Top Reasons to Use Nasya Nose Oil & How it Protects against Viral Attack

The word Nasya means 'through the nasal route'. There are several advantages to nasal route administration of any substance according to modern science.

-Avoidance of liver first pass effect
-Avoidance of metabolism through gastrointestinal tract
-Fast onset of therapeutic effects
-Rapid absorption, high bioavailability
-DIrect entry of herbal formulation into the Central Nervous System

Anatomical and physiological study of the nose shows that nasal mucosa (olfactory mucosa) is the only site which directly connects the brain and the external environment. The delivery of any instillation from the nose to the CNS (central nervous system) occurs via the olfactory pathway, has the potential to bypass the blood brain barrier.

According to Ayurveda, the sinus cavity is the gateway to the brain, mind, and consciousness. Herbal formulations delivered through the nostrils reach the Shringataka marma (formed by the union of blood vessels supplying to nose ear, eye and tongue) by nasal channels and spreads into the head/brain by way of the eye, ear, throat and opening of the vessels. Because the nose serves as the gateway to the brain, keeping the nasal passages well hydrated promotes mental clarity, sharpens the memory, and cultivates emotional stability.

To address imbalances related to memory, emotions, thoughts, and any physical imbalances above the clavicle bone such as tension in the throat, neck, jaw, shoulders and head, treatments like Nasya are often administered. 

Nasya is the ancient practice of lubricating the nasal cavities and sinuses by gently placing a few drops of herbal or non-herbal oil into each nostril. This can be self-administered (with proper instruction) or given by an Ayurvedic practitioner in a warm and comforting Nasya treatment. Using oil in the nose lubricates the nasal cavity and sinuses, offering protection from the recycled air, and creating a barrier against pollen and environmental pollutants. Nasya fosters deep inhalation by opening up the nasal passage, allowing prana to flow, aiding in relaxation, releasing stress, and preventing blocked energy.

Furthermore, practicing Nasya & receiving regular Nasya treatments clears stagnation from dry accumulated mucous, relieves congestion, strengthens the membranes, sharpens the sense of smell, and reactivates your breath through the nose.

The Subtle Effects of Nasya from an Ayurvedic Perspective

Nasya also offers support for imbalances related to prana vayu, sadhaka pitta, and tarpaka kapha—the three sub-doshas that govern inhalation, processing emotions, and lubrication.

Prana Vayu

When prana vayu is out of balance, a person may experience anxiety, insomnia, inability to concentrate, and neurological disorders. Prana vayu is located in the cranial cavity. It moves downward and inward in the head and is responsible for inhalation and the movement of the mind, which includes our perception, sensations, feelings, thoughts, and emotions. How prana vayu flows is determined by our thoughts and it plays a role in our emotional response. If the mind has excess movement, is unstable, or there is excess dryness in the body, it can disturb the nervous system. This can impact how we breathe and, in turn, affect the flow of prana throughout our body.  

For example, if there is sinus congestion (from excess kapha) it could hinder the flow of prana, possibly causing stiffness or pain in the neck, head, and face. This can impact our ability to concentrate or discern our thoughts, and create frustration stemming from the inability to breathe, smell, or even sleep.

An herbal-based Nasya treatment offers support by quickly reaching the brain, mind, and consciousness. Nasya treatment provides nourishment and balance by bringing beneficial herbs and oil to lubricate, cleanse, and rejuvenate the nasal passages. By alleviating stress, releasing tension, and clearing stagnation, breathing becomes easier, and prana (life force & vitality) flows freely. Plus, it feels good!

Please note: Avoid nasya when pregnant, feeling ill or experiencing a sinus infection, and immediately after using neti pot for nasal rinsing.

Notes on Preventing Viral Attack by Dr Marc Cohen

The first line of defense against a viral infection is the nasal mucosa and upper respiratory cavities. They are lined with epithelial cells that secrete a watery mucus that is sticky on the surface. That mucus is designed to capture particulate matter &  virus to present them to the immune cells, that also line the mucosa, so they can develop antibodies against them and to keep that mucosa moving (about 1mm a minute) through cilia. It moves approximately 10-15x a second into the pharynx until you spit it out or swallow it. So that would be the normal way your body would protect your body and get rid of unwanted pathogens.

Keeping a warm humid environment also strengthens the mucosa in your sinus and chest. Indoor house plants, pots on the stove, humidifiers, steam shower, breathing steam, diffusing anti-viral essential oils, even a mask creates a humid microclimate around your nose and mouth. 

COVID is a respiratory virus with a lipid envelope, and it becomes unstable at above 55-60 C. This isn’t the temp of your lungs, but it is up in your and nasal cavity. Respiratory viruses enter into the coldest part of the body, which in winter is the nose. When your nose is in the sauna, its the hottest part and tries to cool down and filter the air. The nose is an important heat exchanger. Viruses prefer the cold and cannot sustain under that heat. These viruses don't have sophisticated repair mechanisms to cope with heat, whereas humans have very sophisticated systems. My takeaway is that masks can help, especially in the cold season to keep the nose warm and moist and prevent invasion.

In a time of a pandemic, emergency causes a fight or flight response and produces cortisol that activates your sympathetic nervous system, so you can battle an enemy for example.  It directs all energy outwards into the eyes, brain, & extremities to prepare for keen reactions. The digestive system and healing systems are suppressed so all energy goes to fight or flight. When we are in this pattern on a long term basis, it makes us more susceptible to illness, disease, and chronic ailments because we have become weakened.

We are already exposed to so much toxicity in our food, water, frequencies, society and debt, now we have a pandemic which triggers more disease. Self Care is more vital now than ever.

10 Hacks to Relax - From WIred & Tired to Chilled & Fulfilled

-Touch all your fingers - stimulates the largest part of your brain

-Wiggle your toes

-Soften your Stomach

-Breath thru your nose

-Smile

-Swallow

-Sing

-Flutter your eyelids

-Going within

Emotional FIrst Aid

There’s a battle for our immune system going on. The info coming from authorities is “wear a mask, cough in your sleeve, stay at home, social distance, wait for vaccine” Not about how to support our immune systems. The wisdom of Ayurveda completely empowers you to take charge of your own health and needs.

-Sigh

We have potentially outsourced our immune systems to the western medical system and to vaccines and drugs, rather than build up our own resilience. The usual situation is for our bodies to be exposed, like we are to so much already, and for our bodies to build antibodies and strengthen our immune systems. For example,  our ability to develop fever or increase heat to fight viral infections, we can tolerate higher temps more than viruses can. We can use this against the virus. Creating heat, steam, sauna, sweating,etc.. 

Get off your screens and tune in to what’s around you, and focus on fun. It’s not frivolous during this time, when we have restrictions we have to nurture our inner being and tap into what brings us joy.

Heat is a very powerful force so use caution.  It turns on and actively activates your immune system. Yet like any intervention it can help or hurt you. Find your own natural balance and tolerance, comfortably uncomfortable. It’s important to note that water transfers heat 25x faster than air, so a steam sauna may be tolerated less time than a dry sauna.

When you have heat stress, your plasma volume increases, your heart strokes and cardiac output increases, and when you start to feel your head pounding do not exceed past this point.

After, allow your body to cool down safely, and alternate between hot and cold, and this helps increase your heat tolerance.  Heat and cool together enhances immune function and improves your general physiological response to any stress. Regular treatments with heat, prevent and reduce respiratory infections.

I hope you have gained a morsel of wisdom from these words. I am passionate about sharing, learning, & educating regarding health, wellness, and especially Ayurveda.

Please contact me with any questions or comments and to learn more about Nasya treatments!

Amalaki: Highest Source of Vitamin C

Amalaki: Highest Source of Vitamin C

Amalaki: Highest Source of Vitamin C

The fruit of the Amla tree (amalaki) contains the highest amount of vitamin C than any other known source. There is approximately 750 mg of vitamin C in 10g of fresh fruit. Visually, it looks like a large white grape when fresh. If a person found an amla tree and bit into the fruit, they would experience an extremely sour taste, but the flavor soon turns sweet. (After amla has been cooked and processed in medicinal form, it will no longer have an extremely sour taste- it will be just mildly sour.)

Even though Amalaki is sour, it has a cooling effect on the body- making it especially useful for pacifying the pitta dosha. Normally the sour taste is contraindicated for individuals with high pitta in their bodies. However, amla has a prabhava, or special quality of cooling, and is an exception to this rule.

Like many ayurvedic herbs, Amalaki works on many systems in the body. For example, it can increase reproductive fluids and sexual potency- so is considered an aphrodisiac. It has an affinity toward the rakta dhatu, or blood tissue. Due to this, it purifies the blood, is a heart tonic, and can heal bleeding disorders. It can also lower cholesterol and help rectify arterial damage.

Digestively speaking, Amla is especially useful in inflammatory disorders- such as ulcers, colitis, gastritis, and bleeding conditions. In small doses, it can be constipating, but in large doses it can be a laxative. It extracts toxins from the liver. It has the rare quality of increasing agni, or digestive fire, without aggravating the pitta dosha.

Amla can increase energy- so it is a great immune system tonic and builder. It is a main ingredient in Cyanaprasa- the superb and ancient Ayurvedic rejuvenative tonic. It can be used to strengthen a person if they are weak or experiencing debility. In addition to being rejuvenating, this herb has been called an adaptogen and has been indicated in slowing the aging process. It increases virility, vitality, and is an immune-restorative.

Amalaki pacifies vitiated sadhak pitta, which is a sub-dosha of pitta that deals with the way information is digested in the mind. In other words, if a person is feeling mentally “on fire” or aggravated, amla can help relieve this. It has been known to impart a peaceful state of mind and quality of wellbeing on a person’s psyche.

Amla is also very nourishing for the hair. You will find it in ayurvedic hair products or in henna hair powders as a conditioner and nourishing ingredient. It alleviates hair loss and early greyness as well.

 

Ashwagandha Almond Butter

Ashwagandha Almond Butter

Ashwagandha Almond Butter

Raw almond butter can be tedious to make, but it is worth the patience, especially when you know the health of your adrenals is on the line. Having this adaptogenic version of almond butter on hand is as useful as it is delicious. You can use it as an ingredient in other dishes or add it as a topping on things like toast with honey and cinnamon.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almonds, raw
  • 2 teaspoons ashwagandha powder
  • 1 teaspoon ghee or coconut oil, if needed

Directions:

Using a food processor or heavy duty blender, add almonds and begin blending on a low to medium-low speed. Blend until a smooth butter forms. This could take anywhere from 10–30 minutes. Add the ashwagandha powder towards the end. You may need to stop to scrape the sides of the blender. A small amount of oil such as ghee or coconut oil can help if the almonds seem dry or aren’t blending. Refrigerate in an airtight container.
Bulletproof Coffee Ayurveda Style

Bulletproof Coffee Ayurveda Style

How Can This Ayurvedic Recipe Make Your Coffee Better?

Coffee is stimulating and depleting, but adding this Ayurvedic coffee booster can help mitigate the harmful effects of coffee. Grass-fed butter (rich in vitamin A which is key for adrenal and thyroid health) and nourishing coconut oil contain stable, healthy saturated fats that soothe your nerves and help protect your stomach lining from acidic coffee.

Coffee is a rich source of antioxidants, but is also a very strong stimulant and is therefore only recommended when it can be balanced with formulas such as this one. It is one of the few ways that Vata-types can safely enjoy a cup of coffee without getting over-stressed and depleting their adrenals. Even though it is high in fats, the idea is to utilize bulletproof coffee in a way that the fats are used as a source of energy. The fats help ‘time-release’ the caffeine for longer, sustainable energy.

Roasted dandelion gives a complementary flavor and supports the liver and adrenals. Cinnamon, Cardamom, and Rose are cooling and demulcent which will balance the heating and drying effects of coffee. Ashwagandha & Shatavari are a potent adaptogenic powerhouse that nourish the adrenals and nervous system. 

Enjoy the Bulletproof Coffee Booster with coffee, coffee alternatives (Veda Roast), tea, desserts, snack bars, and shakes!

 

5 Spices for Rest & Digest

5 Spices for Rest & Digest

Ayurveda has been using a powerhouse 5 spice blend for digestion and not only for everyday use and prevention but help to heal issues at the root. The most common reported digestive symptoms are gas, bloating, indigestion, and abdominal discomfort. When these symptoms occur, even (and especially) if it’s subtle, it is vital not to ignore them for long term health.

If you have not been diagnosed with any severe digestive issues, then consider working with a practitioner to reset your digestive strength and efficiency naturally with diet & lifestyle modifications, and of course herbs and spices. These 5 spices in particular have been used for thousands of years with repeated success. 

  • Fennel
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Cardamom
  • Ginger

Commonly in Indian restaurants, you may see a bowl of fennel seeds offered after a meal. What I appreciate most about these spices is how they reset digestive function without creating dependency (like enzymes could) and they are as gentle as they are potent. These spices actually support the body’s natural ability to digest, rather then just addressing symptoms. Digestive enzymes only temporarily provide enzymes to digest protein and starches, while this 5 spice blend will amp up the body’s ability to produce its own digestive enzymes and bile.

Digestive Benefits:

  • Increases bile flow
  • Supports Pancreatic enzymatic activity
  • Boosts small intestine enzymatic activity
  • Decreases gas & bloating
  • Improves fat & sugar metabolism 
  • Promotes optimal weight
  • Supports healthy microbiome
  • Increases healthy growth rate of beneficial bacteria
  • Stimulates digestive organs
  • Quickens intestinal transit time supporting health elimination

 

Why these spices?

Coriander – Coriander is probably the most cooling of the five. The seeds are commonly used in herbal remedies. The leaves, known as cilantro, are slightly less cooling then the seeds whereas the seeds are best known for their digestive properties of cooling excess pitta in the intestinal tract, making it a go-to for heartburn. It is a natural carminative meaning it prevents or relieves gas from the GI tract. Coriander has also been shown to increase natural production of bile from the liver and digestive enzymes from the pancreas. 

 

Cardamom – A member of the ginger family, Ayurveda reveres this spice in making your dishes more digestible and delicious! (Especially masala chai!) Cardamom also neutralizes the stimulating effects of caffeine, allowing chai to boost digestion without taxing the nervous system. It is also fondly known to reduce the extreme acidity of many foods and caffeinated beverages (including coffee) and is the signature spice in traditional Turkish coffee. These reasons and more are why I added it to my Bulletproof Coffee Blend. When cooked into your food, it balances excess mucus, gas, and bloating in the stomach and small intestine. Cardamom has also been found to support healthy liver function, supporting healthy levels of cholesterol and weight loss. 

 

Cumin – Cumin, we dare say, is the most powerful digestive tonic of the five spices. While very effective alone, it blends well in both taste and effectiveness with the others. It is much like coriander in that it cools the digestive system, as well as boosts strength, supports health assimilation, cultivation of good microbes, and detoxification of the GI tract. Cumin is the go-to for gas & bloating. 

 

 

Fennel – Not only does it combat gas and bloating, it is extremely gentle for digestive stress and as one of Ayurveda favorite lymph-movers, containing natural antioxidant compounds that support healthy lymphatic function.As a lymph mover, it also supports healthy lactation and radiant skin, inside & out. Fennel seeds are considered to be the most sattvic of spices(promoting purity and balance), because of it’s optimal balancing effect on all the Doshas. It is considered one of the best digestive herbs as it strengthens digestive fire (Agni) without aggravating pitta, and is beneficial for abdominal cramping, nausea and dispelling flatulence.

 

Ginger – Known in Ayurveda as the ‘universal spice’ because of its many health benefits. It is heating for the upper digestion, with its pungent taste, but cooling and soothing for the lower digestion, as a result of its sweet aftertaste. It is therefore considered to be tri-doshic, balancing all Doshas (except in excess). Ginger is the classic kindling to start digestive fire in the stomach. Ginger has been studied to support the body’s natural production of stomach acid, pancreatic enzymes, and liver bile – acting as a digestive reset for all aspects of the upper digestive system. Scientific studies have shown it supports healthy microbes and intestinal wall, while acting as a digestive stimulant for nutrient assimilation.

 

In my Rest & Digest Tea, I combined these 5 spices in proprietary amounts for a delicious taste and optimal effectiveness of each spice. To make it even more special I added Indian Sarsaparilla. This brings the tummy soothing feeling and is known for aiding in many digestive ailments.

Digestive strength is the number one thing assessed in an Ayurvedic consultation. “When diet is correct, medicine is of no need, when diet is wrong, medicine is of no use” – Ayurvedic Proverb
If you are having problems with digestion, assimilation, and elimination, it is the root cause of all imbalance and disease in your body. Please consider a “Clarity Call” with Seva Ayurveda to see if Ayurveda can help you!

Ayurveda Spring Cleanse

Ayurveda Spring Cleanse

🦋1. Spring is a time of transition.
In Ayurveda, Spring and Fall are known as “transitional seasons”, making them the ideal months to perform a cleanse and start anew. On a microcosmic level, a time of transition is considered a very special time for making positive changes in your life. Therefore, cleansing out our bodies and de-cluttering our minds is an essential way to blossom into a new time of year.

🏵2. Spring provides the perfect weather for a cleanse.
During a cleanse our energy can be low, our senses heightened and our bodies more susceptible to imbalance. For these reasons, it is ideal to avoid extremes of any kind including the extreme heat and severe cold; making it a more balanced time to take advantage of a Springtime cleanse!

💐3. Allergies are in the air.
Common symptoms of allergies include congestion, inflammation, foggy mind, low immunity, sluggish digestion and high Kapha. For all of these reasons, a cleanse will be most beneficial in order to treat Springtime allergies. In fact, if you already know you are susceptible to allergies this time of year, it would be best to perform the cleanse BEFORE their onset, as prevention is always easier than treatment (when possible).

🍀4. Spring Cleanses help to remove the accumulated Kapha from the previous winter months.
Common Kapha symptoms such as winter weight gain, stagnation, low motivation, fatigue, foggy mind, congestion, allergies and overeating are all too common this time of year.

🌿5. Cleansing lightens our loads
Winter is the time of year for eating a bit more and moving a bit less. Although this is the way of nature, it is important to also realize that Spring is the time of year to eat a bit lighter and gearing up for a more active season. Performing a Spring cleanse is a great way to set the stage for readjusting the diet and lifestyle, paving the way for healthier food choices and increasing motivation for movement.

🌞6. Reboot, Rejuvenation, Rekindle!