Rejuvenation: From the Gross to the Subtle

Posted to Subscribers on 17 May 2014


Dear Subscribers,

To continue a bit with the Saturn issues, let me devote one post to the complexity of the intestines and yet stay within our theme of Scorpio as ruler of reproductive and eliminatory systems as well as death. This is such a huge subject that it warrants years of study, but I will try in a few paragraphs to hit on the most important points.

Digestion begins with titillation, much of which in today's world is rancid oils from fast food joints; but aromas can also be tantalizing and when they are, they incite the imagination, stimulate the salivary glands, and prepare the body for a sumptuous experience. Salivation is important because it moistens food and makes it easier to break down. Food goes from the mouth to the stomach where it is churned and mixed with more secretions. Okay, to cut to the chase, there are three primary stages of assimilation: the stomach, small intestines, and large intestines. These are ruled by Cancer, Virgo, and Scorpio, respectively.


In previous posts, I discussed the concepts of dhatus. For lack of a better word, let's translate this as tissues, but it doesn't quite do justice to the term. These are plasma, blood, muscles, fat, bone, marrow, and the subtle components of the reproductive system. As I said, this is truly once over lightly but unless you want to read a book, we have to skip the embroidery and go to the bigger picture. Next, we have to add just a tad more from Ayurveda but just a few sentences. As most of you know, there are three doshas, faults, and they are called kapha, pitta, and vata. Kapha is cold and heavy and would normally gravitate downwards but when aggravated accumulates mainly in the lungs as phlegm and congestion. Pitta is hot and light and predominates in the abdominal region. Pure fire, agni, is responsible for all conversion processes in the body, but pitta is more like toxic fire than alchemical fire. Vata is cold and light and would normally rise, but when deranged, it goes into the large intestine where it creates havoc.

Okay, the stage is set and we can proceed.

Some authorities would say that death begins in the colon. Others might have less plain words but the reality is that what we need in order to regenerate the most precious systems of our body depends on a healthy colon. So, let's try to talk about the concept of reproductive fluids in a way that gives a different slant to how we perceive the body. When we are young, we need to grow; and if all is in order, we will have some clarity around gender and normal development of the reproductive organs. At puberty, secondary sexual characteristics will begin to make the distinctions between girls and boys much clearer than before. Boys will lose their upper octave and hair will eventually appear on the face and perhaps chest and elsewhere. Girls will become curvier and probably more interested in boys. Okay, this does not really have to be explained to anyone. If all goes well, everyone will be fertile and capable of reproduction, and those who choose will partner and become parents. This is all normal in the world of Saturn, but as noted a few days ago, the rules change when we are influenced by the trans-Saturnian planets.

However, let's stay inside the Ring and think about 20-30 years of partnering and parenting and perhaps 10 or 15 more of "normal" living that includes being sexually active. The fluids of the reproductive system that were devoted to growth between birth to maturity went into procreation and recreation but what happens to the vital force and capacity to regenerate? According to certain schools of thought, there would be a deficiency of what is needed to regenerate.

Now, we have to connect the dots.

What is assimilated in the lower intestines is needed to regenerate the bones, marrow, and fluids used by the reproductive system, including a mystical substance called "ojas". The amount of ojas in a healthy person who lives a saintly life is no more than a spoonful and in some people, there is none or almost none, but it is exactly this ojas that is required for regeneration. So, going back to the concept of the dhatus, there are nutrients that nourish the plasma and cells that swim in the plasma that depend on those nutrients. The blood cells then transport the nutrients to other tissues and so on and so forth. At each step, there is a refinement and a separation of the purest substance for that level from the waste that cannot be used. This process goes on and on through all seven stages.


Now, a little aside. As a microscopist, I can assure you that even one glass of juice results in significant improvement of the plasma. Several days of juice fasting improves the overall appearance of the blood significantly, but we rarely see any improvement in muscles during these first days. We might even feel that the muscles are weaker. There may be a loss of fat, rarely a loss of quality lipids but perhaps a loss of brown fat.

Oh, you can see where this is heading. The bones are not regenerated after three days of fasting. It may take 72 days to become convinced that the bones are getting stronger. I am not suggesting that the only way to accomplish this is by fasting; however, the only way is to have the body in working condition so that the nutrients needed are provided and used correctly by the body.

Any dissipation of energy as well as any malfunctioning of the body inhibits the assimilation necessary for regeneration.

The Large Intestine

Now, let's think of what can go wrong in the colon that causes malfunctioning. It is supposed to have friendly bacteria as well as 15% putrefactive bacteria. In most people, these ratios are reversed. This is partly due to abuse of antibiotics, including those transmitted from animals to people who consume animal products for food. Chlorination and fluoridation of water also knock out bacteria, both the friendly and putrefactive types. Toxic metals, like mercury, aluminum, and arsenic also destroy intestinal flora. This is just the beginning. Impaction slows peristalsis and blocks assimilation, and on top of this, there are fungal infections and parasitic infections that play havoc on how the intestines work.

Besides the discomfort, there are risks associated with all these conditions, one of the most studied being bone loss, just the fifth dhatu, not even the seventh . . . so it tells you how great the distance is between degeneration and regeneration, and the outcome is basically decided in this underestimated organ of the body.

Oh, I think I finally made my point! It didn't even require you to read a stack of textbooks! Of course, all the details and nuance are missing, but you can see that the dots do connect.

So, what do we do about this? First of all, the intestinal flora has to be balanced. Unlike some people, I am very conservative about the use of probiotics. Probiotics are produced with living organisms and may or may not really be considered suitable for vegetarians, but I have watched them under the microscope and can assure you that, like other living organisms, they compete for nutrients. I am not saying not to take them, rather that it does not seem wise to overrely on them.

If the challenges to normal functioning are serious, considerable effort may be required. If this is the case, then buy tiny bottles of probiotics and when getting the next bottle, choose a different brand. Even the best probiotics do not have long shelf lives so whatever the potency at the time of packaging, much is lost during transport and storage. So, I prefer cultured vegetables and various kinds of kefir to probiotics, but again in modest amounts. Interestingly, turmeric tends to support stabilization of intestinal flora and several herb producers are making a similar claim for black walnut extract.

Naturally, it is also imperative to avoid whatever destroys friendly bacteria, which can sometimes be as innocent as a sip of water at a restaurant. Then, of course, it is important to get rid of parasites, some of which can live for decades, but I don't want to tell stories that will give you nightmares. I will, however, say that for those who are planning to do kalpa, the traditional preparations include several 40-day cycles of bhringaraj and haritaki and then one bang up day, the first day of kalpa, starts with an enormous purging. The better the preparation, the easier the purging will be because the traditional method involves violent use of emetics and purgatives that are parasiticides, not antifungals. I am mentioning this simply to reinforce my contention that the colon can be an obstacle to regeneration, not to mention a threat to longevity.

Many years ago, I evolved a concept of systematic physiological tune ups, the usual first step being the colon. Depending on the starting point, this stage could take a couple of months or years. Some people have very poor peristalsis but I have never seen a case so obstinate that it couldn't be cured by a really hot curry, hot curry! The curry should be spicy enough to be unpleasant for most people. Just go to a Thai or Indian restaurant and ask for five chilis instead of one or two. Well, once in a rare while, it takes more than one dish of curry, but usually one will prove the point.

Warning: Many Indian restaurants use microwave ovens, especially for preparation of foods ordered off the menu rather that what is offered at a buffet. Avoid foods prepared in this manner!

After middle age, it is not uncommon to carry 35-90 pounds of impaction. So, be prepared for transformation. Even lean people can be hiding pounds of plaster in their intestines because most lean people are vata types and the colon is where vata accumulates.

There is no special protocol in which every step is carved in stone. What works for one person may not work for another. Persistence however has its rewards. The goal is to have effortless and almost odorless regular movements. I suppose I could be more graphic but there has to be a line somewhere, right?


The main Ayurvedic formula for the intestines is triphala. As the name suggests, it is made of three fruits, haritaki being one of them. These are all tropical fruits, but you can try prunes if you prefer. Triphala is not a laxative, it is a rotorooter. It cleans the arteries as well as all other tubes and canals in the body. Some people can get by with one or two tablets a day, others need a lot in the beginning. This is a situation in which the suggestions on the label can be ignored; you have to experiment to find the dose that works for you. Then, just to be clear, triphala is really not a laxative. It is often used as a hair rinse, hair oil, medicated ghee, and even massage oil. It is a very powerful antioxidant formula and includes amalaki, the main herb in Chyawanprash, as well as haritaki and bibhitaki.

Western approaches to colon cleansing often rely on fiber such as psyllium husks, chia seeds, or bran. There is nothing to snub here, but the effects are not quite as pervasive as with triphala. Combining colon cleansing with detoxification is something to consider. Many people like aloe vera or bentonite clay. The Vadik Herbs Detox formula is good as is my own Liver Tune Up formula. What you will notice when the colon is clean is that the skin becomes more beautiful and healthy looking. This should be celebrated as sign that assimilation is occurring and regeneration and rejuvenation are thus taking place.

Once in a while, I give links to previously posted material. The Mid-Life Tune Up Program is discussed on

There have been very few updates to that site or to the program in years since most new material has gone on other sites, but now that I am getting some control over my time, I hope to begin updates as well as to produce some DVDs.

The herbs are here:

In Sum

As most of you realize, I have devoted decades to study and am keenly devoted to sharing and connecting dots, but I realize that those who depend on their personal care practitioners will not see the dots connected in the way I have done here. For instance, if a bone density test is followed by an array of recommended supplements or, heaven forbid, operations, the points I am making here will not be included in the discussion. However, you actually have considerable control over whether or not you are degenerating or regenerating. As I have noted, you can accomplish a lot simply by juicing or by taking some precautions such as avoiding water with toxic additives or antibiotic laced animal products. You simply have to be realistic. If you expect to see stronger fingernails or thicker hair after one day of juice fasting, you are not being fair with either yourself or Nature. However, if you are consistent and patient, you should definitely see major improvement over a period of 2-4 months and even more over a longer period of time. Then, do not forget your Guduchi!



Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2014


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