ASHTA AHARA VIDHI VISHESHA AYATANAS: THE KEY PRINCIPLES OF NUTRITION AND DIET PLANNING IN AYURVEDA
Factors to be considered during diet designing
ASHTAVIDHA AHARA VISHESHA AYATANAS
तत्र खल्विमान्यष्टावाहारविधिविशेषायतनानि भवन्ति; तद्यथा- प्रकृतिकरणसंयोगराशिदेशकालोपयोगसंस्थोपयोक्त्रष्टमानि (भवन्ति)||Cha. Vi. 1/21
Basic nature of the dietary article in the form of Guru, Laghu etc. is Prakriti. Further these articles are grouped into different categories for convenience in prescription and practical purposes.
Shuka Dhanya (cereals), Shami/Shimbi Dhanya (Pulses), Kudhanya (Millets), Shaka varga (Vegetables), Harita varga (Green leafy vegetables),Phalavarga (Fruits), Aharayogi dravyas (Spices and condiments), Gorasa varga (Milk and milk products), Jalavarga (Liquids), Mamsa Varga (Non-vegetarian food), Ikshuvarga (Sugar products), Kritanna varga(Prepared food)
करणं पुनः स्वाभाविकानां द्रव्याणामभिसंस्कारः| संस्कारो हि गुणान्तराधानमुच्यते| ते गुणास्तोयाग्निसन्निकर्षशौचमन्थनदेशकालवासनभावनादिभिः कालप्रकर्षभाजनादिभिश्चाधीयन्ते II Cha. Vi. 1/(2) 22 II
To bring about change in properties of food substances processing is done. It may be in the form of cleaning, washing, heating, storing, cooking, roasting, grinding, seasoning etc.
Samyoga/Combination of Food
संयोगः पुनर्द्वयोर्बहूनां वा द्रव्याणां संहतीभावःII Cha. Vi. 1/(3) 22
The combination two or more substances to get positive effects should be done. The consumption of unwholesome combination known as Viruddha should be avoided.
Viruddha means contradictory.
यत् किञ्चित् दोषमुत्क्लेष्य न हरेत् तत् समासतः विरुद्धम् ।। A. Hr. Sutra Sthana, 7/45
The food drink or medicine is not compatible it causes aggravation od Doshas but does not expel it out of the body.
यत् किञ्चित् दोषमास्राव्य न निर्हरति कायतः आहारजातं तत् सर्वमहितायोपपद्यते ।। Ch. Sam. Sutra sthana 26/85
The food taken does not nourish the Dhatus in turn vitiate them producing disease.
Some contemporary examples of Viruddha
- Boiling of butter milk Ex: Kadhi, Shahipulav etc.
- Deep frying of food items in already used oil
- Adding honey to hot water
- Meat of Goat and fish, crab, prawn etc. aquatic animals with honey, sesame, jaggery, milk, black gram, radish, sprouted pulses
- Intake of hot water after taking pork
- Intake of cold water after taking ghee and oily food
- Intake of cold drinks after taking meals
- Over cooking or under cooking
- Sour substance with milk
- Milk shakes, fruit salads, adding cream to various dishes,
- Muli paratha/Puliogare/Lemon rice followed by tea/coffee/milk
- Heavy exercise after food
- Untimely intake of food
- Curd taken at night
- Heavy night food
- Not considering season, age etc. during food intake
Rules for food intake
- The food should be conducive for a healthy individual’s Prakriti – Satmya
- Food should be taken at proper time
- कालभोजनम आरोग्यकरणाम (Cha. Su 25/40)
- One should not take food that is contradictory (Viruddhahara)
- One should take food according to the disease if one is suffering from disease (Pathyahara)
- This need to be brought to the notice of consulting doctor. Ayurvedic dietetics involves factors like the
Time of intake of food and its importance
सायं प्रातः मनुष्याणां अशनं श्रुतिचोदितम् |
नान्तरा भोजनं कुर्यात् अग्निहोत्र समोविधिः||Su. U 65-66
As per scriptures the food should be consumed morning and evening like Agnihotri, according to rules, intake of food in between is not advocated.
Ideal time: When one feels hungry and has the features of digestion
उद्गार शुद्धिरुत्सहो वेगोत्सर्गो यथोचिता |
लघुता क्षुत् पिपासा च जीर्णाहार लक्षणम् ||Bha. Pr. Pu 5/118 II
Clear belching, enthusiasm, proper evacuation of urges, lightness, onset of hunger and thirst are features of properly digested food. Food should be taken at time because hunger is one among the Adharaniya Vegas.
अहारम पचति शिखि दोषाणाहार वर्जितः
दोष क्षय पचेत धातुन प्राणान धातुक्षयेपि वा II Bha. Pr. Pu.
In Agni digests Dosha in absence of food, in absence of Dosha it digests Dhatus and ultimately digests Prana in absence of Dhatu.
यथोक्त गुणसंपन्नं नरः सेवेत भोजनम्।
विचार्य दोषकालादीम्न्कालयोरुभयोरपि॥ भा प्र पू ५/११५ ॥
One has to take food having good qualities after analysing Dosha, Kala ie. Time, season etc. Factors in the morning and evening like Agnihotri.
Foods advocated for daily use
षष्टिकाञ्छालिमुद्गांश्च सैन्धवामलके यवान्| आन्तरीक्षं पयः सर्पिर्जाङ्गलं मधु चाभ्यसेत्|| तच्च नित्यं प्रयुञ्जीत स्वास्थ्यं येनानुवर्तते| अजातानां विकाराणामनुत्पत्तिकरं च यत्|| Cha. Su. 5/12II
Cereals like rice, barley pulses like green gram, rock salt, Indian goose berry, water, milk, ghee, meat soup of terrestrial animals, honey are to be taken regularly for prevention of disorders
क्षीर घृताभ्यासो रसयानानां II Cha. Su. 25/40 II
Milk and ghee are most essential food substances advocated for daily Use.
Food habits that lead to disease
Adhyashana- Taking food again and again before digestion of previously taken food
Samashana- Taking the food that is conducive and nonconductive or health together
Vishamashana- Taking food in excess or less quantity, at irregular time interval
Diet planning in disease condition
Ahara that help in Samprapti Vighatana of particular disease
- Samanya Vishesha Siddhanta
- Specific Doshahara food should be consumed
- Rasakshaya – Jalamahabhuta pradhana, prinana dravya
Ex. Panakakalpana, Mantha, madhu, sarpi, Gudodaka again based on dosha for Pitta- Draksharasa
- Raktakshaya- Kharjura, Draksha, Dadima, Snehalavanayukta ahara, mamsarasa, Liver
- Mamsakshaya- Pulses like black gram, Nonvegetarian items like meat
- Other factors like Satmya, Dushya, Bala, Anala, Prakriti, Avastha, Satva should be kept in mind while designing diet
Sanga: for releasing Sanga/ obstruction
Due to kapha-Katu, Tikta, Kashaya rasayukta ahara is preferred
Due to Vata- Lavana, Amla, Madhura rasayukta ahara is preferred
Vimarga gamana:Brought to proper channel by respective mahabhuta pradhana dravyas based on whether Urdhva/Adho/Tiryak gamana
Siragranthi– Lekhana dravyas/respective srotas cleansing dravya based on Dosha
Intake of milk and milk products like curd, ghee, old rice, barley, wheat, proper sleep, avoidance of excessive exercise
Meat of buffalo, pig, goat, jiggery, milk, medicated milk, ghee
आहार शुद्धौ सत्त्व शुद्धिः सत्त्व शुद्धौ ध्रुवो स्म्रतिःII
The food with Sattvika nature is good for pure mind, but practically it is not possible in the present scenario, hence most of the time the food consumed is a combination of Sattvika and Rajasika food.
हिताशी स्यान्मिताशी स्यात् कालभोजी जितेन्द्रियः I
पश्यन् रोगान् बहून् कष्टान् बुद्धिमान् विषमाशनात् II Charaka Samhita Nidana Sthana 6/11 II
Wholesome food consumed in moderate quantity at proper time with control over mind prevents many diseases that are difficult to cure.
न च आहार समं किंचित भैषज्यमुपलभ्यत।
शक्यतेप्यन्नमात्रेण नरः कर्तुम निरामयः।। Ka. Sa. Khi. 4/5II
No medicine is equivalent to food, only food can make a person disease free.
Multiple Choice Questions
- As per Bhavaprakasha following are features of Jirnahara
- Shuddha Udgara, Utsaha, Vegotsarga,
- Guruta, Kshut utpatti, Pipasa utpatti
- Amla Udgara, Utsaha, Vegotsarga
- Shuddha Udgara, Utsaha, Vegadharana
- As per Acharya Charaka in the context of Ahara, Rashi means
- The food, drink or medicine cause aggravation of dosha but does not expel it out of the body, are known as-
- Nityaga and Avasthika is types of-
- Which one is incorrect statement-
- According to Ayurveda food should be taken twice a day i.e. morning and evening
- Curd should not be taken at night
- Curd should not be taken at night except grishma ritu
- Night food should not be heavy
- Which the best Ahara Rasayana as per Acharya Charaka
- Kshira & Ghrita
- Madhu &Ghrita
- Amalki & ghrita
- Takra &Ghrita
- As per charak samhita sutra sthan 25 “………………….Arogya Karanam”, which one is correct
- EkaKaal bhojanam
- Sarva Ras Bhojanam
- Pathya Bhojnam
- Kala bhojanam
- Which one is not advisable for daily use…
- Taking food again and again before digestion of previously taken food is known as…
- Taking food in excess or less quantity, at irregular time interval, this is known as…
Links for further reading
- http://www.ijrap.net/admin/php/uploads/1252_pdf.pdf (The concept of bhumi desha: healthy and diseased perspective)
- https://www.wjpps.com/issue/2015/VOLUME%204,%20SEPTEMBER%20ISSUE%209 (Study to evaluate the effect of matravat ahara)
- https://www.ejbps.com/ejbps/abstract_id/5427 (An analytical study on Samsakara (processing) with special reference to rice)
- http://www.iamj.in/current_issue/images/upload/2819_2823.pdf (Viruddha ahara: A conceptual study)
- https://www.ayujournal.org/article.asp?issn=0974-8520;year=2012;volume=33;issue=3;spage=332;epage=336;aulast=Sabnis;type=3 (Viruddha Ahara : A critical view)
- https://www.ayurlog.com/index.php/ayurlog/article/view/718 (Comparison of charakokta nitya sevaniya ahara draya with the balanced diet)
- file:///C:/Users/mango/Downloads/529-Article%20Text-1198-1-10-20200615.pdf (Clinical study of laghupanch moola sadhit cow’s milk in cow’s milk protein allergy)
- https://www.ijhsr.org/IJHSR_Vol.9_Issue.8_Aug2019/63.pdf (Balanced Diet in Ayurveda for Ideal Health in Present Era)