Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Ten Principles Underlying Wholesome Diet (More Guna and Dosha Fun!!!)

I'm reading the Charaka Samhita again, so it will probably be a few months of quotes on Ayurveda, Yeaaa!

Here are the guidelines for proper intake of food.  Following these will help to cultivate Sattwa, and a generally healthy state of being.  Of course with all things, there will be specific adjustments for each unique constitution.

Vimana 1:24-25

1. The food should be hot.
2. The food should be unctuous.
3. The food should be taken in proper quantity.
4. The food should be taken only after the previous meal is digested.
5. The food ingredients should not be contradictory in their potency.
6. The food should be taken in a pleasant place with required accessories.
7. The food should not be taken in excessive hurry.
8. The process of intake should not be exceedingly slow.
9. While eating, one should neither talk nor laugh; during this time one should concentrate on eating only.
10. Only such food should be taken which is wholesome to the physical constitution and psychic temperament of the individual.

Here in America we often break these rules, sometimes all of them at once, when we take our meals.  If you feel inclined try applying one of the following principles for a week.  Put down the book or get away from the office desk when you have lunch and see if it helps your digestion and your state of mind!

Wishing you all the best health!

Jay Shiv Shakti


  1. Can you explain #5? Is it kind of like "spicy" versus "sweet"?

    And does #2 mean I can have a lot of butter or oil? I like the sound of that, but I think that's my Kapha talking!! :)

  2. #2- Unctuous is a quality of Kapha, it is sticky moist and all around pleasant to eat for most of us. Unctuous foods will help the body to be healthy as well as the mind. It's that lovely Earth element that keeps us grounded and milk, butter, and oil are great examples of it. Of course all things in moderation, right!:) Kapha people don't need as much as Vata. No matter the dosha, excess of anything will cause imbalance. See how a little extra butter and ghee effects your physical health and mental state of being, adjust from there to find optimal state.

    #5 This applies to rules on food combination. An example of some of these are; eating fresh fruit separate from all other foods, not having milk with citrus fruits, no milk with meat, no milk with eggs, no milk with tomatoes, no equal portions of milk and ghee, no baking or boiling honey, and no eating cooked foods with raw foods. These are just a few examples. These combos are believed to cause disease or at least disturb the digestion which is the first place where disease begins.

    Hope this helps!

    Much Love

  3. Thanks to your post, today I had my lunch without my laptop as companion! To often food has become secondary on workdays. Today I ate lunch mindfully. Food first, not secondary to emails and orders.