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Ahara includes both food and drugs. Some of these substances will stimulate the doshas and activate them towards pathological state. Therefore they become harmful to the body tissues and systems. These are all known as Viruddha dravyas or Ahita dravyas. The same is known as Incompatibility in modern sciences.
Incompatibility is the state which renders admixture of remedies unsuitable through chemical action, insolubility or formation of poisonous compounds. In other words, it is the quality of not being mixed without chemical changes, or without antagonizing the action of ingredients in a compound. Physiological incompatibility is a condition in which one or more substances in mixture have a different physiological action than other substances in the mixture.
These Viuddha dravyas neither can act as Samana nor as Sodhana. But they possess qualities which are opposite to tissues (dhatus). Viruddhatwa occurs as one of the potent qualities which are opposite to one another. It does not occur in the case of ordinary qualities. The reason for viruddhatwa may be either Vishamatwa, Samatwa, Vishama-Samatwa, Samskara, Matra, Desa, Kala, Samyoga, Swabhava etc.
Hemadri clarified that Samana and Sodhana does not fall under viruddha category. This is because Sodhana wil expel the vitiated doshas completely. On the other hand Samana dravyas will subside the vitiated Doshas without expulsion. But viruddha Dravya does not have either of these qualities. It can only vitiate the dhatus.
He further described that Viruddhatwa may act as slow poisoning (chronic poisoning). Certain viruddha dravyas however may lead to death immediately also.
The incompatibilities (viruddhatwa) may be of different types. It may occur due to opposite qualities. Improper drug combinations, unwanted modification in original qualities, due to effect of area, time and dose. Some time even natural incompatibility may also be seen.
Charaka delineated certain exceptions where incompatibility does not affect individuals:
- Due to habitual usage (satmya)
- Due to little quantity (Alpata)
- Due to good appetite (deeptagni)
- Due to young age (Taruna)
- Due to oleatino (Sneha)
- Due to regular exercise (Vyayma)
Diseases caused by incompatibility :- Impotency (shandya), blindness (Andhya), herpes (visarpa), Ascites (Dakodara), erysepalas (Visphota), schizophrenia (Unmada), fistula-in-ano (Bhagandara), syncope (murcha), Stupor (mada), flatulence (adhmana), throat pain (Gala graham), Anemia (pandu), Autoimmunity (ama visha), leucoderma (Kilasa), Skin diseases (Kushta), Malabsorption syndromes (Grahami), edema and inflammation (Sotha), Hyperacidity (Amlapitta), fever (jwara), rhinitis (peenasa), hereditary problems (santano dosha) and death (Mrityu) Ultimately may result due to incompatibility.