Ayurveda has been practiced in the US for only about 30 years, yet it is one of the systems of medicine native to India and is thousands of years old. Readers are invited to submit questions for “Ayurveda Q & A” to
Q: I am a sixty-year-old woman who has been told that the lump on the back of my neck is a lipoma, a fatty growth. It’s not painful, but it makes me feel self-conscious. I’ve looked into getting surgery, but I’m concerned that the surgery would cause more complications than I would experienc leaving the growth in place. Is there anything that I can do from an Ayurvedic perspective?
A: A lipoma is a subcutaneous benign fatty tumor of unknown origin; these can be found on many sites of the body and incidences of lipomas increase with age. In Ayurveda, we understand that fat is one of the seven dhatus, primary tissues, of the body and these dhatus exist in a dynamic rather than a static form. The tissues are carried through channels, called srotas, and these srotas can become blocked. Blockages can result in an overgrowth of tissue in a specific region. We understand a lipoma to be the result of a blockage in the channel carrying the fat tissue.
For symptomatic relief at the site of the lipoma, massage with castor oil as well as oils cooked with the herb manjistha (Rubia cordifolia) is indicated. Both Castor oil and manjistha have a reputation for reducing the size of lipomas and, in some cases, dissolving them altogether. The Ayurvedic herb formula, triphala, can be taken internally at the same time as it is helpful in clearing toxicity from digestive system and liver. This will support the removal of the blockages from the channels of the body.
When we see an imbalance anywhere in the body, we understand that the entire body is involved. In order to be truly effective, treatment must include diet and lifestyle modifications to bring balance to all the body’s tissues. A diet rich in wholesome, organic
foods, taken consciously along with adequate water intake is recommended. The diet should be free of processed foods and trans-fats because we need quality fats in the diet to assure quality fats in the body. Include monounsaturated fats as well as a supplement of the essential fatty acids to maintain balance in this dhatu and srota. Daily exercise, such as Yoga or walking, is vital to health of all body tissues. Exercise supports lymphatic clearing throughout the body. When the lymph is clear, all body systems function more efficiently.
Q: I had Lasix surgery a year and a half ago; however, I am now experiencing extremely dry eyes and a glare, halos and starbursts at night. Are there any Ayurvedic remedies for dry eyes and related issues?
A: There are many Ayurvedic remedies for dry eyes and visual disturbances as you describe. These symptoms are primarily caused by imbalance in the vata dosha (the category of qualities of the air and ether elements), resulting in dry and variable symptoms. When the vata dosha is vitiated or disturbed, we place special emphasis on the use of oils and the clearing of the elimination channels.
A netra basti is an Ayurvedic therapy that may bring great relief. In this practice, a dough dam is built around the eye and warm ghee is applied and held in the region for a time. This procedure would be done at an Ayurvedic clinic under direction of a qualified practitioner. Lacking availability of this, a small amount of ghee may be applied to the eye before bed each night. Take a small amount of ghee on a finger and place it in the corner of the eye. Blink several times to draw the ghee across the surface of the eye. Repeat this as needed during the day allowing at least fifteen minutes for the eyes to rest with the ghee before going on to your next activity. Always make sure the hands are clean and the ghee is kept free of contaminants. Washing the eye with an infusion of chrysanthemum or rose petals will bring relief to dry, tired eyes and assist in keeping the eyes clear. Using an eye cup, bathe the eye in the infusion for several seconds in the evening before applying the ghee.
The tears are understood to be one aspect of majja dhatu; this tissue layer includes the nerve tissue, the eyes, the tears and the bone marrow. To bring balance to this tissue, take adequate amounts of essential fatty acids in the diet. These may be found in supplements such as fish oils or in seeds such as flax, hemp or chia.
Ayurvedic principles emphasize the elimination channels role in vision health, so daily doses of triphala are indicated as well. Shita kshaya is the name given to a specific method of taking triphala: take one teaspoon triphala in eight ounces of water. Stir and cover. Let this infusion sit for the day. In the evening take the liquid portion of this infusion and compost the powder. Repeat daily.
Remember when there is imbalance anywhere in the body, we have imbalance everywhere in the body and all harmonious diet and lifestyle practices will bring tremendous relief as well.
Netra Basti Practitioners
Arun Deva, Arunachala Yoga & Ayurveda in Hollywood
(310) 435 - 4197 Yogarasayana.wordpress.com
Dr. Parla Jayagopal, American University of Complementary
Health Clinic in Beverly Hills
(562) 631 - 6706, Aucm.org
Corinna Schmidt and Claudia Brachtl, LAc at the Prana Center in Santa Barbara
(805) 452 - 2526 maharani.us
Martha Soffer, Surya Spa in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles
(310) 459 - 7715 suryaspa.com
Andrea Emmerich in Hollywood
(310) 266 - 4000
Ala Sudol, Ala Ayurveda in Marina del Rey
(310) 968 - 4601 ala-ayurveda.com
Jeff and Susan Turner, Living Ayurveda in Monterey
(831) 375 - 7626 living-ayurveda.com
Blue Sage Sanctuary
Deep immersion-style panchakarma and restorative Ayurvedic therapies on a nurturing 23 acres of land the Sierra Nevada foothills.
(415) 380 - 8381 or (530) 292 - 1822 bluesage-sanctuary.com
Manjistha Oil and Other Nourishing Oils
Banyan Botanicals: banyanbotanicals.com
Sarada Ayurvedic Remedies: saradausa.com
Mother of Health: motherofhealth.com
To find an ayurvedic practitioner visit:
California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine: ayurveda-caam.org
National Ayurvedic Medical Association: ayurveda-nama.org
LA YOGA and the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine will be holding a series of sanghas for members and people in the Ayurvedic community interested in meeting in person for food, fellowship, music, talks and more. Save the date! The first event will be held on January 23. Tune in to LA YOGA for more information, sign up for our email list or write:
Subject: Ayurveda Community
Dr. Aditya Sharma:
Ayurvedic onsultations, detoxification, weight management, nutrition and more.
Geeta Ayurveda Healing Center.
Beverly Hills Office: (310) 623 - 4415
Simi Valley Office: (805) 584 - 9025
James Bailey, LAc, MATCM, MPH and Dipl Ayu. Sevanti Wellness:
Full service clinic with acupuncture, Oriental medicine and Ayurveda, in practice since 1990. Seva practice: Tuesday is seva day, with sliding scale treatments are reserved for those in financial hardship. Reduced rate treatments available for people with cancer.
1502 Montana Avenue, CA. (310) 393 - 4124;
Dr. Mark Vinick, DC, CAS
Chiropractic, Ayurveda, Shakti Energy HealingTM, nutrition, anti-aging, marma therapy, stress reduction techniques and meditation. Board certified in pain management, anti-aging and Ayurvedic medicine.
1860 S. Elena Ave, Suite A,
Redondo Beach, CA. (310) 375 - HEAL; Drmarkvinick.com
To advertise in this special advertising section listing Ayurvedic practitioners and practices, contact:
Mary Thompson, CAS is senior teacher at the California College of Ayurveda. She served as a founding board member of the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine. The Ayurvedic Lifestyle is among her favorite topics and she has helped many students and clients adapt these principles and practices into their modern lives.
The information provided here is for educational purposes only and should not be a substitute for medical care. Before using any Ayurvedic remedies, consult with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare provider. This article represents the opinion and recommendation of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of LA YOGA Ayurveda and Health magazine.