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    January 06, 2020 3 min read

    Ayurveda and Alcohol
    Ayurveda and Alcohol

    I thought this would be a good topic for this time of the year, and we have some tips for the festive season for you.

    After tobacco, alcohol is the second leading preventable cause of death and hospitalisation in Australia. It is estimated that Australians spent $14.1 billion each year on alcohol.

    What does Ayurveda say about Alcohol?

    Ayurveda has very detailed description about the intake of alcohol and Charaka Samhita has mentioned the Ayurvedic treatment of Alcoholism in the Chikitsa Sthana chapter 24.

    Alcohol has the opposite gunas/ qualities of Ojas.

    Ojas is responsible for consciousness, purity in thoughts, health, positivity, immunity, longevity, intelligence and memory. So we really want to look after our Ojas.

    The 10 qualities/ guna of Ojas are similar to those of milk and ghee. They are opposite to Madya (alcohol) and Visha (poison). This clearly shows that alcohol and toxic substances (chemicals/ recreational drugs) will diminish our Ojas and can have severe consequences for our health.

    The heaviness of Ojas is counteracted by the lightness of alcohol, the cold attribute of Ojas in counteracted by the heating attribute of alcohol, the sweetness and softness of Ojas is counteracted by the sourness and sharpness of alcohol……

    Alcohol = Ambrosia
    If Alcohol is taken in an appropriate manner, in a right dose, at an appropriate time, along with wholesome food in accordance with ones own strength and with a cheerful mind, alcohol works like ambrosia.

    Alcohol = Poison
    Charaka then states if a person drinks whichever type of alcohol is available without thinking of its appropriateness, and in excess quantity, and if the body is dry and exhausted by physical exercise than it works as a poison.

    Affects of Alcohol if taken in excess

    1. Alcohol should not be consumed in excess heat as it has Pitta increasing qualities
    2. If a person with predominant in Rajas qualities consumes Alcohol this can lead to fear, delusion and anger.
    3. Decreases Ojas (vital essence) and Sattva (purity of the mind)
    4. Alcohol has an effect on the mind and should be avoided if you are on a path to attain moksha
    5. It should be avoided by a person with a dry body, feeling of tiredness or just after exercise.

    If alcohol is taken appropriately is gives
    1. Harsha - happiness
    2. Oorja - energy
    3. Pushti - nourishment
    4. Arogyam - good health
    5. pourusham - excellent virility

    Charaka discusses three stages of alcoholic intoxication

    1. First stage - prathama mada
    2. Second stage - dwiteeya mada
    3. Third stage - tratiya mada

    In the third stage of alcoholic intoxication the person becomes inactive like a broken tree.
    Though the person is alive he resembles a dead person
    He becomes incapable of recognising things and friends.
    He looses the sense of distinction of rightful, happy and useful items from the wrong, miserable and harmful ones respectively.
    Suffers from misery and disease (ascites/ udara, Kamala/ Jaundice, kustha/ skin disease)

    Tips for the festive season

    1. Avoid excess alcohol
    2. Stay well hydrated we love coconut water or diluted pomegranate juice
    3. If you have some drinks stay out of the sun (Don’t drink at the beach)
    4. Dont drink on an empty stomach
    5. Dont drink if you feel weak and tired.
    6. Keep cool with sprinkling water or spraying rose water
    7. Wear light clothing (linen or cotton)
    8. Wear cooling gems (such as rose quartz, Aquamarine, Sapphire and pearls)
    9. Nasya (nasal oil application) with bhringaradi oil or brahmi ghee
    10. Try a cool lassi drink. Blend 1 tablespoon of fresh yoghurt with a cup of water and a pinch of cumin powder. Drink this 3-4 x daily, this will help to prevent dehydration and soothes a burning stomach

    Hangover recipes by Dr Vasant Lad
    Drink a glass of water with about 1 tsp of lime juice, 1/2 tsp of sugar and a pinch of salt added.
    Just before drinking add 1/2 tsp of baking soda. This will immediately take care of pitta aggravation and you will feel much better.

    Ayurveda beliefs in the concept of eliminating the causative factor (Nidana parivarjana). So if we are aware about the negatives of alcohol it is best avoided ?

    If you are suffering from addictions or would like some help in promoting a Sattvic lifestyle please contact us on or call ph: 0406810547
    We wish you a healthy festive season.
    With love from Lakshmi Ayurveda

    PS: The clinic is open over the festive period except public holidays

    Classical quotation by Charaka

    “Kintu madyam swabhavena yathaivaannam thatha smratam ayukti yuktam rogaaya yukti yuktam yatha amrutham
    Pranaaha praanabhritaamannam yadayuktya nihantyasoon
    visham praanaharam taccha yukti yuktam rasayanam”

    “But by nature, alcohol is like food which when taken inappropriately causes diseases, but when taken appropriately, it is like ambrosia. For all living beings, food is the sustainer of life, but when inappropriately, it causes death. Similarly, poison, which causes death works like rasayana (rejuvenating agent) when used appropriately.”