Dr. Avnish Jolly, Winnipeg, Canada, December 5, 2014 ; Ayurveda is named for the Sanskrit word meaning the “science of life”. Despite the thousands of years that have passed, no adaptations have been necessary, and it is still a major part of India’s healthcare system. Much of the knowledge has been passed on through the generations by word of mouth and predates written records, but two volumes of remedies and prescriptions have survived, called the Charaka Samhita and the Sushruta Samhita. Ayurveda advocates to create balance on all levels; physical, spiritual, mental and emotional. According to Ayurveda there are three different energies that make up our overall well-being. Vata is the energy of movement, pitta is the energy of digestion or metabolism and kapha is the energy of lubrication and structure. The natural components of earth, water, air, fire and ether; Ayurveda is based on the principles naturopathic lifestyle with a lot of insistence on discipline and control. Disease and poor health are caused by having an excess or deficient amount of these energies and out-of-sync digestion.
According to the World Health Organization, 65% of India’s rural population uses Ayurvedic remedies, mostly due to poor access to modern health facilities. According to sources, billion plus people in India Ayurveda and Government of India has vowed to provide affordable healthcare to India, where nearly 25% of the population lives on less than US$1.25 a day and more than 40 million people have been pushed into poverty because of the cost of medical treatment.
Ayurveda believes in the process of detoxification so that the maladies of mind and bodies are cured. A typical balanced meal consists of 10 items to include all six tastes: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, astringent and pungent. This Sattvic (pure) food, it is argued, is needed to heal, and maintain good health and a balanced life.
A patient undergoing Ayurvedic treatment is usually subject to a list of ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’, which in turn is predetermined by the consulting Ayurvedic physician keeping in, mind his constitution, nature of his malady and a thorough assessment of the kind of lifestyle led by him. Bearing in mind his essential ‘dosha’ or malady the Ayurvedic physician not only recommends a course of medication but also advises certain ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ from the point of view of his lifestyle management.
In fact, prolonged commitment to the prescribed lifestyle keeping in mind his physical and mental constitution is one of the facets of Ayurvedic treatment. As a holistic therapy aiming at balance amongst the components of energy, the dos and don’ts with regard to Ayurveda includes the following:
Being a naturopathic means of treatment, it turns down the consumption of junk food.
It prohibits the consumption of food at frequent intervals, insisting on the gapping of meals.
Hunger between regular meals should be satisfied with natural food rather than by way of fried/oily stuff.
It insists on the importance of exercising; but avoid immediately after meals.
Advise against skipping meals and overeating too.
Eating should be balanced of its quantity and nutritional requirement.
Don’t consume the food showing extremes of temperature. Likewise one is also advised against subjecting himself to the extremes of environmental conditions.
Ayurveda advocates diet based on herbs, pulses, sprouts, yellow and green vegetables and avoid consumption of animal protein.