Finally, I have also started reading some of the books which would be useful for the blog and me :) And, this one has scored high on my list. For a beginner health enthusiast, it can serve as one of the foundation books. It explains ayurveda in a simpler way than I could ever understand it till date. So, check out 5 new things I learned from the book.

One holistic system

Ayurveda treats our entire body as a single unit with each part having its own portion of intelligence as opposed to a machine controlled by a central engine. The nutrients from our food enhance the said intelligence. Ayurveda also believes that perfect digestion is the key to keep the body free of any disease.

Our thoughts, our imaginations, our feelings, desires and energies are as much “us” as are our fingernails, our blemishes and our digestive tracts.

Ayurvedic Doshas

Pitta characteristics so do check out if they concur with your nature!
Ayurveda understands a body as a part of three doshas – Vata, Kapha and Pitta.
Vata – controls movement like breathing, blood circulation, food passing through the digestive tracts, nerve impulses sent to and received from the brain.
Pitta – represents metabolism or digestion like processing food, air and water and facilitate proper intellectual functioning.
Kapha – governs body structure, holds cells together and forms muscles, fat, bones and sinew, also governs digestive fluids int he body.
Everyone has all 3 doshas in equal measures but some imbalances in the body may lead to one or other dosha dominating over the others in which case the said dosha must be pacified and balanced . Our body is in a harmonious state when all these three doshas are in perfect balance.
Digestion is considered a heating process in Ayurveda which is why it is denoted by the agni or digestive fire.
  • Too high digestive fire means pitta dosha which leads to excessive appetite.
  • Too low digestive fire means kapha dosha which leads to low energy and weight gain.
  • Too variable digestive fire means vata dosha which leads to extreme hunger or loss of appetite.
  • Perfect digestive fire in which all doshas are balanced.
Kapha characteristics so do check out if they concur with your nature!

Small Intestine and Its Role

Small intestine is one the major organs where the maximum digestion and extraction of the intelligence from the foods happens. To keep it healthy,

  • eat variety of foods everyday
  • foods should not be over-cooked or raw
  • foods must not be too hot or too cold

That is why ice cold water is not a preferable option, as much you might crave it!!

Spice to eat to keep the digestive system in healthy order – black pepper, ginger and nutmeg.

Vata characteristics so do check out if they concur with your nature!

Ama and Ojas

When the body is in perfect harmonious state, it produces a biochemical calledOjas which represents the positive flow of energy in the body. It means the body is in complete harmony with the mind.

A complete opposite to this harmonious state is when the body feels sluggish. A sticky biochemical called Ama is produced in such a state. It can be due to improper lifestyle, improper diet or improper digestion.

Signs of ama production in the body – lethargy, feeling of  heaviness, weakness, weak immunity, fatigue, emotional instability, low energy levels.

Visible sign – white coating on the tongue which is also present throughout the digestive canals of the body. That is why tongue scraping should be done right after brushing your teeth.

How to eliminate Ama from the body?

  • Eat in a settled and quiet atmosphere where there is no television or talking.
  • Rest quietly for a few minutes after a meal to begin the digestive process in a effortless way.
  • Always eat while sitting. it helps the body relax.
  • Do not eat while upset. Wait for a few minutes to stabilize your emotions and then start eating.
  • Do not overeat. Always eat only 3/4th of your total capacity. leave eating when you feel almost full and still feel light.
  • Always avoid cold drinks or foods. Cold freezes the digestive fires and may lead to creation of ama.
  • Always eat slowly. After a bite, chew and wait till you swallow it before taking another bite.
  • Do not eat till your preceding meal is digested. It takes 3-6 hours for the previous meal to digest so if you feel heavy but crave something to eat, snack on a fruit or any warm beverage.
  • Always eat fresh food.
  • Drink hot water throughout the day, as often as possible, to dissolve the ama in your body.
sort of diet you should maintain according to your specific dosha

6 Ayurvedic Tastes

Ayurveda identifies 6 tastes in order of digestion – sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent. It is important to incorporate all these tastes in all our meals throughout the day. And, one should eat them in their order of digestionas specified.

For example, sweet should be eaten before anything sour which should be eaten before a salty dish which should precede a pungent one which should precede bitter and lastly, follow with an astringent. That is why dessert should be taken first and salad should be the last meal.

Have you read the book? Do you think digestion is the key element to our well-being?