Ayurveda views diet and medicine as complementary rather than separate. And there is no cure if any one has been violated.
The relation of our body to the outer world is through skin – the covering which acts as the agent of contact with the whole surrounding; laden with the network of nerve endings and tiny blood vessels. It serves as the barrier from external injurious substances as well as micro-organisms
Skin has a very important role as it is the place of vatha; spreading through the whole exposed surface of the body, the effects of pathyas and apathyas are easily reflected through this.
Pathya is synonymous to treatment. Under our consideration now, we deals with the various factors as foods, daily activities, urges, mental attitude etc. Improper food and incorrect feeding habits mark the primary cause of nearly all diseases.
Ayurveda views diet and medicine as complementary rather than separate. Ahara has been entitled as mahabhaishajya which shows its importance in maintaining health. But food is not the only factor governing health. Natural health can be achieved by strict adherence to hygiene sanitation, fresh air, sunshine, proper ventilation, exercises, mental attitude, favourable environmental conditions following codes of social conduct and ethics.
Recent trends in the field of food sciences are not at all balancing the needs of our body. Man goes after easily available and delicious recipes to satisfy his appetite. The various canned foodstuffs, pickles, brines, synthetic drinks, preservatives, flavours, colour additives, continental foods are in fact ruining our healthy systems in order to meet the convenience of the fast moving world. The natural state of well being maintained by fruits, vegetables, preparations of various food items and curries according to the various seasons and conditions in the traditional ways are gone now. In place of these valuable practices, we are trying to accommodate medicines in their place to regain our homeostasis to solve the problem with vitamin tablets, nutrifoods and capsules giving vigour and vitality at hand.
The success of any treatment lies in the proper diagnosis, some measures in the form of diet or acitivity can be employed in confirming a doubtful diagnosis, known as upasaya and anupasaya or the trial and error method. The result which turns favourable or congenial is upasaya and unfavourable as anupasaya. As upasaya is congenial to the disease, it is continued in the treatment phase also, as a partial therapy commonly called pathya by layman. If apathyas are constantly taken, there will be little or negligible effect of medicine. So proper care should be taken to avoid apathyas along with the observance of pathyas. ‘Proper diet and regimen (pathya) in disease is worth hundreds of medicine and no amount of medication can do good to one who does not observe the pathyas strictly (Pathya Apathya 1:6).
Before starting treatment, a physician should consider three essential factors like Nidana (pathology), Pathya & Apathya (Pathya & Apathya 1:3). Under This food, sleep, exercise, activities, urges, intake of beverages, other habits as smoking, alcohol, betel chewing, emotions, mental attitude, lifestyle etc should be looked into.
The avoidance of apathyas destroys or eradicates the disease as if the sprout or ankura dries in a barren source of water. If apathyas are avoided, there is little chance of disturbance in the body equilibrium. If apathyas are followed, the body develops congenial circumstances for the disease process; immunity will be reduced and pathogenesis may be accelerated leading to choricity and severity of the disease. Apathyas turn disease into harmful or fatal state immediately or incourse of time by acting as aids to the disease mechanism.
Pathyas and apathyas of various disease conditions as of ‘krimiroga, kshudraroga, raktapitta, seethapitta, udarda, kota, sookaroga, visphota, sopha, vathasonitha, visarpa, guhyaroga, vidradhi, gara, dooshivisha, vrana etc can be considered along with those of twakrogas for determining pathya and apathya. Specific pathyas in specific stages of the disease considering individual variables should be selected rationally to assist the body in self-healing.
- Cereals like rice, wheat, barley, maize
- Pulses like greengram, red gram, lentils
- Vegetables like cucumber, snake gourd, bitter gourd, leafy vegetables of bitter taste, cabbage, yam, nurmeg, turmeric, tomato, carrot, gooseberry, dates, papaya, lemon
- Food additives like ghee (old), honey, buttermilk, mustard oil
- Prepared food which are easily digestible and that reduces pittadosha
Taking proper rest, good sleep, external applications of oil, proper expulsiobn of feaces, urine, cleanliness of the body, staying away from contamnated surroundings cutting hair and nails properly, avoiding contact and using clothes, towels, comb, soaps, bed etc of the infected, touching lying and taking food from the affected.
Being happy and content
- Pulses like blackgram, horsegram, sesamum
- Vegetables like tubers, brinjals, pumpkin, lady’s finger, garlic and non-bitter leafy vegetables
- Milk, curd, jaggery, chesse, oil, sugarcane juice, fermented items and alcohols
- Foods that are difficult to digest, saline, sour, hot, abhishyandi food and taking fods before digestion of previous meals, payasa made of jaggery
Dirty surroundings, exposure to heat, cold, hot sun, strenuous exercise, day sleeping, suppression of urges, excess sexual activities and sinful deeds.
Emotional, worrisome, anxiety, ungratefulness and negative thoughts