Ayurvedic Nutrition

dreamstime_s_28629854In the ancient medical system of India we find use of the oldest and most time-tested approaches to nutrition. Its science of food and diet is an integral part of philosophy of man, of his consciousness and of his relationship to the universe.

The result is an approach to diet that is unsurpassed both in its profundity and sophistication as well as in its practicality and simplicity. Here the selection and preparation of food is seen as inseparable from the treatment of disease and the cultivation of vibrant health.

Through its long history, it would appear that Ayurveda witnessed the rise and fall of many schools of therapy ranging from herbal medicine to physical therapy and massage, surgery, psychiatry, the use of medication, mantra and many other treatment modalities. Each of these were integrated into physician=s practice, and the conceptual scheme expanded to accommodate them. As a result the school of Ayurveda has a breadth and a depth that could be unparalleled in the history of medical science.

This also made it possible for the Ayurvedic physician to develop, over thousands of years, an extremely complex and complete science of herbology and pharmacology. The science of nutrition is vast and comprehensive and is not separated from pharmacology and no distinction is made between foods and drugs, herbal and mineral substances.

The world of nature and the predominance of wild fruits, vegetables, herbs and game provided the Ayurvedic physicians with a rich store of foods having a wide variety of very specific effects. Our western analytical science of nutrition may have attained greater precision at the expense of a decline and loss of appreciation of the richness and versatility  of natural resources, both in the world of foods and in the world of human physiology.