Aromatherapy, in the form of floral and herbal extracts and incense, has always been an integral aspect of ayurvedic healing. From sandalwood incense to enhance the benefits of meditation to water infused with holy basil for purifying the environment, aromas have been a pleasant way to infuse the human psycho-physiology with the healing wisdom of plants. Although single-aroma incense and floral waters are not uncommon in Ayurveda, it is more typical to see blends or combinations of several different aromas.
Summer Solstice Great! Summer the warmer time of the year when Pitta the fiery dosha is strongest, is just around the corner. If you follow the guidance of a Meteorologist the hottest months of the year in Great Britain are June, July, and August. Some like to follow the movement of the sun through the sky and say Summer really begins when the sun is at its highest point in the sky on Friday, June 21st this year at the Summer solstice. How Does Ayurveda Mark the Change of Season?
According to Ayurvedic wisdom, our body and its functions are governed by a unique blend of the three doshas, or mind-body principles: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. “Kapha is that quality of our physiology which increases with close contact of water,” says Dinesh Gyawali, PhD. Generally speaking, Kapha has a binding quality in the body and governs structure, lubrication, and nutrition. It moderates things like weight, growth, lubrication of the lungs, and formation of the seven tissues: blood, fat, muscle, bone, marrow, nutritive fluids, and reproductive tissue. It also has a cooling influence, according to Gyawali. “Ayurveda compares Kapha with the Moon. It keeps our body nourished and cools it down just like the moon.”
Do your joints feel stiff or ache when you bend them? Or does the rainy, cool spring weather make you feel achy all over? More than 10 million people in the UK have arthritis or other similar conditions that affect the joints. Arthritus affects people of all ages, including children. Here is the ayurvedic perspective on maintaining the health of your joints as you age.
No longer just a frilly garnish, kale is taking the culinary world by storm. Along with it, leafy greens like spinach, chard, and even collards and turnip greens are gracing plates everywhere from fine dining hotspots to fast food restaurants across the country. These nutrient-packed veggies have long played a starring role in Ayurvedic cooking, and with good reason. They’re hydrating, nutrient-rich, and when prepared while fresh, they contain prana, or life-supporting energy. Below, we’ll share both Ayurvedic and nutritional insights on leafy greens, along with tasty ways to incorporate them into your daily diet.
According to Ayurveda, intake of appropriate and nutritious food is the first step to good health. Food is seen as a prime preventive medicine. And this is not just eating the right foods, but also eating them in the correct combination and quantity. Nutritious food helps us maintain the internal balance of elements. Herbs too, could be grouped into foods. Once the properties of various foods and herbs are understood, Ayurvedic principles can be applied to your daily diet as well as on those occasions when you feel unwell.
A Guide to the Doshas. Discover your individual body-type and which Dosha you need to balance most – Vata, Pitta or Kapha. Identify your individual health needs by reading our Dosha guide and test booklet.
When the weather becomes colder and windy (Autumn), it sets the scene for an increase in respiratory discomfort. Coughs, colds, bronchitis, asthma and in the extreme pneumonia become more prevalent. Other more chronic conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema may become aggravated. This can increase the demand on the national health care services, especially with the elderly.
Peter Brown: So Dr Donn, I recently read an article in a health magazine, which talked about the wide range of benefits from oil pulling. The article also mentioned that oil pulling originated in Ayurveda. Could you describe to us what oil pulling is and what its benefits are both in Western medical terms and also in Ayurveda terms? Dr Donn Brennan: Oil pulling is part of [...]
Blissful sleep for better health with Ayurveda (video + transcript) GalleryAnxiety, Brain, Consciousness, Detox, Digestion, Dr Donn Brennan videos, Drinks, Emotions, Fatigue, Food, Heart, Kapha, Meditation, Mind, Obesity, Pitta, Sleep, Stress, Vata, Weightloss
In truth, we need more sleep than we think we need. All the research is pointing to a minimum of eight hours sleep that people actually need for the work that the brain needs to do overnight to be accomplished. Less sleep leaves us less capable, even if we don’t know it. Even an hour’s lack of sleep [each night] over a 10-day period leaves us as incompetent and incapable cognitively, as if we had missed a whole night’s sleep for one night. The only difference is we don’t recognise it. We don’t know it.
I’ve recently been helping an Australian friend in her quest to find a decent café latte up here in the North West of England and it’s not been easy. While Sydney seems to be chock full of expert Baristas who can serve up the perfect café lattes at the drop of a hat, many of our British versions don’t seem to quite hit the mark.My friend’s obsession with [...]
The concept of the three Doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha – is most people’s route into understanding Ayurveda. It’s easy to grasp how Vata Dosha can be responsible for all movement, Pitta for all transformations and Kapha for all structure in our body and the world around us. But there is a deeper level of this understanding though and the three Doshas have their root or master [...]
The transition from winter to spring is the best time to shed your old skin cells and build up new radiant cells. Compared to the harsh winds of winter, spring breezes have a softer and gentler effect and, combined with the warmer sun, the pleasant feeling it creates will affect your entire physiology. It is important to have a new, clear and fresh skin to take full advantage [...]
It’s freezing outside. You shiver and get goose-pimples. The pores and blood vessels in your skin shrink and contract to preserve the body’s heat within its core. Your body changes and adapts during cold weather and Agni (digestive fire) increases to give you a stronger appetite. The extra food you are able to take in, helps you generate more heat.
From when she was young, my cousin Sandra’s drink of choice has been hot water. She has always had remarkably good health and a good complexion, yet she insists that her beverage choice was not due to health concerns; she simply dislikes the taste of tea and coffee. I used to think my cousin’s hot water foible was strange, until I came across Ayurveda and its insistence that drinking [...]
January heralds the start of the Kapha season, and its cold, dull, damp and heavy weather tends to increase Kapha within the body. We often think of winter as a time for Kapha-associated diseases, such as colds and flu, yet Ayurveda maintains that winter is not weakening but strengthening, and the best season to improve your immunity. Bala is the term Ayurveda uses for immunity and general strength, whether [...]
In the UK, and most of Europe, January signals the start of the Kapha season; the time of year that increases the cold, wet and heavy Kapha qualities in our body. To stay healthy during late winter and spring, balance the influence of Kapha by adjusting your diet. The colour, aroma and taste of this Kapha-reducing meal is warming. Chickpeas are very nutritious but can take time to [...]
Winter is the Kapha season when the weather is cold and wet and the Vata season of when it is cold and windy. At times the Vata moving element can dominate our physiology and at other times the stable and cohesive Kapha can get the better of us. How do we keep in balanced with all the challenges our changeable weather imposes on us? Also, how [...]
As we grow older, it can be extremely challenging to lose fat just through diet and exercise. To really fight that stubborn fat, the ancient medical system of India, known as Ayurveda, uses age-old techniques that target the exercise-resistant fat by igniting your digestive fire. This is the biggest difference between Ayurvedic weight loss and techniques and more conventional Western methods – Ayurveda focuses on why your fat cells [...]