The Ayurveda Solution to Type 2 Diabetes: A Clinically Proven Program to Balance Blood Sugar in 12 Weeks

The Ayurveda Solution to Type 2 Diabetes: A Clinically Proven Program to Balance Blood Sugar in 12 Weeks

by Jackie Christensen PhD, Pat Crocker
The Ayurveda Solution to Type 2 Diabetes: A Clinically Proven Program to Balance Blood Sugar in 12 Weeks

The Ayurveda Solution to Type 2 Diabetes: A Clinically Proven Program to Balance Blood Sugar in 12 Weeks

by Jackie Christensen PhD, Pat Crocker


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Dr Christensen has developed the perfect guidebook to help people navigate and understand the implications of Type 2 Diabetes from the Ayurvedic perspective with 48 delicious recipes. 

The Ayurveda Solution for Type 2 Diabetes: A Clinically Proven Program to Balance Blood Sugar in 12 Weeks will be the first book to:

  • Trace the roots of Type 2 Diabetes through the Ayurvedic perspective
  • Bring to life natural therapies that originated in Ayurveda, but are clinically proven and used in Western medicine 
  • Provide recent clinical research to support the most effective use of the diet, lifestyle, and herbal therapies
  • Allow readers to discover their true nature and apply a constitution-specific program
  • Include easy-to-follow bullet-point instructions
  • Provide a 12-week program to balance blood sugar, including an 8-week elimination diet, a one-week detox, and a 3-week reintroduction of foods
  • Incorporate an exercise journal, relaxation journal, food and blood-sugar journal to increase compliance
  • Include delicious, easy-to-prepare recipes for each constitution

Modern medicine emphasizes the structure of the body; Ayurveda, on the other hand, focuses on the energies behind that structure—the doshas. Each chapter is full of extraordinary facts, clinical research, useful tips, and instructions for therapeutic self-application. Each therapy includes a brief yet compelling overview of how Ayurveda made these astonishing discoveries thousands of years ago, which are now clinically proven and implemented in Western medicine.

Following the 12-step program, which features an 8-week elimination diet, herbal therapies, dietary guidelines, lifestyle adjustments and fabulous recipes by award-winning culinary herbalist Pat Crocker, the reader will be on the road to getting her blood sugar under control and feeling better than she has in months or even years – knowing she is likely to be extending her life. Whether the reader is an Ayurveda novice or a serious student, the book – filled with practical advice, solid science and compassion – will be a valuable guide.

Ayurveda can fully thrive in today's world, as its therapeutic approaches are proven through randomized controlled studies and adapted to a modern lifestyle. Ayurveda is supported through evidence-based scientific methods for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes and has shown to get highly significant results. It is essential to integrate Ayurveda and modern medicine in treatment of Type 2 Diabetes, and The Ayurveda Solution for Type 2 Diabetes can help.

Whether the reader is an Ayurveda novice or a serious student, the book – filled with practical advice, solid science and compassion – will be a valuable guide.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781630061791
Publisher: Humanix Books
Publication date: 06/15/2021
Pages: 275
Sales rank: 307,685
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Pat Crocker (Neustadt, Ontario CA) is the author of 18 cookbooks and a culinary herbalist with more than 1.25 million books in print. She was honored twice by the International Herb Association’s Professional Award, and also received the 2009 Gertrude H. Foster award from the Herb Society of America for Excellence in Herbal Literature. Her books, The Juicing Bible and The Vegan Cook’s Bible (both published by Robert Rose) have won “Best in the World” awards from the International Gourmand Culinary Guild.The past president of both the Ontario Herbalists’ Association and Home Economics Associations, Pat actively participates in the Herb Society of America, the International Herb Association, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, Cuisine Canada, and the Culinary Historians of Canada.

The author lives and works in Neustadt, Ontario, Canada.

Jackie Christensen Ph.D. is an Ayurveda Health Consultant and owner of Practice Ayurveda. In addition to her private practice in Santa Cruz, she teach classes at Cabrillo College and Mount Madonna Institute of Ayurveda, and also serves as a faculty member for the Northern Star Academy of Holistic Studies and Kingdom College of Natural Health. Christensen previously served as a faculty member for the Global College of Natural Medicine and Vancouver Island College of Natural Wellness from 2005-2012, where she trained students to become nutritional consultants, herbalists, and holistic health practitioners. Christensen graduated from Mount Madonna Institute of Ayurveda Master program and earned a Ph.D. in Natural Medicine from the Global College of Natural Medicine. 

Christensen's passion is integrating natural health and education to help people understand how they can improve their unique mind-body type; she believes that people can make simple changes to their diet and lifestyle to eliminate the root cause of disease and heal the body. Her goal as a holistic health provider is to reinvigorate the body and remove toxins that are blocking vital energy; aid the body in its natural course toward healing; assess the whole person, not just the symptoms and search for the underlying causes for imbalance. 

Christensen believes that humans are individuals and each one is influenced by a multitude of factors including diet, exercise, genetics, attitudes and spiritual beliefs. Everyone is unique and each illness reflects an issue that is exclusive to that person. She is committed to using a wide variety of healing modalities and lifestyle options to help people utilize their internal resources, begin the healing process, and strengthen the mind, body, spirit connection. He lives and works in the Santa Cruz metro area.

Read an Excerpt

Sample Recipes from The Ayurveda Solution to Type 2 Diabetes: A Clinically Proven Program to Balance Blood Sugar in 12 Weeks by Jackie Christensen Ph.D. and Pat Crocker

Kitchari [one-week detox]

This dish is a key recipe to the Ayurveda Solution Diet for all doshas -– use it as a daily staple during the one-week detox. For variety, add 2 cups chopped vegetables (recommended for your dosha) in the last 10 minutes of cooking.

  • ¾ cup yellow split mung beans (see recipe notes)
  • ¼ cup barley (see recipe notes)
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground fennel
  • ½ teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 cups water
  1. Combine beans and barley in a colander. Rinse well and set aside to drain.
  2. Heat ghee in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, and turmeric and stir well.
  3. Stir in beans, barley and water. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes or until the water has been absorbed and the consistency is similar to soupy porridge.

Makes 2 servings

Recipe Notes: Yellow mung beans (Vigna radiata) have been hulled and dried. They are available whole or split. The Indian word dal (or dahl) is often translated as “legumes,” but can mean many different lentils, peas, chickpeas, and beans that have been split, so we use the term “split mung beans” or “mung dal” — to say “split mung dal” would be redundant. It gets complicated because a dish that is made with any kind of dried pea or bean (aka pulse) is called a dal. The other confusing fact is that mung beans are not actually beans or lentils but are part of the legume family.

Barley (Hordeum vulgare) is a cereal grain that is part of the grass family. It is sold in several forms including hulled or groats, hull-less, grits, flakes, pearl, scotch, quick, and flour. The whole, hulled form (also known as barley groats or Scotch barley) is healthiest because only the tough, outer hull has been removed, leaving all of the fiber and nutrients found in the whole grain. Whole, hulled barley is not widely available but may be found in natural/whole foods stores. Pearl barley is most common and, because it has been processed to remove the natural bran coating, it cooks faster and is less chewy.

Black and Gold Breakfast Bowl [Breakfast, Pitta]

Satisfying and delicious, black rice is super-charged with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients. For a savory change, substitute chopped artichoke, asparagus, or shredded carrot for the apple and strawberries.

  • 2 ¼ cups water
  • 1 cup black rice
  • 1 cup chopped apple
  • Warm Golden Milk
  • 1 can (14-ounce) coconut milk
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped goji berries or quartered strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Bring water to a boil in a covered saucepan over high heat. Stir in rice, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 30 to 35 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is tender. Turn heat off and quickly stir in apple.

  1. Cover and let rice and apple stand on the burner for 5 minutes. Remove lid, stir, and set aside to cool.
  2. Meantime, combine milk, berries, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly for 3 minutes or until small bubbles appear around the edges of the pan. Remove from heat.
  3. Spoon rice into serving bowls and pour milk over. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon coconut flakes over.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Quinoa Bowl with Lentils and Vegetables [Lunch, Vata]

For variety, try different Vata vegetables every time you prepare this recipe. It makes a beautiful presentation when served in a glass bowl but you can layer the ingredients into four or six individual bowls.

  • 2 tablespoons ghee or olive oil, divided
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Vata Spice Blend, page xx or see Recipe Note
  • 4 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen (defrosted) corn kernels
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen (defrosted) 1-inch pieces green beans
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 avocados, peeled and diced
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently for 1 minute. Stir in spice blend and mix well.
  2. Add water and bring to a light boil. Stir in lentils and quinoa and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until lentils are tender.
  3. Meanwhile, heat remaining ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Add corn and green beans. Cook, stirring constantly for 7 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.
  4. Toss vinegar and avocados together in a small bowl.
  5. To assemble: Scrape quinoa-lentil mixture into a large glass or wooden salad bowl. Spread cooked corn and beans over. Spread avocados and vinegar over all.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Recipe Note: If you don’t have the Vata Spice Blend (page xx), combine the following spices and use them in place of the blend:

  • 1 teaspoon ground chili, optional
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

Carrot-Zucchini Ribbons with Avocado Drizzle [Lunch, Pitta]

As a variation, you could use 1 cup shaved Brussels sprouts, 1 cup chopped cabbage, 1 cup chopped bell pepper, and 1 cup 1-inch cut green beans in place of the carrots, zucchini and eggplant.

  • Ribbons
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium Japanese eggplant
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups cooked lima beans
  • Avocado Drizzle
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 2 avocados, peeled and diced
  • about 4 tablespoons extra-avocado oil
  1. Peel and cut carrots, zucchini and eggplant into thin ribbons using a mandolin slicer.
  2. Heat ghee in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently for 2 minutes or until soft and fragrant. Add carrot, zucchini and eggplant ribbons and cook, tossing frequently for 7 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in lima beans and cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes or until beans are heated through.
  3. Make Drizzle: Combine lime juice and avocados in a small bowl. Mash using a fork. Add oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a thin consistency is achieved.
  4. Divide ribbons into 4 equal portions and pile on plates. Drizzle each with avocado mixture.

Makes 4 servings

Vegetable-Mung Bean Pots with Seed Crust [Dinner, Kapha]

The seed crust is crunchy and makes a tasty topping for the beans and vegetable stew. Be sure to use ovenproof pots or ramekins for this oven-baked dish.

  • Bean Pots
  • 1-1/2 cups water or vegetable stock
  • ½ cup split mung beans
  • 2 tablespoons ghee, divided
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 broccoli, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • Seed Crust
  • 1 cup cooked wild rice
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup flaxseeds
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • about ¼ cup sunflower or almond oil
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Place 4 heatproof ramekins or small bowls on a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Add beans, reduce heat to medium-high and simmer for 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and combine with 1 tablespoon ghee in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat remaining ghee in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add carrot, celery, zucchini, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and stir in tomato sauce and cooked mung beans. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions and spoon into heatproof ramekins.
  4. Make Seed Crust: Combine rice and seeds in the bowl of a food processor. With the motor running, add oil through the funnel in the lid until the mixture starts to clump together. Divide crust mixture into 4 equal portions and pat over vegetable mixture in ramekins. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until bean mixture is bubbling and crust is browned.

Makes 4 servings

Spaghetti Squash, Turkey and Greens in Lemon Broth [Dinner, Vata]

This makes about 1-1/2 cups extra broth that you can enjoy between meals or as a pre-dinner aperitif. You could use a mixture totaling 4 cups chopped summer squash, asparagus, green beans, kale, or rutabaga in place of the squash. Omit step 1 and add vegetables in step 3 with carrots and parsnips.

  • 1 spaghetti squash, halved
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or ghee
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless turkey breast
  • 2 carrots, sliced crosswise into coins
  • 2 parsnips, sliced crosswise into coins
  • 2 cups spinach or turnip greens
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Scoop out seeds from squash and drizzle cut sides with olive oil. Place cut side down on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until flesh is easy to shred.
  2. Meanwhile, bring broth, lemon juice, and garlic to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Reduce heat and when broth is gently simmering, add turkey. Cook in simmering broth for 15 to 20 minutes or until temperature reaches 160° F. Lift turkey out to a plate and set aside.
  3. Add carrots and parsnips to the broth and simmer for 7 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Lift out of broth using a slotted spoon and divide evenly among 6 bowls.
  4. Add spinach to broth and cook for 1 minute or until wilted. Lift out and divide evenly among the bowls.
  5. Shred turkey using 2 forks and divide evenly into 6 portions and add to bowls. Shred squash, divide evenly into 6 portions and add to bowls. Spoon ¼ cup of the broth over each bowl and serve immediately.
  6. Store remaining broth in a covered jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Heat and serve as a between-meal drink or as an appetizer before lunch or dinner.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents forThe Ayurveda Solution to Type 2 Diabetes: A Clinically Proven Program to Balance Blood Sugar in 12 Weeks by Jackie Christensen Ph.D. and Pat Crocker

Chapter 1: Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you

Chapter 2: Prameha: The Original Diabetes Mellitus

  • 6 Stages of T2D
  • Why T2D is Unique to You
  • Classic Root Causes for T2D
  • Types of T2D

Chapter 3: Ayurveda’s Approach to T2D

  • Dietary Dos and Don’ts
  • Upgrade Your Lifestyle
    • Make Major Strides with Walking
    • How Constitution Effects the Benefits of Exercise
    • Proven Workouts for T2D
    • Formulating Your Exercise Program
    • Stoking Your Brain
    • Get Off the Couch
    • Quality Sleep: Not just a Dream
    • Silence Stress
  • Herbal Therapies
    • Single Herbs
    • Synergistic Actions of Polyherbal Formulations
  • Unique Traditional Ayurveda Detoxification: Panchakarma
    • Virechana Purification

Chapter 4: The Ayurveda Solution for T2D 12-Week Program

  • Cultivating Support
  • Creating Your Routine for Success
  • Biometric Goal Setting
  • Program Protocol

Chapter 5: Discover Your Constitution: Ayurveda Mind Body Quiz

Chapter 6: Starting the 8-Week Constitutional & Elimination Diet

  • Dietary Guidelines
  • Mindfulness Based Eating Awareness
  • Daily Routine
  • Walking After Meals
  • Determining Your Maximum Heart Rate
  • Injury Prevention

Chapter 7: 8-Week T2D Constitution & Elimination Diet for Vata

  • Food Lists
  • Recipes for Vata
  • Sleep Optimization
  • Lifestyle Enhancement
  • 30-Minute Daily Relaxation Practice
  • Daily Relaxation Journal
  • Weekly Exercise
  • Exercise Journal
  • Supplement Schedule

Chapter 8: 8-Week T2D Constitution & Elimination Diet for Pitta

  • Food Lists
  • Recipes for Pitta
  • Sleep Optimization
  • Lifestyle Enhancement
  • 30-Minute Daily Relaxation Practice
  • Daily Relaxation Journal
  • Weekly Exercise
  • Exercise Journal
  • Supplement Schedule

Chapter 9: 8-Week T2D Constitution & Elimination Diet for Kapha

  • Food Lists
  • Recipes for Kapha
  • Sleep Optimization
  • Lifestyle Enhancement
  • 30-Minute Daily Relaxation Practice
  • Daily Relaxation Journal
  • Weekly Exercise
  • Exercise Journal
  • Supplement Schedule

Chapter 10: 1-Week Detox and Restoration

  • Recognizing Toxicity
  • Detox and Restoration Program Structure
  • Meal Plan
  • Burning Fat for Fuel
  • Sipping Warm Water
  • 1-Week Detox and Restoration for Vata
  • 1-Week Detox and Restoration for Pitta
  • 1-Week Detox and Restoration for Kapha

Chapter 11: 3-Week Rebuilding & Reintroduction of Foods

  • Goals
  • Vata Reintroduction of Foods
  • Pitta Reintroduction of Foods
  • Kapha Reintroduction of Foods

Chapter 12: Closing Thoughts



  • Vata Blood Sugar Food Journal
  • Pitta Blood Sugar Food Journal
  • Kapha Blood Sugar Food Journal



NOTE: BOOK Includes:

  • Ayurveda Constitution Quiz
  • 75 recipes (25 for each constitution)
  • 3 Food & Blood Sugar Journals, one for each constitution
  • 3 Exercise Journals, one for each constitution
  • 3 Relaxation Journals, one for each constitution
  • 3 Food Lists, one for each constitution
  • 10 diagrams/visual aids to easily explain Ayurveda’s concepts and Type 2 Diabetes
  • 13-page glossary
  • 20-page resource section
  • Back matter

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

What patients are saying about Dr. Jackie Christensen, author of The Ayurveda Solution to Type 2 Diabetes: A Clinically Proven Program to Balance Blood Sugar in 12 Weeks

"Jackie changed my life for the better! I started seeing her for my diabetes. She created a safe environment for sharing and learning and created a health plan unique to me. Making a few simple changes in my life made a world of difference in my overall wellness. I sleep better, digest better and most of all have control of my body for the first time in over 30 years. It feels amazing and I am still using Jackie's plan!" — Ann Hazels, Santa Cruz, CA

"Ayurvedic doctor Jackie Christensen is my favorite doctor. Her warm, confident, and soothing personality always puts me at ease no matter what health crisis I'm in. I was so impressed with Dr. Jackie's skill that I sent my mom and my boyfriend to her. They are both current clients and are experiencing improved health and a greater sense of well-being." — Kelly Spellman, Santa Cruz, CA

"Jackie Christensen is fantastic — the perfect combination of intelligent and pragmatic. Jackie was clear, concise and knowledgeable. I finished our session with very tangible tips and examples of what to incorporate and change in my life. It has been only a couple weeks, but I already have noticed substantial change in my overall energy and health. I feel so much better and was/am completely amazed by how profound the results were. Seriously, I was starting to feel as if I had tried it all. Wish I had been in contact with Jackie first! Could sing her praise all day- simply, she is fantastic." — Megan Nielson, Santa Cruz, CA

"Jackie Christensen worked with me for six months and helped me lose the weight I had been trying to get off my hips and thighs for years. She put together a meal plan that worked for my specific body type and ayurvedic constitution. It included grinding teas and three cooked meals a day. I was not starving all the time and my energy increased, and I finally got rid of that afternoon slump. I also incorporated regular walks into my routine and I really enjoyed the exercise and fresh air. She also taught me stress-reduction therapies. I have a stressful job and three kids, so as a single mom I needed to relax and, when I did, I really noticed the weight come off. As a result, my blood pressure and blood glucose went down as well and I feel better now than I did when I was in my 30s." — Elizabeth Hanson Santa Cruz, CA

“I signed up for three consultations with Jackie and I was not really sure what to expect because it was my first visit with an ayurvedic doctor. But she was very knowledgeable and explained to me what was going on in my sensitive body in a way that I could really understand the problem and how to resolve it. A few small changes in my diet and lifestyle really went a long way. I highly recommend Jackie to anyone who needs to detox.” — Dana Moore, Santa Cruz, CA


Introduction to The Ayurveda Solution to Type 2 Diabetes: A Clinically Proven Program to Balance Blood Sugar in 12 Weeks by Jackie Christensen Ph.D. and Pat Crocker

Prameha was the Ayurvedic discovery of diabetes mellitus (T2D) thousands of years ago. Today the prevalence of T2D represents one of the most significant public-health challenges in the 21st century. Current treatment costs for T2D accounts for 7–14% of total healthcare spending across all regions of the globe regardless of income. And by the year 2035, this preventable healthcare burden is projected to affect 592 million people.

These predictions, however, are not predetermined. Identifying root causes for T2D is a priority for healthcare professionals across the world, and Ayurveda, the naturopathic health system founded in India, provides many solutions to the T2D riddle. Ayurveda provides an understanding of the various factors that cause T2D, as well as dietary guidelines, lifestyle choices, and other unique therapies that are highly effective in reducing the prevalence of T2D.

The Ayurvedic perspective on T2D is complex and multifaceted. It includes the disease process, strength of digestion, the presence of toxins, actions of the doshas (energetic forces — I'll explain more about this later), and the current state of the body. All of these factors play an essential role in the development of T2D. Ayurveda views T2D as a metabolic disorder — not one disease, but a syndrome with many interrelated imbalances and comorbidities. Allopathic medicine shares this perspective and has recognized that the multifaceted disease process is unique to each individual, deserving of a personalized approach to maintain and improve healthcare for those with T2D. This concept resonates with the patient-centered approach found in Ayurveda.

T2D is a lifestyle disease due to its strong links to harmful lifestyle practices found in modern society. Research has shown that 80–90% of all cases of T2D could be prevented through a healthy lifestyle, a clean diet, reducing sedentary time and increasing exercise (Ford 169) (Mozaffarian 169). Ayurveda shares this belief and offers a scientifically proven approach to minimize T2D.

The foods and herbs recommended in the Ayurveda diet for T2D work to balance blood glucose, optimize digestion, and reduce the buildup of toxic internal waste. By rediscovering traditional foods, we can reduce our dependency on overly hybridized, genetically modified, chemically-laden foods. And through the introduction of Ayurvedic foods into the Western diet, we can reduce the gap between food and herbal medicine. In addition to diet and lifestyle, Ayurveda includes detoxification— an in-depth purification program that plays a pivotal role in Ayurveda's preventive and curative power for T2D.

This 12-week program includes diet and lifestyle adjustments as well as home detoxification, so you can experience the depth of this nourishing science of life we call Ayurveda. Throughout this program, you will discover your true nature and transform your lifestyle to one that is beneficial and healing for your particular mind/body type.

Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you

Personalized medicine is a new concept for modern healthcare. Still, it has been well established in Ayurveda, the functional system of Indian medicine. Ayurveda recognizes that each person has a unique makeup. Just as we are all genetically unique, so are we within our Ayurvedic mind-body type.

Ayurveda describes three dynamic pathophysiological forces, or doshas, which initiate the functions of the mind and body. These three energetic forces are vata, pitta, and kapha. When they are in balance, we feel good. However, when they are out of balance, they disrupt the functions of the body.

Modern medicine emphasizes the structure of the body; Ayurveda, on the other hand, focuses on the energies behind that structure—the doshas. Doshas are the uniting energy among organs and internal parts of the body. They are the active forces that create physiological processes and connect us to our environment. Ayurveda believes that we are a microcosm within a macrocosm. What exists in the external world exists within each of us. Ayurveda conceptualizes that there are five elements within the universe: earth, water, fire, air, and ether. These elements form everything in nature, as well as within the human mind and body.

The Vata Dosha

The vata dosha contains the elements of air and ether. These are the lightest elements. Therefore they impart a light quality on vata. Vata moves like the wind, consistently changing and scattering things around. Vata is responsible for movement and communication, as it carries messages throughout the body. Vata is responsible for the downward flow of energy in the pelvis, responsible for elimination, urination, menstruation, and childbirth. When vata increases in the pelvis, it causes frequent urination— a classic symptom of T2D.

Vata is the current that carries blood and nervous impulses. When vata becomes disrupted in the nervous system, it can cause numbness in the legs and feet, as well as disturbances in blood flow and digestion. In more serious nervous system disorders, vata can create conditions such as diabetic neuropathy. Vata is the upward and outward action responsible for exhaling, coughing, and speaking. Vata controls the movement of food through the digestive system and the inhalation of the breath. Vata's airy and mobile qualities can make a person feel anxious and nervous. Lightness can cause a person to overeat to help ground themselves. Overindulgence is commonly found in T2D, indicating that it could be due to a vata imbalance. At the cellular level, vata regulates the action of molecules, nutrients, and wastes. When vata is in balance, we feel creative, energetic, and full of life. But when vata is out of balance, it can cause many of the classic T2D signs and symptoms.

The Pitta Dosha

The pitta dosha is the only dosha that contains the fire element. Therefore it is primarily associated with heat. The inflammatory side of T2D is a pitta imbalance. Decades ago, researchers identified higher levels of inflammation in people with T2D. Pitta creates these inflammatory chemicals, which are often higher in people with T2D as compared to people without T2D.

Pitta's fire is responsible for breaking down and metabolizing food. Pitta is engaged in hormone production, metabolism, and glucose uptake. Insulin is a pitta hormone. Insulin has many actions, but mainly it controls how the body uses carbohydrates, which are found in most grains, flours, sugar, and starchy vegetables. Grains are broken down by the body to produce a type of sugar called glucose, the primary source of energy used by the body. Insulin acts as a helper for glucose and escorts glucose into muscle cells for energy. Insulin also brings glucose into the liver, where it is stored and used during times of fatigue. Without insulin, cells are unable to use glucose from carbohydrates. Therefore, if pitta is not functioning correctly, insulin will not be able to do its job, and blood glucose levels remain high.

The liver is a pitta organ, and it has a particular job when it comes to glucose. When blood glucose levels are high, the liver responds to the hormone insulin and absorbs glucose. The liver is like a warehouse for excess glucose and releases stored glucose when the body needs it. When the liver is healthy, it can make glucose. Glucose storage is a critical function that keeps people alive when food is scarce. In people with T2D, however, pitta may cause dysfunction, causing the liver to abnormally process and produce glucose. This malfunction contributes to blood glucose issues.

Pitta is responsible for the metabolic conversions in the liver and digestive system, which our bodies use to create energy from carbohydrates. Pitta is also responsible for emotional digestion and helps us process thoughts. When pitta is in balance, it provides power, creates luster in the skin, and maintains body temperature. However, when pitta is out of balance, it can produce inflammation, liver function, insulin production, and digestion of carbohydrates.

The Kapha Dosha

The kapha dosha contains the earth and water elements. The earth element makes kapha the heaviest of the doshas, and the water element provides dampness and lubrication. Kapha is responsible for growth, stability, structure, cohesion, and protection. The kapha dosha forms and maintains body mass, shape, and flexibility in the joints. At the cellular level, kapha engages in the process of converting food into body mass (Sharma 495). Most experts perceive kapha as the primary dosha responsible for T2D. When there is excess kapha in the body, it contributes to body mass. Kapha governs the physical structure of our body and can show up as weight gain, lethargy, and resistance to change. Ayurveda identifies many kapha behaviors and foods as causative factors in the development of T2D. Once the kapha dosha is out of balance, it can affect vata and pitta.

Fat is a kapha tissue but produces the pitta hormones that contribute to the inflammation associated with T2D. As you can see, we need all the doshas to maintain healthy physiological functions. If vata, pitta or kapha are out of balance, it can create a complicated web of symptoms at any point in the disease process.

T2D is complex and multifaceted – unique to every individual and involving many different body systems and organs. The doshas are the underlying energy that causes the body to disfunction. Therefore, it is imperative to address the doshas to correct the imbalance. According to Ayurveda, there are certain lifestyle behaviors and foods that cause the doshas to malfunction and initiate the disease process. Through the Ayurvedic lens, we can investigate our daily routine and dietary habits to discover the root causes of our health problems. A balance among the doshas is essential for every person and the focus within the Ayurvedic tradition to maintain a harmonic constitutional balance. When vata, pitta or kapha become deficient or accumulated, Ayurveda recognizes specific lifestyle, nutritional, and herbal guidelines to assist us in equalizing our constitution. What makes us unique is that we all embrace distinct proportions and particular qualities of the vata, pitta, and kapha combination.

One's mind-body type or constitution is a unique combination of the doshas at conception. A person's constitution determines her individuality and is akin to one's genotype. Experimental analysis of the constitution concept reveals statistically significant connections between an individual's constitution and the expression of specific genes and biochemical attributes (Prasher 48). A person's constitution may include any combination of the doshas, resulting in the unique qualities and defining characteristics we all embrace.

The ratio of doshas varies within each individual, and Ayurveda acknowledges that each person is a unique combination that accounts for our diversity. Most individuals have a dual-type constitution and multiple dominant dosha characteristics. Under certain conditions, one dosha will dominate, and in other circumstances the other dosha prevails. The dosha (or doshas) that are out of balance will determine the type of T2D a person is experiencing. A balance among these life forces is essential for every constitution. The focus within the Ayurvedic tradition is to reestablish the dosha balance and bring a person back to her true nature.

One's constitution is constant, meaning, we have the same constitution for our entire life. However, one's doshas are in dynamic fluctuation. Age, diet, lifestyle, seasons, and circadian rhythms can all cause the doshas to increase and decrease, resulting in a present state that has deviated from our true nature or the constitution with which we were born. The optimal functioning of each dosha is essential for good health. Imbalances or disturbances between doshas constitute a significant amount of diseases. We base Ayurvedic diagnosis and therapeutics on the actions of the doshas. Ayurvedic doctors look for clinical signs and symptoms to determine what dosha is out of balance, then make a diagnosis and provide a treatment plan. Two individuals with the same disease may receive very different therapeutic approaches. The constitution, imbalance, and nuances of disease development in each individual are specific to that person and deserve a treatment plan that is exclusive to that person.

While it is essential to know one's constitution, it is equally important, if not more important, to know one's current state or when we are out of balance. Life is a balancing act. The sooner we can detect when we are out of balance, the easier it will be to bring yourself back into balance. Life is dynamic, always changing. That is why it is essential to check in with yourself periodically, so that you can bring yourself back into equilibrium. Each meal and every day bring a new opportunity to either follow your body's natural cues towards well-being – or ignore the signs and symptoms and fall further out of balance.

When a person is out of balance, the dosha will determine the type and nature of the disease. For example, nervous disorders are an imbalance of vata dosha. Inflammation and conditions associated with heat in the body are an imbalance of pitta dosha (Svoboda 67). Obesity and disorders related to overindulgence are an imbalance of the kapha dosha (Sharma 495). A specific illness manifests when the dosha(s) are out of balance and cause harm to the tissues in the body. Conversely, external factors can also trigger the abnormality of the doshas and weaken the body.

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