Saturday, July 21, 2007

Reduces Cortisol and Other Markers of Stress

One of the measurements used in the UCSD study was the salivary cortisol level. Cortisol is a hormone related to stress, and high cortisol levels show high stress. In the patients who took Worry Free for three months, the mean salivary cortisol levels went down 2.77 nmol/l.

Again, The Council provides an explanation from Maharishi Ayurveda. There are three subdoshas that govern the mind, he says. Prana Vata is the subdosha of Vata that governs the brain, sensory perception and the mind. Tarpaka Kapha is the subdosha of Kapha that governs the cerebral-spinal fluid. And because acquisition, retention and recall originate in the heart, Sadhaka Pitta (the subdosha of Pitta that governs the emotions and their effect on the heart) is also involved.

"When people overuse or misuse their minds, the subdoshas governing the mind counteract that overuse by producing more fluid," says The Council. "It's similar to the extra saliva that is produced by the taste buds when you're about to eat chilies or other hot foods. The extra saliva protects the whole digestive system, and prevents the chilies from creating an abrasive effect."

When your mind is strained by engaging in excessive mental work, the subdoshas go out of balance. Sadhaka Pitta begins to create a burning effect and Prana Vata creates a drying effect. Then Tarpaka Kapha generates extra fluid to counteract this effect and protect the brain.

But if you overuse your mind over and over and over again, the lubricating value of Tarpaka Kapha becomes excessive, and begins to diminish the metabolizing fire (medhya agni) in the gaps between dhi, dhriti and smriti. t's similar to the effect of too much moisture in the digestion -- it can put out the digestive fire (agni).

When this happens, ama (toxins) start to be created. Ama accumulates in the gaps and channels of the brain, and mixes with the fluids created by Tarpaka Kapha, creating a harmful type of cortisol, the indicator of stress.

"Cortisol in itself is not bad, in fact it's created by the body to protect the brain," says an ayurvedic expert from The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians. "But when Tarpaka Kapha becomes excessive and there is ama in the physiology, it does more harm than good. That's when anxiety attacks and other signs of too much stress take over."

The reason that the subjects' cortisol levels when down after using Worry Free is because the Muskroot and Greater Galangal enhance the medhya agni, says The Council. "Medhya agni began to burn brightly again, ama was no longer produced and no ama was no longer mixing with Tarpaka Kapha. Thus only a good quality of cortisol was released, which actually protected the brain from stress. That's why the salivary cortisol levels went down."

As mentioned earlier, Muskroot and Greater Galangal also help clear the channels of ama, as does Winter Cherry. "Winter Cherry is such a sharp, cleansing herb that it in itself self-sufficient, but when combined with Muskroot and Greater Galangal, it becomes an extremely effective agent for clearing the channels, enhancing medhya agni and reducing ama," says The Council.

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