School of Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion
Spring CleaningWhen spring weather feels heavy and humid like the tropics, this refreshing juice can help you stay clear-headed and light. In spring, it's a warm day that makes you sick. Thick, humid air makes you feel swollen, heavy, and stuffy. Your lymph nodes may even swell, indicating a congested liver and blood.
Lively LiverThe bitter taste in kale, and sour taste in lemon and apple flush and cleanse the liver by stimulating bile release. Release of bile, a fatty substance, also aids your body in yanking winter fats out of the bloodstream. After drinking kale lemonade you may even notice rhythmic contractions of the gallbladder as it pumps bile into the small intestine.
Cools Your EyesAs Kale Lemonade is alkalizing and Pitta-reducing, drinking it cools and refreshes the eyes.
1. Squeeze the juice from the lemon and core the apple.
2. You can make kale lemonade in a juicer or a blender. You may need to chop the kale, or toss it in a food processor if your juicer or blender has trouble grinding it up. If you plan to use a blender, add all ingredients plus 1c of water, then blend and strain.
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
ALKALIZINGAn herb or food that makes the urine more alkaline (higher pH). This herbal action can be helpful for a number of inflammatory conditions.
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.
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.
|Bone & Joint|
ANTIARTHRITICHerbs that ease arthritic pain and promote joint health.
SIALOGOGUEA sialogogue increases saliva. Sour foods are often great sialogogues, and increase output of all exocrine glands. Salty taste is very moistening as well. Bitter, pungent and sweettastes also increase salivary output but to a lesser degree. Astringents
DIGESTIVEHerbs that encourage healthy digestive.
CARMINATIVEStimulates the release of gas. Helpful for bloating or cramping abdominal pain. Propels food downward.
STOMACHICAn herb that increases appetite or settles a nauseas or nervous stomach. These generally increase the digestive fire, therefore relieving symptoms of sluggish or difficult digestion.
|Cleanse and Detox|
DETOXICANTAn herb that eliminates or metabolizes toxins from the body.
BURNS-TOXINSAn herb that detoxifies by helping your body metabolize toxins, as opposed to eliminating them.
|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.
VASODILATORA vasodilator is an herb that widens the blood vessels by the relaxation of smooth muscle cells within the vessel walls, thereby increasing circulation systemically or to a local area.
ALTERATIVELiterally, an herb that restores the proper function of the body. In practice, alteratives are usually blood cleansers and blood chemistry balancers. They were traditionally used to revitalize and detoxify after a long winter.
BLOOD-THINNERHerbs that thin the blood. Helpful for people with heart disease or clogged circulation.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORYReduces inflammation in the body. Different herbs and carriers target different body systems.
|Liver & Gall Bladder|
CHOLAGOGUECholagogues stimulate the release of bile from the gall bladder for improved digestion.
|Lung and Sinus|
DECONGESTANTAn herb that reduces mucus congestion in the sinus or lungs by restricting blood flow to mucus membranes.
GALACTAGOGUEIncreases production of breast milk.
HYPOLIPIDEMICScrapes fats / cleanses blood vessels
LOWERS-THYROIDReduces thyroid function. Useful for people with hyperthyroid.
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.
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Although bitters in excess can deplete Vata, Kale Lemonade balances bitterness with sweet taste. The result is that the bitters actually help Vata stimulate persistalsis and bile production. The lemons rehydrate the bowels.
Dear Beth - A cucumber would make the recipe a bit cooler. Otherwise a nice addition!
Dear Michelle - Vata generally cleanses naturally without effort, as long as the digestion is clear. Most Vata people need very little cleansing in the spring, but need more cleansing in fall.
Dear Tracy - How about wild chickweed? It's growing everywhere this time of year. Otherwise, for store bought greens - some of the lettuces? Many other greens are too high in oxalic acid. Spinach can be a bit taxing on the liver.