Body Types in Ayurveda

 

What are the body types in Ayurveda or Ayurvedic body types?

As a part of the universe, the human body follows the Pancha-Mahabhuta Principle. Comprised of five elements Space, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth element (the building blocks) our body has a unique constitution of Dosha, Dhatu, and mala. Fundamentally, Tridoshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) also known as life force or energy, control our entire mind and bodily activities.

According to Ayurveda, every other person possesses a different type of Prakriti (Body Nature) depending on their unique Tridosha constitution (body types in Ayurveda). Though no human being has the body constitution comprised of a single or dual dosha but all three, however, there is always one dosha that dominates over the other two. That one dosha decides one’s Prakriti (Ayurvedic body type). Depending on this dominant guy your body has different physiological and psychological functioning.

Let us dive into the sea of doshas and figure out which one is dominating your Ayurvedic body type. Here, I am going to tell you about the nature of Tridosha, and peculiarity and characters of different body types. But first, you must know about, “How your Prakriti was determined in the first place?”

The determination of Deha Prakriti (Physical constitution/Body Type)

According to Ayurveda Acharyas, body constitution is determined at the time of conception. The escalated doshas in Sperm (Shukra) and Ovum (Artava) together with the factors influenced by parents’ unique body type, at the time of conception have the authority to call the shots and nail down the zygote’s dosha-constitution.

Vata Prakriti (Vata Body Type)

Vata Dosha, constituted by the Space and Air element, is perceived as Heena Prakriti (Poor body type). Vata is a wildly dynamic element. Although its vital property being movement and circulation, it is the most important among Tridoshas, yet its slight provocation can wreak havoc with major drawback being the emaciation (Apatarpana) of the body.

Pitta Prakriti (Pitta Body Type)

Pitta dosha, constituted by the Fire and Water element is a unique and mighty combination. Pitta body type is perceived as a moderate one. Complementing different sense organs function like vision, memory, intellect, and refined perception, its vital functions are digestion and assimilation.  Pitta body type has beautiful complexion and the great courage.

Kapha Prakriti (Kapha Body type)

Kapha dosha, a blend of the water and Earth element is well known for a sturdy built. Kapha body type is perceived as the best Prakriti.  Its vital function is anabolism hence a compact and muscular body. Kapha Purusha (Person of Kapha body type) is full of vigor, courage, calmness, and convincing might. Most importantly their immune system is insanely top-notch.

Balanced or Dual Nature Body Constitution

People with only one dominant dosha (Ekdoshaja) outnumbering the other two are very few. Generally, there is one super dominant dosha with the second one slightly lower dominant and the remaining one being recessive to both of them. Dwandaj (Dual Nature Body type) Prakriti are:

    • – Vata Pittaja (Kapha being the lowest)
    • – Pitta-Kaphaja (Vata being the lowest)
    • – Vata-Kaphaja (Pitta being the lowest)

And in the rare case, all three of them (Vata Pitta Kapha) might be at equal levels and people with this type of Deha Prakriti are referred to as “The Perfect Blend”- Vata-Pitta-Kaphaja (Sannipatika Prakriti).

Therefore, there are 7 types of Prakriti (Body constitution) with three Ekdoshaja (One dominating dosha), Three Dwandaj dosha (Dual dosha), and Sannipataja (All three in balance).

Now, let us have a peek at the characteristics of people with these three different body types in Ayurveda so that you can be clear about which Deha Prakriti you possess.

Characteristics Vata Body Type Pitta Body Type Kapha body Type
Body Frame Thin, flat chest, prominent veins and bones, taller or shorter than an average person. Moderate body frame, medium muscle development, slender, and delicate frame. Large body frame, broad chest, thick skin, attractive and bones not prominent.
Body Weight Lean and slender Moderate or medium weight Obese or rapid tendency for weight gain
Skin Type Thin, cool, dry, rough, and cracked.

 

Soft, warm, moist, prone to wrinkles and acne. Thick, cold, oily, and pale
Complexion Brown or intermediate Reddish, yellowish or copperish Fair and Bright
Hair Dry, course, curly, and scanty Thin, fine, silky, and oily Thick, soft, dark, and wavy
Eyes Dry, small, and sunken Sharp, medium size, and penetrating gaze Dense, Wide and big, prominent
Disease Tendency Majorly nervous disease Fever and Inflammation Congestion
Strengths Quick-witted, creative, fast grasping, short term excellent but long term weak memory, imaginative, and understanding Sharp, leaders, and ambitious, quick grasp, and powerful memory Calm, content, forgiving, loyal, and tolerant, slow grasp, short term weak but long term good memory
Weaknesses

 

 

Anxious, nervous, fearful, low will-power Irritability, jealous, and anger Greed, possessiveness, attachment, and self-centered
Physiological Traits Crave for salty and sweet food, cold hands and feet, less sleeping hours, speaks fast, and irritatingly loud voice, walk faster Strong appetite, good digestion and metabolism, slightly higher body temperature than average, sharp voice Crave pungent and bitter food, Slow digestion, good stamina, moderate body temperature and sound sleep, soft voice, slow and steady walks
Miscellaneous Qualities Lively, enthusiastic, and joyful Passionate, competitive, focused and assertive Loving, faithful, relaxed

 

Do an honest self-diagnosis of these traits. Calculate the matched traits and see which doshas are dominating your body.

Benefits of Knowing Your Prakriti

    • – Knowing your Prakriti or body types in Ayurveda will help you know your body’s requirements better.
    • – You can make different food preferences to balance your dosha.
    • – You will know your mental health better and manage your lifestyle accordingly by ignoring the facts you are prone to by nature.
    • – When your body is in imbalanced state you know which dosha is creating trouble and manage your health accordingly.

What are Ayurveda Vata, Pitta and Kapha Doshas?

 

Vata, Pitta, and Kapha Tridoshas – A deep dive into the three bio-energies responsible for the existence of life!

Vata, Pitta, and Kapha Doshas–  These energies are needed to be balanced to maintain a healthy body and mind constitution. Natural regulation leads to a healthy state whereas an unnatural regulation leads to discomfort. One must be conscious of the fact that whatever is happening in our mind and body is the consequence of the continuous grind of Tridoshas.

 

Sanskrit Shloka:

“Vayuh: pittam kaphashcheti trayo dosha: samaasata:

Vikritavikrita deham ghnanti te varttayanti ca”

[Ashtang Hridayam 11/1]

 

Their poise is essential for a flourishing mind and body whereas disturbance of natural function can be destructive. One must learn their body constitution to live a sophisticated and healthier life.

 

Tridoshas

Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, each of them have a different set of constitutions, properties, and functions for operating different physiological roles.

Vata manages the nervous system; Pitta with its fire element controls the metabolism and hormonal flow whereas Kapha works as the support system of our body.

 

Constitution of Tridoshas

Ayurveda follows the principle of Pancha-Mahabhuta which says, the whole universe is comprised of Pancha-Mahabhuta (Five fundamental elements) i.e. Aakash (space), Vayu (Air), Agni (Fire), Jala (Water), and Prithvi (Earth). There is no existence of any living or non-living entity which are devoid of these elements.

 

Mahabhuta (Element) Characteristics
Aakash Aparighata (Free flow without any obstruction)
Vayu Chalatva (Mobility)
Agni Ushnatva (Heat or Fire)
Jala Dravata (Liquidity)
Prithvi Kharatva (Rough or solid)

 

Vata, Pitta, and Kapha have a unique constitution of these elements for their peculiar characteristics.

Doshas Mahabhuta (Elements) Qualities
Vata Air + Space Dryness, lightness, coldness, roughness, minuteness, and movement.
Pitta Fire + Water Unctuous, piercingly enters deep tissues, hot, light, foul odor, fluidity or mobile, and liquid in nature.
Kapha Water + Earth Unctuous, cold, heavy, mild, viscous, smooth, slimy or jelly type, stable or immobile.

 

Sanskrit Shloka:

Guru manda hima snigdha ślakṣṇa sāndra mṛdu sthirā: | guṇā: sasūkṣma viśadā: viṃśati: saviparyayā: ||

(Ashtanga Hridayam 1/19)

According to Acharya Vagbhatta and Charak, there are in total 20 types of basic characteristic qualities in the universe. 10 of them are mentioned in the first verse of the above given shloka and the rest are their complete opposites. They are:

 

Guru (Heavy) Laghu (Light)
Manda (Slow) Tikshna (Fast)
Hima (Cold) Ushna (Hot)
Snigdha (Unctuous) Ruksha (Dry)
Slakshna (Smooth) Khara (Rough)
Sandra (Solid) Drava (Liquid)
Mridu (Soft) Kathina (Hard)
Sthira (Stable) Chala (Unstable)
Sukshma (small) Sthula (Huge)
Vishada (Non-slimy) Picchila (Slimy)

 

Primary functions of Tridoshas

 

Doshas Primary functions
Vata Movement and communication
Pitta Digestion and metabolism
Kapha Lubrication, and structure

 

Location of Doshas in the body

Although Tridoshas occupy the whole of our body yet there are some specific organs where the majority resides.

 

Doshas Location
Vata Waist and hip region, ear, bones, skin, and large intestine is the primary location.
Pitta Stomach, sweat, blood, lymph, plasma, eye, skin. The umbilicus is the primary location of Pitta dosha.
Kapha Head, throat, stomach, small intestine, plasma, fat, nose, and tongue. The chest is the primary seat of Kapha dosha.

 

 

Vata dosha

Though every dosha has its different peculiar importance, balanced Vata dosha is the significant most among Tridoshas. In its presence of an unbalanced state, no dosha would be able to perform their function because they need its movement and communication feature to travel and act throughout the whole body.

Responsible for all the movements in the body, it helps in the circulation of nutrients through blood flow throughout the body. It regulates respiration and locomotion.

In its balanced state Vata fills the body with enthusiasm and regulates all the mind and speech activities. Vata dosha is responsible for the initiation of natural urges (urine, feces, tears, sneezing, etc.) while maintaining the decent functioning of sense organs.

With respect to its distinct functions, Vata is of five types:

Types of Vata Location Movement Function
Prana Vayu Head Moves in the chest and throat Regulates respiration, will power, intellect, and vision.
Udana Vata Chest Nose, throat, and umbilicus Initiation of speech, effort, enthusiasm, memory, and complexion.
Vyana Vayu Heart Whole body All the locomotory actions.
Samana Vayu Stomach Alimentary canal Digestion and assimilation
Apana Vayu Large Intestine Bladder and genitals. Urination, defecation, menstruation, and labor during childbirth.

 

Pitta Dosha

Pitta represents the fire element energy controlling our body’s metabolic system. The peculiarity of this fire is its liquid nature due to water being its secondary element.

Its primary function is the digestion of food and vision. It maintains the body temperature by spreading enough warmth throughout the body while maintaining skin complexion and suppleness; it is closely related to intelligence and valor.

Types of Pitta Location Functions
Pachaka Pitta (Anala) Stomach and Large Intestine Digestion and transformation of food.
Ranjaka Pitta Stomach Assimilation of food into blood.
Sadhaka Pitta Heart Intelligence, knowledge, and self-consciousness.
Alochaka Pitta Eyes Vision
Bhrajaka Pitta Skin Exhibition of color and complexions.

 

Kapha dosha

Kapha dosha confers stability, firmness, compactness, and lubrication of joints due to the dominance of water and earth element. It offers the mental capacity to withstand emotional stress.

Types of Kapha Location Functions
Avalambaka Kapha Chest Lubrication and nourishment
Kledaka Kapha Stomach Helps in digestion of food by moistening
Bodhaka Kapha Tongue Taste perception
Tarpaka Kapha Head Sense organ nourishment
Shleshaka Kapha Bone joints Strengthens and lubricates joints

 

Tridosha Imbalance

An increase or decrease of individual doshas is termed as Sansarg whereas imbalanced altogether is termed as Sannipata.

 

Causes of imbalance of doshas

The increase of Doshas is perceived to be usually due to excess nutrition (Tarpana), which later on increases Kapha. However, the decrease of Doshas is due to loss of nutrition which is followed by an increase in Vayu (Vata dosha).

Hence, the diseases arising due to the increase of Dosha should be treated by adopting Langhana (therapy causing thinning of the body, reducing the Kapha dosha). The diseases arising from the decrease of Dosha should be treated with Brimhana therapy (causes stoutening of the body, increasing the quantity, etc.)

But in the case of Vata, the order is complete opposite. If Vata is increased, then Brihmana therapy (nourishing therapy for the tissues) should be adopted and if Vata decreases then Langhana therapy should be adopted as it lightens the body with laghu (light) guna.

Tridosha Increase Decrease
Vata Emaciation, black discoloration, tremors, constipation, loss of strength and senses, and irrelevant speech. Debility of body, decreased speech and loss of sensation
Pitta Yellow discoloration of feces, urine, eyes, and skin; excess thirst and hunger with a burning sensation. Weak digestion, cold feel, loss of luster
Kapha Weak digestion, excess salivation, laziness, feels sleepy, cold, and respiratory disorders. Delusion, dizziness, palpitations, and loose joints.

 

Food preferences

The increase of Doshas should be controlled by avoidance of foods that are disliked by the body as body itself knows its requirements better than we do. The decrease of Doshas should be managed by the indulgence of food that is desired for the very same reason.

The Doshas which have undergone increase and decrease generally produce the desire for foods that are distinct and similar (in properties to those of the Doshas) respectively; but not every person can recognize his body’s call due to non-familiarity and devoid of knowledge factor.

 

Levels of Dosha Increase and Decrease

Three states of dosha are described by the Acharyas according to the levels of their dushti (vitiation) due to improper food consumption or seasonal changes.

Chaya

Chaya means increase of an individual dosha slightly on its original seat or location. Generally, it initiates the self-defense mechanism of our body (like increase of body temperature) to aware us of these slight changes in our body. Its ignorance may lead to various diseases.

Kopa

When dosha is not balanced in its chaya avastha, it later on, leads to Kopa avastha. Dosha starts overflowing in other channels of the body and hampers the physiological processes by blocking those channels. In this state, symptoms of discomfort or diseases start to show up clearly leading to disease onset.

Sama

Sama avastha is the state of normalcy. When doshas are restored to their balanced state and levels all the previous symptoms disappear and the body again restores the damages from previous diseases or discomfort.

 

The Seasonal State of Doshas

Doshas in our body when exposed to different seasons respond differently. We should keep this in mind and take necessary precautions according to Dosha-Avastha (State of dosha).

Doshas Chaya Prakopa Prasamna
Vata Summer Rainy Late winter
Pitta Rainy Autumn Spring
Kapha Late winter Early winter Summer

 

Befriend Doshas in your life

To live a meaningful life, you need to understand your body constitution first. Before knowing about a machine you cannot gain complete access to its benefits and functions. Only when you get to the depths of the situation will you be able to handle it more accurately. The same goes for your body.

Tridoshas are the fundamentals of our body and understanding the fundamentals is the first step towards learning about your mind and body. This way you can support your body most of the time without any external help because no-one knows your body more than you do. Listen to your body and it will give you a life full of contentment and prosperity.


What is Ayurveda and Ayurvedic Cleansing?

 

Ayurveda

The term ‘Ayurveda’ is composed of two words:

‘Ayu’ + ‘Veda’

Here, ‘Ayu’ refers to longevity

Veda’ refers to science or scriptures full of knowledge.

It literally means the science of life, to extend one’s healthy and meaningful life.

Sanskrit Shloka English Meaning
Hitahitam Sukham Duhkhamayustasya Hitahitam |
Mananca Tacca Yatroktamayurvedah Sa Ucyate ||
Ayurveda is the science of life that presents the detailed idea of Hita-Ayu (Good and meaningful life), Ahita-Ayu (bad or meaning deficient life), Sukha-Ayu (Healthy and prosperous life), and Dukha-Ayu (Unhealthy or full of flounder life). It tells about the promoting and antagonizing factors that affect the quality of life. It gives a detailed concept about the wholesomeness and unwholesomeness of life to attain Moksha (solitude).

 

Aim of Ayurveda

The purpose of Ayurveda is explained so beautifully in the Sanskrit Shloka below:

Sanskrit Shloka English Meaning
Svasthasya svasthya rakshanam,

aaturasya vikaara pras`amanani c||

(Charaka Samhita Sutra Sthana 30/26)

The chief purpose or aim of Ayurveda is to protect (Rakshana) the health (Swasthya) of the healthy beings (Swastha) and cure or manage (Prashamana) the diseases of mind and body (vikara) of the ill (Atura).

 

Acharya Vagbhatta states four entities of life (Chatura-Varga Purushartha) to achieve the purpose of life. They are:

  • 1. Dharma (the path of righteousness)
  • 2. Artha (meaningful pursuits in life)
  • 3. Kama (perpetration of desires)
  • 4. Moksha (achieve salvation)

 

Principles of Ayurveda

There are three fundamentals principles of Ayurveda:

  1. 1. Panchamahabhoota sidhanta

According to Ayurveda, the whole universe consists of five elements:

    1. A. Aakash (Space element)
    2. B. Vayu (Air element)
    3. C. Agni (Fire element)
    4. D. Jala (Water element)
    5. E. Prithvi (Earth element)

Our bodies also comprise of these five elements where space element conceives the body cavities, the fluid part in the body is made up of water element, agni manages the catabolic processes (like digestion) in the body where air element and earth element control the movements of different entities like hormones, enzymes, and fluids and the hardness of tough parts of the body respectively

  1. 2. Tridosha sidhanta

There are three types of defects or humors (Sharirik dosha) in the human body named as:

    • A. Vata
    • B. Pitta
    • C. Kapha

These doshas are also the product of the five fundamentals of life. These doshas are the responsible factors for maintaining the body’s natural functions.

Sanskrit Shloka English Meaning
vāyu: pittaṃ kaphaśceti trayo doṣā: samāsata: || vikṛtā’vikṛtā dehaṃ ghnanti te varttayanti ca |

(Ashtanga Hridayam 1/6)

In this Shloka, stating the importance of these doshas says that the perfect balance of these three humors in the body leads to the wholesome and healthy body whereas any Vikara (imbalance) is responsible for the disease.

 

There are three other doshas known as Manas Dosha (Humors of mind) that are: Satva, Rajas, and Tamas.

 

  1. 3. Samanya vishesha sidhanta

This sidhanta (principle) tells us about the miraculous effects of identical and distinctive materials. In Ayurveda, it is believed that an element backs up the element of its similar nature and opposes the distinct one.

 

Chief constituents of the body

According to Ayurveda, these constituents are the support system of the body. Imbalance of any of these constituents leads to discomfort and various diseases whereas their balance grants us a blissfully healthy life both mentally and physically.

  1. 1. Dosha (Body and Mind Humors)
  2. 2. Dhatu (Body tissues)
  3. 3. Mala (Waste products- urine, feces, and sweat)
  4. 4. Meda (Body fat)

 

Ayurvedic Cleansing

Your body knows when something is off and sends you the signals to make it right in time. Feeling lousy or lethargic is not all that bad when we can fix the upcoming dangerous diseases in its early stages. Whenever your body gives you signals like these, do not ignore them. Your body is your temple and your soul is your God.

If you ignore your body’s needs you are inviting ominous situations. If you are feeling unwell without any reason, search through your inner senses to figure out where the problem lies and there is no way you will fail to know the cause when you do it with absolute sincerity.

Feeling a certain way depends on your body’s dosha balance. Imbalanced doshas are the cause of an illness or discomfort. Whereas the Agni being an equally dominant figure since in majority of diseases, the cause of imbalanced dosha is Manda agni (low digestion fire).

We generally lose our appetite in anxiety, restlessness, or any illness. It is because stressful conditions hamper with our agni which further imbalances our dosha operation fabricating a major effect on our overall health (Both physical and mental health).

To balance the imbalanced constitution of our body, Ayurveda culture offers us the great honor of therapeutic strategies to determine one’s health constitution and improve the sense of emotional, physical, and spiritual balance and harmony.

There are certain Shodahana (Cleansing) procedures that eliminate all the toxins (ama) from our body, balance dosha trio while strengthening Agni.

 

Ayurveda Cleansing Procedures

They are of two types

  1. 1. Can be done by ourselves at home

Upvasa (Fasting) in the ‘Hindu religion’ is considered as a ritual.  But if we look at it in the medical framework, it holds an astounding advantage. According to Ayurveda, if we throw too much fuel (food) in the fire (Agni in our stomach/ digestive fire), it will obstruct the burning process and will result in manda-agni (low digestion power). Fasting is a powerful approach that facilitates the re-ignition of Agni and expels the toxins accumulated in our body. Fasting once a week or continuously three days a month helps us cleanse our body naturally.

  1. 2. Require Ayurveda physician’s supervision

In Ayurveda, there are three procedures which are performed under the physician’s guide and supervision:

  1. A. Snehana
  2. B. Swedana
  3. C. Shodhana

  1. Shodhana has further three types:
    1. C1. Vamana Karma (emesis) – For aggravated Kapha dosha.
    2. C2. Virechana Karma (Purgation) – For aggravated Pitta dosha.
    3. C3. Basti Karma (Suppositories) – For aggravated Vata dosha.

 

Ayurvedic Massage (Abhyanagam)

Acharya Vagbhatta describes Abhyanga as daily morning regimen. It alleviates the excess Vata Dosha and relieves tiredness (Shramahara). It decelerates the aging process (Jarahara). It is a good darsanakar (improves vision). Daily massage under feet, specifically under big toe, spine, head, and neck keep eye diseases at the bay. It nourishes and strengthens the body (Pushtikar), prolongs age (life-span), and induces good sleep (Swaspnakar).

It is an efficient Twakadhikara (improves skin complexion). Dryness is the definite sign of the provoked Vata element in the body. According to Acharya Charaka, oil massage daily on the navel area helps significantly in alleviating Vata dosha.

Massaging with certain herbal medicinal oils helps us fight against the microbes (Krimihara).

Abhigata Sahatwa (resilience against injuries) is another advantageous factor of Abhyanga. It is scientifically proven that people receiving daily massage tend to have great recovery speed compared to those who don’t.


It’s Wise To Boost Your Natural Immunity With Healthy Foods Such As Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

 

The botanical name for ginger is Zingiber officinale. It is widely used for its roots or rhizome. Ginger roots are used as a spice in everyday cooking in Indian curries, masala chai tea, and has also been used to a great extent in ancient Indian medicinal system of Ayurveda. Ginger roots have been used throughout Asia as a spice or aroma ingredient, such as, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and China.

Although ginger is grown in many countries around the globe, India is the largest producer of ginger in the world and stays in seventh position in its worldwide export. The reasons being India’s warm and humid climate, wide use in everyday cooking and chai tea, and its demand for Ayurveda medicines.

 

Nutritional information of Ginger

 

Summary of Health Benefits of Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Ginger has numerous health benefits due to its phenolic compounds gingerols and shogaols.

  • – Boosts Immunity
  • – Anti-inflammatory Agent
  • – Anti-oxidant Agent
  • – Anticancer Potential
  • – Promotes Gastrointestinal Health
  • – Helps with Gingivitis
  • – Helps with Diabetes
  • – Aids with Arthritis
  • – Cardiovascular Protective Agent
  • – Respiratory Protective Agent
  • – Anti-nausea Agent
  • – Anti-obesity Agent

 

Health Benefits of Ginger (Zingiber officinale) found in Clinical Trials and Scientific Studies

Boosts Immunity

In times like these, we know that our body’s increased natural immunity is the most coveted goal. Human race has encountered various types of viruses in the last few decades, such as, common cold, flu, smallpox, measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, and shingles, hepatitis, herpes and cold sores, polio, rabies, SARS and Ebola. A vaccine works by training our body’s immune system to recognize and combat foreign pathogens, either viruses or bacteria. This is accomplished by introducing certain molecules (antigens) from the foreign pathogens into the body to trigger the required immune response. Vaccines against pathogens take years to be developed in research laboratories and tested in clinical trials.

Wouldn’t it be prudent to enhance our natural immune system with healthy foods, good nutrition, beneficial herbs, exercise, yoga and meditation? Ginger has been used extensively in Ayurveda as natural immunity boosting ingredient, and also found beneficial in several scientific studies. Bhat et al. (2010) investigated the effect of a tea fortified with five herbs including ginger for their putative immuno enhancing effect on innate immunity. These were two independent double-blind intervention studies with healthy volunteers (age >or= 55 years) selected for a relatively low baseline natural killer (NK) cell activity and a history of recurrent coughs and colds. These studies indicated that regular consumption of the tea fortified with Ayurvedic herbs enhanced NK cell activity.

 

Anti-inflammatory agent

Various scientific investigations have shown that oxidative stress and inflammation inside human body may onset various diseases, such as, hypertension, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and atherosclerosis. Several studies have indicated that ginger may be beneficial to reduce the level of oxidative stress and inflammation and thereby may reduce muscle pain after intense physical activity. In a double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized experiments with 34 and 40 volunteers who consumed 2 grams of either raw or heated ginger or placebo for 11 consecutive days, Black et al. (2010) studied ginger’s effectiveness as a pain reliever. This study demonstrated that daily consumption of raw and heat-treated ginger resulted in moderate-to-large reductions in muscle pain following exercise-induced muscle injury.

 

Anti-oxidant agent

Increased free radical levels within body cause oxidative damage to biological molecules, including DNA, protein, and carbohydrates. This ongoing oxidative stress within body affects normal cell signaling, cell growth, differentiation, and apoptosis and leads to various diseases. Kulkarni et al. (2016) explored the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect of ginger in pulmonary Tuberculosis (TB) patients in a randomized and placebo-controlled study. Ginger was found to be effective as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant supplement along with anti-TB therapy as it possesses strong free radical scavenging property.

 

Anticancer potential

Several herbs, including ginger, have been studied as an anti-cancer natural agent due to their anti-oxidant effects. In an animal model study, Habib et al. (2008) found that ginger extract significantly reduced the elevated expression of NFkappaB and TNF-alpha in rats with liver cancer. The investigators of this study concluded that ginger may act as an anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory agent by inactivating NFkappaB through the suppression of the pro-inflammatory TNF-alpha.

 

Promotes Gastrointestinal health

Emrani (2016) studied the potential benefits of ginger in preventing anti-tuberculosis drug-induced gastrointestinal adverse reactions including hepatotoxicity. Patients’ gastrointestinal complaints (nausea, vomiting, dyspepsia, and abdominal pain) were recorded during the study period. The investigators concluded that ginger may be a potential option for prevention of anti-tuberculosis drug-induced gastrointestinal adverse reactions including hepatotoxicity.

 

Helps with Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a highly prevalent periodontal disease resulting from microbial infection and subsequent inflammation. Mahyari et al. (2016) investigated the efficacy of a poly-herbal mouthwash containing ginger extract in a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial including subjects with gingivitis. This poly-herbal mouthwash was effective in the treatment of gingivitis and its efficacy was comparable to that of chlorhexidine mouthwash.

 

Helps with Diabetes

Arablou et al. (2014) assessed the effect of ginger consumption on glycemic status, lipid profile and some inflammatory markers in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial of 70 type 2 diabetic patients. This study found that ginger reduced fasting plasma glucose, HbA1C, insulin, HOMA, triglyceride, total cholesterol, CRP and PGE₂ significantly compared with placebo group (p < 0.05).  Ginger also improved insulin sensitivity and some fractions of lipid profile in type 2 diabetic patients.

 

Aids with Arthritis

Altman et al. (2001) evaluated the efficacy and safety of a standardized and highly concentrated extract of 2 ginger species, Zingiber officinale and Alpinia galanga (EV.EXT 77), in patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter, parallel-group, 6-week study. In the 247 evaluable patients, the percentage of responders experiencing a reduction in knee pain on standing was superior in the ginger extract group compared with the control group. The investigators concluded that a highly purified and standardized ginger extract had a statistically significant effect on reducing symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee.

 

So how can I consume Ginger to boost my immunity?

Ginger is widely used as a spice throughout the world, added as ingredient in cooking for various cuisine types, such as, Indian, Korean, Japanese, etc. Ginger is also used to make candies, soda, pickles, tea and alcoholic beverages. The juice from ginger roots is also used for flavoring dishes such as seafood, meat, and vegetarian dishes. Ginger roots are also dried and their powder is used as a flavoring agent to make ginger cookies, ginger bread, crackers and cakes, ginger ale, and ginger beer. Ginger root is cooked in sugar until soft to make ginger candies and sold as a confectionery food item in various stores.

Ginger Cookies Ginger Tea Ginger Candies

 

References

Jyoti Bhat, Aparna Damle, Pankaj Vaishnav, Ruud Albers, Manoj Joshi, Gautam Banerjee (2010) In Vivo Enhancement of Natural Killer Cell Activity Through Tea Fortified With Ayurvedic Herbs. Phytother Res. 2010 Jan;24(1):129-35. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2889.

Saman Mahyari, Behnam Mahyari, Seyed Ahmad Emami, Bizhan Malaekeh-Nikouei, Seyedeh Pardis Jahanbakhsh, Amirhossein Sahebkar, Amir Hooshang Mohammadpour (2016) Evaluation of the Efficacy of a Polyherbal Mouthwash Containing Zingiber Officinale, Rosmarinus Officinalis and Calendula Officinalis Extracts in Patients With Gingivitis: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2016 Feb;22:93-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2015.12.001. Epub 2015 Dec 10.

Tahereh Arablou, Naheed Aryaeian, Majid Valizadeh, Faranak Sharifi, AghaFatemeh Hosseini, Mahmoud Djalali (2014) The Effect of Ginger Consumption on Glycemic Status, Lipid Profile and Some Inflammatory Markers in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2014 Jun;65(4):515-20. doi: 10.3109/09637486.2014.880671. Epub 2014 Feb 4.

Christopher D Black, Matthew P Herring, David J Hurley, Patrick J O’Connor (2010) Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) Reduces Muscle Pain Caused by Eccentric Exercise. J Pain. 2010 Sep;11(9):894-903. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2009.12.013. Epub 2010 Apr 24.

Rashmi Anant Kulkarni, Ajit Ramesh Deshpande (2016) Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Effect of Ginger in Tuberculosis. J Complement Integr Med. 2016 Jun 1;13(2):201-6. doi: 10.1515/jcim-2015-0032.

Shafina Hanim Mohd Habib, Suzana Makpol, Noor Aini Abdul Hamid, Srijit Das, Wan Zurinah Wan Ngah, Yasmin Anum Mohd Yusof (2008) Ginger Extract (Zingiber Officinale) Has Anti-Cancer and Anti-Inflammatory Effects on Ethionine-Induced Hepatoma Rats. Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2008 Dec;63(6):807-13. doi: 10.1590/s1807-59322008000600017.

Zahra Emrani, Esphandiar Shojaei, Hossein Khalili (2016) Ginger for Prevention of Antituberculosis-induced Gastrointestinal Adverse Reactions Including Hepatotoxicity: A Randomized Pilot Clinical Trial. Phytother Res. 2016 Jun;30(6):1003-9. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5607. Epub 2016 Mar 7.

R D Altman, K C Marcussen (2001) Effects of a Ginger Extract on Knee Pain in Patients With Osteoarthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2001 Nov;44(11):2531-8. doi: 10.1002/1529-0131(200111)44:11<2531::aid-art433>3.0.co;2-j.

https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169231/nutrients


How Diet And Lifestyle Changes Can Help You Improve Memory

 

Most people have this notion that memory will fail or reduce in old age, but it’s not necessarily true. If your friends or family begin to question your memory or the ability to remember events of the past, you may find yourself in a challenging situation. Having confidence and a positive attitude in your abilities to remember things, events, names, situations, appointments, etc.  Try the nutrition and lifestyle tips below to keep your memory and brain health in tip-top shape.

 

Health and Nutrition Tips To Improve Memory

A well-nourished body will lead to a healthy and sharp brain, and vice-versa. Take care of your physical health first to help your brain health. Follow all the nutrition guidelines. That is, eat lots of green leafy vegetables as they are rich in vitamins and minerals, orange yellow fruits as they are rich in carotenoids and anti-oxidants, and whole grains as they are contain more fiber. Also, drink a plenty of water, up to 6 to 8 glasses per day. On the other hand, you should limit the amount of saturated fat, however ramp up on fish consumption or omega-3 supplements.
You want to make sure you are getting enough omega-3’s as healthy fats in your daily diet, which are essential to support brain health. Good sources for omega-3’s are salmon, flaxseed, or simply a fish oil supplement readily available in health food stores.
Dark chocolate may help improve brain functions. Dark chocolate consumed in moderation may not make you gain weight, but it helps force the brain to release dopamine which improves brain functionality and memory capacity. But very important, eat dark chocolates in moderation.
Red wine, in general considered good for heart health, may also help with brain health when consumed in moderation. Red wines are the rich in resveratrol, an antioxidant found in foods such as grapes. Several studies have suggested that drinking red wine may help slow down age-related cognitive decline. Important thing to consider here is to drink red wine in moderation only for health benefits.

Lifestyle Tips To Improve Memory

When it comes to a good working memory, believe it or not sleep is considered a vital factor. The reason being memory consolidation occurs while we are sleeping, which is the process by which neural links imprint acquired information onto the brain cells. Memory consolidation affects recent and past information acquired a long time back.
If you find yourself not being able to remember day to day but important things, you might consider leaving a voice message to yourself on your cell phone. Another effective way could be setting up reminders that are offered by most cell phone calendar apps. These reminders popping up as automatic notification on your cell phone will remind you of important thing to do.
One of the most crucial daily activity that you would need to do to keep your memory sharp is to play brain games, such as puzzles and logic games. Studies indicate that these brain games may help improve attention span, mental flexibility, concentration and memory and may even help with the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. Ideal recommendation to play brain games is at least 15 minutes each day. But when these games become fun for you, we bet you will be playing them well over 15 minutes. So choose the games that you like, such as, chess, puzzles, crossword, etc.

Have You Considered Amla To Improve Your Overall Health In Addition To Boost Immunity?

 

Phyllanthus emblica commonly known as Indian Gooseberry or Amla, family Euphorbiaceae, is an important fruit plant used widely in India’s ancient Ayurvedic medicinal system. Amla plant is used both for its medicinal properties and as a tonic to build up on vitality and vigor. Amla is highly nutritious and an important dietary source of vitamin C, minerals, and amino acids. The plant also contains phenolic compounds, tannins, phyllembelic acid, phyllembelin, rutin, curcum-inoids, and emblicol.

Amla is very well known in India for its high vitamin C content. Research has shown that Amla contains 20 times more vitamin C as compared to orange. 100 grams of Amla fruit may contain up to 800 mg of vitamin C, which is more than any critic fruit. Amla is actually quite useful in the treatment of human scurvy caused due to the deficiency of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a very potent antioxidant that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals, unstable molecules that the body produces as a reaction to environmental and other pressures. Vitamin C also helps boost body’s immune response.

 

Medicinal Parts of Amla

Medicinal parts of Amla plant are fruits, seeds, flowers, leaves and bark. Fresh fruit pulp is used in different Ayurvedic preparations. Dried rind of fruits is grounded to make powder and used as Amla Powder (traditionally called Amla Churna). All parts of Amla plant have medicinal properties, especially the fruit. In Ayurveda science, Amla fruit is used in the management of diabetes, asthma, anemia, hyperacidity, peptic ulcers, skin diseases, intermittent fever, diarrhea and dysentery. Amla seeds are used for the management of bronchitis and asthma. Amla flowers are refrigerant, cooling and are used to relieve constipation.

 

 

Summary of Health Benefits of Amla (Phyllanthus emblica)
– Prevention of Skin Weakening
– Helps with Atherosclerosis
– Improvement of Oral Hygiene
– Helps with Heartburn
– Helps with Lipid Lowering among Diabetics
– Potent Anti-oxidant
– Anti-inflammatory Agent
– Anti-cancer Agent
– Aids with Digestion and Bloating
– Reduce Menstrual Cramps
– Increases Hair Growth
– Increase Urination and Eliminates Toxins
– Increase Immunity against Infections

 

Health Benefits of Amla (Phyllanthus emblica) found in Clinical Trials and Scientific Studies

Prevention of Skin Weakening

A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study including 99 healthy female subjects examined the effect of ingestion of Lingonberry and Amla fruit extract (LAE) on several human skin conditions (Uchiyama et al. 2019). This study found improvements in skin elasticity and thickness, as well as in the stratum corneum water content and the degree of wrinkles.

Helps with Atherosclerosis

Endothelial dysfunction (ED) has been observed in individuals with metabolic syndrome (MetS) and contributes to the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis. Usharani et al. (2019) found that Amla aqueous extract 500 mg twice daily significantly improved endothelial function, oxidative stress, systemic inflammation and lipid profile.

Dyslipidemia is one of the most frequently implicated risk factors for development of atherosclerosis. Upadya et al. (2019) found that Amla extract (500 mg) showed significant potential in reducing total cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as lipid ratios among 98 dyslipidemic patients .

Improvement of Oral Hygiene

Gao et al. (2018) studied Amla fruit extract for improving the effects on the imbalance of oral ecology, which may contribute to series of oral diseases. In this study, an examiner-blinded, randomized, and gum-base-controlled crossover manner was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of a sugar-free chewing gum containing Amla fruit extract in changing the oral microbiome among twenty healthy young adults. The investigators concluded that chewing Amla (PE) gum might be a safe means of improving oral hygiene.

Helps with Heartburn

Karkon et al. (2018) evaluated the safety and efficacy of Amla tablet for improvement of symptoms of patients with Gastroesophageal reflux disease in a double-arm, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial among sixty-eight patients who received 500 mg Amla tablets twice a day.  This clinical trial demonstrated that Amla could reduce frequencies of heartburn and regurgitation and improve heartburn and regurgitation severity in patients with Gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Helps with Lipid Lowering among Diabetics

Akhtar et al. (2011) evaluated the anti-hyperglycemic and lipid-lowering properties of Amla fruit in normal and diabetic human volunteers. The results indicated that diabetic subjects exhibited a significant decrease in total lipids on day 21.

Potent Anti-oxidant

A study by Chen et al. (2009) suggests that Amla supplementation may increase plasma antioxidant power and decrease oxidative stress in uremic patients.

Anti-inflammatory

Muthu et al. (2018) investigated the protective effects of Amla on the pathogenesis of oxidative stress (OS) and inflammatory response in hypothyroid rats. The study found that Amla improves hepatic and renal oxidative stress and the inflammatory response in hypothyroid female wistar rats fed with a high-fat diet.

Anti-cancer

A review study conducted by Yadav at el. (2017) analyzed and summarized the pharmacological actions, experimental studies and clinical trials of Amla with emphasis on its immuno-enhancer, anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities and possible mechanism of actions to provide future directions in translating these findings clinically.

Zhao et al. (2015) provide a brief overview of the evidence supporting anticancer activity of Indian Gooseberry extracts, suggest possible mechanisms for these actions, and provide future directions that might be taken to translate these findings clinically.

 

Additional Benefits of Amla

Amla has also been seen to aids digestion and bloating; reduce menstrual cramps; increases hair growth; increase urination and eliminates toxins; and increase immunity against infections.

 

So how can I consume Amla to improve my health?

Although it might be difficult to eat raw Amla fruit due to its high vitamin C content, there are so many ways to relish this fruit and enjoy its benefits mentioned above. Amla fruit is commonly pickled with salt, oil, and spices. Most commonly, people of India make Amla marmalade (commonly called Amla Murabbah), a sweet dish made by soaking the berries in sugar syrup until they are candied. This is traditionally consumed after meals as dessert. Other way to consume Amla is by mixing its powder into water and making a delicious drink (add salt and/or sugar as desired).

Amla Pickle Amla Marmalade Amla Drink

 

References

Uchiyama T, Tsunenaga M, Miyanaga M, Ueda O, Ogo M. (2019) Oral intake of lingonberry and amla fruit extract improves skin conditions in healthy female subjects: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Biotechnol Appl Biochem. 2019 Sep;66(5):870-879. doi: 10.1002/bab.1800. Epub 2019 Aug 16.

Usharani P, Merugu PL, Nutalapati C. (2019) Evaluation of the effects of a standardized aqueous extract of Phyllanthus emblica fruits on endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress, systemic inflammation and lipid profile in subjects with metabolic syndrome: a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled clinical study. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2019 May 6;19(1):97. doi: 10.1186/s12906-019-2509-5.

Upadya H, Prabhu S, Prasad A, Subramanian D, Gupta S, Goel A. (2019) A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, multicenter clinical trial to assess the efficacy and safety of Emblica officinalis extract in patients with dyslipidemia. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2019 Jan 22;19(1):27. doi: 10.1186/s12906-019-2430-y.

Gao Q, Li X, Huang H, Guan Y, Mi Q, Yao J (2018) The Efficacy of a Chewing Gum Containing Phyllanthus emblica Fruit Extract in Improving Oral Health. Curr Microbiol. 2018 May;75(5):604-610. doi: 10.1007/s00284-017-1423-7. Epub 2018 Mar 21.

Karkon Varnosfaderani S, Hashem-Dabaghian F, Amin G, Bozorgi M, Heydarirad G, Nazem E, Nasiri Toosi M, Mosavat SH (2018) Efficacy and safety of Amla (Phyllanthus emblica L.) in non-erosive reflux disease: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Integr Med. 2018 Mar;16(2):126-131. doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2018.02.008. Epub 2018 Feb 13.

Akhtar MS, Ramzan A, Ali A, Ahmad M. (2011) Effect of Amla fruit (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.) on blood glucose and lipid profile of normal subjects and type 2 diabetic patients. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2011 Sep;62(6):609-16. doi: 10.3109/09637486.2011.560565. Epub 2011 Apr 18.

Chen TS, Liou SY, Chang YL. (2009) Supplementation of Emblica officinalis (Amla) extract reduces oxidative stress in uremic patients. Am J Chin Med. 2009;37(1):19-25.

Muthu PR, Bobby Z, Sankar P, Vickneshwaran V, Jacob SE. (2018) Amla (Emblica officinalis) improves hepatic and renal oxidative stress and the inflammatory response in hypothyroid female wistar rats fed with a high-fat diet. J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2018 Mar 28;29(2):175-184. doi: 10.1515/jbcpp-2017-0116.

Zhao T, Sun Q, Marques M, Witcher M. (2015) Anticancer Properties of Phyllanthus emblica (Indian Gooseberry). Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2015;2015:950890. doi: 10.1155/2015/950890. Epub 2015 Jun 9.

Yadav SS, Singh MK, Singh PK, Kumar V. (2017) Traditional knowledge to clinical trials: A review on therapeutic actions of Emblica officinalis. Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 Sep;93:1292-1302. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2017.07.065. Epub 2017 Jul 23.


Immunity Booster Drink during Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: All Natural Home Made Ayurveda Recipe

In this short video, we are going to show you how you can make an effective and delicious immunity booster drink in just 10 simple steps. This is an all natural and homemade Ayurveda recipe. You can find all its ingredients in your local grocery store. So let’s watch and learn.

Below is the simple 10-step recipe for Immunity Booster Ayurveda drink shown in the video above.

Step 1

Fill up a medium sauce pan with water, all the way to the top.

Step 2

We are going to need cloves. Cloves contain high amounts of antioxidants, which help the immune system in fighting off oxidative damage and free radicals. But the main ingredient that makes cloves very powerful for increasing immunity, is the substance eugenol, which is also what gives cloves their distinctive odor. Eugenol has been proven effective against many harmful bacteria and viruses and also is effective in fighting funguses.

Step 3

We are going to need black peppers seeds. Black peppers have been found to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, which could help fight rogue cancer cells as well as boost the immune system.

Step 4

We are going to need ginger roots. Ginger contains gingerols, paradols, sesquiterpenes, shogaols, and zingerone, all of which have powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Due to its strong anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects, ginger may boost immune health.

Step 5

We are going to boil cloves, black peppers, and ginger in the medium sauce pan full with water. Add 20 cloves, 20 black pepper seeds, and about two table spoons of ginger roots cut in small pieces into the water. Boil the water to full heat and bring it to full boil.

Step 6

Add a couple of cinnamon sticks to the boiling water. Cinnamon is loaded with powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties. It helps your body fight infections and repair tissue damage.

Step 7

Add a few basil leaves to the boiling water. Basil contains disease-fighting antioxidants and antibacterial properties. Basil acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and contains antimicrobial properties that fight viruses and infections.

Step 8

Add a couple of lemon slices to the boiling water. Lemons are high in vitamin C, a natural antioxidant, which enhances the immune system. Lemon also has antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Step 9

This is an optional step. Add a few honey drops to the boiling water. Honey’s antioxidant and antibacterial properties help improve the digestive system and boost immunity. However, if you are diabetic, you can skip adding honey. Your drink already has great immunity boosting ingredients.

Step 10

Boil all the added ingredients to full heat until the water level goes down to half the original level. You will notice that the water color has changed to golden brown.

Disclaimer

Information provided in this video should not be taken as medical advice for Coronavirus or any other medical condition. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. We do not claim to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or medical condition. In case of symptoms, you should consult your primary care physician or health care provider.