Posted to Subscribers on 9 May 2014


Dear Subscribers,

If my mother were alive today, we would be celebrating her mentoring of me. She would be 100, but who knows what would be going through her psyche when realizing how far the apple rolled from the tree.

In our gender nervous society, something seems to have gone awfully amok some millennia ago: the normal and logical balance between masculine and feminine tilted and has never been corrected in all this time. If you watched some of the videos with Helen Fisher, then you know that she says this all started with the plow, an implement requiring the stronger muscles of those with more testosterone. The reality is that the plow can be implicated in other fiascoes such as tilling and monocropping and ultimately desertification and probably starvation. We need the wisdom of the feminine as well as brawn to keep our civilization healthy so today's post is an effort to bring attention to the somatic, a part of us that is regulated by the feminine. The post is titled "Ama" but it is a play on words with "Amma" which refers to mother whereas the word with only one "m" relates to an anabolic excess that needs to be removed from the body. First however, I want to celebrate the Mother energy in all of us, and, of course, many men have a good share of the feminine as well.

In the system of healing that I have been evolving for the last decades, I broke with the traditional use of language to find more neutral terms for masculine and feminine. Most people who have studied philosophy or psychology will use words like positive and negative, light and dark, or active and receptive. Though this latter pair of words probably pinches fewer nerves, I have tried to go beyond yang and yin to words that imply an interdependence and need for cooperation. My favorites are "Essence" and "Space" because they refer to the relationship not just between motivation or purpose and actuality but also a necessary balance between what is usually called spirit and its anchor, matter. None of the words does justice to the enormity of these concepts, and we have been indoctrinated by a hierarchical system to view the world in a manner that perceives rank rather than synergy. This is a severely biased view of reality but it gained a strong foothold in the cultures that celebrate male achievements, such as conquest, rather than joint achievements that depend on respect, teamwork, and the ever important cooperation upon which our future depends.

Obviously, I could go on and on. In lectures dating back to the mid-80s, I discussed these ideas in elaborate detail. It was a kind of penance for me because in the past lives that I explored, I found I was guilty of neglecting the balance that is essential to existence. We could talk about the relationship between intellect and emotion, or even try to bring in a trinity of energies so that we could see how the ideal emerges from a creative relationship between the idea and his idol. Then, we have to dig deeply into the undermining of our immortality by fomenting a crisis between father and mother in which the ideal does not stand a fair chance of emerging unscathed. Just think about it, and think about language and how manipulative it can sometimes be.

Out of my remorse came years and years of struggle for balance, some of which has been projected into my formulations because I realize that it is no accident that we are too damaged to see the Truth of our own existence. You could say that some of this damage occurs very early in life in the home, but domestic unrest is subsidized by things like fluoride that disrupt the brain's ability to perceive relationship in a correct light. I am choosing my words carefully because some of the lights in the brain do not work properly so we have to repair the synapses and receptors to regain a grip on reality, a reality that has probably been out of focus for millennia.

Recovery involves detoxification, the removal of ama, and the igniting of the pathways of perception that have been blocked. My work has been intensely focused on this. I realize I could be rich if I formulated products for the libido, but I am more interested in the proper relationship between the mysterious pituitary body and pineal gland. Moreover, I am convinced that plants can support our recovery from the amnesia induced by a society that depends on conformity rather than understanding of self.

Though I had a very difficult childhood, the one curious thread that was not somehow destroyed was independent thought. Even though my father was a sporadic tyrant, meaning sometimes he was almost invisible and sometimes his behavior was totally unacceptable, both parents encouraged independence, including independence of perception. They perhaps had to agree on these conditions since they were such a mismatch that there would not have been a way to agree on anything other than letting each person make his/her own life choices. Oddly, their relationship to each other did not interest me at all, but while rudderless, I liked having control over my own mind.

Without recapping my life, what I want to say is that in today's world, our perceptions are blocked by a huge variety of intrusive factors that include chemical inhbitors, electromagnetic intruders, and sociopolitical info blitzes that undermine our capacity to see, think, and understand. If you ask how many people have to go into therapy to find themselves or how many take drugs to change how they feel or see, then we have some idea of how obscured our realities have become. In the field of health, we can see the overlap of agendas when we have wars on diseases that precipitate collateral damage. Or, take the reverse and look at the military with its "operations" and "surgical precision".

In Ayurveda, there are countless herbs for detoxification and today I am launching one of the most valued: guggul. It is very similar to myrrh. You might say it is the Asiatic counterpart of the Arabian plant. It is made from the resin of a plant that grows in northern parts of the Deccan Plateau. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is considered to be an important rasayana substance that is almost tridoshic, meaning that it is balancing to all three doshas. "Almost" is not quite "perfect" because guggul is thermogenic, meaning it increases pitta, in this case, we could say that it increases metabolism and heat without deranging the pitta dosha. As such, it is used for removing excess lipids, both in the blood and in adipose tissue. It can be used by people with slow metabolisms and unwanted fat. It can also be used by those with hypofunctioning thyroids.

In Ayurvedic medicine, guggul is often compounded with other herbs to give special benefits. For instance, Banyan Botanicals introduced a selection of guggulus many years ago that are based on very traditional formulations. Every Ayurvedic pharmacy produces similar compounds. Guggul is safer to use than myrrh and it is also less expensive. However, it is, like most resins, very aromatic, and this is partly why it is pacifying to excess vata.

Tulsi Tea

The other new product is Tulsi Tea. Believe it or not, it took a long time to come up with something that could potentially find its niche in an already crowded market of tulsi teas. For those who are growing their own basil(s), you know that basil can do wonderful things in the garden. In the house, where holy basil is usually grown in India, the purpose of the indoor plants is to purify or sanctify the energy of the home. I can highly recommend this ritualistic use, and personally, I prefer aromatic plants and essential oils to smudging because the smoke often makes me sneeze or cough which never happens with the oils.

In addition to all the hymns of praise to tulsi that have been written over the last few thousand years, I would like to remind people that tulsi leaves also demonstrated the capacity to remove fluoride from water. As such, my blend will make a superb sun tea.

You see, I had to find the niche. Besides, having tried other tulsi teas, I was bored so I jazzed up my blend to give it extra taste and efficacy. In its own right, tulsi is a premier rasayana herb. Like most basils, it is a nervine, but it is balancing to the mind and therefore aids consciousness. To support its action on the brain, I have added gotu kola; and to enhance taste, there is some support from lemongrass and ginger. You might call this "Tulsi Zing" to give it companionship with my "Triple Zing" which is a blend of gingers, including galangal.

Like all my teas, this is a bulk tea or loose leaf tea, whichever term you like. It means there are no tea bags. You can use a coffee/tea press or infuser/tea ball to make the tea to suit your own palate. This tea will taste very nice when iced and consumed on warm summer days. It will also be wonderful warm when sipped an hour or two before bed time. All the herbs are organic and, well, I'm pleased with this effort.

Enjoy the weekend and your relationship to the mother energies that abound.



Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2014


Ayurvedic Herbs





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Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2014

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