Ayurveda in the kitchen, what you need to know

Ayurveda in the kitchen, what you need to know

Always defined and considered the sister science of yoga, Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India, is, literally, the science of life (from Ayur: life, longevity and Veda: science, knowledge). It is a system that has its roots over 5,000 years ago and which, as a holistic medicine, considers man as a whole, from a physical, psychic and spiritual point of view.


The main purpose of Ayurveda is well-being in its entirety and for this reason its gaze turns both to the cure of a disease, as to the prevention of a state of imbalance and therefore to the maintenance of health. 

According to Ayurveda, in fact, health is a natural and proper condition of man, who lives, or should do so, in harmony with the laws of nature, and any disease is nothing but a departure from this path.

The doshas, ​​the Ayurvedic constitutions

Everything that exists in the Universe is made up of the five elements:

  1. Land;
  2. water;
  3. fire;
  4. air
  5. ether. 

In the human body , for example:

  •  the solid structures of bones , muscles and cartilages can be traced back to the earth ;
  • gastric juices, mucous membranes, fluids belong to water ;
  • digestive processes, temperature and sight call to fire and so on.

Although present in each one, these elements can be grouped with different percentages and for Ayurveda this gives rise to different constitutions or doshas: vata, pitta, kapha and their four combinations .

Ayurvedic constitutions determine and influence a person’s gross or physical appearance , as well as his more subtle and psychological characters.

A vata person , in whom the elements of air and ether predominate, will be very different – both in body and temperament – from a pitta individual , in whom fire and water are predominantly present, and far removed from a kapha , fact especially of water and land.


Balance according to Ayurveda

Knowing and respecting one’s constitution is one of the keys to maintaining a state of health, energy and balance that allows you to live a happy and long life or, on the contrary, to restore a state of vikriti, imbalance or disease.

Ayurveda offers everyone a personal recipe to prevent or balance these states of disconnection and does so with multiple solutions: treatments with medicated oils, herbal remedies, good behavioral habits, commensurate physical exercise, relaxation techniques and dietary advice. 


Ayurveda in the kitchen

Diet is therefore a very important factor in Ayurvedic therapy . The energy requirement of each person passes through the quality, as well as the quantity, of the food ingested.

In fact, to ensure the good functioning of the organism, it is advisable to favor the intake of foods suitable for its constitution and avoid those that can aggravate states of inflammation or fatigue.

According to Ayurveda, every healthy meal should contain the six flavors or rasa, to increase or pacify the vata , pitta or kapha energy, and provide the body with the calming, warming or purifying effect it needs.

Ayurvedic cuisine is rich in cereals , fruit, vegetables and legumes and makes great use of spices – including turmeric, ginger, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon and black pepper, just to name a few -, appreciated above all for their healing properties.

The type of ingredients , their combination, cooking method, seasonality, even the most suitable time of day for consuming one food instead of another: everything contributes to this delicate game of balance.

Although only an Ayurvedic doctor can make a correct analysis of a person’s state of health and prescribe the most appropriate treatment, an interesting reading to learn more about this topic is ” Ayurvedic cuisine” by Amadea Morningstar and Urmila Desai (Edizioni Il Punto d ‘Meeting) .

A manual dedicated to the basic principles of nutrition according to Ayurveda, with theoretical insights and a practical part, which collects over 250 recipes, tables and advice to sit at the table with taste and in total harmony. 

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