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INTERNATIONAL

AYURVEDIC MEDICAL
JOURNAL

International Ayurvedic Medical Journal, (ISSN: 2320 5091) (August, 2017) 5(8)

CONCEPT OF PATHYA (WHOLSOME DIET) IN AYURVEDA

Basavashree Dhanraj1, M.S.Doddamani2

1 st
1 Year PG Scholar, 2Guide, and HOD,
PG Dept of RS & BK T.G.A.M.C Ballari, Karnataka, India

Email: basavashree06@gmail.com

ABSTRACT
Man has evolved his habitual dietary pattern to maintain good health, after a good deal of trial and
error. The culture and tradition developed thereafter also offered a number of combinations and
preparations to promote health through nutrition. The aim of Ayurveda is to promote and preserve the
health, strength and longevity of the healthy person and to cure the disease in the ailing and afflicted.
It has been considered equally essential to follow the dietic rules and regulations for a successful
treatment. In many instances food itself is used as a curative measure in Ayurveda and hence pre-
scribes specific diet pattern in the diseased conditions and also recommends some prophylactic and
interventional diet.

Keywords: Nutrition, Diet, Prophylactic nutrition, Interventional nutrition, clinical nutrition.

INTRODUCTION
Ayurveda is the only medical science which means not causing any harm to human body.
has insisted more importance on prevention of So, any food which is not harmful for body
disease and maintenance of health rather than channels and on the contrary which is whole-
treating any disease1. It insists on the ideal some soothing for body can be labelled as pa-
food to be consumed to attain and sustain good thya3.
health. The precisely constituted, calculated
cooked food is known as pathya. It is said to Need of Pathya
be ‘Mahabheshaja’ by Acharya Kashyapa2.  It is suggested in various places in Ay-
urveda
Definition  It is suggested in swasthavrittha as a rou-
The root term for pathya is ‘patha’ means tine to maintain the proper health.
various channels in body and ‘anapetam’
Basavashree Dhanraj & M.S.Doddamani:Concept Of Pathya (Wholsome Diet) In Ayurveda

 Pathya kalpana must be used in Fundamentals of pathya (Ayurvedic Diet)


Dinacharya and Rutucharya. 4 Ayrveda consists of three important factors for
 It is very much necessary for the patients health and disease i.e. oushadha (drugs),
to have the food which will keep their ahara (diet), vihara (conducts). The diet has
dhatu in a healthy state and will not let been advised based on the age, digestive
them get vitiated more from doshas. So the power, constitution, habitat, season, disease
patients must follow the ‘healthy way of and so on.
consumption of food’ i.e. pathya. Ayurveda has minutely described qualities and
 It is also used in panchakarma to boost the effects of different food on human body. As
fatigued annavaha srotas, purishavaha per Ayurvedic principles diet should contain
srotas to regain the healthy stage from all the Pancha mahabhutas(five basic ele-
weakened one. ments) as the body is made up of five basic
Importance of Diet elements8. Diet should also posses all the six
Ayurveda has recognized that the body is the rasas (sweet, sour, salt, astringent, bitter and
result or an outecome of the food we eat. pungent) as each rasa promotes specific diver-
Showing the importance of food Acharya sified effect of nourishment of body.
charaka has described that the life of all living Besides prescribing the medicines, Ayurveda
things is food and the entire world seeks food. also recommends some prophylactic and
Complexion, clarity, good voice, long life, un- interventional diet which also plays a major
derstanding, happiness, satisfaction, growth, role in the prevention and management of the
strength and intelligence are all established in disease. Food and regimen which is congenital
food5. (satmya), suitable protects the body tissues
Acharya sushruta described the food as the and controls their excess or vitiated conditions
food which nourishes and gladdens the heart and also helps in growth and development is
and directly increases the body strength. It im- called ‘pathya’. On the contrary, any food or
proves memory, digestive power, energy, regimen that is not beneficial to health is
strengthen mind, increases ‘ojas’ and increases called as ‘apathya’. Pathya if followed prop-
the longevity of life6. erly is competent of preventing many diseases.
Constituent of well balanced Diet Prophylatic Nutrition
Acharya charaka has described the constituent In Ayurvedic paediatrics various rituals (sam-
of wholesome diet in chapter 5 of sutrasthana skara) have been mentioned for the recogni-
which can be taken in daily diet. Good and tion of milestones and to extend the required
fine rice like ‘shastika’ shali, green gram, rock nutrition and immunity during the process of
salt, gooseberry, rain water, milk, ghee, flesh growth and development. These rituals im-
of animals living in jangala pradesha and prove intelligence, digestive fire, physical
honey should be adopted in diet generally7. power, and immunity.

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Table 1: Prophylactic Nutritional Interventions


Prophylactic nutrition Age Rationale
9
Swarna prashana Immediately Initial immunization to elicit rooting reflex and for
after birth maintenance of humidity
10
Phala prashana 6th month Allows vitamin c and other nutrients, laxative too
Anna prashana11 10th month Introduction of complex food substances gradually,
its delay results into deficiency disorders.

Interventional Nutrition Ayurveda mentions congenital and non con-


A detailed description regarding qualities and genital diet in respect of particular disease and
medicinal use of each and every food is avail- stresses that by the non-observance of those
able in the classical texts of Ayurveda. In rules, the disease may not be cured easily even
many diseases food itself is used as a curative with effective medication.
measure in Ayurveda

Table 2: Nutritional interventions in some major diseases


Disease Apathy (diet restricted) Pathya (diet advised)
Vata vyadhi Dry, cold, scanty food, fasting/ starvation etc Warm food, easily digestible food, milk
products etc.
Madhumeha Excessive use of milk products, fresh grains, Barley, old wheat, green gram etc.
sugar products etc
Kushta Use of uncooked food, over eating of sour, Old barley, wheat green gram, old ghee etc.
salty substances etc
Udara Consumption of adulterated uncooked, incom- Butter milk, green gram, old horse gram
patible food etc etc.
Arsha Consumption of dry food articles causing con- Barley, wheat, buttermilk, red variety of
stipation, fish, black gram etc rice etc.
Vrana Food and drinks which are saline, sour, pun- Food and drinks which are not too cold, not
gent, hot, and heavy etc too heavy etc
Amlapitta Food which are saline, pungent, sour and curd, Consumption of old rice, wheat, barley,
sesame etc. sugar, honey etc
Medoroga Milk products, fatty food substances, meat, Dry food, green gram, hot water, honey,
fish, day sleep etc fasting etc
Aamavata Curd, fish, jiggery, untimely taking food, in- Old rice, buttermilk, castor oil, garlic,
compatible food etc drumstick, hot water etc
Shwayathu Meat of domesticated, aquatic and marshy Soup of kulattha with pippali, soup of
land inhibiting animals, freshly harvested ce- mudga with trikatu, sesame, etc
reals and pulses etc

Pathya kalpana – clinical nutrition Ayrveda prescribes specific diet patterns in the
diseased conditions. According to the princi-

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ples of Ayurveda derangement of the digestive important to restore normalcy of the digestive
power occurs in many diseases and hence it is power.

Table 3: Clinical nutrition


Verities of clinical nutrition Ratio Uses
Manda 12– the filtered liquid portion obtained after boil- Carminative, digestive
ing one part of rice and fourteen parts of water 1:14
Peya 13- one part of rice and 14 parts of water boiled into Quickly digestible, stops loose mo-
water consistency 1:14 tions, nourishes the tissues
Vilepi14 – one part of rice four parts of water cooked into Strengthening, nourishes, good for
thick paste 1:4 heart , diuretic
Yavagu15 – one part of grain rice and six parts of water Strengthening, nourishing
cooked into thick paste 1:6

Role of pathya in nidana parivarjana con- one person may not be pathya to another per-
cept son. Even it changes in the same person de-
Nidana considers the disease causing factors pending upon various components like age-
like; like diet, life style, environmental factors physiological condition, conditions of dosha
and injuries as source of any disease which dhatu, area and habits of patients etc. So, con-
overall leads the imbalance of doshas. The an- sidering and elaborating the diet plan need a
cient text of ayurveda correlates causative fac- lot of attention from the physician. Certain
tors with the type of doshas associated with food items like red variety of rice, rock salt,
disease. In ayurveda, nidana parivarjana or green gram, milk, ghee etc are considered as
avoiding cause is considered as the first line of ‘Sada pathyakara’ means those which are
treatment in most of the diseases. beneficial at all times. These food items in-
Nidana parivarjana is avoiding the causes crease appetite, improves digestion, impart
which are responsible for the manifestation of taste to the food, hence should be included in
diseases and pathya is adopting the whole- the daily diet irrespective of the changes in
some diet in healthy individuals to stay fit and climate.
in patients to keep their channels in a healthy The chief purpose of Ahara is to promote
stage. The knowledge of both nidana and pa- growth, to supply force and heat, and furnish
thya is essential in preventing the disease material to repair the waste which is con-
manifestation and its progression. Along with stantly taking place in the body. This renovat-
nidanaparivarjana if pathya is adopted, the ing material must be supplied through the me-
treatment becomes successful. dium of eatable and drinkable food material,
and the best food is that by which the desired
DISCUSSION conclusion may be most readily and perfectly
Concept of pathya changes at every moment attained. The great diversity in character of the
and with every individual. What is pathya to several tissues of the body makes it necessary

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that food should contain a variety of elements, nasi: Chaukambha Vishwabharati;1996.


in order that each part may be properly nour- Khila sthana, 4th chapter, verses 4-6, 468pp
ished and replenished. This can be achieved by 3. Agnivesha. Charaka samhita. Commentary
proper following of dietic rules. by Chakrapanidatta. Hindi commentary by
Practically pathya is advised as a diet plan in kashinath shastry. 8th Edition. Varanasi:
healthy individuals to let them stay fit, to the Chaukambha Sanskrit Samsthana; 2004.
patients to keep their channels in a healthy Sutra sthana , 25th chapter, verse 45, 324pp
stage and in patients getting treated with 4. Agnivesha. Charaka samhita. Commentary
panchakarma to help their mahasrotas coming by Chakrapanidatta. Hindi commentary by
back to normal. kashinath shastry. 8th Edition. Varanasi:
Chaukambha Sanskrit Samsthana; 2004.
CONCLUSION Sutra sthana , 5th and 6th chapter
The diet consumed according to power of gas- 5. Agnivesha. Charaka samhita. Commentary
tric fire, at proper time with full concentration by Chakrapanidatta. Hindi commentary by
will help to be healthy if not will cause dis- kashinath shastry. 8th Edition. Varanasi:
eases. Less quantity causes malnutrition and Chaukambha Sanskrit Samsthana; 2004.
more quantity causes obesity and faulty food Sutra sthana , 27th chapter, verses 349-350,
habits are one of the root causes of the life 421pp
style disorders. Hence to live healthy and fit 6. Acharya sushrutha. Sushrutha samhita.
one should follow dietic rules. Nibhandasangraha commentary of Dal-
It has been considered equally essential to fol- hana acharya and Nyapanjika commentary
low the dietic rules and regulations for suc- of Gayadasa. Edited by Yadavaji Tri-
cessful treatments. The significance of pathya kamaji Acharya. 8th edition. Vara-
has been quoted as, ‘there is no need of any nasi:chaukambha Sanskrit
th
medicine if an ailing individual follows the samsthana;2005. Sutra sthana, 46 chapter,
dietic rules (pathya) because medicine alone is verse 3, 214pp
not sufficient for complete recovery from the 7. Agnivesha. Charaka samhita. Commentary
disease.’ by Chakrapanidatta. Hindi commentary by
kashinath shastry. 8th Edition. Varanasi :
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