Other Alternatives For Building Ojas Through Food
Although in the Ayurvedic system ghee is recommended for balancing aggravated pitta (fire element), I do not necessarily recommend it for general use because it is a dairy product and a cooked oil. ––(from Dr. Cousens’ book Conscious Eating)
Ghee is used by Ayurvedic practitioners to build ojas (vitality and the source substance that governs the stability and immunity of the body). Building ojas with a diet of live foods requires a greater emphasis on the following foods:
- Nut milks and seed milks
- Nuts and seeds
- Juicy and oily vegetables, like avocado
- Low-glycemic fruits, especially berries, such as goji berries
- Other foods with a slight sweetness in taste like apples, carrots, coconut and sprouted grains.
- (Goji berries and bee pollen are not only high in antioxidants, but are tremendously rejuvenative.)
- More oily, creamy, soupy types of food, such as smoothies, are all good for building ojas.
To build ojas, it is important to increase the intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Many people on a low-fat, cleansing, live-food diet become depleted in omega-3 fatty acids. Lack of short-, medium- and long-chain fatty acids weakens the physical nervous system and depletes ojas. Purslane (pictured, above), a common herb that grows almost everywhere, is high in the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). Recent research by Dr. Timohir Lelas of Zagreb, through the process of tribomechanical analysis verified the existence of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA(docosahexaenoic acid) in aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA) (also known as Klamath Lake algae).
Research cited in Primordial Food suggests that not only does AFA have EPA and DHA, but that he AFA, probably because of its high levels of alpha-linolenic acid, increases the DHA and EPA in the blood in rats to higher levels than expected by the DHA and EPA in the AFA alone. In other words, AFA amplifies the EPA and DHA levels in the blood. Monoatomic rhodium and iridium have also been found in AFA. These are some of the only vegan sources we have of EPA. AFA grows almost everywhere. DHA, another important
long-chain omega-3 fatty acid, especially for brain function, is available from a golden algae as well as AFA.
Flax seed and hemp seed will provide most of the short-chainomega-3 fatty acids. Coconut oil is a great oil for building ojas, as are hemp seed and macadamia nuts. Coconut oil increases the conversion of short-chain to long-chain omega-3 fatty acids by three to six percent.
Certain tonic herbs in general, and particularly ashwagandha, shatavari, ginseng and licorice are good for ojas. These are what Ayurveda calls soma-producing herbs.
Spirulina and chlorella – high in protein, fatty acids like GLA (gamma-linolenic acid, which is highest in mother’s milk, second highest in spirulina, and third highest in hemp seeds), sulfanolipids, minerals, and vitamins – are both tridoshic (balance all the doshas) and excellent as ojas builders.
Bee pollen, as the semen of the plant world, is an incredible food for building ojas. It is twenty percent protein (gram for gram, it has five to seven times more protein than meat, eggs, or cheese), is fifteen percent brain-building oils and lecithin, has sixty-three minerals and most of the B vitamins, and has vitamins C and E, nucleic acids, 5,000 enzymes and coenzymes, and essential fatty acids. According to the research by Dr. Eric Erickson from the University of Wisconsin, bee pollen causes a positive electric charge. When bees leave the hive, they have a slightly negative or neutral charge; on returning with the pollen, they have a charge as high as 1.5 volts and their bee pollen is charged. Dr. Nicolai Tsitsin, a Russian botanist found that of those in Russia living past 125 years, many were beekeepers whose main food was bee pollen. Much Russian research has shown that bee pollen has powerful anti-aging and regenerative powers. Bee pollen is the ultimate biogenic food and the procreative force of the plant world.**
**Editor’s note: Some vegans choose not to eat bee pollen. Vegan sources of ojas-building foods are listed in this article.
Dr. Gabriel Cousens, MD is the founder and director of the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Patagonia, Arizona, where a living-food diet is taught and lived. He received his medical degree from Columbia Medical School and is the author of Conscious Eating, Spiritual Nutrition and other books. His work reversing diabetes with living food is featured in the documentary Simply Raw: gabrielcousens.com.