Ayurveda has scientifically proven the importance of Pathya or the Dietary Regimens in improving health and increasing the lifespan. It is an important factor while undergoing Aurvedic treatment and even while taking Ayurvedic medicine internally.
The aim of Pathya is to solve the cause of diseases through the practice of good dietary regimens which are favourable for subsiding the disease. It helps to avoid unfavorable routines, which are contrary to the medicine and to add favourable routines which increases the potency of the medicine.
There are two types of Pathya. One is ichapathyam (no strict restrictions) and the second one is Kricha pathyam.(strict restrictions)
Pathya instructs the following rules during Ayurvedic treatment.
1. Should use warm water or boiled and cooled water for taking bath and toilet needs.
2. Should avoid urine and stool in proper time.
3. Should take food in proper time with proper quantity.
4. Should avoid sexual intercourse.
5. Should sleep in proper time, should not keep awaken at nigh except in intoxication and throat diseases.
6. Should avoid strenuous activities except in Kapha diseases, obesity and in certain skin diseases.
7. Should not be angry, sad or in any mental disturbance.
8. Should not exposure to snow, wind, smoke, dust, rain and sunlight
9. Should avoid travelling.
10. Should avoid reading, speaking loudly and deep thinking.
11. Should avoid standing, sitting and walking for long time.
12. Should use medium size pillows while sleeping.
13. Should avoid day sleep except in tired, loss of sleep at night and in severe painful conditions.
14. Should keep clean the house and the surroundings.
15. Should maintain personal hygiene.
16. Should avoid the presence of persons whom you dislike.
17. Should take medicine in proper time.
These instructions can be continued even after the treatment period in diseased person.
Here one should follow the above mentioned rules as much as possible. This type of pathya is indicated in patients with chronic diseases, if diseases are mild and in patients with weak constitution. Here the patient can walk outside, think and talk in medium way. Should reduce red chilly and tamarind as much as possible.
Food items like old rice, wheat, navara rice, samai, barley, lemon, bitter guard, bitter snake guard, bottle guard, ash guard, yam, green gram, sundakkai, plantains fruit, old tamarind, old tender mango kept in salt, pomegranate, little gourd (Coccinia indica, grapes, orange, ginger, pepper, curry leaf, turmeric, old horse gram, butter milk, boiled buttermilk, mutton soup, ghee, jaggery, rock salt, sugar and poppadum can be used in minimum quantity in most of the diseases.
Kricha Pathyam (Strict Regiments)
This is indicated in severe disease conditions where medicines for Rasayana (rejuvenation), heavy metallic preparations in large dose is given. These are the regimens to be followed very strictly. Here the first mentioned rules are to be followed strictly.
Along with that some other instructions also told. There should not be direct entry of wind in the patient's room. The door and windows can be kept open if needed only. The patient should stay inside the room itself. He should cover the body including head and wear chappal if happened to go outside the room. Should take warm and fresh food 3/4 th of the stomach only.
Should not drink cold water, medicated boiled water can be used for drinking. Should avoid bath. The pathya can be decided looking in to the severity of the disease, patients constitution (weak or strong) and the medicine prescribed.