Summertime & the livin’ is easy

Summertime & the livin’ is easy

For most people living in northern latitudes, summer is a time to really get the most out of life. With the bright sun it’s easy to replete your diminished stores of vitamin D3, as well as take advantage of the other healing benefits the sun’s rays have when we are exposed to them in moderation. Summertime means it’s easier to be outside more often, and so we are more physically active, removing us from the indoor environment which in modern times means a much higher exposure to environmental toxins, released from building materials, paint, carpets, furniture, and electrical equipment such as computers and television monitors. Being active, along with fresh air and sunshine, are surely among the most important ingredients for a healthy life. Although exercise is important, I think people tend to be a little too active in the summer, and just like northerners tend to underestimate the power of the sun during summer and get routinely burned, they also don’t quite understand the risks o … [Read more...]

Shilajit: a remedy for all times

Shilajit: a remedy for all times

One of the emerging health food trends to hit the Western world is the consumption of Shilajit, a curious resin found exuding from the steep rock faces of certain mountains in the Himalayas. It is one of the more unique remedies utilized in traditional medicine, and for practitioners of the ancient system of medicine called Ayurveda, among the most valuable as well. It is a relatively rare substance, found only when the hot summer sun beats down upon the mountains, causing the resin to liquefy and exude from cracks in the rocks. Similar exudates are also found in other mountain ranges, including the mumiyo harvested from the Altai Mountains in Siberia, but these are not necessarily the same thing as Shilajit.   What is Shilajit? As the older scientific names of 'bitumen' and 'ashphaltum' suggest, Shilajit was once thought to be some sort of fossilized organic material. It was believed to be derived from decaying organic materials that built up along the coastline of a … [Read more...]

The graduated diet

The graduated diet

The ‘graduated diet’, or sansarjana krama in Sanskrit, is a measure utilized in Ayurveda to rekindle the digestive fire (agni). It is used for the purpose of amapachana: to enhance digestion and the processing of wastes, and remove the metabolic and immunological detritus (ama) that is generated with poor digestion. The graduated diet can be utilized in a variety of situations, including whenever digestion is weak and in the treatment of diseases such as fever (jwara). The process of ‘rekindling’ the digestive fire (agni) is analogous to starting a fire in a wood stove, enkindling the agni with easily digestible foods as one would a fire with paper or kindling. Once the fire is established, in the form of a strong appetite, progressively denser and more energy-rich foods are introduced in a graduated fashion to feed the digestive fire, but never so much as to cause it to smolder or be extinguished. How much to eat? The graduated diet isn’t designed to provide a maximal source of … [Read more...]

New semester begins October 5th!

New semester begins October 5th!

Our next semester begins October 5th, 2016. Please click on the image below to see our calendar, and links to specific classes of interest. Don't forget to join Todd Caldecott for his upcoming two-part lecture with the American Herbalists Guild, Oct 12 and 19th. For more details, please visit the American Herbalists Guild. … [Read more...]

Ayurveda in Nepal tour

Ayurveda in Nepal tour

Hidden away in the foothills of the Himalayas are the last vestiges of Indian Buddhism, and an 800-year-old tradition of hereditary Buddhist priests and Ayurvedic physicians. In February of 2017, I will be taking a small group of students to study and experience what this tradition has to offer. I hope you can join me! Ayurveda In Nepal: The Bajracharya Medical Tradition 12-day Immersion program: February 5 ‑ 17, 2017 5-week Clinical program: February 5 ‑ March 10, 2017 According to the Indian scholar AL Basham, the Buddhist-influenced period of India was remarkable in many respects, not only for its embrace of pluralistic values, but also for the high degree of peace and prosperity that it brought. At a time when Europe was struggling through its Dark Ages, the subcontinent of India was a global center of trade, technology, and higher learning. Around the 7th century in India, Buddhism had begun to evolve as a householder tradition that existed along side the older celib … [Read more...]