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 bunch 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.
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).
2. 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.
3.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 advice might lead to many health issues.
5. One more 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,
a) Milk with fruits of creepers, milk with fish meal, milk with salt, milk with sour ingredients like tamarind, milk with curds etc…
b) Chicken must not be mixed with curds or alcohol.
c) Wine becomes incompatible when mixed with paayasa (a sweet dish made of milk) and krushara( can be understood as kichadi).
d) Peacock meat when fried in mustard oil becomes incompatible.
e) The next interesting verse says that, honey, ghee, animal fats, sesame oil and water are opposite to each other. This can be understood as, honey being opposite to ghee, Ghee being opposite to animal fats, animal fat being opposite to sesame oil and lastly, sesame oil being opposite to water. These combinations can be avoided when we cook.
7. Subsequent lines tell about our postures to be adopted after a heavy meal. One who sits down after a meal will become corpulent, one who sleeps supine will have good physical strength , one who sleeps on his left would get longer life but death runs behind the person who runs after having food.
8. A cook who has got his culinary skills from his fore fathers, who is clean, faithful and can prepare tasty dishes are really praiseworthy. Mentioning of these qualities is very rare with respect to a cook, specially these days.
9. Further the author says that a cook must possess all qualities of a physician and also must know the nature of his assistants in the kitchen. Now this is what we actually call a 360 degree angle of wellness and smooth functioning of the cooking area.
10. Later in the last couple of versus, author says, having food according to the season and body type along with following all the rules of cooking nourishes your body like nectar whereas, on the contrary, it might prove to be a poison to your health.
Stay tuned as we reach you guys with the next chapter.
Happy time !!!!