School of Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion
Oily refers to anything fatty, or that increases fat.
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 fat that is lightest and easiest to digest. Marrow is the heaviest and most difficult to digest.
The Best Oils for Each Dosha
|Vata||olive, sunflower, sesame, ghee|
|Pitta||sunflower, coconut, ghee|
|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 generally bland. They facilitate easy elimination of wastes, soften dry and hard tissues, lubricate joint spaces, and increase strength wherever there is debility. A teaspoon of ghee with meals helps build ojas, weight, and strength. Internal oleation is a process used in panchakarma cleansing therapies to pull fat soluble toxins from peripheral tissues and soften them.
Oily Personality TraitsFats nourish and soften the liver, creating relaxation, vigor, and 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 and impervious to insult. Healthy oiliness is steadfast, but pathological oiliness creates greed and attachment.
Treatments - Reducing Fat, Cholesterol, & OilBitter tasting foods aid fat metabolism, release liver heat, clear plaque from blood vessels, and reduce weight. Bitters cholagogues, such as dandelion root, 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.
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.