Classification Of Foods And Drinks – Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana 27

The 27th chapter of Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana is called Annapana Vidhi Adhyaya. It explains in detail about fruits, milk and dairy products, various types, qualities and benefits of vegetables, oils, grains, pulses, wines, meat, waters, sugarcane preparations, honey and its types, importance of after-drinks, and more.

Table of Contents

Importance of Wholesome food

Such diets and drinks whose colour, smell, taste and touch are pleasing (ishta) to the senses and conducive to health.
Vidhi vihitam anna paanam – If taken in accordance with the rules, it is responsible for the very life of living beings. In fact, it itself is Prana (life, being).
Pratyaksha phala darshanaat – The ideal diets and drinks can be perceived directly.
Tat indhanaa hyantaragnehe stitihi – The ideal diets and drinks form the fuel for the digestive fire.
tat sattvam oorjayati – They promote satva – positive mental health and oorja – enthusiasm, positive energy.
Such diets and drinks, taken in ideal ways, nourish dhatu – body tissues, improve strength and immunity, skin complexion and soothe sense organs.
If the food is taken improperly, it can be harmful. [3]

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Types of food and their actions

So we shall now explain the properties of various diets and drinks in order to bring to light their useful effects on the body, Oh! Agnivesha.

Svabhaavaat udaktam kledayati – By nature water moistens
Lavanam vishyandayati – salt causes liquefaction, moistness, makes the things less viscous
Ksharam pachayati – Kshara (water insoluble ash part of certain herbs) – digest, cause conversion in wounds
Madhu Sandhadati – honey brings together the ruptured tissue elements, it joins (sandhaana)
Sarpim snehayati – ghee produces unctuousness, oiliness,
Ksheeram jeevayati – milk invigorates, enlivens, improves life, saves life.
Mamsam brumhayati – meat brings about corpulence, it nourishes
Rasaha preenayati – meat soup nourishes
Sura Jarjaree karoti – wine causes flabbiness, fragile
Sheeduravadhamati – Seedhu type of wine causes emaciation,
Drakshasavo deepyati – grape wine stimulates appetite,
Phanitam aachinoti – Phanita (penidium, a product of molasses) helps to accumulate Doshas.
Dadhi shopham janayati – curd causes oedema.
Pinyaka shaakam glapayati – vegetable of Pinyaka (Harita Shigru) causes depression.
prabhuta antarmalo maasha soopaha – Black gram soup increases bulk of feces.
Drushti Shukraghnaha kshaaraha – alkalies impair the power of vision and reduce semen.

Except for pomegranate and Amla (Indian gooseberry), all sour tasting substances probably increase Pitta. Except for honey, old rice and shastika types of rice, barley and wheat, all diets of sweet tasting substances generally aggravate Kapha. Except the sprouts of Vetra (Salix caprea Linn), Guduchi (Tinospora Coridifolia Miers) and leaves of Patola – pointed gourd, all bitter substances generally aggravate Vata and are un-aphrodisiac (Avrushya).
Similarly except Pippali – Long pepper fruit and Ardraka – Ginger Rhizome, all diets with pungent taste aggravate Vata and are un-aphrodisiac (Avrushya). [4]

Classification of food articles

We shall now explain the tastes (rasa), potency (Veerya), Vipaka (taste conversion after digestion) and specific action (Karma) of the various diets and drinks classified according to the following 12 groups:-
1. Shooka dhanya (corns with bristles)
2. Shami Dhanya ( Pulses)
3. Mamsa ( Meat)
4. Shaaka (vegetables)
5. Phala (fruits)
6. Harita ( greens, Salads)
7. Madya (Wine)
8. Ambu (Water)
9. Gorasa ( Milk and milk products)
10. Ikshu Vikara (Products of sugarcane)
11. Kritanna (Food preparations, recipes)
12. Ahara Upayogi (Accessory food articles) [5-7]

Shuka Dhanyas (Corns with Bristles)

Rakta Shali

Corn with bristles can be further divided into the following categories:-
a. Shali – rice – Oryza sativa
b. Shashtika – rice is which is harvested in 60 days
c. Vreehi – rice ripening in rainy season
d. Shyamaka – Indian Barnyard millet
e. Yava – Barley
f. Godhuma – wheat

Shali (rice) class of corns are of the following varieties:-
1. Rakta shaali – red variety of rice
2. Maha shaali – big sized rice
3. Kalama type of rice
4. Shakunahruta
5. Murnaka
6. Dirgha shooka
7. Gaura – white rice
8. Panduka – pale colored rice
9. Langula
10. Sugandhaka – rice with good smell
11. Lohavala
12. Sariva
13. Pramodaka
14. Patanga
15. Tapaniya

These rice types of corn are cold in potency (Sheeta Veerya) and sweet in taste as well as Vipaka (Madhura Rasa, Madhura Vipaka) – taste conversion after digestion.
Baddha Alpa varchasaha – they do not form much faeces, they may cause constipation.
Snigdha – impart oiliness to the body
Bruhmana – improve weight,
Shukrala – increase sperm production
Mootrala – diuretic, increases urine volume

Of them, the red variety of rice (Rakta shali) is the best.
Trushnaghna – It relieves thirst
Trimalaapaha – Balances all the three Doshas.
The next best is Maha shali (big sized rice), next to it is Kalama and others follow in the order of their description.

Beside, there are some other varieties of Shali viz, 1. Yavaka, 2. Hayana, 3. Pamshu, 4. Vapya, 5. Naishadhaka etc; which imitate good and bad qualities of the varieties of rice mentioned here. [8-12]

rice types

Varieties of rice and their qualities :

Shashtika Shali

Rice that is harvested in 60 days –

Shashtika rice is cold in potency, oily, light, sweet, balances all the three Doshas and stabilizing. White variety of Shastika Shali is good, black-white mixed variety is slightly inferior.

The minor varieties of Shashtika shali:-
1. Varaka
2. Uddalaka
3. Cheena
4. Shaarada
5. Ujwala
6. Dardura
7. Gandhana
8. Kuruvinda – These are slightly inferior in quality, compared to Shashtika

Vreehi Shali

Rice harvested in autumn:
Vreehi is is sweet in taste, undergoes sour taste conversion after digestion (Amla Vipaka), heavy to digestion and increases Pitta.

Patala variety of rice produces urine and feces in large quantity and increases all the three Doshas. [13-15]

Other inferior varieties

Shyamaka (Setaria italica Beauv) and Koradusha (Paspalum Scrobiculatum Linn) are
astringent and sweet in taste (Kashaya, Madhura),
cold in potency (sheeta veerya),
increases Vata, balances Kapha and Pitta.
drying, absorbant and light to digest.
Corns similar to Shyamaka in property are:-
1. Hastishyamaka (bigger variety of Syamaka)
2. Neevara (Udika, wild variety of rice)
3. Toyaparni
4. Gavedhuka (Ghuluncha – it is of two types viz, wild and cultivated)
5. Prashantika
6. Ambhaha shyamaka
7. Lauhitya
8. Anu
9. Priyangu (Kangani)
10. Mukunda (Vakastrna)
11. Jhintigarmuti
12. Varuka (Shana)
13. Varaka (Shyamabija)
14. Shibira(siddhaka)
15. Utkata
16. Jurnahva (Millet) [16-18]



Barley benefits – Yava Dhanya –

Barley is
Yava (barley) is
Rooksha – dry
Sheeta – cold, coolant
Aguru – not very heavy to digest
Svadu – sweet
Sakashaya – slightly astringent
Bahuvata Shakrut – produces wind and stool in large quantity.
Sthairyakrut – stabilizes the body,
Balya – improves strength
Shleshma Vikaranut – Balances Kapha.
It is stabilizing and strength promoting. It alleviates the vitiated Kapha.

Venu yava

Venu Yava – Bamboo Seed benefits:

Venuyava (bamboo seed) is Dry, sweet and slightly astringent in taste,
Meda Krimi Vishaghna – reduces fat, useful in worm infestation and poisoning.
Balya – improves strength and immunity [19-20]

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Wheat benefits – Godhuma:


Sandhanakrut – joins the ends (as in wound healing, fracture healing)
Vatahara – balances Vata,
Svadhu sheetala – Sweet, cold in potency,
Jeevana – invigorating,
Brumhana – nourishing
Vrushya – aphrodisiac,
Snigdha – unctuous, oily
Sthairyakrut – stabilizing and
Guru – heavy to digest.
Nandimukhi (Yavika) and Madhuli (a variety of wheat) are sweet, unctuous and cold in potency. Thus completes explanation of Shooka Dhanya Varga – the first group consisting of corns with bristles. [21-22]

Shami Dhanya (Pulses)

Shami Dhanya Varga – Varieties of pulses and their qualities :


Green gram benefits – Mudga

Of all the pulses, green gram is the best.
Kashaya, Madhura – astringent, sweet
Rooksha – dry
Sheeta – cold, coolant
Katu Vipaka – undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion
Laghu – light to digest
Vishad – brings clarity to channels
Shleshma Pittaghna – balances Kapha and Pitta.


Black gram benefits – Masha
Vrushya – aphrodisiac
Param Vatahara – balances Vata to a great extent
Snigdha – oily, unctuous
Ushna – hot potency
Madhura – sweet
Guru – heavy to digest
Balya – improves digestion and strength
Bahumala – increases bulk of feces
Pumstvam sheeghram dadaati– improves fertility quickly.

Raja Masha

Cow-pea benefits – Raja Masha:
Rajamasha – Cow pea is (Vigna unguiculata) is
Sara – eases movement, laxative
Rucha – palatable, useful in anorexia
Shukranut – decreases semen
Balances Kapha and Amla Pitta (acid dyspepsia). It aggravates Vata.
Rooksha – dry
Kashaya – astringent,
Vishada – non-slimy
Guru – heavy


Horse gram benefits – Kulattha:
(Dolichos Biflorus Linn) – Horse gram is
Ushna – hot in potency,
Kashaya – astringent in taste
Amla Vipaka – undergoes sour taste conversion after digestion.
Kapha Anlilapaha – Balances the vitiated Kapha and Vata.
Shukrapaha – decreases semen
Grahi – absorbant, increases bulk of feces
useful for patients suffering from coughing (Kasa), hiccup (Hikka), dyspnoea, asthma (shwasa) and piles (Arsha).


Moth bean benefits – Makushta
Moth bean Makustha (Phaseolus aconitifolius / Vigna aconitifolius) is
Madura – sweet in taste and Vipaka,
Grahi – absorbant, causes mild constipation,
Rooksha – dry
Sheetala – coolant
Useful in Raktapitta – bleeding disorders such as nasal bleeding, heavy periods.
Jwara – useful in fever.

Chanaka, Masura, Khandika, Harenu

Bengal gram (Chickpea), Lentil, Grass pea:
Chickpea / Bengal gram – Chanaka (Cicer arietinum Linn), Lentil – Masura (Lens culinaris Medic) and Khandika (Grass pea – Lathyrus sativus Linn) and Harenu ( a type of pea) are –
Laghu – light,
Sheeta – cold in potency,
Madhura – sweet with
Kashaya – astringent taste
Rookshana – dry
In the form of soup and ointment, they are useful in patients suffering from diseases due to the vitiation of Pitta and Kapha. Of them, Lentil – Masura (Lens culinaris Medic) is absorbant, constipative. Kalaya (Peanut) considerably aggravates Vata.


Sesame seed – Tila:
Tila – sesame is
Snigdha – unctuous, oily
Ushna – hot in potency,
Madhura – sweet,
Tikta – bitter
Kashaya – astringent
Katu – pungent in taste.
Tvachya – good for skin
Keshya – promotes hair growth.
It is strength promoting.
It alleviates the vitiation of Vata and
Kapha Pittakrut – aggravates Kapha and Pitta.
Related: Sesame seed and oil benefits


Indian bean / Lablab bean – Shimbi :
The various types of Shimbi (Dolicos lablab – Indian Bean / Lablab bean) are all
Madhura – sweet
Sheetala – cold in potency
Guru – heavy.
Balaghna – They demote strength;
Rooksha – dry
They are to be taken together with some oily substance by sturdy persons.
Kashaya – astringent.
It aggravates Vata in the gastrointestinal tract. It is neither aphrodisiac nor conducive to eyes.
It produces wind during the process of digestion, hence causes bloating.


Pigeon pea benefits – Adhaki –
Adhaki – Pigeon pea / Toor dal (Cajanus cajan) balances Kapha and Pitta but aggravates Vata.
Avalguja(Psoralea corylifolia Linn) and Edagaja (Cassia tora) balance Kapha and Vata.
Nishpava (a type of cowpea) aggravates Vata and Pitta.
Properties of Kakandoma (a type of shimbi) Atmagupta (Mucuna prurita Hook.) and Uma (Linseed – Linns Usitatissimum Linn) are the same as Black gram – Masha.
Thus the second group consisting of pulses – Shami Dhanya has been described. [23-34]

Food derived from kingdom:

Group of meats

The group of animals whose meat is commonly used as food are enumerated under the following eight categories.

  1. Prasaha – animals and birds who eat by snatching the food.
  2. Bhumishaya – Animals who live in burrows in earth
  3. Anupa – Animals living in marshy place
  4. Vaarishaya – aquatic animals
  5. Varichara – birds moving in water
  6. Jangala – Animals living in dry land forests
  7. Vishkira – Gallinaceous birds
  8. Pratuda – Packer birds

A. Prasaha (animals and birds who eat by snatching)
1. Go (cow)
2. Ashvatara (mule)
3. Khara (ass)
4. Ushtra (camel)
5. Ashva (horse)
6. Dveepi (panther)
7. Simha (Lion)
8. Ruksa (bear)
9. Vanara (monkey)
10. Vruka (wolf)
11. Vyaghra (tiger)
12. Tarakshu (hyena)
13. Babhru (large brown mangoose)
14. Marjara (cat)
15. Mooshika (mouse)
16. Lopaaka (fox)
17. Jambuka (jackal)
18. Shyena (hawk)
19. Vantada (dog)
20. Chaasha (blue jay)
21. Vaayasa (crow)
22. Shashaghni (golden eagle)
23. Madhuha (honey buzzard)
24. Bhasa (beared vulture)
25. Grudhra (vulture)
26. Ulooka (owl)
27. Kulingaka (sparrow hawk)
28. Dhoomika (owlet)
29. Kurara (fish eagle)

B. Bhumisaya (animals who live in burrows in earth)
1. Shweta Kakuli Mriga (white python)
2. Shyama Kakuli Mriga (Greenish black python)
3. Chitraprushta Kakuli Mriga (spotted python)
4. Kaalaka Kakulimrga (black python)
5. Kurchika (hedgehog)
6. Chillata (musk shrew)
7. Bheka (frog)
8. Godha (inguana)
9. Shallaka (angolin)
10. Gandaka (gecko)
11. Kadali (marmet)
12. Nakula (mongoose)
13. Shvavit (prorcupiue)

C . Anupa (animals inhabitating marshy land)
1. Srumara (wild boar)
2. Chamara (yak)
3. Khadga (rhinoceros)
4. Mahisha (buffalo)
5. Gavaya (gayal cow)
6. Gaja (elephant)
7. Nyanku (antelope)
8. Varaha (hog)
9. Ruru (deer)

D . Vaarisaya (aquatic animals)
1. Koorma (tortoise)
2. Karkataka (crab)
3. Matsya (fish)
4. Shishumaara (estuarine crocodile)
5. Timingila (whale)
6. Shukti (pearl oyster)
7. Shankha (conch snail)
8. Udra (cat-fish)
9. Kumbheera (crocodile)
10. Chuluki (gangetic dolphin)
11. Makara (great Indian crocodile) etc.

E. Varichara (birds moving in water)
1. Hamsa (swan)
2. Krauncha (demoiselle crane)
3. Balaaka (sow wreath crane)
4. Baka (common crane)
5. Kaarandava (goose)
6. Plava (pelican)
7. Sharaari (skimmer)
8. Pushkaraahva (lilly trother)
9. Keshari (comb dock)
10. Manitundaka (red watted lap-wing)
11. Mrunalakanta (snake bird)
12. Madgu ( little cormoraut)
13. Kaadamba (whistling teal)
14. Kaakatundaka (common revier bird)
15. Utkrosha (trumpeter)
16. Pundareekaksha (white eyed pochard)
17. Megharaava (screamer)
18. Ambu Kukkuti (water hen)
19. Ara (cobbler’s owl bird)
20. Nandimukhi (flamingo)
21. Vaati (grede)
22. Sumukha (laughing gull)
23. Sahacharina (petrel)
24. Rohini (tropic bird)
25. Kamakali (frigate bird)
26. Saarasa (sarasa crane)
27. Rakta Sheershaka (sarada crane with a red head)
28. Chakravaaka (ruby Sheldrake)

F. Jangala( animals of dry land forests)
1. Prushata (spotted deer)
2. Sarabha (wapiti)
3. Rama (Kashmir deer)
4. Shvadamshtra (mouse deer)
5. Mrugamatruka (hog deer)
6. Shasha (hare)
7. Urana (wild sheep)
8.Kuranga (roe deer)
9.Gokarna (mule deer)
10.Kottakaaraka (barking deer)
12.Harina (red deer)
13.Ena (krsna) (black buck)
14. Sambara (Indian sambar)
15. Kaalapucchaka (black tailed deer)
16. Rushya (musk deer)
17. varapota (deerlet)

G. Viskira (gallinaceous birds)
Group 1.
1. Lava (common quail)
2. Varteeraka (rain quail)
3. Vartika (gray partridge)
4. Kapinjala (jungle bush quail)
5. Chakora(chukor)
6. Upacakra(sushi chukor)
7. Kukkubha (crow pheasant)
8. Raktavartma (red jungle fowl)
Group II
9. Vartaka (male bustard)
10. Vartika (female bustard)
11. Barhi (peacock )
12. Tittiri (partridge)
13. Kukkuta (cook)
14. Kanka(heron)
15. Shaarapada(stork)
16. Indrabha(anjutant)
17. Gonarda (Hill partridge)
18. Girivartaka (mountain quail)
19. Krakara(snipe)
20. Avakara (pea-fowl)
21. Vaarada (spoonbill)

H. Pratuda (packer birds)
1. Shatapatra (wood packer)
2. Bhringaraja (king bird of Paradisc)
3. Koyasti (coual)
4. Jeevajeevaka(common mynah)
5. Kairata(bucther’s bird)
6. Kokila (kocl)
7. Atyuha (bulbul)
9. Priyatmaja(babbler)
10. Latta(scarlet minivet)
11. Lattasaka(minivet)
12.Babhru(Bengal-tree pie)
13.Vataha(tree pie)
15.Jati(hea poe)
16. Dundnbhi(horn bill)
17. Pakkara(green barbet)
18.Lohaprstha(king fisher)
19.Kulingaka(baya or weaver bird)
20.Kapota (dove)
21.Suka(green parakect)
22.Saranga (large Indian parakcet)
23.Cirati(window bird)
24.Kanku (blossom headed parakeet)
25. Yastika(sun bird)
26.Sarika(shama thrush)
27. Kalavinka(house sparrow)
28.Cataka(tree sparrow)
29.Angaracudaka(free crested wren)
30. Paravata(pigeon)
31. Pandavika(white pigeon) [35-52]

Eight varieties of animals

Animals and birds who take their food by snatching are known as Prasaha;
Those residing in borrows are known as Bhushaya;
Those residing in marshy land are Anupa;
Those residing in water are known as Jalaja (aquatic);
Those birds which move on water are known as Jangala;
Those which disperse food before taking are known Vishkira (gallinaceous) and
Those which strike at the food articles before taking it are Pratuda (peckers) [53-55]

Qualities of the food obtained from them:
Meat of the those which eat by snatching (Prasaha), marshy (Anupa) and aquatic animals (Varija), those which move in water (Varichara) and burrow- dwelling (Bhushaya) are –
Guru – heavy,
Ushna – hot in potency,
Snigdha – unctuous, oily
Madhura – sweet,
Balavardhana – improves strength and immunity
Upachaya vardhana – improves body nourishment, plumpness
Vrushya – aphrodisiac
Vatahara – Balances Vata and increases Kapha and Pitta.
It is useful for people who do daily exercise and for those having good digestion strength.
The meat of meat- eating Prasaha type of animals (those which eat by snatching) is specially useful for patients suffering from chronic piles (Arsha – Hemorrhoids), Grahani – Malabsorption syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Shosha – emaciation.

The meat of the first group of the gallinaceous birds (Vishkira) beginning with quail, the packers (Pratuda) and animals of Jangala type (living in dry land forests) is
Laghu – light to digest
Sheeta – cold in potency and
Madhura – sweet in taste
Sa Kashaya – slightly astringent.
It is useful for patients suffering from diseases due to the vitiation of all the three Doshas (highly vitiated Pitta, moderately vitiated Vata and slightly vitiated Kapha).
The meat of the second group of gallinaceous birds (Vishkira) beginning with male bustard is inferior to that of Prasahas in qualities. [56-60]


Goat meat benefits – Ajamamsa –
Goat meat is –
Naati sheeta – not too cold
Guru – heavy
Snigdha – unctuous, oily
Adoshala – does not cause Dosha imbalance
It is homologous with the muscle of the human body. It does not obstruct / cause coating the channels of circulation and is nourishing (Bruhmana).


Mutton benefits – Avimamsa:
Mutton is
Madhura – sweet
Sheeta – cold
hence, it is Guru – heavy to digest.
Bruhmana – nourishing.
It is not possible to include goat and sheep in any of the eight categories mentioned above they inhabit at times marshy land, at times deserts and sometimes both. [61-62]
Qualities of specific variety of animal food:
General properties of meat of various animals have been discussed above; some of them have specific properties and those are discussed below.

Peacock meat

Peacock meat – Barhi:
Meat of peacock is useful as a promoter of eye sight, power of hearing, intelligence, power of digestion, youth, complexion, voice, longevity, strength, Mamasadhatu (muscle) and semen. It alleviates

Swan meat

Swan meat benefits:
Meat of swan is
Guru – heavy
Ushna – hot
Snigdha – unctuous, oily
Madhura – sweet
Swaraprada – heavy
Varnaprada – improves skin complexion
Balaprada – improves strength and immunity
Brumhana – improves nourishment
Shukrala – improves male and female reproductive system, improves semen and sperm quality and quantity
Maruta Nashana – Balances Vata

Cock meat

Cock meat benefits – Charana:
Cock meat is
Snigdha – unctuous, oily
Ushna – hot
Vrushya – aphrodisiac
Brumhana – improves nourishment
Svarabodhana – improves voice
Swedana – induces sweating
Param Vatahara – Balances Vata, immensely

Partridge meat

Meat of partridge benefits – Tittira:
Meat of partridge is neither heavy, nor hot, nor sweet, since it inhabits both the desert and the marshy land. It balances all the three Doshas, especially Vata.

Gray partridge meat

Meat of gray partridge benefits – Kapinjala:
The meat of gray partridge is
Sheeta – cold
Madhura – sweet
Laghu – light to digest
Because of these qualities, it is useful in Pitta and Kapha imbalance disorders, blood vitiation disorders. It is also useful in dull Vata conditions. (leading to inactivity, slow movement etc).

Quail meat

Meat of common quail benefits – Lava:
Meat of common quail is
Kashaya – astringent,
Madhura – sweet
Laghu – light to digest
Agnivardhana – improves digestion strength
It balances of all three Doshas.

Iguana meat

Iguana meat benefits:
Iguana meat is
Madhura Vipaka – sweet taste conversion after digestion
Kashaya – astringent
Katu – pungent taste
Vatapitta prashamana – balances Vata and Pitta
Brumhana – improves nourishment
Balavardhana – improves strength and immunity

Pangolin meat

Pangolin meat benefits – Shallaka:
Pangolin meat is
Madhura – sweet
Amla – sour
Katu Vipaka – Pungent
Balances all the three Doshas.
Kasahara – relieves cough, cold
Shwasahara – useful in asthma, COPD and other respiratory diseases

Pigeon meat

Meat of domestic pegion – Kapota
The meat of the domesticated variety of pigeon is
Kashaya – astringent,
Vishada – non-slimy, clear
Sheeta – cold
Raktapitta – useful in bleeding disorders
Madhura Vipaka – sweet
The meat of wild pigeon is slightly lighter than the domesticated variety. It is cold in potency and astringent in taste. It causes oliguria (Swalpa Mootrakara).

Parrot meat

Meat of green parakeet – Shuka Mamsa:
The meat of green parakeet is
kashaya – astringent
Amla – sour in taste
Rooksha – dry
Sheetala – cold in potency
useful in
Shosha – emaciation
Kasa – cough, cold
Kshaya – tuberculosis, chronic respiratory diseases
Sangrahi – absorbant
Laghu – light to digest
Deepana – improves digestion strength

Sparrow meat

Sparrow meat benefits – Chataka
The meat of sparrow is
Madhura – sweet
Snigdha – unctuous, oily
Balavardhana – improves strength and immunity
Shukravardhana – improves male and female reproductive system, improves semen and sperm quality and quantity
Useful in disorders of Tridosha imbalance, especially balances Vata.

Hare meat

Hare meat benefits:
The meat of hare is
Kashaya – astringent
Vishada – non-slimy, clear
Rooksha – Dry
Sheeta – cold in potency,
Katu Vipaka pungent in Vipaka,
Swadu – sweet in taste .
It is useful in sannipata (a condition caused by the vitiation of all the three Doshas) where the vitiated state of Vata is relatively mild.

Black Buck Meat

The meat of black buck benefits- Ena:
The meat of black buck is
Madhura – sweet in taste as well as Vipaka,
balances all the three Doshas
Shiva – wholesome
Laghu – light to digest
Sheeta – coolant
Baddha Vinmutra – obstructs the passage of stool and urine.


Pork benefits – Varaha:
Pork is-
Snigdha – oily, unctuous
Brumhana – improves nourishment
Vrushya – aphrodisiac
Shramaghna – relieves tiredness
Anilapaha – Balances Vata
Balya – improves strength and immunity
Rochana – improves taste
Svedaha – causes sweating
Guru – heavy to digest


Beef benefits:
Beef is useful in the
Kevala Vata roga – exclusive imbalance of Vata,
Peenasa – rhinitis,
Vishama Jwara – chronic recurrent fever
Shushka Kasa – dry cough
Shrama – tiredness
Atyagni – excessive digestion strength
Kshaya – tuberculosis, chronic respiratory diseases wasting of muscles.

Buffalo Meat

Buffalo meat benefits- Mahisha:
Buffalo meat is
Snigdha – oily, unctuous
Ushna – hot
Madhura – sweet
Vrushya – aphrodisiac
Guru – heavy to digest
Tarpana – refreshing
Dardhya – causes weight gain
Utsaha – increases enthusiasm
Svapna – induces sleep.


Fish benefits:
Fish in general is
Guru – heavy
Ushna – hot
Madhura – sweet
Balya – improves strength and immunity
Brumhana – improves nourishment
Pavanapaha – Balances Vata
Snigdha – unctuous, oily
Vrushya – aphrodisiac
Bahudosha – causes Dosha vitiation, hence can be injurious to health

Rohita Fish

Rohita Fish Benefits:
Rohita fish lives on moss and grass and does not sleep. Therefore, it promotes the power of digestion. It is light for digestion and it promotes strength considerably.

Tortoise meat

Tortoise meat benefits:
Tortoise meat
Varnya – promotes skin complexion,
Vatahara – Balances Vata
Vrushya – aphrodisiac
Chakshushya – useful in improving eye sight
Balavardhana – improves strength and immunity
Medhakara – improves intelligence
Smrutikara – improves memory
Pathya – wholesome
Shoshaghna – useful in emaciation

Rhinoceros Meat

The meat of rhinoceros benefits – Khanga Mamsa:
The meat of rhinoceros is
Abhishyandi – causes obstruction to the channel of circulation, causes coating inside the channels
Balakrut – improves strength and immunity
Madhura – sweet
Snehana – oily
Brumhana – improves nourishment
Varnya – promotes skin complexion
Shramaghna – relieves tiredness
Anilapaha – Balances Vata

Eggs benefits

Eggs of swan, choker, hen, peacock and sparrow promote strength instantaneously (Sadya balakara). They are sweet and do not cause burning sensation. They are useful in diseases like
Ksheenareta – oligospermia
Kasa – cough, cold
Hrudroga – heart diseases
Kshata – injury
No other food excels meat in producing a nourishing effect. Thus ends the third group describing the meat of Various animals. [63-87]

Shaka Varga (vegetables)

Vegetables (leaves, tubers and fruits) – Shaka Varga –
Now begins the description of the vegetable group.
Patha – Cissampelos pareira Linn,
Shusha – Cassia occidentalis Linn,
Shati – Zedoary (root) – Hedychium spicatum / Curcuma zedoaria,
Vastuka – Chenopodium Album Linn
Sunishannaka – Marsilea minuta var. Indica
These balance all the three Doshas.
All of them except Vastuka (Chenopodium Album Linn) are Grahi – absorbent, bowel binding. Vastuka is, however, laxative.


Kakamachi (Solanum nigrum Linn) balances all the three Doshas,
Vrushya – Aphrodisiac
Rasayani – anti ageing
Bhedini – purgative
Kushtanashini – useful in skin diseases


Rajakshavaka (Euphorbia microphylla Heyne) balances all the three vitiated Doshas,
Laghu – light to digest
Grahi – absorbent
Useful in
Grahani – Malabsorption syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Arsha – Haemorrhoids

Kala shaka, Kalaya

Kaala Shaaka (Corchorus capsularis Linn) is pungent and promoter of digestion. It cures toxic conditions (Gara Visha) and oedema – Shopha.
Kalaya (Lathyrus sativus Linn) is light, hot in potency, dry and aggravation of Vata.


Changeri( Rumev dentaus / Oxalis corniculata) is hot in potency
Ushna – hot
Grahi – absorbent
Useful in disorders of Kapha and Vata imbalance
Grahani – Malabsorption syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Arsha – Haemorrhoids


Upodika – malabar spinach (Basella rubra Linn) is
Madhura – sweet in taste as well as Vipaka
Bhedini – purgative,
Shleshmavardhini – aggravator of Kapha
Vrushya – aphrodisiac
Snigdha – unctuous, oily
Sheeta – cold in potency
Madaghni – cures intoxication.


Tanduliyaka (Amaranthus tricolor Linn) is
Rooksha – dry
Mada Vishaghna – anti-poisonous, anti-toxic
Useful in Raktapitta – bleeding disorders
Madhura – sweet in taste and Vipaka
Sheeta – cold in potency.


Gotu Kola benefits – Mandukaparni
Gotu kola, tender shoots of Vetra (Salix caprea), Kuchela (Cissampelos pareira Linn),Vanatiktaka (Cyclea peltata), Karkotaka (Momordica dioica Roxb), Avaluguja (Psoralea corylifolia Linn), Patola (Trichosanthes cucumerina Linn),Shakuladani – Picrorhiza kurroa, flowers of Vasa (Adhotoda Vasica Nees), Sharngestha, Kembuka, Katillaka (Boerhaavia diffusa Linn), Nadi, round variety of Kalaya (Lathyrus aphaca Linn), Gojihva (Onosma bracteatum Wall), Vartaka (Solanum melongena Linn), Tilaparni (Gynandropsis Gynandra Briquet), Karavelaka (Bitter gourd), Karkasha, Nimba – Neem, Prapataka(Fumaria Parviflora Lam),- all these are alleviators of Kapha and Pitta, bitter in taste, cold in potency and pungent in Vipaka. [88-97]

Qualities of vegetables

All types of Supasaka viz:

  • Mashaparni – Teramnus labialis Spreng
  • Phanji (Rives ornata Chois),
  • Chilli (Chenopodium album Linn),
  • Kutumbaka (Laucas Linifolia Spreng ),
  • all types of Aluka (potato and tubers) along with their leaves,
  • Kutinjara shana (Crotalaria juncia Linn).
  • Flower of Salmali (Salmalia Malabarica Schotts & End),
  • Karbudara (Bauhinia Variegata Linn- White variety),
  • Suvarchala (Helianthus annuus Linn).
  • Nishpava (a variety of pea),
  • Kovidara (Bauhinia variegata Linn- red variety),
  • Pattura (Celosia argentea Linn),
  • Chucchuparni (Corchorus olitorius Linn),
  • Kumarajeeva (Putranjiva roxburghii Wall),
  • Lottaka (Eriobotrya Japonica Lindl),
  • Palankya -Spinach (Spinacia oleracea Linn),
  • Maarisha (Amaranthus tricolor Linn),
  • Kalamba (Ipomoea reptans Poir),
  • Nalika (Onosama ecocides Linn),
  • Lonika (Portulaca oleracea Linn),
  • Yavasaka (Alhagi pseuudolhagi Devs),
  • Kushmanda – Ash gourd
  • Avalguja (Psoralea corylifolia Linn),
  • Yatuka, Salakalyani,
  • Triparni (Adiantum Lunulatum Burm),
  • Peeluparni

All these vegetables are –
Vegetables of all these types are
Guru – heavy
Rooksha – dry
Madhura – sweet
Sheeta veerya – cold potency
Bhedana – purgative.
They produce wind during the process of digestion. They become wholesome for intake when boiled and drained of the juice, and added with fatty substances in plenty.


Flowers of Shana (Crotalaria juncea Linn)

  • Kovidara (Bauhinia variegata Linn- red. Cariety),
  • Karbudara (white variety of Kovidara) and
  • Shalmali (Salmalia malabarica Schott and Endl). Are –
  • Grahi – absorbent, bowel binding
  • useful for Raktapitta (a disease characterized by bleeding from different parts of the body).

Tender leaves

Tender leaves of

  • Nyagrodha (Ficus benghalensis Linn),
  • Udumbara(Ficus racemosa Linn),
  • Ashvattha (Ficus religiosa Linn),
  • Plaksha (Ficus Lacor Buch-Ham),
  • Kamala – Lotus etc. Are –
  • Kashaya – astringent
  • Stambhana – causes constipation, stops bleeding
  • Sheeta – coolant
  • Useful in Diarrhoea of Pitta origin (Pitta Atisara).

Vatasadani (Tinspora cordifolia Miers), Alleviates Vata, Gandira (Euphorbia antiquorum Linn) and Chitraka – Leadwort- Plumbago zeylanica Linn, alleviate Kapha.

Shreyasi (Terminalia Corr) Alleviate Vata.

Bhandi, Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus Wild), Bala – Country mallow (root) – Sida cordifolia Linn, Jivanti – Leptadenia reticulata, Parvani and Parvapushpa, alleviate Vata and Pitta.
Langalika(Gloriosa superb Linn) and Urubuka (a variety of Ricinus communis Linn) are light, Laxative and bitter.

Tila (Sesamum indicum Linn) sesame leaves, Vetasa (Salix caprea Linn), and the small variety of Eranda castor aggravate Vata. They are pungent, bitter and sour in taste and purgative.

Kusumbha (Carthamus tinctorius Linn) is unctuous, sour, hot in potency, balances Kapha and aggravator of Pitta. Both Trapusa (Cucumis Sativus Linn) and Ervaruka (Cucumis melo var utilissmus) are sweet, heavy, producers of wind in the intestine and cold in potency.

Trapusha, however, is palatable, unctuous and exceedingly diuretic. Ripe fruit of Ervaruka cures burning sensation, thirst and exhaustion.

Alabu (Lagenaria siceraria Standl), is Purgative, unctuous, cold in potency and heavy.

Chirbhata (Cucumis melo Linn) and Ervaruka share the properties of Alabu (Lagenaria Siceraria Standl) but the former two are useful in Diarrhoea.


Ripe ash gourd benefits – Kushmanda:
Ash gourd is sweet and sour in taste, slightly alkaline and light. It helps elimination of urine and faeces and alleviates all the three vitiated Doshas.[98-113]
Water plants and others:
Keluta, Kadamba(Anthocaphius indicus A. Rich),
Nadi mashaka and Enduka are:
Vishada – non-slimy, clear
Guru – heavy
Sheeta – cold
Abhishyandi – causes obstruction to the channel of circulation, causes coating inside the channels
Various types of blue lotus Utpala (Nymphaea alba) are astringent and cure Raktapitta (a disease characterized by bleeding from different parts of the body).

Palm, dates

Sprout of Palm – Tala (Borassus flabellifer Linn) cures pain due to chest injury (Urakshata ruja)
Dates – Khajura (Phoenix sylvestris Roxb) and the kernel of Tala – Palm (Borassus flabellifer Linn) are curative of Raktapitta ( a disease characterized by bleeding from various parts of the body) and Kshataruja – pain due to injury.

Taruta, Bisa (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn), Shaaluka (Nymphaea alba Linn), Kraunchaadana, Kasheruka (Scirpus grossus Linn), Shringataka (Trapa bispinosa Roxb), Ankalodya (small variety of Nymphaea alba Linn) are –
Guru – heavy
Vishtambhi – productive of wind in the abdomen, causes bloating
Sheeta – cold in potency.
Rhizome, flower and fruit of Kumuda (a variety of lotus) and utpala( Nymphaea alba Roxb.) are cold in potency, sweet and astringent in taste. They aggravate Kapha and vata.

Seeds of Pushkara

Seeds of Pushkara (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn) are slightly astringent, productive of wind in the abdomen, creative of wind in the abdomen, curative of Raktapitta(a disease characterised by bleeding from different of the body) and sweet both in taste and in Vipaka.


Munijaataka (Eulophia campestris wall) is strength promoting, cold in potency, heavy, unctuous, refreshing, nourishing, sweet and exceeding aphrodisiac. It alleviates Vata and Pitta. Vidari (Ipomoea Paniculata R.Br) is invigorating, nourishing, aphrodisiac, tonic, diuretic, sweet in taste and cold in potency. It promotes strength and voice.

Tamarind root

The root of tamarind Amlika (Tamarindus indica Linn) is beneficial for malabsorption syndrome (IBS), piles and alcoholism. It is light, bowel- binding and not very hot in potency. It alleviates both Vata and Kapha.
Leaves of Sarshapa – Mustard leaf (Brassica nigra Kotch) vitiate all the three Doshas and obstruct the elimination of urine and stool.
Raktanala (Hibiscus Sabdariffa Linn) shares all the properties of Sarsapa (Brassica Nigra Kotch) but it is especially unctuous and sour in taste.
Pindalu (Dioscorea Alata Linn) shares all the qualities of mustard and being an edible root, it is Patable.
In addition to Sarpachatraka (a type of mushroom), there are many other types of Mushroom – Chatra (Psalliota Campestris Fr) which are cold in potency, heavy and sweet in taste. They aggravate Vata.
Read related: Mushrooms: Uses, Remedies, Research, Side Effects

Thus ends the group of vegetables which include leaves, roots including rhizomes, fruits, flowers etc.[114-124]

Phala Varga (fruits)

Fruits and their qualities – Phala Vargha


Raisin provides immediate cure for
Trishna – excessive thirst
Daha – Burning sensation
Jwara – fever
Shwasa – asthma, respiratory disorders involving difficulty in breathing
Raktapitta – bleeding disorders like nasal bleeding and menorrhagia
Kshata – chest injury
Kshaya – tuberculosis, chronic respiratory diseases wasting of muscles
Vata Pitta disorders
Udavarta – bloating
Swarabheda – hoarse voice
Madatyaya – alcoholism
Tiktasyata – bitter taste in tongue
Asya Shosha – mouth dryness
Kasa – cold, cough
Raisins are
Bruhmani – improves nourishment
Vrushya – aphrodisiac
Madhura – sweet
Snigdha – unctuous, oily
Sheetala – coolant


Dates benefits:
Dates (Phoenix sylvestris Roxb) are:
Madhura – sweet
Brumhana – improves nourishment
Vrushya – aphrodisiac
Guru – heavy
Sheetala – coolant
Useful in
Kshaya – tuberculosis, chronic respiratory diseases wasting of muscles
Abhighata – injury
Daha – Burning sensation
Balances Vata and Pitta.


Phalgu (Ficus Hispida Linn) Is refreshing, nourishing, heavy and cold in potency. It produces wind in the stomach. Parushaka (Grewia Asiatica Linn) and Madhuka (MAdhuca Indica J.F.Gmel) are useful in alleviating vitiated Vata as well as Pitta.

Sweet variety of Amrataka (Spondias Pinnata Kurz) is sweet in taste , nourishing, strength promoting, refreshing, heavy, unctuous, aggravator of Kapha, cold in potency and aphrodisiac. During digestion, it produces wind in the abdomen.
Ripe fruits of palmyra and coconut. Palm and coconut fruit are
Brumhana – improves nourishment
Snigdha – unctuous, oily
Sheeta – cold
Balya – improves strength and immunity
Madhura – sweet


Bhavya(dillenia indica Linn) is sweet, sour and astringent in taste, productive of wind in the abdomen, heavy, cold in potency, aggravator of Pitta as well as Kapha and bowel- binding. It clears the mouth.

Sour variety of Parushaka, (Grewia Asiatic Linn) Draksha (sour grapes), Badara(Zizyphus Jujuba Lam), Aruka (Prunus Persica Linn), Karkandhu (Zizyphus nummularia W. and A) and Nikucha (Artocarpus Lakandhu Roxb) aggravate Pitta and Kapha.


Ripe aruka (Prunus persica Linn) is not very hot in potency. It is very heavy, sweetish, palatable, nourishing and easily digestible. It does not aggravate much of Dosas.
There are two types of Paravata (Psidium guajava Linn)
Fruits– one is sweet in taste and cold in potency and the other is sour in taste and hot in potency. Both of them are heavy to digest and curative of anorexia as well as excessive digestion and metabolism.
Fruit of Kasmarya (Gmelina Arborea Linn) is only slightly different from Bhavya (Dillenia indica Linn) in quality.
Sour variety of Tuda (Morus acedosa Griff) is also slightly different from Parusaka (Grewia asiatica Linn) in quality.
Tanka (Pyrus communis Linn) is astringent, sweet in taste and cold in potency. It aggravates Vata.


Curd fruit / Elephant apple / Wood apple benefits – Kapittha
Unripe curd fruit (Feronia Limonia Swingle) is:
Kantaghna – harmful for voice.
Vishaghna – anti-poisonous, anti-toxic
Grahi – absorbent, bowel binding
Vatala – causes Vata increase
Madhura – sweet, Amla – sour, Kashaya – astringent
Sugandha –has a good smell.
Ruchiprada – improves taste
Ripe fruit balances all the three Doshas.
Vishaghna – anti-poisonous, anti-toxic
Grahi – absorbent, bowel binding
Guru – heavy.

Bael Fruit

Bael fruit benefits:
Ripe fruit of bael (Aegle Marmelos Corr) is
Durjara – difficult for digestion,
Doshala – aggravates all the Doshas
Pooti Maruta – producer of foul smelling flatus.
The young unipe bael fruits
Snigdha – unctuous, oily
Ushna – hot
Teekshna -Piercing
Pittavardhana – increases Pitta.
Deepana – improves digestion strength
Kapha Vatajit – Balances Kapha and Vata.


Ripe mango benefits:
Unripe mango worsens bleeding disorders and Pitta.
Ripe mango balances Vata, increases muscle, semen, strength and immunity.


Jamun fruit benefits-
Jambu (Syzygium cumini Skeels ) is
Madhura – sweet
Kashaya – slightly astringent
Guru – heavy
Vishtambhi – producer of wind in abdomen, causes bloating
Sheetala – coolant
balances Kapha and Pitta,
Grahi – absorbent, bowel binding
Vatakara – aggravation of Vata.
Jujube – Badara (Zizyphus Jujuba Lam)

Jujube, Phalgu

Jujube fruit is sweet, unctuous, laxative, and balances Vata as well as Pitta. Its dried fruits alleviate Vata and Kapha but do not go against Pitta.
Phalgu (Ficus hispida Linn) is refreshing, nourishing, heavy and cold in potency. It produces wind in the stomach.
Parushaka (Grewia Asiatica Linn) and Madhuka– Licorice – Glycyrrhiza glabra are useful in alleviating vitiated Vata as well as Pitta.

Sweet variety of Amrataka – Spondias pinnata Kurz. is sweet in taste, nourishing, strength promoting, refreshing, heavy, unctuous, aggravator of Kapha, cold in potency and aphrodisiac. During digestion, it produces wind in the abdomen.


There are two types of Paravata (Psidium Guajava Linn). fruits. One is sweet in taste and cold in potency and other is sour in taste and hot in potency. Both of them are heavy to digest and curative of anorexia as well as excessive digestion and metabolism.

Fruit of Kasmarya (Gmelina arborea linn) is only slightly different from Bhavya (Dillenia indica Linn) in quality. Gangeruki (Grewia Papulitalia Vahl), Karira (Capparis Decidua Edge), Bimbi (Coccinia indica W and A) Todana a variety of (Grwia Tillifolia Vahl) and Dhanvana (Grewia Tiliafolia Vahl) are sweet accompanied with astringent in taste, cold in potency and balances Pitta and Kapha.

Jack Fruit

Jack fruit Benefits: Ripe fruits of Panasa (jack fruit – Artocarpus Hetrophyllus Lam), Mocha (Musa paraisica Linn) and Rajadana (Mimusops Hexandra Roxb) are sweet accompanied with astringent in taste, cold in potency, unctuous and heavy to digest.


Fruits of Lavali (Cicca Acida Merrill ) are palatable because of their astringent taste, non-sliminess and fragrance. When taken in, they produce good taste in other food articles. It is good for the heart but aggravates Vata.

Nipa (Anthocephalns indicus A. Rich), Shatahvaka (Asparagus racemosus Willd), Pilu (Salvadora persica Linn), Trunasunya (Pandanus tectorius Soland), Vikankata (Gymnosporia spinosa Fiori) and Pracinamalaka (Flacourtia Jangomas Racusch) alleviate vitiated Doshas and toxic conditions.
Ingudi (Balanites Aegyptiaca Delile) is bitter and sweet in taste, unctuous, hot in potency and balances Kapha as well as Vata.
Tindnka (Dispyros peregrine Gurke ) is astringent , sweet, light and balances Kapha as well as Pitta.


Amla benefits – Amalaki
Amla (Emblica officinalis Gaertn. contains all tastes except salt
Rooksha – dry
Swadu – sweet
Kashaya – astringent
Balances Kapha and Pitta.


Bibhitaka (Terminalia Belerica Roxb)
Vibheetaki cures the diseases relating to Rasa (Plasma), Rakta (blood), Mamsa (flesh ) and Medas (fat). Useful in
Swarabheda – hoarse voice
Kapha Utkleda – kapha is increased
Pitta roga


Pomegranate benefits:
There are three types of Dadima – Pomegranate.
The first variety which is the best of all is sour, astringent and sweet in taste, balances Vata, bowel – binding, promoter of digestion, unctuous, hot in potency and cardiac tonic. It does not provoke Kapha and Pitta. It cures hoarseness of voice and disease due to the vitiation of Kapha as well as Pitta. The second variety is unctuous and sour in taste. It aggravates Pitta and Vata.
The third variety is sweet and it alleviates Pitta.
Vrikshamla – Garcinia morella is bowel- binding, unctuous, hot in potency and useful in vitiated Vata and Kapha.

Tamarind – Ripe fruit of Amlika (Tamarindus indicus Linn) is slightly different from it in quality.
Amlavetasa (Rheum emodi Wall) shares all the qualities of Vrikshamla – Garcinia morella. In addition, it is laxative.


Matulunga – Lemon variety:
The filaments of Matulunga – Citron fruit – Citrus medica are useful in colic pain, anorexia, constipation, impairment of digestion, alcoholisms, hiccough, dyspnoea, cough, vomiting, disorders relating to faces and such other diseases as arise from the vitiated Vata as well as Kapha. Filaments, unlike other parts of this plant, are light.


Karcura (Hedychium Spicatum Ham ex Smith) without skin is palatable, digestive stimulant, cordial, fragrant and balances Kapha as well as Vata. It is useful for suffering from dyspnea, hiccough and piles.
Fruit Nagaranga (Citrus reticulata Blanco) is slightly sour, cordial, difficult to digest and heavy. It makes other foods palatable.

Other Fruits

Vatama (Prunus Amygdalus Batsch), Abhisuka Aksota (Juglans regia Linn) Mukula (Pistacia vera Linn), nikuca (Artocarpus lakoocha Roxb) and Urumana (Prunus armeniaca Linn) are heavy, hot in potency, unctuous, sweet, strength promoting, balances Vata, nourishing, aphrodisiac and aggravator of Kaphas as well as Pitta. Priyala (Buchanania Lazan Spreng) shares all the qualities except their potency in which it is cold.

  • Fruit of Slesmataka (Cordia dichotoma Forst F) is sweet in taste, cold in potency, heavy and aggravator of Kapha.
  • Fruit of Ankota (Alangium Salviifolium Wang) is heavy and aggravator of Kapha. It produces wind in the abdomen and alleviates heat of the body.
  • Fruit of Sami (Prosopis spicigera Linn) is heavy, hot, sweet in taste, unctuous and depilatory of hair.
  • Fruit of Karanja (Pongamia pinnata) produces wind in the abdomen and does not provoke Vata or Kapha.
  • Sour variety of Amrataka – Spondias pinnata Kurz, Dantasatha Airavataka are sour in taste and they cause Raktapitta (a condition characterised by bleeding from different parts of the body.
  • Vartaka (Solanum Melongena Linn) alleviates Vata. It is pungent and bitter in taste. It stimulates digestion.
  • Fruit of parpataki aggravates Vata and alleviates Kapha as well as Pitta.
  • Fruits of Aksiki are sour. It aggravates Vata but alleviates Pitta as well as Kapha.
  • Fruits of Asvattha, (fruits religiosa Linn), Udumbaa (Ficus Racemosa Linn), Plaksa (Ficus Lacor Buch Ham) and Nyagrodha (Ficus Bengalensis) astringent sweet, sour and heavy. They aggravate Vata.
  • Marking nut – Nut of Bhallataka (Semecarpus Anacardium Linn) is caustic like fire but its sweet and cold in potency.
  • Thus ends the fifth group dealing with fruits that are commonly used.[125-265]

Raw vegetables (Harita Varga)

Vegetables Used uncooked – Harita Varga

Fresh ginger

Fresh ginger benefits – Ardraka Vishva Bheshaja:

Green ginger is
Rochaka – appetiser
Deepana – improves digestion strength
Vrushya – aphrodisiac
Its juice is useful in Vata and Kapha disorders
Vibandha – constipation.


Lemon juice benefits – Jambira
Jambira (Citrus medica Linn) is
Rochana – appetiser
Deepana – improves digestion strength
Teekshna -Piercing
Sugandhi – good smelling
Mukha Shodhana – mouth- cleanser
balances Kapha as well as Vata and
Krimighna – antimicrobial.
Pachana – It helps digestion of food.


Tender radish alleviates Doshas. When overgrown, it provokes these doshas. When cooked with unctuous substance, it alleviates Vata. When dried, it alleviates Kapha and Vata.


Surasa (Ocimum Sanctum Linn) cures
Hikka – hiccough,
Kasa – cold, cough
Visha – toxic conditions
Shwasa – asthma, respiratory disorders involving difficulty in breathing
Parshva Shoola – pain in the flanks, side of chest and abdomen
Pittakrut – increases Pitta
Balances Kapha and Vata
relieves bad odor.

Yavani (Trachyspemum Ammi Sprague), Arjaka( Ocimum Gratissimum Linn), Shigru (Moringa oleifera Lam), Shaleya (Trigonella foenum- graecum Linn) and Mrustaka (Brassica Nigra Koch) are Hrudya – cardiac tonic, good for heart
and palatable. They provoke Pitta.

Gandira (Euphorbia Antiquorum Linn), Jalapippali ( Commelina Salicifolia Roxb), Tumburu (Zanthoxylum Alatum Roxb) and sprouts of Shringavera – Ginger – Zingiber officinale Rosc. are:
Teekshna – Piercing, sharp,
hot in potency, pungent in taste and unctuous. They alleviate Kapha and Vata. Bhustrna (Cymbopogon Citratus Stapf) is
Pumstvaghna – unaphodisiac, pungent , unctuous, hot in potency, and cleanser of mouth.
Kharahva (Trachyspermum Roxburghianum Sprague) alleviates Kapha, Vata and the disorders of the urinary bladder.


Dhanyaka (Coriandrum Sativum Linn), Ajagandha (Gynandropsis Gynandra Briquet ) and Sumukha are appetisers and fragrant. They are not very pungent. They also do not provoke Doshas.
Grunjanaka is bowel- binding and sharp. It is useful for piles and diseases due to the vitiation of Vata and Kapha. It is to be used for fomentation and as a food for such people who do not have Pitta in excess.


Palandu Onion (Allium cepa Linn) aggravates Kapha and alleviates Vata, but it does not alleviate Pitta. It is useful as a food. It is heavy and aphrodisiac. It promotes strength and appetite.


Garlic – Lasuna (Allium Sativum Linn) cues infectious, obstinate skin disease, disease due to the vitiation of Vata and abdominal tumour. It is unctuous, hot in potency, aphrodisiac pungent and heavy. In dried form as also the fruits of these plants that are used in salad form, alleviate Kapha and Vata.
Thus ends the sixth group consisting of such plants that are used in salad form. [116-177]

Wines (Madya Varga)

Qualities of wines – Madya ( intoxicants liquors) – Madya Varga
Now begins the group of wines. By nature wines in general are
Amla – sour in taste as well as Vipaka and
Ushna – hot in potency. The properties of specific types of wine will now be described.[178]


Different varieties of liquors and their qualities :
Sura type of wine is useful for patients from emaciation, suppression of urine, malabsorption syndrome (IBS)and piles. It alleviates Vata and is useful in deficient lactation as well as anaemia.
Madira type of wine is useful in hiccups, dyspnoea, coryza, cough, constipation, anaemia, emesis and obstruction of faces and urine. It also alleviates Vata.

Jagala type of wine is useful in colic pain, dysentery, meteorism, piles and oedema. It alleviates Kapha and Vata. It is constipative, unctuous, hot and carminative.

Arishta type of wine is useful in Kshaya – emaciation, piles, malabsorption syndrome (IBS), anaemia, anorexia, fever and diseases caused by the vitiation of Kapha. It is both digestive and carminative.

Sharkara type of wine is palatable, of light intoxicating effect and useful in bladder diseases. It is digestive stimulant, cordial and conducive to good complexion after it is well digested.

Pakvarasa type of wine is palatable, digestive, cordial and useful in Kshaya – emaciation, oedema and piles. It cures diseases caused by the improper administration of unctuous substances and vitiation of Kapha. It promotes complexions.
Sitarasika type of wine helps digestion. Alleviates constipation, promotes voice as well as complexion and is useful in oedema, abdominal diseases and piles.

Gauda type of wine produces more faeces and flatus. It caused diarrhoea and excessive elimination of flatus. It is nourishing and digestive. Aksiki type of wine is useful for anaemia and ulcers. It is a digestive stimulant.
Sursava type of wine is a very strong intoxicant. It alleviates Vata and is palatable.
Madhvasava type of wine is depletive and sharp.
Maireya type of wine is sweet and heavy.
Dhatakyasava (Asava prepared with the fruits (actually flowers are used in practice) of Dhataki – Woodfordia fruticosa). Type of wine is cordial, unctuous, palatable and digestive.

Asava prepared with grape and sugarcane juice shares all the Madhvika but it is not too hot in potency.
Wine prepared with honey is palatable, digestives, cordial and strength promoting. It doesn’t aggravate Pitta and Vata to a great extent. It alleviates Kapha and cures constipation.
Wine prepared with barley together with its Manda (scum) is unctuous and hot. It aggravates Vata and Pitta.

Wine prepared with Madhulika (Ragi, Finger Millet – Eleusine coracana / Or type of Godhuma – wheat – Triticum sativum) is heavy. It produces wind during digestion. It aggravates Kapha.
Sauviraka and Tushodaka are digestive and carminative. They are useful in heart diseases, anaemia, parasitic infections, malabsorption syndrome (IBS)and piles. They are also laxative.
Sour alleviates burning sensation and fever by external application. When taken in, it alleviates Vata, Kapha and constipation. It is laxative and digestive .

Qualities and Benefits

Qualities and benefits of wine – fresh and old –
Generally speaking, fresh wine is heavy and it aggravates all Doshas.
Old wine clarifies the channels of circulation. It is digestive, light and palatable.
Wine in general is exhilarating, and nourishing. It eliminates fear, grief and exhaustion. It promotes confidence, energy, intelligence, contentment, nourishment and strength. If taken by good people observing all the rules, it works as an elixir.
Thus the seventh group pertaining to wine is described. [179-195]


Now being the description of the group consisting of various types of water.
The entire water is ultimately of only one type viz, the one which falls from sky as directed by Indra.

Rain water contamination, qualities

While falling and also after fall from the sky, the properties of water vary depending upon the time and space.[196]

Contamination :
Water falling from the sky water comes in content with the moon, the air and the sun-all ordained by the time. Similarly, after its fall on the earth, it gets in touch with the proximal properties of the earth liked cold, heat, unctuousness etc.[197]

Qualities of Rain water:
By nature rain water has six qualities viz, coldness, purity, benevolence, pleasantness and clearness.

Effects of season

Effects of season on rain water:
After it has fallen down on the earth, its properties are determined by the place where it falls.
If it falls on the earth of white colour, it becomes astringent in taste.
on yellowish white earth it is bitter,
on brown earth it is alkaline,
on salt soil it is of salt taste on the mountain valley it is pungent in taste on the black soil it is sweet in taste. These are the six properties of rainwater that has fallen on the ground. Tastes are not manifested in the rain- water, hailstone or snow water.

The rain water falling from the sky as ordained by Indra and collected in the suitable receptacle is known as Aindra. This is the water par excellence fit to be taken by kings.
The water which is slightly astringent and sweet in taste, exceedingly thin, non-slime, light, soft and non-greasy is best to be taken.
Rainwater available in the rainy season is heavy and greasy. The one available during the autumn is thin, light and non-greasy. Persons with tender bodily constitution, and those who are accustomed to taking predominantly unctuous food are advised to use this water in the preparation of mistakable and eatable food, linctus and drinks.

  • Water available during the Hemanta (winter) season is unctuous, aphrodisiac, strength promoting and heavy.
  • Water of the Shishira (later part of winter) is slightly lighter and balances Kapha and Vata. Water available during spring is astringent as well as sweet in taste and unctuous. Water of summer season is not greasy.

Thus the properties of various types of water in different seasons have been described. water collected from non-seasonal rains is undoubtedly unwholesome.
Water of autumn season collected in suitable receptacles should specially be used by kings, those enjoying royal authority and persons having tender heaths .[198-208]

River water

The (water) of rivers originating from the Himalayas and with their water dispersed, disturbed and hit by stones are sacred and wholesome. The divine sages use this water.
The rivers originating from the Malayas and those carrying stones and sand possess clear water. The water of such rivers is just like nectar.
The rivers flowing towards the west possess wholesome and clear water. Those flowing towards the eastern sea generally possess soft and heavy water. Rivers originating from the Pariyatra (Western Vindhya range). Vindhya and Sahya ranges are responsible for diseases of head, heart, obstinate skin diseases including leprosy and filaria. [209-212]

Water reservoirs and rivers of rainy season:
The rivers carrying rainwater which are vitiated by the mud, insects, snakes, mice and dirt are responsible for all kinds of diseases. The water of the pond, well, lake, spring, tank and cascade shares the merits and demerits of the places in which they are situated, e.g marshy land, hilly area, desert etc.
The water which is slimy, full of parasites and vitiated with leaves, moss and mud, of ugly color high density, having bad taste, and smell is not wholesome.
Water of the sea possesses a fishy smell and is salty. It is responsible for the aggravation of the three doshas.
Thus the eight group consisting of various types of described.[213-216]

Milk and dairy products (Gorasa Varga)

10 qualities of cow milk

Cow milk has ten properties viz:
Swadu – Sweetness,
Sheeta – cold
Mrudu – soft
Snigdha – unctuous, oily
Bahala – density, thick
Shlakshna – smoothness,
Picchila – slimeness, stickiness
Guru – heavy
Manda – slowness
Prasanna – calming, clarity.
These are also the properties of Ojas. So milk having identical properties is conducive to the promotion of Ojas. Thus milk is an elixir par excellence (Rasyana)

Buffalo milk

Milk of buffalo is
Guru – heavier than cow milk, cold is compared with the cow’s milk. It has more of an unctuousness, oiliness and it is useful for persons suffering from insomnia and too rapid digestion.

Camel milk:

Milk of the camel is
Rooksha – dry
Ushna – hot
slightly salt,
Laghu – light to digest
Useful in Anaha (bloating, constipation), parasitic infection, odema, ascites, piles and other diseases due to the vitiation of Vata and Kapha.

Ekashapha ksheera

The milk of Animals having one hoof (that is, mare, ass etc) is all
Balya – improves strength and immunity
Stairyakara – stabilising
Ushna – hot
sour, salt, unctuous, cures Vata diseases of extremities and light.

Goat milk

Milk of the goat is astringent as well as sweet in taste,
Grahi – absorbent, bowel binding
Laghu – light to digest
and it is useful for persons suffering from Raktapitta (a disease characterised by bleeding from various parts of the body), diarrhoea, Kshaya – emaciation, coughing and fever.
Milk of sheep is hot. It aggravates hiccups and dyspnoea. It also alleviates Pitta and Kapha.
Milk of elephants is strength- giving, heavy and stabilizing.

Human milk

Human breast milk is invigorating, nourishing, wholesome and oleating. As an inhalation, it is useful for Rakta Pitta (haemothemia). It is also soothing for people who have pain in their eyes. [217-224]

Curds qualities and benefits

Curd is
Rochana – improves taste, appetizer
Deepana – improves digestion strength
Vrushya – aphrodisiac
Snehana – imparts oiliness
Balavardhana – improves strength and immunity
Amla Vipaka – Sour taste conversion after digestion
Ushna – hot
Vataghna – Balances Vata
Mangalya – auspicious
Brumhana – improves nourishment
Useful in
Pinasa (rhinitis),
Atisara – diarrhoea,
Sheetaka – fever with cold
Vishamajwara – irregular fever,
Aruchi – Anorexia, lack of interest in food
Mutrakrichra – dysuria, difficulty to pass urine
Karshya – emaciation
It is generally harmful during autumn, summer and spring seasons. It is invariably harmful in diseases caused by the vitiation of blood, Pitta and Kapha.[225-227]


Immature curd aggravates all the three Dosha. Curd in its primary stage alleviates Vata.
Cream of curd is Shukrala – improves male and female reproductive system, improves semen, sperm quality and quantity. They alleviates Kapha as well as Vata and also clears the channels of circulation.[228]


Buttermilk is useful in
Shopha – oedema
Arsha – Haemorrhoids
Grahani – Malabsorption syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Mutragraha – urine retention
Udara – Ascites
Aruchi – Anorexia, lack of interest in food
Snehavyapat – in case of ghee and fat indigestion
affliction with Gara type of poison.
Pandu – Anaemia, initial stages of liver disorders
It is also used for alleviating the complications of oleation therapy.[229]

Butter benefits

Fresh butter is digestive, stimulant and cardio-tonic. It is useful in malabsorption syndrome (IBS). Piles, facial paralysis and anorexia.[230]


Cow ghee promotes memory, intellect, power of digestion, semen, Ojas,
Kapha and fat.
It alleviates Vata, Pitta
Visha – toxic conditions
Unmada – insanity,
Shosha – emaciation
Alakshmihara – it is auspicious.
It is the best of all the unctuous substances. Cold in potency and sweet both in taste as well as Vipaka. When administered according to the prescribed procedure, it increases, thousand times in potency and develops manifold utilities.

Old Ghee

Purana Ghrita – Old cow ghee is useful in
Mada – intoxication,
Apasmara – epilepsy,
Moorcha – fainting,
Shosha – emaciation
Unmada – schizophrenia, insanity
Gara – remnant poisons
Jwara – fever
Pain in the ear, head as well as female genital tract.
Properties of ghee of other animals viz, goat, sheep and buffalo are the same as those of their milk.[231-233]

Other milk products

Colostrums, Morata (Milk of a cow seven days after calving MW) and various types of Kilata (inspissated milk) are useful for patients having strong digestion and insomnia. They are heavy, refreshing, aphrodisiac and alleviators of Vata.
Takrapinda (cheese) is non-slime, heavy, unctuous and bowel- binding.
Thus ends the ninth group consisting of milk and milk products of cow and other animals. [234-236]

Varieties of sugarcane (Ikshu Varga)

When taken by chewing, sugarcane juice is
Vrushya – aphrodisiac
Sheeta – cold
Sara – laxative, promotes movement of liquids in channels
Snigdha – unctuous, oily
Brumhana – improves nourishment
Madhura – sweet
Shleshmala – increases Kapha

But the machine pressed juice causes burning sensation (indigestion).
Paundraka type of sugarcane (near to white colour) is superior to Vamshaka is also good. 236]

Products of Sugarcane

Treacle / jaggery (Guda) causes increased parasitic infection.
Majjakara – It increases the quantity of marrow,
Asruk kara – improves blood
medo mamsakara – increases fat and muscles.
Before its formation as treacle (guda) the sugar cane juice undergoes four stages viz.
Ardhavasheshita ( when only ½ of the juice remains in the process of boiling),
Tribhaga avaseshishita (when 1/3 rd remains),
Chaturbhag Avasheshita (when ¼th remains) and
Kshudra Guda or Phanita (Inspissated juice black in color).

The juice undergoing transformation through all these four stages is progressively heaviest.
That is to say, the Phanita (inspissated sugarcane juice) is the heaviest.

Dhauta is that variety of treacle which is cleaned and which contains increase in parasite etc. Matsyandika (crude sugar when the juice is inspissed so as to take the shape of fish eggs), Khanda ( sugar candy ) and Sarkara (sugar) are all progressively better refined and cooler in relation to Dhauta Guda.
That is to say, sugar represents the best refined stage of juice. It is also the coldest of all varieties.

Sugar prepared of sugar cane juice is

  • Vrushya – aphrodisiac
  • useful in emaciation and unctuous.
  • The sugar prepared by boiling the decoction or Duralabha ( Fagonia Cretica Linn) is known as bitter in taste and cold in potency.
  • Sugar deposited in the vessel containing honey is unctuous and useful in vomiting as well as diarrhoea. It is depleting.
  • Sugar in general is useful in thirst, Raktapitta (a disease characterized by bleeding from different parts of the body) and burning sensation.[238-242]

Types of honey and benefits

Honey has four types viz.
1. Makshika (honey collected by the red variety of honey bee)
2. Bhraamara (honey collected by Bhrunara type of bee)
3. Kshaudra (honey collected by small type of honey bee)
4. Paittaka (honey collected Puttika type of bee – they are of big size.)
Of them, Makshika is the best, Bhramara is specially heavy.

  • Makshika type of honey is of the color of til oil.
  • Paittika is the color of ghee.
  • Kshaudra is brown in color
  • Bhramara is of white color.

Honey in general is the aggravation of Vata, heavy, cold in potency and detoxifies blood, Pitta as well as Kapha. It promotes healing and depletion. Warm honey or honey taken by an individual suffering from excess hotness is fatal because during the process of collection it is contaminated with poisonous material from the bees themselves or from the various poisonous plants.
Honey should be taken in small quantities because it is heavy, unctuous, astringent in taste and cold in potency. [243-246]

Precaution for honey consumption

Nothing is so troublesome as Ama caused by the improper intake of honey.
Heat is considered to be wholesome in the case of Ama, but it is not conducive to honey but is not so to Ama. So by virtue of these therapeutic contradictions, Ama produced by the improper intake of honey cause instantaneous death like poison.[247-248]

Importance of honey

As it originates from flowers having different tastes, potencies etc. honey is the best Yogavahi – catalyst substance. That is to say, it carries the properties of the drugs added to it.
Thus, ends the 10th group dealing mostly with sugarcane and its products.[249]

Cooked food preparations (Kritanna Varga)

Now begins the group consisting of food preparations.

Thin gruel (Peya)

Thin gruel ( Peya ) is useful in

  • Kshut –excess hunger
  • Trushna –excess thirst
  • Glani – tiredness
  • Daurbalya – weakness
  • Kukshiroga – abdominal disorders
  • Jwara – fever
  • It promotes sweating. It is digestive and is conducive to downward movement of the flatus as well as faeces.
  • Thick gruel (Vilepi) is refreshing, bowel binding, light and cardiac tonic.

Gruel water (Manda)

Water part of the gruel – Manda stimulates the power of digestion and
Vata Anulomana – facilitates the downward movement of flatus.
It softens the channels of circulation, produces sweating.
By virtue of its lightness and the capacity to promote digestion, gruel water is sustainer of life for those who have undergone fasting and Vamana – vomiting therapies and those who are suffering from excessive thirst, after consuming oil/ fat, Peya –gruel water is best.

Thick gruel of paddy (Laja Peya)

  • Shramaghni – relieves fatigue
  • restores voice
  • Useful in-
  • Trushna – excessive thirst
  • Atisara – diarrhoea
  • It maintains the normalcy of tissue elements and is a wholesome diet.

Thin gruel of paddy (Lajamanda)

Thick gruel of paddy promotes digestion and cures burning sensation as well as fainting. It is auspicious. This type of gruel water when properly prepared with Dhanyaka (Coriander), Pippali – Long pepper fruit – Piper longum Linn, is prescribed for persons of tender- health, children, women and told persons suffering from indigestion and irregularity in digestion.

The gruel water of fried paddy when prepared with sour pomegranate, boiled with Pippali (piper Longum Linn) and Sunthi (Ginger) always causes hunger and thirst.
It is wholesome and it helps eliminate waste products from the body of those who have undergone the purificatory therapies.
Roasted flour of the fried paddy is astringent as well as sweet in taste, cold in potency and light.[250-256]

Different rice preparations

Rise prepared of the boiled ( dehusked) paddy, well cleaned and filtered is light when taken hot. Fried rice is useful even in toxic conditions as well as diseases due to Kapha.
The rice prepared of unboiled paddy, not cleaned as well as filtered, is heavy specially when taken after it has become cold.

Rice prepared with meat, vegetable, muscle fat, oil, ghee, marrow and fruit is strength promoting, refreshing, cardiac tonic, heavy and nourishing. Similar are the properties of the rice prepared of Masha (black gram), Tila – Sesame (Sesamum indicum), Mudga (green gram) and milk.[257-259]

Preparation of yava and others

Kulmasha is heavy, unctuous, aggravates Vata and is laxative.
Edibles are also prepared with pulses, wheat, barley by steam boiling. The physician should determine their heaviness or lightness in accordance with the properties of the material used in their preparation. [260-261]

Juices and soups

Juice is of two types- the one without fat, salt and pepper, and the other prepared with fat, salt and pepper- wide Sushruta: Sutra 46: 379.
The former is thin owing to the presence of meat in a small quantity. The latte is thick owing to its preparation with plenty of fat, meat etc. similarly, soup is of two types viz, one which is sour and the other which is not sour. The latter is heavier than the former.[262]


The roasted corn-flour aggravates Vata. It is unctuous. It produces faeces in large quantities and is laxative. It provides instantaneous refreshment and strength when taken in. Roasted flour of rice is sweet, light, cool, bowel- binding, useful in Rakthapitta (a disease characterised by bleeding from various parts of the body), thirst, vomiting and fever.[293-264]

Barley Preparations

Indications for Yava – Barley (Hordeum vulgare) preparation:

Vatya preparation of barely or pastry made of barely alleviates diseases like Udavarta ( a type of abdominal disease characterized by the retention of faces), Pratisyaya (Coryza), cough urinary diseases and obstruction in throat.
Fried barely is generally depletive. Owing to its dryness, it is refreshing and due to its heaviness it is difficult to digest.
Germinated barley, Shashkuli, Madhukroda, Pindaka, Pupa, Pupalika etc are pasties which are difficult for digestion.[256-267]

Vegetable and Meat Preparations

Mixed preparations of Vegetables and meat :
Eatables prepared with fruit, meat, muscle fat, vegetables, powder of sesamum and honey are aphrodisiac, strength promoting, heavy, unctuous, promoter of strength and plumpness.
Pastries made predominantly of milk and sugarcane juice are heavy, refreshing and aphrodisiac. Eatables prepared by sugar candy, sesame, milk, honey and sugar are aphrodisiac and strength promoting but they are heavy.[268-270]

Wheat preparations

Various types of eatables of wheat prepared by adding fat or fried with fat are heavy, refreshing, aphrodisiac and cardio tonic. Pastry preparations of wheat like fried wheat, Chapati cake are light by virtue of the method involved in their preparation. Their properties can be explained accordingly.[271-272]

Pressed paddy preparation

Pruthuka (pressed paddy) is heavy and strength promoting. It should be taken only in a small quantity. Yavacipita (pressed barley) produces wind during the process of digestion. Pruthuka, if prepared without frying is laxative.[273]

Supya (pulses) preparation

Eatables prepared of pulses like Mudga (Green gram) and Masa (Phaseolus radiates Linn) aggravates Vata. They are unctuous and cold. They should be taken in small quantity together with pungent things, fat and salt.[274]

Nourishing and strengthening foods

Eatables which are cooked fully, coarse and hard, are heavy, and they take a long time to get digested. They promote nourishment as well as strength.[275]

Assessment of diet

Lightness of heaviness of eatables is determined by the types of combination, methods of preparation and properties in which ingredients are added to them. [276]


Vimardaka is prepared by the combination of several ingredients- rips, unripe, soft and fried. It is heavy, cardio- tonic , and aphrodisiac. It is useful only for persons who are physically strong. [277]

Rasala and Lassi

Rasala is nourishing, aphrodisiac, unctuous, strength promoting and palatable
Cud mixed with sugar candy is unctuous, refreshing, cardio- tonic and balances Vata.[278]

Panaka preparations

Juice – Panaka (Linctus ) preparations:
Beverages prepared of Draksha – Raisin – Vitis vinifera Linn, Kharjura (Phoenix sylvestris roxb), Kola(Zizyphus Jujuba Lam), Parusaka (Grewia Asiatic Linn), honey and products of sugarcane are heavy and they produce wind during the process of digestion. However, their properties can be determined by taking into account the ingredients and the proportion in which they are added. Various types of Ragasadava (Raga and Sadava ) are pungent, sour, sweet and salty in taste and they are light, palatable, cardio-tonic and carminative. They cause palatability in other food when added to it.
Linctuses prepared of Amra – mango – Mangifera indica(Mangifera indica Linn) and Amalaka (Emblica officinalis Gaertn) are nourishing and strength promoting. Because of their unctuousness and sweetness, they are palatable and refreshing. Properties and actions of various types of linctuses which are not described here are to be determined by the type of combination, method of preparation and the proportion in which ingredients are added to it.[279-283]

Fermented Preparations:

Fermented preparation of rice and other vegetables:

Shukta aggravates bleeding disorders, as well as Kapha and alleviates Vata. Even the rhizomes, roots and fruits carry the same property when fermented in it. Sindaki and other beverages which have become sour in taste due to prolonged storage after fermentation are palatable and light. Thus ends the eleventh group consisting of food preparation.[284-285]

Adjuvant of Food & Oils:

Food adjuvants

Now begins the group consisting of the adjuvants of food:

Sesame oil

Sesame oil is sweet with accompanying astringent taste, suitable (can penetrate through the suitable channels of the body), hot in potency and Vyavayi (which undergoes Paka or chemical change after it is pervaded all over the body). It aggravates Pitta, binds bowel and reduces the quantity of urine but it does not aggravate kapha. It is the best among the balanced Vata. It promotes strength, skin health, intelligence and power of digestion. In combination with various drugs (Samyoga), sesame oil is said to cure all diseases. In the ancient time, kings of demons, by virtue of the use of oil overcame ageing, got rid of diseases as well as fatigue-less, acquired great strength instantaneously and fought battles( successfully).

Castor Oil

Castor oil is sweet in taste, heavy, increases Kapha and balances Vata, Raktagulma (a type of abdominal tumour specially in females), heart disease, indigestion and fever.
Mustard oil is pungent in taste and hot in potency. It aggravates Rakta as well as Pitta and reduces Kapha, semen as well as Vata. It cures during itching and urticaria.

Priyala Oil

Oil of Priyala (Buchanania lanzan Spreng) is sweet in taste, heavy and aggravator of Kapha. Since it is not very hot, it is useful when Vata and Pitta are jointly aggravated.

Atasi Oil

Oil of Atasi( Linum usitatissimum Linn) is sweet as well as sour in taste, pungent in Vipaka and hot in potency. It alleviates Vata but aggravates Rakta and Pitta.

Kusumbha Oil

Oil of Kusumbha ( Carthamus Tinctorius Linn) is hot in potency, pungent in Vipaka and heavy. It produces a burning sensation and aggravates all the Doshas.

Several other oils are also used for the preparation of food. Their properties and actions are similar to those of the fruits from which these oils are extracted. [286-294]

Animal fat

Muscle fat and marrow are sweet in taste, nourishing, aphrodisiac and strength promoting. Their potencies, viz hot and coldness are to be determined according to the nature of the animal from which they are collected. [295]

Condiments, spices and salts

Dry ginger is unctuous, promoter of digestion, aphrodisiac, hot in potency, balances vata as well as Kapha, sweet in Vipaka, cardio- tonic and palatable.

Green but ripe (Pippali – Long pepper fruit is aggravator of Kapha. Sweet in taste, heavy and unctuous. Dried Pippali – Long pepper fruit – Piper longum however, balances Kapha as well as Vata, pungent in taste, hot in potency, and aphrodisiac.

Maricha – Black pepper fruit – piper nigrum is not very hot in potency, non-aphrodisiac, light and palatable. Due to its deplecting and absorbing properties, it promotes digestion and alleviates Kapha as well as Vata.
The gum resin of Hingu – Asa foetida (Ferula narthex Boiss) balances colic pain, carminative and palatable.

Saindhava (rock salt) is the best among salts. It is palatable, promoter of digestion, aphrodisiac, conducive for eye sight and balances balances all the three Doshas. And slightly sweet in taste. It does not cause burning sensation.
Sauvarcala (Sonchal salt) is suitable (capable of permeating through the subtle channels of the body), hot , light and fragrant. By virtue of these properties it is palatable, laxative and car diatonic and it purifies eructation.
Bida type of salt is sharp, hot and Vyavayin (which undergoes Paka or chemical change after it is pervaded all over the body. By virtue of these qualities, it promotes digestion, cures colic pain and helps eliminating of gas from abdomen both through the upper as well as lower tract (mouth and anus)
Aubdhida type of salt which is also known as Utkarika is pungent and slightly bitter in taste. It is alkaline, sharp and softening.
Kala type of salt is only a variety of sonchal salt having all the attributes of the latter except that in the former there is no fragrance.
Samudra (salt collected from the southern coast- also known as Karakaca) is slightly sweet in taste whereas Pamsuja (salt collected from the eastern coast) is pungent accompanied bitter taste.
Salts in general are palatable, promote of digestion, laxative and balances Vata[296-304]

Kshara (Alkalies)

YavaKshara (an alkali preparation from the plant barley) is useful in

  • Hrudroga – heart diseases,
  • Pandu – anaemia,
  • Grahani – malabsorption syndrome (IBS)
  • Pleeha – enlargement of spleen,
  • Anaha – bloating, constipation,
  • Galagraha – obstruction in throat,
  • Kasa – coughing and
  • Kaphaja Ashmari – piles of Slaismika variety.
  • Alkali preparations (Ksharas) in general are sharp, hot, light, unctuous, softening, carminative, corrosive, and caustic, digestive stimulant and depletive. They are cause burns and thereby work like life.[305-306]

Others :
Karvavi (Carum carvi Linn), Kuncika (Nigella sativa Linn), Ajaji( Cuminum cyminum Linn), Yavani (Trachyspermum ammi Sprague ), Dhanya (Coriandrum Sativum Linn) and Tumburu (Xanthoxylon alatum Roxb) are palatable, digestive stimulant, alleviator Vata as well as Kapha and remover of foul odor.[307]

Adjutants of food are ultimately in number. Thus, ends the twelfth group consisting of adjustments of food. [308]

Choice of grains

Corns and grains, one year after their harvesting, are whole some. Old corns and grains are mostly unctuous and fresh ones are heavy. Corns and grains which take a shorter time for cultivation as well as harvesting are lighter than those taking longer time. Dehusked pulse when slightly fried becomes light digestion. [309-310]

Choice of animals

Meat of animals who have died a natural death, who are emaciated (or dried up after death), who are fatty in excess, who are old, who are too young, who are killed by poisonous arrows, who graze in a land not commensurate with their natural habitat and who are bitten by shakes and tigers etc. are unwholesome otherwise, meat is wholesome, nourishing and strength promoting. [311]

Meat soup and its qualities

Meat soup is refreshing for all animals. For those who are dehydrated or emaciated, who are in the convalescence stage, those having semen, in small quantities and those who aspire better strength and complexion, meat soup is like ambrosia. When taken according to the promoter’s voice, youth, intelligence, power of sensory organs and longevity. If those who habitually indulge in exercise, sex and wine, take meat soup regularly, thy neither succumb to decreases nor less their strength. [312-315]

Unwholesome vegetable preparations

Vegetables infested with insects, exposed to wind the son long, dried up, old and unseasonal are unwholesome. When they are cooked without adding fat and residual water after boiling is not filtered out, vegetables become unwholesome for use.
Fruits which are old, unripe, afflicted by insects and serpents, exposed to snow or sun for long, growing in the land and season other than the normal habitat and time and putrefied are unwholesome.
Rules regarding salads are the same as vegetables except that the rules regarding the latter are not applicable to the former. Rules regarding the unwholesomeness of wines, water and milk products are described in the respective groups. [316-318]


Anupana – Varieties of drinks used after food

Generally postprandial drinks should have the properties opposite to those of the food taken. But at the same time, such drinks should not be harmful to the tissue elements of the body. Water as well as the eighty four varieties of alcoholic preparations (described in the 25th chapter of this section) are to be examined and with a view to ascertain their wholesomeness or otherwise and only useful drinks are to be taken.

In conditions caused by the aggravation of vata, oily and hot after drinks are useful.
Similarly in Pitta sweet and cold, and
Kapha – oily and hot post drinks are useful.
For Kshaya – emaciation meat soup is the useful post-Prandial drink. Milk is the post-prandial drink like ambrosia for those fatigued due to indolence in fast, long walk, long speeches, sex and exposure to wind and sun, for nourishing emaciated individuals, wine is the best post- prandial drink. For causing emaciation of over corpulent individuals honey water is the useful post- prandial drink. For causing emaciation of over corpulent individuals honey water is the useful post- prandial drink. Alcohol serves as useful post-prandial drink for those accustomed to alcoholic drinks as well as meat, and suffering from loss of digestion, insomnia accompanied with drowsiness, grief, fear and exhaustion.[319-324]

Effect of Anupana

Effects of after-food drinks on the individual and the food :
Now we shall explain the actions and properties of post-prandial drinks. Post- prandial drinks in general, bring about refreshment, pleasure, energy, nourishment, satisfaction and steadiness in the food eaten. It helps in broke down, softening, digesting, proper assimilation and instant diffusion of the food taken.[325]

Summing up:-
Thus it is said:
Administration of wholesome post-prandial drinks refreshes instantaneously and helps individuals in easy digestion resulting in the promotion of longevity and strength. [326]

Anupana Contraindications

Contra inditations of Anupana (after-drinks)
Water should not be taken after food by those suffering from diseases of the head due to the vitiation of Vata. Hiccup, dyspnoea, cough as well as tuberculosis. It is also prohibited for those who indulge in singing, speech and study with loud sound because it remains in the throat and chest, and removes from there the unctuous substances taken along with food resulting in the further aggravation of the condition. [327-328]

Purpose of brief description:
Only such diets and drinks as are mostly used by people, are described here. What to speak of description, it is even impossible to enumerate by names all the drugs as it is said, in the previous chapter, “There is no substance which is not useful as a drug”.(vide Sutra 26:12) Properties of such drugs which are not mentioned here may be determined by taking into account attributes made from them by the people of that locality. [329-330]

Factors determining qualities of Dietetic Articles

Animals habitat and food, organs (parts) of the body, nature, activity, sex size as well as mode of preparation and quantity are (also) to be examined to determine the properties of drugs that are not described in this text.331-]

Effect of Desha (Place)

Chara (habitat and food) consists of habitats like marshy land, water, sky and desert as well as food intake of the animal. Meat of those animals which are born or who move in water and marshy land, and who take heavy food is (heavy ( for digestion). Similarly those who take light food and are born or move in the desert are light. [332-333]

Parts of animals
Different parts of the body are thigh, head, shoulder etc. Flesh of the shoulder is heavier than of the thigh. Similarly the chest is heavier than the shoulder and head is heavier than the chest. In comparison to all the above, flesh of testicles, skin, phallus, hips, kidneys, liver and rectum, middle parts of the body, and muscle attachment with bones is heavier. This comparison of lightness and heaviness is in respect of the same animal. [334-335]

Guru-heavy and Laghu-light to digest: Mudga (Green gram), Lava (common quail) and Kapinjala (jungle bush quail) are light by nature. Similarly Masha (black gram), Varaha (pork) and buffalo are heavy by nature.
Tissue elements, viz, Rakta (blood), Mamsa (muscle, Medas (fat), Asti(bone), Majja (marrow) and Sukrs (semen ) are progressively heavier. Animals that are more active are lighter than the lazy ones. [336-337]

Sex and stature:
Of the species of quadruped animals, males are heavy and females are light. Similarly, among them, those of larger size are heavy and smaller ones light.[338]

Heaviness of food articles can be converted into lightness and vice versa by the process of preparation, as for example, the Vrihi respectively in their natural state. But when boiled on fire so as to form a cake of bolus form. [339]

The quantity of intake is also responsible for the heaviness or lightness of food articles. Even a heavy food article if taken in small quantities is light in effect and so a light one taken in large quantities results in heaviness. Thus, heavy things should be taken in small quantities and light things will satisfy one. Action of food articles (as well as drugs) is conditioned by the quantity of intake and the proper quantity in which food articles are to be taken is dependent on the power of digestion including metabolism of individual.[3340-341]

Diet and Agni (digestive power)

Strength, health, longevity and vital breath are dependent upon the power of digestion including metabolism. When supplied with fuel in the form of food and drinks, this power of digestion is sustained, it dwindles when deprived of it. [342]

Dietetic consideration – Heavy and Light :
Heaviness and lightness of food articles is to be considered mostly for the individuals who are weak, indolent, unhealthy, of tender health and who are given to luxury.[343]

Dialectic consideration- essential :
For those who have strong power of digestion, who are accustomed to the intake of heavy (hard) food articles, who are pot- bellied and accustomed to hard labour, heaviness or lightness of food articles does not matter much [344]

Food – Intake is a sacrifice (yaga)
Paying due consideration to the quantity and time, a self- controlled man should regularly take such useful food and including metabolism. Like an Ahitagni (a man who performs Yaftia) who takes diet conducive to the over of digestion being aware of the wholesomeness of food and drinks, who resort to meditation of “Brahman” and Charity enjoys bless without any disease during the present as well as future lives. [345-347]

To live for one hundred years:
A self controlled man, blessed by noble-man lives for hundred years free from diseases by the intake of wholesome food.{348}

Utility of consideration of foods

Utility of the consideration of foods and drinks :
Food sustains the life of living beings. All living beings in the universe require food. Complexion, clarity, good voice, longevity, geniuses, happiness, satisfaction, nourishment, strength and intellect are all conditioned by food. Professional activities leading to happiness in this world, Vedic rituals leading to abode in heaven and observance of truth, Brahmacarya leading to salvation are all based on food.[349-350]


Properties of food and drinks in general, ingredients having fore most qualities, twelve groups, post- prandial drinks along with their properties, brief statements on heaviness and lightness of food ingredients- all these necessitating special study are mentioned in this chapter on “The Properties of Diets and Drinks”.[351-352]
Thus ends the Twenty seventh chapter on the “Properties of the Diets and Drinks” of the Sutra section of Agnivesha’s work as redacted by Charaka.

28 comments on “Classification Of Foods And Drinks – Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana 27

  • Gauri Rokkam

    14/08/2014 - 9:55 am

    Wow!! Wonderful work Doc

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      14/08/2014 - 4:49 pm

      Thank you very much!

      Reply to comment
  • Arun

    14/08/2014 - 10:11 am

    Very useful information

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      14/08/2014 - 4:48 pm

      Thank you for finding this chapter useful.

      Reply to comment
  • Khooshi

    14/08/2014 - 2:17 pm

    Very interesting article- how should we look at food intake in the WEsst-

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      23/08/2014 - 12:50 pm

      If a country has prolonged winter, then the same food substances would have more kaha and vata increasing qualities.

      Reply to comment
  • joefresh

    31/01/2015 - 11:51 pm

    So fresh ginger (uncooked) is OK to take with cooked meals?

    Reply to comment
  • tio

    08/07/2015 - 4:30 am

    a few questions i have been pondering for some time.. if you could please take the time to explain-

    – is not paneer considered “cooked”?
    in recipes it is cooked again. does this not make it twice-cooked and thus undesirable? similar to reheating food?

    – why is it that certain items such as honey + sugar / salt and other items are used uncooked with cooked foods while others cannot be? in asava preparations for example some spices are added to the preparation to soak after an initial cooking and cooling of ingredients… also grapes and dates in anupan which will be used with a cooked meal.. there are more examples.. are these things not incompatible? why is this different from eating a fresh peach for example with a cooked meal..

    why are these things so?

    thank you

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      06/08/2015 - 10:32 pm

      Hi, I am not sure if I am really answering your questions. let me try.
      1. Making of paneer cannot be considered as cooked. Hence, cooking it with other items does not make it double-cooked.
      2. Honey heating is contra indicated. It is told that it turns to poison by heating. Hence, some foods ar mentioned uncooked.
      3. In Asava anr Arishta, spices are added as it is, without heating, because their volatile oils will be lost if they are heated.
      4. In any recipe, if cooking is not done, it might not always suggest toward incompatibility. It may just be to – protect the taste or the chemical constituents of the ingredients.

      Reply to comment
  • Vinay S Gouri

    14/03/2016 - 10:50 am

    What is the effect of Ragi on tri-dosha?

    Reply to comment
    • Dr Malini Bhat

      14/03/2016 - 11:05 am

      Madam, It balances Kapha. Increases Pitta and Vata. Has a heating potency (ushna virya).Sweet in taste (madhura rasa)

      Reply to comment
      • Vinay S Gouri

        14/03/2016 - 11:11 am

        Thanks so much Dr. Malini. Similarly what is the effect of Wheat and Rice on our tri-doshas? (these are the 3 most common grains used in India!!)

        Reply to comment
        • Dr Malini Bhat

          14/03/2016 - 11:52 am

          Madam, Wheat and Brown Rice is best food for Vata and aggravating for Kapha.

          Reply to comment
      • Rahul

        22/08/2016 - 6:24 am

        Dr Bhat, some website says ragi is cooling and pitta/kapha pacifying. Can Dr Hebbar shine some light and educate us by providing any references from our Ayurvedic texts?

        Thank you very much

        Reply to comment
        • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

          23/08/2016 - 3:51 pm

          Hi, I will write about it in detail shortly.

          Reply to comment
  • Surabhi

    04/05/2017 - 7:27 pm

    Respected Dr,
    Could you please tell me if besan is good for the liver? Is it easy to digest?
    Do the properties of food items change according to change in place?
    Thank you for your help.

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      29/05/2017 - 9:02 pm

      Besan is good for liver. It is slightly hard to digest. Properties of food change with place.

      Reply to comment
  • zubesky

    29/05/2017 - 12:53 pm

    If horsegram causes constipation how it is useful in piles?

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      31/05/2017 - 10:12 am

      Sorry for the mistake. It does not cause constipation. In fact it relieves. Here the term grahi should be understood as – it increases bulk of feces.

      Reply to comment
  • Satyan Namdhari

    08/06/2017 - 7:01 am

    Hello Doctor,
    How is barley pastry made? [Shloka 265]?

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      09/06/2017 - 6:09 pm

      Hi, a work on these dishes such as Vatya, apupa etc is shortly coming up.

      Reply to comment
  • Rahul

    07/12/2017 - 10:19 pm

    Dear Dr Hebbar,

    Lately Devnagiri fonts (non English characters) on your website are not appearing correctly. I have tried different browsers but still of no use.

    Here is a screenshot I took:


    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      11/12/2017 - 10:48 am

      I upgraded the security of the website, after that, this font problem started occuring. Will take a month time to fix them all 🙁
      Thanks for pointing out.

      Reply to comment
  • Pankaj Sood

    13/07/2019 - 5:10 pm

    Hello Dr. Hebber,
    You are doing great work, which gives us precious knowledge about ayurvedic understanding of food, diseases etc. I have been following you for a long time. From the above information I want to ask you from where we can get and how to use Rajakshavaka for IBS.
    You have written that effect of food changes with place. Does that mean a food which is of hot potency in south India may be of cool potency in north India. Kindly advice. I am from north India. Thanks.
    Pankaj Sood

    Reply to comment
  • Dr Poonam

    25/07/2022 - 1:41 pm

    Amazing information thank u so much sir

    Reply to comment

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