Sunday, 29 November 2015

Ayurveda food rules

A friend asked me if raw vegetables are OK in ayurveda.

In Ayurveda
1.   Everything to be had cooked.

2. Water to be taken just enough to address thirst. Not liters. In conditions like diabetes, wounds, eye problems the barest minimum is advised.

3. Vegetables to be limited in quantity, and rice and wheat to be the main substantial meal. Not 'lots of vegetables', as sometimes followed today. Sprouts are not advised, and can damage the eyes.

4. Two or three meals a day is advised, and not many small portions. Food is to be taken to half stomach. Water fills a quarter, and air a quarter.

5. Curds is not to be had daily, and never at night.
Only in winters, never at nights. And always added with honey or moong dal or amla.

6. And buttermilk is not diluted curd, but has to be churned till the butter comes out ! One cannot get buttermilk (takram) from urban homogenized milk.
6. Honey is never to be had with hot water, or with anything hot.

7. Sweets must be had in the beginning of a meal, and not at the end as in desserts.

8. Milkshake is a harmful concept, and milk is never to be mixed with sour items, and fruits like mango are sour.

 9. Vegetables must be boiled and strained. The water in which it is boiled is to be poured away.
     Sprouts are an unhealthy food - and to be had rarely. They can hurt the eyes.

10. Rice is to be strained and the strained starched can also be drunk seperately. (pressure cooked rice is heavier, and is ok only in winters). 

11.Diabetics need to move to millets, and both rice and wheat increase sugar !!

12. Exercise is nityam (daily) but proscribed in cases like skin problems.

13 For skin conditions the food restrictions are very precise - no milk, curd, sour items, jaggery, fish, urad dal, til.

People usually gasp at these facts, but this is as per Charaka and Vagbhata.
The reductionist system of modern medicine seems to stumble - because though the molecules in some foods seem to match, the body accepts certian foods differently from certian others.
And this is not just theory - but what i have also observed over years seeing one of the best ayurvedic doctors closely.

Aparna Krishnan the text gives the poorvaroopam (premonitory symptioms), roopam (symptoms), nidanam (causes) as part of the diagnostics for each disease. there is no disease of 'etiology unknown' as in allopathy. Then it gives the line of treatment including medicines, procedures, and restrictions of practice and food.
Aparna Krishnan the nighantus give the properties of each food iitem. Milk of cow, buffallo, camel, donkey, elephant etc are all described in detail as to their effects on the body and the conditions they address. so also the meats of every animal and snake. and of the different grees seperately.
Aparna Krishnan The theory as in ayurveda is far more detailed and nuanced. The western anatomical model sees the body very mechanistically. For instance,  how they address fluid collection inside the head due to a growth. In a recent case of a friend they put a stent so that the fluid would get drained away as it got created. In Ayurveda the cause of fluid collection would be the prime concern, and addressed thro' cleansing and diet and medicines. 
Aparna Krishnan In another case a friend had an uncontrolled nose bleed, and they rushed her to the ICU. Her husband later described the intervention as a 'plumbing approach'. The blood flow was simply stopped physically. In ayurveda the condition of the blood which caused this unnatural flow would be addressed through a very 'cooling' diet, and medicine. through just 'plumbing', the blood stayed 'impure', and a skin condition which surfaced a year later.
Adharshila Learning Centre The practioner validates the theory. Mostly we see very few good practitioners of ayurveda up north.
Aparna Krishnan Yes, things are in a sorry state. We have grown up on a diet of viewing everything from the western model. So by the time a student reaches BAMS he/ she has deeply internalied protients and vitamins more than vata,pitta,kapha. So an unlearning and relearning is needed. The BAMS syllabus is substantially allopathic, and so that does not happen - and the student passing out has no real sense of the subject. Unless they find a good vaidya with whom they are able to train and learn, they are lost. So they end up diagnoing with an allopathic perspective, including Xrays and bood reports. There itself they lose their way, and the treatment they offer is highly compromised. Also the budgetry support for indian systems of medicine is so shamefully small compared to allopathy - that well, a civiliation gets what it deserves and chooses i suppose. 

Raam Kumar My Ayurveda doctor keeps telling this regularly. I particularly remember water properties, which he says is good when taken as per need and not as today's practitioners say 2-3 liters a day.
 Aparna Krishnan modern science sees the body as a plumbing system. Pour water in the sewage pipes to clean ! Ayurveda understands with greater sophistication. Excess water (more than the body asks for) can weaken the agni, or digestion, apart from many other things.
Billy Bunter btw, there's an entry in bhaishajya ratnavali in the rasayana section on the benefits of drinking lots of water early in the morning.

Aparna Krishnan  I would think it impossible. Because the Bhihad trayi and the Laghu Trayi are extremely tightly written and consistent. Please give me the versa and chapter and I will check up and revert.

Sarvani Shetty Even in Lukewarm water we can not add honey?

Aparna Krishnan Nope. Honey heated is poison. The text says not even to be had during fever, when the weather is hot ...

Vidyasankar Sundaresan ardhaM savyanjanaannasya tRtIyam udakasya tu | vAyos sancaaraNaarthaM ca caturtham avaSeshayet || -point 4 above. This is a verse quoted by Adi Sankara in his commentary on the Gita verse, naatyaSnatas tu yogo'sti.
Sathish Yadav Certain vegetables can be ate raw. Not all must be cooked.

Monika Sethuraman Reddy Nutritionists at gym suggest to cut down on carbs and consume more veggies

Aparna Krishnan  Wrong from ayurvedic understanding of health. For one thing, it will increase vata. 

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