Panchakarma – the five types of Shodhana

Shodhana or purification therapy is a core system for creating wellness within Ayurveda tradition. If our bodies are out of balance, due to unhealthy diet, stress and other factors, it becomes harder to maintain good health. In Ayurveda, the three doshas (the primary elements that constitute the body and mind) must be balanced for optimal health to be reached. Shodhana are widely used to rebalance doshas. The group of five therapies, collectively called panchakarma, helps purify the body and expel excess doshas. These are the five core shodhanas that make up the panchakarma:

Vaman (induced vomiting)

Vaman or emetic therapy is an Ayurveda therapy indicated for those who suffer from respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, coughs and asthma. This treatment helps to reduce the watery kapha dosha, which is associated with mucous accumulation. Several natural emetics (substances that induce vomiting) are used for this treatment. One of the most common is salt water which is combined with physical stimulus that activates the gag reflex to produce the desired effect.

Virechana (laxative therapy)

Virechana is a therapy involving the use of mild, natural laxatives. An excess of bile in the digestive system often underlies nausea, inflammation and other uncomfortable symptoms. Virechana is used in Ayurveda to purge excess bile and pitta, the dosha associated with this physical state. Common natural laxatives used in virechana include psyllium husks and prunes.

Basti (enema therapy)

The vata dosha is the main dosha affecting the colon and the digestive process. Imbalances in vata can lead to digestive discomfort, including constipation and gas. Basti is an Ayurveda treatment involving introduction of herbal preparations to the colon in liquid form. In addition to relieving digestive problems, this therapy also is used to alleviate conditions associated with vata such as arthritis, muscle spasms, fever and backache.

Nasya (nasal therapy)

 In Ayurveda the nose is seen as being the pathway to the brain and to consciousness. Medication given nasally is called nasya. There are six core types of nasal therapy. Pradhamana uses powders rather than oils, and these are given via the nose for head colds, nasal congestion and sinusitis. Bruhana Nasya uses ghee, oils, and other preparations. This is used for vata imbalances that contribute to headaches, anxiety and other problems. Your Ayurveda practitioner will inform you about the other nasya therapies and which will be best for your ailments.

Raktha Mokshana (blood-cleansing therapy)

Toxins that enter the bloodstream contribute to chronic infections and circulatory problems. Raktha Mokshana is an Ayurveda therapy involving controlled blood-letting. Extracting a small amount of blood stimulates the body to produce antitoxic substances which help to purify the blood and eliminate toxins.

For each therapy of the panchakarma, there are contra-indications – circumstances in which the therapy is not advised. For this reason, always use a trained Ayurveda practitioner who will put your health and your unique medical profile first.

4 Ways to Get a Better night’s sleep

If you’re a new mummy no doubt you are suffering from sleep deprivation or maybe even insomnia, it can feel like torture. Lack of sleep is disastrous for your mental health, appetite and metabolism.

Having realistic expectations of infant sleep can help. Beware of books that tell you how long and how often and when your baby should sleep. All babies are different, and some might learn to sleep easily and quickly (generally Kapha babies!). Other babies can’t learn to sleep for many months or even years (Vata babies!).

Between teething and illness and developmental leaps, even babies who generally sleep well will have periods of frequent waking throughout the night until the age of one or two years old. Add nightmares, toilet training and more children to the mix, and reliable sleep is not on the agenda for many years.

Rather than focussing on getting the baby to sleep, which is sometimes unrealistic, we can support the mother in other ways. New-born mothers need all the grounding, rejuvenating support they can get, and Ashishveda is perfect for the job.

Sleep Deprivation

It’s useful to work out the difference between sleep deprivation and insomnia. First-time mothers, in particular, can get insomnia whilst their body clock adjusts to the new rhythm. Sometimes the baby wakes a mother up and she hasn’t gotten the hang of getting back to sleep herself yet.

Insomnia can be a sign of a mental health problem. What is keeping you up at night – your baby or your mind? If your mind is being tricky see your doctor or healthcare provider for a referral to a mental health professional.

4 Ways to Get a Better night’s sleep

  1. Nutmeg, dates and warm milk are all foods that promote sleep. Sweet cherries are useful too, but only eat after about two weeks when bleeding from the birth is lighter.
  2. A power nap is a very short nap that ends before deep sleep. Ten or fifteen minutes is enough to reduce irritation and cognitive fatigue without leading to the dull heaviness you feel after a long nap. The benefits of a power nap last nearly three hours, so schedule yourself a power nap every time your baby sleeps to get you through the day. Ayurveda generally does not recommend sleeping during the day, but postpartum is an exception to the rule.
  3. Meditation, singing and breathing will all induce the same brain waves as sleep. Many spiritual seekers who have spent many hours praying or chanting report not needing many hours of sleep. Use any relaxation technique you enjoy during long hours spent feeding or rocking your baby. I have meditations that are perfect for beginners get in touch here if you’d like to download one.
  4. Oxytocin is the hormone that puts us to sleep, and it is also the hormone that helps us breastfeed. Let your baby feed you to sleep, not just the other way around!

Why not indulge yourself in one of life’s simple pleasures?

Ayurveda treatments delivered to your house in time for Christmas to de-stress and prepare you for the busy season ahead!

This is a special offer for one week only Dr Ashish Paul * will visit you in your own home and give you an Ayurveda Experience that you won’t forget in the privacy of your own home.

At the moment we are offering lots of special deals and incentives to celebrate the launch of our new Ayurveda fertility, Ayurveda rejuvenation, and Ayurveda heart health services.

If you can’t take time out, or simply prefer to be treated in your own home, our exclusive personal Home Visit service is the ideal choice for you. Whether your main focus is detoxing, weight loss, relaxation, stress management or pranayama we’re able to tailor the programme to your requirements. All that is needed is a room where we’re able to set up a treatment table and portable steam cabinet.

We can treat up to two people each day in the privacy of your home or at a venue of your choice anywhere in within London and the M25. All programmes will be tailored to your specific needs and requirements, and can be anything from five to twenty-eight days duration.

During the initial consultation, we’ll determine the ideal combination of treatments and therapies to best deliver the outcome you desire. We’ll advise and train you regarding nutrition too during your programme. SO what’s available?

Ayurveda Rejuvenation Programme

This five-day programme is a suitable option if you’d like a shorter programme. It’s ideal for recharging your batteries, relaxing your mind and gently purifying your body. You’ll receive a two-hour Abhyanga massage and Shirodhara therapy each day as well as practise gentle Pranayama exercises and meditation. Personal development sessions may also be given. Your diet will be light and vegetarian with fresh, organic vegetable juices, soups and rice/lentil dishes.

Ayurveda Rejuvenation and Detox Programme

This seven-day detox programme is the ideal introduction and preparation for the more intensive Panchakarma Detox Programme. It’s an excellent choice if you wish to experience profound rest and relaxation, achieve freedom from stress or stress-related issues, or simply wish to lose some excess weight. Each day, you’ll receive a two-hour Ayurveda massage and svedana therapy, along with personal lifestyle and health coaching, or Pranayama and meditation. Special set meals will ensure you receive optimum nutrition without feeling hungry.

Panchakarma Weight Loss and Detox Programme

This ten-day Ayurveda Panchakarma Detox is more intensive than the Ayurveda Detox Programme. You’ll receive daily Ayurveda massage treatments along with a specialised Ayurveda diet supplemented by gentle purification treatments called Basti. Studies have shown that this course of treatments can reduce ageing by up to five years. It’s specifically recommended if you’re serious about losing weight – if you need to lose it you will, and if you don’t, you won’t lose too much. This programme is the ideal option if you need to resolve deep-rooted health issues. In some circumstances, longer home visits may be conducted by arrangement if deemed necessary to achieve relief from long-standing chronic health complaints.

Please contact us for further information and pricing or for a copy of our Home Visit Brochure:

If you are interested, here are some tips to make the most of the offer (s).

1. If you subscribe to Ashishveda Membership programme you can save up to 30% on the treatment price.

2. We are offering 10% extra off all treatments booked now but taken in January.

3. If you have a favourite treatment or need to have multiple sessions we will give you a treatment free in December

4. When ordering your supplements remember – There is no additional charge for postage or packaging in December, it’s free!

Thinking of Ayurveda?

Why Ayurveda?

Dating its origins to more than 5,000 years ago in India, Ayurveda (the science of life) is the world’s oldest system of healing.   Once practised with great gusto it was abolished by British colonists for many years, Ayurveda is now reemerging worldwide as the sustainable health solution.

What makes Ayurveda so unique, effective, and inspiring?

Ayurveda addresses the root causes of disease and imbalance, rather than just mere symptom management.

In Ayurveda, each person is treated as a unique individual and is provided customised wellness solutions.

A lot of care is put into developing the most optimal diet, daily routine, seasonal routine, exercise regime, yoga and meditation practice, herbal medicines (only if needed), and much more for each individual.

Ayurveda has a truly holistic definition of health that includes body, mind, soul, and senses.

There is an entire Subbranch of Ayurveda that focuses exclusively on how to actually be healthy known in Sanskrit as “Svasthasya Svasthya Rakshanam,” which means “protecting the health of the healthy.” The second part of Ayurveda’s scope is therapeutics to skillfully treat disease.

Ayurveda empowers us to take health into our own hands.

Ayurveda actually teaches us that there is, in fact, a deep part of us, our innermost essence, which is always completely healthy. Grounded in unshakeable principles that have withstood the test of time, Ayurveda is just as beneficial today as it was thousands of years ago.

These are just some of the issues we treat are:  worry, panic attacks, depression, insomnia, mindfulness, asthma, allergies, acne, addiction recovery, weight loss, weight gain, digestive disorders, constipation, migraines, acid reflux, low libido, IBS, chronic fatigue syndrome, eczema, psoriasis, thinning hair and nails, fibromyalgia, back pain, high cholesterol, arthritis, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, vertigo, various cancers, thyroid disorders, low blood sugar, diabetes, recurring yeast infections, hypertension, high blood pressure and stress.

Contact us for more information and to book a consultation

Preparing for Pregnancy Workshop – 25th February 2017

Preparing for Pregnancy –join me and Nikki Robinson for our first interactive workshop at Holisticare.   This event is suitable for everyone planning or currently trying to get pregnant.

Details are : Saturday, February 25th 10 am – 1 pm £20 per person or £38 per couple.  Sessions will be led by Nikki Robinson MCSP (specialist Myofascial Release Physiotherapist) and myself.


We will teach you how to work with your body and mind to improve your health and help achieve your goal of becoming pregnant.  The workshop includes practical sessions and plenty of time for discussion and questions. Refreshments provided.

Please call us on 01279 718331 to book your place.


What is Myofascial Release ?

Myofascial Release is a safe, gentle, hands-on treatment that works with your body to untangle the restrictions that cause pain, tension and inflammation. It was developed by an American Physiotherapist called John Barnes.

Everything that happens to us from the time we are conceived is recorded within our fascial network (the myofascia). This is a continuous web of fibres that holds our cells in place and connects them all to each other.

This 3D network gives you strength, flexibility and stability meaning that no part of the body exists in isolation. The myofascia solidifies and shortens in response to any kind of trauma, repetition of movement or ongoing poor posture. It will slowly tighten, spreading tension throughout your whole body.

There is a gloopy substance between the cells and fibres, called the ground substance. This reacts to physical and emotional stress and becomes more solid, preventing your body from being able to adapt to things and leading to symptoms and illness.

The ground substance is thixotropic, meaning that it becomes more fluid in response to warmth and pressure. During treatment, this comes from our hands and we use this reaction to feel where the restrictions are coming from and to gently release them.

As we never force our patients’ bodies, it is very safe and enables us to truly follow what they need, getting long-term results. It also allows us to work very deeply without pain, so most of our patients find it a very relaxing treatment.

Ashishveda Survival Kit!

During winter it gets difficult to maintain good health due to temperature, germs from everyone sneezing and let’s face it we all tend to become extra lazy and sloth like!  I love the imagery of winter – the shimmering snow, evenings cuddling in front of the fire, aaa aaa – bump – back to reality -often, it invites illness: flu, coughs, colds, and generally feeling run down. Here are a few tips and remedies to keep in your “Survival Kit” so that you can stay healthy all through the season.

It is essential to preserve a healthy diet and lifestyle during cold weather and here at Ashishveda we recommend the following traditional methods to keep you in good health even during winter.

  • Ensure Vitamin C is prevalent in your diet at all times it supports tissue development, is a natural anti-inflammatory and supports the immune system.
  • Blend Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary, add 1-2 drops on the bottom of each foot, or in a spray bottle, ( spray around you and your house). This is especially good for children going to school or nursery.

Tips for keeping to a healthy you

  • Reduce portion sizes to half
  • Eat more at lunch time
  • Recipe Urad Daal Pancakes (contains Protein is suitable for vegans and is gluten free) download-9
  • one cup Urad Daal
  • season according to taste
  • ground cumin or ground cinnamon – add a pinch
  • lemon
  • Oil to fry

Method : Wash Daal thoroughly. Soak Urad Daal for 5 hours. Blend it till very fine liquid batter. Add either ground cumin or ground cinnamon.   Make pancakes in a heavy base pan. Be very gentle. Spread the batter carefully. Use oil all around the pancake so it doesn’t stick to the pan. Be gentle when turning it over to avoid breakages.

Add few drops of lemon juice or pink Himalayan salt, chocolate sauce or even maple syrup.  Eat it warm.  (you could also eat your favourite ice cream with it – yummy!).

Yoga for winter try Sarvangasana or Trikonasana images-2


5 ways to ward off congestion and flu with Ayurveda as winter approaches

As the days grow shorter and the weather grows colder, many people find the cold takes a toll on their immune systems. Wet and damp days aggravate the vata and kapha doshas, two of the primary life energies in Ayurvedic tradition. To ward off common colds and the flu, here are 5 ways to use Ayurvedic principles:

1: Adopt a kapha-placating diet

When it is cold out and you are prone to respiratory illnesses, it is best to increase kapha-placating foods in your diet. Warming, pungent, spicy foods help to counteract the cool, fluid solidity of kapha. Incorporating chilli, pepper, ginger (one of the best natural cold remedies) and other heat-generating spices into your diet will help to keep your sinuses clear while balancing kapha.

2: Practice medicated steaming

In Ayurvedic tradition, steam treatments are common for alleviating topical issues such as respiratory problems as well as providing overall detoxification for the body. As winter grows colder, schedule steam treatments or have a home steam that will keep your respiratory tract clear and healthy.  Tip : put cinnamon sticks in water, let it simmer and let that steam spread through your house. it will help will nasal congestion and to breathe better.

Tip 2 – Chyawanprash- is one of the many remedies recommended for boosting your immune system. it consists mainly of amla (Indian gooseberry) that is full of anti-oxidants and vitamin C


3: Boost your immune system with herbal support

Herbal immune stimulants that are all-natural give your body an extra little push to see through the colder winter months. Speak to an Ayurvedic practitioner about herbal supplements you can add to your diet to ensure your immune system has all the support it needs.

4: Stay warm

When you are cold, you are more susceptible to germs and the onset of illness. Make sure you wrap up warmly whenever you leave the house and don’t sit in any cold drafts for too long at a time. The throat is often a weak point when venturing out. Invest in a soft scarf to ensure every part of you stays warm.

5: Cut foods that aggravate kapha and vata

In order to ward off colds and the flu, it’s helpful to cut foods that produce phlegm and/or worsen either dosha. Dairy is a major culprit (especially yoghurt and cheese). Dairy aggravates congestion, worsening the symptoms of a bad cold. Also cut sugars which increase mucous production and heavy, cold foods in general.

Provided you take some or all of the steps above, you will enjoy better health and balance this winter.

Staying well with Ayurveda

Winter is the time when we are most susceptible to common colds and flu, but Ayurvedic medicine provides many ways to safeguard yourself and maintain winter wellness. From adjusting your diet seasonally to taking medicated ghee treatments, you can stay healthy this winter naturally.

3 ways to ward of winter complaints with Ayurveda

The winter season is closely associated with the kapha dosha (one of the three elementary life energies that make up our minds and bodies). Kapha is associated with coolness, heaviness and lethargy. Treatments and foods that abate kapha and bring the doshas into balance will help you to stay healthy this winter. Here are three ways to protect yourself from winter complaints with Ayurveda:

  1. Take medicated ghee treatments

The purity of ghee and the lubrication it provides make it excellent as both a food item and a topical salve during winter. Nasya treatments that are administered nasally can help to keep sinuses lubricated and prevent painful cracking where skin is dry from the cold. Ghee itself contains phenolic antioxidants which boost your immune system. Make sure you stock up this winter on plain, non-medicated ghee too.

  1. Adjust your diet for winter

In winter, when the cold kapha and windy vata doshas are dominant, warming, spicy foods such as chilli can help to keep you in better health. Spices such as cumin and cinnamon are warming, so have a mug of warm spiced chai instead of your usual tea to reap the full benefits. A warming, Ayurvedic winter diet will make sure that your immune system stays strong and ready to tackle common winter ailments.

  1. Book an oil massage

In addition to internal applications of ghee, try an oil massage this winter. Ayurvedic massages using medicated oils help to release tension and toxins. Being stressed makes you more prone to common winter maladies, so take the necessary steps to have a stress free, healthy winter.

Keeping dosed on important vitamins will help to keep your immune system functioning optimally this winter. Natural Ayurvedic treatments and lifestyle changes, however, can create the true balance that underlies sturdy health.

5 anti-aging benefits of Ayurveda and an Ayurvedic lifestyle

The Ayurvedic tradition strives towards a core principle: balance. Stress and physical illness are both signs of imbalance, and both are factors in advancing premature aging. Adopting an Ayurvedic lifestyle offers multiple anti-aging benefits:

  1. Ayurvedic lifestyles reduce stress – a factor in aging

Stress is a major factor in premature signs of aging. High stress lowers your immune response and can aggravate signs of aging such as thinning hair. Because it creates balance through nutrition, exercise and/or Ayurvedic therapies, Ayurveda can help you to counteract stress and maintain a resilient core.

  1. Ayurvedic, balanced nutrition promotes youthful appearance and energy

Nutrition is a major component of Ayurvedic tradition. The foods we consume to fuel our minds and bodies affect our constitutional balance. Ayurvedic nutrition advocates adhering to a balanced diet in which none of the three primary life energies – the doshas – is in excess or lack.

Healthy Ayurvedic eating requires cutting back on sugar and caffeine-filled food items that lack nutritional value and negatively impact mind-body balance. Healthy Ayurvedic eating that incorporates nature’s medicine chest of leafy vegetables, herbs and spices, fosters youthful energy and appearance.

  1. Traditional Ayurvedic therapies promote younger skin

Ayurvedic therapies such as detoxifying steam therapy (sedan) help to promote blood flow to the skin and a youthful appearance. Besides stimulating circulation to promote a more youthful physical appearance, swedana or sweating treatments also help to balance out the doshas and boost your metabolic rate – a natural aid to weight loss.  Regular Abhyanga is a great treatment for anti-ageing as well as Panchakarma at least once a year balances your doshas and rejuvenates you at the cellular level

  1. Natural herbal Ayurvedic supplements boost energy

Ingesting and topically applying herbal preparations are two core practices in Ayurvedic tradition. Natural herbal supplements that boost energy can help you to maintain youthful energy levels. Triphala is often subscribed as a Rejuvenation formula whilst Ashwagandha helps to boost energy levels and mental strength and helps you to adapt to any situation, both herbs are known to have strong anti-aging properties.

  1. Ayurvedic breathing techniques lower stress and promote wellbeing

Good breathing technique is crucial in Ayurveda. How we breathe not only determines oxygen supply. It also affects our energy levels and state of mind. Learning Ayurvedic breathing techniques that calm or boost energy will help you to combat premature aging and have greater control over passing emotional and psychological states.

To learn more about how you can use Ayurvedic insights to combat early aging, schedule a consultation with Ashishveda today.