Charakokta Concept of Aahara - A Major Upastambha of Life
Keywords:Aahara, Hitakara Aahara, Ahitakara Aahara, Ashta-Ahara-Vidhi-Vishesh-Ayatanani
Charaka Samhita, one of the major treatises of Ayurveda, focuses on Swasthya-Rakshana in Swastha individuals as well as Vikaraprashamana in patients. Aahara is considered to be one of the sub-pillars of life along with Swapna and Brahmacharya. Charaka Samhita has mentioned the importance of Aahara in the maintenance of health as well as the treatment of various diseases. A proper diet maintains the physiological homeostasis of the body as well as proves supportive in combating diseases. Ayuktiyukta Aahara can cause various diseases whereas Yuktiyukta Aahara provides sustenance to the body, remains important for disease prevention and even therapeutics too. The present study was carried out to critically review the concept of Aahara (diet) in given in Charaka Samhita. Charaka Samhita with its Ayurveda-Deepika commentary by Chakrapanidatta along with the other classical texts of Ayurveda and their major commentaries were reviewed as primary source of information.
Aahara has been classified based on its source into twelve classes, based on the forms of ingestion, Aahaara is classified into 4 types. It is also classified according to Rasa, Veerya, Vipaka, Guna, Prabhava, etc. The classification is also based on effects is Hitakara (wholesome) and Ahitakara (unwholesome) Aahara. Charaka Samhita has provided guidelines regarding health promoting eating practices under Ashta-Ahara-Vidhi-Vishesh-Ayatanani (Eight attributes related to diet consumption) which are responsible for deciding the wholesomeness or unwholesomeness of the diet.
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