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Building Bones

Slow bone density loss without using synthetic hormones.

By Vasant Lad, B.A.M.S., M.A.Sc

Bones are naturally porous. But with the increase in later years of vata dosha (in ayurveda">Ayurvedic philosophy, the light, air element), they become even more so. Add the natural decrease in estrogen production during the post-menopausal period, and a deleterious effect on bone mass can result.

Daily gentle exercise for 30 minutes treats and prevents osteoporosis. Try walking, swimming, gentle jogging, yoga, or another activity that suits your level of fitness and bone constitution (in other words, those with osteoporosis need to be more careful).

Get plenty of calcium from natural sources such as soy beans and milk, cow's milk, almond milk, and cheese. Chewing a handful of white sesame seeds also provides natural calcium, without the cholesterol present in dairy products.

For an Ayurvedic approach, try mixing 5 parts shatavari, 3 parts vidari, 2 parts wild yam, 1/8 part shanka bhasma (conch shell ash), 1/8 part kama dudha (coral shell ash). Take 1/4 teaspoon twice a day with warm soy or cow's milk. These Ayurvedic herbs listed are estrogen and progesterone precursors, and the last two ingredients in the formula supply calcium bicarbonate.

Lad, B.A.M.S., M.A.Sc., is the founder and director of the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, NM.
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Animal protein (like cow's milk) actually makes you excrete more calcium in your urine. It has been tested that people who do not consume animal protein have higher bone density than people who do consume it. If cow's milk really did do a body good, then why do we have one of the highest levels of osteoporosis in this country?

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