AYURVEDA

 

Ayurveda is a traditional medical system that originated in India thousands of years ago.

 

“Ayur” means life and “veda” knowledge.

 

Ayurveda is based on the theory of three doshas.

 

The whole world was created from five elements. The same elements are also present in the human body. But the combinations of these file elements are different for every individual.

 

Ether-air = Vata

 

Fire-water = Pitta

 

Water-earth = Kapha

 

VATA. It is formed out of f air. It brings forth worries, insomnia and constipation. As far as the mind is concerned, Vata’s specialty is thoughts, creativity and excitement. It is very important to keep Vata in balance. Vata is like the wind. Breathing and heart beating occurs due to the air element. It also affects the nervous system.

 

PITTA. It gives one the discrimination between right and wrong. It is also related to the digestion of food.

 

KAPHA. It gives softness to the skin. It also gives one the life force, strengthens the heart and the immune system. It controls the muscles and the joints. Too much of Kapha gives rise to lethargy and allergy.

 

In one’s childhood Kapha is the ruler, later Pitta and in the old age Vata becomes the ruler. When Vata is the ruler, one has a white patch on the tongue. If Pitta is the ruler, one’s tongue has a red or pink color, more pink. In the case of Kapha one has a purple patch on the tongue. These patches on the tongue should be removed regularly with a tongue scraper. Also, the pulse character can give us a hint as to what dosha we belong to. Light pulse shows that Pitta is the ruler, while deep pulse is a sign of Vata being the ruler.

 

There are three channels in the human energy system, Satwa, Raja and Tamo gunas.

 

Satwa guna gives one balance. Such a person is emotionally stable and independent, never panics, solves all problems quietly and peacefully.

 

Raja guna is a channel required for action. It gives one excitement and anger. Such people may run after power, are generally jealous and fearless.

 

Tamo guna: Without Tamo sleep is not possible. It gives one stability. Too much of Tamo guna results in depression and laziness. Such people tend to waste their time, they worry about their health.

 

The ideal combination of the gunas for women is: 70 % Satwa, 10 % Raja and 20 % Tamo guna. In the men the ratio between Raja and Tamo gunas is reversed. A guru has 100% of Satwa guna.

 

The food we eat affects the satwic, rajasic and tamasic qualities. It is important to eat fresh fruits because they carry satwic qualities. Eating too fast results in the development of rajasic qualities. Very much cooked food is tamasic, it brings forth lethargy. The food should be chosen according to the season and to the area one lives in. ee, ginger and almonds can be eaten for breakfast. Almonds have a positive effect on the nervous system. Some foods should not be eaten with milk. For example, fish, sour foods, cherries, melon and fried foods. Honey should not be eaten together with butter. Lemon should not be mixed with milk, yoghurt and cucumbers. An Indian spice called garam masala is good to destroy bacteria in the body.

 

The Ceremony of Food Eating According to Ayurveda

 

According to Ayurveda, the way we eat is as much important as what we eat. According to the Indian philosophy, balanced way of  eating is the basis for the ‘Oja’ to form and for the  digestion to take place in the best way. If the digestion is perfect, ‘Oja’s’ come out of the food. Oja’s carry positive qualities. It provides energy for one’s immune, nervous, hormonal and psychological systems. The opposite of ‘Oja’ is ‘Ama’. Indigestion creates ‘Ama’. As a result of indigestion and imbalance, toxins are formed in the body.

 

The rules that should be followed according to Ayurveda:

 

• Before staring to eat calm down your body and mind.

 

• Wash your hands and feet before eating.

 

• Start your meal with a prayer.

 

• Do not eat food when you are upset or nervous.

 

• Do not serve cold water during the meals. One can drink a little of hot or warm water. Cold water makes digestion difficult to go on that is why it should be warm or hot.

 

• As much as possible, try to eat freshly cooked food. The meals should consist mainly of cooked food, small amounts of easily digestible vegetables, like carrots and salad of light green color vegetables, can be added. Slowly cooked food is easier to digest and, apart from its nutritional qualities, it has a better taste.

 

• Do not drink milk during the meals because it is difficult to digest. Milk should be consumed separately and should be warm, that makes its digestion easier. The best time to drink milk is at night before going to bed. Then, while one is lying, calcium gets absorbed much better.

 

• Chew your food well. Enjoy the taste, the composition, the smell and the color of your food. Let your meal be like a celebration.

 

• Be quiet while eating or start a nice conversation.

 

• The meals should not be big. To help digestion, leave one quarter of your stomach empty.

 

• After the meal rest for a while. You can have a light and nice conversation or listen to a relaxing music. In the afternoon, if you lie down after the meal, for the best digestion one should lie on the left side. After late dinner or supper it is recommended to have a short stroll.

 

To understand which dosha (or doshas) is prevalent in you, choose the most appropriate for you from the table below:

 

VATA PİTTA KAPHA

APPETITE Irregular Very good Skips meals

THIRST Varying Excessive Little

LIKES Sweet. sour, salty Sweet, spicy, hot Hot, spicy, sharp

DIGESTION Irregular, with gases Fast, acidic Slow

PYSICAL ACTIVITY Very active Moderate Limited

MENTAL ACTIVITY Fast, fragmented Concentrates easily Quiet

MEMORY Memorizes fast, forgets fast Generally good Good long term memory

WEATHER Doesn’t like cold Doesn’t like hot Doesn’t like humidity

SLEEP Light Deep Long, deep

CHARACTER Anxious Anxious, nervous A little stressful

TREAD Fast Normal  Slow

BODY TYPE  Slim Average Wide, strong

HAIR Dry, thin, dark Dry, blond Thick, oily, becomes grey early

TEETH Big and wide  Average Strong, white

EYES Small, dark, easily dried  Bright, sensitive to light Big and attractive

WEIGHT Below normal  Average Above normal

NAILS Dry, fragile  Pink, shiny, soft Look like polished, thick, perfect

SPEECH Fast Lively Slow, monotonous

SKIN Dry, hard, cold Soft, pink  Oily, hot, wet

 

According to this test, you can see which dosha or doshas are ruling in you. According to this, Ayurveda can recommend you the food which is best for you, exercise, life style and even oil to be used for massage that will help you to come into balance.

 

For example suppose that according to the above test Pitta is ruling in you, then the following diet can be recommended for you:

 

1. Consume enough water and salt.

2. Eat sufficient amount of food several times a day, make lunch you main meal.

3. Try to have meals at the same time every day and distribute meals evenly across the day.

4. Consume a lot of unrefined carbohydrates, vegetables and fruits.

5. Limit your oil consumption.

6. Have diversity in your meals.

7. Choose food according to your dosha element and according to the season.

 

Recommended vegetables:

 

Beat, garlic, carrots, sparrowgrass, green beans, reddish, spinach, turnip, onions, all kinds of peppers.

 

Fruits:

 

Sweet apples, sweet blackberries and sparrowgrass, dates, sweet melon, figs, pomegranate, coconut, plums, avocado.

 

Drinks:

 

Pitta herbal tea (rose petals, cinnamon, ginger, cloves), vegetable juice, fruit juice, lassi with water, cow milk, coconut water.

 

Dairy products:

 

Fresh milk, ghee, home made butter.

 

Spices:

 

Fresh basil, laurel, black pepper, cardamom, coriander, fennel, turmeric, a little of cumin and fresh ginger.

 

Oils:

 

Coconut oil, ghee, rice oil, olive oil.

 

Cereals:

 

White or brown basmati rice, wheat, barley, oat bran, wheat bran.

 

Nuts and dried fruits:

 

Almonds and sunflower seeds can be consumed in limited amounts.

 

Meats:

 

Baked or cooked chicken can be consumed in limited amounts, turkey and white fish.

 

Curing anemia with Ayurveda.