December 9, 2010
Today the Dr. Oz Show was titled ‘Alternative Health Secrets From Around the World: India’. Dr. Oz called India a “longevity hotspot”. He highlighted some ancient cures that go back thousands of years. India’s oldest tradition is ayurvedic medicine, or ayurveda. The main principle is that the body, mind, and spirit must all be in harmony for a person to be healthy. This balance is achieved through a clean and simple diet, the use of medicinal spices and oils, massage, meditation, and yoga. Today nearly 80% of the Indian population still relies on this holistic practice. It has allowed them to live longer, and stay active well into old age.
Today’s expert on the show was Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary, ayurvedic practitioner, pioneer in the field of integrative neurology, and one of the countries foremost experts in ayurvedic medicine. She says ayurvedic medicine is so essential because it really brings health back into our own hands. Ayurvedic practitioners believe food is medicine, and that your kitchen can be your doctor’s office. They feel there are little things you can do on a daily basis, to prevent big things from ever happening. Dr. Chaudhary highlighted four of these things:
1) Curry Powder - Fights disease, mainly Alzheimer’s. Curry powder is a blend of 8 different spices – coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds (really good for digestion), bay leaf, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves, and turmeric (real superstar of curry powder. good for pretty much anything bad.) Put it all together, and blend it. Great on vegetables. The Alzheimer’s rates in India are astonishingly low. In fact, they have the lowest reported prevalence on the entire planet – four times lower than the U.S. Dr. Oz said this is because they eat healthy foods with anti-inflammatory properties.
2) Sandalwood Bark - Good for anti-aging. Chaudhary said it’s an anti-aging secret for the skin, in particular. She says ayurvedic medicine doesn’t just get your insides clean, but your outside as well. It is anti-inflammatory, because it increases blood circulation to the skin, which removes toxins. You just mix a few tsp of ground sandalwood with a little water, to make a mask. Then you rub the thick paste onto the skin, and leave it on for a couple of hours, or all night long. This should be done on a bi-weekly basis.
3) Holy Basil - Used for fighting stress, both emotional and physical. Chaudhary said it is one of the most important ayurvedic plants out there, and that it reduces stress hormones. It is considered to be an adaptogen. Dr. Oz says they are a family of supplements/nutrients that have been used for all of history. They allow our cells to cope with stress. You can either just eat a couple of sprigs, or it comes in tea form too (the most common form).
4) Abhyanga Massage - Chaudhary said your skin is part of your digestive system, and massage can be used to remove toxins. The two most common oils used for this massage are sesame and coconut. She said 70% of the population will do well with sesame, but for people that have inflammatory conditions (like arthritis), coconut is better. Put the oil in a pot, add a drop of water to cure it, heat (when water pops you know it’s cured), put a small amount in the palm of your hand, rub your hands together, pat down the face and scalp, rub in circular motions on joints, and do long motions down bones. Do this over the entire body, all the way down to the feet.
Here is a link to the video for this segment of the show: