Improving and Stimulating Digestion for Kapha 

Kapha is cold and wet which dampens digestive fire referred to in Ayurveda as “Agni“. Low digestive fire is a big problem. Agni is the fire of transformation, the mechanism of digestion and understanding in our mind and body. In Ayurveda strong Agni builds wellness and opportunity.

Sama Agni means “Strong Even Digestion” 

Stoke your Digestive Fire with your food choices:

  1. Redefine satisfied. No food coma or discomfort at all. On a scale of 1 being starving and 10  aim for 5 to 7.
  2. Find a way to feel deeper hunger once in awhile and befriend it. Historically it was normal to feel hunger and be hungry. Every so often my body needs to burn accumulated fat, not just carbohydrates. Consider doing a fast or juice fast one day a month or so.
  3. Lighten up on the starches and add growing green stuff to your plate.
  4. Probiotics are living foods. 70 to 80% of your immune system lives in your gut. Probiotic organisms in your gut biome are the front line Agni decision makers.

Detox for stronger Agni:

  1. Sweat. Sweating through the skin is often a completely underutilized detox pathway. Get moving every day as your muscle movement pumps moves toxins out of your lymphatic system.
  2. Breathe with awareness. They don’t say take a deep cleansing breath for nothing you know. Every exhale releases ama we don’t want or need.
  3. Drink clean water. Sip it regularly over the course of your day. Water is the medium for communication and transportation in the body. Water saturates and flushes tissues and releases toxins for disposal out through the kidneys.
  4. Add Antioxidants. The key antioxidants; Vitamin C, E, Co Q 10 and Glutathione give your body a detox boost. A plant rich diet full of color gives all the nutrients you need to stoke your fire.

Add essential oils and spices to your life:

When your digestion gets sluggish you can use essential oils like Thieves, juniper, eucalyptus, ginger, and clove. Always make sure you use 100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils. 

And you can also add ginger and clove spices to your dishes. 

With a little support your Agni can be sturdy and resilient. Healthy Agni means you can eat and assimilate a wider variety of information and foods. 

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The Spleen: A Holistic Guide to the Spleen and Deficiency. (What IS the spleen, anyway?!)

20130211-001710.jpgSpleen: Digestion and Intellect
The spleen is a fist-sized organ located under the diaphragm in the upper-left section of the abdominal cavity.
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The spleen is responsible for:
•removal of old red blood cells
•production and storage of white blood cells (lymphocytes) which will cleanse bacteria from the blood
•providing a flood of emergency immune cells to areas of the body traumatized by injury for important tissue healing
•other immune responses throughout our body

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Super cute spleen brooch by YourOrganGrinder

The spleen is functionally equivalent to a large lymph node with a focus on cleansing our blood and aiding immune system.
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The spleen also helps with:
Thinking, studying, focusing, worrying.
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Too much thinking=too much spleen energy.

Spleen qi suffers if you worry, oversympathize with others, study excessively or eat junk food.
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Print of a human spleen by AntiquePrintsOnly on Etsy

Deficiency or imbalance in the spleen can be caused by:
Overwork, lack of exercise, obsessive thinking.

This affects the quality of the blood, and lack of circulation.
Symptoms are: lack of appetite, indigestion, abdominal fullness, bloating, and inappropriate bleeding or bruising

Expressed first as dry, cracked lips and zits in mouth area near corners.

Can lead to: iron deficiency. (Expressed as cracks on corners of your mouth.)
Low blood pressure, scanty periods, pale face and lips, cold hands and feet, lack of energy, pale nail beds, craving sweets.
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A cute, squishy spleen by iheartguts.com.

If the spleen doesn’t function well, excessive body fluid will collect and turn into fat.
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Craving chocolate after studying? Your spleen needs more fuel! (But only eat a square or two of dark chocolate. Too much sugar is damaging.)

The spleen's lesson: everything in balance.
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Too much sugar damages the spleen but a little sugar can actually help.
The reason your body always has room for dessert is that a small amount of sugar actually helps with digestion!
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Eat:
Foods which are easy to digest (especially in the winter to preserve your immune system)
Soup and stew.
Yellow-orange foods like Squash,Carrots, Onions, Bananas, Mandarin oranges
Sweet complex carbohydrates like rice pudding or pumpkin soup
Collards and other leafy greens, peas, asparagus, green peppers, green beans
Root vegetables like parsnips and yams
Light grains, especially white rice
Molasses

Also:
*thoroughly chewing; simple combinations of a few ingredients, smaller meals more often, regular meal times
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garlic, pepper, fresh ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, fennel
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Setting aside time on weekends to prepare hearty soups, stocks and stews for the coming week is a way of actively participating in the spleen strengthening process, and has mental benefits that also assist the spleen.
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Drink:
Ginger (warms and strengthens spleen)
Drink water with lemon

Take:
Goldenseal
Omega-3s
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Avoid the following as they are hard on the spleen (can cause sluggishness, bloating, and constipation):
Raw foods
Salads
Excessive cold foods and drinks (especially in winter)
Any overeating
Excessive fluids with meals
Missing meals
Eating while working
Too many sweet foods and concentrated sweeteners
Brown rice
Antibiotics and high dose vitamin C
Dairy
Too much meat
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Exercise inner thighs and trunk between 9 am and 11 am.
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Earth element and the color yellow.

Stand barefoot outside in the sunshine in mountain pose. Breathe deeply–envision yellow light moving up your legs and radiating out of your belly. (5-10 min)
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Take regular breaks from sitting at a desk and concentrating. Move around for 10-15 minutes every 1-2 hours.
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Abdominal massage. Massage in a clockwise direction and whisper “hu” when you exhale. 10-20 times. Smile as you massage.

Add a few drops of lemon oil to a base of almond, olive, or jojoba oil and stroke up and down arms lightly to cleanse lymph.

Work on trusting.

Joy Boardman

Massage Therapist and Collage Art Therapist

Planet Joy: Otherworldly Massages for Women, Planet-Friendly Collages for Everyone

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