18 Ayurvedic Cold Remedies – Plus Aromatherapy for Cold Relief

Ayurvedic Cold Remedies

Ayurvedic Cold Remedies

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”

Ayurveda for Weight Loss – Food, Exercise, and Supplementation

Ayurveda for weight loss

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.

For those that truly do need to lose weight, using Ayurveda for weight loss is an optimal approach. Ayurveda offers gentle, long-term strategies that nourish the body and bring it fully into balance. Continue reading “Ayurveda for Weight Loss – Food, Exercise, and Supplementation”

Detox with Ayurveda – 5 Strategies

detox with ayurveda

As the body metabolizes raw material to energize the cells, the process produces waste residues, called ama, that have natural channels of elimination. In a healthy person, these residues exit the body via the lungs, skin, liver, colon, and kidneys. In addition to these internally-produced toxins, modern humans are exposed to many external toxic residues, such as heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, food additives, and food preservatives. These toxins can enter our bodies via food, water, and air supply.

When ama does not fully exit the body, it accumulates in the tissues, leading to a toxic load and causing illness. Accumulation of ama is worsened by pollution in the environment, and poisons created internally due to poor food combinations, inadequate elimination of wastes, or unbalanced doshas.

Toxins can cause disease in any part of the body, and tend to be most problematic in areas in which we already experience weakness. If we have inherent weakness in the heart, waste products are transported there and can lead to coronary heart disease. If waste products are transported to the joints, we may develop arthritis. Disease can develop wherever toxins are transported. Environmental toxins can be more dangerous that internally-produced toxins and have a tendency to target particular areas of the body.

The three areas of the body most critically affected by environmental pollutants are the brain and the reproductive and immune systems.

It is important to remove toxins from the body and support the body’s natural detoxification systems. Without following detoxifying habits, your body may accumulate toxins and develop illness and disease. Follow the steps outlined below to promote balance and health throughout the body. Continue reading “Detox with Ayurveda – 5 Strategies”

8 Ayurvedic Remedies for Hair Loss

Ayurvedic treatment for hair lossAyurvedic Treatment for Hair Loss

Hair loss is a symptom of Pitta excess, so the first and most important step in healing hair loss is to balance Pitta. Follow a Pitta-balancing diet and engage in activities that alleviate Pitta excess.

Stress creates a Pitta imbalance and is a major contributor to hair loss. Consequently, it is important to engage in stress-relieving activities, especially meditation and yoga. Sleep also is critical to maintaining low stress levels. Be sure to sleep at least 7-8 hours per night to allow the body to recover from the day’s activities.

Dehydration can worsen stress on the body and contribute to hair loss, so be sure to consume adequate amounts of water throughout the day. It is also best to avoid alcoholic beverages, which can worsen dehydration and aggravate the hair.

In addition to these important balancing activities, a variety of supplements and topical treatments can be helpful in halting hair loss and promoting growth. Here, I discuss 8 Ayurvedic treatments for hair loss. All are safe and natural and can help you regain your healthy, thick, beautiful hair. Continue reading “8 Ayurvedic Remedies for Hair Loss”

6 Ayurvedic Headache Remedies

ayurvedic headache remedies

Headaches are common and are usually not a sign of major health problems. However, they can be extremely disruptive and uncomfortable. Headaches can be caused by a variety of body imbalances, including poor posture, muscle tension, suppression of urges to urinate or pass stool, indigestion, anxiety, anger, nervousness, fatigue, and high blood pressure.

Ayurveda identifies three different types of headaches. Each type of headache is the result of an imbalance in one of the doshas. The causes for each type are different, as are the remedies. As such it is important to use the appropriate remedy for the type of headache you are experiencing. 

Kapha Headache

Headaches of Kapha type are dull and deep-seated, usually starting at the front of the head. They are accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and heaviness. These types of headaches are often associated with respiratory disorders and are more likely to occur in the winter or spring.

Vata Headache

Vata governs the nervous system, and Vata headaches are characterized by severe throbbing and pulsating pain at the back of the head. They are accompanied by anxiety, depression, dry skin, and constipation.

Pitta Headache

Headaches of Pitta type are characterized by shooting, burning, or piercing pain and accompanied by light sensitivity, anger, irritability, nausea, and dizziness. These types of headaches start at the temples and spread to the center part of the head. Continue reading “6 Ayurvedic Headache Remedies”

Shatavari for Health and Fertility


Photo Credit: Fanghong [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

What is Shatavari?

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”

Ayurvedic Skin Care

Ayurveda for Acne

Skin is the sensory organ of touch. It separates us from our environment, allowing nutrients into the system and preventing pathogens from entering. The health of the skin is closely tied to the health of the digestive tract, so skin can tell us a lot about what is going on inside the body.

Ayurvedic skin care focuses on both external and internal health. Skin disease can develop when the skin is clogged with toxins and when digestion is compromised. Thus, skin improves when digestion is healthy, and the digestive tract becomes healthier when the skin is cleansed of toxins and impurities. Because it can impact overall bodily health, it is important to keep the skin healthy and clear of toxins.

Pitta Skin

Pitta skin is fair, soft, lustrous, and warm. It is usually coppery or yellowish with freckles and tends to burn easily in the sun. When out of balance, Pitta skin has a tendency toward rashes, acne, and eczema. Because skin has less of a tendency toward dryness, Pittas are less prone to wrinkles than are Vatas. Those with a Pitta skin type need to stay cool to keep the body and skin in balance.


Ayurvedic skin care for Pitta begins with nourishing the skin from the inside by eating Pitta-balancing nutrient dense diet. Avoid foods that aggravate Pitta, such as spicy food, or fermented foods like alcohol, pickles, vinegar, tomatoes, and yeast. It is also important to avoid nuts, bell peppers, eggplant, seafood, and sour foods. Refrain from mixing incompatible foods such as milk and melon, milk or yogurt with sour foods, or fruit with other foods.

Favor green leafy vegetables, sweet fruits, and squash, or bitter foods such as dandelion greens. Dark grapes, sweet pineapple, sweet apples, mangoes, and figs are excellent choices that will help to balance Pitta and cool the body. Foods with high water content help to evaporate heat from your skin and keep Pittas cool. Diet is the best place to start to nourish the body and the skin.

Skin Care Routine

Do not use soap to cleanse the skin. Instead, make a cleansing mask using oat or chickpea flour and water. Combine to create a paste and gently press onto the face. Rinse with warm water. Use gentle skin care products for moisturizing the skin. Jojoba oil is the closest oil to skin’s sebum, and is consequently very calming and nourishing. It is also unlikely to irritate the skin. Continue reading “Ayurvedic Skin Care”