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Friday, May 22, 2009

Ayurveda: Science, Spirit, and Nature

People from Canada to New Zealand engage in a 5,000 year old health and spiritual practice that originated in India.  Ayurveda means the “science of life” in Sanskrit, the ancient language of the Hindus.  This mystical practice is a serious scientific approach to wellness, offering a system that helps to reestablish the body’s natural balance and strengthen the mind/body connection.  As a truly holistic approach, it is the oldest and most "green" form of body and mind wellness.
It’s impossible to sum up Ayurveda in any short sequence, but its scientific claims rest on an understanding of nature at the quantum level, where the fabric of nature is mapped. Practitioners suggest that the human body first takes form as powerful but invisible vibrations, and these unite into impulses of energy and finally into particles of matter (like a heart, for example). It’s at this sub-atomic level that Ayurveda seeks to establish well-being. Although it’s best to have a seasoned practitioner guide you through, there are some basic adjustments most people can make on their own to live more fully attuned.  Here are some good sources to start:
1. If you need some immediate advice, references for a practitioner, or more information of any sort, the online source "Consult Ayurveda" is the best portal. There are also links to the Health and Wellness Ministry in India that help regulate AYUSH educational standards as well as quality control and standardization of drugs, improving the availability of medicinal plant material, research and development and public knowledge. 2. While the practice of Ayurveda is old,  new goods, foods, and services are available now from online sources.  One of the most beautiful is Kama Ayurveda Pure Ayuvedic Products, which are environmental friendly, and extremely good for your skin. Kama offers awide assortment of beauty products including hair products, skin care, body care products, and more.  They are used in many ayurvedic clinics and spas from Butan to Zanzibar.
 If you want to try a dose at home, consider the luxury home spa box, which contains Paradiso, Jwalini, Arogya, Ubtan, and Cypress Orange pure essential oil.
3. For more health and wellness, consider Komal Herbals Products. Originally, Komal focused on finding a convenient way to distribute an ancient Ayurvedic preserve - Chyawanprash (Praas) made of 40 powerful Ayurvedic herbs.  It became the main ingredient in PRAAS  healthbars.    They come in mango coconut, pistachio, cashew curry, and cocoa chips.   Komal has expanded exponentially since the original bars (which are still some of their best and most popular products).  
Today, Komal is also known for its Kazana line of Ayurvedic foods.  One of the best is their version of Khichadi, a common dish in certain parts of India.  Although it varies considerably even within small regions, the dish generally consists of split yellow mung beans called dal, and white basmati rice cooked together with ghee and mild spices.   Komal's experts claim that Khichadi may well be the most perfect therapeutic recipe of all because it detoxifies the entire system, while kindling the body's digestive fires called 'agni.'  Using Komal's version as a base, you can adapt it according to your tastes or Ayurvedic needs.  There are also delicious versions to be made from scratch.
4.  More and more research suggests that many of the spices used in Ayurvedic medicine have amazing healing properties.  Cinnamon, Cumin and Turmeric, the basis of these curry mixtures, each have unique therapeutic properties which aid digestion. It is the subtle combination of the  flavors that activates internal organic processes, more than the nutritional content.  Tumeric is the latest spice to be moved higher on the wellness list.   You can be sure you will get a healthy dose in your Khichadi, but if you want to move on to dietary supplements, Komal has produced a line of herbal Ayurvedic medicines that are being sold through Swanson's Vitamins, one of the largest all natural suppliers of supplements, health and wellness products, and nutritional information.
  . photo credits: Swanson Vitamins, Kama Spa Products, Komal Herbs.

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