Ayurveda Q & A PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Dr. Light Miller   

Dr. Light Miller
Dr. Light Miller
Ayurveda has been practiced in the US for only about 30 years, yet it is one of the systems of medicine native to India and is thousands of years old. Readers are invited to submit questions for “Ayurveda Q & A” to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Q: My friend’s son is nearly a year and a half old and he keeps getting colds and coughs every month. My friend is becoming tired of running to the doctor constantly. He says the child has low immunity. Please tell me how to strengthen a baby’s low immunity? I have a one-year-old baby, so the information would be useful. I’m wondering if we can give honey with ginger extract to a baby.

I used to give this as a remedy to my older son when he was between the ages of five to seven and it worked well.

A: Many things can cause frequent colds including selection of foods not appropriate for the season or constitution, inappropriate food combinations, food allergies, and excess consumption of refined sugars and of citrus fruits. Cow’s milk is a common allergen that can contribute to a runny nose, especially in children. You can replace cow’s milk with goat, coconut, rice or almond milk.

Examine the diets of both the child, and the mother, particularly if she is still nursing. It can be helpful to keep a diet or food diary to see if consumption of particular foods are linked to the occurrence of the runny nose. If the mother is still nursing, she should also examine her diet and evaluate her diet diary and compare it to her child’s symptoms. A mother’s milk can be used as a way to pass on herbal remedies and specific nutrients to the child. If she takes herbs, they will have a positive effect on her milk.

Immune system builders include ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) and astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus), which are safe for all ages. A child’s dose for children would be a 1/2 tsp of ashwagandha powder and 1/8 of astragalus powder in warm milk before bed.

Increase Vitamin C to 2,000 milligrams per day. I like Kid’s Emergen-C packets for easy administration.

Many fruits currently being touted as superfoods are high in Vitamin C, such as amla (one of the main ingredients in Zrii), acai, mangosteen and others. Traditional Ayurvedic immune builders include rose petal jelly and chyavanprash. Taking one teaspoon a day (you can eat plain or spread either on toast or crackers) can strengthen the immune system. At night use a vaporizer or a diffuser with eucalyptus, lavender and ravensera aromatic essential oils.

Massage the child’s whole body, with an emphasis on the chest, with four ounces of sesame oil mixed with essential oils. Use: three drops of fennel, five drops of chamomile, ten drops of lavender and three drops of tulsi (holy basil). Cover the child with pajamas that are okay to get oily to keep him from touching the oil in his eyes.

Elderberries and ginger syrup with agave or honey can help coughs. Ginger syrup can be a helpful remedy, just make sure not to give honey to infants under one year of age because of the risk of botulism.

Make sure the stress levels are low in the home. Singing lullabies and playing soft music are good pre-sleep medicines.

Q: I am a twenty-one-year-old UCLA student from Armenia, and am having a hard time with hair loss. I have gone to a dermatologist who prescribed a pill (I forgot the name), but I refused to take it due the serious side effects of respiratory problems. I tried mixing alcohol and ginger, and applying them on the scalp, but I do not feel it was of any help; my hair still keeps falling in big amounts whenever I take a shower.

The problem started when I immigrated to the United States nine years ago. My hair kept falling out ever since, and I am almost going bald now, which makes me feel down sometimes. I have been told the water could be the problem, since it’s somewhat impure in the US so I am turning to Ayurveda for advice and would really appreciate it.

A: Alopecia (hair loss) can be a hereditary condition. It can also be a vitamin and mineral deficiency. Nourishing practices that help us better handle stress levels are important. These include meditation and Yoga with inversions appropriate to your level of practice. Eat a diet rich in sulfur, which includes legumes such as mung beans, sesame and sunflower seeds. Make sure you have enough foods with B vitamins and amino acids, and essential fatty acids such as evening primrose, flax seed oil or a good quality blend. Avoid alcoholic drinks, white sugar, fried foods, too much fruit, tobacco and hot spicy foods. Since our skin and scalp are related to our liver, keeping the liver healthy is important. Dandelion root tea can be a helpful liver tonic.

You can make a tea with two ounces of bhrami or gotu kola herb, and one ounce of each of the following: coriander seeds, bringaraj, chrysanthemum, rose petals, mint leaves and chamomile. Mix together the cut and sifted herbs and use one teaspoon per cup of water. Make at least ten cups at a time and store in the fridge. Drink four to six cups a day.

A good hair formula to apply on your scalp is the following: two ounces of coconut oil, one ounce of bhrami oil, five drops of sandalwood oil, five drops of coriander oil and twenty drops of bringaraj oil. Warm the mixture, apply on your scalp, wear a turban or towel wrap to bed and wash your hair in the morning. Do not use hair spray. Wash hair and condition with natural, chemical-free shampoo (shampoos with keratin are recommended). Many of the Ayurvedic suppliers have an herbal formula to support hair growth.

Regular shirodhara (oil poured over the forehead) and scalp massage can also be helpful.


Ayurvedic Herbs

Herbal remedies, rejuvenatives and hair and body oils including chyavanaprasam


Banyan Botanicals
Certified Organic Chavyanprash and herbal supplements and blends


Essential Oils

Young Living Essential Oils
Christina Morassi educates people on therapeutic uses of essential oils.


David Crow works directly with farmers to choose sustainably grown oils. He will be in Los Angeles the first weekend in May teaching a workshop.


Yoga Flow Oils
Formulated by Dr. Light Miller,


The Chopra Center
Restorative therapies include shirodhara in Carlsbad, CA.


Blue Sage Sanctuary
On 20 private acres in Grass Valley, CA


The Healing Gardens of Ayurveda
Detoxification and other therapies, Orange County, CA


Maharani Ayurveda
Ayurvedic therapies with Corinna Schmidt and Claudia Brachtl, LAc in Santa Barbara, CA

Travis Eliot
LA YOGA contributor operates a clinic in Venice, CA


Arun Deva practices in West Hollywood


Surya Spa
Martha Soffer practices in Pacific Palisades


Essential Fatty Acids

Flax and flax oil blends


Udo’s Oils
Udo’s 3-6-9 Oil Blend


Antioxidant Oil Blend


Liver Cleanse


Ultimate Energy Cleanse

Read about shirodhara in “Apply Oil, Reduce Stress,” in the October, 2008, issue of LA YOGA online in our Ayurveda Archives. layogamagazine.com

The information provided here is for educational purposes only. Before using any Ayurvedic remedies, consult with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare provider. This article represents the opinion and recommendation of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of LA YOGA Ayurveda and Health magazine.

Dr. Light Miller is a naturopath and Ayurvedic doctor. She is the co-author of Ayurveda & Aromatherapy and Ayurvedic Remedies for the Whole Family and the co-owner of Yoga Flow Oils. She is teacher who practices panchakarma and has formulated 320 therapeutic recipes. For more information, visit: ayurvedichealers.com. Dr. Miller will be in Los Angeles and scheduling consultations between April 19 and 23. Contact her for appointments at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (941) 806 - 7760.


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