The Graduated Diet

The Graduated Diet

The ‘graduated diet’, or sansarjana krama in Sanskrit, is a measure utilized in Ayurveda to rekindle the digestive fire (agni). It is used for the purpose of amapachana: to enhance digestion and the processing of wastes, and remove the metabolic and immunological detritus (ama) that is generated with poor digestion. The graduated diet can be utilized in a variety of situations, including whenever digestion is weak and in the treatment of diseases such as fever (jwara). The process of ‘rekindling’ the digestive fire (agni) is analogous to starting a fire in a wood stove, enkindling the agni with easily digestible foods as one would a fire with paper or kindling. Once the fire is established, in the form of a strong appetite, progressively denser and more energy-rich foods are introduced in a graduated fashion to feed the digestive fire, but never so much as to cause it to smolder or be extinguished. How much to eat? The graduated diet isn’t designed to provide a maximal source of … [Read more...]

Some of our teachers in Nepal

Some of our teachers in Nepal

Hi Everyone! I've just finished compiling a short video introducing some of the many lovely teachers and people we met during our time in Nepal. I still have so much footage to go through, including the preparation of traditional medicines such as Chyavanprash, Narayana taila, and Godanti bhasma, as well as the purification of Guggulu resin and Gandhaka (sulfur) - so please check back soon! … [Read more...]

Dr. Mana’s watercolors

Dr. Mana’s watercolors

The late Vaidya Mana Bajra Bajracharya was not only a prolific author, writing over 40 books on the subject of Ayurveda, he was also a talented artist as well. When he was seventeen years old, he finished his formal study of Sanskrit and began to learn the classical texts of Ayurveda, as well as the Mahayana Buddhist texts that necessary as part of his hereditary role as a Vajracharya priest. After this he began to practice Ayurveda, but after some time realized on his own that he needed to see the plants he had begun to work with, and in 1955, headed off on a two year journey, traveling on foot throughout Nepal and India, collecting almost all the plants that are mentioned in the classical texts of Ayurveda, and made water color paintings of them. Here are a few of these remarkable water-colors, and a brief excerpt of each herb and its medicinal uses, written by Vaidya Mana: Amalaki or Amalakam fruit (Indian gooseberry / amla / Phyllanthus emblica) Amalaki is a tropical and … [Read more...]

Visit to Ajaya’s

Visit to Ajaya’s

It's been so incredibly busy here in Nepal that I have had little to do anything else besides dealing with all the different components of the program. But today I took a little time off to visit with Ajaya, a herbal pharmacist that lives and works in Kathmandu with his family, and prepares many of the remedies that Vaidya Madhu uses in his clinical practices - and by extension, many of the remedies I also use in my practice in Canada. Here's a brief essay of my visit to Ajaya's. This is a little video of some of Ajaya's staff rolling out some pills of Kanchanara guggulu vati (pills), something our students learned to do during this program, but performed with a lot more speed and skill! Kanchanara guggulu is used in the treatment of glandular disorders, cancer, and hypothyroidism, and is a very important medicine in my practice. Also included in the video is a decoction (kwatha) used to prepare Yogaraja guggulu vati, another medicine that will eventually be used to make pills. … [Read more...]

Godawari Botanical Gardens

Godawari Botanical Gardens

Today we visited Godawari Botanical Gardens just outside Kathmandu with hereditary physician and herbalist Vaidya Manjib Shakya. It was such a pleasant respite from the chaos of the city, to be surrounded by trees, plants, and birdsong. See the photos below for highlights and some of the herbs we reviewed on our walk. Tomorrow, we're off to do a little trekking and herb walk! Rhododendron arboreum (Rohitaka) used in the treatment of liver disorders. We have a very similar species too in British Columbia, but it isn't much used   Mahonia nepalensis (Daruharidra) also used in liver disorders, as well as disorders of the blood, skin, and eyes. The root bark is harvested and boiled to make a solid extract called Rasanjana that is a highly effect anti-inflammatory agent.   Cyperus rotundus (Musta), used in fever, deem, digestive problems such as diarrhea, and gynaecological complaints such as menorrhagia.   Bergenia ligulata (Pashanabheda) is used … [Read more...]