Viruddha Ahara (Incompatible Diet)

Certain diets and their combinations having properties opposite to the Dhatus (body tissues) which thereby inhibit and interrupt to the processes of formation and metabolism of the body tissues are described in Ayurveda as Viruddha Ahara (incompatible diets). Various types of Viruddha Ahara described in Ayurveda are as following:

•      Desha ViruddhaDesha Viruddha is the diet which is contradictory to a given region. E.g. Intake of Ruksha Ahara (dry food items) in dry regions and Snigdha Ahara (unctuous food items) in marshy areas.

•      Kala Viruddha: Consumption of diet contradictory to time and season e.g. intake of Sheeta (cold) and Ruksha (dry) substances in winter.

•      Agni Viruddha: Intake of such diets which are not in accordance to one’s digestive power e.g. consuming Guru Ahara (heavy food items) when digestion capacity is low (Mandagni) and of Ruksha Ahara (light food) when digestion capacity is high (Teekshnagni).

•      Matra Viruddha: Consuming diets incompatible in terms of quantity required. E.g. intake of honey and ghee in equal quantity.

•      Satmya Viruddha:  Intake of such food items which are not in homologation to one’s eating habits.e.g. Intake of Madhura (sweet) and Sheeta (cold) food items by a person accustomed to Katu (pungent) and Ushna (hot) food substance.

•      Dosha Viruddha: Intake of food having similar qualities to Doshas but incompatible to the individual. For example hot food in Paittika Prakriti.

•      Sanskar Viruddha:  Consuming such preparations of food items which become poisonous when prepared in a particular way e.g. meat of peacock cooked in castor fire, heated honey.  

•      Virya Viruddha: Such food items which have potency opposite to each other when consumed together are termed as Virya viruddha e.g. Fish + milk

•      Koshtha Viruddha: Consumption of those foods which are contradictory to one’s Koshtha (nature of digestive tracts) e.g. intake of Guru (heavy), Bahu (more in quantity) and Bhedaniya (mild purgative) by a person having Mridu Koshtha (soft bowel).

•      Avastha Viruddha: Intake of food in contrast to one’s state of health. E.g. intake of Vata aggravating diet after physical exertion or intake of Kapha aggravating diet by a sleepy person, Guru Bhojan (heavy food) in fever etc.

•      Krama Viruddha: Intake of food contradictory to order such as when a person consumes food before bowel evacuation & urination or when doesn’t have an appetite for food or after excessive aggravation of hunger.

•      Parihar Viruddha: Consuming food which are against prescription e.g. intake of Ushna Ahara (hot substances) just after consuming pork.

•      Upachar (treatment)Viruddha : Consuming such food items which are not as per prescription e.g. eating cold substances after intake of ghee.

•      Paak Viruddha :  Diets which are improperly cooked e.g. food which is under cooked, over      cooked or burned during the process of preparation.

•      Samyoga Viruddha : Food items incompatible in terms of combinations e.g.  Intake of sour substances with milk.

•      Hriday Viruddha:  Diet which is unpleasant and unpalatable to one’s taste e.g. consuming unpleasant food items.

•      Sampad Viruddha : Incompatibility in terms of qualities e.g. consuming immature, over mature and putrefied food substances.

•      Vidhi Viruddha : Eating food in variance to set norms, rules and regulations etc. e.g. Consuming meal at public places.

Concept of Viruddha Ahara holds wider significance in today’s perspective when consumption of such food items may lead to several hazardous diseases unknowingly. It is pertinent to acquaint oneself with the knowledge of incompatibilities in consuming various food items to attain a healthy living.

Dr. Lalita Sharma