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The Benefits of Turmeric in Ayurvedic Medicine

Turmeric, scientific name Curcuma longa, is one of the most well-known, and commonly used Ayurvedic spices in the world, often giving a bright yellow color to curries and rice dishes. It is used both internally and externally for health and healing. It has also been extensively researched by modern scientists wishing to discover whether turmeric really offers all the benefits that Ayurvedic medical practitioners claim.

The jury is in, and numerous studies have shown that turmeric, and in particular, its active ingredient curcumin, can have significant health benefits when used correctly, with few risks of side effects.

A powerful antioxidant
Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant that can help ward off disease and reduce the daily wear and tear on the body that scientists believe to be the main cause of aging.

Our many bodily functions create waste products. One of the main ones to watch out for is free radicals. They steal electrons from any source they can find in order to complete their own outer ring. The theft of these electrons weakens cells, leaving them prone to malfunction or even mutation, which can lead to cancer. The process of theft is known as oxidative stress.

Consuming antioxidants can stop this process of theft, because they have extra electrons they can easily spare, protecting your cells and DNA from attack.

Anti-inflammatory properties
Turmeric also soothes inflammation, a major cause of rheumatic conditions such as arthritis, and heart health issues. It improves circulation and can help relieve pain. It is applied to the joints to relieve aches and pains. Turmeric paste is also used to soothe and beautify skin.

Digestive health
Turmeric also soothes upset stomachs and promotes healthy digestion. It stabilizes blood sugar and supports liver health.

Brain and nervous system effects
Turmeric is used to support focus and concentration, and can help with cognitive issues. It enhances mood and has a calming effect on the nervous system.

Musculoskeletal health
In addition to supporting the joints, it also supports one’s overall physical strength. Yogis in particular use turmeric to support flexibility and strength.

The immune system
It helps balance the energies in the body and supports a health immune system. It can also be used as part of a rasayana, or longevity tonic.
Potential side effects
It is a wonderful remedy for many ailments, but it is not for everyone. Side effects to watch out for include:

Increased risk of bleeding
Increased liver function tests
Gallbladder issues
Low blood pressure

These usually occur only if used in high doses. It is not recommended for pregnant women due to potential miscarriage.

Try adding turmeric to your diet and see how refreshed and vibrant you will feel.

What is the Best Diet for Ayurveda?

Many people have heard that Ayurveda can improve their health. This centuries-old healing path from India emphasizes prevention of disease, and living in harmony with nature. It also focuses on a balance of the energies.

We are what we eat, so it should come as no surprise that Ayurveda pays a good deal of attention to diet as a path to healing. However, this can be a bit tricky, because according to Ayurveda, there are 3 main mind-body energy types, or doshas, which we all possess in varying patterns. Most people have one dominant energy and 2 lesser ones.

The 3 doshas
In Ayurveda, there are 3 forms of mind-body energy:

Vata – movement
Pitta – metabolism
Kapha – bodily structure

Determine your dosha pattern at a reliable site: https://store.chopra.com/dosha-quiz
and learn all you can about how to keep it in balance so you can eat the right foods, and avoid certain ones as well.

Eat right for your type
Depending on which dosha you are, there will be various recommendations about what to eat and not eat. For example, pitta people should not overeat and kapha people need to avoid eating too many oily foods like nuts, seeds and fried foods.

Food combining
Ayurvedic medicine also advocates eating certain foods in combination with one another, while avoiding other combinations because they are difficult to digest. For example, most Ayurvedic diets recommend eating fruit by itself, especially if you are vata. Melons should always be eaten on their own.

Milk should be eaten on its own as well, with the exception of rice pudding and oatmeal. It should not be combined with other dairy products. It should also be avoided by kapha people, with the exception of small amounts of goat milk.

Beans and cheese and banana and milk are 2 huge no-nos that confuse the digestion and put undue strain upon it.

Healthier eating habits
In Ayurveda, it is not just what you eat, but how you eat. It should come as no surprise that wolfing down fast food is off the menu. For most Ayurvedic diets, sugar and salt can be used in only limited amounts. Most protein should be derived from plant sources. Many Indians are vegetarian or vegan, so they eat few if any animal products.

Meals should be eaten slowly and mindfully at a table, not scarfed down in front of the TV or computer. Small portions are key. Eat on schedule, but only if you are really hungry.

Ayurvedic diets can seem complicated, but once you know your dosha, it should be easy to find the right eating plan for you.



How to Discover Your Ayurvedic Constitution

In Ayurvedic medicine from India, there are said to be 3 mind-body energy patterns within each of us. One is usually more dominant, with the others secondary and tertiary. One’s dominant energy can be seen as a determining factor with lifestyle and dietary preferences, and of illness if the energy gets out of balance. These energy types are known as doshas.

Discovering your pattern
Your first step is to discover your energy pattern. You can take a simple quiz online, such as at:
https://store.chopra.com/dosha-quiz Complete it and save the results and suggestions. You will get one of 4 energy patterns:

Vata – movement
Pitta – metabolism
Kapha – bodily structure

Or tri-doshic, in which all 3 doshas are in balance, such as in a 30/40/30 split.

The 5 elements
In Ayurveda, the body is made up of 5 elements:

The doshas are made up of 2 different elements:

Vata – Air, space
Pitta – Fire, water
Kapha – Water, earth

They can help us remember which dosha is which.

For example, vatas are light, quick, fast. They are airy and bright, unless they are out of balance, in which case they can be very distracted and irresponsible, and prone to nervousness and anxiety.

Pittas are fierier. Think of how we refer to burning calories. A person with dominant pitta energy has a strong metabolism and is usually bursting with self-confidence. If their energy is out of balance, however, they can become bossy and argumentative.

Kaphas can be described as the salt of the earth types, solid, reliable, warm and kind. However, when they are out of balance, they are seen as slow, plodding, and perhaps too easy going.

We are what we eat
There are many ways to balance dosha energy, but one of the easiest ways is through diet. We are what we eat, so our choice of food strongly influences our energy patterns. For example, vata people should eat sweet, salty and sour foods in limited amounts, but avoid astringent foods like citrus fruits. Pitta people thrive on spicy food and cold beverages. Kapha people have a tendency towards eating too many carbohydrates.

Certain foods have cooling properties and others warming ones. Some foods are too heavy and difficult to digest. For example, a kapha person should avoid oily nuts and seeds, and never eat fried foods.

If you’ve been struggling with your weight or digestive issues, or just feel out of sorts, consider eating for your dosha pattern and see what a difference it makes.

Ayurveda for Anxiety and Other Mood Disorders


Ayurvedic medicine has been used for more than 5,000 years to prevent illness and be supportive and healing if disease does arise. Since Ayurveda posits that all disease starts in the mind, it should come as no surprise that it pays a good deal of attention to mental as well as physical health.

We all get nervous from time to time, but if you constantly feel worried, often without any particular cause you can determine, or your nerves are holding you back from living a normal life, you could have anxiety disorder.

Many of us feel ‘down’ or ‘blue’ from time to time, but if you lose all interest in your usual activities and spend a lot of time feeling exhausted or sleeping a lot, it could be depression. And if you have had a baby recently, you might be suffering from post-partum depression.

Dosha imbalance
In Ayurveda, there are 3 forms of mind-body energy, or doshas:
Vata – movement
Pitta – metabolism
Kapha – bodily structure

The goal is to keep them in balance. Vata people who are out of balance tend to be very anxious. Vata energy increases in most of us during the summer months, solstices and equinoxes.

Kapha energy is generally calm and slow, but when it is out of balance, the person can be plodding, sluggish, low energy and generally depressive. Kapha energy is strongest in the winter months.

Know your dosha
Once you know your dominant dosha and overall profile, you can follow an eating plan and use herbal remedies that will support your health. https://store.chopra.com/dosha-quiz

Ayurveda pays a good deal of attention to diet, so your first step would be to learn about what you can and can’t eat if you are trying to eat right for you type.

The second step would be to visit an Ayurvedic practitioner in order to draw up an overall treatment plan of herbs, yoga and other treatments.

Ayurveda believes illness can also be caused by inefficient elimination of toxins from the body, such as sweat, urine and excrement. A detox program designed for your dosha can help clear away these impurities, or malas, and restore your good health.

Meditation can calm the mind and restore positive, healthy thoughts. It can be done on its own, or as part of a yogic practice.

Herbs for mood disorders
Popular herbs for anxiety include:

Ginkgo Biloba
Gotu Kola
L-Theanine, an amino acid found in green tea

Popular herbs for depression include:


Remember, even though they are natural, all herbs can carry a risk of side effects. Educate yourself about what to look out for so you can stay safe.




What is Ayurvedic Medicine?

Ayurvedic medicine has been practiced in India for more than 5,000 years. All form of medicine have been derived from it, including early Western medicine prior to the 18th century, thus earning it the name “The Mother of All Medicines.”

The name Ayurveda is a combination of two Sanskrit words, Ayus and veda, life and science, so it can be translated as the science of life.

Ayurveda takes a holistic approach to wellness and emphasizes prevention, rather than trying to find cures. It also posits that all illness actually comes from the mind, through our thoughts, which control our deeds, and our overall frame of mind.

The 3 doshas

In the Ayurvedic system of medicine, they recognize 3 different types of energy:


All of us possess these energies in varying degrees. Most will usually have a primary, secondary and tertiary dosha. Some will be tri=doshic, that is, with all 3 doshas even. The goal is to keep the doshas in balance through lifestyle choices and diet.

Each dosha represents a certain form of energy:

Vata – movement
Pitta – metabolism
Kapha – bodily structure

In Ayurveda, the body is made up of 5 elements:


The doshas are made up of 2 different elements:

Vata – Air, space
Pitta – Fire, water
Kapha – Water, earth

A healthy lifestyle

Your lifestyle choices have a direct impact on your overall health. As with Western medicine, the following bad habits are to be discouraged:

Smoking tobacco
Drinking alcohol
Taking illicit drugs
Not getting enough sleep
Not learning stress management techniques
Eating junk food
Eating a lot of convenience foods
Eating too much sugar
Eating too much salt

Being exposed to too many chemicals in your home, work environment, or in the personal care products you use.

A healthy diet
We are what we eat, so it should come as no surprise that we can improve our health through what we eat. In the case of Ayurveda, it offers guidelines on what should be avoided if you wish to maintain overall balance.

The first step is to know your dosha pattern. Take the quiz at: https://store.chopra.com/dosha-quiz

And save your results. Then go to a reliable Ayurvedic site such as: https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/ayurvedic-living/living-ayurveda/diet/vata-pacifying-diet/
To see what foods you should avoid, and what you should actively consume, in order to stay healthy. This can be described as eating right for your body type.

Many herbs and other treatments can help relieve symptoms as well. Aromatherapy, color and massage would be good examples.

If you’ve been struggling with health issues, Ayurvedic medicine could be just what you need to boost your health.