School of Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion
The term laurel itself means an emblem of distinction of victory as in "To rest on one's laurels." Cinnamon is thus a plant of distinction and royalty. In the ancient world cinnamon was more precious than gold, a gift for monarchs and gods. The emperor Nero burned a year's supply of Rome's cinnamon to grieve the loss of his wife (whom he murdered).
Even the Bible is rich with references to cinnamon, further attesting to its importance in ancient times. Moses used sweet cinnamon and cassia to make oils for anointing. In proverbs a lover's bed is perfumed with myrrh, aloe, and cinnamon. In the Song of Solomon, the beauty of the beloved is described, "Cinnamon scents her garments like the smell of Lebanon." In ancient Egypt, cinnamon was included among several spices to embalm and preserve mummies.
Increases These Qualities (Gunas)
Ayurveda helps you assess how you feel through the 20 main therapeutic feelings or qualities called gunas. Through the gunas you can articulate, experience and develop sensitivity to the signals your body sends you. Imbalanced gunas are the root of your imbalances. Every guna has an opposite which balances is (i.e. hot balances cold). You create balance by favoring diet and lifestyle choices that increase the opposite guna.
The 6 Tastes
Taste has meaning in Ayurveda, and brings physical and emotional changes to your body. Taste is experienced on the tongue and is your body's reaction to foods much in the same way that your emotions are mental reactions to experiences. Sweet taste causes physical satisfaction and attraction whereas bitter taste causes discomfort and aversion. Kapha should use less sweet taste while Vata and Pitta would benefit from using more sweet taste. One of the first signs of illness is that your taste and appetite for food changes. The six tastes are sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. Do you crave foods with any of the tastes below? Food and herbs with the following tastes could aggravate your symptoms.
The Three Doshas / Body Types
Your body type shows how your strengths, as well as how your body typically goes out of balance. It also shows how your body responds to the environment. Your body type is comprised of certain qualities and affects every part of you - your physical and mental characteristics as well as your personal strengths and weaknesses. This is because your body type is based on how your body uses energy. Ayurveda has 3 body types (doshas), called Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Vata spends energy. Pitta burns energy. Kapha stores energy. Vata people tend to be easily stimulated, hyperactive, underweight and dry. Pitta people tend to be hot, focused, driven, and easily inflamed. Kapha people are heavy, stable and grounded, but if they store too much energy, they could gain weight easily and have congestion.
HAS THE FOLLOWING
PRANAPrana is the Sanskrit word for vital life energy, similar to Qi in Chinese Medicine. Many herbs stimulate your energy, or improve the flow of prana through your body. Generally, prana needs to be increased in spring after a sleepy winter.
SATTVICSattvic foods promote awareness and a refreshed mind by nourishing the body without taxing digestion. Sattvic foods do not stimulate desire or nervous energy. They create clarity instead of drowsiness or heaviness.
ALKALIZINGAn herb or food that makes the urine more alkaline (higher pH). This herbal action can be helpful for a number of inflammatory conditions.
AIRResembles air (vayu) in quality - highly mobile, drying, light, cold, subtle, rough.
FIREResembles fire (tejas) in quality - hot, sharp, penetrating, light, dry.
AROMATICHerbs or spices with volatile essential oils that present strong aromas. Aromatic oils shock, refresh and numb tissue, with the end result of relaxing, opening and clearing stagnant fluids in tissues.
ANTIEMETICHerbs that reduce nausea or stop vomiting.
APPETIZERHerbs that cleanse the palate & stimulate hunger or desire to eat.
CARMINATIVEStimulates the release of gas. Helpful for bloating or cramping abdominal pain. Propels food downward.
DIGESTIVEHerbs that encourage healthy digestive.
SPLEEN-TONICAn herb that strengthens spleen function by improving strength of the blood. Spleen tonics Builds agni, brighten the person's appearances & firms up tissues.
|Cleanse and Detox|
BURNS-TOXINSAn herb that detoxifies by helping your body metabolize toxins, as opposed to eliminating them.
DETOXICANTAn herb that eliminates or metabolizes toxins from the body.
|Energy Vitality Strength|
STIMULATES-ENERGYThis category groups thyroid and adrenal stimulating herbs
|Heart & Circulation|
CARDIAC-STIMULANTHerbs that increase the heart rate. Useful in cardiovascular health, blood stagnation, and subjective feeling of heaviness in the chest area.
HEMOSTATICAn herb that stops bleeding.
STYPTICA herb that contracts tissue or blood vessels. Generally styptics are astringent. They are often used to stop bleeding.
ANALGESICRelieves or reduces feelings of pain without eliminating sensation.
ANTIBACTERIALHerbs that kill bacteria or slow their growth.
ANTIFUNGALHerbs that destroy fungus.
ANTIMICROBIALAn agent that kills microorganisms or inhibits their growth. Antimicrobial is an umbrella term that can be broken down into specific categories of target microorganism, such as anti-bacterials, fungals, and virals.
|Lung and Sinus|
SOOTHES-THROATSoothes throat discomfort, including from a sore or ticklish throat.
DECONGESTANTAn herb that reduces mucus congestion in the sinus or lungs by restricting blood flow to mucus membranes.
DEMULCENTHerbs that coat or form a soothing film over a mucous membrane, relieving minor pain and inflammation of the membrane.
EXPECTORANTHerbs that help you cough up and eliminate mucus. These herbs often work by increasing the quantity of mucus, or thinning the mucus.
APHRODISIACHerbs that increase sexual arousal through various actions including increased circulation, relaxation, stimulation, or tonics that strengthen glandular health.
EMMENOGOGUEHerbs which stimulate blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus. They are used to increase scanty menstruation, relieve menstrual pain, and other functions.
GALACTAGOGUEIncreases production of breast milk.
|Skin Care & Beauty|
RUBEFACIENTAn herb used topically that causes dilation of the capillaries and an increase in blood circulation. The skin will appear red or flushed.
Lowers Blood Sugar
LOWERS-BLOOD-SUGARAn herb that lowers blood sugar.
Poop3+ bowel movements a day, Diarrhea
BonesAches & Pains - General, Cold aggravates pain, Hip pain
Respiratory HealthAnimal/dander allergy, Cough with mucus / wet cough, Difficulty expectorating, Frequent motion sickness, Large amounts of mucus, Laryngitis, Mucus Congestion, Mucus/congestion in mornings, Post nasal drip, Runny nose, Sinus Infection, Sinus pain around eyes, Sinus pain in cheeks, Sinus pain in forehead, Sore throat, Spitting out mucus, Stuffed nose (can't breathe), Thick mucus, White mucus
DigestionBad breath, Foul taste on tongue, Frequent Nausea, H pylori infection, Hoarse Voice, Malabsorption, Pain lower back, Slow, heavy digestion, Tired after eating
Blood and CirculationBlood dark in color, Candida / Yeast Infection / Thrush, Chronic Fungus infection, Chronic Infection, Cold extremities, Cold to touch, Diabetes (Adult Onset), High Blood Sugar, Insulin Resistance, Thalassemia Minor, White tongue coating
Reproductive HealthClots in menstrual blood, Dry / light period, Erectile Dysfunction, Heavy Period, Menstrual cramps, Painful menstruation, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), White vaginal discharge
Weight LossFat back of arms, Fat on back, Fat on buttocks, Fat on thighs, Feel overweight, Low metabolism
Mind Stress SleepTired in morning
About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.