Rules for taking Food : The quantity of food to be taken by an individual should be appropriate. The consumer should make room for the food in the belly in three portions—such as one portion of the space for solid food items, one for liquids and one for vata, pitta and kapha. While taking food in such quantity, one is not inflicted with any harmful effect caused by food taken in inappropriate quantity. The appropriate quantity of food is that which do not cause obstruction in the heart, no pain in sides, no excessive heaviness in abdomen, saturation of sense organs, cessation of hunger and thirst, ease in standing, sitting, lying down, movement, inspiration, expiration, laughing and gossiping, easy digestion in evening and morning, promotion of strength, complexion and development.
Inappropriate quantity is of two types—deficient and excessive.
- The food if taken in deficient quantity is said to be causing loss of strength, complexion and development, unsaturation, upward movement of vayu; harm to lifespan, virility and immunity; damage to body, mind, intellect and sense organs, inflicting sara(essence/gist) , carrying inauspiciousness and causative factor for eighty disorders of vata.
- The food if taken in excessive quantity is said to be vitiating all doshas by experts. After taking solid food upto the saturating point, liquids are taken upto the same, vata-pitta-kapha situated in stomach are pressed too much by the food in excessive quantity get vitiated all simultaneously. These vitiated doshas entering into the same undigested quantum of food get located in a portion of the belly and cause distension of abdomen.
Acaharya Charaka prescribed the method of dieting for the healthy as well as diseased. One should consume articles which are wholesome to body.
“Tatredmaaharvidhividhanamaaroganamaaturanaam chapi keshanchit kale prakrityev hitatamum bhunjananam bhavti”
Ref : Charak Samhita Viman sthan
The prescribed method for dieting is for healthy person or for some diseased or sick person eg.
- The patients of Rakt-Pitta are given food with cold influence (cold in potency/sheet virya)
- The patients of increased Phlegm are given Food with dry influence (hot in potency/ushnvirya).
“Ushnam, snigdhum, matravat, jirne viryavirudhhum, ishte deshe, ishtasarvopkarnam, naatidrutam, naativilumbitam, ajalpan, ahasan, tanmana bhunjit, aatmanumbhisamikshya samyak.”
Ref : Charak Samhita Viman sthan
It refers that the food taken by the individual should be in proper quantity. It should be hot, unctous, not contradictory in potency. The next diet should be taken after the proper digestion of previous meals. Food should be taken in proper place, without talking, laughing, with concentration of mind & considering one self.
Benefits of Eating warm food (Ushdnamashniyaat)
- Increase appetite(Agni)
- Gets digested quickly
- Vata gets pacified (Vataanuloman) or carminates flatus
- Reduces the excess of mucous or phlegm(kapha)
Benefits of Eating unctous food (Snigdhamashniyaat)
- Unctuous food is delicious
- It stimulates the digestive juices(paachakaagni)
- Gets digested fast
- Pacifies vata (Vatanuloman) or carminates flatus
- Nourishes the body
- Solidity and durability of the sense organs
- Promotes strengthening of the body
- Bring out good complexion
Benefits of Eating according to quantity (Matraavadasniyaat)
- If food is taken in proper quantity by the individual it prolongs life-span and it does not aggravate doshas.
- Easily carminated down to anus
- Does not impair the power of digestion
- Gets digested without difficulty
Benefits of Eating after feeling of hunger (jirneashniyaat)
- One should take food after the digestion of previous food. Otherwise improperly digested food mixes with food product & aggravates all doshas.
- If one consumes food after previous food is digested properly, then doshas are in their site & kindle the digestive juice (pachakaagni). There is good appetite, pure eructation channels open up, unimpaired cardiac function, proper evacuation of faeces, flatus & urine, promotes longevity & growth.
Benefits of Eating food which is not contradictory (Viryavradhamashniyaat)
- One should take which are not having contradictory properties. Otherwise person may get afflicted with disease like skin disease (kustha), visarpa etc. Eg. Fish and Milk: These both are sweet in taste (Madhur Ras), So these are Mahaabhisandhi. It blocks the channel of the body and produce disease. Fishes are hot in potency while the milk is cold. If they are taken together causes blood disease, specific type of skin disease (Leprosy), sterility etc.
Benefits of Eating in desired place with desired articles (Esht deshe sarvopkarnam ch ashniyaat)
- By doing this one does not get afflicted with factor which result in emotional strain, one should be supplemented with all accessories.
Benefits of Eating slowly and steadily (Na ati drutam ashniyaat)
- If food is taken very fast, then food may enter in wrong passage. It gets depressed & may not enter in to stomach properly.
Food taken in hurry leads to : (Fast Intake) (Naativilambitashniyaat)
- Does not give satisfaction
- Eats more than required
- Food become cold
- Irregularly digested
Eat with concentration without talking and laughing (Ajalpanna hasan tanmanna bhujityaah)
- Similar problems as in case of fast intake of food occur.
Eat after considering oneself thoroughly (Aatmaanah bhisamikshya bhujit samyak)
- One should consume food in prescribed manner. The knowledge of usefulness of food, whether it is wholesome for him or not should be thought.
Person who takes food(oksatmya)
- Okasatmya Or Deshsatmya : He is the one responsible for the habitual intake of things or According to the nature (hot and rough in marshy places or cold or unctuous in arid zone). If his body has enough power, he can bear this and keep the state in proper functioning.