There are many myths surrounding Ayurveda like one should either be vegan or vegetarian, the truth is quite different.
Eating meat is absolutely a personal decision, primarily based upon your morals, spiritual practices, physical needs, and fitness status.
Does Ayurveda means following veganism/vegetarianism?
I often get asked this question a lot by many people and so today I decided to answer this question today once for all.
I hate to break this to you that if you read the historic Indian scriptures like the Vedas (the source of Ayurveda) and Puranas, the outline and rationalization of meat has been given.
The classic text ‘Charaka Samhita’ says,
“The life of all living things is food; the entire world seeks food, complexion, clarity, good voice, long life, understanding, happiness, satisfaction, growth, intelligence etc. are all because of food.”
Like plants and grains, Ayurveda also accepts meat as a form of food. Emphasizing upon it Charaka says, no other food excels meat in producing a nourishing effect in the body (mamsam brimhananam). And Ayurveda also gives detailed explanations on meat in eight different categories which include animals, birds and fish.
The truth is that Ayurveda is not, and never was, a vegetarian system. All classical texts describe the qualities and properties of animal products, Jangam dravya, including their use in the treatment of many diseases.
Out of the many diseases and syndromes described by Ayurveda, only for the disease of unmada (psychosis) is a vegetarian diet sometimes prescribed, but not consistently. Otherwise, for every other disease the practical utility of animal products in the diet is described. Ayurveda seers dealt with all types of patients 5000 years back, and they too recommended consuming the meat of desert-dwelling animals in various diseases, as well as the ubiquitous application of maṃsa rasam (meat soup).
MAMSA RASAM (Medicated Mutton Soup)
- Mutton (legs of goat only) – 200 gm
- Pippali or black pepper – 10 gm
- Yava , barley,
- (Hordeum vulgare) – 10 gm
- Horse gram – 10 gm
- Dry ginger – 10 gm
- No. of Servings: 2-3 soup bowls (500-600ml)
Method of preparation
Small pieces of mutton and powdered barley, horse gram and dry ginger should be boiled in 750ml of water and reduced to 200ml. Filter after cooling.
It gives nourishment to the body by improving digestion and taste. It is protein source, mineral reservoir, relieves joint pain due to presence of glucosamine, hyaluronic acid and chondroitin. It improves immune system due to presence of amino acids like proline, arginine, glutamine. It is rich in many amino acids such as cystine, histidine, and glycine and compound-L-Glutamine which may reduce inflammation.
Mutton soup, broth etc. should be used after considering digestive capacity.