Aims to treat the whole person (mind, body, and soul) and not just the physical symptoms of illnesses2
Operates at a fundamental level by working on the underlying cause of the health problem to provide lasting results3
Considers the individual's body type or dosha, allowing for personalized treatment plans4
Places a strong emphasis on lifestyle modifications such as healthy eating, exercise, and stress reduction techniques, which can have a significant impact on overall health and well-being.
Focus primarily on treating physical symptoms and may not always take into account the mental and emotional aspects of a person's health2
Provide short-term relief rather than addressing the underlying causes of the health issue3
Do not take into account the doshas and the unique individual constitution4
May also incorporate lifestyle modifications, but they may not be as central to the treatment approach
Ayurveda Way Of Living
Ayurveda Way Of Living
Ahara (or food) is the primary element necessary for sustaining life. Our complexion, intellect, voice, longevity, satisfaction, nourishment, strength, and happiness all are conditioned by food. Daily consumption of Hitakara/Pathya food (or wholesome food) is conducive to maintaining good health, longevity, strength, intellect, good voice, and complexion. For a disease-free life, proper nutrition is essential, which is achieved through appropriate food choices, food combinations, and cooking methods, in the right quantity, and at the right time, season, and place. Ayurveda also recommends refraining from Ahitakar Ahara(unwholesome food).Ayurvedic dietary guidelines include:
- Eating food at the right time (Kale Bhojana)
- Ensuring proper hygiene before eating (Suchi Bhojan)
- Eating warm and easy-to-digest food (Ushna Bhojan and Laghu Bhojan)
- Avoiding late-night eating, skipping meals, and improper foods combinations (Viruddh Ahara)
- Consuming food only when there is sufficient hunger (Kshudvan)
- Eating food calmly, which means neither too slow nor too fast (Na Ati Druta Vilambita)
Ayurvedic philosophy underscores the importance of maintaining a healthy Vihara, including Dinacharya (daily routine), Ratricharya (nightly routine), Sadavritta (code of conduct), and more, to foster physical, emotional, and mental well-being. As per Ayurveda, an individual’s lifestyle should be in harmony with nature.
- Following a regular daily routine (Dincharya), which includes waking up early, drinking warm water, performing Yoga or exercise, and having a healthy breakfast. It also advises taking regular breaks during the day, avoiding unhealthy habits, eating meals on time, and going to bed early.
- Following A nightly routine (Ratricharya) that includes applying oil to the body, taking a warm bath, and having a light dinner. It also recommends avoiding late-night activities and sleeping on time.
- Adhering to a code of conduct (Sadavritta) that includes truthfulness, non-violence, self-control, and contentment. It also advises having positive social interactions and avoiding negative emotions like anger, jealousy, and greed.
Ritucharya, or seasonal regimen is a unique lifestyle and diet regimen that helps individuals to cope with the physical and mental impacts of seasonal changes. According to Ayurvedic principles, the year is divided into 2 periods – Uttaryana(the northern solstice), and Dakshinayana (the southern solstice). These periods are further divided into 3 seasons each, making a total of 6 seasons- Shishir (winter season), Vasanta(Spring season), Grishma(summer season), Varsha (rainy season), Sharad (autumn season)and Hemant(Pre-winter season). Ayurvedic Ritucharya provides specific guidelines for each season, including diet, physical activity, and self-care practices, to help maintain optimal health and well-being throughout the year. For instance, the dietary regimen for Shishir Ritu includes consuming more foods with a sour taste while foods with sweet and bitter tastes are preferred during Sharad Ritu.
|Seasons||Dietary Regimen||Lifestyle Practices|
Mid-January to mid-March
|Foods with a sour taste are preferred. Cereals and pulses, wheat/gram flour products, new rice, and corn are advised. Intake of garlic, Haritaki, ginger, sugarcane products, and milk and milk products are recommended.||Taking bath with lukewarm water, massaging with oil, and wearing warm clothes are recommended. Exposure to sunlight is also recommended.Exposure to cold wind, and sleeping at late night, are to be avoided.
mid-March to mid-May
|Easily digestible foods should be consumed. Cereals, old barley, wheat, and rice are preferred. Among pulses, lentils, Mugda, and others, can be taken. Food items tasting Tikta (bitter), Katu (pungent), and Kashaya (astringent) are to be taken.
Curd, new grains, and cold drinks should be avoided.
|Bathing with warm water and doing massage (Udvartana) with powder of Chandana (Sandalwood) and Kesara (Saffron) are recommended.
Daytime sleeping is strictly contraindicated during this season.
Mid-May to mid-July
|Foods that are light and easily digestible should be taken. One should drink plenty of water and other drinks, such as buttermilk, fruit juices, mango juice, and churned curd with pepper.
Lavana and food with Katu (pungent) and Amla (sour) taste and Ushna (warm) foods are to be avoided.
|Activities like applying sandalwood and other aromatic pastes over the body, wearing light dresses, sleeping during the daytime, and enjoying cool moon rays are beneficial.
Excessive exercise needs to be avoided.
Mid-July to mid-September
|Foods with a sour and salty taste and of Sneha (unctuous) qualities are to be taken. Cereals, old barley, rice, wheat, etc can be taken. Foods, which are heavy and hard to digest should be avoided.||Using boiled water for taking bath and then doing body massage oil is advised. Medicated Basti (enema) is prescribed as an evacuative measure to expel vitiated Doshas.
Getting wet in rain and sleeping during the daytime should be avoided.
Mid-September to Mid-November
|Foods are having sweet and bitter tastes, and Laghu (light to digest) and cold properties are advised. Foods having the properties to pacify vitiated Pitta are advised. Wheat, green gram, sugar candy, honey, and Patola, are to be included in the diet. Hot, bitter, sweet, and astringent foods are to be avoided.||Individuals are recommended to take water purified by the rays of the sun in the daytime and rays of the moon at nighttime for drinking, bathing, etc.
Wearing flower garlands and applying a paste of Chandana (Sandalwood) on the body is advised.
Medical procedures, such as Virechana (purging), Rakta-Mokshana (bloodletting), etc, are highly beneficial during this season.
|Hemanta (late autumn)
Mid-November to mid-January
|People should take unctuous, sweet, sour, and salty foods. Among cereals and pulses, new rice, flour preparations, green gram, Masha, etc., are mentioned to be used. Healthy fats like Ghee, milk and milk products, sugarcane products, Shidhu (fermented preparations), Tila (sesame), and so on, are also to be included in the diet. It is recommended to avoid Vata aggravating items, such as Laghu (light), cold, and dry foods, and drinks like cold drinks, frozen foods, and more.||Exercise, body and head massage, use of warm water, Atapa-sevana (sunbath), application of Agaru on the body, heavy clothing, and residing in warm places is recommended.
Exposure to strong and cold wind, the habit of day sleep, etc., are mentioned to be avoided
Conditions Ayurveda can help with
Weak immunity can be caused by various factors like poor digestion, stress, exposure to environmental toxins, and vitiation of doshas. As per Ayurveda, some of the best ways to build a strong immune system include consuming warm, easily digestible foods that support digestive fire (Agni), managing stress, and getting enough rest. Regular use of Rasayanas also plays a vital role in boosting immunity. It detoxifies our system, nourishes our dhatus (body tissues), and enhances Ojas, the energy that supports immunity and strength.
Vitiation of doshas, particularly Vata and Pitta dosha, is the cause of sleep-related issues. Aggravated Vata causes feelings of stress and worry, which causes difficulty in falling asleep due to an over-active mind. As Pitta dosha is associated with metabolic activity and heat in the body, its vitiation leads to an overstimulated mind and body, thereby making you wake up in the middle of the night.
An imbalance in Kapha dosha can cause Diabetes (Madhumeha), which may arise due to various factors, such as a sedentary lifestyle, and unhealthy dietary habits. This imbalance leads to a decrease in the function of Agni (digestive fire), slow metabolism, and spikes in blood sugar levels. Other doshas, such as Vata and Pitta, may also contribute to diabetes. Ayurveda also considers diabetes as a hereditary condition that runs in families across generations. A holistic approach that includes Ahara(dietary changes), Vihara(lifestyle modifications), and Ayurvedic remedies(Aushadhi) is typically recommended to manage diabetes.
Ayurveda views the stomach as the gateway to good health, where the digestion, absorption, and assimilation of nutrients take place. However, digestive issues can interfere with these processes. Digestive problems are often caused by an imbalance in the digestive fire (Agni), which can be influenced by various factors such as improper dietary habits, stress, and emotional disturbances. When Agni is weakened or imbalanced, it can lead to symptoms such as indigestion, bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea.
Ayurveda offers a comprehensive approach to improving heart health, which involves balancing the doshas, optimizing digestion, and reducing stress. According to Ayurveda, heart health is closely linked to the balance of the doshas, particularly the Pitta dosha, which governs the heart and circulatory system.
Muscle & Joint Pain
Joint and muscle pain is caused by an imbalance in the Vata dosha, a dosha that governs movement in the body. This imbalance can be caused by various factors such as overexertion, injury, poor digestion, and stress. Ayurveda suggests managing these imbalances through diet, lifestyle modifications, and herbal treatments such as Abhyanga (oil massage), and the use of anti-inflammatory herbs and formulations.
Women Health Issues
Women's common health problems are linked to imbalances in the reproductive system and hormonal fluctuations caused by imbalances in the Pitta and Vata doshas. The female body also goes through a constant process of change and adaptation from menstrual cycles to pregnancy, motherhood, and menopause. During all such phases, they can address imbalances through lifestyle changes, herbal remedies, and self-care practices.
Men Health Issues
In modern men, vitiation of doshas causes several health problems like stress, fatigue, poor stamina, and low energy levels. At a certain age, a decline in hormone levels also causes poor immunity, emotional disturbance, and other issues. Such factors, combined with modern lifestyle make them susceptible to serious problems like arthritis, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Ayurveda offers an individualized approach based on body constitution, balancing doshas to prevent and manage such conditions.
Respiratory problems arise due to an imbalance in the doshas in the body. Aggravated Vata causes dryness and constriction in the respiratory system, leading to conditions such as asthma and dry cough. Issues such as bronchitis and sore throat are caused by Pitta imbalance. Vitiated Kapha leads to excess mucus and congestion in the respiratory system, thereby causing sinusitis and allergies.
Don’t Know Your Dosha Yet?
Do you know your body type?
According to Ayurveda, there are three main metabolic body types (physiologies), that form the basic framework of a person. These “Doshas,”
(Vata, Pitta, Kapha) are the essential forces behind an individual’s physical, mental, and emotional makeup. Let’s find out your body type.
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