Cellular Bio Absorption in Ayurveda
Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word meaning "The Science Of Life". Ayurveda has been evolving in India for more than 5000 years and is also known as "Mother of all Healings".
Ayurveda identifies three types of energies that are present in everyone around us. These energies or doshas which are Vata, Pitha and Kapha. Vata is the energy of movement - consisting of elements like air and space; Pitha is the energy of digestion - consisting of elements like fire and water; and Kapha is the energy of mobility and structure - consisting of elements like earth and water.
By definition, Cellular Absorption is the process of absorbing or assimilating substances into cells or across the tissues and organs through osmosis, as in the absorption of nutrients by the digestive system, or absorption of medicine into the bloodstream.
If we opt to combine the three energies in the process of absorption in a human body, we will understand the subtle level of importance of Ayurveda. Ayurvedic principles are largely holistic and based on a phenomenology that is very different from modern biomedicine, which is more reductionist in its approach. The views of both systems are different as mentioned above. The methods and instruments used in biomedicine are designed to understand genes, atoms, molecules, cells, tissues, and organisms which are at very micro levels. Well-disciplined and calibrated sensory organs and mind, which are spiritual forms, are used as instruments in Ayurveda to cultivate, understand, and theorize fundamental patterns in nature. From a theoretical point of view, focus on methodical and functional aspects of health and diseases; multi-causality approach; a circular method of reasoning; subjective, qualitative, personalized, and immunity-centred, stage-wise management; and attribution of importance to physicians’ wisdom are some notable features of Ayurveda and other traditional medical systems. The focus in such a management approach is not only physical but also mental and spiritual, and that's where Ayurveda begins it's prominent role.
One of Ayurveda’s teachings is that "We are not what we eat, but rather what we digest." So how does this process come about?
Ayurveda provides us with a rigorous view that goes beyond what is commonly known. A few key features of Ayurvedic in the process of digestion are often studied in three stages, the digestion that happens on a subtle level also as an overall physical one, which takes a full 36 days to finish the digestive process.
Three-Stage Process are:
The typical time taken for digestion through the Gastrointestinal tract is about 4–6 hours, depending on the Agni (digestive fire) and other constitutions of the individual. This process can be explained into three stages:
Stage One — Mouth and upper stomach. This stage takes about 1 ½–2 hours and is associated with Kapha (earth and water). At this stage, saliva mixes with food to make it moist, foamy, and oily so the food can be well digested. Inactivity for more than an hour after ingesting food indicates that this stage of digestion is compromised and food is staying here too long.
Stage Two — Lower stomach and small intestine. This stage takes about 2–3 hours and is associated with pitta (fire and water). This is when pancreatic secretions further break down the food. Heartburn and acid reflux are related to variations at this stage.
Stage Three — Large intestine (colon). This stage takes about 1 ½–2 hours and is related to Vata (air and space). Bloating and gas indicate a problem with this stage of digestion that simply means indigestion.
Most people are aware of the “overall” digestive process in which food travels through the Gastrointestinal tract, separating nutrients from waste. However, we are mostly unaware that once this process is finished, the body continues with the “subtle” digestive process. Subtle digestion is the process of nourishing each tissue layer of the body in turn, which inturn is responsible for production of energy that is required to do work.
Once food has completed the overall digestive process, waste is ejected to the Gastrointestinal tract for removal from the body, and what is left is called "ahara rasa", or nutrient fluid. This nutrient fluid is then carried to every of the tissue layers, which are nourished within the following order:
- Lymph/plasma (Rasa)
- Blood (Rakta)
- Muscle (Mamsa)
- Fat (Meda)
- Bone (Asthi)
- Bone marrow/nerve tissue (Majja)
- Reproductive (Shukra/Artava)
According to Ayurveda, the entire process of digestion requires about 36 days, ending with the creation of ojas (day 36)—the purest by-product of digestion. Ojas is the primary energy reserve of the body and the base of our immune system. It protects life, gives us strength, controls our heartbeats, and maintains the balance of all of our tissues.
The process of our food's nourishment goes through each of our seven tissue layers, in turn, providing the nutrients each layer needs as follows (number of days after ingestion):
Days 1–5: formation of plasma , serum, and lymphatic fluid
Days 6–10: formation of latest red blood cells
Days 11–15: formation of muscle tissue
Days 16–20: formation of fat tissue
Days 21–25: formation of bones
Days 26–30: formation of bone marrow and nervous tissue
Days 31–35: formation of sperm and ovum
Day 36: formation of ojas
Thus, Ayurveda gives us an understanding of overall as well as the body functionality at a very basic cellular level. To stay healthy, we have to keep our body in tone, that is by keeping our energies in level. This in turn brings in good eating habits.
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