THE MORNING SHOW
Coen van der Kroon
Founder of The Academy of Ayurvedic Studies
September 27, 2011
Coen van der Kroon joined us for a fascinating 2 hours on everything Ayurveda
He covers body types, diets, digestion, urine therapy, colon cleansing, balancing hormones and lubricating the body internally with the right stuff.
This was a great interview…..
Lot’s to learn here!
In 2005 Coen van der Kroon has founded The Academy of Ayurvedic Studies (AAS), The Netherlands – as a subdivision of The European Institute of Vedic Studies, France (director: Atreya Smith). The AAS is working under the umbrella of a foundation: Charaka Ayurvedic Research and Education (CARE) and offers a part time 5-year professional training in Ayurveda, a 2-year training Ayurvedic Lifestyle and Nutrition Consultant, a 1½-year Ayurveda and Yoga Training for Yoga Professionals, a 6-month Ayurvedic Nutrition Course, a Jyotish training, and an AyurWellness Trainer training.
In the last 3 years Coen van der Kroon has written dozens of articles on Ayurveda for several magazines, an introductory book on AyurWellness, as well as a 450-page correspondence course on basic ayurvedic principles for a correspondence course institute. He is doing research and working on a book on ghee and on a book on Ayurveda and Yoga.
From 1999 to 2002 Coen van der Kroon has studied Ayurveda at the Ayurvedic Institute with Dr. Vasant Lad, in the USA and in India. During and after that period he did some internships in India to gain more hands-on experience. He has also studied with renowned teachers in the field of Ayurveda and Yoga, such as Dr. David Frawley, Dr. Sunil Joshi, Dr. Robert Svoboda and Vaidya Atreya Smith (who are all visiting teachers at the AAS). Since January 2001 he has been working for an ayurvedic company in The Netherlands, writing articles and product information as well as doing reseach and giving lectures on specific ayurvedic subjects. March 2003 he started teaching ayurvedic herbology at a small Ayurveda school in The Netherlands. He is presently living in Amsterdam where he also teaches ayurvedic cooking lessons as well as the extensive Ayurveda Nutrition diploma course.
Coen van der Kroon has an academic background in Greek and Latin Languages and Culture (M.A. since 1989). He wrote his M.A. thesis on ancient Greek gynaecology with a comparison between Hippocratic and ayurvedic medicine, which was the start of his interest in and study of Ayurveda. After finishing his studies, he started regular travel to India, which he has visited more than 15 times, for spiritual interests, yoga, etc. In India he came into contact with urine therapy (Amaroli), and he is the author of two books on this subject (his first book – The Golden Fountain – became a bestseller and has been translated into 12 languages).
coen van der Kroon, urine therapy, sept. 27, 2011, one
9/27/11 Interview with Coen Van der Kroon by Patrick Timpone on One Radio Network(Transcript)
P: We’re talking with Coen Van der Kroon in Amsterdam. We’ve heard so much about Amsterdam and the free society with the drugs and all of that. For those of us who’ve never been there, what is that like? How is that been for the health of the community?
C: It is always funny that, as if often goes with the media, that people get this impression that Amsterdam is a city full of drugs, whereas if anyone comes and visits here and walks over the streets, it is actually a very quiet, cozy, and safe city. So of course there has always been quite a high tolerance towards drugs and other things in the city. So people who decide to use any drugs, they feel quite free here. But it didn’t necessarily lead to an atmosphere of criminality or perversity, in that sense. I think that in the tolerance, also, there is more space for people to make wise choices, and the end result is often better than when people are not getting the chance to make those wise choices. I feel always that Amsterdam, in essence, is a blessed place to live. People who are using drugs, they have found their niche, but it’s not taking any heavy toll on the rest of the population.
P: So is it more an idea of a libertarian that is talked about here, where people have the right to choose without pressures and guilt or fear. Then they generally make better choices that way.
C: I think so. I think that the fact that here, the choices are more free and of course, together with a certain amount of education and good information, leads to a good end result. This shows that this is possible without a city or country going down into all kinds of bad things. For everyone who is still skeptical about it, I would say come to Amsterdam and check it out for yourself. And you’ll see that the activities are very pleasant and a safe place to be.
P: How has the use of drugs for the young people, how has that changed since the legalization of all these different drugs?
C: In fact all the drugs are still illegal in Holland, it’s just that there’s a slight difference in approach from the side of the police, in the sense that, particularly, marijuana is considered to be a soft drug, and even though it’s illegal officially, the police won’t harass anyone who has it in their possession, unless it would be a huge amount. So this just gives the possibility of people to have it without feeling that they’re criminal. But if it comes to other drugs like cocaine or heroin, that definitely is all illegal and punishable. Even though they’re also, there are some ways to deal with it, in that are better and wiser ways than knocking you down with a hard fist. Because here, for example, people who are heroin addicts, and it’s proven that heroin addiction is difficult to get over, they often have a few places here in the city where they can use it under supervision, where even there is some amount of heroin provided for free. And that leads to the fact that those people don’t have to go onto the streets to steal their money.
P: Do you have any information on the use, say in grade school or high school, the kids with marijuana, is it any different percentage-wise than other places in Europe?
C: No, I think it’s more or less the same. And in the latest thing that I heard, I even heard that in Amsterdam it’s a little bit lower than in other cities in Europe, and that’s partly because so many people here are so well educated about drugs that it’s nothing special here, so the youth doesn’t go and look for it.
P: That’s as good a place as any to start. I’m 65 and I think I began smoking some marijuana 35 years ago, and smoked for a few years, like everybody. But I didn’t start till late. But it seemed like after about 5 years, and when I quit, it took me a long time to get my wits about me. I felt like it took me a long time to get my head on straight. What do these kinds of drugs do on a medical level? Things like marijuana, what do they do? Do we know?
C: If we just talk about marijuana, it is always good to mention two things. For one thing, physically it is not very addictive. But it does put a heavy strain on the liver. That is a known fact. It is, when used on a regular basis, it does affect the liver. And it’s slightly toxic to the liver. So that is one thing. The other thing is the emotional or psychological addiction is definitely there. And it’s also something that they put a lot of research into in the last few years in Holland, because often young people who are using it, it’s clear that they have more difficulties to kick the habit, and that often a strong psychological addiction is definitely there. So that can be very dysfunctional, of course, because if the mind gets addicted to anything, then it creates problems. And yes, marijuana can make the mind really slow in functioning. So people who have been using marijuana on a regular basis, they often show side effects that is difficult for them to get all things straight and to move fast with their thinking, to move clearer, etc. It definitely is an area of concern. As I’ve said, the libertarian approach, it doesn’t always mean that with that it is an excuse for using those substances. There also comes in the story of Ayurveda. Ayurveda is basically a science of substances. People know it from the medicine or from the massage, but basically Ayurveda is a science of substances. And what substances do. Because only if you know that, you can also chose things to be a right medicine or not. And marijuana is a substance and it has certain effects on the body and the mind. And that definitely should be taken into account if you chose to use it. And as with any substance, if you use it not wisely, it can have bad side effects.
P: One of the strong tenets in Ayurvedic medicine is the constitutions. My understand is there are 3 major constitutions, vata, pitta, and kapha. The vata would be more light and airy. I weight 120, I have a lot of vata. The kapha, more heavier or oilier. They’re heavy sleepers, they sleep a long time. And the pitta would be more fiery, perhaps a person with red hair. I know that’s a broad generalization, but just trying to get the listeners in. If we can judge what our constitution is by diagnosis with pulses and things, we can actually begin to tend to eat a diet that is more suitable to ourselves. Is that generally accurate what I said.
C: Yes. It’s generally accurate, and it’s always good to also remember at the same time that yes, there are 3 constitutional types, vata, pitta, and kapha, but all of us have vata, pitta, kapha in us. So whenever someone is a vata type, it only says that person has proportionally a little more vata working in his or her system than pitta and kapha. And the same can be said about pitta and kapha types. But all the 3 doshas, as they’re called, vata, pitta, and kapha, are basically, when they are balanced, the healthy managers of many things in our system in each and every one of us. Vata basically, with the air and the ether, arranges everything in the physiology that has to do with movement and transport. Pita, with the fire, sort of arranges everything that has to do with metabolism and transformation. And kapha is the builder in the body and physiology. It uses water and earth to cement the body. So everyone has those three intelligent managers of all those elements in our own physiology. And some people have a little bit more or this or that, and that’s where the constitutional types come in. The constitutional types are just basically, they are to give a clue what we should manage in our lives the most, so that we don’t get out of balance.
P: So if somebody says, well I’m more kapha, then they can eat more foods that are anti-kapha or less kapha, and it helps to keep them balanced out.
C: In principle, yes. That is the more preventative bard ?? [00:17:23] of Ayurveda, to make sure that you always balance that which you have a little bit much of, if you balance that out with a counter remedy in forms of nutritional or lifestyle. On the other hand, it’s good to remember also that whatever constitutional type somebody is, nevertheless, each one of them can get a disease that is mostly vata or pitta or kapha. So then everything is a little bit more complicated. For example, a kapha person can get a disease that is more vata in nature. And then the Ayurvedic physician or doctor comes in to see, like hey, how do we handle that? Because preventative, we should do this, but healing-wise, medicinal-wise, we should take another approach. So then, things become a little bit more complicated and that’s where the work of specialists comes in. Because this is still the simple part but these things, in the human physiology and in human minds, can get very complicated, if there is a very complex pathology going on.
P: So a particular disease might be more vata in character, more airy or ether or more light. What would that be?
C: A very good example of that would, for example, be ADHD or ADD with children. Airy is very movable and can go all over the place. Plus it has no substance to hold onto. And you see that often in children with ADD, that there attention span is very short, they quickly have to change subjects all the time in their mind, and they move a lot. Just like wind can move a lot, so there’s a lot of irregular movements attached to it. Another one that is more on the inside of the body is, for example, osteoporosis. Then the bones, which basically are very dense tissue in the body, but have some closed spaces. Then those closed spaces actually take to take in more space, and the bones become softer, brittler, and lighter. So a vata disease, in that case, is attacking a place that in itself is an earthy kind of substance in the body. So those are good examples where air is starting to take up too much space in the body. If we talk about really serious diseases, you could say that HIV, when it expresses itself, it leads to a lot of waste of the body tissues, so body tissues really disappear. It means that the air element is taking in more place in the body. So that’s an extreme form of vata disease.
P: So if someone were more a vata constitution, which is light and airy and generally more slender, that kind of a body, would they tend to be more susceptible to vata disturbances, to have more vata in their system and would do be better with doing more kapha kind of things? Kapha foods?
C: Yes, that’s completely correct. And in essence, there it’s where we just mentioned the preventative aspect of all this is, is that as a vata person, you have to take care throughout your life that vata doesn’t take in more space with its air and ether than it’s already doing. And if you can keep it in that balance, it can express itself nicely, but it doesn’t get out of whack. And the way to do that is ?? [00:21:11], so with more kapha quality foods. Everything that has the counter-qualities of air and ether. And those are substances that are heavy, sacky?? [00:21:20], moist, stable, all those kinds of things that are a little bit more kapha-like, cementing-like, which give really literally substance to a vata person. Some people say the best medicine for a vata person is having a good cook in the house.
P: Having a good cook, yeah. And eating some substantial, heavier foods, which will kind of keep them on the ground, so to speak.
P: Because a lot of kids that are real thin and they move around a lot. So obviously heavier foods will kind of settle them down a little bit.
C: Absolutely. But it has to be a healthy kind of heavy food. And that’s of course the big thing in modern times, it’s that, of course, if you go to any fast food chain, they will be able to sell you very heavy food, but it’s not the kind of heavy food that will give long-term quality to your body. So it has to heavy and it has to be healthy.
P: So obviously, what Ayurveda is, what, over 5,000 years old?
P: So when all this was being put together from the different masters that brought this in from wherever this information comes, when they talked about food, it was all pretty good back then.
C: I think they were pretty lucky compared to us, and we are subjected to a lot more challenges [00:22:52] and a lot more complexities in terms of food than they were. So we can take their advice to heart, and at the same time we have to struggle to see what kind of choices do we have to make in a modern life that is so full of food that is denaturalized, that has been subjected to all kinds of production methods that not healthy. So yes, we are having a heavy time, and you can see the results also in the enormous amount of chronic food-related diseases at the moment.
P: What do you make of all this gluten intolerance that is around the world? How do you think this has come about?
C: Actually, Ayurvedically, there is a very, very clear explanation for this. And I’ll try to give sort of a short cut for the explanation of this.
P: You can take as much time as you like.
C: Okay. So wheat has always been known as a heavy but a very good building grain for the body. And wheat in the past was always kind of a caneer?? [00:24:04] heavy substance, but fairly dry. And they used to make unyeasted bread with it. With the introduction of commercial bread, people started to not only use more yeast, but they also started to change the character of the grain and make it grow as forms with more gluten in it. Because gluten makes things sticky. And as the grain became more sticky, it was easier to make bread out of it for less price, and it was happening quicker, also. So production wise, it was a good thing, what they did. But our bodies were not used to this kind of grain, with so much gluten and stickiness in it. So if you put all that stickiness into the intestines, the fire that burns there, and that was for centuries used to a certain kind of stickiness of the grains, suddenly went, we can’t burn this. And still, they were getting it all the time. So this whole digestive fire, with many people, for a long period of time, was getting confused. And confused more to the point that it couldn’t function anymore. And then, an intolerance set in, because if a ?? [00:25:30] kennel burns something in the digestive fire, it starts to see it as an enemy. If starts to react like, what can we do with this? So it starts to overreact. And eventually it starts to overreact on anything that looks like a molecule of a grain. So that is when the body becomes actually gluten intolerant. And it is not that grain or that wheat is not good, it is the kind of wheat that people have produced in the last 100 years that was commercially more attractive, or seemed more attractive, that caused a big problem.
P: Very interesting. There are people that say, if you could really find an ancient, ancient grain, and there’s some of them out there, that the gluten is not a problem in some of the real ancient wheat.
C: And that’s exactly fitting in that story, what I just told, because that is still the dry, more light version and nonsticky versions of wheat. And that, the body recognizes this, because our bodies have a long-term memory from our ancestors in what they can digest and what not, based on what peoples have been used to for centuries. So, as soon as people get those other kinds of grains again, be it spelt or other old grains, then often their gluten intolerance is no problem. They can digest it quite well. And given time, if you put people on a diet like that, it gives time for the digestive system to recover and get back into gear and function well again.
P: Very interesting. There’s a good friend of mind who lives in Italy. She has a company that they produce a very ancient wheat. I’ll give her a little plug here. People may want to try it, because this is exactly why they produce it. They found this wheat, and I believe it’s called Jovial Pasta. It’s just very, very ancient wheat. And that’s what she claims, is that the gluten intolerant people do just fine with it. Isn’t that very curious.
And so the digestive fire is this pitta. Why do we hear so often that the digestive capabilities in humans are so compromised? We hear it all the time, where men over 45 don’t have HCL, they can’t digest their food and all this. This lack of digestive fire, is this part of it, just the bad food over a long period of time?
C: It’s a combination of bad foods, bad eating habits, like wrong timing, wrong combinations, etc., and also what you take with the food. And Ayurveda also gave very strict guidelines on how to keep the digestive fire welling up. And people don’t really know those rules, and more so, we generally look at what the components of the food are, we forget about how to eat it. And what rules should be in place there. And funny enough, often we pass by common sense. Like if someone would have a fire outside, for example, and you’re trying to have a barbeque and get meat ready to eat, if you would be a meat eater, then it would be silly to, at the same time, throw massive amounts of water on that fire, where you’re cooking the meat. Still, people go and have dinner, they are often doing that very thing. If you go to many restaurants in the United States, one of the things you will see is that people will go to the water machine and will take a glass of water. But they take a huge glass of water often, filled with little ice cubes. And this goes to the same place where digestion is supposed to take place. If you would do the same thing with your barbeque, it would be out in a few seconds. So why are you treating the digestive fire in that way? That is the question. And if people would have a look at that, that would already be a major thing to take away blockages to a good digestive fire. People would not drink huge amounts of cold water water with a meal or huge amounts of pop soda with a meal, because this really, really compromises the digestive fire.
P: Can you imagine having a couple burgers with a big 20 oz. thing of Coca-Cola with ice? I couldn’t digest that. I don’t know about you.
C: No, no, it’s impossible. And again, if we look at the same situation outside of the body, everyone would say like stupid, don’t throw water on the fire. It will extinguish. But they’re doing it all the time when they’re going to a restaurant. So it’s actually kind of interesting that people can have that double way of looking at things.
P: What about some tips for digestion? Some herbs or some things, some of the don’ts, of course drinking lots of water with our meal, like you’re saying. Digestion is so key, what are some things we can do to improve our digestion?
C: One of the first things that come to mind, that’s easy to use, is more spices in the food. Regular spices like cinnamon, mustard seed, cumin, etc.. This is very, very useful, and all societies, all civilizations, have done it to promote digestion. And a single one of them, which is virtually known all over the world, is to use ginger. You can eat a little piece of ginger before the meal, either alone or with some lemon juice and salt added to it, and that’s really a good booster for the whole digestive fire, to get geared up to digest a meal.
P: That’s very simple and inexpensive and easy. You just grate up a little ginger with some lemon and salt.
C: That’s it. Take a teaspoon of that and that’s virtually already enough as a kickstart for the digestive fire. So it’s a very nice and easy way to start for people. And they can just experiment with it, see how it feels, and if it gives them any more good feelings of digestion. So yeah, definitely try it out. And another thing, of course, is something which is very important. Just make sure that you don’t eat too much in a meal. In Ayurveda, they would say like, make sure 1/3 of your stomach is filled with food, 1/3 with possibly a warm fluid, not ice cold drinks but a warmer fluid, and 1/3 should stay empty, so some churning can take place, and there’s some air to finish off the digestive process. So definitely it’s important to not eat too much.
P: Ayurveda, or I guess Indian food, which you attribute to Ayurveda. Do you eat your share of brown rice with your diet?
C: A little bit. But, as I said, Ayurveda is the science of substances, and brown rice is a substance and it has certain qualities. So brown rice can be good for some people and not good for other people. It’s quite rough, so for vata people, it’s often not the best choice. And they could better eat some more things like basmati rice, which is a little bit lighter to digest, but heavy enough as a grain. And it’s not so rough as brown rice.
P: Do you think, in general, folks can do well if eating a vegetarian diet if that’s what they choose?
C: Yeah, they can do well. But again, depending on what kind of constitution you have, or what kind of pathology you have, for some people it really isn’t. It’s been shown in daily practice here, also for Ayurveda therapists, that some people that become vegetarian, sometimes it’s better for them to get back on to some meat. More the lighter forms of meat, like chicken, or deer, or whatever, not the heavy kinds of meat. But some meat for some people is really, really good to have in their diet.
P: So the heavy meats are beef, buffalo, would that be the heavier ones?
C: The heavier sorts of meat, and if you would choose to eat them, it’s good to keep that into, like if it’s not too regular, and if you eat it, small amounts. I know that in Texas it’s sort of a culture to have huge pieces of steak. That wouldn’t be the Ayurvedic choice for most people.
P: The smaller amounts.
C: The small amounts. In many cases, being way more acceptable, and in some cases, even a good thing to do.
P: Urine therapy has been around for a long time. Why did you take such an interest in it? You have two books about using your urine for your health.
C: Yes. It was sort of, if I look back on it, a party, an interesting ?? [00:41:04] job, this came on my path, literally. Because it almost fell on my path while I was walking there. The whole story with urine therapy started for me while I was, for the first time, in India. And while visiting an ashram in the mountains in the Himalayas, I was working there, we were carrying stones up a hill to build a little shed. And one of the stones got loose from the wall and fell on my foot. And it hurt and really damaged my toe to a big extent. Like all skin and toenail was open to the bone, I was bleeding very heavily, and that in itself was already bad enough. But this is a tropical country there and after a few days, it got infected. And within a week, I had a really, really bad infection on my toe, and it was twice as big as it used to be, parts were getting black, it was extremely painful. And I couldn’t go to any place to have it looked at, because it was far away from the civilized world there. And then I met a woman who said, why don’t you try a cloth soaked in your own urine for this wound and see if that helps, because she had very good experience with it. So I thought, my goodness, using my own urine for a wound, that sounds kind of strange, but it can’t get any worse anyway, so let’s give it a try. And I did, and after I put the cloth on the wound, in a matter of a couple of hours, the pain was almost gone, and it started to feel better. This woman told me to keep it wet for a couple days, so I did for one to two days. I just soaked the cloth in urine and kept it wet around my toe. And after two days, I took it off, and the whole infection was gone. A new pink skin appeared underneath the black tissue, and a day later the black tissue fell off. And within two to three days of this therapy, the wound was almost completely clean and healed.
P: So that got you thinking.
C: Yeah. Then I started to think like, wow, this really works for this. Then this woman gave me a little book to read, it’s called The Water Of Life, an old, little book, written by an Englishman, Armstrong, and this book was not only using urine externally for a healing, but also internally. So that was, for me, sort of an eye opener, but also still with my back then disgust of it, I thought ah, I would never be able to drink urine. But at some point actually during that stay in India, I thought, if this guy writes a book on it and it all makes sense, I’ve had a good experience with it to begin with, so let’s give it try. So I started with drinking urine just to try it out, how it tastes, if it has any effect, etc..
P: So what did you feel when you first drank your own urine?
C: The very first time, actually, it was not easy for me. Because I’d been ?? [00:44:29] time for a couple months. It was extremely cold outside. The food I was eating was not the best and had a lot of curry spices in there, chili peppers, so my urine was very bitter and pungent. So the first few times that I drank it, it was not easy, and then I just decided to wait till I was back in Holland. I did a fast for a couple of days on urine and just some fruits and vegetables. And then, I discovered very quickly, that if you eat just vegetables and some fruits, that urine becomes quite clear and neutral in taste. And that made it really easy to drink it.
P: So I guess the obvious question is, if people ask, saying, if the body’s getting rid of it, why would you want to put it back in? Isn’t that counterintuitive?
C: Yeah, that is a completely valid question. I would also say yes, the body does get rid of it. First of all, it’s not necessary to drink it. And there are many things that we consume that would not be necessary to take back in or to take in anyway. Like for example, cow’s milk, but still, it can have a certain value. And since urine has been used in a certain way, and people have had this tradition of giving only information that it can be healthy in certain circumstances, why not use it when it’s appropriate? So I would also not tell anyone like, oh, you have to do this and otherwise life is not worth living, or otherwise your health would go down the drain. No, it is a choice. You can use it as a medicine like you can use anything else in the world as a medicine, if you use it appropriately. And also, I see over the years, if people don’t use it well or it doesn’t fit them, it’s not going to work as a medicine. It can actually make people sick. So you have to know what you’re doing, you have to know the boundaries of what you’re doing, and you also might have to consult someone who can tell you whether this is good for you or not.
P: What cases would it not be good for you?
C: For example, urine as it is lightly yellow, it has some pungency to it. It is a slight heating substance in many people. So people who have, for example, a pitta constitution, which already has more fire in it, the drinking of urine might aggravate their constitution. So that might be one reason. Another reason might be that people have too many toxins in their body. Specifically, when we’re talking about modern toxins, like mercury or heavy metals from other kinds, or petrochemicals, whatever, or too many hormones from hormone replacement therapy. Then urine therapy might not be the best choice. And I just mentioned a few things that actually a majority of people nowadays in the modern world do have in their bodies. So it really makes it not so easy to just say like, well use it and everything will be fine. I would be a little bit cautious with that.
P: So, where does the urine come from? Is it a waste material through the kidneys, bladder? Talk us through that.
C: The body actually filters the blood all day around and hundreds of liters are being filtered throughout the day. And the body in that process produces a lot of pre-urine. This is just to keep everything in the maximum good proportions in the blood stream. So some things are taken out and put back in by the kidneys. And it uses the pre-urine for that. Whatever eventually is too much for the body, it will discard. And that’s of course mainly water, but it’s also some urea and a couple of hormones, minerals, and salts, etc.. But it’s basically a balancer, and if it is about really more toxic substances, the body generally tends to use more the fecal route for that, or the skin. So one thing that people often don’t realize, because we associate urine with something dirty, is that actually from all the body fluids, urine is one of the most clean. It is. In most cases, an almost sterile or a completely sterile substance. So in a new way, it’s so sort of funny like, if you would say like God made us and made our physiology, it would also be strange if God would have made the human body in such a way that the passages that are necessary to create new life, for a man the penis and for the woman the vagina, would be at the same time the route where heavy toxins would leave the body.
P: I’ve never thought of that. Why would God set it up like that if it’s a toxic area?
C: Exactly. So this also shows that these passages have to do with life. And so even though urine can be considered like a product that helps the body to stay in balance by taking some parts out of it, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is toxic in a negative sense.
P: So besides the precautions, and those are well-founded, but I think you made a significant point that in general, the toxicity goes out with the fecal matter. That’s the way the body is set up right, in general?
C: That’s correct. Or through the skin, or through the breath.
P: Let’s go back a little bit. Is there a lot of evidence to show that urine therapy has been used for a long, long time? That people were drinking their urine two, three, four thousand years ago?
C: Actually, to my surprise when I started to do some research into it, I first thought that it was only a tradition that was known in Indian, but talking to people all over the world and hearing all the stories, it came out that virtually anywhere in the world, they were using it in some kind of way. In all ancient cultures.
P: In all ancient cultures. Internally and externally?
C: Internally and externally. In some cultures you hear more about the external use of it, and in some cultures more about the drinking of it. And particularly in Indian, you hear more about the internal use. But also some Indian tribes in the Amazon are up till today still using it.
P: How so? What do they do? Jut drink it on a regular basis?
C: In most cases, people use it for times of urgencies. Like if there is a wound or a sickness, they would use it for particular periods of time, and then quit it again. The tradition to use it continuously, on a daily basis, is the more Indian tradition, where often the tradition is combined with yogic lifestyle and a very high amount of purity in lifestyle and diet.
P: Email from Chris in Oregon: My question is, is it more beneficial to drink urine or use it in an enema? I’ve been drinking my morning mid-stream urine and using it in a neti pot. I was wondering how much is my stomach acid destroying the beneficial components before they are absorbed, and if so, how does that compare with going up the bum?
C: That’s a good question. In Ayurveda, it uses both routes for different things. If we’re not talking about urine with any medication, in Ayurveda you can chose to either take it orally or to take it through an enema. Which is a very common way to do there. There is one thing, indeed, which the quality of the large intestine is, that it can take in things unchanged, which can be very useful in some instances. So that also counts for urine and on top of that, a urine enema can help cleansing the large intestine. So it is very useful, but I cannot particularly point whether one thing is more useful than the other. It just has likely different effects. And you would have to take check out for yourself what feels best and where you need it the most, or what you need the most. So before falling into absolute statement about this is better than that, just look at what the circumstances are and what feels better and what fits better.
P: Is there any danger, there must not be a downside then of using urine in an enema, of discarding any good or friendly bacteria, so to speak, in the colon?
C: No, not really, with a urine enema, I would not have any fears of that. I wouldn’t do it on a too regular basis, as Ayurvedically speaking, you should not treat the colon with something you have to clean all the time, because it will lose its flexibility and its oiliness. Very important for the colon, from the Ayurvedic point of view, that it continues to be lubricated with oily substances, because the colon basically is a very airy, very porous substance, and it can easily get vata deranged, in Ayurvedic terms, by getting too clean or too porous. So don’t overclean it. And if you clean it, also make sure that you get lubrication to that spot. Either by your diet, by adding ghee to the diet, or by also taking a regular oil enema.
P: On the urine enemas, are they done with pure urine or do you mix it with water? I guess there’s all different kinds of ways, depending on the situation.
C: Absolutely. You can do anything. You can do pure urine. You can mix it with some water. You can make and mix it with herbal decoctions. So many things are possible.
P: So the advantage of using the urine in an enema is what exactly? What is going on when we do that?
C: The substances in the urine will get straight back into the body. There’s a few substances in urine that are actually nourishing substances that, if they would go through the stomach acid route, would change again. And they won’t change if you take them as an enema.
P: What are those?
C: The most important ones, funny enough something that everyone knows, also from the food and animal industry, is urea. Urea actually is actually often given to pigs and cows as extra food in times of less other food. You can go to many farms and you will find a box with urea to feed them. And it’s the main component, next to water, in urine.
P: And that gets destroyed by the stomach acid?
C: Yeah, it changes.
P: Is urea the same thing they use in all these cosmetics for the face?
C: Absolutely. Because also for the skin, it’s an extremely good nourishment. It brings in moisture, it nourishes the skin. So it’s one of the most used substances to nourish skin tissues. So the whole cosmetic industry knows the value of this substance.
P: I’ve read that there’s companies that literally buy all of the urine from the various portable toilets around the country and they clean it up and use it in cosmetics.
C: I’ve heard that too. I don’t know if that company still exists, but I know that 10, 15 years ago, there was a company in the United States called Porta John, and they were putting out these portable toilets at pop concerts, etc., but they had filters built into it, and with the filters, they filtered out whatever could be useful for all kinds of other industrial and cosmetic purposes.
P: Wasn’t it the Sandoz Company or something? Maybe in Germany, I’m not sure. I read about that portable toilet company. So could you just take your urine straight away and put it on your face for benefits?
C: That’s very good. And I think there’s even some people known in the beauty world that, who was it, I think an actress called Sara Miles, who was using urine to keep her skin glowing and beautiful. It will definitely have an effect. Of course, you have to check what the quality of your urine is, if it is not too pungent or too smelly, because urine can be smelly. And you don’t want to walk around with a beautiful face but people stay away from you because you smell like urine.
P: You might want to stay in the house that day when you do it. So what makes it smelly and pungent? Is it just out of balance foods maybe that aren’t the best for you that day?
C: Yes, it is usually out of balance food or even out of balance emotions. Emotions can make you feel sour or bitter, and it’s almost the end effects of that can end up in the urine. But also food, and particularly a high amount of animal proteins, because that creates a certain acid and ammonia in the urine, that will give it a certain smell. And sometimes it’s just things like Vitamin B also, that have, if concentrated in urine, you’ll smell it in a certain way. And of course, if you then use it externally, it will create a certain smell that people don’t find agreeable.
P: What was your other book? The Golden Fountain?
C: The first one was called the Golden Fountain: The Complete Guide to Urine Therapy. The second one was called Urine Therapy From A to Z, and it basically covered a lot of letters that I received after the first book. And those letters show that so many people had experiences with urine therapy in their family and some of them were just recent ones, because with the first book, many of them were referred to stories that people had heard from their uncles, aunts, or grandparents about the use of urine therapy, and sometimes they were still using it but didn’t dare talk about it to other people. So kind of a funny mixture of reports, firsthand reports on urine therapy.
P: What kind of letters did you get? Were people actually ridding themselves of some diseases, drinking their own urine?
C: Yeah, absolutely. There was quite a lot of letters, and I still get emails from all around the world from people who used urine therapy effectively and efficiently to get rid of certain diseases they had, or at least some symptoms they had with that disease. A very common one is eczema and psoriasis and skin rashes that are often extremely well helped by urine therapy, both internally and externally. And infections, common colds, all those kinds of things. And of course there’s also the occasional story of someone with really a more serious disease like cancer, claiming to have some effect with urine therapy. And also on the urine therapy conferences that I attended over the last 10 years, people have over and over come with case histories where people were having extreme benefit with urine therapy and ?? [00:03:44]. Certain cases of cancer, but as you might have noticed, I’m always very wary of making any absolute statements. Of course, you need to have the right environment, the right diet, the right lifestyle, the right circumstances to really have such an effect with urine therapy. But you can do quite a lot of things.
P: So what’s going on with the immune system, say with infections. Why would taking urine back in, drinking it, why would that help?
C: I think first of all, it has several levels of action. First of all, it cleans substances with a certain amount of cleansing activity because of the urea and the ammonia. It cleanses the digestive tract, so that’s already where it starts. But then, on top of it, the urine comes straight from the body and has a picture of what’s going on in the body. So if you feed that back in, you do something which the body internally does all the time. It sort of uses a loop of creating a compact of a substance in the body with another substance somewhere, and everything that is out of balance can be rebalanced, because of that information. So it’s not really called homeopathy, but it’s almost more called isopathy. Curing something not with a similar substance but with the same substance. Which is what you’re doing with outer urine therapy, or what they also sometimes do in other more regulated therapies with your own blood. So the body has a lot of loops built in where it can react on its own information to restore imbalances.
P: So if the urine is the blood that’s been filtered, everything as we know, if we do a blood test, or you can put a blood smear and see a lot, what’s going on, right, with the body. So if urine is a picture of the blood, you’re saying it could take that image or take whatever is going on and then put it back in to help it maybe see itself more clearly?
C: I think so. I think that is a very biological feature of organisms to use these kind of feedback loops.
P: But I guess most of us imagine the idea that we’re kind of peeing out the toxins or the infection, and we wouldn’t want to put it back in. But it doesn’t work like that?
C: No. In most cases there are some breakdown products of an infection in the urine, but except for some bladder or urinary tract infections, even when you do have an infection, the urine itself can be clean. It does have some products of the infection in it, although that if tissues are broken down in an infection, some of the rest of the substances are in a very easy digestible in the urine. They can be used to rebuild up again very quickly if you drink urine. So there’s several food from on that as such and if people do have an infection, which also affects the urine itself, so there’s some infectious material in the urine, then you could still use it but in minimal amounts. And that is a very common way of countering bladder infection, is to take a little, even a tiny drop on your finger, and put it under the tongue.
P: Oh, I see. So say if there were a lot of infectious materials coming out, you could use it just homeopathically with the drop or two.
P: Do your books go into that, and how to do that?
C: Yeah, there’s in the second book, Urine Therapy From A to Z, there’s remarks on that. But now that we’re talking about it, I don’t think that that book has been translated into English.
P: I see. We’ll have to learn German or something, or Dutch.
C: There are definitely some other books on urine therapy available that will discus that. Otherwise the information can be found on the internet.
P: Some years ago, a doctor friend suggested that I use urine in a neti pot with some sea salt. I have to tell you, I’ve been doing that a couple times a week, I don’t know how long, years, years. And it’s a wonderful thing for sinuses, to keep them clear. Why does it work so well?
C: Again, you can do a neti with just salt water, but only salt water can be a little bit rough on the mucus and membranes in the nose. If you combine it with the urine, which in itself is already like a salty solution, but combined with the urea in it, it makes it into a smooth, moisturizing substance. And that actually is very, very soothing for all those mucus membranes. And on top of it, I think there also again, what will take place is a little bit of the feedback loop, because of course the mucus membranes are very porous. Also just in nature already is a kind of homeopathic remedy.
P: I see. So it’s actually being absorbed in the body. And I also feel, intuitively, that it does get after some kind of infection somehow, or keeps them away. I don’t why I believe that, but it sure feels like it. When I first started doing it, or if I don’t do it and skip two or three weeks, you can get some mucus out of there that you don’t even know where that stuff comes from. You didn’t even feel it in there.
C: It’s amazing what collect in the sinuses. It’s a huge open space there.
P: Is your urine therapy used a lot in India?
C: It is not nowadays anymore, I must say. There’s a few regions in India where still many people use it, and it’s more in the north in Gujarat where, it’s funny, because in Gujarat, it’s a province or state in India where a lot of people live that were politically connected to Gandhi, and the older people connected to the Gandhi movement, they were strong believers in simplicity in life. So they were putting a lot of energy into sustaining traditions of natural health, and urine therapy also belonged to that. So within that group of people, many people just gave on all the information on urine therapy. In the rest of India, there have been two things that keep people form using urine therapy. One of them is the brahmins, who are priests. And they consider urine to be impure on a more other level, as they consider many thing impure, so they are not using it and they don’t allow them to touch it, as an impure thing. They won’t use it and they also won’t be proponents of it. The other thing is that, in many parts of India now, modern life has started, as anywhere in the world, so people are using modern medicines, they’re going for the regular medicine way as the new kind of guru, and they have lost touch with the more ancient traditional things of natural medicine.
P: We often hear the term midstream, catching the urine midstream, starting and midstream and then not taking the beginning or the end. What’s the thinking behind that? And is that something that you also are a proponent of?
C: Yeah, I have just always followed that advice and I’ve talked with a few people about it in India, and asked them like so why is it that ?? [00:12:20] people put that guideline with it. And they said like, you know, it is an opening, and if there are some bacteria or microorganisms that come in from the outside, it will be flushed away bey the first stream. And because urine always contains some sediments in it, those sediments will be in the last part of the stream.
P: So it’s more from the outside at the beginning, if there’s something, any kind of bacteria on the outside, not necessarily the beginning of the urine. That makes sense. BJ in Chicago writes, so when do you do this? In the morning, midday, or all day, or what? I’d like to know more about it.
C: It depends a little bit on what you use it for. People use it in this more yogic way of staying healthy with it as a preventative measure, or whatever. They usually stay with taking the morning urine, first thing in the morning, and then midstream. Also because they say that in the morning urine, and this is being scientifically backed up, there are some hormones that come free during the sleep of a human being, and it is good to retake those hormones to keep your hormonal system more balanced throughout the day.
P: That’s the so-called magic for the first morning urine.
C: Yeah. And there’s other moments where you could also take other urine. Like, for example, I’ve seen it over and over in the middle and south America, there’s quite big groups of people who work with a kind of natural medicine which is called agreeable medicine, or maybe senaga da abla ?? [00:14:03], as they call it there. And they use urine combined with plants and herbal decoctions and a healthy diet without meat and dairy for sort of a cleansing period. And if they use that as a cleansing or fasting period, with no dairy, no meat diet, a lot of fruits and vegetables, etc., then in those periods they advise to drink all the urine in your pot.
P: All day.
C: Yeah. So they don’t mind too much whether it’s morning urine or not. They just advise people to keep on drinking whatever they pass.
P: What about just in general, if somebody say they are suitable for drinking their own urine, with some of the parameters that you talked about. Would it be beneficial to drink it in the afternoon or in the night?
C: Just in general you mean?
P: Yeah, in general.
C: I don’t think it’s a problem, but if it is particularly beneficial for something, I couldn’t say.
P: That’s interesting that we’ve heard often about the morning. Matter of fact, I’ve read some Daoist texts that talked about some of these rich emperors, they would take the urine of a 21 year old, their morning urine, so they could keep up their testosterone in their old age, and keep up their libido and all that.
C: And that has definitely something to do with increased hormonal activities in the brain in the night and the effect of all those hormones will be seen in the urine in the morning. So it’s a cheap way of getting your hormonal medicine for little.
P: But I don’t know. I’m okay with my own, doc, but I’m not sure about somebody else’s, you know. I’ve have to be pretty madly in love or something.
C: I would also agree.
P: A couple people are asking, one listener here is about coffee, benefits or negative effects, and another one from Bridgette here, ask your guest his opinion on drinking coffee, does he think eating more, like 6 smaller meals, is better, or 3 meals a day? So a couple people want to know about coffee and drinking their own urine, does it affect it?
C: It depends on which coffee, when, and how much of course, as usual. If you drink one or two cups or coffee, somewhere during the day, and the next morning you drink your morning urine, it doesn’t interfere too much. I would generally say, if you drink coffee, but for completely other reasons, make sure in that case that you don’t drink too much and that it is purely organic coffee. For the reason that non-organic coffee is often heavily polluted with pesticides, etc., and all those things don’t go well if you retake it back in. So I would stay with minimal amount of coffee and purely organic coffee, if possible, if you want to use your urine. In general, I would say it’s better to have an organic diet as much as possible if you want to use your own urine.
P: What is some other, say stimulating, kind of morning type drinks? People want to get a little hit of something that maybe does not contain caffeine, or is caffeine the substance that gives you the hit?
C: As long as people don’t drink the coffee just before the urine, it’s okay if they drink it after. If they drink a morning stream of coffee of urine early in the morning and then have coffee at breakfast, it’s no problem.
P: But then as far as drinks, as well, different herbs or teas that are stimulative without caffeine from an Ayurvedic perspective?
C: Oh yes. There are several plants that are stimulative and one of them in Ayurveda they call it punarnava, and if you translate punarnava, it means always new water. So that already says it has a stimulating effect on the kidneys. So it creates always new water for the body and discards water from the body. And there are many, many herbs in Ayurveda that help with stimulating the kidneys to function better. One of them is actually a kitchen spice that many people know as coriander. It’s very, very useful. And if people want to generally improve the fluids in the body, you can make this wonder Ayurvedic based tea or almost medicinal water which is just basically mainly water in which like one or two liters of water, you boil it and add one teaspoon of fennel, one teaspoon of coriander, and one teaspoon of cumin seed in it. And you just let boil for a couple of minutes, and then you can keep it warm in a thermos flask or let it cool down and drink this during the whole day.
P: And what does that do, doc?
C: That really cleanses the whole lymph fluid in the body, makes the kidneys function better, and helps interstitial metabolism. So combined with taking your urine, it’s a better option than drinking coffee.
P: So give us that formula again.
C: So like one to two liters of water and then you add a teaspoon of fennel seed, a teaspoon of coriander seed, and a teaspoon of cumin seed. And you boil this for a couple minutes and then just let it cool down or keep it warm in a thermos flask. You filter it, you can take the seeds out, and drink this throughout the day. And it is incredible good drink. And if, for example, it gets a little bit colder outside, you can add a little bit of ginger, either fresh ginger or ginger powder to this drink.
P: So that’s real cleansing, say maybe a urinary infection or it induces the kidneys. That’s great.
Here’s an email from Maxim in Geneva, Switzerland. Please ask your guest whether classical Ayurveda agrees on the value of drinking one’s own urine. As far as I know from my own vedic and Ayurvedic studies, human urine is considered tamas or unpure and leads to heavy degrading of the human mind, especially in the finest soul spirit related aspects. In very rare cases, drinking human urine is prescribed, but only with the purpose of averting imminent death. Drinking human urine long term does far more damage than good. What do you say to that?
C: That’s a complicated matter and almost philosophical to some extent. Indeed, in some traditions, considered to be tamasic, so my question is always like, how heavily tamasic is it if your food intake is more toxic? So in urine therapy, it’s good to take clean, clear food, and there’s some yoga schools that on that basis, are proponents of urine therapy and use it on a daily basis. And yes, it is good to get the diet and lifestyle and all processes as pure as possible for any human being. So if I look at urine and the effects it can have on human systems, and then compare it to other tamasic things in this world, like all commercial food production, the meat production, etc., then I consider the consumption of urine maybe as something that will be slightly tamasic in some cases, but compared to other things, not that much of a bad thing at all. And of course there is also, I talked with a couple of people about it, Robert Svoboda for example, he commented on it, that yes, urine is slightly tamasic so it is good if you combine it with a spiritual or vedic tradition, to have some rituals going on for ?? [00:22:54] during everything that is very tamasic into something that is pure again.
P: So it’s your attitude.
C: I think the attitude, the inner attitude, can play an important role in it. And overall, we’re living in a time of extreme tamasic, toxic substances all over the planet. So given this side of the story, it will not be the worse solution, compared to other things. Whereas in the time that they wrote this about urine, they might have have all lived in a very, very, pure society. Very, very pure environment.
P: Here’s an email about so-called Ayurvedic professional’s advice of not eating meat and eggs. Does Dr. Van der Kroon also suggest meat, or does he recognize the concept of ahimsa, non-violence as the foundation of all spiritual and yogic knowledge coming from the vedas?
C: I definitely recognize the principle of ahimsa. I just want to also respect, at the same time, the need from some people to have a certain flexibility in terms of how they lead their live. There are many things that you can put under ahimsa or not. For example, I had a discussion on that recently with people here on whether or not to forbid ritual slaughter. And if you talk with tribals from meat-eating tribes, then you will see that rituals were often meant or sort of make anything that was impure in the process of killing any animal, pure again. There again, also the inner attitude can help to neutralize things. And yes, of course, ahimsa is super important, and at the same time you will see in Ayurvedic books that in order for human beings to sustain themselves, they are willing to also take into account any substance in the world including meat and eggs. And they were describing the positive medicinal values of any sort of meat that was available in those times. They also mention that it was valid to use it for many people, and at the same time they would say like, for an Ayurvedic physician to be super intuitive, to be super pure, it’s better to be a vegetarian. So yes, they said it’s better to be a vegetarian, but they didn’t say that meat was out of the question or a bad thing to do. So I always find it important to be as least dogmatic in this field as possible, and in terms of ahimsa, extremely important, and every individual has to look for him or herself where that begins and where that ends. And how the conscience of that person contends.
P: Well said. Fair enough.
P: Do you have a website that might go to and see what you’re doing?
C: We have a website called www.ayurvedicstudies.nl from the Netherlands.
P: And folks go there and they learn how to be an Ayurvedic practitioner?
C: Exactly. An Ayurvedic practitioner is, of course, something different than an Ayurvedic physician. And because outside of India there is basically no trainings for Ayurvedic physicians, but for Ayurvedic practitioners only. Which is usually a shorter track. Folks see mostly at the usual lifestyle and nutrition and some herbs to support people in their health and healing process. Whereas in India, if people really go for a type of an Ayurvedic physician, they learn 5 1/2 years of academic studies. It’s quite a heavy program in India and even after those 5 1/2 years, they can do some specialization. So in terms of teaching track or a study track, it’s very similar to western medicine.
P: A friend of mine in Arizona, who is an Ayurvedic physician, and he works with some herbs. Boy, these things are powerful. They got some herbs in Indian with some of these Ayurvedic herbs that man, it’s pretty powerful.
C: Some of the herbs in themselves are very powerful, and then of course, you have combinations that are made of roots and herbal plexuses, and sometimes also the minerals or the metals that are mixed in with it through various alchemical procedures that make it really into powerful medicine. It’s really beautiful to see also, if we come back to what we started with earlier this morning, the signs of substances, and you can see in any tropical country, in any rainforest, and India of course is also covered by rainforest, just as the Amazon is, any plant that grows there also has very strong chemicals in it. And Ayurveda is always talking about the six tastes. And specifically, the three tastes pungent, bitter, and astringent are the strongest medicinal tastes. Sweet, sour, and salty are more the nourishing tastes. Not particularly to clean the body, but to build up the body. So they’re tonic. The other three are more medicinal and specifically, the rainforest is full of these last three tastes in a very, very intense way. Because it’s also the way through which plants protect themselves against other plants. Because everything in the rain forest has to strive for survival to get that little bit of sun that they need for growing in a very dangerous environment. So the chemical substances and the three tastes, pungent, bitter, and astringent that they have in them, are also extremely potent and strong. And we all know the expression alkaloids, that they can be dangerous, but they can also be the most medicinal.
P: Some of these herbs, haven’t they actually wrapped in gold and silver and things like that?
C: Gold and silver, and I heard one of your advertisements this morning, that these substances are going up in price at the moment for other reasons. But one thing that people forget is that you can also consume them in minimal amounts and that the molecules of gold and silver, also known in western medicine, can have a certain effect on the immune system, the whole protective system of the body. In Ayurveda, this has always been used within the whole pharmacology to make better and stronger medicines.
P: Here’s an email. Someone would like to know more about ghee and why it is so healthy. You can actually buy grass-fed ghee now. I’ve been getting it from a place, Indian Natural Foods or something like that, grass-fed ghee. Go figure.
C: Ghee is a phenomenal substance. And it’s funny because I am still planning, I have done all the research for it, to write a book on ghee. And that would be the second book with a title having golden in there. So I wrote the Golden Fountain, this would be a book called, or some title like The Golden Oil, because really ghee has a golden aspect to it as a treasure kind of thing. It is a fat but it is a special fat. And it is special because it is made from a whole process where milk was churned into butter or into yogurt, that yogurt was made into butter, and that butter was processed into only the essence of that which is ghee. And the miracle of course came from an animal that in India is only known, just mythologically, as the embodiment of love, the cow. But it’s also eating grass and to digest the grass it needs an incredible machinery of enzymes, otherwise it would not be able to digest the fibers and roughage. A little bit of enzymes can be considered the fire motor that we also need for our digestion. So any food that is deduced from all this enzymatic, high quality food, leads to substances that have that power of digestion in it. So ghee, even though it is a fat, is known in Ayurveda as the only fat that has an internal burning sixth ?? [00:36:12] substance built into it. So it doesn’t only give you fat to build, but at the same time gives you the fire to digest. And that is a very special combination of things. And not only that, ghee also has shown to not go just into the tissues and stay outside of the cells, but it can actually go inside of body cells and bind itself to toxins. And after it has bound itself to toxins, go out again and take those toxins out. So you see all over the place, internally specials with panchakarma cleansing treatments in Ayurveda, to really go really deep into the body and deliver medicines there, and at the same time, take away toxins and bring them out again.
P: That’s fabulous. So you say the essence, when you cook it the special way – a more commercial thing, just so you have a picture, ladies and gentlemen, is clarified butter, but real ghee is done a different way, especially grass fed. And this essence, what is left? Is it just the butter fat?
C: In a way it’s like a pure butter fat which is left. And in the pot, of course, it also has a practical advantage over butter in that, because there is no water in it, it cannot go bad.
P: It doesn’t go bad.
C: So you can use it for a long time without using the frig.
P: That’s amazing. I’ve actually read some poetic text about ghee that, you know they say that if a ghee is one year old, it will do this, and if a ghee is four years old, it will do this. And ghee a hundred years old will cure anything.
C: I read that too. And I was always thinking but yeah, but if I would start to save it now, probably by the time it’s 100 years old, it might be very medicinal, but I won’t be there anymore.
P: That says something though, if you can let something out on a counter, away from the light I guess would be the best, and it doesn’t go bad ever. That says a lot.
C: Yeah. And also, Ayurveda looks a lot to substances that do not go rancid and often uses those substances as long-term tonics for our body, and ghee is one example of that. It’s a very simple idea, because they were thinking like whatever we eat, eventually becomes part of our body. So if our body does not want to go rancid, we should eat things that do not go rancid.
P: I like that, yeah.
C: And that’s of course an incredible contrast with eating oils like trans-fat oils that have already gone rancid. Because many of the oils that we’ve been using in the last decades for commercial purposes were oils that had already gone rancid and were still sold.
P: It’s so funny that, if I would just eat some organic popcorn that I have every now and then as a treat, with just some sea salt on, it could slow my digestion by 112 hours. Just like clockwork. If I put ghee on it, no problem. It’s like I didn’t even eat it. Isn’t that funny? So it’s the digestion, it just makes the digestion work.
C: It provides lubrication and it provides fire.
P: So that’s the pitta, that fire in the digestion that we need that maybe ginger sometimes helps, or sea salt.
P: So what other things are ghee good for? Why is it good to eat it?
C: As I said, it is an oil that doesn’t go rancid very quickly. If you cook with it, also, dairy, if you heat it, it doesn’t oxidize very quickly, so it helps in that way. As they call it in Ayurveda, it is a yogavi, so it combines other things to it and brings it deeper into the body. So if you combine it with other food, it works synergistically to bring the food deeper into the tissues. But not only that, if you use it medicinally, it can bring medicines deeper into the body and have them have more effect deeper inside of the tissues. It’s also one of the reasons, I don’t know if many your listeners are familiar with panchakarma, that is sort of the most highest treatment in Ayurvda, to not only cleanse the body but to really boot the whole body software, so to speak. And one of the key factors in that is, after first cleansing the body a little bit, to start infusing it with ghee. Not only on the outside, by oil treatments on the outside and massage with oil, but inside, drinking during a couple of days an increasing amount of ghee. And of course, the more you drink, the more heavy to digest it is, so then you have to really take care you don’t eat any other things till all the ghee is digested. And at some point, the body will be so full of ghee that the doctor will look at your skin, and if he can scrape the ghee that comes out of the skin from the skin, then you know, now it’s enough to start really doing the big cleanse in the body. Ghee is absolutely a key factor in doing this process appropriately.
P: Just ghee.
C: Yup. And in that case, they will often use medicinal ghee. Solid ghee cooked with herbs into a sort of substance that looks a little bit brownish or greenish because all those herbal medicines are in there.
P: And I think Ayurveda also uses ghee for many years, thousands of years, with different herbs, like you say, to help the herbs get into the system.
C: Yup. It’s an incredible, powerful, and effective medium to get things deep into the tissues.
P: Here’s an email from Cheryl in Cyprus, Texas. Cheryl says I suffered from severe kidney infections for years and no longer have them or feel any threat from them. When I had kidney infections I drank all of my urine for about a half day, and the infection would clear. Now I drink two or three glasses a day, every day. Also my son cures his hypothyroidism completely with urine therapy, and I was able to cut Armour thyroid in half. My husband is having great improvement with his blood pressure on urine therapy. This is a miracle. Thank you for having this on the show.
C: Great to hear. Always, I’m so happy always to hear again that people have such beneficial effects with the urine therapy. And one beautiful aspect of it is that more than anything else, they can claim that they have healed themselves by themself. It was the body that was itself producing the medicine. It’s a beautiful thing.
P: Here’s an email. Would you place ask Mr. Van Der Kroon if a shatavari is beneficial for a woman that moving towards menopausal age and how does it work?
C: Shatavari has some estrogen like compounds in it, and if people, particularly women, move towards menopausal age, that can be very, very useful to supplement in the body. Because the body is producing less of it itself, because of sexual function going down in the body. There’s a beautiful book on that which recently appeared, by someone who is an Ayurvedic physician or therapist and a doctor of Chinese medicine. Her name is Claudia Welch and her book is called Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life. She explains very, very well why plants like shatavari are superplants in the times approaching menopause.
P: So you would just do it regularly? Just keep taking it?
C: Keep taking it in the right dose, and it’s always good to check with an Ayurvedic practitioner or a Chinese medicine practitioner that will know this herb as well. To see if it really fits your constitution and possible other pathological situations in the body. For example, there has been a debate around shatavari, whether or not it is still good, if for example, women have a tendency or suffer from estrogen related cancers. Because then some people claim that it is not good to use it. It’s still an open scientific issue.
P: I see, if higher estrogen were involved with some cancers, that would make sense.
C: So there you can see again, that with no substance you can always absolutely say it’s good for this or it’s not good for that. You have to really pinpoint the client and the situation and the condition in somebody’s body.
P: How do you determine the dosage?
C: It will depend on what you give it with, what is the condition, what is the constitution for someone. If it’s for example a kapha person, you would need to be a little bit more careful with the dosage. Because shatavari is a very kapha promoting herb, so the dosage would have to be smaller. For a vata person, it is not only good for menopause, but it is also generally balancing vata dosha. Thus a vata person can have a slightly higher dose of it. Sometimes for pitta persons, it can be a medium dose, but you can increase the dosage for a pitta person if the pitta person would have some stomach complaints related to a high pitta. Because shatavari is also a very fantastic anti-acid.
P: And what is the best way to take it if you have the powdered form?
C: If you have the powdered form, there are different ways to take it. The most common, simple Ayurvedic form would just mix it with hot water and take it after a meal. You could actually even mix it with urine and take it, but to stay with other substances, you could also mix it with warm milk, boil it as they do in India, they make a paste of it for women who need also some extra strength around the age that people want to have children. It’s a very fantastic kind of formula where they mix shatavari with some ghee and some sugar. Not white sugar but more pure form of sugar, and they make little basic kind of granules from it, and they give that to women. And it gives an incredible boost to the whole rest of the system.
P: The reproductive system. Yeah, very interesting. I found a similar kind of idea in a little Ayurvedic book I found in a bookstore. And they suggested, for guys, ashwaganda with the ghee, molasses, and there’s something else, some other thing. No, maybe just those three.
C: There is one other herb which you can add to that: ghee, ashwagandha, and gokshura.
P: Gokshura, what is that?
C: Gokshura is another herb. The Latin name is Tribulus terrestris. Gokshura and ashwangandha are extremely good, both of them, for the whole prostate area. So not only does it cleanse and strengthen the prostate area, but it also increases the libido.
P: So ashwangandha, gokshura, the molasses, and the ghee.
C: Yeah. It’s a very strong mixture that has an almost immediate effect on men when they would take that.
P: I was trying to think there’s something else in it, but I think that’s all there is. So it’s amazing when you mix up the ghee, oh I think there’s honey in there too.
C: It’s very well possible.
P: Here’s an email. What’s is advice for women in their fifties that want to regulate their hormones naturally.
C: That’s a question. I would almost say read that book that I just mentioned, Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life, by Claudia Welch. It’s really phenomenal, because it’s very difficult to say it in a nutshell. These things are important, starting with regular healthy lifestyle. Not going away from belief has depreciated the fact of daily routine, that it is important. Not from any moral point of view, to have a regular lifestyle, but really because the human physiology works better when it can find a sort of rhythm. And even better when that rhythm sort of can find synchronicity with the rhythm that happens outside. And that’s specifically for women. Very important because their whole physiology, more even than of men, is dependent on certain rhythmic processes. So it’s very important to just educate yourself on this and find a playful and good way to integrate daily routine into your life. And Ayurveda has a lot of simple tips on that life on that matter, starting with when to get up, what to do, when to get up, make sure you go to the toilet when you get up, and all these kinds of things.
P: I just found the whole philosophy and poetry and everything about Ayurveda since the first time I read about it, many years ago, it just make sense to me. It just kind of made sense.
C: It’s very, very beautifully written down in a way. And it has so much truth in it and in a way that, if you read it well, and if you know the art of translating it to our times, it has so many tips and guidelines in there that are completely useful for now-a-day modern day life as well. Because people sometimes get a little bit deluded by the text, that they’re old texts, and the texts come from India. But really, if you find the right ways to read them, it is full and full with scientific information, what life is about, and how you can apply that in such a way that you as a human being become a better human being. And really, I have a teacher in India, who is talking about Ayurveda, and basically says it is there as a science, really as a service to humanity to become more happy beings on a deeper level. So not just superficial party beings, in terms of happiness, but on a deeper level, including the soul level. And at the same time, it doesn’t say to people, you all have to go into a monastery to become happy. No, you have to become happy because of living life properly and fitting to your personality in life. And not that of some other person who would be holy and stuck away in a cave.
P: Do you think it would be a fair suggestion that people would want to look into Ayurveda more, maybe one of the books by Dr. Lad. He’s got some nice books, doesn’t he?
C: Absolutely. And he’s a phenomenal teacher, who has had a very well known school in the United States for many years, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. And he has written several books on Ayurveda. And I would like to recommend to people always a book that has a lot of things in there, it’s called The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies.
P: Yeah, I like that one.
C: For introduction, but it also has very practical tips.
P: If you get indigestion, or this, or whatever, just little herbs you can take, or little spices, it’s really fun. The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies. A couple things quickly. The name of the book, an emailer wants to know, that you’re recommending, Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life, by Claudia Welch. And she uses some Ayurvedic herbs too?
C: Yeah. She describes several very good Ayurvedic herbs in her book. Also some Chinese medicine herbs. And she gives a lot of tips in that book that people can use immediately in their day to day life. It is a book that I read recently and I tell all women that they should read it, and after all women have read it, immediately all men should read it as well.
P: An emailer wants to know how to spell shatavari.
C: It literally means a hundred husbands. That’s a clue about how strong this herb works on the female reproductive organs.