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Ayurveda Patrika

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter 1999

 

Issue 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings

Samadosha, samadhatu, samagni sama mala kriyaha prasannaatmendriya manaha swastha iti abhidhiyate
“Balanced doshas, dhatus and agni and the regular elimination of waste products creates clear senses, clear mind and a happy soul in the person.”
- Charaka Samhita

Happy New Year!  

Food Tips

We know that it is hard to eat the same food every day. One secret to satisfying meals is making them look beautiful, and an easy way to do this is with different colors. Zucchini, yellow squash, and red bell pepper look and taste great together. The same goes for green cabbage and carrots. Beets are delicious and beautiful: grate them on your salad, make red soups, and cook chopped beet in your kitchari. A garnish of chopped cilantro or parsley is always welcome, and cilantro chutney really makes a meal taste better! Lastly, try varying the spices to get different tastes and colors. Not everything has to be yellow all the time, just leave out the turmeric now and then.

Try making your own rice milk, it’s so easy and delicious. Grind cup sweet brown rice in a coffee grinder to get a fine flour, then add to a cup of water in the blender. Blend for a few seconds, then let it soak for ten minutes, then blend on high for a minute. Add another cup of water and cook on high stirring continuously to the boiling point. Stir until smooth and let cool. Now you can use this rice cream in so many ways. Add more water to make rice milk, and add sweetener and a pinch of salt to taste. Blend with cooked veggies, water and spices to make creamy veggie soups or sauces. Or, make pudding!

This coconut pudding is very nourishing, good for vata and pitta, and easy to digest. First make coconut milk: put 1 or 2 cups fresh, grated coconut in a blender, cover with water, and blend until smooth. Add more water to get a milky consistency. Squeeze through a fine mesh strainer or muslin bag. Combine coconut milk, rice cream (above), toasted slivered almonds, golden raisins, and saffron or cardamom, and heat on low until flavors are blended. Sweeten with evaporated sugar cane juice or maple syrup. Serve warm and enjoy.

Rogastu dosha vaishamya dosha samyamam arogata
“Doshic imbalance is the foundation cause of the disease process in the body and balancing the doshas, according to the individuals constitution, will not allow this foundation to develop.”
- Charaka Samhita

In the previous issue of the Ayurveda Patrika we discussed how disorders of the mind and body are promoted by the misuse of time, intellect and the senses. To take this understanding to a more elemental level, let us explore the nature of imbalance of the doshas as it relates to the environment. Then we will look at how the balance of the doshas affects the disease process.

We are all made up of the five primary elements or panchamahabhutas. They are ether, air, fire, water, and earth. Of these five; air, fire and water are the elements that are always changing and influence the doshas the most. The doshic imbalance starts when air (vata), fire (pitta) and water (kapha) become excessive in your environment. If you live in a windy place, vata will be more prevalent there and you will find yourself more prone to vata imbalance. Likewise, rainy places promote kapha, and hot, humid weather will affect pitta. The foods we eat also are made up of these primary elements and follow the same rule. Dry, light (airy) foods promote vata, whereas, hot, oily food aggravates pitta. Heavy, sweet, and liquid foods will increase kapha.

A protocol to balance the doshas revolves around increasing the specific qualities that are not as prevalent in our environment. This will counter-balance those qualities that have become excessive, thereby balancing the doshas. An Ayurvedic regime suggests certain foods and lifestyle practices that have the opposite qualities of the elements that have become excessive in you. This helps to pacify whichever dosha has a current imbalance and prevents the disease process, called samprapti, from trying to manifest.

The theory behind samprapti, known as shat kriya kal, is that disease forms in six distinct stages. As the above quotation teaches, disease begins with imbalance of the doshas. Although outwardly detectable symptoms are not present until the fifth stage, an Ayurvedic physician can detect the disease process in the early stages. As soon as our doshas become vitiated, the first stage of samprapti – sanchaya or accumulation – begins and starts to lay the foundation for disease. If we can keep the doshas relatively in balance then we can manage this accumulation and avoid entering into the second and third stages of samprapti, where greater challenges with our health develop.  

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