Rasa Jala Nidhi, vol 4: Iatrochemistry

by Bhudeb Mookerjee | 1938 | 52,258 words | ISBN-10: 8170305829 | ISBN-13: 9788170305828

This fourth volume of the Rasa-jala-nidhi deals with Rasa-chikitsa-vidya, also known a the science of Iatrchemistry (chemical medicine), a major branch of Ayurveda. It contains Ayurvedic treatments for Fever and Diarrhea. The Rasa-jala-nidhi (“the ocean of Iatrochemistry, or, chemical medicine) is a compendium of Sanskrit verses dealing with ancie...

Part 12 - Restrictions regarding taking of food

Articles of food stuff having good properties (as described in a work on dravya-guna or Ayurvedic Materia Medica), should be taken twice a day, viz. after the expiry of one fourth part of day time, and of night time. Taking meal at other than these two times is to be avoided unless one is much pressed by hunger. Taking food before the expiry of the first quarter of day-time and of night-time is not desirable, simply because the undigested part of the chyle produced from the food taken at the preceding meal is not completely digested before the expiry of the first quarter of day-time and of nighttime, respectively. Taking meal after the expiry of the first two quarters of day-time (i.e., mid-day), and of night-time (i.e., mid-night), respectively, leads to loss of strength. (These restrictions are to be followed by healthy adults and not by patients and those who are below sixteen years of age). These two times are ordinarily called meal-times, but, if at any other time, hunger is keenly felt by the digestion of the chyle, pacification of the doshas, and the elimination of the malas (i.e. urine and stool), that time may also be considered fit for taking meal.

One should avoid taking much in excess of, or much less than, the proper quantity of food; neither should one take meal, before the previous meal has been propely digested. Taking meal, before proper time, causes weakness, diseases, and even death. Taking it, much after proper time, gives rise to wind in the abdomen, impairing the digesting heat in the stomach, causing indigestion and delay in the feeling of hunger afterwards.

Drinking much water causes indigestion.[1] The same evil takes place if drinking of water is avoided altogether. For these reasons, it is desirable to drink water several times, in small quantities. Water, drunk before half the quantity of a meal is consumed, gives rise to indigestion and leanness. It increases the power of digestion, if drunk just after half the quantity of the meal is consumed. It gives rise to obesity and phlegm, if drunk at the end of the meal.

A thirsty man should not take food before the thirst is quenched. He should take food much after the thirst is quenched; otherwise, his action may give rise to gulma. Similarly, a hungry man should not drink water before eating half the quantity of the food, required to satisfy his hunger; otherwise, his action may lead to dropsy.

The following are the causes of loss of digesting power, even though meal is taken in small quantities and in due time:—

(1) drinking water in excess of what is required to satisfy thirst; (2) taking an excessive quantity of food; (3) taking food at improper times; (4) delay in responding to calls of nature, and (5) sleeping in daytime.

One should take his food with one’s feet wet with water. The head should not be wet with water at the time of taking food.

An excess of these are always to be avoided:—lying down, sitting, drinking, exposure to sun and lire, swimming, travelling by means of conveyances and on horse back.

One should avoid the following for 48 minutes after taking one’s meal:—exercise (physical and mental), sexual indulgence, running, travels, lighting, singing, and studying.

Footnotes and references:


Some people are under a wrong impression that drinking an excessive quantity of water helps to flush the abdomen.


Rasasastra category This concludes ‘Restrictions regarding taking of food’ included in Bhudeb Mookerjee’s Rasa Jala Nidhi, vol 4: Iatrochemistry. The text includes treatments, recipes and remedies and is categorised as Rasa Shastra: an important branch of Ayurveda that specialises in medicinal/ herbal chemistry, alchemy and mineralogy, for the purpose of prolonging and preserving life.