The Concept of Pathya (Dietetics) in Ayruveda
Ayurveda believes in holistic approach. Treat the patient as a whole with the drug has been its prime concept. Patyapatya nirnaya the determination of what is to be taken during the treatment and what not to be taken is the specific form of instruction regarding diet along with treatment during the ailing and convalescence. Hence it becomes equally essential to follow the dietetic rules and regulations for a successful treatment. The seers even went the extent of saying, “when an ailing individual follows the pathya – the dietetic rules, there is no need of any medicine (because by pathya itself, the patient becomes healthy) and when he does not follow pathya (then also) there is no need of any medicine (because medicine alone does not suffice for complete recovery from the disease)”. Such is the significance of pathya.
There are certain general and specific prescriptions in this regard. General prescriptions can be followed by any body in any condition, e.g. “Kapittham Sarvada Pathyam” – Kapittha – wood apple can be used always; “Bhojanagre sada pathyam lavanardraka bhakshanam” – The salt and wet ginger can always be used before food etc.
The specific prescriptions are as per the disease condition like boiled and cooled water in fever, diarrhea etc. the use of butter milk in piles etc.
Therefore one should be aware of this diet regulation in Ayurveda and follow it up scrupulously for gentle and permanent cure from the disease.