Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita are two major ancient Hindu texts on health related subjects, include many chapters on the role of diet and personal needs of an individual.The two texts give a list of food considered healthy and unhealthy. Do these texts forbid consumption of any food?

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    Do you want what kind of food forbidden or the Items ? Charak samhita recommends not to eat foods having opposite qualities , food which is infected by worms , too cold , too hot , not grown in same season etc. And there are different foods mentioned for different Doshas (Vata , Pitta and kafa) which are to be avoided. so i guess there is no general item list. Jun 8, 2017 at 10:13
  • Also pls.. do make it clear that whether you want food which is forbidden OR which is to be avoided (Tyajya) Jun 8, 2017 at 10:38
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    Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita are not Hindu texts. They are texts written by Hindus. Nov 17, 2018 at 3:28
  • @Sarvabhouma Ik. I posted this question when I was new to this site.
    – user9969
    Nov 17, 2018 at 6:49
  • I think it's a fine point of distinction with regards to Caraka and Susruta - since Ayurveda is mentioned in at least a few Puranas, and both Susruta and Caraka based their writings on lost samhitas from Atharva veda, these two (along with the other member of the brihat-trayi of Ayurveda, Astanga Hridayam) are about as authoritative as you can get. But it's also correct to say they do not fall in the category of sruti or smriti. Feb 20, 2021 at 11:06

1 Answer 1


Charak Samhita Chapter 27 -Sutra Sthana – Annapana Vidhanam (सूत्र स्थान , अन्नपान विधानं ) is dedicated to food items. This chapter discuss about various food items and their types. We can also find various characteristics of food items in this chapter .

कृमिवातातपहतं शष्कं जीर्णमनार्तवम् |
शाकं नि:स्नेहसिद्धं च वर्ज्यं यथापरिस्रुतम ||314||

पुराणमामं संकिष्टं कृमिव्यालहिमातपै : |
अदेशकालजं किन्नं यत्सात्फ़लम्साधु तत ||315||

हरितानां यथाशाकं निर्देशा: साधनाष्टते |
माधम्बुमोर सदिनां स्वे स्वे वर्गे विनिश्चय:||316|

Vegetables to be avoided: Vegetables which became dried because of worms, air and sun's heat , too much dried, old and which are not grown in the same season

Fruits to be avoided: The fruits which are old, too much ripened , which are half-ripen , eaten by snakes , fruits which are not grown in good land , which are in very bad state.

Now Charaka Samhita tells us about which meat to be avoided.

मृतं कृशतिमेच्यं च वृद्धं बालं विषैर्हतम् |
अगोचरभृतं व्याडसुदितं मांसमुस्तृजेत ||३०९||

Meat to be avoided: Dead animal, weak animal, too much fatty animal, old animals, very young animals, animals killed by poison, animals which are raised in different country than its origin, animal which is killed by lion , snake , jackal ,or wild animal.

This is the text says about water –

पिच्छिलं कृमिळम् किन्नं पर्णशैवालकर्दमै: |
विवर्णं विरसं सान्द्र दुर्गन्धिं न हितं जलं ||२१३||

Water which is not fit to drink: Which is having fatty layer on it , the color of which has changed , which smells bad , which does not taste good or which is full of fallen leafs and which is mixed with mud.

Further Charak Samhita Chapter 27 , Verse – 306 declares that

अहर्योगिनां भक्तिनिश्चयो न तु विद्यते |
समाप्तो द्वादशच्श्रायं वर्ग आहारयोगिनाम् - ||३०६||

It’s very difficult to determine which food materials to be included or which one are not. No single law can be established, because everybody’s eating interests are different.

So from the primary analysis of the text , it seems that Charaka Samhita isn’t talking much or concluding definitively about “which food items to be accepted or to be forbidden.

It's just telling us that which types of foods to be avoided.

NOTE - I will update the Answer with Sushruta Samhita as well in time.

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    Ahara Niyamam has many more detailed rules
    – mar
    Jun 16, 2017 at 6:00

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