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

Both Ayurveda and modern medicine agree that type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) is a multifaceted disease that  affects many organs, tissues, and channels of the body including the cardiovascular, urinary, nervous and immune systems. In Sanskrit, diabetes is called prameha, or frequent urination, because this is one of many symptoms that can be observed by those with this condition. Historically, type 2 DM was considered to be mainly adult on-set, however,  according to the CDC, we are currently seeing increased risk of type 2 DM among young children and teenagers. I will try not to shroud this topic in complex Ayurvedic or medical language, but rather use simple terms and core concepts to convey the practical approaches that can be taken by those wanting to manage or reverse this condition. 

Some Basic Ayurvedic Concepts

In Ayurveda, there are three bodily humors (doshas) that maintain the normal function of the body and mind and, when disturbed, contribute to the disease process. These three doshas are known as vata (energy of movement), pitta (energy of transformation), and kapha (energy of structure, lubrication and fluidity). Kapha imbalance can be a primary factor in the development of type 2 DM when left unmanaged. 

Kapha Imbalance and Diabetes 

Let’s first get a basic understanding of kapha dosha before venturing into how kapha contributes to diabetes and other related complications.} Kapha is made up primarily of the earth and water element and is the structural and lubricating energy of the body. Kapha has

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

I often get quizzical looks when I start an introductory lecture on Ayurveda with the comment that “the three doshas are not body types.” Vata, Pitta and Kapha are certainly foundational to every aspect of Ayurvedic theory and practice and understanding them starts with the fact that we are made up of all three doshas, just as everything in nature is made up of the five great elements ether, air, fire, water and earth. These concepts are quite similar to Yin, Yang and Chi in Traditional Chinese medicine, and knowing of their qualities, expressions and functional integrity or interrelationship is the key.

7 Constitutional Types

Constitutional “types” relate to the unique, individualized expression of each of the 3 doshas within an individual, not to simply identify with one. Ayurveda’s practical method identifies 7 basic constitutional “types,” based on our doshic make-up, but each of these types have infinite expressions. For example, someone may be single dosha predominate- Vata, Pitta or Kapha, while others dual-doshic- VP, PK, VK and some are tri-doshic/VPK=. Identifying where we fall along this constitutional spectrum isn’t an end game that culminates with a simple “one size fits all” list of how to live our lives or what types foods we should or shouldn’t ever eat based on our “dosha type.”

Knowing which dosha or doshas that are predominate in our unique constitution helps us to better understand long-term trends relating to our personal health as well as patterns of imbalance that might present themselves due to

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

Musculoskeletal Pain and Inflammation

One of the most common ailments people suffer from is musculoskeletal pain. Aside from specific or repetitive use injuries, pain can also may be due to the increased sedentary life of our modern world, which often entails spending extended periods of time sitting in a car or a desk at work. One of the most important things we can do to counterbalance how much we sit is to get regular daily exercise, and as often as possible take walks out in “the elements” of nature to unwind and replenish our body and mind. Traditional Ayurvedic therapies can help immensely to relieve pain in the joints, muscles and tendons, while removing toxins and nourishing the bodily tissues.

Pain Relief with Nadi Swedana

Nadi swedana is a traditional localized steam treatment that is used as an adjunct therapy to the cleansing measures known as panchakarma (deep cleansing and rejuvenation), or administered as a day treatment as often as needed. session consists in receiving a jet of herbally infused steam to specific areas of the body, while medicated oils are vigorously massaged on the site at the same time. This drives the properties of the herbal oils deep into the tissues, stimulating circulation and Pain Relief with Nadi Swedana (medicated localized steam therapy) Ayurveda Medicineburning away ama (toxins). The steam is infused with blood moving herbs like eucalyptus, sage, cinnamon, camphor, ginger, or calamus to remove stagnation, dispel waste products and counteract the cold qualities of vata in the muscles and joints. 

It mainly

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