Ayurveda - is an intricate system of healing and also known as one of the oldest life sciences in the world dating back 6,000 years ago. Ayurveda is a system that helps maintain optimum health by using the principles of nature to bring equanimity and balance to one’s true self.
The same sages in India that brought us Ayurveda brought us meditation and yoga as well.
Human body is composed of doshas, which govern the physio-chemical and physiological activities. (Think of all the physical and chemical processes that are constantly going on in the body; circulation, digestion, respiration etc.)
Through Ayurveda, one is able to choose specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines that will help heal and balance the body according to your Doshas.
Earth: heavy, matter, dense, cold, grounding of mind, skeletal structure the body
Water: heavy, cold, moist, fluid in the body, nourishment, emotion, love, compassion
Fire: heat, transformation, warmth, metabolism, power of perception
Air: motion, mobility, cold, light weight, dry, movement, thoughts
Ether: space, light, flow, mobile, connection
Vata (air & ether): dry, cold, light, thin and long figure, long arms (Tupac)
Imbalanced- not grounded, not responsible, emotional, panic, fear, constipation. Sinus and bronchial congestion, slow digestion, overweight, sluggish, asthma, diabetes, cold, cough, dullness offend, greed, depression. Insomnia, worries, gas, constipation, underweight, and cracking joints
Governs the principle of movement and is the force that directs nerve impulses,circulation, respiration and elimination.
Represents: fear, insecurity, anxiety, creativity, and flexibility
Organs: Colon, pelvic cavity, bones, brains, skin
Pitta (fire & water): hot, light, moist, medium and defined figure, leader, sharp (Kanye)
Imbalanced- rashes, intense, angry, jealousy, acidic, sores. Diarrhea, ulcers, acid indigestion, migraine headache, inflammation, skin rashes and red eyes
Governs the process of transformation, digestion and metabolism
Represents: ambition, irritability, jealousy, anger, aggressiveness, frustration, concentration, a thirst for knowledge, determination and strength
Organs: Liver, spleen, heart, brain, blood, eyes, skin, small intestine, secretion and sweat
Kapha (earth & water): heavy, cold, moist, bigger structure, rounder face, large eyes, thick hair (Biggie)
Imbalanced- lethargic, inertia, weight gain, not motivated. Sinus and bronchial congestion, slow digestion, overweight, sluggish, asthma, diabetes, cold, cough, dullness offend, greed, depression
Governs growth and protection. (Cerebral spinal fluid protects the brain and spinal column is an example of Kapha in the body)
Represents: attachment, greed, love, calmness, faith, lethargy
Organs: lymph nodes, breast tissues, chest, lungs, sinus, mouth, throat
We are all made up of unique proportions of Vata, Pitta and Kapha that will change throughout the course of our life.
Digestion-transforms food to energy (3 types of energy we digest)
Prana: life source, pure energy and nourishment
Agni (enzymes): assists the digestion and assimilation of food
Ama: a form of liquid sludge lodges in parts of the body, blocking channels, a product of improperly digested food and drink
Properly digested foods provide valuable nourishment, which keeps our immune system healthy and aids in disease prevention.
Ayurveda sees most illnesses as a result of impaired digestion, which include the process of absorption and elimination. When the digestive system is out of balance and foods are not properly digested, gas, bloating, irritation, difficulty walking int he morning, and constipation can occur. Nutrients that aren’t absorbed and undigested food sit and accumulate in the colon. This becomes a breeding ground for yeast infections and toxins.
If the fire (agni) is too low (constipation) or too high (heart burn), our life essence (healthy energy) would be diminished
Over eating is one of the most common causes of suppressed agni
Excessive agni can occur from eating overly spicy food, repressed anger and prolonged periods of not eating
A weak immune system is the cause of all illnesses and to maintain immunity, one needs adequate rest and pure foods that rebuild the ojas.
In Ayurveda, taste is used as one of the energetic classifications of food, as well as the heating and cooling action and post digestive effects
Vata: sweet, sour, salty
Pitta: sweet, bitter, astringent
Kapha: pungent, bitter, astringent
Sweet- earth/water (cold): grains, fruit, sugar, starch
Salty- water/fire (hot): seaweed, table salt, celery
Sour- earth/fire (hot): tomato, lemon, cheese
Pungent- fire/air (hot): onion, cayenne, ginger
Bitter- air/ether (cold): coffee, dark chocolate, saffron
Astringent- earth/air (cold): chickpeas, pomegranate, parsley
Ayurveda Dietary Guidelines
Begin each meal by giving thanks before each meal
The largest meal of the day should be eaten between 10 AM-2 PM when the digestive fire is at it highest and strongest
Do not eat after sunset
Eat until you are 3/4 full
Try not to eat large meals late at night
Try to fast once a week
Foods are best consumed when cooked lightly
Be mindful of what you are consuming and digesting; don’t eat mindlessly
Do not drink excessive amounts of fluid during a meal; it dilutes the digestive enzymes
Avoid drinking ice cold water, it dampens the agni (digestive fire), go for room temperature or hot water
Allow 3 hours between meals to digest
Eat fruit alone, or BEFORE other foods, otherwise it sits and ferments in the gut
Do not combine concentrated proteins like beans, nuts, fish or dairy
Eat only fresh food, stay away from processed, pre-made, frozen and canned goods.
Do not eat while angry
Eat at fixed times
Spiced oatmeal w/ cinnamon, cardamom, allspice and ginger
Crispy sweet potatoes fried in ghee
Crispy potato patties fried in ghee or sunflower oil
Garden pea and zucchini soup w/ fresh mint
Hot quinoa cereal w/ warm spiced soy milk (cinnamon, ginger, honey)
Steamed broccoli w/ collard greens and red pepper
Tridoshic Drink Recipe (morning time)
1 cup hot water
1/4 fresh lemon
1 tsp freshly grated ginger root
1 tsp raw unheated honey
"Eat, Taste, Heal” by Thomas Madera MD, Daniel Rhoda and Chef Johnny