auspicious is Sarat Navarati, which takes place after the autumn monsoon and the autumn harvest (which in Australia is our Spring). It begins on the first day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Ashwini.

It is around September / October each year and changes according to the lunar calendar and the planetary alignments to align with Nature's powerful, rejuvenating and evolutionary cycles, rhythms and energies.

Ways to Invoke the Mother Divine:

(for both females, males and all gender-identifications to invoke)

  • Place your awareness on the aspects of mother divine in you, people you know and that which permeates throughout the world. This is good to practice while you are in your most de-excited state (after meditation and yoga for example).
  • When spending time with the people in your life, especially the women that are close to you, immerse in relationships with more honour, gratitude and love for the feminine divinity that emanates through that individual. Whatever you place your attention on grows. Allow that divinity to blossom and permeate! (This "Shakti" also certainly emanates through males).
  • Chant or listen to mantras specific to mother divine.
  • Attend ceremonies, celebrations and pujas with a specific focus on the mother divine.
  • Perform the more specific rituals and rites that are outlined by the Rishi's (seers), gurus and in the ancient texts. Check your local Hindu temple, vedic community or pundit (Vedic Priest). In Sydney, I attend ceremonies with Pundit Sudheer Sharma and all over the world - online with Pundit Baskaran.
  • Make the nine days a little retreat - honour yourself with more self-care and time by doing more dinacharya (Ayurvedic daily routine), sadhana (practice to attune yourself with nature), yoga,  extended meditation programs (according to your meditation technique/program).
  • For Navarati October 17th-25th - sponsor special Vedic fire ceremonies, known as 'Yagya', that take place in India over the 9 nights.
Vedic fire ceremonies (Yagya) in one popular way to commune with and invoke Mother Divine.

Ayurveda's View on Woman's Wellbeing

In Ayurveda, the woman's health and wellbeing is pivotal for not only the health and happiness of the family, but to the whole society and even the nation at large. Their wellbeing is a core influence that ripples throughout their (larger than you think) vicinity.

Woman's healthcare is a priority. From menarche (start of menstrual cycle) to pre-conception, to pregnancy, to menopause - the woman's health plays a major influence on the health of the people around her.

The destiny of the world lies in the hands of women. Women is the creator. She has beauty, charm, grace and wisdom. She has her hand in the hand of God. Woman is at the top of creation. This is her place and her Dharma, and this she must never loose, for if she does, there will be wars, suffering and cruelty, because she is the opposite of all these things. The nervous system of a woman is by nature more refined and much more delicate. She is the first to sense the good, the pure, the beautiful, the divine. By nature, man is more gross. His position is to deal with the world, so he must be able to deal with stress. Woman is balance, a balance of all nature. She takes in all the stress of her husband and children and does not pass it on. Must not pass it on. Healing is in the lap of the mother; she heals the child's soul. Her place is to see that man goes for higher consciousness. The love of mother that comes through the hands of every woman is Mother Divine. A woman should not get so tired. Her structure is for finger things.
~ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

A Time For Transformation

The 9-days of Navrati represent the 9 months a baby spends in a mother’s womb. During Navratri, our consciousness evolves everyday from tamas (inertia, delusion) to sattva (purity, awakening).

  • The initial step is to get rid of all the countless impurities (Kali).
  • Then acquire virtues and auspicious and divine qualities (Lakshmi).
  • Thus purified, knowledge flashes upon you like the brilliant rays of the sun in crystal waters of a perfectly calm lake (Saraswati).

This process can take a lifetime or more. It can also be fast tracked and experienced in a big hit during these 9 days, Navratri, by allowing the Divine Mother to operate though us.

Night provides rest and rejuvenation. During the night, you turn inwards through sleep, and you wake up feeling refreshed and rested in the morning. In the same way, Navaratri or the ‘nine nights’ is that time of the year when you get the chance to experience deep rest. This deep rest brings freedom from all kinds of bothers, and brings deep relaxation and creativity.
~ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Mother is the creative aspect of the Absolute and all that which is continuously being created.


Related Listening

Vital Veda Podcast Banner: Ayurveda and Fertility

Ayurveda for menstruation, pre-conception and conscious conception with Dylan Smith and Laura Poole

feature image: Katyayani, one of the forms of Durga.

References and inspiration: Mahasoma


Podcast: Rhythms and Cycles in Nature – Exploring the Innate Stages of Life

Listen to the Recording Here

Natures intelligence is constantly prevailing our life.

The elements rotate in dominating segments of the day. Each season uniquely effects our body. Elemental influences govern the different generational age groups in life.

How in tune are we with our own nature to progress in life with minimal friction?

How do we prepare our body for healthy adulthood, reproduction, smooth menopause and comfortable “elder years”?

Join Ayurvedic master Vaidya Krishna Raju as he is interviewed by Matt Ringrose to dissect the elegant sequence of life.

Vaidya Raju will share how to access and utilise the power of these crucial life-transitioning periods with simple, accessible and powerful actions for you to live a rewarding and vital life.

About Vaidya Krishna Raju

The Raju Family are internationally renowned leading experts in authentic Ayurveda (the science of health and longevity).

Practising for over 13 generations, they specialise in creating very effective and individualised treatments using precise knowledge and application of rare and powerful herbal formulas.

Vaidya Krishna Raju is the director and head doctor at his family clinic in Hyderabad, India, where they treat thousands of people who travel from all over the world for their expert treatment and advice for everything from prevention to treatment of the seemingly incurable.

About Matt Ringrose

Matt is the founder of Bondi Meditation Center. Matt came to meditation from an entrepreneurial and corporate background. It changed his life so postiively that he transitioned to dedicate his life to sharing this transformative knowledge with others. Matt is now committed to passing on this ancient Vedid knowledge in a way which is practical, enjoyable and relevant to modern life.

Show Summary and Notes

The importance of the menstrual cycle.

Regimen for menstrual cycle.

The menstrual cycle is according to the 27 star constellations (nakshatras), rather than the moon.

The moon's influence on the mind.

A males hormonal cycle.

Menopause - requirements for smooth transition.

Abhyanga (Oil massage) to prevent and treat 90% of menopausal symptoms, the best tool to balance vata + more.

Overview of Vata, Pitta, Kapha - the role of these 3 bio-intelligences.

The importance of baby massage.

Banana Treatment: Powerful therapy for promoting perfect health. For PMS, infertility and all hormones issues.

“Jaggery Medicine” given by the Raju for infertility as a treatment back in muslim empire.

The role of Ayurvedic herbs.

The two types of immunity. Congenital and acquired.

Pulse Diagnosis - a profound tool for knowledge. 

Self-Pulse for healing, reducing stress and anxiety plus more. Lesson on that here.

Seasonal cycles, daily cycles, ageing cycles - all intertwined. 

Seasonal pathology. State of doshas in each season.

Daily bowel movement for regular purification.

Dinacharya:

Heart Attack - What is actually happening during the protection mechanism.

Cholesterol Issues - Liver is producing fatty liver in even skinny people due to dryness. Ghee is one solution.

Ghee - benefits. Muscle and blood vessel elasticity. No sclerotic changes = no heart attack + more.

Why soldiers used to apply oil on the soles of the feet while they sleep.

Different metals to boost immune system or skill your enemy slowly.

Bhasmas - metallic preparations for medicine.

Smriti preparation - featuring gold bhasma.

Squatting while urinating to prevent prostate enlargement.

Treatment for constricted urinary tubes in males.

Panchakarma (detox and rejuvenation) - good for anything but should not be given for acute conditions.

Migraines and chronic headaches - causes, pathology, treatment and prevention.

Summer Regimen: Pacify the Heat with Ayurveda

“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)

This article has been updated December 5, 2020.

Summertime... and the living is easy..

It’s also hot and dry! and it's wise to protect yourself by keeping cool.

Work in harmony with this season and thrive during it. You deserve to feel prime during summertime.

How Summer Affects Your Biology (Summer Pathogenesis)

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.

  • 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 remove the heat. Your intestinal villi might be irritated and inflamed.
  • You may experience anger, frustration, aggressiveness and irritability - 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, viruses, infections 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, incorporating specific herbs, therapies and other cooling techniques.

Stay Cool, Calm and Hydrated

Summer Regimen (Grisma 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.

  • Favour food that is sweet, cooling (sheeta virya) and has a liquid quality (dravam guna);
  • Avoid, substances which possess pungent, sour, and salt tastes and that are heating (usna virya).

Avoid Pitta aggravating foods:

  • coffee
  • spicy foods
  • red meat
  • yoghurt
  • cheese
  • fermented foods
  • seafood
  • sesame
  • spices like mustard and chilli 🌶.

Fruit Rules

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

During the summer digestion is weaker (as the agni: digestive fire, is moving towards the peripheral, the skin), allowing you to enjoy fruit (which is light) as a full meal.

Experiment with this by having fruits (alone) for breakfast or dinner 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 an early 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 in apples support blood sugar.

Eat only organic apples! as they are one of the foods that are sprayed with the most pesticides.

Pomegranates

  • Powerful anti-oxidant.
  • One of the few red foods that reduces pitta reducing.
  • Cleanses and promotes blood and lymph circulation.
  • Be sure to eat the white pith of the fruit.

Learn more about pomegranate

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!

Other Summer Foods

  • "Rice, milk, ghee, grapes, coconut water and (raw) sugar is indicated;"(1)
  • Cooling vegetables such as asparagus, coriander (cilantro), broccoli, zucchini and leafy greens.
  • Cooling Thin Lassi. One of the best drinks to hydrate and cool your self. View recipe.
  • Coconut Water - to keep cool and hydrated. Drink fresh whole coconut rather than packaged liquid. Keep it away from food as it puts the digestive strength out.
  • “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 baking in the midday sun as it is to draining for the body. Later afternoon sun is best.
  • Get Vitamin D - Baking 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 at least about 10-15 minutes of direct sun 4-6 days a week in summer, without sun protection (sunscreen). 50 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.
  • 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)

TakraDhara Treament

Great “cool down the mind” and a variety of inflammatory disorders such as skin diseases, colitis, irritable bowels, hot flushes and more.

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

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.

Abhyanga (Self-Oil Massage)

Practice self-abhyanga using a medicated abhyanga oil coconut based or cold-pressed coconut oil.

Massaging yourself daily will optimise the ability of your sweat pores to dissipate heat out the body.

Abyanga Massage Oil (Coconut Based) 1 Litre

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 than 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.

Weaker Agni During Summer

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.

Summer Herbs

Shodana Vati (Purification)

Shodana Vati is a powerful rasayana (elixir) to ensure regular detoxification and whole-body cleansing.

This is the most common herb used at Vital Veda since it helps with a diverse range of health conditions and is important for the modern industrial world we live in and it’s inevitable toxins.

It helps in digestion, blood purification, allergies, skin conditions, dental health, cough, eye disorders, addictions, hormonal imbalances and more.

Gudnarkalp (Skin & Metabolism)

Gudnarkalp helps purify the excess toxins and heat that accumulate in the blood.

It helps with conditions that can get aggravated from the heat like fungal conditions, viruses, lyme disease and skin disorders.

It helps strengthen immunity and support allergies.

Visora Skin Care

Visora is an effective herbal formula for reducing inflammation in the skin and toxins in the blood.

It effectively helps pacify skin disorders like eczema, psoriasis, itchy skin, vitiligo and allergic skin conditions.

It provides natural anti-viral, natural psoralen for Puva (UV radiation) therapy, wound healing and immuno-modulation,

Eliminate Heat with the Vital Short Home Cleanse

The Vital Short Home Cleanse includes a "final flush" at the end that literally purges the heat and pitta out of the body.

This is great to do towards the beginning of summer/ spring, but more importantly can be done anytime when you can take time to rest as much as possible.

Conclusion

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.
  • Always, whatever you eat, enjoy.
“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

 

Takra Dhara Treatment: A Deep Insight

Shiro Dara Treatment offered in our Ayurvedic Clinic in Sydney

“Takra” = buttermilk
“Dhara” = to pour

Takra Dhara is an ancient treatment where medicated buttermilk is poured over the head in a rhythmic manner (pictured). This stabilises the mind and everything going on inside it, as the herbs penetrate deep into the brain.
During this treatment, usually, you’ll lie in deep, blissful rest, (that is if you haven’t transcended).

The Science: Neurological (Brain and Nervous System) Relation

In times of stress, conduction of neurone cells (nervous system) is chaotic, messages are not clear, there is an inability to think clearly, thus the nervous system is exhausted.
An exhausted nervous system leads to fatigue, sleep issues, anxiety, stress, frustration, anger, and/or other mental issues.

This chaos going on between the nerve cells also produces heat in the brain. This heat is trapped, specifically in the hypothalamus (Sadhaka Pitta), meninges and cerebrospinal fluid (Tarpaka Kapha), which further blocks and aggravates the Life Force/Oxygen (Prana), which is responsible for consciousness, memory, sense function, heart function, inhalation and exhalation and spitting, sneezing vomiting, swallowing, hiccups (Dharna’s).
Hormonal imbalance is also present from disturbed pineal and pituitary glands.

Takradhara regulates and stabilises the mind by improving transmission and movement of impulses by increasing Acetylcholine (ACH), which acts as a mediator between nerve impulses.

Takra Dhara gives stability to the Life Force (Prana Vata), taking the heat out very effectively,  it reduces the speed of neurotransmitters (producing a state of deep relaxation for the patient), enhancing neurological function to pave the way for:

Remarkable Benefits and Transformation:

  • Klama – Mitigates fatigue.
  • Shirorak – Effectively cures headache.
  • Regulates Hormonal function.
  • Ojahkshaya – Replenishes depleted “ojas” (our vitality, our immunity, a vital essence of our whole physiology).
  • Kasaiharana Paristodana – Relives the pain and prick sensations of extremities.
  • Murta dosha – Abnormalities of the urine.
  • Sandhi-Vishlatha – relaxed stiff joints.
  • Hridaya ruk – Cure precordial pain – (the region in front of or over the heart).
  • Aruchi – Improves the taste in the mouth
  • Agni mandya – Improves the digestive power
  • Shiro roga – Diseases of the head
  • Karna roga – Diseases of the ear.
  • Akshi roga – Diseases of the eyes.
  • Dosha Kopa – Alleviates the vitiation of doshas in general.

Takra Dhara is Indicated and Effective for:

  • Mental stress
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Headache/Migraines
  • Psychological illness
  • Mental exhaustion
  • Dermatological conditions like eruptions, eczema, etc.
  • Pediculosis (lice)
  • Premature greying of hair (Palitya)

Shiro Dhara (pouring of oil)

Shiro Dhara is same treatment as Takra dhara, except using warm oil instead of buttermilk.

Shirohdara is  prescribed in cases of:

  • If the season or climate is cold – since Takradhara is cooling, for most people it is not suitable in the cold seasons.
  • Neurological conditions like alzheimers, dementia, parkinsons
  • When vata is in the head.
  • If ones blood pressure is low.
  • Other cases that have been accessed by the physician.

Book in for a Takra Dhara or Shiro Dhara at the Clinic – to take a transformative step for yourSelf.

For prices see Therapeutic Menu

Abhyanga + Takradhara/Shirodhara is a great combination.