Can We Consider Vegetarian Food as Medicine?


Author – Vishal Gudlani

Food delicacies in India mainly cater two functions: be a tool for women to win the hearts of men and other to satiate the hunger of a hungry nation. But I discovered another function of food ingredients when my mom gave a ginger juice mixed with honey to get rid of my irritating cough. In India when people get ill before visiting a physician they try to get rid of ailments by home remedies. The most common home remedy people used is decoctions such as holy basil, black pepper, sugar for fever, methi for diabetes, and mixture of ginger and honey for cough & cold.

Most of the ingredients used in creating these home-made decoctions are regular food items used in our kitchens as part of our daily meals. So I wondered, “Can our food ingredients act as medicine?” I inspected my plate to discover any medicines that are disguised as food. My quest to discover and confirm the role of food as medicine was quite a fascinating one. Garlic, ginger, honey and turmeric are few food ingredients with a wide range of health benefits, but these are hardly used in modern medicine but these are extensively used in Ayurveda.


Here is a list of food ingredients such as vegetables, fruits, spices and herbs that act as medicine:

  • Many people apply turmeric on wounds and dressing the wound because of its antiseptic properties. Injured people drink turmeric added milk as turmeric powder enhances healing. Haldi function – an important part of every Indian marriage, since turmeric can bring glow to skin.
  • Milk and besan are also used for skin benefits. Further, my mom uses chilled milk to get rid of burning sensation of the stomach due to acidity and it actually works great!
  • Water, salt and sugar are simple food ingredients that can be used to prepare an oral rehydration solution (ORS) for treating dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea. Homemade ORS can be prepared by dissolving salt and sugar in 1:6 teaspoon in 1 litre of water.

If we are speaking of food how can we forget veggies, fruits and nuts, which are important part of our diet?

  • Green leafy vegetables are good sources of Vitamin B9 and eating them prevents megaloblastic anaemia. Similarly, jaggery, groundnuts, beetroots, green leafy vegetables and other high iron containing foodstuffs if included in diet can be used to prevent and treat mild iron deficiency anaemia.
  • Use of lemon in prevention and treatment of Scurvy is an ancient tradition, which is due to the lack of Vitamin C in diet. Lemon provides Vitamin C in appropriate quantity. Similarly, fruits like gooseberry, oranges and vegetable tomato can be used to treat scurvy. Further, lemons are also used for their anti-dandruff properties.
  • Physicians advice to have fruits and salads to people suffering from functional constipation, since they not only provide essential nutrients but also provides dietary fibres.
  • Carrots not only prevent night blindness by supplying Vitamin A as carotene but carotene also acts as antioxidant and prevents cancer.

Now you know why our moms are after our lives saying “eat your veggies!” Each and every vegetable supplies an important nutrient and plays a vital role as medicine. So we can see that vegetables have been proven to serve as medicine without any complications.

Meat does play an important role in our diet, but we can’t point out its role as medicine except of good store for iron, sea food Iodine and high protein content. Although meat’s nutrition value is much higher as compared to vegetables, but meat has very limited application as medicine. So vegetables are better medicine than meat as vegetables are less likely to be risk factor for diseases.

It is important to note meat consumption increase blood cholesterol and makes you vulnerable to cardiovascular disease. Not only cardiovascular disease, meat also acts as risk factor for the development of cancer as well as for other diseases. So this Vegetarian Day, let’s take vow to eat our veggies and consider them as medicine!

Planning your meals and shopping for groceries are a feat when you have a limited budget. It also becomes more difficult when you are keeping a healthy diet with not much in your wallet. The good news is eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. And eating cheap doesn’t have to be unhealthy. So how can you keep eating a nutritious diet while maintaining a low expense grocery bill?

There are several ways on how to stay within a restricted budget without sacrificing on nutrition. You’ll be surprised that it is not as daunting as it seems. We took time to prepare this useful infographic which identifies the simplest ways of eating healthy within a specified budget. You’ll find that preparing your own food is not difficult if you are working with a well-planned grocery list.

You’ll also discover the fun in cooking and eating at home. Not only are you saving on costs, but you are also gaining more control of your body by only feeding it with the essentials like protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, and healthy fats. You can also get creative and come up with many variations of recipes from a restricted list of ingredients.

Know more about the ways on how you can work around a specified budget while managing to be healthy. Here is the infographic for you to ponder on!

Image credits: The copyright for the images used in this article belong to their respective owners. Best known credits are given under the image. For changing the image credit or to get the image removed from Caleidoscope, please contact us.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here



Featuring Indian Artists
Explore Indian Art Galleries
Explore Indian Folk Art Forms
Explore Indian Folk Dance Forms
Explore Indian Crafts
Explore Indian Fabric Art Forms