Premal Patel, MD

Premal Patel, MD

Wellness Director, Family Practice Physician

Pitta Kapha
Constitution: Pitta-Kapha

Premal Patel, MD, is a Family Practice physician who has also studied Ayurveda and Acupuncture. She serves on faculty for the Ayurvedic Institute and facilitates the Ayurvedic module for the University of Arizona Integrative Medicine Fellowship. She has also served as the Wellness Director at Banyan Botanicals. Premal appreciates the support of her husband, many close friends, and two golden retrievers. She splits her time between India and the US and offers private consultations.

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Articles by Premal Patel, MD
  • Bringing the Spirit of the Holidays into Your Meals
    • Seasonal Topics
    • December 22, 2020
    Bringing the Spirit of the Holidays into Your Meals

    With the holiday season in full swing, the spirit of the festivities can be felt in homes across the land. Traditions abound, passed from one generation to the next. These traditions have also been found in most ancient cultures, including the one in which Ayurveda was born and still thrives. Fundamental to most cultures and traditions is celebrating the richness of life, the pursuit of spirituality, and the irreplaceable nature of connections made in person with those you love.

  • The Crucial Need to Balance the Vayus—Subdoshas of Vata
    • General Ayurvedic Principles
    • October 03, 2019
    The Crucial Need to Balance the Vayus—Subdoshas of Vata

    Fall is the season for transition and change. In keeping with this phenomenon in nature, the Ayurvedic dosha that is predominant at this time of the year is vata. As one becomes more familiar with Ayurveda, as a practitioner or otherwise, it is easy to give only a passing thought to the doshas, forgetting how integral and central an understanding of the doshas, their key qualities, and the subdoshas can be in an Ayurvedic perspective of health.

  • Back to School: The 3 Types of Learners
    • Seasonal Topics
    • August 07, 2019
    Back to School: The 3 Types of Learners

    Students everywhere can see the end of their summer breaks when fall approaches. However the student in your life feels about school, Ayurveda can make learning a more enjoyable process.

  • The Spring Diet
    • Diet
    • May 10, 2016
    The Spring Diet

    Spring is the season for a lighter, cleansing diet in Ayurvedic practice. This is because the foods that nature provides during these months, just before summer, are all of the lighter variety.

  • What You Need to Know About Digestion & Your Dosha
    • Ayurveda 101
    • April 27, 2016
    What You Need to Know About Digestion & Your Dosha

    You probably know that your digestive system has a critical part to play in how healthy you are. We all have different appetites, and while some seem like they can eat everything under the sun, others suffer with heartburn, indigestion and other issues. In Ayurveda, the nature of how you digest food is defined in terms of three doshas.

  • Balancing Herbs for Healthy Sugar Metabolism
    • Circulatory System
    • April 20, 2016
    Balancing Herbs for Healthy Sugar Metabolism

    Healthy sugar metabolism requires optimal functioning of numerous organs and tissues. Bringing Ayurveda into the picture, kapha must primarily be balanced, supplying relief to any imbalanced vata and pitta, allowing for proper digestion, usage, and production of glucose in the body.

  • Healthy Sugar Metabolism
    • Circulatory System
    • March 30, 2016
    Healthy Sugar Metabolism

    The body uses sugar, in the form of glucose, as a key source of energy, and particularly for certain tissues such as the brain. While there can be multiple nutritional sources for the body’s glucose, what we want to focus on in this article is the body’s optimal ability to process and use the glucose. 

  • Rejuvenative Formula Focus: Triphala
    • Herbal References
    • March 04, 2016
    Rejuvenative Formula Focus: Triphala

    Triphala, one of the most widely used Ayurvedic formulations, is quite well known for its use in keeping bowel movements regular and healthy. In this article, we will look at the benefits of Triphala related to one of its other major functions: rejuvenation.

  • What is Love, Anyway?
    • Ayurvedic Lifestyle
    • February 15, 2016
    What is Love, Anyway?

    As the month of February is filled with images, commercials, and messages meant to evoke the sentiment of love and companionship, let’s take a deeper look at the meaning of love.

  • Feeling Stressed? Simplify Your Diet
    • Diet
    • January 15, 2016
    Feeling Stressed? Simplify Your Diet

    Ayurvedic healers believe that our levels of stress are directly connected to our diet. They hold out the promise that if we improve our diet, we can reduce our stress. At the heart of this conviction is the critical principle of Ayurvedic medicine that many diseases can originate in the digestive system. This means that your diet is of the utmost importance to keeping you healthy. Indeed, you may even find yourself in a double bind.

  • 7 Ways to Renew in the New Year
    • Seasonal Topics
    • January 14, 2016
    7 Ways to Renew in the New Year

    Fresh beginnings…optimistic perspectives…renewed focus. The new year always brings a renewal to our spirit, allowing the past to slip away and re-centering us in our potential. Positive affirmations abound as we momentarily re-evaluate our lives, our purpose, and our fulfillment. In the spirit of renewal, the Ayurvedic perspective also brings hope and inspiration. 

  • How to Balance Your Mind for the Holidays
    • Seasonal Topics
    • December 16, 2015
    How to Balance Your Mind for the Holidays

    A simple and unassuming manner of life—doesn’t exactly describe what tends to happen during the holidays, does it? With the holidays coming into sight, we wanted to take a pause to ponder the true spirit of the season. What do most people look forward to during the holidays? Spending time with friends and family, reflecting on the recent past, looking towards future goals, and perhaps evaluating our own spiritual endeavors.

  • Everything You Wanted to Know About Ayurvedic Cleansing
    • Ayurveda 101
    • September 23, 2015
    Everything You Wanted to Know About Ayurvedic Cleansing

    The idea of cleansing means many things to many people. A cleanse can be subtle or intense, simple or involved. A cleanse can be done on your own, or as part of a program overseen by a healthcare professional. Cleanses are especially recommended in Ayurveda as a means of staying balanced and vibrant during seasonal shifts.

  • How Does Summer Manifest in Your Body?
    • Recipes & DIY
    • July 01, 2015
    How Does Summer Manifest in Your Body?

    Ahhh, the summer season. When you think of summer, you probably think of all the things happening in nature—the days getting longer, the hot sun baking the earth, the warm ocean waters calling you for a swim, the green grasses and balmy breezes. What about how summer is manifesting within you?

  • Beat Fatigue the Ayurvedic Way
    • Ayurvedic Lifestyle
    • June 23, 2015
    Beat Fatigue the Ayurvedic Way

    Fatigue can often generally be attributed to lifestyle or dietary problems. The way you live your life and how you eat largely determines the energy levels within your body. Especially important is how you eat, the strength of your digestion, and what sort of foods you are able to digest.

  • The Best Ayurvedic Tips for Natural Beauty and Skin Care
    • Ayurvedic Lifestyle
    • June 22, 2015
    The Best Ayurvedic Tips for Natural Beauty and Skin Care

    “Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”— Khalil Gibran When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Look again. Is there a glow to the image you see? That glow comes from much more than just applying lotions and potions to the surface of your skin.

  • Ayurvedic Oils Help You Feel More Content
    • Ayurvedic Lifestyle
    • May 27, 2015
    Ayurvedic Oils Help You Feel More Content

    Thankfully, Ayurveda equips us with many helpful tools to help access feelings of contentment—including the practice of abhyanga, or self-massage with oil.

  • Watch Out For Pitta – Summer Is Around The Corner!
    • Seasonal Topics
    • May 26, 2015
    Watch Out For Pitta – Summer Is Around The Corner!

    Summer is a difficult time of year for all the pitta people out there, so here are some tips and insights to help you enjoy the season. As any Ayurvedic practitioner will tell you, the lead up to the summer months can be a particularly tricky one if you are pitta dominant. If you have plenty of pitta in your constitution, you will also have to cope with all the high summer temperatures. This can present a number of challenges, not all physical.

  • Is Your Body Off Balance?
    • Ayurvedic Lifestyle
    • May 22, 2015
    Is Your Body Off Balance?

    Use This Self Check Guide to Help You

    Keeping your doshas in balance is a very important part of Ayurveda. Your body has its own state of harmony and equilibrium, and it is different for every individual. What I find hard sometimes is to identify when this harmony has been disrupted and my doshas are off balance. Fortunately, Ayurvedic practitioners use a measure termed “Vikriti” which can help compare your current state with your optimum state of balance. It involves analyzing certain characteristics of your body’s functioning.

  • Ayurvedic Rejuvenation for Health & Happiness
    • Ayurvedic Lifestyle
    • May 19, 2015
    Ayurvedic Rejuvenation for Health & Happiness

    Who doesn’t like the idea of a fresh start? It’s an opportunity to clear out the accumulated junk from the past, move out any stagnation, and rebuild a healthy foundation. This is exactly the idea behind Ayurvedic rejuvenation.

  • Herbal Formulas for Joint Health
    • Herbal References
    • October 22, 2014
    Herbal Formulas for Joint Health

    Healthy joints are critical to our daily functioning and activity, both for smooth mobility and for integrity of structure. Ayurveda offers numerous herbal supplements to support healthy joints. The most traditional of these supplements are made with a base of guggulu, which has been used widely through the ages to promote joint strength and stability.

  • Strong Joints for Mobility and Freedom
    • Muscular Skeletal System
    • October 21, 2014
    Strong Joints for Mobility and Freedom

    Crackling. Crunching. Popping. Crisp. Hues of red. You may think that I am describing the fall/winter vata weather as the leaves change and fall to the ground. But if instead I am describing the condition of your joints (or those of many of your clients), then you will want to continue reading our discussion on joint health in this issue. 

  • Basti: The Primary Treatment for Vata
    • Treatments
    • September 25, 2014
    Basti: The Primary Treatment for Vata

    As nature transitions seasons and exhibits change, Ayurveda recommends cleansing and rejuvenation to help the body adapt. Of particular focus at this time of the year is balancing vata.

    • September 27, 2011
    Healthy Joints for the Fall

    As autumn rolls in, the leaves change colors and nature starts creating stores for the winter. Likewise, you’ll benefit from preparing your body for the shifts in season. While cool fall breezes provide a sigh of relief from the summer’s scorching heat, they also tend to imbalance vata, especially if they are dry winds. When vata is high, the body’s joints can easily become affected. So this month is a great month for attending to joint health.

Education and Experience

Premal has been married for over 15 years and appreciates the support of a husband and many close friends who love Ayurveda and always push Premal towards her higher self. She also enjoys the loving warmth of her two golden retrievers, who also receive the benefits of Ayurveda. She splits her time between India and the US and offers private consultations.

Degrees and Professional Experience

  • Board-certified in Family Practice
  • Studied medicine at the University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Residency training, Chief Resident—Waco Family Practice Program
  • Acupuncture studies—Academy of Pain Research
  • Residency training—the Ayurvedic Institute
  • Faculty member—the Ayurvedic Institute
  • Board member—NAMA (National Ayurvedic Medical Association)
  • Facilitator—University of Arizona Integrative Medicine Fellowship
  • Wellness Director—Banyan Botanicals

Publications

In addition to writing for Banyan Botanicals, Premal has written for mindbodygreen and authored a chapter on Ayurveda and women’s health in Integrative Women’s Health.

Premal's Point of View

How has Ayurveda changed your life?

Ayurveda is the lens through which I see the world—vata, pitta, kapha, sattva, rajas, and tamas. I have been blessed to have some amazing teachers, and am much more understanding of a world in which all the principles of Ayurveda dance. A “pitta’d or vata’d out” partner is much easier to handle when one has the principles of Ayurveda to lean on—a nice bowl of ice cream or a warm oil massage always does the trick!
 

When are you most likely to go out of balance and how do you bring yourself back in balance using Ayurveda?

My two dominant doshas are pitta and kapha, and those are the two most likely to go out of balance. For kapha season, when the weather is cold and wet, and my diet is heavy (like a cheesy pizza!), congestion and phlegmy wheezing show up with a vengeance—then I use pranayama, hot tea, pippali, and licorice tea to calm things down.

And if I have been out roaming around on an intensely sunny day (during the good ‘ole Texas summer), and then I add spicy food to the mix, pitta is bound to get imbalanced—and I’ll end up a little irritable and sharp, often with a good case of diarrhea; but it’s nothing a little aloe vera, Sheetali Pranayama (Cooling Breath) or a refreshing glass of coconut water can’t fix.

My first and favorite Banyan product is Mahanarayan Oil. It feels great almost anytime—stiff neck, after a workout, during meditation retreats, and even for a full body massage.

I also love Kitchari Spice Mix, as well as just plain kitchari—with cumin, salt, turmeric, and ghee—made runny and served hot!
 

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