Too much Tejas

Question from one of the readers: Whenever I do tratak for some days i get acne, mouth ulcer and dry lips what is the reason for this symptoms?

Ghee

Ghee in moderation helps increase ojas

Trataka increases tejas or heat in the body. You need to make sure you drink plenty of water and also avoid foods in your diet that increases tejas. So avoid sour and hot spices, chili peppers, sesame, meat, alcohol, onion, garlic, honey, chai, coffee or any other foods, herbs etc that increase heat in body. Consume saunf, mishri, fresh coconut, coconut oil, ghee, dates, rice, wheat, sweet potato, kheer etc in moderation to increase ojas. Eat simple foods that have a watery gravy instead of dry sabzi. soak 10 almonds at night and next day peel and have them with some milk. Also soak sabza seeds in water till they become gooey then add them to sherbets, milk shakes, puddings, desserts etc

Ojas-The sap of Life, Vigor, Longevity, Radiant Health and Luster

What is Ojas?

According to Ayurveda, Ojas is the subtle essence that is responsible for life, radiant health, strong immunity, vigor, longevity and overall well being of an individual.

The subtle essence called ojas that is extracted from the proper digestion and efficient metabolism of food nourishes the bodily tissues of blood, plasma and lymph, muscle, fat, bones, bone marrow, semen and ojas.

Ojas also forms the basic material of the five sense organs, ligaments and lubricating fluids. Improper digestion leads to production of ama or toxins in the body.  The accumulation of ama/toxins in the bodily tissues is what leads to disease.   

The heart is the seat of the ojas. From the heart, 10 blood vessels referred to as mahaphala carry ojas to the rest of the body. Ojas is affected by not only the food we take in and its healthy digestion, but also by the sensory impressions we take in. Hence it is important to protect the physical and emotional health of the heart.

Ojas is described to have the color of ghee, the taste of honey, the smell of fried paddy/rice grain.

Signs of healthy Ojas:

A person with healthy ojas possesses:

  •    Clear radiant complexion
  •    Strong immunity against infectious disease (seldom falls sick)
  •    Cheerfulness, energy and enthusiasm,
  •    Youthfulness
  •    High threshold for stress,
  •    Mental clarity
  •    Creativity
  •    Serenity

 Signs of weakened Ojas:

Signs of a person with weak ojas :

  •     Timid
  •     Weak
  •     Anxious
  •     Depressed and  always worried
  •     Lacks luster/poor complexion
  •     Poor appetite
  •     Feel sluggish/fatigued
  •     Emaciated
  •    Suffers from disorders of the sense organs.

NOTE: Too much Ojas is also not a good thing.  It can lead to diabetes, high cholesterol etc.

What weakens Ojas?

Ojas is diminished by under eating, overeating, eating when previous food has not yet been digested, consumption of poor quality food that results in the blocking of the channels, consumption of stale foods, canned foods, fermented foods like cheese, meat, irregular diet, excessive exercise, fasting, negative emotional stressors such as anxiety, anger, sadness, grief, hatred, jealousy, long held resentment, fear, grief, consumption of alcohol, smoking,  lack of sleep, excessive discharge of mucus, blood, semen and other excreta, with age and injury by other organisms, undue exposure to wind and sun, excessive sexual activity.

What promotes or revitalizes Ojas? 

Consumption of foods that share the same properties of Ojas help increase Ojas. Ojas has the 10 properties of sweet, cold, soft, unctuous, smooth, viscous, slimy, heavy, dull and clear.  Hence a balanced saatvik diet of fresh foods, cow’s milk, ghee, fruits, rice,  sweet foods like dates, natural seeds and nuts like almonds (soaked overnight and skin removed before eating on empty stomach), healthy eating habits, moderation in exercise and diet, and consumption of rasayans (like Chyawanprash) help promote or revitalize ojas. Bathing and use of gemstones also help revitalize ojas. 

How can one protect Ojas?

Since Ojas is the result of the quality of food we eat, its proper digestion and efficient metabolism and the sensory impressions we imbibe in our daily life, in order to protect ojas it is vital to protect the mind and heart from emotional strain and stress and to adopt a healthy balanced diet.

  • Nourish your physical health by eating meals in a pleasant environment in the company of people that you enjoy.  Eating meals with people engaged in unpleasant conversations, arguments etc leads to production of toxins
  • Eat at a moderate pace. Don’t eat in a hurry, while walking or driving.
  • Don’t eat when you are emotional, angry, upset etc. as negative emotions produce toxins/ama
  • Don’t eat if the previous meal still hasn’t been digested as that will lead to the production of ama/toxins. The accumulation of ama in the bodily tissues leads to disease.
  • Eat a balance meal.  In Ayurveda, a balanced meal consists of all the 6 major tastes in moderation: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, astringent, and pungent.   People of pitta constitutions should minimize or avoid hot, pungent, spicy foods as that will further aggravate the pitta (internal fire) which could further burn out the ojas.
  • Nourish your mind through regular meditation
  • Positive thinking

For depleted Ojas:

  • Soak 10 almonds in water overnight
  • Peel off the skins and blend in blender
  • Add a cup of hot milk*
  • Add a pinch of cardamom, a pinch of cardamom, a pinch of ginger powder and 1 tsp of ghee, saffron (optional)
  • Instead of date sugar one can use turbinado or brown sugar

This almond milk is great for building ojas.  Persons suffering from high cholesterol can skip ghee.  Person who have an imbalanced Kapha (overweight, excess mucus, sinusitis, edema etc) should also avoid soaked almonds and milk, but can consume dry almonds instead.

*Can substitute with soy or rice milk.

Recommended Reading: Tejas, Prana  

Resources:Charaka Samhita, Gabriel Van Loon, Yoga and Ayurveda, David Frawley, Secrets of the Pulse, Dr. Vasant Lad

 

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