Manu RIshi talks about prohibited food items in Manu Smriti verse 5.5, the original verse is

लशुनं गृञ्जनं चैव पलाण्डुं कवकानि च । अभक्ष्याणि द्विजातीनाममेध्यप्रभवानि च ॥ ५ ॥

Garlic, leeks and onions, mushrooms and all that proceeds from impure things, are unfit to re eaten by twice-born men. Manu Smriti 5.5

The gloss by medhatithi does not specify as to what those impure substances/things are.

What are those impure substances/things discussed in this verse, please provide proper scriptural citations to support your answer.

  • because onions/garlic apparently grew from go-mamsa which was not given in yagna - quora.com/… . mushroom, grows on waste remains like feces
    – ram
    Jun 24, 2017 at 22:09
  • 2
    @ram You want me to believe in Quora??! Yeah I don't care about mushroom it's a filthy fungus.
    – Yogi
    Jun 25, 2017 at 4:43
  • u don't have to believe Quora, but u can follow the trace of references the Quora answer gives
    – ram
    Jun 25, 2017 at 4:47
  • @ram btw are you a sri Vaishnava?
    – Yogi
    Jun 25, 2017 at 12:20
  • i'm born in that type of family
    – ram
    Jun 25, 2017 at 22:39

1 Answer 1


They are the substances which are unfit for offering in yajna. Some specific examples are given below.

Medhatithi’s commentary on verse 5.5 mentions 2 impure substances which meat comes from:

As regards meat, even though it grows out of semen and blood (both impure substances), yet the present prohibition does not apply to it; because it has been dealt with in a totally different context.—(5)

Semen and blood are both impure substances, but garlic, leeks and onions, and mushrooms can probably proceed from these two. Medhatithi basically says that the prohibition on meat has been explained elsewhere in Manu Smriti as shown in this answer.

amedhyair avamṛṣṭam || 25 ||
25. [Nor must that food be eaten] which has been touched with an unclean substance [a substance which can not be offered in a yajña].

Apastamba Sutra 1.5.16

Food originating from unclean substances (impure things) must have touched these things at some point.

m ūṣakalāṅgaṃ vā || 27 ||
27. Nor [that in which] excrements or limbs of a mouse [are found],

Apastamba Sutra 1.5.16

These impure substances include excrements and limbs of a mouse. Food originating from these contain some of these, so the food must not be eaten.

4.56. Let him not throw urine or faeces into the water, nor saliva, nor (clothes) defiled by impure substances, nor any other (impurity), nor blood, nor poisonous things

Manu Smriti

This verse explicitly mentions examples of impure substances. These same examples appear in Vishnu Smriti and Yajnavalkya Smriti.

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