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Podcast: An Ayurvedic and Yogic Approach to a Healthy Menstrual Cycle

Podcast: An Ayurvedic and Yogic Approach to a Healthy Menstrual Cycle

Ancient menstrual wisdom from Ayurveda and Yoga

Ayurveda and yoga are sister sciences and provide us with tools that can help build resilience to the hormonal imbalances we are so prone to.

The woman’s menstrual cycle plays a major role in Ayurveda. If you go to an Ayurveda doctor or consultant, you will be asked questions about digestion and as a woman as well some questions about your menstruation cycle: Is the cycle regular? What colour is the blood? Are there any complaints before, after or during the menstruation? A woman’s cycle has a huge impact on life and wellbeing. The monthly bleeding is a cleansing phase for the body.

A lot of functions in our body are controlled by hormones, which is why it makes sense, as a woman, to be more concerned with our own cycle. In Ayurveda, the different phases of the cycle are determined by different doshas. ​​As a result, they have an effect on the physical and emotional level. Hormonal balance is crucial for being fertile and having a good pregnancy.

What you’ll get out of tuning in:

  • Understand your Ayurvedic menstrual cycle (three phases of Vata, Kapha & Pitta)
  • One tip for each phase of your cycle
  • How can we connect to our womb energetically, mentally or physically
  • Sound to activate second chakra and why the second chakra is related to fertility & hormones
  • Tips for better digestion & sleep
  • How can Embody to Thrive help a woman become more fertile?
  • One book recommendation that helps understand our female bodies better

Favorite Quotes:

Vata is the force that regulates all downward movements in the body, pushing the menstrual blood down and out of the body.”

“The womb is a sacred space where sensuality, intuition and creativity of the universe originate.”

“By learning how to direct energy to our womb and fertility centres, we can restore the juiciness and vitality that was otherwise lost.”

Tune in


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Apple Podcast

Are you interested what Chinese medicine has to offer for a healthy menstrual cycle and to boost fertility? Then tune into my other podcast episode here.

Embody to Thrive

Do you want a better and more aligned life to achieve deeply desired results? A life with more energy, a peaceful mind, and habits that go toward lifelong health and wellness? Discover my health and lifestyle program Embody to Thrive.

Is your metabolism balanced? What are the signs of a healthy metabolism?

Is your metabolism balanced? What are the signs of a healthy metabolism?

What is metabolism? Is your metabolism in balance?

Good metabolism, poor metabolism, too slow, too quick, … The word metabolism is often used – and is often misunderstood. Because metabolism is not the same as digestion.

The metabolism is the basis of all vital processes in the body. Metabolism is roughly understood as all biochemical processes that take place within the cells. In other words: The components of the supplied nutrients are metabolised in the cells.

Enzymes, hormones and nutrients regulate the metabolism. As a result, everything that you eat and drink is broken down and converted by the body. If all metabolic processes run smoothly, the cells live in peaceful harmony.

Bad lifestyle habits can lead to metabolic disorders such as: diabetes mellitus, overweight, thyroid diseases e.g. hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, other hormonal and mental imbalances and diseases. A healthy lifestyle prevents and helps to boost the metabolism.

What are the signs that your metabolism is out of balance? Here we go …

  • You have difficulties to fall asleep, and you wake up feeling tired and sluggish.
  • Your hormones are imbalanced and you suffer from menopause, fertility or menstrual problems.
  • In the afternoon you can barely keep yourself from falling asleep.
  • You need coffee to get started in the morning and some alcohol every now and then to calm down and relax in the evening.
  • You regularly crave things that are actually not good for you.
  • Your immune system is weakened.
  • You have blemished skin or other skin problems like psoriasis, rosacea, …
  • You have a thick coating on your tongue.
  • Your bowel movements are not as we would like them to be (read more about that further down).
  • You have a bad breath or bad taste in the mouth.
  • You have undesirable retention of water in the tissues.
  • You are quickly stressed and often do not feel balanced.

Do you recognise yourself here? I am often surprised and dismayed that many people don’t notice these signs because they consider them normal. Because others feel the same way. According to Eastern medicine, none of this is normal!

Let’s take a closer look at your bowel movement. When they are out of whack,

  • Your bowel movements are irregular and you may suffer from diarrhoea, constipation or hard bowel movement.
  • You empty your bowels more than twice a day or not every day.
  • Your stools have a strong smell or sticks to the side of the bowl.
  • You sometimes have heartburn or stomach pain.
  • You have air in your stomach, you have to burp, you have gas or a bloated belly.
  • You sometimes have attacks of hunger pangs or loose your appetite.

These are all concrete signs that your metabolism is out of balance.

In my online program Embody to Thrive you will learn to differentiate more precisely which sign stands for which imbalance, so that you can optimally counteract this.

You will establish simple new routines that help regulate your metabolism and, above all, how you can integrate them into your daily life.

How do you feel when your metabolism works optimally?

  • You have an appetite for the things that are good for you and that keep you in balance.
  • You fall asleep easily and wake up refreshed in the morning.
  • You have your feel-good weight and you like your body.
  • You have a consistent energy throughout the day, even in the afternoon.
  • You have a strong immune system and can quickly counteract if it gets out of balance.
  • Your hormones are balanced – no menopause, menstrual or fertility problems.
  • You have glowing, rosy skin.
  • You are emotionally balanced and feel grounded.
  • Your concentration and focus improve significantly.
Does this sound good to you? We strive for all of this in my program Embody to Thrive.

In this health and wellness journey you will start to sleep better, jump out of bed refreshed in the morning, get better skin, balanced hormones, more energy and don’t get sick as often. You will start treating yourself more lovingly and suddenly have the strength and motivation to follow your desires and dreams. And much more…

I would like you to feel the best you can and to discover yourself in a way that gives you all the tools you need to live a healthy and mindful life. I want you to have access to your true nature. Your potential. And from there it is much easier to live!

Take a look at Embody to Thrive and book your Free Discovery Call with me.

This program combines ancient Eastern medicine wisdom, modern behavioural sciences and coaching in a dynamic international group.

Ayurveda & Chinese Medicine: Benefits of Drinking Hot Water

Ayurveda & Chinese Medicine: Benefits of Drinking Hot Water

Why is drinking hot or warm water recommended?

Nothing is as simple and effective as drinking hot water. Some even speak of a hot water cure. Tap water is simply boiled and Ayurvedic’s and Chinese medicine’s remedy no.1 is ready.

Drinking hot water helps to easily flush out any toxins in the body. It can help to balance all three doshas. And what I really like: hot water removes toxic metabolic waste byproducts from your body and mind! It couldn’t be easier to avoid illness. Because in Eastern medicine it is said over and over again: If your digestion runs smoothly and your metabolism functions optimally, you stay healthy!

Hot water penetrates all the fine channels of the body, especially in the digestive tract.

Hot water dissolves ama and dampness from the cells

Hot water washes everything away where metabolic waste products are stored. These waste products are called ama in Ayurveda and dampness in Chinese medicine. They are the toxins in the body and form the basis of every disease. They are a result of a weak digestive fire “Agni”. Warm water can activate Agni and stimulate bowel movement, and helps digest food more easily.

This is why drinking hot water is so important for staying healthy. Because the undigested remains in your body causes discomfort, minor ailments or even severe diseases. However, if you drink hot water on a daily basis, you support your body and mind in detoxing everything that it doesn’t need anymore.

But not only ama is flushed out, also the water-soluble toxins that you ingest through food and the environment are removed by drinking hot water.

Hot water – your source of happiness

Ayurveda and Chinese medicine recommend drinking hot water throughout the day. It’s not the amount that matters, but the regularity. A great idea is e.g. to put hot water in a warming jug in the morning. All my friends only ever know me with a pot of hot water. I won’t leave the house without it.

Water is also digested

Did you know that water also has to be digested? It doesn’t just run right through you, no, it really gets digested. By the way, cold water takes about 6 hours to digest. Whereas hot water only takes 1.5 hours. As a result your digestion needs less energy for digesting hot water and you have more energy for doing other things.

Since water is also digested, you shouldn’t drink too much after 7pm. The result of drinking too much too late can be restless nights, waking up because of the need to go to the toilet and the formation of bags under the eyes (this area reflects your kidneys).

Natural Detoxifier And Healing Agent

Drinking hot water on a daily basis has many health benefits. Among them are:

  • Improves blood circulation
  • Removes fat deposits in the body
  • Flushes out toxins and ama
  • Strengthens Agni, the digestive fire
  • Helps relieve constipation
  • Improves your energy
  • Relieves nasal congestion
  • Helps relieve symptoms of achalasia (the esophagus has trouble moving food down into the stomach)
  • Improves skin
  • Helps to relax the body’s muscles
  • Improves central nervous system function
  • Avoids eating and snacking due to false hunger
  • Sharpens the sense of taste

If you want to loose weight more easily, drinking hot water can support you along the way. It reduces the need for snacks, improves fat burning and supports detoxification!

How much hot water and how hot is good?

Incidentally, the amount of water in Ayurveda depends on your constitution. Pitta types, the fiery among us, need lots of water to soothe their inner fire. By the way, the hot water should be lukewarm for Pitta types. However, Kapha types need much less hot water, because Kapha is already consisting half of water. And the dry Vata type can handle a medium amount of hot water, about 1.5 litres. Living Ayurveda means: listen to your inner intelligence! It will tell you how much and how hot the water should be.

Hot water for your Dosha type

Depending on your constitution, you can “season” the water.

Those who tend towards Pitta constitution and often have cravings, inflammations, skin outbreaks and problems with heartburn and belching, should not drink their water too hot. The heat that is associated with Pitta is otherwise increased. For Pitta constitutions, lukewarm water is more suitable, in which a few fennel seeds, rose buds, mint leaves or a clove can be added.

Vata constitutions on the other hand, have a tendency to changing appetite and thirst and deal with irregular digestion, can drink their water hot. Because they often tend to freeze easily and have problems with dryness. They can add something oily like ghee to their water and simmer it with liquorice or marshmallow roots.

Kapha types should drink the water warm to hot in sips throughout the day. They can add some basil leaves, slices of fresh ginger, 1/4 teaspoon of cumin and fennel seeds. This can help boost their sometimes slow and sluggish digestion.

Do you want a better and more aligned life to achieve deeply desired results? A life with more energy, a peaceful mind, and habits that go toward lifelong health and wellness?

Discover my health and lifestyle program Embody to Thrive.

Improve your sleep with Ayurveda

Improve your sleep with Ayurveda

Why sleep is so important

Sleep plays a very important role in our health along with eating healthy and exercising regularly. It influences very much how emotionally stable, mentally clear and physically fit we are. A good night’s sleep gives our body the possibility to begin its night-shift work. During sleep, our body can heal damaged cells and strengthen our immune system. We also recharge our heart, cardiovascular and nervous system for the next day. Deep and sufficient sleep is one of the keys to long-term health and the basis for a functioning immune system. 

Improve your sleep with Ayurveda

Ayurveda or Ayurvedic medicine contains a lot of wisdom for a life in balance, including how to improve your sleep.

Ayurveda is about harmony and balance, especially the balance between the three doshas Vata, Pitta and Kapha. They also play an important role in our sleep. The time we go to bed, what we do before and after bedtime, and of course what and when we eat. This all influences our bioenergies and thus contributes to a night of healthy sleep. 

The role of the doshas in your sleep rhythm

From an Ayurvedic point of view, sleep is the most important regeneration phase of the day. Between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. our Pitta energy wants to clean the body, picking up the dirt from the furthest corners. Then between 2 and 6 a.m. our Vata energy is very active, transporting the dirt and toxins to the excreting organs.


Digestion

The most important prerequisite for this cleansing process is that the digestion of the last meal is finished before 10 p.m. That’s why it is important to have an early light dinner, at least three hours before you go to bed. If this is not the case, the body sets the priorities differently and focuses on digestion. Hence, prompting the whole system to power up instead of shutting down for the sleep and cleansing process. Consequently, fatigue is delayed and it’s difficult to fall asleep. We also are more likely to wake up at night and therefore, when it is time to get up in the morning… we’re exhausted. 

Lifestyle

Apart from the last meal, our general lifestyle also has an impact on our sleep. Our sleep problems may arise from the fact that there is too much movement, too much Vata, in our internal system. Consequently the body does not find its way deep enough into the relaxation mode. An overactive sympathetic nervous system means too much movement or Vata that is caused by stress, lack of time and an unsteady lifestyle. If we snack between meals, quickly change our routine, don’t get enough sleep, travel a lot and eat foods that elevate Vata, we probably won’t fall asleep and, above all, won’t sleep through the night.

How the Doshas differ

If we compare the different doshas, we note that a Vata imbalance tends towards irregular and light sleep. Vata type will usually wake up between 2 – 6 a.m., unable to return to sleep. They also can have problems to fall asleep. Whereas Pittas sleep can be disturbed by vivid and active dreams or nightmares. Pittas usually experience difficulties falling asleep as their mind is too busy and they can’t stop thinking about their plans, projects and upcoming activites. However, Kapha types are generally good sleepers but when out of balance, they sleep too long which makes them sluggish and heavy. Also after a long and sound sleep they do not wake up feeling well rested.

Do you want a better and more aligned life to achieve deeply desired results? A life with more energy, a peaceful mind, and habits that go toward lifelong health and wellness? Discover my health and lifestyle program Embody to Thrive.

How can the Ayurvedic way of life be beneficial for our sleep?

The most important keys points are routine, diet and stress reduction. The optimal routine from an Ayurvedic point of view is three meals at similar times of the day, with the main meal at lunch and a light, early dinner. Of course, it is incredibly valuable to adjust the diet so that we can find a balance based on our constitution. It is also recommended that you go to bed and get up at similar times each day.

But we should also adjust our daily work and stress levels. Stress, regardless of what caused it, lets our nervous system run in a mode that is intended to protect us in dangerous situations. But if we often feel tense, agitated and rushed, then we are preventing the part of our nervous system that is responsible for regeneration, metabolism and sleep, from doing its job.

As a result, we may have permanently elevated cortisol levels. The stress hormone can lead to anxiety, hormonal imbalances, increased appetite, obesity and other issues. That is why in Ayurveda, we not only focus on nutrition and lifestyle but also meditation, yoga and other methods of stress reduction. Therefore the Ayurveda approach is holistic and matched with one’s unique constitution.

ayurvedic food for sleep

How diet affects your sleep

The most important tip is to move the main meal to noon and then eat lightly and early in the evening. From an Ayurvedic point of view, early and light means before 7 pm with little fat and protein and not too complex in composition. You should also eat raw vegetables at lunchtime as they are heavy to digest. This dietary advice is somewhat contrary to some modern-day opinions, but it works. Soups, stews or vegetables, perhaps with a little grain, are ideal for the evening. One-pot meals are especially easy to digest for our metabolism.

To have an early and light evening meal, of course, we need to have a good lunch. Otherwise, we’ll be too hungry. Since the body has the strongest digestive fire around lunchtime – also from a conventional medical point of view – we digest quickly at this time of the day. From an Ayurvedic point of view, our lunch should not consist of a small salad or a sandwich on hand, but of a healthy and rich meal in which we satisfy our fat and protein needs. Interestingly, after such a meal, we are hardly hungry in the evening and can easily get through the night with a small supper until breakfast in the morning. And the body thanks us with a night of deep and restful sleep.

What helps if we have difficulty falling asleep?

The easiest way for the body to fall asleep is when it is relaxed and not struggling with a heavy meal. Ayurveda recommends establishing an evening routine that automates this process. Some examples of activities that would prevent us from falling asleep are: screen time, exciting books, an extremely high pace during the day, and in the worst case, a high pace until late in the evening. Thoughts circle around our heads and therefore our energy, too. After an early light dinner, it’s the ideal time to enjoy moments with loved ones, to go for a walk or to take a bath. Any other non-digital hobby like writing a diary, drawing, performing handicraft works, is great too.

An important factor is the time we go to bed. Kapha energy is dominant until 10 pm. The energy of Kapha helps us to wind down and to notice the first signs of end-of-the-day fatigue. Its energy is heavy, steady and calm and perfect for preparing ourselves for better quality rest. From 10 pm the Pitta energy takes over the lead. This energy rises and makes us active and mentally busy. Ayurveda, therefore, recommends going to sleep during the Kapha time, this means before 10 pm. It makes a big difference in our quality and quantity of sleep.

In addition, the following tools are extremely valuable to help us to come to rest: Gentle yoga exercises that ground and bring our energy down such as Yin Yoga, slow pranayamas such as alternate nostril breathing or meditation. Otherwise, a foot massage with warm sesame oil and an essential oil like Lavender which will help to descend the energy in our body. And finally, golden milk or turmeric milk (also made with plant milk) can also make it easier for us to fall asleep.

Are there specific sleeping tips for the individual doshas?

In addition to the tips for Vata and Pitta that are already mentioned, the duration of sleep is also crucial. Vata types need the most sleep of all. They are not doing well without the mandatory eight hours. With a lot of stress, they may even need more. Eight hours are perfect for Pitta types, even if they usually don’t like it because they have so much to do.

Less sleep is recommended for Kapha types only. Kapha usually has no problems falling asleep and sleeps well through the night. However, they find it difficult to get up. So they need to get up before 6 am. As mentioned, the Vata movement principle is dominant between 2 and 6 a.m. This movement gets us up more easily. But from 6 a.m. Kapha takes over again. And this energy makes it very difficult for us to get out of bed. With Kapha, there is also the fact that a maximum of 7 to 7.5 hours of sleep is better and more relaxing than a long sleep. Too much sleep will make them too heavy and sluggish.

Do you want to learn more about your unique constitution, your Dosha? Take the Dosha quiz here.

BONUS: Yoga and meditation videos for better sleep

Yoga Nidra Tibetan Singing Bowls Sound Bath for Anxiety Relief & Relaxation

Yoga For Bedtime – YUMMY sleepy time yoga with Adriene

A guided meditation for sleep from Deepak Chopra

What´s your type of self-sabotage? And how to overcome it.

What´s your type of self-sabotage? And how to overcome it.

Tantric concepts speak about 3 different flavours of self-sabotage we can experience. Before getting to that concept and looking at solutions of how to defeat them, let’s take a look at how self-sabotage can show up in our daily life.

Self-sabotage: When you’re your worst enemy

Self-sabotage is the tendency to make life difficult for yourself by setting limits and creating complications that prevent you from achieving your goals. This can happen consciously or subconsciously.

If you think back of your past, you will probably remember some situations where you could not achieve your goal without understanding why you failed. One possible explanation for this is self-sabotage. In the short term, it can protect you from failure. In the long run, however, it will also prevent you from having more success and developing yourself further. Consequently, people who sabotage themselves create obstacles because their subconscious is convinced that they cannot do what the situation requires.

Some sneaky signs that you do self-sabotage:

  • Lack of commitment and consistency.
  • You feel quite frustrated about your job. But are you actively trying to change it?
  • Your relationship has no basis anymore – nevertheless you continue it.
  • The course does not match your expectations and talents. But you still continue.
  • You don’t feel comfortable in the place you live in. However, you are not looking for other options and solutions.
  • You put on weight and don’t feel good about it. But are you doing more exercise and following a healthier diet?

Other typical variants of self-harming behaviour, as psychologists call it, are:

  • Postponing things that should really be done;
  • Not being able to say NO, even though we are feeling more and more stressed;
  • Putting other people’s interests first and thus increasingly suffer from your own unmatched needs;
  • Boycotting yourself by constantly reconsidering your own shortcomings and weaknesses or by convincing yourself. Typical sentences in this context are, for example: “It doesn’t work at all!”, “I can’t do it anyway.”, “Why should anyone care?”;
  • Distrusting others and tending to see the negative in people and accusing them of bad intentions;

The fear of success

When we get more successful, we may at the same time as well attract more attention and usually rise in reputation and hierarchy. For many it is a wonderful idea. But others, however, feel under pressure, insecure or even scared: with every triumph, their own demands on themselves and expectations from the outside increase.

Questions could rise up such as: Are there any shadow sides coming to light now? What was previously sufficient in terms of know-how may no longer be enough. Old, loved habits have to be abandoned, new ones have to be implemented. Moreover, you may wonder: Will there be still enough time for private life, for the family, for fun?

These worries and fears can all be part of the self-sabotage process. Let’s look now at the 3 different types of self-sabotage and how to overcome them.

What are the 3 different types of self-sabotage?

For understanding better which patterns of self-sabotage we might have, let’s take a teaching of tantric yoga. That will help to understand what happens in our body and mind when we start sinking our own ship and standing in our way. Often we tend towards one type predominantly but can experience a mix of them as well. There is always a lack of integrity that goes with it. We start to question ourselves or another person and to have doubts.

1. Mayiya Mala: contraction of the third eye

Mala is a Sanskrit word meaning amongst others impurity. The forehead chakra, often referred to as the third eye, is the sixth main chakra in the middle of the head, between the eyebrows and slightly above them. If this chakra is in harmony, we have a clear vision for our life path, follow our intuition and find it easy to express our deepest desires.

But if imbalanced, this type tends to measure and compare themselves and others. Often we can see wrinkles on the forehead. There is a huge tendency to judge and value oneself and others with the motivation to be the best or most successful person in something. This leads to a feeling of separation from the environment. The mind dominates and gets disconnected from the heart. As a result, this can lead to a feeling of inferiority or superiority. They are thriving for constant perfection and can get quite frustrated when not matching their own expectations. 

Emotions may arise such as feeling:
  • inferior or superior to others
  • tense esp. in the neck (e.g. headaches and migraines)
  • frustrated and defeated
  • lost
  • confused about what to do in life
  • overwhelmed
  • overcritical
The cure for this state:
  • The need to develop more self-love.
  • Organise your projects differently. Doing little steps towards your goals instead of wanting to do too much in a short time. You need to set realistic goals.
  • Develop more empathy and put yourself in other people’s shoes instead of judging them.
  • Start one new project or thing at a time and finish it.
  • Spend time in nature to deeply nourish yourself and to connect to yourself.
  • Meditate to connect with your own wisdom.
  • Give your critical mind a break and recognise how you separate and disconnect yourself from others. You have much more in common with others then you might think.

This flavour of self-sabotage is often seen at Pitta dosha types. You don´t know your dosha? Then take the test here.

2. Avana Mala: contraction of the heart chakra

The heart chakra is located in the middle of the chest at the height of the heart. If in balance, we can easily trust ourselves and others, give and receive love, feel devotion and are able to forgive and grieve. However, when our heart centre contracts, we will start feeling isolated, alone and misunderstood. We don’t reach out for help and hide our true feelings from others. As a result we can feel emotionally aloof, indifferent, hardened and have difficulties or refuse to allow real closeness in relationships.

Emotions may arise such as feeling:
  • unsupported
  • isolated
  • alone
  • unsafe
  • insecure
  • self-pitying
  • misunderstood

And these are exactly the things that we miss out on in our life. This can lead so far that we experience the world as an unsafe place to live in and do not want to trust anybody. 

The cure for this state:
  • Connect and reach out to others to lift yourself out of self isolation. Telling others how you really feel and with what you need help with.
  • Show our vulnerability and get seen. You will be surprised about how much closeness and connection you will experience when letting others see your true self.
  • Get the help you need in a specific thing e.g. creating a new habit to drink less alcohol, finding a new job, ending an unhealthy relationship, etc. 

People love to help and support each other but they need to see and feel that we are in trouble.

Vata doshas often tend to have contractions of the heart chakra.

3. Karma Mala: contraction of the solar plexus area

The word Karma is describing the result of a person’s actions, the cycle of cause and effect. As per the theory of karma, a person experiences what they caused by their actions. The third chakra, the solar plexus, spins around the area above the belly button up to the lower part of the chest, the sternum. If in balance we have will-power, self-confidence, drive, take responsibility and set limits. Having said this, we can easily detect when being contracted in the solar plexus area. As a result we will start procrastinating things that need to be done and hesitate to take action to get where we want to be. We might have the impression not to advance at all in our life but do not take action.

Emotions may arise such as feeling:
  • disorganised
  • apathetic
  • unable to act
  • passive
  • lethargic
  • frozen
  • disconnected
The cure for this state:
  • Stop procrastinating things.
  • Take action and get an accountability partner.
  • Do something! And if it is just a tiny baby-step.

Kapha doshas have a tendency towards Karma Mala.

Name your type of self-sabotage and write down how it shows up in your life. Tell someone about it and talk about your difficulties. Bringing light into the shadow helps to overcome the obstacles.

Eye Problems: Natural Remedies and Diet Tips from Chinese Medicine

Eye Problems: Natural Remedies and Diet Tips from Chinese Medicine

Understanding eye problems through TCM and Ayurveda

Eye problems can make day-to-day life harder and impact well-being and life quality. The most common eye disorders are: red, itchy, burning, dry and bloodshot eyes, as well as a yellowish tinge in the whites or sensitivity to light. Once you know which factors can trigger and aggravate these symptoms, you can start finding ways to reduce or even eliminate them. Moreover, there are natural remedies and diet tips you can apply to help heal eye imbalances.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine there is a saying: “The liver opens into the eyes.” That is why, we always treat the liver as well when seeing eye problems. When stress, overwork, feelings of anger and frustration and poor nutrition take over, the liver qi is no longer flowing harmoniously in the body. Therefore, the energy rises up and generates heat. As a result, it can manifest in forms of migraine-like headaches and eye problems. 

In Ayurvedic medicine we commonly see a Pitta imbalance at the root of eye problems. Meaning, that excess pitta in the form of heat is circulating in the system. Especially in summer, the season of pitta, we see more people suffering from itching, red and painful eyes when temperatures are rising. Whereas, dry and watery eyes are mainly caused by a Vata imbalance and often get worse in late autumn into early winter, the seasons of Vata.

Let´s look at the most common eye problems.

Healing your eyes with Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine wisdom

Red and itchy eyes

Redness and itchiness are signs of heat. Even if your eyes burn frequently, it can show an excess heat in the system. Consequently, we need to cool the liver and avoid things that produce heat.

The best foods to cool the liver are:

  • Green vegetables esp. broccoli, celery and courgette
  • Bitter salad
  • Artichoke
  • Cucumber
  • Watermelon
  • Turmeric and saffron
  • Dandelion
  • Peppermint and jasmine tea

While the following foods and drinks are best to avoid: alcohol, coffee, sausage, fried and grilled meat, leek, sugar and strong spices like chilli, pimento, cinnamon, ginger and pepper. Overconsumption of meat, shellfish and cacao can also lead to excess liver heat.

Also herbal infusions can help to reduce heat in the eyes. The best medicinal plants are:

  • Gentian root
  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Chrysanthemum flowers

The following tea recipe from Chinese medicine helps to build up liver blood and to reduce heat in the eyes:

Take 1 tbsp chrysanthemum flowers and 1.5 tbsp goji berries. Steep into 500ml of boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Then drink over the day, ideally for a duration of around 2 weeks.

Chrysanthemum flowers are also recommended for conjunctivitis and high blood pressure. Because of their strong heat-clearing properties, it´s important to add goji berries to balance this strong effect. Another possibility is to prepare chrysanthemum flower tea, letting it cool off and to do an eye-wash.

Note: Never drink pure chrysanthemum flowers tea if suffering from low blood pressure. 

Ayurveda recommends washing the eyes with high-quality rose water. This will help soothe and hydrate the tired, red and itchy eyes and give them a refreshed look.

Very dry and / or watery eyes

These are both signs of liver blood deficiency in Chinese medicine. The liver stores the blood and if it gets deficient, the eyes are not enough moistened and get dry. Whereas, watery eyes, indicate that liver wind has risen up to the eyes due to the lack of blood. Furthermore, this can lead to sensitivity of pollen, light, wind or air conditioning. Simply, because the eyes are not able anymore to create a natural barrier to defend themselves from these external factors.

The following foods can help to rebuild liver blood if eaten regularly:

  • Broccoli
  • Cherry
  • Dark berries
  • Molasses or black treacle
  • Lamb´s lettuce
  • Date
  • Egg yolk
  • Carrot, parsnip and other root veggies
  • Lentil
  • Parsley
  • Pine nut
  • Beetroot
  • Black sesame paste

Especially the following things can cause dry and watery eyes: smoking, too much black tea and coffee, spicy foods, red wine, poor nutrition and long hours in front of a computer screen.

Ayurveda suggests drinking licorice tea and putting a drop of Triphala Ghee in the eyes. Also regular consumption of Triphala Ghee in your food preparation can support the healing process.

Yellow eyes

According to TCM, a yellowish tinge in the whites of the eyes is due to too much dampness and heat in the liver. Other signs can be grittiness that feels like sand in the eyes or sticky eyelids in the morning.

That´s why it´s important to avoid everything that produces more dampness like: sugar, white flour, wheat, cow’s milk, fried or oily and too much raw food. Foods that are especially good to reduce excess dampness are: apple, millet, miso, seaweed, radish, olive, kidney bean, mushroom and shiitake. See above for the diet recommendations for reducing excess heat.

A great herbal tea to reduce dampness and heat from the eyes is dandelion tea. Take 2 tbsp of dandelion roots and leaves. Then steep it for at least 15 minutes in 500ml cold water, bring to a boil and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. After that remove the herbs and drink at room temperature. Note: If you suffer from soft bowels or diarrhea, you should combine it with other herbs to counterbalance the strong cooling effect.

Amalaki, a famous ayurvedic plant, helps to reduce heat and strengthens the digestive fire to help reduce dampness in the body. Furthermore, it´s boosting immunity and supports healthy metabolism.

Are you looking for natural ways to improve and protect your eye sight and heal eye problems? Treatment options can vary widely and depend on the underlying conditions causing it. Get in touch with me for a personal  consultation. I am looking forward to hearing from you!