Ever noticed why there is a sudden increase in skin issues, gut issues, and autoimmune conditions like inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis, and psoriasis in the last two decades?
Modern medical science may not have any reason for it but Ayurveda does. According to Ayurveda, ‘Roga Sarvepi Mandagni’, this Sanskrit verse from Acharya Vagabhata literally translates to, every disease in the human body is caused by MANDAGNI or as we can simply put it as poor digestive fire. When your digestive fire is low or imbalanced, the food you eat is not digested completely and undigested food particles form into ama or what we can simply call metabolic toxins which then accumulate in the body to give rise to most of the diseases. Virudhahara (faulty incompatible diet) and virudhvihar (faulty lifestyle) are the two most common causes that lead to the imbalance of digestive fire. In this article, let’s take a look at virudhahar or faulty incompatible combinations that shouldn’t be mixed together, especially with milk.
Virudhahara or incompatible diet is one of the most fascinating concepts of Ayurveda.1 Charak Samhita, the most ancient Ayurveda textbook mentions 18 types of food contradictions. Ayurveda mentions food that is mixed with the wrong combinations, the food that has undergone the wrong processing methods, and which is consumed at the incorrect time, at the wrong season, and in the incorrect dose are considered incompatible in Ayurveda.
1) Heated honey (processing incompatibility): Honey alone in Ayurveda is considered as nectar but if it undergoes the process of heating, the same honey becomes poisonous and is said to have fatal consequences on consumption.2
2) Eating ice creams and hot brownies (potency incompatibility): Ice creams have cold potency whereas brownies are consumed hot. Opposite potencies of the food items is believed to have ill effects on the digestive system. A lot of recent studies also point out to the fact that one should avoid regular consumption of food products at such varying temperatures.3
Ayurveda says, two food items that may stimulate the digestive fire and serve as nectar for the body separately, if combined can diminish the digestive fire and lead to gut health issues that eventually lead to ama (metabolic toxins) and then to diseases.
Milk is considered a complete meal in Ayurveda. It is guru (heavy), has madhur rasa (sweet taste), and madhur vipaka (sweet, nourishing post-digestive effect). Ayurveda says, milk in appropriate quantities, if digested properly, nourishes all the seven mentioned dhatus (building blocks) in Ayurveda, balances all three doshas, and increases the ojas (immunity) of the body.
Milk is a staple food and most of us like to begin our day with ample nutrition and energy that milk provides. But, have you ever noticed, most people feel uneasy, heavy, fatigued and bloated the entire day after consuming milk shakes, milk smoothies, and ice creams?
If taken alone or with suitable combinations, milk serves as a nectar for the human body. However, if it is combined with incompatible combinations it disrupts the process of nourishment of the body tissues and affects the immune system. Ayurveda mentions various things that shouldn’t be mixed with milk such as salt, yogurt, eggs, fruits, etc. Let us take a detailed look at what isn’t suitable to combine with milk!
They say, to be happy you need to have 3 things: a good bank account, a good cook, and good digestion. Milk is a heavy, nutrient-dense food item, which hampers and slows the process of digestion which is why mixing anything heavy, sour, and non-vegetarian with it is generally a bad idea. To maintain your gut health, make sure to never mix these things with milk:
However, completely ripe and sweet mangoes are exceptions and can be combined with milk because completely ripe and sweet mangoes have sweet taste and normal potency that doesn’t contradict with the potency and post-digestive effect of the milk.8
If you are thinking, Can we even mix anything with milk?
Well, milk is usually best taken alone as a complete meal. However, to balance out the heaviness and Kapha aggravating properties of the milk, you can always add nuts, dry fruits, a pinch of turmeric, figs, or ghee to your glass of plain milk.20 These products will add more nutrition and less side effects to the milk!
Acharya Charaka and Acharya Sushruta, the ancient Ayurveda scholars have mentioned that people who are young, exercise regularly, and have strong digestive fire can consume small quantities of incompatible food combinations without affecting their digestion.
But let's be honest, with our current lifestyle, the best of us are not able to exercise, eat well, and maintain good digestion. Hence it is always good to not indulge regularly in incompatible food combinations that may seem trivial but end up giving a big blow to your digestive and immune systems.
Written by: Dr. Palak Garg
Dr. Palak Garg is a practicing Ayurveda Doctor with an experience of 7 years in the field of Ayurveda. She has been actively consulting patients online all over the globe. She is on the expert panel of leading Ayurveda startups for product formulation. She aims at incorporating Ayurveda in the uber cool millennial lifestyles!
6. Charaka. Charaka Samhita (Charak Chandrika Hindi commentary). Brahmanand Tripathi, Ganga Sahay Pandey, editors. 1st ed. Varanasi: Chaukhamba Surbharti Prakashan; 2007. SutraSthana, 26/99. p.497
7. Charaka. Charaka Samhita (Charak Chandrika Hindi commentary). Brahmanand Tripathi, Ganga Sahay Pandey, editors. 1st ed. Varanasi: Chaukhamba Surbharti Prakashan; 2007. SutraSthana, 26/99. p.497
8. Bhavprakash Nighantu Amaradi Varg 5
9. Charaka. Charaka Samhita (Charak Chandrika Hindi commentary). Brahmanand Tripathi, Ganga Sahay Pandey, editors. 1st ed. Varanasi: Chaukhamba Surbharti Prakashan; 2007. SutraSthana, 26/80. p.497
10. Charak Samhita, Sutrasthana, 27th chapter, Shloak no. 18. ; https://ijapr.in/index.php/ijapr/article/view/622/551
11. Charaka. Charaka Samhita (Charak Chandrika Hindi commentary). Brahmanand Tripathi, Ganga Sahay Pandey, editors. 1st ed. Varanasi: Chaukhamba Surbharti Prakashan; 2007. SutraSthana, 26/83. P.497
20. Dr Brahmanand Tripathi & Dr Gangasahay Pandey, Charak samhita, charak chandrika- hindi commentary, edition 1995, Chaukhamba subharati Prakashan Varanasi, sutrasthana, chapter 26, sutra 106, p. 499.
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