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The significance of fasting is universally accepted, but no nation has it more deeply ingrained in its culture than India. People from all faiths in our country fast regularly either as penance of their wrong doings or as a mark of devotion to the gods they worship. Hindu women fast every year on multiple occasions, but one of those is specially reserved for married women - Karwa Chauth.
Ayurvedic Benefits of Observing Karwa ChauthKarwa chauth is observed to wish for the longevity and good health of the husband, but fasting has several health benefits too. Here are some of the most significant ones: 1. Enhances Smriti & Dhriti: Fasting has a direct positive effect on brain chemistry. New neurons are formed during fasting and this improves brain functions and gives more mental clarity. 2. Removes Toxins from Strotas: The channels (strotas) in the human body that are responsible for carrying dhatus and other nutrients throughout the body become clogged with ama over time. Fasting allows the body to flush these toxins out and promotes overall health. 3. Overhauls Immunity: Fasting promotes autophagy, a natural process in our body which recycles old cells and creates new cells. During this process, old white blood cells are recycled and new ones are formed. This gives your body a completely new immune system.
Ayurvedic Recommendations on FastingKarwa Chauth is a day-long fasting ritual that is accompanied by pooja. Fasting, according to Ayurveda, can be done in four different ways: 1. Nirjala fasting: This means the person undergoing the fast cannot eat any solid or liquid food, including water. Total fasting decreases Agni and increases Vata Dosha, hence it should be done only by healthy women in the presence of other family members. 2. Juice fasting: For people of Vata type or Vata- Pitta type, total fasting is not recommended. Juice fasting is a healthier option for people with this body type. 3. Fruit fasting: In most cases, working women cannot observe a strict fast because of the nature of their lifestyle. Under such circumstances, fruit fasting is the best option. 4. Kitchari Cleanse: This is recommended for women in their advanced age or with certain health conditions which makes it necessary for them to eat. Sattvic Kitchari without spices, drinking coconut water or fruit juices is a good way to observe a fast.
How to prepare a Sattvic Sargi?Sargi or Sargahi is the traditional breakfast that women observing Karwa Chauth have before beginning the day of fast. Prepare a Sattvic Sargi with fresh cow’s milk, ghee, kesar, cardamom seeds and sugar. You can add chopped nuts of your choice.
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