Saturday, February 18, 2012

Adventures in Ayurveda

The greatest advantage I've learned on my health journey is perseverance. Even though I have often turned up fool's gold in the local libraries' health and beauty sections, I continue to periodically browse the stacks on the off chance my adventure will yield a nugget of practical wisdom. Most of the time I skim the material only to find a summary the author has carefully copied from the annals of orthodox wisdom and reorganized it a bit to freshen up the same old story. Unfortunately I have found not much, if anything in these summaries, to support my health solutions. One thing not likely to be found on this blog is information which has already been explained to death. Instead I aim to share new insights and practical approaches to the health investigator for consideration who already understands many of the basics of good health learned outside of the mainstream perspective.

My adventures in Ayurveda began several years ago. Initially they were reading dry texts on the basics of doshas. It was easy to discover my dosha, but not so easy to use it as an approach to improve my health. In fact I did not care for the plan set out for my dosha. I was increasingly frustrated by the complexity of a system I could not understand through books.

Potted neem tree
I came to realize even though I did not understand Ayurveda completely, I could start with something I did understand: herbs. The ancient practices and knowledge intrigued me. So I began my experiments with Ayurvedic herbs. My first tentative commitment to the process was an indoor neem tree. The more I read about neem and it's selfless giving to the environment, the more I began to see the miracles in the neem tree.

The taste of neem is initially something I can only associate with medicinal. Over time, my taste buds have adapted and appreciated the potency and power of neem. Even so I have yet to master a cup of neem tea.

My most recent adventures led me into an Indian grocery store. I was thrilled with the selection of beauty treatments including face packs, mustard oil (must be diluted) for hair packs, rose water, and multi-herbal soaps. But the greatest find was the herbal treatments for teeth and gums. 

It's no secret plunging into the world of detoxing can create a new condition the health seeker did not anticipate. Perhaps because the health seeker was so intent on fixing one problem, the seeker doesn't  see the development or possibility of the new issue. I was aware of this possibility when I had my amalgams removed and I was willing to take the risk. What I didn't know was what I would do if a new issue surfaced other than hope I could find a solution.

In the summer following the procedure I thought the pain and sensitivity were my body adjusting to a fairly radical procedure. Because of this faulty thought I lived with a dental infection for about 8 months. When I returned for a cleaning last month, the infection grew worse. It was so painful I immediately cut out most sugar and only felt good when I didn't eat or drink at all. Even water inflamed the infection. To try and beat the infection I increased my probiotics, rinsed with salt water, ate neem, packed amla in my cheeks like chewing tobacco, but I still hurt.

Luckily I came across Vicco Vajradanti herbal paste and powder. My tooth infection was most noticeable on one side, although I had an infection in every section where I had dental work this summer. The most painful section was in the top near the jaw. I rubbed the paste into my gums and 4 sensitive teeth and I had immediate relief. I then took about 2 teaspoons of the powder and rubbed it in the gums. I left this to sit in my mouth without swallowing for 5 or 10 minutes. The worst infection shifted down to the gum line. At first it was a hard bubble and now it is like a blister which disappears until I eat. It has been two weeks of regular use and the infection is no longer painful and almost gone. I intend to use the powder daily on the Juice Feast.

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