School of Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion
1. Chop and sautee onion in sunflower oil in a large soup pot. When the onions begin to brown add chopped garlic and ginger. Continue frying for thirty seconds.
2. Chop carrots, parsnips and collard greens. Add to pot and cover vegetables with water. Bring to a boil on high heat. Lower heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until tender.
3. Meanwhile, sautee sunflower seeds in a bit of oil. When browned, spinkle salt and garnish soup.
Restore Your VitalityCooked carrots are sweet, nourishing, easy to digest, and contain lots of fiber. They are ideal for babies and convalescing patients (i.e. those recovering from illness). Parsnips have many of the same qualities as carrots and are also a wonderful food choice for the recently ill, elderly, or ailing. Ginger warms the belly as it strengthens your digestion. This is very important during recovery- illness tends to put a damper on the digestive fire. If it's still a little difficult to digest, remove the collard greens and you're sure to have easy digestion.
Clean Blood, Cool LiverThe blood purifying aspects together with carrot's sweetness make it an excellent blood and liver tonic. Carrots are ideal for liver deficiency, especially useful in the dry seasons of late summer and fall. The liquid nature of this soup combined with soothing carrots and bitter colalrds can bring relief to dry, overheated eyes. The eyes are direct reflection of the state of your liver, so if your eyes are feeling hot and tired, this soup is for you.
Warming Roots Give You StrengthDo you feel cold to your bones as the season turns from summer to fall? This root vegetable soup restores your ability to build heat from the inside out. In Chinese Medicine, root vegetables like ginger, carrots, and parsnips are said to build "yang," or the energy of heat and strength. This effect grows when the roots are cooked long as slow, roasted or in soups. In Ayurveda, root vegetables calm windy, spacy Vata Dosha by offering a sensation of groundedness and stability. The added warmth of a soup is a bonus!
A Sweet Note on CarrotsAncestors of the wild carrot came from Iran and Afghanistan, the center of genetic diversity for carrot. Carrots were bred from a species of wild carrot, called Queen Anne's Lace. Originally they were grown for their aromatic leaves and seeds. Since then, selective breeding has increased sweetness, reduced bitterness, and minimized the woody core. The ancient Greeks called them, 'philon' which means love charm, because carrots were considered to make men and women more amorous.
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.
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.
OJASOjas is the essence of healthy tissue, immunity, stable energy and happiness. Substances that improve ojas are recommended after lon-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.
TYPE Roots, Vegetables, Greens
WATERResembles water (ap) in quality - fluid, sticky, soft, heavy, stable, cool.
FIREResembles fire (tejas) in quality - hot, sharp, penetrating, light, dry.
NUTRIENT Vitamin A, Beta Carotene, Insoluble Fiber
COLOR White, Orange, Green
PLASMAPlasma (Rasa Dhatu) includes plasma, white blood cells, and lymph.
DOWNWARDDownward-moving (Adho Gati Marga) substances move food downward in the GI tract, settle the nervous system, and relax muscles.
INWARDInward moving substances promote introspection, self reflection, stillness, or slow the system down.
DIGESTIVEHerbs that encourage healthy digestive.
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|
NUTRITIVEAn herb that is strengthening and nourishing.
|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-TONICAn herb that produces more blood cells in the body or otherwise strengthens blood. Helpful for anemia and other types of deficiency.
|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|
DECONGESTANTAn herb that reduces mucus congestion in the sinus or lungs by restricting blood flow to mucus membranes.
|Mind, Stress & Sleep|
RELAXES-EYESEases tension in eye muscles, so the eyes feel less strained, often by supporting the liver.
GROUNDINGEncourages feelings of stability and heaviness. Makes you feel settled, mentally relaxed. Mildly sedates the nervous system to ease stress. Can bring a spacey or anxious person back to earth.
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...
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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