Typical Case of “High Pitta and Low Agni?”

Hey Vaidya Mishra,

I have a high pitta but low agni and I’ve been trying to treat it for the last 5 years of my life. Hence, I only knew about my ‘what I think is my exact condition’ (the high pitta, low agni; specifically low pachak agni) like 2 months back.pain-under-left-rib-cage When I started adding spices to my food: ‘ginger, black pepper, fennel, coriander, cumin,’ and felt much better, but ended up being constipated. I’ve been taking liver bitters (livo map) for the last 3 years of my life, but I found out lately, that those bitters, actually end up cooling me too much and lowering the pachak agni too much, so food end up being remained in my stomach for long time and resulting in burning sensation under my right rib cage (which I think my congested gallbladder). I’m wondering what shall I do? If I stop the liver support (livo map), I end up feeling that I REALLY need it and I end up back to it, because it really relaxes me and cools me down, and get my bowls moving, but when I add those spices, like ginger and black pepper to support my stomach acid, I end up being constipated and my bowls stop moving (because eventually they are carminatives). Coriander is really turning off my stomach acid. I’m a pitta person (diagnosed by an ayurvedic doctor). I’m as well wondering if Turmeric (since you said it is really good for high pitta low agni situation) does increase stomach acid? (the pachak agni), because, I think this is what I at first really have to take care of, because no matter what food I’m eating, it end up remaining in my stomach for long and after I’m starting to feel the pain under my right rib cage. I know that I have weaknesses in both parts, the digestive juices from gallbladder and pancreas and as well a low stomach agni, but when i higher the stomach acid as well too much, then the pain under my right rib cage, as well starts. so I’m guessing this pain starts whenever there’s too much acid, whether from long remaining undigested food in the duodenum and remaining of undigested food in the stomach because of low stomach acid and low digestive juices, or because of high stomach acid (after adding acid producing factors like ginger, black peppers, lemon and apple cider vinegar) and low digestive juices (biles), that not end up neutralizing the acidic food entering the duodenum. I know that balance is the solution, but I’m always end up failing and end up by whether un-floating bowels (if no acid available in my duodenum/stomach) or my bowels are fine (slightly constipated let me say), if acid remains in my duodenum & undigested food in my stomach.liver-detox

As well, I would like to know your address if it happens that you live in India, since I might be giving India a trip anytime soon.



Vaidya replies:

Dear George: It looks like you are self-diagnosing and self-treating. Please call Dr. Teitelbaum in New Jersey at 1.856.786.3300 and schedule an ayurvedic over-the-phone consult with her.  But in the meantime, because I can see you are very curious and have a passion to learn Ayurveda, and to help yourself, here is a bigger picture of what might be going on in your physiology ayurvedically speaking, according to your questions and comments.

When we try to take care of physical liver organ, trying to detoxify, the liver will leech out toxins that may end up disturbing your stomach and colon. When you trying to fix your colon and stomach, you get constipated. According to SVA, and you might have already read this in my newsletters or on my blog, I use the image of a ghee wick, and the ghee flame, to explain the relationship between a burner and the gap, or space (sandhi) where metabolism or Screenshot 2015-09-25 13.58.02transformation occurs in our physiology. In that gap or sandhi, the transformation of Pitta (the fuel) into the agni (the flame) occurs. When that sandhi is encountering a problem, then you may experience some or all of the problems and symptoms that you list. So along with trying to support the physical liver, the physical stomach, the physical duodenum, or physical colon, one has to address the more subtle and vibrational aspects of digestion, the gaps.  So my suggestion will be, until you see or have a phone consult with Dr.Marianne Teitelbaum, try to adopt or do the following SVA protocols to clean and support your gaps:

-Apply SVA DGL transdermal on the liver area – this is on your right side, just below the last lower rib. Do this at night before going to bed. Then apply Pro Pachaka Transdermal in a clockwise motion, on your stomach, as if the clock was on your stomach – so 9pm would be on your right side, 12 correspond to your neck area, etc. Apply Pro-Pachaka on your stomach after breakfast, after lunch, as well as after dinner.

The DGL cream will re-establish the intelligence of your liver by supporting all the 5 burners of the liver. You see, in the liver we have one pitta, that’s ranjak pitta (fuel); but in the liver we also have 5 burners, and each burner supplies a different kind of flame each flame. Each flame is assigned to address one of each of the panch mahabhuta-s: space, air, fire, water, and earth.tsmith_100317_0391__88222__68529.1340153919.1280.1280

The Pro-Pachaka cream carries all the herbs and spices that vibrationally address the energy of all these burners which help transform the pachak pitta into pachak agni. With this cream, the “freezing effect” that you are experiencing in your stomach or duodenum should be slowly addressed.

Next, you will try to enhance communication between mind, stomach and colon, by applying the DGL transdermal cream, and the Prakrit Transdermal cream on the lower bottom half of your spine, in the morning after shower, and at night before going to bed. This will enhance the vibrational communication between mind and stomach, so eventually your mind will be in charge again of properly commanding when and how much enzymes need to be released after and during your meals. The DGL and Prakrit will help do this. In addition, the DGL and Prakrit creams will also enhance the communication between mind (prana vata) and your colon (apana vata).

SV Ayurveda is a different kind of Ayurveda where in addition to food and spices taken orally to address imbalances on a physical bio-chemical level, we also support things on a subtle vibrational level as you can see. I have not seen your pulse but this protocol that I just gave you should help you, based on my decades of experiences and from the symptoms that you indicated having. Try it and write back to us. Thank you.

Knee Pain: Surgery or Ayurveda?

Namaskar once againkneepain

Misra ji: my husband is 41 years old and he is having lots of knee pain. Some doctors recommended him to have knee replacement, while few recommended some kind of injection. Please suggest if through Ayurveda or diet changes we can heal his knees.


Vaidya replies:

Dear Gurmeet: it would be advisable to have an ayurvedic consultation with a SVA practitioner. But in the meantime, here is some advice based on SVA principles you can start incorporating that might help alleviate the symptoms.

In general, we use our knee and elbow joints extensively, that’s why they become a target of pain, specifically if the body is acidic. This may happen even at a young age. So first of all, you need to look into the diet he is consuming and eliminate and change anything in the diet that is causing his body’s pH to be acidic rather than alkaline. AdopScreenshot 2015-09-25 20.43.59t the main tenets of the SVA diet which is all about neutralizes the PH of the body otherwise, if you eat acidic food to maintain AVAILABLE HERE. When your body’s pH is low, it eats away at the bone tissue, and the calcium in order to create balance. That’s how our bone tissue gets depleted and we experience inflammation and chronic condition related to inflammatory pain. The bone tissue needs raw material, or soma. Acidic food is full of fire or agni, so acidity of the body attacks the cartilages. Thus changing/amending your diet and adopting SVA principles will be step one. Then step two: in the morning apply HN Cream on the knees, and at night apply Maha Kanchenar and Healthy Joints Transdermal creams. The herbs encapsulated in these creams may help more once we also do whole body massage with Vata oil with Magnesium and Vit D. In addition, add Soma Cal capsules, 1 capsule twice a day. This will supply the best most easy to digest calcium to treat and nourish the bone tissue. The magnesium and Vitamin D oil will enhance the synthesis and absorption of calcium from the Soma Cal capsules as well as from the food. But, without dietary changes, none of these creams, herbs, capsules, nothing will not work!


Is it ok to cook Avocados?

“Dear Vaidyaji,

Is it OK to cook Avocados or it should be had raw always?AVOCADO-hass



Vaidya replies:

Dear Pavithra: cooking avocados is not a good idea because avocado oil and other nutrients in avocado are very heat sensitive. However, raw avocado has a lot of soma, and if your digestive agni is low (pachak agni), and you consume raw avocados, you may make ama (semi-digested material or toxins) from avocado. For high pitta and high agni individuals, raw avocado is a great treat, because their overactive digestion can fully metabolize the raw avocado, but if you tend to have slower digestion, here is a recipe you can try. It will help you in transforming the soma of the avocado into ojas.

You will need:

1 ripe medium avocado – take out the seed and keep the pulp

1/4 tsp. Mum’s Masala

1 tsp. lime juicesoma_salt__84355_thumb

Soma Salt per taste

½ teaspoon olive oil

Mix altogether to make a rich creamy texture. If you like chilies, you can add 1 fine shredded green thai chili.

The spice mixture of Mum’s Masala supports digestion and overall metabolism and will help process the richness of avocado so you get the most out of its nutrients without making any ama.


Weight Gain, Hair Loss, Heart Burn and Indigestion

“Namaskar guruji,

Could you please help my daughter? She is gaining weight, having severe hair fall and always complaining about acidity and indigestion and throat infection. Now she is having pcod problem also. She is 26 years old. Last year only she got married. Please suggest some good medicine for her problems. Vit B12 deficiency is also there.”

Vaidya replies:

From what I can read, most of your daughter’s problems seem to be related to bad diet and bad routine. So first thing to do would be to fix her diet and routine. Please read the articles below that give you the basic guideline to restore balance to your body according to the SVA guidelines. I do ongoing research to bring the best of both worlds – ancient AyurvScreenshot 2015-09-17 15.40.26eda, and modern findings – to keep the SVA principles up-to-date on all health aspects. Diet will be a key factor for your daughter. Eliminating things that are bothering her physiology, and then adding things that will help her balance it. This should help some with all aspects. Read also the article on SVA Hair Care to see what further she can implement. After changing the diet and practicing it for 3 months, some of her symptoms should go away. At that point, please make a phone consultation appointment with Dr. Marianne Teitelbaum, in New Jersey. She will give you a more targeted protocol over the phone. Her number is: 1.856.786.3300. After practicing three months of this diet and routine some problems may go away then Dr. Teitelbaum can take over she can guide you by phone but all of these problems are always connected with bad diet and bad routine.


What to Avoid During Pregnancy


Thanks for your reply. If you happen to have a recommendation list of what herbs to avoid during pregnancy please let me know.

Thank you! Sara”

Vaidya replies:

Dear Sara: any herb which is known to be detoxifying, as well as any herb or plant which is highly estrogenic like fennel; or shatavari. Most famous detoxifying herbs are: neem, guduchi. Stay away from these. But any other herbs with the biScreenshot 2015-09-10 15.33.54tter taste as well will be detoxifying – like milk thistle.

Of course, it all depends on how strong an individual is and whether the herbs are being administered orally – transmucosally – or transdermally, through the skin. But in general, any crude herb which is detoxifying and estrogenic in nature should be avoided by pregnant women. Remember, you should also avoid bitter vegetables like bitter melon, or bitter leafy greens (kale, collards, etc) and estrogenic fruits like pineapple, papaya, or asparagus, fennel sprouts, and anything made with/from soy. Also avoid licorice – it is estrogenic. In addition, at any stage of the pregnancy, it is best to avoid hot pungent foods that use too much red chillies, asafetida (or hing). Green chilies and ginger in moderation are ok, depending on whether the mother’s constitution is high pitta or not.

Vit D and Iodine Deficiency

“Dear Dr. Mishra,

I have a question regarding your magnesium/vitamin D oil. I recently received the test results of my blood work and my doctor says I need to take 5,000 units of vitamin D. How much is in your oil? I am not sure I am receiving enough from your oil. I am dark skinned and do not spend a lot of time in the sun.Cod-Liver-Oil1

The doctor has also advised me to take additional iodine. I have purchased your Soma Salt. Does it have iodine? Are there any other natural ways of receiving iodine? 

Finally what do you think of organic cod liver oil from fresh water fish? I took this for 3 years to increase my vitamin D levels which are now at 30. I recently stopped after purchasing your vitamin D/magnesium oil because I did not want to have too much vitamin D. 

I look forward to your response.


Rhonda J.”

Vaidya Replies:

Dear Rhonda, my Vit D transdermal cream will deliver 3400 units of Vit D per 1 gram, while the roll-on will deliver Screenshot 2015-09-11 21.04.521400 units of Vit D per 10ml of the liquid. The same applies for the roll-on. The key is to supplement these transdermal products with a balanced alkaline diet. If you lead a stressful life-style, inflammation and acidic toxins adversely affect the levels of Vit D in your body as well. Try to correct things holistically, not just by supplementing what is missing. Otherwise, Cod liver oil is also a good source of Vit D that you can take in addition to the transdermal creams. If your diet is balanced (alkaline, nourishing, fresh, and timely), and you are using the Vit D Transdermal creams, you will see improvement over time. Many have.

The SVA Soma Salt does not contain any iodine. You can get iodine through food. For example, seaweed. If you regularly eat seaweed (multiple times a week), you will probably receive enough iodine. However, the availability of iodine from seaweed is variable so that sometimes you may end up getting too much iodine, which you also don’t want.

Cases of iodine toxicity reported in scientific journals are often from excessive amounts of kelp and kelp tablets. Iodine toxicity may develop when intake is > 1.1 mg/day. Consuming too much usually does not affect thyroid function, but it may, causing the thyroid gland to become overactive and produce excess thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism), particularly in people who used to consume too little iodine. However, sometimes excess iodine can decrease production of thyroid hormones (causing hypothyroidism). As a result, the thyroid gland enlarges, forming a goiter. Goiters can form when the thyroid gland is underactive or overactive.

If people consume very large amounts of iodine, they may have a brassy taste in their mouth and produce more saliva. Iodine can irritate the digestive tract and cause a rash.

When iodine is deficient, the thyroid gland enlarges, forming a goiter, as it attempts to capture more iodine for the production of thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland becomes underactive and produces too little thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism). Fertility is reduced. In adults, hypothyroidism may cause puffy skin, a hoarse voice, impaired mental function, dry and scaly skin, sparse and coarse hair, intolerance to cold, and weight gain.seasweed

Infants, children, and adults with iodine deficiency are treated with iodine supplements taken by mouth. Infants are also given supplements of thyroid hormone taken by mouth, sometimes throughout life. Children and adults may also be given thyroid hormone supplements. But before taking the path of supplementation, unless your medical doctor has already advised you to do so, in which case you should not hesitate to follow his recommendation, it is good to try to correct your diet to include more iodine from natural sources. I do not recommend using regular table salt with iodine, as that salt impairs health by retaining toxins and water in the body. Sea salt that may be a better source of natural iodine might also be too sharp and pitta aggravating according to Ayurveda. So I would try to incorporate food items that can support and boost your iodine levels naturally.

What foods are naturally high in iodine? Iodine is a component of almost every living plant and animsbluefinal. No standard measurements of iodine in food exist because iodine concentrations vary across the world. In general, foods from the sea contain the most iodine, followed by animal foods, then plant foods. Of all foods, seaweed (like kelp), is the most well known and reliable source of natural iodine. Egg and dairy products can also be good sources.

Other than fortified salt, the concentrations of iodine in these foods can vary widely and this table should be taken only as a rough guide.

Food Serving Size Iodine
Dried Seaweed 1 gram 16-2984µg (11% – 1989% DV)
Cod 3 ounces* 99µg (66% DV)
Iodized Salt (Fortified) 1 gram 77µg (51% DV)
Milk 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) 56µg (37% DV)
Shrimp 3 ounces 35µg (23% DV)
Fish sticks 2 fish sticks 35µg (23% DV)
Turkey breast baked 3 ounces 34µg (23% DV)
Tuna canned in oil 3 ounces (1/2 can) 17µg (11% DV)
Egg boiled 1 large 12µg (8% DV)

Help: Can’t Fall Asleep!


” Hello,moon

I have hard time to get into sleep during night. Many times I was awake whole night, and in the morning I get headaches but I am very proper in following my bed time schedule. I take warm milk with some ginger and turmeric but no help.

I also don’t want to take any herbal medicines as I think it will work till I take those and after it won’t.

So please suggest some transdermal creams to get good sleep which will last for longer.



Vaidya replies:

Dear Nithya: first thing is you should stop mixing ginger and turmeric with your milk. Instead, make a recipe of milk date shake:date_shake_

Boil milk with a couple cardamom pods, a stick of cinnamon; take off the heat, pour into a blender and add 1-2 pitted medjool dates and blend. Drink warm before bed.

In addition to this, do a gentle self-massage with SVA Vata oil with Magnesium and Vit D before bed, focusing on your legs and arms and lower back. Then take a shower and wash the oil off.

Nighttime is  “soma time,” and our bodies need more soma to get proper sleep. Milk is somagenic, that’s why it is recommended in general in Ayurveda; but turmeric and ginger are agneya or fiery by nature, so instead of mixing milk with turmeric and ginger, prepare your milk with dates, as a milk date shake. This will give you more liquid soma from milk, and soma from dates as well.

Another thing is: you need to calm down your vata, pacify your nervous system before going to sleep. It will not help that you are going to bed on time if your nervous system is in a state of  disarray from the activities of the day. Some gentle slow yoga will certainly help, or gentle sow pranayam. And you should do a self-massage with SVA Vata oil with Magnesium and Vitamin D. Do whole body massage, leave the oil on for 20 minutes, and then take a nice long shower, using Soma Nidra soap. After your shower, you can also apply the Soma Nidra roll-on on your cervical spine area, and the sides of the neck. The herbs in the vata oil, the Soma Nidra roll-on and the soap, will help pacify your vata and calm you nervous system further, after you’ve done your Date Milk Shake. Try these remedies and let us know.  Thank you.

Black Sesame Seed Oil: Next Best Thing After Ghee – for All?

blacksesameimages“Dear Vaidya,

What about cold pressed (black) sesame oil, Caraka mentions this as next best after ghee? 


Vaidya Answers: 

Dear Martin: yes, this is a good question you raise, as the Charak Samhita states that the next best thing after ghee – in case one cannot consume ghee – is cold pressed black sesame oil. However, again, here we have to take into account the fact that sesame oil, when used as is on its own, can be too heating for high pitta type people. One alternative to correcting this tendency would be to carefully cook tScreenshot 2015-09-14 15.26.00his oil with soma-predominant vegetables – such as toru, or loki. These vegetables will balance out the heating tendencies of the sesame olokiil. Sesame oil is a very unique oil because it can adapt to and adopt the properties of the ingredients it is mixed with. In general, it is ideal for kapha type people, or for people with kapha aggravation, who are experiencing ama production in the stomach due to low-agni and high kledak kapha. In this situation, cooking with sesame oil can be therapeutic.

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: https://www.onnit.com/onnit-mct-oil/

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. Drugs.com: 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
ChooseMyPlate.gov: How Much Is My Allowance for Oils?
2. Know Your Fats, by Mary Enig, Ph.D, Bethesda Press. p. 259
See more at: http://healthimpactnews.com/2014/mct-oil-vs-coconut-oil-the-truth-exposed/#sthash.pZmZsW0N.dpuf

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:

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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:


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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.