Sweet Summer Juice Blend

It’s too tempting not to have a drink, or two specially in the hot days of summer! How long can you steer clear of the sweet, juicy, refreshing experience of a smoothy or a juice blend?  But you have to beware. Smoothies and juices can dilute your digestive agni within minutes, giving you the feeling of satiation but causing long-term harm. In addition,  protein powders and/or other minerals and vitamins also add an additional layer of complication. You may not feel the effects right away, but such mixtures are not ayurvedically ideal to keep a happy digestive balance. But we all could do with a glass or two of sweet summer drinks, so here is a balanced recipe that will keep all your doshas in check, rehydrate you, and soothe your heart and mind.

This recipe will make about 25-30 fluid ounces
  • 1 red apple
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 pear
  • 2-3 carrot sticks
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lime
  • 3-5 celery sticks
  • a good handful of fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2-3 chunks of fresh ginger (thumb-size)

variation: you can also replace one apple with some grapes, or blueberries if you like. However, economically speaking, such fruits are always better just eaten as is, as they tend to be a little more expensive than apples and pears, and you will need larger amounts to yield juice. If your juicer is powerful enough, you can just slice/dice your apples and orange/lime and throw into your juicer.

This recipe will pacify your pitta through the sweet juicy fruits, but keep vata and kapha in check with the lime and the ginger. You can reduce the amount of ginger if you tend to have high pitta, but must keep some to keep your agni ignited so it can digest the juice. The celery will help further alkalize and balance the sweetness of the blend. If you are sensitive to sugar, or are avoiding sugar in general, you can avoid the carrots. This drink will rehydrate, soothe, and even detox some through the cilantro. It is a perfect summer juice blend.

Vaidya responds to your questions: Moringa leaves or sticks? Moringa for infants? Raw fruits and juices? And more….

Regarding Tribulus capsules:

“Namaste,

Regarding the Tribulus Terrestris capsules:
Could you please point me to the (youtube?) video or any other reference material on Shring Bhasma. I located the video on Yasad Bhasma but not the one on Shring Bhasm.
Can this capsule be taken (i) along with warm milk? (ii) as a hot water decoction (i.e. upon emptying the powder contents)? What mode would be most effective?
Thank you,
Sincerely,
Gaurav N.”

“Dear Gaurav:
Swallowing your Tribulus capsule with warm milk is the most effective option, as the milk will provide an excellent nourishing medium for delivering the intelligence of the herbs. I do not recommend emptying the powder contents and making a hot water decoction because the bitter taste of the herbs contained in the capsule may be nauseating.”


Moringa for Infants?

“Dear Sir,
Can we give Moringa/ Moringa leaves to a 16-month-old baby? Will it cause any ill effect?
Thanks,
Pavithra S.”

Vaidya responds:
“Dear Pavitra: even though Moringa is fully packed with nutrients and ingredients, it is at the same time highly detoxifying. For that reason, it is best not to give to babies. Infancy is primarily a time for nurturing, in SVA we believe babies should only be fed “somagenic” nurturing food such as squashes, oatmeal, rice, etc. We recommend to start introducing a normal adult diet at the age of 5 years and above.”

Moringa leaves or drumsticks?

“Dear Vaidya,
Is eating drumstick vegetable equal in benefit to the leaf?
Thank you,
Martin G.”

“Dear Martin, yes, in some ways,  it is.
However, the Moringa leaf is more detoxifying than the stick. The stick carries more nutritional value. But both the stick and the leaves are nourishing and detoxifying in nature. The leaf has some added detoxifying power to it though. So depending on what protocol you are following, you may choose one or the other.”

Food Combining

“Thank you for the post on food combining. It is wonderful and very helpful. It is an area I know very little about but would love to learn more. Are there any other resources I could use to find out more?
Sidney P.”

“Dear Sidney: This is a vast and central topic in Ayurveda, discussed at length in the classical sourcebook, the Charak Samitha. There are, however, in that chapter, many food items that may not be of interest for our contemporary cultural needs, except for the discussion on mutually contradictory food combinations that include mixing milk and dairy products with other ingredients. However, very soon, I will be writing a detailed article listing mutually contradictory ingredients for this day and age for all those who want to follow SVA guidelines. Stay tuned through our weekly newsletter!”

Raw Fruits and Vegetables

“Dear Vaidya Mishraji,
First of all, thank you so much for the wealth of knowledge that you share with us. I am a lifelong student of Ayurveda and you are my Guru. I have purchased several of your DVDs. I hope one day I am able to meet you in person.
My question is regarding juicing. There is a craze for drinking smoothies and vegetable juices. What it the Ayurvedic point of view for drinking freshly squeezed vegetable and fruit juices?
Thank you.
Purnima C.”

“Dear Purnima: it is true that raw fruits and vegetables are very high in nutrient content, but there are some specific issues which modern nutritional science fails to address.  For one, nutritionally dense raw food has to go through the digestive system, and not everybody’s body is able to digest raw food 100%. When it is not, Ayurveda tells us that semi-digested remains in the body create “ama” or toxins. Ama, in its turn, is the raw material for “amavisha,” a highly virulent toxic build-up which is the root cause of all kinds of inflammatory diseases in the body. Certain raw foods, such as: cucumber, celery, lettuce, are easy to digest and they are ok to have with meals or juiced. However,  heavy duty greens such as: Swiss chard , collard, kale, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, even arugula – these should always be cooked. They carry sulfur-containing chemicals called “thiocyanates” that can be harmful and imbalancing to normal thyroid activity when consumed raw. However, when they are steamed, and preferably cooked, then they lose that toxic property. The thing is this: for people who have had a not so balanced diet for years, eating preserved foods with bad fat, switching to juicing or raw foods is heaven sent because they find that their bodies get pranically recharged for the first time in a long time. But for people who have had a relatively balanced diet, with good protein, good fat and greens, eating raw is neither a necessity nor desirable. In the big picture, it is all about being able to digest (break-down) and absorb whatever you put in your mouth. Whatever you do not cook on top of the stove, you need to cook inside your body to fully break down and avoid making toxins or ama. But is your metabolism up to it? Do you have a good balance between physical activity and rest? Are all your transformative tissue metabolic fires in good shape? Our digestion and absorption is by and large compromised in this day and age due to the lifestyle we have to lead in urban context. So it is best to avoid raw foods, or eat them in minimal quantities. Same goes for fruit juices. Any liquid, whether water or a fruit juice, will dilute your digestive fire, unless you have added a good amount of, for example, fresh ginger, or some other such spicy ingredient. It is great to have some fruit juices as a refreshing snack, specially in hot weather, in between meals, if they are balanced in the recipe, but best to avoid them with meals. For example, starting your day with orange juice for breakfast, is one of the worst things you could do to your digestive fire! If you are in the mood for some fruit juice it is always nice to squeeze some limes, add a pinch of salt, sugar to taste, and a few sprigs of fresh mint. This is a great rehydrating and refreshing drink. I will be sharing a fruit and vegetables juice recipe in our next issue of the newsletter. Stay tuned!”

Prebiotics from Coconut

“Namaste Vaidya Mishraji,
Your coconut water probiotic recipe has helped me immensely over the last year+. My tongue coating (Ama) had reduced to near-zero at one point. However, this year unfortunately, we are not getting good coconuts in the store. To keep my probiotics up, I’m relying on home made curd/buttermilk. However, I feel that it is missing the prebiotic environment that coconut water provides. So I am wondering if I can put a few drops of your Prebiotic Herbal Memory Nectar in buttermilk to help the “Yoginis” survive better. Or any other suggestions? Am I just imagining this problem?
Thank you,
Sincerely,
Gaurav N.”

“Dear Gaurav,
No you are not imagining it, this is a real problem for some people. While you wait for better quality coconuts to be available in the store you can do the following:
1. Make thin buttermilk  – add 10% yogurt to 90% water, and add 5 drops of the SVA prebiotic nectar to it. It is best to drink this with your meal for example take one sip of buttermilk and then have a spoon of your meal. This should help you. Let us know!”

Helping heal skin scars

“Dear Vaidya-ji,
Thank you so very much for the fabulous knowledge you share with us so
Generously and for the extraordinary products you formulate!
Would you be so kind as to tell us which Chandika products and SVA
Procedures would be best in helping treating recent scars. A friend of
mine had a horrific-looking puncture wound apparently from a black widow
spider. He had a long surgery to remove the necrosis that was as big as
his fist on the back of his lower leg, and the surgeon took a graph
under the thigh and put it on the wound, with success. Now my friend is
looking for the best products to help rejuvenate the skin at the point
where the graph was taken, and to help heal the main site at the lower
leg.
Thank you in advance for any help you can provide!
Wishing you Dear Vaidya-ji,
Joy and Success in Abundance,
Joe T.”

“Dear Joe: here is what your friend can try. On the weekend, apply Lalita’s Pre-biotic CreamClay, and then wash it off. Then apply the Probiotic body cream and leave it on. On weekdays, apply the regular Lalita’s CreamClay, and then use the Aloe and Sandalwood lotion and leave on. Try this, and see if it helps. This objective is to detox the skin locally with the CreamClays and reawaken the skin’s intelligence, in addition to nourishing and replenishing the friendly bacteria of the skin. Let us know if it helps. “