Foods for the Blues – 2 Recipes for Emotional Health
by vpk® Maharishi Ayurveda & Paul Schaefer on September 6, 2012
When possible, and especially when you are feeling blue, choose intelligent foods. Intelligent foods, in the Maharishi Ayurvedic perspective, are fresh, organic, GMO-free, pesticide-chemical free, tree- or vine-ripened foods. These foods contain the full measure of Ayurvedic nutritional value – nourishing not only the surface levels of mind and body, but their deepest levels as well.
This is a simple, powerful, time-tested Ayurvedic food insight that has been handed down for generations.
Favoring foods that are natural, fresh, organic and unprocessed delivers more of nature's intelligence and more balance to mind and body. These intelligent foods are also digested easily and create “ojas.” Ojas is the Ayurvedic master biochemical that creates bliss and supports connectivity, or the experience of higher states of consciousness, along with stable emotions and immunity.
Intelligent foods include organic milk, cloves, walnuts, pears, coconut, soaked organic nuts, raisins and dates, panir (fresh cheese), and Ayurvedic buttermilk. Ayurvedic buttermilk is better than yogurt or lassi for lightening emotions, as it is a lighter drink that does not increase Kapha. To make buttermilk, follow the simple recipe below. (Please note that Ayurvedic buttermilk is not the same as the buttermilk you buy in the store.) This delicious recipe helps restore the beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract, thus helping digestion and assimilation.
- ¼ c. fresh cold organic yogurt (For best results, use freshly-made yogurt. To find out how to make your own yogurt, see the foods section at www.mapi.com.)
- ¾ c. purified cold water (the temperature must be cold for this recipe to work)
- ¼ t. cumin powder
- ¼ t. coriander leaf (cilantro)
- 1 pinch of rock salt or sea salt
- Place the freshly-made yogurt in the blender and blend for three to five minutes.
- Add the cold water, and blend again on low for three to five minutes.
- You will notice that a fatty foam has collected at the top of the yogurt. Skim it off with a spoon and discard.
- Repeat the blending and removing of the fatty foam if the yogurt remains thick, white and solid.
- When the yogurt has become watery but still cloudy in color, you have made buttermilk.
- Add the spices and stir by hand briefly to mix the spices evenly.
- Serve at room temperature.
Spice Mixture for Emotional Balance
- 1 part ground black pepper
- 1 part ground dried ginger
- 2 parts ground coriander
- 3 parts ground cumin
- 2 parts ground turmeric
- 1 part crushed black cumin (for women only)
- Mix the spices together and store in an airtight container.
- Sauté the spices in a small amount of ghee to spice vegetables and grains.
Ayurveda’s Emotional Support
Ayurvedic experts say if you want to uplift your spirits, steer away from eating processed junk foods, leftovers, and canned, frozen or packaged foods. These foods don’t create ojas. Rather, they create ama, the sticky waste-product of incomplete digestion that blocks the body’s shrotas, or channels.
In Ayurvedic terms, this sticky waste product (ama) interferes with Sadhaka Agni, blocking the communication between heart and mind, and allowing negative emotions to be stored in the body instead of being released. If the shrotas are clear and flowing, negative emotions are less likely to overwhelm our being. Ayurveda also suggests avoiding the nightshade family of vegetables, which includes potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and green, yellow and red peppers.
This is why Maharishi Ayurveda places such importance on digestion. The herbs in Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus) cleanse toxins up to and including the fat tissue. You can see that this is a much deeper effect than just cleansing the bowel. It cleanses toxins from the nutrient fluid, the blood, the muscle and the fat tissues if used for a long enough time.
Because it detoxifies the blood, muscle and fat tissues, it supports skin health. And because it removes ama from the fat tissue, Organic Digest Tone also helps balance body fats.
Organic Digest Tone can also help address any damage that has occurred in the intelligence of nature that governs the transformation from one tissue to the next. It is in the gap between the tissues that the intelligence of nature operates, and if there is any damage, Organic Digest Tone can help reset the chain to enable proper transformation of one tissue to the next. That's what makes it a very great Rasayana. Also, it has two of the three major herbs contained in Maharishi Amrit Kalash, which is the most highly refined and rejuvenating Rasayana of all.
Ayurveda recognizes the importance of spice mixtures. These not only satisfy the six Ayurvedic tastes, but they are also considered essential for supporting balance in mind and body. There are three – one for each of the three doshas (mind-body types).
- For Vata: Organic Calming Vata Spice Mix is a blend of seven spices, including Cumin, Ginger and Fenugreek.
- For Pitta: Organic Cooling Pitta Spice Mix features Coriander, Cardamom and Turmeric.
- For Kapha: Organic Stimulating Kapha Spice Mix includes Ginger, Coriander and Turmeric.
Specific Ayurvedic herbal formulations also support balanced emotions. Stress Free Emotions supports natural resistance to emotional stress and fatigue. The herbs in Blissful Joy nourish the mind-body connection and help remove toxins that can create dullness or sadness. They do this by supporting the “memory” of bliss in your cells, and balancing hormones that govern emotions. The herbs in Worry Free simultaneously calm the nervous system while supporting mental clarity. They support more balanced reactions to stress.
In Ayurveda, diet is just one tool to support emotional health. Also helpful are special herbal formulations, the daily practice of the Transcendental Meditation® program, regular exercise, and a life-supporting or sattvic home and work environment – all contribute to good emotional health. Click here for more Ayurvedic tips on emotional health.
These articles provide a great resource from The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians on the knowledge, practices, products, and applications of Maharishi Ayurveda.
The sole purpose of these newsletters is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention or cure of any disease. If you have any serious, acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area.