How to choose the best option for yourself from a multitude of herbal remedies ?
There are so many herbal remedies available online that probably one cannot try everything in one lifetime. Besides, there are contradictory suggestions about many things. Some say one should have fruits after food, some advice taking fruits before food.
Also we see a lot of everyday examples of violations of health habits, but some people survive them for decades yet they stay healthy. At the same time, there might be health freaks who suffer from multiple disorders. So, to decide what is good for you, might look very complicated sometimes. Therefore, many people skip health planning completely on this excuse. But actually it is very simple to choose your best options. Only problem is that we love complications! Anything complicated only is capable to drug our intellect/ ego and command respect.
So let’s take the first step – appreciate simplicity.
Know Your Prakrati
Second step is to know your Prakruti. Everything starts with “know thyself”. You should know about the person you are trying to treat or keep healthy – yourself. Sometimes, people have over expectations from their bodies; sometimes they subject their bodies to countless hit and trials and sometimes they just don’t care about their bodies. All extremes are wrong. Knowing your body is like knowing your car. You cannot expect a sedan to suddenly develop features of a sports car. You should know your possibilities and assets, know your prakrati.
Prakrati calculation is very easy. There are many websites that provide with online prakrati calculation tools.
After using the prakrati calculation tools, you would know the most probable tridosha combination of your prakrati. In normal body conditions, this calculation is correct. However, there might be some variations due to any physical or mental disease. Therefore it is always good to refer to a learned Ayurveda physician. According to Ayurveda ethics, no physician should charge for inspection or advice. Fee should be charged only for medicine. So ideally a learned physician might be freely available.
One of the major problems that comes with self prakrati calculation is that we might be biased towards results or have preconceived ideas about our body conditions. Here a physician will be definitely helpful.
After knowing your prakrati, you would know whether you own a sedan or a racing car!
Choosing Right Herbal Remedy For Yourself
Third step is to appreciate our uniqueness. We should love ourselves because we are unique in all senses. Everything from our eye color to the finger prints is absolutely unique. Therefore our health solutions cannot be same for all.
Nature has provided us with such a fabulous variety of edibles which helps us to choose the best options for ourselves. Every food item is beneficial, harmful or neutral towards each one of the 3 dosha. After knowing your prakrati, you should know which food items are best suited to your tridosha combination. It is just like different requirement for each car.
The easiest way, to know whether a food item is good for you or not, is to check presence of different pacifying qualities for each dosha in it. If the relevant qualities are present in the food item, then it is good for you.
Rasa is the taste of the substance. There are 6 types of rasa – Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter, Pungent and Astringent.
If you have a vata dominant prakrati – sweet, sour and salty are the best rasa for you.
If you have a pitta dominant prakrati – sweet, bitter, astringent will be better than rest.
If you have a kapha dominant praktati – go for bitter, pungent and astringent rasa
For vata prakrati go for hot(tendency and not necessarily temperature), oily substances.
For pitta go for cool temperament substances.
For kapha, go for hot, rough, dry, light substances.
So if you have long list of herbal remedies for indigestion, for example
Apple cidar vinegar
Carom seeds (Ajwain)
For vata prakrati choose ginger because it is hot and opposes main guna of vata that is cold.
For Pitta prakrati choose fennel seeds because they have a cooling sweet temperament. However for other prakrati types they will not be as effective because they are not compatible.
For kapha prakrati choose carom seeds for their astringent taste and dry temperament.
Please find an indicative list of beneficial herbs for each dosha.
Satmya ( Compatibility)
Satmya means something that is naturally favourable or comfortable for the body. It is said that even if something is not compatible to the human body in general, after exposure for a long time, starting with small quantities; the body makes physiological changes to adapt itself to that particular substance. It can be anything, from excessive salt in food to poison.
Curd is absolutely forbidden at night according to Ayurveda because it is believed to increase susceptibility to upper respiratory tract infections. But south Indian meal is never complete without curd, whether it be lunch or dinner. And still most of them have no chronic cough and cold. It is because after long repeated exposure to habit of eating curd at night, body adjust itself to it and stays healthy with it.
So if a health habit or a food item is compatible to you, there is no need to change it just because others are doing something else.
Priya (Liking )
Now if your prakrati is pitta dominant, sweet and cool things are best for you, but what if you don’t like sweets. Should you try to eat sweets just because they might be healthy for you ? Actually no, have mint instead if you like it better. This is the most important thing is the third step – love you choices.
Respect your desires and our mind. There is a huge amount of religious literature telling us that the mind should be kept under strict restrictions to be healthy. But to be successfully healthy, we need to become more sensitive towards the rightful desires of mind. Instead of restriction, guided control is the real effective measure. When you are hungry you should eat food. In fact you should always eat something that makes you happy. I am not advicing you to get addicted to junk food, but even if you follow the same rule for junk food, after a time you would start loving more healthy food because of the unhealthy results of junk food. But that is a long twisted way to health, might take more than a lifetime to reach your destination.
There is such fabulous variety of edibles and their preparations that definitely there must be something healthy that tickles your taste buds too. You should try to find that and eat the Healthy food you love! The sense of satisfaction derived after eating a tasty meal is the key to proper digestion and assimilation of food. What is the benefit if you have something very healthy but is not absorbed by the body.
So eat what you love and love what you eat !
According to ayurvedic medicine, all organs of one body are different from another body. Therefore there should not be an exact standardization of food or Medicine intake according to age or weight or other factors. Our body is the best measuring tool for the right amount of food or Medicine for us. For example , if a person should have a handful of rice, than the his hand is the best measuring tool because everyone’s size of hand will be different from the other, but in proportion to his body and thus his needs. One pinch will contain slightly different amount of salt for different people but in exact proportion as is required by their individual bodies. Therefore if I were to tell you to have 100 gms of rice in a meal, probably I will not be as precise as when I would tell you to have one handful of rice for a meal.
The idea is to appreciate that our body is the best reference point for its needs.
Therefore if you have indigestion with vata dominant prakrati, take a pinch of salt and a finger full of carom seeds with water precisely.