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Principles of Fasting in Ayurveda

Authors:
  • MIT ADT University Pune

Abstract

Ayurveda, the scientific way of life and the portion of old Indian knowledge, is a definitive craft of all-inclusive pharmaceutical and medicinal understandings. It guides humanity to combat sicknesses as well as to keep up and maintain supreme wellbeing. Ayurveda recognizes the viewpoint that fasting realizes the assimilation of metabolic toxins which are not good for health. It is also stated in Ayurveda that fasting encourages digestive fire with exclusion of blockage in the channel which helps in reducing of effects of any disease. There are ten consumption treatments are enlightened in Ayurveda and Upavasa is one of them. Ayurveda guides three therapies for the wellbeing and health i.e. spiritual, psychological and rational/physical. Many experts believe that fasting is mixture of all these three. In simple words fasting is withdrawal of food for specific time periods generally done under the observation of person with knowledge about it. Fasting is not advised to exceptionally youthful, elderly, gaunt, pregnant woman and soon after vigorous exercise. Advantages of fasting incorporate clarity of organs which are responsible for sense. During fasting person can feel the easiness of body as well as brain. It gives better feeling in sicknesses. Collectively, these things contribute to make individual feel energised. Ayurveda advocates fasting relying on the individual and his body type. The body type is decided on the vaya, agni, kala and dosha of the person. Fasting is advised as a precautionary and in addition remedial methodology. This article is a sincere endeavour to comprehend the principles of fasting recognized in the classics of Ayurveda.
International Journal of Science, Environment
ISSN 2278-3687 (O)
and Technology, Vol. 6, No 1, 2017, 787 792
2277-663X (P)
Review Article
PRINCIPLES OF FASTING IN AYURVEDA
Sandip T. Gaikwad*1, Pradnya Gaikwad2 and Vikas Saxena3
1,3National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management,
Kundli, Haryana
2Ayurved Medical College, Shevgaon, Maharashtra
*E-mail: sandip.gaikwad@niftem.ac.in
Abstract: Ayurveda, the scientific way of life and the portion of old Indian knowledge, is a
definitive craft of all-inclusive pharmaceutical and medicinal understandings. It guides
humanity to combat sicknesses as well as to keep up and maintain supreme wellbeing.
Ayurveda recognizes the viewpoint that fasting realizes the assimilation of metabolic toxins
which are not good for health. It is also stated in Ayurveda that fasting encourages digestive
fire with exclusion of blockage in the channel which helps in reducing of effects of any
disease. There are ten consumption treatments are enlightened in Ayurveda and Upavasa is
one of them. Ayurveda guides three therapies for the wellbeing and health i.e. spiritual,
psychological and rational/physical. Many experts believe that fasting is mixture of all these
three. In simple words fasting is withdrawal of food for specific time periods generally done
under the observation of person with knowledge about it. Fasting is not advised to
exceptionally youthful, elderly, gaunt, pregnant woman and soon after vigorous exercise.
Advantages of fasting incorporate clarity of organs which are responsible for sense. During
fasting person can feel the easiness of body as well as brain. It gives better feeling in
sicknesses. Collectively, these things contribute to make individual feel energised. Ayurveda
advocates fasting relying on the individual and his body type. The body type is decided on
the vaya, agni, kala and dosha of the person. Fasting is advised as a precautionary and in
addition remedial methodology. This article is a sincere endeavour to comprehend the
principles of fasting recognized in the classics of Ayurveda.
Introduction
All medicinal frameworks on the planet recognize the advantages of fasting in different ways.
Ayurveda has indexed as well as explained about this advantage comprehensively. Fasting is
very vital part for guaranteeing the adequacy and accomplishment of Panchakarma
medications (Ayurvedic detoxification treatment). It is believed in western medical system,
that fasting empower the body to revive its self-mending capacities [1]. Numerous western
healers quoted about fasting and according to them “fasting is the best cure as physician
inside." Either short or long term fasting is prescribed in all faiths as a method for
otherworldly purification.
Received Dec 20, 2016 * Published Feb 2, 2017 * www.ijset.net
788 Sandip T. Gaikwad, Pradnya Gaikwad and Vikas Saxena
India, the striking place known for its antiquated human advancements and cherished
therapeutic legacy. Ayurveda, the verified, systematized information framework relating to
life science, wellbeing and therapy. Ayurveda is a definitive specialty of comprehensive
medication. According to Ayurveda, health is about gaining 4-fold bliss, in which Dharma
(nobility) is most important followed by Artha (righteousness) and Kama (satisfaction of
desires). Along with these three Moksha (salvation) is the extreme important bliss one can
gain [2].
Ayurveda have intricately and astoundingly clarified the signs and manifestations of
satisfactory, excess and inadequate fasting alongside the exemptions and safety guidelines
amid the execution of fasting, with a view to aid the physician direct adept and exact
treatment and in this manner help the individual accomplish culminate wellbeing [3].
According to Ayurveda The digestion is like a fire. If you dump too much fuel on the fire all
at once, you will simply put out the fire. Fasting is a powerful approach to ignite the digestive
fire which lead to burning away all accumulated toxins which are saturated in the body and
mind. It likewise wipes out gas with enhancing mental clarity of fasting individual which lead
to better health. Ayurveda suggests general and short term fasting over long haul fasting
which can hamper health [4]. This could involve fasting around the similar time every week
otherwise few days every month to quick, contingent upon body type and purifying
prerequisites.
Definition of fasting
According to medical science "Fasting" can be characterized as "deliberate restraint from
devouring sustenance for specific time spans." Fasting is utilized as a treatment for a few
medicinal disorders. Fasting is likewise fundamental part among ceremonial and profound
practices in numerous faiths. Ayurveda depict fasting as Upavasa. It is characterized as
forbearance from all the four types of food which is consist of chewing of any material,
licking of any food, gulping and drinking [5].
Principle of fasting
Intensity of fire is reduced by the ash particles remaining on it, due to which it hampers the
process of burning. Same in the case of human body, the vitiated dosha in human body,
especially the digestive viscera known as Aamashaya in Ayurveda. This lessen the power and
disable the digestive fire and causes stomach related debilitation, and production of ama
(metabolic poisons), which is considered as underlying driver of all illnesses. Which further
lead to blockage of channels of the body, bringing about different sicknesses. Fasting,
Principles of Fasting in Ayurveda
789
without nourishment in the viscera leads to the important destruction of many metabolic
toxins, ignite the digestive fire along with clearance of blockages in the channels. This
process helps to combat against illness. Notwithstanding, feasting before and after observing
a fast is not at all recommended. [6]. Ayurveda recommend that something which is easy for
digestion should be consumed like newly prepared rice gruel after fasting. This food should
be light for assimilation, hot, unobtrusive and liquid in consistency.
Ayurveda states spring (Shishira Rutu) is the best time for fasting, according to which the
cold and moist period from the finish of February onwards is exceptionally appropriate for
fasting. Self-cleansing forces are aroused in body when the force of the sun begins to boost.
Ayurveda don’t guide to abandoning complete food but it guides to take light food during
fasting and its quantity can be lessened according to body type and dosha in decreased
amount.
In Ayurveda, Time and sort of fasting for detoxification is distinctive for various people
according to their body category. Fasting as indicated by one's body sort implies fasting as
per the doshas. This is on the grounds that each Ayurvedic measure ought to be coordinated
to individual constitution. As indicated by Ayurveda, physiology of each individual is
infested by three all-inclusive and all-encompassing basic powers (doshas), Vata, Pitta and
Kapha. These represent all physical, mental and psychosomatic processes. This major
individual balance of Vata, Pitta and Kapha decides Dosha category. Practically everybody
is a 'blended sort' since a few or less everybody have blend of these three.
The classics explain that wellbeing is only the balance condition of Vata, Pitta and Kapha,
the three physical doshas (constituents) and Satva, Rajas and Tamas, the mental doshas.
Therefore, the vitiation of physical doshas which are Vata, Pitta and Kapha alongside mental
doshas Tamas and Rajas result in different toxicities [7]. When fasting, the body ought to
wipe out metabolic deposits, waste items and body fats. Consequently, this procedure is
constantly joined by lost body weight. Despite the fact that zero fasting (taking no food by
any means) is not prescribed in Ayurveda since it would overstrain the force of agni
(digestive fire), the conceivable outcomes of medicinal recommendations the fasting plans
may varied. From the Ayurvedic point of view, weight issues are not only an issue of eating
excessively. Particularly outrageous stoutness is for the most part an issue of digestion
system. So as to accomplish long-lasting outcomes, the digestion system must be come back
to its periodic, typical working. Ayurveda prescribe an assortment of techniques that all
790 Sandip T. Gaikwad, Pradnya Gaikwad and Vikas Saxena
influence the general digestion system decidedly, and in blend ought to prompt to effectively
keeping up the accomplished metabolic balance and weight reduction.
The original Sanskrit writings of Ayurveda make a concentrated, remarkable point. It is a
secret of wellbeing. The writings express that health seeker should:
"Chikitsatam vyadhikaram pathyam sadharanam aushadam prayshitam
prakritisthapanprashanam itaman."
Deciphered, it says individual ought to "eliminate everything which is not completeness,
displeasing, by that which is reasonable for the person, utilizing methodology along with
arrangements to re-establish the person, to re-build up prakriti and appease by that which is
helpful for wellbeing." According to Ayurveda, swearing off sustenance or water for
expanded timeframes exhausts bodily tissues, prompting to doshic imbalance [8].
In Sanskrit Panchakarma means "five activities or actions." Fasting is used in Ayurveda
considering it as preparatory treatment for Panchakarma and an essential technique for
detoxification. It is advised by many experienced Vaidya (Ayurvedic medicinal expert) that
individual should do healthy fasting on specific time intervals to maintain there prakriti,
(health) and prevent vikriti (imbalance in healthy body).
As per Ayurveda, Intermittent fasting is not only an eating regimen, it's pattern of
consumption. It's a method for planning meals to get the most advantageous health impact
out of them. Intermittent fasting alongside what to eat, it changes timing of food
consumption. Doctors' recommends intermittent fasting to lose fat. Maybe in particular,
intermittent fasting is one of the least difficult procedures Ayurveda recommend for taking
bad weight off while keeping good weight on in light of the fact that it requires next to no
behaviour changes. Ayurveda indorses regular and short duration fasting. Occasional long
haul fasting can disturb the balance of doshas in the body, which can hamper the capacities of
the body. The type of fasting should be adopted accordingly with body type and level of
toxins accumulated in the body. Digestive strength, body type and vitiation of doshas are the
most important factors for selection of fasting method.
At the point when food is undercooked, overcooked or not legitimate by any methods it
makes undigested nourishment waste or toxin known as Ama in Sanskrit. Ayurveda guides
that this substantial, sticky, poisonous waste gathers in our digestive tract and can eventually
run flood into our channels and tissues, hampering cellular nutrition and waste transfer.
In the tissues and channels, that can hasten the sign of disorder. Since imbalanced Agni and
gathering, flooding Ama is viewed as the root physical reason for the vast majority of the
Principles of Fasting in Ayurveda
791
illness in Ayurveda. Fasting is prompted by Ayurveda to keeping a lid on this consistent
build-up of toxins [9]. In Ayurveda, it is stated that "aho ratri bhojana abhavaha", which
means ‘the condition of withdrawal of food for a night’ it is also considered as one type of
fast along. Fasting is also revealed as "sarva bhoga vivarjitaha" which means abstaining
from every single common delight [10]. The body of individual purifies and revives itself by
doing this small kind of fasting every night by removing the waste on following day. These
refer to the bodily and spiritual features of fasting, correspondingly.
Conclusion
In the present worldwide situation, individuals are continually presented to various poisonous
substances through water, air, nourishment, and meds alongside expanding way of life issue
and tangible over-burden. Which leads to higher collection of different toxins in the body.
Due to which, the regular procedures of body to remove unhealthy thing and purifying
remains inadequate to retain person sound. This increases significance of abstaining in
precautionary and remedial contexts.
Ayurveda give very much importance to the concept of fasting due to which it is found that
different books about of fasting are available written by many Ayurvedic experts. Great
Ayurvedic Acharya have given focus on fasting this can be very easily observed in the texts
like Astanga Sangraha, Sushruta Samhitha, Charaka Samhitha, Astanga Hridaya [11,12]. It is
also observed that Bhaishajya Rathnavali and Bhavaprakasha extravagantly explain the
similar things about fasting at different occasions. Ayurveda have done extensive work on
fasting and given prime importance to it. The authenticities of Ayurveda, need to be adopted
for better life.
References
[1] Kasture, Haridas Shridhar. "Ayurvediya panchakarma vijnana." Calcutta: Sri Baidyanatha
Ayurveda Bhavan Limited 6 (2006).
[2] Sharma Ram and Dash, Vaidya Bhagawan, [trans.]. Agnivesha's Charaka Samhitha.
seventh. Varanasi: Chowkahmba Sanskrit Series office, 2001. Vol. 1. p. 19.
[3] Adiga SH, Adiga RS. Concept and Canons of Fasting in Ayurveda. J Fasting Health.
2013; 1(1):3740.
[4] Nagashayana, N., "Association of L-DOPA with recovery following Ayurveda
medication in Parkinson’s disease. "Journal of the neurological sciences 176.2 (2000): 124-
127.
792 Sandip T. Gaikwad, Pradnya Gaikwad and Vikas Saxena
[5] Chakrapanidasa. Abhinava Chintamani. Trans: Kishore P, Das S, Nanda M. 1th ed. New
Delhi: Kendriya Ayurveda and Siddha Anusandhana Kendra; 1999. P. 67.
[6] Radhakanthadeva. Shabda Kalpa Druma. New Delhi: Rashtriya Sanskrit Pratishtana.,
2002. Vol. 1.p. 260.
[7] Deasi VR. Ayurveda Kriya Shareera. Allahabad: Sri Baidyanath Ayurveda Bhavan
Limited; 1999. P. 18-21.
[8] Sumantran, Venil N., and Girish Tillu. "Cancer, inflammation, and insights from
ayurveda. "Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012 (2012).
[9] Sharma RK, Dash B. Charaka Samhita of Agnivesha. 8th ed. Varanasi: Vimana Sthana;
2004. P. 289-90.
[10] Radhakanthadeva. Shabda Kalpa Druma. New Delhi: Rashtriya Sanskrit Pratishtana.,
2002. Vol. 1. p. 260.
[11] Sushrutha. Sushruta Samhita. [ed.] Ambikadutta Shastri. 14. Varanasi: Chaukhamba
Sanskrit Sansthan, Vol. 1, 46, Sutrasthana, pp. 223-224.
[12] The Charaka Samhita of Agnivesa. [ed.] Jadavji Trikamji Acharya. New Delhi:
Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd., 1992, 3, Vimanasthana, p. 246.).
... As India being diabetic capital of the world many health advisors, advice not to consume sweet to individuals from this age group. This may be major reason of less consumption of Puran Poli in this age group [7,8] . According to family type, there is not much difference in consumption of Puran Poli. ...
... Puran Poli is also known as traditional dish that is largely consumed on festive season. Mostly Puran Poli is consumed as a traditional food from ages in Maharashtra [8] . According to survey, 79% individuals consume Puran Poli on festivals with 14% consume on monthly basis and 5% people consume weekly which are very fond of Puran Poli. ...
... These dishes may vary with region and season. During summer, people mostly consume Puran Poli with the mango juice i.e Aamras while in winter it is consumed with milk and ghee [8,11] . Even though the consumption pattern may vary with time, area and people, people now consume Puran Poli according to their choices and preferences as most of the side dishes available through the year. ...
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A recent, exciting discovery relates to the concept of "shared pathology" between cancer and metabolic syndrome. One major pathway common to cancer and metabolic syndrome is chronic inflammation, which is a major driving force in carcinogenesis. Indeed, chronic inflammation precedes most cancers and is considered a "hallmark" of the neoplastic process. We discuss molecular and biochemical evidence which links diet, obesity, abnormal lipid metabolism, and type 2 diabetes mellitus with chronic inflammation. We also explain how each of these factors is linked with biochemical aberrations of carcinogenesis and the prevalence and risk of cancer. While there are reliable biomarkers for chronic inflammation, there are few markers for a mechanistic link between early inflammation and digestive disorders. Discovery of such a marker could lead to identification of a new subtype of patients with digestive disorders that predispose them to cancer and/or metabolic syndrome. In this context, we discuss the ayurvedic concept of "Ama" which is thought to be a toxic, proinflammatory waste-product of improper digestion. We then develop hypotheses and outline preclinical and clinical experiments designed to prove whether "Ama" can serve as a novel and reliable biomarker that links abnormal digestive status, with the onset of chronic inflammation.
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Ayurveda, the Indian system of traditional medicine, uses a concoction of several spices, herbs and minerals for the treatment of diseases. In a clinical prospective study we have evaluated the efficacy of Ayurveda treatment (a concoction in cow's milk of powdered Mucuna pruriens and Hyoscyamus reticulatus seeds and Withania somnifera and Sida cordifolia roots) in 18 clinically diagnosed (with a mean Hoen and Yahr value of 2.22) parkinsonian patients. As per Ayurveda principles, 13 patients underwent both cleansing (for 28 days) and palliative therapy (56 days), 5 patients underwent palliative therapy alone (84 days). Only the former group showed significant improvement in activities of daily living (ADL) and on motor examination as per UPDRS rating. Symptomatically, they exhibited better response in tremor, bradykinesia, stiffness and cramps as compared to the latter group. Excessive salivation worsened in both the groups. Analyses of powdered samples in milk, as administered in patients, revealed about 200 mg of L-DOPA per dose. The study establishes the necessity of cleansing therapy in Ayurveda medication prior to palliative therapy. It also reveals contribution of L-DOPA in the recovery as observed in Parkinson' disease following Ayurveda medication.
Agnivesha's Charaka Samhitha. seventh. Varanasi: Chowkahmba Sanskrit Series office
  • Sharma Ram
  • Vaidya Dash
  • Bhagawan
Sharma Ram and Dash, Vaidya Bhagawan, [trans.]. Agnivesha's Charaka Samhitha. seventh. Varanasi: Chowkahmba Sanskrit Series office, 2001. Vol. 1. p. 19.
Charaka Samhita of Agnivesha Varanasi: Vimana Sthana
  • Rk Sharma
  • B Dash
Sharma RK, Dash B. Charaka Samhita of Agnivesha. 8th ed. Varanasi: Vimana Sthana; 2004. P. 289-90.
Concept and Canons of Fasting in Ayurveda
  • Sh Adiga
  • Rs Adiga
Adiga SH, Adiga RS. Concept and Canons of Fasting in Ayurveda. J Fasting Health. 2013; 1(1):3740.
Ayurvediya panchakarma vijnana
  • Haridas Kasture
  • Shridhar
Kasture, Haridas Shridhar. "Ayurvediya panchakarma vijnana." Calcutta: Sri Baidyanatha Ayurveda Bhavan Limited 6 (2006).
Allahabad: Sri Baidyanath Ayurveda Bhavan Limited
  • V R Deasi
  • Ayurveda Kriya
  • Shareera
Deasi VR. Ayurveda Kriya Shareera. Allahabad: Sri Baidyanath Ayurveda Bhavan Limited; 1999. P. 18-21.
New Delhi: Rashtriya Sanskrit Pratishtana
  • Radhakanthadeva
  • Shabda Kalpa Druma
Radhakanthadeva. Shabda Kalpa Druma. New Delhi: Rashtriya Sanskrit Pratishtana., 2002. Vol. 1. p. 260.
  • Abhinava Chakrapanidasa
  • Chintamani
  • S Das
  • M Nanda
Chakrapanidasa. Abhinava Chintamani. Trans: Kishore P, Das S, Nanda M. 1th ed. New Delhi: Kendriya Ayurveda and Siddha Anusandhana Kendra; 1999. P. 67.
Calcutta: Sri Baidyanatha Ayurveda Bhavan Limited
  • Haridas Kasture
  • Shridhar
Kasture, Haridas Shridhar. "Ayurvediya panchakarma vijnana." Calcutta: Sri Baidyanatha Ayurveda Bhavan Limited 6 (2006).