Obviously before I start I must say that this is a small post about Ayurveda from a Plant based cuisine perspective.
Ayurveda is a "Science of life" and to sum something like this up in an article is by far for me at least not possible.
A brief history of Ayurveda
Veda Vyasa, the famous Sage, is believed to have preserved the knowledge of Ayurveda in writing but the practices themselves were around long before written word came into play.
There is also another belief that God passed this knowledge down to his angles who then shared this with humans.
In total four main books of Vedic spirituality exist on health, astrology, government, military, poetry and ethical living. These four books are called the Vedas.
Ayurveda is a scientifically verifiable medical system and the practice uses herbs, foods, aromas, gems, yoga, mantra, rituals and other lifestyle techniques.
WHAT IS BALANCE / HEALTH IN AYURVEDA?
In Ayurveda health is seen as a balance of three humours that make up every human being.
Balance is created when all three of these humours are in equal part in our beings and there are six stages of disease acknowledged, these are;
5. Build up in new location
6. Recognisable and identifiable disease.
Ayurveda rely's on alternative therapy and diet to being the individual back into a balanced constitution and there are over 2000 medicinal plants that are classified and are used in herbal theory and diet in this practice.
The most well known practice in Ayurveda is the theory of Panchakarma using strict diet, oil massage & steam to remove toxins from the body before they manifest into disease.
THE 3 DOSHAS
THE FIVE ELEMENTS
These five elements are the building blocks of all life and make up each Dosha
ETHER / SPACE
DOSHA & ELEMENTS
KAPHA = EARTH / WATER = CONNECTIVE TISSUE = YIN
PITTA = FIRE / WATER = DIGESTIVE ENZYMES = YANG
VATA = AIR / ETHER = MUSCLES / JOINTS / NERVOUS SYSTEM = YIN / YANG
Each of us is made up of a completely unique combinations of these elements and Doshas and by finding out which element and Dosha takes dominance within our bodies we can take action to obtain balance by decreasing the dominating elements and increasing the less active elements creating within us overall health and wellness with our bodies and minds working at their optimal potential.
There are many online tests one can take and many further reading for you to determinate your humor build however it is most advised for you to visit a certified and experienced Ayurvedic doctor who can identify the element and Dosha imbalances and prescribe the correct herbs, diet etc for you to obtain balance but here, if you are already aware of your imbalance and what needs to be increased and decreased within your build up I have written in the next section of this post what food tastes can increase and decrease the Doshas...
If you have an excess in one of the Dosha you should decrease the following tastes in your diet...
Bitter, Salty, Dry, Light, Cold foods.
Sweet, Sour, Salty, Oil, Heavy or Indigestible foods.
Pungent, Sour, salty, Spice, Hot and acidic foods.
That's about all I will go into on this article but very soon ill be releasing a number of articles on Plant based recipes for each of the Dosha's.
I hope that you have found this simple overview on the topic of the Ayurvedic diet interesting, try to figure out your make up from the concept of Ayurveda and make small changes within your diet to see if you notice any shifts within your physical body, your emotions, your attitude and reactions or even if its only you are sleeping better in the evenings.