John Doe is a 56 year old Kapha predominant male. When he first visited my office last November (Vata Season) he was experiencing extreme fatigue, muscle aches and pains, muscular cramps, restless leg syndrome, depression, excessive nasal discharge with congestion, bleeding gums, lymphatic swelling, loss of memory, often bloating after meals and excess gas. These symptoms are indicative of a secondary Vata constitution. He is cold most of the time but he does fluctuate between hot and cold (stagnant heat). He also has a history of long-term chemical exposure.
He was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in 2000 and was put on Levoxyl. He has past history of German measles and has traveled extensively throughout the world warranting immunizations at times. He is also on Wellbutrin and Serzonf for anxiety and depression and Clonazepam for restless leg syndrome. Blood chemistry indicated low mineral density (minerals are earth elements and are responsible for many catalytic functions in the body, you can not address brain function unless you improve one’s ability to access these elements from their food), low cholesterol (typical in blood type A’s and in people who have chronic health problems, this is also related to liver congestion) and poor hematology which relates to low AGNI.
He would like to get off all these medications. I told him legally I cannot do this but if we work together with his primary care physician we can attempt the process.
Like most Kapha patients, his dialog was mostly resistant, especially when we talked about eliminating all carbohydrates as in bread, pasta, and deserts. He loves his oatmeal cookies and bread. He drinks 2-3 cans of diet coke a day so I gave him the research on Aspartame and its potential negative effects on brain chemistry. I told him to switch from olive oil, which is the main lipid he uses, to ghee and a 4:1 ratio oil of sunflower to flax and to use this minimally for now. Olive oil is a wonderful fat, good for cooking too, but it does nothing for the function of essential fatty acids, which produce the prostaglandins that regulate brain function and so many other metabolic processes.
We kept the protocol simple for the first month. I suggested the anti AMA diet in spite of the vata season: no food after 6:00 PM, eat his main meal and or main caloric intake between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM, no beans except mung as in Kichadee. He was instructed how to make an Indian Spice paste (see insert) to add to his foods.
We chose a German Isopathic Nasal remedy to minimize bacterial growth in sinuses and to promote lymphatic drainage. For his bleeding gums he was to do a sesame oil swish for 2 minutes after brushing his teeth and to gargle with a folic acid/chlorophyll mouthwash afterwards. Sesame oil works as an antiinflammatory, nourishes the bone and extracts toxicity from the mouth.
For his circulation, GI function and connective tissue problems, I chose Hawthorne Solid extract (I find this better then its Ayurvedic counterpart Arjuna). It is also sweet and easy to take, remembering that compliance is key. At the end of the appointment he moaned and groaned, and said he will try…….. my response was that “to try” usually means “not to do”. I told him he has a wonderful constitution and should have a long prosperous life, or he could be resistant. I asked him what he thought of resistant people and he said “they are sick and unhappy people”— a major acknowledgment for him. With the high kapha or high AMA people you see, the more you eliminate from their diet, and change the momentum of their “stuckness”, the faster they will improve. By the next appointment three weeks later he had lost 25 lbs. and was feeling better at many levels. His sinuses were much better but he still had some congestion. His energy level was impressively better.
He was convinced that the regimen was appropriate and his compliance was excellent, which is what we all hope for with our Kapha people. He said he tried to stop his medication for restless legs but the symptoms came back. Hawthorne will eventually help, but recommended that he use the classic remedy for the Vata restless leg syndrome: Mahanarayan Oil applied to the legs, covered with saran wrap to protect clothing . Use as often as is needed.
We now started to integrate a more Kapha pacifying diet that was not as restrictive as the anti-AMA diet. The 4:1 oil was to be used only when eating a protein meal. We decided to put him on Bhumy Amalaki (a great liver purgative: 1 teaspoon in a cup of boiling water, let stand for 15 minutes, then consume before bedtime.
As for his meals, he complained about not wanting to cook for every meal. As with most of us, he likes the idea of having something quick to eat, and of course these quick meals are usually the worst for us. So we came up with a lipoprotein drink using the 4:1 oil, which I find to be very health promoting at many levels. This 4:1 concept allows cells to subdivide more quickly (which is their main function). With cell division we allow the dynamism of Vata (nuclear and electrical), Pitta (transformative) and Kapha (physical and chemical energy) to work their magic.
He was placed on ionic minerals to improve his mineral density. This is a manipulative protocol, but with compliance, it works quicker then anything else I have ever used. People usually get a surge of energy after drinking this also.
There are clearly vata and pitta issues here as there will be when ama and kapha are blocking their function, but as long as we continue to work on stimulation and circulation, we will see improvement. On his next appointment, we will more specifically deal with the depression/anxiety issue, which is not as intense as it was in the beginning. To help with this, I did suggest a Spagyric remedy called Cerebretik by Soluna. Spagyric remedies are Alchemic preparations very similar to Indian Bhasmas. Indian Bhasmas are not allowed in this country but these remedies are.
Reprinted from LOAJ, Volume I, Issue 1, Fall 2002
Dr. Reynolds holds her PhD in Nutritional Science, is a graduate of NEIAM, has completed a clinical internship in Ayurveda in India under Vaidya P.D. Yawatkar, M.D. and is working on her doctorate in Ayurvedic Sciences. She maintains an integrated Ayurvedic practice, Whole Health Consultants in Maynard, MA and in Barnstable, MA. She can be reached at: .978-897-0042 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org