School of Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion
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
ALKALIZINGAn herb or food that makes the urine more alkaline (higher pH). This herbal action can be helpful for a number of inflammatory conditions.
RAJASICRajasic foods stimulate desire or nervous energy. Red meat, high protein food, garlic and onions stimulate desire. Rajasic foods include chili peppers, coffee, and anything that stimulates movement.
EARTHResembles earth (prithvi) in quality - heavy, dense, solid, stable, hard.
FIREResembles fire (tejas) in quality - hot, sharp, penetrating, light, dry.
OUTWARDOutward-moving substances stimulate circulation, push heat towards the skin, or are stimulating.
ANTISPASMODICHerbs that reduce or inhibit muscle spasms or cramping, such as in asthma, colic or IBS.
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.
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.
|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.
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.
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.
ANTIVIRALHerbs that inhibit the development of viral infections. Antivirals also can be found in essential oils of some herbs, such as eucalyptus oil.
|Kidney & Urinary|
DIURETICHerbs that promote urine formation, thereby flushing the kidneys and urinary tract while eliminating any excess water retention. As diuretics reduce water retention, they are often used to reduce blood pressure.
|Liver & Gall Bladder|
CHOLAGOGUECholagogues stimulate the release of bile from the gall bladder for improved digestion.
|Lung and Sinus|
EXPECTORANTHerbs that help you cough up and eliminate mucus. These herbs often work by increasing the quantity of mucus, or thinning the mucus.
|Mind, Stress & Sleep|
Makes you tired,
MAKES-YOU-TIREDInduces drowsiness and promotes sound sleep.
SEDATIVESedative herbs create a sense of calm in the mind and body by specifically calming or quieting the nervous system. Excellent for anxiety, stress and chronic pain.
APHRODISIACHerbs that increase sexual arousal through various actions including increased circulation, relaxation, stimulation, or tonics that strengthen glandular health.
GALACTAGOGUEIncreases production of breast milk.
|Skin Care & Beauty|
DIAPHORETICAn herb that induces sweating, often by dilating blood vessels close to the skin.
GENERAL-LAXATIVEPromotes a bowel movement. General laxative is an umbrella term that refers to several different types of laxatives...
BonesAches & Pains - General, Fibromyalgia, Joint pain after eating, Rheumatoid Arthritis
DietAnorexia, past or current
Blood and CirculationCandida / Yeast Infection / Thrush, Chronic Fungus infection, Chronic Infection, Cramping back of leg, Diabetes, Feet or Ankles Swelling, Fever (current), Gall Bladder Inflammation, Headache, Heart Attack, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Stroke (from clot), Swollen lymph nodes, White tongue coating
SkinCellulite, Nail / Toe Fungus
Reproductive HealthClots in menstrual blood, Insufficient Breast Milk, Low libido
Respiratory HealthEar pain/infection, Laryngitis, Pneumonia, Post nasal drip, Pressure / popping ears, Ringing ears, Runny nose, Sinus Infection
Mind Stress SleepEpilepsy, Forgetful / spacey / distracted, Light sleeper, Migraines, Waking up middle of night
PoopSausage shape stool with cracks on surface, Stool formed, but porous & airy
Weight LossStomach 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.