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Ayurvedic Factors of Diet

Ayurvedic Medicine


Ayurvedic Medicine


Eight important rules are involved in the intake of a proper diet. These are called Asta Ahara Vidhi Visesayatana (Eight Factors of Diet and Dietetics). All these eight factors are complementary to each other and denote wholesomeness of diet. Their consideration is essential.

  • Prakruti - Nature of food articles.

  • Karana - Method involved in the processing of the food articles.

  • Samyoga - Combination of food articles.

  • Rasi - Quantity of food articles.

  • Desa - Habitat or climate

  • Kala - Time i.e. state of disease and or state of an individual.

  • Upayoga samstha - Rules governing the intake of food.

  • Upayokta - Wholesomeness of individual who takes it.

These factors give rise to good as well as bad effects and at the same time are helpful to one another. It is essential to know these factors in order to intake the right diet.

Prakruti (Nature of food articles)

Natural qualities are the innate properties of the substances. The presence of qualities like heaviness is the natural property of substances used in our diet or in the preparation of drugs. Heaviness for e.g. is the natural property of black gram, pork etc.

Karana (Method of processing)

Preparation is the process performed to modify the natural properties of substances. This modification is brought about by

  • Dilution,

  • Application of heat (vaporization, distillation and sublimation),

  • Clarification,

  • Emulsification,

  • Storing,

  • Maturing,

  • Flavoring,

  • Impregnation,

  • Preservation.

Samyoga (Combination)

Combination is the combining together of two or more substances. This chemical combination exhibits special properties which none of the substances ever possessed. The new property thus formed could be useful or in some cases harmful to the body.


  • The combination of honey and ghee; honey or ghee taken alone is very good for our system but if they are combined together, they become toxic.

  • Similarly, the combination of honey, fish and milk has a toxic effect.

Rasi (Quantum)

The rasi (quantum) is the measure of the total mass of each constituent, which helps in determining the effects of the right and wrong doses of our diet. The measure of the entire meal as a whole is the total measurement of the diet. On the other hand measuring of each and every article of diet is called detailed measurement. Similarly measuring the parts separately is also known as detailed measurement.

Desa (Habitat/climate)

Habitat is a geographic region. It indicates variations in equalities of substances due to difference in soil, use and climate.

Kala (Time)

Time is used in two senses time in the general sense and time in the sense of a stage. Stage is used in relation to disease whereas time in the general sense is used in relation to seasonal wholesomeness.

Upayoga samstha (Rules governing the intake of food)

There are certain dietetic rules, which need to be followed by one and all, and these are usually determined by the strength of digestion of a person.

Upayoka (Wholesomeness of individual who takes it)
The user is the one who makes use of food and habituation depends upon him.


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