Panchakarma Journal: Retreat Packing List

Buddha Reflecting by Morgan Ellis

The day is finally is here!  Today I pack and drive to Sedona to begin my Panchakarma detoxification and rejuvenation treatment.  Whew, its a good thing I'm driving because I am bringing so much stuff.  This treatment is all about "me" - purifying my mind, body and soul, restoring balance and health, and going forward in harmony with nature.   That basically translates into a complete overhaul.   And, that is the reason for so much stuff.

Acidic pH Levels and Cancer

Body pH Balance and Cancer
There is an overwhelming body of scientific evidence linking acidic pH levels to cancer.  Various studies have shown that cancer cannot thrive in an alkaline, oxygen rich environment. 

Unfortunately, the typical standard American or Western diet consists of a large proportion of highly acid forming foods, such as meat, fried foods, table salt, sugar and soft drinks.

According to various health professionals, there are several easy and relatively inexpensive things you can do to normalize and maintain the body's acid-alkaline (pH) balance:

✿ Avoid acidifying foods (such as junk, processed, sugary and fast food, red meat, shellfish and soda) and instead opt for more alkalizing foods (such as fresh fruits and vegetables, plant-based protein, pro-biotic cultures like real yogurt or kefir and tea).

Combat Cancer with Baking Soda
Image Credit:  UndergroundHealthReporter
✿ Add approximately 3 teaspoons of baking soda to your drinking water throughout the day - seek the advise of a qualified medical professional prior to using baking soda if you have high blood pressure or other medical conditions.

 Take a coral calcium supplement.

✿ Take a green superfood supplement formulated for proper pH balance.  Green superfood also comes in powder form, to be consumed as a drink.

Educate yourself on the the subject matter.  A good place to start is the following article:  pH and Cancer:  Acidic pH Levels Can Lead to Cancer ... Normalizing pH Levels Can Stop Cancer in Its Tracks

Infographic:  Alkaline and Acidic Foods
The Importance of Maintaining the Body Acid-Alkaline (pH) Balance
Acid-Alkaline (pH) Balance in the Body:  The Highest Acid Forming Common Foods List

Disclaimer: Nothing in this Article is intended or should be construed as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content herein is for informational purposes only. You should consult with and seek the advise of a physician or qualified health professional before taking any supplements, herbs or over-the-counter medicine; modifying, restricting or altering your food, beverage or supplement intake; starting an exercise or diet program; or making any dietary, nutritional, exercise or lifestyle changes in order to determine it is right and advisable for your individual needs.


Triphala - Powerful Ayurvedic Internal Cleanser

Illustration:  I. Pfeiderer
In preparation for my Panchakarma treatment next week, I've done quite a bit of research on Ayurvedic herbs and spices.  One of the herbal mixtures I discovered was Triphala.  In Sanskrit, Triphala means "three fruits" and is actually a mixture of three fruits:  Amalaki  (Amla or Indian gooseberry), Bibhitaki (Behada) and Haritaki (Harada).  Each of these fruits by itself has potent healing properties.  Combined, the mixture has a powerful detoxifying and rejuvenating effect.  Since detoxification and rejuvenation is the main purpose of Panchakarma, I decided to try Triphala on my own even before my treatment.

Triphala is widely available in tablet, Vcap, tincture and powder form.  The tincture and powder is consumed by first mixing it into warm water.  I did not want to be bothered with measuring and mixing and I don't care for tablets, so I opted for Nature's Way Triphala, 1500mg Vcaps   - an equal blend of the extract of the three fruits standardized to 45% tannins. 

I followed the recommended dosage of 3 Vcaps per day and almost immediately (within less than 6 hours) knew it was working because I had an unexpected and irregular bowel movement.  For the next week or so, I noticed both a marked increase in the number of bowel movements and changes in the poop itself.  Speaking of poop, everyone should be in the habit of examining their poop on a daily basis.

At any rate, after about 10 days of use, I feel significantly "lighter" in the abdomen and am not bloated after eating certain foods.  So, at least for me, Triphala is doing what it is purported to do:  improve digestive functions in the stomach, help move the food along the GI tract, aid in evacuating the bowel and act as an internal cleanser and detoxifying agent. 

Note that although Triphala is generally considered safe, it is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women.

This information is provided for general interest and informational purposes only. It is not intended as guidance for medicinal use. Consultation with professional health care provider is always advised and encouraged.

Panchakarma Detoxification and Rejuvenation

Panchakarma (or Pancha Karma) is an Ayurvedic program of intense detoxification and rejuvenation.  This powerful method of purification purges the system of toxins and restores balance to the mind, body and emotions.  It is used to both prevent and treat a wide range of ailments, illnesses and chronic health conditions.  An important aspect of Panchakarma is the release of negative emotions.

Healing Herbs and Spices: Ginger Root

Illustration:  Franz Eugen Kohler

Ginger root is the rhizome of the Zingiber officinale plant.  Native to Southeast Asia, its name is derived from the Sanskrit word "singabera" which means "horn shape".  It is from the same plant family as turmeric, cardamom and galangal.  It is available as a fresh root, in powder form or as an oil.  Fragrant, pungent and spicy, it is widely used to flavor foods and beverages throughout the world, but most notably in Asian cuisine. 

Since antiquity, ginger has been highly prized for its therapeutic properties and has been used to treat a variety of ailments.  It is known to have anti-oxidant properties and is rich in certain minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.  Fresh ginger also contains an essential oil and several volatile oils, namely zingerone, shogaol and gingerol.   Gingerol has been shown to have analgesic, antipyretic, antibacterial and sedative properties.

Ayurveda: Books and Recommended Reading List

Ayurveda (or the "science of life") is an ancient health care system originating in India thousands of years ago that continues to be practiced today.  It is not limited to medical diagnosis and the treatment of disease.  It encompasses a vast body of knowledge expounding on all aspects of the human condition:  mind, body and spirit.    It seeks to unify and balance these aspects so that an individual can live in harmony with natural and cosmic forces and, in so doing, prevent illness and maintain good health.

Ayurveda: Integral Plan to Health and Wellness

Ayurveda is traditional system of health care originating in India approximately 5000 years ago. It is widely acknowledged as being the world's oldest integral practice of medicine. But Ayurveda is not simply an ancient health management system. The term Ayurveda comes from two Sanskrit roots: Ayu which means "life" or "daily living" and Veda which means "knowing", "knowledge" or "science".   Thus, the term Ayurveda can be defined as the "science of life".

Recipes: Creamsicle Crush - Shaved Iced for Adults

Bon Appetit calls it a "Creamsicle Crush"  - I call it the perfect frozen dessert to enjoy on my own or serve to guests during the hot summer months.  An adult version of shaved ice, this recipe calls for orange juice, Grand Marnier Liqueur and vodka.

Photo:  Dina Middin
This simple, basic recipe leaves a lot of room for creativity, like adding small pieces of fresh or canned fruit, a squirt of Grenadine juice or sour cherry juice concentrate.  Served in a champagne saucer or other cocktail glass, it is both elegant and refreshing.  For the full recipe, go to

Healing Herbs and Spices: Nutmeg

Illustration:  Franz Eugen Kohler, Kohler's Medizinal-Pflanzen
Nutmeg is derived from the seeds of  the nutmeg in the Myristica genus, which is native to India and Indonesia.  Nutmeg has a slightly bitter, astringent and pungent taste and is used in various dishes in many parts of the world.  Historically, it has been a costly spice, highly prized for its flavor, medicinal and therapeutic uses.  However, nutmeg should not be used by pregnant and nursing women and must only be used sparingly

Healing Herbs and Spices: Cinnamon

Native to Southeast Asia, cinnamon is derived from the inner bark of several trees belonging to the Cinnamomum genus.  It is available as a quill (the dried tubular stick) or as a ground powder.   Its sweet, pungent taste and penetrating fragrance has made it a favorite flavoring for many foods and beverages throughout the world.  Since antiquity, it has also been prized for its healing properties, and used to treat various ailments.

Cinnamon is known to contain a number of antioxidant compounds and is an excellent source of manganese, fiber, calcium, iron, zinc, potassium and magnesium.  It also contains a good amount of Vitamin A, niacin, pantothenic acid and pyridoxine and several health-promoting essential oils, including eugenol.

Healing Herbs and Spices: Cardamom

Illustration:  Franz Eugen Kohler, Kohler's Medizinal-Pflazen

Cardamom is believed to have originated in India, where it is known as "choti elaichi".  A member of the ginger family, this exotic spice has a strong and distinctive aroma and flavor.  Cardamom is used extensively in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine and is often found in both food and beverages, such as curries and tea.

Naturally Thin - Ayurveda Approach to Natural Weight Loss

Naturally Thin is a distance learning, online course that teaches effective techniques and a simple approach to obtaining and maintaining your ideal weight.  The course is based on Maharishi Ayurveda, one of the oldest systems of natural medicine. 
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