09 Sep The Root Cause Of All Disease – An Ayurvedic Perspective + Practical Tips To Improve Digestion
The Root Cause Of All Disease
Ever get that heavy feeling with unclear thinking and tiredness especially after a meal? According to the science of Ayurveda [“The Science Of Life”] this lack of vitality is often due to the formation of toxins [“ama”] – which arises due to poorly digested food material and is considerered unsuitable to the body. After all, if we eat food to gain energy – why then should we feel deprived of energy after the consumption food? The answer is quite simple as we shall see below.
Respect Your Digestive Flame
In most ancient cultures fire was revered because it provided light, warmth and the ability to cook food. In some cultures [i.e. vedic culture], fire is considered sacred as it represents the transformation between the mortal world and the heavens above. We can use this same metaphor to represent the flame within – the digestive flame called “Agni”. We can think of this digestive flame as a metaphor for all metabolic functions in the body. Therefore, it is thought that by simply respecting the digestive flame “Agni” we can directly influence all significant transformations of the body – digestive function, cellular metabolism, mental perception, and overall health and well-being.
The Importance Of “Gut Health”
Currently there is much attention centered around “gut health” in the scientific community. In fact, Hippocrates – the father of modern medicine is often quoted as saying, “you are only as healthy as your digestion” and “all disease begins in the gut”. Even more impressive is the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda which has stated this same very concept thousands of years ago.
Ancient Wisdom Of Ayurveda
“When food is digested improperly because agni [the digestive flame] is low the undigested food becomes vitiated [disturbed] and collects in the stomach. It is known as ama [toxins].”
– Astangahrdaya Samhita
The Root Cause Of All Disease – “Ama”
As mentioned above, “ama” is considered undigested or poorly digested food material which is thought to be toxic to the body. We can think of this simply as poorly digested food material which then enters into the colon only to create a hostile environment within the G.I. tract; i.e. supporting unhealthy gut flora. Not only does this support an unhealthy gut flora but even worse it supports the process of fermentation and putrefication. Now, if that sounds pretty toxic to you – you’re absolutely correct, because it most certaintly is.
Common Causes Of Ama:
The main cause for the formation of ‘ama‘ or undigested food material is impaired digestive function. Therefore, factors which impair digestion and increase the formation of ama include:
– overeating and consuming cold substances
– irregular eating habits
– overconsumption of raw food
– eating heavy and fried food
– incompatible food combining
– eating with extreme emotions [i.e. anxiety, stress]
– sleeping before food is properly digested
Practical Tips To Help Improve Digestion
Although very simple these basic principles, if followed routinely, are often enough to improve your digestion and overall health. Often it’s the simple things that are most effective and oddly enough – overlooked. That said, let’s quickly take a look at the basics.
– All food should be freshly prepared, nutritious, and appetizing
– Food should generally contain all 6 tastes balanced to one’s needs
– We should leave 4-6 hours between meals with no snacking in between
– Eat your largest meal during the day when the sun it at its peak
– Relax and enjoy your meals in a calm soothing environment
Another Great Consideration … Trikatu – The Digestive Herbal Formula:
Trikatu is a formula combination of equal parts ginger, black pepper and pippali. The name trikatu means three peppers or the three pungents. It is a wonderful herb with strong digestive properties.
Wait There’s More! … 10 Golden Rules For Healthy Eating
1. Food should be warm
2. Food should be unctuous [oily]
3. Food must be taken in proper quantity
4. Allow enough time between meals
5. Avoid food with contradictory properties
6. Do not eat in a hurry
7. Do not eat too slowly or too quickly
8. Pay attention to your food while eating
9. Do not eat food which is too hot or too cold
10. Take food with proper respect for yourself