Vitamins and History
Haircare and Ayurveda
Question Answers on Ayurveda
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
1.What Is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is based on the ancient wisdom of good living. The word Ayurveda
is formed from the root words of Ayu = Life; & Veda = Science (or the
way). Thus, Ayurveda is defined as 'the Science of life'. Ayurveda is an
ancient system of medicine that uses herbs and oils to heal and rejuvenate.
Heavily influenced by the system of the same name in India, Ayurveda is
widely used in Sri Lanka for a range of ailments. Essentially, Ayurveda
postulates that the five elements (earth, air, ether, water and light) are
linked to the five senses and these in turn shape the nature of an individual's
constitution. The purpose of Ayurvedic treatment is to restore the balance
and thus good health.
2.What Can Ayurveda Do For Me?
An Ayurvedic health cure is a preventive
measure for the preservation of durable health up to old age
It also cleanses the body and is appropriate for wellbeing during post-convalescence
and recuperation from acute or chronic illness .Consequences of Ayurveda
are clear eyes, a refined skin tone, a robust nervous system, revitalization
and regeneration with an increased zest for life.Conditions successfully
treated by Ayurveda include; Diabetes, Stress, Migraine, Headaches, Overweight,
Skin problems, High Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure, Bronchial Asthma,
Arthritis, Sleep Disorders and illness of the Respiratory Tract, Heart &
Circulation, Rheumatism, Acne, Nicotine Addiction etc.Ayurveda gives you
a base to manage your daily life better, as you will develop the power to
reject negative and disturbing forces of all kinds.
3. What are Vata Pitta and Kapha doshas?
DOSHAS (life force) are referred to in Sanskrit as
VATA, PITTA and KAPHA.
Doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) are the (three) fundamental operating principles
in our physiology. Vata is responsible for all movement in the body — circulation
of blood, movement of food down the digestive tract, mental activity, etc.
Pitta governs transformation and metabolism such as digestion of food and
its transformation into bodily tissues, "digestion" of ideas and
experiences, and more. Kapha gives solidity to the tissues, holds together
different parts of the body and balances the bodily fluids.Traditional Vedic
texts associate each dosha with specific qualities. Vata is associated with
cold, lightness, dryness and movement; Pitta with heat, light, sharpness
and acidity; Kapha with cold, heaviness, oiliness and slowness.Vata, Pitta,
and Kapha are found everywhere in nature—wherever their qualities are present.
Different foods, geographic locations, seasons, times of the day, etc. each
have a predominant dosha associated with them. When a certain dosha increases
in the environment it will tend to increase the same dosha in our physiology,
and vice versaDisease and illness occur when they are out of balance. The
purpose of Ayurvedic treatment is to restore the balance and thus good health.
4. Can Ayurveda do anything for confidence?
Lack of confidence is generally an expression of disturbed Vata dosha, so
any way that you can keep the Vata under control is going to be very helpful,
either with the herbal preparations, with good routines, with the Vata-balancing
aromas.Pranayama, a breathing exercise, would be good, as is regular practice
of Transcendental Meditation morning and evening.Lack of confidence is down
to worry, and worry is aggravated Vata.
5. Can I use oils other than sesame for Ayurvedic
massage; for example hemp oil or sunflower oil? And can I mix oils together
and use them for massage?
We don't recommend hemp oil. Ayurveda recommends Sesame
oil as the best, but if its effect is too heating for your skin, you can
use a cooler oil such as coconut or almond.We do sometimes mix oils and
it does have a beneficial effect. If somebody is a bit sensitive to sesame
oil, for example, you might mix sesame and sunflower and they won’t be affected
by the extra heat in sesame.
6.When taking Maharishi
Ayurveda supplements, can I take more than the dose indicated on the package?
The label advice is the standard dosage, and you should stick to that. However,
your Ayurveda physician may recommend a different dosage when you attend
a Maharishi Ayurveda Health Consultation.
7. I get to sleep OK, but frequently wake
during the night and can't get back to sleep. I’ve tried some Ayurvedic
advice: hot milk before bed; bed by 10 pm; sesame oil massage. What else
can you advise?
This type of sleep problem is usually related to a Pitta* imbalance. Try
the following routine:
1. DIET Instead of hot milk before bed, take warm milk blended with a few
dates and some banana. This will help you stay asleep. Generally follow
a Pitta-pacifying diet and routine. Take foods that are cool and liquid.
Favour sweet, bitter and astringent foods; reduce foods that are spicy,
salty or sour.
2. HERBAL SUPPLEMENTS Take Blissful Sleep – Basic and also Blissful Sleep
- Pitta 30 minutes before bed time and take a Blissful Joy around 6:00 pm
3. MASSAGE Do your full body oil massage always in the morning rather than
in the evening. In the evening, massage just the hands and feet with Rejuvenation
Massage Oil (50%) combined with a cooling oil such as coconut or olive (50%).
If you wake during the night and can’t get back to sleep, take ½
cup of warm whole milk and 1 tablet of Blissful Joy.
8. Are there any herbal food supplements specifically designed to help balance
Yes. Blissful Joy is an excellent nutritional support for emotional balance.
Blissful Joy helps balance three subdoshas: Tarpaka Kapha, Prana Vata and
Tarpaka Kapha governs fluid balance in the brain, healthy brain tissue,
and communication between brain cells. When in balance, it contributes to
a stable personality.
Prana Vata-which governs energy, creativity, perception, growth of consciousness
and self-realization-is also nourished by Blissful Joy.
Finally, Blissful Joy supports Sadhaka Pitta, which is responsible for balanced
emotions, self-confidence, healthy desires, motivation and a feeling of
Blissful Joy also improves metabolism and clears away toxins from the microcirculatory
channels (shrotas) that deliver nutrients to the cells. Blocked shrotas
deprive the cells of energy and vitality and slow down cell regeneration.
When your body has more old cells than new ones, fatigue and depression
can result. Blissful Joy improves metabolism and helps revitalize cell growth.
9. Will the yoghourt drink (lassi) in your
recipe section help me lose weight?
Yes, in conjunction with an appropriate diet. Lassi can be used as a low
calorie snack between meals, and it has the advantage of not impairing the
power of digestion for the next meal, as well as keeping the bowel flora
10. Can children take Ayurveda supplements,
and if so in what amounts?
Yes, children can take most of the Maharishi Ayurveda products. The dose
shown on the product label is for adults, except where the product is specifically
Children over 10 years can take a full dose; from 4-10 years half the dose;
from 2-4 years, a quarter dose and from 6 months-2 years, an eighth of a
dose. For children below 12 months it would be wise to consult a Maharishi
Where the product is specifically for children, for example Rasayana for
Children (MA230), the recommended dose is suitable for children between
The products which you might commonly give to young children are:
Vata Tea (settling)
Almond Energy drink (sweet, nourishing)
Study Power Syrup (MA3674) and Study Support tablets (MA1882) (supporting
Amrit Kalash Ambrosia tablet (MA5) (broad benefits inc. to learning and
Herbal Di-Gest (MA927) (supports digestion)
Throat Soothe syrup (MA3357) taken with water (supports comfort of upper
The Anti-oxidant and Vitamin C Values of Amlaberry
Amla or Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) fruit
is a highly renowned for its many health-giving properties in India, South
East Asia and China. The fruits are widely consumed raw, cooked or pickled
and it is used in many Ayurvedic food supplements. In Ayurveda the health
promoting value of the fruit is increased by preparing it in an elaborate
way called ‘swaras bhavana’ which involves the repeated treatment of the
dried fruit with its fresh juice up to 21 times.
Charak Samhita says that Amla is “the best among
rejuvenative herbs”. Because of its very balanced action it is one of the
few Ayurvedic plants that can be very safely used by itself.
In modern science Amla fruit has been renowned
for its high vitamin C content and its health properties have been ascribed
to this. At one time it was said to be the richest known source of vitamin
C in the plant world but some doubts had arisen about this and richer sources
have been found.
Vitamin C content:
Vitamin C plays a variety of important roles
in the body for tissue building and manufacture of hormones and energy transfer.
One of the most important of roles is its anti-oxidant activity in which
it mops up or scavenges free radicals.
It is clear that Amla is among the best sources of Vitamin C. The level
in the dried fruit is almost as much as in the frozen fruit. This confirms
that the vitamin C in Amla is in a very stable form. This stability is due
to the presence of tannins that bind with the vitamin C and stop it degrading.
This is not the case with most sources of vitamin C.
Dried, prepared and extract of Amla were compared
with pure ascorbic acid. The anti-oxidant value of the MAP Amlaberry was
highest, the commercial extract and the dried fruit were intermediate and
pure ascorbic acid came last.
Ayurveda regards the perimenopause, the time leading up to the end of the
periods, as a natural transition that has to be managed to minimize discomfort.
Ayurveda includes specific recommendations
for diet, lifestyle and related herbal formulas. The perimenopause system
is a natural step-by-step process that helps to support balance and health.
Ayurveda physicians cite three main reasons for perimenopausal discomfort:
1. PHASE OF LIFE
Since menopause is the transition from the Pitta
phase of life to the Vata phase, if a woman already has a significant Pitta
or Vata imbalance in the years before menopause, things are likely to get
worse during menopause, which is a period when hormonal and other natural
changes take place in the body.
2. DIGESTIVE IMPURITIES
Another factor leading to menopausal imbalances
is the accumulation of digestive impurities (ama) in the physiology. Ama
blocks the channels that transport nutrition to the cells and remove waste
from the body, and thus contributes to menopausal problems.
A third factor is the misuse or overuse of the
mind, body, emotions, or senses. Basically, this happens when a woman strains
her mind too much, is under too much ongoing stress or pressure, or is doing
work that is too "heavy" for her body, or is under tremendous
DON’T WAIT – START NOW
Start planning for menopause by establishing
good health before it’s onset
DIET FOR PITTA PROBLEMS
Diet can be a crucial tool in perimenopause
management. If you are prone to Pitta-based problems, such as hot flushes
or excessive irritability, follow a Pitta-pacifying diet:
AVOID foods that are spicy, such as chilies,
cayenne and black mustard seed, salty foods and foods that are sour, such
as yogurt (unless it is diluted and sweetened in a drink called lassi. Sour
fruits such as ketchup, mustard, and other salad dressings and condiments
made with vinegar should also be avoided.
FAVOUR foods that are bitter, astringent and
sweet, as these are cooling to Pitta dosha. Bitter and astringent foods
include most vegetables. Sweet foods include rice, milk and cream, sweet
lassi and wheat products. Sweet, juicy fruits such as pears and plums also
pacify Pitta dosha.
COOK with Pitta-reducing spices, such as cinnamon,
coriander, cardamom, fennel and small amounts of cumin seed.
DIET FOR VATA PROBLEMS
If you experience Vata-related symptoms of peri-menopause
such as memory loss or vaginal dryness, you'll want to work at bringing
Vata dosha back into balance. For this, you'll need to eat foods that are
cooked, warm, and unctuous (meaning that they have a small amount of good
fats such as ghee and olive oil). Eat foods that are sweet, sour and salty,
as this balances Vata dosha.
Apana Vata, which governs the genito-urinary
tract, elimination, and menstruation, is a key area to attend to when preparing
for menopause. To balance Apana Vata, drink plenty of warm water throughout
the day. Eat plenty of cooked, leafy greens, as this helps elimination and
is also a good source of calcium.
For both Pitta and Vata imbalances, a breakfast
of cooked apples and prunes and figs is a good way to start the day, as
it balances the doshas and cleanses the digestion.
IMPROPER DIGESTION PRODUCES AMA
It is important to keep your digestion strong
and free of ama (note: read more about ama in the article on toxins).
Avoid eating foods that are packaged, processed,
frozen, canned or left over. Eat organic foods that are cooked fresh each
day. The bulk of your diet should consist of whole grains, fresh fruits
and vegetables, and legumes and light dairy products such as milk, lassi
or paneer for protein.
This type of light but nourishing diet will
aid your digestion and avoid the build-up of ama. Avoid heavy foods such
as meat, cheese, yogurt and frozen desserts like ice cream, especially at
LOOK AFTER YOUR LIFESTYLE
Sleep is important for the woman entering perimenopause
or going through menopause, because both Vata and Pitta imbalances can cause
sleep problems that will only make menopausal imbalances worse.
To keep both doshas in balance and to sleep
more deeply at night, be sure you're in bed before 10:00 p.m. and that you
arise before 6:00 a.m. This is the time of night when sleep comes easier
and is more restful.
If you stay awake past 10:00, it will be harder
to fall asleep, and you'll also increase any Pitta imbalance, because 10:00
p.m. to 2:00 a.m. is the Pitta time of night, when the body needs to be
at rest in order to cleanse and purify itself.
The morning abhyanga or ayurvedic oil massage
is extremely important for peri-menopausal problems. Use the Rejuvenation
Massage oil for Women. This oil is designed to increase circulation, calm
Vata dosha, and provide needed moisture to the skin.
REGULAR MEALS ON TIME
For both Pitta and Vata dosha, it's important
not to skip meals, and to eat your main meal at noon, when digestion is
the strongest. Try to eat at the same time every day, and go to bed and
wake up at the same time.
Be sure to get lots of rest during your menstrual
cycle as you approach menopause, because this will keep Apana Vata in balance
and avoid the more serious complications of the peri-menopause.
Daily exercise (gentle for Vata and not too
overheating for Pitta) is also important for keeping all doshas in balance.
The Menopause Support Range of products are
designed to prevent and treat the imbalances related to menopause. It provides
both general support and targets specific imbalances that women experience
before, during and after menopause.
The products help keep the body free of ama and maintain the balance between
soma (lunar energy) and agni (solar energy)--a balance that is vital for
health during menopause and beyond.
Approach to Stress Management in the Workplace:
Stress in the workplace creates a variety of symptoms, including anxiety,
fatigue, increased anger, problems with relationships, inability to focus
properly, stress headaches, insomnia and, over time, a variety of stress-related
Stress results when the mind, body or emotions
receives an overload of stimulus, whether good or bad. Workplace stress
occurs when the mind is not able to handle day-to-day events and challenges.
Some people seem to handle daily challenges without any evidence of stress,
while others are stressed by the varied activities and changes that the
modern workplace presents.
According to Ayurveda, this lack of ability to handle daily stress is due
to an imbalance, or lack of coordination of the three main mental functions
of dhi (learning), dhriti (retention), and smriti (long-term memory).
Ayurveda offers many recommendations for supporting
these mental functions, and thus gives the person more resilience to stress.
When Prana Vata, the subdosha of Vata that
supports mental functions, gets disturbed, the coordination of dhi, dhriti
and smriti breaks down and mental stress results.
When Prana and Vyana Vata (the subdosha located in the heart that supports
circulation) together are disturbed, it affects not only the mind, but also
the communication between the heart and the mind, thus creating mental and
emotional stress simultaneously. Emotional stress is usually associated
with an imbalance in Sadhaka Pitta, the subdosha of Pitta that supports
the emotions and is seated in the heart.
According to Ayurveda, if you are unable to perceive the reality of life,
which is blissful, that is an indication of Pragya-aparadh, or mistake of
the intellect. Charaka Samhita, a major Ayurvedic text, defines Pragya-aparadh
as the lack of coordination of dhi, dhriti and smriti.
Pragya-aparadh is the source of all disease,
because disease originates when the heart, mind or body loses its connection
with nature's intelligence. When we lose the memory of bliss, the connection
with our own true nature in pure consciousness, this is the source of stress
and ill-health in the body.
The recommendations of Ayurveda aim to restore
the balanced functioning of the doshas--of mind, body and emotions--and
thus to restore the connection of every part of life to bliss consciousness,
which is our true nature.
Stress management with Transcendental
The Transcendental Meditation technique, when practiced morning and evening,
is the most effective way to relieve anxiety and stress. One reason that
Transcendental Meditation is so effective is that it provides such deep
rest that it can dissolve deep-rooted stresses that are lodged in the structure
or chemistry of the body.
Creativity, problem solving, interpersonal relationships
One major cause of stress in the workplace is lack of creativity or mind
power to solve problems on the job. Because Transcendental Meditation heightens
creativity, IQ, memory and clarity of thinking, it helps relieve workplace
stress in this way also.
Relationships with workplace colleagues have
also been found to improve with the practice of Transcendental Meditation.
Positive, harmonious behaviour is a direct result of clearer thinking, reduced
stress and balanced emotions, and if you are experiencing those positive
results, this will be reflected in better relationships.
Overcoming mental stress – Ayurvedic daily routine
Mental stress is caused by an imbalance in Prana Vata. Following the Ayurvedic
daily routine is probably the most important thing you can do to prevent
stress on the job. The daily routine is designed to prevent stress from
covering over the bliss of balanced living.
The morning routine includes waking up early,
before the sun rises, and starting the day with an abhyanga, or Ayurvedic
oil massage. Abhyanga not only removes toxins from the body; it stimulates
the organs and enlivens the flow of intelligence in the body. By the time
you finish your oil massage and bathe, your mind will feel fresh, energized
and awake, without the need for coffee to start the day.
The practice of yoga asanas is also balancing
to mental, physical and emotional stress, as are deep breathing exercises
known as pranayama. The Transcendental Meditation practice completes the
Ayurvedic herbal products to
balance mental stress
Ingredients of herbal products for mental stress are renowned ‘Medhya’ herbs
that support mental function. These are Aloeweed, Jal-Brahmi, Indian Tinospora
and Liquorice. Aloeweed, for example, directly nourishes the nerve cells
in all areas of the body, whilst Indian Tinospora has a unique effect of
cleaning out the micro-circulatory channels of the body. This improves the
flow of nutrients to the brain and nerve cells.
Peace of Mind supports natural resistance to
stress and also increases alertness and mental sharpness while reducing
anxiety and fatigue. It enhances learning, retention and long-term memory
(dhi, dhriti and smriti); increases mental energy by supporting Prana Vata;
and supports mental resistance to stress.
Other Ayurvedic tips to relieve stress
Stretch and breathe deeply, even when indoors, to energize the body and
bring more oxygen to the brain. As mentioned earlier, taking frequent breaks
Drinking warm fluids throughout the day also
helps in detoxifying and the body. Warm, non-caffeinated fluids also help
reduce Vata dosha and mental stress. Many times people experience fatigue
and headache on the job due to simple dehydration.
If you feel hungry during the workday, eat healthy
snacks and avoid junk food from vending machines.
Taking these small steps will have an effect
in balancing Sadhaka Pitta, Prana Vata and Vyana Vata, and enhancing the
coordination between dhi, dhriti and smriti.
It is important to follow the Ayurvedic diet, the daily routine and other
recommendations in order to gain these benefits. The results will be more
than worthwhile. The Ayurvedic solutions to stress and other problems in
life are remarkable for their simplicity and effectiveness, and quite easy
to add to your day.
Ayurveda: Ayurveda means “SCIENCE OF LIFE”. It is one of the most ancient healing systems in India. Today, when people are aware of the deadly side effects of allopathic drugs, more and more people are turning towards Ayurveda. It not only provides long term solutions but also prevents recurrence of the disease. In this article we will focus on Ayurvedic treatment of hair problems.
Hair is a filamentous outgrowth of protein, found only on mammals. The average human head has about 100,000 hair follicles. Everyday, we lose around 70-100 hairs and new hair replaces the old. Any disturbance in this gives rise to baldness.
Hair loss is the most common problem of today’s youth. Faulty eating habits, stress, lack of sleep, overuse of chemicals, etc, are to be blamed.
Diet and lifestyle are two major factors that influence the health of hair. Poor diet, illness and deficiencies of any particular vitamin and mineral affects the quality of hair and problems like dandruff, thinning hair, balding, premature graying, etc, spoil the hair.
In an individual, the condition of the hair is a reflection of his complete constitution. If the person is not healthy then the health of the hair will be deplorable.
Example: If a person has vata constitution, the hairs are dark, dry, coarse, wiry or frizzy and tend to tangle easily; are prone to dullness, split ends and dandruff. The comprising Pitta constitution has hair that is light brown, blonde or red and tends to grow gray or thin prematurely and is fine and silky with a tendency to become oily. Hair are thick, wavy and shiny if the composition is of kapha.
Regularly cleaning and brushing the hair is very important. When the hair is brushed, oil-producing glands in the scalp get stimulated. This natural oil makes the hair glossy and healthy. To give extra shine to the hair, after washing, rinse the hair with some lemon juice mixed in a cup of warm water.
Some common hair related problems are as follows:
Dry skin flaking off the scalp and itchiness is referred to as dandruff. The aggravation of Vata generally causes this dryness.
▄ Add 1 teaspoon of camphor to half a cup of coconut or neem oil. Store it in glass container
▄ Dosage: Massage this oil into the scalp before bed.
▄ Mix 1 teaspoon of castor, mustard and coconut oil each and massage into the scalp
▄ Mix one part of lemon juice with two parts of coconut oil. Massage into the roots of the hair regularly
▄ Dosage: Wash with warm water after three to four hours or leave overnight.
When the amount of hair loss is higher than the normal hair fall that takes place due to the change in environment, increasing age or growth of new hairs, it is referred to as hair loss problem that needs special care. Improper or poor diet, exposure to a lot of chemicals or cosmetics, hormonal imbalance, stress, anxiety and mental tension are some causes of hair loss.
● Massage the scalp gently with coconut or almond oil daily for 10 to 15 minutes
● Boil neem leaves in water. Cool, strain and rinse hair with it
● Increase green leafy vegetables, salads, milk, fruits and sprouts in the diet. Take more proteins, milk, buttermilk, yeast, wheat germ, soya beans, whole grains and nuts
Premature graying of hair:
Graying of hair is a natural process that happens with increasing age, but if the hair starts graying before the age of 35, it is termed as premature graying that occurs due to the aggravation of Pitta Desha. Excessive intake of tea, coffee, alcohol, and meat, fried, oily, greasy, spicy, sour, and acidic foods increases pita and leads to graying prematurely.
● Apply a paste made from 2-tsp. henna powder, 1-tsp. curd, 1-tsp. fenugreek seed powder, 1 tbsp. coffee, 2-tbsp. mint juice and 2-tbsp. basil juice. Apply this paste to the hair for two hours. For a darker color, leave this paste in for 3 to 4 hours. Wash hair with any natural shampoo
● Grate some fresh ginger, mix with honey and place it in a jar. Eat 1 teaspoon everyday
● Add 1 teaspoon of camphor to half a cup of coconut oil and store in glass container
Dosage: Massage this oil into the scalp before bed.
● Grind some jasmine roots with lime juice. Wash the hair and scalp with it
The causes for these hair conditions are as follows:
● Excess of Pitta dosha in the body
● Excessive intake of tea, coffee, alcohol, meats and excessive smoking
● Eating too much fried, oily, greasy, spicy, sour and acidic foods
● Intake of too many chemical medicines
● Low blood circulation, anemia, general weakness after disease, stress,
Anxiety and mental tension
● Chronic diseases like typhoid fever, presence of dandruff or lice and hormonal imbalance
● Use natural shampoo or soap to clean the hair
● Use amla (embilica officinalis), Shikakai (Acacia concinna) for washing the hair
● Enhance oiling and massaging of scalp
● Use coconut oil or mustard oil at least three times a week
● Use medicated oils like 'Mahabhringraj oil', 'Amla oil' and 'Arnica oil'. Put oil on the scalp and massage gently into the roots of the hair
● Maintain a regular bowel movement everyday
● The diet should contain green, leafy vegetables, salads, milk, fruits and sprouts. Take more proteins, milk, buttermilk, yeast, wheat germ, soya bean and vitamin A
● Exercise regularly
● A special Ayurvedic preparation made from Bhringraj (Eclipta elba), Amla, corals, iron and black sesame seeds is very useful and even stops the graying of hair
● Rub the scalp vigorously after washing the hair. It increases the blood circulation, and activates the sebaceous glands
● A mixture of lettuce and spinach juice is good to drink to induce hair growth. The juice of alfalfa mixed with that of carrot and lettuce juice is also good.
● Daily application of coconut oil mixed with lime juice on the hair is also beneficial. Applying juice of green coriander leaves on the head is also good.