Direction for ingestion of food

According to Ayurveda, the food should be ingested considering – Prakriti, karana, samyoga, raashi, desha, kaala, upayogasamsthaa and upayoktaa. The directions of eating as stated by Caraka are:

  • Prakriti is the original qualities of food and medicines. For e.g. Black gram is heavy to digest whereas green gram is light to digest.
  • Karana is alreration made while cooking of food. These alterations and applications of various methods like – soaking, churning, cooking, roasting, washing, etc-change the quality of food stuff. For e.g. raw rice is heavier than roasted rice. A curd obstructs conveying channels; yet if churned, buttermilk enhances Agni.
  • Samyoga means combination of two or many items together. Single item may be good for health; combination may be harmful. For e.g., fish is good for health. Milk is good for health. Both are good for health if consumed separately. If they both are eaten in combination, it is worst for health, as this combination acts like poison in body and is responsible for generation of many diseases. so the change in quality of food after mixing should be considered while taking food as the healthy food may convert to poison after mixing with other.
  • Raashi is the amount of ingestion of food. This is observed in two ways- one way is to calculate total amount of food eaten and another way is to calculate each entity of food item consumed. If the Maatra or raashi of food is not considered it may give rise to various digestive problems and may cause incurable( asaadhya) aama( digestive) disease including Visuchikaa, alasaka, ajeerna and dandaalasaka
  • Desha denotes place of origin of food stuff whether it is offspring of cool country or warm country; it also denotes body, which consumes it. It means habit of body to eat certain type of food. As the quality of food and nature of consumer changes according to desha or dwelling places.
  • Kaala denotes condition of body, whether the consumer is in healthy condition or he is sick. Also kaala means the time of consuming food.
  • Upayogasamathaa indicate when to eat and not to eat. It is expected that one should eat only when previous diet is digested. Not observing this rule may prove dangerous to Agni efficiency.
  • Upauoktaa is one who eats. He should think of his own constitution, habit and then eat accordingly

If the above stated factors are not considered while taking food, the food may not do good to health because the quality of food varies according to the above which alter their actions in the body. The same food may be healthful for someone whereas it may degrade the health in other.

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