School of Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion
It is very simple to harvest fresh gel from your household aloe plant. When the leaves are 3-4 inches in width and roughly a foot in length, it is the perfect time to extract the gel from the plant. First select a leaf. Remove and wash it. Cut off two inches from the bottom of the leaf, so you have a flat surface to work with. Remove the thorns. Cut the green skin off beginning on the flat side of the leaf. Scoop out the gel and rinse it thoroughly. Now you can add it to your recipe. Take care that the yellow sap and the green skin are both removed entirely from the gel since they are highly purgative in nature.
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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.
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.
STIMULANT-LAXATIVEStimulant laxatives induce bowel movements by stimulating peristaltic movement (the contraction of smooth muscle in the intestines). They are effective when used on a short-term basis. On a long-term basis, they can create dependency.
|Cleanse and Detox|
DETOXICANTAn herb that eliminates or metabolizes toxins from the body.
|Heart & Circulation|
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.
VULNERARYAn herb used for the treatment of wounds. Promotes healing of skin lesions and wounds/promotes cell growth and repair
ANTI-INFLAMMATORYReduces inflammation in the body. Different herbs and carriers target different body systems.
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.
|Liver & Gall Bladder|
CHOLAGOGUECholagogues stimulate the release of bile from the gall bladder for improved digestion.
|Lung and Sinus|
SOOTHES-THROATSoothes throat discomfort, including from a sore or ticklish throat.
|Skin Care & Beauty|
REFRESHES-SKINFlushes the lymphatic system to cool, awaken, and revive the skin.
EMOLLIENTsoothes & softens the skin
SKIN-TONICAn herb that strengthens and nourishes skin, improving tone, color, moisture and complexion.
HYPOLIPIDEMICScrapes fats / cleanses blood vessels
Lowers Blood Sugar
LOWERS-BLOOD-SUGARAn herb that lowers blood sugar.
GENERAL-LAXATIVEPromotes a bowel movement. General laxative is an umbrella term that refers to several different types of laxatives...
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DigestionAcid Reflux, Anal Itching, Appendicitis, Burning abdominal pain, Celiac Disease, Crohn's Disease, Diverticulosis / Diverticulitis, Duodenal Ulcer, Food allergy, Frequent cavities, Gastritis, Gum inflammation, H pylori infection, Hemorrhoids, Hiatal Hernia, Leaky Gut Syndrome, Receding gums, Strong food cravings, Ulcerative Colitis, Vomiting Blood, Wheat Intolerance, Yellow teeth
SkinAcne - general, Acne - painful, Dry skin, Eczema, Inflamed skin, Itchy skin, Psoriasis, Rashes, Red/flushed skin, Rosaceae, Ruddy complexion, Scaly / flaky skin, Sensitive to Poison Ivy, Skin red after mild abrasion, Skin sensitivity to chemicals, Sun damage/burn, Sun sensitivity, Thin lips
PoopAlternating Diarrhea / Constipation, Bloody stools, Constipation, Fullness below belly button, Gray Stool, Less than 1 elimination a day, Pencil stool - thin & long, Stool entirely liquid, no solid pieces, Stool formed, but porous & airy, Tarry black stools, Yellow stool
Mind Stress SleepAnger, irritable, ambitious, analytical, Conflict makes me angry, irritable, Feel rejected / unliked / unappreciated, I'm different from others / unique, Judgmental, Migraines, Sharp language
Blood and CirculationAutoimmune Disorders, Blood dark in color, Blood thick / Congested lymph, Bloodshot Eyes, Chronic Fungus infection, Diabetes (Adult Onset), Drug/penicillin allergy, Enlarged Spleen, Flushes Easily, Gall Bladder Inflammation, Gall Bladder Removed, Gallstones / Attack, Heart Attack, Heat aggravates, Hepatitis (Past/Current), High Blood Pressure, High Blood Sugar, High Cholesterol, High Triglycerides, Hot Flashes, Insulin Resistance, Jaundice, Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), Swollen lymph nodes - arm pits, Yellow eyes / sclera, Yellow tongue coating, Yellowish skin
Kidney Bladder UrinaryBladder infection
Reproductive HealthEndometriosis, Painful menstruation, Yellow vaginal discharge
Weight LossFeel overweight, Gain weight easily, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Stomach fat
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.