Ayurvedic Pathogenesis: 6 stages of disease formation according to Ayurveda

There are six stages of disease production proliferation according to Ayurveda they are

Sanchay

Let us take the example of a metabolic pendulum with a certain weight, for example, 10 kg. Let us assume that when the pendulum is stable, there is no disease condition in the body. However, when the pendulum starts to move, the disease proliferates.
To be specific, let us suppose when the pendulum moves with a velocity of 1 km per hour, migraine occurs. Since the current velocity is zero, therefore, acceleration will be equal to the resultant velocity :). According to Physical calculations, we would need an approximate force of 10 N to move the pendulum from its normal position to a diseased position. Before the pendulum moves from its original state of rest, it needs a precise power to overcome its inertia of healthy metabolism. The accumulation of vitiated dosha generates this negative force. The collection of the dosha or generation of negative energy is the state of Sanchay. Ideal Ayurvedic treatment should prevent sanchay of any dosha in the body. According to Ayurveda, this is the perfect prevention.

It looks like the concept of the fighter immunity doesn’t work in case of Sanchay. The body does not fight back to prevent diseases. Instead, there is stable inertia in the healthy state that is difficult to imbalance. This stability of health is natural immunity.

Suppose if the body was to remain in a situation where there are no external seasonal changes, temperature fluctuations due to respiration and food intake, etc; if the body were to receive all the required energy in the form of electricity just like a mobile phone, then there will be hardly any aging in the body. Such a person will Age so slowly that he might look like an Immortal. According to Hindu mythology, six months of humans are equivalent to a half day of the Gods. I wonder if gods stay in a friction-free, fluctuations free environment! The mythology says that gods have a pure mind that is free from the mental vices of humans.

So, if we drive the body metabolism properly without introducing undesirable fluctuations unnecessarily in the body, the average health of a person will always remain stable. The stability of health is the basis of immunity in Ayurveda.

Disease-causing factors are all around us. Each one of us is facing the same pathogens. However, some of us fall sick, and some do not; in similar conditions. The health of a perfectly healthy person must be like an elephant; too heavy and tough to move. On the other hand, the health of a frail and weak person must be like a dry leaf. Even a mild breeze can blow it away in any direction.

Therefore sanchay is, in a way, a force that is required to move the body from its stable, healthy position into disease position. The pathogens or the external surroundings do not produce this force. The vehicle for this negative force are the doshas. In a way, Sanchay is a kind of disease incubation period.

Ritucharya focuses on prevention of sanchay of dosha during every season. If we can prevent the accumulation of dosha, we can avoid all the disorders in the body, even the minor ones like cough and cold.

Prasar

Prasar is like a Domino effect in the body. In a healthy condition, the metabolism of the entire work body works in close synchrony. Once the pendulum of disease starts to move, it disturbs the natural metabolism of the whole body and disrupts the normal functions of different systems. Prasar is the stage of discord in the metabolism. It is the stage where the body starts gets affected by the doshas.

The word Prasar means expansion or spread. In this stage, the imbalance of the Dosha spreads to other dosha, parts, or systems in the body.
There is a chance that a strong dhatu will stop the disease pathophysiology in the body. Dhatu is a metabolic station that sustains and promotes the anabolic activity in the body.
For example, suppose that kapha Dosha of a person gets imbalanced who is drenched in the rain and remains wet for a long time. This vitiated kapha dosha affects different parts of the body and stimulates excess mucus formation in the nasal cavity. This process might lead to a common cold eventually. However, if this person is a Pitta Prakriti individual and he consumes a warm soup after getting wet, then and the heat production through digestion will balance the kapha dosha and help to stop the proliferation of common cold. Besides, a good sleep after the soup will help to prevent the vitiation of another dosha like pitta,vata, or both. However, if the person were to stay awake entire night, vata dosha might get vitiated and take the disease to the next level!

However, if the individual does not receive proper treatment in the stage of Prasar, then pathophysiology moves to the next step of prakop.

Prakop

Prakop comes from the word “kop,” which means anger. Prakop is the stage where the symptoms of imbalance become visible. For example, in the above case, the drenched person starts to sneeze, feels itching in the nasal cavity, tiredness or mild headache, depending on his Prakriti body type and the current state of health.

In the stage of Prakop, accumulated doshas can no longer be contained in the primary disease incubation site and spread in rest of the body like the way a boiling milk spilled out of the pot and spreads all over.

ภาพโดย Myriam Zilles จาก Pixabay

If the person usually is healthy, then prakop will result in mild disorders like a common cold, headache, body pain, etc. However, in a weak and sick person, this slight internal destruction can result in dangerous disorders. For example, a person infected with fully blown HIV AIDS can die from even a flu infection.
Prakop is a condition in which body sends a signal for help through mild disorders like body pain, headache, common cold, heaviness in the body inflammation, acidity, constipation, etc. 80 types of vata disorders, 40 types of pitta disorders and 20 types of kapha disorders are found in the stage.

According to Ayurveda, a perfect physician will heal the body in the stage of sanchay, before even the mild symptoms of discomfort occur. An average physician will heal the body after the symptoms of the disease are visible. And foolish physician will cure a person only after the disease takes roots in the body. Buy this logic; most of us are foolish physicians. However, we should strive to move up The Ladder.

Prakop is another stage of pathophysiology which is more visible and therefore more actionable. At this stage, no specific disease establishes in the body. Only dosha imbalance is stabilized, as a precursor to disease formation. Mild symptoms of a probable illness are visible. If you can correct the doshas in this stage, there will be no disease formation in the body.

At this stage, symptoms are visible in the main spots of dosha, for example, chest and the head region is like a head office for kapha dosha. Any kapha imbalance will reflect as a disorder in this region, for instance running nose, heaviness in the head, drowsiness, et cetera. Therefore, it is possible to find out the exact imbalanced dosha and its intensity by looking at the symptoms and their site.

The Domino effect of this imbalance is not limited to the body parts. One imbalanced dosha can cause an imbalance in other doshas of the body as mentioned before. For example, increased kapha Dosha in the body as in the previous case, can block the normal pathway of vata dosha. We can understand this in the following manner – excess kapha Dosha in the body stimulates excess mucus formation and secretion. This excess mucus can block the normal respiratory pathway(vata system) and cause vitiation of vata dosha as well. Therefore, the stage of Prakop is not limited to a single dosha. One imbalanced dosha can extend its imbalance to all other doshas in the body.

Another critical point is the kind of treatment offered at the stage of Prakop.

One interesting concept is that we should allow our bodies to fight against the infections, without taking any medicines –

https://www.quora.com/How-many-of-you-agree-to-the-actual-fact-that-consumption-of-medicine-during-cold-cough-and-fever-will-hamper-detoxification-process/answer/Vd-Kanika-Verma

Dosha correction is one of the options of treatment in prakop. This treatment will erase all possibilities of disease incubation in the future.
Another option is symptomatic treatment. For example, in case of headache, you can pop in a painkiller in your mouth. The nerves will become numb, and you will not feel the pain. However, the pain causing factor still be there. This treatment is an ostrich approach towards treatment, which hinders the real healing process.

If the dosha/doshas remain vitiated in this stage, the pathophysiology will move to the next step of sthana sanshraya.
Therefore you do not treat this mild headache resulting from this common cold properly, and it will eventually lead to severe disorders like chronic cold, migraine, sinusitis, et cetera.

Sthana sanshraya

The word “sthana” means place.”sanshraya” refers to establishment, accumulation, or lodging.
Sthana sanshraya is the stage in which the accumulated dosha find a weak link in the body metabolism and settle down to form the disease. In this stage, a weak dhatu(tissue) attracts the vitiated dosha like the way dry wood attracts termite

In the stage of prakop, disease formation happens typically at the primary site of dosha, example vata imbalance symptoms are found mainly in the abdomen(bloating constipation), extremities(pain in hands and legs). With the pitta imbalance, signs mainly occur in the stomach(acidity), skin(inflammation).In the case of kapha dosha vitiation, symptoms will be found mostly in the chest and head region. For more information, visit the abode of dosha.

However, in the stage of sthana sanshraya, the disease can occur in any part of the body depending on the vulnerability of the body part, organ, or system. Considering the previous example of the drenched person, if respiratory system is the weakest in the body of this individual, then imbalanced doshas will accumulate in the body and cause-related disorders like asthma, pneumonia, tuberculosis, upper respiratory tract infection et cetera.

This development will not happen in a day. The stage of sthana sanshraya takes some time depending on the overall health, age, mental state, nutrition, and multiple other factors. It might take weeks or even years for the disease to occur depending on the rate of exposure to wrong food, lifestyle, and negative mental state.

Sthana sanshraya is the stage when doshas choose the best spot for disease occurrence. It all happens naturally according to the laws of nature. As this stage stabilizes, doshas prepare the selected body part or system for disease acceptance.

We often notice that we face symptoms which subside once a proper disease occurs. For example, a person might face initial difficulty in breathing regularly. However, after some time, the regular breathing normalizes to a certain extent, and a proper disease expresses itself in the form of asthmatic attacks.
Initial disharmony in the metabolism becomes stronger and establishes as a parallel bio-rhythm. In this case, the smaller symptoms might subside to produce regular and stronger syndrome.

Therefore it is essential to note that if a minor disorder subsides, it might not mean that core pathology inside the body subsides completely. Probably, the minor ailment is stabilizing into a more prominent disease.

The prime site of the disorder depends on various factors. Considering the same example, if kapha dosha gets vitiated in a vata dominant Prakriti person then, kapha can easily vitiate vata. In this case, doshas have a choice of disorders like migraine, urinary disorders, diabetes at et cetera. All these disorders require both kapha and vata dosha vitiation.

Now, if the person has frequently faced mild urinary infections in the past, a weakened urinary system becomes the natural choice for the doshas to settle down. If this person is obese, eats lots of sweets, follows wrong food and lifestyle practices regularly, the doshas can later aggravate the disorder into a severe urinary infection, bladder stones, and even diabetes.

Age of the individual also makes a lot of difference in pathogenesis. Youth is dominated by the pitta dosha dominates. If the concerned individual is a young person, then the above-vitiated dosha will form milder symptoms as pitta dosha has properties contrary to both vata and kapha. Because of the purifying nature of fiery Pitta dosha, most of the toxins in the body get burnt. Therefore youth is a phase when the person has maximum immunity towards diseases.

On the other hand, vata Dosha is the dominating factor in the old age. Vata dosha governs all movements in the body. Therefore, An older adult is highly vulnerable to diseases. Also, the range of possible disorders in the old age is much more extensive as compared to that in the other phases of life.

In the old age, the best site of sthana sanshraya are the main sites of vata Dosha- for example, abdomen, large intestine, limbs, skin, etc. For this reason, some of the diseases are more common in aged people like osteoarthritis, dementia, baldness, etc.
Abode of dosha.

If the imbalanced doshas are not treated or appeased in the stage of sthana sanshraya, then that this pathogenesis progresses to the next stage-vyakti.

Vyakti

The word vyakti refers to “expression,” “entity,” or “individual” in Sanskrit. In this stage of pathogenesis, the full expression of a specific disorder or syndrome is visible. This disorder is easily identifiable and distinguishable from others, for example, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, pneumonia, tuberculosis, vitiligo, et cetera. This disease has a specific name and exact manner in which it impacts the body. For example, a cataract affects the vision and can lead to blindness.

In this stage, the disease implants itself thoroughly in the body. The faulty metabolism becomes a part of the bio Rhythm and body adjust its functioning around it. The word vyakti forms another word, “vyaktitva” – personality. In this stage, you can see the whole character of the disease! All the primary symptoms of the disease are present in the stage of vyakti.
However, differential diagnosis is still applicable in this stage.

In this stage of pathophysiology, the disease is firmly established in the body and openly challenges healthy metabolism. The body responds with attempts to accommodate normal metabolic functions around the diseased system and generate enough resources to overthrow the disease.
Vyakti is the stage, where the enemy comes out of the trojan horse and attacks on the Achilles’ heel.
At this stage, the disease can cause significant permanent damage to the body if not appropriately treated.

All the disorders are easily treatable up to the early stage of vyakti. With a failure to provide proper treatment, the disease diversifies itself to create complications. In the next phase – bheda, the condition can become incurable yet manageable (diabetes, vitiligo), or fatal(cancer).

Bheda

The word bheda refers to “variety”, “diversification”,”hole”,or “secret” in Sanskrit. In this stage of pathophysiology, the disease differentiates into its varieties; for example, migraine with or without Aura, with or without headache.

Beda is also the stage of appearance of complications. For examples, the occurrence of diabetic neuropathy, nephropathy, retinopathy, etc. as the primary disorder diabetes broadens its impact on the body. Imagine, the British came to India as merchants and became the rulers. They made rules contrary to the ancient law of the land and forced the natives to follow them. In the stage of bheda, the body is almost under foreign control. Only a violent revolt can change the scene of power.

A person requires extensive treatment in the stage of bheda. Now the focus is not to cure the disease completely, as many diseases might convert to incurable due to the permanent damage to the body. However, at this stage, a vaidya should try to maintain the health by regular external intervention(perennial medication and preventive lifestyle) and elongate the lifespan of the patient.

Six stages in a story-form

If you try to understand the whole system of pathophysiology, according to Ayurveda, we can take the example of terrorists attempting to overthrow the government and capture a nation. Here the maligning factor is not pathogens or environment, but the doshas. Doshas are the dissatisfied population!

Initially, there has to be some malfunctioning at the end of the government that leads to dissatisfaction in a small section of the population. The growth of dissatisfaction is the stage of Sanchay in case of the body. This discontent population is the base for a more massive discord.

If the government tries to do no substantial correction in response to this dissatisfaction, gradually the discontent might spread to a larger section of the population. This spread is the kind of Domino’s effect that we talked about in the stage of Prasar.

As the discontent spreads to a larger population, the disgruntled group might get enough support and confidence to express it’s dissatisfaction to the government, in the form of rallies, strike, destruction of public property, non-cooperation et cetera. We can assume this to be the stage of prakop, where we can see mild symptoms in terms of the disorder; however, a proper disease is still not established.

If the dissatisfied group does not get a proper response from the government, it might lose hope and take things into their own hands. This group can form an organization to ensure the protection of its rights and to nullify the effect of government. The dissatisfied people start together in the incubation centers from where they can spread and become more powerful. Here is the stage of sthana sanshraya, where the disease finds a weak link in the metabolism and establishes itself in there.

As this group forms and grows inside the country, it shows its presence by openly opposing the government functioning and control. By this time, the disconcerted people are established and organized. At this stage, they are not to individuals but the whole body of people, running a parallel government inside the nation. This development can also is similar to the situation of a civil war inside a country where two opposing forces are trying to gain power over the entire nation. Such is the stage of vyakti when the opposite force comes into full expression.

One major organization of dissatisfied people can branch out into several other organizations with a similar purpose. For example, the same organization can form a youth wing, a women’s wing, educational Institutes to propagate their ideology, a personal army et cetera et cetera. It is possible that these baby-structures develop into full-fledged and independent organizations in the long run. In this manner, anti-government forces become more established and stronger than ever before. At this stage, it is very much possible for this force is to overthrow the central government and take complete control in their hands. Such is the stage of Bheda where the disease manifests with multiple Independent and robust complications. This stage of the disease can be even fatal.

These are the six stages of pathogenesis that every disease in the body goes through. The natural preventive mechanism of the body can prevent most of the disorders in the stage of prakop. The common cold, cough, headache, etc. are body’s attempts to eliminate the pathology.

With external help like frequent seasonal Detox(ritucharya), adjustment of food and Lifestyle according to seasonal changes and age, peaceful mental state, we can prevent the accumulation of the dosha and eliminate the foundation of disease formation – Sanchay.

Here lies the importance of knowing the six stages of disorders. This information can help us to prevent ailments and maintained a perfect state of health forever.

If you like my articles, please Become a Patron!

Ayurveda of Colostrum

ภาพโดย gdakaska จาก Pixabay

In ancient times, it was recommended that the mother should not feed the infant for the first 6 days after its birth. After 6 days, when the newborn was fed mother’s milk for the first time, it was an ocassion for festivity. In India, it was called Chatti, and the breast-fed milk was called chatti ka dodh.

This thick yellow milk today secreted in the first few days after delivery is called colostrum. Colostrum is a storehouse of nutrition. Colostrum has much more nutrition as compared to the regular milk that comes after the secretion of colostrum subsides. Modern science advocates feeding colostrum to the infant, on account of the massive nutrition that it contains.

However, more is not always better. Adquate is better than more. We don’t need more nutrition, what we really need is balanced nutrition. The nutrition that we derive from a food depends more on our capacity to digest it and not on the total amount of nutrition that the food contains. Colostrum should be avoided as the first food for the newborn. Ayurveda says that the digestive system of the infant is not prepared to handle anything heavy to digest.

Colostrum has a very high amount of proteins as compared to normal breast milk. Proper protain digestion needs a good amount of proteolytic enzymes, and according to modern science, there is almost no pepsin-induced digestion in the infants for a maximum of 2 weeks. Feeding Colostrum is almost similar to feeding grains to the infant.

The infant’s intestine is very mild and immature. It cannot tolerate exposure to heavy concentration of digestive enzymes required to digest heavy food. Besides, the quality and amount of digestive enzymes is also not sufficient for proper digestion of colostrum.

Now when colostrum is under-digested, it can create underdigested toxins. Good amount of digestive acid also acts as a preservative and prevents food decay inside the intestines. However, this underdigested food rots inside the alimentary canal in absense of the preservative effect of digestive juices.

Probably, that’s why fecal matter of a colostrum fed baby is green-black and sticky even after expulsion of muconium, whereas that of a normal breast milk fed baby is mustard colour or yellowish.

The toxins thus formed can cause severe damage to babies immature and tender digestive system. Besides, according to recent scientific researches , excess protein intake can cause severe lifestyle disorders lie diabetes, cardiac problems and even cancer. Such children might develop a lot of digestive problems, allergies and autoimmune disorders in their later years.

It is important the tender digestive system of the newborn is not over-worked. Overburdened body parts quit their jobs eventually , for example a pancreas with zero insulin secretion or, thyroid with low thyroxin.

https://www.livescience.com/43839-too-much-protein-help-cancers-grow.html

Now many scientists argue that milk contains protease that helps in protein digestion inside infant’s stomach, true. But now what should we research on is the quality and quantity of protease present in colostrum, and whether it is sufficient to digest the high amount of nutrition present in colostrum.

Ayurveda is not against breast-feeding. Infact, it is the oldest science that says that no solid food grains or outside food should not be fed to the newborn before 6 months of age unless the quantity of mother’s milk is not sufficient for its growth. Modern science also agrees to this concept today.

Today we find that babies are growing obese, which was almost non-existent a few decades back. Many of these babies are force-fed highly nutritious and fortified food. They need force feeding probably as they have lost their natural hunger.

And you need more taste stimulants when the kids are not naturally hungry. And that’s why we see so much food with excess salt, sugar, fat and taste enhancers. Later in life, there is more possibility of these kids to be led more by their tongue than their stomach. This tendency makes them highly susceptible to all kinds of lifestyle disorders. Sometimes I wonder whether highly nutritious colostrum is the reason behind all this.

No breastfeeding for the first 6 days also helped the mother to recover faster, as her metabolism is not burdened with lactation. It also helped her to produce a better quality and quantity of breast-milk later. Also, if we do not force the mothers to breastfeed from the day one and give them a holiday for days after delivery, it might also help them to recover emotionally. This can effectively prevent post partum depression in many mothers.

And what happens to the colostrum if the baby is not feeding on it? This highly nutritious fluid gets reabsorbed in mother’s body and helps it to heal faster.

Ayurveda is also one of the oldest science that describes defects of the mother’s milk and its remedies. Like all other body fluids, milk can also have defects which can be corrected. We can discuss about it in our next video.

But if the infant should not drink mothers milk for the first six days then what should the little one drink? Infant formula? ….Ayurveda recommends that newborn baby be should be fed diluted cows milk for the first six days after its birth. This diet will allow enough time for two babies intestine to develop properly and accommodate the new food. Overburdened body parts quit their work just like in the case of malfunctions in a fatty liver or insulin less pancreas. Overburdened intestine might also react similarly.

Ayurveda prohibits feeding colostrum to the babies. However at the same time, it describes the properties of colostrum, and how it is excellent for human consumption, however, it is still recommended to consume cause college from only if you have excellent digestion. There are many animals like calls elephants camel where the babies drink the colostrum and colostrum, and they do not face any problem undefined. However, we should note that these babies are born equipped to walk even Run only a few hours after birth. I assume that the digestive system must be equally equal to handle a heavy dose of colostrum as well. However human babies are for different than all these animals.

This entire concept went to the drain because of the use of unhygienic and unboiled Cow’s milk for the babies. Unsanitary living conditions and habits like Failure to wash hands properly before feeding the baby, contaminated utensils et cetera lead to severe infections in the digestive system in the infants. This was the leading cause of the high rate of infant mortality due to diarrhea in India. Many would recall the high rate of infant mortality caused by unhygienic use of a branded infant formula across the world a few decades back.

It is important to note that propagation of this concept in the uneducated and poor masses can be dangerous because of inherently unhygienic conditions lack of basic hygiene awareness. That they should feed their babies colostrum from day one. Instead of witching to unhygienic prepared Cow’s milk.

As of now, we have no scientific proof for this concept. The biggest bases for the validity of any concept in Ayurveda is pratyaksha pramana (visible and verifiable proof). Therefore I do not claim that it is true. However, I am in the process of experimentation and hope to discover the truth behind this Ayurvedic concept whatever it may be.

If you like my articles, please Become a Patron!

Varsha Ritucharya

Photo by Lum3n.com on Pexels.com

In this blog, we are going to discuss Varsha Ritu in detail.

The best translation of ritucharya is seasonal conditioning of the body as prevention against diseases and aging.

In India, we have well-defined six seasons. However, in many Western countries, they have four visibly distinct seasons – winter, autumn, summer, and spring. An elaborate rainy season(Varsha) or Shishir(late autumn) might be hard to witness.

However, seasonal changes occur due to the movement of the earth around the Sun and changes in the distance from the Sun. Lunar months keep on changing with respect to the solar calendar. However, solar months are stable. Therefore, we have a leap year to adjust the difference between the lunar and the solar calendar. I find solar months to be more reliable as a base for ritucharya. This concept can help people in the west to accommodate the food and lifestyle according to the changing seasons.

It is essential to note that the seasonal do’s and don’ts differ according to the land, climate, and culture. Below are some of the guidelines that can help everyone to formulate their ritucharya. In case you have any confusion, feel free to contact me anytime.

According to the Solar calendar, this year rainy season starts with Mithun Sankranti – 15th June 2019.

Ideally, the complete practice of Varsha ritucharya should start with Mithun Sankranti. Gradual changes can be induced one week before Mithun Sankranti.

Please find more information about dosha balance in Varsha Ritu here.

Dos and don’t of Varsha Ritu

Sattu dissolved in water
It is important to note that sattu can be used in many ways. However, Charak prohibits the use of Sattu dissolved in water particularly. Sattu made in the form of paratha, mixed with spices like garlic, is warming in nature. It does not cause excess cooling effect during the rainy season in the body.

Sleeping during the daytime siesta
If you sleep during the daytime in the rainy season, it might lead to an excess of kapha Dosha in the body. Since the body metabolism and digestion is retarded during the rainy season, excess kapha dosa can further slow it down and cause multiple disorders and aggravate existing diseases.

Photo by Achim Bongard on Pexels.com

Exposure to morning dew
Many people practice walking on the morning dew early in the morning. This practice is beneficial in the summer season but can be highly harmful in the rainy season. It can trigger cough, cold, and other kapha related disorders in the body.

Sleeping Outdoors
Many people practice sleeping outdoor during the summer season. However, sleeping under the open Sky even when there is no possibility of rain is an unhealthy habit during the rainy season. This practice leads to the high exposure of morning dew.

Besides, it is believed that sleeping under cloudy Sky can severely vitiate the vata dosha and lead to paralytic attacks. This belief is not scientifically proven. However, there are many instances of such paralytic attacks.

All these practices are opposite to health practices recommended in the summer. The transition from summer to the rainy season is the most significant transition of the year as the weather fluctuates drastically from dry and hot to wet and cold.

Swimming in rivers Swimming in rivers is strictly prohibited during the rainy season. This recommendation Works great as a health practice as well as a safety measure as the rivers might get flooded during the rainy season. As the rainwater joins the river, lots of impurities from the land can get dissolved in river water and can cause diseases; especially the skin disorders or digestive problems in case this contaminated water is swallowed during a swim.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

No sunbath
Sunbath is also not recommended during this season. Sunrays passing through the clouds are not considered safe in Ayurveda. Scientific evidence for this practice

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190530141443.htm

This study shows that the organs can independently react to exposure of light without interference or guidance by the central nervous system.
I have a hypothesis that Sunbath diverts body’s preparation for the rainy season when there will be no or minimum Sun exposure. Exposure to Sun activates the sweating mechanism, which is not very useful during the rainy season.

Minimum sexual activity
Excessive sexual activity is also prohibited during the rainy season. In the rainy season, overall body strength is below average. Sexual activity requires A lot of energy and produces an immediate feeling of exhaustion in the body. Therefore it is not supportable in the rainy season. Sexual activity during the rainy season risks severe vitiation of vata Dosha in the body. Zero sexual intercourse is an excellent option during the rainy season, especially for middle-aged and older people.

Use of Honey
The must-use substance in the rainy season is honey.

Honey is one of the elixirs of Ayurveda. Charak Samhita recommends the use of honey every day for good health.

Use of honey is especially recommended in the rainy season according to Charak Samhita
According to Charaka, honey causes vata vitiation. Cyclic water vitiation in the rainy season is a natural apart of natural annual biorhythm of the body.
However, Charak highly recommends the use of honey during the rainy season.

Honey is a natural kapha balancing substance. When kapha dosha blocks the natural Pathways of vata dosha, we experience pain in the body. Lack of Sunlight during the rainy season can aggravate kapha dosha. There is a possibility that the use of honey helps to dissolve the excess mucus and clear the vata channels in the body. This kapha elimination helps to alleviate several disorders like body pain, pain joint pain, headache, depression during the rainy season.

However, honey should be used in a limited quantity. Two to three teaspoon is the right amount for everyday use. Excess use of honey can cause severe indigestion.

Photo by Dzenina Lukac on Pexels.com

Time for pakora
Sometimes people feel body pain, joint pain, headache, etc. during the cold weather caused by excess rain. During this time you should use sour, salty and slightly oily food, for example, poha, upma, fermented food like Idli Dosa, paratha, fried savories like pakoda, mangoda, chilla et cetera.

Sour, salty, and oily food helps to balance the vata dosha. Sweet food is a little heavy to digest as compared to sour and salty food. Sour and salty food is naturally digestive in nature. Oily food helps to prevent the dryness caused by vata dosha.

However, it is crucial to consider the digestive capacity of the individual. Young people with healthy digestion can have fried food items like Pakoda, samosa, aloo Vada extra whereas older adults with weak digestion can have shallow fried food like paratha,cheela or slightly oily food like dosa et cetera.

Aged grains It is highly recommended to use aged grains of jowar, wheat, and rice, to protect the digestive fire during the rainy season. These aged grains are very easy to digest.

Non-vegetarian soups Acharya Charak recommends Non-vegetarian soups prepared from the meat of jangalya animals and birds (creatures found in the plains with moderate climate). These soups help to prevent vata vitiation in the body due to their heavy and oily nature.

No greens Use of green leafy vegetables is not recommended during the rainy season. All the green vegetables like spinach, methi, lal saag, etc. cause vata vitiation in the body. All the non-seasonal fruits and vegetables should never be used during the rainy season.

Photo by julie aagaard on Pexels.com

Mangoes in varsha ritu

Mango is a gift of nature. It is a complete detox package for the summer season

However, according to a common folk belief, you should not consume mango after Devshayani Ekadashi.
Devshayani Ekadashi falls typically in June.

According to the traditional belief, mangoes that ripen after Devshayani Ekadashi are particularly acidic and harsh in nature. These mangoes can vitiate pitta and vata dosha in the body. They can also aggravate all kinds of digestive and skin problems.

According to my personal experience, the mangoes that come after Devshayani Ekadashi are peculiarly sour. There is no scientific evidence for this belief. Therefore we should experiment on a personal level.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Beverages for varsha ritu Use of mahua based alcohol(for vata and kapha Prakriti people) and plain water (for pitta Prakriti people) mixed with honey, helps to accelerate the digestive process during the rainy season.

All kinds of alcohol stimulate the digestive system and produce more heat in the body — this excess heat help to compensate for the lack of Sunlight during the rainy season.

Charak recommends the use of boiled underground water during the rainy season.

Stay dry with herbal skincare You must avoid exposure to moisture in the rainy season as it can Trigger multiple skin disorders like fungal infection etc.

The rainy season has a very high level of humidity in the air which is ideal for incubation of pathogens, especially fungus. Charak Recommends that you should rub your body with a thick towel and apply medicated powders on your skin as prevention against pathogenic infestation highly prevalent during the rainy season. This health practice is especially applicable for people with excessively dry and malnourished skin.

In case of non-availability of Ayurvedic medicated powder, you can use powdered turmeric, sandalwood, aguru, etc.

You can you use medicated Herbs for Ubtan and bath as well.

The sequence of a sutra is important as it indicates the priority or importance of the recommended health practices. All the above health practices are in appropriate sequence as mentioned in Charak Samhita (Sutra Sthana-6/35) except the point mentioning green vegetables.

Hope this information helps all! Please feel free to comment or contact me for any doubts/queries.

Best Foods in Ayurveda

Food is the most elaborate topic in almost all classical text of Ayurveda.
According to sage Atreya beneficial food is the only factor in the reinforcement of health and harmful food reinforces only diseases. Unfortunately today people eat whatever they want and whenever they want to. No wonder that they fall sick and have to undergo a recurrent treatment. Even a machine crashes if exposed to frequent repairs; our body is much more delicate than that. Therefore prevention is the only way towards a long and healthy life.

Food is classified in many ways in Ayurveda. According to Charaka Samhita food is mainly of two types of Sthavara and Jangam. The word Sthavara means stable. Sthavara food is detonated to plants and other immobile things. The word Jangam refers to highly mobile animals.

Ayurveda classifies food into four types according to its usage –

  • Paan (drinkable)
  • Aashan (soft,edible food like rice)
  • Bhakshya (hard and chewy food like meat)
  • Lehya (semi-solid like chutney)

Ayurveda classifies all the edible food material primary into two parts: medicinal Herbs and edible stuff.

Charak Samhita further divides food into following classifications.

  • Suka Dhanya (wheat, rice, etc.)
  • Shami Dhanya (pulses)
  • Mans Varg (meat)
  • Shaak Varg (vegetables)
  • Phala Varg (fruits)
  • Harit Varg (herbs)
  • Madya Varg (alcohol)
  • Jal Varg (water)
  • Goras Varg (milk)
  • Ikshu Varg (sweeteners)
  • Krittaan Varg (prepared/cooked with a combination of different ingredients, example porridge, bread, soup, etc.)
  • Aahar Upyogi Varg (useful for food preparations)

Thanks to nature, we have a massive variety of food items to choose from.

Ideally, the food should change according to the Prakriti, time of the day health status of the individual. However, some food items can be consumed every day by the people of all Prakriti without any harmful effect. These food products are beneficial even for disease people. However, it is essential to always go by the advice of your physician.

Food that should be used every day 

  • Rice
  • Moong Dal (Green gram)
  • Crystalized rock salt (Saindhava lavana)
  • Indian Gooseberry (Amla)
  • Jowar (Sorghum or white millet)
  • Evaporated and condensed water(pure water)
  • Milk
  • Ghee
  • Meat of land animals found in plains or forests
  • Honey
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

All these food items are easily digested with minimum production of toxins and contribute to the fueling of digestive fire. Like the way oiled, dry wood that catches fire instantaneously and burns without smoke, giving the vital heat and light to the surrounding; similarly these foods provide adequate ABSORBABLE nutrition to the body, without creating any friction in the normal metabolism. This means that the body doesn’t have to fight with them for nutrition. They are like willing friends, ready to share the good things. Also check Concept of Nutrition In Ayurveda  

However, it is important to know the right way of cooking, proper combinations and appropriate amount of eating the best of the foods. If the above factors are not proper, even the best food will ruin the health. In the coming blogs, we will also discuss the proper method of cooking and consumption of above edibles. 

  • Rakta Shali is the finest in rice.
  • Among pulses, Mung Dal causes the least dryness.
  • Distilled water is most potable in drinkables.
  • Saindhava Lavana is most fitting among salts.
  • Jivanti is best in leafy vegetables.
  • Cow ghee is matchless in Ghee category.
  • Cow milk is the healthiest of all kinds of milk.
  • Sesame oil is the most preferred among oils.
  • Ginger is the best among roots.
  • Black currant is the best among fruits
  • Natural brown sugar candy is the best among sugarcane/sweet products.

Some of important links are –

Food that should be consumed in small quantities
Food that should be consumed today rarely
Food that should not be consumed
Causes of constipation

Another important factor is the quality of food. Now if the above food items are genetically modified(GMO) and strewn with pesticides and insecticides, they will not be healthy at all. In that case, it is far healthier to eat organic oats than inorganic rice. For more information, please check Toxic Food According to Ayurveda

Food affects not only the body but also the mind. Food procured with hard earned money, through fair means is satvic or pious. It bring nutrition to the body and peace to the mind.

Ayurveda says that food also has a soul and corruption in food production, hoarding or profiteering taints the soul of the food. Such food can bring no peace or health! The one who consumes it contributes to the evil. Such activity is called Pragya Aparadha (crime against wisdom) in Ayurveda. It is crucial to be aware that Ayurveda considers Pragya Aparadh, or crime against wisdom to be the first cause of any disorder. So, let’s ensure whatever food we eat is grown organically and procured at a fair price.

Another factor to Pragya Aparadha is righteous consumption of meat. Having described the best of the non-vegetarian food, I would like to stress that what is beneficial for all is profitable for all. Today we have more population of human beings than any of the animals.

Most of us are aware of the terrible conditions meat producing animals are reared in. They are treated with antibiotics and hormones to increase the amount of meat in their body. Anyone who eats meat procured from such animals, consciously or unconsciously, is commits Pragya Aparadha. He/she is liable to fall sick in the long run.

Therefore it is very very important that, even if you choose to consume meat, you must ensure that it is free of antibiotics, hormones and other chemicals. You must also ensure that these animals have a free-range, natural life and are not caged in terrible conditions, like prisoners. If you do not, you will contribute to their unfortunate fate.

Emotions like anger, fear, sorrow play a decisive role in the health of the body, even in an animal. Animal kept in unhealthy conditions will have a higher level of stress hormones in its metabolic system. Its digestion, tissue fluid, blood, muscles, and all the systems will be severely affected. If you consume meat from such animals, all these toxins will be transferred your body as well. Therefore, Ayurveda believes that what is good for all is good for one. If you, as a consumer choose meat which is free from animal maltreatment and use of unnatural chemicals, you embrace their good as well as yours.

The way an animal is killed for meat makes a huge difference. There is a fascinating concept of Bali in ancient Vedic culture. Bali means sacrifice. The Vedic culture believes that life is sacred everywhere, even in plants and animals. If I am taking something that belongs to another person, I must have willing permission of the owner. The concept of Bali projects the need to seek permission from the creator. It is said that all food should first be offered to the higher energy. This concept of reduces the attitude of hapless consumerism and take only what is required, example the concept of halal in Islam. If practiced properly, it can rid us from the threat of Pragya Aparadha!

All living things have souls even the cells in our body. And All religions believe that life force or the soul never dies. It gets transformed from one form to the other just like electricity. The concept of Bali signifies a mystical factor of internal evolution. For example, if a person working in a small company get a job in multinational, he gets exposed to finer trade practices and grows as a professional.

It is believed that when we eat an animal, we internalize its sanskaras(karma backlog) as well. Consciously or unconsciously, we become responsible for the spiritual upliftment of that creature. We must suffer his karma backlog and contribute to the spiritual evolution of that soul. Probably, this is the reason that the intellectual class in India preferred vegetarian food, as non-vegetarian food might retard their spiritual growth.  

Therefore vegan is the best and the most spiritual diet for the present times.

I hope this information helps you in making the right food choices for physical mental and spiritual growth.

Jeevem sharadh shatam (let’s live a 100 autumn!)

If you like my articles, please Become a Patron!