Are you looking for new ways to improve your overall physical and psychological well-being? Interested in exploring new ways to promote your longevity, outside of modern Western medicine? You're definitely not alone, it sometimes seems like the whole world is trying to find that special something that gives them the feeling of health and vitality. With that in mind, you probably might have come across the terms "Ayurveda practice" and/or "CBD", which are both becoming increasingly popular buzzwords within the alternative healthcare and wellness industry. But what exactly are they, how are they connected with each other and can they actually help you achieve a healthier lifestyle? Well, we're going to take a deep dive into these topics and learn more about their connection.
What is Ayurvedic medicine?
In short, Ayurveda is a traditional form of healthcare practise that originated in India. The practice is a system that is both therapeutic and based on the idea of respecting an organism's capability to regenerate by itself. This regeneration does not only look into our mental health but also looks into our physical state and sees what illnesses are closely linked. Doctors who practice Ayurvedic medicine believe that the patient's body, mind, and soul are intertwined and have a direct impact on one another. This is why the practice of Ayurveda is considered to be a holistic method, as practitioners believe It to be impossible to treat the body if the mind and soul are not in harmony.
It is therefore considered that Ayurveda is a methodology geared towards the treatment of the body, mind, and spirit, and which wants to promote a healthier lifestyle by using very ancient therapeutic techniques. These techniques most often tend to use plants and plant-based products such as neem or cannabis and are used in diets and medicinal treatments. Furthermore, when practitioners of Ayurveda are administering their medication to patients, they classify people into groupings depending on the presence of three compounds (Doshas). These compounds or Doshas are known as Vata, Pitta, and Kapha and the balance between them is believed to be essential in order to sustain health both mentally and physically.
What are Doshas?
So, as we have just found out, Ayurveda is somewhat of a mixture between a way of life and a form of eastern medicine. One of the main principles in the practice of Ayurveda is understanding the Doshas. That is because practitioners of the Ayurvedic philosophy believe that the entire universe is an interaction of five different elements and the energies they represent. The elements are Space, Fire, Earth, Air and Water. These elements then form different combinations that form the three Doshas known as Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Ayurveda teaches that the Doshas are essentially patterns that are present in all creation. These Doshas present themselves differently in the body, with Vata acting as the subtle energy of movement, Pitta showing itself as the energy of digestion and metabolism, and Kapha the energy that forms the structure of the body.
Firstly, with Vata (the subtle energy associated with movement), this Dosha is made of the elements of Air and Space. It regulates the body's blinking, breathing, muscle and tissue movement, the heartbeat, and all movements found in cell membranes. According to Ayurveda, if Veta is in balance, then it shall promote creativity and flexibility, and if Veta is out of balance, the outcome is fear and anxiety.
Next, we have the Dosha Pitta. Pitta shows itself in the body as the metabolic system, and its elements are Water and Fire. Pitta regulates a number of functions in the body, including digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism and body temperature. If Pitta is in balance in the body, then it promotes understanding and intelligence. Out of balance, Pitta brings about hatred, anger and jealousy.
The last Dosha is Kapha. Kapha is what forms the structure of the body, this means the bones, tendons, muscles, and most importantly, it provides the "glue" that keeps the cells intact. Kapha’s elements are Water and Earth, and Kapha also provides the water for the entire body. It lubricates joints, moisturises the skin, and helps maintain the body's immunity. When in balance, Kapha is shown as love, calmness and forgiveness. When it is out of balance, Kapha turns into greed, clinginess and envy.
Now that you have an understanding of what Doshas are, Ayurveda should become even clearer as it is basically the maintenance of the Doshas and keeping them balanced within your body.
What is Ayurveda used for, and is it safe?
As mentioned, Ayurveda is a way of life and a form of health treatment, but why have people turned to it? Ayurvedic practices are used to sustain health, diminish stress, and enhance flexibility, strength, and stamina. Ayurveda does this by incorporating methods such as yoga meditation, which is believed to aid people who are suffering from conditions such as arthritis, high blood pressure, and asthma. One of the main tenants in Ayurveda is that a person needs to adhere to a strict diet to achieve good health and treat diseases. This is why certain herbal medicines are given based on a person's Dosha type. Ayurvedic practices such as yoga and self-reflection are definitely safe ways to enhance your health. It is also possible to combine Ayurveda with conventional medical treatment for people with chronic long-term health issues. However, although Ayurvedic herbal medicines are different from conventional medicines, and are generally safe to practice, it still is a form of healthcare treatment. So, like conventional medicines, Ayurveda treatments can cause side effects, trigger allergic reactions, or interact with other medicines or herbs you are taking. Therefore, it is advised to consult an expert healthcare practitioner before starting any new treatment.
Ayurveda as a medicine
Doctors who practice Ayurvedic medicine will treat their patient's conditions in many ways, including herbal remedies, exercise and dietary changes. According to the ayurvedic teachings, you may also utilise yoga, meditation, or counselling to treat illnesses.
As we mentioned, Ayurveda looks into every aspect of life, from the body and mind to the spirit and soul. Therefore, Ayurveda recognises that each person is a unique individual and so responds differently to the aspects of life, with each person possessing different strengths and weaknesses (basically everyone has a unique Dosha). The practitioner of Ayurveda attentively evaluates key symptoms and signs of disease, especially in relation to the origin and cause of an imbalance. They will also take into account the patient's viability for a number of treatments. The doctor then comes to the diagnosis through direct observation, questioning and a physical exam or the patient. This is usually done through basic methods such as taking the pulse, looking at the tongue, eyes and physical form. Essentially, it's like your normal trip to your local doctor, except with Ayurveda once you are diagnosed you will likely receive a tailored treatment plan for you specifically. This may also include a complete dietary regimen.
What is an Ayurvedic diet?
We have seen that Ayurveda is more than a lifestyle, it is also a diet. A famous Ayurvedic saying is, "When the diet is wrong, then medicine is of no use, and when the diet is correct, then medicine is of no need.". Basically, an Ayurvedic diet is a meal plan founded on the principles of Ayurvedic medicine and tailoring it to your Dosha. This generally involves a diet where a person eats or restricts certain foods based on your Dosha. Once you receive your personalised diet from your Ayurvedic doctor, you will realise that your new diet will almost entirely be a plant or plant-based diet.
Is CBD compatible with an Ayurvedic lifestyle?
CBD - we are certain you have seen these three letters plastered all over every health-food website or store. What started out as a fad has grown to become a viable alternative treatment for some serious issues, that is because CBD can have some pretty great effects on the human body. But firstly, let's take a look at what CBD actually is, CBD or cannabidiol is a cannabinoid (a type of compound that is found in the Cannabis plant. Addressing the elephant in the room, although CBD is found in the marijuana plant, it does not give the "high" effect that most people associate with marijuana. That is because it is another cannabinoid which produces that effect and it is known as THC. It is also for this reason that CBD products are much more widely available and more importantly legal, as opposed to THC products.
CBD has a myriad of health benefits, and practitioners of Ayurveda have known of this for many years. The key to understanding CBD's potential benefit with regards to the practice of Ayurveda is a complex pattern of neurotransmitters, their corresponding receptors, and the bodily processes they influence, also known as the endocannabinoid system (or ECS).
When researchers first started to research the effects of cannabinoids like CBD, they found out that all humans produce natural substances that are similar to cannabinoids within their own bodies. The most well-known of these cannabinoid relatives that are naturally found in the human body is anandamide. Anandamide is named after the Sanskrit word for bliss, it's thought to be the reason you get that "runner's high" after any good workout.
ECS is needed for promoting and maintaining homeostasis, reducing inflammation, and interacting with neuron signalling. There are even signs that a lot of common health issues come from what's being called "endocannabinoid deficiency syndrome."
What is interesting is that many plants contain compounds that help our endocannabinoid system not just cannabis. A lot of other herbs and foods known to yogis and natural health fans are also praised for their dosha-balancing qualities, including cinnamon, turmeric, clove, black pepper, cacao, maca, kava kava, lemon balm and nutmeg. All of them activate the same signals or influence our body's production and breakdown of cannabinoids. However, with the growing popularity of CBD, many health experts and practitioners of Ayurveda are looking to incorporate CBD to aid with the body's ECS.
What Ayurveda thinks about the Endocannabinoid System
The ECS influences or regulates a large number of vital processes, including pain management, mood regulation, the response to stress, inflammation and many others. Just like the other natural systems, The Endocannabinoid System can become unbalanced, which, according to Ayurveda, is where CBD comes in. CBD regulates the ECS by bringing about beneficial homeostasis in the body. For instance, our old friend anandamide is a very fragile substance that breaks down quickly. When taken in supplement form, CBD aids the body in increasing its natural anandamide levels, and since CBD is a natural plant-based product, this effect is done so without any toxic effects to the body.
How to use CBD as part of your Ayurvedic diet
Now that you have seen how CBD and Ayurveda are linked, we are sure you want to know how to incorporate CBD into your Ayurveda diet. Although CBD is used in an Ayurvedic diet, it needs to be combined with other Ayurvedic foods and herbs that balance out its tamasic and rajasic qualities
For instance, certain nervine herbs (such as. Amla and Brahmi) are thought to help counteract the tough properties of CBD. This is why CBD is best incorporated into Ayurveda with fresh and healthy foods, so as to make it easier for the body to sustainably digest CBD.
A great example of how to incorporate CBD into your diet is by combining it with the traditional Ayurvedic drink called bhang. Bhang is a bangin’ drink made from a paste containing the ground leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant, mixed with yoghurt or milk, a mixture of spices, and nuts. It is also possible to use CBD synergistically with certain adaptogens, which are herbs or roots that have unique qualities which help the body adapt to stress and promote mental balance. Basically, getting your Dosha back in balance. Some of these adaptogens that could be used are amla, ashwagandha, shatavari, tulsi and turmeric, which have been used for centuries by practitioners of Ayurveda because of their beneficial qualities.
Furthermore, any dosha type can benefit from mixing CBD into their ayurvedic diet so long as the intake of the supplement is consistent and daily supplementation. This is because ayurvedic foods and herbs can take time to rebalance the body, and the beneficial results won't be noticed until then.
Use it in alignment with your predominant Dosha
In fact, certain doshas could benefit more from the incorporation of CBD into their diet. People who have a predominantly Vata dosha, which when out of balance can cause heightened anxiety, insomnia and a racing mind, CBD is a great supplement to counteract these effects due to its calming and relaxing qualities. However, it is always advised to consult your doctor before making any major dietary changes.
Why you should include CBD in your Ayurvedic lifestyle, and where to find it
Our bodies are naturally primed to respond to CBD in diverse ways, with the potential to greatly enhance general wellness. Not only is CBD safe, well-tolerated and non-intoxicating it is also easy to experiment with, so you can mix it with a variety of different foods (or on its own) and see what works best for you.
When considering CBD, it is essential to buy high-quality products. This sounds easier than it actually is as the burgeoning CBD market is flooded with thousands of items in every shape and form. The bevy of merchandise and information makes choosing the right product a tad confusing. Not to worry, we've got you sorted! We’re passionate about the power of plants and source only the purest ingredients. Check out our range of CBD products to start or enhance your Ayurvedic lifestyle!