Ayurvedic Perspective of Fasting


Diet or ahara is important to nourish our body and provide energy. The rest should be given to digestive system through fasting. Fasting is the convenient method to cleanse the body and for optimum detoxification process. According to Ayurveda, when the digestive fire (Jatharagni) is weak then food consumed should be light in nature and in Ayurveda it is known as Langhana therapy. Due to seasonal variability, the digestive fire also differs and differs in different health states. When a person is sick, one should consume light food otherwise one should be feeding sick cells and tissues. Spring is the best time for fasting as per Ayurveda.

As per modern science too the body stores good quantity of nutrients to be utilized during the rest fasting period. The fasting is very important for repair mechanism of our body. Many clinical studies have been done to investigate several types of fasting methods such as intermittent fasting which can go from 16 to 48 hours which further includes caloric restriction (reduction of 20 – 40 % kilocalorie intake), alternate day fasting (alternating 24-hour periods of fasting and feasting) and dietary restriction (restriction of one or more food components).

“Chikitsatam vyadhikaram pathyam sadharanam aushadam prayshitam prakritisthapanprashanam itaman”

The quote or shloka in ayurveda is to eliminate things which are not complete for re-establishment and re-building of prakriti for wellbeing of the person. Fasting helps in balancing doshas. Ayuveda emphasizes more on light foods during fasting or freshly squeezed juices.

There is so much of evidence that fasting not only benefits the body but also the brain. When we don’t eat for some specific period, our body adapts in a better way to stress and utilizes the stored glucose and fats in form of fatty acids which provide energy to body and help not only in weight loss but also in detoxification, repair, learning, memory and regulates metabolism.