Tag Archives: health

Does your Dosha Do it!

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It is very difficult to write about indian cookery without bumping into Ayurvedic ideas and practices, some may argue it is pure hocus pocus others that it is the word, but all would agree that it is the spirit and the spiritual in all that tastes and does so much good behind the cooking.
I do not suggest that you should adhere to Ayurvedic principles merely that you should bear them in mind as Ayurveda is an ancient \indian medical system dating back to 3000 BC
At its core is the ideal is that we all have a body type or “dosha” of which there are three, they govern our Physical and mental wellbeing
the tree types are are Vata, Pitta or kapha, and are formed from the five elements that make up our universe, and they all tend to be present in all of us to a greater or lesser extent, with some being a little more dominant than others.

Vata governs the three primary doshas and consist of air and space, fire and water govern pitta, while water and earth make up Kapha. The elements of each Dosha along with the specific combination of each within us determines our physical, mental and emotional state.

if you wish to explore this further and find out what your dosha is click here!dosha2

I myself have an even balance between Vata & pitta with a slightly weaker Kapha.

It is suggested that ill-health is a direct result of these forces being out of balance, with taste being a core way to stimulate the nervous system and balance the doshas the six tastes that are recognised by Ayurveda are sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent ;with pungent salty and sour producing a heating effect on the body while sweet bitter and astringent tastes have the opposite effect and cool the system . It is also wise to remember that how we eat is also very important with lunch being the main meal of the day,  you should always eat slowly and calmly in order to aid ones digestion. Although meat is not a no-no in Ayurveda  it should always be remembered that veg is better for you…. That said at this point things start to get really complicated and if you do feel that you have a need to find out more than there is a plethora of stuff on the internet to assist so go fill ya boots, buts this cook is finished with the technicalities at this point as the food is the important part for myself whilst giving a respectful nod in the direction of the faith and the ideals!
Finally though Ayurvedic is on the high street big style offering treatments, lotions and potions, under the complimentary medicine banner and like most complimentary medicine they are not without merit, although always be as certain as you can be that the person that you are dealing with at least carries a modicum of qualification before allowing them loose on you or your body, as you should also be aware that there are some very potent practices and substances that are in use and they are not for the uneducated and as such anyone can set up a practice if they so choose there is no legislation to protect you the consumer so check your practitioner out first!

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A life without …is a shorter one

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There are three very vital ingredients to an awful lot of curries that if they were not to be included the dish could not be called curry, the first is the humble onion that vegetable that is for me at the very heart of all that is curry. That vital and humble vegetable beloved throughout the world and more importantly an inclusive part of a huge number of nations diet and foods; so many nations can’t have got it wrong, in that they all agree that the onion has been considered very simply a core taste in a lot of the worlds foods and dishes and to some a cure-all for much that ails us. Scientists today though are not quite so sweeping, as to call it a cure-all, and will generally agree that onions may have power to prevent and treat certain illnesses but how many and exactly what diseases is a matter for much debate as they have yet to discover the exact substances that have these amazing healing powers, and onions to this day continue to be the subject of much research.

Charlie brooks Im a celeb eating a raw onion

Charlie Brooks I’m a celeb eating a raw onion

Chomping your way through a raw onion, is not for the faint hearted although the pickled variety does make that task a little easier, and in doing so onion in whatever form will certainly help reduce Cholesterol levels, however may reduce your popularity amongst those nearest and dearest to you; on the other hand the science suggests, and I am no scientist that it is a fact that onion  increases levels of Lipoproteins HDLs,which in essence are the special molecules that help carry away cholesterol from body tissue and artery walls, further still there are plenty of claims for the humble onion from prevention of blood clots through to the prevention of coronary heart disease, thrombosis and a wide range of other conditions that includes strokes and even cancer, but whatever the truths of the matter are onion is definitely something that should be included in your diet…..That said I also read that they can cause Migraines in some individuals but you’re not going to find that out unless you eat them are you!

According to Ayurveda, India’s classic medical science, foods are grouped into three categories – sattvic, rajasic and tamasic – foods in the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance. Onions and garlic, and the other alliaceous, being those plants with a strong odour of which shallots and leeks also feature plants are classified as rajasic and tamasic, which means that they increase passion and ignorance. Onion is also regarded as an aphrodisiac and like garlic is avoided in the diet for just this reason it heats the passion, and like garlic is a no-no in the devout and are considered as unfit to offer to a deity!
I have touched briefly on Garlic above and this too is in the same family as the humble onion and as such has a very mixed record on its good and bad points, although in the western world it is very much regarded as a miracle food and herbalists and neuropaths’ would recommend garlic as a cure or help for dozens of ailments from asthma through to arthritis, and as such there is now medical evidence to confirm garlics’ healing properties are confirmed as an antiviral and antibacterial agent.

A little of what does you good

A little of what does you good

Again eating garlic raw is not for the faint hearted, certainly don’t do it if your planning on kissing anyone or even getting close for a nice chat garlic is never and I say it again never nice on the breath and worse still you as the giver of your garlic halitosis have absolutely no idea how your breath smells, on the other hand bad breath aside;  it is proved to help reduce nasal congestion, as well as relieving other symptoms of the common cold. Garlic like onion can also inhibit blood clotting  and can increase the rate that blood clots are broken down. There are many people out there today walking around who are taking garlic in capsule form every day as an aid to their heart conditions
Finally that other vital ingredient Ginger, is renowned for its abilities to aid digestion, and is notable for relieving travel and morning sickness, and is used to protect against respiratory and digestive infections. Ginger is also great at reducing flatulence and griping pains, not to mention also some use in reducing toothache and relief for the common cold. A poor cousin to the onion family but something that does for sure add to your health and well being so to sum it all up Curry or more importantly some of its vital ingredients and ginger is certainly one of those, is good for you.
For me that is just brilliant news in a world that keeps telling me that most of what I eat is so so bad for me and possibly injurious to my health, something I love to eat isn’t, and if for only that reason Curry rocks!