Rajasic and Tamasic Foods

Discuss any health or dietary topics which lie outside mainstream Western medical thinking, from Ayurveda to Reiki.
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Sādhaka
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Rajasic and Tamasic Foods

Post by Sādhaka »

Are there any authoritative texts with extensive examples of both of these?

I’ve found online what appeared to be a translation of the Caraka Samhita, and in doing a search within the said PDF, didn’t find anything about foods; only on the Gunas in relation to types of people.

The reason I ask, is because most websites provide contradictory information. One website says that eggs are rajasic and another says that they are tamasic. One website says that avocados are rajasic and another says that they are tamasic. One website says that red meat is rajasic and another says that it is tamasic. Etc., etc., etc.
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Rajasic and Tamasic Foods

Post by Kim O'Hara »

It's a very old tradition and mainly Hindu, not Buddhist, so what's "authoritative" is completely subjective. We can't decide on the basis of scriptural authority (faith) because they are not our scriptures, and we can't decide on the basis of secular (scientific) validity because - as far as I know - the claims haven't been assessed scientifically.

That said, the whole system developed empirically and seems to work reasonably well. I don't think it can have much to say about foods which are new to India, however.

:coffee:
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Miorita
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Re: Rajasic and Tamasic Foods

Post by Miorita »

Tamas is inertia. Rajas is moving out if inertia so it's sort of a gray area.
You want "sattvic" foods as in Vajra-sattva. Sattva is beyond rajas and tamas and balanced over both.

Eggs are tamas because they're the result of sexual union. They're heavy and meant to feed the future chick.
Meat is tamas. It sits in your belly for hours.
Avocados are not tamas. They are oily and hydrating. I would say they're sattvic for their freshness and the light nutrition, I mean a nutritive quality that is not that heavy. I would say from the fruits that papaya is tamas for its smell and the abortifacient quality.

You look at the foods and the disposition they create on you. What is conducive to lethargy, let's say it is tamasic!
Whatever starts moving you, it's rajasic like black pepper or any kind of pepper. Compared to ginger, ginger has a more elevated "hot" quality than black pepper. So ginger would be sattvic and black pepper would be rajasic. You eat food seasoned with ginger and you digest well. You eat food seasoned with black pepper and you get sexual desires. :lol: It's not that is bad, only that you want to digest the food. So next time you stay away from black pepper even though it raises your digestive fire.

You have to taste each and see what action it has on you, what elements it brings and what your disposition is after.
And then you could write a cookbook. And I will buy it. :lol:

Intoxicants are tamas. They bring you closer to being a corpse.
But alcohol in tinctures gives you instant relief from what you suffer.

Or think of the foods like you're cleaning up your fridge! "This stays (sattva), this is expired (tamas), this maybe (rajas), this out, out, out (tamas, tamas, tamas)!"

Then think if you're tossing all your protein out, how are you going to get protein? So you might need some tamas because of the protein content and because too much sugar gives diabetes.

Use your judgement! Use food wisely! Estimate your portions even if it's sattvic food such as rice, so you don't fall asleep in the meditation you plan after the meal.
Now we can do research on the net and eat ayurvedically. :D

There was an herb called "asafoetida". :lol:
Last edited by Miorita on Tue May 24, 2022 2:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
Sādhaka
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Re: Rajasic and Tamasic Foods

Post by Sādhaka »

In that case, we could discuss instead about eating according to the Three Humours as explained in Tibetan Medicine.

And yea, avocados are probably native only to Mexico and South America….

Still though, it would be nice if there are some classical Ayurveda texts that give extensive examples of rajasic and tamasic foods (such as eggs, different kinds of meat, and fruits & vegetables), in order to see which people posting online articles are labeling things as tamasic instead of rajasic (or vice-versa) according to their own biases….
Miorita
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Re: Rajasic and Tamasic Foods

Post by Miorita »

I don't know what substances are being used in the Traditional Tibetan Medicine, herbs, fungi, minerals, clay, and what therapeutic herbs are being collected for healing purposes, but Chullen pills I would say they're sattvic.
And anything that you receive from the teacher, take it! A piece of torma, pills, tea, soup, take it! It's been blessed.
Also listen to what they recommend! The teacher may be a healer. Besides burning your karma, may place you back on track.
Then the incense is prepared of different herbs. I'm not that advanced in practice, so this is where I stop.
Sādhaka
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Re: Rajasic and Tamasic Foods

Post by Sādhaka »

Hi Miorita,

My previous reply was to Kim O’Hara, as your post wasn’t visible for some reason when I first saw Kim’s post.

In any case, thanks for your posts. I’m aware of a lot of what you wrote, but not all.

The reason that I posted this thread, is because I’m eating mostly Sattvic, however there is a fermented product that I eat for Vitamin K2, and apparently most fermented products are considered tamasic (although many fermented products also have many good nutrients, and the fermentation process often even removes antinutrients from plant foods that are high in anti-nutrients). Therefore I’d like to add more rajasic foods to balance out the tamas; and there are so many contradictions when you look things up online regarding what is tamasic vs rajasic. I mean yea some things are pretty clear-cut in regard to the two, but not always. This is why I’m asking about classical Ayurveda texts with extensive examples, so that there is less hearsay to wade through.
Last edited by Sādhaka on Tue May 24, 2022 3:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
Miorita
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Re: Rajasic and Tamasic Foods

Post by Miorita »

A while ago I was listening to the lectures of dr. Vasant D. Lad in Albuquerque.
Maybe you find further information/assistance from his site.

Then there is a taste theory which classifies foods according to their taste, each taste playing a role defined by its qualities.
Then there is your constitution that you have to know and consider.

I looked up some fermented products.
Blue cheese and other cheeses are good for the gut. People consume cheese but not too much given the fat content.
Then yogurt is a pro-biotic, remedy for after taking antibiotics. Kefir is also a milk derivative in the same direction.
And sauerkraut is used by many European people.

What India has as particularity is its higher temperatures. And a different culture and contribution to world civilization.
Unless I was living in India, I would leave Indian habits/foods to India.
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Rajasic and Tamasic Foods

Post by Kim O'Hara »

Miorita wrote: Tue May 24, 2022 6:07 am ...What India has as particularity is its higher temperatures. And a different culture and contribution to world civilization.
Unless I was living in India, I would leave Indian habits/foods to India.
I look at ayurveda the same way I look at feng shui - as folk wisdom adapted to a particular part of the world, refined over hundreds of years. As such, I think, its lessons may be valuable if we can translate them intelligently to our own circumstances. But to do that, we have to go back to primary principles. Simple lists of "do this", "don't do this" or "eat this", "don't eat that" will not be enough.

:namaste:
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Malcolm
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Re: Rajasic and Tamasic Foods

Post by Malcolm »

Sādhaka wrote: Tue May 24, 2022 12:25 am Are there any authoritative texts with extensive examples of both of these?

I’ve found online what appeared to be a translation of the Caraka Samhita, and in doing a search within the said PDF, didn’t find anything about foods; only on the Gunas in relation to types of people.

The reason I ask, is because most websites provide contradictory information. One website says that eggs are rajasic and another says that they are tamasic. One website says that avocados are rajasic and another says that they are tamasic. One website says that red meat is rajasic and another says that it is tamasic. Etc., etc., etc.
It’s based on tastes, In the Bhagavid Gita, sweet is defined as sattvic. Sweet is composed of earth and water.
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Sādhaka
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Re: Rajasic and Tamasic Foods

Post by Sādhaka »

Miorita wrote: Tue May 24, 2022 6:07 am A while ago I was listening to the lectures of dr. Vasant D. Lad in Albuquerque.
Maybe you find further information/assistance from his site.

Thanks. I’ll have to look it up.

I looked up some fermented products.
Blue cheese and other cheeses are good for the gut. People consume cheese but not too much given the fat content.
Then yogurt is a pro-biotic, remedy for after taking antibiotics. Kefir is also a milk derivative in the same direction.
And sauerkraut is used by many European people.

I prefer fermented bacteria products, over fermented fungus products like blue cheese. I’ve also read that fungi are generally considered tamasic. Although cordyceps are seemingly often used as a ingredient in Tibetan Medicines. Shiitake mushrooms are kind of tasty. I’m not an fan of blue cheese and fungus in general though, as I said.

Most yogurt doesn’t really provide many strains of probiotics, and also has too much added sugar:





A good Greek or Bulgarian yogurt with no added sugar could be good, or kefir as you said, or, if you really want to get into it, make your own gcmaf yogurt (the highest number of strains of probiotics you can get) using raw milk (well you do heat the raw milk to make it, but you’ll want to buy it raw, so that it is only getting heated once and not twice).

And yeah sauerkraut, kimchi etc. can be good, and can even provide a little bit of Vitamin K2. Although your biggest K2 sources are going to be egg yolks, liver, Japanese nattō, or a authentic Dutch gouda cheese or some other cheeses (usually semi-soft cheeses from Northern Europe).

Goat and sheep cheeses are supposed to be good for you because of their medium-chain triglycerides. There’s organic coconut oil for that too, but who wants to eat a couple big spoonfuls of coconut oil….

Then there is a taste theory which classifies foods according to their taste, each taste playing a role defined by its qualities.
Then there is your constitution that you have to know and consider….

…What India has as particularity is its higher temperatures. And a different culture and contribution to world civilization.
Unless I was living in India, I would leave Indian habits/foods to India.
Malcolm wrote: Tue May 24, 2022 10:52 amIt’s based on tastes, In the Bhagavid Gita, sweet is defined as sattvic. Sweet is composed of earth and water.

Then as I mentioned a post or so back, perhaps it is better to not take the Gunas into so much consideration, and instead go by the Three Humours (Vata/Lung, Pitta/Tripa, Kapha/Badkan). Now the Three Humours don’t seem to be exactly parallel to the Three Gunas, although maybe there’s some overlap; at least with pitta/tripa & rajas and the fire or heat element (?) In other words maybe I’ll want to look into adding more pitta or tripa foods, instead of trying to look up what foods are rajasic….

And I wouldn’t say that I eat rotten, stale, reheated, or (overly) processed foods (all tamasic); yet I’m all about fermented foods with bacteria, which if the latter are considered tamasic, would still be worth the trade-off due to the nutritional content.

Also if pasture-raised egg yolks are tamasic, they’re still also packed with naturally occurring vitamins like Vitamin K2 and just about every other essential vitamin you can think of….
Last edited by Sādhaka on Tue May 24, 2022 1:55 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Malcolm
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Re: Rajasic and Tamasic Foods

Post by Malcolm »

Sādhaka wrote: Tue May 24, 2022 1:42 pm

Then as I mentioned a post or so back, perhaps it is better to not take the Gunas into so much consideration, and instead go by the Three Humours (Vata/Lung, Pitta/Tripa, Kapha/Badkan). Now the Three Humours don’t seem to be exactly parallel to the Three Gunas, although maybe there’s some overlap; at least with pitta/tripa & rajas and the fire or heat element (?) In other words maybe I’ll want to look into adding more pitta or tripa foods, instead of trying to look up what foods are rajasic….

And I wouldn’t say that I eat rotten, stale, reheated, or (overly) processed foods (all tamasic); yet I’m all about fermented foods with bacteria, which if the latter are considered tamasic, would still be worth the trade-off due to the nutritional content.

Also if pasture-raised egg yolks are tamasic, they’re still also packed with naturally occurring vitamins like Vitamin K2 and just about every other essential vitamin you can think of….
All food is tamasic, actually. Why? All food is made of the four elements, which are the in tamasic portion of the 25 tattvas.

It’s better evaluate food based on the six tastes and in particular, their post-digestive tastes, sweet, sour, and bitter.
Momento mori.
Sādhaka
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Re: Rajasic and Tamasic Foods

Post by Sādhaka »

Malcolm wrote: Tue May 24, 2022 4:11 pmAll food is tamasic, actually. Why? All food is made of the four elements, which are the in tamasic portion of the 25 tattvas.

Okay, sure. Thanks for mentioning that.

Then in that case, all the more reason to pay less attention to the Three Gunas of food, and pay more attention to the Three Humours rather, yes?

Are the 25 Tattvas mentioned mostly by, say, Caraka; or are they also taught within Tibetan Medicine as well?
Last edited by Sādhaka on Tue May 24, 2022 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Malcolm
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Re: Rajasic and Tamasic Foods

Post by Malcolm »

Sādhaka wrote: Tue May 24, 2022 4:16 pm Are the 25 Tattvas mentioned mostly by, say, Caraka; or are they also taught within Tibetan Medicine as well?
They are not taught in Tibetan Medicine, nor are they taught in the Ayurvedic treatises of Vagbhata, which directly influence Tibetan Medicine.
Momento mori.
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