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Āyurveda's Contributions to Vegetarian Nutrition in Medicine

Authors
  • Manohar, Ram
  • Kessler, Christian S.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Complementary Medicine Research
Publisher
S. Karger GmbH
Publication Date
Apr 12, 2016
Volume
23
Issue
2
Pages
89–94
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1159/000445400
PMID: 27159979
Source
Karger
Keywords
License
Green
External links

Abstract

Āyurveda is one of the oldest codified traditional systems of medicine on a global scale. Grounded in Indian culture it has developed a sophisticated approach to healthy nutrition and nutritional therapy for the management of diseases within the framework of its whole systems paradigm. Medical interventions have been considered to be ineffective without the support of a balanced diet. Vegetarian nutrition plays a key role in customized preventive and therapeutic Āyurvedic strategies based on an individualized approach to healthcare, while broadly labeling Āyurveda as ‘vegetarian medicine' would be an exaggeration. Revolt against animal slaughter, compassion through spiritual practices, and the Āyurvedic understanding of the nutritional properties of the plant kingdom led to the dominance of vegetarianism in India. Āyurveda elaborates on 8 crucial aspects to be considered with respect to a balanced diet. This paper illuminates the complex historic embedding of the Āyurvedic nutritional approach and gives a detailed text-based explanation on why and how vegetarian nutrition can be applied in both prevention and cure of diseases from the perspective of traditional Indian medicine.

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