Dr. Dimple Jangda is the founder of an Ayurvedic clinic called Prana Healthcare in Mumbai. She is joining us today to talk about Ayurveda and its connection to gut health, the importance of cleansing the body, the different body types in Ayurveda, and how to eat based on them! Dr. Dimple’s practice has treated 3,100 patients from 43 countries in the last five years from chronic disease to clinical depression. Dr. Dimple has a team of doctors and therapists who work day in and day out to bridge the gap between traditional Ayurveda and modern science. Dr. Dimple also has a book called “Heal Your Gut, Mind and Emotions” Throughout this interview, she reminds us that we all have the intuitive nature to be able to eat what is right for us.
Dr. Dimple's Health Struggles and How They Led Her to Ayurveda
Growing up I faced a lot of different diseases. I was born with epilepsy and had it up to the age of 11. My parent spent money taking me to hospitals, getting a lot of tests, and exposing me to radiation unknowingly but the doctors never have many answers. My mother started to change my nutrition, this helped me repair my body, and the epilepsy went away. But after this, I suddenly started getting migraines every day up to the age of 20.
At 16, I discovered a lump in my body and I thought it was cancer. I did not want to tell my parents and thought I was going to die. I let it go for a few months and the tumor grew so large that I couldn’t breathe. We had to rush to the hospital and I had to do a bunch more different tests and had to be rushed to surgery where they discovered a tumor the size of my fist and 4 others.
A month later, I discovered another tumor and then had to get that removed. By the time I was 18 I had undergone 4 surgeries and to make it worse, I woke up during one of them. This registered deep in my subconscious mind and did not leave me for years. To this day, I'm still slightly claustrophobic.
Then I went on to become a TV reporter, a TV producer, and a copywriter. At the peak of my career, when I was living in expensive hotels, globetrotting business class, and rubbing shoulders with some of the most powerful businessmen and women, I was not happy. So I packed my bags, came back to India, and took an indefinite sabbatical. I traveled to 10 countries in 11 months and then came back to India. The one common thing I found amongst people around the world, irrespective of the language we speak, was the pursuit of happiness and health.
When I was in the countryside of India, I started to feel so healthy. I had chronic insomnia for 11 years and there were some times when I only slept 30 minutes a day. Then in the countryside, I slept for 8 hours. When I woke up, I would exercise and could breathe so deeply. I could also eat an entire Pali, which was meant for three people. This was totally different from how I had been prior in my life. Growing up I had bulimia and I would not eat and it would take my parents hours to feed me.
After all of this, I started asking myself “What has changed?” That's when I discovered that my body was syncing with nature. So I decided to bottle this happiness and sell it to the world and the closest I could get to bottling this up was using Ayurvedic herbs. These herbs help people get rid of and prevent diseases so that they can live the most powerful and present lives. You don’t have to wait until you get sick to get help, you can become healthy now. That is how the clinic started and I have a wonderful team of doctors, therapists, and biotech researchers who have assisted me throughout.
It is the classic hero's journey where you have all these battles in your life and then at the end of it you achieve success. Then you find this emptiness and you find yourself connecting back to nature, the basics of food, and helping others. Then you finally find happiness. I can see it in your face. You are vibrant, healthy, and happy. -Kriben Govender
What is Ayurveda?
For the longest time, Ayurveda was off my radar because I thought it would take too long to learn. Then I was going to an interview and had a few days to help my skin and was looking for answers. I had horrible skin all of my life and growing up I even developed urticaria which is an inflammatory disease. My friend recommended an Ayurvedic massage and I was hooked.
Ayurveda is a preventive healthcare life science rather than a curative healthcare science. It's a 5000-year-old science that developed in the lands of India, mainly in Kerala. And luckily, during colonial rule, the British didn't think it was profitable to invade Kerala so they were able to preserve this knowledge. Thankfully this was preserved because 80% of Vedic scripture had been destroyed during the Colonial rule.
Ayurveda means life & knowledge. It is the knowledge of life or the science of life that teaches you how to personalize your diet, lifestyle, and food habits based on your body type, genetics, age, and topographic conditions you live in. It is a personal life science and no two bodies are the same.
There are seven unique body types that Mother Nature created:
- Then you can be dominant in all three
Ayurveda states and modern science understands that one man's nutrition is another man’s poison. For example: hot spicy pungent foods like capsicum, onion, garlic, radish, and chilies are excellent for an endomorph because it stimulates the metabolic fire and aids in weight loss. On the other hand, these foods are forbidden if you have a mesomorph body type because you already have a high metabolic fire. This can lead your body to get heated up from the inside out and show up on your skin as psoriasis, eczema, or rosacea.
There have been 10,000 herbs that have been identified in Ayurveda and they said that for every disease, there is an herb to cure it. Recently, the entire world has been going on about turmeric lattes but this is a common thing in my culture. If someone had a cold, they were given turmeric milk at bedtime, and by the time they woke up in the morning, they were cured.
Ayurveda acknowledges these branches of health:
- Internal Medicine
- Ear, Nose, Throat
The Importance of Cleansing the Body
There have been over 600 formulations of these herbs that have been created for different diseases such as cancer or the common cold. There are about 1700 formulations of colon cleanses because of Ayurveda stressors on digestive health. The first step of cleaning the body is you cannot have excess fat, mucus, water retention, inflammation, or bloating accumulated in the body.
Ayurveda stresses on cleaning up the gut and the colon. There should be no undigested foods, waste, heavy metals, or toxins lurking in your body for more than 24 hours. What you eat either needs to be expended in the form of energy and the remaining should be eliminated within 24 hours. The insoluble fibre that stays in the gut and colon starts to destroy the body, both modern science and Ayurveda agree that 90% of diseases are caused due to an unhealthy colon.
The Different Body Types in Ayurveda
There are three different body types in Ayurveda. If you are interested in seeing what body type you are, make sure to take this free dosha quiz before reading this information! It asks you about your skin, hair, what dreams you have, your personality ect. Your Ayurveda body type was fixed from the moment you were conceived and it does not change in your entire lifetime. Go to an Ayurvedic doctor at least once in your lifetime because it is like finding out your blood type.
The first body type is endomorph. They are the thickest body type. They have a broad bone structure, good skin, and good hair, but they tend to put on weight very quickly and they struggle to lose weight. They could work out for days in the gym and won’t lose much. They also have a tendency towards catching a cold, cough, allergies, asthma, hay fever, or bronchial disorders. They tend to have a lot of symptoms in the top part of the body between the nose and the lungs. They also have an inclination towards heavy disorders like obesity, cholesterol, diabetes, or excessive weight gain because they are earth and water-dominant. These people are usually very compassionate, kind, and empathetic.
The second body type is mesomorph. There are fire and water-dominant body types. They tend to put on weight easily and lose weight easily. They fluctuate all the time. These people have a high Metabolic Fire but because the fires monitor underneath the body, they display symptoms connected to the fire like: excessive sweating. discoloration of the eyes, hair fall, skin disorders like acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis urticaria, acid reflux, and a sensitive gallbladder and liver. These people are the most competitive and ambitious. They are speakers, leaders, and CEOs.
The third body type is the ectomorph. They are the most tender body type. They have brittle bones, dried-up skin and hair, and colon-related disorders like constipation, diarrhea, and IBS. They also have an inclination towards bone-related disorders, like osteoporosis, arthritis, rheumatism, spondylosis, body aches, and pain. They also struggle with excessive thinking and tend to be someone who is hyperactive, but also very creative. They are air and space-dominant. These people are usually the creative types and they just flow. They are the dancers, musicians, writers, and runners. They are also great speakers.
What Happens If You Are A Combination of Body Types?
When you are a single body type, it is very easy. There are demarcations on what foods are favorable for you and what foods are not favorable for you. Endomorph does well with bitter and must stay away from sweet sour and salty. Mesomorph does well with bitter and must stay away from spicy sour and salty foods. And Ectomotph does well by eating sweet sour and salty and must stay away from bitter. This becomes tricky when you are a combination of body types.
When you are a dual body type, you are sometimes living in a contradiction. Finding out what works for you is hard to balance because you are a dual body of two extremes. In this case, add all 6 tastes (sweet, salty, bitter, astringent, pungent, and sour) to every meal. I also like to add a pinch of pepper on top of my fruit. This helps to prevent mucus cold cough.
No matter what combination you are, incorporating all 6 tastes will help you. No matter what body type you are, the aim is to balance all five elements (earth, water, fire, air, and space) and you must aim to eat based on how your body is responding on an hourly basis. No one can design a diet for this reason, you have to judge this.
For example: If in the morning I'm feeling cold and sluggish, I’ll have porridge to start my day. If in the afternoon I am feeling hot, I’ll have a lemonade. I have my biggest meal of the day at this time because the metabolic fire is at its peak. In the evening I will have a smaller meal. Your diet changes depending on how you are feeling each hour.
That is why we say every household must be empowered with the science of Ayurveda or any preventive health or life science that you've grown an affinity towards. This is so you can become the dietitian of your own body to prevent diseases. You are feeding your body wholesome & nutritious meals so that it can help you build new tissues, muscles, nails, and hair while also rebuilding your cells.
The Role of Vedic Astrology In Our Wellness and Body Type
Astrology is the science of understanding the position of planets and the impact they have on the human body. Astrology, astronomy, and Ayurveda are all interconnected. Ayurveda doctors will use both astrology and astronomy and many of them will ask for your birthdate before prescribing herbs to you. This is because if you were born in the winter season, certain herbs grow in this season. Nature is so clever, it grows the herbs you need in every season.
-If you go to a tropical place, there will be an abundance of coconut trees to give you coconut water so you don’t get dehydrated
-If you go to the mountains, you will find bitter herbs that help keep the body warm
Now astrology also understands the impact of planets on your body. On a full moon night, you might notice that you are more emotionally unstable, aware, or conscious. This is because the impact of the moon on the Earth’s body is so huge that the waves in the ocean rise to almost 10 to 11 feet high. We are nothing but a collection of water particles, our bodies are 75% water. So during a full moon, the impact of the moon on the water particles within us causes the ebbs and flows. This causes the emotions and memories from your subconscious mind to surface like a wave into the conscious mind and you suddenly become aware and suddenly have flashbacks of your childhood. Every single star in this universe excludes impact on the physical body. We are just a speck of dirt on planet Earth. When you look at Earth from space you see a blue dot because we are water-dominant.
Ayurveda says that diseases are triggered due to karmic collection from this birth and the previous births triggered by the position of the planets. For example: say if I keep unconsciously eating ice cream after sunset, it will have an impact on my body 6 months from now. If I wake up with inflamed sinusitis, this is triggered due to a series of repeated unconscious actions, which is called karma. Karma has been misinterpreted by a lot of people saying that it's beyond our control but karma doesn't control us, karma is an action.
This can be triggered by the position of the planets. Example: it's winter season, Jupiter, Mars, and Pluto are all having a different impact on Earth in winter versus in summer. And that's when that particular disease gets triggered in the body because of the impact with the moon impact with the sun and back to Jupiter and all the planets. And that karmic collection, the body suddenly now surfaces in the form of a disease.
There is so much we do not understand in terms of astrology. And I believe that just throwing it in the basket of “woo-woo” is unfair. Even as a scientist, I try to be open that I do not understand everything and want to learn more about esoteric topics. -Kriben Govender
How Do The Seasons Relate to Ayurveda
Every season, our diet has to change because we need to eat seasonally and locally. When you eat locally, your body is taking in the local bacteria which allows you to acclimate to that region and you do not get sick. If you are allergic to a certain pollen or grain, you must eat the honey from this pollen and grain so you can acclimate to it. Then your body will realize it is not poison. As far as eating with the seasons, in summer, we have watermelon which hydrates you. During autumn, we have pumpkins because it helps us counteract the dryness in that season. Every food seasonally supports you.
How Does Ayurveda and Gut Health Relate To Each Other?
Gut health and Ayurveda are very closely related. In Ayurveda, digestive fire is called “Agni” and this is what keeps you alive. Your metabolic fire helps in digesting food, transforming that food into digestive juice, and then transforming that digestive juice into plasma, blood, bone, bone marrow, muscles, and so many other parts of our bodies.
It is also called the transformative fire because it transforms the food you have eaten into various body parts. For example: if you eat a banana today, within a few hours, that banana has already become an integral part of your entire human body. You can't separate the banana from the human body anymore. It's become part of the blood, tissues, and organs because each organ uses these nutrients to rejuvenate itself. For example: The liver can completely regenerate itself every four years and the skin regenerates itself every year and a half.
There are 7 different stages of Metabolic Fire:
- Metabolic Fire that transforms the digestive juices into plasma.
- Metabolic Fire that transforms a purified plasma into blood.
- Metabolic Fire that transforms a purified part of plasma into muscles (and the byproduct is skin.)
- Metabolic Fire that transforms the purified part of the muscle into adipose which is good fat. Every part of the body has fat and we need it as lubricant.
- Metabolic Fire which is converted into the purified part of the bone.
- Metabolic Fire that works with the most delicate part of the body, the bone marrow and nervous system
- Metabolic Fire that works with the reproductive organs.
The elements that you've eaten today take at least 27 to 28 days to reach the reproductive organs. That’s why we say give your diet 28 days to see a result but 90 days is even better because it becomes a habit.
Ayurveda says that this digestive fire is in the gut, the stomach, the small intestine, and the large intestine. It helps in digesting food and absorbing and assimilating nutrients. The gut is the source of light and is the fuel engine for the whole body. If the gut stops functioning, the brain heart, liver, kidney, and intestines will not have a supply of nutrients. They will also fade with time and die.
Intuition Lives In The Gut
Our gut is called the second brain because it has neuron linings in its walls that allow you to sense, feel, experience, and consume information. Our emotions are experienced in the gut. When you are anxious, scared, excited, or nervous, you feel all of this in your stomach first. Memories are also stored in the gut. So when you think about your grandmother and suddenly start salivating because of the food she made you, your gut feels relaxed. And maybe when you see a roller coaster you already have butterflies because you remember that last time you went on one. So our gut holds emotions, intuition, and memories.
Intuition comes from the gut. This was set in modern science, proven in Ayurveda, and experienced by the sages and monks through spiritual retreats. When they retreated spiritually and only ate a few meals during the daytime, they gave their digestive system a complete break and rest. When the digestive health is in a complete break and rest during fasting, the gut is now available for thought processes. This is because God is directly connected to the brain through neurosis that sends messages every million seconds.
When the gut is busy digesting food, it is only communicating to the brain “how to digest food”. The brain communicates what digestive juices to make and the gut communicates back if it's happy, uncomfortable, or gassy. The brain and gut are in constant communication and when there is a break in digesting, this helps the brain make intuitive decisions. That's why they say to stay hungry if you want to be successful because the gut comes up with ideas for the brain.
Our gut is like a GPS that Mother Nature installed inside of us to keep us alive. So when you look at fire, you don't touch it, because the gut says, “Hey, this can burn you.” Even the tribes in the jungles who have not been exposed to modern science, can survive perfectly well and even better than us. Why? Because they listen to the gut. They listen to nature and the gut is connected to nature.
Toxins and The Gut
The gut serves as the primary site for digestion, absorption, and assimilation in the body, hosting over 1 trillion bacteria. Maintaining a ratio of 85% good to 15% bad bacteria is considered optimal. The bad bacteria love unhealthy foods which is why we get a craving and then feel bad for days. Investing in good bacteria by consuming nutritious foods influences cravings and intuition positively.
This is where modern science and Ayurveda come together saying that we must keep our gut clean and free of toxins, and there should not be constipation or diarrhea. A healthy colon, controlling 90% of health, is crucial in preventing a wide range of diseases, including psychosomatic imbalances, neurological disorders, skin issues, gastrointestinal problems, musculoskeletal issues, gynecological disorders, and clinical depression.
Modern science emphasizes the importance of eliminating toxins, maintaining a healthy gut, and balancing good and bad bacteria for overall well-being. Both modern science and traditional wisdom agree on adopting health practices like intermittent fasting, fruit fasting, water fasting, and consuming natural sources of prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotics are in fruit and loaded with good bacteria and enzymes. You can also use any of these products to add more prebiotics to your diet! Probiotics include items like kombucha, kefir, and pickles, which have been mastered by ancestors. Modern science collaborates with traditional wisdom to preserve and reconnect humanity with nature, providing a holistic approach to preventive and curative healthcare.
Bacteria and Eating Seasonally
Ayurveda, naturopathy, and homeopathy all speak in their own languages but are all preventative health care life sciences. Ayurveda says that the herbs and spices that we eat are different forms of bacteria:
Fruits: have bacteria, fruit enzymes, and fruit acids
Vegetables: have fibre and enzymes
Grains: have different organic chemicals and fibre
We are consuming bacteria from each of these on a daily basis which is why Ayurveda stresses on eating seasonal and local foods and not consuming anything from another country. Since so many of us are now eating imported food, our guts are getting confused. If you live in a tropical country, eating frozen food is unnatural to your body. But if you live somewhere that has a harsh winter, eating frozen food would be more natural. Even our ancestors would make a mold to freeze fruits in the winter. You need to ingest foods that are local for you and have the bacteria that your gut needs.
Ayurveda has a series of probiotics and probiotics depending on your body type.
-If you're an endomorph body type, you can start your day with 200ml of water and lemon. This helps in dissolving fat and undigested foods.
-If you're someone who's very dry, you can start your day with ghee. This has butyric acid (a good bacteria) and then you can also have stewed or raw fruit.
Then you have your probiotics such as buttermilk, fermented yoghurt, kimchi, pickled vegetables, kefir, and even honey. These are all different forms of medicine. There are also good and bad bacteria, for example: sourdough is full of healthy bacteria until it is left for 7 days then the bacteria starts rotting and releasing carbon dioxide, methane, and other gases.
How To Use Ayurveda to Tackle Different Health Issues
Gut health issues have become very rampant. This is mostly because of the food packing industry because they want you to become addicted to their foods. This makes your gut weaker, you have more bad bacteria, and this leads to dependency on drugs, steroids, and antibiotics. The big pharma industry profits from your disease not from health.
We have to preserve the good bacteria and Ayurveda gives you a series of preventative remedies to follow. The first one would be to start your day with warm water and lemon to enhance good bacteria and remove the bad. Then you have a bowl of fruit and sauteed vegetables. Ayurveda does not recommend raw vegetables because they could have parasites, tapeworm eggs, and bad bacteria. If you are suffering from H. Pylori, Candida, or SIBO, make sure to stay away from raw foods and have sauteed vegetables instead. You can allow the body to decide what is bad bacteria and eliminate it through the colon and bladder.
Then there is a series of oral medicinal herbs that help in killing the bad bacteria. For example:
- Bitter gourd is given to diabetic patients to kill the sugar level in the blood to make it better, and to allow the pancreas to function.
- Neem has been given to children during the summer season to help boost their immunity against chickenpox and smallpox. It also helps in purifying the blood, detoxifying the body, and cleansing the skin of acne.
Then you have a series of other spices like turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, etc that are anti-inflammatory. We have about 10,000 specialized herbs that help in purifying the body from within. That helps in getting rid of the bad bacteria and enhancing the good bacteria.
Then we also introduce medicines through the skin, colon, nose, eyes, and mouth. We can also massage our bodies with medicated oils since our skin is very porous. Some of this can reach the bloodstream more quickly than food. Then we introduce medicines to the nose & eyes in the form of drops. We can also introduce medicine to the colon to flush out parasites, worms, undigested food, heavy metals, toxins, and most importantly, the bad bacteria that the body has decided to release.
Introducing Good Bacteria Through The Colon
We can bring good bacteria back through the colon by introducing medicated herbal oil decoctions. If someone's digestive health is weak or if there are toxins sitting inside, then we introduce good bacteria in the form of medicines into the body. This is similar to an enema but the medicine is retained within the body for 1-12 hours so that the body can absorb the bacteria, herbs, and medical properties. And then when you have a natural urge, the body releases the waste along with the oil, but it has absorbed the herbs out of it.
Natural Remedies for Sinusitis and Cough
In the morning, take a steamer or a hot bowl of water and put a few drops of eucalyptus oil in it. Eucalyptus oil is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antiseptic. It helps in curing cold, cough, sinus, and fever symptoms as well as lowers blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, you just put a few drops of eucalyptus oil.
Then cover your head with a towel and inhale and exhale the steam for 5-10 minutes. Allow the eucalyptus oil to enter your lungs and open up your sinus passages. You will notice that your sinus cavity is opening up and the mucus is dripping out of the nose and throat. Make sure that you do not swallow this because mucus is loaded with unhealthy bacteria.
After this, gargle with warm water, a pinch of turmeric, and some salt to cleanse your throat of any kind of parasites that might have drained into the throat. You can also sip warm water throughout the day because it increases body heat and keeps the sinuses warm so they do not become blocked.
Then you will take one teaspoon of raw organic honey from the topographic region you are in and mix it with half a teaspoon of grated ginger, a pinch of turmeric, pepper, and cinnamon. Honey is the only thing that can cause mucus to break and drain out of your body. Do not mix this with warm water or milk because honey is not good for you when you mix it with hot substances. Take this concoction twice a day.
Then at bedtime, you will massage your face with some cream and steam again. Then cleanse your throat with warm water, turmeric, and salt. Then have another teaspoon of the honey mixture and you will be as good as new in three days!
How Our Bodies Work Daily
The reason why you need to steam in the morning and at night if you are suffering from chronic sinusitis is that when you are sleeping for 8 hours, your body temperature drops. So when you wake up in the morning, you might feel all of the mucus coming out and a cough starting. Within the Ayurvedic clock, it states that between 6am-10am earth and water are more dominant in nature. This is why we feel sluggish and this mucus is accumulated. From 10am-2pm is when the sun is at its peak and fire is most dominant, we do not experience much cold or cough and we usually feel more relief at this time. Now between 6pm-10pm the energy clock is once again earth and water dominant. This heaviness allows you to fall asleep but it also allows the accumulation of mucus in the chest again. So steaming in the morning and at night is best!
Dr. Dimple’s Book “Heal Your Gut, Mind and Emotions”
I wanted to share my journey from sickness to health and surgeries to being surgery-free in this book. This book focuses on gut health and how it impacts your mental and emotional health. It gives you a detailed understanding of that and dives deep into the basics of how we can enhance our gut health.
There is a process to resetting your gut back to good health. We speak about:
- The circadian rhythm as the energy clock. Understanding what to eat, which time should we sleep, when is the colon most active, and more questions like this. If you can sync your body with Mother Nature, you can reverse a lot of symptoms in your body.
- The food pyramid and which groups of foods you should eat more or less of. It also talks about the digestion period of different foods.
- Lifestyle-changing habits like eating food with your fingers, when you should drink water, and being mindful.
- Food Chemistry is about the right and wrong combination of foods. Some combinations feed disease and some feed health. For example: grapes and milk are toxic together. You will feel sick after eating them. Eating the wrong combination of foods has unfortunately given rise to skin diseases.
The best thing you can do for your gut is to fast and give it a break! Make sure to take the dosha quiz, eat seasonally and locally, and remember that your body is an innate healer. Also, do not forget to share this with a friend who could benefit from this wealth of knowledge!