I am doing an Integrative Medicine Scholars program through the AMSA and we have to do a project to explore some aspect of Integrative Health. Ayurveda is a practice of medicine I don’t know much about, so I decided to do a personal practice incorporating lifestyle, nutrition and herbal medicine principles for the month of January. My friend Cathleen Miller helped me to figure out what my Dosha is (constitutional type) and lent me this amazing book, and …. here we go! Below is an outline taken directly from this text for (my) Pitta-Vata type.
Balancing Pitta-Vata Rhythms –
- Rise with the sun and go to bed by 10 pm – maintain steady eating and sleeping routines
- Ease yourself out of all stressful activities and maintain only those projects that create ease – allow adequate time to complete projects
- Take ample rest
- East wholesome, fresh, moderately warm, moist substantial and calming foods.
- Avoid bitter, cold, raw, hot, spicy, oily, salty, fermented or stale foods and stimulants.
- Shield against hot, wet, humid, cold, damp, or stressful environments.
- Embrace serenity, love, warmth, healthy rituals and calmness.
AVOID: caffeine, refined sweets, alcohol, saturated fats, excess salt, oily and spicy foods, and commercial dairy projects, as well as highly processed junk foods, meats, additives, frozen, canned, commercially grown, bioengineered, transgenic refined salts, sugars, flours and hydrogenated oils.
|Artichokes||Asparagus||Bamboo||Bitter greens||Black olives|
|Celery||Cucumber||Green beans||Dark greens||Parsnips|
|Peas||Potatoes||Sprouts||Summer squash||Sweet potato|
|Winter squash||yams||Watercress||Bok choy||Carrots|
|LEGUMES||Aduki beans||Mung beans||Kidney||Lima|
|NUTS||Coconut||Roasted sunflower seeds||Roasted pumpkin seeds||Poppy seeds|
|Water chestnuts||Macadamia nuts||Sesame seeds||Pecans||Walnuts|
|DAIRY||Unsalted butter||Cows milk||Cottage cheese||Sweetened yogurt|
|Buttermilk||Whole cows milk cheese||Cream||Ghee||Sour cream|
|Dark sesame||Light sesame|
|Curry leaves||Dill||Fresh basil||Fennel||Turmeric|
- New moon journalling with saraswati mantra – Aim Sarasvatyai Namaha
- Ginger compress one week before the new moon (unless bleeding)
1 gallon water
1 handful grated fresh ginger
1 lg stainless steel pot with cover
2 stainless bowls
Bring water to a boil, and add ginger secured in a ouch with a drawstring. Squeeze the pouch to release the ginger juice and drop into the water. Simmer 30 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes before uncovering when taken off the heat. Create a compress towel and apply to lower back for 4-5 minutes or until lukewarm. For full instructions, see text p. 264.
- Rose Oil Pichu – for headaches, hair loss, pain in the eyes, poor vision, mental fatigue and nose bleeds. Pichu: a powerful lubricating and loving therapy that helps maintain mental calm, emotional equanimity and helps balance the doshas. Best time: waxing moon phase. C/I bleeding. Best time: morning or early evening.
¼ cup dried roses
1 c sesame oil
Bring to boil over low heat and remove from heat, Add rose flower, cover and let steep 4-6 hours. Strain and use.
PICHU instructions: need pottery bowl, 12 “ clean cotton square and cotton hand towel.
- Wash hair a few hours before
- Release all stressful thoughts and details from the mind
- Assemble the supplies on the floor close by
- Soak the cloth in oil and lie down; place the cloth ear to ear. Press down on the cloth and wipe away excess oil
- Rest quietly for 30 minutes and rise slowly, use hand towel to wipe away excess oil and maintain a peaceful attitude for the rest of the day.
- Shakti Mudra – should be daily but 3 times per week seems doable – enhances sense of self, reinforces femininity, self esteem and restores vital energy to the womb.
Sit facing east
Bring palms together and separate slowly
Form the Shakti mudra hand position – see p. 192 text
Breathe deeply into pelvis and breathe out slowly, tracing the exhalation from the base 0f the perineum, circulating through the uterus and belly
Maintain for 15 minutes
Take a deep breath and make a commitment to a life of non-hurting
- Yoni Mudra – 3 days before the new moon and full moon to revise Shakti prana.Not when bleeding.
Sit in meditative practice with palms facing up
Create the yoni mudra hand positions – see p. 155 text
Hold the hand gesture for 5 minutes
Allow breath to flow freely throughout the body, keeping the mind centered
Herbal Teas for PMS – Vata type predominant – take for 3 days of the new moon as well as the 5 days before menses
Helpful herbs: nutmeg, valerian, triphala, ashwaganda, shatavari, cinnamon, turmeric, fennel, dill and wild yam.
CINNAMON, CLOVE AND CARDAMOM DECOCTION (VATA) for PMS
2 c water
2 c organic milk
1 tbsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
½ tsp ginger
1 pinch saffron
LAVENDER FENNEL GINGER TEA DECOCTION (PITTA) for PMS
I c water
1 c organic cows milk
1 tso roasted fennel seeds
1 tbsp lavender petals
1 tbsp hops
½ tsp ginger powder
1 pinch saffron
bring water and milk to a boil. Toast the fennel seeds, then add all herbs and spices and simmer on medium for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, add saffron and stand 3-5 min before drinking.