This series of write-ups on Kshemakutuhalam has been a success and I have been receiving a lot of good reviews regarding this. These rare books in fact possess a lot of valuable information on prevention of health by simple methods or changes in the food habits.
In the last article we had been discussing on basic principles of meals. The chapter further continues with some very interesting suggestions-
1. People who eat excess like beasts and don’t have control over food intake would suffer from indigestion and this indigestion is the root cause of almost all diseases.
2. On the contrary, if a person doesn’t take food for a very long duration, the digestive fire will digest all bodily doshas and dhatus (this being told even in Ayurvedic classics).
3. Water intake– Now this is a very important concept. Many people in our clinics/hospitals ask us about this particular thing. Water actually has to be consumed in moderation. It must neither be taken too much nor too less. It must be according to your thirst and craving and must be taken in small quantities frequently.
Following this rule will maintain our digestive fire and aids digestion.
When to drink water– Water when consumed just before having meals will slow down digestion, when taken after meals will increase kapha and hence causes obesity.
But, when taken in sips, in between the meal will maintain all parameters perfectly. Hence, one must drink water in between the meal.
4. Another important rule of consuming water is that- We shouldn’t be consuming water when hungry and on the contrary, we must not consume food when thirsty.
Not following this advise might lead to many health issues.
5. Another golden rule says- over eating, improper eating and eating mutually contradicted food (virudha-ahara) must be avoided as they might cause vitiation of the doshas.
The author here beautifully defines, over-eating as eating above a heavy meal (or eating as soon as heavy meal is consumed). On the other hand, he describes improper eating as, either eating less or on improper time (Eg- eating in midnights etc).
6. Virudha-ahara- Next few versus have been dedicated to shedding light on wrong food combinations i.e. also called as virudhahara. Some examples given are,
– Milk with fruits of creepers, milk with fish meal, milk with salt, milk with sour ingredients like tamarind, milk with curds etc…
-Chicken must not be mixed with curds or alcohol.
-Meat of pigeons when cooked in mustard oil is told to be unhealthy/a wrong combination.
-Honey and ghee ( clarified butter) combination when taken in equal quantities is said to be a wrong combination
7. Eating good food gives instant strength and maintains the personality of the person. If food is taken in accordance with the rules mentioned in the classical texts, it imparts energy, immunity, enthusiasm and mental well-being.
8. The next verse is a beautiful information with similey. One must sit down for a while after having a meal. The other best thing to do is to just rest in supine position which will give physical strength to the person. But death runs behind the person who runs after a heavy meal…so, bare it in mind not to run after having food.
9. Subsequent verses tells about the desirable appearance of a cook. The author opines that a cook must be clean with habits and personal hygiene, friendly, talented in work and always following Dharma ( righteousness).
10. A cook must always work in guidance and understanding with a physician ( so that doctor and cook can together bring about health and taste in the food they cook ).
Author then, before ending the chapter, goes on to explain the importance of properly cooked and properly taken food for the well being of an individual .
Let’s not miss noticing the systematic approach of the book in describing writing culinary techniques..
Stay tuned for more articles in this series.
Happy time !!!