Western medicine offers little in terms of effective treatment for the common cold. Medicines that treat symptoms can counteract the body’s natural ability to heal. Having a runny nose is a side effect of the body’s attempt to carry virus colonies out of the body through the nasal passages. Antihistamines dry up mucous and prevent the body from removing the virus. Fevers are also beneficial in combating illness by increasing the movement of white blood cells and raising the temperature outside of the preferred range of viruses.
Medications like tylenol and aspirin, which lower the body temperature, impair the body’s natural response to viral pathogens. Unlike Ayurvedic cold remedies, medications that treat the symptoms of the common cold can limit the body’s ability to heal and consequently lengthen the time of illness.
Ayurvedic cold remedies work by supporting the body’s natural defense system instead of working against it. Supplements and aromatherapy strengthen the immune system and assist the body in the natural removal of phlegm (and virus colonies) from the throat and nasal passages. Ayurvedic cold remedies can also provide relief from symptoms like sore throat and headache without impairing the ability of the body to naturally combat viral pathogens.Continue reading “18 Ayurvedic Cold Remedies – Plus Aromatherapy for Cold Relief”→
Breakfast is an important meal, setting the tone for the day and preparing the body for digestion and activity. Breakfast can be one of the more difficult meals to plan for when transitioning to a new way of eating. We all have foods that we are accustomed to, and those foods might not do a good job of balancing our constitutions. It is important to choose foods that calm your dosha and bring the body into balance.
The importance of breakfast for you as an individual depends in part on your constitution. Kaphas often are not hungry early in the morning and can function well if they choose to fast instead of eating an early breakfast. Vatas, however, often find it important to have a solid breakfast. Pittas can vary, but usually find it best to eat something by mid-morning. Failure to do so can lead them to become agitated.
Weight loss is a common goal for those pursuing health and aesthetic goals. In western society, obesity is a growing problem, and emaciation is rarely a concern. For many, it has become important to find ways to healthfully lower levels of fat in the body. Ayurveda offers techniques for permanent weight-loss through the lowering of body fat by healthy and balanced means.
Keep in mind that the ideal weight for you is one that is appropriate for your constitution. This means that Kapha types will be healthiest at a weight that is higher than what is currently idolized by western culture. Vata types tend toward thinness and can function well with lower levels of body fat.
Ayurveda teaches that too much fat is more problematic than too little fat. However, fat is essential for the body in proper amounts. Insufficient fat stores in the body weaken immunity and increase stress hormone levels. Ayurveda stresses the importance of attaining a weight that is optimal for your unique body. For many, striving to constantly lose weight becomes harmful to the body.
Kitchari (also called Kichadi) is a simple stew based on basmati rice and split mung dal. It is at the center of healing in Ayurveda and is suitable for almost every constitution. Kitchari can be customized to create endless variations, each of which can be used for specific purposes. It is very easily digested and assimilated, and as such is a primary food in Ayurvedic cleansing therapy.
The essential components of kitchari are ghee, spices, basmati rice, and dal. Ghee is necessary for lubrication of the digestive tract and assimilation of nutrients. Other beans can be used in place of dal for specific healing purposes, as long as they are very well cooked. Vegetables are a very common addition to kitchari and are beneficial for balancing a variety of conditions.