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Ayurvedic Medicine Towards a Life in Balance.

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Ayurvedic Medicine Towards a Life in Balance Eastern Religions and Culture PH112 Dr. Sandra Kahn Sr. Bridget Ellis, fsp August 12, 2002 1. Introduction Ayurveda, an intricate system of healing that originated in India, is considered by many scholars to be the oldest healing science. The word Ayurveda means "the Science of Life." It is made up of two Sanskrit words, Ayu, which means "life" and Veda, which means "the knowledge of." Ayurvedic knowledge originated in India more than 5,000 years ago and is often called the "Mother of All Healing." A science of health, Ayurveda is not associated with any one religion in particular. Anyone can benefit from Ayurveda because it stresses the health of both mind and body and the needs of the soul. The principles of many of the natural healing systems now familiar in the West have their roots in Ayurveda, such as Homeopathy. What we see is that Ayurveda is more than just a medical system. We are all part and parcel of nature. Just as the animals and plants live in harmony with nature and utilize the Laws of Nature to create health and balance within their beings, we, too, adhere to these very same principles. Therefore, it is fair to say that Ayurveda is a system that helps maintain health in a person by using the inherent principles of nature to bring the individual back into equilibrium with their true self. It is probably the most sophisticated system of dietary nutrition therapy available in alternative medicine that can restore balance and well being in life. Your Constitution and Its Inner Balance Ayurveda places great emphasis on prevention and encourages the maintenance of health through close attention to balance in one's life, right thinking, diet, lifestyle and the use of herbs. Knowledge of Ayurveda enables one to understand how to create this balance of body, mind and consciousness according to one's own individual constitution, as well as and how to make lifestyle changes to bring about and maintain this balance. ...read more.


Regularity in meal times is important for vata. Those with vata-dominant constitutions do well with one-pot meals such as soups, stews and casseroles. They can use more oil in cooking their foods than the other two doshas and experience better digestion if they limit their intake of raw foods. Well-cooked oats and rice are good for vata because they are not too drying when cooked with plenty of water and butter. While cooked vegetables are best for vata, the occasional salad with a good oily or creamy dressing is all right. Tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers as well as spinach should be avoided if the vata person has stiff, aching joints or muscles. Sweet, ripe and juicy fruits are good for vata. The astringent and drying fruits, such as cranberries, pomegranates and raw apples, should be avoided. Fruit should always be eaten by itself on an empty stomach. Many vata people can satisfy their need for protein by judicious use of dairy products, but can also use eggs, chicken, turkey, fresh fish and venison if they wish. Legumes are difficult to digest and should be consumed in limited quantity by those trying to pacify vata. The legumes should be the split type and soaked before cooking. Cooking them with a little oil and spices, such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, and garlic will help prevent vata from being disturbed. All nuts and seeds are good for vata, but are best used as butters or milks. Ten almonds, soaked in water overnight with skins removed the next morning, are a satisfying early morning food. All dairy products are good for vata except hard cheese, which should be eaten sparingly. All spices are good, but in moderation. Vatas can have half a glass of wine, diluted with water, during or after a meal. Since vata people tend to be prone to addiction, they should avoid sugar, caffeine and tobacco. ...read more.


The same holds true for dairy products: in general, kapha people should avoid the heavy, cooling, sweet qualities of dairy. These tend to cause congestion. Since kapha people should avoid sweets, the only sweetener they should use is raw honey, which is heating. However, except for salt, they can use all spices, with ginger and garlic being best for them. A person whose dominant dosha is kapha and who has very little influence from the other two doshas can benefit from the occasional use of stimulants such as coffee and tea. They are also not as harmed by tobacco and hard liquor. However, they really do not need alcohol at all. If they elect to use alcohol, wine is their best choice. 4. Conclusion Since we are what we eat, Ayruveda considers digestion to be the key to balance. If we eat according to our dosha we will feel better, have more energy, and work at optimum level. It is not a case of any food being good or bad. What is important is whether our system can digest it. A car works best when given the proper fuel. The same applies to the digestive system. Each of us is constituted differently in terms of vata, pitta and kapha. Through knowledge of our body type and the practice of Ayurveda we can make better choices as regards diet, exercise and stress management. We can improve out sleep, anxiety level and productivity. It is also a good way to maintain proper weight Ayurveda provides insights into how to determine your genetic constitutional type, how to listen to your body to determine its responses to different foods, stress, sleep patterns, weather conditions, and other internal and external conditions that can cause your system to go out of balance. Ayurveda can help you recognize when it is necessary to change or modify your diet in order to adjust to your own changing physical and emotional needs. It is a gentle and nurturing medical technique that can work in conjunction with Western medicine and sports nutrition to individualize virtually any fitness program or medical treatment plan. ...read more.

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