Dec 4, 2010

Ayurvedic Concept of Ahaar Pachan or Digestion

Dec 4, 2010
Ayurveda is a holistic healing science. The main objective of human life according to Ayurveda is to attain the following four goals or Purushartha:
  • Pursuing one’s religion (Dharma)
  • Attaining economic and financial development (Artha)
  • Attaining regulated sense-gratification) (Kama) and
  • Accomplishing liberation (Moksha).
The basic objective for attaining all the four goals is health and that is Arogya.
Aahar in Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, the term food is referred as Aahar. It includes all the food items that we ingest, whether solids or liquids. Food is the only thing which we allow to enter in our bodies very easily and which show an impact sooner or later in our overall heath and body structure. In Ayurveda, aahar or food is very important. That which passes through the aaharan process is called aahar. Food needs to consumed very carefull as some food is injurious to health. Food has to be adequate in terms of quantity/amount. The food that we intake also need to balance in terms of calories and nutrients. Food has got psychological and socio-cultural values also and it is this factor for which Ayurveda scores over others.
Aahar Pachan in Ayurveda
The process of digestion is known as Aahar Pachan in Ayurveda. In Ayurveda, any food (ahar) passes through the following:
  • Taste (Rasa)
  • Uses (Guna)
  • Potency (Veerya)
  • Metabolism resultant (vipak), and
  • Impact (prabhav)

It is said that rasas undertake gunas and is undertaken by veerya. This is suppressed by vipak and finally prabhav makes all of them resultant. Therefore, when we consume food, we must take into consideration the fact that our food should have calories needed as per age. Similarly calorie intake during pregnancy and lactation and disease or recuperation should also be considered. Calories must come in balanced form in terms of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Food is consumed as solids or semi-solids and liquids. Salads must be an important segment of food. Water other than juices and milk is needed and must be pure and adequate.
The main aim of Ayurvedic Aahar Pachan or the digestion process should be such that human beings can achieve the ultimate goal of the science. i.e., maintaining health and treating disease.
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