According to Ayurveda, India's classic medical science, foods are grouped into three categories - sattvic, rajasic and tamasic - foods in the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance. Onions and garlic, and the other alliaceous plants are classified as rajasic and tamasic, which means that they increase passion and ignorance.

Those that subscribe to pure brahmana-style cooking of India, including myself, and Vaishnavas - followers of Lord Vishnu, Rama and Krishna - like to only cook with foods from the sattvic category. These foods include fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs, dairy products, grains and legumes, and so on. Specifically, Vaisnavas do not like to cook with rajasic or tamasic foods because they are unfit to offer to the Deity.

Rajasic and tamasic foods are also not used because they are detrimental to meditation and devotions. "Garlic and onions are both rajasic and tamasic, and are forbidden to yogis because they root the consciousness more firmly in the body", says well-known authority on Ayurveda, Dr. Robert E. Svoboda.

Some branches of western medicine say that the Alliums have specific health benefits; garlic is respected, at least in allopathic medical circles, as a natural antibiotic. In recent years, while the apparent cardiovascular implications of vegetable Alliums has been studied in some detail, the clinical implications of onion and garlic consumption from this point of view are still not well understood.

Nevertheless, there are still many adverse things to say about garlic and onions. Not so well known is the fact that garlic in the raw state can carry harmful (potentially fatal) botulism bacteria. Perhaps it is with an awareness of this that the Roman poet Horace wrote of garlic that it is “more harmful than hemlock".

It should be pointed out that Garlic and onion are avoided by spiritual adherents because they stimulate the central nervous system, and can disturb vows of celibacy. Garlic is a natural aphrodisiac. Ayurveda suggests that it is a tonic for loss of sexual power from any cause, sexual debility, impotency from over-indulgence in sex and nervous exhaustion from dissipating sexual habits. It is said to be especially useful to old men of high nervous tension and diminishing sexual power.

The Taoists realized thousands of years ago that plants of the alliaceous family were detrimental to humans in their healthy state. In his writings, one sage Tsang-Tsze described the Alliums as the "five fragrant or spicy scented vegetables" - that each have a detrimental effect on one of the following five organs - liver, spleen, lungs, kidneys, and heart. Specifically, onions are harmful to the lungs, garlic to the heart, leeks to the spleen, chives to the liver and spring onions to the Kidneys 

The Taoists realized thousands of years ago that plants of the alliaceous family were detrimental to humans in their healthy state. In his writings, one sage Tsang-Tsze described the Alliums as the "five fragrant or spicy scented vegetables" - that each have a detrimental effect on one of the following five organs - liver, spleen, lungs, kidneys, and heart. Specifically, onions are harmful to the lungs, garlic to the heart, leeks to the spleen, chives to the liver and spring onions to the kidneys.

Tsang-Tsze said that these pungent vegetables contain five different kinds of enzymes which cause "reactions of repulsive breath, extra-foul odour from perspiration and bowel movements, and lead to lewd indulgences, enhance agitations, anxieties and aggressiveness," especially when eaten raw.

Similar things are described in Ayurveda. 'As well as producing offensive breath and body odour, these (alliaceous) plants induce aggravation, agitation, anxiety and aggression. Thus they are harmful physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually'.

Back in the 1980's, in his research on human brain function, Dr Robert [Bob] C. Beck, DSc. found that garlic has a detrimental effect on the brain. He found that in fact garlic is toxic to humans because its sulphone hydroxyl ions penetrate the blood-brain barrier and are poisonous to brain cells.

Dr. Beck explained that as far back as the 1950s it was known that garlic reduced reaction time by two to three times when consumed by pilots taking flight tests. This is because the toxic effects of garlic desynchronize brain waves. "The flight surgeon would come around every month and remind all of us: "Don't you dare touch any garlic 72 hours before you fly one of our airplanes, because it'll double or triple your reaction time. You're three times slower than you would be if you'd [not] had a few drops of garlic."

For precisely the same reason the garlic family of plants has been widely recognized as being harmful to dogs.

Even when garlic is used as food in Chinese culture it is considered harmful to the stomach, liver and eyes, and a cause of dizziness and scattered energy when consumed in immoderate amounts.

Nor is garlic always seen as having entirely beneficial properties in Western cooking and medicine. It is widely accepted among health care professionals that, as well as killing harmful bacteria, garlic also destroys beneficial bacteria, which are essential to the proper functioning of the digestive system.

Reiki practitioners explain that garlic and onions are among the first substances to be expelled from a person’s system – along with tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceutical medications. This makes it apparent that alliaceous plants have a negative effect on the human body and should be avoided for health reasons.

Homeopathic medicine comes to the same conclusion when it recognizes that red onion produces a dry cough, watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose and other familiar cold-related symptoms when consumed.

These are just some of the reasons I avoid leeks, chives, shallots, garlic and onions and mushrooms

My Verdict: INSTEAD OF ONIONS AND GARLIC GO FOR ORGANIC GINGER AND ORGANIC TURMERIC with a touch of organic Black Pepper and it will do you a world of good 

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  • Ravinder, do you consume Cacao nibs...?? They surpass blueberries in anti-oxidants and contain numerous minerals proving a healthy life: Magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, iron, fibre, etc...Strongly recommend incorporating these seeds in any diet...

  • Ok hear what Sadhguru has to say about onions and garlic 

  • Nail on the head of meat eaters :

     the fear of death permeate every cell the body of an animal when it is slaughtered


    The Bhagavad Gita is the source

    The Bhagavad gita states that all foods can be classified  according to the three modes of material nature - goodness, passion, and ignorance. These modes (or characteristics of the material energy) directly influence our mind, body, and  intelligence

    ähäras tv api sarvasya

    tri-vidho bhavati priyaù

    yajïas tapas tathä dänaà

    teñäà bhedam imaà çåëu

    Bg 17.7

    Even the food each person prefers is of three kinds, according to the three modes of material nature. The same is true of sacrifices, austerities and charity. Now hear of the distinctions between them.


    Foods dear to those in the mode of goodness increase the duration of life, purify one’s existence and give strength, health, happiness and satisfaction. Such foods are juicy, fatty, wholesome, and pleasing to the heart.
    Foods that are too bitter, too sour, salty, hot, pungent, dry and burning are dear to those in the mode of passion. Such foods cause distress, misery and disease.

    Food prepared more than three hours before being eaten, food that is tasteless, decomposed and putrid, and food consisting of remnants and untouchable things is dear to those in the mode of darkness                            Bg. Chapter 17 verses 8, 9 and 10


    The Bhagavad Gita further states that vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, sugar, and milk products are foods  in the mode of goodness and may be offered in sacrifice, or in other words: they can be transformed and purified of all karma


    yagya-sishtasinah santo 
    muchyante sarva-kilbishai
    bhunjate te tv agham papa
    ye pacanty atma-karanat

    The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is offered first  for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin


    Foods are also classified as sattvic, rajasic and tamasic according to the quality of the impact they have on the heart, mind and spirit



    Sattvic food promotes clarity and calmness of mind and is favourable for spiritual growth. It is "sweet, fresh and agreeable" and includes most fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetables, particularly green leafy vegetables, whole grains, honey, pure water and  milk (with the reservation that commercially produced milk may not nowadays be so sattvic...). Given the amount of pesticides and chemical fertilisers used on commercial crops, only organic products still qualify as Sattvic, and tinned or frozen food certainly don't.  However we have to manage the best we can


    Foods that are particularly nourishing for not just physical, but mental, emotional and spiritual health, are called sattvic--foods that impart sattva (purity)--in ayurveda. Rice, milk, ghee and almonds are examples of sattvicfoods.


    Sattivc foods that are grown, bought, cooked and offered with Krsna in mind only, and are offered to Krsna, before eating, now become prasadam (blessed food in the mode of suddha sattvic pure goodness)


    sattvic diet is food that gives life, strength, energy, courage and self-determination. In other words, sattvic food gives us more than the gross physical requirements of the proper mix of proteins, carbohydrates and fats etc. It also gives us the subtle nourishment necessary for vitality and consciousness. Food is seen as a carrier of the life force called pranaand is judged by the quality of its prana and by the effect it has on our consciousness


    Rajasic food feeds the body, but promotes activity and therefore induces restlessness of mind. It disturbs the equilibrium of the mind and is generally to be avoided by yoga practioners. Rajasic foods include most spicy foods, stimulants like coffee and tea, eggs, garlic, onion, meat, fish and chocolate, as well as most processed food.


    Eating too fast or with a disturbed mind is also considered rajasic. Rajasic food should be avoided by those whose aim is peace of mind, but will benefit people with an active lifestyle.


    A little rajasic food can be sattvic, for example, hot spices can help digestion, and therefore help create peace of mind!


    Vegetarianism with a difference

    Another important issue with a yogic diet is that of vegetarianism.  Not only are fish and meat specifically listed amongst the "food injurious to the yoga" by the Hatha Yoga Pradipika (I, 59), but eating the flesh of dead animals violates the first principle of yogic ethics (yamas) as laid down by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras, that of non- violence (ahimsa). 


    Yogis believe that the fear of death permeate every cell the body of an animal when it is slaughtered


    Therefore, the traditional yogic diet is lacto-vegetarian and avoids eggs as well as all animal flesh (including fish and poultry!). 


    Indeed modern research has shown that vegetarians are generally in better health than meat eaters. Proteins that can be obtain from nuts, dairy products and legumes are generally of a better quality than meat

    • Your food consumption diagram, which gives guidance, explains the reasons behind high levels of insulin resistance & diabetes in your religious community....TOO MANY CARBS, TOO MUCH SUGAR...

      This diet will lead to further complications; stroke, heart palpitations, high blood pressure....

      Stay well clear, readers....

  • The food that promotes in human the mode of goodness are those prepared out of grains, flower, fruits, nuts ans vegetables further made tasteful with milk product and spices excluding onion and garlic. No products produced out of killing another sentient being can promote the mode of goodness but passion and ignorance only. That is why vegetarian food is the best because in contrary to the acts the mode of passion urges for undertaking fight, rage, sex, hankering, madness, including destruction of self and the society, the food prepared in the mode of goodness and then offered to the Lord who has bestowed the food grains for the mankind gets removed from the karmic reactions attached to it. In the Naamhat Dhaam we invite people to learn vegetarian cooking and eat together with everyone irrespective of the background and faith. Peace can be maintained in the society only when the mode of goodness to pure goodness can be cultivated in the human beings.

  • Food that is wholesome, pure and obtained without difficulty is in the mode of goodness,

    food that gives immediate pleasure to the senses is in the mode of passion,

    and food that is unclean and causes distress is in the mode of ignorance.

  • Oh I don't know, Krishna, if I could handle the garlic and ginger together... what about ginger and tumeric that's supposed to be very good for the immune system and other things, also.  Tumeric is an Ayuvedic herb iisn't it?  I'm not sure which I am, but I think the more Satvic foods as I rememeber, are the best for me.

    I do understand, too, that in Ayuvedic the balance is more important than the nutrients in the's obrtaining a perfect balance, same principle is in macrobiotics though in macrobiotics it's one sized fits all which is not possible..I rather like the Ayuvedic approach to health...and I'm into all kinds of herbal therapy...I studied Heerbalism with a mohawk Indian woman who majored in Chemistry in the States and went back to her grandmother's way of health who was a Mohawk medicine woman.  I could have been licensed in Canada had I spent 6 or so months at the woman's clinic in Canada but since I didn't live in Canada it would have meant nothing.  

    A few years ago I saw on the Medical Clinic door the sign of an Occupuncturist and Reiki treatments...I'm a Usui Reiki Master and State of Texas accepts our classes as part of the continuing education of those in the medical field.  If we have the credentials they consider our complete classes of the levels as college credit for one class. I didn't want to fool with getting the paperwork to do that as I didn't teach but a few classes, I mainly took it just to learn what it was about. I did teach a class in California for some people I had met online in a mailing list..they paid my expenses out and back and I didn't want to charge them I enjoyed the trip but they insisted I take a thousand dollars for the class and they had ingvited "their friends" which consisted of about twenty different healers, all different, I didn't know there was so many types of was a was interesting I let them all demonstrate their healing work and it was marvelous but wso glad to get on that plane and get out of there...every night the bed shook and dishes rattled and soon as we left the run way the pilot said they are having an earthquake we left in time! They wanted me to come back I didn't go.

    I'll try the ginger but not with garlic...

  • Yes, also, tumeric combined with freshly ground black pepper.....


    • Sorry a typo...MAGNIFIQUE.

      A French telepath was beaming in her thoughts about my penchant for soft, creamy, blue cheeses, which she apparently shares..;-]


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