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Diet, Nutrition and Lifestyle Planning: The Key to Positive Health

October 29th, 2012 by Durgadas from Arogya Ayurvedic Health Ltd

Ayurveda, the ancient medical science of India assesses all food-substances, and the ancient Ayurvedic texts, dating back some 5,000 years have detailed descriptions of food substances, herbs, meats, oils and their specific effects, not only on certain diseases, but also how they affect the mind and also various individual people, based on their own biological make-up.

Ayurveda was also employed in Yoga for such personalised not generic systems for applying Yoga techniques as well, suited as per individuals, not an en-mass instruction as in today’s Yoga and Medical sciences.

For example, the great Indian Seer Sushruta, the “Father of Surgery” (c.1000bce) in his Sushruta Samhita (the earliest known text in the world which gave rise to 300 Surgical procedures including cataracts and plastic surgery), lists some 650 varieties of plant (vegetable and herbal), mineral and animal substances, with their unique qualities related to taste, digestion, healing and disease and how they affect unique Biological Constitutions in various people.

Garlic (Rasona) for example, he describes as:

“Uncutous, hot in potency, penetrating, pungent, slimy, difficult for digestion, sweet in taste, gives strength, is aphrodisiac, improves intellect, voice, complexion, vision, unites broken bones, cures chronic fever, heart diseases, abdominal pains, constipation, tumors, loss of taste, cough, swelling, piles., skin diseases, low metabolism, worms, dyspnoea, , gaseous (Vata) and phlegmatic (Kapha) diseases.”
(Sushruta Samhita, Sutra Sthana, XLVI.244-245)

Garlic being heating, especially in excess is hence aggravating to Bileous or Fiery (Pitta) people, but good for Thin, Gaseous (Vata) and Heavy, Phlegmatic (Kapha) people according to Ayurveda.

Thus, not only are certain foods not good for some people – but also diets such as vegan are not necessarily good for all Biological types and minds either.

Other considerations such as age, sex, climate, seasonal changes, lifestyle and also cooking habits are taken into consideration. Certain condiments cooking oils, the way food is cooked and spices are thus not right for all – we are all unique individuals possessing our own Biological make-up (called Prakriti, Nature), which have their own sensitivities to foods, substances and how they are cooked and what with etc.

In Ayurveda, as other systems of medical it has influenced, such as Chinese Medicine – assessment of Biological types is done by assessing various factors in one’s life-history, medical history, digestive and mental habits, as well as more exotic measures such as Pulse and Tongue diagnosis, which Ayurveda is famous for. We all posses unique attributes which shape the characteristics of our bodies, disease tendencies, digestive systems and also our mind and emotions!

Impressions we take in on a daily basis – such as the colours we surround ourselves with, whether in the office; at home or clothing also affects our Mind as well – and just as with foods, certain colours are good for our own personal Biology, and others are not. Blacks and dark colours may suit some people for example, but have a deeper subconscious effect on others, sometimes adversely so. So also with subtle impressions as aromas and sounds.

Understanding this knowledge is also key to understanding how and why various foods not only affect us and cause disease – but also how they can aggravate diseases, the mind and our emotions (as causing anxiety, insomnia anger etc.), and most importantly, our digestive systems, the root of all diseases. Proper digestive health itself is fundamental in both prevention and elimination of disease.

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