Nurturing Wellness: Unveiling the Harmony of Gut Bacteria with Veerya, and Vipaka concept in Ayurveda

Nurturing Wellness: Unveiling the Harmony of Gut Bacteria with Veerya, and Vipaka concept in Ayurveda

11 Mar 2024

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This informal CPD article, ‘Nurturing Wellness: Unveiling the Harmony of Gut Bacteria, Veerya, and Vipaka in Ayurveda’, was provided by Dronagiri Ayurveda Solutions, who encourage healthier living primarily through the "life manual" known as Ayurveda.


The intricate dance of health within our bodies involves a myriad of players, and chief among them are the trillions of microorganisms constituting our gut bacteria. This article embarks on a journey to unravel the mysteries of gut bacteria, delve into Ayurvedic concepts of veerya (potency), and explore the post-digestive effects of food known as vipaka, ultimately weaving a narrative that illuminates the profound correlations among these elements. This is a unique article taking inferences from contemporary science observations with Ayurvedic concepts and trying to bridge a possible connection of gut bacteria so as to understand the concepts better which in turn can helps us to make better decisions.

Understanding Gut Bacteria

Gut bacteria, the microscopic inhabitants of our gastrointestinal tract, form a dynamic ecosystem with diverse roles. These microorganisms can be classified based on their modes of action, encompassing functions such as carbohydrate breakdown, protein digestion, and the synthesis of essential vitamins. This diversity mirrors the intricate orchestra that orchestrates the symphony of digestion within our bodies.

The undigested material that reaches the large intestine after completing chemical digestion in the small intestine serves as a crucial substrate for gut bacteria. These undigested compounds are often complex carbohydrates, fiber, and other substances that resist enzymatic breakdown in the earlier stages of digestion. As they reach the large intestine, they become a source of nutrition for various beneficial gut bacteria. Here are some examples of foods that serve as substrates for gut bacteria in the large intestine which mainly classified as prebiotics and probiotics.


Definition: Prebiotics are non-digestible fibres or compounds that serve as a food source for beneficial gut bacteria, promoting their growth and activity.

Sources: Prebiotics are found in various plant-based foods, particularly those high in dietary fibre.

Functions of prebiotics

1. Feeding Beneficial Bacteria: Prebiotics pass undigested through the small intestine and reach the large intestine, where they serve as nourishment for beneficial bacteria.

2. Enhancing Gut Health: By promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria, prebiotics contribute to a healthy and diverse gut microbiome.

3. Short-Chain Fatty Acid (SCFA) Production: Fermentation of prebiotics by gut bacteria produces SCFAs, which have various health benefits. [1]

Examples of Prebiotic Foods: cereals, pulses


Definition: Probiotics are live microorganisms, primarily beneficial bacteria, that confer health benefits to the host when consumed in adequate amounts.

Sources: Probiotics can be found in fermented foods and supplements. Common probiotic strains include various species of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

Functions of probiotics:

  • Balancing the Microbiome: Probiotics contribute to a balanced and diverse gut microbiome by introducing beneficial bacteria.
  • Digestive Health: They assist in the breakdown and absorption of nutrients, and some strains produce enzymes that aid in digestion.
  • Immune Support: Probiotics may enhance the immune system, promoting resistance to infections. [2]

Examples of probiotics – Kefir, Kimchi, Curd, Yogurt

Mode of action of gut bacteria

1. Short-Chain Fatty Acid (SCFA) Producing Bacteria:

Mode of Action: These bacteria are specialized in fermenting dietary fibers and complex carbohydrates that reach the large intestine. Through fermentation, they produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) as byproducts.


  • Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron: This bacterium is known for its ability to break down complex polysaccharides, contributing to the production of SCFAs.
  • Firmicutes: Certain Firmicutes bacteria, such as Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, play a role in butyrate production through fermentation.

2. Fermentation-Stimulating Bacteria:

Mode of Action: Lactobacillus bacteria are lactic acid-producing bacteria, and their primary mode of action involves the fermentation of sugars, particularly glucose and other carbohydrates.

They utilize sugars as a substrate and convert them into lactic acid through fermentation.


  • Lactobacillus bacteria. Lactobacillus bacteria are a type of bacteria commonly found in the human gut and are also used in the production of fermented foods like yogurt and cheese. These bacteria are considered beneficial or "friendly" bacteria, and they play several important roles in the body

3. Mucin-Degrading Bacteria:

Mode of Action: Mucin-degrading bacteria specialize in breaking down mucin, a glycoprotein that forms the protective layer on the inner surface of the intestines.


  • Akkermansia muciniphila: This bacterium is known for its ability to degrade mucin and is associated with maintaining the integrity of the gut barrier.
  • Ruminococcus torques: Some strains of Ruminococcus are involved in mucin degradation, influencing the turnover of mucin in the gut.

Understanding these categories and examples sheds light on the diversity of gut bacteria and their essential roles in maintaining gut health. The interplay between these bacterial groups contributes to the overall balance of the gut microbiome and plays a crucial role in digestion, nutrient absorption, and maintaining the integrity of the gastrointestinal tract. [3],[4],[5]

Ayurvedic concepts on understanding how any herb or food work in the body, after completing the digestive process.

Probiotics may enhance the immune system

Vipaka in Ayurveda

Vipaka, an integral concept in Ayurveda, defines the post-digestive effects of food on the body. Categorized into madura (sweet), amla (sour), and kadu (pungent), vipaka influences the body's response to ingested substances. The main stage for vipaka's action is the large intestine, where the remaining unabsorbed food particles from the small intestine undergo post-digestive transformations. [7],[8]

Correlating Vipaka and Gut Bacteria

Ayurveda unveils a fascinating correlation between vipaka and gut bacteria, both operating predominantly in the large intestine. Vipaka considered a specific form of digestion in this region, aligns with the action of gut bacteria fermenting undigested particles and producing Short-Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs). This correlation forms the foundation for understanding the impact of specific vipakas on gut health.

Veerya in Ayurveda

Veerya, often referred to as potency of food or any item we take, represents the inherent power of gastric enzymes active in both the stomach and small intestine. Ayurveda classifies veerya into two categories: ushna, generating heat in the body, and seetha, generating cold. This categorization reflects the dynamic interplay of digestive forces within us.

Correlating Gut Bacteria, Veerya, and Vipaka: & Disease management

The synergy between gut bacteria, veerya, and vipaka unfolds in disease management and overall well-being. Specific vipakas, along with their corresponding veeryas, correlate with certain groups of gut bacteria, influencing digestive and metabolic processes.

Madura Vipaka and Seetha Veerya: the association with Short-Chain Fatty Acid (SCFA) Producing Bacteria

Ingredients with madura vipaka and seetha veerya properties act as prebiotics, stimulating SCFA-producing gut bacteria. These substances, found in cereals, some lentils, organic milk, sweet fruits, and butter, contribute to reducing inflammatory diseases like Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), IBD, Hyperthyroidism, Pericarditis, Maniac diseases.

Amala Vipaka and Ushna Veerya: the possible correlation with Fermentation-Stimulating Bacteria

Sour fruits, fermented foods like buttermilk, kefir, idly, dosa, and batter kimchi, characterized by amala vipaka and ushna veerya, introduce live bacteria like lactobacillus, act as probiotics.

This supports disease management by enhancing fermentation processes, and reducing metabolic disorders like being overweight and having high cholesterol, due to lack of proper nutrients, PCOD in a lean person.

Kadu Vipaka and Ushna Veerya: relation with Mucin-Degrading Bacteria

Ingredients such as spices, animal protein, lentils like horse gram, and various millets, classified under kadu vipaka and ushna veerya, these ingredients are known stimulate mucin-degrading bacteria. Generally, kadu vipaka food items are given in to reduce Kapha predominant body types in Ayurveda. Most of the Kapha predominant diseases are related to metabolic disorder and issues related to over nourishment. This correlation points to their potential to manage fat absorption related kapha diseases like obesity and cholesterol due to overeating. Hypothyroidism, Arteriosclerosis. Diabetes due to overeating and sedentary life style, Depression, PCOD in obese person.

Possible use of three strains of bacterias in degenerative diseases

As per Ayurveda degenerative diseases are mainly classified into two based on its origin:

  1. Due to lack of proper nutrient intake (Dahtukshaya)
  2. Due to obstruction (Avarana – where nutrients do not reach in the appropriate site due to some obstruction in the metabolic pathway.)

Degenerative disease due to lack of proper nutrient intake (Dhatukshaya)

Madura vipaka and ushna  veerya – Combination of Prebiotic & probiotic

Diseases like Osteoarthritis in a lean person, Anxiety disorders, diabetes with somogyi effect, Alzheimer’s disease,. PCOD in lean person etc indicates the there is a lack of nutrients in this situation to provide ingredients like ghee, Ginger which as madura vipaka, and ushna veerya (A combination of prebiotic and probiotics together).

Degenerative disease due to obstruction – Where combination of 3 types of bacteria needs to be used

First step - Kadu vipaka and Ushna veerya –Mucin degrading bacteria

For diseases like osteoarthritis in obese people, first, we need to provide kadu vipaka usha veerya drugs (mucin degrading ) and reduce the excess fat, example ingredients like garlic, black pepper

The second step - madura vipaka and ushna veerya - Combination of Prebiotics & probiotics like ginger, ghee, butter milk


In unravelling the intricate interplay of gut bacteria, veerya, and vipaka, we gain profound insights into the holistic mechanisms that influence our digestive health and overall well-being. This synergistic dance of ancient wisdom and contemporary understanding provides a roadmap for nurturing our bodies, fostering optimal health, and achieving a harmonious balance within.

We hope this article was helpful. For more information from Dronagiri Ayurveda Solutions, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively, you can go to the CPD Industry Hubs for more articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.


  1. Bäckhed, F., Ley, R. E., Sonnenburg, J. L., Peterson, D. A., & Gordon, J. I. (2005). Host-bacterial mutualism in the human intestine. Science, 307(5717), 1915-1920. This paper discusses the symbiotic relationship between gut bacteria and the host, including their roles in metabolism, immunity, and gut barrier function.
  2. Belkaid, Y., & Hand, T. W. (2014). Role of the microbiota in immunity and inflammation. Cell, 157(1), 121-141. This review article provides an overview of the interactions between gut bacteria and the immune system, including their impact on gut mucosal immunity.
  3. Hooper, L. V., Littman, D. R., & Macpherson, A. J. (2012). Interactions between the microbiota and the immune system. Science, 336(6086), 1268-1273. This paper discusses the crosstalk between gut bacteria and the immune system, including their roles in maintaining gut barrier function and preventing inflammation.
  4. Kamada, N., Chen, G. Y., Inohara, N., & Núñez, G. (2013). Control of pathogens and pathobionts by the gut microbiota. Nature immunology, 14(7), 685-690. This review article discusses the mechanisms by which gut bacteria protect against pathogens and maintain gut barrier function.
  5. Rakoff-Nahoum, S., Paglino, J., Eslami-Varzaneh, F., Edberg, S., & Medzhitov, R. (2004). Recognition of commensal microflora by toll-like receptors is required for intestinal homeostasis. Cell, 118(2), 229-241. This paper discusses the role of toll-like receptors (TLRs) in recognizing commensal bacteria and maintaining gut barrier function.
  6. Round, J. L., & Mazmanian, S. K. (2009). The gut microbiota shapes intestinal immune responses during health and disease. Nature reviews Immunology, 9(5), 313-323. This review article discusses the impact of gut bacteria on intestinal immune responses and gut barrier function.



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For more information from Dronagiri Ayurveda Solutions, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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