Ayurvedic Hacks: Two Simple Remedies for Digestive Health

In computer programming, a hack refers to a clever bit of programming that solves a problem. In Ayurveda, there are also hacks (though I don’t think the original sages who wrote the Ayurvedic texts had this term in mind).

Since I began studying Ayurveda, I’ve come to learn countless simple tweaks to diet and lifestyle that can have a huge impact on health. Here are two of my favorite Ayurvedic hacks.

cardamom

Green and black cardamom. Use the green to help offset the effects of caffeine or hangovers.

Add cardamom.
This is a spice that’s rarely used in the West, but possess a unique combination of both cooling and digestive properties.

If you’ve ever had Indian chai, one of the main flavors you’ll taste is slightly sweet and spicy cardamom.

It’s no coincidence that cardamom is featured prominently in both tea and coffee in India. By adding cardamom to coffee or tea, it helps decrease the heat, acidity, as well as the overall increase in vata (excess air in the body) in the body from caffeine.

Another added benefit of cardamom: if you have a hangover, try sucking on a few green cardamom pods and eating the little seeds inside (spit out the outer shell). The seeds will help with nausea and improve stinky morning breath.

Keep reading for one more hack…

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Travel Kit and Tips for Preventing Common Ailments on the Road

After sitting for hours, sometimes I just gotta get upside down.

Part of traveling to far-away lands means letting go of attachments, putting routines aside, and doing some new stuff.

I recently got back from a two-week trip to Turkey and, though I enjoyed being away, I’m also I’m also very much a creature of habit. When I’m not at home, I miss my routine: my morning yoga practice and the assorted props that go with it, comfy meditation cushion, herbs I take to maintain health and digestion, my favorite foods…you get the idea.

Routines aside, travel is hugely disruptive to our sensitive systems. The movement of the plane and stress from being patted down by the TSA disrupts the vata dosha (which regulates movement in the body—namely, breath, elimination, and circulation). As a result of vata increasing, you may feel dryness, constipation, anxiety, edema, headache, and a compromised immune system.

By taking a few precautions to keep vata in check, you can avoid getting sick while traveling, you won’t need to take pharmaceuticals or over-the-counter meds, your digestion will remain solid, and you’ll sleep well, too.

Over the years, I’ve assembled a small travel kit with commonly found items and portable routine that ensures I can still squeeze in a bit of yoga and stay healthy–no matter where I am in the world. What’s in that kit, you ask?

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