Friday, November 11, 2016

A bit about Ayurveda

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda provides both curative and preventative measures towards optimal physical, mental and spiritual well being. The word "Ayurveda" is from the ancient Indian language, Snaskrit, and literally means "Knowledge of Life". 

Inherent in Ayurvedic principles is the concept that you are capable of taking charge of your own life and healing. 

More than simply medical care, Ayurveda offers a philosophy whereby one may prevent unnecessary suffering and live a long, healthy life. Known as the mother of all medical systems, Ayurveda has undergone continuous research, development and refinement over past 5,000 years. Originally from India, Ayurveda is currently experiencing world-wide popularity as a revival sweeps in all continents. Ayurveda employs the judicious application of nutritional guidance, herbal medicines, exercise therapy, transcendental meditation and many special rejuvenation and purification therapies. Preferring to focus on the type of person who has the disease, rather than just understanding the type of disease the person has, Ayurveda is a patient-orientated system of healing.

According to Ayurveda, you can achieve health through daily routine. A typical Ayurdedic routine might look like this:
- Rise with the sun.
- After emptying the bladder and bowels, one should meditate for 20-30 minutes and then exercise.
- Exercise should preferably be done early in the morning before the daily shower or bath.The intensity of the exercise depends on your dosha - your body type. The ideal amount of exercise should be 1/2 of your capacity. For example, if you get tired after 30 minutes of jogging, you should stop after 15 minutes. When sweat appears on the armpits and forehead, respiration speeds up and one starts breathing through the mouth, the exercise should be stopped. Yoga is considered the preferred way of exercising because it combines physical and mental exercise.
- The tongue should be cleaned with a tool made for this purpose. Cleansing of the tongue freshens up the mouth and also stimulates the secretion of the digestive enzymes.
- A dab of Sesame Oil should be put into each nostril or applied in the inner mucosa of the nasal cavity with the help of the fingers each morning. A few drops can be put on the end of the little finger and gently applied inside the nose. This is an excellent way to keep the nasal passages moist and is very beneficial.
- A hot bath should be taken after the ayurvedic oil massage and proper exercise. A hot water aromatherapy mineral bath relieves fatigue, cleans the body, increases strength, improves appetite and generates a feeling of freshness in the body as well as in the mind. 

Ayurveda and tastes

There are 6 tastes according to Ayurveda, and we should enjoy all 6 in our diet:
  • Sweet - wheat, milk, dates, rice. 
  • Sour - yogurt, tamarind,lemon. Salty - sea salt, kelp, rock salt.
  • Pungent - onion, radish, chilly, ginger.
  • Bitter - dandelion root, bitter melon, rhubarb root.
  • Astringent - plantain, pomegranate, apples.

Spices in Ayurvedic cooking

Spices used in small to moderate proportions according to the food
being prepared and the person's body-type - dosha - will stimulate all the digestive organs to produce the enzymes required for total assimilation and absorption. Thus spices are better for the poor digestion of kaphas and vatas. Pittas should use only mild spicing, as their "fire of digestion" is generally strong.

How soon you feel balanced once you start following Ayurvedic principles depends on how much you have abused yourself in the past. That's why the Ayurvedic practitioner asks many questions about your health history. It is important to ascertain when the problem began and what emotional and mental imbalances preceded it, so that your diet and daily routine can solve your health problem by going to the source.