Although western research and media tells us that garlic is a powerful antibiotic, they often neglect to point out that it is so good at killing bacteria that it kills the good stuff along with the bad. Garlic and onion can actually cause anemia within a week if you eat enough, and have been shown to destroy red blood cells which carry oxygen throughout our bodies.
The Taoists have recognized the set of 5 vegetables in the alliaceous family (garlic, onions, chives, leek, and spring onions) cause harm to our organs. Specifically, they believe that onions are harmful to the lungs, garlic to the heart, leeks to the spleen, chives to the liver, and spring onions to the kidneys.
On an emotional level, you can read information in various eastern philosophies which indicate their belief that onion and garlic provoke anger and anxiety, and contribute to feelings of sadness. Ayurveda says that they lead to lust and ignorance. Serious Buddhist and Taoist meditators also avoid onion and garlic partly because they lead to feelings of passion and lustful urges. Seriously though, this focus on the lower and densest centers of our being â€“ the physical and emotional â€“ distracts us from the spiritual.
A private study at Stanford University proved that garlic is actually a poison which penetrates the blood-brain barrier. It desynchronizes our brain waves leading to significantly reduced reaction times. One former engineer recalls that pilots were asked not to eat garlic at least 72 hours before flying during test flights he worked on in the past. It may even be a significant contributor to chronic headaches and ADD. See http://www.karinya.com/garlic.htm for the full transcript of a speech he gave.
Devout Hindus often avoid onions and garlic because they are considered unfit as an offering to Krishna. â€œGarlic and onions are both rajasic and tamasic, and are forbidden to yogis because they root the consciousness more firmly in the bodyâ€, says well-known authority on Ayurveda, Dr.Robert E.Svoboda. They donâ€™t dispute the possible physical benefits of using these vegetables as medicine on occasion; rather they base their choice on the negative mental and spiritual effects of eating them. See below for more details.
Taking this a step further, Taoists believe that onion and garlic not only turn your breath foul, but also your Chi or life force energy itself. That life force energy carries with it the truth of who we are, and all the possibilities for our life. When we introduce garlic and onions (among other things), we compromise our clarity about our true path. The less discord we introduce into our lives, the more clearly we can experience our true spirituality and live our true purposes.
So, my initial motivation to avoid onion and garlic was to keep my energy clear for Reiki, then when I experienced the difference and began uncovering more and more information I was sold on the idea of avoiding them for my health and well-being on all levels.
palandu lasunam sigrum alambum grjanam palam
bhunkte yo vai naro brahman vratam candrayanam caret"
(Padma Purana, Brahma Khanda 19.10, spoken by Suta Gosvami)
O sages, one who eats garlic, onions, sigrum (a kind of plant), turnips, bottle gourd and meat, that person should observe a candrayana fast.
"vrntakam jalisakam kusumbha smantakam tatha
palandu lasunam suklam niryasan caiva varjayet
grjanam kinsukan caiva kukundanca tathaiva ca
udumbaram alavun ca jagdhva patati vai dvijah"
(Hari Bhakti Vilasa 8.158,159, from Kurma Purana)
One should not eat egg plant, banana leaves, sunflower leaves and asmantaka leaves, onions, garlic. One should not eat sour gruel (a thin watery pouriage) or the juice of the tree. One should also give up turnips and beetroots, carrots, kinsuka, forest figs, and white pumpkin. If the twice born persons eat these things, they all become fallen.
"palandulasunadini jagddhva candrayanam caret
sraddhe devanpitrnprarcya khadanmamsah na dosabhak"
By eating garlic and onion one becomes sinful and as atonement one should perform Candrayana. (Garuda Purana 1.96.72)
Onion, stool-thriving pigs, Selu, garlic, Goplyusa (milk of a cow before the lapse of ten days from calving), Tanduliya (a grain growing in faecal rubbish) and mushroomsâ€” all these are to be avoided. (Skanda Purana 40.9)
The householder taking the rite shall avoid heavy indigestible pulses like Nispava, Masurika etc., stale food, defiled food, brinjals, gourds, cocoa-nuts, garlic, onion, intoxicating beverages and all kinds of meat. (Siva Purana 7.10-12)