Is Ayurveda vegetarian?

DSC_2933Is Ayurveda vegetarian?

Ayurveda does not promote complete vegetarianism as non-veg diet has a medicinal significance in Ayurvedic science. Although this diet is advised to be eaten in moderation and only under certain circumstances. Though animal protein in the form of meat is not encouraged as it is not essential for human growth and is also known to increase Tamas mental state.

Mentions in Ancient Indian Text

Charak Samhita, the ancient book of Ayurvedic medicine, provides guidelines on how to eat animal and vegetable products. It mentions about the nutritious role of meat in treating certain diseases or in times of dehydration, weakness or convalescence, but does not recommend routine meat eating.

Patnajali Yoga Sutra, an ancient treatise, emphasises non-violence (Ahimsa) as one of the core values of Ayurveda and negates non-vegetarianism on the basis of ethics and cruelty towards animals.

Satvic way of Life

Humans can maintain their health, balance and longevity, and as well have complete nourishment with pure and balanced vegetarian diet. A balanced diet rich in fresh Satvic foods provides the correct quantities of protein, vitamins and minerals for health, energy & vitality. It has been proved that vegetarians who feast on Satvic diet, and also inculcate the Satvic way of living by following the human morals of health and wisdom, can enjoy longer lifespan, have higher bone density and low incidence of disease as compared to non- vegetarians.

The Final Take

Finally, let us understand that whatever the everyday diet comprises of, it should produce good health and balance the doshas. Beyond the issues of health, ethics, economics, karma or religion, vegetarianism can re-awaken the essence of oneness with the living spirit which is omnipresent and help us largely to live life through compassion and simplicity.

Arishta is herbalised wine

The main herb in this Arishtam

is Gotu Kola, acclaimed in

both the East and West for its

powerful revitalizing effect on

the brain and nervous

system. Saraswati is the

Goddess of Learning and

Wisdom, and as befits its

namesake this nervine tonic is

excellent for students and

other “brain workers,”

promoting intellectual clarity

and sharpness. It is also used

in treating neuroses,

psychoses, epilepsy,

insomnia, stammering,

memory loss and depression.

Ingredients:

Sugar, Honey, Bacopa, Gotu kola,

Wild asparagus, Spanish woodbine,

Chebulic myrobalan, Vetiver, Ginger,

Dill, Tailed pepper, Transparent

woodrose, Long pepper, Clove,

Sweet flag, Ashwagandha, Beleric

myrobalan, Tinospora, Cardamom,

Embelia, Cinnamon, Gold.

Recommended use:

1-2 Tbsp./15-30 ml. twice daily.

Ayurveda sex rules

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Healthy sex rules as per ancient Ayurveda texts:

Avoid Sex:

1. With a woman who is not lying with her face upward:
This concept is for the people seeking conception. In olden days, there were no real contraceptives and sex was predominantly seen as the way to beget children. So, the olden Ayurveda teachers used to think that with women-on-top positions, the entry of semen into the vagina would not occur properly.

2. During her menstrual period:
It is contra indicated from a health perspective. Read my detailed article about it – sex during periods

3. With a person who is not liked (wicked), whose activities are displeasing
This refers to the mental aspect of sex. If the women does not possess good mental qualities, then she may take advantage of the man.

4. With a person whose private parts are dirty

5. With people who too obese or very emaciated.

6. During pregnancy and childbirth.
After delivery if it is normal delivery, a gap of 2 – 3 months is considered desirable. If it is C section, a gap of 5 – 6 months is desirable.

7. With any woman, other than one’s wife
Ayurveda strictly recommends fidelity and being faithful. It concentrates more on love factor than lust factor.

8. With animals like the goat, buffalo etc- Ayurveda is against bestiality.

9. In the abode of the teacher, gods and kings in monasteries, burial ground, places of torture and of sacrifice and meeting of four roads.

10. On days of special significance
Special days like new-moon, full-moon, eclipse, festivals, mourning days and others. This technique not only gives a break to both the partners from sex but also brings freshness. Occasional restraint is key for a healthy and refreshing sex experience.

11. With organs which are non-sexual (oral etc.)

12. When it is violent:
Avoid violence during sex. Ayurveda advocates sex as the means to express mutual love and respect and NOT anger, enmity and hate.

13. After a heavy meal:

Sex is also a form of exercise. This advice is akin to the rule that one should not do exercise immediately after meals. In Ayurvedic terms, it will cause indigestion problems and Vata imbalance.

14. When hungry and thirsty:
Sex is, like told before, an exercise and it will cause Vata increase. When you are hungry, there is already Vata and Pitta increase in the body. If you have sex when hungry, it may cause Vata and Pittarelated issues like dizziness, headache, bloating, gastritis etc.

15. In uncomfortable postures. – May cause injury

16. With children and old women

17. When there is urge to urinate or defecate.

18. During illness.
As per Ayurveda, Sex and immunity power are inter-related. That is why, abstinence is highly recommended during youth. Read my article on Asbtinence – Brahmacharya. The immunity power is explained with the term Ojas, in Ayurveda. During illness, Ojas is depleted. At that time, if you indulge in sex, it would further deplete the ojas. This will delay the healing process. Read more about Ojas

19. Sex frequency in different seasons –

– During winter, person can have sex everyday. This is because, the body strength is maximum during winters.
– Once in three days in Vasanta (spring) and Sharat (autumn). Moderate body strength during these seasons, hence moderate sex frequency.
– Once in 15 days in Varsha (rainy) and Nidagha (summer) – low body strength and hence very low sex frequency.

20. Improper sex side effects –

Giddiness, exhaustion, weakness of the thighs, loss of strength, depletion of tissues, loss of acuity of senses and premature death occur from improper indulgence in the woman.

21. Benefits of following healthy sex rules:

Good memory, intelligence, long life, health, nourishment, acuity of sense organs, reputation, strength and slow ageing accrue from disciplined (controlled) sexual life.

22. Things to do after sexual intercourse:

Post intercourse one should indulge himself in bath, applying scented paste, exposure to cool breeze, drinking of syrup prepared from sugar candy, cold water, milk, meat juice, soup, Sura – fermented liquor prepared from grains, Prasanna – clear supernatant fluid of Sura and then go to sleep; by these, the vigour of the body returns quickly to its abode again.

Alcohol and ayurveda

Tori -national Kerala drink from coconut
Tori -national Kerala drink from coconut

Alcohol – The Opposite of Ojas

The Sanskrit word Ojas meaning “vigor,” is the body’s most pure and subtle essence that’s extracted from food that has been completely digested. Ojas circulates throughout the bodily tissues and heart, sustaining the physical self, bringing clarity to the mind and balancing the emotions.

Alcohol  has light, hot, sharp, subtle, sour,  all pervading, swift, rough, expansive, and drying qualities that are exactly opposite of ojas. Alcohol is absorbed quickly into our blood and permeates to all parts and reaches the heart in no time, affecting the ten qualities of the Ojas. Alcohol has a direct effect on theSaattva (purity of the mind) causing agitation or intoxication, the opposite of bliss, calmness and health that Ojas provides.

Stay in control:

In moderation and with self control, alcohol can promote healthy digestion, stress relief, respiratory benefits and sound sleep. Alcohol has been subscribed as a co-drink with certain Ayurvedic medicines like Trayodashang Guggul and Kankayan Vati butunder a seasoned Ayurvedic practitioner.

If you are a non-alcoholic DO NOT start drinking alcohol thinking of the health benefits. It is for those who are already accustomed to alcohol, and have self control to. There are plenty other ways and means to get the above-said health benefits. Even regular alcoholics should take a break from alcohol for weeks or months to allow the body to recover its balance and health.

Arishtas- The Alternative

As an alternative try Arishtas or herbalized wines that are part of Ayurveda treatment for preventive as well as curative purposes. They are generally delicious and when taken appropriately under guidance of a qualified and knowledgeable Ayurvedic practitioner provide great health benefits.