Is Pathya (Diet Rules) Only For Ayurvedic Medicines?

Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD
In practice whenever Pathya (whoelsome diet and habits) and Apathya (unwhoelsome diet and habits) words are usually associated with Ayurvedic medicine and treatment. Even Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy has also some diet rules as part of treatment.

People think that Pathya and Apathya are not applicable to Allopathic medicines. Quite interestingly, even the allopathic physicians do not usually prescribe such restrictions or do not advice anything that is mandatory during their medication!

What is the reason behind this?
1. Allopathic system and related texts do refer and recommend several such wholesome and unwholesome food and habits in most of the illness cases. Even in their teaching and treatment protocol this is well explained. But diet rules are seldom advised by allopathic doctors.

People who are take alloapthic medicines also believe that following Pathya rules is not mandatory.
Read related: Health Benefits Of Vegetarian Diet – Ayurvedic Opinion

2. Even though the texts refer several food and vegetables and other eatables with reference to specific disease contexts, well defined explanations are not found in any texts which is an hindrance to such recommendations.

Also particular molecule or compound or their combinations in totality how they mutually react with the food is not well defined and hence doctors are in dilemma what to advice and what not to, with respect to pathya and apathya.

Whereas all these points are well explained with strong ayurvedic principles and narrations in each contexts.(That is why ayurvedic books like Charaka-Sushruta Samhita-Vagbhata-Bhavaprakasha-Kaiyyadeva-Yogaratnakara etc refer different chapters to narrate the quality-property-advantages and disadvantages in each level like Dosha-Prakruti-Roga-Avastha-Desha-Oushadha etc)

The allopathic system looks food in terms of chemical compounds like proteins, carbohydrates, fats, etc. whereas Ayurveda even considers the physical aspects such as hot / cold, heavy to digest, light to digest, unctuous, dry etc.

The primary belief of Allopathic doctor lies with the medicines that he prescribes. The primary belief of an Ayurveda doctor lies in patient’s innate ability (immunity) in fighting disease and then on foods, and then on therapies and medicines.

In fact in recent days dietetic and neutraceutics itself taking priority in treatment and many allopathic doctor oppose such ideologies; according to them only medicines  will work and not the food and beverages.

Most of the Allopathic physicians believe that the medicinal potency is 100 or 1000 times more than the food and eatables. But body immunity can be built more appropriately from food and not by merely with  medicines of prolonged period.

Only diet part that allopathic doctors prescribe is, if the medicine reacts with food.

Ayurvedic principles of Pathya and Apathya is advised as per patient’s 
Desha – habitat
Dosha – dominant Dosha that is causing disease.
Bala – strength of the patient
Kala – current season and also duration of illness. Eg: Read season based diet rules for summer
Prakruti – natural body type of the person. Eg: Read Vata Diet
Satwa – tolerance capacity of the patient
Vyadhi – diet related to specific disease. Eg: Diet for chronic asthma
Oushadha – diet based on nature of medicines. Eg: Hot water along with ghee or oil based medicines.

Broad mindedness (leaving the System related bias), community oriented approach (leaving commercial thinking), holistic thinking (not treating mere the disease but also the whole body itself, including the due consideration of mind), incorporation of traditional knowledge etc will surely help the sufferers to the maximum extent.

Probably this may reduce even the toxic effects/undesired effects of the drugs, chances of drug resistance/intolerance, in prescription of minium drugs and utilization of the best available medicinal resources too.
Read related: 11 Ayurvedic eating tips for good health

If carried so, I suspect, even the medicines/molecules( of allopathic system) which we have discarded on account of toxicity or untoward effect can also be reused/repracticed which will remain as a boon to those pharmaceutical companies too.
I wish  and eagerly watch for such a delightful day.
I am open to discuss any debatable matter in this respect.
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD

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