Tea recipes that will make you feel delicious!

Tea recipes that will make you feel delicious!

Tea for Three ( Doshas )

– Let’s enjoy a nice cuppa –

 

I Love Ginger Tea – for Vatas

  • 2 inches ginger root
  • 4-5 cups water
  • 1 tsp raw sugar
  1. Grate ginger root.
  2. Add to a pot of boiling water and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Strain and enjoy. Add honey if desired.

 

Rose & Mint Tea – for Pittas

  • 2 pinches of fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp mint
  • 1/4 tsp rose petals
  • 1/4 tsp raw sugar
  • 2 cups of water
  1. Boil water.
  2. Add ingredients and steep for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Strain and enjoy.

Spice for Life Tea – for Kaphas

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tbsp crushed cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger root
  • 1 tsp honey (optional)
  1. Begin heating water in a pot.
  2. Add cinnamon sticks and turmeric powder and boil for 3 minutes.
  3. Add ginger and boil for another 2 minutes.
  4. Strain and add a bit of honey if desired once it’s cooled down a bit.

 

Digestive Tea for all Doshas ( CCF Tea )

  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 4-5 cups of water
  1. In the morning, Bring to a boil 4-5 cups fo water. Add all the seeds. Cover with lid and boil for 5 minutes.
  2. Strain out seeds and pour into a thermos.
  3. Drink at least 3 times a day to improve and reset your digestion.

 

PS
I lived in England for a year when I was 19 years old. What a delight to visit grandiose estates on the weekends and enjoy a nice cup of tea in the beautiful surroundings. I must add that I generally accompanied that with a delicious scone and Devonshire cream. Fond memories.

Kim

Lifestyle tips on staying grounded during Vata season

Staying Centered During the Colder Months

– Lifestyle –

 

All body types are vulnerable to Vata derangement during autumn and winter, but those who are predominantly Vata types need to be particularly vigilant about staying in balance.
As long as these qualities are in balance, a person whose dosha is predominantly Vata will be healthy, creative, and exuberant. But when too much Vata accumulates in the body and mind, the imbalance may manifest as physical or emotional disorders, including insomnia, dry skin, arthritis, constipation, high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression (Deepak Chopra).

Following is a list of tips to help you stay balanced through these colder months:

Apart from following a Vata pacifying diet which I spoke of in my last newsletter.
Today, I share with you some practical lifestyle tips to stay grounded:

STAY WARM

  • I know, this sounds so obvious but it does astonish me to see so many people during the colder weather not cover their ears, necks and even waist. So please, keep your ears covered; very sensitive area for Vata people; the cold wind will greatly increase Vata symptoms. Cover up! If your ears are very sensitive you can add a dab of oil in each ear in the morning.
  • Keep your feet warm. A great practice is to rub the soles of your feet with warm sesame oil before bedtime. You shall have a more restful sleep!

DAILY SELF-MASSAGE ( ABHYANGA )

  • Self-massage with warm sesame or almond oil before your shower is fantastic to improve your circulation, stimulate your senses, glands, lymphatic system and to simply give yourself love. Daily massage with oil will greatly benefit your skin as it tends to become dry during Vata season. Everyone responds positively to touch and this is something you can give yourself on a daily basis. How awesome is that!
  • Rub a few drops of warm oil into your nasal passages as they tend to get dry during the colder months.

STICK TO A ROUTINE

  • Maintaining a regular daily schedule for your sleep, waking time, and meals is a must. Vata dosha is by nature variable, therefore bringing stability by sticking to a routine is very calming and restorative.
  • Having a set routine for the morning starts the day right and calms the mind. Morning rituals of self-care are not a luxury, they are a beautiful way to repapre the body and mind for what lays ahead.
  • Turn off all screens; computers, TV, tablets, at least one hour before bedtime for a more restiful sleep.
STILLNESS OF THE BODY & MIND
  • Meditation
    a daily practice shall nourish you physiologically and psychologically. It’s the best way I know of to filter our thoughts and emotions and to simply train your mind to come back to the present moment, which is key toavoiding suffering.
  • Hatha yoga practice
    The definition of yoga in the Hatha Yoga texts is the union of the upward force (prana) and the downward force (apana) at the navel center (manipura chakra). Hatha yoga teaches us to master the totality of our life force, which is also called prana. By learning how to feel and manipulate the life force, we access the source of our being. (Dr Swami Shankardev Saraswati)
  • Alternate Nostril Breat ( Sanskrit: Nadi Shodhana )
    Nadi is a Sanskrit word meaning “channel” or “flow” and shodhana means “purification.” Therefore, nadi shodhana is primarily aimed at clearing and purifying the subtle channels of the mind-body organism, while balancing its masculine and feminine aspects. It is pacifying for all three doshas and is a suitable practice for most anyone. Here are a few of the benefits of this practice:
  1. Infuses the body with oxygen
  2. Clears and releases toxins
  3. Reduces stress and anxiety
  4. Calms and rejuvenates the nervous system
  5. Helps to balance hormones
  6. Supports clear and balanced respiratory channels
  7. Helps to alleviate respiratory allergies that cause hay fever, sneezing, or wheezing
  8. Balances solar and lunar, masculine and feminine energies
  9. Fosters mental clarity and an alert mind
  10. Enhances the ability to concentrate
  11. Brings balance to the left and right hemispheres of the brain

THE PRACTICE OF GRATITUDE

When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” -Lao Tzu
I am not one to believe in positive affirmations. I don’t think that by repeating to yourself that you are happy you will actually become happy. I do however think that the practice of gratitude can literally make a big shift in your perspective on life, on your moods and on your biochemistry. Being in a place where you desire what you have, rather than desire what you don’t have changes everything.

  • Set a specific time of day for your practice of gratitude; I like to do this before bedtime as it gives meaning to my life and is a comforting way to end my day. The beginning of your day is also a great time to focus on gratitude as it sets an intention for the day ahead.
  • I simply focus on three things for which I have gratitude; it can be someone, something, an event, the weather, acknowledgment of a feeling, anything that pops into your mind really; the person with whom you had a confrontation or any event that has proven to be difficult can simply be seen as a lesson from which you have learned something to help you make a shift and move forward. Life is short, if you spend your time thinking about things that make you angry, or sad, that is likely how you will be feeling.
  • From a practice of gratitude arises an inner sanctuary of joy that carries us through life. This sensation of expansion and inner contentment actually has the power to modify your biochemistry. With the advancement of knowledge in the field of Epigenetics, we understand now how our thoughts truly have a huge impact on our bodies and mind. The simple practices of meditation, gratitude, awareness and careful choice of words you use to speak to yourself, are just a few examples that can profoundly change your perspective on life.From this focus of awareness and expansion, comes a deep sense of love and connection to yourself and to others. As Deepak Chopra said: To know oneself is the highest intelligence.

Keep focused on these tips to stay grounded during for Vata Season. In my opinion, Fall is a great time to read, stay at home and harness your creative energy. Fun times ahead!

Be warm, be well!
Kim

Liquid Gold Recipe (aka as clarified butter or ghee)

Liquid Gold Recipe (aka as clarified butter or ghee)

We’re big fans of clarified butter in Brain Food Kitchens, which means we go through a lot of it. Every few weeks we make a batch so that we always have it on hand.Clarified butter and, the closely related, ghee are simply butter that has been cooked to remove any water and solids. Besides making the kitchen smell amazing, turning butter to clarified butter also gives the fat a higher smoke point (this just means you can cook with it a high temperatures) and lengthens the shelf life of the resulting fat.Both clarified butter and ghee begin with melting over low heat. And they are both heated until the water evaporates and the milk solids settle and then the clear fat is poured off. Ghee is heated just a wee bit more until the milk solids are browned, giving the resulting fat a nutty flavor and aroma. The difference is subtle.

We use clarified butter for frying and sauteing it is excellent for cooking eggs, popping popcorn or cooking steak. Clarified butter also makes a mean hollandaise. Ghee is often associated with Middle Eastern and South Asian cooking so its very much at home in dal, curries or stir fries. Ghee is also amazing for making sauces or for a dip with crab or lobster.

Clarified Butter
Melt a pound of unsalted butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat and slowly cook until the bubbling ceases and the liquid turns clear, 30 to 40 minutes. Strain and cool, being sure to leave any solids in the bottom of the pan. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.

Ghee
Melt a pound of unsalted butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat. As soon as it liquefies, turn the heat up to medium. When it finishes foaming, turn up the heat a little bit more and wait for it to foam a second time. Ghee is done when a second foam forms on top of butter, and the butter turns golden, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Brown milk solids will be in bottom of pan. Gently pour into heatproof container through fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Store in an airtight container, being sure to keep free from moisture. Ghee does not need refrigeration and will keep in airtight container for up to one month.

So this may come to you as a shock, but I’m not the only culinarian around here (here being Brain Food Industries my test kitchen) generating life-enhancing recipes, tips, and advice for American cooker-folk. In fact, my Director of Culinary Ops, Meghan Splawn, has been working behind my scenes for years. Every week she’s sharing her wisdom from our test kitchens nothing classified mind you, but she can cook up a storm so you might want to pay attention. 

Using Essential Oils For Self Care

Using Essential Oils For Self Care

Using Essential Oils for Self-Care
post by Maharishi Ayurveda

Using Essential Oils Properly

Essential oils have a number of uses, from meditation practices to stress relief to massage, and many more. Knowing how to make the best use of these gifts of nature adds to their value and enjoyment — and their effect on the mind and physiology. A little goes a long way, and as growing numbers of people are discovering, often the simplest prevention-oriented health tools are the best.

Ambient Diffusion

You can completely transform the character of a room in just a few minutes, using a few drops of a favorite aromatherapy essential oil or synergy blend in an aromatherapy diffuser. The diffusers disperse essential oils into the air in a number of different ways — with a cool-air stream or gentle warmth. They are ideal for cleansing and purifying the air and for creating a mood-enhancing, fragrant atmosphere. Use 4-8 drops of essential oil on the replaceable cartridge or pad for cool-air diffusion. Use 25 drops or more in a micro diffuser (atomizer or nebulizer). Use 3-8 drops in aroma lamps (with candle or electric). Refresh as needed.

Massage

Massage is considered by many to be one of the best ways to experience aromatherapy due to the combined benefits of touch and the therapeutic effect of the essential oils. Massage relaxes muscles and improves muscle tone, circulation, and lymph flow. It relieves physical tension and relieves mental stress. Essential oils should always be diluted in a good-quality vegetable carrier oil before applying to the skin (i.e., sweet almond, sesame oil, jojoba, olive oil, etc.) The standard dilution is 1-3% essential oil, or about 20-30 drops of essential oil to 2 ounces (60 ml or 4 tablespoons) of vegetable oil or fragrance-free lotion. Sensitive skin may require a lower amount, such as 10 drops in 2 ounces, or even less.

Facial Oil

Use 2-5 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce (30 ml) carrier oil (e.g., almond or jojoba oil).

Facial Steam Bath

Add 1-2 drops of essential oil to 2 litres of hot water; put your face over the water.

Facial Mask

Mix bentonite clay, healing earth, or oatmeal with water to form a smooth paste and add 2-4 drops of essential oil.

Bath

Baths combine the restorative effects of both water and essential oils in a most pleasurable way. They are perfect to relieve muscle strain, soothe skin conditions, and promote emotional balance. Use 5-15 drops to a full tub of water and 3-5 drops for a sitz bath. It is best to mix the essential oils with some carrier oil, a little cream or pure organic raw honey, or with bath salts to help them disperse in the water, and add the essential oil after you have immersed yourself, so you receive the full benefits of the oils as they begin to diffuse in the warm water. Mix the essential oils with an emulsifier such as cream or honey, or mix with bath salts.

Shower

After your shower, put 3-5 drops of essential oil in your hands and rub them together. While your skin is still damp from the shower, quickly and evenly spread the oil over your arms, legs, and torso. Allow to dry.

Foot and Hand Bath

Foot baths are a wonderful way to pamper yourself — perfect when you do not have time for a full bath. Remember: when your feet feel good, you feel good all over — and the feet are a very important area in aromatherapy, because their reflex points affect every area of the body, and because the skin on the feet absorbs essential oils rapidly. Hand baths can be soothing for people with aching joints or circulation problems. Use 3-5 drops in a bowl of water. Adjust the temperature of the water to suit your needs; cool water invigorates and energizes, while warm water sedates and relaxes.

Chest Rub

Many essential oils are recommended to assist respiration and relieve congestion, such as eucalyptus, fir, rosemary, and spike lavender. In these cases, a chest and upper back rub is beneficial. Dilute 10-20 drops of essential oil in 1 ounce (30ml) of carrier oil and rub on chest and upper back.

Direct Inhalation and Steam Inhalation

Inhale the fragrance, three or four times, through the nose directly from the bottle or from a tissue sprinkled with 4 drops of essential oil. Alternatively, add 3 drops of essential oil to a bowl of hot water, cover your eyes, place a large towel over your head and inhale the steam deeply. Repeat as required. (Excellent in case of a cold.)

Direct Application

Certain situations require a specific direct application. In these cases, a stronger dilution is used for a brief period of time. The essential oils can be diluted in a carrier oil or other medium such as aloe vera gel or witch hazel. Certainessential oils such as lavender and tea-tree can be used undiluted for small areas such as an insect bite or scratch. Experiment with the strength and adjust to a higher dilution if there is skin irritation. To start: 10 drops of essential oil in 1 teaspoon of carrier oil.

Compress

A compress is a clean, damp, folded cloth that has been infused with essential oils and is then applied to the problem area. It employs either warm or cool water, depending on its use. Fill a small bowl with water and add 2-5 drops of essential oil. Stir briskly, soak the cloth, wring, and apply. Repeat this procedure as needed.

Mouthwash

The antiseptic and antibacterial effect of essential oils can be perfect for freshening the breath and helping to maintain healthy gums, etc. Simply add a few drops of an essential oil to a cup of water and swirl around in the mouth. Do not swallow.

Gargle

Thoroughly mix the essential oil in a teaspoon of organic raw honey, then dilute with lukewarm water until the honey is dissolved. Use 1-2 drops per 1 ounce (30 ml) of warm water.

Perfume

Mix 10-20 drops of essential oil in 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil. Apply to one or more of the pulse points — behind the ears, underside of the wrist, inner elbow, behind the knees, and on the backs of the ankles.

Add to Cosmetics

Essential oils can be added to pre-made, fragrance-free products. Use 10-15 drops per 2 ounces (60 ml) of moisturizer; 20-30 drops per 8 ounces (240 ml) of lotion; 20 drops per 8 ounces of shampoo; and 20-30 drops per 8 ounce of conditioner.

Mist

Misting is a convenient way to impart the enticing aroma of essential oils in the room or on your skin. Fill an 8-ounce mister bottle with 20-30 drops of essential oils. Shake vigorously each time before misting.

Sauna

Put one drop of essential oil on the hot rocks or mix 5 drops of essential oil in one cup of water and pour over the rocks.

Cooking and Food Flavoring

Use ½-1 drop essential oil for salad dressings, sauces, sweets, and drinks.

Meditation

Using aromatics for meditation practices and spiritual experience has been done for thousands of years. Maharishi Ayurveda has several oils well suited for this purpose, such as frankincense, patchouli, sandalwood, and myrrh. Diffuse the oils in the meditation environment or put a drop in your hands, rub the hands together, and inhale the aroma.

Hydrolates

A true aromatherapy hydrolate (or aromatherapy hydrosol) is the water that is collected when plants are steam-distilled for their essential oils. Hydrolates (also referred to as flower waters and hydrosols) have a delicate nature and a light aroma. They are ideal for situations that require gentle aromatic care — especially for children, the elderly, the highly sensitive. They do not require dilution and can be applied directly to the skin. Some of their most popular uses are:

  • To hydrate and moisturize the skin
  • To soothe sunburn
  • To cool the effects of hot flashes
  • For refreshing facial toners for all skin types
  • For soothing eye-pads
  • For facial masks
  • To flavor natural yogurt
  • To mist house plants
  • For home fragrance (room sprays)

Medicinal Uses of Essential Oils

According to the laws governing the sale of essential oils, there are very strict guidelines concerning what vendors of essential oils can claim about the medicinal properties of the products that they sell. While we are happy to abide by these guidelines, we would like to point out that authors of books on aromatherapy are not subject to the same constraints, and there are many books available which have a wealth of information about essential oils and their known effects in all areas of life.

Enjoy !


Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.

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