The main pillars of our health is Vata, Pitta and Kapha, but there are three sub-pillars also on which our health building is situated. These there sub pillars are narrated in Ayurveda as Traya Upastambha means three sub pillars. Every building has minimum four pillars on which that situated firmly, but if a building has only three pillars then we can easily imagine that the whole three pillars must be very strong since if only one of them is weak then the future of the building is very uncertain. So the whole possible precautions must be followed to strengthen the building. Those there sub pillars of our body are :
1. Aahaar ( Diet )
2. Nidraa ( Sleeping ) and
3. Brahmcharya ( Celibacy)

The topic of Aahara (Diet) is very lengthy but today we will talk about an important part of it. We must eat which is beneficial for our health, we must take according to our digestion power and we must have according to season.
According Charaka Samhita Vimansthana 1/25 there are eight kind of methods to take food. All these are cooperative to each other and they decide whether the diet is beneficial or non-beneficial. These eight parts provide favourable or unfavourable results.
They are as follows :
Prakriti ( Natural Quality )
Karana ( Preparations )
Samyoga ( Combination )
Rashi ( Quantum )
Desha ( Habitat & Climate)
Kala ( Time ffactor and disease state if any)
Upayoga Samstha ( Rules of Use)
Upyokta ( User)

Now we will discuss over all these eight points

Natural Quality :

Neutrality of the things such as kidney beans and venison are light whether wild beans and pork are heavy to be digested. At the time of taking food we will have to take care the nature of the things such as light thing can be taken slightly more then they will no do any bad effect but on the other hand wild beans ( Urada) will upset the digestion power if that is taken a very slightly more since that too heavy to digest.

Preparation

Increasing or decreasing the natural qualities of something by some process is Karana (Preparation) , such as kidney beans are light but if make pudding of this then that will be very very heavy to be digested. Curd is heavy but having churned and taking butter out of it adding water and then that curd water very light to be digested.

Combination

Mixing two or more than two things is combination. After mixing those things show a very different effect while it is almost impossible to show that effect in their separate state, such as honey and clarified butter are taken in equalizer proportions then they will show effect of slow poison. Honey and Clarified butter are the nectar of the earth in their separate state. Today we enjoy many kind of dishes in the market as well as in the parties and they are very delicious to eat but taste is nothing in comparison of healthy preparation specially according the rules of Ayurveda. Sweet and sour are opposite to each other but today we can see very easily that sweet and sour are mixed in a preparations.

Quantum

There are two kinds of Quantum : The whole quantity of diet is Sarvagraha and the quantity of different parts of diet is Parigraha . X takes total 650 gm. of food is sarvagraha and 300gm. Chapatis, 100 gm. Vegetables, 50 gm. Sweets 100 gm fruits and 100 gm. Curd water is Parigraha. How much total diet should be consumed by a healthy person of a medium structure and how much milk, fruits, vegetables etc. should be taken separately are sarvagraha and parigraha respectively.

Habitat

It shows the origin of the things and creatures. There are three kinds of habitat according to Ayurveda. The regions of heavy rain are Anoopa , the places of very low rain are jangala and the places there is a normal rain are known as Sadharana. The things and animals of Aanoopa place will have heavy properties and of the jangala will have light properties. Ayurveda says for a person whose birthplace is x then the grains, fruits vegetables and herbs those origin is also x , will be the best suitable for him. We can see very easily the example of this that coconut oil is very suitable for south Indians and on the other groundnut oil and sesame oil are more suitable for North Indians.

Time

It is of two types . The first is according to seasons and the second is according to state . Our diet must be according to the seasons which have been described in Charaka Samhita Sootrasthana 6 . Hot things like date, dry ginger etc. and resins, grapes etc must be taken in winter and summer season respectively. In the second category according to state of the disease the things must be given , such as in the starting of fever ( acute fever) milk is harmful and in the patients of chronic fever milk is beneficial.

Rules of use

Food must be taken after the digestion of the previous taken food. If the food is taken without the digestion of the previous taken food then there will be indigestion which will create so many diseases.

Rules of taking food will be described separately in the next post.

User

The person who uses of diet is user. We use the things usually they become to be suitable for us and they don’t affect badly to our health since they are friendly to our body.

The knowledge of these eight methods of taking food must be learnt by a person who wants a sound and long healthy life. Only tasty, non beneficial , may create problem in future must not be taken even in a small quantity.