Category Archives: wellness

Learning Your Dosha To Fight Imbalance

One of the central teachings of Ayurveda is the theory that a healthy body exists when there is a balance between the three fundamental bodily energies, called doshas.  These three doshas, called Vata, Pitta and Kapha, are the body’s functions that are responsible for all physical and mental processes.

The tridosha theory in Ayurveda comes from the 5 elements that comprise our world – space, air, fire, water (Jala), and earth.  The three doshas are a combination of these elements which take form in the human body.

Vata: (Space + Air)

  •  Vata is movement, the body in motion.  It controls the respiratory system, our heartbeat, nerve impulses, and muscle contractions.  Vata circulates our blood flow, pumps air through our lungs, moves food through our digestive track, and eliminates waste.

Pitta: (Fire + Water)

  • Pitta regulates the body, controlling its metabolism.  It deals with the body in a transformative state.  Pitta handles the digestion of food, release and absorption of hormones, production of heat, and the cooling of the body.  If Vata is the energy that moves nerve impulses through the brain, Pitta is the energy that converts those impulses into thoughts.

Kapha: (Earth + Water)

  • Kapha is the structural foundation of the body in the form of lubrication.  It builds the body and forms its skeleton, muscles, organs, ligaments, tendons and skin.  Kapha ensures the smooth function of joints by lubricating the body.  It is the body at rest through strength, stability and solidity.

Everyone is made up of three doshas, but they will differ between individuals.  Primarily we will have an affinity towards one dosha.  It is important to realize what that affinity is, in order to properly balance your body.  You can take a quiz here to find out which body type you are.

When we live against our natural attributes, we begin a pattern of unhealthy life choices that cause mental and physical imbalances.  This is cured by aligning your everyday habits and diet with the natural fulfillments within your dosha. For example a Pitta may experience heartburn after eating spicy food.  This could be counteracted by eating more cooling or alkalizing foods instead.

Take the quiz, learn more about your body and how you can attain proper equilibrium.

Here are some recipes for spice-water that can help your body type’s imbalances.

Vata Balancing Water

Pitta Balancing Water

Kapha Balancing Water

 

 

 

A Highlight In A Crisis Situation

The current water crisis in Flint, Michigan is a true imbalance to its residents.  This tragedy is devastating people’s homes and endangering the future of its youth.  Due to the neglectful actions of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, the residents of Flint are dealing with lead infected tap water as the city is in a state of emergency.

This all started back in 2014 when the state made the decision to temporarily switch the city’s water supply from the Detroit water line to the Flint river.  This plan was enacted to save money, while a new supply line was being constructed to Lake Huron.  Immediately Flint residents noticed the difference, claiming their tap water looked,smelled and tasted funny.

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Tap water in a Flint hospital on Oct. 16, 2015. 9photo: Joyce Zhu /Flintwaterstudy.org

This is was the start to the problematic situation affecting Flint residents today. In the fall of 2015, researchers discovered that the amount of children with above-average levels of lead in their blood had doubled.  This brought light to the issue we are seeing now.  According to a study from Virginia Tech, the water from the Flint River is highly corrosive.  Since half of the City’s pipes are made of lead, the corrosive water caused the lead to leach into the water and into people’s homes.  The city switched back to the Detroit water system in October of 2015, but the damage had already been done.

Residents are now left with poisonous water that is deemed ‘toxic waste’.  People are forced to use bottled water for drinking, cooking, and even bathing.  Simple tasks such as laundry, have forced residents to drive up to 30 miles to utilize other towns’ laundry facilities.

This avoidable crisis occurred because The State wanted to cut corners.  They failed to add the necessary anti-corrosive chemicals needed to treat the Flint River’s water, something that would have cost them $100 a day to do.  The State even went as far as changing EPA reports of lead from a F- to an A- grade.  

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Michigan National Guard Staff Sergeant William Phillips helps unload pallets of bottled water at a Flint Fire Station, Jan. 13, 2016

It’s clear that Gov. Snyder needs to step down and that The State has some major work ahead to remediate the situation.  However, on a positive note, this crisis also highlights the continued support of the community.  Community groups, Lawmakers and residents have banded together to provide aid to those without safe water. Thousands of cases of water have been donated to school districts and numerous charities have been created to help fund costs like the long-term needs of Flint children exposed to contaminated water.  The National Guard has gone door to door to deliver water filters, cases of water and lead test kits to residents.  Even famed rappers like Meek Mills and Big Sean are showing their support through social media.

Ayurveda doesn’t just focus on an individual’s well-being.  The impact one has in their own community is also an integral part of the practice.  This is a perfect example of a community fighting to bring balance back to its homes.

Prevent Sickness Through Healthy Eating

Getting sick is the worst.  Sore throats, runny noses, and fevers are some of the most dreaded things about winter.  Thats why It’s always best to prevent any potential sicknesses from ruining your day.

This video shares ways you can keep your immune system strong through a healthy diet.

Joy McCarthy, a holistic nutritionist , gives advice on 5 food categories to keep your body healthy:

  1. Vitamin D – Recommending a minimum of 1000 IU per day, some common foods for this are; salmon, eggs and sardines.
  2. Carotenoids – This is a family of vitamins like beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lutein, and lycopene that are good at boosting natural killer cells.  Carotenoids are found in foods like kale, sweet potato, or any vegetable that is colorful.
  3. Probiotics – These are the good bacteria that your body needs and is common in foods like kimchi, miso paste and kefir.
  4. Zinc – A great influencer for immune cell function, foods like mushrooms, spinach, and asparagus will help keep the immune system strong.
  5. Selenium – This is good for boosting natural killer cells and mobilizing cancer killing cells.  You can find selenium in foods like oats, garlic, lemon and honey.

These helpful tips are another great way to keeping your life in balance.

An Ayurvedic Approach To Soothing Your Aliments

Winter is finally here in full force.  This is the time of year where we overfill our bellies, bundle-up and hibernate away from the freezing elements.  Often winter is the time where we find we are at our biggest imbalance.  Whether it’s a cold, stress from the snow, or too many drinks at the holiday party, our imbalances are everywhere.

The correct remedy is essential to keeping your everyday life manageable.  To sooth your aliments there are many approaches you can take.  You can turn to modern day medicines like Advil or NyQuil, or you can take a more holistic approach.

The Daily Beast lists some alternative Ayurvedic remedies that are cheap and effective to bringing your life back in balance.

1. Fever—Crush a handful of basil leaves and a 1 inch piece of ginger. Press the mixture into a sieve with the back of the spoon to squeeze out the liquid then add 1tsp of honey. Drink ever 4 to 6 hours.

2. Acid Reflex and Indigestion – Chew a few basil leaves after a meal. The simple act of extra chewing will help create additional saliva which can aid in digestion.

3. Hair Loss—Take one part cinnamon to two parts honey to 3 parts olive oil, mix it together and apply to areas of hair loss for about a half hour then wash away.

4. Hangover—Make yourself a cup of coffee and squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. While drinking that eat two bananas and let the peels soak in a glass of water. Once you finish the cup of coffee wait a little bit to digest then drink the glass of water.

5. Menstrual Cramps—Eat two tbsp of flax seeds during your period because of their hormone balancing lignans and phytoestrogens.

6. Snoring—Take a cup of warm milk and mix in a tsp of Turmeric powder. Drink it before bed. This one I can personally attest to as a miracle cure. I actually find that having this once keeps me snore free for up to a week.

7. Whiter Teeth—Make a paste by crushing some basil leaves with the zest of an orange. Put it on your teeth for about twenty minutes then wash it off.

8. Improved Memory – Have a tsp of good quality raw honey with a pinch of cinnamon before bed to give your brain the glucose it needs to work all night long processing and repairing.

9. Allergies—Mix one part cucumber juice with one part beet root juice and three parts carrot juice. Drink it once per day.

10. Nasal Congestion – Put some black pepper in a pan and heat it on high for a couple of minutes the breathe in the fumes through your nose.

11. Headache—Take the rinds of a couple of lemons and squash it into a paste. Apply to the forehead for fast relief and follow up with a cup of green tea with half a lemon squeezed in.

12. Anxiety—Squeeze fresh orange juice into a glass then mix in one tbsp of honey and one tbsp of nutmeg for a daily tonic to help ease your stress.

13. Dry Skin – Mash together two bananas with two tbsp of honey and apply it to the skin for about fifteen minutes before washing the paste off.

14. Hypoglycemia or Low Blood Sugar – Make a tea from hot water and licorice powder which you drink twice daily.

15. Common Cold – Add a tsp of ground black pepper and a tsp of ground turmeric to a glass of warm milk.  The Daily Beast also suggests the “Less Doing” method which prescribes zinc and lime.  Take 100mg of zinc when you wake up, followed by four 8 ounce glasses of water with a whole lime throughout the day.  Then finish off with 50mg of zinc right before bed.