No More Flare-ups!
If you have not read my previous blog about Lupus, Ayurveda, and Doshas, I suggest you check that one first. Why? Because it will help you understand the root of the lupus condition according to Ayurveda and the methodology to treat the cause of the symptoms.
Suppose you are reading this blog because you received an autoimmune diagnosis. In that case, you are probably taking heavy pharmaceutical drugs and wondering if you will ever be able to stop them. I am sorry you entered on this boat but believe me, there is hope!
Lupus has taught me to adjust my schedule, space out simple activities, reduce daily stress, sleep more, and manage my diet of – thoughts, emotions, and food. That may sound a lot, but I have to say, I am becoming a better person.
Don’t give up! You Can Reduce Flare-ups!
Today, I want to continue the last blog and share tips on taking the first step in caring for your health.
Some foods and herbs can help control an autoimmune condition without side effects, but please remember that our bodies are all different; look for a knowledgeable ayurvedic doctor before making any dramatic diet or lifestyle changes and only take high-quality herbal products. You want to ensure all the supplements are pure and come from an ethical and sustainable source. I highly recommend and use Banyan Botanicals per KP Khalsa’s feedback.
What is Ama?
According to Ayurveda, toxicity (Ama) is one of the primary causes of our flares. When we have a diet based on industrialized foods, packed meals, refined sugar, and white flour, we are likely generating ama in our bodies! To avoid that, ensuring our digestive juices are working well is critical.
As mentioned in my previous blog, autoimmune disease is a Pitta condition. Pitta is one of the three Doshas or constitutions defined in Ayurveda; and brings two energetics to our bodies: hot and wet. Inflammation happens when our body temperature is too hot.
We can rely on some daily easy-to-make strategies to avoid potential flare-ups. I want to share some herbal ideas you may want to adopt into your routine on this blog. Remember to talk to an Ayurvedic doctor; I cannot describe the positive impact my Ayurvedic professors and doctors have made in my life!
Mild warming digestive herbs to support digestion:
- Ginger extract
- Coriander and fennel seeds after meals
- Trikatu ( black pepper, long pepper, and ginger ) is an Indian digestive aid to take during or after meals.
- Triphala is digestive aid – a very detoxifying and rejuvenating formula. Start with 3 capsules at night with warm water, and see how you feel!
We don’t want to have an uncomfortable, hot tummy when adding these herbs, so we manage them to the limit of having comfortable digestion and daily bowel movement. We are all different, so discussing your situation with a specialist is essential.
Immune regulating herbs to suppress the inflammation (cooling remedies):
- Ashwagandha is a famous herb related to tomatoes, and we use its root for inflammation. This cute plant is also an adaptogen, hormone balance, and powerful stamina herb that helps sleep patterns and anxiety. According to my former professor KP Khalsa, we all should have at least 2 grams of Ashwagandha daily for life! This very slow-acting herb builds up in our bodies over time. It’s a core treatment for people with lupus, RA, asthma, etc. You can use it as a powder mixed in apple sauce or a drink, as the taste is very mild. When the person is significantly depleted, the dose must be higher to saturate the body. While Ashwagandha is slightly warming and drying, it is not strong enough to cause inflammation.
- Shatavari is another beautiful herb for lupies. It is a cooling and moisturizing herb, and it is very complementary to Ashwagandha. I take both every day. Shatavari is related to asparagus, and we use the root in a powdered version or as food in soups. It has a tremendous stabilizing effect on the immune system. It can also be taken 2 grams daily for life, combined with Ashwagandha. KP Khalsa also uses load doses when the body needs extra saturation to respond better to the herb. In acute conditions, such as when we know we are about to have an inflammatory flare, we can take 15 grams of the dry herb to control it. In my case, I start to get pain in my joints and muscle and eczema in specific parts of my body – that’s when I know it’s time to take action.
- Guduchi is great for long-term immune regulation. It’s a powerhouse and works in our physical and mental states.
Pitta Remedies/cooling remedies that work faster and need to be taken for a short period:
- Boswellia gum, sometimes called Indian Frankincense. The gum is taken in powder and extracts. Look for the Boswellia extract; the ideal dose is where we get the inflammatory symptoms under control.
Amla is the primary remedy for Pitta, a very sour and bitter fruit. It is a long-term anti-inflammatory and a supreme antioxidant. Take the amount needed, up to 10 grams, for a couple of weeks until the inflammation is under control.
Neem is another very cold and bitter herb. It is used for short-term inflammation. One can use up to 5 grams of power daily to control the inflammation. Maybe try taking capsules, as the taste is pretty awful! Neem is the village remedy in India, as it works for several other conditions such as fever, detoxification, parasites, digestion, antimicrobial, etc.
- Turmeric is the MOST studied herb nowadays, known for its anti-inflammatory constituent, curcumin. KP Khalsa has been the most prominent turmeric advocate for the past 50 years, and now this wonderful herb is receiving its glory! We can use fresh turmeric in food as we use ginger. We can also take in a capsule. During a flare-up, mix about 4 tablespoons of the powder in water with a dash of black pepper, plug the nose and chug it! You will see the painful flare going away in just a few days! I usually take turmeric powder and a concentrated version ( Theracurcumin ) daily to avoid flares. They both do wonders to my body.
- Nishotra is a great purgative option when we feel we need to eliminate toxins/waste in our gut. We don’t want toxins to accumulate in our small intestines, or it will create inflammation.
- Ghee is profoundly ant-inflammatory and great when treating pitta imbalances. While we can find ghee at Costco (!) these days, I will publish a great recipe I learned from my teacher Ann Wagoner in the recipe section.
Pear juice, raw cucumbers, raw green vegetables, and bitter melon ( very bitter! ) are all great. Celery is anti-inflammatory and relaxing, too. I usually juice organic celery stalks with apple and ginger in the morning. Some other cooling drinks include rose petals and hibiscus tea.
Remember, what we eat matters a lot. Vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and fruits fuel our body’s needs. Foods that are highly industrialized and empty of nutrients are not suitable for our bodies. My worst villains are spicy/pungent foods, refined sugar, dairy, and white flour; I know I need to avoid them as they are very inflammatory. Talk to your doctor and a nutritionist and discuss strategies to bring your eating habits to the next level.
Home Remedy for Inflammation ( KP Khalsa )
- 100 g Guduchi
- 25 g ginger powder
- 100 ml ghee
- 1.6 L water
Add Guduchi to the water. Boil until reduced to 400 ml. Strain. Add ghee to ide mouth vessel. Add prepared water Guduchi extract. Make a paste of ginger with little water, and add it to ghee. Heat gently until all water evaporates, and strain until only herbal ghee remains. Take 2 tablespoons a day with warm water.
Home Remedy for RA ( KP Khalsa )
- 8-10 medium-sized organic eggplants
- 50 ml organic *eatable* castor oil
- 1.4 tsp cumin powder
- ¼ tsp black pepper powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- Pinch of salt
Slice eggplants medium thick and put in a pan. Add castor oil. Close lid and oil-bake for 10-15 minutes over medium heat, occasionally stirring, without charring. When tender, remove from heat. Add spices, stir and serve with rice. Castor oil has a strong taste; get ready.
Delicious Hibiscus Tea ( Ann Wagoner )
- 4 Tablespoons fine Hibiscus tea (or ½ cup loose flowers or 4 teabags)
- 4 cups boiling water (or glass pitcher placed in the sun for 4 hours)
Steep tea in water
Add maple syrup or other sweeteners
Add rose water (and or cardamom) to taste
Refrigerate (no ice) after sweetened
Top with a sprig of mint or basil
Serves: Makes one quart.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Suppose you are ready to make the next step, meet with an Ayurveda Professional. In that case, the people I mentioned above are five stars! And browse Banyan Botanical’s products, I bet you will love their quality. Use code 15ANNA for a 15% discount!
Make better food choices, and you will feel the difference!