“‘Kitchari’ means ‘mixture’ in Hindi, and it is a traditional Ayurvedic dish. Ingredients (4 servings)

4 Ayurvedic Remedies to Manage Stress

By Skye Roberts, DAc T

he Ayurvedic approach to stress is based on an imbalance in our energetic properties, the doshas (vata, pitta, kapha). Stress in Ayurveda is seen predominantly as a disturbance to

our vata dosha, the energy of movement that is formed from the space and air elements. Vata dosha is intrinsically related to the nervous system. Over extended periods, vata can wreak havoc on the mind and body. This is the negative and undesired impact that we commonly know as stress.

Balancing vata is the key to managing stress in the body and mind as well as supporting wellness and longevity. There is no single solution or one-size fits all to managing stress. However, these are 4 ways to manage stress using Ayurvedic techniques.

1. Spend Time in Nature: Vata is the energy of movement and is composed of the air and space elements. On the premise that like increases like and opposites bring balance, we want to invoke the qualities of water and earth that can bring balance. Take a walk in the woods, up the mountains, by a lake or the sea. Kick back your shoes and really immerse with nature by walking barefoot.

2. Practice Breath Control (Pranayama): Pranayama is literally

translated as breath control. Why is it that when we feel panicked we immediately turn to the breath? The breath is our life force energy and by deepening and elongating the breath we can increase prana and calmness within our mind and body.

3. Oil Application (Abhyanga): Traditionally the application of oil and self-massage is done before the shower with warm oil starting at the top of the head and working your way down to the toes. It is not only nourishing and nurturing but very hydrating for the skin. As the skin is the largest organ, the application of oil has a profound calming effect on the nervous system.

4. Regularity and Routine: The single most important balancing factor for vata is maintaining regularity in our daily routines. This is especially critical around eating and sleeping habits. Eat meals at the same time every day with 3-4 hours between meals. Allow at least 2 hours to prepare for bed by avoiding screens and bright lights and anything that stimulates or aggravates the mind and body. Apply a touch of lavender essential oil to the soles of your feet to promote sleep.

Also, I recommend this recipe for Kitchari Soup, commonly

used in Ayurvedic medicine. Kitchari is a potent blood purifier. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we use the mung bean to strip environmental toxins out of the tissues which is especially helpful for the reproductive organs, liver, and thyroid gland health.

10 Natural Nutmeg - November/December 2020

• 1 cup basmati rice • ½ cup organic whole or split mung beans (bulk section of the health food store) These need to be soaked for at least three hours before cooking. • 4-6 cups of water • 2 T organic ghee (clarified butter) • 1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds • 2 pinches hing (asafetida) • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger • 1 stick of kombu (seaweed) You can substitute Wakame if need be. You just need a little. One “leaf” per pot of soup. • ½ teaspoon of sea salt • ½ teaspoon of turmeric • 1–2 cups chopped vegetables (optional)

Wash rice and mung and soak for three hours or overnight. Drain water.

In a saucepan warm the ghee. Add the ginger, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and hing, and sauté for one to two minutes until the mustard seeds start to pop and the aroma of the spices is released.

Add rice and mung beans and sauté for 2-4 minutes or until they start sticking to the sides of the pot. Then add 4-6 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Stir in the seaweed, salt, and turmeric, and reduce heat to a simmer.

Cover and cook until beans and rice are tender (approx. 30-45 minutes). If you are adding vegetables to your kitchari, add the longer cooking vegetables such as carrots and beets halfway through the cooking. Add the vegetables that cook faster such as leafy greens near the end.

Your finished kitchari should be the consistency of

a vegetable stew as opposed to a broth. If you need to add more water, you can. Taste and add additional salt as needed. Serve with fresh cilantro or tasty chutneys.

Dr. Roberts is pleased to offer Natural Nutmeg readers a 20-minute complimentary phone consultation. You’ll receive a Dosha Quiz and discover your individual constitution or find out how Ayurveda and Acupuncture can improve your unique concerns. Email or call 917.538.2080 for details.

Dr. Skye Roberts is a Doctor of Acupuncture and Board-Certified Chinese Herbalist, Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and Reiki Master. She offers a uniquely integrated healthcare approach, treating a wide variety of conditions, with a particular interest in psycho- emotional conditions, digestive disorders, post-stroke rehabilitation, neurological conditions, pain management, endocrine disorders, and women’s health and fertility. For more, visit www. Dr. Roberts is an independent practitioner associated with Hartford Family Institute. See ad on page 38.

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