Why Ama Not Feeling So Well?!

What is “Ama”?

“Ama” is the Ayurvedic term for toxins and impurities that build up in the physiology, creating blockages to the flow of nutrients, circulation and biological signals. These impurities can be attributed to environmental pollutants, poor digestion and/or stressful experiences.

Ama tends to build up in the tissues and channels of circulation over time. The longer these toxins remain in the physiology, more deeply imbedded they become. These long-standing blockages have been identified as the the root cause of many diseases and chronic disorders.

Signs of Ama

1)   The frequent need to spit or clear throat

2)   A heavy feeling in the body (sluggishness)

3)   Physical weakness

4)   Fatigue

5)   Coated tongue

Quick Tips to Reduce Ama and Feel Better

Boil water for 10 minutes in the morning and put in a thermos that you can take with you. Sip hot water throughout the day. This will easily and naturally help to dissolve ama.


Improve your dietary habits by eating more cooked veggies (organic, fresh vegetables are recommended). Eat your biggest meal at lunch, when your digestive fire is strongest, and have a lighter meal at night.

Avoid cold food or drinks, especially with meals. Iced drinks with a meal or a frozen dessert after a meal will severely diminish your ability to digest what you have just eaten. Ama will accumulate as a result.

A warm oil massage in the morning will help clear ama from the skin tissues and will also provide a layer of protection from environmental pollutants.

Visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa to learn more:


Eating Fresh, Pure Food Really Does Make You Healthier


In our recommendations to our guests, we always emphasis the Ayurvedic principle of eating freshly cooked, pure foods. During the last month I came across three new studies that highlight the importance of food choices in supporting health.

The first study suggests that the nutrients made available to our cells have a direct impact on the expression of our genes. The second study shows clearly that organically grown fruits, vegetables, milk, meat and grains deliver tangible nutritional benefits. The third study discovered harmful bacteria that appear in ready-chopped and processed foods.

Let’s look at the first study, recently published in the journal Nature Microbiology, that indicates that the food we eat affects us at the genetic level.

We all know that our genes determine many aspects of our life, including metabolism. Now this new information tells us that it also works the other way around; that is, the nutrients made available to our cells might be affect how our genes are expressed.

Researchers discovered that nutrients in food alter how proteins are produced in almost every gene in our body — and this can have a direct impact on our health.

Proteins are the cell’s ‘workers’ and our bodies use them for a range of biological functions. For example, some are used as the building blocks for hair and nails, while others are used by our muscles. Other kinds of proteins carry oxygen around the body and help fight infections

If the production of protein is changed, it can have a huge effect on how our bodies grow, on our immune response and even on our intelligence.

The findings in the new research suggest that the relationship between nature and nurture is far more complicated than has been previously believed. Researchers found that while our DNA governs how metabolism works, the nutrients released from food by these processes can also, in turn, change the way our genes function.

This highlights the importance of the second study, published by the British Journal of Nutrition, which disputes the accusation that organic foods are no more healthful than conventional foods.

After reviewing 343 studies on the topic, researchers in Europe and the United States concluded that organic crops and organic-crop-based foods contained higher concentrations of antioxidants on average than conventionally grown foods. They also found that organic milk and meats contain higher levels of key nutrients that support the heart, brain and immune system. The researchers also highlighted recent mother and child studies linking consumption of organic milk, other dairy products and vegetables to a reduced risk of certain conditions, such as eczema in babies.

At the same time, the researchers confirmed that conventional foods contained greater concentrations of residual pesticides and the toxic metal cadmium. When comparing organic and conventional crops, researchers found that conventionally grown fruits and vegetables were four times more likely to contain pesticide residues.

The third study is from the University of Leicester in England. Scientists found damaging bacterial molecules that are undetectable in fresh foods, but abundant in junk food and processed items. The molecules, called ‘pathogen-associated molecular patterns’ (PAMPs) may increase the risk of conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. These molecules can cause our immune systems to over-react in a manner that might be damaging to health. The researchers tested volunteers on a diet low in PAMPs for one week, and discovered it had vastly beneficial effects on their health. Firstly, their white blood cell count was reduced by 11 per cent. A high white blood cell count can indicate problems such as infection, stress, inflammation, trauma, allergy, or other diseases. When the same volunteers were fed food enriched in PAMPs, the beneficial changes were reversed.

While buying organic foods may considerably increase our food budget and while cooking fresh food every day is more time consuming than reaching for leftovers or pre-made sandwiches or vegetables, the benefits are undeniable. If organic foods are not available to you, learn about the” Dirty Dozen” and at least try avoid those foods. And try to include as many fresh fruits and freshly cooked vegetables in your diet as possible. Remember that while raw foods are full of nutrients, unless you have a powerful digestion, you may not be able to pull out the nutrients that your cells — and genes — require for optimum health. You may lose a few nutrients when you cook your vegetables, but if you steam just long enough to make your food “fork friendly”, you will be able to digest and absorb the majority of nutrients.

The Dirty Dozen — has actually expanded to the Dirty 14!

These are vegetables and fruit that, when grown conventionally, have been shown to maintain high levels of pesticide residue.







Sweet bell peppers



Cherry tomatoes


Hot peppers


Collard Greens



Blue Berries

Through the process of eating, we are recreating our bodies meal by meal. Choice by choice we can decide to move toward health or away from it. It is never too late to begin the journey toward health and vitality. If you have been making the wrong choices, a week of in-residence Panchakarma can help remove accumulated toxins and impurities and get you back on track with cooking lessons and education in Ayurvedic principles. Check out The Raj, Ayurveda Health Spa website:


Ayurveda Consultations: Know Yourself to Heal Yourself

Ayurveda differs from conventional western medicine in that it acknowledges each individual as a unique being in nature and takes into consideration the ongoing imbalances that accumulate from day to day, season to season, year to year. It does this by starting from a unique point of reference.

Pulse diagnostic closeup

Ayurveda Pulse Assessment

According to Ayurveda, the material level of our body, including the cells, tissues and organs, is organized and directed from a deeper, more fundamental level of biological intelligence. Ayurveda pulse assessment is the tool that allows a trained expert to evaluate the state of balance and activity at this fundamental level. The focus is not on the structural state of our cells, tissues and organs, because that level is only symptomatic, controlled by an underlying level of intelligence.

Ayurveda identifies the three main agencies of biological intelligence as the three “Doshas”: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These doshas govern, respectively, movement, metabolism and structure. These three organizing principles control all bodily functions and are responsible for maintaining health.

Disease and disorders occur when the free flow of these three principles is blocked or become imbalanced in some way. The body’s natural healing mechanisms are most effective when Vata, Pitta and Kapha are functioning normally and the channels of communication and circulation in the body are unobstructed.

How Knowing Your Body Type Affects You

Ayurvedic pulse assessment evaluates the inherent balance of Vata, Pitta, Kapha that we have by nature, and also identifies any imbalance present in their functioning.

Body Type

Each Individual has unique qualities of digestion, metabolism, elimination, body mass, bone structure, temperament, etc. This is because the levels of activity of Vata, Pitta and Kapha vary from individual to individual. The relative level of activity of the doshas in an individual creates his or her body type.

Body type is important because it determines the proper diet, exercise, and daily routine for an individual. Body type also helps predict what health disorders a person is prone to and is a powerful aid in structuring a health prevention program.


Health disorders are ultimately due to imbalances on the level of biological intelligence, which are disruptions in the proper functioning of Vata, Pitta and Kapha. On the basis of a person’s pulse assessment, an Ayurveda expert can determine whether there is an imbalance in Vata, Pitta and Kapha, and can recommend the proper approach, using Ayurvedic modalities. Ayurvedic modalities recommended at The Raj include diet, herbs, lifestyle changes, Panchakarma, the Transcendental Meditation technique, yoga, and Vedic technologies such as Maharishi Light Therapy with Gems, Maharishi Vedic Vibration — all designed to restore balance to the body and mind.

For more information on Ayurveda consultations at The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa visit:


Ayurveda: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Disorders

Flyer 3Over the years, many guests at The Raj have asked us where Ayurveda fits in with modern medicine.

Modern modern medicine has made important and impressive advances in its management of certain categories of disease such as infectious, surgical, and endocrine disorders. In some cases, however, the modern medical approach does not deal with the root causes of the illness, but rather attempts to correct ill health on the level of the symptoms.

For example, in treating hypertension, drugs are often used to lower blood pressure. But if drug is removed, the blood pressure often returns to its previously elevated state. This is because the medicine did not remove the root cause of the disorder. Not only can this approach allow the underlying disease process to go unchecked, new disorders may emerge in the form of side effects from the medication.

The Ayurveda approach to health is highly suitable for many disorders of modern times, which are recognized to have their roots in abnormalities of diet, lifestyle, and environmental influences, and stress. Research and clinical findings suggest that Maharishi Ayurveda may be the best first-line approach to the prevention and treatment of many of these common illnesses.

Ayurveda views the body not merely as a sophisticated machine, but as a physical expression of an underlying field of intelligence. Ironically, this ancient perspective is actually more in tune with the unified field theories of quantum physics (describing the most fundamental levels of nature’s functioning) than modern medicine. Maharishi Ayurveda identifies this unified field of all the laws of nature as pure consciousness, and postulates that this field can be experienced by the human nervous system as the simplest form of human awareness.

In contrast to the view of contemporary medicine, Maharishi Ayurveda does not regard consciousness as a product of the nervous system. Rather, it sees consciousness as the basis of, and that which gives rise to the entire physiology.

Because of this perspective, Ayurveda understands that the relationship between man and nature is central to the maintenance and promotion of ideal health. Enlivening health in a person is understood to be a process of enlivening the wisdom and the intelligence of nature inherent in every individual. The skill of the Ayurveda expert lies not in “healing”, but in setting up those conditions that allow nature’s healing to take place most effortlessly.

The therapeutic strategies of Maharishi Ayurveda, such as Panchakarma, the Transcendental Meditation technique, Maharishi Light Therapy with Gems, etc., are understood as strategies that enliven the innate self-repair mechanisms of our bodies.

Maharishi Panchakarma or Rejuvenation Therapies (PK)

Panchakarma treatments involve a sophisticated system of purification and detoxification treatments that help to eliminate and prevent the accumulation of physiological impurities. Different procedures are utilized according to the type of imbalance present. Once the imbalance is removed, the body’s own healing mechanisms can begin to function in their normal manner. The rejuvenation and detoxification treatments in and of themselves do not “cure” the disorder. They simply support and promote the activity of the body’s innate self-repair mechanisms.

The Transcendental Meditation program (TM)

This mental technique allows the active mind to settle down and experience its least excited state, pure consciousness. Extensive research has documents a broad range of beneficial effects of TM on the mind, body, behavior and environment. These include the lowering of hypertension, 48% reduction in death, heart attack and stroke and the reduction of trait anxiety.

Maharishi Light Therapy with Gems (MLG)

When suitable light shines through a gemstones such as diamonds, emeralds, rubies, blue sapphires and yellow sapphires, the molecular characteristics and healing properties of the gems get imprinted in the specific frequencies (spectrum) of the transmitted light, and then transferred to the body—enlivening the body’s innate intelligence and restoring balance and health to the physiology.

For more information on Panchakarma, the TM technique or Maharishi Light Therapy with Gems and other Maharishi Ayurveda approaches to health, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa:



Keeping Kids Healthy with Ayurveda

kids-yogaThe traditional medical view is that kids get sick with colds, flu and other common illnesses because their immune system is untested and they have not previously been exposed to viruses. When they do come in contact with viruses and upper respiratory infections, they easily succumb. Later in life, having developed a resistance to these diseases, they do not get sick as often.

Ayurveda has a different view: Children tend to stay healthy and maintain their health if they eat the right foods, get proper rest and have a good routine. This helps the child maintain his or her own resistance and immunity. Teachers have long observed that some children who exposed to viruses and colds never get sick, while other children seem to always pick up the latest bug. While to some extent this is due to the child’s “prakritia” (body type) and inherent resistance, proper rest, diet and routine can help maximize the possibility for children to avoid colds and flues.

In Ayurveda, each of the three doshas—vata, pitta and kapha—are responsible for the expression of various aspects of nature in the body. Kapha is more structural and is responsible for heaviness and solidity. And kapha is responsible for maintaining the structural aspects of the body—muscles, joints, tissues, etc, as well as lubrication.

During our early, growing years, as the physical structure of the body is forming, kapha dosha is more predominant than the other doshas. Kapha is slow, heavy, sticky, firm and strong. And its proper functioning is essential for the ever-strengthening physiology to grow. If kapha becomes imbalances, however, because of its heavy and sticky qualities, it can slow digestion and produce excess mucus in the body. This can lead to colds, ear infections, etc.


In determining the proper diet for children, Ayurveda takes into consideration the domination of kapha at this time. Excess sweets and cold drinks and food are difficult for the slow digestion of early childhood to handle. Unfortunately these are the very foods that children often ask for: candies, chocolates, pastries, ice cream, cold drinks, cheese and heavily processed foods. They are also the kinds of foods that are easily accessible for busy parents. It is no coincidence that holiday times, beginning with Halloween, Thanksgiving and following through Christmas and Hanukkah, are times when parents often see an increase in colds and sickness in children.

A vegetarian diet is ideal for a young child. It should include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and can provide plenty of protein through a combination of grains, legumes, dairy and nuts.

Mild is healthy for most children, but Ayurveda cautions against serving milk cold. Boiling milk makes it easier to digest (for all ages).

Ideally the main meal should be at lunch, when digestion is stronger. Dinner should not include heavy foods such as cheese, yogurt or meat.


According to Ayurveda, the more rested the physiology, the stronger the immune system will be. This is true for adults as well as kids. When children are tired from staying up late, they become more susceptible to colds and other respiratory illnesses. For greater strength and balanced physiological functioning, children under five should go to bed between 7:00 and 7:30 p.m. Children between the ages of five and eight should go to bed by 8:00 p.m. And children between the ages of eight and ten should be in bed by 8:30. This is far earlier than is generally practiced.


Adopting an ideal Ayurvedic routine for your kids means getting up early in the morning, performing Ayurvedic oil massage before bathing, getting plenty of exercise and learning the Transcendental Meditation technique or the Transcendental Meditation Word of Wisdom for children under the age of ten. These techniques help promote well-being and happiness for a growing child.

Back in 1992 a study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine concluded that levels of stress—rather than exposure to a virus—determines which people catch colds. Providing children with a tool to relieve stress at an early age is a gift that will keep them in good stead for the rest of their lives.

Of course creating an ideal routine for children means parents creating and participating in that routine themselves. Children are very sensitive and impressionable. They absorb the influences around them. The close relationship between parents and children is reflected in the health of the entire family. Parents must take care of themselves in order to provide maximum care and guidance for their children.

A family consultation with an Ayurveda expert can help parents develop an ideal diet, routines and guidelines their children — and for the entire family. For more information on scheduling a consultation, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa:




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Healthy Foods for Life: Ayurveda and Prana

images-1Recently I read an article about a man who lived on meal substitutes for a week. Since the packaging on many shakes and bars say the products are full of vitamins and provide all the benefits of a balanced diet, he wanted to see if he could swap them for real food. The results were startling. He felt weak after the first day. By the week’s end, he was miserable and felt shaky, weak, and headachy. His “good” cholesterol had reduced by 15%. While his physician explained his symptoms in terms of lowered phosphate levels and depleted glycogen stores, Ayurveda would note that he had taken in nothing to restore prana to his body. His entire weekly diet was “dead” and inert—completely lacking in life force.

According to Ayurveda, prana is the principle of energy responsible for giving life to and maintaining the body. Prana is the vital energy present in fresh vegetables and fruits and pure air that we breathe. Because one of the reasons for eating is to take in prana, we always want to choose foods that are high in this lively energy.

Whatever we take in through our five senses gets transformed into our own physiology. In essence, we metabolize our environment. Ayurveda emphasizes that along with fresh food,  pure water and clean air are vital for giving proper nutrition to the body.

Ideally the food we eat should be organic and should be eaten the same day that it is prepared. Processed food, overly refined flours and sugars, and frozen and canned foods (which are prepared long before the time of consumption) contain less vital qualities to nourish the body. They are also harder to digest.

Incorporating more fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet will give you an immediate energy boost. It is also important to cut your vegetables fresh at every meal. Buying pre-cut vegetables or cutting up vegetables days beforehand means that you will lose some of the food’s essential vitality.

Organic foods contain more prana than foods that have been polluted with chemical pesticides and fertilizers. If your body has to work hard to purify the chemicals every time you eat, you’ll feel fatigued. Plus, despite your body’s best efforts, toxins will build up in your system. (We’ll look into that more next week, along with tips for foods that can help you detox.)

Locally grown foods are higher in prana because they don’t have to be shipped or stored and can be bought tree-ripened. Locate the local farmers market near to your home and indentify the sellers there who grow organically. Obviously many climates prohibit buying fresh, local foods all year round, but during the months when they are available, these foods will provide optimal nourishment and energy. The ideal, of course, is to create your own organic garden in your backyard.

Next week I’ll look at other aspects of our environment that we “metabolize”, and at some of the simple steps we can take to ensure that we are nourishing ourselves to the very best of our ability. Remember we ingest all of life through our five senses: touch, taste, sight, sound, and smell. Good health is dependent on our ability to fully metabolize all aspects of life, assimilating what is nourishing and expelling or eliminating that which is not. Through bad choices or through environmental factors that are beyond our control, we can easily end up metabolizing impurities can create imbalances or ama (toxins)—which can then lead to the formation of chronic disorders.

Ayurveda offers the gift of wisdom of how to live in harmony with nature. Ayurveda also offers healing modalities and regular seasonal routines to help restore balance and vitality when it has become lost. For more information on the healing treatments of Ayurveda, visit The Raj, Ayurveda Health Spa:



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Ayurveda #1 Health Tip: Digestion, Digestion, Digestion!

Once again, I am writing about digestion. The reason this topic comes up over and over again is because, according to Ayurveda, it is vital to maintaining good health. If you aren’t digesting your food properly, 1) you aren’t getting needed nutrients and 2) you are creating toxins, or ama, as a result of partially digested food.

Lets look at these consequences a bit more closely:

1) Remember that even the best diet will not provide proper nutrition if our digestion is not doing its job. Not getting needed nutrients out of your food can result in a lack of strength, fatigue, slower problem solving ability and muscle response time, hypertension and more.

Poor nutrition can also set off a vicious cycle of poor eating habits. When the body is not getting what it needs to function properly, it gets “cravings”. It is easy for the intellect to mistakenly interpret these cravings and turn to a “quick fix”. Feeling lethargic, many opt for caffeine or sugar or carbohydrates (or a combination of all three.) These foods fail to give the body what it really needs, are difficult to digest and lead to more cravings.

2) Ayurveda believes that most disease and disorders stem from blockages to the free flow in intelligence in the body. When impurities build up in the various channels of the body (blood vessels, lymph circulation, cellular pores, etc),

These areas become cut off from biological intelligence and can become weak or diseased.

Improving Digestion with Ayurveda

So let’s get down to basics. How to restart a sluggish digestion?


Digestion is no as strong early in the morning, so breakfast should be light and according to hunger. Avoid meat or eggs. Favor cooked cereal, fruit and fresh juice.Korean_abalone_porridge-Jeonbokjuk-02

Remember if you are taking milk not to combine it with anything other than sweet tastes (like cereal). Milk should be boiled. If you are eating fruit, do not have milk, even in coffee.


This should be your main meal of the day because digestion is strongest at mid-day.

Lunch should be a warm, cooked meal containing all six tastes. Ideally you should have at least a half hour for lunch, including 10 to 15 minutes to sit quietly after you are finished eating. This will allow the digestive process to get well under way.


The later dinner is served, the lighter you should eat. Avoid heavy foods like cheese, yogurt, meats, oils and fried foods. If you like these foods, these should be eaten at lunch when digestion is stronger.

 Other General Principles:

Eat according to your hunger levels. Do not eat if you are not hungry.

Eat in a settled environment. Business lunches, eating in front of the TV and eating while walking or driving (or standing up) can disturb our digestive process.

Sip hot water during the meal. This enlivens digestion and helps the food be better digested and absorbed. Never drink cold beverages (or iced foods) either during the meal or right after a meal.

Chew your food well. Digestion starts in the mouth.

Avoid heated honey. Read your labels carefully and only buy unheated honey. Do not use honey in baking or add to beverages that are too hot to sip comfortably.

Eat freshly prepared foods. Avoid packaged foods and leftovers. Cooked food is easier to digest than raw.

Foods that are especially nourishing (and are quickly converted into ojas) include boiled milk, ghee (clarified butter), ripe fruits, freshly made fruit juices, almonds (pre-soaked in water — be sure to throw out the water), and dates.

Visit an Ayurvedic expert and find out what your body needs. Vata, pitta and kapha types may receive different recommendations on creating a healthy and strong digestive fire. They will also take into consideration any imbalances that you have. If you have a pitta imbalance, for example, you might be encouraged to avoid ginger and other heating spices. Remember that, unlike Western medicine, Ayurveda always looks at the whole. Your digestive problems may simply be one symptom of a larger imbalance.

Next week we’ll look at Panchakarma, the ulitmate approach to restarting digestion, getting rid of years of accumulated ama and restoring balance to the body.

For more information on Ayurveda consultations and Panchakarma treatments, go to The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa website:


Coffee and Your Brain: Regaining Normal Brain-Functioning with Ayurveda

arabica_catura_coffee_beanMany of my friends start their active morning routine with a stop at the local coffee shop. Most of those friends also own some kind of coffee making apparatus and even their own grinder. Coffee is now a 30 billion dollar industry in the US. It is also an industry that is self-perpetuating: caffeine is highly addictive and the withdrawal symptoms are unpleasant. The other day one friend mentioned that she had been trying to quit coffee for over a year, but just couldn’t kick the habit. Part of her problem was the terrible headache she got when she tried to stop. She asked for an Ayurvedic perspective.

First and foremost, Ayurveda always recommends gradual shifts in changing diet and behavior. This is advice is especially appropriate when dealing with an addictive substance like caffeine. While the press now regularly touts the positive aspects of caffeine, the fact is that caffeine is a drug that alters your brain’s chemical and physical make-up.

Caffeine dissolves both in water and in fat-based substances. This means it dissolves in our blood and in our cell membranes. It also means that it can penetrate the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain. The caffeine molecule closely resembles adenosine, a natural byproduct of cellular respiration—and our brain carries receptors for the adenosine molecules. Caffeine molecules fit neatly into the adenosine receptors, blocking them off and masking feelings of tiredness.

When the adenosine receptors get blocked, the brain signals the adrenal glands to secrete adrenaline, a natural stimulant.

Author Stephen R. Braun, author of “Buzzed: the Science and Lore of Caffeine and Alcohol”, calls caffeine a “stimulant enabler: a substance that lets our natural stimulants run wild”. Over time, coffee, tea, caffeinated sodas and energy drinks end up changing the way our brain is wired. The brain starts to build more adenosine receptors in response to the constant blockage of those receptors. It also starts decreasing receptors for adrenaline. Because of this, regular caffeine drinkers need to up their “dosage” over time. And the coffee (and caffeine) industry continues to grow.

It takes 7 – 12 days of no caffeine to allow the brain to return to its original configuration. During that time withdrawal symptoms can be quite intense and include fatigue, headaches and nausea.

So how to go about dropping the caffeine habit without suffering? Start by gradually increasing the amount of milk added to your coffee. Coffee aggravates both Vata and Pitta doshas (but in moderation can actually help balance Kapha). Adding milk to coffee helps modify the aggravation of Vata dosha.

Next you can start trying a combination of regular and decaffeinated coffee. Slowly increase the ratio of decaf until you have eliminated the caffeinated coffee. Or (even better) try mixing coffee with Raja’s Cup (an herbal coffee substitute). Slowly increase the amount of Raja’s Cup until you have eliminated the coffee altogether.

Raja’s Cup is preferred over decaffeinated coffee because decaffeinated coffee still contains acids that can aggravate Pitta, and because coffee in general is known to increase free radicals. Raja’s Cup, on the other hand, has been shown to be hundreds of times more effective against free radicals than Vitamin C or E.

One other note: Coffee has a bitter taste, which is one taste that American diets tend to lack. If you make sure that you include bitter foods (such as leafy greens like spinach, kale, etc.) in your diet or use spices with a bitter taste (such as turmeric, fenugreek, cinnamon and cumin), you may find that your craving for caffeine diminishes. Chocolate also has a bitter taste—and contains caffeine—so watch out that you don’t replace one with the other!

As I discussed in the blog post, “Summer to Fall Transitions: Avoiding Rashes and Hay Fever with Ayurveda”, many people find themselves dealing with both Pitta and Vata disturbances as summer turns into fall and the increase in Vata starts to “fan the fire” of Pitta. If you are drinking coffee, this is a very good time to cut down or make the change to a non-caffeinated drink. Traditionally in Ayurveda, the times of seasonal transitions are the most important times for purification treatments (Panchakarma) and Ayurvedic consultations.

For information on Ayurveda consultations and detoxification programs (Panchakarma) visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa website:




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Special Summer-Time Foods

Cooling Herbs and Spices
One easy way to prepare Pitta-pacifying food is to add cooling spices and herbs to your foods and drinks. Here are a few to try in the hot months: anise, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, cilantro, fennel, fenugreek, licorice, mint and tumeric.

Ghee: the perfect summer cooking oil
Although most oils increase Pitta dosha, ghee (clarified butter) had a unique property of stimulating digestion and cooling Pitta at the same time. It is cherished in Ayurveda as a nutritional food that is good for all body types. Ghen doesn’t burn at high temperatures, so it works great as a cooking oil. Or you can use it on toast or vegetables instead of butter.

Making ghee at home:
It is becoming increasingly more common to find ghee (even organic ghee) in grocery stores. It can also be ordered from The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa’s Herbery and Gift Shop. Or, you can make your own ghee at home. Melt one or two pounds of unsalted butter (ideally organic butter) in a stainless-steel saucepan. Raise the heat to medium and allow the butter to cook slowly until foam rises on top. Skim this off. Reduce heat and allow the butter to cook slowly until all the moisture is cooked out and the milk solids at the bottom of the pan turn light golden brown. Be careful not to let the mil solids burn. Remove the pan from the burner, let the ghee cool, and pour it in a glass jar. It will be solid at room temperature and can be stored outside the refrigerator for a few weeks without spoiling.

Sweet Lassi
Although yogurt is considered to be a sour food that increases Pitta dosha, when blended with water and sweetener it becomes a healthy, cooking drink called lassi.

3 parts room temperature, pure water
1 part freshly-made yogurt
Raw sugar or honey to taste
Rose water to taste
Pinch of freshly-ground cardamom
Place ingredients into a blender and mix thoroughly

To contact The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa Herbery and Gift Shop visit The Raj web site:
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Protecting Your Eyes During the Summer

According to Ayurveda, the eyes are one of the main seats of Pitta dosha. Pitta governs heat, metabolism and transformation. Whenever our eyes are open, they are involved in the complex process of transforming light into ideas: distilling foreground from background, recognizing objects presented in a wide range of orientations, and accurately interpreting spatial cues. In fact, researchers estimate that the human retina can transmit visual input at about the same rate as an Ethernet connection, at roughly 10 million bits per second.
Given the Pitta nature of our eyes, it follows that they become sensitive and irritated when we are exposed to excess heat. Whether you have a lot of Pitta in your constitution or not, everyone should put attention on pacifying or cooling Pitta during the summer, and take extra caution in protecting their eyes.
Tips For Protecting Your Eyes in the Summer
Wear sunglasses and a hat during the day. Bright light can actually cause an inflammatory response in the eyes which can lead to damage of the optic nerve. Sunglasses can also help protect the eyes from the dust and other environmental particles that increase in the summer months.cucumber-eyes-burns-cheap-free-beauty-tips-26-08-2013-png_160107
Cool compresses can help draw out Pitta from the eyes. There is a reason for the traditional spa image of a lady relaxing with slices of cucumbers over her eyes. Cucumbers not only have high water content, they also have an anti-inflammatory effect. Cotton balls with sprayed with rose or chamomile water can also be used as compresses to reduce heat in the eyes.
Air conditioning, dry winds and dust can cause eye dryness or irritation. If your eyes are feeling dry, see an Ayurvedic expert regarding lubrication for the eyes, and drink lots of room temperature water and fluids.
Getting a good night’s sleep will help refresh and rejuvenate the eyes.
During the Pitta season, everyone should eat a Pitta reducing diet, even if Pitta is not your main dosha. Increase your intake of vegetables and fruits. Cucumbers, cilantro, dill, fennel are all are very cooling. Rice, especially white basmati rice, and barley are ideal grains for summer. Emphasize foods that are liquid rather than dry, and cool or lukewarm rather than hot.
Stress, anger, anxiety, alcohol, spicy food, pollution will all increase your risk for eye irritation
Netra Tarpana
Netra Tarpana is a special Ayurveda treatment that strengthens and protects the eyes against the sun’s rays, relieves tired, achy eyes, and improves vision. This treatment is known to be very rejuvenating for the eyes and is an ancient remedy for many eye and sight ailments.
Freshly made dough rings filled with fragrant oils are placed around the eyes, and gently filled with herbal healing to bathe and lubricate the eyes and surrounding area. As a side benefit, Netra Tarpana also helps address sagging around the eyes and crows feet.
Ayurveda Consultations
Burning, red, or bloodshot eyes, extreme sensitivity to light, and a yellowish tinge in the whites of the eyes are all signs of excess Pitta circulating in the system. If you have any of these symptoms, it is best to consult with an Ayurvedic expert.

To schedule a consultation with an Ayurveda expert or to learn more about Ayurveda treatments, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa:


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