Fasting is a part of the Indian culture. It is also related to our religion. There are ten consumption treatments are awakened in Ayurveda and upwaasa is one of them. Ayurveda guides three therapies for the wellbeing and good health i. e. spiritual, psychological and physical. Many experts believe that fasting (upwaasa) is mixture of all these three. Fasting encourages digestive fire. As per Ashtang hridiya, intermittent fasting is not only an eating sobriety, its pattern of consumption. It’s a method for planning meals to get the most advantageous health impact out of them The whole purpose of eating is for the food to absorbed by your body in form of saar (nutrition) or excrete from the body in the form kitta (stool, urine, sweat).
The Sanskrit word for fasting is ‘Upawaasa’.
“Upa” means “Near”
“‘Vasa” means “to stay”.
In Ayurveda, Upavasa is one among all Daivavyapashraya (spiritual) therapies and one among ten Langhana therapies. Langhana produces lightness of the body. Fasting (Upawaasa) is defined as “to give rest to digestive system”.
As per ayurvedic aspect a quarter your stomach should be filled with liquids and half with solid food, and a quarter left empty. You should end the food feeling satisfied but not full.
Purpose of fasting-
A poor digestive juice leads to poor health and a strong digestive juice facilitates good health. According to Ayurveda jathragni play a key role in digestion. Agni helps us drink in nutrients from the food we eat. Fasting’s other role is to excrete out waste products that build up in our cells and tissues. Forasmuch, for well-ordered cleaning of the digestive system and minimizing the production of ama (toxins) in the body, episodic fasting is advised.
The idea of a regular fast is to give your Agni (digestive system) a rest. Fasting also gives the great chance for Agni to burn up any toxins, or Ama, that has built up in your body.
Health Improvement By Fasting-
Intensity of fire is reduced by the ash particles remaining on it, due to which it interrupts the process of burning. When the fire of Agni is diminished, we have low nutrition coming into our body, and poor elimination of waste. This can lead to low immunity, lack of energy and weakness. Fasting helps to your overall health and reignites your digestive fire (Agni) and hereby it improves your overall health.
Fasting maintains the strength of digestive system and cleanses the intestine. On the day of fasting, food such as light vegetable soup and fruits can be eaten. In addition, drink lots of liquid including juices, milk, herbal tea, and water with lemon and mint (pudina) leaves.
Upawaasa As A Treatment In Ayurveda-
In Ayurveda, upavasa (fasting) is indicated as a treatment therapy in various diseases. Such as chhardi (vomiting), Atisara (diarrhoea), Visuchika (cholera), hridroga (cardiac disorders), Alaska (paresis of bowel), Jwara (fever).
Upavasa in Raktajaroga-
Upavasa is indicated for curing diseases due to the vitiation of blood (shonita). Pitta (biological factor responsible for digestion & metabolism, color complexion, vision etc.). Therefore, in the beginning, the patient should be kept on fasting
Upavasa in JwaraRoga –
There are ten types of langhana described in chraka samhinta. In the first stage of jwara (Fever), langhana or fasting is prescribed. in the beginning of five days of jwara (Fever) are destroyed by fasting therapy. All these ten types are not useful in the present context, it is only fasting type of langhana which i
Upavasa in Alasaka and Visuchika-
The patients suffering from Alasaka (choleric diarrhea) and Visuchika(intestional torper) should be kept on fasting.
- Fasting doesn’t mean you go through the day without eating.
- The food you eat should be either absorbed by your body in form of ahara rasa
- Or excrete from the body in form of malas.
- Meals should be eaten at the fixed time every day, around every five hours.
- Skipping meals aggravates pitta and consistently under-eating aggravates vata.
- Frequent hunger weakens the dhatus and destroys your body.
- Ayurveda states spring (Shishira ritu) is more suitable time for fasting.
- Ayurveda advise that something which is easy for digestion should be consumed like fresh prepared rice gruel after fasting.
Triphala can help your fasting regime-
Triphala cantains amlaki, haritaki and vibhitaki will help you any fasting (upawaas) you select by making the elimination of toxic (Ama) waste from the body more dexterous and more effective. It also especially cleanses the elementary canal. Triphala is a rasayan or rejuvenator for the digestion.
“CHIKITSATAM VYADHIKARAM PATHYAM SADHARANAM AUSHADAM
PRAYSHITAM PRAKRITISTHAPANPRASHANAM ITAMAN.”