Friday, August 22, 2008


I know I'm stressed when I dream that I'm bolting from one neighbor's house to another, desperately seeking a source of flame with which to light the five cigarettes in my mouth and the three in each hand. 

I've been feeling a bit manic from working on too many things at once. I've been staying up too late, drinking too much coffee, and getting cracked out on internet stalking. I woke up this morning looking for some clarity, a mental or physical tonic, if you will, so I went to the source of ancient self-help: The Roots of Ayurveda. Here's some advice on wellness from Vagbhata's Heart of Medicine, circa AD 600:

"One should avoid the following: getting wind, sunshine, dust, frost, or harsh gusts in one's face; sneezing, burping, coughing, sleeping, eating, or having sex while in a crooked position; the shadow of an embankment, a traitor, a predator, or an animal with fangs or tusks; the company of low, ignoble, or calculating types; rifts with one's betters; eating, sex, sleep, study, or fretting during dawn and dusk; food received from enemies, public rituals, group distributions, prostitutes, or tradesmen; making music with one's arms, legs, mouth, or fingernails; shaking one's hands or hair about; passing through the midst of fire, water, or dignitaries; the smoke coming from a corpse; addiction to alcohol; and either dependence on, or independence from women."

Okay, so I've totally tried that, and it didn't work for me. 

So, how's about a medicinal cure?

Cow's Urine Potion

Cow's urine is cooked in about three kilograms of ghee, together with about 200 grams each of asafoetida, dark salt, and a mixture of black pepper, long pepper, and dried ginger. This is the best thing for banishing insanity, demons, and epilepsy.

That's cool, but I seriously can't stand asafoetida.

This one's my favorite:

Good Luck Ghee

"This Lucky Ghee is used in cases of demonic possession, insanity, cough, epilepsy, and sin, and also in cases of pallor, itching, poisoning, consumption, delirium, urine diseases, poisoned drinks, and fever. It is used when there is no semen or there are no children, or when the heart is oppressed by fate. It is good for a lack of intelligence, for a stutter, when good memory is desirable, and when the digestive fire is weak. It builds strength, luck, long life, attractiveness, good fortune, and plumpness. It is also the best thing for conceiving a male child."

I love the thought that eating clarified butter will soothe a heart oppressed by fate. This is the kind of advice I can use.


JM said...

Yes, I will remember this the next time my heart is oppressed by fate. And I agree about asafoetida. Rather bitter, isn't it?

SM said...

I just bought some ghee! When you're in town we will make some Good Luck Ghee. The recipe sounds spicy.
Asafoetida tastes like it sounds, I suspect. Stressing the first syllable.