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Thread: vegetarian cannot eat garlic and onion ??

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    Forums Member gogota's Avatar
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    vegetarian cannot eat garlic and onion ??

    According to one of my Buddhist friend, 100% vegetarian should not eat onion and garlic because will cause stomach discomfort, is that true ?

    I am trying to cut down meat eating to once per week. Save a lot of money for low income people !

    Thanks in advance.

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    I do remember reading something in the past about 'bad' foods. I eat onions and garlic, they dont give me an upset stomach.

    Buddhism is about purifying our deluded minds and ending our suffering, I just dont see what eating onions and garlic has to do with this

  3. #3
    Hi gogota,

    This article "Meat, Garlic and Onions: An Analysis of Eating Restrictions in Buddhist Culture" might be helpful.

    http://www.shabkar.org/download/pdf/...st_Culture.pdf


    Its from a (mainly Mahayana) Buddhist vegetarian website:

    http://www.shabkar.org/



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    Hey Gogota,

    as far as I know, onion and garlic are not recommended because they have a stimulating effect on one's appetite and other desires. Therefore they might distract your attention and concentration from the inner, non-material values and delights.
    (I say this from experience, too. There are many other stimulating spices and ingredients, but onion and garlic are the most intensive.)

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    Forums Member gogota's Avatar
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    Wooow, you guys are knowledgeable !

    Thanks for all this info.

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    Hello gogota!

    I'm not complete vegetarian, as I am into fish and sea food. Normally I eat lots of onion and garlic and haven't had much of a trouble. You should be careful though with garlic, as for example eating it during evening can cause you reflux while you're sleeping.

    Garlic is a wonderful present by nature. It has a lot of properties; is a purgant, lowers blood pressure, and raises the immune system.

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    CatontheRoof: this is true, too. Garlic is often used as medicine (have you tried to combine it with fresh ginger? One of the healthiest and most delicious things I can think of! :}) - so, we cannot say it is completely "right" or "wrong" to eat it.
    As long as we are not monks/nuns who live by following the rules of Patimokkha, there is no such a thing as "one MUSTN'T" eat this-and-this. There are only "recommended", "encouraged" and "not recommended" things, but the decision is always yours.
    (How interessant it is: in Buddhism, it is not forbidden to eat meat, yet many Buddhists chose vegetarianism! I have been a vegetarian for nearly 12 years now and I feel that it is completely natural for me. I do not feel that this is a kind of "restriction".)

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    I don't think garlic and onion irritate the digestion. I have read that in some Buddhist traditions they are avoided as they are said to stir the passions. I agree with you, Natte about the "mustn't" vs recommended attitude of Buddhism--at least for lay people like us. In any case they are a regular (and beloved) part of my diet, and I would find it difficult to part with them. Another example of attachment to worldly pleasures---so maybe the tradition is right.

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    My impression is garlic & onions is a Mahayana view (also prevelant in & probably derived from the Hindu, yogic tradition).

    As for Theravada, I have never seen it.

    When I practised extensively & intensively in Thailand, the food we ate was very spicy & I perceived no effect on refined samadhi.

    Kind regards

  10. #10
    Forums Member Dharma Dave's Avatar
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    Garlic especially is quite a potent herb. So like many other foods it depends what your physiological needs are. In Ayurvedic Medicine garlic and onions can be classed as Rajas, so very "stimulating" and not recommeded who practice celibacy as a spiritual discipline. But cooking does reduce the Rajas effects.

    Considering the health benefits of garlic and onions, being powerful antioxidants and use as medicinal foods, and if your constitution can handle them, just see it as part of a overall diet to keep you healthy and warm

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