Why cutting out onion and garlic as regular foods can improve your focus and health
You are what you eat. We have all heard this before. Our diet has a very intimate connection with our mind, with mind formed out of the subtlest portion of the foods we introduce into our bodies.
Garlic and onions as food in the Ayurvedic diet
Onion and garlic are considered in ayurvedic terms to be Tamasic and Rajasic by nature, meaning they are pungent foods that increase heat, and bile in the body. Those practicing meditation or who are committed to following a conscious, spiritual path tend to avoid consumption of onion and garlic as it is believed these foods can enhance anger, aggression, ignorance, overstimulation of the senses, lethargy, anxiety, and an increase in sexual desire. Rajasic foods are believed to distract our focus, over stimulate the mind, and cause an imbalance in intellect.
It is also believed that garlic causes burns of the mucous membranes of the esophagus and the stomach, generating a severe spasm that, in turn, leads to weakness and malfunction of the digestive organs. You may not feel the spasms, but this does not mean it is not happening. It is believed that eating garlic consistently over time can cause a loss of sensitivity to the nerve endings in the esophagus. Try this method of elimination: cut garlic from your life for six months, and then consume one clove. You will likely feel the symptoms of pancreatitis: belching, and pain in the upper quadrant, where the pancreas is. However, it is not pancreatitis, but the response of your autonomic nervous system to the burning effect of garlic.
Garlic and onions as medicine
The Ayurvedic diet does, however, recognize the health benefits of onions and garlic, particularly as blood purifiers, and thus they can be used for medicinal purposes, rather than for regular consumption. Garlic is known for carrying a heat energetic trait in the GI tract and for being drying in nature. Onions boast cooling energetics and promote proper digestion, reducing burning sensations by cooling the digestive tract. It is recommended that those with Pitta dosha or overactive heat elements in the body avoid garlic, and those focusing on deep meditation practices to avoid onions and garlic altogether. It is widely accepted among health care professionals that, as well as killing harmful bacteria, garlic also destroys beneficial bacteria, essential to the proper functioning of the digestive system.
Substituting onion and garlic is quite simple. For antiseptic properties, use ginger and turmeric. For taste and smell, use asafoetida (a powder resin of the Apiaceae family plant), it has a smell and taste similar to garlic, but is useful for digestion (in very small amounts).
Remember, evolution is better than revolution. Change your diet little by little and be your own alchemist. Learn how to listen to your body and experiment with your own unique structure.