Ayurveda: Healing Body and Soul

Ayurveda is an ancient study, more than 5000 years old, which describes many natural processes of healing and living a healthy life. Though its origin is in India it has now propagated throughout the world, acknowledged and adopted by many in their search for health and happiness. 

The word Ayurveda mturmeric roots in bageans sacred knowledge of life. In the word Ayurveda, “Ayu” means Life comprising the Body, Mind, Senses and Soul. In ancient India, knowledge was sourced from the 4 “Vedas”, scriptures written as guides for the path of life – namely the RIGVEDA, SAMAVEDA, YAJURVEDA and ATHARVAVEDA.

Ayurveda says that our Universe is made up of five elements – Air, Water, Fire, Earth & Ether. The Human Body represents these elements in three forms of energy or doshas namely Vata, Pitta, & Kapha. Every human body has it’s own unique composition of these three doshas. The composition defines not only the health of the human being but also the characteristics and temperament. Any imbalance in thesethree doshas generally lead to a lot of health issues – physical as well as mental.

Vata relates to air, and this energy mainly directs functions like Respiration, Circulation and Nerve Impulse. People who have Vata imbalance often suffer from dryness of skin and hair, mood swings, headaches, joint pain, bloating, constipation. 

Pitta relates to fire and water in Human body. “Fire” takes the form of Enzymes which are secreted in the stomach and liver which digest food, which is transformed in to Energy. The common symptoms of Pitta imbalance are aggression, loss of temper, acid reflux and ulcers.

Kapha is derived from the elements Earth and Water. When it is present in the right proportion it provides strength, stamina, immunity, and mental peace. Otherwise a person can experience lack of motivation, feel depressed, tired and lethargic and have abnormal food cravings.

Ayurveda says that every person should try to find their natural balanced state by modulating their behavior and environment. A person who has learned to balance all the three doshas is described as “Sushrut Samhita” in Ayurveda – which means he or she has a sound mind, healthy body and a content soul.

4th of July Ayurveda Deals 2014

July 4th Ayurveda DealsGet ready for 4th of July sale with this amazing discount on all your Ayurvedic Herbs! We will be offering offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders in the U.S. over $75 all weekend long! We are also still offering Buy 2, get 3rd free on all of our supplements. Hurry, this deal is one-of-a-kind and won’t last too long! This offer is good through Tuesday, the 8th of July 2014.

Capomo – Nature’s Delicious Superfood Coffee Substitute

Greetings from the momentarily sunny Seattle, in the Evergreen state of Washington, USA.  We here at Tattva’s are delighted to introduce you to the yummiest coffee substitute this side of the Cascades, and certainly beyond.  Capomo, or the Maya Nut, is the fruiting seed of Brosimum alicastrum, a giant tree in the fig family.

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Indigenous to tropical rain forest from Mexico to Brazil, including the Caribbean islands of Trinidad, Cuba and Jamaica, Capomo nuts are hand gathered from the forest floor by local indigenous women.  While sun-drying on the roof for 3 weeks, Maya Nut Producers walk on them to crush the hard outer layer.  Next, our coffee roaster roasts the dry, crushed nuts, yielding bold and complex layers of coffee-flavor with notes of cinnamon and chocolate.  Here at Tattva’s, we enjoy this delicious drink all through the day.  In the morning, we brew Capomo with coffee, adding a heaping serving of nutrients to a reduced serving of caffeine.  After lunch, Capomo brew both enlivens and relaxes the afternoon work load.  And what a treat to enjoy a steaming hot cup of “coffee” after dinner!  Our slow-roasted Capomo tastes most shockingly like that beloved morning pick-me-up when simmered on the stovetop for 10 to 40 minutes, according to desired strength.  You can also brew Capomo in a traditional drip coffee maker, percolator, or any way you choose.  Add your choice of milk and sweetener or drink it straight up black like a Mighty Sailor ~ a 40 minute simmer will surely put hair on your chest!

While this super food does not contain a single drop of caffeine, it does contain tryptophan, a naturally occurring amino acid that aids in both relaxation and a sense of well-being.  In stark contrast to caffeine, it is not stimulating to the central nervous system, so there are no jitters and no crashes.  As a superfood, Capomo serves to build health and energy levels naturally over time, so the more you drink it, the better you feel.  It is one of the richest plant sources of amino acids and protein and also high in fiber, potassium, iron, zinc, vitamins A, B, C and E.  Calcium and magnesium are perfectly balanced in the Capomo nut, making it an easy to absorb food source of these integral minerals.

The Maya Nut tcapomo with localree was the staple food to indigenous peoples all through its habitat, but over past years has fallen out of recognition.  The Maya Nut Institute, a non-profit public charity devoted to “find balance between people, food and forest,” exists to bring knowledge of this bounty back to the people.  Since their 2001 inception, more than 600 rural and indigenous women have established 25 fully autonomous Maya Nut businesses with a strong emphasis on both education and re-forestation.  The Maya Nut Institute’s reforestation partners have planted over 2,000,000 trees in Haiti, Columbia, Guatemala, Peru, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Mexico.  So why would an entire non-profit organization devote all its work to a single species of tree?

The Maya Nut tree compels humans in many ways, but most notably, one Maya Nut tree can produce as much as 800 pounds of food in a given year, and live to over 100 years. Though native to the rain forests, it thrives in a wide range of ecosystems, making it an important climate-change resistant food source.  The fruit is eaten by avian and mammalian animals, the seeds used by people for both food and medicine; even the leaves can be steamed and eaten like spinach!  And as you all know, he’s strong to the finish ‘cause he eats his spinach, he’s Popeye the Sailor Man!

Click Here to try a bag of this delicious drink today!

Essential Herbs for Men’s Health, Women’s Health & Weight Loss

Triphala-guggulTribulusMale-ShaktiShatavariShilajit

 

 

 

 

There are many great Ayurvedic herbs for various ailments, health conditions, etc. We have compiled a list of 5 of them that are a key for optimizing general health for Men, Women, and one for healthy weight management.

For Women

Shatavari – Shatavari, also known as Asparagus racemosus is known as the “Queen of Herbs” because it promotes love and devotion. It is a cooling, calming, nourishing and purifying herb which has a special affinity with women, though it is also excellent for men. Read more about Shatavari here.

For Men

Shilajit – (This product is typically helpful for men, but women see many benefits as well!) Shilajit-A Brief History: Little was known about this high mountain herb/mineral compound until the early 1990’s when Russian scientists brought it to the western world. Russian Black Anabolic or mumie (pronounced Moomiyo) is a potent adaptagenic herbal complex. It has been used by the Russian military and sports establishment for nearly four decades supposedly for increasing strength and muscle mass as well as for its recuperative powers. In studies conducted at various universities in Russia, Moomiyo was found to improve workload (weight x repetition) by as much as 15-27% and improve recovery time. The people of the Tajikistan area of Russia routinely use Moomiyo in their foods. Their life spans are above the world average. Russian scientists can only attribute this to their daily consumption of Moomiyo.

Read more about Shilajit here.

Tribulus – (Also a typical “male” herb, but can be very useful for women!)

Tribulus terrestris has been used for centuries in Ayurveda to promote healthy Gokhru (reproductive system) in both men and women. It is said to have an aphrodisiac action due to the presence of saponins. Tribulus (aslo known as tribulus terrestris, puncture vine, puncturevine, gokshura, tribestan, goksura) also maintains healthy levels of testosterone and hormones in the body, making it a great supplement for athletes and trainers.

Read more about Tribulus Here

Male Shakti – Male Shakti is a synergistic Co2 formula designed to balance, integrate, and normalize the functioning of the male reproductive system, while helping to provide stamina, vigor, and maintain overall male health.

Read more about Male Shakti Here

For Weight Management

Triphala Guggul – Triphala Guggul is a classic Ayurvedic formulation that we are pleased to be able to provide to you in Supercritical (Co2) form. Both are popular herbs found primarily in India, but they have been used in the United States and Europe as well, as a natural remedy for several conditions. This premier formula combines the antioxidant and digestive support of Triphala with the cholesterol and metabolism support of Guggul. Promotes healthy weight management and great for diets, cleansing and natural weight control!

2013 in review for Tattva’s Herbs blog

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 18,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Top 10 Benefits of Mucuna Pruriens, the Velvet Bean of Ayurveda

mucuna-seedsMucuna pruriens, commonly known as velvet bean or cow itch, is a plant indigenous to India, and has been used in Ayurveda for a large variety of conditions. Scientists and doctors in the west are now beginning to take a serious look at the potential benefits of this potent herb in a number of medical and psychological conditions.

Here are what we believe to be the Top 10 Health benefits of this amazing product:

1) Provides L-Dopa – turns into dopamine which improves mood, sense of well-being, mental clarity, better sleep, brain function, etc.

2) Produces Testosterone* – Increases libido in both men and women. Builds fertility in men (Increases semen volume, sperm count and sperm motility, better double up boys…) and is extremely potent at increasing libido for both men and women. Mucuna helps men last longer sexuall and also helps women increase lactation when breastfeeding.

3) Increases Energy*

4) Improves mental capacity*

5) Promotes brain activity that combats such things such as Parkinson’s disease and depression*

6) Used to build muscle mass and strengthen muscles and physical ability.

7) Helps digestion without increasing pitta (fire)

8) The hairs on the mucuna plant have been shown to successfully treat several species of parasitic worms.

9) Very helpful in treating insomnia and generally deepens sleep.

10) Balancing to all three doshas (which is very rare!)

Click Here for Tattva’s Herbs Mucuna

Mucuna Bottle - Tattva's Herbs

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not

intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Black Friday Ayurveda Deals 2013

Black Friday Ayurveda Storewide Sale - 35% OFF Every OrderGet ready for black Friday, as we are going to start a bit early this year! We will be offering offering 35% OFF EVERY ORDER storewide and FREE SHIPPING on orders over $75 all week long (starting Tuesday)! Stay tuned, because we will be offering a top secret special on Black Friday, the 29th!

Joint Pain? Inflammation? Four Incredible Ayurvedic Remedies

As you may or may not now, the traditional Ayurvedic school of thought is that all disease and health ailments are rooted in some sort of inflammation. Luckily, there are many great Ayurvedic products that help our bodies deal with these issues.

Out of all the herbs, oils, products, etc. that make up this list, we have chosen what we believe to be the four most important/helpful.

Without further ado –

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1) Turmeric – Turmeric (Curcumin) is quite possible the most important herb in all of Ayurveda, and it’s ability to combat inflammation is second to none. You can read all about it here.

 

 

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2) Boswellia – Boswellia is a very poswerful anti inflammatory and also a great pain reliever. Many people use Boswellia in place of Tylenol for pain. You can read more here. 

 

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3) Maha Vishgarbha Oil – Maha Vishgarbha is a very powerful traditional blend of 72 different herbs. This oil has the ability to penetrate deep and have amazing affects! Read all about it here. 

 

 

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4) Maha Narayana Oil – Another great traditional Ayurvedic oil blend, this combination of 52 herbs is extremely powerful. Read more here.

 

Why Digestion Is Like a Campfire

By Sara Bowes, L.Ac, MSOM
Portland, OR

campfireDigestion should not be taken for granted — really, it is the central pivot for all functioning in our body. Occupying the actual physical center of the organism, and being the interface between our own inner world and the external environment, as we bring the outside world into us in the form of food, the digestive system ought to be paid utmost attention and care. Nevertheless, modern Western culture has for the most part abandoned any traditions that promote optimally-functioning digestion. The repercussions are multifold. It is no shock that our culture is plagued by fatigue—why should we feel energized if the fire we use to burn our fuel has been essentially extinguished? Not to mention the fact that the fuel we now choose to burn is generally imitation and low-quality. When digestion is compromised, an endless array of disease can manifest—from chronic inflammation and associated presentations like arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes, to mental and emotional afflictions like depression, ADHD, and mental fogginess. Traditional cultures and healing systems, like Ayurveda, for instance, have long recognized the centrality of digestion in terms of overall health, and only recently is modern research beginning to catching up.

The simplest and most profound things we can do to help our digestive center generally involve gently stoking its inherent fire. In Ayurveda, this fire is called agni. So long as agni is strong and functioning well, both food, and also experiences, emotions, and sensory impressions will be processed and assimilated in a healthful fashion. If agni is weak, an excess of poorly processed substance and experience accumulates, resulting in a range of problems on the physical and also emotional and psychological levels. As much as we can contribute to the building of this fire, and at the same time, avoid practices that put it out, digestion will thrive. Just like a campfire, digestion generally likes to be warm and dry. Of course the warmth and dryness must be moderated to a degree so that the fire doesn’t turn rampant.  A variety of factors, including constitution, dietary choices, and climate all will contribute to the terrain of the digestive tract. Depending on these factors, your own unique digestion will require more or less assistance in achieving optimal balance.

Simple practices to encourage our own internal fire should be emphasized by every person whose aim is to enhance the absorption of the food he puts into his body. First, ice water should be avoided at all times—most crucially at mealtimes. Cold does to our bodies what it does in nature, which is to freeze and slow. Pouring ice water into the stomach literally puts a halt to digestion, and is especially detrimental to a system whose preference already is to be comfortably warm. A small quantity of warm water or tea around mealtimes is preferable to cold beverages. Abstaining from drinking large amounts of liquid altogether, however, for 30-60 minutes prior to and after a meal will best benefit digestive function since the acids and enzymes excreted in the digestive process are simply diluted by the addition of liquid. Traditionally, in Indian and Chinese cultures, for instance, small servings of hot tea and/or soup with warming and aromatic spices like ginger and cardamom are eaten at the start of a meal to warm up the digestive tract and prime it for the rest of the meal.

The sun’s presence in our eating ritual is a simple practice to assure that the food we put into our bodies is given the best chance to digest. The biggest meal of the day should really be eaten at midday when the sun is highest in the sky—our bodies absorb and respond to the sun’s power and energy, and so will our digestive center, which particularly thrives in its glow.

Similarly, putting fire into our food, quite literally—through the process of cooking—further takes a load off of the body’s own internal reserves. Cooking food benefits digestion. The process itself can be thought of as a pre-digestive process. Raw food, though full of heat-sensitive enzymes, are for the most part, rough on digestion. It is difficult to assimilate foods in their raw state, and this is often reflected by the tendency to suffer from gas, bloating, loose stools with undigested food, and diarrhea on a raw food diet. Furthermore is the tendency to lose weight and strength (and vitality) when eating strictly this way. Clearly, raw foods can be helpful in particular situations with particular constitutional types, especially in for limited periods of time, for detoxification purposes, for instance. If such a diet is adopted, then it is all the more important to “supplement with fire” from other sources rather than cooking, such as hotter seasons and climates, midday eating focus, and warming herbs and spices.

Quite obvious but nonetheless overlooked is the mouth’s participation in the digestive process. Chewing thoroughly and mixing food with saliva is a necessary first step in breaking down food. Chewing clearly initiates the breakdown of food mechanically, and also introduces energetic warmth to the process by the nature of movement and friction, in the same way that rubbing two sticks together can start a fire. Just as important in this act is the thorough mixing of food with salivary enzymes, which are important for breaking down carbohydrates and fats especially, and for the rest of the digestive process to go according to plan, the optimization of the functioning of these enzymes is necessary. The stomach itself does not release these particular enzymes, nor does it have teeth, so it is crucial that the initial process of digestion in chewing and mixing is done well and thoroughly so that the stomach is not bombarded with a job it is not outfitted to perform. Traditionally, it is recommended that each bite is chewed thoroughly an average of 30 chews, until food is thoroughly liquefied, before swallowed. This will naturally slow down the process of eating, allowing the body’s satiety sensors to register the food being introduced to the system, preventing overeating, which is a natural detriment to digestive functioning as it becomes overwhelmed with the sheer volume of food.

Implementing these simple practices—and learning to recognize habits that are working against your digestion and putting out precious agni (eating in a hurry, chugging ice water before meals, ice cream, living off of raw foods in the winter in a cool climate) will surely over time become preferences as you begin to notice the correlations in digestive comfort and energy levels with the adoption of simple eating habits.

Why Our Bodies Are Like Rivers

Written by: Sara Bowes, LAc

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With regards to medicine — especially holistic systems like Ayurveda and other traditional medical frameworks, there is rarely a cure-all, one-size-fits-all diagnosis or treatment. Within the parameters of a holistic mode of healing that considers the whole person as an integrated, orchestrated system rather than a patchwork of isolated symptoms and organ systems, every aspect of the patient must be considered, rather than simply the symptom alone. It follows that ten patients presenting with the same symptom (i.e. headache) will more often than not require ten entirely different remedies or treatments. This is because a truly holistic medicine rarely treats just the symptom itself, rather it addresses the underlying pattern and constitutional picture, which will always be the more effective and lasting, and ultimately healing treatment. After all, there is a plethora of reasons why a headache will manifest. In conventional Western medicine where the parts and symptoms are primary, and the whole is often overlooked, ten headache patients are often prescribed a similar “headache treatment,” for example.

Depending on how you look at it, this difference in approach renders holistic medicine somewhat complicated in that there are few things that can be said to be good for everyone, or every headache, in this case. That said, there is a small handful of principles that can be applied in a general sense to promote the health of all. One of these is that all pain—whether physical or emotional—arises from stagnation. Movement and variability are two constants that we can say are necessary for health.

These concepts are not unique to any esoteric or ancient system. The benefits of regular exercise dominate the headlines of modern medical literature; traffic is synonymous with discomfort; any human being can attest to the relief experienced when seeing one’s way out of a stuck emotional or thought pattern; even the human heart itself likes not only to be moving, but also some variability heart rate variability—the variation in the time interval between heart beats—has been shown to directly correlate to health, such that the less variability is correlated with greater incidence of disease. And because any holistic medical system views the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies as intimately connected, stagnation on any of these levels can in turn affect another, such that mental stuckness or rumination for instance is not only uncomfortable in its own right, but it is often the cause for physical disease as well.

While it is fair to say that stagnation is the culprit for all pain and much disease, it is necessary to recognize that a variety of reasons exists for the stagnation itself. As with most aspects of the human body, it is often helpful to turn to nature as a means of deeper understanding. Imagine a river—flowing, crisp, unobstructed, flexible, full, clear, adapting to the changing seasons. Rivers like to be moving, and even a little bit unpredictable. Various factors, however, can interrupt the river’s ability to flow healthily. Cold temperatures will turn the water to ice; hot weather will dry the river out completely; trash and pollution will muddy the river and slow it down; not enough precipitation during the winter leads to scanty flow in the spring; falling timber or a dam will cause obstruction. The same applies to the human body—stagnation can result from a wide variety of factors. Constitutional imbalance, toxicity, excess weight, poor diet, nutrient deficiency, environmental factors, emotional and mental inflexibility, injury, prior or existing illness comprise some of the possibilities. The implication here is that it is important to determine first what is the underlying cause of the stagnation before pursuing treatment. Though it is likely that both a kapha constitutional type and a vata constitution will suffer from stagnation and related manifestations, treating both persons the same would likely aggravate one of the situations. The kapha type, for instance, will benefit from aromatic and pungent spices and herbs, as these are generally dispersing and drying, which is helpful for the type of sluggish, overloaded type of stagnation that typically plagues kapha. Aromatics for the vata, however, will aggravate the tendency toward general dispersion that characterizes their mental and physical states.  To restore healthy flow in a vata constitutional type, warming, calming, tonifying, and sometimes moistening remedies are indicated—many of which could potentially aggravate the kapha constitution. This example highlights the necessity of determining constitution and/or underlying pattern prior to opting for treatment. No matter the situation, however, thinking generally about restoring flow and introducing movement into a stuck system will always be helpful, however this may look for your own individual constitutional needs.