As our population ages, declining mental faculties can take first place on the list of one’s health concerns. Alzheimer's disease and other forms of senile dementia affect some 25 percent of all people over 80. Research, though, is revealing Ayurvedic approaches in helping to support the natural strength of the mental faculties.
A healthy digestion is an elusive concept from an allopathic point-of-view. Occasional issues are usually seen as part of a larger issue. If no larger issue is found, then health care providers usually write these discomforts off and seek to just correct the symptom itself as an isolated concern.
As a wellness provider or holistic products provider, you are probably well aware of how important oral health is and how impactful the ancient Ayurvedic practice of oil pulling is. The mouth is, after all, the beginning of the gastrointestinal tract—the core of wellness and health according to Ayurveda.
Weight management is about managing the fatty tissue layer (meda dhatu). To that end, we focus on supporting healthy digestive fire (agni), supporting the liver and its processing of the elements in the food we eat, and moving excess kapha. Here is a closer look at this beautiful formulation.
There are tons of articles on how to help your clients with weight management. But how many of you struggle with compliance, above and beyond anything else? If your clients could implement even one or two of your recommendations, how big of an impact would that make?
A client comes to you wanting help because she continues to feel really sleepy during the daytime, despite some changes in her nightly routine. She is large, particularly around the abdomen, and has a history of high blood pressure. What is the best herb and pranayama combination for this client?
Since breathing is an involuntary process, we take this intricate process for granted. Have you considered everything that needs to go correctly in order to take a breath? Have you thought about how this may impact your or your clients’ and customers’ sleep?
A client comes to you wanting help with her bones. She is thin and frail, with joint pain, cracking joints, and she had a fracture of her wrist a couple years ago. She drinks organic milk daily and has cottage cheese as a snack in the afternoon. What therapy would benefit her bones most?
Until recently, we in allopathic medicine have largely viewed bone health as a product of primarily calcium and vitamin D absorption. But we are slowly appreciating bone health as a complex interplay between many nutrients including vitamin K, magnesium, and others, in addition to calcium.
Your client comes to you with a long history of lower back discomfort. She has seen multiple practitioners without any findings of a cause. She is a single mother of three children and works at a local grocery store. What are the key principles to supporting a healthy low back?
Low back discomfort is extremely common, causing significant challenges in up to 84% of people worldwide at some point in their life. Furthermore, this problem costs Americans over $100 billion annually. In this entry, we will take a closer look at the low back from an Ayurvedic perspective.
Being stressed has become a glorified status in our society—the more stressed we can claim to be, the more productive and accomplished we are. And so it is no surprise that we find more and more clients coming into our practices and stores seeking and begging for answers to their complaints of fatigue, sleep disturbances, body aches, amongst a number of other complaints that all point towards a depletion of their adrenal glands.
Your client complains of discomfort in his pelvis. He also tells you that he has some discomfort (mostly heat) with urination. He is in his prime, just got promoted at a large company and plans to excel even more, and has a new girlfriend (who, by the way, loves spicy food). He looks a bit flushed, his skin is oily, and his abdominal exam is normal. What herb would benefit him most effectively and quickly?
The vast majority of men hardly even realize that they have a prostate gland. Most men become aware of it in their later years (when they turn sixty or so), as they may begin to experience some congestion in and enlargement of the gland. And then there are those who get an unwelcomed surprise of long periods of heat and discomfort in the gland during their pitta years, around their forties.
According to Ayurveda, what are the benefits of nasya karma (one of the five main cleansing therapies of panchakarma, wherein a medication is administered through the nostrils)? Does it pull excess doshas (particularly kapha) from the head, refresh and nourish the senses and sense organs, stabilize prana in the head, augment clarity of speech, or all of the above?
While some of our clients and customers have congestion and sneezing during predictable times of the year (typical of allergies), there are those that struggle with congestion and drainage for months and, in some cases, year-round. Treating these cases, when there is no apparent trigger or pattern, can be exasperating and clients begin to accept it as a normal part of life. The benefits of clearing congestion (excess kapha) from the sinuses extend far beyond offering physical relief.
A couple comes to you wanting advice to prepare them for a healthy pregnancy. The female client (Vata Pitta) is 30 years old, tall, and has a sweet and light-hearted personality. She is a nurse, working long hours with frequent night shifts. You notice chapped lips and slightly sunken eyes. She describes dry skin, light cycles with pain before the first day, and lightheadedness after being on her feet for long periods of time.
Humans are viviparous beings; unlike birds or frogs who lay eggs, we carry our offspring within the womb until they are fully matured. As such, there is an intimate connection—emotionally, mentally, and physically—to our offspring. What that also means is that the process of fertility, before and after conception, is strongly dependent on the health of the mother. Her ability to deliver nutrients through plasma (rasa dhatu) can profoundly impact her fertility.
A 41 year-old (prakriti V1P3K2) male visits with you wanting to prepare for a year of optimal wellness. Upon further questioning, he does mention that he has some congestion and phlegm every morning, feels sluggish (as if he can’t get out of holiday mode), and has a sense of heaviness throughout the day in his body, particularly in the chest area. You note that he is overweight (BMI of 39.5), his digestive fire is slow, and his tongue looks particularly glossy.
As the cold and dampness of winter melts away to the warmth of spring, our bodies also mirror these changes in nature. Being familiar with the movements of kapha (most prevalent within the plasma and lymphatic system or rasa dhatu) will enable us to support its proper transformation and elimination at the dawn of spring. This helps to set the body up for optimal wellness in the seasons to come. On the contrary, a failure to do so can take us down a vicious cycle of constantly struggling to eliminate excess kapha.
A 59 year-old (prakriti vata-pitta) corporate executive male comes to you seeking optimal health. On your evaluation, you notice he has a reddened complexion, his skin is warm to touch, and his waist circumference is increased at 111 cm. He mentions a very stressful job, with demanding hours, which leads to a poor diet. He also shares that lying on his back and taking deep breaths helps when his stress is very high. What herb are you most likely to incorporate in the formula?
The western medical community is slowly reawakening to the idea that the root of heart imbalance begins with pitta as opposed to kapha. The Ayurvedic seers, thousands of years ago, described that the sharp and penetrating nature of pitta damages blood vessel walls. Kapha then comes to seal and soothe over the damage, and as such, kapha’s intention is to protect and not clog channels.
Vrinda Devani's advice to health practitioners working with clients who are looking to strengthen digestion. This article is not intended as medical advice.
Most of us value agni as more than the digestive fire in our stomach. We appreciate that it governs digestion, absorption, and assimilation not only of food but also of thought and external stimuli. The ultimate end products are the subtlest forms of vata, pitta, and kapha—prana (the life breath), tejas (brilliance and consciousness), and ojas (the essence of life and immunity), respectively.
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.