Keeping Limber as We Age

As we age it is common to find that we are not as limber as we once were. Elbows and knees become prone to soreness and other problems. According to Ayurveda, this reflects the natural increase in Vata dosha in the later stage of life. As Vata increases, Vata disorders can make the joints drier and stiffer. If we have a build up of ama (toxins that result from poor digestion) in the body, the combination of Vata and ama can lead to condition such as arthritis, stiffness and pain.

Daily Oil Massage

To counteract the increasing accumulation of Vata in the body, Ayurveda recommends daily sesame oil massage. Before you bathe in the morning, massage the joints with warm sesame oil using a circular motion. Follow this by applying three to five minutes of moist heat to the joints.

Sesame oil is inherently heating and is the most penetrating of all the oils. If you have sensitive skin or are Pitta in nature, it may be that a more cooling oil, such as olive oil or coconut oil, is better for you. Try the sesame oil on a small patch of skin first, to see if you have any reaction.

In addition to daily oil massage, regular stretching of the joints through yoga helps keep the joints limber. Avoid straining when you exercise.

AMA

If you have significant join problems, be sure to get medical attention. Joint problems commonly reflect a build up of “ama” in the system. Ama is a sticky substance that results from poor digestion. Essentially, it is a form of un-metabolized waste that cannot be utilized by the body. Over time, ama tends to accumulate throughout the body and block the channels circulation, causing a variety of conditions and often leading to chronic disorders. Ayurveda considers ama to be the main underlying cause of many health issues.

Lowering Ama

The first stage in eliminating ama is to address what is causing ama to build up in the first place. Common causes are:

Overeating

Eating food that is not fresh and organic,

Eating too many raw foods

Eating before the previous meal is digested

Eating large meals in the evening

Eating without full attention on one’s meal

Not sitting down to a relaxed meal

A lack of exercise

Consulation with an Ayurvedic Expert

Specific recommendations regarding herbs, topical preparations, diet and seasonal and daily routines can be given by an Ayurvedic expert who is experienced in Ayurveda Pulse Assessment.

Panchakarma

The traditional purification and detoxification therapies of Ayurveda, known as Panchakarma, is designed to loosen ama, toxins, and excess Vata, Pitta, and Kapha from the deep tissues, moving them to the digestive tract, and from there, eliminating them from the body.

More more information on consultations and on Panchakarma programs, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa website:

www.theraj.com

Special Foods For Kapha Season

Fruit

Desserts for springtime Kapha season should be fruits, fruit tarts, or pies made without sugar. Apple juice or dried fruits such as raisins can be added to many recipes as a sweetener. Dried fruits also make excellent desserts.

Kapha Spices

During Kapha season you’ll want to season your food with the spices that reduce Kapha. These include all spices except salt. Remember, avoiding does not mean going without. Just don’t add extra salt or eat salty foods.

RECIPE FOR KAPHA SEASON FROM THE KITCHEN OF THE RAJ AYURVEDA HEALTH SPA

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Deep Dish Apple Pie

Makes 6 to 8 servings. (Just spoon the filling into a 1 1/2 quart casserole and top with pastry)

6 or more medium, sweet organic apples

1 cup raisins

1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

1 thawed can of grape-apple juice concentrate

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Preheat oven to 450°

Rollout your favorite since crust pastry

In a small saucepan, use I tablespoon cornstarch to thicken the thawed grape-apple just concentrate.

Slice apples. In a large bowl, toss apple slices with cinnamon and nutmeg. Carefully pour juice over apples, then fold the apples into the juice mixture. Alternative layer the apples and raisins in the deep dish. The apples will cook down. Cover with crust. Seal and flute edges. Pierce crust. Protect edges of the crust from burning (see below.) Bake at 450° for 10 minutes and remove whatever you are using to protect your crust. Bake for another 35 to 40 minutes at 375°, or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.

For years bakers covered the edge of their pie crusts with aluminum foil to keep the edges from burning. However, a growing concern about impact of  aluminum on health has led many cooks to look for alternative solutions. Turning a second pie plate or baking dish over the top of your crust is one easy solution.

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Spring Into Action with Ayurveda: Healthy Tips for Kapha Season

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Springtime brings with it a burst of action as the dry, cold weather gives way to the moist, milder climate that supports new growth and creativity. According to Ayurveda, cool and moist weather aggravates Kapha dosha, the biological principle that is cold, heavy, oily, and smooth. Hay fever, runny noses, sinus congestion or sinusitis, and allergies are some of the problems spring weather can cause. Here are a few tips to help you have a sunny and healthy Kapha season.

DIET

Eat More:

Light, dry and warm foods,

Foods that are spicy, bitter and astringent

Fruits which are lighter, such as apples and pears

Raw, uncooked honey (Ayurveda considers heated or cooked honey to be toxic)

Grains such as barley and millet

Eat Less

Heavy, oily and cold foods

Sweet, salty and sour foods

Heavy or sour fruits, such as oranges, bananas, pineapples, figs, dates, avocados, coconuts, and melons

Sugar and sugar products

Nuts

Wheat, rice or oats

Tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet potatoes and zucchini

Salt

LIFESTYLE

DO: Exercise more, but keep your ears and head covered

DON’T: Heat or warm your honey, as this interferes with digestion

For information on consultations with Ayurvedic experts, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa website:

http://www.theraj.com