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Viruddha ahara-Incompatible foods in Ayurveda

Authors:
  • Govt ayurved college osmanabad
  • Smt. K G Mittal Punarvasu Ayurved Mahavidyalaya, Charni Road, Mumbai 02

Abstract

In Ayurvedic classics, Ahara (food) is mentioned as one among the three Upasthambas (Sub-pillars of body) which supports the three main Sthambas (Pillars) of the body. Ahara is considered to be vital for a human body as it provides the basic nutrients, which are very essential to carry out the basic activities of digestion and metabolism. Ayurveda emphasizes on consuming healthy and nutritious diet. The difference of proper health and disease is based on the difference between wholesome and unwholesome food (ahara). Unwholesome ahara (Viruddha Ahara) is a unique and important concept described in Ayurveda. The diet, which disturbs the balance among the body elements, is called as Viruddha Ahara. Many times a physically balanced diet can also disturb the homeostasis. Food taken in proper method nourishes the person physically and mentally both and it is the food through which person attains positive health and growth of body. Food taken in improper (Unbalanced) methods can cause various types of diseases. Therefore Ayurveda have given keen attention on concept of wholesome ahara and unwholesome ahara. Correspondingly intake of incompatibility food is much increases in present era. This paper details about variety of incompatible food consumed in today's day to day life style also enlists the hazardous effects on health.
Ayurpharm Int J Ayur Alli Sci., Vol.2, No.7 (2013) Pages 203 - 211
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ISSN: 2278-4772
Ayurpharm - International Journal of Ayurveda and Allied Sciences
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Review Article
VIRUDDHA AHARA - INCOMPATIBLE FOODS IN AYURVEDA
Ashvin Bagde1*, Ranjeet Sawant2, Milind Nikumbh3, Anil Kale4
1. Assistant Professor, Dept. of Sanskrit Samhita Siddhanta, Govt. Ayurved College, Osmanabad, Maharastra, India.
2. Assistant Professor, Dept. of Rasa Shastra and Bhaishajya Kalpana, Govt. Ayurved College, Nanded, Maharastra,
India.
3. Professor, Dept. of Rachana Sharira, Govt. Ayurved College, Osmanabad, Maharastra, India.
4. Professor, Dept. of Baalroga, Govt. Ayurved College, Osmanabad, Maharastra, India.
Received: 02-06-2013; Revised: 10-07-2013; Accepted: 15-07-2013
………………………………………………………………………….………….……….……………………..
Abstract
In Ayurvedic classics, Ahara (food) is mentioned as one among the three Upasthambas (Sub-pillars of body)
which supports the three main Sthambas (Pillars) of the body. Ahara is considered to be vital for a human
body as it provides the basic nutrients, which are very essential to carry out the basic activities of digestion
and metabolism. Ayurveda emphasizes on consuming healthy and nutritious diet. The difference of proper
health and disease is based on the difference between wholesome and unwholesome food (ahara).
Unwholesome ahara (Viruddha Ahara) is a unique and important concept described in Ayurveda. The diet,
which disturbs the balance among the body elements, is called as Viruddha Ahara. Many times a physically
balanced diet can also disturb the homeostasis. Food taken in proper method nourishes the person physically
and mentally both and it is the food through which person attains positive health and growth of body. Food
taken in improper (Unbalanced) methods can cause various types of diseases. Therefore Ayurveda have given
keen attention on concept of wholesome ahara and unwholesome ahara. Correspondingly intake of
incompatibility food is much increases in present era. This paper details about variety of incompatible food
consumed in today’s day to day life style also enlists the hazardous effects on health.
Key words: Viruddha Ahara; Incompatible diet; Food interactions; Unbalancing diet.
………………………………………………………………………………….….……………………………...
*Address for correspondence:
Dr. Ashvin B. Bagde,
Assistant professor, Dept. of Sanskrit Samhita Siddhanta,
Government Ayurved College, Osmanabad, Maharashtra, India 431 601.
E-mail: drabbagde@yahoo.co.in
Cite This Article
Ashvin Bagde, Ranjeet Sawant, Milind Nikumbh, Anil Kale. Viruddha ahara - Incompatible
foods in Ayurveda. Ayurpharm Int J Ayur Alli Sci. 2013;2(7):203-211.
Ayurpharm Int J Ayur Alli Sci., Vol.2, No.7 (2013) Pages 203 - 211
www.ayurpharm.com
ISSN: 2278-4772
Ayurpharm - International Journal of Ayurveda and Allied Sciences
204
INTRODUCTION
Ayurveda, an ancient medical science of
healing, focuses more on the healthy living
and well being of the person. Ayurveda offers
a logical and scientific approach for
determining correct Ahara (food) based upon
an individual’s constitution. According to
Ayurveda, there are positive and negative
attributes of Ahara. Since, Ayurveda deals
with a holistic approach to cure; it covers the
Ahara factor in depth. Ayurveda clearly
mentioned regarding the wholesome diet and
the benefits of such food. For healthy living,
Ayurveda emphasizes on consuming right
kind of diet which is healthy and nutritious.
Ahara is very much essential for the
sustainment of life of all living beings.[1] It is
stated to be responsible for both Arogya
(health) and Vyadhi (disease). Hita Ahara
(wholesome food) if consumed according to
rules, they provide fuel to the fire of digestion;
they promote mental as well as physical
strength and complexion.[2]
The difference of proper health (Happiness)
and unhealth (Unhappiness) is based on the
difference between wholesome ahara and
unwholesome ahara. Unwholesome ahara
(Viruddha Ahara) is a unique and important
concept described in Ayurveda. The diet,
which disturbs the balance among the body
elements, is called as Viruddha Ahara.[2] The
second meaning of Viruddha indicates about
the combination of two substances which are
not similar to each other.[3]
Definition of Viruddha Ahara
According to Acharya Charaka all kinds of
foods which aggravate (Increase) the doshas
but do not expel them out of the body and all
of them become unsuitable or unhealthy for
body is called as Viruddha. [4] The food
articles by which the doshas are going to be
provoked and spread or diffused from their
place but these doshas are not eliminated from
the body. So these food articles become
unwholesome. According to Acharya Sushruta
Viruddha Aahara not only provokes the
doshas but that also aggravate the Dhatus.[5]
Etymology
The word Viruddha is originated from the root
“Rudhir Avarni” by applying the Prefix “VI”.
This leads to two factors i.e. on combining
two, three things; the stronger one shades or
overpowers the weaker ingredients. This has
been accepted principally in Ayurveda also. It
has been stated that in a combination of so
many opposite qualities the majority of the
power packed qualities overpower the weaker
qualities.[6]
Types of Viruddha Ahara
Ayurvedic literature has described various
types of Viruddha Ahara, which can be
summarized as follows
1. Desha Viruddha - Consumption of those
substances which are against place or land
region [7] - For example
a. To have Ruksha (Dry) and Tikshna
(Acute) substances in arid region (Maru
desha)
b. Snigdha (Unctuous) and Sheet (Cold)
substances in Marshy land or Anoopa
desha.
2. Kala Viruddha - Consumption of those
substances which are against time or
season [8] For example
a. Intake of Katu (Pungent) and Ushna
(hot) substances in Ushna kala
(Grishma, Sharada Ritus)
b. Sheeta (cold) and Ruksha (dry)
substances in Sheeta Kala (Hemanta,
Shishira & Vasanta Ritus).
c. Sushruta mentioned that food
substances having opposite Rasa and
Guna are beneficial in that respective
season. Therefore similar qualities of
food substances are harmful to
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ISSN: 2278-4772
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respective season and it may be cause
for disease after a long period.
3. Agni Viruddha - Consumption of those
substances which are against digestive
power [9] For example
a. Intake of Guru food (foods which are
heavy to digest) when there is
Mandagni (low digestion power) and
b. Intake of Laghu (light) food when the
power of digestion is Tikshnagni
(sharp) and intake of food at variance
with irregular and normal power of
digestion.
4. Matra Viruddha Consumption of
those substances which are against
quantity [10] For example
a. Intake of Madhu (Honey) and Ghrita
(Ghee) in equal quantity
b. Intake of Madhu (Honey) and Rain
water in equal quantity
c. Honey + Cow's ghee - mixed in equal
quantity.
5. Satmya Viruddha - Consumption of
those substances which are
unwholesome [11] For example
a. Intake of Madhur (sweet) and Sheet
(Cold) substance by person
accustomed to Katu (Pungent) and
Ushna (hot) substance.
6. Dosha Viruddha For example
a. Utilization of drugs, diets and regimen
having similar qualities with Dosha,
but at variance with the habit of the
individual. [12]
7. Sanskar Viruddha - Consumption of
those substances which are against mode
of preparation. Drugs and diets which,
when prepared in a particular way
produced poisonous effects. [13] For
example
a. Heated Madhu (Honey)
b. Meat of peacock roasted on a castor
spit
c. Meat of parrot placed inside a faggot
of eranda (Ricinis communis) and then
cooked.
d. Meat of sparrow and peacock roasted
on castor spit.
8. Veerya Viruddha - Consumption of
those substances which are against
Potency Substances having Ushna (hot)
potency in combination with those of
Sheet (cold) potency substances. [14] For
example
a. Fish + Milk
9. Koshtha Viruddha Consumption of
those substances which are against
nature of bowels. [15] For example
a. Administration of less quantity with
mild potency purgative drug to a
person of Krura koshta (Constipated
bowel).
b. Administration of more quantity heavy
purgative drug to a person having soft
bowel.
10. Avastha Viruddha - Consumption of
those substances which are against States
or condition. [16] For example
a. Intake of Vata aggravating food by a
person after exertion, sexual act or
physical exertion.
b. Intake of Kapha aggravating food by a
person after sleep or drowsiness.
11. Kram Viruddha - Consumption of
those substances which are against
sequence. [17] For example
a. Consuming curd at night.
b. Hot water after taking honey
c. Intake of food without clearance of his
bowel and urination
d. Intake of food when he doesn’t have
appetite
e. Not consuming food when he is
hungry
12. Parihar Viruddha - Consumption of
those substances which are against
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things which relieve the symptoms. [18]
For example
a. Intake of hot potency food after taking
meat of boar etc.
b. Consuming cold water immediately
after having hot tea or Coffee.
13. Upachar Viruddha - Consumption of
those substances which are against
treatment. [19] For example
a. Intake of cold things after taking ghee.
b. Intake of hot water after taking Madhu
(Honey)
14. Paaka Viruddha - Consumption of
those substances which are against
cooking. Preparation of food with bad or
rotten fuel and under cooking, over
cooking or burning during the process of
preparation. [20]
15. Sanyoga Viruddha - Consumption of
those substances which are against
combination. Or intake of two such
substances which on combination have
poisonous effects.[21] For example
a. Intake of sour substances with milk
b. Fruit Salad / Milk + Banana
16. Hriday Viruddha Consumption of
those substances which are not liked by
the person. In short intake of unpleasant
food. [22]
17. Sampad Viruddha Consumption of
those substances which are not having
their proper qualities. [23] For example
a. Intake of substance those are not
mature, over matured or putrefied.
18. Vidhi Viruddha This type includes
the diet which is not according with the
rules of eating. [24] For example
a. Eating food in public place or open
place.
Viruddha Ahara (unwholesome diet)
produces various types of diseases. Charakaa
advocating this matter gives one more verse
specially regarding to Ahara and its
causativeness for diseases. Body is the result
of nourishment by food ingested in the four-
fold manner i.e. eaten, drunk, licked up and
masticated and similarly the diseases that
afflict this body are equally the result of food
that is also eaten, drunks, licked up and
masticated. It is the distinction between the
use of wholesome diet and that of
unwholesome diet that is responsible for the
distinction between health and disease in the
body. [25]
Agnimandya is source of several diseases.
Viruddha ahara causes the vitiation of Agni
by Abhojana, Ajirnatibhojana, Vishamashana,
Asatmya, Ati Ruksha and Sheeta, Sansrusta
Bhojana. Thus the Agni mostly gets vitiated
by Viruddhahara. This vitiated Jatharagni
does not digest even the lightest of food
substances, resulting in indigestion (Ajirna).
This undigested food material turns sour and
acts like a poison, which is called Ama visha
in Ayurvedic terminology. Following are the
diseases mentioned in Ayurved texts as a
result of Viruddha Ahara [26], [27]
Klaibya (Impotency)
Blindness
Visarpa (Erysipelas)
Jalodara (Ascitis)
Unmada (Insanity)
Bhagandara (Fistula in ano)
Murcha (Coma/fainting)
Aadhmana (Abdominal distention)
Galgraha (Obstruction in throat)
Pandu roga (Anemia)
Ama (Endogenous toxin)
Kilasa (Leucoderma)
Kushtha (Various skin disorders)
Grahani (Sprue)
Shotha (Swelling or oedema)
Amlapitta (Acidity)
Jwara (Fever)
Pinas (Allergic Rhinitis)
Santana Dosha (Infertility problem)
Mrutyu (Death)
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Food combinations must be avoided
Many food combinations are given in the
texts as incompatible with proper explanation
[28][29] for e.g.
Fish (Specially Chilmil fish) should not
take along with milk because both
substances are Madhura (sweet) in taste
and sweet after digestion. This
combination is Abhishyandi (produce
more moisture in the tissue and causes
obstruction of various channels). Second
reason is that both have opposite
(incompatible) in potency. Fish being hot
in potency and milk is of cold potency.
This opposite potencies causes great
vitiations of three doshas i.e.Vata, Pitta
and Kapha doshas.
Dadhi (Curd) should not be consumed in
the night. Because curd is acidic in
nature. It aggravates Pitta and Kapha
doshas which later on produces a lot of
heat in the stomach. A curd is heavy,
slow to digest and produces constipation.
It can be best digested at lunch time
when the digestive abilities are the
strongest.
Warm honey should not be consumed by
the person suffering from heat
exhaustion or sun stroke. Because after
heated honey becomes poison and this
can cause death.
Avoid consuming cold water
immediately during or after a meal hot
tea or coffee. Because it diminishes the
Agni and causes various digestive
problems.
Avoid eating bananas with milk.
Because it can diminish Agni, change
the intestinal flora producing excess
toxins in the body. The combination may
also cause cold, cough and even produce
allergies.
After consuming green leafy vegetables,
drinking of milk should be avoided.
Avoid consuming meat of animals of
marshy and domestic region with Masha
/ black gram (Phaselolus radiatus Linn),
honey, radish, milk, germinated grains
and jaggery. Because it leads to
Deafness and Blindness. Trembling, loss
of intelligence, loss of voice and nasal
voice and even cause death.
One should not consume Pushkara mula
(Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn) or rohini
shak or meat of kapota (pigeon) fried in
sarshapa taila along with milk and
honey. Because this obstructs channels
of circulation and causes dilation of
blood vessels, Apasmara (Epilepsy)
Shankhak (Temporal headache),
Galaganda (Scrofula), Rohini
(Diphtheria) or even death.
After eating Muli (radish), Lasuna
(garlic), Tulsi (basil) one should not be
consumed milk because of the risk of
skin disorders (Leprosy).
All Sour substances are incompatible
with milk.
Ghee (Clarified butter) kept for more
than ten consecutive days in a bronze
vessel should be avoided as
unwholesome.
Avoid eating melons and grains together.
Melons digest quickly whereas grains
take more time. This combination will
upset the stomach. Melons should be
eaten alone or left alone.
Milk and melons both should not be
consumed at a same time. Because both
are Sheet (cold) in nature, but milk is
Sarak (laxative) and melon is Mutral
(diuretic). Milk takes longer time to
digest. Moreover the action of
hydrochloric acid in the stomach causes
the milk to curdle. For this reason
Ayurveda advises against taking milk
with sour fruits.
Avoid eating melons and grains together.
Melons digest quickly whereas grains
take more time. This combination will
upset the stomach. Melons should be
eaten alone or left alone.
Sweet and sour fruits should never be
combined as in a fruit chat. Individual
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fruits should be eaten as such and as a
different meal.
Avoid eating raw and cooked foods
together. One can have the salad first and
then proceed for dinner after a short gap.
Likewise honey and ghee in equal
quantity, hot water after taking honey are
antagonistic.
Combination of fruit salad with milk and
banana should be avoided.
Upodika should not be cooked with paste
of Til (Sesamum). Because it causes
diarrhea.
Meat of haridraka (kind of yellow bird)
pierced with wood of haridra (Berberis
aristata) and cooked with the flame of
haridra takes away life quickly. The
same smeared with ash and sand (as a
method of cooking) and consumed along
with honey (also kills the person
quickly)
Pippali (Piper longum) processed with
fish fat is fried should be rejected.
Meat of balaka bird along with varuni
(supernatant fluid of wine) takes away
life.
Similarly also the meat of Tittir (black
partridge) Patradhya (peacock) Godah
(iguana lizard) Lava (common quail)
Kapinjala (gray pigeon) cooked over by
the fire of wood of Eranda (Ricinus
communis) plant and processed with
fried in its oil castor oil.
There are certain incompatible food
combinations mentioned in Ayurveda text
summarized in Table 1.[30]
Treatment of diseases aggravated by
Viruddha Ahara
Acharya Charaka mentioned that diseases
caused by intake of Viruddha Aahar [31][32]
(incompatible foods and drugs) can be cured
by following therapies-
Vaman Karma (Medicated Emesis)
Virechana (Purgation)
Administration of antidotes
(Administration of substances which
are of converse qualities)
Taking prophylactic measures
Exceptional cases for consuming Viruddha
Ahara
Food though incompatible do not produce
disease If an individual is habituated to the
intake of unwholesome drugs or diet or if they
are taken in small quantity or taken by a
person having strong digestive power or by a
young person (adult) or by the one who has
undergone Oletion therapy or who is strong
physique due to regular physical exercise. The
unwholesomeness of various diets does not
have any effect. [33]
Table 1: Incompatible food combinations as per Ayurveda texts
Sr. No
Food
Incompatible With
1
Milk
Bananas, Fish, Meat, Melons, Curd, Sour Fruits and Bread containing yeast
2
Melons
Grains, Starch, Fried foods, Cheese
3
Starches
Eggs, Milk, Bananas and Dates
4
Honey
Ghee (in equal proportions) Heating or cooking with
5
Radish
Milk, Bananas and Raisins
6
Lemon
Yogurt, Milk, Cucumbers and Tomatoes
7
Eggs
Milk, Meat, Yogurt, Melons, Cheese, Fish and Bananas
8
Mangos
Yogurt, Cheese, Cucumbers
9
Corn
Dates, Raisins and Bananas
10
Nightshades,
(Potato, Tomato and Chilies)
Yogurt, Milk, Melon and Cucumber
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DISCUSSION
Viruddha Ahara is the origin of most of the
ailments. Regular consumption of
incompatible food can lead to inflammation at
a molecular level; ending in creation of
arachidonic acid which will finally results in
to increased level of prostaglandin-2 and
thromboxane. This inflammatory consequence
lies behind basic pathologies that create Agni
Mandya, Ama, and a number of metabolic
disorders. [34]
Theory of autoimmune mechanism and free
radical are playing role in etiopathology of the
diseases caused by Viruddha Ahara. Ama
which is accrued at the level of intestine may
lead to the gastroenteritis; a part of Ama
penetrates intestinal mucosa, circulates all
over the body and performs the role of
Antigen, consequently vitiating the humors to
cause different disorders. Ama can also be
compared to unstable reactive free radicals,
which are the main cause of many diseases
and degenerative changes in the body and it
may be produced due to Viruddha Ahara. Ama
and free radicals can be co-related as follows.
A current study shows that a toxin called 4-
hydroxy-trans-2- nonenal (HNE) forms when
such oils as corn, soyabean, and sunflower oils
are reheated. There seems to be a influence of
4-HNE on the health of cells.
In higher concentrations (around 10-20
micromolar) have been shown to trigger well-
known toxic pathways such as the induction
of caspase enzymes, the laddering of genomic
DNA, the release of cytochrome c from
mitochondria, with the eventual outcome of
cell death (through
both apoptosis and necrosis, depending on
concentration). HNE has been linked in the
pathology of several diseases such as
Alzheimer's disease, cataract, atherosclerosis,
and cancer.[35]
High-temperature cooking must also be called
as Sanskara Viruddha. An advanced glycation
end-product (AGE) may be formed external to
the body (exogenously) by heating (e.g.,
cooking). Under certain pathologic conditions
(e.g., oxidative stress due to hyperglycemia in
patients with diabetes and hyperlipidemia,
AGE formation can be increased beyond
normal levels. AGEs are now known to play a
role as pro-inflammatory mediators in
gestational diabetes as well. The formation
and accumulation of advanced glycation end
products (AGEs) has been implicated in the
progression of age-related diseases. AGEs
have been implicated in Alzheimer's
disease, cardiovascular disease, and
stroke. The mechanism by which AGEs
induce damage is through a process
called cross-linking that causes intracellular
damage and apoptosis. They form photo-
sensitizers in the crystalline lens, which has
implications for cataract
development. Reduced muscle function is also
associated with AGEs. [36]
Fast food is high in energy density and low in
essential micronutrient density, especially zinc
(Zn), of which antioxidant processes are
dependent. It has been tested that frequent fast
food consumption could induce oxidative
damage associated with inflammation in
weanling male rats in relevance to Zn
deprivation, which could adversely affect
testis function. Zn and iron (in plasma and
testicular tissue), plasma antioxidant vitamins
(A, E, and C), as well as testicular Super-
Oxide Dismutase (SOD) and reduced
Glutathione (GSH), lipid peroxidation indexes
[Thio-Barbituric Acid Reactive Substances
(TBARS) and Lipoprotein Oxidation
Susceptibility (LOS)], inflammatory markers
(plasma C-Reactive Protein (CRP), and
testicular Tumor Necrosis Factor - Alpha
(TNF-α)) were determined in one of the
studies. Serum testosterone and histological
examination of the testes were performed also.
A severe decrease in antioxidant vitamins and
Zn, with concomitant iron accumulation was
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found. Zinc deficiency correlated positively
with SOD, GSH, antioxidant vitamins, and
testosterone, and negatively with TBARS,
LOS, CRP, and TNF-α, demonstrating a state
of oxidative stress and inflammation. It was
concluded that micronutrient deficiency,
especially Zn, enhanced oxidative stress and
inflammation in testicular tissue leading to
underdevelopment of testis and decreased
testosterone levels. [37]
CONCLUSION
Ayurveda provides a complete and systemic
understanding about the effect of food on our
physical and mental functioning. Food taken
in proper manner helps in the proper growth
of the body on contrary if taken in improper
manner leads to various diseases. Thus Ahara
play a significant role in causation and curing
of the disease. Balanced diet provides natural
disease prevention, weight control and proper
sleep. A balanced diet is also important
because it enables you to meet your daily
nutritional needs and enjoy a higher overall
quality of life. A balanced diet also enables
you to live longer. Regarding the importance
of food, Ayurveda quotes various references in
each and every step. Acharya Charaka
mentioned food is the root cause of both body
as well as disease. Ahara is not only meant for
maintenance of health but is also very
important in the curative aspect while treating
various diseases.
The need of the day is to increase awareness
and consciousness among the general public
about hazards of Incompatible Food. From
above discussion we can say that incompatible
foods should be considers Similar to poison
and artificial poisoning.
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