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Natural urges in Ayurveda

Block 1 Student

There are two types of urges in Ayurveda. These are suppressible urges and non-suppressible urges. In short suppressible urges are those that should be suppressed to prevent disease. In contrast, non-suppressible urges will cause disease if they are suppressed.

The difference between these are pretty simple to understand. Suppressible urges are the characteristics or traits that humans all possess in one form or another and are generally not healthy. These are greed, grief, fear, anger, vanity, shamelessness, envy, and attachment. In my mind, these all relate to attachment in one form or another. We may be envious of somebody who has more than we do or have a great desire for more and more money to build up our material fortress. Or we may be angry that we did not get our way because we are attached to a certain outcome in one form or another…. By allowing these urges to dominate and control our existence will not only lead to a disturbance in dosas and cause anxiety, loss of sleep, and depression but they will also lead to an empty life if allowed to control us. Keeping these in control and at bay through any enhancement of our connection with nature or spirit (meditation/pranayama) will keep these urges under reasonable control.

Non-suppressible urges are simply those that should not be suppressed. Essentially suppressing these will be violating the harmony with nature. These consist essentially of bodily functions such as urination, defecation, flatus, vomiting, sneezing, hunger, thirst, tears, sleep, cough, ejaculation, or breathing deeply during exertion. Obviously not urinating when your body calls for it will lead to pain, cramps, UTI’s, or other trouble with kidneys or bladder. Similar outcomes will come if we try to control or hold our urge to defecate. While not the most sexy of topics, it is incredibly important to not only allow for but encourage elimination in this area. Going down the list, it is clear that not honoring the basic calls of the body will have a negative effect on overall health. This includes both the incoming and outgoing of fluids or food through the body. If we don’t drink when we are thirsty, we will be dehydrated which can lead to low agni, low prana, and ojas and if we don’t urinate when we have to, this can lead to symptoms described above.

Creation of Ayurvedic Tablets (Vati)

Ayurvedic Tablets - Recipe for Eladi Vati
by Kristen George, AWC, Bhaishaja Kalpana student

Eladi Gutika (EG), is an Ayurvedic formulation to support Kasa (Cough), Svasa (Asthma), Bhrama (Vertigo), Raktapitta (Bleeding disorders, or, high pitta), Jvara (Fever), and Amavata (Rheumatoid Arthritis with Ama). Some vaidyas are of the opinion that it can be used for Eladi Vati sore throat, dry cough and cold, chronic bronchitis, hiccups - which are issues related to pranavaya srotas. It can support and aid nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, hyperacidity as well.

Vati & Gutika: Medicines prepared in the form of tablet or pills are known as Vati and Gutika. These are made of one or more drugs of plant, animal or mineral origin.

Actions: Pacifies aggravated pitta. Soothes the throat. Relieves excessive thirst.

Side Effects: There are no known side effects of this medicine. Over-dosage may cause slight burning sensation in abdomen. It is better to avoid this tablet during pregnancy

Ingredient English Name Ratio Amount
Ela Cardamom 1 3g
Patra Bay Leaf (laurel) 1 3g
Twak Cinnamon 1 3g
Pippali Long pepper 4 12g
Sita Sugar 8 24g date sugar
Yasthimadhu Licorice 8 24g
Kharjura Dates 8 24g
Draksha Raisins 8 24g
Madhu Honey 8 24g

Rose Petals
References: (recipe/how to in next section)

Indian Journal of Research in Pharmacy and Biotechnology, “A COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF ELADI VATI”

SDCOA Lecture by Manjulali “Gutika, Vati in Traditional Ayurvedic Texts”
To make Eladi Vati

STEP 1- First, grind all dry herbs mix with sugar into a churnam.

STEP 2- Soak dates and raisins in water to rehydrate. Once they are rehydrated, add some of the date/raisin water to the dry herbs to make a kalka. Grind the raisins and dates together until they are a smooth paste.

STEP 3- Add the honey and mix well. Then add the kalka and mix until it becomes a homogeneous mixture.

STEP 4 - Role a small amount into a pill-sized ball. Continue making these until the mixture has been used. Set out in the shade for 3 days to dry, or alternatively dry out at a low temperature in the oven for a few hours. (I set my oven at “keep warm” cycle, which is 170 degrees)

Animal based versus Plant Based Food- Ayurvedic perspective

Student SDCOA

It is clear that plants can provide all the nutrition that humans require. There is a large amount of scientific evidence that human biochemistry is adapted to working with plant based chemicals very effectively and that our ability to utilize animal byproducts was an evolutionary afterthought.

Comparative anatomical examination of human dental patterns show adaptation for mainly plant eating, as does gastrointestinal tract length. Plants contain all the necessary macronutrients, vitamins and mineral required for survival. There is a perception that plants do not contain much protein, and yet this is not correct, as there are multiple sources of good quality plant based protein. Man can synthesize almost any chemical required for life, except a small group of so called ‘Essential Amino Acids’ which are plentifully available from plant sources.

However, plant based food is not just equivalent to animal food, but in many ways superior. Plants have many phytosterol and other phytochemicals which have significant wellness benefits. Many of these substances have been linked with anticancer effects and as therapeutic in other chronic disease states.

Plants have high levels of antioxidant compounds which can bring health benefits. Geographic regions such as the Mediterranean or Asia that have high levels of plants in their diets show general trends for low disease rates and increased longevity. Vegetarians in the West have been shown to have lower disease rates than non vegetarians, although this may be an epiphenomenon of an overall healthier lifestyle. Herbal medications are almost uniquely derived from plant sources, and indeed many western pharmaceutical compounds have an early origin in plant derived chemicals, for example digitalis.

The concept of diet for any dosha is to try to balance your dominant dosha, or bring it back in to alignment if it is deranged. Pitta is oily, sharp, hot, light, spreading, and liquid, so eating foods that neutralize these qualities – foods that are dry, mild, cooling, grounding, stabilizing, and dense – serve to balance excess pitta. Tastes that reduce Pitta are bitter, sweet and astringent, whereas tastes that increase Pitta are pungent, spicy, oily, salty and sour. Foods that are not too hot, or cooked in too much oil will also balance Pitta. The lightness of pitta is best balanced not necessarily by heavy foods, but foods that provide the heaviness as sustenance such as grains or other energy giving foods. However Pitta dosha can have a strong appetite and therefore moderation is required. Pitta dosha does well with regular meal times, and eating in quiet, calm environments.

Although it would be impossible to give a full list of all acceptable foods for PItta, here are some examples. Generally most sweet fruits such as apples, berries, coconut, dates and figs are good. A

lmost all vegetables are good for Pitta, including the naturally sweet root vegetables such as beets, carrots, winter squash, olives, onions and crucifers. Grains are also generally good in moderation, including oats, pasta, amaranth, rice, wheat and tapioca. Dairy is cooling and PItta balancing, including unsalted butter, cheese, milk and yogurt. Legumes are pitta balancing including garbanzo beans, lima beans soybeans and peas. Some nuts and seeds are good including almonds, flax and sunflower seeds. Ghee, canola and olive oil are good. Spices suitable for pitta are basil, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel, ginger, minter, spearmint and wintergreen - again more cooling spices. Burdock, chamomile, hibiscus, jasmine and kukicha teas are also helpful

Phanta - Hot infusion in Ayurveda

By Dilek Koksal, Ayurvedic Counselor Program

I wanted to create a pitta balancing phanta with what I had in my pantry. Phanta is a hot infusion in Ayurveda. Usually, it is a combination of many Ayurvedic Herbs.

Ingredients


Rose Petals

4 teaspoons rose petals

1/2 tsp coriander seeds

1/2 tsp saffron

1/2 tsp fennel seeds

I mix them and put them in my tea bag

and placed in boiled water about 0.5 ml

ROSE: balances Sadhaka Pitta, the subdosha of Pitta that governs the emotions and their effect on the heart. Rose is cooling but also enhances the agni. Pacifies Vata and Pitta Dosha: Since it carries the sweet and unctuous properties, it pacifies Vata dosha – the sweet rasa, or taste, pacifies vata. The rose’ssnigdha or unctuous property also balances vata, since vata that tends to be dry. Any dravya or item that has the unctuous lubricating guna or property is pacifying to vata. Then due to its cooling virya or potency, as well as bitter and astringent taste, it is pacifying for Pitta dosha.

Coriander: Rasa (taste): madhura (sweet), katu (pungent), tikta (bitter) and kshaya (astringent). Guna (physical property) is laghu (light) and snigadha. Virya (potency) is ushana (hot). Vipaka (post digestion effect) is madhura (sweet). Pacifying Vata, Pitta and Kapha dosha.

Fennel: According to Ayurveda, fennel may be used to decrease all three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. It has a sweet, slightly astringent, and bitter taste, or rasa. It is cooling and its after-taste or vipak is sweet. Ayurveda advises against cooking fennel, as its active ingredients will die. It is better to steep fennel. Fennel is used as a digestive tonic, a mild laxative,and a diuretic. It helps remove toxins from the body.

Saffron: In texts of Ayurveda the herb Crocus Sativus or kumkuma or saffron is grouped under “Varnya” gana. Varnya means the one which imparts fairness and glow to skin. According ayurveda pharmacology, saffron is bitter to taste and increases body fire. It balances tridoshas (vata, pitta and kapha).

Anupana

by Kristen George, Ayurvedic Counselor

Anupanas are vehicles that increase efficacy of herbs, and, are responsible for delivering the herb to the respective dhatu(tissue).

Kumari svarasa as anupana for Amrit - Detoxification


Ingredients:

*Washed Organic Aloe Leaves
*Guduchi Powder
*Maple Syrup
*Mortal and Pestle
*Cotton Muslin Cloth Or Coffee filter
*Clear Glass container

The sanskrit name for Guduchi is Amrit, which means "imperishable." Amrit plays the role of an adoptogen, and is particularly useful for increasing the body's resistance to stress and anxiety, which affects the overall immune system, therefore having an immunity-boosting effect. It's tridoshic in moderation, and is particularly helpful for pitta disorders.

Pairing Amrit with Kumari enhances the detoxification effects, especially for rakta dhatu, liver issues. Kumari is very cooling in nature and is a good anupana for pitta.

Making kumari svarasa without a blender was much more difficult than I imagined! It's so slimy and sticky, and one must be very cautious when working with it. After peeling the skin off and having only the clear gel left, I chopped it finely and attempted to strain it through cheesecloth with very little success.

Next I tried a mortar and pestal, which helped, but it was still extremely chunky. Finally, after making a mess, I put it into an electric chopper and processed it into a fine liquid and strained it through the cheesecloth in the final step. This produced a nice liquid to use.

I took 500mg of dried guduchi and added enough kumari svarasa to make a loose kalka. Because it can be bitter, I added about 1/8 teaspoon of maple syrup to make it more palatable :)

Bhaishajya in Ayurveda versus Western Herbology

By DILEK KOKSAL

BLOCK 3 Practitioner Student

Bhaishajya Kalpana is composed of two words, Bhaishajya - Drug and Kalpana - Processing.
Bhaisajya is in turn derived from ‘Bhisag’ meaning a physician, a vaidya.

Etymologically ‘Bhaisajya’ is a substance used by a ‘Bhisag’ the physician as a means of treating a patient. ‘Bhaisajya’ is also known as ‘Ausadha’ meaning a substance imparting health.

Concept of ‘Drug’ is principally based on the type of activity of a substance on the human body. Thus, Bhaishajya Kalpana is the most important branch of learning in the field of Ayurveda. With the art and skill of formulation, a poisonous drug can be transmuted into a safe and effective drug.

Ayurvedic classics also give emphasis to the elimination of inherent constituents of the drug which arebinappropriate in specific clinical condition and toxic in nature and which enter into the formulation if notbremoved.

To meet this requirement basic materials are sometimes subjected to purifying process known
as “sodhana’.

The pharmaceutical procedures for any drug involve various steps starting from identification andbcollection of authentic raw material, application of standardized processing techniques, and production of quality drug to packaging and storage of the produced drug. Ayurvedic pharmaceutics is not an exception to this. A quote from Caraka Samhitaa (Caraka Samhitaa Vimana Sthaana 8/87, 1984) says raw

material of specified type having specific characteristics and therapeutic action, grown on a specific soil in a specific geographical area in specific atmospheric conditions should be collected in a specific season.

Only such raw material will produce the expected therapeutic effect provided it is used judiciously in proper dose.

The components soluble in water are extracted in water whereas solvents like fat, oil or alcohol are required to extract ingredients soluble in those solvents. A combined solvent system is also used sometimes. Depending on the requirement, different procedures are adopted to extract therapeutically useful ingredients.

Avipattikar Churna and Avipathi Choornam – both these are Ayurvedic medicines in herbal powder form. Both have got similar set of ingredients. But have lot of differences between them, in terms ofindication, method of administration etc.

In the West, tincturing was originally developed as a means of dealing with fresh plant materials; by soaking them in alcohol and straining out the plant mass, one could preserve herbs for future use.

A large proportion of Western herbs are flowers and leaves, which have a very poor shelf-life if simply dried.

Each manufacturer has its own method of extracting plant medicine, which is then used to make salves and tinctures that are sold nationwide.

Different extraction methods illustrate the contrasting philosophies pulling at the ends of contemporary herbal medicine. One supports the highly scientific method of standardization, which involves measuring and extracting specific compounds believed to be responsible for the herbs’ medicinal effects.

The other is the traditional “whole herb” school of thought, which asserts that all of a plant’s compounds contribute to its ability to heal and protect health, and plucking out one or a few compounds means losing that synergy.

References:
http://www.pspmngo.org/index.php/departments/rasashastra-bhaishajya-kalp...
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3025621/
http://www.motherearthliving.com/health-and-wellness/herbal-extracts.aspx

Ayurveda and Jucing

Blog By Tamara Stojadonovik

Recently, Ayurvedic Juicing has become the buzz word. There has been a famous TV show that featured Ayurvedic cleansing and juicing.

I love the fact that television is making the US more aware of Ayurveda, however juicing and Ayurveda are so diametrically opposed. It reminds me of a’ recent self promotion of a celebrity half naked in yoga poses reminding us about yoga being cure for a hangover!

Juicing is NOT Ayurveda just as this promo has nothing to do with Yoga. Someone may argue, “ Come on! We are not living in ancient times!” and the teachings should evolve. OK, I could possibly accept that , but let’s look at juicing from an Ayurvedic perspective:

1) It is not found in any of the ancient Ayurvedic texts including Charaka Samhita.

2) Ayurveda including the Charaka Samhita, recommend a diet of mostly cooked foods as cooking increases the element of fire (agni), which is essential for digestion, the assimilation of nutrients and their transformation into the bodily tissues.

3) While juices may contain organic veggies and fruits, not all veggies and fruits are good for everyone’s constitution.

4) Juices contain little or no fiber, are light and watery ,contain a high amount of sugar ( even if it is a veggie juice) and are generally served cool or cold.

For a Vata person the cold, light quality could provoke Vata causing bloating and gas. The cold water and sweet quality would increase Kapha further slowing down metabolism, increasing ama and a Pitta person with a strong digestive fire would not be able to tolerate a juicing fast as it would further aggravate their metabolism.

5) Juicing may seem perfect for the lifestyle of the person on the run and a way to to gulp down the needed nutrients that are lacking in the average American diet, however chewing and mindfulness are important to help kick start poroper digestion. As Mahatma Gandhi once said "Chew your drink and drink your food". When we drink foods without chewing , they enter the digestive system too fast before the body is even aware that it is food and so the digestive process has not even started. Chewing and the formation of a bolus with saliva is the very part of digestion.When we drink something quickly, we do not give our digestive system a chance to get started which can lead to that uncomfortable bloated feeling. Drink your food! With each bite of food we take food should be chewed until it turns to liquid. It helps us be your mindful and brings a more Sattvic quality to our meal and the slower process allows for the correct signalling by the brain and for the correct sequence of events for proper mechanical and chemical digestion to occur. Digestion progresses from the mouth through to the stomach and intestines, where digestive acids and enzymes are sequentially released from different glands and organs.

If considering juicing the following should be taken into consideration: the person’s constitution, season, time of day, the health of their digestion; the state of agni, bowel movements and level of ama as well as what fruits and veggies are being included in the juice and why.

While it is wonderful to see that Ayurveda is becoming more mainstream in the U.S., I wouldn’t be surprised to see, before long, the word “Ayurveda” being used to market a “healthy” Starbuck’s Chai Latte or Extra Value Meals.

The Banana Diet

BANANA DIET FAD - Student Blog Perron Shimizu

The asa (Japanese for ‘morning’) banana diet became a fad in Japan in 2008. This fad had a devastating affect on the banana market. The fad essentially caused shortages in bananas throughout the entire country. You literally could not find any bananas anywhere. The diet calls for an individual to consume massive amounts of bananas coupled with room temperature drinking water.

Osaka pharmacist Sumiko Watanabe original created the diet for her husband whom apparently lost 16.8 kg (37lbs). Subsequently, the diet became popular when he wrote about on one of Japan’s largest social networking services called Mixi. Since then 730,000 morning banana books have been sold.

Unequivocally, bananas and water are nutritious to any meal plan. According to the caloric ratio pyramid for raw bananas (nutritiondata.self.com) they contain an estimated 93% of carbohydrates. Research states that bananas are an excellent source of dietary fiber. This includes soluble and insoluble fiber. Furthermore, bananas are very low in cholesterol, sodium and saturated fat.

Essentially, the plan allows for an individual to consume an unlimited amount of bananas with room temperature water or milk. In the morning the dieter can consume an unlimited amount of bananas for breakfast with milk or room temperature water until full. After breakfast the dieter is not allowed to consume anything until lunch.

For lunch the dieter must at least have one banana and a salad plus a normal meal. Surprisingly, these meals have no restriction. Pizza, hamburgers, and French fries are acceptable dietary meals under this plan. In addition to this the dieter is also allowed to consume one sweet snack at 3 o’clock.

Likewise, the individual is allowed to drink room temperature water when needed. As previously mentioned there are no other restrictions for lunch or dinner. The dieter may consume an unlimited amount of bananas in addition to lunch and dinner. Bananas are also to be consumed between lunch and dinner as snacks with the cutoff time for eating at 8 p.m.

How it’s supposed to work?

The diet functions in two ways: fiber bulks up in the stomach making the individual having a longer feeling of fullness. Secondly, one of the fibers found in bananas is called resistant starch. This fiber then begins to ferment in the digestive tract, increasing fat burning by-products.

Problematic issues with the diet?

You will always have problems with any diet that encourages unregulated lunches and dinners. Overindulgence in these areas is where the diet fails. As stated above the dieter is allowed to consume an unlimited amount of bananas in conjunction with an unhealthy meal. The dieter may be prone to overindulge and actually gain weight rather than lose.

As stated above research shows bananas have a high source of beneficiary nutritional value. On the other hand, they also have a relativity high calorie and sugar intake. Clearly bananas are more beneficial if consumed in moderation.

According to the USDA one banana has more than 120 calories. In conjunction with other high caloric meals, if consumed in large quantities as this diet suggest the additional calories could create extra weight.

Asa banana diet? Fail.

Texas Association of Ayurveda Professionals

Narayana Ayurveda and Yoga Academy is a professional member of TAPAS.

What is TAPAS?

TAPAS is a growing movement of Ayurvedic Practitioners, Counselors, students and professionals and also includes those interested in Ayurveda from a diversified population in the state of Texas, USA.
Tapas in sanskrit means the continuous and constant quest for knowing the truth. This is a heated focus of attention, a one- mindedness that we cannot be distracted from. It drives us to inexhaustibly seek the truth.
Our Mission and Objectives

Mission

To support and protect authentic Ayurveda and Allied Health Professionals in the state of Texas.

Vision
Emphasis on authentic classical Ayurveda Education

Governance to preserve the excellence of Ayurveda Clinical Practice

Work unitedly to help recognize Ayurveda Medicine in the State of Texas

Objectives

Ayurveda Outreach

To be an organization representing the Ayurveda profession in Texas and nationally.

To provide a common, unified, protected space and platform for those who are practicing Ayurveda in Texas.

To propagate, promote and protect the philosophy, knowledge, science and practice of Ayurveda for the benefit of humanity.

To provide a collaborative platform for Ayurvedic Physicians (Vaidyas), Ayurveda Schools, Products, Seekers, Consumers, Organizations and Entrepreneurs to connect with each in Texas and nationally.

Ayurveda Practice

To promote a positive vision of Ayurveda and its holistic approach of health and wellness.

To provide leadership and mentorship within the Ayurveda community.

To encourage the adoption of proper legislation and work towards licensure of Ayurveda practice in the state of Texas

To govern and regulate Ayurveda Practice in the State of Texas with the help of national organizations

To develop clinical, educational, marketing and legal resources for Ayurvedic practitioners

To provide educational opportunities and support to Ayurveda professionals

To support Ayurveda students and promote Ayurvedic practices through continuing education programs

To conduct continuing education seminars, conferences, webinars for those practicing Ayurveda and for students

https://texasayurveda.org/About-us

Kleshas of Yoga versus Kleshas of Ayurveda

By Pandit Atul Krishna Das, AWP and Monica B Groover, Phd, AWP
(Founders- San Diego College of Ayurveda)

In Ayurveda, we study the Three Kleshas that include internal, external and environmental. In Yoga we study the five kleshas that arise from within. The aim and objective of yoga is to ultimately cleanse and balance the mind. The Asana practice is also aimed towards training the mind and ultimately samadhi.

The goal of Ayurveda is a little bit more broad--and Ayurvedic Practitioners who use Ayurveda and Yoga both as a modality to reach their life's objective are concerned with all kind of suffering.

The three kleshas in Ayurveda are:

1. Adhyatamika -- Internal--arising from within (This includes the Five Kleshas of Adhyatmika)

2. Adhibhautika -- From other entities--including bacteria, virus, parasites, quarrel with friends, comments from others--o
r perhaps a fender bender

3. Adhidaivika -- Given to us by mother nature---Tsunami, Fires, Floods, Typhoon, Earthquakes.

The five kleshas that afflict the Citta (Mind) given by Sri Patanjali are:

avidyā = ignorance

asmitā = To become sad and depressed, Dejection.

rāga = desire; attraction for material things

dveṣa = Enemity, revulsion; aversion to other entities

abhiniveśaḥ = Entanglement of mind, Consciousness wrapped up and illusion. (, False identification--I am this physical body --instead of I am this soul. )

Now, the question is with so many kleshas mentioned in different texts, how to reconcile all of them.

This is an excellent question as it illustrates what we like to call the "non-linear concepts" that occur so often in study of Vedic sciences such as Ayurveda, yoga, sankhya, etc.

Since yoga is focused internally, the five kleshas which are adhyatmika in nature, specifically related to the mind, are given special focus. The three kleshas discussed in Ayurveda, in sankhya, and in various literatures such as Bhagavad-gita, Bhagavata-Purana, etc. are broader in scope.

So, all the Five kleshas of Patanjali are under the purview of Internal Kleshas or Adhyatmika section of Vedic Kleshas.

There is a popular representation of Durga-devi riding on a tiger (representing rajo-guna and tamo-guna, the qualities of passion and ignorance) and carrying a trishool or trident. The three teeth of the trident represent the three kleshas which afflict the embodied being who tries to enjoy pleasures rather than using the human form of life for upliftment.

There is another explanation given in other yoga literatures describing six enemies: lust (kama), anger (krodha), greed (lobha), madness or intoxication (mada), illusion or bewilderment (moha), and matsarya (envy). Again these are really adhyatmika in nature and the yoga practitioner is urged, at the very outset of starting on the path of yoga practice, to know them clearly and avoid them.

Astanga-yoga refers to eight parts beginning with yama (following rules), niyama (observing restrictions), asana (sitting postures), pranayama (breathing control), pratyahara (withdrawing from engagement of the senses with sense objects), dharana (becoming steady or fixed), dhyana (entering a state of meditation) and finally samadhi (achieving a trance state of full absorption in the object of meditation). Avoiding these five or these six is included in the second part (niyama).

In yoga practice the mind is considered the cause of bondage and suffering in this world, largely due to our tendency to pursue sensory pleasure and lose sight of what is important. The mind is also considered to be the instrument of liberation from bondage through yoga practice, so the focus is almost entirely on these adhyatmika kleshas. From a practical point of view, we sometimes have very little ability to change circumstances that cause us grief, but we can change our perspective. Consider a person who is relatively poor and has very little but is very satisfied with basic necessities versus someone who has good income and lots of money but is never satisfied. This is a good example of how, from the perspective of yoga practice, the mind is the one thing we have which can change and adapt.

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