Creation of Ayurveda Formulas (Bhashajya Kalpana)

By Dr. Mithun Baliga
(Ayurveda Practitioner Student)

Bhaishaja Kalpana, Creation of Ayurveda Formulas is the art of processing of different therapeutic compounds together as a formulations. It is one of the most important aspects of Ayurveda. Ayurvedic dravya and “herb” as in western herbology are very different things although the general public think the word herb encompasses all non-allopathic/ CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) compounds.

Dravya includes not just plant-derived herbs but also animal derived substances like honey, milk, horn etc and inanimate products like metal ashes, mineral products like Shilajit etc. Not just the source as seen above but the journey that the dravya undergoes from its source until it enters the client’s body is very different in ayurvedic terms compared to western herbology.

Let’s look at the western perspective first. The focus is on extracting the active compound from a herb. This was mainly a way to preserve the degradable flowers and leaves. Either alcohol or oils were used for this as needed. This progressed on to specifically extracting the compound responsible for the therapeutic action, from the herb. The extracted ingredient could then be standardized and marketed and made accessible easily (due to standardization). Eg: turmeric. The active compound cucurmin can be extracted and purified, and standardized and sold. On the surface, this makes perfect sense. If cucurmin is the ingredient that gives turmeric its demonstrable benefit, then let us take that ingredient, concentrate it and ingest it for maximum benefit.

In contrast, Ayurveda takes a very different view. Ayurveda believes that the effects of a herb does not come from any one single ingredient that it contains but rather from the many different substances that are present in the herb. Some cause the main effects, some others potentiate it, others help in its absorption, yet others work synergistically with the body by helping in related conditions etc etc. So, Ayurveda will try to transform the entire turmeric root (the whole herb) into a product that can be consumed. This is the fundamental difference between Ayurveda and western herbology and all further differences stem from this in one way or another.

One of the results of this difference is that it is extremely difficult to prove the effectiveness of Ayurvedic herbs/preparation in clinical trials and studies. The inability to accurately list and quantify all the active ingredients and their individual and interactive actions (both good and bad) has been and still is a stumbling block when it comes to publishing studies. This lack of robust studies in Ayurveda will always be a problem when we try to compare it to western herbology. It is far easier to study/prove/publish about a single extract in in vitro, in vivo and human studies than it is to study/prove/publish about a whole herb product that might have many known and as yet unknown ingredients responsible for the herb’s overall effect.

Another big difference is that Ayurvedic herbs and kalpanas do not stand alone by themselves like a “one size fits all” solution. The very science of Ayurveda takes into account the individual’s dosha, state of agni, dhatus and srotas and the gunas and karmas of the dravya before picking the right dravya for the client. The concept of the 5 mahabhuta makeup of all things, the 10 opposing gunas of things play a very important role in matching dravya to client. Along the same lines, the delivery of the dravya using what is called an anupana is another key aspect of therapy. This again is not included in western herbology. Eg: Turmeric capsule has no specific instruction on how to take it whereas the turmeric recommended by an Ayurvedic practitioner will include instructions to take it in milk or to add it in the hot oil while cooking.

Bhaishaja Kalpana can be used as extensively as one’s practice allows. We should start by from the very first step. Proper sourcing of the dravyas, which is again an aspect of Bhaishaja Kalpana should be used by us all. Even though we are not personally collecting the herbs, checking and making sure that the companies we recommend do their sourcing according to recommendations of the scriptures is our first step. The production of the individual kalpanas have to be according to the “recipes” recommended in the appropriate texts. This is our job as the practitioner to check. We can extend the use of Bhaishaja Kalpana in our practice by making for ourselves some of the simpler products according to the proper guidelines. With enough knowledge and experience, by using Bhaishaja Kalpana, we can recommend the right anupanas and combinations to match our individual client’s prakruti and needs

Art of creating Ayurvedic Formulations

By Leah Cruz
(Ayurveda Practitioner Student)

Bhehsaja Kalpana is the formulation of plant and animal-based substances to create medicines that can have a therapeutic or medicinal effect.

This has come from an ancient Ayurvedic practice that has been practices and used for hundreds of years.

Creating these complex formulation is more technical then just combining a few herbs that have similar healing properties to help cure a illness or disease. This is because each dravya contains several properties that can determine the effects the dravya has in and on our bodies.

These are the rasa, virya, vipaka, gunas, and prabhava of the dravya. Depending on the classification of each property listed above will affect the outcome it will have once inside the body. These unique properties also determine the effects the herbs will have on the doshas, dhatus, srotas, and manas. Because each herb is so complex is why when one starts to combine more then one herb together there must be meditative intention behind it. There is a fine line between a dravya or kalpana becoming a poison or a remedy, the determination being the dosage and how it is administered.

Changes that have occurred in bhesajha kalpana and Ayurvedic practices in the modernization of them. In today’s modern practice of Ayurveda and bhesajha kalpana certain herbs and dravyas are becoming harder to obtain from limited scoring or scarcity of botanical species.

Because of this rareity of some dravyas, ancient formulation are being compromised by substitution of more available herbs. This can be problematic when determining if the kalpana effectiveness is a potent as the classical formulation. Another area that has been altered is that unintended chemicals and additives are being put into the kalpanas in order to prolong shelf life, make more palatable for the consumer, and cost effective for the manufacturer. These foreign ingredients could have negative impacts on the efficiency of the kalpanas and how they react in our bodies. With the demand in modern times for natural healing substances, kalpanas are becoming more popular to the masses. Because of this demand some manufacturers are taking short cuts in the growing, harvesting and manufacturing of these kalpanas.

The ancient texts believed that a drayva purity is only as good as the optimal and auspicious environment it is grown and stored in. When one of these aspects are changed the potency and auspiciousness of the dravya is compromised. The manufactured need to be conscious and aware of the integrity of the whole herb. Modernization has also tried to extract the medicinal compound from the plant. But the ancient viadyas believe that the whole plant is necessary because there are other compounds in the plant that help deliver the herb more compatibly into our tissues.

When the compounds are extracted this benefit is lost from the dravya.

I feel that in other countries besides India Ayurveda and bheshaja kalpana is still a new practice. We try to modernize there ancient methods to make it more easily available for the consumer. But we have to realize that there are several aspects and intentions that go into the plant in order to allow for the medicinal qualities to be produces and for a specific medicinal outcome of occur. Plants are a living things that contains energy and karma that can change or be altered depending on this external environment, just like us. This can’t be overlooked as a small thing, because these factors can change the medicinal qualities of the plant and herb.
Another point mentioned in the articles that has diminished from bhesajha kalpana is the energetic intentions that the grower, manufacturer, and customer have with the kalpana.

In ancient times yanga (rituals) and mantras (chanting) you go along with the growing, harvesting, preparing, and delivering to the client. This would ensure that auspiciousness energy would be delivered onto the plant and herbs to be carried into the client to ensure healing. This ancient ritual seems to be becoming lost in the modern need to produce kalpanas in shorter time spans for the customer. In the modernization and standardization shelf life and palatability for the customer has become increasing important. In order to make these two concerns possible some ancient methods have been altered or forgotten.

The use of anupanas to help deliver the dravya or kalpanas into the tissues of the body for efficiently are being used less and less. Vati or gutikas are more desirable to the customer because one can take the kalpanas quickly and without tasting them. This can affect the outcome of the dravya, because rasa and anupana are essential and necessary aspects that the body needs to ensure that the body is responding to the karma effects of the herbs.

Another downfall of modern Ayurvedic Formulations is that the dosage is being standardized to a uniform or general recommendation. But Ayurveda believes that when determining the dosage, it is unique to each person. The disease, dosha, quality of health, age, and agni must all be considered before determining the correct dosage, in order to give the desired medicinal effect. All these points are essential and important when using dravyas as healing products.

It is an amazing thing that the need for more all-natural approaches to health and healing illness has become an essential need in society. Plus with the availability of knowledge and accessibility of products Ayurveda and kalpanas can be made available to people all over the world. But we need not to overlook or forget the ancient practices and methods for creating herbal formulation.

Because these are time proven methods that can shown to result in auspicious healing results. We need to focus our intentions of carrying on the ancient methods while making it more accessible to the consumer. With the consciousness of the people becoming a individual priority I believe that this need for natural healing will grow as well.

Ashwagandha-how to take it

In my practice as an Ayurvedic Practitioner, I have noticed almost everyone who is listing their supplements on the intake forms, mention Ashwagandha.

A part of me is delighted Ashwagandha has become so popular in USA, that even nutritional supplements, smoothie mixes are adding it in.

The practitioner in me is a little concerned because Ashwagandha is heating and has indications and contraindications just like any herb. I have heard students say Ayurvedic supplements have no contraindications. This is absolutely untrue.

Ayurvedic supplements can harm when taken incorrectly. And, yes, there are definitely contraindications.

It is better to take a supplement after visiting a Practititioner.

Problem is when people buy things online they either have no idea of doses, or, anupana (see below), or what time of day to take it.

They take Ashwagandha when convenient with food.

Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, supports Thyroid, energy, stress, anxiety, respiratory tract AND aches and pains.

It is also used in conjunction with other dravya for other imbalances.

However, for each of those situations doses differ, anupana differs, time of day differs and there are certain dietary restrictions also.

Anupana means vehicle that helps deliver the herb and helps in its absorption.

I have listed how Ashwagandha has to be taken with different anupanas at different times below. Please visit your Ayurveda Practitioner before you start taking any Ayurvedic supplement.

1. Supporting Respiratory tract--Ashwagandha with Honey and Tulsi Tea.
Time of day - 6-10 AM, 6-10 PM.
2. Supporting Stress/Anxiety-Aswagandha with Tulsi tea (Not suggested for Pitta. For pitta add Brahmi also)
Time of day 2-6 PM (1-2 hours after meal)
3. Generalized aches and pains-Ashwagandha Ghrtam (ghee), topically as Ashwagandha tailam. (Ashwagandha cooked in sesame)
4. Supporting Neurological imbalances- Not given alone. Can be suggested in conjunction with Jatamansi and/or Brahmi.
Anupana- Tulsi Tea
5. Supporting Thyroid- Ashwagandha with Kanchanar Guggulu before meals
6. Supporting Menstrual Imbalances-Ashwagandha with Shatavari and Turmeric golden milk
7. Supporting Arthritis-Ashwagandha boiled in milk twice a day
8. Supporting low energy- Ashwagandha boiled in milk. May be given with Shatavari.
9. Supporting insomnia-Ashwagandha, Bhringaraj and Brahmi with warm Golden milk(with turmeric, nutmeg, poppy seeds) one hour before bed.

You can contact Monica Groover at Ayurveda South Austin.
https://www.ayurveda-wellness-center.com/

Disclaimer: Ayurveda is a complimentary health system and NOT recognized in the West. Ayurveda practitioners are NOT allowed to prevent, treat or cure any disease. Please contact your physician if you have any health issues. The article above is for informational and educational purpose only.

Sanskrit for Ayurveda practitioners

By Dr. Mithun Baliga (Ayurveda Counselor Student)
and Lori Black

Sanskrit is the spoken language of the Devatas or Demigods, according to Vedas. Samskrtam is said to be the oldest language known. Sanskrit is such a language rich in meaning, oftentimes there is no equivalent translation of the depth in which a word or sentence may be expressed through its context. Any student who is interested in Ayurveda will inevitably turn to the Briyat Treya.

Once we realize how simplified modern translations are of the ladened meaning meant to convey, we find a desire to understand the classics a bit more. We decide to dig into what Sushruta was trying to say; or how Patanjali could say so few words by present a meaning so in-depth. Not to mention the mantra of Sanskrit traditionally is what has supplanted the classics when there were no written versions available.

We look at the history of Ayurveda and see how there was a time when Indians were precluded from possessing the texts for fear of political retribution. Therefore, memorization was often accomplished through mantra; teaching was accomplished through mantra. As it seems so appropriate that any student who is serious about Vedanta, Ayurveda or any of the amazing Indian philosophies once must embark on the quest of deepening their preliminary understanding to even peek at what is revealed from the heart of the Gods.

Ayurveda is an ancient science believed to have divine origins. The language of the time was Sanskrit. Hence all the original texts are written in that language. Of course, we now have a translation in various languages. So we can ask certainly as the question: what is the importance of Sanskrit to Ayurveda practitioners? since everything is now available in English. It is important for many reasons.

1. The arrangement of information is the texts are in poetic form. This was to facilitate memorization which is easier why set to rhyme and meter. This poetic way of delivering information has to be interpreted correctly in the original language it was written(as in all poetry). Otherwise, errors can occur.

2. Sanskrit is an original stand-alone language, meaning it has no borrowed words. So, many times it is not possible to find exact equivalent words in other languages like English. Eg: the word dosha. The closest translation could be "a fault" but we know that "a fault" is not what we mean when we say dosha in Ayurveda. For this reason, Ayurvedic practitioner has to have at least a rudimentary knowledge of the language so that they can use those Sanskrit words correctly and with confidence.

3. Some aspects of Ayurveda involve invoking mantras and or salutations. Although these can also be translated, again their inner meaning is lost. To recommend these forms of adjuncts to therapy, the practitioner may find the knowledge of Sanskrit helpful.

4. As a diagnostic tool: Although not used nowadays, in the past the ayurvedic practitioner would ask the patient to read out the syllables of the Sanskrit language. By observing the pronunciation and speech patterns, they would diagnose the patient's issues.

5. At a higher level, the Sanskrit language has divinity in itself. The syllables have a deeper meaning and specific combinations have different effects and strengths. Chanting Vedic and other hymns are known to bring about profound changes in the physical body as well as the mind and for spiritual progress.

Ayurvedic Herbs are different

(Submitted by a student)

We dont call study of Ayurvedic Herbs- Herbology. We use the word "dravya". This means any substance therapeutic whether plant, mineral or rock. (example shilajit is a substance that oozes out of a rock).

Energetics of Ayurvedic Herbs include five things. These are called Rasa panchadi.

1. Rasa (Taste)
2. Virya (heating or cooling)
3. Vipaka (after taste)
4. Guna and Karma (Qualities and action)
5. Prabhava (ultimate effect)

Rasa

The six tastes are called the rasas

sweet-amchur (dry mango powder)
sour-Amalaki
salty-shilajit
astringent-haritaki
pungent-ginger
bitter-kutki

Virya

The heating or cooling quality of a dravya is called virya.
Heating: Ginger
Cooling: Cardamom

Guna and Karma

Here are examples of some karma or action based on their qualities.

1. Dīpana action stimulate the main Agni in the small intestine.
They may help in metabolism of ama. Examples: Trikatu, and chitkrak.
2. Pācana action digest ama and strengthen agni. (As long as it is not fat soluble ama). Examples include muśta, kutaja, garlic, ginger.
3. Śamana action pacify doshas. Honey is best shamana for kapha, haritaki for vata and amla berry for pitta.
4. Śodhana action cleansesand remove aggravated Doṣas from the body. Examples include Castor oil and Madanphala.
5. Staṃbhana action that absorb excess water. Examples include Dravya with astringent tastes such as Kutaja and Pomegranate.
6. Grahi action add bulk and solidify stool.
7.Anulomana action works as mild laxatives. Examples include warm organic milk (non homogenized), ghee, haritaki and triphala.
8.Sraṁsana acts as a mild purgative. (virechana)
9. Bhedana act as stool softeners. Examples Aloe.
10. Lekhana These dravya have a scraping action on the Dhātus, Dośas and Malas. Examples include Guggulu, and turmeric.

History of Ayurveda and Herbalism

By Lori Black

It appears to me that in the early sixties and seventies, Western Herbalism was viewed as somewhat bizarre and like mysticism or voodoo. I believe much of this was due to the lack of tolerance for all of the varying ethnic groups, religious groups and the overall pride of "The West".

It was at this time when Western medicinal philosophies seemed to be routed in "scientific" data and analysis. In a 2006 article penned by current Western Herbalist Matthew Wood, Registered Herbalist (AHG) cites the following quote: "Widespread persecution of folk healers and unconventional physicians was initiated in the United States including imprisonment and book burning, physicians were not allowed to practice homeopathy or herbalism without losing their licenses, and unlicensed practice by others was considered illegal in all but a few states (Milton, 1996)".

This quote appeared an article entitled "An Exploration of the Conceptual Foundations of Western Herbalism and Biomedicine". Wood holds a Masters of Science degree in Herbal Medicine from the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine from the University of Wales. I think this is truly an acknowledgement for the vast intricacies which were already known from Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine and many Native American healing systems. Wood states that initially when Western eyes viewed medicinal purposes of a plant, they viewed it solely on the chemical properties; once extracted the specific essence of what they found useful, the rest of the plant was thrown out.

Ayurveda is a way of life. The Herbalism in Ayurveda is truly its own science brought forth from Divinity through Vedic writings. While the Western world was busy extracting molecules and cells from possibly useful and beneficial plants; and finding the value in such it became yet another money making industry. Now, seeing the inherent benefits to be obtained from Mother Nature and seeing that aside from a plant's "chemical composition" there was so much more to understand. The dynamic of the plant from seedling to growth, maturity, reproduction and how the plant interacted within the human body was something Ayurveda has been doing - forever.

Now in the Western world, our ever increasing litigious society, our lack of respect for the environment - our lack of respect for each other! we are depleting and destroying much of what Mother Nature has provided us. I think now many Western Herbalists have developed level of standardization in which they can be better recognized and valued. Many Western herbalists who see the value beyond the laboratory or the pharmacy and how much a prescription can make them money have turned to those previously thought of as "witchy concoctions" to see how they have been healing for so long.

I think now many Western Herbalists are looking to the expertise and refinement that say an Ayurvedic Herbalist can offer while keeping dignity, sourcing and society as a whole in mind. It comes down to ethics and understanding why we are doing things. Once we separate out big business and begin to remember what matters, we look to the humbleness of that which has worked for centuries upon centuries.

Lori Black is a student of Ayurveda Counselor Program

Essential Guide to Ayurveda: A book by Monica B Groover

A Textbook called Essential Guide to Ayurveda: A Textbook for Students and Counselors , is soon being released by me. Here is an excerpt.

Essential Guide to Ayurveda is a culmination of twelve years of teaching Ayurveda for me. I have been in the business of Ayurvedic Education for quite some years.

As the director of a school as well as a teacher, I get constant feedback from my clients and students.

My regular clients who had been practicing Ayurveda for many years wanted more depth in their Ayurvedic informational material. Many people who practice Ayurveda as a lifestyle want to dive in deeper as a student of Ayurveda.

We found that there was a lack of a beginner textbook specifically for Ayurveda Health Counselors. Many of my students plan to take the Certification exam and are not able to find Counselor-focused Ayurveda resources to help them study.

As an Ayurvedic Counselor, you are expected to serve the community with support and counsel using Ayurvedic concepts. A consultation provided by an Ayurveda Counselor may focus on dosha pacifying diet and lifestyle interventions which can be be adjusted seasonally. You may need one or two credits of college-level anatomy and physiology or equivalent to take your Counselor exam.

This book can be used as a reference guide to learning the essentials of Ayurveda Counseling, not how to become an Ayurvedic Counselor. To become an Ayurveda Counselor you would need to study and graduate from an Ayurvedic school.

You will be learning the ancient principles of Ayurveda from teachers that have mastered these teachings in your school.

However, this book contains some time-tested effective strategies, authentic knowledge, tips, and foundational tenets. These are essential to an Ayurveda Counselor, & or any counseling or coaching profession that integrates principles of Ayurveda.

In the last twelve years, I have found myself continually writing curriculum, then updating it again to fulfill the changing needs of my students.

In 2017, we released Essential guide for Ayurveda Part 1 as a beta version to our students. This beta test version enabled us to get very direct and personal feedback from my students about what other information they wanted and needed in a counselor specific textbook.

We will be offering this textbook in a Kindle format, making it easier for my international students to obtain the information without having to pay for shipping costs. We will also be providing a Soft Copy paperbook.

If you are an Ayurveda Enthusiast, then this book is for you too. The book should benefit both the Ayurveda Enthusiast, as well as a potential or current Ayurveda Counselor Student. It can also be suggested for someone practicing an Ayurveda lifestyle who wants to dip their feet in the water, before committing to a school which can be a big chunk of time and finances.

This book should give you an idea of the informational content you would be learning if planning to enroll in an Ayurveda school, or have already done so.

Be prepared to dive in deeper. Open your heart to the philosophy and tenets from inside out. There is a Sanskrit glossary section in each chapter, followed by a review section by popular demand. My students love the breakdown and etymology of where the Sanskrit is coming from.

If you are interested in PRE-ORDERING, simply add your name to the EMAIL List.

Preface-Essential Guide to Ayurveda
Copyright@2020 Monica B Groover

Monica Groover is the author of Ayurveda and the Feminine, and, Essential Guide to Ayurveda, A textbook for students and Counselors. Ms Groover is the director of Narayana Ayurveda and Yoga Academy in Austin, Texas.

Who are Ayurvedic Herbalists?

By Sarah Moore

While Western Herbalists are predominantly concerned with extracting the active minerals and vitamins of an herb for its chemically medicinal usages, Ayurvedic Herbalists recognize herbs as a product of Mother Nature who has infused specific energetics going beyond the scope of chemical composition.


(Image: Curry Leaves)

Although Western Naturopathic Doctors receive special training in clinical herbalism, Western Physicians educated in Allopathic Medicine are generally not trained in the medicinal use of herbs. It is required of Ayurvedic Herbalists to be Ayurvedic Practitioners.

Ayurvedic herbalists and practitioners residing in the West don’t typically grow Ayurvedic herbs, because it’s not a tropical or temperate climate. It is not the appropriate environment for the herb to grow in a way that will offer its entire efficacy: its chemical and non-chemical energetics, Mother Nature’s essence. These practitioners may use powdered herbs rather than fresh for this reason. It is understood that Western herbalists should be able to cultivate herbs, be a gardener, have knowledge of anatomy and holistic pathology, and be able to create formulations and suggest herbs for clients’ ailments.

Ayurvedic Herbalists are also required to be gardeners, knowledgeable of anatomy and create formulations and recommendations, but unlike Ayurvedic Herbalists Western Herbalists plant and garden desired herbs in man-made, climate-controlled environments needed for these herbs to grow, irrespective of geographical location.

Western Herbalists are concerned mainly with the amount of inherent compound within an herb and how much can be yielded from it—there is more focus on quantity than quality. In other words, there is less focus on the preparation of the herb and using the whole herb (as much as possible and appropriate), such as with Ayurvedic Herbalism, and more focus on removing contaminants and extracting only the desired active compounds as much as possible. There is so much focus on the extraction (or harvest) of the herbs that they are sometimes plucked immaturely, at a wrong time of day, or by someone null of intent, love, compassion and respect for the medicinal essence of the herb.

While Western Herbalists are restricted to plants, Ayurvedic Herbalists are not. In Ayurveda, there is a word for all organic and inorganic substances: dravya. Dravya includes plants, herbs, leaves, spices, rocks, crystals, gems, resins, minerals, and animal-based products such as feathers, shells, coral, honey and milk. All dravya is therapeutic. Even water has different essences and therapeutic qualities—lake water has different qualities than mountain water.

Ayurvedic Herbalists even use herbs and metals—such as mercury—that are restricted by the FDA. Ayurveda uses different purification methods called sodhana in order to extract the therapeutic qualities from a poisonous or toxic dravya; such practices include burning or cooking. All dravya has qualities (gunas), actions (karma) and a psycho-physiological constitution (dosha), while Mother Nature gives its healing quality and essence. Each level of seeding, growing and harvesting affects the prana (life force), taste (rasa), gunas, karma, and dosha of the dravya. In Ayurveda, the herb should be full of prana and rasa.

Ayurvedic Herbalism also takes into regard the quality (guna) of the liquid component being used to process an herbal concoction, while Western Herbalists typically do not consider this. For instance, in Ayurveda vinegar has a heating quality, because of this we do not want to offer a formulation with vinegar to a client with current similar qualities, that is someone with a Pitta vikruti (current constitution), such as a woman in pre-menopause or a balanced person with a Pitta prakruti (original constitution) because it will increase their Pitta, and possibly ignite Pitta disease.

In terms of medicinal aim, Ayurvedic herbalism treats the disease, while Western herbalism is mostly focused on treating the symptoms. Ayurvedic Herbalism aims to work on the entire body, rather than focusing mainly on pathogenic organisms, as is the focus in Western Herbalism.

Ayurvedic herbs are also given to healthy, balanced individuals, whereas in Western Herbalism, aside from vitamins and mineral supplements, all other herbs are used for treating symptoms and diseases. Lastly, while most Western herbal combinations or formulations contain at most two or three herbs limiting their scope of treatment, an Ayurvedic Herbal formulation can contain a combination of up to 40 to 50 herbs allowing for a wider range of combined herbal action, bringing the individual to a more total body balance. In Ayurveda an individual is a universe made of a body, mind and soul, where all parts are involved in its fine balance; if one part is imbalanced eventually other parts become imbalanced. Ayurvedic Herbalism offers an all-encompassing approach to the treatment of the body, mind and soul.

Turkish Lentil Balls with an Ayurvedic Twist

Turkish Lentil Balls with Bulgur with an Ayurvedic Twist – Mercimek Köftesi

This vegetarian ball is one of the most popular appetizers of Turkish cuisine. This well loved Turkish dish is healthy and delicious especially for Vata and Pitta people. As a very easy vegetarian recipe, you just combine cooked red lentils and bulgur with special spices and seasoning and shape into balls. Perfect for entertaining a crowd.

Ayurvedic Chart
• Dosha Effect : VP – K+
• Rasa: Sweet, Astringent
• Virya: Cooling
• Vipaka: Sweet
• Qualities: Heavy, Soft
• Actions on the Doshas: Tridoshic (if cooked with a little oil and bitter spices good for Kapha too)
• Action on the mind: Sattvic

Ingredients

• 1 cup red lentils- washed and drained
• 1.5 cups dinkel bulgur- cracked wheat washed and drained
• 3 cups hot water
• 1 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
• 6-7 green pepper, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp tomato paste
• 1 tbsp pepper paste (not hot)
• 1 tsp freshly grounded black pepper
• 1 tsp cumin
• 1 tsp fenugreek powder
• 1 tsp turmeric powder
• 1 tsp ginger powder
• 1 tsp hingu powder
• 1 tsp coriander seed
• 1 tsp black mustard seed
• 2 tsp Vata churna -including fennel seed, anise seed, cumin seed, turmeric powder, ginger powder
• 1 tbsp cow ghee oil
• 1 tbsp pure olive oil – cold press
• 1 cos lettuce leaves separated


Cook's notes
• Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C.
• As a traditional touch you can add fresh scallion and onion, finely diced and fried in olive oil, but I do not use it in my any traditional and Ayurvedic recipes because they are Tamasic and not appropriate for a Yogic diet.

Instructions
1. Put cow ghee into the pan and heat. Add Vata churna helping digestion and gas especially for Vata people. Mustard seed, coriander seed, turmeric powder and ginger powder. Stir them for 20 seconds to uncover their specialties. Add washed red lentil and dinkel bulgur into the pan and stir them for a few seconds.

2. Boil the red lentils and dinkel bulgur in the water for about 20 minutes or until soft because dinkel bulgur is harder than conventional bulgur and needs to be boiled longer.

3. If you use conventional bulgur, it does not need to be boiled long and you can add the bulgur to the boiled red lentils in the last 2 minutes. Then cover with a kitchen paper allowing it to absorb the remaining water and to let the bulgur expand.

4. Heat olive oil in a pan and add tomato and pepper pastes into another pan and add fresh green peppers chopped, black pepper, cumin, fenugreek powder. Stir and cook until soft adding half cup of hot water. Put this sauce into the dough balls. Let it cool off. Add fresh parsley chopped and mix through well.

5. Form into thick cigar-shaped patties and roll as balls, -Take walnut size pieces and give them ball or cigar shape in your hands. Keep a little bowl of water close by to wet

4 your hand frequently during this process since the balls mixture will get stuck on your hands.

6. You can either place cos lettuce leaves on a serving plate and put balls on top as in the last picture, or serve balls and lettuce leaves separately as garnish, or skip lettuce leaves completely; however, they really go well together.

By Çağan Cinmoyii Gün Işıklı
Turkish Ayurvedic Counselor & Yoga Instructor

The Three Doshas and the Mind in Ayurveda

By Sarah Moore May 7, 2018

We are able to draw parallels of the metaphorical illustration from the Bhagavad Gita with Krishna and Arjuna riding in a chariot to the ways in which the subdoshas relate to the mind.

In the illustration, Atma is the owner of the chariot, the chariot is the Body, the driver is Buddhi, the reins Mind, and horses Indriyas.

To an effect, all the Vata subdoshas associated with mind (Prana Vayu, Udana Vayu, Vyana Vayu and Apana Vayu) are linked with all these layers of existence: Atma, Mind, Buddhi, Body and Indriyas. Prana Vayu located in the head, where the Sahasrira Chakra resides, is all pervading. It is the life force, (Atma), it governs all movements (body), the link between body and mind (Buddhi), makes decisions and actions happen (Mind), and controls senses, indriyas (horses).

Udana Vayu resides in the throat, with the Vishuddha Chakra. It governs expression of emotions (Mind and Buddhi). Vyana Vayu lives in the heart, it holds the Mind (Reins) and keeps the Body (Chariot) moving at an even pace, connecting the Mind and Body. If a wheel is broken, the chariot cannot roll forward; likewise if there is no connection of mind to body the horses will cease, they will have no direction. Apana Vayu is seated in the pelvic region, with Svadhisthana Chakra, it is related mainly in a physical way as it is responsible for shedding waste product, it keeps the Body (Chariot) clean of waste so it can continue functioning properly, so our body (the chariot) is not weighed down by waste product—physical or emotional. If the chariot is weighed down, or Apana vayu is blocked—physically or emotionally—it affects emotions, that is, the mind.

Subdoshas affected by the Mind and vice versa

Vata: Prana, Udana, Vyana and Apana (Atma, Mind, Body)
Pitta: Sadhaka (Buddhi)
Kapha: Avalambaka, Tarpaka (Body)

The Pitta subdosha associated to the mind is Sadhaka Pitta. This subdosha of Pitta resides in the heart with Anahata Chakra, which is the home of the mind in Ayurveda; it also resides in the head or brain as grey matter with Sahasrira Chakra. It is responsible for turning sensations, actuality, truth and reality into feelings and memory, it realizes the I am in Ego. Prana Vayu is closely related to Sadhaka Pitta, together they record emotions that create the intellect, which is then stored in the brain by Tarpaka Kapha (subdosha of Kapha that resides in the head as white matter and in the myelin sheath). Prana Vayu carries the emotions to Sadhaka Pitta and writes or imprints it on Sadhaka Pitta’s grey matter, then Tarpaka Kapha holds that information in white matter. Sadhaka Pitta develops information or intellect (buddhi and driver) from the indriyas (the horses). Sadhaka pitta is the Intellect. It metabolizes information from the Indriyas (horses) to make knowledge, which is the Intellect, Buddhi (driver).

The Kapha subdoshas associated with the mind are Avalambaka Kapha and Tarpaka Kapha. Avalambaka Kapha resides in the heart. It nourishes the cardiovascular organs (body or chariot) and holdw emotions (Buddhi or Driver). It hugs the heart and lunges with nourishment, support, love and compassion, so the mind, intellect, body and atma has courage to move forward. Without Avalambaka Kapha our emotions cannot be carried by Vata to Sadhaka Pitta for metabolization. The lungs can become a seat for negative tamasik emotions of sadness, grief and depression, which can affect the mind, body, intellect and atma. Without Avalambaka Kapha we dry up in the cardiovascular area, we cannot feel compassion or love, only tamasik tendencies—this can be shown in diseases such as bronchitis or asthma.

Tarpaka Kapha is seated in the brain as white matter and seated in the myelin sheath, which is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system. It is responsible for subconscious thinking, emotions and memory—as mentioned above, it stores and records emotions, experiences, etc. metabolized by Sadhaka Pitta, provided by Vata. It stores protective memories that control our reactive impulses—it nourishes and provides information to Buddhi (the driver) that helps direct oneself in a safe way, such as learning from one’s mistakes or other’s mistakes through the indriyas (horses), so the Buddhi or Driver can control and steer its chariot and owner (Body and Atma) in a safe way along its physical life journey.

--Sarah Moore is studying Ayurveda Counselor from Narayana Ayurveda and Yoga Academy.--

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