Category Archives: Diet (Ahara ) concept in Ayurveda

AMA (TOXINS – Product of incomplete Digestion)

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 In Ayurveda, AMA is claimed to be a toxic byproduct generated due to improper or incomplete digestion. The concept does not have a direct equivalent in standard medicine.

"Ama" is a Sanskrit word literally meaning "uncooked" or "undigested".

Role of Ama

Ama originates from improperly digested toxic particles that clog the channels in our body. These channels include the intestines, lymphatic system, arteries and veins, capillaries, and genitourinary tract. Others channels are called Nadis through which your energy flows. Ama toxicity accumulates wherever there is weak metabolism in the body, and this leads to diseases.

Causes of 'Ama' production :

  • Agnimandya – Low digestive  fire
  • Dhatu-agnimandya - Low tissue fire

Mala Sanchaya - Accumulation of waste products.

  • Dosha sammurcchana  – Interaction or amalgamation between vitiated doshas
  • Krimi visha  – Bacterial toxins. When an infection is caused by the pathogenic organisms, they liberate a toxic substance.

Properties of ama :

  • It is always in the form of incompletely digested substance
  • Hence it is  non-homogenous, has a very bad or foul odour which can be experienced only when it is combined with excretory products such as sweat, urine, and faeces, or when products such as sputum, vomit, etc., are expelled from the body.
  • It is very sticky.
  • It produces lethargy in the body.

Signs of Ama :

  •  Feeling heavy, muzzy headed, unclear thinking, aches and pains, bloating, gas, skin blemishes, fever, lack of energy, stickiness, foul smells (breath, sweat, urine, stools, phlegm), sinking stool, mucous in stool, turbid urine, lack of appetite or taste, indigestion, sticky/sweet taste in the mouth, copious phlegm. Pulse; deep, dull, slippery Tongue; thick, greasy coating.
  • Modern signs of ama: High triglycerides, atherosclerosis, late-onset diabetes, high blood sugar levels, some forms of depression, rheumatoid factor, the presence of H. pylori bacteria, blood urea, gout, excess platelet count, gall stones as a sign of excess bile, kidney stones as a sign of un-metabolised calcium and oxalates, high liver enzymes (ALT, AST ) tumours.

Treatment of ama :

Herbs:

Anti-vata: Medicines- Hinguvachadi Choornam, Gandharvahastadi ks;

Herbs – ,ginger, garlic.

Anti-pitta:Medicines –  Amruthotharam kashayam, Kumaryasvam , Neem.

Herbs – Aloe Vera, Fennel, Coriander, Amalaki(Indian Goosberry) formula that contains cooling herbs to clear heat toxins from the system.

Anti-kapha:Medicines – Taleespatradi Choornam, Vaishvanara Choornam, Trikatu

Herbs – Ginger, Cumin, Black pepper, Pushkaramoola, Punarnava, Tulsi, Vacha, Guggul

Panchakarma: Ayurvedic detox therapies( Abhyangam (oil bath), swedana(sudation), virechana(induced purgation), vamana (induced emices), etc.

Anti-ama Diet: Emphasise pungent, bitter, astringent flavour.

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Butter milk is known as “Takra” in ayurveda. Its properties and medicinal qualities

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Takram laghu kashayaamlam deepanam kaphavaatajit ||
Showphodaraarshowgrahanidoshamootragrahaaruchee |
Pleehagulmaghritavyaapadgarpaanduvaamayaan jayeth ||

Butter milk does not cause heaviness when consumed. Hence it is known to have the quality “laghu”(LIGHT). It gets digested quickly and easily. Butter milk is usually sour in taste and acts as an astringent. Due to this property butter milk helps in reducing pores caused by acne and pimples.

It reduces hyper motility of intestines during diarrhoea and IBS. This property also helps to shrink hemorrhoids. Aggravated kapha and vata are mitigated by buttermilk. It is the best Agni deepaka (appetizer). According to ayurveda it reduces adman (bloating of stomach), eases symptoms of haemorrhoids, soothes intestines in IBS and helps in indigestion. It also reduces effects of poison and is very useful in treating pandu (anaemia).

Butter milk detoxifies body and cleanses the intestines, relieves constipation and helps to replenish intestinal flora. It has less fat compared to milk and is rich in calcium, potassium and vit B12.

How to prepare butter milk:
Thick curd (dadhi) should be whipped to separate butter. The liquid portion which remains after separating butter is called as butter milk or “takra” or whip  1 part of curd in a blender for 30 seconds then add 4 parts water and blend again gor 2 minutes, the froth will be formed above the mixture, remove the froth(contains most of the butter molecules) and drink only the liquid part(butter milk).

COMPOSITION:

Butter milk is a low fat skimmed milk with almost 2% of fat content.  The butter milk is supposed to contain 90%of water, 5% of milk sugars, 3% of milk protein and 2% of fats. Butter milk is sour-salty in taste due to lactic acid that is produced by the action of bacteria. The protein of butter milk is more easily digestable than the milk protein.

DIET (Viruddha Ahara:The Unique Concept of Ayurveda)

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The word Viruddha leads to two factors i.e. on combining two, three things, the stronger one shades or overpowers the weaker ingredients.

It has been stated that in a combination of so many opposite qualities, the majority of the power packed qualities overpower the weaker qualities.

The second meaning of Viruddha indicates about the combination of two substances which are not having an affinity for each other.

So far this interpretation of Viruddha is concerned, it has been applied in Ayurveda in the context of dietetics & various combinations having such affinity for each other have been discussed at length. On this basis it may be concluded that such type of Ahara or foodstuff which is composed of substances having no affinity at all may be defined as Viruddha or Viruddhahara

In the literature various other terms are also used such as –

  • Ananukula or Pratikula (Shabda Kalpadrum) –which is  having an adverse effect or       unfavourable
  • Anapayukta – which is unpropetious
  • Pratisiddha – prohibited
  • Apathya – incompatible diet

Types of Viruddha Ahara:

Ayurveda literature has described various types of Viruddha, which run as under :

  1. Desha (place)Viruddha : To have dry and sharp substances in dry region, unctuous substances in Marshy      land.
  2. Kala Viruddha: (Time) :  intake of cold and dry substances in Winter, Pungent and hot substances in      Summer.
  3. Agni(digestive power) Viruddha : intake of heavy food when the power of digestion is low, intake      of light food when the power of digestion is  sharp and intake of food at variance with irregular and normal power of digestion.
  4. Matra (quantity) Viruddha :  intake of honey and ghee in equal quantity
  5. Satmya (wholesome) Viruddha  :  intake of sweet and cold substance by person accustomed to pungent and hot      substance.
  6. Dosha Viruddha  : utilization of drugs, diets and regimen having similar qualities with Dosha, but at      variance with the habit of the individual.
  7. Sanskar (mode of preparation) Viruddha : drugs and diets which, when prepared in a      particular way produced poisonous effects. E.g. meat of peacock roasted on a castor spit.
  8. Veerya (potency) Viruddha : Substances having cold potency in combination with those of hot potency.
  9. Koshtha Viruddha: to give less quantity with less potency and less stool forming food to a person of      costive bowel. Administration of more quantity heavy and more stool forming food to a person having laxed bowel.
  10. Avastha (State of health) Viruddha : intake of Vata aggravating food by a person after exertion      sexual act, physical exertion or intake of Kapha aggravating food by a person after sleep or drowsiness.
  11. Kram (sequence) Viruddha : if a person takes food before his bowel and urination or when he doesn’t have      appetite or after his hunger have been aggravating.
  12. Parihar Viruddha : Intake of hot things after taking pork etc.
  13. Upachar (treatment)Viruddha : cold things after taking ghee.
  14. Paak (cooking) Viruddha :   preparation of food with bad or rotten fuel and under cooking, over      cooking or burning during the process of preparation.
  15. Samyoga (combination) Viruddha : intake of sour substance with milk
  16. Hriday Viruddha: intake of  unpleasant food
  17. Sampad (Richness of quality) Viruddha : intake of substance that are not mature, over matured or      putrified
  18. Vidhi (rules for eating) Viruddha : taking meals in public place

Many food combinations are given in the texts as incompatible with proper explanation for e.g.

  1. One should not take fish along with milk because this combination is Abhishyandi (great  obstructer for channels), it vitiates blood.
  2. After eating raddish, garlic, asil one should not take milk because of the risk of skin disorders.
  3. All sour liquids are antagonistic to milk.
  4. Hot honey taken by a person induces toxicity and lead to death.
  5. Likewise honey and ghee in equal quantity, hot water after taking honey are antagonistic.

Food for Diabetes in Ayurveda

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INTRODUCTION

Diabetes is a fundamental disorder of metabolism, primarily that of carbohydrates. It is due to a deficiency of the pancreas, a gland connected with the alimentary canal which under the circumstances, does not produce sufficient insulin. It is a weakness or exhaustion of the gland. In diabetes the ingested carbohydrates, sugars and starches cannot be utilized, but are eliminated in urine. Part of the food turns into sugar and the glutton has to return to nature its illegitimate gains. Lean people rarely acquire diabetes. In obese subjects the excess sugar and starch which they consume does not sufficiently oxidise, but forms fat which is already a disintegration of the organism.

BARLEY:-
Barley is an excellent whole grain choice because it has a high concentration of dietary fibre including beta –glucan soluble fibre. Studies have confirmed that beta –glucan soluble fibre is effective in promoting healthy blood sugar.
Findings from clinical trials reported in Nutrition Research and the Journal of American College of Nutrition showed that people who ate foods containing barley experienced reductions in glucose and insulin responses compared to responses after eating similar products containing whole grains.
In Charaka Samhita chap -6/chikita sathanam

MUSTARD PLAN:-

In studies in normal rats, mustard lowered blood sugar. In diabetic rats, mustard decreased blood sugar and improved the response to insulin following meals. Insulin moves sugar from the blood into the tissues, so that sugar can be used for energy in the body.

ALOE VERA :-


The main source of the fuel to our body is sugar, in     the form of glucose. The hormone insulin permits  glucose in blood to pierce in to cells. Type 2 is the diabetes in which body is unable to produce sufficient insulin or cells are unwilling to use the insulin. This type of diabetes is curable with aloe vera.
This results in glucose saturation in blood. This makes cells to be deprived of energy. If the high glucose level in blood perseveres, it can damage eyes, heart, kidneys or nerves. Aloe vera is one of the natural remedies for type two diabetes.

AMLA:–
Ayurveda describes amla as a cooling, astringent, digestive, laxative, stomachic, and aphrodisiac medicine. It also has anti-pyretic, anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties. Due to its numerous therapeutic effects on various organs and systems, it has been found to be useful in problems ranging from chest diseases such as cough, asthma, and bronchitis, digestive ailments like dyspepsia, hyperacidity and ulcers and anaemia, jaundice, diabetes, bleeding conditions, eye diseases, allergic and other skin problems to gynaecological problems
In Charaka Samhita chap -6/chikita sathanam