School of Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion
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Increases These Qualities (Gunas)
Functional Ayurveda helps you assess imbalances through 20 main states (gunas). Aggravating these characteristics weakens your body and causes imbalance. By knowing which states are habitually imbalanced in your body, you will be able to identify and correct imbalances before you get sick. Every state has an opposite which balances it (i.e. hot balances cold). You restore balance by favoring diet and lifestyle choices that increase the opposite state.
The 6 Tastes
Taste is used to sense the most basic properties and effects of food. Each taste has a specific medicinal effect on your body. Cravings for food with certain tastes indicate your body is craving specific medicinal results from food. Taste is experienced on the tongue and represents your body's reaction to foods. 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?
The Three Doshas / Body Types
People tend to get sick, over and over again, due to similar causes and habitual imbalances that are unique to the person. Your body type summarizes this tendency, showing you the 'type' of conditions and imbalances that frequently challenge your health & wellness. Using body type, you can also identify remedies likely to improve your strength and resiliency. Your body type identifies physical and mental characteristics as well as your personal strengths and weaknesses. The calculation of your body type is based on your medical history.
The 3 functional body types (doshas), are Catabolic (Vata), Metabolic (Pitta), and Anabolic (Kapha). Catabolic individuals tend to break down body mass into energy. Metabolic individuals tend to burn or use energy. Anabolic individuals tend to store energy as body mass. Catabolic people tend to be easily stimulated, hyperactive, underweight and dry. Metabolic people tend to be rosy-cheeked, easily irritated, focused, driven, and easily inflamed. Anabolic people are heavy, stable and grounded, but if they store too much energy, they could gain weight easily and have congestion.
HAS THE FOLLOWING
OJASOjas is the essence of healthy tissue, immunity, stable energy and happiness. Substances that improve ojas are recommended after long-term illness, debility, emotional and physical trauma, and even sadness.
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.
TYPE Dairy, Oils
EARTHResembles earth (prithvi) in quality - heavy, dense, solid, stable, hard.
WATERResembles water (ap) in quality - fluid, sticky, soft, heavy, stable, cool.
BLANDBland means doesn't have much taste. In Chinese medicine, bland taste refers to afood without little macronutrients, such as cabbage, radish or bok choy.
FATFat tissue (Meda Dhatu) includes adipose tissue and sebum (skin oil).
MARROWMarrow tissue (Majja Dhatu) includes bone marrow and nervous tissue.
MUSCLEMuscle tissue (Mamsa Dhatu) includes muscles and ligaments.
PLASMAPlasma (Rasa Dhatu) includes plasma, white blood cells, and lymph.
REPRODUCTIVEReproductive tissue (Shukra/Artava Dhatu) includes male and female reproductive organs.
ANTACIDHerbs that neutralize acidity in the gastrointestinal tract, the stomach in particular.
|Cleanse and Detox|
DETOXICANTAn herb that eliminates or metabolizes toxins from the body.
|Energy Vitality Strength|
NUTRITIVEAn herb that is strengthening and nourishing.
TONICA tonic herb strengthens tissue, often restoring healthy function. Tonics usually target a specific organ, tissue, or system ie: brain, muscle or respiratory tonic.
|Liver & Gall Bladder|
CHOLAGOGUECholagogues stimulate the release of bile from the gall bladder for improved digestion.
LIVOTONICAn herb that strengthens the liver. It is helpful for people with a history of substance abuse, chronic liver issues from hepatitis and hemolytic anemias.
BUILDS-SEMENHerbs that increase the production of semen, often by rebuilding fluids in general.
PROMOTES-FERTILITYAn herb that promotes fertility. Generally used by women who wish to become pregnant. These herbs may also help with menstrual problems of deficiency, such as amenorrhea (lack of a period).
PROMOTES-VIRILITYEncourages virility and potency.
|Skin Care & Beauty|
EMOLLIENTsoothes & softens the skin
RELIEVES-BURNINGHerbs that soothe a burn or reduce an internal burning sensation, such as aloe vera.
GENERAL-LAXATIVEPromotes a bowel movement. General laxative is an umbrella term that refers to several different types of laxatives...
STOOL-SOFTENERAn herb that softens stool that is hard and difficult to pass. They are the safest and most gentle type of laxative. Some foods are even stool softeners, such as warm milk with ghee.
MUSCLE-TONICHerbs that strengthen and tone muscle tissue. Helpful for people recovering from long term illness and debility, or after a sprain.
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Reproductive HealthAbortion (Past), Ejaculate 2+ times per week, Night-time Ejaculation, Premature Ejaculation, Semen discharge in urine, Vaginal dryness
SkinAcne - painful, Dry skin, Dryness Aggravates Nasal Passages, Gray skin/lacking lustre, Thin lips, Thin skin
PoopAlternating Diarrhea / Constipation, Constipation, Less than 1 elimination a day, Rabbit pellet / Hard lumpy stool, Sausage shape stool with cracks on surface, Stool formed, but porous & airy
DietAnorexia, past or current, Bulimia, past or current
DigestionDiverticulosis / Diverticulitis, Hemorrhoids, Hoarse Voice, Hyperacidity, Leaky Gut Syndrome, Malabsorption, Pain left lower abdomen, Receding gums, Vomiting Blood
Respiratory HealthDry cough, Dry Nasal Passages
Mind Stress SleepEasily insulted / sensitive, Epilepsy, Migraines, Overwhelmed by responsibilities
Blood and CirculationHeart Palpitations, Hypoglycemic, Low energy, Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), Night sweats
BonesLean muscles, Weak muscles
Weight LossLose weight easily, Sunken, ribs showing
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.