FOOD’S OF CONTRADICTORY NATURE AND RELATED DISEASES – AN AYURVEDIC VIEW
Today’s generation is highly interested in maintaining good health on a continuous basis. All the treatment systems basically converge to the same by following two methods; i.e prevention of disease or initiating healing procedures after disease strikes . Ayurveda considers prevention of disease as the best solution for a healthy life . [ Prevention is better than cure] For this, developing a strong immune system is of paramount importance.
As you know, Ayurveda is the science of life. Its goal is to sustain the mental and physical well- being of healthy individuals and to eliminate diseases from unhealthy bodies. What is unique about Ayurveda is that it defines a disciplined lifestyle that automatically keeps the diseases at bay.
The Acharyas have a profound thought and a general blessing for well- being. ” May human beings enjoy a full life of health & happiness through healthy & appropriate foods.”
Health is directly proportional to the quality of food we consume. People with in-depth knowledge about the facts of foods of contradictory nature and related diseases makes it clear that those who refrain from consuming contradictory foods can avoid diseases that eventually makes life miserable. Ideally, it is the housewives who needs to be educated about the dangers involved in taking contradictory foods . We are all conscious about the immense role mothers play in shaping a generation that is rich in culture and sound in physical health. These days the emphasis is placed on just feeding the children with any tasty food,for the mental satisfaction of watching them grow fast. No thought goes into the side effects of unhealthy food or contradictory food combinations.
The rich as well as the middle class have a refrigerator at home. Along with fruits and vegetables, cooked food also finds a place in the fridge. When children come home from school the food is reheated and served. The mother is not aware about the dangers involved in doing so. According to the science of opposing food, it is not safe to reheat and consume food that has already been cooked. It is time we taught young children, even at primary level classes; and housewives ,the fundamental issues concerning healthy eating habits. Only then we will start seeing changes.
In spite of the major advancements in modern medicine, a heart attack victim often meets death even before reaching the hospital. Lately diseases like Leukoderma and Arthritis are steadily on the rise. Many suffer from stiffness and muscular pain which restrict free movement of hands and legs. Eventually it can even affect the valves of the heart. There are many other diseases that arises from using contradictory foods, but unfortunately people don’t realize this.
Here I have a classic example of a lady who found it difficult to eat because of the cough that prevented her from swallowing the food. A detailed medical investigation revealed a balloon like tumor in the oesophagus which blocked the passage of food. Her doctors recommended an invasive surgery. She got scared of surgery and consulted me for my opinion. While studying her food habits, I found out that she regularly took curd and fish curry together. I told her never to consume fish along with curd, and as a treatment she took ‘Varanadhi Kashayam’ one hour prior to meals. After 3 months she started feeling better and was asked to take an X-ray. The result showed that the growth in her throat had completely vanished. Now she leads a healthy life. This is a good example of the damage which contradictory foods can cause.
Just take a look into our modern food habits. We have absolutely no discipline pertaining to the type of food and as to when and how to eat our food. Interestingly the clock seems to control our food intake. Whether we feel hungry or not, 6 O’clock, 8 O’clock and 12 O’clock forces us to eat. These days there are ever increasing reasons for concern about the chemicals, pesticides and adulterations in the food we consume. This contributes to the malfunctioning of the liver, and consequently liver diseases like jaundice are widespread. The reality is that we are undisciplined about our food habits and this sooner or later forces us to live in misery due to the automatic illness it brings about. The only solution to this crisis is to reconcile to a healthy lifestyle, especially adhering to better food habits. This message needs wide publicity now, more than at any other time.
One of my patients had a history of taking a glass of warm milk before going to bed at night. At some point he started getting stomach ache which disrupted his sleep. He tried different types of treatment. When nothing worked he came to me. When I asked him about his food habits, i learned that he regularly took pungent fish curry for supper. The hot milk that is of opposing nature to fish was creating the problem for him.
CONTRADICTORY FOOD CONSUMPTION HAS THE SAME EFFECT AS DELIBERATELY POISONING THE BODY.
Some food combinations end up being toxic and harmful during digestion. Those are called contradictory food.This brings us to the topic of ‘Garam’. ‘Garam’ is a term used to describe the combination of toxic elements. Body parts of different insects, ashes of opposing medicines and mild toxic substances combined, form ‘Garam’. This was known to possess unexplained power. In olden times ’Garam’ was used to destroy enemy kings and women used them to keep men under their control. ‘Garam’ does not cause death instantly, although it can cause numerous problems by manifesting a variety of painful and irritating afflictions. Acharyas have given us guidelines to recognize such problems as well as solutions to overcome them.
Just as pillars supporting a house, nutrients from food support all the vital functions of the body including sex, sleep etc., and also the elaborate functions of the brain. The digestion of food and its further actions as nutrients take place in the stomach. Stomach thus becomes a crucial area of the body. This makes stomach the source of flaws or illness. Body is always vulnerable to diseases. Sickness can easily be triggered by the intake of wrong type of food. This is a simple but an abiding truth and awareness is the key to managing this safely. Our knowledge and wisdom should play a big part in mastering this fundamental issue.
If milk is mixed with sour fruits or pulses, it changes into contradictory food. Other examples of contradictory foods are milk and Jackfruit, milk and fish. Thina grains with lotus stalk, Urud with Dal, molasses, milk and honey mixed with curd are also considered to be contradictory food combinations. Some other contradictory food combinations are banana with curd or butter milk, honey or molasses mixed with wonder berry.
We now have developed an affinity to out of state cuisines like Tandoor chicken. What we don’t realize is that the process by which it is prepared could be quite harmful. Uncooked chicken is marinated for up to 8 hours in curd before it is cooked in the tandoor oven. Curd produces strong opposing food properties when combined with chicken meat.
Here are some of the other commonly made errors. Do not cook wonder berry in utensils in which fish has been prepared. Butter kept in bronze utensils for many days also violates the contradictory food rule. Payasam, alcoholic beverages and curd rice should never be used together. Honey, butter, oil and water should not be mixed together in equal proportions or in any proportions of the same. Mushroom should not be cooked in mustard oil, and sesame seeds should never be cooked with spinach.
Whenever contradictory food is consumed knowingly or unknowingly, it will cause indigestion and gas in the stomach along with constipation. This is a basic consequence of all contradictory food combinations. The safe thing to do during such a situation is to induce vomiting and to use purgatives to promote easy bowel motility. If the symptoms are mild, home remedies to treat the symptoms can also be used.
According to ‘Charaka & Sushrutha acharyas’ poor food habits promote bad health. Food inherits its contradictory nature through its conflicting combinations, cooking processes etc. Interestingly, people who exercise well, the youth and the strong may not get too affected by small violations of contradictory food combinations. This is because the strong and the healthy will normally carry the tolerance level to expedite digestion and excrete the waste promptly. Such people do not have to worry so much about food combinations. But in the long run it is best that everyone, irrespective of their age or health condition follow the principles of correct food combinations.
The two major causes of disease are indigestion and constipation. Proper digestion automatically takes care of the rest. Having said that, everybody needs to be concerned about food which alters the balance of minerals in the body; like when contradictory food combinations become functionally toxic within the body. Ultimately, keeping the body strong and fit yield premium benefits. When strength and vigor diminish in the body, it will certainly be vulnerable to diseases. It is ideal to follow the recommendations that the Acharyas have written down many years ago.
PROPER EXERCISE AND LIMITED FOOD INTAKE KEEPS US AWAY FROM DISEASES.
VAIDYAVACHASPATHI Sri. N.K. PADMANABHAN VAIDYAR