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

Affiliate Disclosure

Transcripts

From podcast: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/tongue-scraping/

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:01:18] P0dcast Sponsors

[00:03:29] Guest Introduction

[00:07:28] Bhaswati's Childhood Development as an Ayurvedic Practitioner

[00:13:29] How Phases of the Moon Affect the Quality of Ghee While It's Being Made

[00:21:31] How the Day is Split Up According to Ayurvedic Principles

[00:32:48] Podcast Sponsors

[00:35:26] Bhaswati's 11-Minute, Morning Routine

[00:49:16] Problems with the Way Processed Food Is Produced

[00:55:55] The 5 Oils That Are Compatible with Ayurvedic Practice

[01:05:23] Practical Uses of Ayurveda in Everyday Life

[01:16:36] The Best Oil to Use in Rinsing Out Your Mouth

[01:22:11] How Neglect of Our Senses Will Deleteriously Affect Our Lives

[01:29:07] Final Comments

[01:32:11] End of Podcast

Ben:  On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.

Bhaswati:  Your five senses are what allow you to interact with the world around you. Without those things, you cannot interact with all the information in our environment. It's not my fault if people can't take care of themselves, but when they don't take care of themselves, I'm here. That's what gives me my livelihood. There's all kinds of little, little rules and guidelines for these companies so that they can have processes and not have to claim them. For example–

Ben:  Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.

Hey, folks. Moment of truth. On today's show, I've got a big, big podcast on Ayurvedic medicine, something that I actually–like I use a little bit of western medicine, a little bit of Chinese traditional medicine, a little bit Ayurvedic medicine. Not just medicine, but a lot of the tactics and habits beyond coconut oil pulling in the morning that I've borrowed from the far east. So, today, we're going to delve into that.

This podcast is brought to you by the brand new ground coffee. That's right. Organic ground coffee can be difficult to hunt down, makes for an amazing meat rub, or spice, or cooking ingredient, or travel companion when you can't have access to a coffee grinder. Most ground coffee though, it tastes like crap because it's not fresh when you grind it. It just winds up affecting the flavor if you don't drink it right away. But what we did at Kion was we took our fabulous, pure, energizing, amazing tasting organic coffee, and we figured out how to use this special nitrogen flushing process to suck all the pesky oxygen out that would make the ground coffee stale. So, it tastes absolutely fabulous, just like it's been freshly ground, but you skip the step of having to grind it. I'm saving you time. It's a time hack. So, anyways, you get 20% off the brand spanking new, Kion Ground Coffee if you go to getkion.com/bengreenfield. That's getK-I-O-N.com/bengreenfield. The Kion Ground Coffee.

This podcast is brought to you by another cool powder, Organifi Gold. We're going to be talking about on this show a lot of Ayurvedic concepts. And the Organifi Gold pairs perfectly with that because it's chock-full of all sorts of medicinal ingredients like turkey tail mushroom, and reishi mushroom, and ginger, and turmeric, and it tastes like a golden milk latte. You'd think that medicine like that would taste like crap, but it's actually really, really good. I like to blend it up with a little coconut milk or a little almond milk. I know you can't milk almonds. They don't have nipples, but we figure out how to do it in our house. We use a nut bag. Anyways though, I digress. You mix this stuff up with water or milk and it's amazing. It's actually really good sprinkled on ice cream, too. So, it's called Organifi Gold. Just like those golden milk lattes, but it's healthy for you. Almost no sugar. Organifi.com/ben. Organifi with an “I” dot com/ben gets you 20% off of your order from Organifi.

Well, folks, I think it was like, gosh, a year and a half or two years ago, I had a book party when my book “Boundless” launched, and it was in New York City, this thing called “Biohack the World” put on by a guy named David Choi. And I met today's podcast guest at that event. She came up to me and she put a book into my hands. And the book–a lot of people put books into my hands, by the way. And so, I inevitably get home on a plane to fly home from a bed, so I got like five books tucked away in my bag, and half of them just–well, honestly, not to offend anyone, they just don't get read and they're shelved. I'm bad at being an asshole on turning down books when people hand them to me.

But anyway, so one of these books looked intriguing, like the front cover looked intriguing. It was like a bowl of what looked like turmeric, I think, and it said, “Everyday Ayurveda.” And the gal that came up and handed this to me, she's really nice. Her name is Bhaswati Bhattacharya. If I don't butcher that name, then I'm a winner. And anyway, so I had this book on the plane and I'm flying back from New York. Whereas a lot of books that I've read on Ayurvedic medicine are just way too far out there as far as all these concepts regarding body types and protocols that just don't seem doable for the average busy person. But I read this book, and I'm reading on the plane, and start to fold over page after page after page. I'm like, “Oh, that looks interesting. I should try this out.” Because I'm a guy who's big into optimizing my daily routine, particularly. I think the way that you live your day is the way that you live your life ultimately. The way that you live your days is the way that you live your life.

So, anytime I come across a manual that has all sorts of interesting ways to optimize everything from your hair to your skin, to your teeth, to your nails, to your digestive function, I like to figure out what I can weave into my daily routine. And I'm reading this book and, man, I've woven so much into my own daily routine that I think comes from Ayurveda since reading this book and also delving more into some of the principles behind this book. I'm talking about tooth and oral care via things like coconut oil pulling, and tongue scraping, and different morning movements, and exercises, and digestive organ massage, and dry skin brushing, and cooking, and blending things with ghee. So, I just absolutely love the entire field of Ayurveda.

And I remember getting back after reading this book and reaching out to the author, and we just had difficulty connecting it. They could never actually really made a conversation about this concept of daily routines we can borrow from the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda and weave into our own routines until now. And so, I finally have managed to get Bhaswati on the show, and she actually is a private consultant. She has a private consultation medical practice in Manhattan, but she consults people from all over the world via phone and video. She has a Ph.D. in Ayurveda from Banaras Hindu University, which is I believe in India, Varanasi, India. And she's been practicing holistic family medicine, emphasizing Ayurveda for a very long time, and incorporates almost like a blending of western and eastern medicines in her own practice, herbs, nutrition, yoga, and breathwork, or as we call it, pranayama energy work, mind-body medicine, homeopathy, aromatherapy.

So, we're really privileged to have her on the show today. And we're actually having a chat before I started recording. And Bhaswati, you actually have spent the majority of your life in the U.S., not in India, right? Where were you born?

Bhaswati:  I was born in San Francisco, spent my early childhood in Kolkata, Calcutta, which is on the eastern side of India. And then, there was a war going on. And so, my parents, having four girls, felt it wasn't safe for us, and then they moved us to the U.S. to a place called Omaha, Nebraska.

Ben:  Omaha, the center of Ayurvedic medicine, as we all know.

Bhaswati:  Actually, it was the breadbasket and it was the cattle center. My dad was actually a vet. He was a cow specialist. His career was interesting. So, he had a stud farm in Murdock, Nebraska. So, we went to Ralston Middle School, and it was hard, but it was–there were a lot of very good things about it. My grammar and my English accent is perfect because the teachers there were extraordinary about English.

Ben:  But living in an area that's so built around the cattle industry, that must've been interesting because from what I understand in the Hindu tradition, cows are kind of like honored and considered a sacred animal, right?

Bhaswati:  Yeah. You can honor them on the farm. So, we had several dozen cows and cattle. My dad actually was a specialist in separating the X versus the Y sperm of a bull and then inseminating the cow with whichever the farmer wanted. So, if he was a dairy farmer, he wanted a female cow. And if he was a cattle breeder, he wanted a male cow. And so, my dad had perfected that technique and was pretty well-known for it. And he was an extraordinary clinician for cows and various animals. And so, it was a nice place we could actually serve the cows.

Ben:  Yeah. Wow. Did you guys wind up doing much of the ghee, of the clarified butter from cow milk?

Bhaswati:  Yeah. I remember being a child–so we had a house in Murdock, of course, on the farm, but we also had one near school. And I remember my mom used to make ghee, which you're supposed to make on the full moon, the Purnima. So, she would get full-fat pure milk and she would make ghee. And I remember that was something where the house would just fill up with this wonderful fragrance. And she would have us close the doors and windows for a lot of things because we didn't want to alarm the people outside who thought we were doing weird things. Like, when we did pujas, she didn't want them seeing and saying, “Oh, you guys are pagans. Why are you worshiping Lakshmi? And why are you making ghee? Why are you doing these?” So, my mom was doing all kinds of fun things in the house and we were watching, but we did it very quietly there. And then, we moved to Princeton.

Ben:  To Princeton. Where's Princeton?

Bhaswati:  New Jersey, where the university is.

Ben:  And now, you are in–do you say you're in San Francisco now? Where are you now? Or Manhattan?

Bhaswati:  Right now, I am sitting in Banares. I have a home in Banares.

Ben:  Where's Banares?

Bhaswati:  Banares is Varanasi, which is the modern name for Kashi, which is the city in India, as you said earlier. It's where Banares Hindu University is located, which is like the Harvard or Stanford of India. It's a fantastic huge university, and it's actually where I did my second Ph.D. studies. When you said the Ph.D., that was a mid-career Ph.D., which is what it is. I had first done a Ph.D. work in pharmacology and neuroscience. I was a hardcore clinician, and I knew all about drugs and molecules, and totally loved supplements and knew all about them. I knew Jeffrey Bland before functional medicine started when he was up in Gig Harbor.

And then, of course, I did my MD, and I also did a master's in public health. So, I did medical missions around the world. That's where I actually discovered that there are a lot of people using traditional systems of medicine. In fact, more than conventional medicines, and it started piquing my interest that why are these people not using those clean white pills? Why are they opting for these dirty, round, brown herbal dirt-looking pills? And it fascinated me that there were so many people that preferred that even when they had the other option. And I think it took me in a direction that actually took me back to my childhood because it was only years later that I realized that when I was a child, I remember my mom giving me those in Calcutta. But once we moved to the U.S., it was so important for us to appear American. I mean, you know in the '70s how much civil unrest there was. So, my parents did a lot of work, like we were forbidden to speak Bengali outside. We were supposed to act like we were as American as possible. But secretly inside, we had all of these rituals.

Ben:  Rituals I want to get into today. There's so many in the book that are just so good. I know we'll delve into it, but that's interesting. I didn't want to ignore what you've said about ghee made on the full or the waxing phase of the moon. And from what I understand like in the Vedas, like milk, cow's milk or milk, in general, is kind of like the essence of grass, and then ghee is the essence of milk. And apparently, the moon is responsible for controlling in a certain way, like the life essence of plants, or the Soma of plants. And so, if you're making ghee when the moon is full or when the moon is waxing, apparently, you get more of the essence of the plant or the essence of the grass into the milk. Is that basically how it works?

Bhaswati:  Well, you know that the full moon is the time when the tides are affected the most, right? And the question is why? I mean, anyone that doubts that the moon controls water needs only to go and look at any water body, whether it's a river, or a large lake, or the ocean. And so, Ayurveda watched and said, “If it's going to happen on a large level, it's going to happen on a small level because the moon, if it's going to affect these water bodies, which are basically collections of small–small collections of water molecules that are in mass, why isn't it going to affect it on your body?” And so, when you're cooking ghee on the full moon, it's going to affect it the most. Plus, the light of the full moon when it shines, you have to make it on the full moon, and then that evening, you have to look for the face of the moon in the ghee. You have to point it and then be able to see it. That means it's actually reflecting into the ghee. And so, you're getting those rays of what's called saumya. Saumya is the power of the moon. You can say it's the unleashed power of cooling, and the water sense that we have on the planet. It's not the sun, which is drying, it's the–there's condensation when the moon is out, right?

Ben:  Maybe that's why ghee is just like–it feels like it almost lubricates your joints and has this–obviously, it's using a lot of Ayurvedic cleansing protocols, but it has almost like this–it feels like it has this cooling lubricating effect on the joints. Am I just feeling things there, or is that because ghee is considered to be like a cooling element?

Bhaswati:  See, only people who are very in tune with their bodies are going to figure that out. That's exactly what the [00:15:24] _____ the wise men said. It is cooling. And in fact, I looked into the recent–there's a part of me that's totally into the blind acceptance of the shastras because they're so true, and you follow them, and sooner or later, you figure out how deep and profound the knowledge is. But there's also a part of me that says, “Well, why does this happen?” So, I looked into it and ghee has a whole bunch of different fat components, but it turns out that most of them are just like our lipid bilayer of our cells, and it gets very easily incorporated into our body. It's like you can go to the shopping center, which is the stomach, and the guy that's looking for parts or for replenishment says, “Oh, here's this ghee. I can use this directly. I don't have to do anything else to it. It's ready to go.”

And so, having a teaspoon of ghee a day, or even a little more if you're hunger–I mean, if your fire is very good and your hunger is well-kept, that ghee can be so good for replenishing not only your joints if you work out heavy, but it will cool down every part of your body inside of your organs, your brain will be lubricated. When my mother started getting Alzheimer's, I asked an Ayurvedic doctor and he said, “The first thing you need to do to prevent it is lay her down and put two drops of ghee in her nostrils and have her sniff it deeply, and let it go up into her brain.” I said, “Will it happen?” He says, “Yes, it will.” And I went and looked this up. How does it happen? And I have found these amazing studies that show that there are actually these veins that connect–actually, this is the immunologist, Jony Kipnis' work, and there's a few fantastic people that have discovered things like the emissary veins.

These things didn't exist in our understanding 20 years ago, but they show that we have communication between our nose and our brain because we always think of it as there's a barrier that's there. But lipids can actually penetrate through because our lipid bilayers of the cells are the barriers. So, if ghee goes right in, it'll just penetrate through these little micro, nano passages from cell to cell to cell to cell and make its way in. So, the fact that ghee is thought by the ancients to be replenishing of the natural body's component, you can say, the lipid bilayer components, and the fact that the other part of it is really super good for the lower colon and the microbiome, the small chain fatty acids that are in there.

Ben:  By the way, this might be interesting for folks because based on this intuition about ghee and the fact that I feel so good when I've used it, the same way that one might use like coconut oil or butter if making like a fatty coffee, and the ghee, of course, can help to carry some of the more, I suppose, like cognitively enhancing cholesterols like cafestol and kahweol across the blood-brain barrier when you blend it like that, I actually have been adding a tablespoon of ghee to my weekly coffee enema as well. So, I'm getting a little bit more of the colonic exposure to the ghee. And again, I just feel like it in a sense lubes things up. And for people who haven't really used ghee before, I mean, it's lactose-free compared to butter, and it's shelf-stable, it's a super high heat cooking oil. It's got like this really rich sweet, kind of like nutty flavor.

And if you're listening to us talk right now and you haven't added ghee to the pantry, man, it's just great as a cooking oil, a ton of not just omega-3, but omega-9, essential fatty acids in it. It's got vitamin K in it, which is sometimes difficult to find in a lot of other compounds. It's got a bunch of antioxidants. I just think ghee is an amazing thing to have in your pantry and in your medicine cabinet as well. And maybe as we go through and talk about how you weave Ayurvedic practices into you or your patient's daily routine, this book, I'm sure ghee might come up again as we go here, but it's such a cool, cool little food group.

Bhaswati:  It's my night cream. It's in my travel kit. I use it as–if my lips get dry–like I see people, they have these cracks on their lips. You see it in a lot of models. They'll cover it with the lip, whatever they call it, like moisturizer stuff, and then they put lipstick, and foundation, and stuff on. And when I see the cracks, what it tells is that their Vata aggravated or Vata imbalanced. And I tell them, “Take sinki and put it in your belly button.” And they're like, “What?” So, they put it in their belly button, and after a week, the cracks on their lips start to disappear, and they're just amazed.

Ben:  That worked for my feet, too. I got really dry feet this winter, but I've got these really, really nice kind of like lambswool socks. They're my favorite socks. I have three pair and they're like top of the totem pole for socks. They're all I wear during the winter. But when I started to get the dry feet, I would just wake up in the morning, put ghee all over my feet, then pull the socks on and wear the socks all morning. And within a few days, my feet were fine, they didn't get cracked the rest of winter. And in the previous years, I've just had to deal with cracked heels and cracked toes all winter. And once I figured out that ghee pulled on the wool socks trick, it works like gangbusters for dried feet in the winter.

Bhaswati:  Absolutely. Just like that. There's 108 things you can find to do with ghee that are just super–

Ben:  I love it. Cool. Well, let's talk more about these routines. So, from what I understand in your book, in Ayurveda, the days split into certain phases. And you talk about that and how the day is split up. And I think that's a good way to start before we get into some of the ways that you weave Ayurvedic principles into one's daily routine. But I believe it's called Praharas, like these eight blocks of three hours that the day is split into. Can you explain what that is exactly?

Bhaswati:  Yeah. So, Prahara is exactly as you said, it's a three-hour block. Sometimes it's called a Yama. These are phases of the day where the mood changes. The sun is not only changing, but the mood is changing, and they are telling of what you should be doing and what is favorable for activities in the day. So, in the morning, when the sun rises, is the beginning of the first Prahara, which means that before dawn is the pre-first, right? So, it's the eighth one. So, for the three hours before sunrise. So, people say, “Well, what time is that? It's different for everyone.” That's right. So, in the days before clocks, how would people figure out when the day began? And so, the consensus had become, okay, it'll be when the sun rises.

And on the battlefield where people didn't know, they oftentimes didn't have clocks, you can't bring your favorite Timex with you. So, what they did is waited until the sun touched the horizon, and that meant the beginning of the day. So, it was only in the mid-1800s that there was some consensus about time and time zones. I mean, that's not very long ago. What did people do? Like your grandfather, my grandfather, or great grandfather, they were looking at the beginning of the day as when the sun rose. And so, three hours from then would–from the time the sun rises until, let's say it's seven o'clock, so until 10:00 would be one period, okay? And then, 10:00 to 1:00 would be one period. And then, 1:00 to 4:00 would be one period. And there's eight of them.

In Ayurveda, they said, “Well, let's do a little adjustment to that because there's vata, pitta, and kapha.” And it actually turns out that it works more accurately for music to use the three-hour system, but it works better for Ayurveda to use the four-hour system. And so, there were four hours in the very pre-dawn, which were called the vata phase. So, let's say two–what did I say sunrise was? So, seven o'clock. So, let's say 3:00 to 7:00, right? So, that's in the winter. Okay. 3:00 to 7:00 is your vata time of the morning. And then, 7:00 to 11:00 is your kapha time of the morning. You're slow and it's a heavy feeling. If you look, there's more water still in the air because the sun is coming out. It's drying up the moisture, but there's still a lot of moisture in the air compared to what there will be. In the next section, which is from 11:00 to 3:00, which is the hottest time of the day. So, the sun is very high in the sky. They say the sun is also very high in the belly. And they say that that's when you should take your biggest meal.

And then, from 3:00 to 7:00, again, just like you had in the a.m., you also have in the p.m. Again, it's vata time. So, it's a time for creativity, it's a time for meditation, it's a time for exercising. The early morning run that is 4:00, 5:00, 6:00 in the morning is such a wonderful time to get going. And even in the afternoon when people can do that, whether it's a young kid after school or someone who has the time to do it right after work, if they work a 9:00 to 5:00 job, that 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. is a vata time, morning and evening. And then, again after the vata time, there's a kapha time. So, 7:00 to 11:00 in the evening is kapha. It's slower. It's full of the more moisture. And certainly, when the sun goes down, the moisture starts to accumulate. And I keep saying moisture because we're going to come back to kapha because kapha has that principle of groundedness.

Ben:  When people are reading about body types, the three doshas of the body in Ayurveda, the Vata, the Pitta, and you're saying the kapha, but that's pronounced K, or spelled K-A-P-H-A, right?

Bhaswati:  Yeah. So, I'm pronouncing unaspirated K, which is K.

Ben:  Okay.

Bhaswati:  So, for Americans, they hear it as a G, but it's actually a K, but I'm not aspirating. So, it's not cap, ka. It's like–yeah.

Ben:  Okay. Alright. I just thought it'd be helpful for people who have read the word kapha and pronounce it that way in their heads when you're saying what sounds like gapha. That's what you're saying.

Bhaswati:  Yeah. Sometimes it's good to get used to how it's actually pronounced.

Ben:  Yeah. Totally.

Bhaswati:  It's like people say chakra. It's not chakra, it's chakra. Chakra means wheel. Yeah. It means wheel. It's like the seven chakras that we have. They're little wheels or confluences of energy, or there's the word pranayama, which you said well. Pranayama is breathing, but people say pranayama. Well, Yama means death. So, don't say pranayama. So, sometimes when you hear people with accents, you just have to stay quiet. But the Sanskrit language is a very discerning one because if you pronounce things wrong, you can say something very unintendedly. It's like someone that comes to the U.S. and they don't know how to pronounce sheet, S-H-E-E-T. And so, they pronounce it sheet. Well, you could imagine that that could sound really bizarre in the wrong sentences, right? So, same thing with Sanskrit.

So, the kapha in the evening is the time that you're supposed to slow down again, and it's the time to spend with your intimate people because kapha is about Sneha or closeness with your family. That is the real lubrication of your heart, we could say. So, the word Sneha comes in for kapha. And then, again at night, you have your nighttime digestion time, which is digestion of your thoughts and what you did all day, and your dreams, which is your 11:00 to 3:00 a.m. So, that's your main hours of sleep. Now, hopefully, if people know those cycles that we've gone through, that's what I gave you for the winter cycle. So, you have to adjust that backwards if the sunrise starts at let's say 5:00, right? If you're up in the, I don't know, North Canada or something. Then instead of being 3:00 to 7:00, it'll be 1:00 to 5:00.

Ben:  Yeah. And what I've found–and for me, it's just working out so well. Like, the earlier I get up, the more I'm able to take advantage of what you described in the book beginning at sunrise, that first prahara. And even perhaps a little bit of time before that is it's just so wonderful for meditation and for yoga, and for a lot of the little morning routines that we're going to talk about. And my routine right now, I've changed it up a little bit. I don't go to bed probably 'til 9:45 to 10:15 p.m.-ish, and I'm in bed reading, et cetera. But then I get up around 4:00, 4:30 these days, which doesn't sound like that much sleep to people who are really married to that idea of optimizing oneself through an eight to nine-hour sleep cycle, which many people swear by. But I then do a 20 to 45-minute afternoon meditation or afternoon nap using anything from Yoga Nidra to this device I have called a NuCalm, which is more of a technology-based way to shift you into a sleep cycle. Whereas Yoga Nidra is more of like a body scan way to over 20 or 30 minutes, kind of simulate a 90-ish-minute sleep cycle.

And I find that I'm far more productive during the day when I'm up that early because I get a ton of stuff done while the house is quiet, and the kids, and my wife are still in bed. And then, as long as I can in the afternoon, typically right after lunch, just settle in anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes and simulate one extra sleep cycle, that's working really well for me right now, and also allows me to take advantage of this idea that that first prahara is actually time for you to perhaps be doing something other than just like still sleeping.

Bhaswati:  It actually improves your brain.

Ben:  Yeah.

Bhaswati:  And if you can wake up early, there are adages from all over the world that say, “He who gets up before sunrise, the early bird gets the worm,” and, “He who rises before sunrise never ceases to become a millionaire.” That's a Chinese proverb. There's so many old, wise people telling us from ancient times, “Get up early, get up early.” And not only is it a really good time to get exercise in and go running, and do nice self-stuff, as you said, but the idea of being able to spend some time studying. Most people find that they study really, really well at that time. I discovered it because my roommate in college did KRU. She was a super athlete, she was a triathloner, and she would get up at 4:30 and go do KRU. She had to be there by 5:00. And she'd of course make noise in this little tiny dorm room as she got up out of bed, got dressed.

And so, I would wake up. And sometimes I use that as my natural alarm clock and got up and decided I'm going to just study for two, three hours until she comes back. And I would get so much work done. And I would get a lot more done than I did in the evenings after I'd been to class and had these meals, which were questionable in their nutrition value. And I found that I was really good at it, but I had also been doing it as a child with my parents. And when I first got into college, everyone stays up late and it's like the in thing to go to bed at 2:00 a.m. It was really hard to live in a dorm room like that because it was so chaotic. But getting up early is one of the gifts of the day. And if people embrace it, not only do they get more work done, but their clock genes get realigned.

Ben:  Exactly.

Bhaswati:  And that is a gift you're giving yourselves.

Ben:  Hey, I want to interrupt today's show. Is that like my sultry voice? I don't know. It's my sexy voice because I am sexy. I'm no longer wearing birth control on my head at night when I want to block blue light. No, no, no. I'm using Italian acetate and reliable, durable metal forged from German-engineered steel, like a giant sword out of “Lord of the Rings,” but it's not a sword. It is the strong, rigid, durable, fashionable Ra Optics Blue Light Blocking Glasses. These things look amazing. They use the most advanced blue light blocking lens technology that exists. These are not cheap imports from the far regions. These are lens technology that they created at Ra that blocks over 95% of the most damaging range of blue light, providing maximal color perception. They have these proprietary pigment blends built into the lens. This is like blue light blocking glasses on steroids, but they look good, they look fashionable. Did I mention the strength of German-engineered steel come out of the most effective lens technology combined with Italian acetate and Italian fashion? And you get 10% off, raoptics.com/ben, R-Aoptics.com/ben as your blue light blocking glasses sommelier. May I recommend to you that you get a pair of the yellow daytime lenses and a pair of the red nighttime lenses, and you'll be off to the races with Ra Optics.

This podcast is also brought to you by something that I use every single night, every single night. What do you think of that? Not a pillow, but it's by my pillow. It circulates cold water underneath my body. I can circulate 55-degree cold water under my body to cool my core and allow me to get to sleep faster, stay asleep longer, sleep deeper. And we know that when you sleep in a cold environment, it enhances sleep, but many of us sleep on mattresses that just collect heat. And even if your room's cold, you can still wake up sweaty. This pad made by a company called ChiliSleep, it fits over the top of your mattress. It uses water to control the temperature of your bed, lowers your core body temperature and triggers deep relaxing sleep. You can adjust it to any temperature you desire. I mean, you probably can't put 30 degrees. I haven't tried that. I want to sleep on a sheet of ice, but I sleep at 55 degrees and it's amazing, chilisleep.com/bengreenfield. C-H-I-L-Isleep.com/bengreenfield. You got a special offer over there. So, you can get the best deal, the best deal on this cooling technology from Chili, chilisleep.com/ben. Check it out.

A lot fewer people text you or email you between about, I find like 4:00 and 6:00 a.m. So, that's highly conducive productivity if you do have to have your phone on, which I sometimes do. I'll flip my phone on to download something to listen to while I'm doing some of my things during the day. But when I flip my phone on at 4:00 a.m., I do not get the matrix of text messages that inevitably will occur if I flip my phone on at 7:00 a.m. So, you can actually be far more productive with less people vying for your attention at that time of day as well, and it just seems to work out quite well. And then, it's part of that whole morning routine that you get into so beautifully in the book. And this may rabbit hole a little bit. I would imagine that your response to this question will take us all sorts of places.

But what I really like about in the book is you lay out all of these different practices from how you wash your face to coconut oil pulling, to tongue scraping, et cetera. But then at one point in the book, as you finish up this morning routine about washing the hands, and caring for the face, and the orifices, and cleaning the teeth, and taking care of the tongue, you get into kind of just like a walk through over a couple of pages of what that early morning routine looks like, boots on the streets, wake up, do this, do this, do that. And I think it would be really cool for people to hear you go through what a typical perfect morning would look like incorporating all these Ayurvedic principles. And I might interrupt you a couple of times as you go through to clarify something that people might not understand, like let's say tongue scraping or something like that. But do you think you could walk us through what that perfect morning routine would actually look like?

Bhaswati:  Yeah. I actually went through and put them in 12 steps, okay? So, I'll tell you, you've already read these, but I'll go through them one by one.

Ben:  And by the way, if you want to, if you wrote those down in preparation for this podcast or whatever, if you email those to me, I can also, for people who want to review, I can put them in the shownotes for today's show as well, and I'll give people a link here shortly that they can visit to go to the shownotes. But go ahead and dive in.

Bhaswati:  Okay. And they can also go to this weekly news column that I write for the South Asia Times where I take stuff that I wrote in this book, and I actually elaborate on it week by week. It started as a column for COVID in Ayurveda, and it's just evolved into getting a really good daily routine. So, I actually had written this up for one of the news columns. So, I can send you that one, too.

Ben:  Okay. Yes. And I'll put that in the show–oh, and it's going to be BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Ayurveda, for those of you who want to go check it out, BenGreenfieldFitness.com/A-Y-U-R-V-E-D-A, BenGreenfieldFitness.com/ayurveda. Okay.

Bhaswati:  Great.

Ben:  Go ahead.

Bhaswati:  Ready?

Ben:  Yes. Let's do it.

Bhaswati:  Okay. So, this is for people who are healthy, and this is for people who are not pregnant, or really old, or really young. This is for people who have a reason where they can follow the daily routine, okay? This is not for people who are convalescing, let's say. Okay. So, when you do it, it takes about 11 minutes to do it in normal pace if you're healthy. So, if you rise an hour and a half before dawn, that's the first one, and you lie still and listen to your belly, that's number two, it'll convey how it's doing. So, your second brain, which is your gut, talks to your first brain, which is your brain. And the two of them talk about whether or not you're hungry, where you feel cramps, whether or not you go to the bathroom, or what is going on between your gut and your body, and it will convey how it is. And then, it will tell you what it wants and any other unexpected information, either from your gut instinct. Sometimes that idea you've been waiting for suddenly comes to you when you lay still first thing in the morning.

Then you bend fully down and you touch the ground, that's number three, using your hands, and you say a prayer before stepping on the earth because you're going to walk all over her all day. Why do you do that? Because when you twist your body, you twist your gut and you make your gut wake up, and maybe it'll make you move toward the bathroom faster. Then, you sit up, you take a small sip of water from your right palm, it's the fourth thing, and that's called the practice of Aachman. So, Aachman is water that you put in your mouth before you brush your teeth that gives information from your mouth's microbiome all night, which is the yucky stuff to your body. And you only do this if you're healthy because you don't want it–like if you're really, really sick, you don't want to be putting that stuff down back in your gut.

But if you're healthy, those things that are growing in your mouth all night will actually signal to your body the natural antibiotics that it needs to produce, as well as hormones. And we're now finding out that there are all kinds of chemicals that our body produces in order to create this entire ecosystem of our huge number of cells, and then nine times that huge number of bacteria that are lingering around on us. Okay. So, you will take that sip of water, that Aachman, and then you will swallow that. And then, hopefully, you'll head to the toilet, that's number five.

Ben:  Now, just a couple clarifications here. As promised, I'm going to interrupt you as you go. So, the idea of that bending over and kind of like compressing the abdomen, helping to move the intestine for excretion, and cleansing, and a bowel movement followed by the water, which may help to move things along as well, like that early morning, I think you say it should be like lukewarm or room temp, but not super cold. And you drink that little palm-full of water to perhaps help to move things along as well. I'm curious what you think about this because I get out of bed and I'll go do like tongue scraping, and face washing, and a little bit of facial massage. But then, I actually venture into my kitchen. I have a giant mason glass of water and I often will put things like a little bit of vitamin C and some electrolytes, often a bit of baking soda, even a little bit of like hydrogen tablets in there, and just have like this morning glass of wonderful water that I've optimized to be this amazing morning cocktail. It's not coffee, it's just hydration.

But then, prior to me having my morning bowel movement, I actually do about a good 15 minutes of everything from Tibetan longevity exercises to jumping up and down on a trampoline, to breathwork, et cetera, and I find that my elimination in the morning in terms of my bowel movement is far more thorough when I do that versus if I just get up, touch my toes a few times, have a spoonful of water, and then go sit on the toilet. I find that I just–I evacuate my bowels far more thoroughly just in terms of the volume of excretion in the toilet bowl if I do more water, like a giant glass mason jar, then a bunch of stretching, and then use the restroom. So, have you found that it is better to wait a little while before going to the bathroom so you can get things moving even more?

Bhaswati:  Did you already brush your teeth by the time you drank from that mason jar?

Ben:  I only brush my teeth at night. I do coconut oil pulling in the morning, and then brushing and flossing at night.

Bhaswati:  If you take the information that's there in your mouth and you translate it down, a lot of people are using these commercial toothpastes that are killing germs, all their brand name toothpastes, and those are really what you want to prevent from canceling out the information that your mouth is trying to give your gut. So, if you are not taking a small sip of water, but you are going into the kitchen having other stuff, that's okay because the effect that you're getting is what you're getting. Now, the fact that you are getting a much better bowel movement from doing all these things is right for you. It's called [00:43:58] _____, what's accustomed for you.

It also means that you have a tendency not to have really copious bowel movements unless you do these things. And that's what I would look at. Why is it that if you don't do all these different, different Tibetan rituals and different exercises, why won't you have a really copious bowel movement? And that's something that I as a clinician, right, as a physician, or as not a typical mainstream doctor physician but as an Ayurvedic person, I would look at in you, like, what is it that you're eating in the other parts of the day that you wouldn't naturally evacuate out copious amounts, right? Is it the powders? Because remember, powders are dry, right? I always tell people, when you take pharmaceuticals, remember, these are pills, and pills are salts, and salts are always dry, and salts are heating. So, whatever the pharmaceutical pill you're taking, remember that it's drying out your body and it is heating up your body.

Ben:  And would that include not just pharmaceutical pills, but even like supplements that are encapsulated that have a lot of excipients and stuff in them? Not that those should be thoroughly avoided, but if you struggle with things like constipation and a bowel movement, et cetera, that may indicate that those are dehydrating you. And would that mean though, however, you could fight off some of that dehydration potentially from those powders by simply knowing that if you are a user of a significant amount of supplements that you might need to optimize hydration even more than you might have been used to in the past before you took those supplements, or more than might be recommended.

Bhaswati:  It's not just the hydration, it is the need for something cooling, which is what you pointed to before with the ghee. Exactly. And so, I tell people to have their ghee ready. And sometimes I tell them to put it in their coffee. Sometimes I tell them to put it in their tea. In the winter, I tell them, “You're having your hot water in the morning, put half a teaspoon of ghee in there.” They're like, “What?” But then once they try it, they say, “You know, I just feel like everything is lubricated and soft, and it feels so good.” And I said, “Yes, that's right.”

Ben:  Maybe I should try that. I think a lot of people are resistant to that idea because intermittent fasting is such a big thing nowadays and people don't want to break their fast by having, whatever, 75 calories of ghee with their morning warm water or something like that. But I suppose if the trade-off is between that and being constipated all day, it seems to me that a small number of the calories you might get from ghee versus the, say, like I don't know, the anti-aging benefits or the feeling good about yourself that you might get from completely avoiding calories until 10:00 a.m. or something like that. The benefits of a little ghee might actually wind up helping you if you're someone who struggles with that morning bowel movement.

Bhaswati:  And in fact, the Ayurveda says that–there's an expression in Hindi that I'll translate. They say, “Look at the person that eats three meals, he is destined to be a patient. Look at the man who eats two meals, he is destined to be an enjoyer of life. Look at the man who eats one meal a day, he is destined to be a yogi.” And the perfect idea of a mealtime, which I started touching upon in this book, but then if you notice, there's an entire section pulled out. So, the editor said the book was too thick. It was supposed to be a 200-page book, it turned out as 300. So, they pulled the whole nutrition section out, and that's supposed to be a new book coming out.

So, in it, I say, “Okay. So, what are these times?” Well, so if you go back to the ancient days before factories and 9:00 to 5:00 jobs, people would have their biggest meal at 10:30 to 11:00 in the morning, or 11:30, like somewhere between the 10:30 and 12:30 time. And then, they'd have their second meal just before sunset, 4:30, 5:00, 5:36, around then, and that's it. Those were the two meals of the day. Now, what if they wanted something more, they were hungry, or it didn't satisfy them? Okay. Have a glass of turmeric latte or milk in the evening, or have a cup of tea in the evening. That's fine. And in the morning, something to break your fast is your mason jar of stuff that you're putting in there.

So, for me, it is a cup of hot water. Sometimes I'm really hungry so I'll make myself some chai, which is of course not very Ayurvedic. But if I'm watching my body and I am feeling very healthy, then I'm not addicted to it so I don't have to have it every morning, but I will have it when I enjoy it because that milk in the chai helps quiet down my belly that's saying it's hungry, right? So, that's not considered a meal though because it's just a cup of chai. It doesn't have anything solid in it. So, it's not calling forth the parts of your stomach and your small intestine that are triggered by solid food.

And this trigger, we know from people who are in the ICU that have nasogastric tubes, or that are fed by their veins, that they don't get solid food in their gut, and something happens within a week, even less, of not eating solid food that their barriers of their guts start breaking down. So, you need to have something solid to trigger the body and say, “Okay. This person is eating.” So, it's fine to not eat something in the morning, and then have that first solid meal at 10:30, 11:00. And Ayurveda says that's the better thing to do. Eat those two meals a day, really enjoy them. My grandfather used to eat at 10:30 and he'd go to work at 11:00. In India, the work culture is very different. Morning time, you wake up and you go to the market. It's your morning exercise. And you get fresh vegetables every single day.

One of the reasons I live in Banares is because it's not modern the way that Delhi, Calcutta, Mumbai are. I actually came here because I got a Fulbright and I wanted to study at this university here. And I noticed that the routines that they follow are very ancient. This is the oldest city in Asia. It's one of the most ancient cities in the world. And we have 3,000-year-old buildings in the city here. And so, I was just in one the other day and I was just so amazed at how the architecture kept it in place for so long. And if you watch the rituals, they'll get up in the morning, they'll go to the market, they have to have fresh vegetables. The old vegetables from yesterday will get fed to the animals, the cows, the dogs that are on the streets. Fresh vegetables will come in.

And then, the person will do their oil up. We'll talk about more routines later. They'll do their morning stuff. Maybe they'll read the paper, maybe they'll have a little cup of tea, they'll get ready for their bath. And then, the working guy will have his meal around 10:00, 10:30, and then get dressed, and then walk or leave for work. And so, they will work from 10:00 until 4:00 or 5:00. They'll take a break, they'll come home and eat, and they'll go back and work from 6:00 to 7:30 or 8:00 because that's when a lot of meetings happen, and then they'll come home. That's like the really busy corporate guy. The people that have to work 9:00 to 5:00 in today's modern, kind of 9:00 to 5:00 sector, they're really messing up their bodies because they need to be at work by 9:00. They sometimes can't take food into work because of their type of job. And so, they're forcing themselves to eat breakfast at 8:00 or 8:30 when they're not hungry, but they know they better eat it because they will get hungry by the time it's 10:00. And they think, well, there's something wrong with them because they're not hungry until 10:00. And if they wait, then sometimes they can't get their break in time or they have a meeting.

So, there's all kinds of logistics for them. And then, during lunchtime, they can't have a nice warm meal. So, they eat a cold sandwich, or they eat out to have a nice warm meal, but it's full of all kinds of stuff that restaurants use. So, that's not really food food. So, people have really changed what they call as food in the last 100 years, and it has led to a lot of the problems that we see today. So, when I get a patient like that, my Ph.D. work here for Ayurveda was on diabetes. We screened some thousand patients and I saw these people with diabetes and all kinds of symptoms, but I would always ask them about their food. And some of them were really good, but every one of them talked about when they started getting diabetes, it's because something in their routine changed. Either they moved from ghee to rice bran oil because it was the in thing, or peanut oil, or sunflower oil, or safflower oil. These oils are not naturally processed, and I wasn't sure. I was like, “Well, you know, these are plant oils. Let me — yeah.”

So, I was in Udupi last year and I spoke with this brilliant food chemist, Dr. Prabhakar Shastri, who's very famous as a metallurgist specialist, and also as a food chemist. And he said, “Well, you know, if you look at how these oils are made and you go to the factory and you see what's leftover and left on the side, they use all kinds of stuff to ‘purify' their oils.” And I said, “What do you mean?” And he talked about how they use nickel to pull out certain chemical components, and how they use this type of sand, which is not so healthy for us to make the oil the way it is, right, the color that it is, to take away the smell because the smell is something that people don't like. And he says, “You know, if you just look at the way that they make the oils, it's disgusting.” I said, “Well, how come you don't say anything?” He goes, “You know, the companies are so powerful. They are so deceptive in the way that they make things. They know exactly what the government requires and they stay very narrowly within that law, but they don't tell you about the other stuff that is going on.”

So, there was this whole scandal about three months ago where this super-duper fit cricket player who was the brand ambassador for rice bran oil here, he was all over the TV, “Eat this rice bran oil. See how fit I am.” And it said on there, “Prevent heart attacks.” And he had a heart attack. And everyone's like, “Okay. Wait. So, do you eat the rice bran oil and cook with it, and then you got a heart attack, or do you not use it and that's why you got a heart attack, but you just randomly endorsed this brand? Like, what's going on?” And the company immediately stopped the ads and took it off the market and investigated it. And I asked Dr. Shastri and he said, “You know what rice bran oil has in it? You know what these different oils have in it? Just stick to coconut oil, ghee, mustard oil, and sesame oil. And if you're in the west, olive oil.”

These are the five oils that have been around for time immemorial. The king of oils is called sesame oil. It is the best oil to pull toxins out of the body. That's why we put sesame oil under our feet at night before we go to bed. It's why we should do our oil pulling with sesame oil and not coconut oil because sesame oil has a property. Sesame oil actually whitens your teeth if you do oil pulling with it every day. Sesame oil will also help ground your teeth into the canals that they're in. So, it keeps them really healthy and robust, keeps the gingiva very healthy. So, I oftentimes tell people, “Just change your coconut oil over for sesame, the good unrefined.”

Ben:  Yeah. I was going to say not all sesame oil was created equal. Even like a cold expeller pressed canola oil–again, I'm still not a huge fan of canola oil, but it's better than the majority of the canola oils that you'll find that are exposed to higher heats and higher pressures. But the sesame oil, you're correct, I've looked into this and it does need to be a really good unrefined sesame oil because not all these oils are created equal. But both mustard oil and sesame oil, correct me if I'm wrong, don't require in most cases as much of the heat, of the pressure, and of the distillates that are used that are often synthetics for the extraction of those from the mustard seed or from the sesame seed.

So, in someone who's up and down across the board swearing off all vegetable and plant-based oils, there are a few, like coconut, or sesame, or mustard, for example, that would be okay depending on the extraction method used to produce them, right?

Bhaswati:  And how are you going to know those things. I mean, they can come and read from you because you've done this homework, but most people don't bother to do this kind of homework. And they don't think logically about what was around a thousand years ago. Those people that lived a thousand years ago obviously lived to produce us. So, they kept the knowledge of these oils as the oils to use. And these are the ones in the shastras, the ancient Ayurvedic books. And they say mustard oil is very heating, so it's very good in certain parts of the country where you get very good quality mustard oil and you get good mustard growing in the soil.

So, you want to have it be local if you can for mustard oil. Not everyone enjoys mustard oil. There are people that can't stand it because they just did grow up with it. There are also people that can't stand sesame oil because they didn't grow up with it. So, if you look at what Bharat–Bharat is the ancient name for India, right? India just started in 1947. But if you go back 10,000 years, Bharat, the culture of where Ayurveda was, was basically from the eastern border of Iran all the way down to Indonesia. Indonesia means the islands of India. Indonesia. So, if you look at how many different types of climates, and people, and ethnicities there were in that large expanse between Afghanistan and Indonesia, you see that there are a lot of different types of seeds growing and seed oils, and how to extract those seed oils.

And whether it's cold-pressed here, people will go to the market, that we have a wholesale market here. You have to take your own jar. You go to the guy and he will take–he will only make coconut oil, mustard oil, and sesame oil. You go to him and he will fresh squeeze it using a hand wooden press, and he'll do it right in front of you. You give him the container. He fills it for you, and then he charges you. It's a little bit more expensive, but you see it being made. And that will last you for as long as whatever your consumption rate is. And so, I had coconut oil made that way, and it is so different from the stuff that we buy in the bottles. Absolutely, because those bottles, if you see how clear that oil stays, you know that they're putting something in it.

So, again, I asked Dr. Shastri and he said, “You know, they don't have to put all the ingredients in because if they are for preserving, or for binding, or for coloring, or for, whatever, and they're less than a certain percentage, they don't have to note them.” There's all kinds of little, little rules and guidelines for these companies so that they can have processes and not have to claim them. For example, in America, did you know that one of the natural preservatives of milk is sugar? And so, they will put sugar into milk as a natural preservative, and they never put it on the label. They'll just say 100% milk.

Ben:  And the other thing about mustard oil, by the way, is I do know it does have a certain amount of this erucic acid in it that can be toxic in high doses. So, it's not something you'd want as like a staple, especially as an edible oil in your routine. You'd use it more like a condiment in small amounts, right?

Bhaswati:  I was going to mention the erucic acid. If you are getting the refined oil, you'll get more of that erucic acid, which is why mustard oil is “forbidden” as a cooking oil in the U.S. However, if you know where to get it, which every Indian from Bengal does, we–I shouldn't speak too much about it because I don't want to lose my supply, but we get the mustard oil and it's unrefined, and it actually doesn't have so much erucic acid in it. And I use it for cooking. I use it to fry my vegetables, sauté my vegetables. I use it to make my papadum if I'm going to have this–you know what papadum is, right, this bean cracker thing?

Ben:  Yeah, yeah.

Bhaswati:  If I'm going to do any kind of quick frying, I use mustard oil.

Ben:  Well, theoretically, you could just get mustard seeds, right? And you could use like a mortar and pestle and grind them up, and then just use a carrier oil like coconut, or I suppose a high heat cooking fat like ghee or olive oil, and just boil down the mustard seeds in that oil, and then just strain it through a cheesecloth. And you'd probably have something very similar like a mustard seed oil, yeah.

Bhaswati:  So, what you're talking about is a hybrid process. In Ayurveda, one of the things we think of is the inherent Virya and the heat of it. So, mustard oil is very heating. Coconut oil is cooling. And you don't want to mix them because they get confused as to what their nature is supposed to be. Ghee is cooling, but ghee has this unique ability of taking on the properties of whatever it's mixed with. So, you can actually mix ghee with other things, whether they are herbs or whether they are other oils. But with oils, the other oils, the coconut, or sesame, or mustard, you don't want to be mixing those so much because of the inherent sense of heat that they are going to bring into the gut when it arrives there. It's a conversation about enthalpy and what's happening in the gut with these molecules.

And I've been trying to translate these Sanskrit texts. I've had to relearn Ayurveda. I was lucky I grew up in a family where I learned the mantras of Ayurveda and of the religious mantras. So, I learned some Sanskrit. But to understand the medical textbooks and Sanskrit is so interesting because the translations are very poor. And so, when I sit with the wise men, the guru, and learn what these translations actually say, they talk about the processes by which we make certain foods, and how wrong processes will completely change the properties, and therefore, create chaos in your gut because your gut doesn't understand what it is. It's no longer a product of nature. See, that hybrid oil you made is not made in nature, that mustard oil mixed with the coconut oil, and fried, and then sautéed, and then filtered. The stomach's going to say, “Where is this from? Who made this? And this conglomerate of oil molecules, what is this? Okay. Let's sit down with it and figure out how to digest it.” And so, therefore, it becomes difficult to digest. Now, that's fine if you have a very strong fire. If you have a huge appetite, then if you eat that oil, you'll feel more satiated more quickly because it's so heavy for your gut. But for the average person, especially one that tends to be constipated, you don't want to be mixing stuff that's going to make it hard to digest because your stomach and your intestines are already doing something that they're getting constipated.

Ben:  Okay. That makes sense. Now, I just looked at the clock and we have barely even gotten through the morning routine. So, quick review, and then let's keep going. We'll get through as much as we can here.

Bhaswati:  We ended up at the toilet, which was a good place to stop.

Ben:  I know. Exactly. Now, we'll definitely go through a bit more, although I'm already telling you guys, you got to get the book to really dive into because I doubt we're going to have time to get into like the evening routine and some of the other stuff. But let's keep going with the morning routine at least. So, you wake up, you get out of bed, you bend fully down, you touch the ground with your hands, you say that prayer before stepping onto the earth, you take a little sip of water once you've wandered into the bathroom, like from your palm. And then, if you're ready to head towards the toilet, you can head towards the toilet. If you're not feeling the urge to evacuate, you can maybe do a few other exercises to get the abdominal muscles contracted. And then, after you've done your bladder and your bowel clearing, what comes after that?

Bhaswati:  Okay. So, after clearing the bladder in the bowels, you wash your hands well, that's number six. Then you wash your face, splashing cold water, first on the eyes because they're highest up. And then, second, a little bit of water into each nostril, and then expelling it completely.

Ben:  In each nostril, really?

Bhaswati:  Yeah. So, basically, I take a palm, and I put it under the faucet, and it fills up. And then, I close one nostril and I inhale in, and then I exhale out, and then I do the same thing other side. I'm making the noise so you can understand what I'm doing. And so, that will clean out the nose, and it will also line it with a little bit of water so that if you have any dried stuff inside there, it'll start–

Ben:  Like leftover cocaine from the night before or anything like that, just rinse it right out?

Bhaswati:  Yeah. Or like [01:06:51] _____, yeah, yeah. And so, it'll expel. And then, you swish some water in your mouth. So, that's the seventh one. And then, you clean your teeth. And they don't recommend toothpaste, and they certainly don't recommend the commercial toothpaste.

Ben:  Now, just really quickly before we get to cleaning the teeth, you're literally just putting water into your palm, like cold water into your palm, sticking your face down in there and just breathing into your nostrils?

Bhaswati:  Well, I don't stick my whole face in there, I just stick my nose in there.

Ben:  Okay. Well, your nose, I guess, yeah.

Bhaswati:  My nostril.

Ben:  Huh. And that's not super uncomfortable?

Bhaswati:  No, it's not. And it actually feels good because you clean out whatever was there. And sometimes there's a lot of dryness there, so that water feels really good.

Ben:  Okay.

Bhaswati:  It just moistens everything.

Ben:  Yeah. I know later on in the book, you have another tiff, and we may not get to your travel routine on this podcast, but I did adopt something from that book for the dry nostrils I get when I travel. I carry a little bit of oil. I think you recommend sesame oil in the book, but you line the interior of the nostril before you get on the plane. Wash your hands first with a little bit of oil. And the nasal passages feel far more lubricated after I've been on the plane for a while where the air is so dry.

Bhaswati:  So, you tried it.

Ben:  Mm-hmm.

Bhaswati:  It's amazing. It's amazing for me to hear people bring it into their lives, especially Americans who have no context for using it. They haven't studied as much as you have. They don't have any other point of interest. They just want to travel more easily. And they try and they say, “Oh my gosh, I put the sesame oil under my feet, and behind my ears, and into my nose, and I just felt so much more lubricated, I didn't feel dry and tight. And I felt like I had more energy when I came out. Is that my imagination?” And I said, “No. You're lubricated. You're not losing your essence out from the dry air.” We have something like 10% less oxygen in the air cabin. It's artificially hydrated, and there's this re-filtering system going on in the airplane.

And so, it's not really good for us to be breathing all that airplane air for, I don't know, 5 hours, 10 hours, however long your flight is. So, I usually am the last board, like one of the last people to board, and I try to get off as soon as I can. And I just don't like being in that atmosphere. I understand it's unnecessary for those of us who fly, but the moistening of the body is so key to keeping well. That's one of the big lessons of Ayurveda is use the right oils and keep yourself moist because your nature is that you're just one big lipid bilayer in a bunch of cells, several trillion cells, and you're a bunch of little fat blobs, right? And inside those fat blobs are cells, they're nuclei and different cell organelles and all that, but the outsides are all these different fat collections. And so, for people to think, “Oh, I should eat no fat, low fat,” is so naïve. It just reflects such a lack of ability to understand the biochemistry, the rich biochemistry, which is known in the modern world. It's like it's been totally taken upside down with the whole no fat and cholesterol-busting 50 years that we went through.

Ben:  So, the oil is not necessarily something you do in the morning inside the nostrils, but you do do the washing of the nostrils, and then you said you start into the face?

Bhaswati:  Yeah. So, first, you wash your eyes, and then you wash your nose, and then you wash your mouth, and then you clean your teeth. So, using a stick or like a toothbrush that has natural bristles, or now you can–I mean, this is what people used to do. So, what I did as a child, we had a neem tree outside my mom's house, and we would walk over and get a branch, and we would take it from the tree. We'd ask permission from the tree, we'd take it from the tree, and then we would rip it down the long way and give half to a friend, or my uncle, or whoever was with me, and half to me, and then I would bite on one end of it so it would splay it and stick that into my mouth and brush breath and it was very bitter. And I would suck on the juice of it and it would basically clean out my mouth. And then, I would spit out the very bitter juice. And that was it. That was the tooth brushing. You didn't require all of this toothpaste, and dental floss, and mouthwash, and Listerine, and all this other stuff that people think is so necessary because the commercials teach you that.

Ben:  Yeah. And by the way, here in the U.S., if it's more readily accessible, stone fruit trees work really well, like apple or pear trees. We have a small orchard at our house, and the twigs from the apple or the pear tree also work really well for this because I've come across this. I've interviewed a few different dentists on the show, and they come back a few times, this idea of a stick, a small twig, working pretty well for cleaning up the teeth. And so, you just keep one in your bathroom, huh, not the whole tree, but the twigs?

Bhaswati:  The twig. So, if you bring a branch home, you can actually use it for three, four, five days, depending on how long you brought it, because you only need a stick that's about four inches long. And then, you cut it the long way, so that's two. Once you cut it, you have to really use it. So, you give half to your sister or whoever. But you have that for a few days, and you begin with your bottom teeth first, and then you brush behind your teeth on top, and there's a whole order, and then the gum line you're supposed to do. And then, you rinse out your mouth with clean water, and then you scrape your tongue. So, people say, “Well, I scrape my tongue first. Is that wrong?” Well you can scrape your tongue first, but then after you brush your teeth and all the stuff that you collected off your sides of your teeth fall onto your tongue, now your tongue is dirty again. So, better to just scrape your tongue at the end.

And I go from the back of my tongue toward the front, and then rinse again. But I usually try to look at my tongue before I scrape it because if you have a lot of crud on it, like white exudate, that means you're not digesting your food completely. Whereas if your tongue is the natural red of your tongue, like after you scrape it, it's the same color as before you scraped it, then you have no exudates or undigested particles in your gut. You are what's called Nirama. Nirama means without toxins and unprocessed food, digestible articles in your gut. But if you have stuff that hasn't been digested fully, and your gut is not digesting 100%, then it will give you that signal on your tongue. So, that's why tongue diagnosis is a really good part of Ayurvedic medicine.

And I've been using it for years. I remember when I first started as an allopathic doctor to bring Ayurvedic things into my practice. I could easily look at people's tongues because it's kind of sort of part of the American medical full exam, the physical exam. And then, I would take their pulse, and they would think I'm just taking their heart rate, but what I was taking is their vata, pitta, kapha, their full pulse. And so, I had learned how to do this and incorporate it into my allopathic routine. And I found that it was so interesting that the tongue really did predict a lot of stuff. So, when I would ask them questions and they said, “Yes, as a matter of fact, that's true,” I'd be like, “Wow. How accurate was that?” And I was so fascinated by the predictive value of these techniques. If you are super observant, like you are, you understood that you feel cooler when you have the ghee, or you understood that you feel more lubricated, and you wonder if that's real. It is real, but these are very subtle clues that your body is giving you.

Ben:  And you use copper for that tongue scraping, right?

Bhaswati:  Yeah. So, they say that copper is best, plastic is terrible, stainless steel is the poor man's choice. I actually use silver, but not everyone can afford silver. So, yeah. So, I travel with my silver everywhere because silver actually lowers the pitta, copper lowers the kapha, and gold will lower the vata, but most people don't have a gold one.

Ben:  Yeah. You got to be pretty balling to have a gold tongue scraper. I use the one I think from the company called The Dirt. They do some teeth products and they have a tongue scraper that I use.

Bhaswati:  Is it made of pure copper?

Ben:  I believe it's pure copper, even though I guess I haven't asked for a laboratory certificate of analysis. I think it's–

Bhaswati:  No, no. You just look at it.

Ben:  Yeah.

Bhaswati:  Look at copper. Does it get dark and brown on its own very easily, or does it stay shiny and copper-like?

Ben:  I feel like they stay pretty shiny.

Bhaswati:  That means there's a coating of chrome on it. It means it's not pure copper.

Ben:  Oh, okay.

Bhaswati:  Because copper, the whole thing with copper is that it does tarnish. That's the whole story of copper. Like the ancient scriptures say that copper was such a great metal, but it would always tarnish. And so, they invented ways to keep it from tarnishing, and they added zinc to it and made brass, they added tin to it and made bronze, they added five metals to it and made kansa. They made all kinds of mixes with copper because copper on its own tarnishes.

Ben:  Okay. That's interesting. Okay. I may have to upgrade to gold. We'll see. Okay. So, we've got our tongue scraping, we do the teeth, and then tongue scraping like three to four long movements from the back of the tongue towards the front, and then you wash your mouth again. What step are we on after the tongue scraping?

Bhaswati:  So, that's the ninth step of tongue scraping. Then, especially in the fall and in the winter when the air is dry, you want to swish your mouth with sesame oil because sesame oil also lubricates the nerves. You have the maxillary and the trigeminal nerves and its branches, and they come out in your cheeks. And so, when you can swish with the sesame oil, it's really good for lubricating the nerves. I use it when people have facial palsy to help people regain the lubrication in their nerves that have dried out from the palsy that's happened. People have TMJ disorder. It's one of the only cures for TMJ disorder. And it brightens the teeth, it makes them white again, it strengthens the teeth. And I always wondered about that, but then I started trying it and people are like, “Your teeth look white. Did you go to the dentist?”

My dentist always challenges me and says, “When's the last time you went to the dentist?” I said, “Oh, no.” And I feel really guilty because I actually don't go. And he said to me–he was my classmate and he said, “Well, you don't have any plaque buildup. You don't have anything going on bad in your mouth. Did you just visit a dentist?” I said, “No. I use Ayurvedic tooth powder, and I swish, and I do all these routines.” And he didn't like it, and I just teased him. I said, “Why?” He says, “You're taking business away from me.” I said, “Come on, don't you want the health of your patients?” And he said, “Well, I need the health of my business.” And he was really straightforward about it. And he says, “You know what, it's not my fault if people can't take care of themselves, but when they don't take care of themselves, I'm here, and that's what gives me my livelihood.” And so, I looked at him as a little sour-faced when I saw him say that, but I get it. I get that that's the agenda of most modern medical people who are trying to survive in their business, and it's sad, but I mean, we can talk about the healthcare system at another time.

So, when you swish the mouth with sesame oil, that's your tenth step, by the way, and you lubricate your mouth, and you feel it, you–some people can't stand the taste of that oil. So, what I tell them to do the first time is to take some oil on their finger and swipe the inside of their cheeks, the inside, both sides, and a little on their gums, and a little inside their teeth, and then put some hot water in their mouth. And that allows them not to feel gross that they're putting so much oil in their mouth, but they actually get the sense of the heat that allows the oil that they did spread on the inside of their cheek to have some penetration. And then, over time, they switch over from that hot water to full oil. You have to meet people where they're at. So, if they're really scared of this or they can't stand it, but it's something that's so good for them, then I've found all different ways to start where they are and then take them up to where they can do what you do, which is swish full-on with oil.

So, as you walk out of the bathroom, they say the next thing you should do is now that you've cleaned your five senses, you should fill them now with beauty, and heart connection, and good things, what's called Su. Su is the prefix for harmony or good things. So, they say you should look at something auspicious, a photo of a loved one, or a deity, or something that makes your heart warm. You should light a candle, look at the sun safely if it's come up. You should light some incense and smell something pleasant, and you should say an inspiring prayer so you can hear yourself, hum a mantra or a tune. You should touch something soft like a flower or a beautiful soft cloth. You should taste something like a leaf of tulsi.

So, many people have a tulsi plant in their east side of their house. And so, they go out to their tulsi plant. Even in America, I have a lot of people who keep a tulsi plant. They say that if you can grow tulsi in your house, it brings prosperity. And it's amazing to see people who can't grow tulsi, how they actually have a lot of debt and a lot of weird problems going on. And then I tell them, “Really take care of this tulsi,” and they do, and suddenly, their whole life changes. And the question is why? But tulsi is just one of those plants that is highly revered in India.

Ben:  Tulsi is T-U-L-S-I, right?

Bhaswati:  Yeah. So, there's that whole tulsi teas group, the organic India teas.

Ben:  Yeah.

Bhaswati:  So, then the last thing–so that was number 11 is to fill your five senses. And then, look in the mirror. Why? Because maybe you have like a little flick of toothpaste, or, I don't know, your hair is out of order. You want to present yourself for the day. And as you walk out of the bedroom into either where the family is or out, you want to prepare yourself. So, you look in the mirror, that's number 12, and then you head to the kitchen to sip your first beverage or hot water, or take a walk.

Ben:  Oh, yeah. I like to fill my senses, by the way, by just slipping outside, especially in the spring and summer barefoot, looking out of the trees. Usually, I'll listen to something, do a few little stretches and stuff. So, it's such a good point. I guess I don't look at myself in the mirror unless I happen to be going out and about because I have a home office. So, sometimes it'll be 11 o'clock in the morning and my wife will be like, “You have food all over your face, and you got this weird white streak in your hair, and there's like, I don't know, charcoal powder on your left cheek.” I'm like, “Oh, thanks.” So, I probably should look in the mirror a little bit earlier than I actually do, unless I'm doing one of my shameless Instagram selfies. In which case, I actually do a little bit of a cleanup.

But what's interesting is that people probably heard us go through this, like in the past hour and a half or however long we've been talking, and they're like, “How in the heck do you do all that? Do you have a life?” But as you so astutely note in the book, and how I have found just incorporating a lot of these things, tongue scraping, and coconut oil pulling, and face washing, I got to start doing the water snorting, I forgot about that, and the mouth rinsing, and then filling the senses, then getting on with the day. Like, aside from the actual bowel movement part of things, I think you mentioned in the book–it's like 10, 11 minutes to do all of that, and then you're off to the races having optimized yourself from this Ayurvedic standpoints. It's not doable for people. It's a pretty practical early morning routine.

Bhaswati:  You're cleaning out your senses. Your five senses are what allow you to interact with the world around you. You are an isolated person without your ears, your eyes, your smell capacity, your mouth, your sense of touch. Without those things, you cannot interact with all the information in our environment. Those are the five senses. And so, Ayurveda says keep them clean, spend some time every morning getting them clean. And then, the first thing you do is you fill them with good stuff. So, for you, going out and smelling that fresh air is your smell. Your eyes, you're looking at the beautiful trees, that's it. Like, you can get all of that done just by going outside. Not everyone can because they live in an apartment in some urban area.

So, for you, you can do that in one step outdoor. So, when you do it and it's 11 minutes, it is an investment in keeping your senses clean and allowing you to see clearly. When you don't for years and years, and you're chronically not cleaning your eyes or your ears, you start losing your various abilities. They say use it or lose it. And Ayurveda says, “Keep it clean. Be appreciative, have gratitude for your senses. Treat them well because if you don't, you'll get miscommunication from them. If you don't hear things properly, you can get into fights with your children, or your spouse, or your parents because you heard them say something, but they said something else.” This happens when people are hard of hearing and they say, “Why did you say such and such?” “No, I didn't say that.” “That's what I heard.” “That's not what I said.”

And that miscommunication or–there are fables in Ayurveda that say that if you misperceive the wrong thing, like the classic is you're walking down the street and you see a branch on the ground, but you don't see a branch, you think it's a snake. And your heart starts beating, and your blood pressure goes up, and you panic, and your adrenaline starts going, and then you run away because in the evening shadows, you saw a snake. And then, you come back the next morning and you're walking, you see in the same place where the snake was, there's a branch there, and you say, “Oh my god, last night, I saw a snake, but it wasn't. There's a branch. I misperceived it.” And you might smile at yourself and say, “Wow. I wonder why I thought it was a snake.” But that's the classic example of misperception and how you just put your whole body into a panic unnecessarily. So, Ayurveda says, “Keep your eyes good, and then you'll have good night vision, and then you won't see a snake where there's a branch laying there on the ground.”

Ben:  Yeah. Well, I mean, that idea of turning on the senses in the morning is such an important concept, and I think a lot of people don't think about–sometimes even when I go hunting, sometimes I'll do like sananga Amazonian eye drops, or I'll microdose with psilocybin or something to really turn on the senses. Same thing for before, for example, making love, you light incense sticks and put on really nice music, and look into your partner's eyes, and turn on the senses there. But how often do we think about turning all the senses when we get out of bed in the morning? And this concept is just woven throughout your entire book. Like, for example, like I mentioned, we scratched the surface of the book, we probably got through the first few pages of the book, but then you get into evening routines. You get into the idea of basically like skin, nails, hair, shaving, haircut, cleaning your feet, cleaning your perineum, how to take a bath using Ayurvedic concepts, and choosing whether you dress. You have your whole travel kit in here. You have of course the wind down evening routine, the dinner routine, even information on alcohol, and smoking, and sex, and intimacy.

So, it's a really good book, and I feel bad that we're out of time right now, and I honestly–I have to go pretty soon anyways because I have another appointment. And sometimes there's a billion questions I want to ask that I didn't get time to ask, but I have to tell folks. If you're listening in and you just want like a practical guide, you don't have to do everything in the book, like don't guilt-trip yourself. But I mean, just getting it and trying some of this stuff out, and seeing how you feel, and going with a few of the things that really stick with you I think would be incredibly beneficial, which is why I wanted to interview you, Bhaswati, about the book and just make sure people are aware of it because it really is, in my opinion, just like a great manual for people who may not be able to take a deep, deep dive into Ayurvedic medicine, but just want to know, “Okay. What can I do in my routine right now?”

And so, I'm going to link to the book at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/ayurveda. Bhaswati, if you want to email me any of the things where you've maybe got, for example, the article that you wrote about the 12 steps that we just went through or anything like that, I will also add that to the book, or to the shownotes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/ayurveda. And then, if you're listening in and you have your own follow-up questions, or comments, or feedback, things you've woven in from Ayurveda into your own routine, definitely pipe in there in the comments section because I love to hear your guys' thoughts. And I go read all those comments and it helps me put together even better podcasts and interviews. And so, leave a comment, too, and join the discussion over there, and that's at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/ayurveda.

Bhaswati, I realized that we again scratched the surface, not to sound like a broken record, but I really, really think this is going to be cool for folks. And we may have to do a part two where I ask you one question about the evening routine, and then we just geek out for another 90 minutes from there. So, I feel like we could rabbit hole all over the place.

Bhaswati:  Yeah. And we didn't even talk about taste and taste receptors.

Ben:  I know. We'll have to get there, too, because you have some interesting stuff about that. I didn't know I had taste receptors on my testicles, for example, but apparently, I do.

Bhaswati:  Yeah.

Ben:  Yeah. I learned that in your book. Anyways though, thank you so much for joining us.

Bhaswati:  How did you feel sitting on the airplane and thinking about the fact that you have taste receptors down there?

Ben:  You know, I didn't dwell on that too much while I was on the airplane, but it is an interesting concept, and you unpack it in the book. It reminded me of the idea that you got photoreceptors all over your body, not just in your eye. You also have taste receptors all over your body, like, there's so much we don't know about the body, or that isn't common knowledge that I think is just fascinating and really affects the way that we should be treating our body. So, although I haven't yet tried to eat with my balls, maybe that'll be the title of this podcast, how to eat with your balls.

Bhaswati:  But you're not supposed to use your taste receptors for eating. You're supposed to experience the taste receptors in different parts of your body as ways for the brain to trigger certain things to happen, certain hormones, certain enzymes, certain chemicals to coordinate with each other. Those taste receptors down near your testicles actually pick up some of the smells and chemicals that come out when you poop, and they translate that information.

Ben:  Okay. We don't have any time left to unpack that, so I have to cut you off there because literally, I'm 10 minutes late for a call I got to be on. But maybe we can pick up if we do another show on taste receptors on your testicles, and then take things from there. Or the name of your next book can be “The Testicles Taste,” or something like that, “Tasty testicles,” I don't know.

Bhaswati:  My next book is actually about sex and Ayurveda.

Ben:  I will read that for sure.

Bhaswati:  Yeah. It's a very intense book, and yeah. So, the nutrition book is there, the sex book is there. There's another book on water that was also pulled out from this book because this book was way too thick for them, but there's so much that Ayurveda offers. Yeah. So, thanks for having me.

Ben:  Yeah. And send me the book when it comes out. I'll totally check it out, and let's take things from there. And again, for all of you listening in, it's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/ayurveda. Grab the book called “Everyday Ayurveda.” Bhaswati, thank you so much. I could talk to you forever and we'll do this again, I'm sure.

Bhaswati:  Thanks, Ben.

Ben:  Alright, folks. Well, I'm Ben Greenfield along with Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya, and hopefully, I didn't butcher that too much, signing out from BenGreenfieldFitness.com. Have an amazing week.

Well, thanks for listening to today's show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I've ever recommended for hormone, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also, know that all the links, all the promo codes, that I mentioned during this and every episode, helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. When you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, use the promo codes that I generate, because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.

 

 

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 doshasof 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 teawith 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: Coconutghee,mustardolivesesame 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)
    • Toothbrushwith 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 copperor 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 violator
  • 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 scraperBen mentions

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

  • Sesame oilis 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
  • Sanangadrops to clear the eyes (use code BEN to save 10%)

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

– Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya

– Gear And Food:

– Other Resources:

Episode sponsors:

Ben Recommends: Curated by yours truly, each and every item on this list will take you one step closer to living your best, healthiest, most fulfilling life—every hour, every minute, and every second of every day.

Kion Ground Coffee: Carefully selected and roasted for taste, purity, high antioxidants and health. BGF listeners save 20% off your first order with code BGF20.

Organifi Gold: A new take on an ancient secret: Pain-soothing herbs, incredible antioxidants, and phytonutrients all in one delicious, soothing “Golden Milk” nighttime tea! Receive a 20% discount on your entire order when you use discount code BENG20.

Ra Optics: Purchase a pair of Ra Optics Day and Night Lenses to optimize sleep quality, energy, levels, and health in the modern, electrically-lit world. Receive 10% off your order when you order through my link.

Chili Technologies: ChiliSleep makes both the chiliPAD and OOLER, innovative options that fit over the top of your mattress and use water to control the temperature of your bed and help lower your core body temperature to trigger deep, relaxing sleep.

 


Ask Ben a Podcast Question


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *