AHARA (FooD) Importance of food in Ayurveda


  • Introduction
  • Definition
  • Classification
  • Significance
  • Ahara vidhi vidana
  • Asta aharavidi viseshayatana
  • Ahara parinamakara bhava


•Ahara is one among the trio-upastamba (ahara, nidra and bramacharya). • •

•Hence it is helpful for maintaining health, prevention of disease and curing of disease.

•The health can be maintained by health food habits.

•Kashyapa even coins food as maha beshaja.

•Even anna is considered as brahma.


Root “hrn harane” means “Tobe Taken in”


–The word “ANNA” is derived from AN joined by NA pratyaya which means which is “ to be taken in” or which “nourishes the body”.

Nirukti / Definition

  • Any thing that is taken in is ahara.
  • They are anna- pana’s

That which passes the jihva, chewied by danta and engulfed through gala is called ahara.

•Ahara is the sunsatnce which is ingested through jihva and gala.

•Any substance that can be ingested by a living organism and metabolized into energy and body tissue is called food.[Collins dictionary]

Food is a substance which when taken in the body, is able to build up or repair tissue, protect against ill health (disease) and supply material for the production of health and energy.[Major B.N.Khan – Nutrition]

Classification of Ahara /AHARA BHEDA


  • – ca. su. 25/4
  • –Based on source/ yoni
  • –Based on effect/ prabhava
  • –Based on swarupa/ upayoga/ form
  • –Based on taste
  • –Based on quality / guna
  • –Based on combination

•Based on source/ yoni

  • –Stavara
  • –Jangama

•Based on usage/ upayoga –

  • –Pana
  • –Ashana
  • –Bakshaya
  • –Leha

•Based on taste – –

  • –Madhura
  • –Amla
  • –Lavana
  • –Katu
  • –Tikta
  • –Kashaya

•Based on guna

–20 types

  • •Guru – Laghu
  • •Sheeta – Ushna
  • •Snigdha – Ruksha
  • •Manda – Teekshana
  • •Sthira – Sara
  • •Mridu – Kathina
  • •Vishada –Picchila
  • •Slakshana – Khara
  • •Sthoola – Skshma
  • •Drava – Sandra

•Based on combination


Based on pancha mahabhuta

•Ahara is of 5 types based on the maha bhuata predominant.

They are

  • –Partiva
  • –Apya
  • –Agneya
  • –Vayavya
  • – Akashiya

Parthiva dravya

Parthiva dravya has the following properties.

  • –Upachaya
  • – will produce durability
  • –Sangatha
  • – helps in binding
  • –Gourava
  • – produce heaviness
  • –Stirikana
  • – brings stability.

Apya dravya

Apya dravya has the following properties.
  • Upakleda   – provides moisture
  • Snehana  – provides snehana or unctousness
  • Banda  – provides binding
  • Vishyandana  – freshness of body
  • Mardavata  – softness
  • Prahladana  –  refreshing

E.g.- Water, Buttermilk and Juices.

Agneya dravya

Agneya dravya has the following properties.
  • Dahaba   – produces daha/ buring sensation
  • Varanya   – improves complection
  • Prakshaka  – improves complexion
  • Pachanatmaka- improves pachana/ digestive fire.

Vayvya dravya

Vayavya dravya has the following properties.
  • Roukshya   – causes dryness
  • Laghava kara  – brings lightness
  • Vishadya  – provides cleaning reactions
  • Vichara karaka-  brings thinking ness
  • Glani karaka  – causes fatigue

Akashiya dravya

Akashiya dravya has the following properties.
  • Mardahva kara   – brings softness
  • Soushiya kara  – brings cleaning reaction
  • Laghava kara  – provides lightness

Akashiya dravya

Akashiya dravya has the following properties.

  • Mardahva kara   – brings softness
  • Soushiya kara  – brings cleaning reaction
  • Laghava kara  – provides lightness

Based on effect on manasika gunas

•Ahara along with effecting the sharirika doshas they even effect the manasika gunas.

•Based on the effect on manasika gunas, ahara is classified as

  • –Rajasika
  • –Tamasika
  • –Satvika

Satvika ahara


रस्याः स्निग्धाः स्थिरा हृद्या आहाराः सात्त्विकप्रियाः।।

•The food which is satvika in nature have the following properties

  • –Inceases ayu, satva and bala
  • –Improves arogya
  • –Provides sukha (comfort) –Rasya
  • – provides taste
  • –Snigdha
  • – unctous
  • –Hrudhya
  • – good for heart

Rajasika ahara


आहारा राजसस्येष्टा दुःखशोकामयप्रदाः।।

•The rajasika ahara is having the following properties

  • –The ahara is katu, amla, lavana, ushna, kshaya ukta and it is vidahi/ rosted.
  • –It causes dhuka to osta.
  • –Causes shoka (grif) and bhaya ( fear). –

Tamasika ahara

यातयामं गतरसं पूति पर्युषितं च यत्।

उच्छिष्टमपि चामेध्यं भोजनं तामसप्रियम्।।

•The properties of the tamasika ahara is as follows


  • – food which had crossed 1 yama
  • –Gatarasa- which lost / changed its rasa
  • –Puti- which have foul smell –Parushita
  • – whch is spoiled or rotten
  • –Uchista
  • – left over / waste/ refused
  • –Amedhya
  • – not good for medas.
  • –Tamasa priya- liked by tamasika people.

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One response to “AHARA (FooD) Importance of food in Ayurveda”

  1. Tom Michalowsky Avatar

    Thank you so much, great post! Just the info I needed.

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