There is a specific place for Fasting in the Indian culture. It is an identical part of Hindu culture. Out body works constantly just like a complex machine. Digestion, separating wastage part and nourishing cells to systems is the main work of the body. The parts of the digestive system get rest during the fasting.If we take food in excess then the maximum part of our energy finishes in the digestion of that, so the toxic substances can not be disposed properly. This condition creates diseases. In the condition of illness our total energy works hard to excrete the toxic things , it results in loss of appetite. So the fasting is the best , natural and simple treatment. In Ayurveda it is known as Langhana.
There are three objects of the fasting – Achieving physical, mental and spiritual advantages. There is a lot of relief in asthma, obesity, constipation, rheumatoid arthritis, piles, ascites etc. by the fasting. According to greatest scientist of Ayurveda Charaka fasing results like nectar in the condition of vomiting, diarrhoea, indigestion, fever, heaviness of the body, nausea, anorexia, flatulence etc. It freshens the whole body as well as the parts of the brain. It reduces the extra weight of the body and increases appetite.
Fasting can be practiced from a day to twenty one days according to the capacity of an individual and the disease. Fasting for a short duration (3-4 days) provides in headache, common cold, stomach disturbances and tonsillitis etc. Fasting for a long duration requires in rheumatoid arthritis, liver diseases and cancer. Non vegetarians need long duration and vegetarians deserve a short duration of it. Once a week fasting is sufficient to improve immunity power for a healthy person.
- The persons who have fasting for a long duration are advised to take plantains, apples, tomatoes, carrots, spinach, cabbage, honey and curd water.
- Taking lemon water, or plain water is enough during the weekly fasting.
- During the starting days of fasting there may be some problems such as flatulence, lack of sleeping, tasteless mouth, foul perspiration. Practising fasting with patience all these problems disappear automatically.
- During the fasting days practising sun bathing, clay bathing, pranayama, walking on green grass and bathing doubles the advantages of the fasting.
- Taking water again and again is also beneficial during the period.
- Using excessive cold drinks, tea, coffee and smoking destroys the advantages of it.
- Long fasting should be broken by taking honey or fruit juice.
- On the many auspicious occasions fasting is practised in Indian culture which has a view of sound health.
- As I have narrated in the Spring Season article that this time there is the vitiation of Kapha in the months of March and April. Vitiated Kapha decreases appetite and this is the reason that in Hindu culture a fasting of nine days during the said months are meant very pious and religious but main reason behind this is to maintain health during the disease creating time.
- Fasting with a pleasant mood is profitable.
- Fasting must not be practiced by those persons who are unable to bear hunger and thirst and having symptoms such as dry mouth, giddiness, low blood pressure etc.
- It must be practiced with very causation by weak and old persons and who have a modest nature.
- It is not of any use to practise fasting with enjoying milk, porridge, pudding and a lot of fruits.
- Fasting must be practiced in real sense so that advantages can be achieved.