The Perfect 11-Minute Morning Routine: How To Make Your Day Better By Using Ancient Ayurvedic Principles To Optimize Your Morning Routine.

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tongue scraping
Digestion, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Podcast

It's no secret that I weave into my personal health protocol many “ancient” tactics I've borrowed from the fields of Traditional Chinese Medicine and also Ayurveda, including…

…tooth and oral care via coconut oil pulling and tongue scraping

…Tai Chi and Qi Gong-esque morning exercises…

…acupuncture, acupressure, and tapping…

digestive organ massage

dry skin brushing

…cooking and blending with ghee

…and much more…

I find Ayurveda particularly intriguing. After all, these days, time is scarce and precious in today’s world and we seek solutions that are quick. While allopathic medicine tends to focus on the management of disease, the ancient study of Ayurveda provides us with holistic knowledge for preventing disease and eliminating its root cause.

For the past 21 years, my guest on today's podcast and author of the excellent book Everyday Ayurveda: Daily Habits That Can Change Your Life in a Day, Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya, MPH, MD, Ph.D., DABHM, FABPM, HHC, CAP, has been practicing holistic family medicine emphasizing Ayurveda and teaching best clinical practices and educational techniques for learning Integrative Medicine.

She currently works between her private consultation medical practice in Manhattan and her deeper study of indigenous medicines around the world, when she consults with patients via phone/video conference. She has recently completed a Ph.D. in Ayurveda at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in the ancient city of Varanasi in India.

As the first U.S. Fulbright Scholar sponsored jointly in 2013-2014 by the U.S. Department of State and the Government of India to research and teach Ayurvedic medicine, Dr. Bhattacharya continued research in the clinical and physicochemical bases of bhasmas, which are herbometallic compounds that often work quickly and cleanly to rebalance the body from “incurable” diseases. For her Ph.D. thesis 2014-2018, she studied how plants work medicinally, from soil to stomach to cell.

Specializing in The Patient, Dr. Bhattacharya actively incorporates traditional and indigenous medical systems into her clinical practice of holistic family medicine, using modern science only where it actually works for real patients. The goal is not a clinical trial; it is to help each patient improve his/her quality of life, health, and well-being. She defines, refines, and practices medicine on a holistic and truly integrative path. She provides holistic medical care for the underserved as well as for insured patients.

Modalities that Dr. Bhattacharya uses include herbs, nutrition, yoga, breathwork (pranayama), exercise counseling, energy work, mind-body medicine, homeopathy, and aromatherapy, with a strong underpinning of Ayurveda, as well as the use of biomedical drugs and procedures as needed.

During this discussion, you'll discover:

-Bhaswati's childhood development as an Ayurvedic practitioner…7:30

  • Born in San Francisco, CA
  • Raised in Calcutta, India until violence led the family back to the U.S.
  • Settled near Omaha, Nebraska where her dad was a veterinarian
  • Felt pressure to “appear American” while living in the U.S.
  • Currently at Banaras University, the “Harvard” of India
  • Fascinated by people who chose “dirty” natural pills over “clean” pharmaceutical pills

-How phases of the moon affect the quality of ghee while it's being made…13:45

-How the day is split up according to Ayurvedic principles…21:30

  • Prahara: 8 blocks of 3 hours, or 6 blocks of 4 hours
  • Three doshas of the body: Vata, Pitta, Kapha
  • The mood changes with the sun; telling what you should be doing and what are favorable activities
  • Morning at sunrise is the beginning of the first prahara
  • The length of the prahara has varied over time and in different areas of the world
  • Take the biggest meal while the sun is highest in the sky
  • Be aware of the proper pronunciation of “K” in Ayurvedic terms
  • Evening is the time for closeness to family (lubrication of the heart)
  • Nighttime: digestion of thoughts, dreams (11-3 a.m.)

-Bhaswati's 11-minute, morning routine …36:15

    1. Rise an hour before dawn
    2. Lie still and listen to your belly
      • Your belly conveys how it's doing (your second brainyour guttalks to your first brain)
      • The gut tells you what it wants (if you are hungry) and any other information (gut instinct)
    3. Bend fully down and touch the ground with your hands; say a prayer before stepping on the earth
      • When you twist your body you twist your gut; waking it up
    4. Sit up, take a small sip of water from your right palm and swallow
      • Gives information from your mouth's microbiome to your body (do this only when you are healthy)
      • Things growing in your mouth signals the body to produce natural antibodies as well as hormones
    5. Head to the toilet
    6. Wash your hands, wash your face with cold water, a little bit of water into each nostril and expel
    7. Swish some water in your mouth
    8. Clean your teeth
      • Use a small neem tree branch, chew on it, brush teeth with it, spit the bitter juice, rinse your mouth with water
    9. Tongue scraping
    10. Swish your mouth with sesame oil; very good for lubricating the nerves
      • Put some oil on your fingers, swipe on the insides of your cheek, gums, and put some hot water in the mouth
    11. Fill the 5 senses with beauty, good things: light a candle, light incense, touch something soft, tulsi plant
    12. Look in the mirror, present yourself for the day; head to the kitchen to sip your first beverage
  • The importance of drinking a lot of water
  • Tibetan longevity exercises
  • Brushing teeth can cancel out the information the mouth is transferring to the gut
  • Pharmaceutical salts and supplements heat up the body
  • Hindi expression: “Look at the person who eats 3 mealshe is destined to be a patient; look at the person who eats 2 mealshe is destined to be an enjoyer of life; look at the person who eats 1 mealhe is destined to be a yogi.”
    • The biggest meal should be between 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; eat something solid to trigger the body for action
    • Second meal at 4:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m./5:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
    • Latte, milk, or tea in the evening if feeling hungry; hot water or chai tea with milk
  • Eating too early, beginning work early is destructive to the body

-Problems with the way processed food is produced…49:20

  • The definition of food has changed, has led to health problems among the public
  • Diabetic patients always ask about food; something in diet changed to something not naturally processed
  • “Stuff” used to purify processed oils is questionable
  • Companies stay within the bounds of the law, but often to the detriment of their product

-The 5 oils that are compatible with Ayurvedic practice…57:35

  • 5 oils that have been around forever: Coconut, ghee, mustard, olive, sesame oil
  • Sesame oil is the optimal oil, although not all sesame oils are created equal
  • Mustard and sesame oil do not require as much heat, pressure for extraction
  • Ayurvedic shastras (rules) from thousands of years back share qualities of these oils
  • Bharat culture, founding of Ayurvedic practice
  • Cultural practice and upbringing affect tolerance of oils
  • Oil bought in the store is drastically different from freshly pressed oil (coconut for example) because of additives
  • Sugar is used as a preservative in milk but is not listed in the ingredients
  • Mustard (heating) and coconut oil (cooling) don't mix well due to their heating and cooling qualities
    • Mixed oils are hard to digest

-Practical uses of Ayurveda in everyday life…1:05:45

  • Cleaning teeth (commercial toothpaste not recommended)
    • Toothbrush with natural bristles or oil pulling
    • Clean teeth with a mint leaf
    • Apple or pear tree twigs work well for cleaning teeth
  • Proper tongue scraping
    • From back to front
    • Don't brush, scrape
    • Use copper or silver, plastic is horrible
  • Americans often adopt certain Ayurvedic practices for comfort, without understanding the principles behind them
  • When traveling, be the last to board, first off the plane
  • Moistening of the body is key to keeping well—one of the big lessons of Ayurveda
    • Use the right oils to moisten the body
  • The human body is a giant lipid bilayer
  • A low-fat or no-fat diet demonstrates a high degree of naiveté by those who practice it
  • The tongue is a good indicator of one's health
    • Check the tongue, if there are white exudates on it, means you are not digesting food completely
    • If without exudates, you are what is called nirama (devoid of Ama—without toxins and unprocessed foods)
  • The Dirt tongue scraper Ben mentions

-The best oil to use in rinsing out your mouth…1:16:40

  • Sesame oil is good for lubricating nerves
    • Sesame oil cures temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder
    • Brightens and whitens teeth; strengthens teeth
  • Ayurvedic tooth powder
  • Put some oil on your fingers, swipe on the insides of your cheek, gums, and put some hot water in the mouth (to acclimate to the taste)

-How neglect of our senses will deleteriously affect our lives…1:22:15

  • The 5 senses are how we interact with the world around us
  • It's an investment in keeping your senses clean
  • You begin to lose your abilities if you don't keep your senses clean; be appreciative of your senses
  • Miscommunication, misperceptions may be a result of neglect of the senses
  • Sananga drops to clear the eyes (use code BEN to save 10%)

-And much more!

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya

– Gear And Food:

– Other Resources:

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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!


Ask Ben a Podcast Question


26 thoughts on “The Perfect 11-Minute Morning Routine: How To Make Your Day Better By Using Ancient Ayurvedic Principles To Optimize Your Morning Routine.

  1. Bo says:

    Thank you for these types of podcasts. This was very informative and something I can use in my daily life.

  2. Tyson says:

    Hello Bhaswati,
    I am very interested in the “Step” about touching the Earth before moving about the day. Can you provide any further detail on this specific action. My bed mattress is a couple feet off the ground, and so the Idea of twisting and trying to touch the floor doesn’t seem possible. In addition, my room is entirely over a 2nd floor basement. I was trying to obtain a “Visual” by re-listening to this step but I can’t quite understand the actual process of touching the “Earth” before stepping on it. Can I rather just make it a point each day to always touch the actual Earth outside with my hands before feet and say a warm gentle prayer before doing so ? I ordered your Book, perhaps the answers are more defined in it. I have been doing the nose Ghee for a few days now and I love how it WORKS !

    With Good Vibes,
    Tyson

  3. Julio says:

    Ben, I am a long time listener first time commenter, and proud owner of boundless book. I was very surprised that your guest today had so much knowledge to share. I am not sure how you dont have a tv channel yet. Are you on patron or rockfin?
    Great podcast. I will listen a second time for sure

  4. Sandy says:

    1000 thanks for this episode and also for the detailed written explanation! My English is not that good and so I have the opportunity to read it again carefully! THANK YOU …. this interview was very informative and exciting! Warm greetings from Germany…. Sandy

  5. Connie says:

    Loved the podcast. I too would be interested in your sesame oil and ghee brands of choice for purity. I am very interested in trying sesame oil for “oil pulling,” for in my nostrils, on my feet and more!! I tried coconut oil yesterday for the first time, and it was a “No Go”. Any suggestions on how to practice “oil pulling” in general would be appreciated. (I need to search your podcast inventory, you probably have done a podcast or two on it.) I tried cleaning my nostrils out this morning with water – interesting. I really liked the above comment about using distilled water! Finally, do you have a recommendation for an alternative toothpaste? My search on the “Ben Recommends” page didn’t turn up anything. Thanks!!

    1. Bhaswati says:

      The ghee should be a cultured ghee, means it is made from cow yogurt not just cream, and preferably on the full moon. I like Divya’s Kitchen, Pure Indian Foods, and brands that treat their cows well when harvesting milk. For sesame oil, I use unrefined organic sesame oil by Banyan Botanicals. I NEVER do oil pulling with coconut oil, as the neurologic basis is for detoxification and strengthening, which sesame oil does. Coconut oil is also usually not cold-pressed, wood-pressed, and hand-pressed, and the mechanical heat of metal alters the coconut oil. For toothpaste, I prefer tooth powders. If you must use paste, Neem is out there, but I am still looking for a great toothpaste.

  6. Hunter B says:

    Off topic but since ive come to take Ben’s advice as gospel I wanted to see if you have any opinions on the new “Bionic Gym” device. I recently upgraded to a stand up desk and adding a treadmill like you have isnt really practical in my place. This Bionic gym thing looks like a great alternative but curious on a professional opinion.

  7. Deborah says:

    The sesame oil link brings us to various brands/choices. Was there one in particular that is preferred?

    1. Bhaswati says:

      For sesame oil, I use unrefined organic sesame oil by Banyan Botanicals.

  8. Constantina Ceza says:

    Just curious to know Dr B B’s thoughts on hempseed oil. I take a teaspoon first thing in the morning and before bed.

    Love the variety of your podcasts, thanks Ben.

    1. Bhaswati says:

      I do not use hempseed oil. There are such great properties already outlined in the ancient texts for sesame oil, coconut oil, mustard oil, and ghee, that I don’t go hunting for the newest thing. Until I know what those hempseed manufacturers are actually doing, how will I trust their process? They are in it for money, not for the highest, uncompromised quality. The guru says, when a person is not a medicine maker, better not to take medicine from him.

  9. Wendy Pucek says:

    Great interview, what does she do for ear health in the morning routine? Plz have follow up podcast

    1. Bhaswati says:

      What does she do? Do you mean me? If my ears feel dry, I put some ghee on them. If they feel oily, I wash the pinna with water. Once in 10-15 days in the dry winter, I might fill sesame oil in my ears and lie with it for 15 minutes on each side – this is known as karnapurana. Otherwise, my daily ritual for my ears is to wake up and put something sweet into them – a chant, the sound of birds, or a sweet mantra.

  10. Ray says:

    Hi Ben & Dr. Bhattacharya,

    Thanks for this episode! I’m up 1 hour before sunrise typing out a few questions; the ghee up the nose: could anyone do this as a preventative? How frequently?

    Was it add a pinch of turmeric to oil pulling?

    Stay well

    1. Ray says:

      I meant to ask As to how turmeric can stain everything, how can it whiten teeth?

    2. Bhaswati says:

      Lubricating the nose with ghee requires understanding. Snorting 1-2 drops and leaning the head back to really get the oil deep within is important. Refrain when you have an active infection, like a cold. Ghee is certainly a great preventive and restorative remedy. …. I do not add turmeric to oil pulling. I just swish with sesame oil for 2-3 minutes. IF there is a wound or some infection, I will gargle with turmeric in warm water, maybe some salt, depending on the situation, but not oil. If there is a need for turmeric on the gums, I put it on the gums. Why mix turmeric with oil for oil pulling?

  11. Alan says:

    Great show however I’m disappointed with my own oil pulling experiences to counter chronic gum disease. Sadly I’ve noticed no improvement.

    1. Terri says:

      Hi Alan – I am only a listener to the program but thought I would share this with you because it truly is helpful and can reverse gum issues.

      Each evening I do the following:
      1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt & 2 tbl warm water – swish for about a minute & spit out.
      Take 6-8 whole cloves & 2 tbl sesame oil – put in pestle & mortar & grind down – swish for about a minute & spit out.
      1/4 tsp turmeric; add enough water to make a paste – smear it all over your teeth & gums
      At this point I take a shower keeping the paste in my mouth. About the last minute, I let some water in my mouth and swish it
      all around. Spit & rinse well. I do this in the shower because it keeps down the mess with the turmeric.
      I have had great success doing this. This also came from someone from India. I hope this helps you.

    2. Bhaswati says:

      You will have to review what you are doing with someone who knows the why and how of oil pulling and how to tailor it for gum disease. Personally I would not use oil pulling if I had chronic gum disease. I would use herbs that directly work with the gums. When the science is understood and implemented properly, oil pulling (gandoosha) is a highly effective procedure. Otherwise, putting oil on top of infections is a recipe for a mess.

  12. Sam D. says:

    Weird cocaine comment Grrenfield.

    1. Lucky Luke says:

      Mmmm takes one to know one 🤔 hahaha. Loved this podcast tho!

    2. Carrie says:

      That actually made me laugh. It was very awkward.

  13. Patti says:

    Great episode! I’d prefer distilled water rather than tap water-much cleaner and amoeba free.

  14. Guv Dhaliwal says:

    superb. one of the best podcasts of late. thanks

  15. Mike says:

    Careful on the sniffing ghee suggestion.

    Lipoid Pneumonia After Prolonged Inhalation of Clarified Butter Made from the Milk of a Buffalo or Cow

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30152655/

    1. Sunil says:

      Mr Mike the source of your information have no knowledge about Ancient Ayurveda

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