Dr Meera Soni Menon, founder of Kayshudhi, has a degree in Ayurveda from Mumbai and for the past 9 years has been practicing in London, specialising in pulse diagnosis. She uses the pulse to understand imbalances in the body and based on those imbalances she prescribes home remedies and herbs to treat the root problem.
What are you trying to understand when reading a pulse?
The pulse indicates certain imbalances in the body. So, if you have an existing condition, the pulse can tell you what the root cause of the problem is. In Ayurveda, we believe you must treat the root cause rather than the symptoms.
What has Ayurveda become so popular in recent time?
People are becoming more aware and interested in Ayurveda because they want to live a healthy life that is not dependent on conventional medicine. Also, in the current situation, people want to naturally boost their immune system, hence the increasing interest in holistic medicine and Ayurveda.
Do you need to see an Ayurvedic Practitioner, or are you able to self-prescribe some of these herbs?
There are some herbs on the market that you can self- prescribe, but Ayurvedic practitioners tend to use specific combinations that work on a much deeper level. You also want to be careful that you are not using a herb to treat a symptom, but are targeting the root of the problem, and this is what can be difficult to pinpoint.
Can you tell us a bit about Chyawanprash?
It is a very old Ayurvedic formulation that is full of a lot of good herbs, with the main ingredient being amla (Indian gooseberry). It is great for boosting immunity, vitality and health.
Do you ever combine supplements with Ayurvedic herbs?
Yes, not all Ayurveda herbs provide the vitamins and minerals we need. For example, many people in this country are deficient in Vitamin D. Supplements are certainly important.
What top three Ayurvedic principles you would recommend?
- I believe in starting your day early (the circadian rhythm) – this brings energy and positivity to your day.
- Have a shower when you wake up.
- Clear your bowels first thing in the morning.
If you start following this and create a routine, your body will soon learn what it is supposed to be doing at each time of the day.
How would you define constipation in Ayurveda?
According to Ayurveda, many health conditions stem from the digestive system and metabolism. If you have poor digestion, there’s a build-up of ama (toxins) in the body. It can go both ways though – constipation of course, but also emptying your bowels a few times a day can be an indication of a digestive issue. If you continuously empty your bowels every other day or irregularly, you are heading towards constipation, as the food in your body is not being properly digested, which can lead to numerous health issues.
Detoxing is a good thing, but if you are going on a juice cleanse make sure it is balanced. You may feel good on the diet, but it is important to be aware of what happens when you go back to eating normally. I am not a fan of extreme diets. I do, however, recommend a weeklong mung bean diet to my clients, or even kichari – it is nourishing and you also get the protein from the mung beans.
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