Have you ever longed for a straightforward map illuminating the elusive path to vibrant health, meaningful purpose, and an enduring sense of peace, contentment, and joy? Look no further. Ayurveda literally means “knowledge of life” and its scope is truly no less encompassing. While the tradition is thought to be over five thousand years old, Ayurveda remains as relevant as ever—and it is enlivened every day as individuals around the world engage its timeless wisdom in their day-to-day lives.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a remarkably individualized system of medicine. The tradition is rooted in the idea that each of us is born with a completely personal blueprint for optimum health. From birth onward, it is this reference point—your constitution—that, in many ways, defines who you are. No two constitutions are exactly alike; therefore, no two human beings can have precisely the same expression of ideal health.
In Ayurveda, everything is medicine and everything is poison; what might be beneficial to you could harm someone else, and visa versa. It all depends on the context of who you are, and what patterns are currently at play in your particular system. Ayurveda is fundamentally opposed to one-size-fits-all remedies. While there are certainly some practices that are considered to be beneficial for most everyone, Ayurveda places the focus firmly on you, the individual concerned. This is why your Ayurvedic Profile™—an assessment of your constitution, your current state of balance, and a set of personalized recommendations to support you in your journey towards optimal health—can be such an empowering resource. Click here to learn more about Ayurveda.
The Three Doshas
Then there are the three doshas (bodily humors): vata, pitta, and kapha. Each of them embodies a particular combination of elements and qualities to create a functional entity—an energetic force of nature. The doshas, or some combination of them, can be identified in various seasons, climates, landscapes, activities, plants, and animals. In the context of our bodies, all three doshas are necessary to facilitate important physiological functions. But if they accumulate beyond healthy limits (those determined by one’s constitution), the doshas can also wreak havoc on our health. All three doshas are present in everyone, but the ratio between them varies a great deal from one person to the next.
About Banyan Botanicals
Banyan was founded in 1996 by Scott Cote and Kevin Casey in Albuquerque, New Mexico, out of a room in Kevin’s house with the mission of providing the highest quality Ayurvedic herbs and products to Ayurvedic practitioners. Banyan’s mission is to help people achieve and maintain health and well-being through the wisdom of Ayurveda. In addition to their amazing line of products and the education provided on their website, Banyan Botanicals also works directly with local, national, and international non-profit organizations through charitable giving and in-kind donations. Learn more about their charitable giving here on their website.
Digestion by Dosha
You probably know that your digestive system has a critical part to play in how healthy you are. We all have different appetites, and while some seem like they can eat everything under the sun, others suffer with heartburn, indigestion, and other issues. In Ayurveda, the nature of how you digest food is defined in terms of three doshas. Click here to learn your Ayurvedic body type.
- Vata – You would be classed as a vata type individual if you suffer from constipation, irregular bowel movements, and a loss of appetite. Vata is a dosha classed as both variable and delicate.
- Kapha – If you have slow digestion but have a very good appetite, you would be defined as a kapha type. Kaphas normally, however, are prone to eating too much, leading to weight gain. I’m sure a lot of people would be classed in this category, but Ayurveda has many ways to help you out if you are!
- Pitta – Those who would be classed as pitta generally have the best metabolism out of the three doshas. Although they consume a lot of food, their bodies can digest it very quickly. They will have an excellent appetite but not gain the weight that others do. What lucky people! They can, however, be prone to things like acid reflux and inflammations or ulcers. In Ayurveda, Pitta is essentially in charge of the GI tract and how well the acids and enzyme digest the food. Ayurvedic medicine therefore tries to help improve metabolism and digestion rate through the cultivation of something called agni.
Agni, which is also known as digestive fire, is essentially the measure of how well you metabolize food and convert it into energy. The stronger the Agni, the better your health is effectively.
Digestion Formula for Vata*
- Promotes healthy digestion*
- Calms excess vata in the GI tract, promoting intestinal calm and comfort*
- Supports proper assimilation and absorption*
- Helps maintain regularity*
Vata Digest is the classical Ayurvedic formula known as Hingvastak. This vata-soothing combination of herbs supports the entire digestive process and is especially useful for those with vata predominant constitutions or vata digestive imbalances. Vata is cold, light, and dry, qualities that in excess can inhibit proper digestive function and create discomfort. Vata Digest contains herbs that are heating, grounding, and oily. They effectively counter the opposing vata qualities, creating balance. Vata Digest’s heating quality enkindles the digestive fire, stimulates a healthy appetite, and helps ensure that nutrients are properly absorbed and assimilated. Its grounding quality helps calm the excessive air movement in the system that is characteristic of vata. The oil quality of the herbs supports the natural lubrication of the intestines, assisting in thorough and healthy elimination.*
Digestion Formula for Pitta*
- Promotes healthy digestion without aggravating pitta*
- Maintains healthy digestive acid levels and a healthy stomach lining*
- Supports a comfortable post-meal experience*
Pitta Digest is a dynamic combination of herbs formulated to strengthen digestion without aggravating pitta. Excess pitta causes increased heat, sharpness, and oiliness in the digestive tract. These qualities aggravate and inflame the digestive fire, creating conditions which can lead to discomfort. Pitta Digest contains herbs that support healthy digestion while cooling and soothing the tissues in the GI tract.*
A traditional Ayurvedic formula for pacifying vata and supporting proper function of the nervous system*
- Calms the nerves and removes excess vata from the system*
- Strengthens and nourishes the body*
- Supports healthy expectoration and proper function of the lungs*
- Grounding formula that helps direct the flow of vata energy downward*
- Promotes healthy elimination of natural toxins*
Dashamula is a traditional Ayurvedic formula for removing excess vata from the system. It is a nourishing muscle tonic that strengthens the body and calms the nerves. Dashamula promotes healthy expectoration and respiration while supporting the proper function of the lungs and nervous system. The formula is very grounding and helps direct the flow of vata energy in the body downward. A decoction of the whole herbs is used as an enema to eliminate natural toxins from the GI tract and to balance vata in the lower region of the body. Dashamula literally means “ten roots” referring to the traditional ingredients of the formula. Five of the plants are large trees and many of the roots are difficult to obtain sustainably. When necessary, other parts of the plants are used as effective substitutes to help ensure the protection of the species for future generations.*
Daily Massage Oil
For All Body Types
- Balancing for vata, pitta, and kapha
- Good choice when constitution type is unknown
- Good for complex constitutions and imbalances
- Rejuvenates the body and calms the mind
Full body massage is one of the most powerful techniques used in Ayurveda. Massage done with warm herbalized oil brings lubrication and oleation to the body while also grounding the nervous system and providing the tissues with the benefits of herbs that are cooked into the oil. Daily Massage Oil is formulated to balance all three doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha. This makes it a good choice if you do not know your constitution or if you have a complex constitution or imbalance. The base uses both warming and cooling oils to allow the oil to have a simultaneous penetrating and soothing effect. The traditional cooking process then brings together powerful Ayurvedic herbs like guduchi to soothe and rejuvenate; bala to strengthen; and arjuna and tulsi to invigorate, promote circulation, and support the lymphatic system.
This blend not only supports the physical body but also calms and steadies the mind with brahmi/gotu kola and bhringaraj. Finally, the oil is also pleasing, soothing, and revitalizing to the senses and spirit with a light hint of lemon verbena and lavender.
For Muscles and Joints
- Supports comfortable joint movement
- Promotes healthy muscles and tendons
- Soothes pain, stiffness, and inflammation
- Pacifies excess vata
Our Mahanarayan Oil is based on an ancient Ayurvedic recipe that delivers powerful muscle and joint targeting herbs in a base of certified organic sesame oil. A nourishing and strengthening oil with rejuvenating and analgesic qualities, it is used to soothe sore muscles and tendons, supporting an active lifestyle and preventing over-use damage. In Ayurvedic terms, Mahanarayan Oil is particularly good for rehabilitating those suffering from disorders due to high vata, supporting rejuvenation of joints affected by wear and tear, joint space narrowing, and synovial fluid dehydration.
The oil can be applied locally to areas where there is physical discomfort. It may also be diluted with a base oil and used in deep-tissue massage.
Calm. Clear. Aware.
- Supports the nervous system and brain
- Calms vata in the mind, supporting concentration and memory
- Promotes healthy sleep patterns
- Cooling and relaxing tonic for pitta
This rejuvenative oil is made with organic brahmi/gotu kola and organic bacopa, both known as brahmi in various parts of India. The herbs are cooked into a base of organic sesame oil, and for a more cooling application, this product is also offered in a base of organic coconut oil. Brahmi Oil is balancing to all three doshas and is beneficial for clearing and calming the mind and enhancing peaceful meditation. Brahmi is said to bestow intelligence upon its user and can be massaged into the scalp to subtly promote awareness and mental function. Used at night on the scalp, it can help support healthy sleep patterns and aid in the rejuvenation of the nervous system.
With Boswellia & Guggulu
- Supports proper function of joints
- Soothes and lubricates the joint tissue
- Helps maintain joint health and comfort
Joint Balm is a soothing rub made from all natural, organic ingredients. Massaging sore joints increases circulation and facilitates the removal of toxins, while simultaneously delivering oxygen and healing nutrients. Regular use of Joint Balm delivers a powerful blend of joint-supporting herbs directly to the area of discomfort. Boswellia and guggulu work with natural anti-inflammatory herbs like ashwagandha and guduchi to detoxify and rejuvenate the tissues. The sesame and castor oil base helps lubricate the joints and remove toxins that can impair comfortable movement. This penetrating formula soothes and nourishes the tissues, helping to maintain mobility and painless range of motion.
Amalaki a.k.a. Amla
Detoxification & Rejuvenation for Pitta*
- Removes excess pitta from the system*
- Assists natural internal cleansing and maintains regularity*
- Stimulates digestive fire without aggravating pitta*
- Natural antioxidant*
As one of the three ingredients in triphala, amalaki (Embilica officinalis) is a potent rejuvenative that nourishes the tissues and gently removes toxins. It is generally taken in place of triphala by those with excess heat in the digestive tract. Amalaki’s cooling action removes excess pitta from the GI tract, supporting a healthy stomach lining and the proper function of digestive acids. It also cleanses the colon, eliminating excess toxins and heat while supporting healthy bowel movements. Amalaki is a highly concentrated source of natural antioxidants and is deeply nourishing to the body tissues. It promotes healthy eyes, bones, blood, teeth, hair, and nails, while supporting the proper function of the liver, spleen, pancreas, heart, and lungs.*
“How To” Videos
How to Do Abhyanga, a Self Massage with Warm Oil
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Banyan Botanicals products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. For more information pertaining to your personal needs please see a qualified health practitioner.