Why Hindus Avoid Onion and Garlic: The Surprising Reasons

Hindus avoid eating onion and garlic due to their belief that they produce excessive heat and can negatively affect one’s energy levels and balance. Hinduism, the third-largest religion in the world, places a significant emphasis on maintaining a balance between the body, mind, and spirit.


One aspect of this involves regulating one’s diet to avoid foods that interfere with the balance. This is why hindus refrain from consuming onion and garlic, which are believed to produce heat and increase restlessness, as well as cause negative effects on the digestive system.

Some hindus believe that these foods can also distract from spiritual practices and prayers, making them less effective. The practice varies among different sects of hinduism and individuals may choose to follow it or not. However, it remains a significant aspect of hindu dietary customs and beliefs.

Why Hindus Avoid Onion and Garlic: The Surprising Reasons

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Understanding The Cultural And Spiritual Significance

Onion and garlic have been excluded from the hindu diet for centuries, with the reasons linked to spiritual and cultural beliefs. The practice has roots tracing back to ayurveda, an ancient indian system of medicine. Ayurveda suggests that onion and garlic increase the body’s ‘rajasic’ or passionate tendencies, which makes it difficult to calm the mind.

Furthermore, the digestive system is considered the foundation of the body’s higher consciousness, and the consumption of onion and garlic is believed to disrupt it. Prohibitions on the consumption of onion and garlic occur during specific religious holidays and occasions.

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Despite the numerous health benefits of onion and garlic, certain sects of the hindu community continue to consider them as taboo foods. However, there are different interpretations within the hindu community regarding the consumption of onion and garlic, and it is ultimately up to the individual to decide.


Frequently Asked Questions On Why Hindu Don’T Eat Onion And Garlic?

Why Don’T Hindus Eat Onion And Garlic?

Onion and garlic are considered tamasic foods, which can increase negative emotions like anger and laziness. Hinduism promotes sattvic food, food that is pure and promotes positivity, hence it is avoided in hindu diet.

Is It Mandatory For Hindus To Avoid Onion And Garlic?

No, it is not mandatory for hindus to avoid onion and garlic. It is a personal choice influenced by religious beliefs, regional customs, and individual preferences.

Are There Any Health Benefits Of Avoiding Onion And Garlic In Diet?

Some people believe that avoiding onion and garlic can lead to a healthier and more peaceful mind and body. However, there is no scientific evidence to prove this claim.


Do All Hindus Avoid Onion And Garlic?

No, not all hindus avoid onion and garlic. It varies from region to region, family to family, and even individual to individual.

Are There Any Alternative Spices Used In Place Of Onion And Garlic?

Yes, there are many alternative spices used in place of onion and garlic, such as cumin, ginger, turmeric, fennel, and asafoetida. These spices add flavor and nutrition to the food without compromising on the sattvic nature.



The reasons behind hindus not consuming onion and garlic have been rooted in ancient traditions and beliefs. It is believed that these foods can stimulate certain emotions and negatively impact the mind and body. Also, according to ayurvedic principles, onion and garlic are “rajasic” foods that stimulate the senses and increase aggression, leading to an imbalance in the body.

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Additionally, they can also cause digestive problems and flatulence. It is noteworthy that these beliefs and practices vary among different communities and regions of india. Despite not consuming onion and garlic, indian cuisine boasts a variety of delicious and nutritious dishes.

In essence, the practice of omitting onion and garlic from hindu dietary habits is a reflection of a holistic lifestyle focused on maintaining a balanced mind, body, and spirit.