Five Reasons Why YOU Should take Boswellia Serrata Today!

Boswellia-web

Boswellia serrata (frankincense) is a tree found primarily in India. In order to harvest the Boswellia tree for human consumption, strips of the bark are peeled away leaving

gummy resin.

This resin, is the medicinal part of the boswellia tree.  Extracts of this gummy substance are what is typically used in Ayurveda for a variety of health conditions.

 

Here is our list of the top 5 ways that you can benefit from this magical substance:

1) Provides relief for painful joints – Boswellia has been shown to enhance the blood flow to joints. In turn, this increases joint mobility and eases stiff joints.

2) Supports healthy respiratory function – It is great for your lungs, and has been shown to help suppress coughs and respiratory circulation.

3) Protects the liver & heart - Boswellia has potent anticoagulant properties, which both your heart and liver will thank you for! Preventing your blood from getting too sticky is vital to healthy circulation and stroke prevention.

4) Helps to lower cholesterol – Boswellia has been reported to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

5) Reduces inflammation – This is the most well known benefit of Boswellia. Many schools of thought agree that inflammation is the root cause of nearly all disease. Boswelliia has been shown in countless studies to reduce inflammation and increase blood flow. This alone, is helpful to so many ailments and conditions that people battle everyday.

There are many other benefits of this one-of-a-kind herb, and we encourage you to read more here.

Timing of Administration of Herbs

From: Ayurvedic Herbology East and West, A Practical Guide to Ayurvedic Herbal Medicine, written by: Vishnu Dass

In Ayurvedic herbology, the timing of administration of a medicine is another important factor to consider, as it may enhance its effects. Herbs that are taken before meals work more on the colon, kidneys, and reproductive organs, and play a key role in supporting the functions of apana vayu, the downward moving aspect of vata that governs elimination of waste products and menstruation. Herbs with mild laxative, diuretic, and emmenagogue properties also act on the lower half of the body, and can be taken before food to strengthen their action.

ÆP

Herbs taken along with food act directly upon the stomach, spleen, liver, and small intestine. They support samana vayu, the aspect of vata governing digestive functions, as well as jathara agni and pachaka pitta, the main fires of digestion in the stomach and small intestine. Herbs acting on the middle part of the body are carminatives, stimulants, bitters, and nutritive tonics. Herbs taken after meals work on the upper portion of the body and directly affect prana, udana, and vyana vayus, giving them a stronger action on the lungs, heart, brain, and nervous system. Below is a list of times of administration and therapeutic effect they enhance.

Anannkala: Empty Stomach

Herbs taken first thing in the morning, then allowing as much time as possible (1-3 hours) before taking food, help to increase agni and burn ama and plegm. This is a good time to enhance various properties such as lekaniya (scraping of fat). This is the ideal time to give purgatives, emetics, or rasayanas (rejuvenating substances).

Pragbhukta: Before Meals

Herbs taken at this time are carried quickly to the pelvic region and have the greatest effect on the folon and apana vayu. This is one of the best times for treating chronic indigestion, gas, bloating, abdominal discomfort, and constipation, as well as disorders of the reproductive organs and urinary tract.

Madhyabhukta: During Meals

Herbs taken along with food act on samana vayu, the aspects of vata governing digestive functions in the area of the duodenum and small intestine. This is helpful for kindling the agni, improving peristalisis, absorption, and assimilation. It is also an easier way of taking herbs for those who have difficulty swallowing them or tolerating their taste.

Abhobhukta: Right After Meals

Herbs taken just after food work on the upper portion of the body and directly affect prana vayu, the aspect of vata governing respiration and the nervous system. They also help to restore the function of udana, the vayu responsible for speech, effort, energy, willpower, and memory, as well as that of vyana vayu, which is centered in the heart, moves throughout the body, and governs circulation. Digestive herbs can also be take at this time to treat slow sluggish digestion and help to strengthen and regulate the thyroid gland. People that are sensitive to herbs sometimes prefer to take herbs after meals. This seems to be a convenient time for people to remember to take their herbs, but proper timing should be encouraged whenever possible.

Antarabhukta: Between Meals

The seven bodily tissues receive their nourishment during this time (3 to 4 hours after a meal). Herbs taken at this time travel along with ahara rasa (nutrient precursors) to each of the dhatus, increasing metabolic activity.

Muhur Muhur: Frequent Administration

This can be as frequent as moment to moment or every few minutes. This method helps to send a constant reminder to the body. It is used for acute disorders of prana vayu like hiccup, burping, asthma, cough, and other respiratory disorders. Good examples of this are sipping on teas every 5-10 minutes, or licking certain pastes made from herbs and substances like honey to relieve acute symptoms. Another example is the use of spice blends for digestion (digestive churnas), which can be sprinkled on food and ingested every few minutes with each bite.

Swapnakala: Before Bedtime

Herbs given at bedtime or one hour before sleep help to redirect the movement of vata (vata anuloman). This is a good time to give laxatives or purgatives, and is also an ideal time for treating insomnia and other sleep disorders. Herbs taken at midnight can help with nightmares and disorders of maija dhatu (nerve tissues and marrow).

Sandhyakale: At Sunrise and Sunset

Herbs taken during this time act directly on the joints. Mild laxatives can also be taken at sunrise. Herbs that raise the consciousness, such as brahmi and vacha, can be taken in the early morning to promote good meditation.

For more tips and info visit our website at www.tattvasherbs.com

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.

 

 

The Most Effective Herbs that Help Maintain Hypertension Naturally

Cardiopure Nearly 30% of all Americans suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension.  

Promote a healthy hypertension response naturally with Tattva’s Herbs CardioPure. A time-tested, all natural formula in the ayurvedic system, CardioPure has proven to be a natural therapeutic aid to promote, balance and maintain healthy blood pressure. It is a safe alternative to the many conventional drugs with harmful side effects being prescribed to millions of people.

Hypertension, (high blood pressure) is widespread, and commonly related to the stresses of modern day living. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Tattva’s Herbs’ CardioPure, it is primarily comprised of pure standardized extracts of Arjuna and Rauwolfia Serpentina. These herbs work synergistically to control blood pressure naturally, and maintain all aspects of healthy cardiac function. This product also contains the reputable herbs Arjuna, Tribulus, Shankapushpi, Boehaarvia Diffusia, Ashwagandha, Rose Powder, Jatamansi, and Inula Racemous, which combine to create the most potent formula available for maintaining heart health.

According to Ayurveda the heart is the seat of life energy or “Prana”. The negative effect of stress, both physical and emotional, can put strain on the heart, and destroy balance in the most vital part of the body. Tattva’s Herbs is pleased to offer a natural therapeutic aid to promote that balance and maintain healthy blood pressure. CardioPure contains a unique blend of herbs that provide support and balance to cardiac function. The herbRauwolfiia Serpentina, in particular has powerful stress relief properties. Combined with time tested herbs Arjuna, Tribulus, Shankapushpi, Boehaarvia Diffusia, Rauwolfiia Serpentina, Ashwagandha, Rose Powder, Jatamansi, and Inula Racemous, this is a very potent and time tested formula. CardioPure can also be taken to maintain cardiac health.

Click Here to read more about this amazing formula from Tattva’s Herbs.

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.

herb-heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Shilajit – A Brief History

Shilajit bottleTo locate the origins of Moomiyo or Shilajit, one would have to go back at least 2500 years to the time of the ancient Greek scientist and philosopher Aristotle. He proposed and accurately described the first procedures for the use of Moomiyo and its preparation in grape juice, honey and milk. Glorious emperors of the past like Alexander the Great, Tamerlane, and Chinghiz Khan added Moomiyo to the ration of their Generals, personal guards and special units. The compound was always a mystery – one that yielded unprecedented results praised and honored by the Emperors, Sultans and Kings at all times. Only the richest of the nobles could afford it.

 Little was known about this high mountain herb/mineral compound in the West until the early 1990’s when Russian scientists brought it to the western world after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russian Black Anabolic, or mumie (pronounced Moomiyo) is a potent adaptagenic herbal complex. The effects of Shilajit include activation of the growth processes on the cell-molecular level in all organs and body systems (Blood, liver, myocardium, skeletal muscles, lymphatic system, central and peripheral nervous systems, skin and hair, and gastrointestinal tract).

To date, several hundreds of research investigations have been conducted on Moomiyo, showing it has a strong ability to stimulate the body’s immune system. Moomiyo helps build white blood cells, called macrophages. The macrophages job is to destroy and digest foreign material in the body. This means that when strengthened with Moomiyo, white blood cells can ingest more bacteria, microbes and other alien cells that the body generally doesn’t know how to deal with. Scientists also discovered that Moomiyo increases the production of Interleukin (IL-1), a protein that is released by the macrophages and has important immune system enhancing properties. Shilajit is well known for renewing vitality. It has the ability to increase the core energy responsible for sexual and spiritual power, the same force that is withered by stress and anxiety.

The people of the Tajikistan area of Russia routinely use Moomiyo in their foods. Their life spans are above the world average by 10-15 years. Russian scientists can only attribute this to their daily consumption of Moomiyo. In the last three decades Moomiyo also found its niche in the National Bureau of Cosmonauts for its impeccable reputation as an agent that facilitates a strong immune system, sound health and fast recovery to the astronauts during and after long space journeys.

In sport, Moomiyo is prized for its significant tonic and growth-promoting effects on both physical and mental processes. Moomiyo plays one of the leading roles in the restoration programs of the national and Olympic-level athletes. It has been used by the Russian military and sports establishment for nearly four decades, supposedly for increasing strength and muscle mass as well as for its recuperative powers. In studies conducted at various universities in Russia, Moomiyo was found to improve workload (weight x repetition) by as much as 15-27% and improve recovery time. A budget of almost 6.5 million dollars was allocated by the Soviet government to the USSR National Sport Committee for research and application of Moomiyo in sports during the preparation of athletes for the 1988 Olympic Games in Moscow. What’s the best way to use Moomiyo to yield maximum results in sports? The result will be a fast and easy recovery, a more efficient adaptation to training, and of course muscle gain, making it popular among athletes world-wide. It can be effective at preventing age-related hormone-dependent disorders, and correspondingly should be considered as a nutrient for noncompetitive athletes over the age of thirty who still participate in fitness programs. High content of bio-active instances appears to be responsible for Moomiyo’s outstanding anti-inflammatory and healing effects. It is very beneficial at reducing joint soreness of the knees, shoulders and elbows of weight lifters.

Brief analysis of the region where Moomiyo is coming from is astonishing. Thousands of diverse plant species and herbs are found in isolated areas of Central Asia. The region is home to over 6500 different plants, over half of which are not found anywhere else on Earth. It is this great variety of highly bio active material, combined with the region’s climatic conditions (temperature, light and moisture), that contributes to the development of Moomiyo. The general character of this region facilitated the formation of specific plant forms enriched in oils, alkaloids, glycosides, saponins, chlorophyll, carotenes, flavonoids, etc., each serving as a valuable raw material for many modern pharmaceutical and food industries. This diversity of plant materials causes a unique variety of wild animals in the region, which differ from animals of other parts of the world by a richer content of micro-elements and biologically active compounds in their organs and muscles.

Coming back to its origination high in the mountains, Moomiyo has been referred to as “mountain tear”, “mountain blood”, and “balsam of rock”. It is the digest of many floras at the crest of the mountains under very special conditions that produces the Moomiyo extract. It is very rare, and can be accumulated only twice a year. To collect just a small portion of pure Moomiyo one would have to contribute many months of hard work to the process. But, of course, the result will justify this investment.

Shilajit Moomiyo is obtained from rocks in the Altai region. It is a form of mineral that drips from the cracks of the rocks during hot weather.  Basically, it is the decomposition of plant matter in the rocks that has been compressed , for tens of thousands of years in the past.  The bio-transformed plant matter is extruded from the rocks by geothermal pressures. It is collected in raw form for further purification. Walking high in the mountains, a thick rich paste seen oozing out from the rocks in the towering cliffs is Shilajit. Humus is formed when soil microorganisms decompose animal and plant material into elements usable by plants. Plants are the source of all our food and humus is the source of plant food. Unlike other soil humus, Shilajit humus consists of 60 – 80% organic mass. Shilajit will “flow” out from between the cracks in the layers of rock during the summer when the temperature of the mountains gets warm enough and the Shilajit becomes less viscous. The native people then climb the mountains, repel down cliffs to collect this powerful substance, known as Shilajit.

Click here for Tattva’s Herbs Shilajit. 

Chyawanprash – The “Ageless Wonder”

 Give your immune system a Boost with Chyawanprash.

Image

Love that Jam!

Chyawanprash, (pronounced CHA-WON- PROSH) is a traditional Ayurvedic herbal jam made in a base of Amalaki fruit. Amalaki fruit – or “Amla” is the richest source of vitamin C known to man. It is often called the “Ageless Wonder” due to its remarkable rejuvenative properties and its ability to promote vigor, vitality, and youthfulness. This powerful herbal jam is rich in antioxidants, and is known to have phenomenal and profound effects on numerous systems within the body, including: respiratory, nervous, and circulatory systems. While providing energy and vitality to all the cells of the body, it both nourishes and strengthens the immune system. In Ayurveda, Chyawanprash is the most respected and well known “rasayana” of all, (sanskrit word describing an “elixir of life”). This time-tested remedy is certainly remarkable, and a true pillar of a healthy lifestyle. Today it is praised with the same esteem that it was over 4,000 years ago. Literally thousands of years of experience and knowledge are combined in the preparation of Chyawanprash, which makes it one of the most widely recognized and highly respected of all of the Ayurvedic formulas. It serves to gently balance the nervous system, the mind, the respiratory system and helps to promote healthy elimination.

Tattva’s Herbs’ Chyawanprash is formulated from a traditional recipe that contains nearly 50 herbs, including Ashwagandha, pippali, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon and many other well known herbs and spices in a base of clarified butter and honey. Our formula contains no herbicides, pesticides, chemicals or artificial fillers. This energizing formula is slightly warming, and thus helps to promote healthy digestion and stimulates the metabolism. It is suitable and safe for people of all ages, adults and children alike.

Chyawanprash is the supreme anti-stress and anti-aging formula, but is also extremely effective in preventing the common colds and coughs that plague so many of us. If you are one of the many people who are affected by the common work environment, where daily exposure to many people and all of their germs keep you in a constant state of coughing, sniffling and general low energy – Chyawanprash could be especially helpful for you. Taken on a regular daily basis this amazing tonic has the ability to improve all aspects of health. Most people report that they are no longer bothered by nagging coughs and colds. Many people report that their skin clears up and they look younger than they have in years. Almost all users report that they feel a tremendous amount of new energy and vigor. This is due to the synergy created by combining over forty of the most powerful Ayurvedic herbs in a meticulously prepared base.

Chyawanprash  is traditionally taken as a snack on crackers or bread, as the flavor is like a spicy jam, but it can also be taken alone, one teaspoon, one to three times per day. We have also heard of people adding a dose to their protein shake, fruit or vegetable juice, smoothie, or even adding it to coffee or tea as a morning treat – there are endless possibilities with almost countless benefits!

Click here for Tattva’s Herbs Chyawanprash

Nature’s Bounty: Currying Favor With the Brain

By Daniel A. Marano, published on November 01, 2009 – last reviewed on May 27, 2011

It is becoming increasingly difficult to make the distinction between food and drug. As scientists gain the ability to study the chemical components of food—notably fruits and vegetables—and trace their actions and interactions in our bodies at a molecular level, they’re finding that they contain potent bioactive compounds that have the capacity to improve overall health and even treat hard-core diseases.

The most important of these compounds also often create the most colorful of plants. They are classified as polyphenols, flavonoids being the most widely studied in the lab. You hopefully consume them in the form of fruits and berries; wine, tea and coffee; olives and so many more edibles. There are thousands of them. Their raison d’etre is to protect plants from damage ranging from solar radiation to fungal disease. The often-colorful agents prove to be just as important to the protection and longevity of our own bodies. And few prove to be more dazzling or potent than those found in turmeric.

Turmeric belongs to the ginger family, and the rhizome looks like a miniature version of fresh ginger. Although it lacks ginger’s zing, it boasts a distinctive orange flesh that has the ability to stain bright yellow everything that comes into contact with it. Native to Southeast Asia, turmeric is used extensively in both medicine and cooking. It can be found fresh at many Asian markets in the U.S. and, increasingly, in the produce section of larger organic markets.

 

Dried and pulverized, the turmeric root becomes the spice that imparts the yellow color to American mustard and curry powder. That might be all you know of it. But across Asia and Africa, turmeric has long been prized both as a fabric dye and as a medicine noted for antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Turmeric’s scientific name is Curcuma longa, and the polyphenolic compound that imparts the yellow color is called curcumin. It has become the focus of much research in the U.S. and elsewhere for its ability to fight inflammation and cancer and to interfere with the onset of cognitive decline associated with neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Alzheimer’s.

Fresh turmeric contains no more than 4 percent curcumin, which, on its own, is poorly absorbed by the body. But lipids increase the rate of absorption—just as butter and olive oil boost the bioavailability of similarly colorful and healthful phenolic compounds like lycopene in tomatoes and carotenoids in carrots.

Turmeric plays an important role in traditional Chinese medicine as a component of herbal formulas that fight stress and depression. Ongoing research has shown curcumin to greatly reduce the effects of stress and the inflammatory cascades implicated in depression and other behavioral disorders.

In studies of Alzheimer’s disease, curcumin is proving to halt the buildup of amyloid-beta plaque that clogs the brain’s neural pathways and triggers the condition. Amyloid-betas are basically chains of amino acids, or proteins. They are to neurodegenerative diseases what fatty arterial plaque is to heart disease.

Given the limited bioavailability of curcumin, many of the most promising studies are now looking at synergistic pairings of the agent with other compounds to boost its power. The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease recently reported a study looking at the effects of combining curcumin with vitamin D3, a nutrient we make from exposure to sunshine .

Using both naturally occurring curcuminoids and more bioavailable synthetic versions, scientists at UCLA and at UC Riverside were able to boost beneficial immune activity in Alzheimer’s patients. The spice supercharged the immune system’s macrophages to hunt down and bind with the harmful amyloid-beta plaque, taking the toxic substance out of commission.

Curcumin appears to target multiple facets of Alzheimer’s in addition to binding amyloid molecules to be carted off by the immune system. In separate studies at UCLA’s Alzheimer’s Research Laboratory, neuroscientists Greg Cole and Sally Frautschy are scrutinizing the role curcumin plays in safeguarding the brain. In a recent issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, they reported the ability of curcumin, combined with omega-3 fatty acids, specifically DHA, to deliver a one-two punch to amyloid-beta plaque, combating both its production and its harmful buildup in brain tissue.

At the University of Michigan, chemist Ayyalusamy Ramamoorthy is focused on elucidating curcumin’s general operating mechanisms. “Very interesting things are happening at the cellular membrane level, with the lipid and polyphenol interaction rather than the protein interactions,” he reports. With the use of advanced nuclear magnetic resonance imaging techniques his lab has pioneered, he is homing in on how curcumin fortifies cell membranes. His interest in the spice is not accidental; he grew up in India, where he was given turmeric-infused milk as a cold remedy and the “holy powder” is prized for its ability to fight congestion and heal wounds.

Curcumin is a kind of molecular disciplinarian most comfortable ensconced in the fatty membranes of cell walls, where it can help the cell resist viruses and even malignancy, says Ramamoorthy: “The membrane goes from being crazy and floppy to being more disciplined and ordered, so information flow through it can be controlled.” Even at low concentrations, the spice exerts profound effects on cellular membranes, he reports in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. It could be of value not just against Alzheimer’s but other degenerative disorders like Parkinson’s and even diabetes.

Ramamoorthy and colleagues are thinking both smaller and broader. They are creating nanoparticles of curcumin and using NMR imaging to compare curcumin to other powerful plant compounds like resveratrol (in grapes and red wine) and capsaicin (the heat in red chilies). The goal is to illuminate just how phenolic compounds grab our attention—not just by their color but by their ability to improve human health, longevity, and cognition.

Nice Spice

In addition to its ability to combat neurodegeneration, curcumin has many other potential health and medical uses now under investigation.

  • Herpes infection: Studies have shown that low levels of the spice interfere with replication of the herpes simplex virus.
  • Gastrointestinal cancer: Trials in patients with colorectal cancer show that oral supplementation can produce bioactive levels of the compound in the gut.
  • Arthritis: Curcumin is under investigation in numerous labs for its ability to block signaling pathways that lead to inflammation.

An Ayurvedic Approach to Adrenal Depletion

Written by Peter Bowes,  Owner of Tattva’s Herbs

According to the Ayurveda, disease results from an imbalance in our bodies, minds, and spirits. Ayurveda uses the concept of Rasayana to help describe this action. Rasa literally means “life force” or “life energy’ and ayana means “that which enters”. So Rasayana action or activity is that which is nourishing and promotes positive life energy. The opposite is also true. That which robs the body, mind and spirit is what we refer to as toxic action or activity. This would seem to be an obvious and clear observation and yet many people suffer from an extraordinary imbalance in their daily lives. This is most obvious when we look at the “average” diet of our so-called modern society. The daily consumption of processed foods, processed sugars, caffeine, meat, and other toxins we consume literally rob us of our “rasa” – or life.

Many of us are unaware of the damage we inflict on our bodies and minds  on a daily basis. The constant worries and stress of dealing with life’s challenges can also robs us of our life force. Often we develop bad habits in response to stress, which further implicate us. This is most evident in our society’s use of caffeine in all of its forms. Millions of people  are addicted to caffeine, whether it is in the form of coffee, black teas, chocolate or even the seemingly benign bottle of soda pop. The average daily intake of caffeine in the US is equal is approximately 200mg per day.(1) This is equal to about two cups of mild coffee, although for the average coffee and tea drinker the amount is much higher. One 12 oz. cup of Starbucks coffee contains 375mg of caffeine. Even very young children are consuming significant amounts of caffeine. A recent study involving  36 children and teens, ages 6 to 18,  were excessive caffeine drinkers.  All reported drinking at least 1.5 liters of cola each day or an average of 11 liters of cola each week — a caffeine intake roughly equivalent to two large cups of instant coffee or three small cups of ground coffee per day, and 17 such servings per week. (2)

To make matters worse, tens of millions of people in the US alone are addicted to cigarettes.  So what is the net result of all of this abuse to our bodies? Quite simply it is called imbalance, or more directly stated – disease.

This disease presents itself in many shapes and forms of illness. Most people who complain of fatigue, insomnia, swelling of the joints, depression, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and a host of other ailments are often suffering from adrenal depletion or adrenal exhaustion as a direct result of the overuse of caffeine and other toxic materials. The adrenal glands have become overused and overworked. Many people feel tired upon waking and think they need a “pick me up” from Starbucks or some kind of sugar just to get started. This creates a viscous cycle that continues day after day for millions of people.

Generally the coffee or tea drinker feels worse in just a few short minutes after finishing the drink. Why is this? What is going on in the body that could create this kind of illusion and deception? To understand this one must have a basic understanding of the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are two triangular shaped organs located on top of the kidneys. These glands serve several functions. The first is the production of cortisone and adrenaline. Adrenalin is produced when the body is under stress of some sort. It is nature’s way of allowing the body’s metabolism to speed up in response to a stressful situation. This increase in metabolism can result in increased blood flow from the heart to the muscles of the body as well as the brain. Generally the respiration increases and the system can metabolize protein, fats and carbohydrates at a quicker rate thus giving the entire system more energy. This is known as the “Fight or Flight” syndrome. This syndrome may be of benefit in an extremely difficult situation where this enhanced energy is needed quickly, but it comes at a high price. That price, simply stated is exhaustion or a depletion of rasa. The system must return to an equilibrium or status quo. The laws of karma are always at work and this is most evident in the body and mind. If great energy is required then deep rest and relaxation is also required to bring the body back to a state of balance. Ayurveda is constantly reminding us to bring our bodies, minds and spirit into balance. Lack of balance creates disease .

So the adrenal production is very powerful and sometimes needed, but it should not be produced by artificial means. This is exactly what happens with caffeine and other stimulating chemicals. These chemicals unnaturally force the adrenal gland to produce adrenaline. This adrenaline dumping into the blood stream is what causes the sensation of the so called “pick me up’’ from having that cup of coffee or tea in the morning.

Although initially it may seem to be a small thing for many people it can become a major problem in their lives. Without realizing it, many millions of people including children of a young age are addicted to caffeine in it’s many forms. Constant overuse of the drug “caffeine’, forces the adrenal glands to work at an abnormal rate. Nature did not intend for the adrenals to be used except for in extremely stressful situations. Drinking coffee, tea and pop all day forces the adrenal glands to work in a way Mother Nature never intended. Again what is the result? Depletion of rasa or ojas.  According to Ayurveda, natures demands balance. Without balance you will experience disease. The disease associated with chronic overuse of the adrenals is what we are seeing throughout society. As we mentioned above: fatigue, insomnia, swelling of the joints, depression, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)   are the most common know ailments. A deep sense of hopelessness can often accompany this imbalance.

The good news is that if you one of the many millions suffering from this malady the fix is not difficult. First and foremost: one must stop using the substance which is the cause of the problem. This may include coffee, pop, tea or any other substance containing caffeine. As much as possible reduce the stress in your life.

You may feel some discomfort for a few days once you’ve stopped taking the caffeine. This is mild withdrawal symptoms associated with the absence of something that the body has become very dependent on. These symptoms can range from mild headaches, body aches and a sense of being even more tired. These will generally dissipate in a few days. Again it is simply the body’s way of balancing itself. Besides avoiding caffeine, processed foods and stress it is important to repair the damage to the adrenals themselves. This can generally be accomplished with a good diet. One should focus on fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. One should avoid processed food as much as possible. The long term ingestion of caffeine in any form depletes the body of minerals and vitamins that it needs to function properly. Specifically it robs the body of calcium, zinc, iron, and Vitamins B and C.

Generally is best to try to get our vitamins and minerals through the diet but this may be difficult. Especially if the body is extremely  depleted, as is often  the case in caffeine abuse. So you might want to take a high quality Vitamin Supplement to help restore the B vitamins and minerals in the system. Amla is the richest source of Vitamin C and can be taken by itself or in the form of Chyawanprash. This is a wonderful way to help the body reestablish its balance. Chyawanprash contains Amla along with over 40 different herbs which act in harmony to feed the depleted system what it  is lacking from the chronic abuse. One of the most powerful herbs available for repairing the Adrenals is Ashwagandha. In Ayurveda Ashwagandha is called the “King of the Herbs” and is the herb of choice for restoring the Adrenals to there natural state.

Ashwagandha works by delaying release of cortisol by the adrenals. This helps to prevent the adrenals from becoming exhausted and aids in the repair of the gland once it is already exhausted .Ashwagandha is also know to have a sedative effect thus calming the nervous system. Ashwagandha may very well help to reestablish a good sleeping pattern which is often interrupted by long term caffeine use. It has been found that Ashwagandha increases the number of immune cells known as T cells and B cells which are critical to fight infection. Triphala can also be taken to help the body eliminate the toxins stored in the colon. You may also feel that you need to cleanse the blood. You may want to consider taking Neem or a product containing Neem to help further your clean your system of the toxins.

You should start feeling better within a few weeks but it make take three to four month for the body and the Adrenal Glands to return to there normal state of health.

Caffeine addiction and adrenal exhaustion is a serous issue for millions of people and yet Nature provides a simple and beautiful way to reestablish the balance they we all must strive for. By living in moderation and maintaining good habits, we can once again find a state of balance where rasa is preserved and cherished instead of wasted and neglected.

References

  1. Barone JJ, Roberts H. Human consumption of caffeine. Caffeine. Springer-Verlag: New York, 1984.
  2. Roberts H. Caffeine consumption. Paper presented at a meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics Clinical Pharmacology Session, New Orleans, October 1991.
  3. Gray, J. Caffeine, coffee and health. Nutr Food Sci 1998;6:314-19.

Nutrition and the Evolution of Human Consciousness

Written by: Sara Bowes

Rudolf Steiner, lecturing on the subject of nutrition noted that “behind everything material is spirit. Thus, behind all the matter we take in through our nutrition, there is also spirit…By means of nourishing ourselves with this or that, we enter into a relation with something spiritual, with a substrate which is behind the material…” Sure, we can look at the food we eat, and classify it in certain ways. We can choose to nourish ourselves from the plant kingdom or from the animal world. We can strive for the perfect dietary balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. We can make an effort to support farmers who refuse to use harsh chemicals in their processes, or we can succumb to fast food and genetically modified corn. No matter the substance we put in our bodies, we must not overlook the fact that food indeed affects us on a level which is beyond that of simply the material. In terms of the route that modern nutritional science has taken, this approach sheds an entirely new light on what it means to nourish ourselves.

Of course a most integral piece of nutrition is digestion. It is this process that brings food in its recognizable form into the body, subsequently transforming it to something entirely different. Biochemistry has its explanations for how nutrients are assimilated, broken down, and rebuilt during our bodies’ metabolic processes. Anthroposophy, while taking into account the material aspect of the transformation, expands upon these notions in saying that “digestion is thus a spiritualizing of matter and a stimulating of the forces of personality to the creation of new human substance” (Hauschka, 15). This process entails the application of man’s ego, or the “I”, implying a particular self-awareness. The ego, as it is responsible for the transformation of material nutrients into both the body-building protein unique to humans as well as the spiritual substance existing within us, can be likened to the force of the sun, simply within the microcosm of man. Just as the sun works to bring cosmic energy down to earth, resulting in the sprouting, growth, and blossoming of plants, so do the personality forces, and therefore digestion as it is defined here, work to build us up, and allow us to blossom in a certain way.

A look at human history and the primary food sources during particular periods of time can help to illustrate this relationship between ego and digestion. Undeniable shifts in human consciousness have transpired over the course of history. Interestingly, a corresponding evolution in terms of the types of substances man has turned to for nourishment has taken place.

Let us take fresh, raw, unprocessed milk, which is both the oldest source of nourishment for humans, as well as the food most easily assimilated by our bodies. This profound relationship between humans and milk can be traced to the primordial “cosmic milk” that, according to anthroposophical spiritual science, once saturated the planet at a time when the moon and the earth together constituted a single cosmic entity. This protein-rich milky atmosphere, traces of which can be seen today as atmospheric nitrogen, nourished all beings on the planet: plants, animals, and humans. As the moon and the earth parted ways, organs of lactation evolved within animals and humans, giving rise to the ability to create milk as part of the reproductive process. The connection between milk and moon was not lost however, for we can see it today in the relationship between lunar and menstrual rhythms. It is this cosmic milk that bonded humans with one another, and it can be inferred that milk consumed today has a similar effect. According to Steiner, “milk prepares man for being a creation of the earth, without preventing him from being a citizen of both the earth and the whole solar system” (Hauschka, 83). It is this ability of milk to assist in our earthly incarnation that renders it the perfect food for children especially.

Hence, humans went from subsisting on this cosmic milk to nourishing themselves with milk produced by animals. Pre-Vedic society in India, for example, is characterized by milk as the primary food source. Consciousness during this period was something radically different from what constitutes our awareness today. These people lived an existence that was entirely unified with the divine, and any sort of impression of nature or matters of the earthly realm were simply dismissed as “Maya”, or “illusion.” Subsequently, there was simply no conception of self or individuality, “rather did they feel supported and guided by spiritual beings. Their souls were ‘in the lap of the gods’, their personalities childlike and undeveloped” (Hauschka, 22).

This state of consciousness, characterized by an undeveloped ego, that is in turn replaced by a remarkable sense of unity with the divine, goes hand in hand with the minimal demand put on digestion by the consumption of milk. Milk consists largely of protein, which due to its inherent organization and its relationship to humans as a primal form of nourishment, as in both the cosmic and mother’s milk, is most easily assimilated by the human organism. It follows that humans did not require any developed self-awareness in order to digest milk, and so the prevalence of this substance during this particular phase in the evolution of consciousness was quite perfect.

It should be noted here, that although it is partly due to the protein that exists within milk that renders it so easily assimilated, not all protein will have the same effect. Milk, for instance, is said to merely border on being animal. Its effects in the human being are entirely different from those of consuming flesh. The consumption of meat burdens one with a particular heaviness and rouses within a person the passion and instinctual consciousness of the animal. As opposed to milk, the protein from animals has the effect of enchaining man to the earth, so much that he no longer has interest in the realm of the spiritual. According to Steiner, it “has the effect of making us feel quite satisfied to lose heaven if we gain the earth thereby” (Hauschka, 55).

Also bordering on animal, interestingly, are the legumes. Perhaps the most concentrated source of plant protein, legumes employ a process whereby they transform the otherwise dead nitrogen from the atmosphere into live protein. Again we must recall the cosmic milk that once permeated the earth, and consider the fact that during this period, plants were entirely different than those we know today. They were remarkably animal-like, and all organisms, humans alike, drank from the milky nourishment of the atmosphere. As the moon separated from earth, this cosmic milk lost its vitality, thus becoming the nitrogen remains. Legumes still rely on this now lifeless substance for subsistence, though they successfully transform it into live protein. It is for their high protein content, their atavistic grasping onto an animal-inspired existence, along with an uncanny semblance to the animal realm in the butterfly-shapes of their blossoms, that legumes are considered to be particularly animal-like. Consumption of legumes, forbidden by such figures as Pythagoras for these reasons, may have the tendency to weigh one down with an earthly heaviness in the same way that animal protein would.

As history went on, a gradual evolution took place in terms of consciousness. With the increased consumption of plant foods, man began to develop an awareness for earthly things, while at the same time creating a bigger distance between himself and the spiritual realms. It eventually became the case that the divine world man had long considered himself a part of, evolved into capacities that could now exist inside the human being, within his own spirit. This interiorization of the soul is a manifestation of the development of the human ego, entailing a sort of freedom from the guidance of divine forces. Agriculture and the adoption of plants as a primary food source are intimately linked with this evolvement in the consciousness of man. Not so easily assimilated are the nutrients from the plant world, as they must be transformed several times over in their digestion in the human organism. The increased demand put on digestion necessitates the stronger ego forces that we see during this evolvement in the direction of modern times.

Taking this further, a stage of abstract intellectual thinking emerged during the times of Aristotle, that “deserted the realm of essential being to become a shrunken shadow of itself, mere reflection; it grew ‘root-like’ and ‘salty’” (Hauschka, 23). It is the consumption of foods with a mineral quality that have lead to this modern state of consciousness. This notion of minerality should be taken in a broad sense, to mean anything that has an essentially hardened or deadened quality to it, including roots, and also cooked and processed foods. Unlike plants, that maintain a considerable level of organization as they embody both life and form, mineralized substances are purely form. As the law of signatures would tell us, this type of food has a propensity for the nervous system particularly. We can see this in the similarity between the growth patterns root hairs and that of nerves. It only makes sense, then, that the move toward consumption of this type of food would lead to the mineralization of both thinking and body.

Plants as food play a particularly crucial role in the evolution of human consciousness. Comprised primarily of carbohydrates, they are essentially the manifestation of the sun’s energy. In simple terms, they are the carriers of life, as opposed to human beings who carry not only life, but also soul and spirit. It is man’s destiny to achieve a certain level of consciousness, whereby he must sacrifice life to a certain extent. To illustrate the distinctive way in which plants alone have influenced human consciousness, we can consider various sweeteners. Honey is perhaps the most ancient form of sugar. It is formed in the blossom of the plant, the place where the earthly and the cosmic realms unite. A manifestation of cosmic forces working on the plant, honey is therefore a spiritual substance. Its use prevailed during the same period when the ego was still less developed, and it was an entirely spiritual world that human beings experienced. The forces active in the blossom go to nourish the metabolism and the will, in particular, in the human being. Cane sugar, on the other hand, is derived from the stem of the plant, the place where heaven and earth unite. Its consumption corresponds to the period in which individuality was evolving, while religion was still a pervasive force on earth. This middle part of the plant corresponds to the central part of the human body, specifically those having to do with the rhythms of respiration and circulation. Beet sugar (as well as any modern refined sugar that has undergone processing rendering it denatured), in its earthiness and mineralized qualities, initiates a similar consciousness in its consumer, characterized by a logical and cerebral way of perceiving the world.  We can see this in the initiation of its widespread use in Europe in the 1800s. It is this type of sweetener that nourishes, above all, the nerve-sense system, which is essentially the physical basis for spiritual functioning, if exercised in the appropriate manner.

And thus we are confronted with the challenge of resisting the urge to succumb to this abstract, intellectual, and hardened way of thinking that characterizes human consciousness today. Coming into touch with the creative forces of the cosmos, the universal impressions and reflections of the world that recall the divine realm, we are able to nourish ourselves in a profound way. It is these very forces that are referred to collectively as the “cosmic nutritive stream.” Human consciousness has evolved in such a way that a great divide between the earthly and the cosmic spheres has arisen. However, today we are blessed with the capacity to freely access the divine realm, and it is our destiny to go forth, and to allow ourselves to thereby be nourished.

Bibliography

Hauschka, Rudolf (1967). Nutrition. London: Stuart & Watkins.

Schmidt, Gerhard (1987). The Essentials of Nutrition. Rhode Island: Biodynamic Literature.