Ayurveda ‘ Food is Medicine’

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I am presently doing karma yoga at an ashram in the Bahamas for the next 3 months. There are lectures and I will be posting some interesting information I learn on this blog. This post will be in reference to an Ayurvedic lecture given by Ishwari.

Ayurveda is a life model for health. It focuses on the energetic aspects of food and that we can use food as medicine.Each one of us is unique in our physical disposition and are affected by the environment and food we intake differently. Ayurveda is a feminine way of approaching health and is wholistic in nature. This system sees that we are all inter- related and ‘as within so without’.

– the purpose is to heal the body through natural means
-the knowledge is over 5000 years old and is in the Vedas of India
– it recognizes that there are 5 elements are we are all made up of those elements and when one or more gets out of balance we become sick
– spirit (shiva) and matter (shakti) combine to create the physical world

Elements:

1) Either and Air : space, awareness, connectedness.
2) Fire: metabolism, body temp, intelligence
3) water: nourishes body, carries nutrients. love and compassion. holds molecules together
4) earth: stability, solid, firm, thought

Doshas:
– at birth we receive our doshas that we inherit from our parents ( a combination)
– there are 3 doshas

1) Vatta: ( either and air) –tall, thin, gets cold easily, dry skin.
balanced- joy and creativity
out of balance- fear and anxiety
– to balance eat warm cooked food, nothing raw

2) Pitta: ( fire and water )–medium build, strong digestion, intelligent, motivational
balanced: organized, creates change
out of balance- anger, irritable
– to balance, eat cooling things, not spicy

3) kafa: ( earth and water)–more dense, slow metabolism, stable, softer in nature, love and compassion
balanced- happy, stable, loving
out of balance- stagnant
– to balance, avoid sugar and sweets. eat dry and light

6 Tastes:

– there are also different taste that we need in different amounts according to the dosha
– sour, salty, pungent, bitter, astringent, sweet
– 10am-2pm digestion is the strongest

Sweet:
– crave sweet things when lacking love
– dairy, meat, grains
– desert is not good after food, hard on digestion

sour:
-fire and earth
– heavy
-pickled food, alcohol
– helps Vata

Salty:
-fire and water
– enhances flavour
– mild laxative
– seaweed, kelp
– makes skin worse in excess, wrinkles etc
– grounding

pungent:
– chilies, garlic, ginger
– helps food absorption and kills parasites
– a little causes clarity, too much causes irritation

Bitter:
– better for pitta
– kale, greens, turmeric, aloe vera
– crave coffee because not enough bitter food in diet
– too much can deplete body

Astringent:
– pomegranate, cranberry, beans
– cleanses mouth
– helps stop bleeding

Vatta- best is sweet, sour, salty. not bitter or astringent
Pitta- sweet and bitter and astringent
Kafa- pungent, bitter, astringent

Food is a spiritual practice! Enjoy your meal and be creative, its your fuel:)

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