Is Ayurveda For You?

Ayurveda – “The Science of Life” or Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world’s oldest holistic (whole-body) healing systems. It began in India many thousands of years ago.

The basis of Ayurveda is the idea that health and wellness is dependent on a delicate balance of the mind, body, and spirit. The primary idea of Ayurvedic medicine is to promote good health preventatively, rather than battle illness after it arrives.

It is a simple concept that includes many intricate beliefs and practices.

balancing-the-doshas

If you are considering making Ayurveda a part of your life, we recommend a few great books:

“Ayurveda For All” by Murli Manohar

“The Healing Power of Herbs” by Michael T. Murray N.D.

“Practical Ayurveda: Secrets for Physical, Sexual & Spiritual Health” By Atreya & David Frawley

“Ayurveda: Science of Self-Healing: A Practical Guide” By Vasant D. Lad & Angela Werneke

“The Yoga of Herbs” by David Frawley and Vasant Lad

Ayurveda offers a body of wisdom designed to help people realize their full human potential using diet, behavior and the proper use of our senses, Ayurveda reminds us that “health is the balanced and dynamic integration between our environment, body, mind, and spirit.”

The real question that lingers is this – Why wouldn’t one practice Ayurveda?

Tattva’s Herbs was founded in 2000 with the desire to deliver the finest quality products that Mother Nature has to offer. We do not cut any corners or spare any expense to bring you the ultimate in quality and signature Ayurvedic oils, supplements, creams, chyawanprash and more. We accept it as our personal responsibility to present the world of Ayurveda to you with great care and respect, and without adulteration. Everyone involved in Tattva’s Herbs is proud of what we do, and we are grateful to be able to share our gifts with you. Ayurveda is one of the world’s richest treasures and should be respected as such.

Think Mucuna Pruriens is Just for Parkinson’s? These 10 Benefits Will Change Your Mind

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

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

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

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

3) Increases Energy*

4) Improves mental capacity*

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

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

7) Helps digestion without increasing pitta (fire)

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

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

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

Click Here for Tattva’s Herbs Mucuna

Mucuna Bottle - Tattva's Herbs

 

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

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

The Manifestation of Consciousness into Plants

An excerpt from “The Yoga of Herbs” An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine written by Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Vasant Lad

Evolution is a manifestation of latent potentials. Within each thing is contained all things. In the seed is the tree; in the tree is the forest. Therefore, intelligence is contained implicitly in the many worlds of nature, not only in our human-centered world. Another way of saying this is that consciousness exists in all forms of life. It is the very basis of creation, the power of evolution. Life, creation, and evolution are the stages in the unfoldment of consciousness. There is nothing in existence that is unfeeling, nothing that is profane or unspiritual, nothing without a unique value in the cosmos. Life is relational, interdependent, interconnective, a system of mutual nourishment and care, not only physically, but also psychologically and spiritually.

circle-of-lifeConsciousness, therefore, is not merely a though, much less intellect or reason. It is the feeling of being alive and being related to all life. Consciousness as pure feeling exists already in the plant and is hidden in rock, even within atom itself. Elemental attraction and repulsion are similar to love and hate, like and dislike. For this reason, the ancient seers of India held that the Self alone exists, that unity is the basis of all existence – that the unity of life is the unity of consciousness.

By this they meant that every living thing was sentient, that everthing was, in the sense of consciousness, human. True humanity, which is humane feeling for all life, is at the heart of all life. Plants and animals sometimes show this sense of caring more than certain humans, who have hardened in their isolated sense of humanity. It is only when we come to look upon all things as human that we are capable of a truly human existence. Such a lesson is taught to us by plants and herbs whose existence is still grounded in the unity of nature, through which we may return to understand ourselves better.

Man as microcosm contains within himself all the elemental, mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms. Within the plant is the potential of the human being. Conversely, within the human being is the underlying energy structure of the plant. Our nervouse system, it could be said, is a tree whose plant-essence is human. Therefore, plants may communicate directly to that essense of feeling which makes a true human being.

The Plant Kingdom existsto bring feeling into manifestation. On the plant level, feeling exists in a pure and passive form. The animal and human kingdoms manifest this more actively, more separately, but often with less beauty. Consciousness in plants is on a primal level of unity, therefore it is more psychic, telepathic.

Life forms are stations for the reception and transmission of foreces, through which all are nourished. Each thing exists to nourish all others, and, in return, to be nourished itself. In this manner each kingdom of nature serves to receive and transmit life. This life is implicit in light and in the transmission of stellar or astral forces.

The earth, like a gigantic receptor or radio-station, inhales and exhales stellar and cosmic forces, the absorbed essence of which grows and unfolds as life. These forces are not all material, but include subtle energies of an occult or spriritual nature. Plants transmit the vital-emotional impulses, the life-force that is hidden in light. That is the gift, the grace, the power of plants.

Plants bring us the love, the nourishing power of the sun, which is the same energy of all the stars, of all light. These cosmic energies emanated by plants thus nourish, sustain and make grow our own astral body. In this way the existence of plants is a great offering, a sacrifice. They offer us not only their own nutritive value but the very light and love from the stars, from the cosmos whose messengers they are. They bring to us the universal light so that we can enter the universal life. They exist for psychological, as well as physical nourishment. Our feelings, then, are our own inner plants, our own inner flowers. They grow in accordance with our perception of athe nature of all life.

Creation is light. In the Vedas, the ancient scriptures of India, the great god Agni, the principle of Fire, the Divine Seer- Will, builds up the worlds, and makes  of all creation a series of self – transformations.

Plants exist to transmute light into life. Human beings exist to transmute life into consciousnesness, love. Thes three – light, life and love – are one, each an expression of the other, three dimensions of the same existence. Plants transmute light into life through photosynthesis. The human being tansmutes life into consciousness through perception. Through direct perception, the seer is the seen, the observer the observed.

To read more click here to purchase The Yoga of Herbs from Amazon.

 

 

Why Digestion Is Like a Campfire

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Our Bodies Are Like Rivers

Written by: Sara Bowes, LAc

river

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

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

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

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

 

Destroy Fat and Cholesterol with Guggul

Guggul is a time tested Ayurvedic Herb that has proved to maintain healthy cholesterol in the body.

Guggul-webGuggul or guggulu (commiphora mukul, also commiphora wightii) is derived from the gummy resinous exudate of a plant closely related to myrrh that is found in arid to semi-arid areas of Northern India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. This tree has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, and Ayurvedic texts dating back to 600 BC recommend it for treatment of atherosclerosis and digestive disorders.

The Sanskrit definition of the term “guggul” is “one that protects against diseases.” This attests to the wide respect and therapeutic Ayurvedic applications for this botanical, considered to be the most important herb for the removal of “ama,” or toxic substances which accumulate as a result of sluggish digestion and circulation associated with a slowing of metabolism.

Similar to another important Ayurvedic preparation called triphala, guggul is considered tridoshic, or balancing to all three doshas in the body. The three doshas, or bodily constitutions represent the foundation of traditional Ayurveda. These are: kapha or the anabolic humour, watery humour; pitta or the catabolic, fiery humour; and vata, the air or nervous system humour. When all three humours are in balance, the result is health and wellness. When one or more are in excess or deficient this represents imbalance or disease. Guggul stimulates pitta and thus enhances warmth, digestion, circulatory and reproductive processes. It also regulates vata (nerve force) and kapha (fluidic aspects).

As an “ama”-resolving herb, guggul has a wide range of applications beginning with rheumatic and arthritic pains, lowering high cholesterol, “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), and obesity. Guggul is warming and stimulates metabolism that is why it is one of the few botanicals that has been used to treat hypothyroid conditions. In addition, it is used to treat a sluggish liver, malaria, to stimulate libido, nervous diseases, bronchial congestion, cardiac and circulatory problems, weak digestion, gynecological problems, leucorrhea, sterility, impotence, and various skin diseases including acne and psoriasis. (One of the substances contained in Guggul which is known to lower cholesterol and triglycerides is also noted for its ability to decrease the redness and swelling that occurs in some types of acne) Guggul, as with other resins, is excreted through the skin, mucus membranes and the kidneys. This is what makes it particularly useful for the urinary tract and for a wide number of skin diseases.

Guggul has been used for over 3,000 years and is described in all of the classical Ayurvedic texts including the Sushruta Samhita (3rd to 4th centuries) where it is especially recommended for the treatment of rheumatic pains and obesity, as mentioned above. It is one of the most important rasayanas (herbal tonics) of Ayurveda where it is described as warm, dry, pungent-flavored, and aromatic with nutritive, lubricant, stimulant and digestion-enhancing properties. Current research substantiates its benefit for the treatment of elevated blood lipids and coronary and arterial plaque known as atherosclerosis. As a result, today in India standardized guggul extracts are being approved for lowering elevated serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Click Here for Tattva’s Herbs Guggul Co2 Extract.

How to drink Capomo? Make a Mocha

capomomochaA Great, Relaxing Bed-time Drink

For each cup of this Capomo treat, simmer 2-3 Tablespoons of Capomo in 10-12 oz.’s of water for approximately 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of semi-sweet chocolate powder, with a little sweetener of your choice. Simple, calming and yummy.

Capomo is loaded with l-tryptophan, so its a great to way induce sleep.

Enjoy!

 

Six Ways Shilajit Can Benefit You Today

True Shilajit or Moomiyo is rare and difficult to find. Shilajit is known to promote vitality and core strength. It is known for its rejuvanative properties, and is known to promote healthy recovery time and muscle strength and so much more.

We encourage you to take a minute to read six ways how this incredible herb can benefit your daily lifestyle.

Shilajit bottle 1) Ever feel sore and wish your muscles and joints would recover faster? Shilajit maintains healthy recovery time in muscles, bones and nerves. Great for athletes and non – athletes of all shapes, sizes and walks of life. Shilajit is very helpful in recovering from injuries, rigorous workouts, or just daily soreness and pain.

2) Shilajit will make your other supplements and vitamins work better. It acts as a catalyst for other supplements and helps “drive them deeper” making them more effective. It does this through aiding in the absorption of nutrients in the body.

3) Shilajit is a natural antioxidant, which stops the generation of free radicals in the body and promotes youthfulness and longevity.

4) It strengthens the nervous system and brain functions – can impact positive mood, mental fatigue and sharpness.

5) Increasing virility and libido.

6) Aids in overall well – being. Shilajit is a mineral substance that is quite literally “the carbon footprint” of our earth’s ancient ecosystem. High in the majestic Himalayan Mountains of Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan, shilajit can be found preserved in rocks and cliffs.

Read more:

Seven Reasons Why Everyone Should Take Amla

borderless-amla-2010Amla (also known as Amalaki or Indian Gooseberry) is the most concentrated form of Vitamin C in the entire plant kingdom, containing up to 720 mg/100g of fresh pulp and 921 mg/100cc of pressed juice. This is approximately 20 times the vitamin C content of an orange. It is a very potent form of Vitamin C and yet is easily assimilated by the human body. The Vitamin C in the Amalaki fruit is bonded with tannins that protect it from being destroyed by heat or light. Amla promotes and maintains healthy digestion, which in turn regulates the absorption of food by increasing the fire (known as “Agni” in Ayurveda) in the stomach, without creating any excess stomach acids.

Here are 7 reasons that Amla should be incorporated into every’s regiment.

1) Amla is great for your skin and hair! Many recommend a daily drink of Amla juice and honey to keep your skin blemish free and looking healthy and glowing. It also strengthens the roots of your hair, assists with dandruff and even graying.

2) It is great for your eyes and eyesight! Amalaki helps with redness, itching, vision and so much more!

3) Amla is great for your immune system. It is a very concentrated natural form of Vitamin C, so taking it daily can help prevent colds and flu.

4) Amla is very helpful with constipation and digestion.

5) It is great for your heart, strengthens heart muscles and a potent natural antioxidant.

6) Amla helps to fight bad breath and strengthens teeth.

7) It can help promote a healthy appetite. Amla is shown to increase Agni (digestive fire), and also encourages hunger.

Click Here for Tattva’s Herbs Amla.

The Background of Ayurvedic Medicine

Taken from “The Yoga of Herbs – An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine” written by: Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Vasant Lad

SPIRITUAL BACKGROUND

In order to understand the Ayurvedic approach to herbs, one must understand the basic system of Ayurveda, which is a complete healing science, including the physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of life.

The ancient seers of India envisioned two fundamental principles behind existence: Purusha, the Primal Spirit, the principle of sentience of consciousness; and the Prakruti, or Great Nature, the principle of creativity. The union of these two, Spirit and Matter, produces all things.

Yet these two are also one, the primordial Two-in-One, Consciousness and its creative, executive force, Shiva-Shakti. Within all things is essence, individuality, consciousness – the Purusha.  Within all things is also the power of manifestation, the capacity for creative enfoldment – Prakruti.

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From these two great forces in their initial coming together is born Cosmic Intelligence, Mahat, which contains the seeds of all manifestation. Inherent in the Mahat are all laws of nature.

The Cosmic Intelligence also exists in the human being as the intelligence in the individual. As such it is called Buddhi, the means of awakening, developing fully which one becomes enlightened, a Buddha. Buddhi is our capacity for perception, our ability to discern the real from the unreal. But this intelligence, in its evolution into material forms, may give rise to the ego, the sense of separate self, or Ahamkara. It is the principle of division as it is only our sense of a separate ego that divides us from the unity of life.

In turn, the ego gives rise to the conditioned mind or conditioned consciousness called Manas, which, as our sense of self-consciousness, creates a protective thought-field around itself in which we become bound.

Finally, this links us up with the collective unconscious called Chitta, the storehouse of thoughts of all limited mentalities. Through the Chitta we remain under the influence of latencies, compulsions and drives of the earlier stages of evolution, going all the way back to the animal realm and before.

Ayurveda aims at a life in harmony with Cosmic Intelligence, whereby our own intelligence is perfected, so that through it we can return to unity with nature; and through nature our true self and spirit, the Purusha. This is the spiritual background of Ayurveda, which is the same as that of Yoga, and the basis of Ayurvedic psychology.

This requires the awakening of intelligence wherein we go beyond the rule of the ego. The ego is the basis for all deviation from nature. Health is natural, Prakruti. Disease is artificial, Vikruti. Hence, most diseases, except those natural to the course of time, are from the psychological imbalance born of unnecessary self-consciousness.