We all desire for a
long and healthy life. To achieve this our daily
diet plays a pivotal role. The old saying 'We are
what we eat' should be ignored at no cost. A diet
which has all essential nutrients, balanced,
cooked in a proper manner, consumption of two or
more food items not contrary in qualities to each
other is considered good and wholesome for the
body and that which is opposite to the above
mentioned qualities i.e. not balanced, not cooked
adequately or cooked too much, food items
differing in qualities to one another is
considered unwholesome, harmful and incompatible.
Consumption of such food leads to improper
formation of Dhatus (body tissues), causing many
rogas (systemic diseases) in the body. In this
newsletter we shall see in detail about Viruddha
Ahara (Unwholesome / Incompatible foods) and the
diseases caused by their intake.
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Enjoy reading and get benefited by
Vaidya Lakshmi Anoop
Viruddha Ahara (Incompatible Food Items)
The literal meaning of the word Viruddha is opposite or contrary. That food which is wrong in combination (Samyog), improperly processed (Sanskara), consumed in inappropriate time of day or in wrong season is Virudhha Ahara (Incompatible food) and it can lead to disease formation. Food items which are opposite in qualities or which has opposite action on the tissues may exert undesirable effects if processed in a particular form or combined in a certain proportion or consumed at an incorrect time. Some incompatible combinations which may lead to diseases are explained below. A person desirous of healthy and disease-free life should avoid incompatible food combinations.
Incompatible Combinations :
1) Desha Viruddha
(Incompatibility with respect to place) –
Excessive intake of hot and sharp food in dry
regions and sweet, unctuous food in marshy regions
is an example of Deshviruddha.
2) Kaala Viruddha
(Incompatibility with respect to season) –
Excessive consumption of pungent and sharp food
articles in summers and cold, dry food in winter
season is an example of Kaala Viruddha.
3) Agni Viruddha
(Incompatibility with respect to digestive fire) -
Intake of light to digest food when there is
strong digestive fire and heavy substances in weak
4) Maatra Viruddha
(Incompatibility with respect to quantity) - Honey
and cow's ghee when consumed in equal quantity is
5) Satmya Viruddha
(Incompatibility with respect to habit) - Intake
of light to digest and dry food by a person who is
accustomed to eating heavy and unctuous food is an
example of Satmya Viruddha.
6) Dosha Viruddha
(Incompatibility with respect to Dosha) – The use
of diet, herbs and treatment which are similar in
qualities to the predominant dosha present in a
7) Sanskar Viruddha
(Incompatibility with respect to mode of
preparation) - Heated or cooked honey is
considered to be like poison for the body while
uncooked honey is like nectar.
8) Veerya Viruddha
(Incompatibility with respect to potency) - Intake
of hot and cold potency food together in a meal is
incompatible. Eg. Intake of fish and milk
9) Koshtha Viruddha
(Incompatibility with respect to alimentary canal)
– Administration of ununctuous herbs or substances
in small quantity to a person having Krura Koshtha
(hard / costive bowels) and administration of
large dose of laxatives to a person having Mridu
Koshtha (soft bowels).
10) Avastha Viruddha
(Incompatibility with respect to status of health)
- Consumption of heavy to digest, cold potency and
unctuous foods that aggravate Kapha by a person
after sleep and intake of light to digest, hot
potency and dry foods that aggravate Vata by a
person after physical exertion are examples of
11) Krama Viruddha
(Incompatibility with respect to sequence) -
Taking hot water after honey and consuming curd at
night is incompatible.
12) Parihar Viruddha
(Contraindication Incompatibility) — Consuming
cold water immediately after having hot tea or
13) Upachaar Viruddha
(Incompatibility with respect to treatment) -
Intake of cold items after taking ghee.
14) Paaka Viruddha
(Incompatibility with respect to cooking) –
Cooking food with bad fuel and undercooking or
overcooking or burning food during the process of
15) Samyog Viruddha
(Incompatibility with respect to combination) -
Intake of banana or sour fruits or sour food items
16) Hriday Viruddha
(Incompatibility with respect to palatability) -
Intake of unpleasant food.
17) Sampad Viruddha
(Incompatibility with respect to quality of food)
- Intake of substances that are not mature or over
mature or putrified.
18) Vidhi Viruddha
(Not following the rules of eating) - Not eating
food which is warm, unctous and in appropriate
quantity, eating too slow or fast, talking and
laughing while eating and eating without
Diseases caused by Viruddha Ahara
Viruddha Ahara causes
various skin diseases, ascites, fistula-in-ano,
intoxication, abdominal distension, fever,
rhinitis, stiffness, swelling, anaemia.
Incompatible foods does not produce diseases in
those who are habituated to physical exercise, who
are strong, who have good digestive power, who are
accustomed to it by it's long use and who consume
it in little quantity.
The treatment of
diseases caused by Virudhha Ahara is Shodhana
(purificatory therapies which includes mainly
emesis and purgation) and Shamana (palliative care
with herbs and measures contrary to the nature of
the disease). One should gradually discontinue the
intake of incompatible and unhealthy food items
and start consuming healthy foods and not abruptly
as withdrawal symptoms due to sudden
discontinuance of unhealthy substances may occur.
By discontinuation of unhealthy foods and intake
of healthy foods, bad effects of unhealthy
measures will decrease and good effects of healthy
masures being adopted will increase, thus striking
a balance restoring health to the body once again.
Thus by treating the diseases caused by Virudhha
Ahara and by consuming healthy food in proper
quantity, the person can attain optimal health and
This article is written by Vaidya Janaki Jayaraman, Consultant Physician at Chakrapani Ayurveda Clinic & Research Center.
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