Food Sanitation in Ayurveda Part 1

Food Sanitation in Ayurveda Part 1 – by Dr. Ravindra Sharma

Importance of Food in Ayurveda

Food is the vital breath of living beings that’s why people rush to the food. Complexion, cheerfulness, good voice, life, imagination, happiness, contentment, corpulence, strength, intellect – all these are dependent on food.

As it is well known that “prevention is better than cure”, it’s always advisable to have healthy diet in order to prevent the affliction of diseases. Ayurveda also has the same principle which says “Nidana parivarjana meva chikitsam” meaning avoiding the causative factors of the diseases is the first step to treatment. Many common health problems can be prevented through a nutritious diet. Only medicine will not help in curing the disease. It is necessary to give wholesome and hygienic diet in a planned way to aid in enhancing cure.

Nutritional industry has reached a remarkable height in the world business and in the developing countries like India where the majority of the population including women and children are still unable to reach the optimum of nutritional status. The lack of knowledge about the Food and hygiene apart from attraction towards junk and fast foods due to busy and competitive nature of life are resulting in the further deterioration of the healthy state of the individuals.

Importance of Food Hygiene

Food is one of the physical environments. Adequately hygienic food is necessary for maintaining the health, vitality and well being of an individual. Food also acts as an important vehicle of transmission of the diseases because of its liability for contamination at any point during its journey from the producer to the consumer.

Since ancient times our sages were aware of this fact and hygiene of kitchen, food storage, personal hygiene of the cook and other workers were stressed upon. Hence due precautions must be taken while procuring, storing, processing and cooking of foods.

Food hygiene is discussed under the following headings:-

Milk Hygiene

Milk is more responsible and efficient vehicle for spread of diseases. This is because it is a good medium for the organisms to grow and moreover, it is difficult to keep the milk clean, fresh and in a satisfactory condition and it is most commonly adulterated. Milk is liable for contamination also from animals, human beings and environments such as water, dust, flies, vessels, etc.

1. Milk that has distorted smell, taste, color and in which curdling appears by itself should not be used.
2. Milk should be boiled before use as raw milk kept for long time gets distorted and unfit for use.
3. Milk along with other liquids is advised to be served in utensils made of silver. (Ability of silver particles to kill bacteria is well established in modern era too.

Meat Hygiene

The term meat includes all flesh foods such as mutton, pork, beef, poultry, goat meat, etc.
1. Meat of animals that died self -death due to age or disease, that is very lean or very fatty, very young or very old, died due to poison, the one that was reared in unfavorable habitat kept on unhealthy diet, Meat that is dry, putrefied, foul smelling should not be consumed. This leads to various disorders like nausea and gastric upset.
2. In Ayurvedic texts meat is advised to be properly processed using oil, ghee, spices like pepper. This not only makes it palatable and easy to digest but also increases its shelf life.

Vegetables and fruits

Vegetables include leafy vegetables, flowers, fruit and other parts like rhizome, bulbs stem etc. Vegetables that are not fresh, infested by pests, grown on unhealthy land and in different season, that have not properly ripened or are over ripe should not be consumed. Same is true for cereals also.

In the next article we will discuss about storage of raw materials, cooking and serving food, incompatible food combinations and food additives.

Dr. Ravindra Sharma is a P.G. Scholar in Dravya Guna Dept, NIA, Jaipur. Email –

Recipe of the Month – Lemon Ginger Squash

Ingredients – 12 medium sized lemon (Extract juice and strain), 3 inch Ginger piece (Skin peeled and juice extracted), 3 cloves, 1 tbsp fennel seeds, 1 kg sugar, and 1 liter water.

Method of preparation – Make a powder of cloves and fennel seed. Add the powdered spices in 1 liter of water, simmer and boil for 5 minutes. Now add 1 kg sugar and make sugar syrup (Sugar syrup should be half thread consistency). When syrup is ready, remove from fire and allow it to cool. Strain the syrup and then add lemon and ginger juice and mix well. Transfer it into a bottle and refrigerate. Take 3 – 4 tsp of syrup, add water according to taste and serve. Garnish with a slice of lemon.

Benefits – It is a refreshing summer recipe and quenches thirst. It gives instant energy.