In accord with Ayurveda Tradition consumption of proper ingredients both mental and physical is half of the treatment of almost any illness or unwellness. The other half being the life-style – your expression, manifestation both physically and psychically into the outside world. The general concept of Yoga Diet at Yoga Light-House in Sri Lanka is based on several main ideas:
- quality outbalances quantity – the amount consumed at one time should be in moderation so that it does not hinder yoga practice;
- improper combination of ingredients will diminish their value and reduce their qualitative impact on the body & mind;
- wholesome meals – meaning the food consumed should be nutritious, pranic and healing if required;
- we do not offer anything that we do not eat ourselves;
- minimum processing – as long as you progress with your practice you will become more sensitive to the food you consume both of material and mental substances. You will be able to discern which food is filled with prana and the one which is void of it. The more you process the food, the less prana will be left there to your benefits. We give preference to raw and steamed food
- as the whole Yogic Practice is of Sattvic nature, we lay emphasis on fruits, vegetables, milk, nuts, raw sugar, grains and seeds as the most subtle food that will not distract or disturb your Mind
- we emphasize not only physical influence of the food consumed, but differentiate effects of your meals upon your mental level
- the food processed and then stored in the fridge generates toxins and is of little value for those seeking the Divine
- timing and quantity of food to be consumed depends on individual Dosha-Mind type and will be estimated and recommended upon your arrival
- we recommend Aurvedic formulas as supplement to main course with purposes of alleviating aggravated doshas, boosting energy & health, removing or reducing body & mind imbalances
- we consider herbs as subtle food that influence not only physical plane but mostly pranic (energy) level and apply them quantum satis.
- 6 tastes of the food should be well-balanced, matching to your Dosha-Mind type (inside environment) and suit to your present body-mind conditions as well as to outside environment (climate, season, time of the day…)
Studying 6 tastes of the food is a direct way to balanced diet. Each taste has a definite therapeutic and energetic effect on the body and mind.
6 basic tastes come from five Elements. Each taste is derived from two Elements.
Sweet – Earth and Water
Sour – Earth and Fire
Salty – Water and Fire
Pungent – Fire and Air
Bitter – Air and Ether
Astringent – Earth and Air
Sweet taste is needed in sufficient quantity for all Doshas since it is responsible for maintaining the body’s normal tissues, increases strength, expels poisons, wind and bile. It has refreshing affects upon the nose, mouth, throat, lips and tongue, helps protect from seizures and fainting. Sweet taste has a nourishing and moisturizing effect, gives the skin tone rejuvenating it. It enhances the production of sperm, milk, promotes tissue regeneration both internal and external. Being soothing it brings mental activity into harmony.
Most of the products used by us have sweet Vipaka (taste after digestion).
Sweet taste is needed for Pitta the most, in the average amount for Vata , and quite a bit for Kapha. Consumed in excess it considerably increases and causes Kapha disorders associated with accumulation of mucus, a tendency to obesity, flaccidity, excessive sleepiness, feeling of gravity, dyspepsia, loss of consciousness, diabetes, an increase of the glands, tumors, including malignant and other diseases.
The sweet taste can be described as cooling, moist, heavy. It enhances these qualities within the person and can successfully reduce the opposite symptoms – the heat and dryness. Sweet taste helps the body of debilitated, the elderly and children to recover fast. Will greatly contribute to combating throat and lungs problems.
Sweet taste is present in sugar, honey, maple syrup, milk, butter, rice, barley, mung dal, wheat, many legumes, bread, meat, nuts – walnuts, almonds, coconuts, bananas, dates, raisins, sesame seeds.
From spices sweet taste can be found in cardamom, anise, fennel, cumin (caraway), flax seeds. The sweet taste of herbs and spices can be enhanced by adding various kinds of brown sugar, honey, or by cooking them in milk.
Sour taste is needed in small quantities for all Doshas as it stimulates the agni (digestive fire), increases heat and humidity inside of the body (prevents hunger). It help maintain the normal acidity level of the body. It has positive effect on the cardiovascular and digestive systems, normalizes appetite. It is carminative (removes gases from the body).
Sour taste is hot, wet and makes heavy impact on the body. It softens and soothes Vata, but significantly increases Pitta and Kapha, pushing them out of balance.Mostly sour taste is needed for Vata, in average quantity for Kapha and very little for Pitta.
When used excessively leads to accumulation of toxins in the blood, it produces lethargy, loss of strength, bleeding, dizziness, hiccups, yellowing of the skin, skin diseases (eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, different types of rashes). It causes a burning sensation in the throat, chest, heart, urinary tract, fever and thirst. Also leads to atrophic changes in muscle tone and reduces the body, causing swellings in the debilitated, injured and recovering. Sour taste increases various tissues of the body, with the exception of reproductive organs tissues (here on the contrary it decreases). Due to his hot action contributes to festering and curing of wounds, burns, fractures and other injuries.
Physical manifestations of the sour taste: driving “goosebumps” around the body, clenches ones teeth and makes your eyes wide open. This taste causes a burning sensation in the throat, chest and heart region.
Sour taste is present in nature in less quantity than sweet one. It is found in all acidic fruits (all citrus, pomegranate, tamarind, raspberry and wild rose, green grapes), in pickles, tomatoes, in fermentation products like sour cream, yogurt, vinegar, soy souse, miso soup, cheese.
Sour taste of plants and herbs can be enhanced by preparing tinctures based on herbs with alcohol (which has sour taste). Spices don’t possess sour taste.
Salty taste. Salt is necessary for the body to maintain the mineral and water balance. In low doses salty taste promotes digestion and enhances appetite. In moderate amounts it is used as a laxative, in large doses it causes vomiting. It suppresses all other tastes. It cleans the energy channels , removes all blocks, dissolves blockages and hardening, cleanses the blood vessels. Increases digestive activity fueling agni (digestive fire) and have soothing and laxative effects. Besides, it has a moisturizing effect, causes salivation, penetrates the tissues , cleanses the tongue.
Salty taste leads to rashes, induces skin disease, bringing about symptoms of poisoning, causes irritation and sores. By its action boils and ulcers burst. Salty taste contributes to the development of diseases accompanied by bleeding, increases acidity during digestion, promotes development of inflammatory skin diseases, gout and other disbalances of Pitta type. It contributes to tooth loss, degrade sensitivity of the sense organs, enhances formation of skin wrinkles, aggravates skin problems, leading to early graying and hair loss.
Consumed in excess, or when used with an insufficient number of other tastes, salty taste aggravates Pitta, leads to stagnation of blood, making it thick and sticky. It contributes to the emergence of thirst, fainting and a burning sensation, leading to atrophic changes in the muscles.
Most (of this small dose ) salty taste is needed for Vata, less for Pitta and a very small amount for Kapha people. Salty taste is the taste of minerals and occurs rarely as a main taste in plants.
Typical substances possessing a salty taste include mineral salts, sea salt and seaweed, Irish moss.
Pungent taste is needed in small quantities to all Doshas. It balances all three doshas, especially aggravated Kapha. It increases agni (digestive fire), increases heat (reducing the feeling of cold), promotes sweating, stimulates elimination of mucus from the nasal cavity, causes delacrimation. It increases metabolism and helps all organs function properly, improves digestion and intestinal peristalsis, prevents obesity and excessive accumulation of fluid in the body. It helps eliminate oily and viscous toxins (Ama), normalizes appetite.
Pungent taste when properly used, reduces the phenomenon of stagnation of blood and blood clots, helps eliminate blockages, opens blood vessels, treats diseases of lungs, larynx, throat, bowel disorders, destroys solid masses(fecal stones), reduces swelling. Pungent taste dries fat and pus. It kills germs and worms.
Excessive consumption of pungent taste can lead to nausea, thirst, dizziness, loss of consciousness, fainting. It may produce a burning sensation in the throat and in the whole body, can cause trembling, as well as sharp and stabbing pain throughout the body. It might provoke indigestion, occurrence of ulcers of the gastrointestinal tract, colitis, inflammation of the skin. Vata people can get their limbs trembling, insomnia and muscle spasms as a result of overusing Pungent Taste.
This taste can be characterized as a hot, dry, light (properties opposite to Kapha being heavy, cold and wet). Therefore Pungen taste is needed mostly to Kapha, in small amounts to Vata, and least of all to Pitta dominated people.
Pungent taste is present in most of spices: all kinds of pepper (black, red, pippali, cayenne), ginger, asafoetida, cloves, bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander seeds, cumin, horseradish, mustard, onion, garlic.
A lot of healing herbs applied in Ayurvedic treatments have pungent taste. Most of them are used as spices: basil, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, sage, thyme and valerian. From vegetables – Karelia . Bile and urine has a pungent taste. The latter used in Ayurvedic treatment known as Urinotherapy.
In small quantities Bitter taste is needed for all Doshas. Though few people like this taste it perfectly cleanses and refreshes blood as well as all tissues, removes toxins accumulated in the fat, bone marrow, lymph, sweat and urine. It stimulates digestive fire and promotes weight loss.
Bitter Taste removes bad breath, reduces thirst, nausea. It has anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, anti-bacterial action, removes worms and parasites. Treats fever, inflammatory skin diseases (soothes irritation, itching). Bitter taste tonifies skin and muscles.
It balances Pitta and Kapha, normalizing water balance, muscle and subcutaneous fat. Bitter taste is characterized as cold, dry, light. By virtue of its dryness, the excessive use of it causes Vata disorders, drains and reduces the body’s tissue, dries out the fat, bone marrow, stool and urine. It also prevents the development of tumors.
Excessive use of the bitter taste violates perception of other tastes. Although it is unpleasant in itself restores the sense of taste.
Most of all (from recommended small amount) bitter taste is need for Pitta and Kapha, and very little for Vata.
Bitter taste is common among herbs and plants. Typical plants include aloe, all kinds of lettuce (especially with dark color), spinach, sorrel, chicory, dandelion, rhubarb, Karelia, many fresh vegetables (eggplant in particular), olives.
Spices that have bitter taste – cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, turmeric, fenugreek. From herbs – wormwood, tansy, yarrow, barberry, ehinotseya, gentian.
Coffee has this taste and as all dry tastes leads to dryness of the body and, therefore, to constipation.
Bitter taste clarifies the mind and increases intelligence.
Astringent Taste is needed in moderation for all three Doshas as it is the taste after digestion (Vipak). It is necessary for the maintenance of all tissues of the body in tonus and for prevention of any excessive secretions, such as bleeding, sweating, diarrhea.
It has drying effect due to its ability to adsorb body fluids, which can also lead to constipation, gas delay in the intestine, and slowdown of urine. Astringent taste alleviates Pitta and Kapha Doshas, cleanses blood, by drying promotes healing of wounds and ulcers, helps to heal joints. It also promotes muscles contractions and restoration to the correct position of internal organs previously shifted. It cleans the skin and improves its color.
Astringent Taste is of cool, dry and light nature. Most of all it is necessary for Pitta, less for Kapha and very little for Vata. Excessive use of Astringent Taste will aggravate Vata Dosha, will dull sensitivity of the tongue (envelops it, thereby disturbing its sensitivity) and will cause irritation of the throat.
It gives a darker shade to the skin. Blocks vessels. It causes gases, constipation, pain in the heart, thirst and anxiety. It reduces the vitality of the body and leads to premature aging. Due to its inherent natural qualities – coarsening, dryness, it causes Vata type diseases such, such as paralysis, spasms, convulsions and cramps.
Astringent taste is often found in plants. Astringent taste is present in honey, pomegranate, persimmon and black currant, almost all kinds of cabbage, many legumes, unripe bananas, chickpeas, okra, turmeric, raspberry leaf, alfalfa sprouts, geranium, the fruits of lotus, plantain, bear ears, white water lily, white oak bark.
Astringent taste promotes clarity of the mind.
Below we provide ayurvedic details of various ingredients we use at Yoga Light-House to prepare wholesome and healthy meals.
Pine-apple has sweet and sour tastes, a warming effect and a pungent vipak. Unripe fruits stimulate pitta, while the ripe fruits in small quantities suit pitta and have calming effect on vata and kapha. Ripe pineapple has a wonderful aroma. By itself, pineapple juice should not be given to children under the age of seven, and it is not suitable for people with pitta constitution and pitta disorders. Unripe pineapple is difficult to digest. They can cause a feeling of fullness, heaviness of language, dulling of taste. Never eat a pineapple in the morning on an empty stomach, it can lead to indigestion, increase of hydrochloric acid. Milk and dairy products can be consumed only at intervals of 2-3 hours after or before you ate pineapples. Pregnant women must avoid eating unripe pineapples since it can lead to miscarriages.
1. Drinking a glass of pineapple juice half an hour before a meal stimulates the secretion of digestive enzymes and causes a feeling of hunger. Pineapple juice is particularly useful if you are going to eat meat.
2. Pineapple juice helps with constipation.
3. In cases of indigestion, nausea or diarrhea, you can spend the day fasting, drinking three times a day over a glass of sweet pineapple juice with a pinch of ginger, black pepper and 1/2 tea spoon of natural sugar.
4. Having intestinal dystonia try to drink a glass of pineapple juice with a pinch of ajwain.
5. A glass of pineapple juice with 1/2 teaspoon of natural sugar or dextrose helps to release burning during urination.
6. External application of warm pineapple pulp on hemorrhoids facilitates an exacerbation of the condition.
7. In case of persistent itching of eczema rubbing fresh pineapple juice in the affected skin can relieve the condition.
8. To reduce cigarette smoking and nicotine poisoning as a result chew small pieces of pineapple with half a teaspoon of raw honey.
Lime (dehi in local language) – used in juice making and as a supplement to salads and curries. Lime has a sour, slightly bitter taste, cooling effect, but sweet vipak. It calms Vata and suits Pitta if used in small quantities. However, if consumed in excess, its acidic properties may disturb Pitta. Lime may irritate Kapha and cause hyper salivation. It is recommended to use lime with spicy meals to soften their Pitta provocative qualities. Lime stimulates the secretion of digestive enzymes that help digestion process. It can be an effective anti-alcoholic remedy. Do not use lime for colds, bronchial occlusion and / or coughing.
- Use of about one teaspoon of lime pickles with main meal improves digestion and absorption of minerals, as well as the taste of the food itself.
- In acute indigestion squeeze the juice from one quarter of lime into a glass of water, add half a tea spoon of baking soda, stir and drink quickly.
- Those requiring diuretics and/or to lower blood pressure arrange and use a mixture of 1 cup of coconut juice, two teaspoons of lime juice and a cup of cucumber juice. Thus there is no loss of potassium or sodium.
Pomelo (jumbola) – a grandfather of grapefruits. It is rich in Vitamin C like all citrus fruits and also in Vitamin B. It contains high amount of beta carotene and folic acid and is very beneficial for pregnant women. Pomelo also contains a good amount of Potassium which keeps our heart healthy.
Green orange (dodam) – there are two types, the first has a sweet taste and the second of sour nature. Both types are used for juice making.
Papaya has a sweet taste and a warming effect. It’s after taste is sweet. Papaya is fine to eat for all doshas, but people of pitta- and kapha types are better to use it only occasionally, such as once a week. Papaya is useful in asthma, cough, and dysfunction of the spleen and liver. It is useful in the treatment of parasitic infestations. It contains enzymes that help in digestion. Papaya juice thins the blood thus preventing ischemic heart attacks. It regulates sugar metabolism. Since papaya contains a natural estrogen, it should not be used during pregnancy. Seeds – emmenagogue. Unripe juice – antiparasitical, blood thinner, prevents heart attack.
1. When you experience digestive disorders, acute gastritis, gastric hyperacidity, try drinking a glass of papaya juice with teaspoon of. natural sugar and 2 pinches of cardamom.
2. Eczema and dermatitis relief may come after rubbing of the skin with the inner side of papaya peel.
Jackfruit tree has strong solid trunk and grows up to 50 to 60 feet. The fruits (jack fruit) are huge and weigh 5 to 25 kilograms.
According to texts of ayurveda the medicinal properties of jack fruit varies in various stages of its development. The raw fruit increases vata and kapha where as ripened fruit alleviates vata and pitta. The fruit is heavy to digest and sticky in nature. It enhances the moistness of tissues. It acts as body coolant.
The latex of this tree has anti-inflammatory properties. Hence it is recommended in inflamed abscesses and wounds. Poultice of jackfruit latex helps to reduce pain and swelling in abscesses and wounds.
The bark of jackfruit tree helps to reduce intestinal motility and hence useful in diarrhea and dysentery. The decoction of bark is used for this purpose.
Fully ripened fruit is a very helpful in increasing quality and quantity of semen. It helps to increase sperm count and sperm motility. Weak and skinny people are largely benefited by ripened fruit as it increases body bulk and body energy level.
The decoction of leaves and roots are used in diseases of skin. The leaves also help to reduce effects of poison.
Watermelon (komadu) have a sweet taste, cooling effect and a sweet vipak. It is a heavy meal. Watermelon increases kapha and vata and decreases pitta. It has diuretic and cleanses the kidneys. Avoid eating watermelon sooner than three hours after a meal, or late in the evening, as well as in cloudy, rainy weather, because it can cause swelling and pain in the abdomen. Restrain from eating watermelon with cereals, which can lead to indigestion. Consumed in excess watermelon having a cooling effect and being difficult to digest, may lead to blockage of the airways. Watermelon is not recommended for patients with glaucoma, as it increases the intraocular pressure. In a large doses it can inhibit sperm production.
- A glass of watermelon juice with a pinch of ground cumin 3 times day on an empty stomach – a traditional remedy in the treatment of urethritis, cystitis, and in the case of scarce urination accompanied by burning.
- In case of kidneys pain, take a glass of watermelon juice with 1/4 table spoon of ground coriander. This will cleanse the kidneys and move small stones and crystals out. Take 2-3 times per day.
- Grind half a cup of fresh watermelon seeds, add tea spoon of natural sugar and half a tea spoon of ghee. Eat on an empty stomach. This will help strengthen the weakened muscles.
- In cases of skin rashes, eczema and skin allergies eat watermelon pink part, and rub the affected skin area with the white part of watermelon rind. It will bring relief from burning and itching.
Cabbage (gowa) has bitter, astringent and pungent tastes, cooling effect. It is light and well-digested; it contributes to promotion of digestive fire, but because of its astringent and dried qualities, it can cause constipation and flatulence. Cabbage can cause gases. Antidotes to this: sunflower oil, turmeric, mustard seeds. Cabbage is a nice blood purifier, contains high amounts of calcium, vitamin C and A, sulfur. White cabbage juice removes warts. Its nature is astringent and cooling.
Spinach has astringent, pungent, sweet, bitter taste, produces cooling effect and possesses sweet aftertaste. It stimulates Vata. Eaten raw it agitates Pitta. When used properly, it works well for kapha. Spinach is a laxative, is difficult to digest. It is not recommended for people with stones in gall bladder or kidneys, liver diseases or arthritis.
1. In case of swellings, make lotions from spinach juice and apply.
2. Taking 1/3 cup of spinach juice with a pinch of pippali 2 times a day, can reduce the symptoms of asthma.
3. In chronic cough eat two times a day on an empty stomach spinach soup, adding a 1/4 of teaspoon of ginger.
Cilantro, sometimes called Chinese parsley or coriander leaf, has a sweet, astringent taste, cooling effect and pungent vipak. It balances all doshas, especially beneficial for increasing digestion. It is effective against nausea, fever, coughs and is known to be a good thirst quencher.
1. Fresh cilantro juice helps in case of skin burns, producing soothing effect. Take 2 tbsp. of juice orally three times a day and apply the pulp of chopped cilantro to the burned areas.
2. To reduce high temperature, take 2 tbsp. of cilantro juice three times a day.
3. To eliminate coughing, mix 2 teaspoons of cilantro juice with a teaspoon of palm, or any other natural sugar and half a teaspoon of ginger. Take 1 teaspoon as needed.
4. To combat conjunctivitis apply a paste of fresh leaves of cilantro on eyelashes.
Radish (especially daikon – white long radish) has a pungent taste, warming effect, pungent vipak. It perfectly suits people of kapha constitution, but aggravates pitta. Eaten raw it also irritates vata. Radish acts as a carminative, cleanses the liver and gall bladder, helps combat worm infestations. Actions: expectorant, anticough, diuretic, appetite stimulant. Contains vitamin A, B-complex and vitamin C.
Cassava (manjoka) – Cassava is the third largest source of food carbohydrates in the tropics, after rice and maize. Like other roots and tubers, both bitter and sweet varieties of cassava contain antinutritional factors and toxins. It must be properly prepared before consumption. Improper preparation of cassava can leave enough residual cyanide to cause acute cyanide intoxication and goiters, and may even cause ataxia or partial paralysis.
Cassava roots are very rich in starch and contain significant amounts of calcium (50 mg/100g), phosphorus (40 mg/100g) and vitamin C (25 mg/100g). However, they are poor in protein and other nutrients. In contrast, cassava leaves are a good source of protein (rich in lysine) but deficient in the amino acid methionine and possibly tryptophan.
Cassava was introduced to Africa by Portuguese traders from Brazil in the 16th century. Maize and cassava are now important staple foods, replacing native African crops.
Cassava has twice calories than potatoes.
Fresh cassava leaves are rich in protein and vitamin K. Vitamin K is important in bone mass building.
Always choose fresh and undamaged “Manioc” not grayish and damaged. When you boil “Manioc”, remember never to close the lid. Always keep it open. Remember not to eat or drink ginger containing food and beverages at least 8 hours after you eat “Manioc”.
Health benefits of Manioka
Reported to be antiseptic, cyanogenic, demulcent, diuretic and poison, plant is a folk remedy for abscesses, boils, conjunctivitis, diarrhea, dysentery, flu, hernia, inflammation, marasmus, prostatitis, snakebite, sores, spasm, swellings of testicles.
Anti cancer weapon
Filipino Professor Manuel Navarro has said that manioc is an effective low-cost treatment to help reverse cancer growth. His advice is to take about a four inch average size cassava root, wash and peel off only the outer brown skin and blend it in a blender with two cups or 16 ounces of distilled water. The blending at high speed should be for just for two minutes. Pour the “Cassava Milk” into a wide mouth glass storage bottle, and cool in a refrigerator.
When it settles, all the dissolved starch will stay at the bottom; there will be nearly two cups of clear liquid on top. Drink one half of it (one cup) in the morning before breakfast and other cup in the early evening. The taste will be slightly bitter being the base of the B-17. To counter the bitterness, concentrated fruit juice or flavour can be added.
Consume only about four inches of the root the first day, and each day, thereafter add half an inch more. One day, a few minutes after taking the liquid, you will feel dizzy. Count that as your limit and tolerance level. The next day take an inch less. Dr. Navarro has said, “It kills cancer, and be careful not to exceed the limit. It should not be given to children.”
He also said that it is not deadly “cyanide” and it is only Amygdaline (B-17) which is somewhat similar in formula to cyanide, but lacks an “h” factor of the cyanide formula. Amazingly, cancer cells being non aerobic, do produce within themselves that missing “h” factor. Thus, only the cancer cells are poisoned as they touch the B-17! But all other cells are left untouched.
Bitter gourd (karavilla) – is very rich in iron and it contains more beta-carotene than broccoli, calcium 2 times more than in spinach and lots of fiber. Western Research scientists have shown that bitter gourd contains a substance similar to insulin. It is valued for the ability to reduce blood sugar in diabetics, regulate blood pressure, normalize cholesterol level, support the immune system, prevent cancer, destroy already formed cancer cells, bacteria, viruses, especially in the urogenital system. Bitter melon is also a good blood purifier, it has positive effect on the pancreas, liver, helps digestion, improves metabolism. From the perspective of Ayurveda bitter gourd reduces Pitta and Kapha.
It has cooling properties and is very helpful in combating skin problems caused by high Pitta. Its light and dry characteristics will reduce Kapha but at the same time will increase Vata.
Fresh plants are usually cut into thick rings and cooked together with rice. Some of the bitterness vaporizes during cooking and there is no bitter influence upon the taste of rice. Lovers of grilled vegetables prefer bitter gourd cooked in oil with onion and spices. Such processing almost completely removes the dominant bitter taste although light piquant bitterness remains making it a very special meal.
Egg plant (brinjal) is a very rich source of fiber and low soluble carbohydrates. Thus it is highly beneficial for regulation of blood sugar levels and also to control the absorption of glucose. This makes it the best option for people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
Eggplant contains phyto nutrients which keep the cell membranes protected from any kind of damage and facilitates the message transfer from one part to another, thus preserving the memory function.
Eggplant is considered to be high in water content and low in calories. This feature makes it very ideal as a healthy diet for people who want to reduce weight. The spongy texture of the vegetable is what facilitates these characteristics, hence one must consume in its natural form as much as possible.
The eggplant has good amounts of vitamin C which make it an effective anti-viral and anti- bacterial source.
Ayurveda suggests that there is a certain personality type, kapha, for whom eggplants would be appealing.
In Ayurvedic medicine, a stew of eggplant and curry is used to treat fatty liver and alcoholic liver disease. There is actually some scientific confirmation of this ancient practice. The “green” in the eggplant contains the relatively rare enzyme, 9-hydroxy-octadecadienoic acid, that decelerates inflammatory reactions in the liver and lungs.
When you buy an eggplant, length is not important, but width is. Long, narrow eggplants usually contain few seeds. Broader eggplants tend to contain more seeds and to spoil more readily. Use eggplants within two to three days of purchase. When you store eggplants in the refrigerator, the skin may stay the same, but the flesh will quickly become bitter and soft.
Trim the ends of the eggplant before cooking. You do not need to peel eggplants unless the skin is very thick. Soaking eggplant slices in cold, salted water for thirty minutes to two hours before use will remove bitterness as well as excess moisture. Eggplants can be sliced into rounds or chunks.
Carrot has sweet and pungent tastes. It has a warming effect. It mitigates kapha and vata, but may aggravate pitta if used in excess. Sweet nature makes Carrot hard to digest; it has a laxative effect and cleanses the body of toxins. It increases blood flow, builds blood, brightens eyes, fights worms (if eaten raw), reduces the risk of lung cancer.
Capsicum – sweet pepper contains vitamins C, B1 , B2 , B9 , P, PP and carotene. People suffering from depression, diabetes, as well as memory impairment, insomnia, loss of strength should include it in their menu. Capsicum surpasses lemons and black currants by the amount of vitamin C it contains.
Ascorbic acid present in the pepper is combined with a lot of vitamin P which promotes strengthening of blood vessels and reduces the permeability of their walls. Due to the high content of mineral salts of potassium, as well as calcium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorous, fluorine, iron, chlorine, zinc, manganese, copper, iodine, chromium, sulfur, cobalt pepper is indispensable for anemia, low immunity, early baldness, and osteoporosis.
Sweet pepper is useful in diseases of the blood, bleeding gums, anemia, and brittle vessels. It stimulate the secretion of gastric juice, digestion, improves the motility of the stomach and intestines, calms nerves, and helps with coughing.
Sweet pepper is recommended for anemia, gastritis, constipation, cramps, colic in the gut, as well as for excessive sweating.
The pepper (both hot and sweet) contains the alkaloid capsaicin, which is, in fact, gives the typical vegetable taste. This substance stimulates the stomach and pancreas, stimulates appetite, reduces blood pressure, thins the blood and prevents the formation of blood clots. Because of the low content of capsaicin in sweet peppers, unlike the chilly, it can be consumed in large quantities without concerns for the stomach. Juice out of sweet pepper is recommended in case of diabetes, as well as to stimulate the growth of hair and nails.
Sweet pepper contains compounds that prevent carcinogen from entering cells. This allows for a certain degree of protection against the development of cancer. Paprika speeds up metabolism and helps burn more calories. It reduces weight gained due to eating high-fat foods. Pepper also prevents indigestion. It regulates blood pressure and lowers cholesterol and triglycerides in the body.
Usage: Pepper plaster is used for rheumatism, various neuralgic pains and frostbite.
The place of a snake bite can be moistened with juice of pepper, then swelling and pain will subside quickly.
Contraindications: sweet pepper is contraindicated in severe angina pectoris, cardiac arrhythmia, hypertension, gastric ulcer and 12 duodenal ulcer, gastritis with high acidity, acute exacerbations of chronic diseases of the kidneys and liver, colitis, inveterate hemorrhoids, increased excitability of the nervous system, insomnia, epilepsy.
Onion – cooked onion has a sweet and pungent taste. It produces warming effect and has a sweet vipak (aftertaste). Raw onion irritates pitta and vata, but has a calming effect on kapha. Cooked onions sooth vata and kapha. if consumed in large quantities onion can overactivate pitta. Rajasic except when thoroughly cooked. Inhale raw onions (until tearing begins) for fainting and convulsions.
Tomatoes – belong to the nightshade family. They can be green, yellow and red colors. Generally speaking, tomatoes are toxic for the body. Despite this, the Ayurveda recommends eating tomatoes cooked with certain herbs for medicinal purposes.
Green and yellow tomatoes have a sweet-sour taste, warming effect, and pungent vipak. They can put all three doshas out of balance. Red tomatoes are acidic, with slightly pungent taste and have a sour vipak. They produce cooling effect on the stomach, but have a warming effect in the intestines. Raw red tomatoes will also bring all three doshas out of balance, but cooked with cumin, mustard and turmeric, and eaten occasionally become Tridoshic and are suitable for everyone. Tomatoes are rich in oxalic acid and thereby contribute to the formation of kidney stones. Raw seeds can cause abdominal problems.
1. Do not include tomatoes in your diet if you have high gastric acidity, arthritis, sciatica, stones in the kidneys and gall bladder. Seeds of raw tomatoes can cause abdominal pain.
2. Meat – is hard to digest. An hour before eating meat, you can drink a glass of tomato juice with a pinch of cumin, which will help the digestive process.
Cucumbers are particularly valuable due to the large amount of structured water. Cucumber helps to normalize the acid-alkaline balance in the body. The ratio of salts of macro and microelements in cucumbers is particularly useful because of their alkalizing properties, particularly in cases of cardiovascular activity disfunctions and disbalances of sodium and potassium ratio. Potassium in the body should be four times higher than sodium. Cucumber juice helps to preserve this relationship by eliminating the excess sodium from the body with urine.
Cucumber and juice from it is used as anti-inflammatory and antipyretic. Cucumber, being watery, reduces Vata and increases Kapha. But cucumber skin is dry and rough which are pronounced properties of Vata dosha . Consequently, Vata type people are advised to peel cucumbers before consuming!
Cucumbers are mainly composed of water (95-98%). The rest is iodine, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, calcium, vitamins B, C (more in young cucumbers). Cucumbers are especially rich in potassium. The characteristic smell is given by the essential oil, and a refreshing taste by organic acids. There are only 14 kcal in cucumbers.
Cucumber is one of the best anti-inflammatory remedies. It treats infection in the kidneys and lungs. Its taste is sweet astringent, cooling. It reduces Vata and Pitta doshas, and increases Kapha.
Cucumber is nicely combined with many products other than fresh milk. Not very useful to combine the cucumber and potatoes, since the rate of assimilation of these products varies. However it acceptable if eating a cucumber salad before the main course.
Suitable spices: black pepper, ginger, nutmeg, fennel. Cucumber are fine to eat both in summer and winter (from 10 to 18 Oclock).
Black radish and cucumber can be called nurses of organism. Since these substances play an important role in metabolism. They neutralize harmful acidic compounds which cause premature aging and chronic diseases. Cucumbers improve digestion, increase appetite and promote digestion of other foods. They possess quite a lot of fiber, which absorbs and removes cholesterol and cleanses the intestines affecting the whole body.
Cucumbers – a natural diuretic having an optimal combination of sodium and potassium which normalize water-salt balance of the body. Therefore, they are useful in edema and hypertension.
Cucumber juice promotes the excretion of uric acid, thus is useful in treating gout. It dissolves gallstones.
Cucumbers have lots of magnesium, which improves the functioning of heart and kidneys. Silicon strengthens the connective tissue and is essential for the health and beauty of hair and skin.
Prepare decoction or infusion without alcohol or wipe the skin with a slice of cucumber. It whitens, moisturizes the skin and creates a special protective layer which makes the skin smoother.
Cucumbers increase the acidity and are not recommended for people suffering from stomach ulcer or gastritis.
Seeds & Nuts
Cashews – have sweet taste, hot in nature and possess sweet aftertaste. VPK+
Indications: help deeper tissues. High in potassium, magnesium, vitamin A.
Uses of Cashew
- Cashew nuts contain proanthocyanidins and high copper content which helps in fighting against cancerous cells and hence prevents from colon cancer.
- Cashew nuts have low fat content and fat is in the form of oleic acid that is very healthy for heart. These nuts are cholesterol free and rich in antioxidants, preventing heart diseases.
- The magnesium content in Cashew nuts helps to lower blood pressure.
- It helps in hair growth as it has copper content in it.
- Magnesium content in Cashew nuts helps in building stronger bones.
- A study shows that everyday intake of Cashew nuts reduces the chances of developing gallstones to 25%.
- It helps in weight loss, digestion, healthy teeth and gums, etc.
- The bark of the tree is used in ayurveda to detoxify snake bites. It is also used in treating fever, diabetes, to get rid of intestinal parasites, as a laxative.
- Leaves can be used for treating toothaches, gum problems and malaria.
- The gum is used to treat diseases like leprosy, corns, and fungal infections.
- Caustic shell oil and fruit are very helpful as skin stimulants and cauterizing agents. A small amount of oil can be used to remove warts, corns, ringworms, leprosy, psoriasis, elephantitis, and ulcers.
- Decoction prepared from the bark of the tree is helpful in treating toothaches and gum irritations.
- Fresh leaves are used for treating diarrhea, dysentery and hemorrhoids.
- Older leaves can be used to prepare hot poultices for skin disorders and burns.
- Juice from the fruit is used as diuretic and is helpful in treating vomiting, diarrhea and sore throat.
Fennel seeds – is often called pharmacy dill and some people know it as sweet dill. Fennel has a pleasant smell of anise and sweet-spicy taste.