Welcome to Autumn (Fall) season, the Vata season

Fall-Pumpkins2

Autumn (Fall) season represents the major transition of mother earth from warm season to cold season. Temperatures, which, just a few weeks ago were raging with the intense heat of summer, are beginning to hint at the telltale crispness of autumn. The air is crisp and fresh. Many trees and shrubs are quietly undressing in preparation for the winter. There is a subtle browning of the earth.

Autumn is dry, rough, windy, erratic, cool, subtle, and clear. These are all qualities shared by Vata dosha, and because like increases like, autumn is considered as a vata season. Vata dosha which means, “that which moves things”. The main area of Vata are the colon, the bones, the joints, the thighs/hips, the ears, the brain and the nerve tissues. Because Vata is related to movement it governs breathing patterns, talking, muscular movement, nerve impulses, circulation, elimination. During this season of the year Vata can be aggravated easily which means we may feel imbalanced in any of these areas resulting in conditions such as insomnia, arthritis, stiff muscles and cracking joints, dry skin, constipation, gas or bloating, lower back pain and low energy. The following tips can help you to reduce Vata if it is aggravated and to create balance during this season.

Here are some Ayurvedic tips to keep you feeling energetic, engaged, and healthy:

  • Warm oil massage : Include warm oil massage (Abhyanga) in your daily self-care routine or schedule in some massages. If your mood is affected, a massage to the head and scalp with Brahmi oil brings clarity and energy to the mind while helping support healthy sleep patterns when used at night.
  • Vata pacifying diet : Since Autumn season brings cold and dry elements, incorporate more warm and nourishing food and drink in your diet. When eating raw salads be generous with high quality dressings made with good fats.
  • Ghee : Cooking with ghee (clarified butter) is also advisable during these months, because ghee is guru (heavy) and in a season of high winds it serves as an anchoring substance in dishes.
  • Warm stews and soup in diet – In general lukewarm meals, mainly soups and stews pacify Vata due to opposite qualities from Vata. Make sure to include khichadi soup and also soups that have grains. Grains improve colon health, major seat of Vata. Add spices to your meals such as ginger, fennel, cumin and coriander.
  • Nasya : Lubricate your nasal passages with sesame oil to prevent colds due to dryness. (You can read more about this in Nasya treatment)
  • Exercise : Moderate activity is known to help activate the body’s inner pharmacy, releasing mood supporting hormones and providing revitalization and detoxification.  A healthy yoga routine can combine both the benefits of exercise and Pranayama.

If you are experiencing even a touch of the blues as the seasons change, give these Ayurvedic tips a try!

If you would like to find out how Ayurveda can help your health and well-being over the transition of the seasons, please join me for an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultation. You can visit my website: http://www.aum-ayurveda.com

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Dahl Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Directions

  1. Combine the lentils, water, turmeric, coriander, and ginger in a stockpot.
  2. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are fully cooked and soft.
  3. Turn off the heat and add the salt.
  4. In a large saucepan, warm up the ghee over moderate heat and add the cumin seeds to sauté for a minute or so, or until they turn brown and release their aroma.
  5. Pour the lentils into the saucepan and cover to allow the seasoning to blend, about 2 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.
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Ayurveda facial Marma massage

An important part of the ancient Indian system of medicine known as Ayurveda is the practise of self massage, or Abhyanga.  Massage helps tone the muscles, reduces stress, eliminates waste by improving lymphatic drainage from tissues, and improves energy levels. Regular Ayurvedic massage is considered to restore balance in the body, as it tones and nourishes the body, opens the mind and enhances general well-being. Ayurvedic massage focuses on ‘Marma points’ which are the body’s vital energy points, located over lymph nodes, joints and the 7 chakras which are associated with the major endocrine glands. The Marma points are considered important in promoting balance in the body and stimulating the body’s circulatory, lymphatic and nervous systems.

We will be focusing on one section at a time, beginning with the face massage, which can be carried out in isolation, or as part of a full body massage. This particular massage takes around 5 minutes to carry out, and acts as a natural face lift, helping to tone the cheeks, reduce facial lines and generally improve the appearance of the skin. Massaging these energy pathways also helps to tone your facial muscles and helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines. It is incredibly calming and relaxing.

Essential oil- Sandalwood oil is best to use for marma massage. It is Tri-doshic means it balances all three doshas. Apply to the tip of the fingers for massage.With each direction below, take one or two drops of oil onto the fingers of each hand, or sufficient to achieve a smooth glide of the fingers across the skin.

Using either your index or your middle finger, first massage each point in an anti-clockwise direction to unblock energy and release toxins. Then massage each point in a clockwise direction to nourish and energies the marma points.

The Marma points:

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1. Centre of the chin

2. The corners of the mouth

3. Between nose and upper lip

4. The outer corners of the nose

5. Centre of cheekbones

6. Lower lids,  just above the cheekbones – this skin is too delicate for massage, just press gently

7. Junction between eyebrows and nose,  on the lower part of the eyebrow ridge

8. Temples

9. Third eye (6th chakra)

10. Crown of the head: place hands on crown of head and move back and forth rapidly.

 

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GHEE recipe

ghee-1Ghee, also known as clarified butter, is butter that has had the solid fats, water and salts removed by slow simmering. Classical Ayurvedic texts describe the many medicinal, nutritional and healing benefits of Ghee. It is said to balance all three doshas, and lead to the production of Ojas, or vital energy, in the mind and body. Kapha dosha types are advised to use ghee in smaller quantities due to its oily nature. Ayurvedic herbology also values ghee for its ability to carry herbs and other medicines deep into the tissues of the body. Persons who already have high cholesterol or suffer from obesity should be cautious in using ghee.

Ghee is excellent for sauteing vegetables and also frying spices. It has a smooth, slightly nutty taste and an opaque, deep yellow color when cool. Ayurveda considers ghee one of the most stable cooking oils, due to its ability to withstand high temperatures without burning or becoming rancid.

For the best results, I recommend always starting with organic unsalted butter when possible. If organic butter is unavailable, however, the process of clarification will remove the majority of impurities found within commercial butters today.

INGREDIENTS –

Unsalted butter

PREPARATIONS –

  1. Put the butter in a heavy, medium-sized pan. Turn the heat on to medium until the butter melts.1.jpg
  2. When all of the butter has melted, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally. Do not cover the pot.2
  3. After about 5 minutes, the butter will begin to form a white froth on its surface and will also create popping sounds as moisture evaporates from the butter.3.jpg
  4. After 10 minutes, the froth will begin to sink to the bottom of the pan where it will collect and form a golden brown crust. Keep a close watch on the ghee, as it can easily burn.5
  5. After a while it will become a clear, golden color. You will have to use spoon to move away some of the foam on top in order to see if the ghee is clear all the way through to the bottom. When it is clear and has stopped sputtering and making noise, then it needs to be taken off the heat. Let it sit for 15 minutes.6
  6. Pour it through a fine sieve or layers of cheesecloth into a clean, dry glass container with a tight lid. Discard the curds at the bottom of the saucepan.ghee-2

Ghee is best stored at room temperature and is said to get better with age. The key, however, is always to use a clean spoon when taking ghee from the jar, in order to avoid spoilage resulting from contamination with other foods.

500 gm of butter takes about 15 minutes of cooking time. The more butter you are using, the more time it will take.

 

 

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Eat fresh, eat seasonal

In Ayurveda, it is taught and practised to eat what is locally grown in season.

Food fresh from the earth is still thriving with living energy that cannot be duplicated anywhere else. When we eat foods closet to their natural state, we receive maximum benefits and therefore maximum health. image

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Huskurer mot allergier:

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Våren är äntligen här efter lång vinter. Men för många kommer våren med allergie. Med symtom som rinnande näsa, nysningar, kliande och till och med astma. Enligt ayurveda är ama (osmält mat som blir slaggprodukter) och låg immunitet är huvud orsakerna till allergier.

Du kanske är en Kapha, Pitta eller Vata men en allergi av något kan ge en mängd olika symtom.En Pitta-baserad allergi till exempel, resulterar i ömmande, röda ögon och inflammerad, kliande näsa. Den kan ge låg feber.
En Kapha-allergi däremot kan ge en tung känsla i huvudet, näs- och bihåle täppa, trötthet, svullna ögon och hög slemproduktion. Vata-allergi kan ge näsan och bihålorna mycket torra och gör ont.

Huskurer mot Pitta-allergi

Triphala eller bara Amlaki är en virechan (laxativ) ört och den hjälper dig att få bort Pitta Dosha under allergisäsongen. Andas in kokosolja genom varje näsborre några gånger om dagen, drick Pitta te och drick varm mjölk med en halv tesked gurkmeja.

Huskurer mot Kapha-allergi –

Den här typen av allergi behöver Chyavanprash. Det ska tas två gånger om dagen för att förstärka lungorna. Triphala hjälper också till att rensa ut gifter ur systemet. Den som lider av den här typen av allergi ska ta en tesked triphala innan läggdags.

Huskurer mot Vata-allergi –

Sesamolja är mycket bra mot Vata-orsakade allergier. En tesked Ashwagandha med en kopp varm mjölk innan läggdags balanserar också Vata. De med Vata-orsakade allergier kan använda nasyaolja för torra och ömmande näspassager. Drick ingefära te tre gånger.

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Breakfast Recipe – Oats Dosa or crepes

According to Ayurveda – Oats is heavy and sticky – a great grain for Vata pacification. Kaphas should not eat it in excess. Spices added here enhance the digestibility of the dish – cumin, asafetida. Specifically, asafetida is good for flatulence. Cumin is a digestive and warming spice. This recipe is primarily geared towards Vata pacification and is a good winter-fall dish. Kaphas can enjoy this in moderation, with generous amounts of the digestive spices.

Oats are well-known breakfast cereals. Oats are sweet, slightly bitter, warming and works positively on many body organs. They are good for heart, digestive system, reproductive system, bones and brain. Due to richness in phosphorous and silicon, they make bones, muscles and connective tissues stronger. Oats have anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, cardio tonic, digestive, diuretic, liver protecting, tonic, nervine and sedative properties.

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Ingredients:

  1. Oats (Havregryn) – 1 cup
  2. Semolina (Mannagryn) – 1/2 cup
  3. Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  4. Yogurt – 1/2 cup
  5. Coriander leaves
  6. salt
  7. asafoetida powder (Hing) – 1/2 tsp
  8. 1 Green chili – finely chopped – optional

Recipe :

Dry roast quick cooking oats over low flame in a pan until they turn slightly crisp or for approx. 4-5 minutes. Transfer them to a plate and let them cool for 4-5 minutes. Grind them in a mixer-grinder until smooth powder texture. Transfer it to a large bowl. Add semolina, yogurt, cumin seeds, coriander leaves, green chilies (You can add chopped onion and tomato) and salt in the bowl and mix well using spoon. Add water little by little to the mixture and mix well. It should have pouring consistency. Heat non-stick skillet over medium flame. Pour a ladle of batter and spread it lightly in a circular motion, drizzle some oil around the dosa.  Flip and cook other side for a minute. After the other side is cooked, remove from heat and serve hot with green chutney.

 

 

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