Vegetables are Medicines Too

Vegetables are useful to maintain the general health of the body. Basically they contain nutrients, which are for growth and maintenance of normal cells in the human body. Vegetables not only protect our health, they also promote our health. Local availability of specific vegetables are considered to be the best because they contain specific active principles that help in adjusting and adapting with the local environment of season. Vegetables are naturally available within the region in a particular season, thus vegetables that are naturally available in the summer are diuretic, antioxidant and protective against solar radiation and therefore, best suited for that season. Similarly, vegetables available in winter contain health protective properties that enable us to adjust and adapt to the cold climate. During the last few decades, time tested dietary practices, including the use of seasonal vegetables and fruits, are fast disappearing due to modern means of preservation and transportation. This has caused many health problems. It is therefore, important to have a closer look into the traditional practices for ensuring better health. With increase in population, availability of vegetables is decreasing. In general, people are spending relatively less on this component of the diet. Whereas, the ground reality is that increase in the consumption of green leaves and other vegetables could play a major role in reducing deficiency diseases like anemia protein-energy malnutrition, vitamin deficiency, night blindness, ulcer and wounds etc.  


Diuretic, expectorant, aphrodisiac, anti-malarial, and anti-rheumatic, fresh juice is bactericidal, roasted bulbs for boils and abscesses


Bulbs stimulant, diaphoretic, expectorant, diuretic, juice is used in skin troubles and even used in leprosy.


Used as potherb, found rich in potassium nitrate.


Medicinal use: seeds yield edible oil, which are used in muscular rheumatism, stiff neck etc.


Used in the diet of patients suffering from liver troubles, raw cabbage has vermifugal properties. Leaves are applied to blisters and in gout and rheumatism juice used as a cure tan warts.

Red chillies

Good source of Vitamin – C, used as prophylactic, therapeutic, stimulant and carminative. Excellent remedy for flatulence, dyspepsia.

Bengal gram

Germinated gram used as prophylactic against deficiency diseases, particularly in scurvy

Coriander leaves

Fruits are diuretic, carminative, stomachic, seeds are used to correct breath odor.


Rich source of carotene, seeds are aromatic, stimulant, diuretic, carminative, used in dropsy and kidney troubles.

Soya beans

Rich in protein and specially used for malnutrition.

Mint leaves

Leaves used as carminative, antiseptic and stimulant decoction used in fever and heat apoplexy.

Bitter gourd

Seeds of ripened fruits are used as ointment. Leaves are rich source of calcium, carotene, riboflavin and ascorbic acid fruits used as tonic, stomachic.

Drum sticks

Pods rich in leucine, whole plant used in treatment of ascities, snake’s bites, rheumatism. Cardiac and circulatory stimulant, leaves rich in vitamin A and C useful in scurvy and catarrhal infections. Flowers are tonic, diuretic. Seeds are antipyretic.


Rich source of carbohydrate, minerals and vitamin B. Fruit is laxative and used in intestinal disorders, uremia, nephritis and hypertension.


Dried leaves are nutritious, source of protein, green pod shells used as diuretic especially in kidney and heart troubles.


Diuretic and good source of chlorophyll, lipids in the leaves possess antibacterial, fruits demulcent, used in poisonous condition internally diuretic, employed in fever.

Providing macro and micro nutrients vegetables contain digestible residue, which adds bulk fiber to the diet. Dietary fibers have the ability to absorb water, thus serving a useful purpose in the elimination of intestinal wastes and toxins. Fiber stimulates the peristaltic (rhythmic) movements of GIT by adding bulk to the intestinal contents. Fiber is known to be associated, with reduced incidence of coronary heart diseases, reduces the risk of colon cancer and is reported to be a proper cure of diabetes. It is suggested that an intake of 40 grams dietary fibers per day is desirable, which can be obtained from most fresh vegetables, beans and peas.

Vegetables are recognized as essential for a balanced diet that helps prevents numerous diseases. Food – based approaches are emphasized as the only sustainable way to improve the nutritional status of the individual, family, society and the nation.

Assistant professor, Agad Tantra Department, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Ayurveda College, (SJSAC&h) Chennai, Tamilnadu