Blogs

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.

Doshas and the Mind

By Antonia Warren

The three maha gunas, vata, pitta, and kapha each have an important role to play in our overall health (provided they remain in balance), and when provoked, each of them tends to cause a specific range of imbalances that can manifest either in the physical body or in the more subtle realms. As a result, vata, pitta, and kapha each have a particular flavor of influence on the mind, emotions, and overall consciousness, and each of them can either support or undermine our overall health—it all depends on whether or not they are in balance.

Vata and the Mind

Vata dosha, which governs the nervous system and the mind, is primarily made up of the air and ether elements. Not coincidentally, the mind is also primarily composed of the air and ether elements, making it especially susceptible to vata imbalances. When in balance, vata is generally associated with creativity, intuition, clairvoyance, the capacity to connect with the subtle realms, profound spiritual understanding, and a natural sense of expansiveness. Vata imbalances, on the other hand, typically manifest as a certain instability, agitation, or hypersensiti

vity in the mind, and often involve excess rajas as well.
Aggravated vata can cause rapid changes in mood, fear, anxiety, contraction, a sense of being scattered, a lack of direction, spaciness, ungroundedness, excessive speed in the thoughts and words, over-activity in the sympathetic nervous system, and a sense of loneliness or isolation. Excess vata also tends to draw us out of our bodies and can leave us feeling somewhat disassociated or disembodied, disturbing our sense of security and belonging to the material world.

Aggravations of vata in mano vaha srotas are often the result of overexertion, overworking, stress, trying to attend to too many things all at once, times of travel or transition, overstimulation (e.g., lights, crowds, technology, etc.), loud noises (or loud music), stimulants such as nicotine, caffeine, and recreational drugs, and excessive exercise or sexual activity. Vata can also be elevated in the mind as a result of a vata-provoking diet, which may include too many dry, light, and rough foods like raw vegetables, crackers, dried fruits, and the like.

Pitta and the Mind

Pitta dosha, which governs insight and intellect, is primarily made up of the fire and water elements. Pitta is closely associated with the gray matter of the brain and has a very important connection with the mind as a whole. Pitta is also closely aligned with a number of Rasajic qualities, which can accumulate in the mind and cause very pitta-specific types of imbalances. Healthy pitta is generally associated with courage, confidence, will power, intelligence, leadership, a sense of vision, acceptance, contentment, satisfaction, enthusiasm, cooperation, and the capacity to surrender.
But when pitta accumulates in the mind, it tends to cause anger, hatred, irritability, frustration, impatience, resentment, envy, judgment, criticism, a rigid attachment to one’s personal beliefs and perspectives, excessive ambition, and a ruthless desire for power.

Aggravations of pitta and rajas in mano vaha srotas are often caused by excess heat and upward moving energy in the body, imbalances in the liver, periods of intense focus or ambition, as well as a tendency to disregard the needs of one’s body in favor of achieving one’s goals. Pitta can also be elevated in the mind as a result of a pitta-provoking diet, which may include too many hot, spicy, especially sour, oily, or fried foods.

Kapha and the Mind

Kapha dosha, which governs structure and lubrication in the body, is primarily made up of the water and earth elements. Kapha is closely associated with the white matter of the brain, the adipose tissue that comprises the brain and nervous tissue, and is also strongly connected to our capacity for memory. As the densest of the doshas, kapha is also aligned with tamas, which can accumulate in the mind and cause very kapha-specific types of imbalances. Healthy kapha is generally associated with love, compassion, patience, groundedness, loyalty, steadiness, endurance, and an overarching sense of ease in one’s life.

But when kapha accumulates in the mind, it tends to cause lethargy, complacency, laziness, depression, stubbornness, attachment, greed, emotional possessiveness, and a tendency to hoard material possessions.

Aggravations of kapha and tamas in mano vaha srotas are often caused by excess density and heaviness in the physical, mental, and emotional spheres, and can also involve an excess of downward moving energy in the body. Excess kapha in the mind is also triggered by an overly sedentary lifestyle, a lack of stimulation or interest in one’s life, inadequate exercise, a sluggish digestive fire, or a kapha-provoking diet—which might include too many especially heavy, dense, or cold foods (like cheese, ice cream, and fried foods).

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.--

Unmada in Ayurveda

By Conner Severson, AP Student

An example of Majja Dhatu Imbalance- Unmada

Unmada is a big topic. Science still doesn't fully understand the inner workings of many mental illnesses.

In Mental illness, western medicines allow the person to live out a heavily pharmaceutically altered life. It is hard for such people to relapse, so they cant get off their medicine. Statistically, 1 out of 10 patients commit suicide) :

Unmada in Ayurveda includes.

Delusions –false ideas--individuals may believe that someone is spying on him or her, or that they are someone famous (or a religious figure).
Hallucinations –seeing, feeling, tasting, hearing or smelling something that doesn’t really exist. The most common experience is hearing imaginary voices that give commands or comments to the individual.
Disordered thinking and speech –moving from one topic to another, in a nonsensical fashion. Individuals may also make up their own words or sounds, rhyme in a way that doesn't make sense, or repeat words and ideas.
Disorganized behavior –this can range from having problems with routine behaviors like hygiene or chosing appropriate clothing for the weather, to unprovoked outbursts, to impulsive and uninhibited actions. A person may also have movements that seem anxious, agitated, tense or constant without any apparent reason.

Other symptoms include

Social withdrawal
Extreme apathy (lack of interest or enthusiasm)
Lack of drive or initiative
Emotional flatness

As usual, those who understand even an inkling of Ayurvedic theory/philosophy can see that Unmada (Hallucinations or Delusions)is not a simple mental illness, but an elemental (akasha) imbalance: a Vataja condition affecting Majja Dhatu and that Vata has also entered most if not all other Dhatus as well.

In my opinion Hallucinations could be categorized at Vata pushing Pitta into Alochaka/Ocular tissue and creating perhaps a very detailed and not seldom terrifying experience for the person. Vata imbalance in majja is indicated by twitching, walking differently, and using strange jumpy gestures.

It is seen that the person does not shift personality, but rather becomes HYPER stressed. They percieve their unmada as being VERY real. A person with an Unmada issue maybe eating breakfast at a cafe, and have a vision of bees and spiders jumping and flying everywhere.

Vata is pushing out of the subconscious and blending into present physical reality to understand the underlying mechanisms of trauma of such persons.

PAST LIFE issues are a huge part of Unmada along with spiritual possession.

Hetus include brain trauma, genetics, drug abuse, socio-economic factors all come into play.

There are three types of Unmada

Vata Unmada : (vayu)
Texts give examples of a Vata unmada as someone who is very thin, lameting, s houts, laughs, smiles, dances, or sings and talks to themselves. May immitate others, and sputum comes outof their mouth. They may also posture. Swami Sada Shiv Tirtha notes, “Vayu insanity is also caused by fasting or an excessive intake of dry or cold foods. This affects the heart and mind with worry, passion, and anger which results in distortion of memory and perceptions.” Swami Sada Shiv Tirtha, (1998).

Frawley states that when high vata, as excess ether, makes us ungrounded, spaced-out and unrealistic. We may have various wrong imaginations, hallucinations or delusions, like hearing voices. High vata in the mind manifests as fear, alienation, anxiety and possible nervous breakdown. There is insomnia, tremors, palpitations, unrest and rapid shifts of mood. Insanity of the manic depressive type or schizophrenia is an extreme vata imbalance”. Frawley, (1996).

Pitta Unmada

Choler gives rise to threatening behavior, fury, and charging at people with fists stones,
and the like. The patient craves coolness shade, and water. He goes naked, and has a
yellow color. He sees thing which are not there, such as ire, flames, stars, and lamps.
Pitta insanity results from indigestion, excess of hot, pungent, sour, or burning foods and
liquids, excesses pitta afflict the heart of the person lacking self-control. Wajastic (1988).
Frawley notes that the “fire and heat of pitta cause the mind to be narrowed and contentious, fighting either with others or with themselves. High pitta in the mind causes agitation, irritation, anger, and possible violence. The overheated body and mind seek release in venting the build-up tension. Pitta types can become domineering, authoritarian or fanatic. When disturbed they many have paranoid delusions, delusion of grandeur or can become psychotic.” Frawley, (1996).

kapha Unmada:

Phlegm causes the patient to lose any desire for food. It causes vomiting, and a reduction
in motivation, appetite, and conversation. It causes a lust for women. It causes the patient
to enjoy solitude. He dribbles mucus and snot, and is very frightening. He hates being
clean. He sleeps, and has puffy face. This insanity is stronger at night, and just after
eating. This is caused by the overeating and excessive use of oily foods. This is
aggravated kapha afflicts the heart, troubling the mind and memory. Wajastic, (1988)

Frawley stated that kapha type evolves attachment and lack of motivation lading to depression, sorrow, and clinging. The mind may be incapable of abstract, objective or impersonal thinking. There is lack of drive and motivation along with passivity and dependency”. Frawley (1996).

Creation of Dhatus in Ayurveda

By Cagan Cinmoyii Gun Isikli -

We need to eat food everyday to grow, to be strong, to be healthy and to live a long life. Whatever we eat, it can be helpful for the creation of our dhatus in a positive or negative way in the body. Dhatu means construction elements as tissues for the structure, and growth of the body. There are 7 types of dhatus (Sapta Dhatus) in the body ; rasa, rakta, mamsa, meda, ashti majja, and sukra . All these need time to be formed respectively. Each of them takes 5 days. For instance, the food that we eat becomes ahara rasa and it can transform as the last dhatu, i.e. reproductive tissue after 35 days.

Digestion process starts in Bodhaka kapha in oral cavity. Then Udana Vata helps to masticate and Prana Vata sustains to swallow the food. Kledeka kapha provides moisture in Amasaya (stomach). Pachaka pitta also helps and Samana vata press and sustain agni to function properly. They work together to continue breaking ahara rasa down with digestive enzymes. Now, jatharagni on duty to break down the Ahara rasa into Chyle for digestion which is a milky white fluid including lymph and fats.

In the meantime, to clarify the object in a better way, I should cite that there is 3 stages of Gross Digestion. Briefly,

1-Madhur Avasthapak (Sweet Stage) with the symptoms of reduction in activity, having earth and jala mahabhuta, started in mouth and stomach and related with the Kledak Kapha Dosha.

2-Amla Avasthapak (Sour Stage) with the symptoms of thirst and perspiration, having fire mahabhuta, located in small intestine and related with Pachak Pitta Dosha.

3- Katu Avasthapak (Pungent Stage) with the symptoms of desire for movement, having Air and Ether mahabhutas, placed in large intestine and directed by Saman Vayu.

After processed through gross digested, food is divided into 2 parts; one is Sara (essense), which will form different dhatu elements later and other is Kitta (refuse) which will be divided as urine and stool as mala, waste product of the body.

The nourishment of dhatus occurs with Sara in stages. Sara is pure essence and the pure stabilized mature tissue. Each of the tissue functions properly. Every dhatu is precursor of the next dhatu working with their own Dhatu Agni. In other words, unstable dhatu is always digested by the next dhatu agni. As a result of this, each dhatu has a potency to receive its nutrients properly. At this point Acaryas have put to subject into the light to understand thoroughly with the help of 3 different laws.

1- Kshir -Dadhi Nyaya -Law of Transformation –Milk curd theory

Kshir means milk and dadhi means yogurt. Milk has a great potency to transform step by step from inside to out. In this example first milk could be transformed as yogurt, then buttermilk, butter and ghee. To succeed this, physical and chemical changes take place when turning milk into yogurt, cheese, butter, ice cream, whip cream and other dairy products. The processes for making many dairy products can only start with milk “curdling”. Although there are different ways to start milk curdling, the simple technics are to add some previous yogurt or specific acid or to heating as well as by letting the milk age long enough, with specific enzymes (which are proteins that perform a specific chemical reaction).

With the help of this perspective we can imagine that how ahara rasa and chyle transform as different dhatus in the body. At first Ahara rasa completely changes to Rasa Dhatu, following this is the changing of Rasa Dhatu to Rakta Dhatu and so on. This is one of the ways of nutrition of different Dhatus.

2- Kedar -Kulya Nyaya - Law of Irrigation / Transmisson

Kedar means parts of lands and kulya means drain. Crops in the field get irrigated by creating Kulya (drain) and Kedar (small pieces of land). The Kedar get irrigated one by one through Kuliya in sequence. Like wise different Dhatus of the body get nutrition one by one in sequence through vessels.

3- Khale – Kapot Nyaya - Law of Selectivity- Pigeon Picking Theory

Based on requirement each dhatu get nourished through Chyle. They pick from Chyle according to their need. Chyle, milky alkaline product is the precursor of all dhatu formation. It is carried from the intestine through the lympatic system and in the blood stream.

Weight Gain and Mamsa Dhatu (Muscle gain) in Ayurveda

by Cagan Cinmoyii Gun Isikli

Mamsa Dhatu in Ayurveda is the muscle tissue. The muscular system has nearly half of the body weight. If a person weighs 120 pounds, we could assume that nearly 60 pounds belong to mamsa dhatu. Muscles have special bhoutic (There are five bhutas are basic elements air, space, fire, water and earth) composition derived from Earth and Water elements. These two elements are both heavy and exist ninety percent of muscular tissue. There is also fire element in mamsa dhatu to move muscles and to give them mobility, which is amount of about 10 percent of mamsa dhatu.

Producing well mamsa body needs to enough ahara rasa. The transformation from ahara rasa to sthayi mamsa (Theory of creation of dhatus) takes about 15 days. Well-developed muscle, mamsa sara, creates a handsome body which Dr. Vasant Lad describes as like a Roman statue. It is also responsible the appearance of the body. Besides, it provides covering, maintaining body posture, gives strength. It is also functioning as lepana, plastering or holding.

When we asess out how mamsa dhatu and meda dhatu(fat tissue) are vitiated we could easily differ that causes are nearly same.

· Intake of heavy gross food such as cheese, yogurt, milk, meat, food with deliquescent properties, heavy meals

· Excessive sleeping especially day time and after meals,

· Lack of exercise

· Potato coach life style habits

At the same time these are Kapha provoking hetus. In weighting gain Kapha dosha vitiation is on chart because bhoutica composition are same with meda dhatu and mamsa dhatu governed by Kapha itself. That is why when weight gain is on consideration, an Ayurvedic Counselor also needs to take into account mamsa dhatu for analysis. If one wanting to gain weight, eating four meals a day, sleeping and resting too much, and not even washing the dishes helps too much. This absolutely increases mamsa and meda dhatus.

As a yoga teacher, I would like to underline the subject here about movement like exercise and sport and the relation with mamsa dhatu vitiation and gaining weight.

Every tissue is created with the purpose of being beneficially used in the body. But if they are not used, then remains idle. These gives rise to Dosha imbalances, malfunctions, irregularities, diseases, and vitiations.

For example, when a person eats too much, excessive amount of ahara rasa is produced. Metabolic wisdom interprets this as thinking that manas knows best and decrees this person needs more meda dhatu because of busy lifestyle and heavy body works. Otherwise s/he doesn’t take such much amount of foods. So, with the help of bhuta agni it transforms ashtayi rasa into rakta and then excess mamsa dhatu produced, body keeps it as reserve.

But if person carries on a life style between the kitchen, television and bed and does not have enough physical activity like intensive sporting activities, workouts, weight lifting, athletics, or a busy life style including bodily activities in the extent of s/he has eaten, the excess meda dhatu will automatically be idle. The body puts it in fat storage and turns it into excess adipose and meda dhatu. This not also results with weight gaining, enlarged and degenerated physical appearance, but also important diseases and disorders like cysts, myomas, fibromas, fibrocystic changes in breast, uterine, congestions, breathing difficulties, cholesterol, blood pressure problems etc.

This is just as much of our houses with full of unused furniture, materials and clothes in wardrobes. We have liked them once, bought many, but use very less. The result is chaos at home, cluttered, excess dust, too much cleaning work, more ironing and so on.

This also indicates the violation of the famous Yama rule, Aparigraha. Everything that is more than we need leads to deterioration, less prana and spiritual development difficulties. For Chikitsa, a reducing Kapha Dosha protocol is quite needed, but more spiritual practices, yoga therapy, meditation, fasting, moderate and humble lifestyle and eating habits are necessary and beneficial in the long term.

Image:By Victovoi [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Kitchari and Spice Mix- by Henri Parviainen

A kitchari and Spice Mix for Pitta Kapha

1/2 cup basmati rice
1 cup mung dal (split yellow)
6 cups (approx.) water
1/2 to 1 inch ginger root, chopped or grated
A bit of mineral salt (1/4 tsp. or so)

2 tsp. homemade ghee (Video attached below)

1/2 tsp. coriander seeds

1tsp fennel seeds

1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds

1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 cup of sweet potatoes

Henri Parvianen is a Yoga enthusiast, and, is studying Ayurveda Counselor program from Narayana Ayurveda.

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