Viruddha Ahara:

The Unique Concept of Ayurveda

This article is written jointly by Dr. Joban Modha and Dr. Neha Modha

The word Viruddha leads to two factors i.e. on combining two, three things, the stronger one shades or overpowers the weaker ingredients. It has been stated that in a combination of so many opposite qualities, the majority of the power packed qualities overpower the weaker qualities. *(1)

The second meaning of Viruddha indicates about the combination of two substances which are not having an affinity for each other. So far this interpretation of Viruddha is concerned, it has been applied in Ayurveda in the context of dietetics & various combinations having such affinity for each other have been discussed at length. On this basis it may be concluded that such type of Ahara or foodstuff which is composed of substances having no affinity at all may be defined as Viruddha or Viruddhahara 

In the lexicographic literature various other terms are also used such as – 

  • Ananukula or Pratikula (Shabda Kalpadrum) –which is  having an adverse effect or  unfavourable
  • Anapayukta – which is unpropetious
  • Pratisiddha – prohibited
  • Apathya – incompatible diet 

Types of Viruddha Ahara:

Ayurveda literature has described various types of Viruddha, which run as under :

  1. Desha (place)Viruddha: To have dry and sharp substances in dry region, unctuous substances in Marshy land.
  2. Kala Viruddha: (Time): intake of cold and dry substances in Winter, Pungent and hot substances in Summer.
  3. Agni *(digestive power) Viruddha: intake of heavy food when the power of digestion is low, intake of light food when the power of digestion is  sharp and intake of food at variance with irregular and normal power of digestion.
  4. Matra (quantity) Viruddha: intake of honey and ghee in equal quantity
  5. Satmya (wholesome) Viruddha: intake of sweet and cold substance by person accustomed to pungent and hot substance.
  6. Dosha Viruddha: utilization of drugs, diets and regimen having similar qualities with Dosha, but at variance with the habit of the individual.
  7. Sanskar (mode of preparation) Viruddha: drugs and diets which, when prepared in a particular way produced poisonous effects. E.g. meat of peacock roasted on a castor spit.
  8. Veerya (potency) Viruddha: Substances having cold potency in combination with those of hot potency.
  9. Koshtha Viruddha: to give less quantity with less potency and less stool forming food to a person of costive bowel. Administration of more quantity heavy and more stool forming food to a person having laxed bowel.
  10. Avastha (State of health) Viruddha: intake of Vata aggravating food by a person after exertion sexual act, physical exertion or intake of Kapha aggravating food by a person after sleep or drowsiness.
  11. Kram (sequence) Viruddha: if a person takes food before his bowel and urination or when he doesn’t have appetite or after his hunger have been aggravating.
  12. Parihar Viruddha: Intake of hot things after taking pork etc.
  13. Upachar (treatment) Viruddha: cold things after taking ghee.
  14. Paak (cooking) Viruddha: preparation of food with bad or rotten fuel and under cooking, over cooking or burning during the process of preparation.
  15. Samyoga (combination) Viruddha: intake of sour substance with milk
  16. Hriday Viruddha: intake of unpleasant food
  17. Sampad (Richness of quality) Viruddha: intake of substance that are not mature, over matured or putrified
  18. Vidhi (rules for eating) Viruddha: taking meals in public place 

Many food combinations are given in the texts as incompatible with proper explanation for e.g. 

  1. One should not take fish along with milk because this combination is Abhishyandi (great obstructer for channels), it vitiates blood.
  2. After eating raddish, garlic, basil one should not take milk because of the risk of skin disorders.
  3. All sour liquids are antagonistic to milk.
  4. Hot honey taken by a person induces toxicity and lead to death.
  5. Likewise honey and ghee in equal quantity, hot water after taking honey are antagonistic.

Examples of Incompatibility/ Antagonistic (Viruddha -Aahara)

  • 1) Veerya viruddha- (potency incompatibility) - Fish + milk
  • 2) Sanskar viruddha- (Processing incompatibility) Heated Honey
  • 3) Matra viruddha- (dose incompatibility) - Honey + Cow's ghee - mixed in equal proportion.
  • 4) Krama viruddha - Hot water after taking honey
  • 5) Kala viruddha- (Time incompatibility) Pungent substance in summer & Cold substances in winter
  • 6) Krama viruddha-(Order incompatibility) -Consuming curd at night.
  • 7) Samyoga viruddha- (Combination incompatibility) - Fruit Salad / Milk+  Banana
  • 8) Parihar viruddha (contraindication incompatibility) -Consuming cold water   immediately after having hot tea or Coffee.

If above said rules for the diet are not followed then the diseases occuring due to Viruddhahara can occur which are mentioned below *(2): 

  • Visarpa (erysipelas)
  • blindness
  • Ascitis
  • Bullus
  • Insanity
  • Fistula in ano
  • Coma/fainting
  • Intoxication
  • Abdominal distention
  • Stiffness in neck
  • Varities of anemia
  • Indigestions
  • Various skin diseases
  • IBS
  • Swelling
  • Gastritis
  • Fever
  • Allergic Rhinitis
  • Infertility


Diseases caused by intake of incompatible diets and drugs can be cured by Vamana Karma (therapeutic Emesis), Virechana (Purgation), Administration of antidotes and Prophylaxis like Haridra- curcuma longa, Neem- azadirecta indica, Ashwagandha-withania somnifera and Shirish-albizzia lebbok etc. 

1. Charaka Samhita Vi. 1/4).
2. Charaka Samhita Su. 26/102-103  


More by :  Dr. Joban Modha

Top | Ayurveda

Views: 3463      Comments: 5

Comment So far I know that milk and banana are a very good combination. You say they are not.
Please clarify.

26-Dec-2013 08:57 AM

Comment Sir,
Can I eat ghee with yogurt (dahi)? Would you give a list of food items incompatible with ghee, and/or with yogurt?


24-Apr-2012 03:52 AM

Comment @ Mannat, what do you want to know?? Send me your queries on jkmodha@gmail.com. Thanks for your appreciation.

dr joban modha
16-Mar-2012 08:50 AM

Comment u had done good job.... congrats.... need to know more about virrudh ahara and its scientific explanation.... please reply..

16-Mar-2012 07:46 AM

Comment Thanks for developing this kind of web site.
From which we able to about opposite food details,

26-Nov-2011 04:32 AM

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