Ayurvedic approach to health is two folds: heal sickness by restoring body’s natural balance of energies (Doshas) and preserve the health by carefully maintaining the balance through daily and seasonal routine. The strength of a person is enhanced by adopting suitable diets and routines according to each season. The seasons consistently roll from one another. Ayurveda recognizes that seasonal change has a profound effect on our health and recommends many helpful suggestions, for how we can adopt our lifestyle to stay balanced in each season.
Spring is the season for “house cleaning”. Have you ever thought of “spring cleaning” of toxins from your body? Detoxifying in spring is an important part of Ayurvedic seasonal routine. Biologically nature supports cleansing of body in spring. In winter the digestive capacity is high and people eat more sweet and heavy foods. Most of the time they are not able to assimilate these hard to digest foods, so Ama (toxic, sticky product of indigestion) starts accumulating in winter in the system. In spring when warm weather melts the snow, it has similar effect on the body. Ama melts and increases in volume blocking all channels in the body. If you don’t assist these toxins moving out of your body they may make you prone for flu, colds, cough, allergies, and sinus problem which are common in spring. Or you might feel unusually fatigued, sluggish or drowsy after lunch or lose your appetite. To remedy this situation Ayurveda offers the gift of Panchakarma. Simple steps of Panchakarma – Smooth oil massage, calming oil drip on forehead (Shirodhara), warm herbal steam and other cleansing procedures loosen all toxins and remove them from the body rapidly. This is the procedure to purify the body of toxins and restore it to balance with natural law. Ayurveda aims to establish the ability to live every aspect of life to its fullest, in complete conscious to nature’s infinite intelligence, a state often referred to as enlightenment.
As seasons changes we change clothing we wear, the outdoor activities we engage in, even the way we set our clocks. But do we ever think of changing the food we eat? In spring the sky is cloudy. This is cold and heavy season. So avoid eating heavy, cold hard to digest foods. (Like increases like) Reduce sweet, sour, salty tastes from your food. Avoid cheeses, ice creams and yogurts. The diet should be hot, dry and light to counter those main qualities of the season. Eat more baked, broiled, or grilled foods, warm foods. Add more spices to your food like Coriander, Cumin, Turmeric, and Fennel to help stimulate digestion and detoxify the skin. Pungent, astringent and bitter tastes should be added.
Herbal teas – Ginger, Calamus or Clove herbal tea is good for spring. Medicated wines like Draksha and Ashwagandha are recommended in this season.
Massaging with dry herbal powders (e.g. Haritaki, Ginger) or heating oil (e.g. Mustard oil) also helps. Avoid sleeping during daytime in this season. Regular physical exercise, gargling with warm water (or herbal decoction) and drinking warm water is beneficial.
Spring balancing tea recipe:
4cups of water
1 tablespoon Cinnamon sticks
¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon of sucanat or rice syrup (optional)
Heat water in a pot. Add slightly crushed Cinnamon sticks and Turmeric powder. Boil for three minutes. Add sucanat or rice syrup and grated ginger and boil for two more minutes. Strain and serve hot.
We can never control Mother Nature nor the changes in it. Simply being aware if the time is the key. Time is an important factor in the life of every mortal, and living according to Nature’s time is the only way to remain healthy.
The Flu and You
Just heard the news on Radio that Flu season is already here and CDC is recommending Flu shots for one and all. As I am driving to work the same day, noticed a board outside CVS pharmacy “Flu and You”. I really liked the slogan, it sounded Ayurvedic. In spite of being aware of Flu as early as January ; we struggle with it every year. Is there anything different Ayurveda recommends? Let’s check it out.
In Ayurveda everything is personalized. Each person coming in for Flu may get a different set of recommendations to follow as we are different people to begin with. Not all of us are prone for Flu alike. Some of us may get Flu even after vaccination and some of us will be just fine without the vaccine. Why? Immunity is the key here that help explain the logic of the above situation. Ayurveda can really help us improve our immunity along with decreasing chances of being susceptible to these micro-organisms. How can we improve our immunity without a pill or shot? Or along with pill and shot.
Avoid ice and cold beverages in colder season
Avoid Yogurt and dairy at least for three days a week
Snack on dry fruits instead of fresh ones
Protect from cold, cover yourself and drink plenty of herbal teas
Good night sleep and avoiding naps
Cimmamon + Turmeric ¼ tsp each with honey first thing in the morning
Recipe for Flu tea:
4 cups of water
1 tablespoon cinnamon sticks
¼ teaspoon Turmeric
1 teaspoon grated ginger
Heat water in a pot. Add slightly crushed cinnamon sticks, turmeric powder, and grated ginger. Boil for 3 min. Strain. Add Honey if you like and sip warm during the day
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Ginger – “the universal remedy”
It is no surprise to see in the market today so many digestive and dietary aids for stomach, along with pills for gas and indigestion. Over 90% of Americans suffer from everyday digestion problems such as gas, bloating, stomach pain, constipation, heartburn, and fatigue after eating. Ayurveda provides simple solutions to these common complaints by considering not only what we eat, but also how we consume our meals and how we digest it. The act of eating is life giving. Spices are “Special Foods” which enhances the taste of the food, improve the digestion and have many therapeutic properties.
Ginger is perhaps the best and most Sattvic of the spices. May be that’s why it is called as “Vishvabheshaja”, the universal remedy.
It has strong pungent taste with sweet post digestive effect. It has hot potency and it is used in many herbal and food preparations.
It is an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic (prevents blood clots), anti-depressant, anti-diarrhea (stops loose motions), and anti-toxidants. It is used for multiple symptoms like nausea, vomiting, headache, chest-pain, colds, stomach-pains, rheumatism, and nervous system disorder. It also has anti-cancer activity.
Spices are really best eaten as food rather than in capsule. You should sprinkle spices on your food, add them while cooking.
Fresh Ginger as a remedy* Fatigue after eating – This may be result of weak digestion. To improve digestion, best way is to stimulate digestive fire before we begin eating and fresh ginger is perfect for that. So Ayurveda recommends eating one-inch piece of fresh ginger with few drops of lemon juice and few pinches of salt on it before full meal.
* For Cough and Cold – 1 tsp. of fresh ginger juice + 1 tsp. Honey. Take it 3 times a day.
* Loss of Appetite – Put 5 tbsp. chopped fresh ginger in a glass jar. Cover ginger with lemon juice; add a pinch of salt and 1 tbsp. of Cumin seeds. Put jar in the sun for 2 days. Take ½ tsp. before meals.
* Stomachache – Boil 1tsp. chopped ginger in 1 cup of water, add pinch of salt and drink.
* Nausea and Flatulence – Mix ½ tsp. ginger juice + 1 tsp. Lime juice + 1 tsp. mint juice and 1 tbsp. Honey. Take twice daily.
Dry Ginger as a remedyDried ginger is hotter and drier than fresh. Dried ginger imparts zest to vegetables and lentils. Add with other spices during cooking or sauté in Ghee (clarified butter) and add to dishes. It has a very concentrated flavor and a little goes a long way. It is used extensively in baking and in desserts in combination with other spices such as Cinnamon or Nutmeg.
Dried ginger combines well with a multitude of Ayurvedic spices such as turmeric, cayenne, cumin, coriander, fennel and Cinnamon.
Substitute ¼ tsp. ginger power for one thin slice of fresh ginger.
* Diarrhea – 1tsp. dry ginger + ½ tsp. Ghee (Clarified butter) +1tsp. Jaggery. Heat the mixture and lick it several times a day.
* Headache due to common cold – Apply warm paste of dry ginger and calamus on forehead and nose.
* For digestion in infants – Boil a glass of milk and add pinch of ginger power.
* For joint pain, constipation and nervous debility – Drink warm water mixed with 1 tsp. ginger power and ½ tsp. of Turmeric.
The health is maintained through the observation of proper diet, lifestyle and exercise habits. Proper diet and life style changes make your immune system very strong, so you can combat any dis-ease process and stay healthy.
“Make the right choice! Don’t let your medicine be your food, let your food be your medicine”!
While many of the recommendations here are generic, we understand each person is different & has a unique personality; hence the needs are different. You can trust us help you achieve better health through all natural & proven teachings of Ayurveda.
Give us a call now at 713-623-0005 for any questions.
Khichadi is a go-to recipe that is not only healthy and easy to digest, it’s delicious and easy to make. Some people prepare Khichadi on the stove top or with a pressure cooker, but the rice cooker is the most convenient since it can cook unattended. I like to start this dish in the morning and by the time I’m ready to leave the house, my lunch is cooked and ready to go!
Khichadi Masala Recipe
Mustard seeds 1 cup
Cumin seeds roasted ½ cup
Hing 1 Table spoon
Turmeric 3 table spoon
Masala 2 table spoon
Brown Sugar 2 table spoon
Sesame seeds Roasted 1 cup
Dried shredded Coconut roasted 1 cup
Salt ½ cup or To taste
Put all ingredients in blender and make coarse powder. Store this Khichadi masala in air tight jar. It can stay good in pantry for months together. No need to refrigerate.
For making khichadi:
Wash 1 cup of jasmine rice with ½ cup of yellow Mung daal and keep it aside
In rice cooker add 1 Table spoon Ghee, 4 Tablespoon of Masala and mix in washed rice & daal. Add 4 cups of water.
Stir couple of times during cooking and adjust water according to the consistency you like
You can change the grain and lentil of choice for variation
3222 MERCER ST.