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Evaluation of Custard based on Ayurvedic Principles Introduction
Vaidya M.P. Nanal (Ayurved Foundation) Vaidya M.P. Nanal (Ayurved Foundation)
The indigenous scientific tradition of assessing new substances is now conspicuous by its non–existence. Owing to this major lacuna there exists a lack of new techniques, which are dedicated to the assessment and evaluation of new substances. As indigenous medical practitioners it is our prime duty to understand the substances that have become an inseparable part of our day to day life. Unless this is achieved it would be well nigh impossible to correctly diagnose and treat effectively by drugs and diet the condition present.

It is our endeavor to present before you the assessment we have done of the substance called CUSTARD, which has now become a part of the Indian diet in the urban areas. The parameters have been supplied by the ancient seers in their texts namely the Pancahbhoot theory, Rasagunavirya theory and dosa–dhatu–mala theory.

We sincerely believe that this attempt is in the correct direction and by no means our last work. Our main aim is to initiate a meaningful dialogue and exchange of thoughts on this intriguing topic. We are well aware of our limitations and shall be only too glad to those who would sincerely point out these because by only by a logic based exchange can one establish the ultimate truth.

The substance under study – CUSTARD is a gift from the west. It belongs to the Anna Krtanna Varga. It is generally consumed after meals as a sweet dish or dessert, preceded by refrigeration.

Common ingredients of Custard
Corn starch, milk, sugar–equal parts. Salt to taste, Water – as required, Beaten eggs – if desired in pudding or soft baked custard.

Stage I: Mix the dry ingredients first – corn starch, sugar and salt thoroughly.
Stage II: Add some cold milk enough to make a smooth paste.
Stage III: Add hot milk, enough to make a homogenous emulsion.
Stage IV: Cook on low flame till ready, stir constantly to avoid lumping.

Standards for a good Custard Reference Shabda – Does not make any specific sound. It is cut without making sound.
Sparsa – Tactile.
Snigdha – Unctuous.
Sita – Cold.
Piccila – Slimy, tends to move, trembles and is paste like.
Guru – Heavy or bulky.
Mrdu – Mild, soft, yielding to touch.
Rupa – Visual.
Pita – Yellowish in color.
Ardra – Looks moist.
Sandra – Looks thick, well formed and not liquid, glistens if well set.
Rasa – Taste.
Madyra – Sweet.
Asyopalepa – Creates stickiness in the mouth.
Hladina– Creates a sense of well being elation on tasting.
Sandindriyaprasadana – Causes a sated state of all the sense organs and the mind smells sweet on tasting.
Gandha – Smell.
Saumya – Mild, likeable, agreeable smell, inoffensive.
Sughandha – Fragrance.

After noting these properties it now becomes possible for us to pose a working hypothesis regarding the Rasa–Guna–Virya–Vipaka and their dosa–dhatu–mala relationships as well as their effects. This would be apparent by the following table.

Gune – P – Present, A– Absent
Gune – Earth Water Fire Air Ether
Snigdha – P
Mrdu – P
Sita – P
Piccila – P
Guru – P P
Sandra – P
Ardra – P
Manda – P P
Madhura – P P
Gandha – P P

Hence the Bhautic Constitution is water predominant, with Earth contributing secondly and with Water in an infinitesimal manner, Fire and Air are conspicuous by their absence.

Rasa – Madhura
Virya – Sita
Vipaka (post digestive effect) – as before in the table;

Because of this constitution it Annihilates/ alleviates the Vata dosha due to its sweetness in taste and effect as well as cold phase activity. Generates/intensifies Kapha due to its common and comparable taste, effect, phase and properties. It exhibits the following actions on the various bodily constituents.

Rasa – Rasavardhana owing to its common and comparable constitution.
Rakta – Raktaprasadana due to its sweet and cold effect.
Mamsa – Medavivardhana due its sweet and heavy attributes.
Meda – Medavivardhana due to comparable constitution.
Sukara – Sukravardhana due to madhura taste, Snigdha, Saugandha attributes and cold phase activity.

In the byproducts of Dhatus (Updhatuus):
Raja and Stanya – Vyadhikar due to its Rasa generative action on waste products.
Srsta Mutrakara due to its sweet effect and gurutva.
Srsta Malakara due to its sweet effect and gurutva.
It facilitates an easy flow out for the fecal matter and the urine from the body.

Some other important actions are as follows :
Abhisyandi – A substance which is capable of occluding the Rasayan and causing accumulation of Rasa and heaviness owing to its Picilla (slimy character), Gurutva (heavy on digestion and conversion) and its affinity towards Rasa dhatu.
Rakta prasadana – Capable of purifying the Rakta dhatu, due to its sweet taste, post digestive effect and cold phase activity.
Upalepakara – A substance which is capable of sticking to the surface in contact and causing balkiness, owing to its Picchilata and Mruduta.

Custard and its therapeutic uses:
In case of Amplapitta characterized by Daha there is a subjective burning sensation. It is advisable to lick it (leha).
In case of Mukhpaka (stomatitis), it is advised to suck and lick it with the finger. It brings about the drop in intensity due to Mrudu, Sita and Picilla attributes.

In Case of Vatika, Paittika Trsna (thirst) it proves beneficial – but owing to its Gure, Manda, Mrdu and Picilla attributes it is totally contraindicated in the Amaja type or Trsna.

In Case of Sosa (wasting disorders) it can be beneficially administered but caution has to be observed and it should never be given after sunset, because of its Abhisyandi, Guru attributes.

In case of Malavibandha (Constipation irregular bowel habits), it is administered in the Apna kala or Samana kala. It is also used in Krsa (emaciated) persons successfully to promote weight gain. It proves beneficial to the persons of vata prakrti and pitta prakrti. Its use in Jangala Desa (geo–physical distribution) is advisable. Its use is beneficial in the Hemant (Autumn), Shishir (Winter) and Grishma (Summer). Its use is contraindicated in diseases conditions like Pratisyaya Svasa–Kapha, predominant Kasa–Kapha, predominant Agnimandya Pravahika Atisara Grahani Hrdroga Kafaja Sotha Medogoga Dhamni Pratcicya Mutraghata.

Based on the foregoing discussion it is possible to apply the same line of thinking and discover new indications and contraindications. It is our sincere wish to impress upon the fresh graduates that the science of life holds true even now, in this rapidly changing word of today.

The principles of Ayurveda can be used to elucidate the medicinal properties of new food stuff or medicinal substance. This point is proved with the example of Custard.