Strategies to Pacify Pitta in Summer Heat

Posted by on Jul 12, 2014

There are many ways to pacify the Pitta which becomes elevated with the oppressive heat of summer. Some are good for you, like cooling teas and juicy cooling fruits, others are unhealthy, like air conditioning, especially turned down low, which attacks the surface of the body with the equivalent of arctic wind, just when the pores are open and vulnerable from sweating, or iced beverages, which over-chill the gut, damaging our digestive fire/Agni, that is the basis of the immune system. How you feel about weather and climate can, along with other data, be a guide to your constitutional...

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Ayurvedic Oil Bath

Posted by on Dec 12, 2013

Benefits of Ayurvedic Oil Bath:  Foundation of Healthy Living Regular Ayurvedic Oil Bath,  or self massage with medicated herbal oils, or simply natural vegetable oils such as Sesame, Coconut, and Mustard oils, appropriate to your dosha  is an Ayurvedic Oil Bath, simply called Oil Bath in Indian Culture and in Ayurveda its also called Abhyanga. Regular oil bath is one of the practices at the center of a health promoting lifestyle in Ayurveda. Like diet and meditation it is used  to balance the doshas It also relieve stress, stimulate digestion and elimination, aids sleep, stimulates agni, and benefits the...

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Anu Thailam Ayurvedic Nasal Oil

Posted by on Oct 25, 2013

Anu Thailm is the name of a wonderfully Ayuvedic Nasal Oil that is a very effective remedy for allergies, sinusitis, and head colds.   Thailam is the South Indian word for  oils  in which herbal medicines have been actually cooked. They are ancient recipes from classical texts, modified by family traditions, and are used exclusively for application to the skin and mucosa. They begin with sesame and/or coconut oil, to which ingredients from Triphala to Sandalwood to Ashwagandha  to Goat’s Milk and even Monsoon Rain are added and cooked on the lowest of flames for hours and hours. Oil massage...

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The Nature of Vata Dosha and How to Pacify It

Posted by on Aug 21, 2013

The way to prepare dishes that pacify Vata Dosha is to first understand what Vatta embodies. Vata dosha is the manifestation of Air and Space in our human bodies. Air and Space in its pure state is cold and dry. Air only becomes warm due to the effects of fire from the sun or other stars, and on earth from the fire of the sun or volcanic activity, whether above or below ground (hot springs). Air is naturally dry, and only becomes moist when it carries molecules of water in it, in fact, key point, notice that the air...

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Cupping for Pain and in Sports Medicine

Posted by on Jul 15, 2013

Thanks to Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps’ massive performances in the Rio Olympics while covered in purple cupping marks, the art of Cupping for Pain and in Sports Medicine has received a lot of buzz  (see NY Times Wellness Blog Article on Cupping). I use cupping for pain and in Sports Medicine every week, and find it an excellent adjunct treatment for myo-fascial pain disorders, including trigger point pain, tight painful muscles in the neck, upper, mid and lower backs, and in the kind of tight congested muscle that athletes like runners and bicyclists get in their hamstrings, quadraceps, and...

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Daikon Radish: Detoxify and Promote Digestion

Posted by on Feb 23, 2013

Daikon Radish is a great soup or salad vegetable. It is spicy, and acts as a digestive by stimulating digestive fire, just as the small radishes that Mexicanos eat with corn and meat do, but it is more aromatic, especially when boiled, than the small radishes and not as hot. Daikon is used in Chinese Medicine Nutritional therapy to balance heavier foods that are high in harder to digest animal protein and fat, like beef or pork. Beef and pork, which are are also neutral and cool in natural temperature, easily produce toxic dampness when eaten in excess, because...

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Ayurveda and Fruits: Match Food to Your Dosha and the Season

Posted by on Feb 14, 2013

What foods match your dosha? Fruits are naturally sweet sour and refreshing. Some fruits, like apples, also have an astringent or drying property, depending on variety, macs more than fiji, for example. Your mouth feels a bit dry after a bite of apple, or quite dry after a bite of unripe banana–this is the astringent flavor. Pomegranates are another great example of this, as are  persimmon, especially if not perfectly ripe. Some fruit are more sweet than sour, like ripe figs, dates,  bananas, some fruits are especially cooling, like watermelon, ripe bananas or oranges. Some fruits can be less...

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Grass Fed Milk, Cultured Butter, Butter in Ayurveda

Posted by on Jan 1, 2013

If you eat butter, let it be from cows that exercised in the fresh air and sun and ate grass in summer pastures, not soybeans and grains in barns.  I really like the Organic Valley brand Pasture Butter (and also Grass Fed Milk. )  http://www.organicvalley.coop/products/butter/pasture/  As the cows graze on grass over the long summer days, they produce a milk that  provides higher levels of vitamins, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), and balanced omega-3 and omega-6 fats. And because they are out in the fields, their milk has the flavor of the terrain, like single origin chocolate or wine, what’s...

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Instant Relaxation Stress Busters

Posted by on Dec 6, 2012

Stress busters you can reach for any time. Dial down stress before an important meeting,calm yourself while driving, keep cool when faced with situations or people you find irritating or scary. These proven breathing, body-scanning exercises work. One Minute Relaxer Place your hand on your belly beneath your navel so you can feel it rise and fall as you breathe. Take a long slow deep in-breath through you nose. Notice the sound of the air in your throat. Hold you breath for a count of three. Exhale forcefully through your mouth with pursed lips. Repeat 5 times. Two Minute...

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Juiced Watermelon with Lime, Ginger, and Salt

Posted by on Aug 29, 2012

Alternative to Iced Drinks in Hot Weather Protect the Agni/ Yang in Summer: Juiced Watermelon with Lime, Ginger, and Salt The other day was quite hot (for SD!), and I swam at the beach after walking down from the top of Torrey Pines, and got home overheated and thirsty. I could still feel the sun hot on my head, even though I had worn a hat. I needed a lot of fluid and to cool down healthfully. An excellent alternative to iced beverages in hot conditions like that is juiced melon, especially watermelon. I juiced mine with fresh ginger...

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Summer Raw Beet, Sardine, and Pasta Salad

Posted by on Jul 8, 2012

Summer is a time when even cold dry (Vata) types or cold damp (Kapha) types can have little more raw foods. One of the ways to make raw foods more compatible for cold types with weaker digestive energy (Agni/Spleen Qi) is to have it in small amounts with other foods that stimulate digestion.   Necessity is the mother of invention. Today I was hungry, lazy, and the cupboard was bare. I had some leftover pasta, a tin of sardines, a can of chickpeas, a bunch of scallions and one lone beetroot in my frig. So I made a pasta...

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Hormonal Acne Natural Treatment with Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine/Acupuncture

Posted by on Jun 18, 2012

Hormonal Acne Natural Treatment with Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine/Acupuncture In a certain sense most acne is hormonal, as it is often associated with increased levels of the hormone testosterone, in both men and women. Testosterone is made in the adrenals and the ovaries, as well as the testes. And it is the adrenal glands that are involved in the fight or flight stress response. That is why we often see the appearance of acne during periods of high stress. There are other factors besides testosterone and inadequate stress management skills. A Diet rich in sugar, processed foods and unhealthy fats...

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Ayurveda Summer Tea Ayush ProPita Tea

Posted by on Jun 8, 2012

My favorite herbal tea for hot weather is Ayurveda Summer Tea Ayush ProPita Tea. Ayush ProPita tea is a naturally cooling tea that is mildly relaxing. ProPita tea combines cooling herbs and spices like Tulsi,  Sandalwood, and Cardamon,  with sweet soothing spices like Licorice and Cinnamon. This combination of cooling and sweet tastes pacifies Pitta dosha, which is the dominant dosha of late Spring and early Summer. What’s great about ProPita tea is that the mild pungent qualities of Cardamon, Tulsi, and Cinnamon promote act to stimulate our Agni Digestive Fire,  which tends to weaken in the Summer both from...

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Peppermint and Gotu Kola Ayurvedic Cooling Summer Tea

Posted by on Jun 2, 2012

Cooling Teas of Summer: Peppermint and Centella Asiatica (Brahmi, Gotu Kola, Pennywort) There are lots of ways to hydrate and cool off in summer, without damaging the Agni/digestive fire/Spleen Qi which is actually weaker in the hot weather than in the cold weather. In cold weather the Agni fires up in the core to keep us warm, but in the hot weather it is dispersed to the surface as we sweat. That is why we can eat heavier food in the winter than in the summer. So it is important to be careful about too much cooling food in...

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Curried Quinoa Super Food: Pacify Kapha in Late Winter/Early Spring

Posted by on Apr 11, 2012

Curried Quinoa Super Food: Pacify Kapha in Late Winter/Early Spring The ancient grain of the Incas, Quinoa has a delicate, nutty, slightly bitter flavor and the lightest texture of all grains.  This combination of bitter taste and light texture make it an ideal grain for Kapha types and Kapha imbalances such as excess weight, sluggishness, and issues of phlegm.  And while Quinoa is excellent for elevated Kapha  any time of year, it’s especially true  in Late Winter/Early Spring when Kapha predominates.  Quinoa  is also a very good choice for Pitta imbalances that benefit from the bitter taste and light...

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