Viruddha Ahara / Bad Food Combinations (food incompatibility) and Ayurveda

Viruddha Ahara / Bad Food Combinations (food incompatibility) and Ayurveda

Ayurveda mentioned 18 types of Incompatibilities for Food. Though some food items are quite safe, Ayurveda explains that combination of two particular safe foods may not be ideal for health. It depends upon the quantity of each food stuff, time of taking food, processing of food and a lot of other factors. Let’s have a look at the term Viruddha Ahara i.e. bad food combinations.

Viruddha Ahara (Food Incompatibility) – If two qualities are strongly exhibited in two items, their combination would lead to a bad quality match, and then they are rendered incompatible.
Some examples as below

  • Opposing duel qualities:  Hot and Cold are two apposite qualities. There combination does not always hold good. For example Ice-cream with hot chocolate or hot cake
  • Similar qualities: If two foods have many similarities with them, to such an extent that the combination would increase a particular Dosha to a very high extent, then they are said incompatible. Example: Fish with radish.
  • Opposing multiple qualities: If two foods have multiple opposing qualities, their combination is usually declared incompatible. For example – honey and ghee in equal quantity.
  • Processing: If processing of food leads to alteration / destruction of original quality of the food, then it is not recommended. For example – heating of curd and heating of honey.
  • Time of intake:  If taking some food aggravates Dosha due to its similarity in qualities with the timing of Dosha, then that food at that particular time is defined as incompatible. Example: Taking curds at night.

Bad Effect of taking incompatible foods – Intake of unwholesome food is responsible for the following diseases

  • Vandhyatva / Shandya – Causation Of Sterility/ Infertility ,
  • Andhya – Blindness,
  • Visarpa – (Herpes, Spreading Type Of Skin Disease),
  • Dakodara – Ascites,
  • Visphota – Eruptions,
  • Unmada – Insanity,
  • Bhagandara – Fistula,
  • Murcha – Fainting,
  • Mada – Intoxication,
  • Adhmana – Bloating
  • Galagraha – Spasmodic Obstruction In Throat,
  • Pandu – Anemia,
  • Amavisha- Poisoning due to Ama (Altered Metabolism),
  • Kilasa – Type Of Skin Disease,
  • Kushta – Skin Disorders
  • Grahani – Sprue, IBS,
  • Shotha – Edema,
  • Amlapitta – Acid Dyspepsia/Acidity,
  • Jvara – Fever,
  • Peenasa – Rhinitis,
  • Santana Dosha – Foetal Diseases (Affects Heredity)
  • Mrutyu – Death.


                    – वैद्य आनंद कुलकर्णी M.D. (Med. Ayu),

                                    CYEd, DYA, MA (Sanskrit)

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