“What are you saying doctor? You are advising me goat meat soup? But you are an Ayurvedic doctor..How can ..I mean? Does Ayurveda allow nonveg?” My patient was shocked looking confused at me. Some years back a case of muscular wasting needed a major change in diet than medicine. I had advised him goat meat soup to restore his strength after a chronic disease.
We Ayurvedic doctor always face this question. “What? Meat and Ayurveda?’’
Let’s see the facts about Ayurveda and non vegetarian diet
Ayurveda has classified all the edible things on the earth in the most elaborate way than any other science could have. A huge classification of the animals, birds, reptile, wild, domestic and aquatic animals etc is the interesting thing one can find. Charaka Samhita has mentioned each and every minute property of these animals right from fish to peacock . You will be amazed to see that so many birds (local and migrating birds) are described with their meat properties. Crocodile to cheetah and rhino to rabbit is the reach of this classification.
Basically there is a unique principle Ayurveda believes in “Same property things or food favors or increase the same properties in body . So meat will increase the muscles tissues in the body.
Before concluding that Ayurveda advocates the meat diet, wait.
No ! Ayurveda do not advocate meat diet. But Ayurvedic principles are applied and the various meats if required can be used to restore the health according to their properties and benefits to the human body.
Little confusing? Let’s simplify the whole thing.
Things to remember while eating non vegetarian meal:
- Appetite (power to digest the food) should be competent to digest the guru guna (heavy) meat. The less the appetite, more adverse results from the meat meal.
- The meat has ‘Tamas’ guna so it affects the psyche and other Satwa Rajas guna etc. Those who want to develop Satwa guna should keep distance from non vegetarian diet.
- The preparation method plays important role to enhance, affect or alter the meat properties. E.G. Marinating with curd, using cream while cooking various cuisines from meat or frying, Tandoor, barbequing, deep frying, using alcohol while cooking the meat alters the originally good properties of meat in to incompatible one.
- Barbeque is the most favorite dish in meat eaters. Usually cooking meat without water directly on high flames is discouraged in Ayurveda. Because even modern science has proved that, the brown crust though smells nice and tastes amazing, they are the AGEs (Advanced Glycolized End products).These AGEs are supposed to produce immunity disorders, oxidative stress and are termed as carcinogenic (cancer producing).In short they are highly dangerous for human if consumed very frequently and in meal quantity.
- Processed,preserved and salted meat is devoid of the nutritional benefits and is harmful in many ways.
- Eating meat with other heavy food (e.g. black gram, sprouts etc), with milk or milk products and desserts is incompatible and invites many immune comprised diseases like allergies, skin disorders and other metabolic diseases.
- Cooking with simple spices or consuming in the form of soup is advocated in Ayurvedic texts.
- Meat increases the muscle is the simple logic as per the theory so the properties of various meat can be used to enhance the health, cure the diseases and keeping the wellness in some given situation.
- Physically active people, athletes, having good appetite are the ideal class who can have benefits of meat with proper guidelines. The people having sedentary lifestyle and poor appetite should not eat meat regularly.
Commonly ate meat and their properties according to Ayurveda:
Fish: Hot and heavy, decreases the Vata Dosha and increases the strength. The fish meat can increase the unnecessary Kafa Dosha if the cooking method is wrong.
Goat : The meat is said to be the most compatible of human tissues and it is included in whole some food in the form of soup.This is the only type of red meat Ayurveda allows on regular basis or as medicinal diet.
Chicken(cock ) : The chicken meat increases the strength and the muscle mass. It is helpful to pacify the Vata dosha.
Pork: Pork meat is heavy to digest and the pork fat is highly difficult to digest. Pork meat if digested properly is said to be strengthening one and useful to increase weight.
Cow: The cow meat is banned in some countries and eating it is against beliefs in many cultures and communities. The classification elaborates the cow meat guna as it is beneficial to restore the muscle wear and tear.
Beef: Heavy to digest, aphrodisiac, increases the muscle mass and strength. Sleep enhancing is its peculiar property.
Rabbit: heavy to digest, hot and increases strength. Beneficial for Vata dosha and is supposed to be aphrodisiac.
Sheep: Cold in Guna (property) and increases the muscle strength ,heavy to digest.
Is red meat good to eat?
Ayurveda while describing the red meat animals like cow, beef, pork etc has mentioned them to be highly nutritious in term of increasing the muscle mass, increasing strength and endurance etc. But further the red meat is listed in the food list which should not be consumed regularly or one should avoid. Why so? Because the heavy Guna (property) and other properties can cause over nutrition which is not at all required. This further can turn into various metabolic disorders. Even today the many research papers have proved the link between consuming the red meat and occurrence of the diseases like hypertension, obesity, intestinal cancer, diabetes etc. This clears the myth that more nutrition loaded food more health. It is important to take it in proper quantity and by proper person,in proper manner. The science has termed the red meat (if over consumed) as carcinogenic. A detail blog on red meat has already published on my site. Please refer. https://drrupalipanse.wordpress.com/2016/04/18/166/
How can we use meat in illness?
Since meat has the similar body tissues as human it can be used skillfully to restore the health and immunity in various diseases. The ancient science advocates the meat eating as medicine and not as your satiety tool. There are examples given as many meat and their uses on specific disease. E.g. the dove blood has a unique benefit in bleeding disorders. Sheep meat is used to treat the tuberculosis. In today’s word it is highly impossible to use these various animals like peacock, dove and others to treat the diseases. It is against the law and to some extent inhumane too. But considering the food habits of meat eaters can we apply the theory?
For that case, the goat meat is supposed to be the ideal one. Jangal Mansras( That is goat meat soup) Can be used to enhance the healing, restore the immunity and strength in treating the various diseases.
Meat and Ayurveda is a vast topic and so many things still to write about. We will hopefully cover the subtopics in coming blogs. Do post queries and comment your valuable opinions and thoughts.