How can Ayurveda improve my health?

Ayurvedic cooking kitchari
Some kitchari ingredients

Once you know your constitution/dosha (imbalance), by eating the right foods, taking herbs, applying oils, adjusting our lifestyle, plus doing yoga, we can change the balance of elements in our bodies.

Address imbalances early. Ayurveda recognises 6 stages of disease, the early ones being more minor and easier to treat.

The Doshas – create more balance

Vata Dosha

Add warmth, softness, moisture and substance!

Vata people can benefit from body oiling with sesame oil or even better, Mahanarayan oil – a herb-infused sesame oil which lowers the Vata dosha, lubricates the skin, muscles and joints, is anti-imflammatory, pain killing and nourishing.

Eat moistening, nourishing and warming foods – stews, soups, porridge, peeled almonds, stewed fruit (especially dates, figs*), avocado, nut butter (except peanut), sesame oil, mild spices such as ginger, cinnamon, fennel, cardamom. Avoid all hard/cold foods, plus potatoes, tomatoes, aubergines and peppers.

Lifestyle should be calming, restful, nourishing, good routine, early nights and keeping warm.

Pitta Dosha

Pitta people can benefit from adding coolness. Eat white basmati rice, mung beans, coconut, fresh fruit, mild spices such as cumin, fennel, turmeric, coriander, mint, lemon balm. Avoid hot spices, coffee, alcohol, soy sauce, tomatoes, aubergine, pepper, potatoes.

Lifestyle – cool and calm, e.g. moonlit/river walks, cold water swimming, avoid loud aggressive music, too much hot sun or saunas.

Kapha Dosha

Kapha people can benefit from adding lightness/heat. Eat light, dry and warming foods, green leafy vegetables, ginger, garlic, millet, buckwheat, rye, lentils, mung beans, chick peas, veg juice with ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, turmeric. Vegetarian is ideal. Avoid fatty foods, red meat, sweet/salty foods, butter, hard cheese, cow’s milk, ice cream. Do not over eat and only when hungry. Take half cup lemon/ginger tea after food to help digestion.

Lifestyle – regular exercise, challenging activities – brisk/longer walks, spontaneity, early mornings, embrace change and reduce monotony. Have saunas.

All

Remember health is complex & these are generalisations. We are born with a certain constitution (Prakriti) but our current imbalance (Vikruti) of Doshas is the important thing to address. We can have more than one Dosha imbalance, plus they can interact manifesting in different places in our body accounting for the many possible health conditions that exist. If you are unsure, take advice as ayurveda is tailor made for the individual.

*Food combinations are very important for good digestion. One important example is not to mix fruit with any other foods, except for dates and raisins which can be mixed with other food groups.

How do I start?

  • You may simply be able to take the general free advice here and adjust life/diet based on recognising your imbalance.
  • You may want to take some advice, either via a mini consultation £15 for 20 minutes or £45 for 1 hour. I will ask you to complete a form in advance and then advise whether 20 minutes is sufficient to address things.

I am likely to provide you with dietary advice, herbs, oils, lifestyle suggestions and a personal yoga practice can be included. This is usually a step by step process with small changes initially but in time and if necessary, significant changes. We often have to practice ‘forebearance’ and ‘Tapas’ – the kind of self- discipline that helps us to change habits/ avoid foods that tempt our senses and in doing so, burns off impurities.