Ponsonby News: "Let Food Be Thy Medicine...

…and medicine be thy food.” This quote by Hippocrates around 400 BC has never been more relevant. With an increasing reliance on prescriptive drugs and alarming prevalence of digestive diseases, we must go back to the basics and eat simple seasonal food, that suits our individual needs. 

Ayurveda, the ancient healing system from India, is all about bio-individuality. We are all unique and there is no 'one-size-fits-all' approach. Based on our body-mind constitution (dosha), we should follow a Vata, Pitta or Kapha specific diet. In addition, our needs change on an annual, seasonal and even daily basis as the cyclic rhythms of the earth affect the biorhythms of our bodies and minds. 

Knowing your doshic constitution is pivotal to follow a diet that suits you as an individual and brings your body and mind into balance.

A Vata person should eat more warm, cooked, grounding meals. Stews, curries, roasted vegetables and soups are favourites. Dry, cold foods such as popcorn, crackers or excess raw foods will bring Vata out of balance and can cause bloating, constipation and anxiety. 

A Pitta person should eat more cooling, detoxifying meals like leafy greens, steamed vegetables, juicy fruit, simple grains and protein-packed lentils. Spicy, pungent and sour foods such as tomatoes, onion, garlic, meat, citrus and chilis can throw Pitta off balance and cause acidity, inflammation and impatience.  

A Kapha person should eat more stimulating, light foods. Bitter vegetables and herbs, leafy greens and pungent spices are perfect for Kapha. Oily and heavy foods such as dairy, fats, wheat and sweeteners will cause weight gain and sluggishness for Kapha people.  

Each dosha is also associated with a season.

To stay balanced, it is important to adjust your diet accordingly, especially during the season that is associated with your primary dosha. During summer which is governed by hot and fiery qualities of Pitta, we should consume cooling detoxifying meals and drinks. 

Undigested food can harm the gut environment and if it enters our circular system, can trigger disease. Ayurveda acknowledges, the root cause of many chronic diseases originate in our digestive tract. A weak agni causes toxicity within the body and compromises its ability to flush out environmental impurities. Ayurvedic practices focus on regulating the digestive fire, cleansing the body of toxins and strengthen our immune system to enjoy physical, mental and spiritual health. 

Understand your dosha with an Ayurvedic Consultation

Part of every Ayurvedic consultation is to assess your doshic constitution, the strength of your digestive fire (agni), and the level of impurities (ama). Based on these findings, a customised treatment plan will be created that includes your dosha specific diet, lifestyle principles, cleansing procedures and herbs or spices that turn your food into medicine. 

Or join an Ayurvedic Retreat and experience eating for your Dosha

On our Ayurveda Cleanse Retreats we apply all these concepts and offer a delicious plant-based cuisine, prepared by Little Bird chef Gawain Cowley, following the principles of seasonal, dosha-specific cooking.

Every guest will have an Ayurvedic consultation prior to the retreat to assess their doshic constitution and individual needs which will be incorporated into the retreat menu. During a cooking class we will explain the principles of ayurvedic food preparation and demonstrate how to turn them into a delicious meal.