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Anukta Dravya Abhyaasa-Custard

Vaidya Vilas Nanal
Ayurvidya Paarangata

Evaluation of Custard based on Ayurvedic Principles

  • Introduction
  • Common ingredients of Custard
  • Evaluation by Panchavidhi (Five Direct Perceptions)
  • Custard and its therapeutic uses
  • Conclusion


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 Pancahbhoota theory, Rasa- Gun`a- Veerya theory and Dosha-Dhaatu-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 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 Kritaanna Varga. It is generally consumed after meals as a sweet dish or dessert, preceded by refrigeration.

Common ingredients of Custard

Corn starch, milk, sugar- all in equal parts
Salt to taste,

Water – as required 
Beaten eggs – if desired in pudding or soft baked Custard.


Stage 1: Mix the dry ingredients first-corn starch, sugar and salt thoroughly.
Stage 2: Add some cold milk enough to make a smooth paste.
Stage 3: Add hot milk, enough to make a homogenous emulsion.
Stage 4: Cook on low flame till ready, stir constantly to avoid lumping. 

Standards for a good Custard

  • Texture – Smooth, devoid of lumps
  • Consistency – Firm and tender, homogenous, should not be leathery or watery.
  • Flavor – pleasing, delicate, should not be strong.
  • It should be like thick cream yielding easily without sound to any sharp instrument or pressure

Evaluation of Custard on Ayurvedic Parameters
S`habda – does not make any specific sound. It is cut without making sound. 

Snigdha – Unctuous 
S`heeta – Cold 
Pichchhila – Slimy, tends to move, trembles and is paste like 
Guru – Heavy or bulky 
Mridu – Mild, soft, yielding to touch 

Roopa – Visual
Peeta – yellowish in colour
Aardra – looks moist
Saandra – looks thick, well formed and not liquid, glistens if well set

Rasa – Taste 
Madhura – Sweet 
Asyopalepa – creates stickiness in the mouth 
Hlaadana – crates a sense of well being elation on tasting 
Shadindriyaprasaadana – causes a sated state of all the sense organs and the mind
Smells sweet on tasting

Gandha – Smell 
Saumya – mild, likeable, Agreeable smell, inoffensive 
Sugandha – fragrance.

After noting these properties it now becomes possible for us to pose a working hypothesis regarding the Rasa-Gun`a-Veerya-Vipaaka and their Dosha-Dhaatu-Mala relationships as well as their effects. This would be apparent by the following table.

Gun`a – P – Present

Gun`a –EarthWaterFireAirEther
Snigdha – P   
Mridu  P  P
S`heeta – P   
Pichchhila – P   
Guru –PP   
Aardra – P   
Manda –PP   
Madhura –PP   
Gandha –P    

Hence the Bhautika Constitution is water predominant, with Earth contributing secondly and with Ether in an infinitesimal manner. Fire and air are conspicuous by their absence.

Rasa – Madhura
Veerya S`heeta
– (post digestive taste) Madhura

Effect on the Dosha:
Because of this constitution it Annihilates / alleviates the Vaata Dosha and Pitta 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.

Effect on Dhaatu:
Rasa – Rasavardhana owing to its common and comparable constitution.
Rakta – Raktaprasaadana due to its sweet and cold effect.
Maamsa – due its sweet, dense and heavy attributes.
Meda – Medavivardhana due to comparable constitution.
S`hukra S`hukravardhana due to Madhura taste, S`heeta, Snigdha, Saandra, Manda and Gun`a and VeeryaSugandha attributes and cold phase activity.

Effect on the byproducts of Dhaatu (Updhaatu):
Raja and Stanya – Vriddhikara due to its Rasa generative action on waste products.
Sris`ht`ra Mutrakara due to its sweet effect and Gurutva.
Sris`ht`ra 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 :
Abhishyandi – A substance which is capable of occluding the Rasaayani and causing accumulation of Rasa and heaviness owing to its Pichchhila (slimy character),  Gurutva (heavy on digestion and conversion) and its affinity towards Rasa Dhaatu.
Rakta Prasaadana – Capable of purifying the Rakta Dhaatu, due to its sweet taste, post digestive taste and cold phase activity.
Upalepakara – A substance which is capable of sticking to the surface in contact and causing bulkiness, owing to its Pichchhilataa, Saandrataa and Mridutaa.

Custard and its therapeutic uses:
In case of Amlapitta characterized by Daaha there is a subjective burning sensation. It is advisable to lick it (Leha).
In case of Mukhapaaka (stomatitis) – It is advised to suck and lick it with the finger. It brings about the drop in intensity due to MriduS`heeta and Pichchhila attributes.
In Case of VaatikaPaittika Trishn`aa (Thirst) it proves beneficial- but owing to its GuruMandaMridu and Pichchhila attributes it is totally contraindicated in the Aamaja type or Trishn`aa.In Case of S`hosha (wasting disorders) it can be beneficially administered but caution has to be observed and it should never be given after sunset, because of its AbhishyandiGuru attributes.
In case of Malavibandha (Constipation and irregular bowel habits), it is administered in the Apaana Kaala or Samaana Kaala depending upon the dominance of Vaata type involved.
It is also used in Kris`ha (emaciated) persons successfully to promote weight gain after considering the status of his / her Agni.
It proves beneficial to the persons of Vaata Prakriti and Pitta Prakriti as Svasthavrittikara Dravya.
Its use in Jaangala Des`ha (geo-physical distribution) is advisable.
Its use is beneficial in the Hemanta (Autumn) S`his`hira (Winter) and Greeshma (Summer).
Its use is contraindicated in diseases conditions like

S`hvaasa Kapha predominant
Kaasa-Kapha predominant
Hridroga- Kaphaja
Dhamani Pratichaya

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 stuffs or medicinal substances. This point is proved in this article with the example of Custard.
This was a presentation at III ICTAM in Mumbai 1991

Vaidya Vilas Nanal

Last updated on February 26th, 2021 at 06:14 am

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