Better Health through Digestion with an Ayurvedic Diet
Types of OilsThere are four types of oils in Ayurveda: ghee, vegetable oil, muscle fat, and bone marrow. Ghee is an important medicine for building strength in Ayurveda because it is the lightest and easiest to digest fat. Marrow is the heaviest and most difficult to digest.
The Best Oils for Each Dosha
|Vata||Olive, sunflower, sesame|
|Kapha||Corn, safflower, olive, mustard|
Sticky Oil, Sticky BloodPathological oiliness aggravates Kapha and Pitta. It overwhelms the liver's storage and processing capacity causing high cholesterol, stagnant, dense blood and lymphatic obstruction. Oil clogs fluid vessels. Whereas blood stagnation from sweets and carbohydrates creates pure Kapha mucous, blood stagnation from oil creates gall bladder stagnation and skin rash. When lymphatic obstruction blocks release of cellular waste products, the surface of the skin turns red and flushed. Oil makes the blood sticky causing plaque formation.
Excess oleation causes water retention in the abdomen, teary eyes, a coating on the tongue, and soft, buttery stools. Oily foods decrease gastric secretion, but increase bile production. As it suppresses hydrochloric acids, fat specifically inhibits protein digestion.
Internal OleationOily foods are general bland. They facilitate easy elimination of wastes, soften dry and hard tissues, lubricate joint spaces, and increase strength wherever there is debility. A tsp of ghee with meals helps build ojas, weight and strength. Internal oleation is a process, used in pancha karma cleansing therapies, to pull fat soluble toxins from peripheral tissues and soften them.
Oily Personality TraitsFats nourish and soften the liver, creating relaxation, vigor & stabilizing emotions, all highly important for Vata. Oil promotes compassion, kindness, tenderness and affection. Properly oiled individuals have a "smooth" personality. Oil is cooling and can help a person "chill out". Like water off a duck's back, the stable quality of well oiled individuals makes them thick skinned, impervious to insult. Healthy oiliness is steadfast but pathological oiliness creates greed and attachment.
Treatments - Reducing Fat, Cholesterol and OilBitter tasting foods aid fat metabolism, release liver heat, clear plaque from blood vessels, and reduce weight. Bitters cholegogues such as dandelion help scrape fats from tissues. Punarnava and amalaki stimulate microcirculation and metabolism at the cellular level. Blood thinners like turmeric counteract the dense stickiness of oil invigorating the blood and burning off fats. Mild laxatives like triphala help eliminate fats through the GI tract. Triphala Guggulu is famous for reducing cholesterol. Mild exercise and breathing techniques like pranayama help metabolize unwanted fats. Disclaimer: The herbs that you select depend on the season and your unique imbalances.
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