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”Meat Myths and Ayurveda”

“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.

But..But …But

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.

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.

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25 thoughts on “”Meat Myths and Ayurveda””

  1. Dear Dr. Rupali Panse,
    I have a question. Are there long term studies gold standart or others in evidence for meat soups? Goat meat soups? For it seems to be well known and practiced in the world. I have seen to many conclusive studies on health that it is good to eat whole food plant based diet. Or Vegan. Red meat if it does have some benefits don’t outweigh the good.
    Dr. Gregor who is a Dr who works on trying to get the word out on how to be healthy has very good information.
    What is your standpoint?
    A friend of mine is recommending to eat red meat for 4weeks 2tines a day, but won’t present any scientific arguments. The arguments he has is that it has tested kinesiologically. Muscle test.
    I don’t mean to offend you in any way. It is a pressing question. Are there arguments that outweigh the bad? In terms of looking at it through the lense of today’s knowledge and of the knowledge from ayurveda. Also I understand if you don’t have the time to write back. Thank you for your great articles. They have Givin me a small insight into ayurvedic medicine. I hope to learn more
    Best regards Chris

    1. Dear Chris
      Hope you are doing good. Sorry for responding late to your queries.
      Though there is not any specific paper or study on meat soup, you can find several research articles online. Every food be it vegan or meat hold the ability to nourish the body and mind in its own way. The quantity, cooking methods , the constitution of the person eating the food matters a lot for good or bad results of the same food on different individuals.
      Just because some food is rich in nutrients ,you cant overfeed yourself or over consume it. The body should also be able to digest and assimilate the nutrient rich food ,which is always neglected by most of the dietitians too.
      The same rule here is applied for red meat. we have to rip the benefit wisely.
      Thank you so much for reading my blogs. I hope they help you and your friends as well.
      Keep reading and keep sharing

  2. Unnikrishnan Ravindran Nambiar

    Hello Maam,

    I have heard that cooking meat with curd is against what is advised in Ayurveda. Is this true?



  3. How is the meat, feathers and oil of peacock used to make medicines in india when poaching of peacock is illegal in india? Are those kind of medicines still manufactured in india and supplied by drug stores of ayurveda?

  4. good article, I was always told not to take milk related stuff with meat and I wondered if it is true as every indian cooking video online has yogurt as one of the main ingredients of marination. Got this cleared, will educate as many people as possible about this fact.

  5. Thank you for your useful directions.
    What about the entrails: liver, hart, gizzards, etc? (I searched the internet high and low about ayurveda and entrails, but now answer)

    1. Hello there
      Intersecting question. Yes you can find the reference of entrails and their indication in specific disease in Ayurveda. E.g. goat intestine in some kidney diseases and emaciation. An interesting research proved the goat blood enema useful in certain cases of blood disorders and anemia. The adipose tissue / fat is used in extreme cases externally or internally.
      But none of above is advised as a regular meal. They are for pathological conditions.
      Feel free to ask if any doubt or more info
      Keep reading and sharing

    2. I am also curious about this topic. Does ayurveda mention anything about consumption of liver? Many traditional cultures highly valued liver, especially as a sacred food for fertility and reproduction because it is so high in nutrition.This was noted by Dr. Weston A. Price during his travels in the 1930s.

      I would love your input on this. Thank you!

      1. Dear Olivia ,
        thanks for raising this query. Ayurveda has described properties of almost every type of animal,bird meat in a very detail aspect. One will be surprised to look at the classification of meat in Ayurveda. Its a science of health and mention every minute detail about edibles found around. But the beauty of this science is it also makes sure to classify whats wrong to eat even though that particular food /animal/fish/bird has tremendous nutritional values. That is the reason why red meat though has loaded nutrition is advised in very less quantity or better to avoid .
        regarding your question ,Ayurveda has a theory where it quotes that ‘similar elements increase the simliar properties in body’. so therotically liver will increase the Rakta dhatu(blood ) and realted tissues. But again its not calculative science. every individual is unique. So how you cook, who is going to consume, what is body type, how strong is Agni are the parameter Ayurveda doc look for before advising any type of diet.
        also cultural beliefs are according to the adaptability of that particular community which again most of the times originated as a result of survival.
        if you have more inputs or queries feel free to write or email

  6. We should not eat meat . Meat has bad effects on our semen and egg , which will affect the next generation .Since, these are heavy to digest . Vegeterian foods has lots of good qualities , to cure several ailments. Read ashtanga hridayam , ashtanga sangraham , charak samhitam more precisely and try to understand every meaning . The correct time to eat , the correct way to drink water , the correct to sleep and to wake up.

  7. Hi Dr.
    Thanks for the insightful read
    My question is related to Mutton, perhaps due to lack of protein i am having a rather frail body which i want to recover from, i am in my mid 20’s and have a pitta type for which i am taking medicine for. The doctor had adviced bettter to stick to vegetarian food but if i must eat non veg it should be mutton and not chicken etc.

    I want to know what is the right way to cook mutton, and is it better to just drink soup and not eat the meat (as your article suggests) the tradional jungle maans recipes have too much masala in them which i cannot tolerate
    so i just eat it marinated occasionally
    what are the pros of cons of eating mutton over just drinking mutton soup ?


    1. thanks for Reading and asking
      you can prefer mutton only if you have very good appetite. Also if are taking medicine for Pitta dosha it seems your agni is not normal.Kindly email for more helpor consult your Ayurveda physician.
      Keep reading and have a good health !

  8. judith gutierrez

    Thanks 🙂
    i was eating raw mear and raw dairy everyday following the primal diet by Aajonus Vonderplanitz, it´s a diet that has helped people with health issues but for me it caused amenorea cause i did not eat any carbohydrates and when i added them and my period came back i was gaining weight… Aajonus created this diet to detoxify the body and according to him getting fat was part of the healing journey for some , cause fat store toxins and protects other organs… i was not happy feeling heavy, hungry , eating mostly fat and protein and not feeling really satiated… i think there are many fad diets and health gurus and its easy to fall into those harmful eating disorders.

    that been said i would like to know your oppinion on raw meat, and ketogenic diets.

    1. Hi Judith,
      Basically our body needs a balanced diet with all of the nutrients. Carbohydrates ,Proteins and Fats are basic pillars to support the growth and metabolism. You cannot skip any one of them just to achieve any specific goal related to health. Consider that carbohydrates are bricks, protein is foundation and pillar and fat is cement. Miss on any of them and the building falls. Ayurveda puts this theory in the form of Six Rasa( six taste theory). All of the tastes means variety of food is the need for wellness. Coming to your type of diet eating raw meat anytime is not advisable. We as human has travelled thousands of years journey through evolution. Digesting raw meat needs tremendous strong Agni( digestive fire). Also you are missing on very beneficial properties of spices and water cooking. Fire processing makes meat easily digestible and smooth to absorb and assimilate. Also eating only meat as diet can lead to various health problems in recent and future time.
      yes you are true don’t fall prey to any self acclaimed health Guru , always trust and consult the reliable one.
      feel free to ask more

    1. Meat can be used in appropriate way suiting to the Body constitution, method of cooking . Also what kind of meat you are getting from market does matter . Processed refrigerated and cooking in incompatible way does affect the original meat properties

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