Like nature, Ayurveda does not act according to a rigid set of rules, but focuses attention on the larger, holistic picture. The coming together and play of all things and their ever changing dance of life. The ability to feel and understand what is going on needs to be developed. This is not possible without mindfulness!
In the first part I will impart the basic knowledge and the Ayurveda medicine cabinet. In the other contributions that will follow, then the constitutions (doshas), the dishes and foods, the churnas and spices, the oils, the food supplements, the personal constitution and finally the Ayurvedic cuisine with and without a recipe.
Ayurveda medicine cabinet basic knowledge
Ghee is a pure butter fat and is one of the most important staple foods in Ayurvedic cuisine. Not only in Ayurvedic cuisine is ghee highly valued as it has the healing benefits of butter without the impurities such as milk solids. The first Indian Ayurveda surgeon Sushruta described the Ayurvedic texts sushruta samhita that Ghee is said to be of great benefit to the whole body. Among other things, it keeps the connective tissue supple, promotes mobility, regulates digestion and strengthens the immune system. Ghee has a detoxifying and warming effect, but not heating.
Ghee should be golden yellow and fragrant nutty. To make a small amount of ghee, put 250 grams of fresh organic butter in a saucepan with a heavy, coated base. Melt the butter over medium heat and then bring to a simmer WITHOUT stirring.
In the process, foam and bubbles form. Reduce the heat again and let it "bubble" for 15 minutes until a brown sediment forms. Be careful not to burn the butter. The ghee is golden yellow, clear and fragrant, nutty. The ghee is ready when all the liquid has evaporated. For testing purposes, drizzle a few drops of water (carefully!) On it. If the hissing stops almost immediately, the ghee is ready.
Line a metal sieve with kitchen paper. Pour the ghee through the sieve into a sealable container (I use old preserving jars). The residues remain in the paper. Let the ghee cool and seal. Ghee can be kept in a cool and dark place for months or years. Storage in the refrigerator is not necessary.
Important! Always remove ghee with a clean spoon to prevent mold from forming.
Ayurvedic texts are full of references to all natural types of water. Regularly drinking hot or warm water is a very important remedy.
When I'm on the go, I take a thermos bottle with hot water or sometimes ginger water, which I will mention later in this post.
Ama (metabolic slack) in the body is naturally sticky and greasy. Hot water can dissolve ama, just as it dissolves fat from dirty dishes.
With half a teaspoon Pippali Churna mixed the water is the "Ama Killer". Pippali has a few more wonderful qualities that I will go into later.
The frequency of drinking hot water is more important than the amount you drink! Once you get up, the first thing you should do is drink a cup of hot water to wake up the system and flush out the impurities from the previous day. Only then can you start the morning routine. Many Ayurveda texts also recommend sipping a small amount of warm or hot water with meals. Boiling the water for a long time (10-20 minutes) stimulates agni directly so that the food can be processed and absorbed more efficiently.
Main benefits of drinking hot water
- It counteracts fatigue
- It improves your complexion
- It stimulates your digestion and blood circulation
- It calms the mind and brings satisfaction
- It refreshes and is easily absorbed by the body
- It cleanses the bowels
- It promotes sweating, which cleanses the lymphatic system
- It flushes the urinary tract and rids the body of unwanted toxins
Ayurveda tip: A glass of hot water often brings quick relief from stomach pain or headaches. Warm clove water is even better at relieving your headache. Fast, cheap and very easy from nature.
Hot drinks and tea
The senses through aroma and taste influence with tea and hot drinks. Ayurveda uses many spices in drinks.
For example, a small amount of fennel seeds and cumin help balance out vata.
A small amount of fennel seeds and 1 clove will help balance pitta.
A few basil leaves and some fresh ginger help balance Kapha (pronounced Kap-ha).
Relief from menstrual cramps
A tea off Ajwain is an effective home remedy for relieving menstrual cramps.
A daily glass of hot water with a squirt of lemon and honey (only stir in honey at temperatures below 40 degrees!) Is a well-known remedy that helps to reduce weight. The hot water breaks down fat deposits in the body and the lemon contains pectin fasters, which control the cravings for food.
Weight loss with Mumijo Shilajit capsules
Mumijo - Shilajit capsules is an ancient natural remedy from the mountains of Central Asia. The resin-like substance is collected in the mountains of the Himalayas and according to Ayurvedic teaching, Mumijo is said to have numerous healing effects, particularly due to its high content of fulvic and humic acids. The gastrointestinal tract, but also the brain, bones, the immune system and fertility. Mumijo also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Increase in fertility
In a study with 60 men, Mumijo was administered twice a day over a period of 90 days. The sperm count increased by an average of 60% during the trial period. The sperm activity also increased overall by almost 12%. This confirms the Ayurvedic teaching, in which Shilajit is an important medicine, especially for fertility problems.
Effect on testosterone levels
The same study looked at testosterone levels. It was found that taking 200mg of Shilajit daily for 90 days increased testosterone levels in the blood serum by 23.5%. By the way, testosterone is important for both women and men to protect muscle tissue, to stimulate fat burning and to feel a good and balanced mood as well as to stimulate the mind.
Increase in performance
Ayurvedic tradition says that Mumijo increases energy levels and well-being. Researchers were able to show that Shilajit stimulates energy production in the mitochondria at the cellular level. This has a positive effect on greater alertness, better recovery and better performance.
Protection of the heart
The effects of Mumijo on heart health were also investigated in animal experiments. The animals tested and treated with the substance showed less cardiovascular damage than the control group. The researchers said that this effect could not only be explained by the antioxidant effects of Shilajit. Mumijo regulates the gastrointestinal tract, but also affects the brain, bones, the immune system and fertility. Also has Mummy anti-inflammatory properties. In Ayurveda Paradise you can get Mumijo capsules in the best, tested quality at a reasonable price. The market price is approx. CHF 32/60 capsules.
Weight reduction and control thanks to turmeric and black pepper
As already described in Ayurveda magazine about turmeric and black pepper, turmeric is effective in controlling weight, increasing adipose tissue and water retention. Turmeric also alleviates many ailments and activates the digestion of dietary fats, lowers cholesterol, has anti-inflammatory and detoxifying effects.
Turmeric has been one of the most important spices and medicinal plants in Ayurveda for over 4,000 years. It is energizing and cleansing and has a few other aces up its sleeve.
Agni - the digestive fire
In addition to the doshas Vata, Pitta and Kapha is Agni the fourth functional principle in our organism. Agni has its headquarters in the upper abdomen and is produced by Pitta. As «the fire of life» is Agni also present in every single cell and indispensable for all vital functions.
Agni determines the ability and strength of how food nourishes the various functions of the body. Has Agni plays a central role in the interaction with the doshas for all metabolic and life processes and is also responsible for the breakdown and conversion of food.
Every illness results from a disturbance of Agni - the digestive fire
According to Ayurvedic teachings, every illness also results in a disruption of Agni - the digestive fire. Because Agni is the energy that is required for all physiological transformation processes and the entire structure of tissue. If, on the other hand, a person has a balanced digestive fire (Sama, Agni), this gives a healthy and long life and nourishes all three doshas, dhatus and malas in an excellent way.
Enthusiasm, joie de vivre, charisma and good immunity are just some of the positive qualities that characterize a person with a healthy digestive fire.
Influence of food
In Ayurveda, healthy and digestible food is always based on the quality and digestive power of Agni Voted. The digestion time should be a maximum of 12 hours (yaam) and serve to digest heavy and light food in a reasonable time and with a high gain of energy.
Agni disorders: If the digestion is too fast, too slow or very irregular, this results in a so-called Agni disorder on a too strong or too weak digestive power. A too slow and weak Agni is the cause of indigestible metabolic residues (Ama).
Ama is responsible for many metabolic and chronic diseases. An overactive, rapid digestive fire, on the other hand, can lead to acidity, stomach irritation or diarrhea. Work on the other hand Agni balanced in all its functions, that is what we call it Sama Agni. When all the doshas are in balance, your body enjoys good health, healthy skin color, and good growth
- a long life span (Ayur)
- Physical strength (bala)
- Good looks (krabhaa)
- Shine of the eyes (Kaanti)
- Good immunity (ojas)
- Enthusiasm and creativity (Utsaaha)
- A good memory and a clear mind (Bhuddhi)
- Much life energy (Prana)
- Charismatic glow and brilliance (Tejas)
Ama - undigested metabolic residues
Many Ayurvedic recommendations aim to rid the body of waste products (ama). Ama is a type of waste product that pollutes the digestive tract and organism. Ama literally means "not cooked - undigested" and means that parts of our food have not been or insufficiently transformed by Agni and thus have not found their way into the metabolic and energy cycle of the body tissues. Since the metabolic residues are still in the body, they represent a burden for it and can therefore be referred to as waste products. Slags can arise both as a result of digestion and as cell toxins and debris that have not been destroyed and removed. Since Ama is cold, damp, heavy, cloudy, sticky, foul-smelling and impure, it has properties diametrically opposed to Agni and can thus greatly restrict its activity, regardless of which Dosha it is connected with. This in turn means that even more waste products (ama) can form if this cycle is not put to an end.
Let your food be your remedyEat a healthy diet with lots of vegetables, few carbohydrates, if possible no meat or very little (60-80 grams / week), use Ayurvedic spices suitable for Dosha. Various Ayurveda specialist books can also be found in Ayurveda Paradise.
Your body can regulate many disorders on its own!
Slowly switch to Ayurveda
If you switch to Ayurveda, I recommend not to switch immediately. First, it takes time for your body and mind to adapt. Eat for the first few weeks according to Ayurvedic teachings and how you have done it up to now. Integrate Ayurveda more and more. If possible, avoid all types of meat - including processed meat. If it doesn't quite work out, reduce the meat to around 60-80 grams a week.
Use ghee instead of butter in the kitchen for frying and cooking. Drink warm or hot water. No soft drinks from the supermarket or carbonated water.
Three regular meals a day and, if possible, no snacks in between. The digestive fire burns most strongly around noon. This should be your main meal. Lots of vegetables, proteins such as legumes or a delicious vegetable curry with rice. The dessert is eaten beforehand and the salad at the end. Sweets should reach the stomach first so that no ama can arise. The lettuce brushes your teeth and vitalizes them.
Better not to use industrially manufactured foods
Leave the prepackaged foods and finished products. Instead, use fresh foods. What grows in nature is good for your body.
According to Ayurvedic teaching, what has been processed in the industry is not recommended.
Smoothies are not a substitute for a balanced diet. Buy your vegetables, bread and fresh organic milk, yoghurt or cream cheese (not fermented) from farmers or in organic shops and health food stores.
Avoid fermented, aged cheeses. It clogs your body tract. Get your apron and start fresh cooking again.