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 Ayurveda simplified
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66 Posts

Posted - Feb 12 2018 :  05:28:26 AM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi parvati9,
Vedic astrology seems really complex and I donít digest all today !
Thank you for your examples, especially the dual-dosha exemple and how to balance it. It is very useful to well understand this balance process.
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8 Posts

Posted - Feb 12 2018 :  10:20:41 AM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
Great lessons Parvati9, thank you again. I'm really enjoying lessons and more as I read the more I'm excited to study Ayurveda. I'll definitelly have to get some of the textbooks you've recommended. Do you think it's neccessary to have determination of constitution from auyrvedic professional or it could be done from a textbook?

I also like quizes, so here are the answers for NO.3:
1. Bitter SCRAPES UP ama from the tissues (what effect does bitter have on ama?)
2. Pungent DESTROYS ama (what effect does pungent have on ama?)
3. When using bitter herbs, we must take care to avoid aggravating VATA dosha
4. When using pungent taste, we must take care to avoid aggravating PITTA dosha especially and also VATA dosha
5. FAT tissue directly precedes Bone in tissue sequence
6. Ojas is made from SHUKRA tissue
7. PITTA dosha is likely to have the least sleep issues (amount of sleep)
8. HEAVY quality of Sweet balances Vata
9. COLD quality of Sweet balances Pitta
10. What is Ojas? Briefly explain the tissue succession which results in Ojas
Ojas is primary energy reserve of body. It's our strength and immunity. Food is digested and creates Rasa. Then essence from Rasa creates Blood. Then Blood essence creates Flesh. Flesh essence creates Fat. Essence from Fat creates Bones. Essence from Bones then creates Marrow. Essence from Marrow creates Shukra and from Shukra, Ojas is created.
11. What are the characteristics of Tamas?
Lethargic, confused, polluted
12. PUNGENT taste only balances Kapha (not Vata or Pitta)
13. SALTY/SOUR taste only balances Vata (not Pitta or Kapha)

Regarding questions 12 and 13: I remember that PUNGENT taste is not only hot but it's also dry, so it's obvious that pungent is not good for Vata or Pitta. What is the corrent asnwer to question 13? It is sour or salty ? I know that both of them are warm, but what are their additional characteristics ?

Edited by - findingpath on Feb 12 2018 10:53:59 AM
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587 Posts

Posted - Feb 12 2018 :  12:51:20 PM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
For #13, I was thinking only salty The correct answers for #13 are both salty and sour, you're right. It should say what tastes only balance Vata (not Pitta or Kapha).

Well it depends on which Ayurvedic professional you get the evaluation from and whether or not you can trust their discernment. I would absolutely trust Svoboda, and therefore recommend his assessment above all others.

My local Barnes & Noble bookstore stocks McIntyre's Ayurveda Bible published by Firefly Books .. so it was purchased last year. While it's an excellent textbook in general, I don't think the assessment is as good as Svoboda's and Frawley's.

The other characteristics of salty & sour? Svoboda goes into detail (maybe check online or get one of the textbooks). Salty is extremely Pitta aggravating for me - so that's what was on my mind when the question was made.

Although I've been professionally evaluated as pure Vata, I'm absolutely certain that assessment is wrong. I'm either Pitta-Vata or Vata-Pitta. Constitution comes from our parents; you can figure that into the determination as well.


Edited by - parvati9 on Feb 12 2018 4:41:27 PM
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587 Posts

Posted - Feb 12 2018 :  1:14:55 PM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
Originally posted by capucine

Hi parvati9,
Vedic astrology seems really complex and I donít digest all today !
Thank you for your examples, especially the dual-dosha exemple and how to balance it. It is very useful to well understand this balance process.

You are correct. Vedic astrology is complex, with not only one chart as in Western astrology. Vedic astrology has the Rasi (natal chart) plus the Navamsa (which is always considered for spiritual inclination as well as arranged marriages). In addition there are at least a dozen other divisional or harmonic charts that are used in Vedic astrology. I love it and have studied it along with Ayurveda for 25 years now. The Astrology of the Seers by Dr. David Frawley is highly recommended. Frawley also has a correspondence course in Vedic astrology.


Edited by - parvati9 on Feb 12 2018 3:02:33 PM
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Will Power

415 Posts

Posted - Feb 12 2018 :  4:20:58 PM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Parvati!
Does the combination of sweet with other tastes (I. E. milk products, cereals or proteins (veg or animal) create ama? Can sweet be taken at the end of the meal?

Can lemon be used with cereals? (I have heard that it should never be mixed with rice, I don't remember the reason, I think it was proper assimilation.
Does salt baths scrapes ama from tissues or destroy it?
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587 Posts

Posted - Feb 12 2018 :  4:54:36 PM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
Originally posted by Will Power

Thanks Parvati!
Does the combination of sweet with other tastes (I. E. milk products, cereals or proteins (veg or animal) create ama? Can sweet be taken at the end of the meal?

Can lemon be used with cereals? (I have heard that it should never be mixed with rice, I don't remember the reason, I think it was proper assimilation.
Does salt baths scrapes ama from tissues or destroy it?

Will Power
I would say try those combinations you wrote about. Your body will tell you if it isn't okay. Yes sweet can be taken at the end of the meal. Soaking in salt water whether at the ocean or in your bathtub is great for pacifying Vata ...but watch for Pitta aggravation. (Salt does not scrape ama, you are thinking of bitter maybe.....?) No, salt doesn't destroy the tissues. Rather the opposite for Vata ... salt water will help the tissues soak up the water, which is good for Vata.

Other ways of gaining weight ... nuts and seeds are oily and excellent for Vata but again watch for Pitta aggravation. Try to ingest as much water, juice, tea, milk and other fluids as you can. Vata is dry and craves moisture/ lubrication. Eat often ... every two or three hours if you want. Slow down thinking and activity, rest often. If you have a Kapha friend, hang out with him or her for awhile ... just being around Kaphas helps me relax and slow down.

I like to eat every couple hours or so 3 or 4 times daily. However my appetite diminishes after 4pm. Therefore I eat all my meals prior to 4pm. That routine won't work for most people but it works fine for me. We must each find our own rhythm.


Edited by - parvati9 on Feb 12 2018 6:07:50 PM
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587 Posts

Posted - Feb 13 2018 :  10:00:46 AM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
23. Dosha attributes (list)


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587 Posts

Posted - Feb 13 2018 :  10:17:18 AM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
24. Qualities of the elements

ETHER - cold, dry, light, subtle, mobile, sharp, soft, smooth, clear

AIR - cold, dry, light, subtle, mobile, sharp, hard, rough, clear

FIRE - hot, dry, light, subtle, mobile, sharp, hard, rough, clear

WATER - cold, wet, heavy, gross, liquid, static, dull, soft, smooth, cloudy

EARTH - cold, dry, heavy, gross, solid, static, dull, hard, rough, cloudy

- Anne McIntyre, The Ayurveda Bible, p. 77
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587 Posts

Posted - Feb 13 2018 :  10:42:15 AM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
The list of Dosha Attributes and Qualities of the Elements are provided for reference purposes. There is no need to memorize these, but if you want to do so that is fine. It is suggested that you write down these attributes and qualities in a notebook or on a sheet of paper... so they can be referenced as needed (especially if you don't have a textbook).

In this simplified yet intensified tutorial, the instructor felt it best to hold off on these lists, because sometimes lists are intimidating. However, we are at the point where we already have a general idea of the characteristics of each dosha, and have applied that understanding in a variety of ways.

We are beginning to see how Ayurveda supports or connects the individual to the universal elements, cycles (like time and age) and patterns. Our interests and tendencies are largely determined by the percentage of doshas in our constitution. And the routines, or lack thereof, that we adopt are also tied into the proportion of doshas in our constitution.

You may see how your doshic constitutions provide a matrix or overall pattern to your lives... and your lifestyle, desires and aversions, are a reflection of that pattern. This will become increasingly more clear as you continue in your study of Ayurveda.


Edited by - parvati9 on Feb 13 2018 10:50:31 AM
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587 Posts

Posted - Feb 13 2018 :  4:28:27 PM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
~ this concludes the Ayurveda tutorial ~

many thanks to those who participated
to those who may continue to participate
to those who have had
and will have
the patience to read through
my often rambling instruction
and thanks to the AYP moderators

in humble gratitude
for this opportunity
to share such a wonderful
natural healing system

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Will Power

415 Posts

Posted - Feb 16 2018 :  09:15:27 AM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks to you Parvati for the sharing! It was enjoyable.
I will try golden seal. All the best!
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1625 Posts

Posted - Feb 17 2018 :  02:42:35 AM  Show Profile  Visit Charliedog's Homepage  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you parvati for sharing your wisdom
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797 Posts

Posted - Feb 24 2018 :  08:36:05 AM  Show Profile  Visit Blanche's Homepage  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you, Parvati!
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587 Posts

Posted - Mar 02 2018 :  10:05:15 AM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
Shunryu Suzuki

whose wisdom seems to reflect the teaching of Ayurveda
which I sometimes call 'the path of equanimity'

"Because we enjoy all aspects of life as an unfolding of big mind, we do not care for any excessive joy. So we have imperturbable composure." p. 34

"When you are practicing zazen, do not try to stop your thinking. Let it stop by itself. If something comes into your mind, let it come in, and let it go out. It will not stay long. When you try to stop your thinking, it means you are bothered by it. Do not be bothered by anything." p. 34

"It is necessary for us to keep the constant way. Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine. If you become too busy and too excited, your mind becomes rough and ragged. This is not good. If possible, try to be always calm and joyful and keep yourself from excitement.

Usually we become busier and busier, day by day, year by year, especially in our modern world. If we revisit old, familiar places after a long time, we are astonished by the changes. It cannot be helped. But if we become interested in some excitement, or in our own change, we will become completely involved in our busy life, and we will be lost. But if your mind is calm and constant, you can keep yourself away from the noisy world even though you are in the midst of it. In the midst of noise and change, your mind will be quiet and stable." pp. 57-58

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
by Shunryu Suzuki
(1905 - 1971)
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8 Posts

Posted - Mar 06 2018 :  07:59:53 AM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you Parvati for bringing these words of wisdom from Shunryu Suzuki. These quotations helped me to finally clarify what I felt somewhere deep in my mind. In the past I always perceived my natural inclination towards excitment as generally good thing. I thought that excitment = motivation/enthusiasm = enough energy to get things done. But on the contrary, things weren't done and sometimes I felt really overwhelmed by busy life. And now I'm finally reading that this excitment thing and issue of overwhelming are connected. What a relief to get some clue after years :) just not get too excited by this discovery :D
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797 Posts

Posted - Mar 13 2018 :  09:38:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit Blanche's Homepage  Get a Link to this Reply
In our culture, we tend to confuse excitement and happiness, when in fact they are very different.
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587 Posts

Posted - Jun 18 2018 :  4:55:13 PM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you for all the gracious comments regarding tutorial

(While the thread seems to be helpful and informative as it stands, some additional notes at this point are felt to be advisable)

1. Discrepancies in the textbooks
In order to study Ayurveda efficiently, first we focus on getting a general feel for the system. An overview. An impression. We are perusing the terrain to see if it appeals and resonates. The specific details are not that important at the beginning. So what we are doing is painting with a broad brush, so to speak. There is good agreement with the basic principles among most textbooks.

However, after a while you may notice there is disagreement among the professionals regarding certain details. This is normal, natural, and to be expected. Recall we are dealing with a healing system that is at least 3000 years old. Learn to heed the results of your own investigation. Utilizing your intuition is necessary. Overriding conditioning is frequently necessary.

I feel Ayurveda is basically kickstarting our internal wisdom, and that will vary per individual. Cultivate a loose and flexible grasp of the material. Try to avoid throwing the baby out with the bathwater i.e. overreacting to the discrepancies.

2. Personalizing the system
When one experimentally employs Ayurvedic healing strategies over a reasonably long period of time - let's say 4 years - one begins to personalize the system to make it fit....that is to make it suitable for oneself and/or one's family. This fit is almost always based on trial and error. So it might be called a scientific venture of sorts. We try a technique or suggestion to see if it works for us. We usually remember what works because it make us feel better... and/or it provides the results we are looking for. It is human nature to view the system through this intimate personal lens of experience.

3. When is it appropriate to force ourselves to employ Ayurvedic suggestions?
In the tutorial it was stated that Vatas and Pittas should usually not force anything, whereas Kaphas may need to force themselves to exercise. As with much of the discussion topic, this was a simplification ..... while helpful at first, the advice may need revision as one progresses in one's study and familiarization with the material.

For example:
As Vatas are often extremely sensitive to criticism and may simply choose to avoid suggestions, most will therefore be initially uncomfortable with any new routine they courageously employ. Okay. Vatas will need to exercise discipline in the incorporation of routine into their lifestyle. Even though it is unpleasant at first, they may quickly see the beneficial results.

So do they force themselves into routine? Not forcefully but very gradually, like slowly wading into a cold lake, and slowly adjusting to the unpleasant sensations. The challenge here is that Vatas may not stick with the routine. They are flexible and adaptable but generally not fond of discipline or commitment. Knowing this, they may have to try out several versions of a routine to find the best one for them.

4. Bitter herb useful for managing pitta
All my life bitter herbs have been used to control a tendency toward skin rash and infection. My body can tolerate only very tiny amounts of Neem, which is a wonderful Ayurvedic herb, and summer is undoubtedly the best season for its use. While my liver has not been medically evaluated, I think it is very toxic. Neem is absolutely one of the best herbs for pitta aggravation, and specifically recommended for toxic liver. However use caution. If you have pitta issues, neem may be the herb you need - but start with a very tiny amount and gauge the results. Increase slowly. Utilize this cautionary advice as appropriate when trying out new health strategies.

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587 Posts

Posted - Jun 20 2018 :  10:46:48 AM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
(continued from above)

5. When it becomes necessary to make ourselves face reality

Doshic imbalance requiring us to begin rectification
These are typical signs of doshic imbalance. They are often derived at the mental level, from our patterns of thinking. We may not be aware of how they originate, but being in denial doesn't help, as it is counter-productive to our healing strategies.

Rather than being in denial and indulging the imbalance, we need to begin rectification as soon as possible. Where there is the tendency to be in denial, we need to be more honest. These are some of the most obvious indications of doshic imbalance ... which may require a bit of making ourselves truthfully reflect on our constitutions. We may need to apply a bit of force, thereby encouraging ourselves to be with what is.

In order to be healthy and balanced from an Ayurvedic perspective, we must cultivate self-honesty and accurate assessment of our condition. When necessary, we have to make ourselves face reality.

Being spacey, flighty and ungrounded

Being overly judgmental, domineering and impatient with others

Being overly complacent, stubborn and resistant to new ideas

When you notice these indications in yourself, initiate balancing protocols as soon as possible. If you notice them in others, be patient and slow to offer correction or criticism.


Edited by - parvati9 on Jun 20 2018 11:04:27 AM
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Will Power

415 Posts

Posted - Jun 21 2018 :  05:19:39 AM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks a lot Parvati for your writings
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587 Posts

Posted - Jun 21 2018 :  10:24:39 AM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Will Power
Appreciate the comment
Elaborating on pitta management ... You may find the herb neem to be helpful. In my opinion it is more powerful for deep healing than golden seal, which is a good broad spectrum herb for most any type of infection. Golden seal does keep infection under control and promotes fast and permanent healing when applied externally. Both golden seal and neem are bitter herbs with pungent post digestive effect. Recall that bitter and pungent together eradicate ama.

With decades of personal experience using golden seal, my feeling is that its effect on chronic conditions is often temporary, and the herb therefore is best for treatment of acute (recent) and external conditions. For chronic (long term) infections, and for internal healing of the liver, I think neem has a deeper, more intense and lasting effect. I've only been using neem since last fall, but so far the results have been superb. Highly recommended.

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587 Posts

Posted - Jun 23 2018 :  09:04:46 AM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
6. Essential oils for grounding (external application)
These three essential oils are used for centering, grounding, bliss, comfort, healing, restoration of strength, vitality, and conservation of Ojas. The fragrances may be experienced as heavenly, delightful, earthy, stress relieving, relaxing, and lovely. They slow Vata way down and promote a strong connection with the Earth, similar to putting tree-like roots down into the planet and drawing from the strength of the Earth.

In my opinion this action derives from the fact that they possess qualities heavily endowed with and powerfully resonating with the Earth element. They are therefore especially useful in anchoring the air and ether Vata elements. They may also encourage, establish and maintain a connection with Shiva by promoting the downward healing energy flow. Which induces clarity, grounding and calming in the physical and subtle body, especially the crown chakra.

The fragrances encourage peace, harmony, stability, tranquility and inner delight. The oils induce a feeling of contentment which brings calm and peace to the raging discomfort and intensity often found in kundalini awakening. They even out obsession, extremes of spontaneity, and energy spikes ... balancing and smoothing out the energy flow. They help us to pace ourselves for the duration of whatever needs to be accomplished, thus avoiding the depletion of our vital energy reserve.

They can be used when it is necessary to run errands or conduct business which involves a lot of running around, going from one place to another ... when too much movement can derange, aggravate and exhaust Vata. These oils tend to powerfully ground and balance spaciness, flightiness, stress, pressure, dizzyness and over-exertion.




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587 Posts

Posted - Jul 01 2018 :  12:55:33 PM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
7. we become healthier our perceptions of reality become less distorted...
- Dr. Robert E. Svoboda, Prakriti Your Ayurvedic Constitution, P. 49

In this passage, Svoboda is telling us a few things about the constitutional assessment: First, your constitution doesn't change but, over time, your perception of it will probably change. Second, whatever you've determined your constitution to be at this time, living according to that assessment will be therapeutic. Third, it is advisable to re-evaluate your constitution from time to time, because your perception of it will become more accurate as your health improves. Fourth, as we become healthier, all our perceptions become more accurate.


The study of - and implementation of - Ayurvedic principles is nothing like anything else you will engage yourself to learn. Our understanding of Ayurveda most definitely requires an elastic approach. We are heavily relying on our intuition in conjunction with experimental results, as we endeavor to incorporate the suggested guidelines into our lives. Thus, we are continually fine tuning as we go along.

Consequently, we are continually revising a very unique view of the system, one that provides increasingly more comprehensive and accurate results - for us personally. The potential value of Ayurveda is that, through trial and error, we get to know ourselves to a point of delicate precision, with which no other system can compare. To paraphrase Svoboda, as we become more healthy, we understand life as it really is. And THAT makes everything a whole lot easier.

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587 Posts

Posted - Jul 21 2018 :  10:01:15 AM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
8. Ayurveda Facilitates Self-Understanding

Ayurveda teaches us to enjoy life and thrive in a state of well being, mentally as well as physically. It enhances self-understanding and all aspects of our relationship with our environment. This wonderful natural healing system shows us how to smooth out the rough edges and harmonize with inner wisdom - with our own inner guru. The following quote from Flora's Tai Chi manual illustrates this rather ancient principle, which applies to yoga, tai chi, and Ayurveda. To use her words .... [Ayurveda teaches how to] get better acquainted with yourself.

"Before moving into a college dormitory, you like to know what your roommate is like. Before you move in with another family and live under one roof, you desire more information about them. You realize that the more you know a person, the better you can get along and enjoy living with him. There is no need to belabor the point that if you are not compatible, life will be discordant and miserable for all concerned.

It is odd that you may be fully aware of the importance of knowing a roommate, but often do not recognize the significance of knowing yourself better in order to live harmoniously with yourself during a long lifetime! Remember, the person you spend all your waking hours with as long as you live is yourself. whenever you do not like living with an incompatible roommate, you either move or kick him out, but you can never move out or escape from yourself ...

Once you get better acquainted with yourself, the chances are that you will like and enjoy your own company more. Furthermore, you will become your own best friend. I am saying this because, based on my own experience, I believe that self-understanding not only leads to a more harmonious, richer life, but also teaches you ways to avoid a nervous breakdown (which happens all too often to perfectly normal people in our rat-race mode of living)."

From Tai-Chi Made Easy by Flora Chow Yen, p. 58


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587 Posts

Posted - Nov 20 2018 :  10:55:38 AM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
9. Disease Management/ Review of Some Basic Principles

It has been mentioned that the goal of Ayurveda is perfect health naturally. That is so. However one needs to consider all the tools in the toolkit in order to achieve that goal. Also one must rely on internal wisdom and common sense... Often perfect health naturally is not immediately feasible. Then we focus on increasingly more efficient management, as opposed to cure.

While ultimately perfect health is aimed for, we may employ a long term plan for mitigating discomfort. In that case we seek, as soon as possible, to halt and reverse the disease process. In Ayurveda disease is usually defined as the degree and extent to which the body is saturated with ama. Therefore both management and cure will depend on eliminating/ eradicating ama.

The reason agni (and its role in complete digestion) is so important is because it is the body's first line of defense in destroying ama, and the most basic element of our immune system. There are, however, other mitigating factors. Every option for restoring health and well-being needs consideration.

We have barely looked at the disease process in this tutorial because it is a deeper layer of Ayurvedic theory. In order to avoid unnecessary confusion, we have been attempting to focus on clarification of the fundamentals. It is hoped this discussion has piqued your interest and simplified some of the basic principles. Ayurveda is about establishing BALANCE in our lifestyle and this is accomplished primarily through learning how to pacify the doshas.

So let's say it has been recognized, identified (symptoms) and confirmed (ongoing sense of feeling bad and/or unhappy) that you are most likely at some stage in the disease process/ accumulation of ama. The question then is: How to reverse the progression of disease, so that you are getting better instead of worse? You will need to proceed slowly and carefully, being alert to the body's subtle messages. Are your efforts actually improving the condition or making it worse?

There are many options from which to choose in establishing/ building a long term healing regimen. First and foremost, you will probably want to acquaint yourself with the properties of herbs and their judicious usage. Most herbs, being bitter, loosen up and dislodge ama from the tissues. Bitter taste is therefore very helpful in reversing the disease process.

Bitter taste is also debilitating, which means in general, it is powerfully Vata aggravating. Thus the body must be strong enough and fat enough to withstand it. For example, bitter will tend to increase pain, as pain is an indication of Vata disturbance. Therefore while self medicating with bitter herbs, we may also need to commit to getting fat or fatter. This is because Vata is at the root of most disease, and Vata tends to strip fat from the body. If there are weight loss issues, they may need to be tackled before bitter herbs can be employed. There may thus be a sequence of applicable actions in order to effectively reverse the disease process.

Along with recognizable disease symptoms is probably weak or deficient digestion, which may fail to be recognized. This is a very serious problem in Ayurveda and must be somehow confronted and dealt with. When digestion is weak, we must consider ingesting only cooked food, as cooked food is much easier to digest than raw food. We would also reduce or eliminate ingestion of cold food and drinks. Also, some foods are more digestible than others, so we would want to eat more of those. As most disease is rooted in Vata issues, we need to be Vata pacifying. For example, in Winter especially, take care to stay warm, reduce exertion, plenty of rest, eat regularly and eat enough, etc.
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587 Posts

Posted - Dec 08 2018 :  8:04:15 PM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
~ continued from above ~

In the tutorial, Section 13: Suggestions for balancing the doshas - part I
Here is part II ...

Suggestions for balancing the doshas - part II (with ama)

VATA SAMA - May require garlic or other pungent (as medicinal) for relief/ management

PITTA SAMA - Reduce intensity for relief/ management

KAPHA SAMA - Avoid most, maybe all, dairy products (mucous forming) for relief/ management. Sweeteners other than honey are best avoided, maybe honey too.

Ama's characteristics are the same as sweet - heavy and wet. So in general, sweet is to be avoided if ama is present.
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