The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (AFIA) has issued a notification amending the Food Safety and Quality Control Act to strictly prohibit the advertising and presentation of 'Ayurvedic food' as a remedy for diseases. It also prohibits the preparation and sale of Ayurvedic food for children under two years of age. The addition of vitamins, minerals and amino acids to the Ayurvedic diet is not allowed. If the diet contains natural vitamins and minerals, it is advisable to indicate this on the cover as well. Ayurvedic experts welcome the announcement of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. That food is the cure for the disease is a myth, says Dr. KT Vinod Krishnan, who works at Amiya Ayurveda Nursing Home, Pattambi to Manorama Online. Ayurveda does not prescribe a specific diet for any disease. In addition to treatment, a diet is recommended to regain health.
What is Ayurveda food?
Ayurvedic foods are foods that are given to people with specific diseases. For example, when you have a fever, you are told to drink porridge. Ayurvedic foods are foods that are prescribed to treat diseases such as tuberculosis, leukemia, skin diseases, piles and rheumatism. In short, these are foods that can be used for specific diseases.
Ayurvedic food is what a healthy person and a sick person can eat depending on the condition. In Ayurveda, a person who is not mentally or physically ill is called 'Swasthan'. They also have a diet to follow. They can have cereals, legumes, meat, fish, dried ginger water, cumin water, buttermilk, yogurt, sugar cane juice, and fruit juices. At the same time, those who have urinary incontinence are given broth. There is a strict rule that all these should be used only as prescribed by a doctor.
In Ayurveda, all the ayurvedic porridges are made with a special combination. All of these substances are both medicinal and can also be used in our daily lives. For example, when turmeric is added to food, it becomes food. At the same time, turmeric is used in many ailments such as diabetes and wounds. The same food acts as food and medicine.
But in allopathy, food and medicine are two different things. In daily life, cumin, dill, turmeric and mustard are all used in Ayurveda as medicine and food. Ayurveda is a system that converts food itself into medicine.
Food is said to be the colour of energy. It should be nutritious and tasty. It should build strength in the body along with colour or radiance and vitality. When your disease gets better after taking medicine, you are also decreasing your vitality and radiance. This is why milk, eggs, butter, and soup are given as part of rehabilitation. This is where the difference lies. Therefore, eating only food does not cure the disease. These should be accompanied by medication. That is why you should not listen to such false theories which say food reduces diseases.
What is Ayurveda oushadha?
Ayurvedic medicines are like infusions. The medicine should be potent. They are primarily looking at the potency of the drug. There is no measurement followed when it comes to food. But the drug is taken in small doses. When you take something in small quantity you call it medicine. Medicines generally are tasteless. Some are difficult to consume as they are bitter in taste. The medicine is taken in small tablets or 15 ml of infusion is mixed with 60 ml of water.
Similarly, it is said that a diet is essential while taking medicine. But that’s again a myth as you don’t need to follow any specific diet while eating. Ayurveda knows the end result even after the onset of illness by checking the patient's energy levels. As and when the disease starts receding, the patient's vigour will increase. There is no point in just taking the medicine. It is important to eat proper food. That is why after Ayurvedic treatment they recommend you follow specific foods.
Ayurvedic medicines like rasanadi kashayam and balarishtam contain food that we normally include in our daily diet. It is when we start self-prescribing the dosages that they cause side effects. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has issued a notification to avoid this. Chawanaprash is marketed as a food supplement in the United States, as it is not possible to market chawanaprash, ayurvedic remedies, or medicines in foreign countries under Draglers' law. This is real medicine. But they are being marketed as a food supplement. When it comes under the label of Ayurveda, they have more takers. This can create problems in the future.
Will pharmaceutical companies be affected?
The new announcement of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India will not affect pharmaceutical companies in any way. Because India has a special Drugs and Cosmetic Rule. Infusions, Ayurvedic decoctions, lehyams, are prepared according to these guidelines. There are specific criteria for making and marketing food. As long as they are followed correctly, there won’t be any issues. It is licensed as an ayurvedic food and can be made into formulas mentioned in seventy-one books. It cannot be used as a different combination.
Can food cure diseases?
It does not prescribe specific diets for the treatment of specific diseases. They are prescribed medicines only. When you say oushadham it means medicine. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSAI) might have issued a notice on the knowledge that the false theory that a particular food can eradicate diseases can be detrimental to those who believe in Ayurveda. For example, in tuberculosis (TB), it is said that meat should be eaten in a special way. But that is not the only thing that needs to be done for tuberculosis, and it should be done while treating the disease. It is a diet that aims to restore health as the disease progresses.