Understanding Constipation through Ayurveda

Constipation is considered to be the root cause of all the disorders in Ayurveda. Ayurveda has a system of 3 doshas – vata, pitta, and kapha. These are metabolic systems that run the body, just like there the way finance, marketing, and HR system together run an organization. They have to collaborate and balance each other. But imagine if one system encroaches on the territory of the other, the organization is going to face the problem. All people who have worked in any organization will be able to relate to this.

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Now vata is the primary dosha responsible for constipation. It is considered to be the most important of all dosha. Let’s suppose it the profit center of an organization. If the profit center is affected, the results will trickle down to each person in the organization. Similarly, when vata is vitiated in the body, each cell of the body gets affected. Vata can vitiate all other doshas. It is said that vata sweeps away other doshas from their balanced state as the way wind sweeps away clouds from their stationary position.

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Ayurvedic Mechanism of Constipation

Dryness or rukshta is the defining feature of vata, just like high temperature is the defining feature of fire. So when vata is imbalanced, the first symptom that it causes is dryness in the body. Qualities of dosha. Dryness (dehydration) is the underlying factor that triggers constipation in the body.

It is interesting to note that each dosha has a head office inside the body, the physical department. These are called the abode of the dosha in traditional Sanskrit. Large intestines are the head office for vata. So if vata is vitiated, large intestines are the first ones to get affected. And the effect caused is excessive dryness. Now the primary function of large Intestines is to extract extra water from the digested matter and form fecal material. And a vitiated vata will cause the large intestine to work abnormally. The large intestine will absorb a lot of water from the digested matter and create constipation. Constipation in turns creates bloating, indigestion and a hoard of other problems in the long run. So it is an effect similar to the husband bullying the wife, wife bullying the elder child and elder child bullying the younger sibling.

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The Mind is the Key

Now, there is a hidden health secret in this entire sequence of occurrences. This sequence indicates that constipation is not caused directly by less consumption of water, because ideally, less intake of water should first cause thirst. According to Ayurveda, forceful control or ignorance of natural urges leads to various disorders. Constipation is the second stage. The first stage is the thirst. When thirst is ignored, the incidental result is constipation.

Since most of the people are addicted to their work, enjoyment or electronic gadgets that they have become habitually oblivious to their natural thirst. Worse is that they forget to drink water sometimes. After that, they keep drinking water when it is not required, just like the way they keep eating when not hungry. Absence of mindful living is the first step towards all diseases. Thus I discovered that the real precursor of both constipation and thirst is mindless living…absent consciousness.

The primary factor being the mind, secondary factors are diet and lifestyle. Because of lack of awareness or conscious living, people tend to follow the wrong food and lifestyle. Ayurveda says that the body knows what’s best for it. And it conveys it to the mind, but as grown-ups, we get inattentive to these signals. Let’s look at small children, they eat only when hungry unless we pop a chocolate or potato chip in their mouth. They are naturally aware of their physical requirements. I don’t know about the gates of heaven, but if we are the children gates of health will definitely be open for us.

Hail Ayurveda, which says that each and every disorder has it’s rooted somewhere in the mind because the mind is the main computer that runs an entire factory of the body. One virus in the central processor can lead to incredible damage to the whole system. Therefore, if you are facing mild constipation, you should start meditating!!! And become more aware of your body, and it’s natural urges. This is a long term and permanent solution for not only constipation but also for all other disorders.

Mindfulness is a practice that can help you become more conscious of your body and its needs. Please find my personal experience with mindfulness in the book Instant Mindfulness. This book can help you practice mindful meditation even when you don’t have even one spare minute in your day!

Constipation is Good

Many vaidyas believe that constipation is the root-cause of all diseases. However, all types of constipation are not harmful. Sometimes, people get constipation due to freezing weather. Stored fecal matter is a source of heat and thus a source of life according to Ayurveda. If the body is not producing enough heat through metabolism, there will be constipation to preserve body heat. Constipation sometimes can be life-saving in cases where the digestive system of a patient becomes very weak, and there is no strength in the body, for example in the case of malnutrition, starvation, etc.

In such a case, the patient should focus on consuming hot and heat producing food (ginger, garlic, etc.) instead of trying to treat constipation. Besides, in such cases, constipation is preserved intentionally. Attempts are made to recover the natural heat producing system in the body, before trying to relieve constipation.

Unfortunately, most of the people try artificial methods to relieve constipation are heavy duty chemical-based laxatives. They produce results by extracting water from the intestinal lining and softening the stool. However, they can create an imbalance in the electrolyte balance in the body fluids because of the forceful extraction of water from the intestines. Besides, they are not safe for anyone suffering from any heart or kidney condition.

There is another class of constipation relieving medicines that stimulates strong peristaltic movement in the intestines and cause them to throw out the hard stool. They can be used in combination with stool softening drugs. However, they can make intestines tired and more prone to constipation.
Glycerine suppositories or enemas are also some other options. However, if the real problem causing the constipation is not corrected. All these relief methods can be habit-forming and in the long run, severely aggravate the disease.

In short, we must remember that what is not natural is not safe. In the next blog, see you with best food and lifestyle choices to prevent constipation.


Migraine in Ayurveda

Migraine is a severe disorder without a permanent cure according to modern science. The exact mechanism of a migraine is unclear. However, it is co-related with abnormal brain activity.

Migraine attacks may be triggered by any of the following:

  1. Hormone disturbances
  2. Irregular sleep patterns
  3. Alcoholism
  4. Exercise or other physical stress
  5. Loud noises or bright lights
  6. Active or passive smoking
  7. Irregular meals, Missed meals
  8. Caffeine withdrawal
  9. Perfumes, Air fresheners etc.
  10. Stress and anxiety

There are primarily 3 disorders n Ayurveda that resemble migraine. But before trying to understand them, we should try to decode the concept of dosha, esp vata dosha.

It is said that dosha are the systems that work in harmony to run the body metabolism. Now these dosha are said to be invisible, however their effects can be seen.

All ancient Indian sciences are based on the concept “yatha pinde tatha brahmande” – the particle is like the universe. For this reasons, one sanskrit word is used can have innumerous meanings depending on the context.

This sutra helps indian sciences to extrapolate the concepts of one science in the other. Let’s us remind ourselves that these sutra are by the sages who formulated the decimal system, the value of zero and pi.

The whole truth is never a fact, it is a context. I can try to explain the concept of dosha with the replicating it in a more material context.

What is dosha?

The dosha system is everywhere. Let us take the context of an organization for a lucid understanding.  Most of us must have worked in some or the other organization. All the modern organizations have these departments which work in coordination to run the organization. Every organization has a finance, sales and marketing and HR department. These are the basic ones.

However, it is important to note here that the marketing or any other department is not a section of the building or a block of some cubicles. It is not a bundle of files or a set of computers either. The marketing people, the machines and the place together constitute what we can call a marketing system. Thus it is not a physical thing, it is a concept. Similarly vata is a conceptual system that is supposed to be responsible for certain functions in the body. It is not visible but its functions can be experienced.  

What dosha do?

Dosha is a universal phenomenon. Its effect also can be seen everywhere. Every entity, living or non-living is said to work under the dosha. The 3 dosha are responsible for motion related to change in kinetic energy (vata), chemical transformation and heat generation (pitta) and inertia/stability (kapha). This is one of the dimensions of dosha.

Let’s again take a very simple example of an automatic car.

The first condition of the car is when it is moving. All 3 dosha work in harmony to get the car moving. There is the combustion which provides the energy to run and the steering motion that guides the overall movement of the car. At the same time, car also has a certain degree of inertia, which keeps it moving in a single direction. The body works in a similar but more comprehensive manner.

One dosha becomes dominant in certain conditions. In this manner, there can be 3 possible conditions for a car –

Let’s take the first position to be stationary. When car is standing in one place, inertia is the dominant force working on it. It is a certain amount of force that has to be overcome in order to get the car moving. This is the same force that provides stability to a standing car. This is kapha dominant position of the car – stable. Stability is one of the many functions of a very comprehensive system called kapha. In a living entity, kapha also promotes anabolism and growth.

Another position of the car is when it is in the process of getting started. The primary force working in this situation is the combustion engine which produces the energy to overcome the standing inertia of the car. Right now the car is not moving and it is not stationary either. It is in a transformation state with respect to its physical position. This transformation produces a change – chemical change (combustion), and heat change that leads to the movement. This position is dominated by pitta. In a living being, pitta changes the food into energy and provides fuel and building blocks to the body.

In the 3rd position, the car is running. While driving, we change the speed of the car, change directions etc. Here, dominant force is change in its kinetic energy as it moves from one place to the other.  All these are mechanical changes are backed by the chemical combustion. However, what the energy produced will do is governed by the system of vata. Vata is related to vayu or the wind. It is the initiator and controller of all kinds of movements in the body, right from the batting an eye-lid to fast running.  

In all the 3 conditions, all 3 dosha work together. But the condition is dominated by a single dosha. Now we are sitting in this automatic car that works on its own. Our body works every second to produce the comprehensive experience called life.

This concept of dosha is not applicable to only human beings; it is applicable to all living being. For this reason sister sceiences of Ayurveda – vrikshayurveda (Tree healing science), Ashwaayurveda (veterinary science focused on treatment of horses), goayurveda (focused on treatment of cows) and many more sciences that were lost with the time.

The concept of steering wheel is interesting in the sense that a hand is there for occasional control. This hand has over-riding power over the systems of the automatic car.  This hand resembles the mind. Vata dosha is directed related to the mind. When the hand on the wheel is not able to handle driving, it can lead even an automatic car astray. When we are anxious, stressed or frustrated, vata is the first dosha that gets vitiated.   

Let’s focus on vata as it is the dosha which is said to be responsible for migraine according to Ayurveda.

Dosha in Simpler Terms

More on Tridosha

Vata in Migraine

Every dosha has a special place the body. Let’s take the example of the car again. There is a specific central point for every activity, engine for the combustion to take place, wheels to run and brake to stop the car. Similarly, dosha also has abodes or specific physical departments in the body. They work all over the body, but they have a specific part which is their centre of all functions.

The main centres of vata are –

Basti – Urinary bladder

Pureeshaadhaana – rectum,

Sakthi – waist,

Padau – thighs, legs,

Asthi – bones

Pakvashaya – colon

All these organs are basically movement based organs. There is no major chemical change that happens in them.

Both the sensory reception and motor response is attributed to vata dosha. Since vata controls the movement of the body, nerves are under controls of vata. Therefore,  health or disease in the nervous system is  under the control of vata.     

In case of migraine, vata is the dominating dosha we can look at. According to most of the modern research on migraine, the main reason appears to be excitable nerves and brain cells. Hyperactivity of nervous system appears to be the main contributing factor to migraine. At types blood supply, hormones, and other chemicals present in the body fluid might contribute to the pain and duration of migraine. Hyperactivity, over-excitation or any kind of abnormal activity in the body is said to be due to vata vitiation.

Stress is also on of the main contributing and triggering factor for migraine. Stress is an influencing factor for vata.

Shiroroga (head disorders) in Ayurveda

In Ayurveda, there are 4 disorders that resemble the symptoms of migraine. These 4 disorders are the 4 prominent diseases of the head (Shiro-roga). It is interesting that 3 out of these 4 diseases are said to be easily curable.

They are –


This disorder resembles migraine without aura. Vata alone or in combination with kapha is the dosha responsible for this disorder.

In this disorder, vata dosha effects half part of the head and causes terrible pain (described as pain caused by friction equivalent to that produced by rubbing of two wooden planks (arani manthan) in the back of the neck (manya), region around eye brows, temporal region, ears, eyes, forehead. Since this disorder affects half of the head, it is called ardhavbhedaka (piercer of half the head).

If this disease gets complicated, it can cause loss of vision or hearing power.

Causes of Ardhavabhedaka

  • Excessive consumption of dry food items
  • Eating again without proper digestion of the previous meal
  • Excessive exposure to easterly wind
  • Exposure to morning dew
  • Excessive indulgence in sex
  • Forceful control of natural urges like urination cough burping at cetera
  • Physical labour beyond individual stamina
  • Excessive exercise

One or a combination of several of these factors lead to vitiation of vata Dosha in the body and this vata Dosha combines with kapha Dosha and affects the half part of the head, manya (back of the throat), bhukuti(region in the middle of two eyebrows), temple, ear, Eyes and forehead on one side of the head.


This disorders has most of the symptoms of migraine with aura. Vata and impure blood is responsible for this disorder.

This disorder is related to the movement of the sun. this disease increases with the sun rise and increases with the heat of the day. The pain and other symptoms begin to decrease as the sun goes down and ends generally with the sunset.

This disorder causes redness, inflammation, extreme pain that starts gradually and stays for first half of the day. It can result in black-outs, impaired vision and hearing sensation.

Some researchers in modern medicine believe that migraine happen because of fluctuations in the blood supply to the brain. This type of migraine should be researched more for suryavarta symptoms.

Causes of Suryavarta

The causes for suryavarta are almost same as the those of ardhavabhedaka.

Unnatural control of natural urges like urination, fecal excretion, cough, burping etc seems to be the primary cause of suryavarta. Vata vitiating reasons like indigestion, constipation etc. also can cause this disease.

All these all the above reasons cause vata vitiation in the body. This vitiated vata vitiates rakta dhatu (blood) . This contaminated blood and vata pollute marrow of the brain. According to Acharya charak the day heat causes destabilized majja Dhatu (brain marrow) to melt (decrease in solidity and stability.) as the day progresses. This causes increasing pain during the daytime.


This disorder resembles the migraine without headache. It is primarily caused by vata dosha.

In this disorder, there is extreme pain that generally starts with neck region. This pain increases and spreads to eyes, eye brows, and temporal region and stabilizes there. After that, there can be distortion in vision, or jaw-locking might occur as complications.

Causes of Anantvata

  • Excessive fasting starvation
  • Excessive misery/ sorrow
  • Consumption of excessively dry, cold and little amount of food

Because of the above factors all three dosha get vitiated and cause pain in throat region initially. However, vata is the primary dosha in this disease.

All the above disease descriptions are in line with Charak Samhita.

Another head based disorder that is described along with the above 3 is –


This is a terminal disorder that is said to be able to kill a patient in a duration of 3 nights. The classical symptoms as described in Charak Samhita are –

Extreme pain,  inflammation, redness, and excessive swelling in the area around the temporal bone. This swelling increases rapidly and disrupts the normal functioning of the brain and throat region.  According to Charak Samhita, a patient with this disorder cannot survive more than 3 nights. If the patient survives after 3 nights, the physician can have some hope of recovery.    

These symptoms might occur due to accident or as a complication of severe head trauma.

This description of Shankhaka needs some research and evidence base.

The Ayurveda Channel

Rock Salt in Ayurveda

Rock salt is called Saindhava lavana in Sanskrit. It is another name for Himalayan pink salt. The name “saindhav” is derived from the sanskrit name of the river Indus – Sindhu. Therefore the salt that is found in the Indus region was called saindhav lavana. It is also called pink salt as the salt crystals are slightly pink in colour.

There are 5 types of salts in Ayurveda – Saindhav, sauvarchala, vida, udbhija and kala lavana. Out of these 5, Saindhava lavana is considered to be the best.

Features of Saindhava lavana

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Ruchikaraka – Saindhava lavana, like all salts, stimulates the taste buds and salivary glands. Thus it helps to moisten the food properly in the mouth.

Agnivardhana – It stimulates preparation and secretion of the digestive enzymes. As salts produce free acidic and basic ions when dissolved in water, they help to disintegrate the food in the alimentary canal. Thus they aid the digestion (agni).

Vrishya – Saindhava lavana is the only salt that can increase potency when consumed in proper amount. However, it is important to note that habitual excess consumption of salt, even saindhava lavana, can cause impotency in the long run.

Netrahitakara – Saindhava lavana is the only variety of salt which is described as beneficial for eyes. Salt helps to purify the secretions of the eye. Salt is a natural reliever of mucus. Saindhava lavana prevents heaviness, numbness and itchiness in the eyes. However, salt should never be used for direct application on the eyes. Only orally consumed salt is beneficial for eyes and rest of the body.

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Avidahi – Regular consumption of other salts or salty foods can cause inflammation, and inflammatory conditions like peptic ulcers. This can make body more susceptible to fever and inflammatory autoimmune response. However, these problems can be averted by using saindhava lavana for daily use in the cooking, instead of any other kind of salt.

Tridoshanashaka – Salt or salty foods can cause vitiation of pitta dosha. In the long run, excess salt consumption can vitiate all 3 doshas. But regular limited consumption of saindhava lavana does not cause any kind of problems in the body. In fact, saindhava lavana helps to balance all the 3 dosha. Therefore, it is recommended for daily consumption by Acharya Charak.

Madhura – Saindhava lavana is the only salt that is sweet. This means that it has a mild taste. As a parallel to Ayurvedic concept of digestion, it is assumed that madhura rasa produces sugars in the body after digestion; amla rasa produces peptic acids and katu, tikta and kashaya rasa produce fatty acids at the end of the digestive process. According to this hypothesis, saindhava lavana is supposed to be the only salt that produces sugars at the end of the digestion and not acids like other salts. It might also mean that the free ions produced by saindhava lavana are less harsh and less in number as compared to the table salt. Therefore, it is much milder as compared to the normal table salt.

For all the above reasons, saindhava lavana is considered to be the best of all salts and thus it is recommended for daily consumption. In Hindu fasting traditions, saindhava lavana is the only salt that can be used. Use of any other type of salt is considered to corrupt the fast. Hindu festivals and fasting rituals are normally Ayurvedic health practices, molded in the form of religious traditions, so that it gets easier for the crowd to follow them. However, with the above knowledge, we can embrace the saindhava lavana as a source of health, without any social or religious factor.

Hope this post helps you. Please let me know if you want me to add any other information in this post.

Thanks for reading!

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Ushapaan : Daily Ayurvedic Water Detox for beginners

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Ushapaan is a very interesting concept. Water, when consumed, does not stimulate the digestive process and most of the time it is not digested, it is only detoxified. Most of the detoxification happens in the liver after water absorption. Therefore, when we drink an extra amount of water (for example – more than 1 lit at a time), this water rapidly gushes through the intestines like a flush, without being held-up for digestion.  

Intestine is like a carpet with the fine brush like structures called villi. villi help to increase the surface area of the intestine. Villi are made from small folds in the intestine. In this way, intestine acts as stretchable jeans that where villi provide the required stretch whenever we overstuff over stomach with food. But the problem occurs when food is stuck in the middle of these villi. Let us take the example of the concealed drainage pipes in the plumbing system of a building. They never get cleaned and one can imagine the level of cleanliness that can be found in them!  

 Normally, continuous splashes of mucus try to maintain the cleanliness of the intestines. But with the current dietary habits of haphazard eating, it becomes extremely difficult for the body to maintain the desired level of internal hygiene. And this decay of food particles trapped in the intestines contribute to the toxins in the body, mentioned in Ayurveda as “ama”.  

 Water is the best purifier that cleans an object (fire is the ultimate purifier, which eliminates the object and reduces it to the basic structure, fit for reconstruction). We can use water to clean our intestines just the way we use to clean our kitchen sink. When we drink a large amount of water, it rushes through the intestines. This force of water helps to clean the food stuck and decaying in the intestinal folds. So, the first point is to drink a huge and comfortable amount of water in order to ensure a cleaning effect on the intestines.  

 Now, there is a lot of information around water cleansing and its method. Many people suggest that one should stand and drink water as the gravitational pull helps the water to move with greater momentum inside the Intestines and clears away the wanted material. However, Ayurveda strongly recommends that one should always drink or eat anything only in a sitting position. The hypothesis behind this suggests that when water enters the Intestines while the person is in standing position, the rapid gush of water or food can damage the soft internal lining or remove the protective mucosal layer in the Intestines. Besides, in the long term, it can result in many disorders like an abdominal pouch, hernia, etc. Therefore it is important to drink water in a sitting position only.  

Another important factor is the temperature of the water. But the temperature is a factor of the time of water consumption. On a sunny day, one can drink normal water. However, it is always advisable to drink Luke warm water, something compatible with the internal temperature of the body. Chilled water is an absolute no-no for water detox. Lukewarm water helps to dissolve excess mucus and remove the food stuck in it.  

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 Time of the water detox is the most important of all factors. The temperature, amount and the effect of water are entirely dependent on the time of consumption. Here we finally the concept of Ushapaan dawns on us. The term “Usha” means Dawn or the time of sunrise. The term “paan” means to drink. This Usha or dawn is the best time for water detox. The time before Ushakaal is said to be “Brahma muhurta”. The term “Brahma” refers to the creator. This is the time when all the dosha in the body is normally balanced. The slate of body’s metabolism is clean. According to Ayurveda, this is the best time to induce any changes, take medicines, meditate, etc. The water detox should be done before or just at the time of dawn. This water is better able to clean as there is no digestive process going on in the Intestines early in the morning. Ideally, ushakaal is 4–6 am in the morning. And this is the time for Ushapaan.    

 Besides, the best benefit is that Ushapaan ensures that intestines are clean early morning, ready to take new food challenge for the day. The new food does not mingle with the old decaying food particles. Ushapaan also ensures good quality hunger. Good hunger is the indication of a healthy metabolism.    

 Besides, Ushapaan with normal or cool water during the dawn stimulates the nerve endings in the intestines. This stimulation reaches the brain and it helps in an early adjustment of temperature, before the sunrise. Waking up in Brahmamuhurat also has a similar effect.    

  After sunrise, temperature regulation depends more on the water absorbed from the intestines. This process can dry and harden the fecal matter and cause constipation. Ushapaan also hydrates the body before the sunrise so that as the temperature regulation shifts towards the sweating mode after sunrise, there is no scarcity of water in the outer layers of the body. Because of enough moisture, there is no metabolic prompt to extract more and more moisture from the fecal matter. In fact, Ushapaan can remove the fecal matter before the sunrise. Thus there is no extra heat load on the body after sunrise.    

 Therefore Ushapaan is the second most important lifestyle factor that can prevent and cure all kinds of constipations. For first factor visit the next blog.    

 For chronic constipation, it is advisable to drink warm water. Chronic constipation occurs in all kinds of people. However, vata dominant prakrati people get such type of constipation more frequently. Besides, they have more tendency to form very hard stool.    

 These are some of the limited benefits of Ushapaan. However, in short, we can safely say that it positively touches the entire body. It provides fluid for the internal bath of the body. It is very important as Saint Kabir said – What is the use of external purification is there is no internal cleanliness?   

 Ushapaan was induced as a religious ceremony in Vedic Hindu community. This is the reason why it was preserved and followed for a long time, even by people who no longer understood its essence or health benefits. Now it is time for us to reinvent this ancient ceremony and practice it religiously!  

An advanced level of ushapaan is drinking the water through nose. I will elaborate more on it very soon.

 Hope this helps all in need!  

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The Ayurveda Channel

Moong : Best in Dals (Pulses)

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Moong dal or green gram is the second most important food that should be consumed daily according to Charak samhita.

There are normally 5 most popular pulses used in cooking – Moong dal(green gram), masur dal(red lentils), tur dal (pigeon pea), channa dal(chickpea) and urad dal(black gram).

Ayurvedic features of Moong dal – kashaya(astringent) and madhura(sweet) rasa, dry and produces drying effect in the body, cool in temperament, Katu vipaka (primarily produces fats after digestions), light to digest, Vishada (eliminates mucus), decreases excess Kapha and Pitta dosha.

All pulses cause bloating. But moong dal causes the least bloating as compared to other pulses. It is “grahi” according to Bhav Prakesh. The word “grahi” means a substance that kindles the digestive fire and accelerate the digestion. Moong dal also helps in the overall formation of faecal matter. Therefore, Moong dal is also a good choice for people suffering from constipation as well as diarrhea.

Because of cool and sweet nature, Moong dal is said to be netrya (beneficial for the eyes). It also helps to relieve fever. That’s the reason why moong dal khichdi is highly recommended for people suffering from fever.

Moong dal has a lot of varieties. They can be classified according to their colour. For example Black kama yellow white, red. Previous varieties black lighter to digest as compared to the latter.

According to Charak samhita and other Ayurvedic texts, moong dal is
considered to be the best of pulses in Ayurveda.

Moong dal is the easiest to digest among all the other pulses. It does not tax the digestive system, therefore it is the preferred dal for making khichadi. Khichadi is a combination of rice and moong dal cooked together. It is an ideal meal for the sick and recuperating people. Normally digestion of the sick is weakened and they are not able to extract nourishment from rich and heavy food.

Moong dal is kashaya and madhura in rasa. It has a cooling effect on the digestive system. Therefore, it never causes or aggravates acidity, peptic ulcers, skin disorders, blood disorders, fever or any other kind of pitta related disorders.

Moong dal does not aggravate or causes any kind of kapha disorders like cough, cold, congestion etc. because of its dry and vishada (clear, anti-mucus) nature.

Green Moong

According to Ayurveda there are many varieties of moong dal. Some of them are black, yellow, white, red, green et cetera in colours. Green moong dal is considered to be the best according to Acharya charak and Acharya Sushrut. For this reason moong dal is also called green gram English.

Green moong is so easy to digest that only sprouts of green more consumed, and not of sprouted Chana, sprouted tur dal, escorted masoor dal.

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Ayurvedic tips for cooking Moong dal

All the dals, including moong dal, should be cooked in excess water in a open pot. It is advisable not to use pressure cooker for cooking dals.

When the dal starts getting cooked, some froth forms at the top of the vessel. You should remove this froth once or twice in the beginning. This froth helps to eliminate the drying effect of dals. Once the froth is removed, sprinkle little turmeric powder and let the dal cook on slow flame.

Drying effect of moong dal can be moderated by tempering it with ghee and digestive herbs like asafoetida, curry leaves, cumin, turmeric etc.

It is always advisable to eat dal with ghee or oil tempering. Adding a tsp of ghee to dal enhances the taste as well as prevents the drying effect. Ghee is also considered a “yogavahi’ or the vehicle of nutrition. Ghee also is said to kindle the digestive fire. Anything consumed with ghee gets digested and assimilated properly.

Right Combination with Moong dal

Like rice, moong dal can be consumed along with most of the edibles like meat (dal mutton), dairy (moong dal halwa), vegetables, grains etc.

Moong Dal Sprouts

Sprouts of any grain are considered to be heavy to digest according to Ayurveda. Cooking of the grain makes its nutrition more bio-available.

Greens green grain. Moong sprout definitely has much more nutrition as compared to the cooked Dal, but sprouted moong dal is not for everyone. Only people with excellent digestion and a very active lifestyle should consume moong dal sprouts.Also, moong dal sprouts should be consumed during the daytime in order to enable better digestion and absorption.

Different Prakriti or body types in Ayurveda react differently to moong dal sprouts. Most susceptible to undesirable consequences is vata Prakriti. A vata dominant Prakriti has the highest tendency to get vata vitiation if frequently exposed to heavy and dry food. Therefore people with vata Prakriti ideally should consume mong dal sprouts tempered with digestive like ginger, garlic, black salt, green chili, etc. They should also avoid using onion with sprouts as onion is cool in temperament and very heavy to digest.

The same story is true for kapha Prakriti people as well. Kapha Prakriti people are prone to sluggish digestion and body metabolism. Frequent consumption of sprouted moong dal can cause indigestion, nausea, heaviness in the body, breathing problem body, numbness in the et cetera.

In case of severe indigestion of sprouted moong dal, aggravate diseases like cold, cough, asthma, diabetes, and other kapha related disorders in kapha dominant people.

Moong dal sprouts are best digested and absorbed by Pitta Prakriti people in good state of health. However, if Pitta Prakriti people are also suffering from indigestion, they should also refrain from the consumption of moong dal sprouts.

If mung daal is under-digested in Pitta Prakriti people because of some reason, it might aggravate all kinds of skin and blood-related disorders. It might also aggravate inflammation in the body.

The bottom line is, consume moong dal sprouts only if you are exercising regularly and have very good digestion and an active lifestyle. Healthy and active athletes, soldiers, and sportspeople can consume moong dal sprouts at any point in time in irrespective of their Prakriti.

If a person is able to digest moong dal sprouts properly, he might receive a great amount of nutrition from it. However, if a person is not able to digest sprouts properly for any reason, the undigested sprouts might create toxins in the body. These toxins or “ama” can aggravate and complicate numerous diseases as mentioned above.

Therefore invite only health with proper cooking and consumption of moong dal

For a personalized Ayurvedic diet plan, feel free to contact me.

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Rice in Ayurveda


Rice is the commonest and the most ancient grain used all over the world. Most of the ancient civilizations have been rice-eating population.The description of cereals in all Ayurvedic text, including Charak Samhita, start with the description of rice. Organic rice is one of the grains that has minimum reported allergies against it.

Ayurvedic Description Of Rice

There are many varieties of rice mentioned in the ancient Ayurvedic texts. unfortunately, most of them have become extinct due to neglect and advent of new genetically modified crops. The best of these is called Shashtik rice. It is the variety that matures in 60 days, hence the name Shashtik rice (Shashti – 60). The qualities of other rice varieties are lesser but similar to shashtik rice.

Qualities of rice (Charak Samhita 17/13) –

  • cool in temperament
  • imparts moisture
  • light to digest
  • sweet in taste (provides carbohydrates)
  • balances all 3 dosha
  • establishes stability in the body

Rice that grows in Hemant Ritu is called shali rice. Sach rice is white in colour and without husk. Shali rice is sweet, unctous and and offers tonic properties. it forms low amount of fecal matter after digestion. It is slightly astringent, light to digest, stimulates hunger (ruchi Karak), good for vocal cords, helps to increase potency. It’s slightly vitiates vata and kapha. It is cool in temperament and helps to balance Pitta dosha. Rice also stimulates urine formation.

Jav Rice – this variety of rice grows in field burnt before cultivation. This rice is astringent, light to digest, stimulate the formation of fecal matter and urine, dry and alleviates kapha dosha.

Rice that is grown by sowing seeds in a field health balances vata and Pita. It is heavy to digest and increases kapha dosha. It is perfect for improvement in potency. It is astringent in taste. It forms a comparatively minimal amount of fecal matter. It is considered to have neuroprotective and tonic properties.

Rice that grows naturally without any cultivation process has different properties then artificially produced rice. It is Sweet, balances Pitta and kapha dosha. However, it can slightly vitiate vata and digestive fire if consumed improperly. It is somewhat pungent and astringent in taste. It has katu vipaka (forms fats primary at the end of the digestion).

Another variety of rice is grown by sowing Seedling. This variety of rice is sweet, tonic in nature balances pita scarf low amount of fecal matter. This variety is heavy to digest and cool temperament. Newly harvested rice of this variety has better properties. If the grains are old, they are light to digest.

Rakta Shali: This variety of rice is considered to be the best. This variety is naturally reddish in color. This rice strengthens the body, clears the complexion, balances all three doshas and is a tonic for the eyes. It has a excellent positive effects on the urinary system, vocal cords, and male potency. This rice also kindles the digestive fire. It can eliminate waste, poisoning, women, asthma, and general inflammation in the body.

Brihi Dhanya: Which rice grows naturally during the rainy season. Green is white in color after polishing. This rice takes a long time to get cooked. Brihi Dhanya has many some varieties like Krishna brihi, patal, Kukutandaka, shala Mukh, jatu mukh, etc. Briefly, rice is sweet and cool in temperament. It prevents excretion and is VERY good for diarrhea. Other qualities of brihi rice are similar to Shashtik rice.

If you are eating organic rice, you might be eating one of these! 

Ayurvedic Cooking Method for Rice

It is important to note the right way of cooking rice.Rice cooked in the intense heat and pressure of the pressure cooker loses its nutrition. Here nutrition is measured not in terms of calories, but bioavailable  nutrients in the food. Therefore you should cook rice over a slow flame.Also, if half cooked rice is kept in hot water for some time, it gets fully cooked.

You should cook rice by boiling in excess water. It is good to add a little ghee in it. According to Ayurveda, this water absorbs the dryness and excess starch of the rice. So, the rice left after removing the water has more fibre as compared to the starch. Also it does not produce the drying effect in the body. This rice is especially recommended for the old people who develop a natural tendency to lose moisture and oil from their bodies due to vata. It is also very good for sick people or people with derailed digestive process.

Many people might contest the efficacy of this cooking method by saying that all the nutrition of the rice will be gone if the rice water is removed. However, consider the example of a piece of chalk or eggshell. Both are made up of  calcium carbonate, but we cannot munch a chalk one day and get the required quantity of calcium for a year. The nutritious amount has to be in an optimal quantity and absorbable state. The rice separated from rice water gets readily absorbed in the body.

According to Ayurveda, rice water contains less absorbable nutrition. Due to its dry nature, it tends to absorb fat from the body. Therefore, consuming rice water with zero rice is a part of the slimming diet in Ayurveda. But at the same time, it provides adequate nutrition to the body.   

abundance agricultural agriculture arm
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Right quantity for rice

It is extremely important to choose the right quantity of rice. Ayurveda says “Excess is anything is always harmful”. Excess food intake taxes the digestive system. Thus, when improperly digested even good food can cause toxins in the body. The best amount of grains that one should consume in a day is equal to the quantity of raw grain that can be contained in his 2 hands joined together. This quantity is applicable for a healthy person engaged in manual labor and with excellent digestion. However, it might not be applicable for a person with a sedentary job.

The best way to judge the right quantity is to listen to your body. You must stop eating when your stomach is 80% full. The quantity suggested includes all the ingredients of the meal like pulses, meat, dairy, grains, vegetables, etc. If you exercise regularly then you can consume rice as 80% of the meal. If you have slow digestion, you should not take rice (or any grain) more than 50% of the total meal. In this case, it is better to include fruits and vegetables, digestives like buttermilk, papad, etc.

flat lay photography of two tray of foods
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Right combinations for Rice

The best thing about rice is that it goes with anything and everything. Rice can be consumed with dairy, meat, vegetables, and even fruits(for example Aamrasa or cooked mango juice). Personally, I have not come across any proscription against rice. Therefore, rice is recommended even for sick and recuperating people in the form of Khichadi.