As we progress further into fall and rapidly approach winter, the weather in many regions is becoming cold and dry, and along with that comes increased Vata. Fall and early winter are considered Vata season, with the cold, dry, clear, and moving qualities that characterize Vata. If you have a Vata-dominant constitution, it is important to keep these qualities in balance. Doing so will ensure that you stay healthy, energetic, and creative.
However, if Vata becomes imbalanced in the body, you are prone to mental and physical disorders that are more common in Vata-dominant individuals. These include anxiety, depression, joint pain, dry skin, and constipation. In order to maintain physical and mental health, it is essential to keep Vata qualities balanced during Vata season.
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.
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.
Shatavari, or Asparagus racemosus, is a climbing plant that grows natively throughout India in low jungles. Translated as ‘she who possesses a hundred husbands’, it is the primary rejuvenative herb for the female reproductive system (as Ashwagandha is for the male). It helps women transition through all life stages, supporting health of the female organs throughout puberty, reproductive ages, into menopause, and beyond. Shatavari is supportive of fertility and libido and also increases love and devotion.
In addition to supporting reproductive health in males and females, shatavari promotes brain and digestive health. It calms the nerves and nourishes the brain, helping to balance Vata disorders such as spasms and insomnia. Digestive problems such as dryness and inflammation can benefit from supplementation.
Energetically, shatavari is sweet, cool, and bitter. It reduces Pitta and Vata and, in excess, increases Kapha.
Shatavari and Reproductive Health
Shatavari is known for its rejuvenative effect on female reproductive health. It can be used by both men and women, working in a number of ways to support healthy reproduction.
Shatavari can be used by women and men to improve fertility. As an adaptogenic herb, it helps to protect the mind and body from stress. Excess stress can impair fertility, and reduction of stress in both men and women can help to improve fertility. Shatavari can also act as as an estrogen regulator, which can help to promote menstrual cycle regulation and fertility. In men, it can increase the production of semen and thereby improve the likelihood of conception.Continue reading “Shatavari for Health and Fertility”→