Tags Posts tagged with "Pitta"

Pitta

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“Stop and smell the roses”

What emotions do you get when you inhale the floral scent of roses? What memories, thoughts, and feelings are triggered?

Many aromatic plants such as roses contain essential oils, which are volatile oils that enter the body and trigger various effects. They are commonly inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Inhalation of essential oils carries the molecules to the limbic system in the brain which includes the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus which are involved in various behaviours such as memories, arousal, emotions, learning, desires, and appetite.

Rose is a symbol of love and romance.

Rose has a long history of use. It is thought that the first methods of distillation of essential oils in the Middle East were done on rose. The plant produces:

  • Rose essential oil
  • Rosewater
  • Dried flowers which are used in grocery products
  • Rose hips which are the berries under the petals. They are rich in vitamins, minerals and fatty acids, polyphenols, carotenoids and tannins. The vitamin C content of rose hips is higher than citrus fruits.
  • Rosehip oil
  • Rose concrete and rose absolute

Rose is not an easy oil to diffuse and requires a lot of raw material harvested at the right time. About 4000 pounds of roses yields 1 pound of essential oil. This makes it an expensive oil.

There are different varieties of rose from around the world that are used to make the oil. Commercial rose oil usually comes from two rose species: damascena (Damask rose) and centifolia. Bulgaria and Turkey are the main producers of R. damascena essential oil.

In Ayurveda, rose products were used as astringents, cooling agents, mild laxatives, and antibacterials among many other uses. Rose oil is also commonly added to the skin, diluted in a carrier oil (Eg. almond, jojoba, sesame oil etc) or as part of skin care products and massage oils.

Botanical Name: Rosa damascena

Dosha: VPK-

Taste: Bitter, pungent, astringent, sweet

Energy: Cooling, wet

Actions: Alterative, emmenagogue, refrigerant, nervine, carminative, laxative, aphrodisiac, stimulant, antidepressant, hepatic

Usage: Used in perfumes, skin care products, as a compress, added to baths, inhaled, used in massage oils, as a spray

Constituents: These vary based on the species and growth conditions. Main ingredients are: citronellol, citral, carvone, eugenol, phenyl geraniol, linalool, a-pinene, b-pinene, a-terpinene, limonene.

Nervous System Benefits

  • Rose essential oil helps to reduce anger and depression
  • Rose essential oil helps reduce headaches
  • Rose essential oil awakens the mind and boosts confidence
  • Rose essential oil has anti-seizure effects, probably due to the flavonoids that have affinity to the GABAergic system in the brain.
  • Rose essential oil shows protection against induced neuronal cell death. It also protects against aluminum-induced neurotoxicity.

Circulation Benefits

  • Rose essential oil increases blood circulation and is vasorelaxant
  • Rose essential oil benefits cardiac issues through massage. It increases heart rate and contractility and inhibits ACE enzyme

Aphrodisiac

  • Rose has been used for a long time as an aphrodisiac
  • Rose is common in perfumes. It is a symbol of love and romance. The scent stimulates desires, evokes romantic feelings, and boosts libido.
  • Rose promotes harmony and elevates the mind by creating a sense of well-being
  • Rose essential oil has shown in studies to increase sperm count, increase the diameter of seminiferous tubules, and protect against testicular damage

Reproductive System and Hormones

  • Rose essential oil stimulates hormonal secretions which can then trigger menstruation for those who are suffering from irregular cycles.
  • Rose essential oil eases cramps, nausea, and fatigue, relieving pain of PMS. One study with rose essential oil showed daily massage caused improved psychological, physical, social, and reduced PMS symptoms.
  • Rose essential oil increases salivary estrogen concentration and has been used during menopause to reduce symptoms

Skin Benefits

  • Rose is common in face creams especially for mature skin as it helps against wrinkles as well as dry skin. It is also an antioxidant that counteracts free radical damage that ages skin.
  • It is astringent so it is used in skincare for inflamed skin
  • It is moisturizing and helps reduce sunspots
  • It reduces scarring and improves healing of skin and stretch marks

Antimicrobial Effects

  • Rose essential oil is antibacterial due to ingredients such as citral, nerol, and farnesol. It has shown activity against many bacteria.
  • Rose essential oil is good for small injuries to prevent infection and improve healing
  • It has citronellol (also in citronella) which is a mosquito repellant.
  • It has methyl eugenol which is a local antiseptic and anesthetic
  • Rose essential oil is antiviral due to citronellol, geraniol, and kaempferol and has activity against Candida

There are many natural skin care products that have rose essential oil. The popular Weleda products have a rose renewing facial care line. Andalou has a rose line that uses rose stem cells and rosehip oil. Dr. Hauschka has had the Rose Day Cream since the 1960s. Of course you can also buy rose essential oil and rosehip oil in many health food stores. You can also make your own products using these oils!

Whipped Body Butter for Vata Dry Skin

  • ¼ cup shea butter
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1/8 cup avocado oil
  • 10 drops rose essential oil

In a double boiler, gently melt the shea butter and coconut oil. Add avocado oil. Remove, add to a bowl and let it cool down until it is not liquid anymore. Mix in the rose oil. With a hand mixer, whip it until it is fluffy. Store in a cool place (otherwise it may melt again).

Pitta Cleansing Paste

  • ¼ cup chickpea flour
  • Water
  • 6 drops rose essential oil

In a bowl, add flour and slowly mix in water stirring until a paste is formed. Add rose oil and mix. Rub onto the face and the wash away with water.

Simple Kapha Massage Oil

  • ¼ cup mustard seed oil
  • 12 drops rose essential oil

In a storage jar/container, mix the oils. Massage the body regularly.

And I have some exciting news!

I am currently working on an Ayurvedic Aromatherapy e-course that is detailed and comprehensive. It is organized into 12 modules that teaches you everything you need to know about Aromatherapy, and Ayurveda uses essential oils to balance doshas. You get a Materia Medica on dozens of essential oil, properties, and usages. You get all the health benefits of each essential oil organized per body system, based on research. You also get lots of DIY recipes with essential oils. This is a wonderful resource to have (for life!).

 

References

Hafiz Majid Rasheed et al. Chemical Composition and Vasorelaxant and Antispasmodic Effects of Essential Oil from Rosa indica L. PetalsEvid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015; 2015: 279247.

Shinohara K et al. Effects of essential oil exposure on salivary estrogen concentration in perimenopausal women. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2017 Jan;37(8):567-572.

Mahboubi M. Rosa damascena as holy ancient herb with novel applications. J Tradit Complement Med. 2015 Oct 30;6(1):10-6.

 

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Ayurvedic Roasted Turmeric Potatoes

I have been cooking with turmeric a lot lately. It is a wonderful spice that provides many health benefits for inflammation, skin health, nervous system, digestion, as well as being anti-septic and anti-cancer. Actually.. I am writing a Turmeric e-book that will be out soon! All the benefits of turmeric, the history, and the >100  study references behind turmeric will be discussed, as well as >60 recipes of food and body care uses!

Turmeric is pacifying for vata, pitta, and kapha

Turmeric is bitter, pungent, astringent

Turmeric is heating and drying

In the meantime, enjoy this recipe!

Ingredients:

  • Potatoes, 3
  • Sesame seed oil, 2 tbsp
  • Garlic cloves, minced. 2
  • Turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Cayenne, 1/4 tsp
  • Paprika, 1/2 tsp
  • Himalayan salt, to taste
  • Lemon juice, 2 tsp

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F/230C
  2. In a small bowl add the spices and mix with sesame oil
  3. Clean the potatoes and  slice into wedges
  4. Add the potatoes in a bowl and coat them with the mix
  5. Spread the potatoes on a baking sheet
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, take them out to flip them, bake another 10 minutes
  7. Check with a fork that the potatoes are cooked.

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Last night I made my favourite kale salad recipe and thought I should share it with you. I used the very popular dinosaur kale, also known as the black cabbage, to prepare my salad. This is an exciting leafy green that has varieties [different types of kale leaves] and provides us with a lot of nutrition. You must get organic and fresh kale. Kale grows well into winter, therefore easy to find in Canada.

Preparing kale for optimal health benefits:

Thyroid Health:
Kale belongs to the Cruciferous or Brassica family. When eaten raw cruciferous vegetables are known to suppress thyroid function for those who are suffering from low thyroid function, mainly because they contain goitrogens. Goitrogens interfere with iodine uptake and, in that way, also interfere with production of thyroid hormones. However if you steam the kale you can negate this affect. Contrary to popular belief cruciferous vegetables are not “goitrogenic” food that will cause goitor just because you eat them. In fact if you are a healthy person it will not interfere with your thyroid function.

Heart Health:
Another reason to steam or cook kale is that it can provide cholesterol lowering benefits. The fiber related components in kale bind together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they are steamed. When this binding process takes place, it is easier for the bile acids to be excreted which then results in lowering cholesterol.

Losing the Parasite:
Leafy greens before they are picked are – perfect breeding ground for a microscopic parasite to lay eggs. Make sure when you are eating raw kale it is thoroughly cleaned and washed to remove any pathogens that may still be there. Lightly steaming may help lose the parasite. I add lots of lemon or lime juice and garlic to my raw kale to negate this factor.

Preventing Cancer:
Research is now showing that kale can lower the risk of five different types of cancer – bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostate. Isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from glucosinolates in kale play a primary role in achieving these risk-lowering benefits. The ITCs can also help detox our body at a genetic level.

Nutritional affect of Kale:
According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman [author of Eat Right America], kale scores highest [along with collard greens and few others] in his nutrient dense food chart.

Micronutrients:
Kale contains high amount of Vitamin K and A. It also contains significant amount of Vitamin C, beta carotene and manganese.

Flavonoids:
Flavonoids are naturally occurring plant pigments that make fruits and vegetables beneficial for our health. They have antioxidants, anti-histamine, anti-microbial, memory and mood enhancing properties. Kale also provides us with at least 45 different flavonoids, including kaempferol and quercetin. Many of the flavonoids in kale are also now known to have anti-inflammatory compounds.

Building block of Omega 3:
Kale also provides us with a significant amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the basic building block for all omega-3 fats. Omega 3 is known to reduce inflammation.

Fiber:
Kale contains both soluble and insoluble fiber that is crucial for our colon health.

Recipes:

Dino Kale Salad:

1 bunch organic dinosaur kale
½ garlic clove
¼ tsp. of sea salt
2-3 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup of lemon juice, freshly squeezed
½ an avocado
½ a tomato
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
Pinch of red chili flakes
Black pepper to taste

Directions:

• Cut off the stems [1/4 inch from the end] and chop kale leaves roughly. Put the leaves in a salad bowl.
• In another small bowl mix olive oil, garlic, red chili flakes and shallots.
• Squeeze half a lemon to get the juice and pour it on the kale leaves.
• Massage the juice on the leaves and let it sit for 5 minutes.
• Chop avocado and tomato.
• Add the avocado and tomato to the kale leaves and mix well.
• Pour in the olive oil mixture, salt and pepper to the salad bowl.
• You can enjoy this leafy green salad on it’s own or with a main. It is a plate cleanser!

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Miso and Curly Kale Soup:

Ingredients:

5 kale leaves, thinly chopped
8 cups of water
2 tbsp. of dark miso
5-6 shiitake mushroom, roughly chopped
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 tsp. of cumin powder
1 tbsp. of coconut oil or ghee

Directions

• In a bowl add miso paste and a cup of water to make a thin paste of miso.
• In a pot add coconut oil, ginger and shallots. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
• Pour in the rest of the water and bring to boil.
• Lower the heat after it starts to boil.
• Add shiitake mushroom and cumin powder in to the pot.
• Pour in the miso paste into the soup pot.
• Bring to a boil once more and lower heat to simmer the soup for 2 minutes.
• Add the scallions at the end.
Note: You can add tofu, tempeh or seaweed to this recipe.

Reference:
1. http://nourishedkitchen.com/foods-thyroid-health/
2. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=38
3. http://www.frequencyrising.com/parasitecleanse.htm
4. http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200307/flavonoids-antioxidants-help-the-mind

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