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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
  • Basti: The Primary Treatment for Vata
    • 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.

  • Strong Joints for Mobility and Freedom
    • 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. 

  • Herbal Formulas for Joint Health
    • 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.

  • Ayurvedic Oils Help You Feel More Content
    • Emotional Wellness
    • 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.

  • 7 Ways to Renew in the New Year
    • Holidays
    • 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. 

  • Feeling Stressed? Simplify Your Diet
    • Food and Cooking
    • 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.

  • Rejuvenative Formula Focus: Triphala
    • 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.

  • Healthy Sugar Metabolism
    • 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. 

  • Balancing Herbs for Healthy Sugar Metabolism
    • 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.

  • The Spring Diet
    • Spring Health & Recipes
    • 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.

  • The Crucial Need to Balance the Vayus—Subdoshas of Vata
    • 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.

  • Bringing the Spirit of the Holidays into Your Meals
    • Holidays
    • 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.

  • 7 Ways to Support Mental Wellness Through the Holiday Season
    • Holidays
    • December 08, 2021
    7 Ways to Support Mental Wellness Through the Holiday Season

    The hustle and bustle of the holidays can leave us feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Here's how to nurture your mental well-being through this season and beyond.

  • Back to School: The 3 Types of Learners
    • Routines and Rhythms
    • August 19, 2022
    Back to School: The 3 Types of Learners

    However the student in your life feels about school, Ayurveda can illuminate unique learning styles and make learning a more enjoyable process for everyone.

  • Ayurvedic Rejuvenation for Health & Happiness
    • Routines and Rhythms
    • October 10, 2022
    Ayurvedic Rejuvenation for Health & Happiness

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

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!