Ayurveda’s methods are gaining popularity as a means of complementing the treatment of certain more mild health problems. As a guiding tool in some of these methods, reliance is placed on selecting certain foods. According to Ayurveda, every food has its innate potential. On the basis of it the food is divided into two conditional groups – cold and warm . According to their belonging to either of these two groups, each food also has a definite influence on the organism that Ayurveda’s methods use as a healing effect.
Hot and cold Ayurvedic foods have a different effect on metabolism – speeding up or slowing down. Thus, with the intake of precisely defined hot or cold foods at some point, a positive effect can be achieved to supplement and accelerate the treatment. This is why Ayurvedic diet is today used as a means of alternative medicine in many places around the world.
For the definition of foods as hot or cold in Ayurveda, it is not relied on the temperature characteristics but on their natural nutritional potential and the influence on the metabolism. Therefore, contrary to expectations, Ayurveda ice cream is defined as hot food because it speeds up metabolism and the effect of its consumption is associated with energy production and increased heat release from the body.
In the group of warm Ayurvedic foods , besides ice cream, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, peppers, dates, pickles, mustard, processed cheeses, etc., including most of the pickled fruit, come in addition to the ice cream. Ayurvedic traditions recommend regular but not excessive consumption of hot foods to supplement the treatment of chronic digestive problems – constipation, gastritis, ulcer. In addition, warm foods increase appetite and are used for the treatment of conditions resulting in attenuated or lost appetite.
As curative foods in Ayurveda are mentioned cucumbers, coconut, cauliflower, oranges, pumpkin, melons, and most sweet fruits. They are thought to have a complementary curative effect in dehydration, fatigue (spring fatigue), accelerated intestinal peristalsis with diarrhea, etc. They also act well in allergy because they are persuaded to retain the activity of the immune system and may weaken its reaction to harmless allergens . Cold foods are digested and absorbed more slowly in the body, not leading to large amounts of heat, and are referred to as effective cooling agents in the heat.
Ayurveda’s methods should not be used as the sole remedy, but alternative medicine specialists refer to them as a safe means of supplementing traditional treatments for various health problems – acute and especially chronic.