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.
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.
One of the fundamental principles of Ayurveda is that there are three different dosha (mind-body) characteristics and that you are a unique combination of each: breezy, enthusiastic Vata; fiery, impassioned Pitta; and earthy, easygoing Kapha. But did you know that each dosha contains five distinct subdoshas that govern specific parts of the body and their functioning? In this article, we’ll focus on the subdoshas of Vata.
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.
As the turn of the summer season brings changeable weather patterns and cooler nights, have you noticed your digestion has changed or become irregular? As one season fades and the next season starts, Vata dosha often becomes more active in us all. Vata’s role as the bringer of change can give rise to irregular digestion, bloating, gas, acid indigestion or an unusually sharp appetite, where you feel impelled to eat more than you usually do. These symptoms of imbalance occur when Vata accumulates within the digestive tract and starts to create some mischief!
Do you find yourself tossing and turning at night, thoughts and worries from the day running through your mind like a movie reel? Worry and trouble falling asleep tend to go hand in hand, as both have their roots in Vata dosha. Vata governs movement in the mind and body. It controls your blood flow, your elimination, the rise and fall of your breath, and the movement of your thoughts and emotions. If Vata has fallen out of balance, which is easy in Vata season (late fall and winter), you might notice an increase in anxious feelings and difficulty sleeping.
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.
Autumn Recipe & Eating Tips What to cook that will be both tasty while also helping you to stay in balance? As the days settle into Autumn do you wonder what to cook that will be both tasty while also helping you to stay in balance? I pondered his question while thinking about how I could best help you to enjoy greater balance this Autumn. The answer was to provide [...]
As Autumn gives way to Winter it’s a good time to check how balanced Vata Dosha is within you. This is particularly helpful for ensuring we maintain balance during the colder months of Autumn and Winter. As you read below consider the question... How balanced is Vata Dosha within me right now?
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.
Temperatures are down, wind is up, trees have changed colour and leaves are being shed and are blowing everywhere. Autumn has its own distinctive weather, colours and qualities. The air element and the vital force called Prana have become abundant in the atmosphere and the dry, rough, windy, erratic, cool, subtle, and clear Gunas or qualities now predominate. As these Gunas are shared by Vata Dosha (the principle of movement), autumn is considered [...]
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 [...]
There are so many detox treatments on the market these days that a question can arise: “How is Panchakarma detoxification treatment different from all these other treatments that promise to remove my toxins”. Below is a transcript of the above video in which Ayurveda practitioner, Dr Donn Brennan, explains how the expert use of specific oils is central to the effectiveness of Panchakarma in cleansing the [...]
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 [...]