“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” is an illustrious statement by Hippocrates, the father of medicine. Be this quote from antiquity but if something is ancient and still holds meaning and is around must be correct, or atleast worth considering. Lets forget Hippocrates, he can be believed to be very recent if you consider the importance food in Indian mythology. Food has always been given an extraordinary place. As we say, “anna he purna brahma”…
The physical body is called the food body i.e. annamaya kosa, because it is made up of food only. It is said that wrong food with the preponderance of rajas or tamas cause sickness and reinforce demonic qualities, while right foods with the predominance of sattva improve health and strengthen divine nature. Food is also a healer and purifier and hence, diet is considered an important aspect of healing in the Ayurveda.
Food is the foundation of life and the reason of death as food is both a nourisher and destroyer. And so it is said, we are what we eat. With time we have discovered many medicines and many diseases and yet again many medicines to take care of those newly found diseases, which not going to end by any means. And above all have conquered all diseases? Practically, no. We are struggling very hard to come up with new molecules with a hope of making things better.
Virtually we have achieved milestones in the breakthrough medicines, in a way we are still wandering with more new challenges to overcome. And therefore we need to go on auto correction mode; we need to work upon our basics. We need to eat good and proportionate. Let’s cut it simple….as the theory of minimalism says be more with less, same implies to your food, get more of substance, nutrition and benefit out of the food you eat. Sticking to our roots, eat simple homemade freshly cooked food. Making it fresh by our hand for your loved ones make it worth it.
We can feels the vibes that we get from food made with love, than the food on fire made on woks of cluttery restaurant or the one made by using exotic ingredients in the 5 star. It’s about the state of mind that too adds medicinal value to our food. At the start of any therapy if the patient doubts the doctor, the medicine might not create magic, similarly eating food with lots of ifs and buts will not help. Take out some time to eat. Eat in a vibrant environment than clumsy spaces. It is because the environment influences a lot. No one would relish delicious food in a stinking place! Right? and thats why ambience plays an important role in the feeling of satisfaction after eating your food along with food quality.
We literally manage to get some time to grab our food because we are so busy. We need to be compassionate to our body. Treat it like a queen or king and give it its best deserving medicine a healthy balanced food with peace complimentary. Peace comes from the feeling of happiness that we feel at the sight of our food and our state of mind. All the five indrias are involved in the process anna grahanam yagya..yes yagya…you can call it. Of course now one would also challenge upon the food quality and fertilizers that make it unworthy. To an extent it is true but its not all. More the simplier it is, more the better. It’s been said, eat local think global. And eating local means nothing but eating what your genes demand.
They demand what your mother or grandmother has fed you or what they have been eating before giving birth to you. May it be as simple as dal chawal kadhi and sabji or sambar rice or pithla bhakri. And last but not the least, EXERCISE, very necessary to build you up, emotionally and physically. Proper diet coined with suitable exercise is like a cherry on the cake. Do I really need to enlist the benefits of exercise? Ultimately, the essence is, stick to your basics and see the change. Globalization may help you to move ahead to achieve the unbelievable, but your anna (food) will keep you what your are.
Mrs. Amruta N. Avalaskar,
Dept. of Pharmacognosy