Every body advocates fruits — the ancients, the alternative therapists, conventional nutrition- ists. But whatmakesthemsocelebratedasheal- ing foods? Is it just a continuous myth that human beings created around pretty and
colorful things? Or is there any substance to their choices?
These are questions nobody asks simply because fruits
are tasty and great add-ons to one’s diet.
Modern nutrition has pat reason why each of us should
eat all types of fruits. But in alternative therapist, the choices cannot be random even if the overall impact of any fruit
is good. For instance, in Ayurveda fruits, in general, must
be avoided by the earth/water element personality (kapha
dosha)! So, let us check out what the ancients had to say
about fruits as healing agents.
For the hyperactive/hyperanxious vata dosha (air element) fruits are good, but particularly juicy or sweet ones.
According to Dr Robert Svoboda’s book Prakriti, the vata
dosha people should avoid astringent fruits, but they may
consume these as sweetened or stewed, or have them as
sauce. Certain fruits like melon must be spiced (sprinkled
with Indian spice powders).
Kapha people must avoid fruits in general. Dried fruits
or those with more seeds are better for them. Pitta dosha
(fire element) flourishes with fruits in general, perhaps
because sweetness tones down the heat generated. But
sour fruits must be avoided, according to Dr Svoboda, who
also advocates grapes and mangoes as best for this personality type.
Dr H K Bakhru, in his book Naturopathy for
Longevity, advocates certain guidelines for use of fruits
for vitality and vigor throughout life. He advocates any
seasonal fruit juice upon waking up.
At breakfast time, along with the meal, he advises to have
fruits as well. After lunch time, the consumption of fruits
begins to taper off, so have just fruit juice as mid-afternoon
snack. Dinner time fruits should be totally avoided as it is
said that fruit at morning is gold, at afternoon silver, and
lead at dinner time.
This ancient art and science uses fruits — either fresh or
symbolically translated into amulets, trinkets — for several
things that also include healing. Interestingly, some fruits
that represent abundance are also healing ones — grapes,
peaches, to name a few. The common symbolically significant fruits in feng shui other than these two are apple,
pineapple, pomegranate and orange.
The drawing, painting of fruits, or a fruit basket overflowing with goodies, is part of most art histories around
the world. Something about seeing luscious fruits is
soothing to the heart and mind. As long as art is remembered, equally long has been the presence of fruits in its
history. Perhaps there is something about fruits that is
hard wired into our nervous system that appeals to us —
suggesting abundance of food and shelter, from our primitive past in the jungle.
Fruits as food stuff are best for those who are Vishudhi
chakra dominant. This fifth chakra, in the pantheon of the
seven commonly known ones, is the psychic center for
purification and transformation. It is usually dominant in
those who are teachers by nature and profession, with a
keenness to teach, transform and inspire. They are also
communicators of esoteric ideas, translating that into practical and experiential lessons.
When overwrought or underplayed, this chakra can
cause disturbance in the region between the neck and the
ears. To keep these areas trouble free, you need to have a
regular intake of fruits, according to chakra therapy. It does
not indicate the names of fruits, but those may be selected
depending on your problems.
Oils are extracted from different parts of a plant,
including its fruits. Often, in cases where the oil is referred
by a fruit name, it could be that it is being extracted from
the flower or the bark. In that sense fruit, their trees, plants
or other parts are very healing in aroma oils. The citrus
fruits are very famous for giving a high and from mandarin,
to orange, to lemon or lime, all their oils are there.
Pomegranate, passion fruit are also quite common. The
overall impact of most fruit oils seems to be uplifting,
stimulating and tonifying.
Shameem Akthar tells us
about the healing power of
fruits, and their inclusion in
Shameem Akthar is a yogacharya trained with the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center. Catch Shameem's yoga tips on http://jaisivananda.blogspot.com
Disclaimer: This column shares the columnist's passion for alternative therapies which are ideally learned under the guid- ance of an expert
RICK WILKING/REU TERS