Ayurveda

A good digestion helps in proper absorption of nutrients and efficient supply of them to our body. Indigestion is opposite of this. The indigested food fails to supply the required nourishment to our body. Reduced nourishment reduces the work efficiency of body organs. Hence to keep the body and all organ system healthy proper digestion of food is very essential. Ayurveda acharyas recommend few guidelines to keep our digestion healthy and to keep indigestion at bay.

1.Never consume food when you do not have appetite. Watch for symptoms like coated tongue, nausea, heaviness of stomach, bad breath and unwillingness to have food. If you experience such symptoms fast for a day or skip your meals till the good appetite returns.

2.Avoid consumption of food when you have mood swings. Do not eat when you are angry, depressed, grieved or raged.

3.Eat only after evacuating bowel and urine, brushing teeth, cleaning tongue and bathing. Wash your hands and finger nails before touching food.

4.Avoid eating junk foods. Eat freshly prepared home foods. Home foods are clean and rich in nutrients.

5.Take care not to eat opposite foods. Opposite foods are combination of foods which contradict in their properties.

6.Eat your food in good mood along with the company of nearest and dearest ones. This helps to strengthen the family bond and also helps in easy digestion of food due to normal flow of gastric juices.

7.Drink warm water in between. This helps to normalize tridoshas and aids digestion.

8.Eat a piece of ginger before starting the meal. This increases appetite and soothes stomach.

9.Try to include all six tastes in your meal. (Six tastes – Madhura (sweet), tikta (bitter), kashaya (astringent), Katu (spicy), lavana (salty), amla (sour) )

10.Eat seasonal and local foods which are fresh.

11.Eat slowly and chew the food well.  Give a gap of 4 hours between two meals.

12.Never indulge in heavy work, sexual activities or sleep immediately after eating.

13.Watching TV while eating food causes improper digestion.

Properly digested food nourishes seven vital tissues or dhatus. (dhatus – Rasa (lymph), Rakta (blood), mamsa (muscle),medha (adipose tissue), asthi (bone), majja (bone marrow) and Shukra (semen))

Copyrighted article Author Dr.Savitha Suri  Google

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Dry fruits are rich source of nutrients. They help to balance the nutrient deficiency in our body. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and healthy fats. Ayurveda vaidyas recommend dry fruits to help in many health conditions. These are very effective in erectile dysfunction. Here are few dry fruit home remedies for men health problems.

1.Mix equal quantities of dry dates, almond, pistachios and quince seeds. Pound this or blend it make coarse powder. Consume this powder with milk every day. This helps to increase sexual power. This mixture boosts energy. It is rich in sodium and potassium. Potassium is very much needed in erectile dysfunction.

2.Raisins are known to increase sexual power of men. They are main ingredients in ayurvedic lehyam preparation of lehyam (sweet jam preparation). Wash around 25 gms of black raisins. Soak them in warm milk and consume it after half an hour. Or else black raisins can be eaten daily. Drink a glass of milk after consuming them.

3.Walnuts are beneficial for both men and women. Their reproductive system gets strengthened by regular use of this dry fruit. It is rich in vital minerals like iron and zinc.  These minerals are needed for normal functioning of reproductive systems. Walnuts also contain amino acids and arginine. These nutrient help in liberation of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps to increase blood circulation to reproductive system. Consuming walnut daily helps in sexual impotence.

4.Powder walnut. Mix this with honey. Consume 2-3 spoons of this mixture daily. Honey is a natural aphrodisiac. It is rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. It has a capacity to scrape fat and hence helps in weight loss. Weight loss further helps to increase sexual power.

Keep away from smoking, avoid alcohol, exercise daily and drink plenty of water. These are thumb rules to keep erectile dysfunction at bay. When these are coupled with dry fruits it becomes a perfect ayurveda remedy for erectile dysfunction.

Copyrighted article Author Dr.Savitha Suri  Google

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Soups are always savored by everyone. It can be used as healthy starters. Soups are divine recipes favored by all age groups. Here is a recipe of soup made from aphrodisiac ingredients. These ingredients are delicately blended and mixed to dish out delicious soup.

Chief ingredients: ( Serves 3)

2 large onions longitudinally slit or diced

2 medium sized carrot diced

4-5 large tomatoes diced

Fresh green peas – ½ cup

3-4 cloves of garlic

1 inch grated ginger

2 cloves

½ inch cinnamon stick

Black pepper – ½ tea spoon

Long pepper – ½ tea spoon

Cumin seeds – ½ spoon

Butter for seasoning – 2 tea spoon

Salt to taste.

Cream – 1 small cup

Pressure cook all ingredients with 1 cup of water, except salt, fresh peas, cumin seeds and cream. Allow the cooked ingredient mix to cool. Blend all cooked ingredients in a blender to make a smooth paste. Heat a wok or kadahi. Toss butter in it to melt. Add cumin seeds and roast it well. Add fresh peas and toss it till they are soft. Pour the blended mix to wok . Stir well. Add salt and bring it to boil. Add cream before serving.  Savor it with roasted urad papads.(black gram papads)

Onions, garlic, butter, milk cream, carrots, long pepper, urad dal are all eulogized by ayurveda acharyas for their aphrodisiac properties.

Copyrighted article Author Dr.Savitha Suri  Google

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Texts of ayurveda explain the causes of psoriasis. These causes are explained below.

1.    Consumption of few vegetables and herbs may cause psoriasis. Increased intake of radish, honey, fish and garlic may increase incidences of psoriasis. Radish should never be consumed with jaggery.

2.    Few herbs when taken in combination with other foods can become the cause. Long pepper and Solanum Nigrum should not be consumed with curd and ghee

3.    Consuming Green leafy vegetables and milk with alcohol should be avoided.

4.    Meat and honey when used with hot and spicy food may cause psoriasis and other skin diseases.

5.    The combination of Sea foods, meat of aquatic animals and milk is very detrimental to skin health.

6.    Food has to be eaten only when we feel hungry. When foods are consumed disregarding the  hunger signals, it leads to psoriasis.

7.    Consumption of opposite foods is also a causative factor for psoriasis.

8.    Suppression of natural urges like vomiting, urinating, emptying bowel etc can also become a reason for this skin disease.

9.    Increased intake of sour and salty food vitiates rakta and pitta. These in turn affect skin health.

10.    Not but least the fruits of our Karma can also cause psoriasis.

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The drinks which are consumed after food or after medications are known as “anupana” in ayurveda.  These drinks help in healthy digestion of food and also enhance the therapeutic value of medications. Ayurveda acharyas describe the qualities of anupana or after food drink as

after food drinks, anupana ayurveda, ayurveda

after food drinks

This means an ideal after food drink must have opposite properties of the food consumed and also it must be compatible with the food or medication.

List of healthy after drinks

Cold water – This should be consumed after a meal prepared with barley, wheat, curd , honey and wine.

Warm water – When foods are loaded with carbohydrates, starch, cream, etc, this drink is ideal.

Buttermilk – When lots of vegetables and pulses are present in food, butter milk is an ideal after drink.

Beer  -  Beer made from barley helps lean persons to gain weight.

Honey and water – Honey and water is the best after food drink for those who want to lose weight.

Meat soup – this drink is ultimate for persons who have lost weight due to diseases and for people who have poor digestion.

Milk – This is the best after food drink for those who are emaciated, walk long distances and sing or speak for long hours. It is like nectar for those who are recovering from diseases. Milk provides full nourishment for children and aged. Acharyas recommend consumption of milk after sexual activities.

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Which are the ayurvedic foods and herbs that exhibit exceptional properties based on their taste ?

According to principles of ayurveda functions of foods and herbs are determined based on taste. Taste of herb is one of the parameters to determine their effect on body. In previous posts the tastes of herbs and their functions based on taste have been explained. But there are few exceptions for this principle.

1.Usually foods and herbs which taste sweet increase Kapha. But old shashtika shali rice (old brown rice), wheat, barley, green gram, honey and sugar do not vitiate kapaha even though they are sweet to taste.

2.Generally sour tasting herbs vitiate pitta. But sour tasting pomegranate and Indian gooseberry or amla do not vitiate pitta .

3.According to ayurveda acharyas salts are bad for health of eye. But Saindhava lavana or sendha namak (rock salt) does not harm eyes.

4.Bitter tasting and pungent tasting herbs generally reduce shukra or quantity of semen. They are known to cause erectile dysfunction, low sperm count and low motility. But herbs like Guduchi, patola which are biter and ginger, garlic which taste pungent increase the quantity of shukra dhatu. They are known libido enhancers and used in treatment of male infertility.

5.Foods and herbs which are astringent in nature obstruct the path of doshas. But amla even though has astringent properties does not obstruct the paths.

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Kashaya rasa is one among six tastes elaborated in ayurveda. Kashaya rasa is astringent taste. According to principles of ayurveda this rasa or taste is composed of earth (prithvi) and air (vayu) elements. The foods and herbs which have kashaya rasa reduce kapha and pitta. It is very difficult to body to digest this type of foods or herbs. But when used in therapeutic dosages these herbs purify blood, heal ulcers, help in weight loss and cleanse the skin. Astringent herbs and foods have cold potency and absorb moisture from body. They cause dryness of tissues and constrict micro channels. Hence they are used in anti wrinkle face packs.

When kashaya or astringent tasting foods are used in excess, they cause indigestion, excess thirst, emaciation, constipation and loss of libido (impotence or erectile dysfunction).

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In ayurved rasa Katu rasa is pungent taste. This taste is made up of fire element and air element. When foods with katu rasa are consumed, it excites nerve endings present in tip of the tongue. The irritation caused by katu rasa makes tears flow, increases salivation and stimulates nasal secretion. The foods which are pungent to taste can cause burning sensation in cheeks.

Herbs which have this taste can cure diseases of throat, skin rashes, leprosy and other skin diseases. They help to reduce swelling of wounds, dry body fat and increase the absorption of water. Consumption of herbs or foods with pungent taste can increase hunger, fasten digestion and improve sense of taste. Pungent tasting herbs reduce kapha, dilate micro channels, clear the blockage and help in digestion of accumulated toxins.

Increased use of pungent tasting herbs or foods increase thirst and deplete semen or shukra dhatu. This reduces sperm count and sperm motility. It also causes tremors and pain in muscles of back.

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Most of us have averseness towards bitter tasting foods. According to texts of ayurveda the bitter taste is made up of Akasha (space element)  and  Vayu (air element). This taste cleanses the mouth. Once we taste the bitter foods or herbs, it becomes difficult to identify other tastes immediately. It temporarily numbs the taste buds and makes them insensitive to other tastes.

Functions of bitter tasting foods-

Bitter tasting foods help to increase appetite. They prevent growth and development of intestinal parasites. Herbs with this taste are used in health conditions like Leprosy, skin diseases, fever and nausea.

Herbs and foods which taste bitter reduce pitta and kapha. They tend to dry moistness and fat contents of tissues. Hence increased consumption of bitter foods and herbs reduce body fat, can cause constipation and dryness of skin.

When bitter tasting herbs are used they cleanse the breast milk, increase intelligence, clear throat and help in weight loss. When used in excess they may cause depletion of dhatus (body tissues) and give rise to diseases of vata origin. Increased consumption of bitter foods can cause dry skin, migraine, reduced quality and quantity of semen.

Best Examples of bitter tasting herbs are neem and bitter gourd,

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salty taste ayurveda, lavana rasa

salty taste ayurveda, lavana rasa

Salt makes every recipe tasty. It is being used from ages to enhance the taste, flavor and texture of food. Salt is used as a preservative in every part of world. Salt is an essential nutrient. Texts of ayurveda consider salt among six important tastes or six rasas. It is known as Lavana Rasa in ayurveda.

According to principles of ayurveda, salt or salty tasting foods increase moistness in mouth by increasing salivation. When we consume salt, we feel as if our cheeks and throat are burning.

Functions of salt in body – salt helps to reduce rigidity of tissues. When consumed in required quantities it helps to remove blockages in ‘srotas’ or minute internal body channels. The digestive activity increases when salty foods are consumed.  Salt in proper quantity causes sweating. It penetrates deep tissues and increases taste of food.

When salt is consumed more than required quantity, it vitiates blood (rakta) and increases its volume. Even vata gets vitiated by increased salt consumption. This also causes baldness, hair loss, premature graying, early aging and skin wrinkles. It lowers body immunity and leads to herpes (herpes, genital herpes or oral herpes) outbreaks.

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