This salad is simple, yet deliciously satisfying. Ingredients can vary depending on personal taste and availability.
This time of year our food should have qualities that increase lightness and freshness, bringing us out of our heavier winter bodies. This salad is a great addition to the spring diet.
2 bunches radishes – save a few leaves if they look fresh enough for garnish on soup
2 lbs snap peas
extra spring greens (optional) such as arugula, dandelion, escarole, watercress, or whatever looks yummy and fresh at your local food shop or farmers market!
serves about 4
The bitter and pungent taste of radish is cleansing and helps to reduce extra water and fats held in the tissues and the blood stream. Snap peas and bitter greens cool the blood also and aid in cleansing. Fresh raw veggies with crunch increase a sense of lightness in the body and mind.
In Ayurveda raw foods are more difficult to digest, so we have included in the dressing miso paste as a digestive / probiotic, where the honey (sweet) lime (sour) and salt all pacify Vata by increasing the water and fire elements in the body. Sufficient water is our saliva and digestive juices, enzymes needed for proper absorption of the qualities of the foods taken in; fire element is agni and black pepper and salt increase heat in the gut to stoke the digestive fire.
This way we can receive the full effect of food as medicine.
Two bunches (approx 4-6 cups) of fresh, young Kale, Collard Greens, Swiss Chard, Spinach, Dandelion Greens, and Beet Greens stemmed, ribbed and cut into thin strips
1 -2 Tbsp Ghee (Clarified Butter) or Coconut Oil
1 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp ground Turmeric
¼ cup fresh Cilantro, stems removed & chopped
½ -1 tsp Hing (asaeofetida)
1 tsp Salt
1/3 cup chopped Nuts (almonds, cashews or peanuts)
Steam greens for approximately 5 minutes. Heat ghee or coconut oil on medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds, stir and cook until the mustard seeds pop. Add turmeric, cilantro, hing and salt. Stir briefly to release aroma.
Add the greens and sauté for 2-3 minutes until flavors are blended.
Serve with chopped nuts on top
1 1/4 cup masoor dal (red lentils, yellow lentils or combination of yellow split peas and lentils)
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup diced potatoes
½ cup sliced leeks
½ cup chopped tomatoes (optional)
1 cup chopped kale or spinach
3 1/2 cups water
3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon hing (asaoefetida)
1/2 teaspoon garam masala (use when incorporating tomatoes in recipe)
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1/2 cup well-stirred canned unsweetened coconut milk (optional)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1-2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
Soak lentils for 1-2 hours. Rinse clean under running water before cooking. Add lentils and other veggies to water and bring to a boil with turmeric in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then gently simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until falling apart, about 20-30 minutes.
When lentils are mostly cooked, heat oil or ghee in a small heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. In the shimmering ghee, cook mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek, hing, garam masala and red pepper flakes until mustard seeds begin to pop and/or turn gray and cumin seeds brown, about 1 minute. Stir spice mixture into lentils with coconut milk (optional), cilantro, lemon juice, and salt and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering for 15-20 minutes.
A perfectly balanced vegetarian meal when served with chapatis or rotis, and basmati rice. (makes 5-6 servings)
Ouch! In response to lifestyle, diet, and emotional pattern, our doshas; vata, pitta, and kapha, can easily move out of balance. These imbalances slow down agni, or digestive fire, resulting in the toxic by-product of inadequate digestion known as ama.
Vata, the main active dosha, brings ama into the colon. From there, ama travels throughout the system, lodging in the bone tissue and joints, giving rise to the stiffness and pain characteristic of chronic joint disorders.
Ayurveda works through both diet and supplementation to remove ama from the joints and move it back to the colon, where the body can then eliminate it. For this, we need to keep the colon clean and active. Triphala is the most commonly used herb for cleansing the colon, or the combination of Triphala and Guggul. Ayurveda recommends general techniques to increase the intensity of agni and burn up the toxins harming the body. We begin with our food by adding more spices to the diet, such as turmeric, chilis, pepper, cardamom and cloves when cooking. Herbal extractions of Turmeric and Boswellia support a healthy inflammation response and ease of movement, while Ashwagandha helps balance all the doshas and reduce negative effects of stress in the body.
Various oils may be applied to the skin to help the body clear toxins, relieve pain and restore mobility. Ayurveda has used two traditional oils in particular for thousands of years: Maha Vishgarbha Oil and Maha Narayan Oil, both containing dozens of herbs in a sesame oil base. Massaging these oils into painful areas can improve flexibility, stiffness, muscle fatigue, circulation and ease pain. These oils when massaged into the skin can also assist in breaking up blockages. After oil application; warm heat, yoga, bath, and mild exercise can further relax and relieve the body. Tattva’s Herbs Joint Care Oil, featuring Boswellia as a topical option, is also a potent and cooling application for both chronic and acute situations.
You May Also Like to Read – How to Enhance you Inner Strength using Ashwaganda?
The roots of Ayurveda can be found in the Vedic scriptures known as “Atharvaveda”. The Vedas are some of the oldest scriptures on Earth, with the original texts dating back to 1500 BCE. The original texts are still available and highly respected worldwide.
Atharvaveda deals with a variety of medical treatments for treating the sick and unhealthy. Therapies used in the treatments are Yoga, Meditation, Aroma, Herbs, Diet, Astrology, Gems and Stones, Amulets, Massage and Surgery.
Traditional Indian beliefs give further insight into the Vedas. It is said that the Indian deity Vishnu was reincarnated on Earth as Saint Veda Vyasa and wrote all the Vedas. His students Charak, Sushruta and Vagbhata wrote about their research on the Vedas and classified the medical practices described in Atharvaveda as Surgical, Medical and Holistic.
This research was originally written in “Sanskrit” but has been translated into English and modern Indian languages. Recent studies shed more light on this ancient study of medicine. Atharvaveda has been classified into the following eight forms of medical treatments:
- Kaya Chikitsa governs internal diseases and infections
- Shalakya Tantra involves body parts above the neck
- Shalya Tantra deals with surgery
- Agada Tantra offers treatment for poisons (both endogenous and exogenous)
- Bhuta Vidya relates to psychology
- Kumar Bhartiya oversees pediatrics
- Rasayana is the science of rejuvenation and youthfulness
- Vajikarna addresses the science of fertility
Charaka Samhita: Charaka Samhita was written by Charaka during the reign of the Indian deity Krishna (another reincarnation of Vishnu). Charaka had a holistic approach. His belief that the body and soul have a deep connection was clearly seen in his holistic treatment of all disorders. Charaka Samhita was written in Sanskrit and has 8400 verses.
Sushrut Samhita: Sushruta was a student of Charaka who broadened the horizon of Ayurvedic knowledge by expanding on the original texts. Sushruta Samhita deals with the surgical way of medical treatment. Believe it or not, Sushruta performed plastic surgery, fracture treatments, cosmetic surgery, prosthetic surgery, and transplanted organs – all in the 6th BC! No wonder today he is called the “Father of Surgery”. He believed that surgery and medicine together constitute a true way of treating disease. Sushruta explained 72 different surgical treatments and used over 125 instruments to perform these surgeries.
Ashtanga Hridaya: Vagbhata studied human psychology and wrote Ashtanga Hridaya in the 6th Century BC. He emphasized the psychological aspect of disease by expounding on the work of Charaka Sushrut and Samhita Sushrut. His approach was more holistic than spiritual and he believed that 85% of all disease could be cured without the intervention of doctors.
Though Ayurveda originated from the Hindu religion, it has propagated across the globe and is serving humanity in a variety of ways. Ayurveda preaches service to the sick as the only way for medical practitioners, healers and doctors to achieve happiness.
Ayurveda is one of the most ancient systems of medicine used for healing and treating illness. However Ayurveda has many facets other than purely medicinal. The more you explore, the deeper you go, the more enlightening is the knowledge that shows you different ways, all of which lead you toward a blissful life.
Ayurveda defines “body” in the form of three “Doshas”. The human body is made up of three Doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. It is important to keep these Doshas balanced within the body to live a healthy and peaceful life. Vata is derived from Air and hence regulates bodily functions such as respiration, blood circulation, mental activity and physical movements. People with imbalanced Vata may suffer from physical and mental illness. Balancing Vata is a difficult task but it’s not impossible. Performing specific Yoga Asanas and Meditation with a combination of a balanced diet would yield magical results. Pranayam helps regulate the respiratory activities and cleans the respiratory pipe, increasing the oxygen level in the blood. Also it helps stimulate the nervous system. Sun Salutation & Meditation can be accompanied with Pranayam to stimulate the physical and mental activities. It is important to follow a balanced diet while practicing Yoga. People with predominant Vata should include foods that provide instant energy and warmth to the body. Ginger, cardamon, cinnamon, almonds, pumpkin, lemon, carrots, asparagus, bananas, mangoes all help warm the body and enhance circulation. Drinking warm water and herbal teas helps decrease the chances of dehydration and prevents hunger pangs.
Pitta derived from Fire and Water is the major source of energy for the human body. A Pitta imbalance is commonly found in Humans during the Summer Season when the solar power drives the Pitta. Excessive heat generation in the body, peptic ulcers, hot flashes, acid reflux, and inflammation are all physical problems one may suffer from Pitta imbalance. At the same time, one can suffer from mental problems such as aggressive behavior, anger, impatience, anxiety, and frustration. To balance Pitta, one should practice a daily routine with clearly defined hours of sleeping, eating, working and other regular activities. Gentle Yoga Asnas with a blend of Pranayam and Meditation will keep the body calm and cool. Diet should include watery fruits like watermelon, cucumber, and coconut. Avoid oily and spicy food in summer season and drink plenty of water. Water helps to keep the fiery Pitta calm and cool by hydrating the body. Wear light colors and cotton clothes to help control perspiration in the scorching heat of summer.
Kapha is made up of Water and Earth and is present in liquid form in the body. All the fluids and cellular activities are driven by Kapha. Kapha regulates the immune system in the body. It lubricates the joints and skin and is responsible for cellular growth. Kapha imbalance leads to problems like excessive body weight, lethargy, emotional weakness and depression, fatigue, and poor immunity. To balance Kapha, rigorous exercise is recommended with Meditation and Yoga to activate sweat glands and stay motivated. To improve body fluid circulation, drink herbal tea containing ginger, cinnamon, and clove essence, which help eliminate excessive mucous from the system. Avoid cold, sticky food like ice cream and cheese. Instead, opt for warm and stimulating foods.
Once you balance all the three Doshas, you will find yourself more confident, independent and you will get a different perspective to live your life. A life you yourself will fall in love with!
Ayurveda is an ancient study, more than 5000 years old, which describes many natural processes of healing and living a healthy life. Though its origin is in India it has now propagated throughout the world, acknowledged and adopted by many in their search for health and happiness.
The word Ayurveda means sacred knowledge of life. In the word Ayurveda, “Ayu” means Life comprising the Body, Mind, Senses and Soul. In ancient India, knowledge was sourced from the 4 “Vedas”, scriptures written as guides for the path of life – namely the RIGVEDA, SAMAVEDA, YAJURVEDA and ATHARVAVEDA.
Ayurveda says that our Universe is made up of five elements – Air, Water, Fire, Earth & Ether. The Human Body represents these elements in three forms of energy or doshas namely Vata, Pitta, & Kapha. Every human body has it’s own unique composition of these three doshas. The composition defines not only the health of the human being but also the characteristics and temperament. Any imbalance in thesethree doshas generally lead to a lot of health issues – physical as well as mental.
Vata relates to air, and this energy mainly directs functions like Respiration, Circulation and Nerve Impulse. People who have Vata imbalance often suffer from dryness of skin and hair, mood swings, headaches, joint pain, bloating, constipation.
Pitta relates to fire and water in Human body. “Fire” takes the form of Enzymes which are secreted in the stomach and liver which digest food, which is transformed in to Energy. The common symptoms of Pitta imbalance are aggression, loss of temper, acid reflux and ulcers.
Kapha is derived from the elements Earth and Water. When it is present in the right proportion it provides strength, stamina, immunity, and mental peace. Otherwise a person can experience lack of motivation, feel depressed, tired and lethargic and have abnormal food cravings.
Ayurveda says that every person should try to find their natural balanced state by modulating their behavior and environment. A person who has learned to balance all the three doshas is described as “Sushrut Samhita” in Ayurveda – which means he or she has a sound mind, healthy body and a content soul.
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