Tag Archives: herbs
If you are a woman between the ages of about 14 and 51, chances are that you have some discomfort surrounding your period. Maybe your “monthly visitor” brings along strong cramps and nausea, constipation or a few days of feeling anxious and blue. Perhaps your breasts get tender, your skin breaks out in zits or you feel irritable and frustrated. It could be that sometimes you go for months without shedding a drop of blood, or it stops and starts without any rhythm.
Ayurveda and Your Period Read more »
Recently my son has begun noticing more and more what the other kids get in their lunches at school. I know I won’t have veto-power in his diet forever, but I just can’t bring myself to pack him “treats”.
I wanted to make him a real treat that I felt really good about giving to him. Since he loves cooking with me, especially when there are herbs or medicine involved, we decided to make these really tasty and nourishing gummies. Read more »
This is the first in a series of posts on “Mama Medicine.” Each of these posts will offer an overview of a common childhood illness along with some suggestions for supporting the body in implementing it’s own healing wisdom. I am happy to try to honor suggestions or requests at any time. Also, if you have some wisdom to add, please feel free to comment below.
According to Ayurvedic legend, the god Shiva in his wrathful form as Rudra, gave birth to fever after a long spell of meditation. His focus had been disturbed by demons and in frustration he opened his third eye and burned them up with it’s laser-like beam. This points to the role of fever in burning up pathogens and other bodily burdens. Read more »
After my most recent trip to India, I found myself very inspired to try making Dosas at home.
In the south of India, dosas are made with something called Urid dal and rice. Unfortunately, I have not yet been able to find Urid dal here in France (although I know that it is definitely available in the states and probably also in England, Canada and Australia).
So, that left me needing to experiment. Read more »
The dry heat of the summer sun weakens our bodies.
This is the time of year to focus on foods which bring moisture and lubrication into our systems.
Coconut and lemongrass are both delicious summer ingredients and potent healers.
Coconut is moist and cool. It is building in nature and pacifies the dryness and weakness of Vata and the heat and inflammation of Pitta. It can make heavy, wet, cold symptoms of Kapha worse.
Lemongrass has proven very effective for soothing headaches, particularly migraines. For sufferers of migraines, the summer headaches are particularly common. It is also a digestive aid, relieving gas and bloating cause by Vata.
Ginger and turmeric are both very effective anti-inflammatories. They aid in digestion and have been shown to fight micro-organisms and purify the blood. Ginger is also a pain-reliever and eases constipation from the dryness of Vata aggravation.
I love the taste of fresh basil pesto
But, I have a lot of Pitta in my constitution. I have a hard time with garlic and pine nuts. The parmesan cheese traditinally used in pesto is pretty channel clogging and Kapha provoking. I avoid eating it very often and don’t give it to my son who has had some skin and lung issues in the past.
So I created this Basil Almond Pesto recipe.
I know it’s definitely not traditional pesto, but this recipe is pretty delicious. The freshness of the taste of the almonds adds a wonderful and unexpected touch.
But, let’s look at what the medicinal benefits of the ingredients:
Basil is a member of the mint family and is a powerful antioxidant–especially when it isn’t heated. It is a warming herb, so it can be used to help soothe Vata and Kapha complaints.
There are many forms of basil. They are used in herbal traditions all over the world to treat asthma symptoms and digestive upset, to help stabilize blood sugar, to improve circulation and to boost immunity.
Basil is also antibacterial. It can be used internally or topically to support healthy wound healing and may help fight viruses.
Raw Almonds which have been soaked overnight in room-temperature water and then peeled are sweet and delicious.
They are cooling in nature and soothe Pitta complaints. The are not too heavy and eaten in moderation should not be Kapha provoking. The soaking and peeling also makes them less Vata provoking than other nuts.
Almonds are nourishing and aphrodisiac. They are also laxative and help the body excrete excess water while still being moisturizing.
Olive oil is an amazing food especially when eaten raw. It is very good for lowering “bad” cholesterol and has scientifically proven strongly antimicrobial properties.
The slightly bitter flavor of high-quality, virgin olive oil (as opposed to the bitterness of a rancid or spoiled oil) soothes Pitta inflammation and supports the functioning of the liver. Because of it’s light, bitter, fresh flavor it is not Kapha-provoking, and it’s sweet oiliness pacifies Vata.
Leeks are sweet and Vata reducing. When cooked, they soothe air in the digestive tract (bloating and gas) without aggravating Pitta
Basil Almond Pesto
How much water should I drink?
For years, most of us have heard the suggestion that we should drink “8 cups of water a day.” Unfortunately it isn’t really that simple.
In fact, each of us has a unique constitution and lifestyle that actually has different requirements to stay hydrated. The amount of rehydration we need on a given day is directly related to how much hydration we have lost through the loss of bodily fluids.
And that is actually the most important factor. Our body is not like a sponge. Our bodily tissues don’t just immediately soak up the water we drink and suddenly become hydrated. If we drink too much water, just as when we eat too much food, we can dampen our digestive fire. Drinking too little water can also weaken our digestion.
The simplest way to know how much water we should drink is to drink when we are thirsty. Modern nutritionists say this is probably too late—that we are already overly dehydrated by this point—but this may be because most of us have lost touch with the subtle signs of our thirst. It may take some time to redevelop that sensitivity.
In general, all of us will tend to need to drink more water from the middle of summer through the autumn and less from mid-winter through the spring.