‘Fasting’ the Forgotten Fortune of Fitness and Ayurveda

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Fasting has been an integral part of Indian culture, festivities and tradition since time immemorial and also an important, incredible part of Ayurveda, the science of life. Ayurveda describes fasting as Upavasa and considers it to be an important component among the 10 depletion therapies. It is defined as refraining from all forms of food intake for a given period, under supervision of a qualified physician. Fasting is said to possess preventive, promotive and curative values, when practiced in a proper manner, considering the Dosha (humours), Agni (digestive fire), Vaya (age), Kala (time/season) Bala (strength) …etc., Fever, conjunctivitis, diarrhea, obesity, diabetes, skin diseases are some of the indications of fasting described. In today’s world, with increasing exposure to toxic substances and increasing lifestyle disorders, fasting is said to bring about elimination of accumulated toxins, cleansing of the body and boosting up of the immunity. As there is a need to integrate balanced nutritious diets with controlled meal size and periods of fasting for prevention and management of diseases and promotion of health, there emerges a wide scope to appropriately apprehend and analyze the concept and canons of fasting as described in the science of Ayurveda. The distinctive descriptions on the principle of fasting, its indications and contra indications, the signs and symptoms of adequate, inadequate and excessive fasting … described in the humongous texts of Ayurveda demand further apprehension and apt application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2481-2486
Number of pages6
JournalIndian Journal of Public Health Research and Development
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 11-2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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