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Abstract

ROLE OF UPAVASA (FASTING) IN HEALTHY LIFE

Rekha Ram* and Avadhesh Kumar Bhatt

Abstract

Ayurveda is a traditional system of medicine originated in the ancient Vedic times of India. This body of knowledge is found in welldocumented texts such as the Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita, and describes physiology and interrelated systems of the body, variations in human constitution, surgery, herbal use, and healthpromoting recommendations. In Ayurveda Upavasa (fasting) is one among all Daivavyapashraya (spiritual) therapies and one among ten Langhana (that which produces lightness of the body) therapies. It is also stated in Ayurveda that fasting increases digestive fire and causes digestion of Ama-dosha (metabolic toxins). On religious grounds, Upavasa is a way to get closer to the almighty. Scientists have found fasting activates autophagy. It is also stated in Ayurveda that fasting encourages digestive fire with exclusion of blockage in the channel which helps in reducing of effects of any disease. Ayurveda guides three therapies for the wellbeing and health i.e. spiritual, psychological and rational/physical. Many experts believe that fasting is mixture of all these three. In simple words fasting is withdrawal of food for specific time periods generally done under the observation of person with knowledge about it.

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