Ayurvedic Science Of Food Substances By (part:1)
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Ayurvedic Science Of Food Substances By (part:1)

Aahar basically revolves around nutrition and nourishment one receives from food intake. But not many people know that ayurveda classifies aahar into 4 different substances (dravya). These dravya are: Ahardravya, aushadhdravya, shamandravya and kopandravya.

a. Ahardravya - are nutritive food substances that strengthen. Jowar, rice, wheat are a few examples are ahardravya.

b. Aushadhdravya- These cure and soothe the imperfections caused due to harmful internal factors. Examples of aushadhdravya are triphala, shatavari etc.

c. Kopandravya- are exactly opposite of shamandravya. Kopandravya harm our health.

d. Shamandravya- are eatables that balance imbalanced doshas. Buttermilk is an example of shamandravya.

If one understands the characteristics of every substance he/she can balance health very easily. Ayurveda categorizes these substances into 20 categories. Example long term, short term, pacifying, sharp, cold, hot etc.

We expect doctors to know the characteristics behind every food substance. If we understand our diet very well, we ourselves can balance our health as well. Every substance has its own characteristic and every characteristic is just as important. For example sandalwood (chandan) is known for it’s cool, soothing properties. Sandalwood without it’s soothing property would decrease it’s medicinal value.

However, there are a few substances like ghee that possess multiple characteristics like alongwith providing essential fats and oil it also is softening, calming and nourishing. These qualities together make ghee the most beneficial ahardravya and aushadhdravya.

So, what are these 20 characteristics classified by ayurveda? Let’s understand first 6 food substances that help you with energy boosters, nutrition, skin radiance, sensory power, anti-aging, strength, toxicity, diabetes, obesity etc:


These strengthen body organs but are difficult to digest. If substances with this characteristic are taken in adequate quantities, they prove to be vaat shamak, pitta shamak and extremely nutritional. But excessive intake leads to overweight, slow digestion and laziness.

Examples of substances with guru characteristic: Wheat, black gram, carrots, sweets etc.


Like the name suggests, these food substances reside for a short terms in an individual’s digestive system. These are characterised as easy to digest, enthusiasm boosters as well as energy boosters when taken in moderation. Overconsumption of such substances erode essential body fats and lead to vaat dosha.

Example of food substances with laghu characteristic: Puffed rice (lahya in marathi)


Cold substances possess contraction and suppression characteristics. Substances that are cool in nature reduce excessive heat in internal organs. Cold substances are delightful and provide serenity. These also fulfill thirst and provide nutrition to body organs. But excessive intake leads to cough dosha.

Example of cold substance: sandalwood, lotus and milk.


Substances that make us sweat are hot substances. These increases body heat and support digestive system. Food substances which are hot in nature also maintain body excretion, urination and sweating. These also balance vaat dosha and cough dosha. But excessive intake leads to pitta dosha, heartburn, giddiness, throat degeneration etc.

Example of hot substances: pepper, chillies.


Fatty substances provide softness and lubrication to skin and other organs. Such foods strengthen vaat shamakta and cough absorption. They enable body organs to make movements and ensure body waste excretion by providing lubrication. If taken in ideal quantity, such diet extends strength, flexibility, skin radiance, sensory power, anti-aging properties and extends life. Overconsumption leads to obesity and body inability.

Examples of fatty substances: shatawari, milk, ghee.


These reduce body fats. Oily skin, greasy texture are withered away with dry food substances. When intake in moderate for dry food substances, they help in balancing acidity. But excessive consumption connect to vaat dosha as well. These prevent toxicity, cancer, diabetes and obesity. Also plays an important role in digestion, prevention of heart diseases, controlling obesity and diabetes.

Examples of dry food substances: prunes, pear, apple, raspberries, wheat bread.

This is the science for the first 6 food substances. Now you know ayurvedic science for skin care, diabetes, obesity, anti-aging and so much more. Read our next article for more dietary secrets for better health.

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