Kitchari (pronounced kitch-a-ree) is a one-pot healing wonder of white bhasmati rice, yellow mung dhal, ghee and digestive spices that is extensively used in Ayurveda to balance the digestion and gently detoxify, whilst nourishing all the tissues of the body.
A Complete Protein
The combination of grain and pulse forms a complete protein that has sustained vegetarians of the Asian subcontinent for thousands of years. The human body needs 20 amino acids to make up proteins for the cells of the body. Of these 20 amino acids, only 11 can be produced by the body. The other 9 amino acids are known as Essential Amino Acids (EAA) as they cannot be produced by the body and need to be obtained from food. Although grains and pulses in isolation from each other have some of these 9 EAA's missing, when combined they compliment each other so that all 9 EAA's are present. It is for this reason that Ayurveda views Kitchari as a complete meal.
Shirodhara is by far the most iconic treatment of Ayurveda. It is considered the King of all treatments, as it treats a wide variety of conditions in Ayurvedic clinical practice.
The name Shirodhara, comes from the two Sanskrit words Shiras meaning ‘head’ and Dhara meaning ‘to pour’. This deeply relaxing and nurturing treatment involves the continuous pouring of warm medicated oil over the forehead, using a pot with a tap that controls the flow of oil. The oil is gently poured from side to side across the forehead, at times resting over the midpoint of the forehead.
Our digestive system cleans itself throughout the day, in a process called the Migrating Motor Complex (MMC). First described in Western scientific literature in 19051, it remains surprisingly unknown to most. Also known as the ‘Housekeeper’, it is responsible for cleaning the digestive tract in between meals. About an hour after a meal is digested in the small intestine2, three phases of contractions of increasing intensity sweep any remaining undigested particles and microbes from the stomach and small intestine towards the colon for excretion. At the same time, gastric, biliary and pancreatic secretions are released to remove bacteria from the small intestine1.