Coconut Aminos vs Soy Sauce

Can we occasionally use it as soy sauce substitute – Coconut Aminos:


Dear Divya: Occasionally perhaps, but keeping in mind that it will be pitta aggravating because it goes through heavy processing and derivation. If aggravating pitta is not a concern then by all means it is preferable over regular sketchup8ozlowres__03783__99566.1340154497.1280.1280oy sauce. Pitta dosha is a very sensitive dosha that can trigger all other imbalances in the physiology so you want to steer clear of any ingredients that can bring that about. Of course, as the ayurvedic texts explain, we always tends to gravitate more towards what we already have plenty of: high pitta individuals will crave food items that will further elevate their pitta dosha! My wife is a good example of this! She loves soy sauce and she had to stop eating it being a high pitta and prone to migraines in her youth. To make-up for it, together we have developed a recipe using my Amla Tamarind preserve that comes very close in taste to chinese dishes using soy sauce. I will share it shortly.

Nutritional Yeast VS B12

Nutritional yeast: I know it’s not a sattvic ingredient, but I sometimes feel really good when I eat it, maybe because of my nutritional-yeast-620x399acute vitamin B12 deficiency?


600x600_B12__97857.1377214947.1280.1280Dear Divya: nutritional yeast is pitta provoking in longterm use. You will get all kinds of pitta associated symptoms of heat, and even vata aggravation if you use it on a regular basis. Try to supplement your B12 by consuming more freshly home made paneer, more yoghurt, or use my B12 cream. Once in a while is ok to do nutritional yeast, specially in colder weather, but don’t keep it as part of your regular diet.


Monk Fruit or not?

Monk fruit sweetener: Do you approve of it? dfd14980ef60

Divya A.

Vaidya replies:

Dear Divya:  Many of my SVA followers have been asking me about Monk fruit sweetener so I got a chance to look into it. I bought some. And did some research. I have not found a single brand that simply contains the monk fruit. All I could come across are different brands that had the monk fruit extract in addition to either: Dextrose; Maltodextrine; or Erythritol. This tells me one thing for sure: that the Monk fruit itself is not sweet enough to be able to stand on its own. It actually has somewhat of a subtle bitter aftertaste that’s being masked by the additives. I know it is the big rage now because it’s promoted as a zero calorie sugar substitute that you can use exactly as regular cane sugar for your drinks, baking, etc, that will also not affect the health of those who may be type 1 or type 2 diabetics. But I suspect in a little while we are going to hear of new research that lists the side-effects of consuming the Dextrose, or Erythritol on a daily basis like that. Screenshot 2015-10-02 09.24.21

I have been giving a lot of thought to sweeteners, as they are such an important aspect of our diet, and crucial for helping us maintain physical and emotional health. And I am very happy to say that I have finally put together a truly great sweetener that will contain ZERO additives of any sort and is made purely from natural plants and ingredients, it can be used for all your daily consumption or baking needs safely, it is 100% alcohol free and totally absorb-able and digestible by the body with no residue. I will be launching it in 2 weeks. Stay tuned for more!

Dark Circles Around the Eyes Despite Yoga and SVA Diet

“I’m working too much on computer, I am a female, I am quite stressed out at work and nowadays I’m seeing I’m dark-circlesdeveloping dark circles around my eyes although I am on the SVA Diet and I do yoga regularly. Please let me know what to do for dark circles under my eyes?”

Cary T.

Vaidya replies:

If you have already check things out medically and there is no specific identifiable medical reason for your dark circle, then you can follow the following steps or tips which may help you.

Using the computer for long periods of time drains out the soma or cooling energy of the eyes, wemf-protection-warninghich the eyes need more of, because the eyes are a predominantly pitta fiery organ (agneya organ).  So when you stare at the computer screen, or any other electronic device (TV, cell-phone, tablet, etc) for long periods of time, you are using up and burning the lunar energy, or soma, of your eyes, your eyes are now left depleted, and the agni of your eyes, further aggravated not only by soma depletion but by overexposure to electronic synthetic agni, gets further aggravated, creating the dark circles around your eyes.

Another point related to this is the EMF charge of these electronic devices disrupts the flow of pranic energy of your eyes. Due to the lack of circulation, dark circles also emerge.

What can you do? The answer is to replenish the soma reservoirs of your eyes. You can try to do the following things:

Get a double layered piece of cheesecloth and cut it lengthwise to be able to cover your eyes – from temple to temple. Add a few drops of fresh water to the SVA Skin Clay Powder to make a thin but consistent paste. Take a spoonful of the paste 91qCMH1gREL._SL1500_and place on the cheesecloth strip. Lie down and place the cotton strip with the clay on top of your eyestsmith_100323_0474__61770__85225.1339638069.1280.1280 – the clay should be situated to fit the orb of your closed eyes. Make sure you do not get any clay into your eyes. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes – you can take off earlier if your eyes start to feel cold.

Then rinse your eyes and face with warm water, dry it, and apply SVA ALA cream – this cream is water (not lipid) based. You may feel a little thermogenesis and tingling around your eyelids or surrounding areas – this is a sign that circulation is improving. ALA (alpha lipoid acid) is highly effective for improving microcirculation without heating the area. You can do some research on the scientific findings about ALA. You can also use my SVA Triphala Ghee: apply it in the mornings, massage in and leave on. But ALA cream is the best product for this protocol and it will target your dark circles. Do this every night for 15 days. This protocol will also calm you down, you will feel very relaxed after a long day, it may even improve your sleep, and calm your mind. Screenshot 2015-10-02 10.33.28

600_Triphala_Ghee_1.5_oz__06149.1405391159.1280.1280A very important point is to go to bed by 10pm. You are certainly aware of the different energies that are at play during the day. Between 10pm and 2am, we have an agneya period. If we are awake during this time slot, our pitta dosha is prone to going out of balance. If our body is enjoying somagenic sleep during this time, then the pitta organs in our bodies get to do their job without further aggravating our pitta dosha. This is why many people who have been going to bed late at night for years without necessarily overexposing their eyes to EMF devices also get dark circles around their eyes. Staying up late throws off all the pitta sub-doshas, just like over-exposing the eyes to too many EMF devices does. So make sure you target a 9:30pm bedtime and are asleep by 10pm. Nature is your best healer

Is Yerba Mate healthy? Is it Tridoshic?

Dear Vaidya Mishra, We are so blessed and humbled to receive SVA knowledge and guidance from you. Thank you so Yerba-Matemuch for guiding our family and friends in a happy journey of well and whole being. We treasure all of the SVA teas and especially love Vaidya’s Cup. Would you please let us know if drinking Yerba Mate is healthy? As a tea made from the dried leaves of an evergreen shrub in the holy family that grows in Central and South America – We’ve been told that Mate contains a xanthine called “mateine” that is unlike caffeine and while it is a stimulant it doesn’t trigger jitteriness associated with caffeine and actually induces sleep. Would you agree with this? We’ve also heard that it is good for bones and may protect against colon cancer. We will not drink until we know of your brilliant recommendation! Namaste

Greg J.

Vaidya replies: 

Dear Greg: I am very familiar with this product and have been observing it for the past ten years. What I have seen is that predominantly kapha body type people with kapha aggravation are particularly liking this tea: it isIMG_2176 helping open their channels, addressing their fatigue, and energizing them. However, it may not be ideal for pitta or vata predominant body types, as well as vata/pitta and/or and pitta/vata predominant types. I’ve seen that yerba mate increases pitta and vata doshas. In fact, after regular long-term consumption I’ve observed sky high symptoms, such as: excessive dryness and heat in the body. A greater down side, however, has been, they these body-types develop an addiction to it. By the time they pitta/vatas realize that yerba mate is drying and heating them up, they are already addicted to drinking it and it’s hard to kick the habit.

So I can say with certainly that it is not tridoshic, as per ayurvedic precepts, unlike for example my “Vaidya’s Cup”! I would have it occasionally as a treat, but not as a regular drink for daily use.

MCT, Coconut, or Ghee?

“Dear Vaidya:
My students have been asking me about this relatively new product glorified as being very healthy. I’d be very grateful to get your opinion on it:
I’ve never used it myself:

Thank you!
Divya A.”

Vaidya responds:
Dear Divya,
MCT vs LCT:Screenshot 2015-08-21 15.27.19
Sometimes more is less! This new tendency to prefer oils that have high content of MCFAs (Medium Chain Fatty Acids) also known as MCT (medium chain tryglycerides) over oils that contain long-chain tryglycerides (LCT) is based on research findings. MCTs have been found to be easier on digestion and easily broken down and absorbed; more readily available in the liver and transformed into energy; stimulating for the body’s metabolism and thus supporting weight loss. Most vegetables oils contain long chain fatty acids (LCT) that get stored in your arteries or in your body as fat, slow down your metabolism, and put strain on your pancreas and digestive system. Compared to LCTs, MCTs have fewer calories per serving, roughly 8.3 calories per gram rather than the standard 9 calories per gram, according to research findings.

In contrast, coconut contains almost 2/3 MCTs, making it the queen amongst healthy vegetables oils, and yet, the new trend is to prefer MCT processed oils over coconut oil. Medium-chain triglycerides, or fatty acids, such as lauric acid, are characterized by a specific chemical structure that allows your body to absorb them readily as a whole, making them easily digestible — because your body processes them as it would carbohydrates, and they are used as a source of direct energy. Lauric acid, as a component of triglycerides, comprises about half of the fatty acid content in coconut oil, laurel oil, and palm kernel oil (not to be confused with palm oil). Otherwise, lauric acid is relatively uncommon. It is also found in human breast milk (6.2% of total fat), cow’s milk (2.9%), and goat’s milk (3.1%). The most popular MCT products have been derived from coconut oil or the palm trees ; the irony is that, however, most lose their Lauric acid content during processing. Lauric acid is prized around the world as a powerful antimicrobial agent, used in both food preservation as well as in drugs and nutraceuticals.
To beat the competition, the manufacturers of this particular brand whose link you have forwarded states that they have added lauric acid to their product, but they do not disclose their method of processing, nor what their source of lauric acid is:

Screenshot 2015-08-21 17.42.12



In addition, the MCT oil that is obtained is irreparably a processed product diminished in prana, and we do not know what actual properties it carries inside the body once it is ingested. They say they they take their cue from mother nature, but they do so to try to improve upon her creation and make a product that she should have but did not, when there is a naturally perfect product that already exists and that we could be consuming as is, namely: coconuts!

Coconuts, ayurvedically!coconut

Nature has not only made coconut oil rich with nutrients and benefits, but those nutrients are found in such a balanced proportion, along with Nature’s intelligence, that they are very easy for the human physiology to digest, for the liver to transform, and to make available to all the organs of the body. Our body’s digestive system and system organs can metabolize coconut 100%, and whatever bi-products are obtained, the body is able to easily discard them.

Ayurvedically, coconut is a perfect fruit that need not be touched in any way to be enhanced or improved upon. In this sense, manipulating or processing the coconut in order to alter the chemical ratios of long or medium fatty chains, or meddling with the natural intelligence of the coconut’s molecular make-up, is not such a good idea.  Ayurveda does give us the opportunity to process raw material in certain circumstances. For example, we can detoxify certain naturally toxic ingredients or substances in a process called “amritakaram.” But coconut is not one of those ingredients that need this processing, as its naturally somagenic content is balanced and ready to be consumed – as is. For those living in a hot climate, as well as for those with a “high pitta and high agni” digestive tendency, coconut oil is the best oil for cooking, or for drizzling over hot food – preferably not salads. So my suggestion would be to consume organic virgin coconut oil, not processed coconut oil, to keep the intelligence of its natural molecular make-up intact 100%.  But I would add some ayurvedic precautions, even to the consumption of coconut.

Caution for Coconut
On ayurvedic grounds, however, I do caution people. Perfect as coconut is, there are some situations where it should be avoided.  Of course, you can follow the basic guidelines of ayurveda for your body type, and determine whether coconut oil is good for you on a regular basis. However, in some situations, even the ayurvedic body type of high pitta high agni individuals may not be ready to consume coconut oil. For example: if the “kledak kapha” in the stomach is  aggravated.

Kledak kapha is one of the 3 subdoshas that govern digestion in the stomach. In the stomach you have “pachak pitta” cooking the food; “samana vata” churning it and moving it around to expose the food ingested to full cooking; and “kledak kapha” to moisten the food by lubricating it so that it gets cooked and not burnt by pachak pitta! Kledak kapha also helps to maintain the stomach environment in balance by pacifying pachak pitta, and it keeps pachak agni, the digestive fire, under control as well, so it does not burn down the stomach, even or specially so in the absence of food.

If somebody’s kledak kapha is high, then the pachak pitta, the fuel of the digestive fire, becomes sluggish – too much soma moistens and puts out the fire, because the gap, the sandhi, where the cooking takes place, is inundated, and the pachak agni goes low. Think of this in terms of a burner, or ghee lamp wick, which transforms the liquid ghee, in this case pacha pitta, into the flame. When kledak kapha is high, the digestive flame, pacha agni also known as jatharagni, goes low. Then we get an overall digestive situation called: “mandagni,” or low flame. This is when people feel that their digestion is slow, or metabolism is low. In this case, people will still be able to digest the coconut oil, but not 100%. Then what happens?
Ayurveda says that if you digest 99%, and even one percent remains undigested, or semi digested, then you make toxic residue, called “ama.” Toxins settling in the tissues, or organs, or different parts of the body, dampen the metabolic rate and create a friendly environment for bacterial growth. When ama gets to sit in the physiology, it may also develop into a more aggressive type of toxic build-up, called “amavisha.” In the long run if left un-addressed, amavisha creates inflammation that can bring about any chronic disease.

Ghee – for one and all!
So ideally, high pitta and high agni individuals who experience sharp hunger at all times of the year and are able to to process and metabolize food fully without getting a feeling of being bloated, or gas, are the one ones who can enjoy the full benefits of food prepared with coconut oil. As for the rest of us, who may not have that fiery metabolic system, ghee is the best alternative.
The Charak Samhita describes ghee as “snehuttamam” – the best fat for human consumption. Ayurveda explains that in contrast to coconut oil which is high in soma and can therefore be hard to metabolize unless one has high pitta and high agni metabolism, ghee strikes the perfect balance between soma and agni. This is particularly the case when we consumes ghee made the traditional way, from butter that was made from raw cream turned into yoghurt, and not straight from cream/fat. My SVA Mum’s ghee is made from butter that has gone through the fermentation process or the culturing process where live bacteria are involved. Even though after the final cooking step the bacteria are no longer alive, their initial presence endows the fat molecules with agni; in addition, the churning of the yogurt in order to extract the butter, that friction of the churning process also provides more agni. Finally, when that butter is cooked, further agni or fire is infused into it. 600_Triphala_Ghee_1.5_oz__06149.1405391159.1280.1280
In this sense, ghee is the best fat for high pitta and low agni individuals, because this fiery energy helps to clear the “wick” of the digestive process. Ghee has a very high burning point and it is therefore ideal for cooking spices in it – cooking on higher heat, since ghee won’t burn as easily and quickly – allowing for the full potency of spices and herbs to unfold into the fat medium and be transported deeper into the bodily tissues. In addition, ghee carries all the properties that coconut does: it lubricates the brain, the cellular system, nourishes the joints, nurtures the skin. Ghee is even recommended for people who have “mandagni” or low agni (high pitta low agni). When cooked with the proper metabolism enhancing spices, ghee becomes the ideal fat for those with slow metabolism.
In India, in areas where tropical temperatures presides (specially in south India such as in kerala, some parts of Tamil Nadu), or in countries such as Malasia, Indonesia, where extreme hot weather conditions dominate, coconut oil is used exclusively. However, according to Ayurveda, it is not recommended to use coconut oil for long term, specially in cold climates. In countries where the climate varies seasonally, it is possible to use coconut oil in the hotter summer months and then switch back to ghee in the remaining months of the year.
So for your students who ask you whether or not to initiate the use of MCT oils, tell them they should avoid consuming processed fats, not matter what the promises of modern scientific findings, and favor coconut oil in its natural state instead. And then add that you know of something even better than coconut: ghee! You can teach them how to make their own traditional ghee, or show them the SVA ghee. You can also educate them about my herbalized ghee, the SVA Maha Saraswati Ghee, that contains a very powerful herb, jyotishmati (Celastrus paniculatus), that boosts and supports brain functioning and health, not to mention the health endowing properties of ghee itself. Maha Saraswati ghee can be melted to be used on toast, in your cup of tea, or in your sandwiches! Let’s fuse the ayurvedic wisdom of the ages with our modern lifestyles to accomplish the great health we all deserve to carry out joyful lives!

1. Lauric Acid
AOCS Lipid Library: Palm Kernel and Coconut (Lauric) Oils
NYU Langone Medical Center: Medium-Chain Triglycerides
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: The Facts About Coconut Oil — What Is It All About?

Metabolism: Effects of Dietary Medium-Chain Triglyceride on Weight Loss and Insulin Sensitivity in a Group of Moderately Overweight Free-Living Type 2 Diabetic Chinese Subjects
Nutrition Review: Medium Chain Triglyderides: Beneficial Effects on Energy, Atherosclerosis and Aging How Much Is My Allowance for Oils?
2. Know Your Fats, by Mary Enig, Ph.D, Bethesda Press. p. 259
See more at:

The Benefits of Iron for Health through SV Ayurveda

Iron is an important necessary ingredient in our blood. But do you specifically know how many ailments and imbalances it can address? Long before we could scientifically study the importance of iron for our body’s overall health, its health benefits were already well known by the ancient sages. One 16th century text called “Rasa Tarangini” covers the topic of mineralogy in Ayurveda exhaustively. I will be using it to describe the health benefits of iron for day to day modern life. Here is one verse:
Screenshot 2015-07-31 14.47.28
Properties and health benefits of Iron!
As the verse above explains, iron in sanskrit is called “loha.” In terms of quality, it is rough and dry. Its taste is sweet, but it carries a post-digestive bitter taste. Its vidhya, or potency, is cooling and heavy. It is also astringent, stimulating and supports weight-reduction.
Screenshot 2015-08-03 12.11.19

In addition, the verse explains that iron is very good for the eyes. It is invigorating, and supports sexual stamina. It corrects imbalances of the stomach and helps eliminate pitta and kapha related imbalances!
Screenshot 2015-08-03 12.16.45
Furthermore: it enhances the skin’s complexion, supports the mind’s functioning: dhi – power of learning, dritti – power of retaining, and smritti – power of recall. Iron supports virility in men, and the overall body. When used properly, it can address many imbalances and diseases.
Screenshot 2015-08-03 12.18.21
In another verse of the Rasa Tarangini (Chapter 20 Verse 84), we read:
Screenshot 2015-08-03 12.19.27
This verse explains that loha, or iron, enhances the digestive power, supports the body and rejuvenates it. It helps correct chronic skin problems. Nourishes and thus supports the body in its fight against tumors, bacteria. Iron maintains optimal hemoglobin levels, even as it enhances fat metabolism. Iron is great for sugar metabolism; helps one get rid of nausea; supports the lungs. It also helps optimize the properties of different herbs, thus acting like a “yogavahi” – it helps carry and deliver herbs to their destination faster and more efficiently in the cellular system.
Yet another verse explains:
Screenshot 2015-08-03 12.21.16

This verse says that iron can be as fierce as a lion when ridding the body of herpes. Iron can help with chronic pain conditions, supports the liverbody’s inner vitality, and addresses chronic inflammatory conditions. It can help with several liver disease conditions. It also helps with hemorrhoids.
Another verse says:
Screenshot 2015-08-03 12.25.07
This verse explains that iron helps with chronic problems of absorption, chronic inflammation of the glands in the neck. In addition, it supports the menstrual flow, and pacifies inflammation in the kidneys. Iron supports the heart, and helps the body fight combat chronic fever.
In verse number 89, we read that:
Screenshot 2015-08-03 12.26.31

This verse explains that iron is good for diabetic conditions, that it supports and nourishes the
muscle tissue, and nurtures the female body against overall decay after childbirth.
Verse 90 says that:
Screenshot 2015-08-03 12.29.21
This sutra explains that iron helps heal the throat, helps with rheumatoid arthritis. It can also have a healing effect on liver related fistulas, when used in combination with different proper herbs. Iron can help heal sinusitis, and hyperacidity.
In verse 92, we read that:
Screenshot 2015-08-03 12.31.12
During puberty, iron can help go with hormonal balance, allowing for a smoother puberty, in terms of the menstrual cycle. It can also be used to help support and heal the duodenum, and balance the flow of blood.
Verse 93 says that: iron helps blood supply to the nerves, it helps give better deeper sleep for anemics, it supports the bone tissue in rheumatoid arthritis individuals, and helps maintain the bone tissue by supporting the detox of amavisha, or virulent toxins from it.
Screenshot 2015-08-03 12.33.00
Even more, in verse 94, we read that it helps relieve fatigue from the body, enhances overall mental strength, supports hemoglobin levels for women in menopause, specially if there is significant blood loss during menopause.
Screenshot 2015-08-03 12.34.27

In verse 95, we read that iron helps with imbalances created by the weakness of the nervous system.
Screenshot 2015-08-03 12.35.39
And there are still many more verses covering the benefits of iron for the human physiology, when it is used properly, and with the synergisticbhring raj
combination of other ayurvedic herbs.
You will also have noticed that these ancient verses list all the possible benefits of iron, specially all the ones modern medicine has also delineated for us. In my SVA lineage, we use iron in combination with distinct additional ayurvedic herbs, for added benefit as well as for targeting distinct conditions and situations. Currently, I have made available a total of 4 kinds of iron Herbal Memory Nectar drops, to address the general deficiency of iron, as well as for advanced specific needs.
SVA Loha and Maha Loha Herbal Memory Nectar Drops
The first two are SVA Loha and Maha Loha, These are identical formulas, except that Maha Loha carries a four times higher quantity or concentration of iron molecules than the regular version, made specifically for those who need the higher concentration. The following herbs are also added to enhance the absorption and delivery of the iron molecules. In addition to loha, these


formulas contain the following ingredient-wise properties:

Bhring raj (Eclipta alba) is a famous ayurvedic herb that helps enhance the intelligence of the liver and thus supports the physiology so it can properly metabolize and use iron.
Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) I add so as to enhance the intelligence of the iron molecules to be delivered to the bone marrow.
Bhumi amla (Phyllantus niruri) to nourish and enhance the intelligence of liver
Mahasudarshan churn is a classical formula that contains a great number of different ingredients. It supports the intelligence of the liver as well as the detox of the liver.
Green cardamom pods (Cardamomum) to enhance the efficacy of iron.

Wild amla (Phyllantus emblica) enhances to absorption of the iron molecules, and secures their delivery into the muscle tissue
Triphala is made up of Amla (Phyllantus emblica), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) and Bhibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica). I add this to prevent from the common possible side effect of iron: constipation.
SVA Amla Loha
This specific formula is called “Dhatri Loha” in classical Ayurveda. The word “dhatri” is almost identified with the name amla, because of the health- bestowing properties of the fruit. The literal meaning of “dhatri” is: that which gives, that which takes care of, that which is – in its Screenshot 2015-08-03 12.49.30giving nature – like a nurturing, sustenance-giving, woman! In this formula the amla is added in very high potency to enhance the absorption and use of iron, and give it the potency of heme iron. Scientific studies have confirmed the ancient ayurvedic knowledge which states that in the presence of ascorbic acid, the potency and delivery of iron becomes as powerful as heme iron. However, the embellic acid contained in the amla plant is even more potent than ascorbic acid, and it empowers the iron even further. In addition, amla enhances protein synthesis, so this protein synthesis property of amla, synergistically combined with iron, acts as a highly nurturing formulation for the muscle tissue. I have also added DGL in good quantity in the formula to help pacify and keep overall pitta of the liver and stomach in check.
SVA Guduchi Loha
Guduchi is a very famous herb used to enhance and support the intelligence of all seven physical bodily tissues. It is ideal when used for targeted delivery to the bone marrow. Countless scientific studies have also found that Guduchi can boost the immune system. Guduchi is a very balanced herb for nurturing and detoxifying, so in this formula along with iron, I’ve synergistically added enough quantities of guduchi, so that the micromolecules of iron can reach the bone marrow. In addition, ginger, “pippali,” and black pepper together make up a very ancient Screenshot 2015-08-03 12.49.46formula called “trikatu.” Trikatu is the best “yogavahi,” a product or herb that facilitates targeted delivery for greater faster effectiveness. I have
also added a SVA formulation called “Soma Shakti” to these drops. This is a classical formula whose main ingredient is shilajeet. The ayurvedic shastras say that adding shilajeet to the iron bhasma makes the iron more potent and useful for the body.
These two formulas contain nano-particles of iron, infused in the intelligence of the herbs, spices and essential oils found in the formula. These two formulas are very potent; however, for best results, use under the guidance of a SVA expert.
Disclaimer: the description of herbs, plants, ingredients, and combinations offered in the above articles and verses are meant for educational purposes only. If you have, or suspect you have, any medical condition, check with your medical doctor or physician before using any of the herbs or products mentioned above to your daily protocol.

Is Bitter Better for Pacifying Pitta?

“I read online that for pitta people, particularly in the summer time, in order to keep things cool, bitter things are good. So I ordered a bitter ghee preparation called “pancha tikta ghritam” and I started using it on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. I Screenshot 2015-07-17 08.34.01immediately developed nausea and felt like I had a hangover. It felt like instead of pacifying my pitta, it aggravated it? Can you please address this? If ayurvedic texts and experts say that bitter is good for pitta then why did it not help me?

Also, how should I take care of my pitta in the summer? I read your article on cooling pitta in the summer and it gave a different approach. You were recommending sweet things like rose petal preserve. Is the sweet taste enough for pacifying pitta in the summertime? Can you please comment on this?

Thank you,

Christina P. “



Vaidya answers:


In Ayurveda we acknowledge six total possible tastes. Verse #171 from Bhava Mishra’s Bhavaprakash, lists them in hierarchical order:

Screenshot 2015-07-17 08.41.09




madhur or sweet

amla or sour

lavana – salty

kattu – pungent

tikt or bitter

and kashaya or astringent


As the verse explains, these tastes are hierarchical in the sense that the first 3 pacify vata dosha, and last three pacify kapha. In roseaddition, “kashaya” astringent, “tikt” or bitter, and “madhur” or the sweet tastes pacify pitta. So, in theory, to say that the bitter taste is pacifying for pitta is correct. Based on the ayurvedic ancient texts, the 3 tastes: astringent, bitter, and sweet, pacify pitta. However, knowledge needs to be applied. In practical situations, many times, knowledge needs to be adapted to specific conditions.

It looks like in the process of pacifying your pitta dosha, you aggravated your vata dosha. To address your situation, I would like to highlight two major aspects according by referring to the same text, the same shastra-s.

Based on my experience as an ayurvedic expert practicing in the West for the past almost 20 years, in 90% of situations where pitta was aggravated, it was a case of also high agni, or digestive and metabolic fire element in the body, particularly in the digestive system.

When kledak kapha (the balancing kapha subdosha in the stomach that keeps things moist and lubricated) goes low in the stomach, then saman vata (which also resides in the stomach area) also gets aggravated.

When Samana Vata is aggravated, it pushes udana vata (that resides in the chest) more forcefully upwards and then one experiences nausea. In such scenarios, in most cases, wherever pitta is aggravated, vata also gets aggravated. 4a231211045c5acc78116d272b472fe0

Thats why there are three options in terms of rasa, or taste, for pacifying pitta. Those three tastes as indicated in the shastra-s are: astringent, bitter and sweet. Practically speaking, you have to choose among those three, based on the specific condition or situation.

Verse #171 says that the first three rasa-s or tastes: madhur (sweet), alma (sour) and lavan (salty) pacify vata dosha. So madhur or sweet rasa pacifies both vata and pitta, and that’s why I personally use madhur rasa or the sweet taste to pacify pitta in the summer time. With rose – and intelligent rather than dumb or dead sweets loaded with preservatives and synthetic chemicals such as white sugar – and sweet juicy seasonal fruits like pears, blueberries and blackberries, as well as a little amla or sour rasa like orange, or lime, one can work wonders for pitta and vata. Of course, the sour taste has to be in moderation, specially in the summer time, because it contains more agni, and can thus aggravate pitta as well. It has to be in balance in minimal quantities in relation to the sweet taste.


Another point to consider comes up in verse number #190 that says:


Screenshot 2015-07-17 08.41.33


The bitter rasa, or bitter taste, can aggravate vata. That’s why, when you consumed that bitter ghee to pacify your pitta dosha, it aggravated your samana vata and udana vata, resulting in nausea. So you see, theory or just knowledge are not enough. In practical daily applications of the knowledge, we need to have acquired skills and have guidance to know how to use that knowledge for optimal results. Even though the texts prescribe the bitter taste for pacifying pitta, if we follow the text without considering actual conditions, we will end up aggravating pitta further. I learnt such practical applications of the ayurvedic shastra-s while interning with my father in our family practice in India. I am always happy to share what I learnt during those years as well as in my life experience as an ayurvedic healer, since the opportunity to intern with ayurvedic experts is much more hard to come by in the western cultural context. I thank you for your question as it has given me the opportunity to clarify a crucial point for all.

Vaidya answers your questions: Castor oil for joint pain? and Prakrit and Triphala differences

What’s the Difference between Prakrit and High Pitta Triphala?tsmith_100408_0680__34675__19544.1339638061.1280.1280

John S.

What is the difference between what Triphala or Pitta Triphala Tablets do for the digestive system and what do Prakrit Tablets do for the digestive system ?

And are there conditions where both are suggested to be taken?

Thank you for your wonderful formulations.




Dear John: All triphala formulas support the overall intelligence of the colon. There are a myriad imbalances that can affect the smooth functioning of the colon; whenever anyone is experiencing mild imbalances in their daily bowel discharge, then the triphala formula helps correct it by re-establishing  theintelligence of the colon, and thus supporting bowel evacuation.

That’s the operating principle behind this classical triphala formulation, unlike other natural or synthetic laxatives, in that it does not “force” and take over the colon to bring out a bowel movement, rather it re-initiates the natural functioning and intelligence of the colon so it can resume its own work.


But in my experience as a Vaidya here in the West, even the gentle classical triphala formula, made up of the 3 fruits (tri+phala): Amla (Indian gooseberry), Haritaki,(Terminalia chebula), and Bhibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica), may prove to be too harsh for some high pitta constitutions!


For high pitta body types, and all severely pitta aggravated people in general, even the natural warmth of the fully matured Haritaki seems to be too much to handle. For them, I had to put together a unique SVA Formulation. I call it “Triphala for High Pitta.” In addition to Haritaki, image descriptionBhibhitaki, and Amla, I have added Rose and Fennel. But I also use the almost mature, not fully mature fruit of Haritaki  in this formulation, in addition to the organic rose extract and fennel that are synergistically infused to cool pitta. The rose and fennel are a pitta type’s best friends, they pacify the pitta dosha so that the remaining ingredients can initiate the bowel cleanse without aggravating and irritating the pitta. High pitta body types are prominent in the western world, and countless SVA clients have benefited from this High Pitta Triphala formulation.


Prakrit, on the other hand, is used when Triphala is unable to help. The Ayurvedic texts explain in great detail that there are very many types and natural predispositions to bowel movements. In general, when people tend to have chronic slow bowel movement, along with a lack of communication betweenPrana Vata, that governs the mind, and Apana Vata that governs the colon, then I use Prakrit to help correct it. Prakrit is a unique SVA formulation that contains  a specific kind of the haritaki fruit. There are seven different species of the haritaki fruit, for the Prakrit formulation, I use the best one, called vijiya haritaki -“victorious haritaki.” I use vijiya haritaki collected from dense forests in the same season it matures, not from past seasons. I then infuse it with medical grade castor oil in homeopathic dosage – below 0.01 %,  weight by weight – in order to support and enhance the ability of haritaki through the prabhava of the castor oil. Castor oil is a laxative but even short term usage can cause dependence if used in large quantities or in its raw physical form. The amounts I use are only for processing, and do not take over the colon’s intelligence, but rather support it, by enhancing the properties of Haritaki.

Castor Oil for Joint Pain?


I have a question regarding oils.  I attended an Ayurveda workshop on oils and was advised that Castor Oil is very effective on various types on pain.  I confirmed this with another practitioner and she too advised that Castor oil can be applied daily.  After applying Castor oil on my feet for a few days, I did feel a lot of pain relief, but instead of being cleansed, I became very clogged.  My digestive system almost came to a halt.

Second question regarding oils again – In the workshop, the practitioner mentioned using Avocado and Sesame oil in equal proportion for pain relief. Kindly advise if this is a good combination for pain relief.  I have joint pain that gets aggravated often.  Kindly advise any home remedies.


Thank you and best regards.



Vaidya responds:

Dear Dolly: in my personal opinion, castor oil should only be used occasionally, and not on a regular daily basis, as long term use can results in nerve damage – as castor oil is a confirmed neurotoxic substance.


As a formulator, I use Castor oil in minimal quantities and only in very specific formulations. Many people have asked me how come I use Castor oil as an ingredient in my Prakrit Tablet formulation?


In contemporary Ayurveda, as well as in the SVA tradition, we use many toxic ingredients or elements for healing benefits; however, such ingredients have to be ayurvedically processed and treated through the proper samyog and samskar: samyog means proportion with proper combination with other ingredients, and samskar means proper processing with other ingredients. The samyog and samskar steps are in addition to two more steps:

a) nirmali karan,

b) amriti karanNirmali karan  means the contaminants in that herb are removed, the plant is cleansed; amriti karan means the toxic substance is transformed through distinct steps into an amrit – a substance that benefits the physiology on many levels, and gives overall life support.

Through Ayurveda then, we can transform a toxic ingredient into a life-giving nectar. However, how beneficial or poisonous it is for the body depends on how correctly we prepare and process it. Specific knowledge with regards to processing, combining, and preparing many such plants and herbs were taught to me by my father, and passed down for countless generations in my SVA lineage.


In SVA formulations with known toxic ingredients, such as Castor oil in the SVA Prakrit Tablets, I use a specific method called guna dhan. Guna dhan is the process of infusing the specific prabhava. Prabhava is the specific effect of the herb or product beyond its post-digestive effect. Once the product has been completely physically processed, digested, and assimilated, it carries a subtle property called prabhava. For example, in the case of Castor oil, its prabhavais virechana, this means it carries a specific way of eliminating toxins by supporting the bowel movement. 

In the case of the SVA Prakrit tablets, for example, the bio-chemical potency of the castor oil molecules gets infused into the Haritaki fruits at the micro-molecular and vibrational levels.

What does this mean? In practical terms, only the “intelligence” of the ingredient, of Castor oil, is yoked to or synergistically combined with the Haritaki, to boost and support the properties of the Haritaki itself.


Castor oil is a known neurotoxic substance. When used over a long period of time in large amounts in its raw or crude form either as a plant or oil, whether ingested or used transdermally, it can create dependence – the body comes to depend on it to perform its own automatic functions, such as the daily evacuation of the bowels. I use only 0.01% medical grade Castor oil in Prakrit, in additional to the full ayurvedic processing protocols to transform Castor oil into a nectar, so any side-effects are further totally mitigated. This way, only the shukshmabhag or subtle micro-molecules of the ingredient play a role in terms of the prabhava, the ultimate most subtle post-physical action.


Here is an alternative SVA remedy for your joint pain.


SVA Home remedy for Joint Pain

I would like to suggest the following home remedy for your joint pain:vitexnegundo


Take  4 oz. of good quality preferably organic sesame oil, add:

1/2 oz. Nirgundi (Vitex negundo) leaf

1/4 oz. Black pepper – ground

1/4 oz. Dry ginger powder


Mix together in a small pot and boil for two minutes. Then use a cheesecloth to strain out the spices and herbs. In the filtered oil, add an equal part of sweet almond oil, then add  5 drops of camphor essential oil, 10 drops of peppermint essential oil, pour into an airtight container, and store for a day to let the formula settle. You can then use this oil to massage your knees and all achy joints, not more than twice a day, morning and evening. This will be a safe and effective oil for your joints. It will not only open the macro and micro channels to release all toxins that are causing inflammation and resulting in pain, but it will also nourish your joints and nerves. Let me know how you like it. Of course, coupling any external local application of herbal formulations will give you best results if you are also keeping a good alkaline anti-inflammatory diet. You can read more about the benefits of the SVA alkaline diet where I recommend avoiding the neurotoxic family of nightshades (tomato, potato, eggplant, and bell peppers), along with soy, flax, etc. You will then have even better results. Thank you.

SVA Samadhi Marma

Ayurvedic Support for Daily Yogic Practice through the Transdermal Marma System

Experience the bliss of the Heart Lotus Blossom

What is Samadhi?
Samadhi is a Sanskrit word made up of two roots: sama + dhi. Sama means equally distribute, in equal proportions; and dhi refers to buddhi, or the intellect. Vaidya Mishra says: “ Samadhi is the balanced coordination between mano buddhi and satya/satwa buddhi, between the mind and the “ Light of the Soul”. The Vedic texts distinguish between “mano buddhi” or the logical aspect of the intellect that deals with day to day needs, and “satya buddhi” or the spiritual intellect. “Satya buddhi” is one of the six gunas or properties characterizing an individual’s “light of the soul”, or “satwa”. The Heart Lotus, is an energytic vibrational locus in the middle of the chest that houses the “satwa”.

It has 6 properties (gunas):
Buddhi (intellect)
Prayat na (effort)
Sukha (happiness)
Dukha (sorrow)
Iccha (desire)
Dwesha (aversion)

What are the primary factors that disturb samadhi?
Environmental disturbances of Prana (life-force) that affect the body’s own pranic health
Improper flow or circulation of Prana within the body in the micro and macro channels results in lack of communication between the different subtle bodies
Unresolved past grief and trauma shuts down the heart lotus resulting in lack of mind/body/heart coordination
Current mental stress distracts the mind from settling down and going inwards to experience finer levels of awareness and bliss.
The distracted nature of the “wild horses” (senses) that interfere with the mind’s communication with the “satwa” or the  “light of the soul” seated in the “ Heart Lotus”.

How does SVA support the experience of Samadhi?
The ancient sages of India who cognized the properties of herbs and spices characterized some as “divine,” because they created a balanced chemistry in the physiology attuning it for attaining more refined states of satwic consciousness. The samadhi set readies the physiology for deeper restful experiences by infusing it with calming, soothing and nurturing properties from divine ayurvedic herbs applied on marma points to enhance the flow of prana and support the experience of higher states of consciousness. When an individual experiences samadhi, or a state of ultimate restful awareness, chemical stressors cannot affect the body and cause it to degenerate. Vice versa: when the physiology is chemically balanced, the experience of higher states of consciousness is facilitated.

The Samadhi Set:
Consists of three herbalized creams that are applied on specific marma points (with the option to choose between Arjuna and Ashoka ) to support and enhance yogic experiences-coordinated functioning between mind, heart and soul.
Arjuna (Terminalia Arjuna), supports the physical and emotional heart and gives strength to overcome emotional challenges;
Ashoka (Saraca Ashoka), supports the release of grief (from a-shoka- no shoka/grief).
Brahmi (Centella asiatica and/or Bacopa monnieri) : Brahmi coordinates between and strengthens dhi, dritti, and smritti, the different aspects of the intellect.
Tulsi (Ocimum or Basilicum sanctum) balances/enhance the coordination between the senses and the mano buddhi (mind).

What are Marmas?
Marma translates as “energy point”. There are a total of 107 points in one body (besides the spine). Marmas are specific points on the physiology where the physical and subtle body meet. They respond to the sense of touch. They are loci of Prana, the universal energy of Nature. Vaidya Mishra calls marma points “ switches” that turn on (or off) the flow of universal intelligence in the body, and thus support or repress life. Through the Marma System ™ we can address different stresses and imbalances in the physiology on various levels: physical, emotional, mental, vibrational. The Marma System ™ administers balancing energy on different levels simultaneously making it vary safe, powerful and effective.

How does it work?
There are five levels:

  1. Vibrational sound therapy – as we apply the cream on a marma point we silently repeat a sound cluster (mantra) that targets specific levels or organs.
  2. Transdermal delivery ( herbal delivery through the skin) – herbs are micro-molecules and upon application on the skin they cross the blood barrier and are delivered to specific locations;
  3. Marma energetics – the creams are applied on specific energetic (marma) points on the body that are connected to specific locations;
  4. Aroma therapy- the creams are formulated with specific flower and herbal scents that will help pacify the mind and soothe the emotions;
  5. Touch therapy – as an integral part of the Transdermal Marma System ™ (TMS ™), these creams are applied on specific marmas before any yogic or spiritual practice. Touching the prana in that marma point, cleansing the marma point of any vibrational clogging that might be causing an imbalance.

How to do it – three simple steps in less than 5 minutes:

Close your eyes and breathe gently and as deeply as possible during the following steps:

  • Apply a small amount of Arjuna or Ashoka cream on the center of your palms and soles of the feet if possible ( Talahridiya marma). Lightly touch the marma with your ring finger and turn clockwise 7-21 times in circles slightly larger than the size of a quarter. Now, use your left thumb to press lightly on the point for 10-15 seconds. Repeat the entire process on the opposite hand and foot. 600_Samadhi_Transparent_Arjuna_SuperSport__81392.1405388964.1280.1280
  • Apply brahmi cream just below the wrist bone on the pulse area. Lightly go back and forth with your ring finger, covering the area of two inches for 15-20 seconds or so. Then lightly hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat on the left wrist.
  • Apply tulsi cream on Staphani marma (point between eyebrows). Circles must be very light with no pressure. Do 7, 14, or 21 times, then hold the finger on that point gently for about 10-15 seconds. now apply tulsi on center of the throat notch at the base of the throat (Kanta Marma). Circle 7-21 times very lightly for about 10-15 seconds.
  • Rest with eyes closed for a few minutes and breathe deeply but gently in. Proceed to your yogic practice – this also constitutes a calming yogic practice and can be done on its own, morning or evening.