Summer is here, and my lizard body loves it on the rare Marin County days that are warm, without the sharp wind that blows in off the Pacific. We'll have more of those warm, comfortable days in the fall, when the rest of the country is cooling off from their summer.
In the meantime, I'm feeling so all warm and fuzzy because I just got interviewed by a major magazine about Ayurvedic herbs, and I hope to be able to share the article in a couple of weeks... woo hoo!
If YOU live in a hot summer kind of place, especially if you have a hot summer kind of body (redness and inflammation, anyone?), I want you to know about an herb that is a handy one to keep around as things start to cook.
Amalaki is the powder of the Indian Gooseberry. It is a very rich source of vitamin C, and it has a gentle laxative effect. A gentle laxative effect is one of the ways we reduce inflammation in the body outside of the gut, though if you have an inflamed gut (ex: IBS, ulcerative colitis, etc.), then it would be a good idea to consult with me and get a different herb for your inflammation because we don't want to irritate you further.
Women with heavy periods may benefit from taking Amalaki, but lay off of it during menstruation.
Amalaki is found in the classical Ayurvedic formulation Triphala, which many people all over the world take to encourage more gut motility (though Triphala can be a little drying for vata types). It's a great friend to have when traveling...
Some soaked raisins and sour fruits can have an effect similar to Amalaki. Have you ever noticed that you have loose stools a little while after gobbling down a whole container of raspberries? Yeah, food is medicinal like that. But ya gotta learn how to use the medicine, like your grandmother probably knew!
Let's remember what our grandmothers knew.