Ayurveda is the ancient science of natural health and healing. A simple art of daily living in simple harmony with the laws of nature. In this article are a few basic guidelines to keep our mind and body healthy, and with a little awareness we can avoid chronic diseases.
The ayurvedic tradition teaches us that the food we eat does not only provide nutrition to nourish the body but it also affects the mind and consciousness.
The Ayurvedic system classifies people on the basis of PRAKRITI (nature) as every person is supposed to have a fixed prakriti that is based on the condition of tridoshas (bio elements) at the time of egg formation inside the uterus.
The human body is made up of 5 elements – Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. Our health consists of balanced state of three bio elements (doshas) – vata, pitta and kapha. Balance of doshas maintain health and their imbalance leads to diseases. Vata is composed of space and air, pitta of fire and water, and kapha of earth and water.
In our everyday routine, food and the mood play important roles. Overeating, consuming junk, smoking, alcohol intake as well as thoughts, emotions, stress, work pressure, social insecurity, environment and seasons influence the balance and imbalance of doshas. The accumulated doshas continue to build their own site. The stomach gets brimmed up with kapha, the intestine fills with pitta, or the colon overflows with vata. In such conditions it is possible that one has the ability to reverse the process by oneself.
Controlling emotions is difficult, but if not controlled they can harm both our body and mind and cause many diseases. The key to remaining healthy is awareness. A few mental states can describe an individual’s doshas and there are simple herbal teas which can treat and balance these doshas (bio elements )
Vata governs the nervous system and mind. If you have symptoms of dizziness, feeling spaced out, anxious, fearful, continues worrying, ungrounded mental confusion, feeling hyperactive and restlessness then know that your day is a Vata day.
Guidelines for balancing Vata:
- Keep warm
- Keep calm and watch your breath
- Avoid raw and cold food
- Eat warm food and spices which nourish your body and mind
Recipe for herbal Tea (Vata tea):
- 2 cups of water
- 1 teaspoon of roasted coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon of roasted cumin seeds
- Put all the seeds into the mixer to make a powder
- Bring water to boil, add the mixture to the water and boil it for 5 minutes
- Drink the tea in the evening at around 4’o clock
The body parts governed by pitta are the liver, spleen, small intestine, pancreas, eyes and sweat. Pitta provides body heat and energy. Imbalances of pitta causes anger and hostility in the nervous system. If you are feeling angry, over-argumentative, demanding, jealous, irritable then you might be having a pitta day.
Guidelines for balancing Pitta:
- Limit salt intake
- Eat cooling, non-spicy food
- Drink cool (not iced) drinks such as rose water, khus sherbet etc.
- Exercise during the cool part of the day
Recipe for herbal tea (Pitta tea):
- 1 tablespoon lemongrass / tulsi / chamomile / chopped cilantro / coriander leaves
- 1 cup water
- Boil 1 cup of water and add 1 tablespoon of lemongrass (or the alternative chosen) and simmer for 5 minutes. Switch off the flame and let it cool for 10 minutes with closed lid
- Allow this tea to cool. You can drink it 3 times a day after each meal.
The organs governed by the Kapha dosha are chest, throat, lungs, head, lymph, fatty tissue, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments. If you have symptoms of sadness, depression, greed, over-possessiveness, sluggishness and laziness it means your Kapha is unbalanced.
Guidelines for balancing Kapha:
- Avoid heavy foods
- Keep active
- Vary your routine
- Get plenty of exercise
- Avoid iced, fatty and oily foods
Recipe for herbal tea (Kapha tea):
- 1/8th teaspoon of ginger powder / liquorice powder
- 1 cup of water
- Boil water and pour in a cup. Add dry ginger powder / liquorice powder and stir it. Have it hot 2 times a day before lunch and dinner.
With simple awareness we can avoid many lifestyle diseases like thyroid, diabetes, PCOD, hormonal imbalances etc . Use this knowledge of 3 doshas (constitutional types) to understand yourself and others with whom you are related and bring harmony to your body, mind and life.