Bringing back ancient wisdom: How common natural food products help us keep healthy
When you hear ‘raisins’, what do you think of? Perhaps kheer with raisins in it, or a bar of rum-n-raisins-flavoured chocolate?
When I hear ‘raisins’, a voice in my head goes - ‘great cleanser’.
No, I am not trying to be funny here. I am simply trying to point out that many herbs, spices and other food products we commonly use in our kitchen have plenty of medicinal qualities locked into them, but we know them more for their flavour. Many of these natural food products found their way into our diet because of their health quotient, and we must try and bring back that ancient wisdom into practice.
It isn’t that we have completely lost the wisdom in traditional Indian diet and food products. As a child, I would be given some of these home remedies to treat smaller health issues like stomach pain. In turn, I ended up prescribing them in my practice. But unless we understand them fully, we might not be able to pass it on to future generations.
According to Ayurveda, there are three types of bio-elements or Doshas present in our body – Vata, Pitta, Kapha. Vata refers to movement, and is dry, cold, light and minute in nature. Pitta is characterised by heat, moistness, liquidity, and sharpness and sourness, and is a marker of metabolism. Kapha is responsible for anabolism, and is characterised by heaviness, coldness, tenderness, softness, slowness and lubrication. To understand how food helps with our health, we must understand the impact of these foods on the balance of these bio-elements in the body.