The Benefits of Turmeric in Ayurvedic Medicine

Turmeric, scientific name Curcuma longa, is one of the most well-known, and commonly used Ayurvedic spices in the world, often giving a bright yellow color to curries and rice dishes. It is used both internally and externally for health and healing. It has also been extensively researched by modern scientists wishing to discover whether turmeric really offers all the benefits that Ayurvedic medical practitioners claim.

The jury is in, and numerous studies have shown that turmeric, and in particular, its active ingredient curcumin, can have significant health benefits when used correctly, with few risks of side effects.

A powerful antioxidant
Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant that can help ward off disease and reduce the daily wear and tear on the body that scientists believe to be the main cause of aging.

Our many bodily functions create waste products. One of the main ones to watch out for is free radicals. They steal electrons from any source they can find in order to complete their own outer ring. The theft of these electrons weakens cells, leaving them prone to malfunction or even mutation, which can lead to cancer. The process of theft is known as oxidative stress.

Consuming antioxidants can stop this process of theft, because they have extra electrons they can easily spare, protecting your cells and DNA from attack.

Anti-inflammatory properties
Turmeric also soothes inflammation, a major cause of rheumatic conditions such as arthritis, and heart health issues. It improves circulation and can help relieve pain. It is applied to the joints to relieve aches and pains. Turmeric paste is also used to soothe and beautify skin.

Digestive health
Turmeric also soothes upset stomachs and promotes healthy digestion. It stabilizes blood sugar and supports liver health.

Brain and nervous system effects
Turmeric is used to support focus and concentration, and can help with cognitive issues. It enhances mood and has a calming effect on the nervous system.

Musculoskeletal health
In addition to supporting the joints, it also supports one’s overall physical strength. Yogis in particular use turmeric to support flexibility and strength.

The immune system
It helps balance the energies in the body and supports a health immune system. It can also be used as part of a rasayana, or longevity tonic.
Potential side effects
It is a wonderful remedy for many ailments, but it is not for everyone. Side effects to watch out for include:

Increased risk of bleeding
Increased liver function tests
Gallbladder issues
Low blood pressure

These usually occur only if used in high doses. It is not recommended for pregnant women due to potential miscarriage.

Try adding turmeric to your diet and see how refreshed and vibrant you will feel.

What is the Best Diet for Ayurveda?

Many people have heard that Ayurveda can improve their health. This centuries-old healing path from India emphasizes prevention of disease, and living in harmony with nature. It also focuses on a balance of the energies.

We are what we eat, so it should come as no surprise that Ayurveda pays a good deal of attention to diet as a path to healing. However, this can be a bit tricky, because according to Ayurveda, there are 3 main mind-body energy types, or doshas, which we all possess in varying patterns. Most people have one dominant energy and 2 lesser ones.

The 3 doshas
In Ayurveda, there are 3 forms of mind-body energy:

Vata – movement
Pitta – metabolism
Kapha – bodily structure

Determine your dosha pattern at a reliable site:
and learn all you can about how to keep it in balance so you can eat the right foods, and avoid certain ones as well.

Eat right for your type
Depending on which dosha you are, there will be various recommendations about what to eat and not eat. For example, pitta people should not overeat and kapha people need to avoid eating too many oily foods like nuts, seeds and fried foods.

Food combining
Ayurvedic medicine also advocates eating certain foods in combination with one another, while avoiding other combinations because they are difficult to digest. For example, most Ayurvedic diets recommend eating fruit by itself, especially if you are vata. Melons should always be eaten on their own.

Milk should be eaten on its own as well, with the exception of rice pudding and oatmeal. It should not be combined with other dairy products. It should also be avoided by kapha people, with the exception of small amounts of goat milk.

Beans and cheese and banana and milk are 2 huge no-nos that confuse the digestion and put undue strain upon it.

Healthier eating habits
In Ayurveda, it is not just what you eat, but how you eat. It should come as no surprise that wolfing down fast food is off the menu. For most Ayurvedic diets, sugar and salt can be used in only limited amounts. Most protein should be derived from plant sources. Many Indians are vegetarian or vegan, so they eat few if any animal products.

Meals should be eaten slowly and mindfully at a table, not scarfed down in front of the TV or computer. Small portions are key. Eat on schedule, but only if you are really hungry.

Ayurvedic diets can seem complicated, but once you know your dosha, it should be easy to find the right eating plan for you.

How to Discover Your Ayurvedic Constitution

In Ayurvedic medicine from India, there are said to be 3 mind-body energy patterns within each of us. One is usually more dominant, with the others secondary and tertiary. One’s dominant energy can be seen as a determining factor with lifestyle and dietary preferences, and of illness if the energy gets out of balance. These energy types are known as doshas.

Discovering your pattern
Your first step is to discover your energy pattern. You can take a simple quiz online, such as at: Complete it and save the results and suggestions. You will get one of 4 energy patterns:

Vata – movement
Pitta – metabolism
Kapha – bodily structure

Or tri-doshic, in which all 3 doshas are in balance, such as in a 30/40/30 split.

The 5 elements
In Ayurveda, the body is made up of 5 elements:

The doshas are made up of 2 different elements:

Vata – Air, space
Pitta – Fire, water
Kapha – Water, earth

They can help us remember which dosha is which.

For example, vatas are light, quick, fast. They are airy and bright, unless they are out of balance, in which case they can be very distracted and irresponsible, and prone to nervousness and anxiety.

Pittas are fierier. Think of how we refer to burning calories. A person with dominant pitta energy has a strong metabolism and is usually bursting with self-confidence. If their energy is out of balance, however, they can become bossy and argumentative.

Kaphas can be described as the salt of the earth types, solid, reliable, warm and kind. However, when they are out of balance, they are seen as slow, plodding, and perhaps too easy going.

We are what we eat
There are many ways to balance dosha energy, but one of the easiest ways is through diet. We are what we eat, so our choice of food strongly influences our energy patterns. For example, vata people should eat sweet, salty and sour foods in limited amounts, but avoid astringent foods like citrus fruits. Pitta people thrive on spicy food and cold beverages. Kapha people have a tendency towards eating too many carbohydrates.

Certain foods have cooling properties and others warming ones. Some foods are too heavy and difficult to digest. For example, a kapha person should avoid oily nuts and seeds, and never eat fried foods.

If you’ve been struggling with your weight or digestive issues, or just feel out of sorts, consider eating for your dosha pattern and see what a difference it makes.

Ayurveda for Anxiety and Other Mood Disorders

Ayurvedic medicine has been used for more than 5,000 years to prevent illness and be supportive and healing if disease does arise. Since Ayurveda posits that all disease starts in the mind, it should come as no surprise that it pays a good deal of attention to mental as well as physical health.

We all get nervous from time to time, but if you constantly feel worried, often without any particular cause you can determine, or your nerves are holding you back from living a normal life, you could have anxiety disorder.

Many of us feel ‘down’ or ‘blue’ from time to time, but if you lose all interest in your usual activities and spend a lot of time feeling exhausted or sleeping a lot, it could be depression. And if you have had a baby recently, you might be suffering from post-partum depression.

Dosha imbalance
In Ayurveda, there are 3 forms of mind-body energy, or doshas:
Vata – movement
Pitta – metabolism
Kapha – bodily structure

The goal is to keep them in balance. Vata people who are out of balance tend to be very anxious. Vata energy increases in most of us during the summer months, solstices and equinoxes.

Kapha energy is generally calm and slow, but when it is out of balance, the person can be plodding, sluggish, low energy and generally depressive. Kapha energy is strongest in the winter months.

Know your dosha
Once you know your dominant dosha and overall profile, you can follow an eating plan and use herbal remedies that will support your health.

Ayurveda pays a good deal of attention to diet, so your first step would be to learn about what you can and can’t eat if you are trying to eat right for you type.

The second step would be to visit an Ayurvedic practitioner in order to draw up an overall treatment plan of herbs, yoga and other treatments.

Ayurveda believes illness can also be caused by inefficient elimination of toxins from the body, such as sweat, urine and excrement. A detox program designed for your dosha can help clear away these impurities, or malas, and restore your good health.

Meditation can calm the mind and restore positive, healthy thoughts. It can be done on its own, or as part of a yogic practice.

Herbs for mood disorders
Popular herbs for anxiety include:

Ginkgo Biloba
Gotu Kola
L-Theanine, an amino acid found in green tea

Popular herbs for depression include:


Remember, even though they are natural, all herbs can carry a risk of side effects. Educate yourself about what to look out for so you can stay safe.

7 Best Herbs for Anxiety and Panic Attacks

What is Ayurvedic Medicine?

Ayurvedic medicine has been practiced in India for more than 5,000 years. All form of medicine have been derived from it, including early Western medicine prior to the 18th century, thus earning it the name “The Mother of All Medicines.”

The name Ayurveda is a combination of two Sanskrit words, Ayus and veda, life and science, so it can be translated as the science of life.

Ayurveda takes a holistic approach to wellness and emphasizes prevention, rather than trying to find cures. It also posits that all illness actually comes from the mind, through our thoughts, which control our deeds, and our overall frame of mind.

The 3 doshas

In the Ayurvedic system of medicine, they recognize 3 different types of energy:


All of us possess these energies in varying degrees. Most will usually have a primary, secondary and tertiary dosha. Some will be tri=doshic, that is, with all 3 doshas even. The goal is to keep the doshas in balance through lifestyle choices and diet.

Each dosha represents a certain form of energy:

Vata – movement
Pitta – metabolism
Kapha – bodily structure

In Ayurveda, the body is made up of 5 elements:


The doshas are made up of 2 different elements:

Vata – Air, space
Pitta – Fire, water
Kapha – Water, earth

A healthy lifestyle

Your lifestyle choices have a direct impact on your overall health. As with Western medicine, the following bad habits are to be discouraged:

Smoking tobacco
Drinking alcohol
Taking illicit drugs
Not getting enough sleep
Not learning stress management techniques
Eating junk food
Eating a lot of convenience foods
Eating too much sugar
Eating too much salt

Being exposed to too many chemicals in your home, work environment, or in the personal care products you use.

A healthy diet
We are what we eat, so it should come as no surprise that we can improve our health through what we eat. In the case of Ayurveda, it offers guidelines on what should be avoided if you wish to maintain overall balance.

The first step is to know your dosha pattern. Take the quiz at:

And save your results. Then go to a reliable Ayurvedic site such as:
To see what foods you should avoid, and what you should actively consume, in order to stay healthy. This can be described as eating right for your body type.

Many herbs and other treatments can help relieve symptoms as well. Aromatherapy, color and massage would be good examples.

If you’ve been struggling with health issues, Ayurvedic medicine could be just what you need to boost your health.

Probiotics May Be the Answer to Lessening Symptoms of Depression

Food can impact your life in a positive or negative way. Some foods are better for you than others. But what you eat can do more than just keep your body healthy – it can also help improve a mental disorder such as depression.

Your thoughts and emotions can manifest physically. That’s why, when you’re dreading something, you’ll have the feeling of knots in your stomach or you might get a headache stressing about it.

There may not be any physical illness actually going on, but your mind is projecting the fear into a physical ailment. You can develop stomachaches, backaches and a whole host of other physical manifestations all related to what’s going on in your brain.

Some studies have shown that it’s a two-way street. What goes on in your body can also have an impact on your brain and your emotions. Just as what you think can alter how you feel physically, what you eat can alter how feel emotionally and mentally.

When there are issues going on in your digestive system, that can lead to you feeling stressed out. It can also lead to feelings of anxiety – and if not addressed, can even lead to you experiencing depression.

Medical research has determined that probiotics are good for your digestive system. They keep everything working the way it’s supposed to. But now, it’s known that probiotics do far more for the body than just keeping the digestive system running smoothly.

The research done involving a human study showed that this healthy bacteria can actually lessen the symptoms that are associated with depression. The probiotics have a positive impact on the portion of the brain that’s linked with depression symptoms as well as impacting other areas of the brain.

Patients who are currently dealing with depression can take probiotics and will discover that the bacteria can take away the feelings of anxiety, irritability and feeling blue.

It can boost mood levels. The reason probiotics can boost mood levels is because they work to decrease the reaction to stress that fuels depression. When a person takes probiotics, the bacteria works to increase Lactobacillus, which in turn restores the feel good hormones in the brain.

By using probiotics, patients now have a new choice in treating depression symptoms – one that doesn’t carry the unhealthy side effects that depression medications sometimes have.

When you add probiotics to your diet regularly, not only can you reverse the symptoms of depression, but you may be able to keep them from occurring in the future.

One of the First Signs of Severe Depression Is Neglected Hygiene

Most people are somewhat familiar with some of the well-known symptoms that are associated with depression such as fatigue, sleeping too much, withdrawing socially, irritability and anxiety.

But one of the first signs of severe depression is often the most overlooked. When someone is suffering from severe depression, they will often neglect to care for their hygiene.

Not being interested in self-care is a hallmark of the condition. It’s tied in with the low energy, a struggle to concentrate, and suicidal thoughts often associated with severe depression.

This form of self-neglect occurs because the person who is dealing with it loses interest in wanting to take care of his or herself. They often feel that there’s no use in trying because it won’t matter.

There are several areas where you may notice obvious signs of neglected hygiene in someone struggling with severe depression. They may forego oral hygiene by not brushing their teeth and by not caring how their breath smells to others.

When someone has severe depression, they often don’t neglect their hygiene consciously. They simply don’t care. The effort just isn’t worth it to them. Someone in the midst of severe depression will often not bathe or shower.

They may develop a strong body odor and seemingly be unaware of their state. People who reach this level of depression can go weeks at a time without bathing or showering.

If someone points out their state, the depressed person often either doesn’t respond or will react in anger. You can notice someone who is in this state of hygiene neglect by the condition of their hair.

They’ll often not wash or brush their hair. As a result, their hair will look tangled, greasy or limp. Severe depression and hygiene neglect can also be noticed by the state of someone’s dress.

They will often either not change out of their clothing for days or weeks at a time or they’ll wear dirty or stained clothing. You might notice that the person doesn’t take care of their shaving needs.

Men may let their facial hair grow to the point it becomes unkempt. Women may allow their leg or armpit hair to grow and not care about shaving it. Many people in the state of severe depression won’t trim their finger or toenails.

While some people with this level of depression aren’t willing to care for their hygiene, some have reached the point where they’re no longer able to mentally cope with caring for their needs. These are all warning signs that indicate the person needs a mental health checkup.

Your Cure for Depression Could Be Based on Your Diet

The cause of depression isn’t the same cause for every person. Most people still hide their struggle with the condition because they don’t want to face the fact that it’s something they can’t simply shake off.

What some people do is try to ignore the situation when there might be an easy fix. What these people don’t realize is that their eating habits could be influencing the depression.

There are millions of people who silently battle this mental health condition and it’s because they believe their only choice is to go on medication. But by changing their eating habits, the depression can sometimes be cured.

You probably already know that by eating healthy, you feel better physically, but you may not realize that when you eat healthier, you also feel better emotionally. A study showed that poor eating habits and depression are tied together.

By switching unhealthy eating habits to a diet that’s rich in foods that are good for you, you can get rid of depression in some cases. The diet that’s helpful for treating depression is one that’s made up of lean meats, fruits and vegetables.

The healthier you eat, the better you’ll feel. That’s because the foods that you eat make a difference in not just how much stamina and energy you end up having, but what your mood levels, whether they’re up or down, will be.

When you eat foods that are high in sugars – such as junk food – you’ll notice that you immediately feel a quick burst of energy as well as feel happier. But if you pay attention, you’ll see that neither the energy nor the happiness lasts long.

That’s because when the energy you received from those fast acting sugars drops, you not only feel tired, but you feel down again. Foods that are unhealthy for the body are also unhealthy for the brain – and that includes in the area of stabilizing moods.

If you’re someone who uses caffeine to help you get through your day, that can also contribute to how you feel. An abundance of caffeine can make you feel anxious and can rob you of a good night’s sleep.

To help them deal with how they feel, some people will drink alcohol to numb their emotions. The only problem with that is that the numbness works in a negative way.

Instead of feeling better, you only end up feeling worse than you did before you drank the alcohol. Plus, the emotions are right there waiting for you once the effects of the alcohol wear off. If you make sure that you get the right amount of healthy foods, you can see a boost in your mood as well as your energy level.

Scientific Proof of Positive Treatments for Depression

When you’re struggling with depression, finding the right treatment is important. The mental disorder is one of the most disabling issues that people have. Sadly, too many people suffer in silence, worried about the ramifications if they speak up.

This isolation makes them feel like they’re all alone. Some people don’t speak up because they think of the treatments as something negative. They worry that the treatment will be far worse than dealing with the depression.

But there is scientific proof that there are positive treatments for dealing with depression. One of the most highly recognized methods of treatment is cognitive behavior therapy.

This treatment is based on the knowledge that it’s how a person thinks that impacts their depression. People can get caught up in thought patterns that are negative and disabling.

By learning how to replace the habit of negative thoughts with positive ones, it changes the brain’s go-to response in situations as well as when dealing with stress.

Cognitive behavioral therapy can be used as a lifelong tool for helping people who have depression. This method can be used in place of or in addition to medication for depression.

Another well-known form of therapy is known as psychoanalysis and psychodynamic. With psychoanalysis, this therapy is for longer use than cognitive behavioral therapy.

It’s used to show someone struggling with depression how their subconscious works to play into their depression. The treatment focuses on figuring out the why behind the reason for the depression.

It looks into the life of the patient to see where family issues, emotional wounds or other traumas have led to the development of depression. Psychodynamic therapy is considered to be a long term therapy.

The goal of this treatment is to create self-awareness in the person with depression. The treatment aims to find a possible cause between the present actions, feelings and conditions – including depression – that are linked with something in the subconscious.

Not all therapies are long term. There are some short-term ones, such as mindfulness, used in acceptance and commitment therapy or emotion focused therapy.

Another positive treatment for depression is exercise. This can be used to effectively treat less severe forms of the condition because exercise gives a person the same mood boost they get from low level prescription anti-depressants.

Meditation is also a positive treatment for depression just like mindfulness is. Both work to help the patient live in the present. They recognize their thoughts and become more aware of negative thoughts, which are linked with depression. These treatments help patients learn to recognized faulty or distorted thoughts and views and lessen stress.

Conditions That Can Lead to Depression

Sometimes people will say that they’re depressed when they’re actually feeling down, which isn’t the same thing as truly having depression. You can have situational depression – where you’re feeling blue because of something that’s happened – but unlike true depression, situational depression doesn’t last for long periods of time.

There are well known symptoms that determine whether or not a person has depression. Someone who’s depressed might stop eating as much or they might suddenly eat more than they used to.

They may lose interest in activities that they usually do. They might experience trouble sleeping or feel dragged down by fatigue. Other symptoms include having trouble focusing or reaching a point of thinking about suicide.

While depression can occur for any reason, there are certain conditions that can lead to depression. People who have health conditions that lead to depression (such as diabetes) will often discover that if their condition is treated, their depression gets better.

People who have any kind of anxiety disorder or panic attacks are more prone to develop depression. Anyone who struggles with health issues that are psychological in nature – such as bulimia – can develop depression.

Anorexia is also linked to it. People who have eating disorders often have emotional issues as well. Anyone who has suffered through a trauma and develops PTSD will often find that depression can strike without warning.

This is because people who have PTSD have trouble coping with life. Their experiences rock their sense of safety and cause their beliefs in what was good and what was normal to be challenged.

Anyone with ADHD is also at risk of developing depression. This mental disorder has a link with depression because the person can experience feeling overwhelmed, feelings of negativity, and a struggle to cope.

Surprisingly, there are some habits that an also lead to depression. People who struggle with substance abuse – such as with illegal drugs, prescription drugs or alcohol – can battle depression.

One theory is because certain medications and alcohol can alter the user’s mental and emotional state due the chemical makeup. For example, alcohol is a known depressant and medical studies have shown that using drugs such as marijuana can increase the risk of developing depression for some people.

Regular cigarette smoking is linked with depression, as is a lack of exercise or being heavily overweight. People who have trouble sleeping are more likely to develop depression.

Health conditions that affect neurological function such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease can lead to depression. Cancer is also a risk factor for depression as are heart conditions.

People who have thyroid problems, especially an underactive thyroid, are at risk. Women are at a higher risk because of fluctuating hormones. Menopause can trigger depression just like giving birth can.

Life conditions can lead to depression as well. These are conditions such as going through a divorce, making a move to a new area, a job loss, the death of a friend or family member, or financial struggles.

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