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  • 22 November 2021

As described in Ayurveda, our body comprises of seven dhatus or tissues (Saptdhatus), namely

  1. Blood or ‘Rakta’
  2. Plasma or ‘Rasa’
  3. Fat or ‘Meda’
  4. Muscle or ‘Mamsa’
  5. Bone or ‘Asthi’
  6. Bone-Marrow or ‘Majja’
  7. Reproductive fluid or ‘Shukra’

These Dhatus are nourished by the food we eat and a wrong diet interrupts our metabolism and tissues do not get ample nourishment. For instance, dry skin and fatigue; hair loss and burning sensations, joint pains and ulcers and dry hair or skin are signs of a depleted Rasa, Rakta, Mamsa and Meda Dhatu respectively.

Consumption ‘Viruddha Ahaar’ or wrong food combinations in an antagonistic diet or ‘Viruddha Anna’ makes one prone to disbalance of Doshas and systematic disorders. These disorders may further cause impotency, blindness, insanity, coma or fainting, intoxication, abdominal distention, stiffness in neck, anaemia, indigestion, dermatological disorders, intestinal disorders, swelling, gastritis, fever, and infertility besides a possible impact on the immune, endocrine, digestive, nervous, and circulatory systems in the body. Consuming Food which is opposite in combination, processed inappropriately, mixed in wrong dosage, and/or at improper time of the day and in inappropriate climatic conditions can lead to ‘Viruddha Ahara’

Some of the common examples and causes of such Viruddha Ahaar include:

  1. ‘Veerya Viruddha’ (potency related)- Milk and Chicken or Fish
  2. ‘Sanskar Viruddha’ (processing related)- Heated or cooked Honey
  3. ‘Matra Viruddha’ (ratio related)- Honey and Cow Ghee in equal quantity
  4. ‘Krama Viruddha’ (sequence related)- Curd at Night, Dravya at the end of meals
  5. ‘Kala Viruddha’ (climatic related)- Pungent or Hot substance in summer; Cold substances in winter
  6. ‘Samyoga Viruddha’ (combination related)- Banana and Milk
  7. ‘Parihar Viruddha’ (contraindication related) –Cold water after hot tea

Did you know that Milk must not be combined with fruits, vegetables, yoghurt, or salty substances and should not be boiled with tea! Milk contains group of proteins called Caseins and Tea contains catechins which have beneficial effects on the heart. When milk is added to tea, it interacts with caseins and reduces the concentration of tea catechins.

Milk contains lactogen and banana contains common allergen and their combination may aggravate an asthmatic attack.

Reheating cow milk,  consuming milk with eggs, and having excessive sugar with saturated fats can lead to various immunologic disorders.

It has been also observed that rheumatoid arthritis patients who consume curd at night often complain of increased morning stiffness.

Further, reheating oil leads to oxidative rancidity due to exposure of fatty acids to oxygen in the presence of heat or light, with implications for degenerative illness and artherosclerotic disease.

In addition to avoiding the above harmful combinations, it is also suggested that we ensure that our meals are fresh and not reheated. Best way to consume meals is to sit upright and eat slowly. Similarly, water must be taken at room temperature, should be slowly sipped and consumed in a sitting posture.

Keeping these caveats in mind while planning our dietary choices and habits would go a long way for ensuring well-nourished and balanced Saptdhatus. 

 Afterall, health is not only what we eat, but also how we eat and when we eat!