Pathya/Apathya – Beneficial and Non Beneficial & 8 rules of eating food as per Charaka Samhita

Pathya/Apathya   Factors –

  • Matra – quantity
  • Kala – time when we eat food at the right time it becomes a cause of health
  • Spiced milk at bedtime ok, but at 3:00 in the morning not appropriate
  • Kriya – what activity/process – or sanskara – dry roasting wheat makes patya, just plain is apathy as it brings down your agni. Dry roast and mix with hot cooked milk and digestive spices will make you feel lighter. Generally mung, wheat, milk, ghee, goat milk, honey – but if cooked wrong (fish and milk, fruit and milk together apathya). Rice – Aapiya/watery – eat a bit of rice because very act of aging it (buy and save and use 6 mos. Later, then soaking, washing and boiling rice and getting rid of white kleda/starch makes it more pathya. The sanskara can change the food’s quality and ability to generate health. Svarasa – a juice of something. Brahmi svarasa – juice of brahmi. Taking the juice of something is a samskara- kalka is a paste – different quality than the kalka. Brahmi juice helps mind in nasya application. Paste helps anti-itch on body. What you do changes the quality. Kadha in Sanskrit – very light. A cooked and reduced decoction that becomes very light. Juice is very guru. Raw food is guru, cooked food laghu. Phanta- hot decoction like a tea – herb warmed in water. Hima – cool infusion. Boiled and then cooled water added to herb becomes hima – good for flowers, coriander, any time you want to balance pitta. Dania hima – coriander in water overnight in moonlight to cool pitta and clear acidity. Only drink that water the next day. Visha/poison like aconite, bhanga (marijuana), mercury and used in medicine. But also all the right things used wrongly can become vishama. Aromatizing the water – vasama. Triphala rasayana – make paste and put in iron container for a few days and then that becomes a good eye wash. The container has caused the samskara.
  • Bhumi – desha – where are you living. It affects you. New Mexico is so ruksha/dry and to live there needs EXCESSIVE snigdha. Local climate can be the cause of vata/pitta disorders. Dosha in prakop. Having to take care of pitta dosha. Wet and heavy – kapha/pitta increase. Cold and dry vayu increase. Certain places are healthy generally – dry high places generally not good for vata dominant people. Manic depressive people switch after flights – vayu goes up and they become the other. Chala guna increased. In very wet oily place, don’t eat cheesecake. In dry hot place, eating cheesecake could be better because it may help add some qualities. Not health but good example. If you are in wet place don’t eat bananas and juices. Even food and vegetables in certain place affects the animals and then that affects you.
  • Deha – body, your overall body type. Prakruti but also general constitution – not medical – old young heavy light. Pathya can change based on deha.
  • Dosha – medical evaluation of person. when you are dosha yukta – you know your prakruti/vikruti.

Vegavasta – when dosha is ripe and any factor can start prakopa. Jangala – dryness in area   These are all the factors that help us to know how to treat the individual. One look at a person can give you a general idea of how to treat Shad Ghadaka – the six factors that affect whether a food is pathya/apathya   Charaka has explained the 8 rules of eating food – Ahara vidhi Charaka Samhita, Chikitsasthana, Chapter 1 Shloka 21

  1. Prakriti/nature of the FOOD, not your nature. Unique properties of the food – is it strengthening, aphrodisiac, building, cleansing, or what? When you are about to eat, look at the nature of the food – the essential nature of the food. No matter what you do to wheat, its essential nature is guru – that won’t change. What are you eating?
  2. Karana – process – Kriya/samskara in a non yoga meaning how has it been cooked/prepared. Same mung dal microwaved would be a no.
  3. Samayoga/combination – when two or more substances mix together sometimes they create a special yoga which may be good or not good for you. Yogurt and honey. Kitchadi is good for you.
  4. Rashi/matra/quantity – small quantities of heavy food
  5. Desha/bhumi/land which brings climate, flora, fauna and changes with the seasons, so some knowledge of the concept of ritucharya is important.
  6. Kala/time – time of day, time of year, seasons (ritucharya – see past posts)
  7. Upayoga Samsthita/steps and detailed rules for the eater/you – Charaka and Sushruta have given more specific rules. Detailed.
  8. Upabhogata – who is eating? Is it child, old, who is eating.

Satmaya – adaptability because of habit. If your ancestors were fish eaters, you can eat more fish. Some people in a certain local can eat lot more heat, even pittas because in their blood able to deal with it.

  • Okasaatmya – adaptability and acceptability of things that are NOT healthy to the body – body begins to adapt even to abuse. Even to wrong things, body begins to adapt and work around those things.
  • Sharira satmya – adaptability and acceptability of things that are healthy to the body. Comes from usage, ancestry or cultural norms. If mother or father ate it, you may be able to eat it.

The healthier and cleaner you become, the more your body is in sharira satmya. The body will ATTEMPT to adapt and accept bad foods, and may not have a forceful impact on you, but will have a deeper inner impact. The one who vomits it immediately is healthier than the one who is showing oka-satmya. The person experiencing oka-satmya may not relate the symptoms to the cause. Not causing chronic conditions, but body does adapt as much as it can even to abusive things. It would be best to get acclimatized to healthy things. Ayurveda doesn’t believe in cold-turkey approaches because the body is acclimatized to toxicity. Slow changes to retrain the body. Without oka-satmya, we’d be dead by now. Any radical changes will create vata disturbance. So slowly adapt. Withdrawal is the whole body going into shock. If someone has a really complicated situation in that one disease has complicated into another into another, doing panchakarma can kill you. Really. Done by someone that is not educated properly (western practitioners). Hell, even Ayurveda Home Remedies has a home Pancha Karma that you can do yourself. Yeah, good luck coming back to health from that one. There are absolutely no self-help books for panchakarma although they have been written, it is absolutely ignorant to try to do something so detailed without proper knowledge. You don’t see allopathy having self-help surgery. When it is done properly can give moksha. it s a very powerful science that shouldn’t be abused. We all have karma being lived out as well as created. A simple thought should go into sharing knowledge, is ones knowledge deep enough about what they are advising others? Or is it irresponsible and harmful to give advise to friends and family, specially if the knowledge is generalized and superficial. What is your prakruti, mental state, athlete, sedentary – all of these things affect upabhoga/the eater/the one who is devouring/tasting. There are no rules based on vata, pitta, and kapha.


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