care of one's body is every man's primary duty.
That is the reason why it is said in
Ayurveda'Only a person with a healthy body
can accomplish the four basic principles of life,
namely: Dharma (religion), Artha (money), Kama
(sexual desires), Moksha (salvation). To attain
good health it is essential to follow the rules
of good nutrition, regular exercise and
regulation in sexual activity. These are said to
be the four pillars that keep the body in perfect
harmony. Thus a nutritious diet, proper
lifestyle, adequate sleep and exercise are
instrumental in keeping the body free of all
ailments. Human beings have four instincts i.e.
appetite, sleep, fear and sexual desire. In life
these instincts have played a prominent role.'
In Ayurveda, it is
believed that all living beings are a composite
of the five basic elements i.e. Earth, Water,
Fire, Air and Sky. In order to keep life going,
it is important to replenish these elements
through natural foods which are the sources of
these elements. Natural foods, which are
vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereals and other
foodstuffs are essential to obtain these
ingredients and these foods are all classed as
vegetarian food sources. Grains like rice, wheat,
pulses have been given a very special place in
Ayurvedic literature as the main foods for man.
It is said
in the Sanskrit literature that within grains
there is life and it is with grains only that
life persists. It is only within the vegetarian
diet that you find all these components of food.
Similarly the milk obtained from buffalos, cows,
goats and other animals and milk products like
curd, butter, ghee, etc. are also obtainable
within a vegetarian diet. These vegetarian foods
supply nutrients in adequate quantity and quality
right through life. Regular intake of these
vegetarian foods ensures appropriate development,
both mental and physical, and also protects the
consumer from various diseases. Given below is a
brief discussion on the values of individual food
vegetarian diet the various products made from
wheat flour play an important role. Wheat
strengthens the body and its use increases all
the elements of the body. Wheat products like
roti, broken wheat (dalia), sheera (halwa),
bread, biscuits, etc. not only taste good but are
also easy to digest.
an important component of our diet. Rice, too, is
light and easy to digest. The use of rice
increases the enzymes, components of blood,
muscles and other elements of the body. It is
owing to rice that the body remains light and
energetic. Rice and its products are useful in
the treatment of constipation, fever, diarrhoea,
dysentery, abdominal complaints and emaciation.
helps to stimulate the digestive system and
increases vitality and makes you alert. Barley is
useful in the treatment of common colds, fever,
asthma, sore throat, urinary tract infection and
skin diseases. Barley water is used in various
useful for body building. Its consumption
strengthens the body and forms all the elements
of the body in the right proportions.
reduces the heat in the body and is useful in
pitha and Pitha-related diseases. This is easy to
digest and is also used in curing abdominal
diseases. Jawar increases strength and sexual
Bengal Gram dal and Gram flour (besan) that also
improves health, gives strength and stimulates
sexual potency. A fistful of gram soaked
overnight and tied in a cloth will stimulate
sprouting of gram. The use of these sprouts is
Gram Dal (Toor Dal/Arhar)
Toor dal is
easy to digest, helps in the formation of stools,
and is usefuL in piths and pitha-related
diseases. Similarly green gram (moong) is also
easy to digest and is useful in eliminating pitha
and helps to ease burning sensations of the body
anti stomach. It can also be consumed in diseases
of bones and diarrhoea.
Gram (Udad); Black Gram Dal (Udad Dal)
is useful in treating the various diseases caused
by vata. It increases the muscle strength and
sexual potency of the consumer.
(Masoor and Masoor Dal)
light to digest and helps in the formation of
well formed stools. It is also helpful in blood
and skin diseases.
and Black Gingelly Seeds (Til Seeds)
and black gingelly seeds are useful. Consumption
of these increases strength, eliminates worm
infestation from the intestine, strengthens the
roots of hair thereby making them healthy. They
are useful in increasing the milk production in
lactating mothers and is also used in treating
complaints like polyuria.
presence of some sort of oil/fat in our diet is
also essential. This can be obtained from milk
and various oilseeds. Different types of oils are
used in different regions of our country.
Oil (Til Oil)
strengthens the body and stimulates and improves
the digestive system. A massage with this oil is
beneficial to the skin and eyes.
Oil (Sarso or Rai Oil)
This oil is
mainly consumed in the north-eastern
region.Consumption of this brings about the
elimination of Kapha and vata-related disorders.
It also eliminates worm infestations from the
intestine. A massage of the body with this oil
removes dryness of the skin, makes it soft and
smooth and strengthens the muscles.
are predominantly used in the western coast of
India and are useful in the elimination of
abdominal and body vata.
are a very common constituent of our diet and
they can be served in combination with many other
vegetables. They are available in all seasons.
Potatoes stimulate the formation of all the
elements of the body and impart strength to the
destroy vata and diseases arising from the
formation of vata. They are also useful in kappa
diseases. They increase the muscle and fat
content of the body and thereby make it strong.
good for constipation and other abdominal
a sweet vegetable useful in kapha and pitha
diseases. It helps in the treatment of diabetes,
diseases of the urinary system, skin diseases,
leucoderma, leprosy, asthma, bronchitis,
infections of the skin like boils, cellulitis
useful in the treatment of fever, diabetes and
jaundice. In addition it is also useful in the
treatment of intestinal worms, dysentery and some
useful in the treatment of piles and diseases
related to an enlarged spleen.
relieves diseases related to vata and kapha. It
is a sexual stimulant and increases fertility.
increase strength and are useful in diseases
related to Vats and Pitha.
improves vision and is useful for all loose
constipation, diseases of the female reproductive
organs, fevers, bronchitis, asthma, dysentery and
is good for abdominal disorders like constipation
and dysentery. It is good for fevers, liver and
a mild laxative. Thereby it serves to stimulate
the appetite also. It stimulates the production
of many enzymes in the gastrointestinal tract and
also helps to enrich the blood with many minerals
especially iron. Various abdominal problems, mild
to moderate fever, swelling of the eyes and
long-standing constipation are all the other
indications for the use of spinach.
stimulates digestion, improves urinary flow and
eases bowel movements It improves appetite and
enriches the blood. This vegetable is very useful
in constipation, some kinds of dysentery, liver
disorders, enlarged spleen, eye diseases and long
improves the digestive power. It also helps in
conditions where there is loss of appetite, bowel
disorders (like dysentery) intestinal worm
infestation, fever, swelling of the eyes, pain in
the joints, distension of the abdomen and other
vata-related disorders. (Its role in reducing
blood sugar is acclaimed by some researchers).
increases milk production in lactating mothers.
It is a sexual stimulant. Abdominal pain,
distension, flatulence, fever and diseases of the
uterus are relieved by the use of this vegetable.
It also destroys intestinal worms and helps cure
(Dhania) and Mint Leaves (Phudina)
improves the taste of food. They are useful in
conditions like indigestion, piles, emaciation,
intestinal worms and dysentery.
beneficial in Pltha and various diseases related
to it. It helps to cleanse the urine and is also
useful in cases of renal stones. It has also been
proved to be very useful in leprosy, burning
paresthesiae and burning in the urine.
cure various abdominal disorders like stomach
aches, abdominal distension, flatulence or gas
formation, loss of appetite and constipation.
They are also used in the treatment of piles,
obstruction in urinary flow and renal stones.
Chewing on a radish instantly cures hiccups. It
is also used in skin diseases and leprosy.
(Pyaz / Kanda)
stimulate the digestive systems. They are
nourishing and increase the elements of the body.
Consumption of onions causes reduction in fever.
They are used in epilepsy and in cases of
hysterical unconsciousness where, if a person is
made to smell it, he awakens. It is also helpful
in the treatment of sun-stroke.
consumption of garlic chutney cures abdominal
pain, formation of flatulence/gas, abdominal
cramps and other vata-related diseases.
Consumption of garlic juice frequently in small
amounts is useful in cholera. It is used in
disorders of the spleen, high blood-pressure,
epilepsy, old wounds, scabies, persistent cough,
boils in the ear and syphilis too.
consumed in various diseases as they are
considered to protect health. They alleviate sour
eructation, burning ulcers, heaviness in the
stomach, constipation, head-ache, fever, weakness
increases strength and sexual potency and cleans
and improves the colour of the skin. Besides
carbohydrates, it also contains vitamin B and E
in adequate amounts. It is beneficial in chronic
abdominal disorders, diarrhoea, bowel disorders,
tuberculosis, cough and deficiencies.in the
blood. A beverage called Hannah which is made
from raw mangoes helps in the prevention of
Banana is a
good source of energy. It finds use in the
treatment of dysentery, burning in the stomach,
piles and intestinal problems. Due to its 'cold'
nature it finds use in bilious disorders and
problems related to heat. It is useful in urinary
disturbances. It is considered to be a complete
useful in the treatment of fever and
Apple is beneficial in the treatment of nausea,
vomiting and apathy.
used as an ideal food during an illness as it
promotes strength and gives energy.
strengthening as well as it helps to increase the
elements of the body. It is useful in treating
abdominal pain, unconsciousness and worm
useful in the formation of enzymes, blood, muscle
and fat. They are also useful in the treatment of
bowel disorders like constipation, dysentery and
beneficial in the treatment of constipation,
piles, heart problems, jaundice and various
diseases of the urinary tract. They also purify
stops burning sensation of the skin and reduces
excessive thirst. It has been proved to be useful
in insanity and for development of neurons of the
very nourishing. They are beneficial in
overcoming weakness that follows an illness. They
also purify the blood. They strengthen the
digestive system. Lichi juice is useful in
urinary disturbances. They have also been proved
to be beneficial in regulating heart beats and
improve the general resistance of the body.
is useful in the treatment of bowel disturbances,
dysentery, nausea, vomiting, eructations and
disorders of the stomach. It is very beneficial
for the heart. It is useful in the treatment of
burning sensation of the eyes, worm infestation
in the intestine, fever and burning rnicturition.
Melon (Tarbuj / Kalingad)
destroys various disorders caused by pitha and
reduces the body heat. It tranquilizes the mind.
consumption of Pears has an aphrodisiac effect.
Its use is beneficial in loss of appetite,
excessive thirst, vomiting and chronic
useful in the treatment of piles, body-ache, pain
in the joints and in vata-related diseases. It is
especially useful in jaundice.
is highly beneficial in the treatment of bowel
disorders, hiccups, asthma, ear-ache, and in
abdominal disorders of children.
is very beneficial for the heart and in the
treatment of worm infestation in the intestine,
fever, diphtheria, swelling in the body, excess
heat in the body, excessive thirst, giddiness and
enrich the blood. They are also useful in the
treatment of nausea, stomach-ache, fever,
influenza, urinary obstruction, constipation and
headache. Drinking milk after consuming dates
makes the body healthy and strong. Dates are also
are beneficial in various abdominal disorders and
also stimulate the digestive system. They also
increase sexual potency.
Fruit (Bel Phal)
is beneficial in various abdominal disorders and
it stimulates the digestive system.
useful in fever, bowel disturbances, burning
sensation of the body, burning sensation while
urinating and urinary obstruction. It also helps
in reducing excessive thirst and acts as a sexual
increase kapha and all the elements in the body,
and are also essentially very nourishing. They
also increase the memory.
of makhana reduces the body heat, and is also
ideal in bowel disturbances. It is very
beneficial for the heart and is very nutritious
and acts as a stimulant.
AND MILK PRODUCTS
increases the elements of the body and their
resistance power. It is a laxative. It is taken
as a complete food by all animals. Its
consumption is beneficial in the treatment of
chronic fever, dizziness, weak-mindedness,
tuberculosis, anaemia, fatigue and tiredness,
leprosy, piles and complaints of the urinary
/ Yogurt (Dahi)
Curd can be
used as lassi and its use is beneficial in
chronic fever, dizziness, weak-mindedness,
tuberculosis, anaemia, when the body elements
decrease, fatigue and tiredness, leprosy, piles
and complaints of the urinary organs.
of ghee rids the body of dryness and the skin
becomes soft and the face glows. It also
strengthens the bones. It is useful in the
treatment of body-ache, pain in the joints and
various other vata-related disorders. Regular
consumption of ghee wards off mental disorders.
However, excessive consumption, too, is not
In our diet
we also use small quantities of spices which play
a protective role.
stimulates the digestive system and thus also
improves the appetite. In cases of chest
congestion, stomach-aches, abdominal distension
and abdominal cramps and in other such
discomforts, relief can be obtained by sucking on
a pinch of salt.
useful in conditions of vats, pitha, and kapha.
It has been proved to be beneficial in the
treatment of cough, syphilis, fever, influenza,
polyuria and worm infestation of the intestine.
has been proved to be beneficial in the treatment
of flatulence / gas formation, high fever,
hysteria, stomach-ache in children, indigestion,
distension and toothache.
been proved to be beneficial in loose motions,
heart - burn, chronic fever and eructations.
used in the treatment of stomach-ache, loss of
appetite, indigestion, distension, constipation,
worm infestation of the intestine, asthma, for
proper digestion of food and diseases of the
are useful in the treatment of stomach-ache,
piles, constipation, nausea ancvomltmg.
(Lavang / Long)
been proved to help in the treatment of slight
fever, influenza, chronic cold, vomiting during
pregnancy and toothache.
useful in fever, flatulence / gas formation, weak
eyesight, aphthous ulcers, nausea and cough with
should be regularly used to avoid flatulence/gas
formation, stomach ache, indigestion,
vata-related disorders and loss of appetite. It
stimulates the digestive system. It is useful in
the treatment of gout, pain in the joints,
swelling, abdominal distension, diarrhoea,
headache, earache, chronic bowel disorders,
excess mucus, cold with a sore throat and cough.
Pepper (Kali Mirch/Miri)
Pepper is beneficial in the treatment of heart
diseases, flatulence / gas disturbances,
stomach-ache, abdominal distension, piles, bowel
disturbances, diarrhoea and worm infestation of
intestine, cholera, cold, cough, hiccups,
pitha-related disorders, weak memory, sore throat
been proved to be beneficial in treating
headaches in children, cough, pain in the chest,
influenzas pneumonia, bowel disturbances and
vomiting. It is also helpful in the treatment of
toothache and worm infestation.
in the digestion of food. It destroys flatulence.
It is useful in bowel disturbances like
Leaf (Tej Parta)
Bay Leaf is
beneficial in cold, cough, asthma, chronic cold,
bodyache, pain in the joints, stomach ache and
disorders of the uterus.
beneficial in the treatment of Pitha in the body,
nausea, bleeding piles and tendency towards
is a good source of energy. It promotes the flow
of urine,hence it is useful in urinary stones and
urinary infections. It is also useful in
jaundice, anaemia and constipation. It
strengthens the heart muscle, it is a good source
of minerals and it also is a mild sexual
stimulant. It is also useful in the treatment of
nasal bleeding, hiccups, headache and helps to
Sugar is a
good source of energy and it provides relief in
fatigue, nausea and vomiting.
energy and is versatile in its qualities. It
enhances the value of the food it is consumed
with (e.g. milk). It is useful for treating sore
throats, it also improves digestion and is useful
in the treatment of cough, asthma, piles,
leprosy, tuberculosis, blood disorders, urinary
disorders, nausea, vomiting, hiccups,
constipation. It is also food for the complexion.
It helps in weight reduction when taken with
water. It is very nutritious in combination with
is regularly consumed along with the meals, it is
highly beneficial to the heart and also helps to
prevent various kinds of heart diseases. It also
acts as a sex stimulant. Consumption of jaggery
with dry fruits is very strengthening. It is
beneficial in various vata-related disorders,
gout and body ache. Jaggery water cleanses the
urinary system and ensures a good flow of urine.
above observations it is apparent that the
vegetarian cuisine promotes quality of life.
Vegetarian foods can also play a role in healing
diseases, In fact in Ayurveda the medicine itself
is vegetarian food.