Risk and Benefits of Kombucha

Risk and benefits associated with Kombucha Tea

Risk and benefits associated with Kombucha Tea

Synopsis and Opinion

Anthony B. James MD(AM), ND(T), DNM, DOM, PhD, RAAP, SMOKH

I am concerned about the possible risk and benefits associated with Kombucha Tea. Increasingly we have seen in the past year an increasing number of students in our SomaVeda® Thai Yoga Practitioner Certification as well as other SCNM College programs bringing or using Kombucha. The use varies from commercial branded products to home brew. First question is Kombucha a suitable natural remedy appropriate for Thai Yoga/ Traditional Thai Massage and other holistic healing practitioners to use? Second question is whether or not I feel as a Natural Medicine Practitioner and Dean of the SomaVeda College of Natural Medicine as to whether we should be using it in our programs? I decided to do a bit of investigation and found many references, some more authoritative than others as there is much hype and myth when it comes to Kombucha, Kombucha usages and health claims… Fortunately there is also some research. Especially as the use of Kombucha based products continues to grow. My final opinion after all of this is found at the end of this article.

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Kombucha tea can be dangerous to your health
Michele R. Berman, MD | Potpourri | July 29, 2010

Celebrities are powerful role models and are important to consumers concerned with their health because of the perception that famous people have access to the best health practices and medical care. The public looks to celebrities for hope and inspiration as they struggle with their own health issues and fight disease. However the health practices that celebrities promote are often questionable and misleading.

One currently popular folk remedy, kombucha tea, is part of the dietary regimens of multiple Hollywood actresses and entertainers including Gwyneth Paltrow, Kirsten Dunst, Lindsay Lohan, Madonna, Halle Berry, Meg Ryan, Anna Paquin, Cher, Barbara Streisand, Alec Baldwin and Susan Sarandon. The claims for its medicinal value are as far reaching as they are implausible and include aging, anorexia, arthritis, atherosclerosis, cancer, constipation, diabetes, gallbladder disease, gout, hemorrhoids, hair growth and color restoration, headache, hypertension, HIV, immune boosting, indigestion, increased vitality, treatment of alcohol and coffee addictions, and wrinkle reduction.

Kombucha is a form of black tea and sugar that is fermented using a combination of bacterial and fungal cultures that form a “mushroom” on top of the fermentation vessel. It originated in China thousands of years ago, eventually spreading to Europe, and is today becoming increasingly popular, through celebrity use and endorsement, in the U.S. and U.K. Many home brew recipes for making kombucha may be found on the Internet but it is also manufactured and sold by companies such as Synergy Drinks.

We conducted a literature review of kombucha at www.pubmed.gov and found 40 articles on kombucha tea. Many of these studies originated in China or India and consisted of testing the effects of kombucha tea on rats or mice; a few papers tested effects on human cancer cells in vitro. Some beneficial effects were seen but one study concluded that “Comparable effects and mechanisms in humans remain uncertain, as do health safety issues, because serious health problems and fatalities have been reported and attributed to drinking kombucha.”

Most of the reports of human consumption of kombucha tea are case reports of toxicity, in some cases, life-threatening. The greatest danger from kombucha seems to arise in “home brew” versions that have become contaminated because of improper preparation and/or when kombucha interacts with alcohol or prescription drugs.

Observed adverse effects of kombucha consumption include hepatitis, xerostomia, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, headache, shortness of breath, restless legs, abdominal pain, hypotension, and tachycardia. In most cases, patients fully recovered after discontinuation of kombucha and symptomatic treatment.  However there are case reports of serious and sometimes fatal cases of hepatic dysfunction and lactic acidosis.

In addition to oral ingestion, skin application of kombucha is also used as a topical analgesic. Such use has resulted in cutaneous anthrax infections from kombucha stored in unhygienic conditions; such conditions make kombucha preparations a potential medium for the growth of pathogenic microorganisms.

Because folk medicines, herbal remedies and dietary supplements, including Kombucha tea, are not considered foods or drugs, they are not routinely evaluated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drinking this tea in quantities typically consumed (approximately 4 oz daily) may not cause adverse effects in healthy persons; however, the potential health risks are unknown for those with preexisting health problems or those who drink excessive quantities of the tea.

Recently, Whole Foods removed kombucha drinks from its store shelves because they can contain alcohol as a product of the fermentation process. This fact was used as a possible explanation for why actress Lindsay Lohan’s alcohol-monitoring (SCRAM) bracelet was activated even though she asserted compliance with court orders not to drink alcoholic beverages.

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Kombucha Tea Health Risks
•    Cancer Articles and Infographics
Dec 4, 2013

Kombucha is the flavor of the day when it comes to popular drinks and it’s easy to see why. It’s slightly fermented tea has just a bit of carbonation to it, making it seem like a soda, but without the massive amounts of sugar that many sodas have. Kombucha also has live cultures in it that are said to promote healthy digestion in people who regularly consume it.
Could there also be hidden Kombucha health risks of which people are unaware?
Did You Know That Kombucha Contains Alcohol?
In order to create the magical sweet and sour aftertaste of Kombucha, a combination of bacteria and yeast is allowed to naturally ferment over a period of time. This culture is then added to the tea and then bottled. What happens during the fermentation process? Alcohol is created! If allowed to continue fermenting over time, the alcohol level of the drink will actually increase. World Foods this year had to recall many of their Kombucha products because they believed the alcohol content of the tea had risen above the 0.5% legal threshold.

That means if you drink too much Kombucha, you could become legally drunk in some areas, especially those with a .05 legal limit. This alcohol can interfere with certain medications as well, especially painkillers.

Kombucha Also Contains Acid Compounds
Sometimes the human body struggles to release the byproducts that it creates through normal everyday use. This can result in lactic acid buildup, uric acid buildup, and in turn, these buildups can cause medical problems such as gout or lactic acidosis. Because Kombucha is acidic in nature, it creates a situation where the body is forced to expel the acids that you’ve consumed with this drink before expelling the other stored acids.

When Kombucha is consumed regularly, it can possibly prevent the body from expelling those pent up acids, causing severe health issues. One woman is known to have died from cardiac arrest because of the Kombucha she consumed. Others have suffered severe medical emergencies because of acidic levels in their bodies due to their consumption of Kombucha too.

Molds Can Penetrate Into Kombucha Too
The nature of Kombucha is that it creates the prime working conditions for mold development, especially molds like penicillium. For those allergic to penicillin-based drugs, Kombucha could potentially create a life threatening allergic reaction if it has sat out long enough to develop mold. This is especially true for brews that have not been refrigerated. Though this is a low Kombucha health risk compared to the others, it is still a risk.

Chances are good that consuming Kombucha is not going to create a health problem for you. There are historical precedents set, however, that Kampuchea health risks do exist, especially for specific health groups. That’s why it is important to understand your current health needs and know if Kombucha may negatively interact with them.

Kombucha: Studies Show Risks Outweigh Benefits
Added by Nick Ng on July 28, 2014.
Saved under Health, Nick Ng, Research
Tags: kombucha

Proponents of kombucha tea claim the drink, created by certain types of fungi and bacteria that contribute to the fermentation of the tea, has anti-cancer properties and can “detox” the body. Kombucha is a type of black or green tea from the plant Camellia sinensis, that is fermented for about a week,  to which certain types of bacteria, fungi and sugars are added. However, the cumulative scientific evidence as well as studies conducted in the past decade show that kombucha drinks’ risks outweigh their benefits.

According to the American Nutrition Association, Kombucha is claimed to have originated in China thousands or hundreds of years ago – depending on the source – and has mystical powers to prolong life and improve health. Some even claim that drinking Kombucha can treat AIDS, diabetes, obesity and a host of common diseases and disorders. However, none of these claims have been verified.

Examine.com, an independent research organization that reviews various nutritional topics and trends, recently evaluated Kombucha and its claims. Although it is rich in antioxidants, there is no evidence to compare it with catechins found in green tea or vitamin C, which have been proven to help reduce the risk of cancer. Examine.com pointed out that Kombucha has saccharolactone, which is a bioactive compound that is claimed to “exert anti-cancer effects in the colon.” Even though studies in rats and in vitro have shown that it may have healing properties, saccharolactone is difficult to apply in human subjects for two reasons: No human studies have ever been done on saccharolactone either in Kombucha or by itself, and kombucha intake can increase the risk of death if the drink is prepared improperly. Cross-contamination during the production process can increase the growth of certain bacteria and fungi that may cause “cutaneous anthrax” and “acute renal failure,” according to a few reported case studies. With the given evidence available, Examine.com stated that there is no proven and significant benefit of drinking Kombucha nor is it very practical as a health supplement, “considering there’s hardly any evidence for its health effects, but plenty of evidence for the damage it can do.”

Not all animal studies show that Kombucha compounds’ benefits outweigh their risks. A study on Kombucha’s healing effects on lab rats that was conducted at Tehran University’s Department of Pathology in Iran was published in 2013 in Diagnostic Pathology. Rats that were administered Kombucha fungus showed better wound healing than those that were given Nitrofurazone, a type of ointment, but the results and differences “were not significant.”

Scott Gavura, BScPhm, MBA, who is a pharmacist and writer, pointed on Science-Based Medicine to a 2003 systematic review that was published in a Swiss journal
(Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd) that did not find any clinical trials or case series in which Kombucha had any hint of medical benefits. “Based on what’s known about the active ingredients, there’s no reason to expect it would offer any medicinal effects other than the consequence of low levels of alcohol or caffeine.” Like Examine.com, Gavura listed documentation of toxicity and harm related to Kombucha consumption, including hepatitis and metabolic acidosis.


The Kombucha “mother.”
Even though drinking Kombucha has risks that outweigh the “benefits,” both Examine.com and Gavura agree that if people like the taste of the product, drink it wisely. Examine.com suggested that consumers purchase kombucha from “trustworthy producers with sanitary working conditions and properly trained staff” to minimize cross-contamination. Gavura said that drinking Kombucha “probably won’t kill you.” Considering the lack of documented health benefits, there is no real benefit to consume it unless it is just for the taste. As with any food, Gavura suggested that people should weigh the risks and benefits. In the case of kombucha, it may not be a wise choice for some people.

Read more at http://guardianlv.com/2014/07/kombucha-studies-show-risks-outweigh-benefits/#6H3qSWJ38je65gvu.99
Kombucha: Myths vs. Truths
Posted on March 25, 2013

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” ~ Confucius
What is that thing?
Risks and benefits of Kombucha Tea

It’s a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast), a term coined by Kombucha enthusiast Len Porzio in the mid-1990′s. It may not look appetizing, but it creates a very popular fermented beverage that goes for $4 a bottle in the health food stores. Luckily, you can make it very inexpensively at home. You just need 6 simple ingredients: a SCOBY like the one pictured above, tea, sugar, clean water, a warm place, and time. The final product contains a blend of beneficial bacteria and yeast (probiotics) as well as certain acids and enzymes that aid digestion, detoxify the body, and promote health. However, with popularity sometimes comes infamy, and a number of myths have cropped up surrounding kombucha over the years. Let’s separate the myths from the truths.

Kombucha History & Science
Kombucha has been around for thousands of years, believed to have originated in China, traveled throughout Asia and Russia and eventually became a health craze in the US over the past two decades. Legend has it that it was named after a Korean physician Kombu who healed the Japanese Emperor Inyko with the tea, and the tea was then named after him: “Kombu” + “cha” (which means tea.)

The science of fermentation is one practiced in homes, rather than laboratories, and for that reason it has an air of mystery. These living foods change from batch to batch, and since they can’t be patented or highly controlled,  there’s no real incentive for the science community to spend resources in research. Therefore, health claims tend to be anecdotal, and certain assumptions about the “science” behind the process get spread with no real evidence to support those assumptions. We know fermented foods are powerful in their ability to support a healthy body, and restore balance to an unhealthy one. We don’t really know the fine details of how this occurs.

Well, Michael Roussin, Kombucha lover, decided he wanted to know what exactly was in this drink that made him feel so good. With the help of a professional lab, he spent 18 months testing 1103 samples of Kombucha, from batches all over North America and parts of Europe, with different teas, sugars, temperatures and brewing times, and he discovered some surprising things. The complete report of his research is for sale through his website.


Here are some highlights:
Busting the Myths

•    Although Kombucha is made with caffeinated tea, by the end of the fermentation cycle, none remains. MYTH. Roussin found that the caffeine content doesn’t reduce at all. This myth might have started because only 6-8 teabags are used to brew a gallon of Kombucha tea, which is half the strength of a normal cup of tea. The good news is that kombucha doesn’t need caffeine to thrive. If you want to remove even more of the caffeine, simply pre-steep the tea bags for 30 seconds and throw that water away. Then steep these teabags again in fresh hot water, for the kombucha brew. The majority of the caffeine is dispersed in the pre-steeping. Update: You cannot decaffeinate tea at home. Thanks to Mari in the comments below for busting the myth of pre-steeping tea to remove caffeine. Lab testing shows this eliminates only a small amount of caffeine. If you can’t have caffeine, buy tea that has been decaffeinated by the CO2 method (a healthier choice, compared to the more common chemical decaffeination.)
•    Although Kombucha is made with sugar, by the end of the fermentation cycle, none remains. MYTH. There will always be a little sugar remaining, and the amount depends on how long the tea is fermented. Generally, people brew the tea according to their taste. A 5-day brew is going to have a high quantity of sugar remaining. A 30-day brew is going to have very little remaining (yet still some). Most people brew the tea for 7-12 days, when it has a tangy sour flavor with a touch of sweetness remaining; on average, the amount of sugar at this point is 16 grams per 8 oz. cup. This is equal to 4 teaspoons of sugar. You could brew the full 30 days to minimize the sugar, but at that point, the drink is so sour, people usually add juice to make it palatable. If you do this, you’re going to get 12-20 grams of sugar from the juice. This is why many people call it a healthy soda-pop. The “healthy” part comes from the high amount of probiotics and beneficial acids it contains, and rest assured the sugar content is much lower than regular soda. You may feel tempted to try to make your Kombucha with less sugar or no sugar at all, but sugar is the food your SCOBY needs to create the probiotics and acids you seek. It will become malnourished and eventually die without it. If you want to know the sugar content of your home brew, you can use sugar test strips. Update: Silvia (in the comments below) did the math and noted that 16 grams per cup is the amount of sugar added when you begin the Kombucha brew, so how is it possible that it’s still that concentrated at the 7-15 day mark? Here’s why: In the first stage of fermentation, the yeast uses the minerals from the tea to produce enzymes that separate sugar into glucose and fructose. At the 7-day mark, that’s as far as the process has gone. The sugar is easier to digest, but hasn’t yet diminished in concentration. By the 15-day mark, it is just starting to eat/diminish the sugar content (3.3 teaspoons of sugar per cup remaining at that point.) The sour flavor comes from the acids that are forming, but that sweet tone is still the sugar, unless you brew it a full 30 days. A study done by Cornell University confirmed these results.
•    Kombucha is rich in B vitamins. MYTH. Although it does contain these vitamins, the amounts are so small they are almost immeasurable. This was confirmed by the International Journal of Food Science and Technology.
•    Kombucha is rich in glucuronic acid, a powerful detoxifier of the liver. MYTH. There is no glucuronic acid in Kombucha. Ironically, Roussin began his experiments intending to prove otherwise. He read a book by Harald Tietze in 1995, who said no reputable lab had ever found glucuronic acid in Kombucha, so Roussin hired a reputable lab to prove him wrong. When he confirmed its absence instead, that got him curious about the other assumptions people had about Kombucha, and his experiments continued. Roussin believes the glucuronic acid myth was born of research from the 1940s, where researchers tested the urine of people who drank kombucha and found high levels, and therefore assumed the kombucha was providing it. Instead, Roussin’s lab found that kombucha contains a different acid that is a synergist to glucuronic acid. Glucuronic acid is made naturally by the liver and works by binding to a toxic molecule and carrying it out of the body. The high levels of glucuronic acid in the urine could have been due to the other acids in kombucha helping the glucuronic acid in the body do its job. So, kombucha is indeed detoxifying, but we are continuing to learn exactly how.
•    Kombucha contains hyaluronic acid and glucosamine, which is why it’s so effective in relieving joint pain. MYTH. Kombucha contains neither of these compounds. However, it does seem to have a positive effect on the joints. Roussin’s theory is that it contains the building blocks for these compounds.
•    Kombucha contains over 50 different kinds of probiotics, organic enzymes, amino acids and vitamins. MYTH. Every batch of kombucha is different. The only things every batch contains are: (1) at least one beneficial yeast, (2) acetobacter (the beneficial bacteria in the SCOBY), (3) gluconic acid (a pH regulator) – note: this is not the same thing as glucuronic acid referenced above, and (4) acetic acid (an anti-microbial acid, which also stabilizes blood sugar) . Most batches of kombucha will also contain an analgesic (pain reliever), an anti-arthritic compound, an anti-spasmodic compound, a liver-protective compound, and several anti-bacterial compounds. The blend varies from batch to batch. See why this elixir can’t be patented? It embodies change.
•    Kombucha can cure everything from arthritis to gout to HIV to cancer. MYTH. As Hannah Crum of Kombucha Kamp says, “Kombucha is not a panacea – it doesn’t cure anything! It brings the body back into balance so that it may heal itself naturally. That is how it is able to do so much.” Results vary from person to person. Many people do say it helps their joint pain, keeps them from getting sick, gives them energy, aids their digestion, clears their sinuses, reduces their blood pressure, clears their eczema, alleviates their headaches, and the list goes on. Then there are other people who say they enjoy the taste, but don’t really notice any effect. The only way to know what it can do for you, is to try it.
•    Kombucha is dangerous and has been linked to deaths. MYTH. This one is repeated a lot, and it usually starts with a sentence like this: “There is no scientific evidence that kombucha promotes health, just anecdotal reports. However, it has been linked to both illness and death.” (With never an acknowledgement that the last sentence is an anecdotal report, and there’s no scientific evidence that kombucha is harmful.) Let’s clear up that report, though, because it’s scary. Fermentation expert Sandor Ellix Katz sums it up nicely: “In 1995 the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) publication Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report ran a story headlined, ‘Unexplained Severe Illness Possibly Associated with Consumption of Kombucha Tea,’ with possibly being the operative word. In two separate incidents, weeks apart, two women in Iowa had very different unexplained acute health episodes. One of them died. Both drank kombucha daily and made it from the same original SCOBY. The Iowa Department of Public Health immediately issued a warning to stop drinking kombucha ‘until the role of the tea in the two cases of illness has been evaluated fully.’ But they were never able to explain how kombucha may have been related to the illnesses, and 115 other people were identified who drank kombucha from the same mother without problems. When the mothers and the kombucha that possibly made the women sick were subjected to microbial analysis, ‘no known human pathogens or toxin-producing organisms were identified.’”
•    Kombucha is an alcoholic drink. TRUE. However, it’s a very small amount, usually between .5 and 3%, depending on length of fermentation. (Beer contains 4-6%.) Single fermentation home brews of kombucha usually contain only .5% alcohol. If you do a second fermentation in a bottle, to flavor it and increase the carbonation, the alcohol content will increase slightly. Store bought brands were found to contain more, because the product is still fermenting in the bottle, and a long time can pass between bottling and purchase. For this reason, kombucha was temporarily pulled from store shelves in 2010, while the federal alcohol trade bureau tested numerous samples and developed guidelines for kombucha manufacturers. Now, all store bought brands are supposed to have taken steps to prevent fermentation from continuing in the bottle. Sadly, this often means pasteurization, which limits the benefits of the drink.
•    If you ferment more than one kind of food or beverage (sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, etc.) you need to keep them away from each other, for fear of cross-contamination: MYTH. Sandor Ellix Katz addressed this in his book, The Art of Fermentation: “While different cultures may subtly influence one another through the air over time, typically this is not an issue… Betty Stechmeyer, who co-founded a starter culture business, GEM cultures, with her late husband Gordon and spent 30 years growing and selling fermentation starters, reports that for all those years she propagated several different sourdoughs, several different milk cultures, tempeh starter and more, in one 12×12 foot kitchen. ‘Pretty primitive and simple, eh?’ She never experienced cross-contamination. I cannot guarantee that cross-contamination among cultures is impossible, but it is not a likely occurrence, and I encourage enthusiastic experimentalists to ferment to your heart’s content without worry.”
•    Kombucha can make you feel worse. TRUE. While most people feel benefits from drinking kombucha, some people’s symptoms worsen. There are a few potential reasons for this: (1) Healing Crisis: Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, author of the GAPS Diet, says: “Apart from good bacteria a healthy body is populated by beneficial yeasts which normally protect the person from pathogenic (bad) yeasts, such as candida albicans. Kefir (and kombucha) contain these beneficial yeasts (as well as the beneficial bacteria) which help to take pathogenic yeasts under control.”  This is a good thing, but sometimes the body goes through a reaction to the mass die-off of bad bacteria and yeast, and temporarily symptoms worsen. This can last from a few days to a few weeks, but when the symptoms pass, people’s health improves dramatically. (2) Gluten Cross-Reaction: Update: Gluten Cross-Reaction has proven to be a myth. Thanks to reader Sarah for this new information. (3) Histamine or Yeast Intolerance: Fermented foods contain beneficial bacteria which improve the health of most people, with the exception of those who are yeast or histamine intolerant. In those cases, negative symptoms from drinking kombucha don’t improve with time, like they do with a healing crisis. So what do you do if you feel like kombucha is making you feel worse? First, lower the amount of kombucha you are drinking, and only increase as your body is able to handle it without discomfort. If you are experiencing a healing crisis, lower doses should slow down the die-off reaction and alleviate your symptoms. If you continue to have discomfort at small doses, stop drinking it altogether and try again in 6 months. (Food intolerance’s often disappear as we heal.)

Mother Jones: Is Kombucha Really Good for You?
—By Maddie Oatman

“As an occasional kombucha drinker, I enjoy the strange, sour aftertaste of the trendy fermented beverage. But after spending as much as five bucks for a 16-ounce bottle of the stuff, I decided to see if I could successfully—and safely—brew my own batch. I also wondered whether the claims about kombucha’s health-enhancing properties had any merit.

Often mistaken for a mushroom, the culture used to make kombucha is actually a collection of yeast and bacteria. After 10 days of natural fermentation, the amalgam forms a thin pancake-looking colony referred to as a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) surrounded by a fizzy, vinegar-like tonic—the stuff you drink. Remnants of the living mass make their way into bottled kombucha, which creeps some people out. “But really, it’s no more frightful than when yogurt first reared its head in health stores across America in the 1970s,” states one Whole Foods website. Kombucha has been consumed for thousands of years—some say it originated in Manchuria in 220 B.C.; others trace its roots to Russia—and enthusiasts prize the drink for its beneficial probiotics, organic acids, vitamins and antioxidants.

Because the fermentation happens naturally, I needed no special equipment besides a one-gallon mason jar to get the project bubbling. Brad Koester, a local kombucha brewer who also sells pickled beans and onions to San Francisco restaurants, presented me with my very own “mother” SCOBY; a gelatinous mass that resembled a small jellyfish asleep in amniotic fluid. I brewed about a gallon of green tea, added eight tablespoons of sugar, and poured all the liquid that would fit into the gallon jar with the SCOBY, making sure to cover the top of the mason jar with a thin cloth to prevent fruit fly infestation.

Maybe because kombucha brewers refer to this mass as the “mother,” I couldn’t help feeling like I was caring for a pet. Would I kill my SCOBY if I shook it? Would my SCOBY wither and die in my chilly Victorian house? I voiced my anxieties to Brad, who shot me back a text that said: “Patience grasshopper.” I could do nothing but wait and see if the “mother” would work her magic, and I’d have little control over the results.

This lack of control recently led to some problems among kombucha manufacturers and sellers. In June, Whole Foods voluntarily pulled all kombucha products from its shelves, citing concern that the alcohol levels had surpassed the legal limit of 0.5 percent. Because it kept fermenting in the bottle, some brands’ product became more alcoholic—sometimes up to 3 percent alcohol—over time. Some kombucha manufacturers have since recalibrated their beverages so that they won’t re-ferment, and the tea is back on store shelves.

I don’t know precisely how much alcohol will turn up in my homebrew, but unless I allow it to re-ferment, the possibility that it will get me drunk—or even buzzed—is remote. If mine registered in at 0.6 percent alcohol, I would have to drink five 16-ounce bottles of kombucha before reaching the effects of one can of Coors Light—which contains 4.2 percent alcohol.
Whether my homemade kombucha can provide health benefits turns out to be a far more complicated question. Beverage manufacturers praise the elixir for “improving liver, gall bladder, and digestive function” and being able to “enhance the body’s normal toxin elimination process.” But little scientific research has been conducted on the stuff, and these claims are mainly based on anecdotal evidence.

That the probiotics in kombucha might aid digestion has certainly caught people’s attention. GT’s Synergy Kombucha, the leading brand on the market, claims its probiotic content includes S. boulardii and Lactobacillus, bacteria commonly found in yogurt. S. boulardii is actually a yeast, explained Boulder nutritionist and herbalist Matthew Becker. “It has a great effect on normalizing the system, it crowds out bad bacteria, and it allows good bacteria to proliferate.”
Believers also praise the drink for its array of organic acids. Becker maintains that the malic acid in kombucha contains mildly detoxifying properties, and Adam Goodman, a Santa Cruz brewer and owner of Kombucha Botanica, added that the drink’s combination of acetic acid, gluconic acid, and succinic*acid “has a powerfully detoxifying effect.” But while many kombucha makers boast about their brew’s glucuronic acid—which may play a role in ridding the body of harmful chemicals—Goodman believes research that says none has ever been detected in the beverage. Among others, Stuart Tompson, director of Gaia Research Institute, continues to cite several studies which report that low levels of glucuronic acid are found in kombucha.

Overhyping the benefits of a beverage can lead producers into sticky legal situations. Millenium Products, makers of GT’s, currently faces a class action lawsuit, wherein plaintiff Gretchen Patch aims to “put an end to the deceptive, misleading, unfair, and unlawful labeling and advertising of GT’s” and claims she never would have bought the beverage if she had known its health benefits had not been scientifically proven. What’s worse, the lawsuit says, “serious health risks may be associated with the product.”

And Patch is not the only one to voice concern about the risks involved in kombucha. In 1995, two women who had shared the same kombucha culture became seriously ill; one went into cardiac arrest and died. Another man was hospitalized in 2009 after possibly suffering lactic acidosis, a build-up of lactic acid in the blood stream that can be life-threatening, as a result of drinking kombucha.

One potential risk of growing my own kombucha is that even though the high acetic acid content would eat away at any potentially harmful bacteria, dangerous molds could find their way into the mix. Cornell microbiologist Ramón Mira de Orduña raises concerns over the possibility that molds like penicillium and aspergillus could proliferate. The molds may produce mycotoxins, which are “fairly toxic and carcinogenic,” warned Mira de Orduña. “If you do that at home, and you’re not sure how to control that, that could be dangerous.” The mold would be visible on the surface of the SCOBY, though, or might expel a funky odor, so keeping an eye out for anything fuzzy could decrease the chance of drinking cancer-causing agents.

The danger of these molds is much worse for those with already suppressed immune systems. So trying to cure illnesses like AIDS and cancer with lots of kombucha drinking, as was trendy in the ’90s, could be a bad idea. But for healthy people who drink small quantities of kombucha (4 ounces or so a few times a week), the risks involved still seem pretty low.
But what about the question my friends keep asking me: Will my kombucha cure their hangovers? My guess is the caffeine and the sugar in the drink might have something to do with any morning-after boost. Mira de Orduña doesn’t even go that far. “Sure, the liquid might have some effect,” he chuckled, because “often when you have a hangover, you’re dehydrated. If someone found something that officially worked against hangovers, they would’ve made a billion dollars by now.”


Kombucha tea health benefit and side effects

Feb 22 2014 by Ray Sahelian, M.D. see a list of hundreds of health and nutrition topics

Kombucha, popularly called kombucha mushroom, a combination of yeast species and acid forming bacteria, that was quite popular in the US in the mid to late 1990s, but has since not been in the limelight. Some people call it kombucha mushroom but technically it is a symbiosis of several yeast species and bacteria.

There have not been any reliable human studies with kombucha tea published in recent years in the Western medical literature, therefore, at this point, it is difficult to report definitive proof of kombucha benefit. Rodents studies indicate it has antioxidant and immune influencing properties, ulcer-healing, along with liver protecting and anti-stress potential. It may have anti-bacterial activity. Other studies in rodents indicate that, compared to black tea, kombucha tea is a better inhibitor of alpha-amylase and lipase activities in the plasma and pancreas and a better suppressor of increased blood glucose levels, which could be of benefit to those with high blood sugar issues or who have diabetes. However, some human case studies as listed below raise some concern about possible risks and dangers.

J Med Food. 2014 Feb. Current evidence on physiological activity and expected health effects of kombucha fermented beverage. The aim of this review is to give an overview of the recent studies in search of experimental confirmation of the numerous KT health-promoting aspects cited previously. Analysis of the literature data is carried out in correspondence to the recent concepts of health protection’s requirements. Attention is given to the active compounds in kombucha tea, responsible for the particular effect, and to the mechanisms of their actions. It is shown that KT can efficiently act in health prophylaxis and recovery due to four main properties: detoxification, antioxidation, energizing potencies, and promotion of depressed immunity. The recent experimental studies on the consumption of KT suggest that it is suitable for prevention against broad-spectrum metabolic and infective disorders. This makes KT attractive as a fermented functional beverage for health prophylaxis.

Kombucha side effects, caution, toxicity, risks, harm, danger
Kombucha side effects have been reported. A rare case of myositis has been mentioned with drinking. Other possible problems include harm to liver and lactic acidosis. These harmful effects are rare compared to the number of people who drink this tea.

A case of kombucha tea toxicity.
J Intensive Care Med. 2009. Division of Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. 
Kombucha mushroom tea is touted to have medicinal properties. Here, we present a case of hyperthermia, lactic acidosis, and acute renal failure within 15 hours of Kombucha tea ingestion. A 22 year old male, newly diagnosed with HIV, became short of breath and febrile to 103 F within twelve hours of Kombucha tea ingestion. He subsequently became combative and confused, requiring sedation and intubation for airway control. Laboratories revealed a lactate of 12.9 mmol/L, and serum creatinine of 2.1 mg/dL. Kombucha tea is black tea fermented in a yeast-bacteria medium. Several case reports exist of serious, and sometimes fatal, hepatic dysfunction and lactic acidosis within close proximity to ingestion. While Kombucha tea is considered a healthy elixir, the limited evidence currently available raises considerable concern that it may pose serious health risks.

A case of anti-Jo1 myositis with pleural effusions and pericardial tamponade developing after exposure to a fermented Kombucha beverage.
Clin Rheumatol. 2004. Division of Rheumatology, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA 
The pathogenesis of the idiopathic inflammatory myopathies has been postulated to be an environmental trigger causing the expression of the disease in a genetically predisposed patient. We report a case of anti-Jo1 antibody-positive myositis which was associated with pleural effusions, pericardial effusion with tamponade, and ‘mechanic’s hands’, probably related to the consumption of a fermented Kombucha beverage. Kombucha ‘mushroom’, a symbiosis of yeast and bacteria, is postulated to be the trigger for our patient’s disease owing to the proximity of his symptoms to the consumption of the beverage.

Can a person experience an onset of psychosis from ingesting kombucha tea? A friend began drinking this tea and within 2 weeks began having psychosis like behavior.
Perhaps it is possible in rare cases that this can occur, but one has to rule out other supplements, medications, drugs, etc., that the person may have been ingesting.


Kombucha Tea Side Effects
Last Updated: Mar 17, 2014 | By Ann Bartkowski

Kombucha tea is made by fermenting several species of yeasts and bacteria along with sugar in black tea. The colony of yeast and bacteria is called a kombucha mushroom, although it is not actually a mushroom. The resulting tea has been promoted as a panacea for serious conditions such as cancer, autoimmune disorders and aging, however there is no scientific evidence for these claims. There is, however, evidence for serious side effects of kombucha tea, including death.

There have been many reports of severe acidosis, which is a life-threatening condition caused by an abnormally high amount of acid in the body, in people who had recently consumed kombucha tea. In 1995, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that two women were hospitalized with severe acidosis after drinking kombucha tea that they had made daily for two months. One of the women died, and the other’s heart stopped but she recovered. A 22-year-old HIV-positive male presented with lactic acidosis and died within 15 hours of drinking kombucha, as reported in a 2009 “Journal of Intensive Care Medicine.”

Liver Damage
Liver damage is another side-effect associated with drinking kombucha. Although complete liver failure resulting in death is rare, it is not impossible. The 22-year-old who developed acidosis and died shortly after consuming kombucha tea also went into liver failure. More commonly, according to the American Cancer Society, liver damage occurs in kombucha drinkers as jaundice. As jaundice sets in, your skin starts to turn yellow, often followed by your eyes and nails.

Kombucha Danger
By Carrie Grosvenor

Kombucha is an ancient Chinese remedy used to support overall wellness and longevity. The substance is usually consumed as a tea and has gained popularity in the Western world. However, kombucha may not be the benign substance many believe it is.

Kombucha Tea Cautions

Kombucha dangers arise in a variety of forms, from allergic reactions to contamination. Since many batches of kombucha tea are brewed at home, the risks associated with this drink can be quite high.

According to the American Cancer Society, Kombucha tea is made by fermenting sweetened black tea with the “Kombucha mushroom,” which is not actually a mushroom at all but a mushroom shaped culture of yeast and bacteria that forms while the tea is fermenting. There are many variables that can occur when fermenting and consuming the tea with potentially dangerous results.
•    Strains of molds, bacteria and fungi can develop which may cause serious illness. In fact, WebMD states on its website that 20 people in Iran developed anthrax infections after drinking kombucha tea. They go on to caution that the tea can be especially threatening to people with HIV or compromised immune systems.
•    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provided a report that lists case studies of individuals reacting badly to kombucha tea. In 1995, cases of unexplained illness, including one death, occurred in two people who drank kombucha tea for two months.
•    Overproduction of yeast can occur in the tea due to fermenting at too high a temperature, using a kombucha culture that contains a high yeast to bacteria ration, or allowing the culture to remain dormant too long before use. WebMD lists yeast infections as a possible side effect of kombucha tea.
•    Dr. Andrew Weil says NO to Kombucha. states on his website that incidents of lactic acidosis (a condition where the blood becomes acidic due to too much lactic acid in the body), kidney failure and serious liver dysfunction have been reported due to kombucha tea consumption. He also mentions other adverse reactions including:
◦    Jaundice
◦    Head and neck pain
◦    Nausea
◦    Vomiting
◦    Headaches
•    Kombucha tea contains a high level of acidity, and this may cause problems for people with stomach ulcers, heartburn, or any sensitivity to acidic foods. Although some people claim that the ‘good bacteria’ found in kombucha can help those conditions, others find it aggravates them.

Bottom line? Possible risk and benefits associated with Kombucha Tea.

So, possible risk and benefits associated with Kombucha Tea? After reviewing over 100 articles and published studies there is no consensus on the or any proposed health benefits of Kombucha. This is especially significant as many of the benefits individuals are seeking are better, more reliably and overall more safely served with other delivery systems. Quality probiotics, enzymes and vitamins which are now easily and commonly available in certified laboratory grade products. Kombucha’s effects appear to mostly be attributed to the Alcohol and caffeine and sugar which is always present. Of very real concern is the high acidity and the Kombucha’s supporting acidosis which is now considered a very real health concern. Some of the lighter side effects may be due to the acidifying properties. Lastly, there is a risk of cross contamination with dangerous molds and bacteria such as penicillin strains which could be very severe especially if the individual is health compromised in any way. Kombucha’s purported antibiotic resistant qualities are uniformally over stated by proponents.

There are far more effective and reliable natural alternatives to conventional antibiotics with little or no risk of exacerbation of existing conditions, harmful interactions and any risk. Although it may not be overtly harmful to healthy individuals drinking absolutely and properly prepared, on a limited basis no more than 2 to 3 times a week. It should be avoided when immune compromise is suspected. In answer to my first question whether I feel SomaVeda® Thai Yoga Practitioner should use or recommend to themselves or clients as a remedy? My overall vote is a NO as there are more readily available low to no risk alternatives for the same benefits. More Hype than help. Maybe in an “There is nothing else available” type of scenario. Additionally, we teach several proven antibiotic and or infectious disease treatment alternatives to all SomaVeda® students in class.  As to whether we recommend Kombucha for use during our SomaVeda® programs? Again the answer is a no on using or making during programs… First of all we have a “NO ALCOHOL” policy for campus and since the majority of Kombucha products have varying amounts of alcohol it would not be suitable. Lastly, The risk is unpredictable from person to person and any use of Kombucha should be closely monitored for possible risk factors.

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Ayurveda Wellness Counselor, The New CTP2

Thai Yoga Eightfold Path

Ayurveda Wellness Counselor

The New SomaVeda® CTP2!

SomaVeda® Thai Yoga Practitioner graduates are aware, we are constantly striving to bring you the most intensive, comprehensive, practical and genuine programs possible. Over the last 35 years we have made many improvements to the delivery of our SomaVeda® Thai Yoga practitioner programs. Continuing in this tradition we are offering an upgrade to the SomaVeda® Thai Yoga Practitioner Certification intermediate program affectionately called CTP2.

Beginning in June of 2016 we will be changing the title, name, requirements and certificate being offered for the CTP2!

The new name for CTP2 is the SomaVeda® Ayurveda Wellness Counselor: CTP2. (SomaVeda® Thai Yoga: intermediate level )

There are additional in class requirements, new course information and emphasis for AWC: CTP2 continuing education students. Greater emphasis on mastery and understanding of how to counsel, educate and minister to patients. New vinyasa flows, new Yoga Therapy techniques, New strategies for assisting those with spiritual, mental and emotional issues. New Sacred Nutrition and Diet strategies, New adjuncts and more advanced information of using herbs, supplements, Intro to Ayurveda Homeopathy/ Naturopathy and making individualized remedies and much more.

The Ayurveda Wellness Counselor Certification establishes you as a SomaVeda® style Ayurveda Counselor and enhances both you own life and practice but brings greater credibility and recognition to your clients. This course will expand your knowledge of Ayurveda, Thai Yoga Therapy and Yoga Therapy related health care. The intermediate level course work will provide your clients with additional and or completely new and supportive health care offerings.

The more detailed marketing and business development course work will keep you on track developing and or expanding your existing practice. Of course we will continue your education on the legal practice of SomaVeda® Thai Yoga Therapy, Ayurveda and Indigenous, traditional, Natural medicine! Remember, under our NAIC umbrella and authorization, as a SomaVeda® Thai Yoga and Ayurveda Wellness Counselor you are legal to practice in all 50 states and Canada with no additional licensing required!

There are new additional requirements to receive the SomaVeda Ayurveda Wellness Counselor Certificate: CTP2

  1. CTP1 satisfactory completion.
  2. 35 hours, Supervised Clinical Practice: A minimum of five (5) SomaVeda® Therapeutic Day Protocols. (SomaVeda® Client Practice Log submitted as documentation and signed off by Chief Instructor). We are making the Client Practice log available to all scheduled CTP2 students on request.
  3. Book and Materials Fee for AWC: CTP2 is $150.00 (Due on registration or 30 days before scheduled CTP2)

Please note! CTP2 students who do not complete the full requirements for the Ayurveda Wellness Counselor (AWC) certificate will be issued the standard CTP2 (intermediate) Certificate.

Effective immediately, all new CTP2 continuing education registrations will be required to meet the current AWC: CTP2 requirements for graduation.

The Ayurveda Wellness Counselor: CTP2 is now the first of three Ayurveda Certifications we are proud to offer:

1. 235 hr. Ayurveda Wellness Counselor (Includes CTP1 class hours)

2. 650 hr. Ayurveda Health Counselor (NAMA)(Includes CTP1, 2, 3)

3. 1008 hr. A Yoga Therapist/ Ayurveda Practitioner (AAPNA) (Includes CTP1, 2, 3 and TCP)





Thai Yoga Therapy Reduces Psychological Stress

Thai Yoga reduces psychological stress

By Anthony B. James DNM(P), ND(T), MD(AM), DPHC(h.c.), PhD, DOM, RAC, SMOKH Academic Dean SomaVeda College of Natural Medicine and Thai Yoga Center (SCNM).

practitioners of SomaVeda® Thai Yoga and clients alike should know that Thai Yoga Therapy reduces psychological stress! It is a consistent and long held belief among Thai Yoga Practitioners and clients alike that receiving sessions and programs reduces and or eliminates stress symptoms. Therapy protocols and healing programs based on this indigenous, traditional, natural medicine originally from Thailand emphasize relaxation techniques including therapeutic prayers (Puja), Focused breathing (Prana Yama), Yoga Asana (therapeutic postures) delivered in a calm and nurturing way. Traction and decompression techniques coupled with broad, deep compression applied with a rhythmic pacing further add to the result. Circulation of all vital body fluids is enhanced as well as lymphatic decongestion. All of this is incredibly helpful for stress.

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Coffee Super Food: May Reduce Risk of Endometrial Cancer in Women

Dr Anthony B. James -id-photo

By Anthony B. James DNM(P), ND(T), MD(AM), DPHC(h.c.), RAAP, SMOKH

Coffee Super food

New information: Coffee Super Food: May Reduce Risk of Endometrial Cancer!

I published my first article of Coffee Super Food Nov. 11, 2013. There have been some significant new studies and scientific papers supporting Coffee use since then. I am updating this information accordingly.

There’s a lot of hype and mythology today regarding coffee and the consumption of coffee as possibly unhealthy. Many physicians for years have been warning their patients about the supposed risks associated with coffee drinking. They have said that coffee will raise your blood pressure, lead to heart disease, give you ulcers or make you diabetic. One gentleman I recently spoke to at his coffee bistro which he owns and operates,  related to me how his personal physician had stated to him, “Drink another cup and you might die!”.

In the moment I was trying to relate to what a successful coffee shop owner might think or feel having been given this little gem of wisdom by his personal physician. As a physician and coffee drinker myself, I have heard over time both pro’s and supposed con’s. My new friends dilemma is the genesis for this article.

I’m sure he is not the only one. Drinking that cup of fresh, organic, properly roasted and brewed, premium coffee with a bit of guilt and or shame if not out right fear! Let’s work together to clear this up.

Please keep in mind that coffee like anything should be used or consumed in moderation and not to excess. However, I hope to show that there is an increasing database of scientific articles and research supporting health promoting properties. Most of the supposed harmful effects of coffee have been attributed to caffeine, however, there are more than 1000 different chemicals and bio-active compounds found additionally in coffee and many of them actually buffer the effects of the single constituent of caffeine! (20), (21)

History of Coffee (Brief!)

The origins of the word “Coffee” are actually Dutch which is based on a transliteration of the truncated Arabic term of “qahhwat al-bun” ‘ Wine of the bean’. Coffee, grown, processed and consumed the way we do today has been in practice as fa back as back goes! It has been part of native culture and indigenous traditions of ancient Ethiopia and the Arabian peninsula from which it spread to the rest of Africa and on to Indonesia and SE Asia and then to the America’s. it’s original use was closely associated with spiritual practices requiring extended night time devotions. It was noted from the 1500’s that drinking coffee “drove away fatigue and lethargy, and brought to the body a certain sprightliness and vigour“.  There is a dark side of the coffee history Coffee was one of the products such as sugar which played a role in the development and expansion of the slave trade in the early America’s. (1)

turkish coffee
Turkish Coffee House: http://www.gutenberg.org

The introduction of coffee into the diet of the ancient Arabs and the subsequent development of the coffee house, coffee salon may have contributed greatly to the development of all of the arts at that time. Story telling, conversation, revolution, culture, mathematics, literature, philosophy, music, dance were all fair game. From a cultural developmental point of view it would be difficult to separate the positive influence of coffee and it’s gathering places from other important societal influences.

Coffee Science!

From the scientific literature here are some results:

May Lower  Risk of Death!

From Heart / Coronary Heart Disease, diabetes, stroke, death due to inflammatory disease. There are even some evidence that coffee drinkers perish at lower rates from injuries and accidents! Coffee appears to support longevity and reduce risk of death from many possible illnesses. (19)

The New England Journal of Medicine published a 14-year study of 402,260 American men and women titled “Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause specific Mortality” stated “As compared with men who did not drink coffee, men who drank 6 or more cups of coffee per day had a 10% lower risk of death, whereas women in this category of consumption had a 15% lower risk.” Researchers also found that as coffee consumption increased, the risk of death decreased. It made no difference whether the coffee was “Decaffeinated  or not. (2)

Type 2 Diabetes: Several studies support the role of coffee in reducing the harmful effects of Type 2 diabetes. One Japanese study in 2010 showed this protective effect. Additional health benefit demonstrate included that coffee doubles glucose intake, which will reduce blood glucose levels stabilizing blood sugar levels. (3), (4)

CARDIO-VASCULAR DISEASE: Consumption of coffee is associated with reduced risk of death attributed to inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases in the Iowa Women’s Health Study. ( 5), (6)

Endothelial Function:  or healthier Endothelium (Lining of the blood and lymphatic vessels). Anything that supports the proper or improved Endothelial function supports longevity and proper functioning of all of the organs, circulatory process, healing of wounds and regeneration of tissues. This includes Rhuematic conditions and inflammatory processes. So what would these conditions relative to Endothelia health be? Here’s a partial list: atherosclerosis, hypertension and thrombosis often seen in coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, as well as in smokers. (7)

New! Endometrial Cancer:  In a study published in the Medical Journal Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers & Prevention, cited by PubMed.Org, Coffee was reported to lower levels of estrogen and insulin. Researchers in a 2011 study indicated these two hormones are implicated in increased risk of endometrial cancer. Further the study showed that fewer than 4 cups per day resulted in as much as a 25% lower risk than in those individuals who consumed 1 or less cups per day. However, they also said that additives such as sugar and cream to the coffee could offset benefits.(28) So if we are speaking of Coffee as part of an overall natural treatment approach then black coffee is the way to go.  More recently, a study Published in the February issue, 2016 of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, scientists found that drinking roughly 26 to 37 ounces of coffee per day reduced endometrial cancer by up to 18 percent. The study did not differentiate between whole, organic vs. decaf etc. Another trial involving consumption of 26 ounces per day identified a similar reduction, reports CBS News. (25, 26, 27) The bottom line? Coffee Super food: May Reduce Risk of Endometrial Cancer!

Prostrate Cancer: One large study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute of almost 50,000 men, found that men who drinks six cups of coffee per day had a 60% lower risk of lethal prostate cancer. (8)

BRAIN FUNCTION: May protect from the degenerative conditions of Parkinsonson’s, Alzheimers and dementia disease. The exact reasons and or mechanisms that allow coffee to protect or support  anti-aging or healthy brain function are as yet still unknown. The average person would be shocked to learn that there are over 1000 natural chemical compounds in the coffee that might have potential to affect health. This ancient herb infusion of the Arabica genus is one of the most complex foods on the planet. Additionally coffee may reduce some of the potential harmful side effects of dangerous chlorine based pesticides and herbicides such as Rotenone, Paraquat and Roundup. Coffees effects and possible benefits of brain function are being systematically being researched around the world. (9), (10)

ANTI-OXIDENTS: Japanese researcher Kenichi Yanagimoto showed that some of the antioxidants in brewed coffee remained effective for 15 to 30 days! He and other researchers have demonstrated that drinking brewed coffee which contains many antioxidants may inhibit diseases caused by oxidative damage. Which diseases are those? Try and find one chronic disease that does not share an indicator of oxidative damage as part of it’s morphology and pathology. (11)

We could easily go on! Additional conditions and disease which research suggest helpful, beneficial effects from coffee consumption include but are not limited to:  Cirrhosis & Liver Cancer (12) (13), Kidney Cancer (14), Colorectal Cancer (15), Stroke (16) (17), Stomach and Gastrointestinal Flora (Gut Bacteria) (18), Hypertension, LDL Cholesterol, Cardia arrhythmia’s, Lactation, Endothelial Cancer (22), Breast Cancer (23)(24)

How much coffee should one consume?
That’s a good question and currently there is no hard and fast rule. While some of the studies and resources I have included here seem to indicate that the more the better, I think it’s actually important to self monitor and regulate based on how you feel. Some studies showed significant health benefits with consuming as many as four to six cups a day! However, when you feel your a your limit, drink more water! Shaking hands, nervous anxiety etc. show you it’s time for more water. Also, no matter how much coffee you drink daily, remember coffee should not be a substitute for water. The average person needs somewhere close to half their body weight in water every day to avoid dehydration and on the downside coffee is also known to be a diuretic.

Lastly avoid all the condiments, sugars, syrups, creams etc. as they do not have the health benefit of just the freshly brewed coffee. It’s also a quality issue. For example a properly brewed, good quality, organic, coffee regardless of origin, will have more and better flavor profile. It will be less acidic or bitter and pleasing for the palate without all the adjuncts and additives. So, properly brewed, fresh, good quality coffee for maximum health benefit. It’s time for a guilt and fear free cup or two of Java.

Coffee Super food: Coffee deserves it’s place at the “Super Food” table!

Sources and References:

(1) History of Coffee (http://www.ncausa.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=68)

(2) Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause specific Mortality  ( http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1112010#t=articleDiscussion)

(3) Coffee consumption appears to decrease the risk of developing diabetes ( http://www.greenmedinfo.com/article/coffee-consumption-appears-decrease-risk-developing-diabetes)

(4) The Surprising Benefits of Drinking This ‘Unhealthy’ Everyday Beverage… ( http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/04/16/ori-hofmekler-on-coffee.aspx)

( 5) Iowa Women’s Health Study. ( http://cel.webofknowledge.com/InboundService.do?SID=2EetFr65RhQRaEUzexg&product=CEL&UT=000237677300007&SrcApp=literatum&Init=Yes&action=retrieve&Func=Frame&customersID=atyponcel&SrcAuth=atyponcel&IsProductCode=Yes&mode=FullRecord)

(6) Mounting Evidence Suggests Coffee May Actually Have Therapeutic Health Benefits ( http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/09/16/coffee-health-benefits.aspx)

(7) Consumption of a boiled Greek type of coffee is associated with improved endothelial function: The Ikaria Study Vasc Med April 2013 18: 55-62, first published on March 18, 2013 (http://vmj.sagepub.com/content/18/2/55.full)

(8) Coffee Consumption and Prostate Cancer Risk and Progression in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study ( http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/05/17/jnci.djr151.abstract)

(9) Association of Coffee and Caffeine Intake With the Risk of Parkinson Disease ( http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=192731)

(10) Coffee, but not caffeine, has positive effects on cognition and psychomotor behavior in aging ( http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11357-012-9509-4?no-access=true )

(11) Antioxidative Activities of Fractions Obtained from Brewed Coffee (http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf030317t?journalCode=jafcau )

(12) Influence of Coffee Drinking on Subsequent Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Prospective Study in Japan ( http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/97/4/293.abstract)

(13) An increased consumption of coffee may reduce the risk of liver cancer. ( http://www.greenmedinfo.com/substance/coffee)

(14) Greater consumption of coffee and tea may be associated with a lower risk of renal cell cancer. ( http://www.greenmedinfo.com/article/greater-consumption-coffee-and-tea-may-be-associated-lower-risk-renal-cell-cancer-0)

(15) Coffee consumption and risk of colorectal cancer in a population-based prospective cohort of Japanese men and women ( http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ijc.22778/abstract)

(16) Coffee Consumption and Risk of Stroke in Women ( http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/42/4/908)

(17) Coffee Consumption and Risk of Stroke in Women ( http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/119/8/1116.abstract)

(18) The consumption of coffee increases the metabolic activity and/or numbers of the Bifidobacterium spp. population. ( http://www.greenmedinfo.com/article/consumption-coffee-increases-metabolic-activity-andor-numbers-bifidobacterium-spp-population)

(19) Coffee and Longevity ( http://upwave.com/longevity/drinking-coffee-benefits-health-longevity?cid=uwdaotbnwthk01 )

(20) Oregon State University, Reference Chemical Constituents in Coffee ( http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/foods/coffee/coffeerefs.html)

(21) Micronutrient Constituents of Coffee ( http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/foods/coffee/#components)

(22) Coffee May Lower Endometrial Cancer Risk ( http://www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20150206/coffee-linked-to-possible-lower-endometrial-cancer-risk)

(23) Coffee protects against breast cancer recurrence, detailed findings confirm (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150421084531.htm)

(24) Women who choose boiled coffee run lower risk of breast cancer, Swedish study finds (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100615151255.htm)

(25) Key statistics for endometrial cancer (http://www.cancer.org/cancer/endometrialcancer/detailedguide/endometrial-uterine-cancer-key-statistics)

(26) Coffee May Lower Women’s Risk of Endometrial Cancer (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/coffee-may-lower-endometrial-cancer-risk-for-women/)

(27) Coffee can lower risk of endometrial cancer: Should you be drinking more? (http://www.techtimes.com/articles/31758/20150209/coffee-can-lower-risk-of-endometrial-cancer-should-you-start-drinking-more.htm)

(28) A prospective cohort study of coffee consumption and risk of endometrial cancer over a 26-year follow-up. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=A+Prospective+Cohort+Study+of+Coffee+Consumption+and+Risk+of+Endometrial+Cancer+over+a+26-Year+Follow-Up)

Evidence suggest Coffee may Be a Superfood!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.

Thai Yoga Eight Fold Path

Thai Yoga Eight Fold Path

Thai Yoga Eightfold Path

By Anthony B. James DNM(P), ND(T), MD(AM), DPHC(h.c.), DOM, RAC, SMOKH Academic Dean SomaVeda College of Natural Medicine and Thai Yoga Center (SCNM).

When we talk about SomaVeda Integrated Traditional Therapies® and SomaVeda® Thai yoga, we are also talking about it as being based on a code of ethical conduct. It’s not just a system or methodology of healing. It is the art of being. So, how do you practice the art of being? We say that there are basically eight things that you want to incorporate in your life in some way, shape or form in order to have a noble or ethical way of life as a healer. Our iteration/ formulation of the Thai Yoga Eight Fold Path is based on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. The Yogic Eight Fold Path is literally called “Ashtanga” which means the “Eight Limbs”. We additionally incorporate understandings found in the Theraveda Buddhist Noble Eight Fold Path (ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo) adapted to our particular work and practice as healers, therapist and Doctors of indigenous traditional natural medicine.

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Thai Yoga Rocking into Dak Kha

Thai Yoga Rocking into Dak Kha

By Anthony B. James DNM(P), ND(T), MD(AM), DPHC(h.c.), DOM, RAC, SMOKH Academic Dean SomaVeda College of Natural Medicine and Thai Yoga Center (SCNM).

Thai Yoga Rocking into Dak Kha

The Southern method Vinyasa (SomaVeda® Ayurvedic Thai Yoga: Level Two) offers the Thai Yoga practitioner a gold mine of breakouts and emphasis which can be accessed to bring relief and increase well being for an individual client. The Vinyasa (Yoga Therapy Flow) are divided up into five major attitudes such as the Supine Position, Side Lying Position, Prone Positio, Second Supine (Abdominal/ Leg Stretching) Position and Seated position.

Thai Yoga Rocking into Dak Kha (Inward Bent Knee/ Hurdlers Stretch) is a transition from the Sao Nong (Raised Bent Knee) into the Inward Bent Knee posture in the Supine position… The reason I want to bring attention to this transition is the Rocking position is what we call a Master Release position. My definition of a Master Release position is any position or Asana that when done by it’s self long enough will effect a full body release and other benefits.

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Hands Free Thai Yoga Massage Saves Hands

Hands Free Thai Yoga Massage Saves hands!

SomaVeda® Hands Free/ No Hands Thai Yoga

By Anthony B. James DNM(P), ND(T), MD(AM), DPHC(h.c.), DOM, RAAP, SMOKH Academic Dean SomaVeda College of Natural Medicine and Thai Yoga Center (SCNM).

Hands Free Thai Yoga saves hands!

Hands Free Thai Yoga Saves Hands!  SomaVeda Integrated Traditional Therapies® offers several specialties which are intended to broaden the possibilities of practicing. The SomaVeda® Hands Free/ No Hands Thai Yoga is one set of these. SomaVeda Integrated Traditional Therapies® offers several specialties which are intended to broaden the possibilities of practicing.

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Traditional Thai Massage, Thai Yoga Reduces Pain, Increases Walking Ability Better than Physical Therapy

Traditional Thai Massage, Thai Yoga  Reduces Pain, Increases Walking Ability Better than Physical Therapy

Traditional Thai Massage, Thai Yoga Reduces Pain, Increases Walking Ability Better than Physical Therapy

By Anthony B. James DNM(P), ND(T), MD(AM), DPHC(h.c.), DOM, RAC, SMOKH Academic Dean SomaVeda College of Natural Medicine and Thai Yoga Center (SCNM).

From experience we Thai Yoga practitioners know that Thai Yoga reduces pain and that with reduced pain and corresponding inflammation many different improvements in function and structure become evident over time. It’s great to see validation of what both our traditions and our actual clinical experience show us every day.

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SomaVeda® Thai Yoga Offers Relief for Headaches and Migraines

SomaVeda® Thai Yoga Offers Relief For Headaches and Migraines

Aachan, Prof. Dr. Anthony B. James

By Anthony B. James DNM(P), ND(T), MD(AM), DPHC(h.c.), DOM, RAC, SMOKH Academic Dean SomaVeda College of Natural Medicine and Thai Yoga Center (SCNM).

Lets address the features of Headaches including,  Chronic Tension Headaches, Migraine Headaches, Stress and Tension Headaches and headache type syndromes which may be mental, emotional and or energetic in origin and how Indigenous Traditional Therapeutic approaches. Specifically how SomaVeda® Thai Yoga Offers Relief for Headaches and Migraines.

“Foolish is the doctor who despises the knowledge of the ancients”


Where do we find this knowledge of the ancients?

Much wisdom of the ancients has been passed down through countless generations in the religious, wisdom and medicine teachings of indigenous and traditional native cultures.

Chronic Tension Headache
Thai Yoga offers relief from Headaches

Many different words are used to describe and define the diagnosis of what we generally refer to as “Headache Disorders“. Wikipedia’s International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD)(1) demonstrates clearly that Headache Disorder is more appropriately considered a syndrome as there are many types of headache classification and no singular set of symptoms and or causes. According to the ICHD there are at least fourteen different classifications which contains explicit diagnostic criteria.  In my opinion a Headache Disorder is a non-specific term for medical problems affecting the head, neck and or shoulder region.

In conventional/ western medicine most headaches and headache disorders are treated with prescription and OTC chemical drugs such as Ibuprofen and Elavil (Amitriptyline- an antidepressent!) not only do these drugs burden the headache sufferer with additional unwanted effects, but in clinical trials have been found to not be as effective. In fact Thai Yoga Offers Relief for Headaches and Migraines as a therapy that are significantly more effective with none of the unwanted side effects associated with drug based therapies.(34)

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SomaVeda® Thai Yoga Offers Relief From Arthritis

SomaVeda® Thai Yoga Offers Relief From Arthritis

Aachan, Prof. Dr. Anthony B. James

By Anthony B. James DNM(P), ND(T), MD(AM), DPHC(h.c.), DOM, RAC, SMOKH Academic Dean SomaVeda College of Natural Medicine and Thai Yoga Center (SCNM).

Lets address the Extra-articular features of Connective Tissue Disease,  Spondyloarthopathy, Arthropathy, Arthritus, Fibromyalgia and corresponding Edemas/ ischemia and Inflammation with Indigenous Traditional Therapeutic approaches. Specifically how SomaVeda® Thai Yoga Offers Relief From Arthritis.

“Foolish is the doctor who despises the knowledge of the ancients”


Where do we find this knowledge of the ancients?

Much wisdom of the ancients has been passed down through countless generations in the religious, wisdom and medicine teachings of indigenous and traditional native cultures.

Arthritis Knee Pain
Thai Yoga Offers Relief From Arthritis

Many different words are used to describe and define the diagnosis of what we generally refer to as “Rheumatic Disorders“. Wikipedia defines  as “Rheumatism or rheumatic disorder is a non-specific term for medical problems affecting the joints and/or connective tissue. The study of, and therapeutic interventions in, such disorders is called rheumatology.”

Types of Rheumatic and or Arthritis “Like” disorders and syndromes.

  1. Spondyloarthropathy(1) is any joint disease of the vertebral column.
  2. Arthropathy is a disease of a joint(2).
  3. Arthritus

We are going to focus on Arthritis(3) as a general syndrome which encompasses in one aspect or another of all these usually considered separate diagnosis.

Arthritis(4) is a form of arthropathy(5) that involves inflammation of one or more joints, while the term arthropathy may be used regardless of whether there is inflammation(6) or not.  (from Greek arthro-, joint + -itis, inflammation; plural: arthritides) is a form of joint disorder that involves inflammation of one or more joints. There are over 100 different forms of arthritis(7). The most common form, osteoarthritis(8) (degenerative joint disease), is a result of trauma to the joint, infection of the joint, or age. Other arthritis forms are rheumatoid arthritis(9), psoriatic arthritis(10), and related autoimmune diseases(11). Septic arthritis(12) is caused by joint infection(13). There are more than 100 identifiable types of Arthritus(14).

The major complaint by individuals who have arthritis is joint pain(15). Pain is often a constant and may be localized to the joint affected. The pain from arthritis is due to inflammation that occurs around the joint, damage to the joint from disease, daily wear and tear of joint, muscle strains(16) caused by forceful movements against stiff painful joints and fatigue(17).

In conventional western Allopathy, these able referenced conditions are seen to all be distinctive and in many way unrelated pathological conditions with often entirely unique and different treatment protocols. Good examples would be “Spondyloarthopathy” and “Edema “ or “Eschemia”.

What is SomaVeda® Thai Yoga? (Thai Traditional Medicine/ Thai Traditional Massage)

In Thai language it’s called “Ryksaa Thang Nuad Phaen Boran Thai
The ancient Thai spiritual way of healing by “laying on hands” to manifest the spiritual energy of the heart in a practical way. It is also called ” The Practical Expression of Loving Kindness”.

What are the primary therapeutic outcomes of indigenous based SomaVeda® Thai Yoga therapy?

  1. To repair, restore and strengthen connection, communication & awareness between the individual and spirit or oneness with themselves and with innate intelligence.
  2. To share and realize “Promiiwihan Sii“:  Four boundless, unlimited or divine states of mind.
  3. To bring energy, attention, consciousness, breath & pressure to bear on the entire person (spiritual, emotional, mental, physical)
  4. To promote homeostatic and homeo-dynamic equilibriums between mind, body and spirit.
  5. To support spiritual growth, health and well-being.
  6. To promote wellness and to alleviate pain and suffering.

SomaVeda® Thai Yoga Offers Relief From Arthritis

However the approach is quite different.

Indigenous, Traditional approaches such as in Traditional Thai Medicine/ Thai Yoga Approach

From the traditional native perspective all of the above Rheumatic and or Arthritic conditions and or diseases and individual related syndromes are actually considered all part of the same syndrome. An imbalance of the Tri-Dosha and or Elements which make them up. Therefore, the energetic and elemental imbalances are addressed first as primary concerns and the emotional/ psychological and finally physical symptoms are addressed last.  Regardless of starting point for the purposes of treatment logistics the end result is a restoration of a more balanced state, functional capacity and reduction in inflammation and pain(30), (31), (32) .

Indigenous and Traditional Thai Yoga is based on Classical Indian Ayurveda and Indigenous traditional Hill Tribe medicine principles.

This classic Ayurvedic Dosha syndrome would first be seen as an imbalance  of the primal elements: Air Fire, Water , Earth (Thaat Thang Sii Thai Lang.), then as an overall either deficiency in energy (Prana and Digestive fire: Agni) and or build up and excessive toxins (Ama Mala) in the whole person or both.

There is not one single form of these various Dosha syndromes, there are three!

In many ways either directly or indirectly indigenous and traditional treatment protocols may address all of the different types of Arthritus, Spondylarthropathy as well as concomitant and or correlative symptomologies  of edema, ischemia, inflammation, infection, autoimmune compromise via the adjunct inclusion of herbal based remedies and medicines. The actual regimens are passed down through the generations both through formal institutional practices and standardized education as well as through less rigid oral and familial customs often for many generations.

In Ayurveda, imbalance of the Dosha, are caused by excesses in a persons lifestyle, diet and or emotional pattern (Unresolved Old Negative Emotions… We call NEMO’s), then the primary affected Dosha slows down the “Agni” (Digestive Fire), resulting in the toxic by-product of inadequate digestion known as “Ama”.

Three Types of Dosha “Arthritis”(18)

Vata: If arthritis is due to Vata, your joints will crack and pop. They become dry and are not swollen as they may be if excess Vata is not the cause. We will consider this as “non-inflamatory” a variant of Osteoarthritus.

Pitta: The arthritis is characterized by inflammation. The joint becomes swollen and is painful even without movement. It often looks red and feels hot to the touch.

Kapha: In Kapha-type arthritis, the joint also becomes stiff and swollen, but it feels cold and clammy rather than hot. A little movement, rather than aggravating the pain, tends to relieve it.

There are two kinds of Dosha states that we look at.
A) Prakruti or Original/ fundamental Body type. (Genetic predisposition)
B) Vikruti: Pathological Dosha or Dosha (What’s out of balance)

In treatment we first determine Prakruti and then balance the Vikruti. Prakruti never changes, Vikruti or the difference indicating the current harmony or balancing between all the Dosha constantly changes.

How do we determine the Vikruti or the Dosha to bring correction to?  Through a variety of means. Traditionally by direct observation, taking of the Pulse (Nadi Vignyan), plus several other assessment methods.

Depending on the Vikruti Dosha indicator, the treatment / session emphasis will change.

General Treatment of Arthritis Addressing any or all Dosha.

Depending on a person’s lifestyle, diet, and emotional pattern, either Vata(19), Pitta(20), or Kapha(21) goes out of balance. Then that particular dosha(22) slows down Agni(23) (digestive fire), resulting in the toxic, sticky by-product of inadequate digestion known as Ama(24).

Vata, the main active or naturally active Dosha, brings the Ama into the colon, and from there it travels through the system and lodges in the bone tissue and in the joints, giving rise to the stiffness and pain characteristic of arthritis.

Ayurveda attempts to remove the Ama from the joint and bring it back to the colon, and then to eliminate it. To do this, we need to keep the colon clean. It is best to determine the type of arthritis and manage it for the remedies recommended for the specific type. If you do not know whether the arthritis is Vata, Pitta, or Kapha arthritis, take 1 teaspoon Triphala at night with 1/2 to 1 cup warm water. (Herbs: Harada, Amla and Bihara: General purgative and tonic at the same time. Considered a remedy)

If you know positively which type it is, you can use the following for the specific Dosha: (Dosage: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon with warm water)

Vata – Haritaki for vata-type arthritis:  (Harada: having a bitter flavor, is associated with the vata humour and with elemenst of well air and space. It treats imbalances and diseases of the vata humour. Harada possesses laxative, astringent, lubricant, antiparasitical, alterative, antispasmodic and nervine properties. It is therefore used to treat acute and chronic constipation, nervousness, anxiety and feelings of physical heaviness.

Among Tibetans, Harada is so highly revered for its purifying attributes that it is the small fruit that is depicted in the hands of the “medicine Buddha” in their sacred paintings or tankas. Of the three fruits, Harada is the most laxative and contains anthroquinones similar to those found in rhubarb and cascara(27)

Pitta –  Amalaki for pitta-type: ( Amla: has a sour flavor and corresponds to the pitta humour and the fire element in Ayurvedic medicine. It is a cooling tonic, astringent, mildly laxative, alterative, antipyretic. It is used to treat fire imbalances that include ulcers, inflammation of the stomach nd intestines, constipation, diarrhea, liver congestion, eruptions, infections and burning feelings throughout the body. In various studies, Amla has been shown to have mild anti-bacterial properties, as well as pronounced expectorant, anti-viral and cardiotonic activity.

Amla is the highest natural known source of vitamin C, having 20 times the vitamin C content of an orange. The vitamin C in Amla is also uniquely heat stable. Even when subjected to prolonged high heat, as in the making of the Ayurvedic tonic formula called Chyavanprash (Amla, as the primary herb comprises 50% of the formula), it loses hardly any of the vitamin C that was present when it was freshly harvested off the tree. The same is true of Amla that has been dried and kept for up to a year. This age and heat stable form of vitamin C that Amla possesses is due to the presence of certain tannins that bind and inhibit its dissipation. (Michael Tierra: http://www.planetherbs.com/specific-herbs/the-wonders-of-triphala.html )

Kapha – Bibbitaki for kapha-type arthritis: ( Bihara is astringent, tonic, digestive and anti-spasmodic. Its primary flavor is astringent and the secondary is sweet, bitter and pungent. It targets imbalances associated with the kapha or mucus humour, corresponding to the earth and water elements in Ayurvedic medicine. Specifically Bihara purifies and balances excess mucus, treats asthma, bronchiole conditions, allergies and hiccoughs.) (Michael Tierra: http://www.planetherbs.com/specific-herbs/the-wonders-of-triphala.html )

Ayurveda recommends general techniques for increasing the intensity of the digestive fire (agni) in order to burn up the toxins that are harming the body.

  • Use of selected foods and herbs: Hot, spicy foods and herbs, including galangal and cayenne are frequently used.
  • Detoxification diet: A three- to five-day detoxification diet is often prescribed. Vegetables, juices, spices and herbs are taken during the fast, which lasts until the body shows signs that the digestive fire is burning strong. These signs include a return of the appetite, a feeling of lightness and a clear coating to the tongue.
  • Use of Enemas/ Cleaning Colon:  Enemas, Bowel Cleansing and other means of cleaning the colon are often used to help detoxify the body and specifically protect and support liver function.
  • Gemstone Therapy: Ruby, garnet or other “hot” gems set in gold are used for all three types of arthritis.
  • Use of herbal, medicinal or essential oils: Various oils may be applied to the skin in order to help the body clear toxins, relieve pain and restore mobility.
    Mahanarayan oil (See Appendix) improves flexibility, stiffness, muscle fatigue, and removes pain. It is mixed with sesame oil (1:1) and applied to the painful areas. This oil also breaks up blockages and begins to heal locally. After oil application, warm heat, yoga, bath, or mild exercise further improves this situation.
    Narayan oil (See Appendix) is good for muscle and joint pain, lower body circulation, and reversing imbalances caused by aging.
    Avipattikar churna (See Appendix) is good to ingest for rheumatism.
  • Heat Therapy (Lightening Therapy): The patient may be asked to sit in a sauna, or may have steam applied directly to the afflicted areas. Modern Ayurveda may use adjuncts for heat therapy such as Far-Infrared Light (Photo-biomodulation) and or Nuad Prakhop Samun Praii  (Thai Lang.) (Steamed Herbal Compress Poultice or Balls) (See Appendix)
  • Use of herbs, spices and bitters:  A variety of herbs, spices and bitters are used in Ayurveda. These are often applied externally or ingested. These are believed to cleanse the body and to relieve pain and stiffness. Mint, ephedra, golden seal, gentian, nirgundi (Vitex negundo) , eucalyptus leaves, prasarini (Arrow-leaf Morning Glory, African Morningvine), quassia ( Amargo, Bitter-ash, Bitter-wood), coptis (Gold thread or Canker Root), scute ( Chinese Skullcap/ Huang Qin), phellodendrom, aloe, guggul ( Indian myrrh tree), du huo (Angelica Root), ligusticum (Plum Flower: Chuan Xiong Cha Tiao), Siberian ginseng, myrrh, and yucca are some of the herbs used.

General Treatment for Specific and Targeted Dosha Imbalance
Treating Vata-type arthritis

  • Diet: In addition to the general treatment, Vata-type arthritis responds well to a three- to five-day detoxification diet and an anti- Vata balancing diet(26). This diet includes warm, heavy and moist foods that give one strength.
  • Herbs, Essential Oils: Take yogaraj guggulu (See Appendix), 1 tablet 3 times per day. it cleanses bone tissue, strengthens bones, and improves flexibility.
  • Take 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Haritaki(27) with warm water
  • Apply Mahanarayan oil on the affected joint, followed by application of local moist heat. For example, apply the Mahanarayan oil into the affected joint, rub it into the skin, and then soak your foot in warm to bearably hot water. Add a “teabag’ of brown mustard seeds to the water. (Wrap 2 tablespoons of mustard seeds in a handkerchief or cheesecloth to make the tea bag.)
  • Castor oil or Triphala (See Appendix)  help keep the colon cleansed.
  • Hatha Yoga: Helpful yoga postures: Forward Bend, Chest-Knee pose, Maha Mudra, Half Bridge pose

Treating Pitta-type Arthritis
Pitta arthritis often has more pain and inflammation associated with it than other types. In addition to the general treatment, Pitta-type arthritis responds well to a five- to seven-day detoxification diet and an Pitta Balancing(28) diet. Specific herbs for Pitta arthritis include guggul, sandalwood, aloe, saffron and chaparral. Apply ice packs on the inflammed part to quell the “fire.”

  • Diet: The anti-Pitta/ balancing diet (28) consists of cool, slightly dry, and heavy foods.
  • Useful Ayurvedic Herbal Formulas
  • Take 1 tablet of kaishore guggulu (350 mg.) 3 times a day
  • 1/2 teaspoon Maha sudarshan (Appendix) twice a day, washed down with warm water.
  • Brahmi and sandalwood oils (mixed together) are very beneficial
  • Other useful herbs:
  • Musta and nirgundi relieve pain.
  • Miscellaneous: Externally, apply cool castor oil or coconut oil to the painful area.
  • Apply a cooling substance, such as sandalwood powder paste to the affected part. Make the paste by taking 1 teaspoon of sandalwood powder and adding sufficient water to make a paste. Rub it gently onto the joint.
  • If the joint is hot and inflamed, put an ice-bag on it. This will help to ease the pain and inflammation.
  • Hatha Yoga: Helpful yoga postures: Boat, Rams Bow, Camel, Cow, Locust, Moon Salutation
  • Perform Shitali Pranayama, as follows: 
Make a tube of your tongue. Breathe deeply through your mouth down into your belly. Hold the breath for a few seconds, then exhale through your nose. Do about 12 repetitions.

Treating Kapha-type Arthritis

Arthritis is classified as Kapha when the joint is painful, swollen, stiff, and feels cold and clammy to the touch.

  • Diet(29): In addition to the general treatment, Kapha-type Arthritis responds well to a one- to two-week detoxification diet. The Kapha(29) balancing diet is light, dry and warm. Avoid cold, oily, and heavy foods.
  • Herbs: Pure Guggul is best for this condition.
    Punarnava guggulu (Appendix) tablets (250 mg.). Take 1 tablet 3 times a day.
  • Apply a paste of Vacha (calamus root) powder externally to the joint. To make the paste, add sufficient warm water to 1 teaspoon of powder to make a paste.
  • If the joint fills with fluid, make an paste of equal amounts of Punarnava powder and ginger powder. Mix 1 teaspoon of each with enough warm water to form a paste, and apply on the joint.
    Hot herbs are also helpful, such as cinnamon, dry ginger, turmeric, trikatu (Zingiber officinale)**, Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)**, Pippali (Piper longum).
  • Musta (Cyperus rotundus) and Nirgundi (Vitex negundo Linn) to relieve pain.

Yoga Therapy  (Facilitated Yoga with all therapeutic adjuncts: SomaVeda® Thai Yoga(25))

Benefits of Indigenous, Traditional Thai Yoga:

The diversity of movements provided in the extremities and the overall relaxed state the patient achieved before the adjustment, all of which amplified the adjustment and lengthened its effect.

The amplifying effects of Thai Yoga on manual adjustments or corrections have been noted, but in addition to its effect on the patient, it is also beneficial to the physician. Thai Yoga helps a physician with:

  1. Complete ROM (Range of Motion) analysis. The movements of Thai Yoga activate each joint into a full, passive range-of-motion and orthopedic analysis.
  2. Flexibility differentiation. The imbalances in the axial skeleton including spine and extremities, as well as the paraspinal muscle tensions are easily and specifically differentiated.
  3. Unpredicted pain elicitation. As is often the case, symptomatic pain in one area of the body is paired with remote imbalances; a patient can come in with subjective neck pain and realize upon orthopedic testing of the lower extremity that pain is likewise elicited in the low back—often a surprise to the patient.
  4. Pain Relief
  5. Relaxation of joints and periphery in general. Pre-correction preparation. As already mentioned, DeJarnette insisted on this before spinal manipulation. Traditional session may be perfect adjunct or corollary therapy pre and post corrective adjustment in the Chiropractic, Osteopathic or other systems of osseous sublimation corrective manipulation.
  6. “Issues” in the tissues. Each region of the patient’s body has its own history, and Thai Yoga Therapeutic Asana/ Yoga stretches often remind the patient or bring out new insights as to his/her somatic history—insights not recalled during the initial interview.
  7. More effective and longer lasting pain relief than OTC medications with no side effects.
  8. Finally, and most important for me, it is good for the practitioner. Thai Yoga requires the therapist to kneel, squat, stand and lunge. It adds more variety to our body mechanics than the usual habits of chiropractic practice: standing and bending at the waist. One strengthens oneself while one treats another. The energy exchange is mutually relaxing and centering.

Helpful Personal Yoga Postures (Hatha Yoga emphasis): Tree, Triangle, Forward Bend, Spinal Twist

Thai Reishi Hand Yoga:  Aachan Anthony B. James has taught these hand yoga poses and movements since 1978. Thai Reishi Hand Yoga Vinyassa. Reishi Hand Yoga is a derivative ancient work consisting of 108 Yoga Asana or postures which are primarily done with the hands and arms. The postures focus on the Microcosmic orbit of the bodies energy and Chakras 4 and 5. All of the arms and hand meridians and Prana Nadi are energized and balanced. This work may correct and balance the harmful effects of injury, trauma and repetitive stress causing deterioration of the hands, arms and joints including wrist, elbow and shoulder.

Circulation of breath, Prana and Chi is enhance as well as all other forms of ManoVaha nadi such as blood, lymph and interstitial fluids. Reduces and or eliminates harmful swelling and edema in the extremities. Reishi yoga is a complete system of energy balancing and wellness enabling techniques opening the hands to be the perfect expressions for compassion and loving kindness. Those individuals suffering from hand, arm and shoulder conditions such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tennis Elbow, Arthritis and Frozen Shoulder will be especially benefited.

Avipattikar Choorna: ingredients – 10 grams of each of Trikatu – pepper, long pepper and ginger, Triphala , Haritaki – Chebulic Myrobalan fruit rind – Terminalia chebula,  Vibhitaki – Belliric Myrobalan fruit rind – Terminalia bellirica,  Amalaki – Indian gooseberry fruit – Emblica officinalis Gaertn,  Musta – Nut grass (root) – Cyperus rotundus,  Vida Lavana – Vida salt,  Vidanga – False black pepper – Embelia ribes,  Ela – Cardamom – Elettaria cardamomum,  Patra – cinnamon tamala

Kaishore Guggulu: Ingredients: Guggol (Commiphora Mukul), Haritaki (Terminallia Chebula), Bibhitaki (erminallia Bellerica), Amla (Emblica Officinalis), Guduchi (Tinospora Cordifolia), Ginger (Zingiber Officinalis), Black Pepper (Piper Nigrum), Vidanga (Embelia Ribes), Nisoth (perculina Turpethum), Dantimool (Baliospermum Montanum), Pippali (Piper Longum).

Maha Sudarshan Compound: Ingredients: (Chireta herb (Swertia chirata), Cinchana (Cinchona officinalis ), Amalaki fruit (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula ), Kutki root (Picrorhiza kurroa), Guduchi herb (Tinospora cordifolia), Musta root (Cyperus rotundus), Deodara (Cedrus deodara ), Chitrak root (Plumbago zeylanica), Turmeric root (Curcuma longa), Neem leaf (Azadirachta indica), Kutaja bark (Holarrhena antidysenterica), Pushkarmula root (Inula racemosa), Tree turmeric (Berberis aristata), Ushira root (Vetiveria zizanoides), Kantakari (Solanum xanthocarpum), Atis root (Acotinum heterophyllum), Pippali fruit (Piper longum), Ginger root (Zingiber officinale), Black Pepper fruit (Piper nigrum), Sandalwood (Santalum album), Tvak (cinnamon zeylanicum), Shalaparni root (Desmodium gangeticum), Calamus root (Acorus calamus), Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Kaliyaka (Cosinium fenestration), Dhanvysa (Alhagica melorum),Karkatakaswingi (Pistacia intergerring), Parpata(Fumaria parviflora), Trayamana (Gentiana kurroa), Balake (Colcus orttiverioides), Shati (Hedyclium spicatum), Murva (Marsdenia tenacissima), Shigru (Moringa obifers), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Padmaka (Prunus cerasoides), Sarala (Pinus roxburghi), Yavami (Trachyspermum ammi), Bilva (Aegle marmelos), Latola (Trichosanthes diocia).) (Properties and Uses: Bitter, pungent, anti-pyretic, alterative, and anti-periodic. Traditionally used in Ayurveda to treat excessive “Pitta,” such as chronic febrile diseases, weak digestion, enlargement of the liver and spleen, liver problems in general, constipation, and back pain. It is also applied externally to help treat impetigo contagiosa. Supports detoxification.)

Mahanarayan Oil: Ingredients: Sesame oil**, Dashamula**, Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus )**, Camphor Oil, Manjista (Rubia cordifolia )**, Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna )**, Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)**, Bala (Sida cordifolia )**, Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa)**, Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare )**, Musta (Cyperus rotundus)**, Neem (Azadirachta indica)**, Valerian (Valeriana officinalis )**, Turmeric (Curcuma longa )**, Vidanga (Embelia ribes)**, Anantamul (Hemidesmus indicus)**, Bhumyamalaki (Phyllanthus amarus)**, Brahmi (Centella asiatica)**, Calamus (Acorus calamus)**, Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)**, Clove (Caryophyllus aromaticus)**, Ginger (Zingiber officinale)**, Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia)**, Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)**, Mineral Salt, Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)**.

Narayan Oil:  Ingredients: Clove Bud Essential Oil (Eugenia caryophyllus), Eucalyptus Essential Oil (Eucalyptus globulus), Peppermint Essential Oil (Mentha piperata), in a Sesame Oil Base

Punarnava guggulu: Ingredients: (Boerhaavia diffusa), Eranda root** (Ricinus communis), Guggulu resin (Commiphora mukul), Ginger root** (Zingiber officinale), Nishoth root** (Operculina turpethum), Guduchi stem** (Tinospora cordifolia), Haritaki fruit** (Terminalia chebula), Bibhitaki fruit** (Terminalia belerica), >), Amalaki fruit** (Emblica officinalis), Black Pepper fruit** (Piper nigrum), Pippali fruit** (Piper longum ), Chitrak root** (Plumbago zeylanica), Bhallataka herb** (Semecarpus anacardium), Danti root** (Baliospermum montanum).

Triphala: Ingredients: (fruits of Emblica officinalis, Terminalia chebula and Terminalia bellerica)

Yogaraj Guggulu: Ingredients: Guggulu resin (Commiphora mukul), Musta root (Cyperus rotundus), Chitrak root (Plumbago zeylanica), Amalaki fruit (Emblica officinalis), Bibhitaki fruit (Terminalia belerica), Haritaki fruit (Terminalia chebula), Pippali fruit and root (Piper longum), Ajowan seed (Carum copticum), Vidanga fruit (Embelia ribes), Gokshura fruit (Tribulus terrestris), Black Cumin seed (Nigella sativa), Ajamoda seed (Trachysspermum roxb.), Cumin seed (Cuminum cyminum), Deodara herb (Cedrus deodara), Chavya herb (Piper cubeba), Cardamom seed (Elettaria cardamomum), Rasna herb (Pluchea lanceolata), rock salt, Coriander seed (Coriandrum sativum), Ginger root (Zingiber officinale), Black Pepper fruit (Piper nigrum), Cinnamon bark (cinnamon zeylanica), Ushira herb (Vetiveria zizanoides), Yavakshar (Hordeum Vulgare), Talisa leaf (Abies webbiana), Tejpatra herb (cinnamon tamala).

Bibleography and References
(1) Spondyloarthropathy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spondyloarthropathy)
(2) Disease of a joint ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_disease)
(3) Arthritus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthritis)
(4) Arthritus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthritis#cite_note-1)
(5) Arthropathy ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_disease#cite_note-2, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_disease#cite_note-3)
(6) Inflammation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflammation)
(7) Over One Hundred types of Arthritus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthritis#cite_note-3, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthritis#cite_note-4 )
(8) Osteoarthritis (OA) also known as degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease or osteoarthrosis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osteoarthritis)
(9) Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rheumatoid_arthritis)
(10) Psoriatic arthritis (also arthritis psoriatica, arthropathic psoriasis or psoriatic arthropathy) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psoriatic_arthritis)
(11) Autoimmune Disease ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autoimmune_disorder)
(12) Septic Arthritus ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septic_arthritis)
(13) Infection ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infection)
(14) What is Arthritus? (http://www.healthline.com/health/arthritis#Overview)
(15) Arthralgia: Non Inflammatory Joint Pain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_pain)
(16) Strain Injury (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strain_%28injury%29)
(17) Fatigue (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatigue_%28medical%29)
(18) There Types of Arthritus in Ayurveda (http://holisticonline.com/remedies/Arthritis/arth_ayurveda.htm)
(19) Vata Dosha (http://holisticonline.com/ayurveda/ayv-vata-characterisitics.htm)
(20) Pita Dosha (http://holisticonline.com/ayurveda/ayv-pitta-characteristics.htm)
(21) Kapha Dosha (http://holisticonline.com/ayurveda/ayv-kapha-characteristics.htm)
(22) Concept of Dosha (http://holisticonline.com/ayurveda/ayv-basis-tri-dosha.htm)
(23) Agni: Digestive Fire (http://holisticonline.com/ayurveda/ayv-key-agni.htm)
(24) Ama (Mals’s, Waste products) ( http://holisticonline.com/ayurveda/ayv-key-ama.htm)
(25) Images of Thai Yoga Ayurveda (http://www.ThaiYogaCenter.Com)
(26) Vata Balancing Diet (http://holisticonline.com/ayurveda/ayv-vata-food-plan.htm)
(27) Haritaki (Michael Tierra: http://www.planetherbs.com/specific-herbs/the-wonders-of-triphala.html)
(28) Pitta Balancing Diet (http://holisticonline.com/ayurveda/ayv-Pitta-food-plan.htm)
(29) Kapha Balancing Diet (http://holisticonline.com/ayurveda/ayv-kapha-food-plan.htm)

(30) Thai Yoga offers better pain relief for Osteoarthritis than OTC Remedies

(31) Thai Massage, and Thai Herbal Compress versus Oral Ibuprofen in Symptomatic Treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Randomized Controlled Trial

(32) Addressing Chronic Pain with Thai Yoga supported by Scientific Review

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