Ayurveda - Herbal Medicine - Nutrition - Self Care - Yogic Healing - Meditation

Dandelion
Taraxacum officinale; Asteraceae
Dandelion Ayurveda Medicine
Effect on Dosha: PK- V+
Rasa: bitter
Virya: cold
Vipak: pungent

Part used: leaf, root
Tissues: plasma, blood, fat
Systems: urinary, circulatory, hepatic, digestive, lymphatic
Properties: diuretic, alterative, hepatic, bitter tonic, chologogue, laxative.
Indications: liver disorders, sluggish gallbladder, water retention, urinary infections, indigestion, tumors, abscesses, boils, high cholesterol.
Precautions: high vata
Root dosage: Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of the root to a cup of water, bring to boil and then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain and drink up to 3 times daily.
Leaf dosage: To make an infusion, steep 2 to 3 rounded teaspoons per cup of boiling hot water for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain and drink up to 3 times daily.
Tincture dosage (root and leaf): Take 30 to 40 drops in 2 ounces of water, 3-4 times daily.

Dandelion leaf is rich in potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamin A and C. The whole plant has a bitter taste, cold action, and is balancing to both pitta and kapha dosha. The leaves have an affinity to the urinary system, and help to eliminate excess water, metabolic wastes, and to treat infections of the kidneys and bladder. Both the root and leaves can be used to clear excess heat and toxins from the liver and blood. As a cooling digestive stimulate, it helps to improve digestion, especially of fats, and can help to promote healthy cholesterol.
The root is also a mild purgative,

Ayurveda - Herbal Medicine - Nutrition - Self Care - Yogic Healing - Meditation

Triphala, Ayurveda’s Wonder Formula

Triphala is probably one of the most popular Ayurvedic compounds, and it can be found nowadays in almost every health food store and Indian grocery store. It is well known for being a mild laxative and lower bowel tonic. Triphala literally means ‘three fruits’ and contains equal parts of the amalaki, haritaki, and bibitaki fruits. These fruits come from the various Myrobalan trees found in India and have particularly balancing effects on each of the three doshas.

Amalaki

Triphala, Ayurveda's Wonder Formula Ayurveda Medicine

Amalaki or amla is regarded as a sacred tree in India. The tree was worshipped as Mother Earth and is believed to nurture humankind because the fruit is very nourishing. Amalaki fruit is well known for its cooling, pitta pacifying properties, and is rich in iron and vitamin C. It is strengthening to the blood, bones, liver, and heart. It is used alone or with other herbs to treat a variety of inflammatory types of disorders related to excess pitta. Even though it is sour to the taste, it has a special cooling quality that helps balance pitta.

It is also nourishing to all the bodily tissues and a tonic to the immune system, and it is the basis for the herbal jam known as Chyavanaprash, which is a general rasayana (rejuvenative tonic) used in Ayurveda. It reduces the toxicity of environmental pollutants, normalizes cholesterol, sheds unwanted fat, cures ulcers, prevents cancer, detoxifies the body, and regulates digestion.

Haritaki

Triphala, Ayurveda's Wonder Formula Ayurveda Medicine

Haritaki fruit rejuvenates vata dosha; it is

Ayurveda - Herbal Medicine - Nutrition - Self Care - Yogic Healing - Meditation

Ayurvedic Tips for Insomnia

From an Ayurvedic perspective, insomnia is caused primarily by an imbalance of vata dosha. Vata is comprised of both air and ether, and has both light and mobile/irratic qualities. When these qualities accumulate and become excessive, they can cause difficulty either falling asleep or staying asleep. Pitta dosha also shares this light quality and pitta predominate individuals have a tendency for overworking, and burning the midnight oil, which eventually interferes with good restful sleep.
Kapha dosha can interfere with sleep mainly due to sleep apnea. This condition is complex and is best addressed through ayurvedic diet and lifestyle counseling as well as herbal treatment.

In ayurveda, dinacharya (healthy routines), can be used to treat insomnia very effectively. One of the most important routines to balance vata is to go to sleep by 10 pm, if this is difficult, work towards it to the degree your life allows. Also, try not to eat dinner much later than 7 pm. This allows us to fully digest our meal, so the digestive process doesn’t interfere with our sleep.

Below is a list of home remedies for improving the quality of sleep and restore depleted energy cause by the lack of needed rest. Note that these remedies are mainly for high vata and pitta.

Ashwagandha Siddha Milk-
Add 1 tsp. Ashwagandha powder to one cup of whole milk and a half cup of water and boil lightly for 5 minutes in an uncovered pot until one cup of liquid

Ayurveda - Herbal Medicine - Nutrition - Self Care - Yogic Healing - Meditation

Acceptance

In both Yogic philosophy and practice, developing equanimity of mind is central to the practice of meditation. Through our practice we can observe that the mind is either constantly attracted towards the objects of the senses, or it has aversion to them. Everything is being weighed on the scales of pleasure and pain, lose and gain, good or bad and so on, and a great deal of energy is spent seeking pleasurable experiences, while avoiding others that are painful. If we become too attached to something, we may no longer even enjoy that which we have obtained because we start to fear of losing it. This clouds the joy of experiencing life as it is. One of my teachers puts it like this, “we eat the banana of pleasure, only to slip on the peel of pain.” The slip isn’t in the experiencing something, but the attachment to it in the mind. In our constant search for comfort, or a sense of safety, it is easy to mistake the temporary satisfaction felt by having certain experiences for the true lasting contentment that is our very nature. My guru uses the analogy here or a thirsty man mistaking a mirage in the dessert for water.

When we seek the view of a mountain vista, or to stand on the shores of the sea and look out into the vast expanse of water, we are in a very real sense, seeking that infinite peace within. Humanity is constantly in search for

Ayurveda - Herbal Medicine - Nutrition - Self Care - Yogic Healing - Meditation

Life undoubtedly will present us with many challenges, but it seems that over time, we learn to accept things. The resiliency of spirit somehow gives us the ability to accept almost anything, in time. When we make an effort to show up everyday to practice meditation, we are training ourselves in a deeper way, to accept things as they are, in that moment, no matter how we feel. Meditation is an act of deep surrender that spreads out into all aspects of our life. Conversely, what arises during practice, often relates to our dealings in day-to-day life, one reflecting the others.

At times we may feel enthusiastic about sitting for meditation, and at other times we may feel like it is the last thing we want to do with ourselves. In my practice, when I’m distracted and preoccupied with the daily list of things to do, I make a note of what it is that needs attending to afterwards, and then resolve myself to the practice as earnestly as I can by saying to myself, “There is plenty of time for all of “that,” after “this.”

Often the mind will make every excuse in the book to not take the precious time out to sit. This is precisely where our practice of meditation can really start bearing fruit. When the river of emotion is swollen and ready to breach its banks, if we can bring ourselves to the meditation cushion, withdrawing the mind away from the pulls of the world,

Ayurveda - Herbal Medicine - Nutrition - Self Care - Yogic Healing - Meditation

Medhya Rasayana – Mental Rejuvenation

In Ayurveda, herbs that rejuvenate the mind and nervous system are known as medhya rasayanas. In Western herbalism, many of these herbs are classified as nervines. Medhya rasayana herbs help to calm the mind, relax the body, and even replenish and regenerate the nervous system. These herbs are great allies against the oxidizing effects of stress and the depletion of our vital energy and immunity. Some are heavy, grounding and sedating like valerian, hops, poppy or kava kava. Others are still calming, yet have lighter energy such as passion flower, gotu kola or skullcap. Nourishing tonic herbs, most notably ashwagandha, also have calming qualities, but can also provide strength and energy where and when needed.

Herbs are Broad Spectrum

It can often be hard to make a clear distinction between one category of herbs and another, since a single herb can possess several actions. For instance, I have frequently given laxative herbs to promote intestinal cleansing, and the person will report back that they are sleeping better and thinking clearer. This shows the connection between our digestive function, the mind, immune system and so on, because all our bodily systems work as a whole.

For example, herbs that clear excess heat and toxins from the liver like bhringraj (eclipta alba), brahmi (gotu kola and bacopa monnieri) also have properties that are seen to improve mental function. Others like dandelion leaf of punarnava help to clear heat from the liver as well as through

Ayurveda - Herbal Medicine - Nutrition - Self Care - Yogic Healing - Meditation

Seasonal Effects on Immunity

In Ayurveda, the fall season is related to vata dosha, the bodily humor comprised of air and ether element.  During this time, vata becomes increasingly unstable as the cold, dry, and erratic qualities increased in the environment. This can be observed in cold, windy, and shifting whether, as well as in the drying up of leaves and plants. From the winter until early spring, kapha dosha, the earth and water humor, increases and can causes damp, heavy, and stagnating qualities to accumulate in the body. One of the most immunologically vulnerable times is during the change of season, especially from warm to cold whether. Here, it is important to follow healthy habits to protect your immune system.

Below are some helpful tips to help prevent getting in the weeks leading up to fall or winter.

Tips for prevention:

  • Dress warm and cover your chest and neck in cold weather.
  • Drink a glass of warm lemon water first thing in the morning.
  • Drink sufficient of water throughout the day.
  • Avoid damp forming foods, such as excess dairy products, sweets, baked goodies, cold foods and drinks.
  • Avoid eating cane sugar when possible.
  • Get plenty of rest, and avoid staying up late.
  • Get daily exercise, everyday.
  • Taking 1000-2000 mg. of high quality Vitamin C daily
  • Adding herbs and spices like turmeric, fresh ginger and raw garlic to your food.
  • Infuse citrus essential oils in you living space.

Tips for Treating the Common Colds and flu.

  • Stay hydrated by

Ayurveda - Herbal Medicine - Nutrition - Self Care - Yogic Healing - Meditation

There is no doubt that low libido is a serious concern nowadays, as it is made obvious by the increasing amount of erectile dysfunction drugs surfacing on the market. Yet the conventional approach of these drugs tends to focus on providing a quick fix without looking at the bigger picture and finding the root cause of the problem. Another concern related to male reproductive health is sterility. Ayurveda can certainly help us get a deeper understanding of these complex issues and deal with them in a holistic manner with the use of herbs along with diet and lifestyle guidelines. A unique aspect of this approach is that it aims to resolve the underlying factors that caused the imbalance in the first place.

Low libido can manifest as a lack of sexual energy or desire, as sexual debility or as the inability to perform properly. Symptoms of sexual debility may include lack of interest, erectile weakness, premature ejaculation, nocturnal emission and spermatorrhea, or the involuntary discharge of semen. Male sterility is a condition where the quality or quantity of the semen is low or altogether absent. This problem can easily go undetected, as it doesn’t necessarily affect the sexual desire.

All these symptoms are clearly expressing that one of the most powerful energies in the body is depleted, and this can be basically related to factors including lifestyle and dietary choices, habits, level of daily stress, family history, parents’ habits, and genetics. To understand how Ayurveda and Ayurvedic herbs can help

Ayurveda - Herbal Medicine - Nutrition - Self Care - Yogic Healing - Meditation

Panchakarma ~ Detoxification & Rejuvenation

by Vishnu Dass

Ayurveda, the ancient “Science of Life,” is one of the oldest forms of health care in the world. It is a holistic science that places great emphasis on prevention and aims at bringing about and maintaining harmony of body, mind, and consciousness. It encompasses diet and lifestyle guidelines, herbal formulas and preparations, yoga and meditation practices, as well as various therapies that support and enhance individual Ayurvedic programs.

Panchakarma~Dexoxification & Rejuvenation Ayurveda Medicine

Ayurveda defines health as the state where every aspect of our being is working properly and in harmony with all its other aspects. That is, the digestive fire (agni) is in a balanced condition; the three doshasvata, pitta and kapha— are in equilibrium according to the individual constitution; waste products (malas) are produced and eliminated normally; and the mind, senses, and consciousness are working harmoniously together. When the balance of any of these systems is disturbed, the disease process begins.

Basically, any aggravation of the doshas affects agni (the digestive fire) and produces toxins or ama. Other factors play a role in the formation of ama, as well. Some of these factors are poor digestion of food, improper food combinations and choices, poor drinking water, pollution, pesticides in food, emotional and physical stress or trauma, and so on. These toxins accumulate and spread throughout the body and eventually deposit themselves into the deeper tissues, organs or channels, creating dysfunction and disease.

One of the most

Ayurveda - Herbal Medicine - Nutrition - Self Care - Yogic Healing - Meditation

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

 

AgniFire element, digestive fire.
Agni dipanaIncreases digestive fire.
AhamkaraSense of separate self or ego. Literally, “I former.”
Alochaka PittaSub-type of pitta which governs visual perception.
AlterativeBlood purifying substances that gradually restores healthy bodily functions.
AmaToxic residue of improperly digested food that can become the source of disease.
Ama pachanaPromotes digestion and the destruction of toxins
AmenorrheaAbsence or suppression of menstruation.
AnabolicConstructive or building phase of metabolism.
AnalgesicA substance that relieves pain.
AnthelminticDestroying and dispelling parasites (including bacteria, yeasts and fungus).
AntibacterialInhibits or destroys bacteria.
AntibioticInhibits or destroys bacteria and other microorganisms.
AntiemeticA substance that prevents or relieves nausea and vomiting.
AntifungalA substance that prevents and inhibits the growth of fungi.
AntipyreticDispels heat and reduces fever.
AntispasmodicRelieves muscle spasms and cramping.
AntiviralA substance that inhibits viruses.
AnupanaA Substance that serves as a medium of intake for herbs, such as honey, aloe vera juice, etc.
Apana VayuDownward moving sub-type of vata, responsible for elimination of waste products, gas, menstruation and child birth.
AphrodisiacSubstances that stimulate and/or revitalize the reproductive system.
Arishta/AsavaTraditional medicated herbal wines used in Ayurveda.
AromaticHerbs containing volatile, essential oils that aid digestion and relieve gas.
Artava Female reproductive tissue.
Asthi dhatuBone tissue.
AstringentSubstances that firm tissues and reduce discharges and secretions.
Avalambaka KaphaA sub-type of kapha located in the chest region, mainly in the lungs.
Ayurveda“Science of