Week Two

Ayurveda Helps People Understand Their Unique Individual Nature.

Ayurveda is based on the understanding that your daily activities create the power for either health or disease. If you live in accord with your individual metabolism, activities, and diet, then health is realized effortlessly. On the other hand, if you live in conflict with these elements, disease results. The old saying that one man’s food is another man’s poison illustrates the concept and shows us this knowledge exists across many cultures and has withstood the test of time. Diet and activity are the foundation of health or disease according to Ayurveda as they provide the energy and nutrients that bring power to the body.

Journal Article

Tri-Dosha Theory

Second Pillar of Ayurvedic Nutrition: Know your digestive capacity.

Now that you have read about your specific make up of dosha, we hope that you have a better understanding of your baseline metabolism. You know a little about when you thrive and are balanced, and you know a little about the consequences of being out of balance. Most of us have been there at some point, and it’s a frustrating state to be in. Let’s take a look at the second pillar of Ayurvedic Nutrition to get a better grasp on how to bring your body back into balance.

Do you pay attention to how you digest food? It’s important to slow down and listen to our bodies.
Does it work fast or slow? Are you prone to intestinal gas? Do certain foods disturb you, and if so, what are they? Do you have cold hands and feet often? Do you feel bloated after an ordinary meal? All these questions help you to understand how your metabolism works.
Also, begin to pay attention to the kinds of foods and the amount of food you consume. If three people eat a Chinese dinner it is likely that all three will be hungry again at different times several hours later. It is also likely that each person will eat a slightly different amount of food, or if they eat the same amount each one will have a different sensation of being full. Listen to your body and begin to recognize your individual capacity for food.

Ayurvedic nutrition begins with assessing the state of the enzyme function in the individual. Enzymes are special proteins in the body that bind themselves to other particles and transform them into something else. The role of enzymes is vital to proper digestion and will help you understand what nutrition your specific body needs. If our enzymes are not working properly, we will not digest and absorb our food properly, and this can lead to a long list of digestive problems.

Each person is born with a different strength of enzyme function, so knowing your type will help you understand your ability to digest and absorb foods. Modern science now understands that we are born with a few basic enzymes – those you inherit from your parents in the form of your genetic metabolic make-up. Your constitution is, among other things, a reflection of this enzyme capacity to transform not only nutrients, but also anything that comes into the body.

How Herbs Can Help with Enzyme Function:
Atreya always recommends that you supplement with herbs and spices daily to keep the digestive enzymes functioning correctly. Failure to do this usually begins the disease process through the poor processing and assimilation of nutrients and food mass.

Herbs are much more powerful than any other kind of dietary supplement and can be thought of as concentrated foods. Herbs tend to have a mild, therapeutic action on the human body, which makes them less desirable for medications, but more desirable for dietary supplements. Many herbs have detoxifying powers and some can even eliminate heavy metals from deeper body tissues and glands.

Herbs contain many minerals and vitamins as well as carbohydrates, fats and proteins. In essence they are a very balanced food. Not only are they easy for the digestive enzymes to break down, but many herbs even have the ability to increase enzyme production in the liver or small intestine. In fact they are a major support to the digestion of other foods. The appropriate use of herbs in combination with a meal helps the body to digest food more completely. Additionally, the herbs have a pleasant affect on our sense of taste and smell and so increase the joy of eating food. Hence, the mind is also pleased.

Now that you have the herbs for your type, remember to take them daily to maximize your digestive capacity. Bon appetit!

Type A Vata
Type B Pitta
Type C Kapha


An AV Morning – Drink Your Water

He who drinks eight prasrti (about 750 ml) of water at the time of sunrise, shall live for a hundred years and more free from diseases and old age. Hemorrhoids, dropsy, duodenal disease, fever, enlargement of the abdomen, old age, leprosy, disorders of fat tissue, suppression of urine, bleeding disease, pain of the ears, throat, head and pelvis, eye diseases, and other diseases produces by Vata, Pitta, Kaphaand Rakta–all will be cured by water consumed at the end of the night cultivated as a habit.

This is one of the most effective ways to control Vata and Kapha for the whole day. If Vata is hydrated first thing in the morning –before sunrise –it is at the end of its Prakopa stage and is immediately reduced. Vata types can go back to bed if needed, but they need to wake and drink the warm water before the sunrise to have a full therapeutic effect. Kapha types need hotter water and less quantity in order to liquefy the increased Kapha and help remove it before the Kapha Prakopa stage. Hence, the water should be drunk before sunrise; Kapha types cannot return to bed. This therapy is good for Pitta types to remove excess acidity and Ama. They should also do it before sunrise and then start their activities of the day.

Vata types should use warm water; Kapha types should use hot water; and Pitta people can use room temperature water. Note that water become toxic if it is held in a copper vessel for more than 10 to 12 hours. Vata can drink up to 1000 ml; Pitta can drink up to 500 ml; and Kapha should not drink more than 300 ml of water in the morning.