Ayurevda View on Headaches

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Ayurevda View on Headaches

Headaches can be Managed with Ayurveda 


Headaches according to Ayurveda can indicate certain imbalances of the nervous system. Ever suffered from tension headaches, migraines, and sinus headaches? All of these correlate to a specific dosha accumulation in the body. Usually, pain is associated with vata dosha, but further investigation is needed to understand what other doshas are are play, either pitta or kapha in the mix of the headache. Sometimes certain doshas can mask symptoms of another, so it can get tricky to determine what to do. 


Migraines are specific to pitta-vata, Hot pitta becomes burning, searing pain, there can even be light sensitivity. Often these types het worse by heat and working on computers or smartphones. These headaches are indicative of digestive disorders, exposure to environmental toxins and stress, anger, frustration and moodiness. 


Sinus headaches are all kapha. Kapha accumulates in the head , congestion is a definite sign of the cause. Many people fell dull and heaviness sin the head surrounding the sinus area. This headache comes with symptoms of sluggish slow digestion, accumulated digestive toxins , overeating, addiction to sweet foods, cold foods etc. Also is one doesn’t exercise adequately,, this stagnation can cause headaches.

Tension headaches are vata dominant, and are aggravated by cold, fast moving vata. The pain feels like you have a headband wrapped around your head cutting off circulation, the pain is sharp and fluctuates. Causes of these headaches are definitely stress, multitasking and non routine based activities. If one eats and sleeps sporadically this will also set off the headaches. Also, eyestrain from computers or electronics can trigger these types of headaches. 


The root cause of all types of headaches comes from imbalanced digestion, thus embarking on a cleanse or simple kitchari fast can help eradicate the accumulated toxins of the doshas in the body that are contributing to the headache. Once the cleanse has been completed, a purgation can remove these excess doshas. I like to use Avipathi Choornam to help with evacuation of toxins through the anus. Chronic stress or fight or flight can also be a contributor to headaches. There are some Ayurvedic diet and lifestyles principles which can erridacte the root causes of headaches, like following an appropriate ‘dinacharya’ daily and nightly routine. Examples include rising early, doing abhyanga ‘daily self massage’ and following various principles that can help remove toxins. To be honest, daily routine is a very powerful medicine.


To embark on resting your gut, or starting with cleanse, contact us here. I wish you all the health and wellbeing in your life,. 


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Adrenal Fatigue & Ashwaghanda

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Adrenal Fatigue & Ashwaghanda

Ok folks, I wanted to address a very common health concern apparent in our modern culture. Adrenal burnout or fatigue. I want to address it because I have personally been through the ups and downs that can shake the system. I lost hair, lost sleep and had rampant emotions, like feeling on a constant roller coaster. A cocktail of hormones were at play during this time in my life, and this only added to the detrimental effects of adrenal burnout.

In the vast and busy city of Hong Kong, we self medicate with coffee or caffeine drinks, cigarettes, alcohol and sugary substances, amongst other things (hint hint, white powder snorted up the nose for those DROP visitors). It is no wonder why our society is a ‘go go go’ culture. Also, healthier alternatives like matcha, green tea, ginseng and health boosting juices can only exacerbate the problem of burnout. These stimulants will only, over time contribute to something known as an energy deficit. If you borrow stored energy temporarily, you will eventually have to repay it in one way or another. As John Douillard MD states, “If you are tired, stimulating the body will only offer temporary, symptomatic relief at best.”

Look I love coffee, I really do, and I’m still drinking it currently, but there are serious side effects to misuse of it. The yogis believed the only way to take coffee is up the bum!!! And if you look at the very nature of what happens to the body when we drink it, the body contracts, like it’s trying to push it out of the veins. That’s why coffee as an enema, pushes substances out through the bowels… you get the idea.

I went for a reading in Ayurvedagram to find out my cholesterol was a whopping 300, that’s very high for my age of 36. I couldn't understand why I had such a large number, I eat relatively well , pretty much vegan and limit my meals to twice day, I exercise well doing walks, Muay Thai and yoga. I found out from the doctor that genetics and stress were contributors of high cholesterol. So perhaps my love for coffee was causing my adrenaline to spike and thus cause hair fall and high cholesterol. There is evidence suggesting that high caffeine intake causes the following; coronary heart disease, arterial hypertension, arterial stiffness, and you guessed it, high cholesterol amongst other factors.

So without giving up my coffee addiction right away, I explored other ways which could help me using adaptogen herbs to counteract the negative effects of this stimulant.

One medicine the doctor had me take is ‘ashwaghanda’. Tooted for giving the energy of a horse, it has gained popularity in the West due to its adaptogenic properties. In latin it translates to ‘“somnifera,” meaning “sleep-inducing,”. Studies have shown it boosts energy naturally without taking more out of the energy bank and it can support sleep at night and promote endurance during the day. It can also build lean muscle mass, so people like me who are very active can take it pre workout. There are many wonderful benefits to ashwaghanda ; it clear cystic acne and clears out ‘Ama’ toxins from the uterus. In addition, it is a major aphrodisiac and is great for increasing male sperm count.

Have a think about this before delving into your morning cup of Jo, and if you are anything like me, who refuses to give it up, think about taking ashwaghanda.

I wish you health and happiness, peace and joy.

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Kaayasekam or Pizhichil

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Kaayasekam or Pizhichil

Kaayasekam

Today I had a wonderful treatment called Kaayasekam on my full body. The therapists warm some therapeutic oil and do a rhythmic pouring of this oil all over my body. The oil was mainly ‘murivena’, a very good herb for pain management and inflammation. Also used for certain cases of arthritis etc. During the treatment I felt love, warmth and grace. It was really such a luxurious and calming feeling. Apparently this treatment enhances nerve conductivity and circulation and the strengthening of joints. Slipping and sliding on the table is part of it; the feeling during the treatment was of love being poured all over my body. What an amazing feeling of warmth and security. 

This treatment, feels like it would pacify my already over active vata. After the treatment, I felt tired and somewhat drained. Being pretty active usually, I have learnt to slow down and allow the therapy to work its magic on me. Even though I really wanted to do some form of light exercise today, I opted for the passive approach of resting. Lets see if this approach pays off. Hopefully it will help to alleviate some of the stomach issues that I am having. 

Part of  rejuvenation therapy for Ayurveda, one must really figure out which dosha is accumulating, which dhatus or tissues are affected, and whether Agni is high or stagnant. This indicates health. If Agni is strong, usually disease can burn itself out or purify itself, even if dhatu Agnis are high, the metabolic waste can be purged out, BUT if it’s not, AMA, or undigested food particles accumulate in the gut, spread through the blood, and accumulate deep within the tissues. This sticky mass, can be thick and hard to eliminate. Thus Ayurveda uses thick substances, similar to that of Ama, to remove it. 


The next treatment that I am doing is Choorna Pinda Sweda, which is one of powdered bolice applied to skin via transmission of heat and just a tad of oil for enabling  herbs to transmit to the skin. The idea of the powder is known as ‘Lekana’ which pacifies and is administered before any oil therapy. ‘Lekhana means reducing, reducing tissue mass, or reduction of toxic accumulation. I guess the best way to explain this is catabolic vs anabolic. The reason behind this is because oil or anything nourishing or building can aggravate accumulation of Ama, and m are matters worse. 

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India Internship Kerela

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India Internship Kerela

So we are finally here in Kerela for the India Internship from Kerela Academy. We have learnt so much about healing and that its more than just meets the eye. In fact, the methods adopted here for healing are relatively amazing compared to anything I’ve ever experienced. Today Dr. Kartick took my pulse reading and stated so much personal stuff about me such as, do you have hair loss, skin disturbances, did your father like to drink alcohol? I was blown away at these details that I immediately took an interest in his method of pulse, which is different from any of the online courses I’ve ever taken. He proceeded to put marks on my wrists to denote the area the fingers should be to check VPK.

After this, he taught us how to take a pulse correctly and how to denote proper disease pathology in Ayurveda.

Below are actual pictures from a disease pathology, that can honestly be so simple yet so thorough.

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Vegan Broth Better than FUCKING Bone Broth

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Vegan Broth Better than FUCKING Bone Broth

Ok peeps, here is another vent. The whole hype about bone broth gets me (as a vegetarian turning Vegan) a little upset. I understand that the gelatin and collagen are parts of bone broth, but HELLO PEEPS, our bodies can make collagen through food. And even if we are consuming heavy meat based products loaded with collagen, we still needs to manufacture it in OUR OWN bodies. Hence diets such as GAPS, Paleo, SCD compromise the ethics of vegans and vegetarians. Thus I refuse to accept that only a meat laden diet works for vegans.

There are experts out there insisting that vegans and vegetarians should be consuming bone broth, which I don’t think is very good at all. I understand that there may be a need for various ‘meat based’ products and I am not criticizing meat eaters (eat the damn meat if you want!!!) But stop forcing meat based products down our vegan and vegetarians throats.

After much research on this topic, I figured out that ANIMAL PROTEIN IS NOT ESSENTIAL FOR HEALTH, there are alternatives, which in some cases may even prove to be better than the meat sources. Bone Broth has been tooted in the media for all its wonderful benefits, it is definitely a health trend at the moment, but to be honest it is nothing special. Yes it has bones in it (dead animal carcasses, but we can still get benefits from a vegan source).

As human beings, we can make our own collagen. As it turns out vegans can make their own collagen. Our bodies cannot even digest collagen as a whole food, did you know that? We have to absorb the nutrients from it and utilize those raw nutrients as building blocks to make it!!! Hence eating collagen doesn't mean having ‘more of it”. In fact if you are eating dark leafy greens, these plants offer rich sources of collagen building blocks.

So to heal stomach lining, especially from gelatin, there are other plant sources that will help you instead of resorting to DEAD ANIMAL CARCASSES. May take longer, but hey nothing comes easy.

In Ayurveda, foods like healing aloe vera, ghee, coconut oil, turmeric, ginger and kombu can help with gut healing. Also fermented foods like miso, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir etc. All those minerals found in bone broth are also found in vegetarian counterparts.

So to my fellow vegans and vegetarians, YOU CAN GET A PLANT BASED SOURCE OF BONE BROTH, which is probably better than dead animals boiled down!!!

For your broth feel free to use the following ingredients for a warm rich and nutrient dense broth.

  • Wakame seaweed, Kombu seaweed, hiziki seaweed - omega 3, great for intestinal health, packed with essential minerals and vitamins such as iron, calcium, magnesium and iodine.

  • Shitake Mushrooms, Cordyceps -packed with flavor and cancer fighting agents, great source of zinc, vit D and B. Contains all essential amino acids and is considered a pre-biotic.

  • Coconut oil, Ghee - healthy fat stable and great for gut healing, as it feeds the probiotics already in the gut. Liquid gold. Helps one absorb essential nutrients.

  • Turmeric, Ginger considered rhizomes, and help with tissue absorption and detox according to Ayurvedic. It is anti-inflammatory.

  • Dark leafy Greens such as kale, choi sum, spinach you name it!! Packed with vitamins K, A, C and minerals magnesium and calcium, good protein and prebiotic source.

  • Noosh or Nutrtional Yeast is packed with B vitamins, a wholly stable source vitamins

So you see folks, there are vegan alternatives. Stay tuned in recipes section for VEGAN BONE BROTH….

  • check out recipes for a great VEGAN BONE BROTH RECIPE

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Hong Kong Food Styling and Photography

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Hong Kong Food Styling and Photography

Lakshmi Harilela is a creative food and still life photographer based within Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. She helps clients in the culinary and health fields., Lakshmi is well travelled and captures the passion and craft behind food and restaurant brands through creative lighting techniques. Lakshmi collaborates with creative directors, food stylists and numerous agencies to create the model images.

In addition, Lakshmi has participated in the creation of cookbooks, publications and leading consumer brands worldwide. Her clients include ThreeSixty, Peninsula, Miele, Marriott Hotels, Oliver's, Four Seasons to name a few.

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Spice Master - Blending Courses

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Spice Master - Blending Courses

Here at Love True Food , we custom make spices according to your constitution (dosha). The spices can help digest toxins from the gut and reset the lymph system. According to Ayurveda, specific spices have effects on our whole system. For example black pepper is heating and dry and aggravates fire (pitta) and dissolves earth (kapha) and pacifies air or vata. It's heating nature dissolves through mucus and clots. Now if we take a spice like coriander, it cools the system and pacifies fire and air. It always clears the mind. Having a knowledge base of basic spices can really affect the way food digests and assimilates into our system. 

Below is a diagram that depicts the elements more clearly;

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Here are some spices and their effects; 

Ginger is invigorating, excellent digestive aid. Increases digestive capacity known as agni. 

Saffron: Helps with beauty, is an aphrodisiac cough suppressant, antidepressant.

Cumin burns through ama (undigested food). It enhances appetite, and cleans the liver. 

Turmeric, its bright yellow collar acts as an anti-inflammatory. Anti-viral, anti cancer and is great for skin and beauty. 

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Nasya - An Ayurvedic Pancha karma Therapy

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Nasya - An Ayurvedic Pancha karma Therapy

In Ayurveda it is believed that the nose is the direct passage to the brain. Nasya is an ancient method of dropping a substance into the nose and inhaled in order to lubricate the passages and make way for chi or prana (life force) to enter the head and body. Substances can be medicated oils / juices / and powders which stimulate the vital centres of brain. 

When we administer herbal oils (nasya) it helps clean toxins that accumulate in upper body (sinus, throat, nose, head areas). Certain oils sooth and protect the delicate mucus membranes, also receiving tension in the head and relief stress. This can balance VPK. It was also noted that nasya can sooth the voice making it more attractive. 

Certain people use nasya for hair fall, helps eyesight and promote mental clarity. 

Please consult an Ayurvedic Practitioner to see if this is a suitable daily practice that can be incorporated into your life. 

 

 

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Smokers - Vaping or Dhumapana

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Smokers - Vaping or Dhumapana

There is an ancient method of smoking known as Dhumapana, which is actually an Ayurevdic Treatment known to clear the lungs of excess Kapha. The utilization of herbs such as bishop's weed, turmeric and cloves are said to be a good thing to inhale. But Ayurvedic smoking is different from modern day smoking. It is carried out for head and neck disorders as well as emotional disturbances and mental issues. 

Indications:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Migraine headache
  • Headache
  • Oral infections, gingivitis
  • Nasal polyps
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Sleeplessness
  • Ear infections
  • Bad breath

Sometimes burning is done with a wick and patients inhale through nose and out through mouth. However, there its a product out there known as Nirdosh Herbal Filter Dhoompan (Hand made cigs that you can smoke to give up or kick the actual habit of smoking). I tested them and they taste herbal and like cow dung! But they've completely put me off smoking nicotine and tobacco.

Mostly in our culture we hear of vaping noways to remove the side effects of smoking or burning herbs. There must be discretion for smoking though.

Here at LTF, we are selling these herbal cigs if you want to quit smoking. Being an ex smoker myself  I tried everything from acupuncture to hypnosis and all sorts. These really help with the habit, as mostly the breathing in and out is what is important. 

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In the Clear

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In the Clear

In the Clear / Clean & Clear

Methods and means for clearing the lungs the Ayurvedic way

 

Respiratory problems can be the result of a poor diet, bad posture, lack of exercise or even deep emotional trauma. But most commonly, they occur at the crux of the seasons, when cold turns to hot, or dry becomes humid and vice-versa, we well as when pollution levels are high.

 

The respiratory system carries prana (life force) and oxygen to the lungs. As such, it is one of the body’s most important systems. It is therefore key that any issues relating to it are addressed. As ever, it is always best not simply to treat the symptoms but to seek out the cause and address that. 

 

Individuals who identify with the kapha dosha, or who are kapha-dominant, can be the most susceptible to the kind of imbalances that result in respiratory issues. These usually surface in the form of excess mucus, which is produced in the stomach and accumulates in the lungs. This depository of mucus can cause colds, congestion, coughing, phlegm, swelling and water retention or stagnation in the respiratory tract of kaphas. Those with vata or pitta doshas are not immune to respiratory issues, but their symptoms will usually present themselves as asthmatic (vata) or infectious (pitta). 

 

The excess mucus that the body produces when its dosha is out of balance is usually indicative of low agni, or digestive fire. It is therefore important to stoke that digestive fire. The most obvious way to do this is through diet.

 

As would be expected, a sluggish digestive fire does not need heavy, dense foods. These weigh the system down, so it’s best to avoid foods such as meat, cheese and anything fatty or fried. Eliminating dairy can also be beneficial. Fire your digestive system up by adding warming spices to your meals – ginger, cloves, cardamom and black pepper are particularly good options, and sip hot water with lemon and honey throughout the day. Consider the time of day you are eating and try and start and end it with lighter meals, making lunch the largest meal of the day. It goes without saying that eating and drinking to excess will be detrimental to regaining balance in your dosha.

 

Diet is not the only thing that can fire up you digestive system. An active lifestyle can work wonders, particularly for those with a more sluggish kapha dosha. Warming the body through sport can help to liquefy any accumulated mucus, bringing it back into the digestive tract where it is more easily eliminated. Exercise also usually involves an increase your breathing rate – cardio is particularly beneficial – and this gets your lungs going and will improve their functionality.

 

To speed the process along and to aid recovery, there are some specific Ayuervedic supplements that help with clearing the lungs of mucus. Nasya oil is often used to lubricate the nasal passages to ease breathing when there is congestion. Consider using a neti pot to help remove mucus and any pollutants from these passages and to cleanse and refresh them.

 

Many of these healing means focus on the body. But it’s also worth thinking about the mind. Meditation is an excellent way to practice mindfulness. As it involves regulating breathing patterns, it can be beneficial to those suffering from respiratory problems, too. Extend your meditation into a yogic practice where you link breath with motion; this will help nourish your lungs. Yoga can also improve flexibility in the areas that surround the lungs, allowing them more space to do their job, while yogic breathing revitalizes prana in the body to support them.

 

Making yoga, meditation or some form of exercise a regular part of your daily routine and looking after your diet are not only beneficial to healthy lung function but can bring many other benefits to body and mind. They not only help to stave off the imbalances that result in respiratory problems, but will help to maintain balance in the body and serve as a preventative measure for a wealth of other health issues.

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