Feature Food: Banana (“Kadali”)

There are two species of Banana's - Musa acuminata (the common fruit) and Musa balbisiana (plantain or green banana that's used as a vegetable). Additionally there are hybrids and offsprings, but they all stem from these 2 original wild species.
I will share the Ayurvedic view of the common Banana fruit (Musa acuminata), known as "Kadali" in Sanskrit.

The Benefits:

  • "Banana cures obesity, kapha, diseases of the vagina, causes constipation, improves colour and destroys poisoning." (Lodhradi Gana).(1)
  • Banana is a good remedy for depression and a great replacement to snacking on chocolate as a comfort food. When depression is caused by quality of dryness, bananas actually grant courage and fortitude. (This does not mean to indulge in Banana when feeling down, eat everything in moderation).
  • It mitigates Pitta due to sweet taste, however if eaten in excess can increase pitta.
  • It increases stomach acid - beneficial for those with too little acid.
  • High in Potassium - Potassium levels are important for those whose sodium/salt intake is high and for nerves and muscles.
  • High in Vitamin B6 - Combining B12, Folic acid, and B6 is important because they are synergistically active to provide protection to the heart, brain, and nervous system and more.
  • Skin Care - It is good to incorporate in to your homemade topical skin paste. Especially for Pitta skin types.
  • Low Pesticide Levels - Banana's are not very "dirty" in the sense that conventional tree's don't require much pesticides.

Cautions:

Banana + Dairy = Incompatible Food Combination (Viruddha Ahara)

Banana mixed with dairy is highly incompatible.

The post-digestive action (vipaka) of Banana is sour, while the vipaka of milk is sweet. The different vipakas create an incompatible food composition that typically deposits as "Ama" (undigested food material = toxins) in the body and will manifest as disease later. It changes the intestinal flora and diminishes Agni (digestive fire).

Banana mixed with dairy is a common cause of skin diseases.

This (incompatible) food combination is so common in the west, and is in my top 3 "biggest flaws of the western diet." Stay away from Banana Smoothies with milk (see my healthier Banana Smoothie Recipe), Banana in your Porridge, Banana Milkshake and Banana Cake.

Generally, banana (like most fruits) should be eaten alone, but there are some exceptions (see below).

Time to Eat Banana

  • Banana is one of the only fruits with "rules" - One should not eat it on full stomach nor empty stomach.
  • Banana is not healthy to eat first thing in the morning.
  • Like other fruit, having Banana as an afternoon snack is an appropriate time to eat banana.
  • People with high blood sugar should not eat banana very much.

Ayurvedic Properties

  • Rasa (Taste) - Sweet and Astringent
  • Virya (Energy) - Cooling
  • Vipaka (Post-Digestive Effect) - Sour

Banana Smoothie

A more compatible and healthier option.

Recipe here.

References:
(1) Astanga Samgraha of Vaghbata, Ch. 16, (18-19).

photo: by Dylan Smith taken in Tiruvannamalai. 

Other Feature Foods:

Golden Milk Elixir

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

Dreaming of a Good Night’s Sleep?

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

Supersede the Stress

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

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

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

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

Ojas Building

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ayurveda’s Super Sleep Recipe:

  • Boil 3/4 cup of unhamogensied cows milk + 3/4 cup of water + 2 strands of saffron + 1 chopped date + 3 crushed and peeled almonds. Boil till it reduces to approximately 1 cup or till it fully foams up.
  • After the milk has boiled. Add:
  • 1/4tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/4tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1/2tsp ghee.
  • 1/4 tsp Ashwagandha powder (optional for more ojas building and calming effect)
  • 1/4 tsp Shatavari powder (optional for more ojas building and calming effect)
  • pinch of Ojo or Samadhi (Raju family herbal preparation)
    (Can modify herbs and spices according to season and body constitution).

Sitr well, then drink and enjoy.

When to Drink It:

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

"But I Don’t Do Dairy"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

References

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

 

(6) Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007

(7) FASEB J. 2001

Milk Rice Recipe – For Woman’s Health

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

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

Ingredients:

serves one person

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

Method:

  1. Wash and soak rice (1 hour is enough).
  2. Boil rice in water. When thick foam gathers on to the top, strain and dispose the foam/water. (This removes the impurities from the rice).
  3. Close to when the rice is cooked, add milk with equal amount of water till the level of the liquid is approx.  2cm above the rice.
  4. Bring to the boil - take off - Serve.

"But I Don't Do Dairy"

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

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

Guidelines for Banana Treatment Diet:

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

Click here to read more about Banana Treatment

Ayurvedic Immunisation Over Vaccination For Babies

With the recent heat caused by Robert De Niro's controversial anti-vaccine documentary Vaxxed: From Cover-Up To Catastrophe being pulled out of the Tribeca Film Festival, interest and suspicion has stirred up in the pharmaceutical vaccine industry.

So in due course, I will share with you an Ayurvedic way of immunisation.

Vaccinations are a very sensitive topic. I will not blab on about the pharmaceutical industry, only briefly talk about some of the science associated with vaccinations.

What Is Actually In A Vaccination?

Take away the propaganda, take away the new age jargon - just look at the science. Lets look at some of the ingredients of most vaccines:

  • Formaldehyde (well known-carcinogenic)
  • Aluminium (extremely toxic, known neuro-toxin)
  • Thimerosal is a Mercury containing preservative
  • Anti-Biotics
  • Egg Protein – many vaccines are prepared using chicken eggs.
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • other heavy metals, unknown elements, germs that were not intended to be there.

These are put into a baby who has a weak and vulnerable immune system. This is further dangerous because injections bypass portals of immune defence to penetrate deeper into the body.

If you were to take a bottle and fill it with these ingredients and give it to a baby to drink, you could be charged with murder.

Vaccines Are Not 100% Safe

Contrary to what the government would like us to believe, vaccines are not 100% safe.

For example, from 1989 to 2011, the pharmaceutical industry paid out $2.3 billion a year for vaccine injuries.(1) In 2011, the Supreme Court of USA passed a law protecting pharmaceutical companies from all liability related to vaccine injuries, even if the vaccine could have somehow been made safer.(1)

In one study, published in the Journal of American Medicine (JAMA) in 2004, the influenza vaccine was linked to a life-threatening condition called Guillain-Barré syndrome.

The Hepatitis B vaccine – which is given to newborns within 12 hours of birth – has been linked to liver cell destruction and accelerated cell death.

While government bodies and medical associations insists this is necessary, Hepatitis B is only spread by blood or intimate contact with body fluids from someone infected, and mothers are always screened during pregnancy.

"We have just witnessed yet another example of the power of corporate interests censoring free speech, art, and truth." 
Vaxxed filmmakers on behalf of Robert De Niro.

Taking these isolated studies and claiming that vaccinations are completely unsafe is also way out of context when considering the benefits and immunity they provide to millions of people worldwide.

I’m not against the principle of vaccinations, just make sure they give clean vaccinations! I’m against uninformed decisions.

My Suggestions If You Are Going to Vaccinate

Reduce or Spread Out Doses For New Borns 

The high amount of vaccinations starting as early as six months old up to six years old may be way too overwhelming for the immune system.

Remove Potential Toxins from Vaccines

Perhaps the most dangerous outcome of the Supreme Courts ruling to hold harmless the pharmaceutical industry from vaccine-related injury is the subsequent lack of motivation to improve the vaccines and use more natural ingredients.

Ask your pediatrician to order vaccines without mercury or other toxic substances commonly found in vaccines. More of these are coming onto the market. Europe took mercury out of the vaccines, the UN is advocating to have it out, Australia has removed it for under 5 year-olds, USA still has it.

Additionally or as a Replacement, Administer Ayurvedic Immunisation

The Ayurvedic immunisation I am about to reveal to you is important to boost your baby's immunity if they are being vaccinated. This will (to some extent) protect your baby from the dangers of vaccines.

However, this Ayurvedic immunisation method plus proper diet and lifestyle regimen will boost the child's immunity so adequately that there is very little to no need for vaccinations at all.

 

Ayurvedic Immunisation: Swarna Prasa (Golden Substance)

Tonic For Infants: Swarna Prasa

Mix 1 part ghee + 2 parts honey + 1 pin needle tip amount of gold bhasma (ash). This should be a very small amount.

*Honey should be unheated and at least 2 months old to increase the honey’s activity levels. Gold bhasma must be obtained from a reputable source.

 

Administering Ritual

The father is to give this to the newborn with a finger from his right hand. Put on the newborn's tip of tongue, before or after their first bath, as soon as possible (but no hurry) after the baby has come out of the womb. Then continue the rest of the essential practices for the infant such as:

  • Bathing (if you didn't already bathe the infant before administering the tonic).
  • Breastfeed within the first hour (max. four hours) after exiting the womb.
  • Oil massage - All over the baby's body. Ideally using medicated ayurvedic oils like our Sishu Kumkumadi Baby Massage oil. Cold-pressed coconut oil is also fine.
  • Whisper Baby Mantra - A primordial sound you whisper to the baby to immediately resonate and calm their physiology. This communicates to the baby "don't worry, you've arrived into a Vedic family, you will be enlightened, we will give you knowledge for enlightenment. You will once again unify with totality. Relax, you can be a baby now."  - contact your local Vedic Meditation teacher to receive and be taught about the Baby Mantra.
  • Wrap Baby in silk or muslin cloth completely, especially ears. Only expose eyes and nose.

Full post-natal regimen coming soon.

How Often To Administer Swarna Prasa

At least once soon after the baby exits the womb.

After that, this can be given to the baby once a month on the Pushya Nakshatra (corresponding to certain times during the constellation of Cancer). If you administer this tonic once a month for up to 12 years old this provides a powerful immunisation for life, however 7 or 12 months is also very beneficial.

Even if you missed out on the first dose right after birth, even a toddler can start taking the tonic.

Contact Us to order specially prepared Swarna Prasa Golden Tonic for your baby, using the finest and precious ingredients and preparation methods.

 

What is your opinion on immunisations?

Please comment below.

 

References

  1. Alternative Therapies Journal. Editorial. Vaccines: Both Sides of the Coin. July/Aug 2015. Vol 21, No.4. Alternative-Therapies.com

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

Ragi (Finger Millet) Porridge Recipe

What is Ragi?

Ragi, also known as 'finger millet' is a popular cereal grown throughout Africa and Asia. It was introduced to India 4000 years ago and is grown in the Himalayas. It is generally purchased as a very fine pinky/brown flour which can be prepared as breads, dosas, porridges, puddings and cakes. It is an awesome and delicious flour in its own right.

Properties of Ragi (Ayurvedic perspective)

Rasa (Taste): Sweet
Virya (Action): Heating
Vipaka (Post-digestive effect): Sweet
Gunas (Qualities): Dry, Light
Doshas: Balances Kapha, increases Vata and Pitta in excess.

Medicinal Qualities

  • Easy to digest
  • Nourishing
  • Treats high cholesterol, dull agni (digestive fire), diabetes, excess weight, and other excess kapha (mucus/fluid), (All millets have these actions.).

Where do I get it?

Raggi is not common in Australia (yet). You will find it in an Indian Grocery.

Ragi Porridge Recipe

PS. there is no chocolate, I swear, but it is tastier than chocolate, a little like a subtle cacao. The ragi roasted in ghee is what makes it look like melted chocolate.

Gluten Free
Serves 1

Ingredients:

  1. 2-3 tbsp ghee – ragi is quite drying, so will need to use plenty of ghee, vata constituents especially.
  2. 1⁄4 cup raggi flour
  3. 1⁄4 cup un-homogenised organic milk
  4. 1⁄2 cup boiling water
  5. 2 tsp raw/rapadura sugar or jaggery – kapha constitution can have less.
  6. a generous pinch of ground cardamom & ground cinnamon
  7. pinch of slippery elm bark powder (optional to lubricate bowels)
  8. crushed cashews or macadamia nuts or almonds (optional for more protein and to fill one up more)

 

Method:

  1. Melt the ghee in a medium sized pot over low-moderate heat. 

2. Once the ghee is melted and warm, add the raggi flour. 

3. Toast the ragi flour in the ghee for 2-3 mins until the grain turns a deep chocolate colour.

4. Remove the pot from the flame and add all of the milk then all of the boiling water, being careful of any steam or splatter that is created.5. Return the pot to the flame and gently bring to a simmer stirring continuously and vigorously with a whisk to avoid lumps.

6. Add crushed nuts (optional, for more protein).

7. The raggi will thicken suddenly. If it gets too thick, add some more boiling water until the porridge is a thick soupy consistency.

8. Keep simmering for several minutes then add the sugar/jaggery and spices and stir through.


9. Remove from the flame and let it rest for a few minutes. Serve warm.

How I got into Ragi

My friend Nikki was shopping at the Indian grocery and asked me if I wanted anything. I asked her to get me Buckwheat flour so I could make my delicious Buckwheat Pancakesbut since all the flours were labelled in Hindi, she accidentally bought me Ragi. I didn't even know it wasn't buckwheat until I made the pancakes, as they were a lot drier causing me to use load more ghee.

So I researched it on the internet and mostly came across articles saying how good it was for babies. I then came across this lovely recipe from the Mudita Institute in Byron Shire. I have tweaked it a little. It has been my favourite porridge ever since. Thanks Nikki!

This grain is defiantly worth the trip to the Indian grocery! plus you'll find other treasures.

A Sweet start to the day is the nourishing way, and the Agni gently wakes up and in balance, says G'day!

 

The Lowdown On GHEE

What is Ghee?

Ghee is the crown jewel that joins Ayurvedic medicine and Indian cooking.

Ghee is clarified or purified butter. Butter is boiled in a specific way & the lactose components & milk solids are separated and strained to produce this concentrated golden substance, ghee. Hence, no-one is allergic to ghee. It’s a totally new product after the cooking process.

Today’s western health scene is becoming aware and finally recognising the benefits of this “superfood,” that has been used in India for centuries.

Let me explain the many benefits of using ghee in your everyday cooking…

The History of Ghee

For centuries it has been used as a cooking fat and a food ingredient, but true Ayurvedic tradition uses it in various medicinal preparations. It is still today used in ritual as an esteemed offering.

The Rk Veda (a 3,500 year-old ancient Sanskrit scripture) says:

This is the secret name of ghee:
“Tongue of the gods”

“Navel of immortality.”
“Streams of ghee caress the burning wood.”
“Agni, the fire, loves them and is satisfied.”

This indicates that ghee is superb at nourishing the metabolic fires (agni), promotes longevity and is a powerful medium to carry prayer, mantra and intention to feed the Gods (the higher aspects of ourselves) through feeding the fire.

Science comparing cooking oils:

If you have a small fire with embers burning and you pour some extra-virgin organic olive oil on that fire – the fire will go out.
If you pour some ghee on the fire – the fire will roar!

Same is with your digestive fire!
Ghee stimulates digestion, enzymes and helps breakdown food. (Food will not give any nourishment until it is broken down).

Most compatible fat for the human body: Ghee is so critical for the health of the gut and immunity that the colon literally makes its own ghee (butyric acid).
Research has attested to the fact that the beneficial microbes in the gut actually make their own butyric acid, the active ingredient in butter – and even more concentrated in ghee!

Detoxing: This high-quality fat is known to pull toxins out of the tissues, while simultaneously driving nutrients deep into the cells.
Many people know of the new health-craze-ritual “oil pulling,” where you swish oil in the mouth to pull out toxins, strengthen teeth and gums and many more benefits.
Ghee is doing this action of “Pulling toxins out”… of our gut!
The ghee has a lipophilic effect on other fatty acids and fatty toxins (meaning these toxic fats are attracted to other fats like ghee), acting like a chelating agent to pull stored fat soluble toxins out of the body and back into the intestines to be eliminated by the body.

Fat metabolism: Depending on what your body needs, you can put on or loose weight. You will loose weight because ghee increases your metabolism so that the food is turned to nutrients rather than toxins, waste and excess fat.

Anti-cancer: Ghee is the highest natural source of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) (3.7%): the only acid that is anti-cancer, (no other fat oil has linoleic acid apart from safflower oil which has 2.5%).

Anti-cholesterol: Burns the bad cholesterol in the arteries.

Counters dryness in body: Constipation, stiff bones/joints, osteoporosis, dry skin, etc. Ghee lubricates the organs and the hardened connective tissues, also making the body more flexible.

More medicinal qualities:
•    Ghee Nourishes Ojas (our immune system and the final end product of digestion) as well as Prana (our life force) and all of our tissues as it is warmly welcomed to penetrate and do its job in the body.

•    Ghee increases intelligence, refines the intellect and improves the memory.

•    Ghee increases the strength, luster and beauty of the body, slows the ageing process and improves our longevity.

•    Best lip balm for dry and cracked lips.

•    Ghee has the perfect ratio of omega-3:omega-9 fatty acids.

•    Ghee has Vitamins A, D, E and K.

•    Ghee is a very, very stable oil with a smoke point of 252 degrees celcius, making it the safest oil and fat to cook with. (Use as a replacement for cooking oil and butter).

Eating ghee doesn’t only taste amazing, it makes happy beneficial bacteria in your precious gut – the site of digestion and nutrient assimilation, the production of many mood-regulating neurotransmitters and the maintenance of strong immunity.

According to Ayurveda, digestion is everything, so feed your digestive tract the food of the gods – beautiful, luminescent, glorious, golden ghee.

Where To Get Your Ghee 

My Glorious Homemade Ghee

Obviously, obtaining and using quality ghee is key. I make ghee at specific times of the day, at auspicious times of the year and with the moon to align with the energetic fields and to increase consciousness flow (Soma) to emotionally charge and support the beneficial microbiology in this golden oil.

You can purchase directly from ME at the clinic or order/pick up from our friends Orchard Street at The Broad Place Studio in Paddington by appointment.

Love, Vitality and Nourishment from the Holy Cow!

Dylan Smith
a.k.a. “Gheeru”

homemade ghee final