Of course you must recollect a loved one being displeased with you for something you ate and shouldn’t have eaten when you were younger? Could be anything, like a chocolate cake, some dirt off of the floor or even toothpaste! When applied to the Ayurvedic discipline, aahar and vihar are clearly defined words for diet and lifestyle respectively. The term Apathya on the other hand symbolises what is unsuited or not fit for your body. Pathya is the opposite. That’s the suitable stuff.

Just as doctors will recommend diabetics to stay away from excessively sugary food because their bodily systems will not agree with it, these tenets function in a relatively similar manner. Since Ayurveda has a more holistic approach, the aahar is considered best for the body when it provides therapeutic value, promotes mental satisfaction or tushti and enhances urja or mental strength of the individual. Other determinants of whether changes in dietary habits and lifestyle will affect the individual for the better or not, lie in the tridosha concept of bodily humours in Ayurveda. These Doshas are Vata, Kapha and Pitta- all required to be balanced and as directly impacting one's prakriti or personality in its natural form.

Charak, a pioneer of early Ayurvedic teachings mentioned that healthy, wholesome food is instrumental in the growth and well-being of the human race while unwholesome food may as well be the root of all diseases. He also recognised the pertinence of food as supporting a good night’s sleep and as having bearings on sexual activity.

Now let’s get to what foods are considered Apathya aahar. Basically, too much of an intake of Amla or sour, Lavna or salty and Katu or bitter tasting ingredients can lead to an increase in the Pitta dosha resulting in low levels of internal strength. Even an unmeasured level of beverages like alcohol, tea or coffee can lead to similar results and decreased stamina and rise in sensory fatigue. If all the above mentioned eating habits continue, it could lead to sexual issues such as Erectile Dysfunction (ED) and Premature Ejaculation (PE).

Make sure you don’t feel like you have unlocked the key to good health too fast, though. Partially, yes but I hate to burst your bubble. This Ayurvedic instruction does not work in isolation so you gotta supplement it with lifestyle changes, yoga, exercise and necessary vihar. Take care!

Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP