Many times people wonder what the actual application of the Unani-Tibb nutritional system and what the application of Ayurveda is and often it ends up being over a 2 hour conversation many times. In essence what it all boils down to that the Unani-Tibb and Ayurvedic systems sees the human being as a part of the Universe, the Cosmos and “of” the Earth. Now you may ask, just what this has to do with nutrition, health and diet. Well in reality, it means everything.
With the Unani-Tibb system , it is primarily analyzing the Human Being in relation to nature with the balancing the humors, and in particular the ‘Black Bile’ and ‘Yellow Bile” which is in constant flux which results in the many different kinds of temperaments of people all over the world. It is this important point that makes this aspect of Food, Nature and the Environment very important as we approach this topic of Health and Wellness. The relationship according to these systems is that the more natural foods that you eat from the earth the more in balance and in harmony that you will be with the earth and the universe one would be. The elements of Earth, Wind, Fire, Water and Ether (space) play a major role in these systems and even go so far as to say that these actual elements are not just only IN our bodies, but also in our foods! If one stops and thinks about this one can only marvel how wondrous it is to be alive today! For example when it comes to heating (fire element) foods; these attributes can be found in natural foods like bananas, almonds, beets and eggplant (etc): which are perfect for people with cold temperaments. And foods that are known to be cooling (wind and water elements) can be found in lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes, white potatoes and the like. These healing systems see the ailing person that has been the product of imbalances within themselves, imbalanced from nature which automatically puts them at an imbalance with the overall balance of the Universe: The goal is to restore the internal balance for optimum health.
While many people may not have very much control over their socio-economic status, or what country they were born in or who the members of their family will be; one of the few things that we can control is WHAT one actually puts in their mouth to eat. One could choose to eat natural things that come from the earth or one could choose to do the opposite. In most cases (not all) it is this choice to eat healthy which will put us in better alignment with our own bodies and the earth that we live in.
The concept of physical mortality (especially in the unani system) plays a role and echoes the reality that One will only occupy their physical body for a short and limited amount of time; thus it is very important to be in optimum health at all times and in touch with nature as much as possible. If one is looking to experience that balance again, one need not look any further than the foods puts into our bodies. The elements of Fire, Water, Air, Earth and Ether (space) are in us thus really giving credence to the term “You are what you eat.”
-Daud Scott- CHNP.