Ethnicity Online

Cultural Awareness in Healthcare

Hindu Medication

As almost all Hindus are vegetarian, it is important to ensure that any medication that they are prescribed is free from animal products wherever possible – especially beef and pork products. Hindus have a duty not to take the life of any animal, and so it would be preferable to use alternative medication if it is available.

Hindus believe in the healing or harmful qualities of certain foods, and in traditional herbal medicines, or ayurveda, which they will probably carry on using in hospital. They believe that certain foods are either hot or cold, good or bad, auspicious or inauspicious, and can either aid or hamper recovery with their power to balance the bodily humours.

Discuss the medications and schedule with your Hindu patients to enlist their agreement to taking the medicines. It may also be worthwhile keeping an eye on what food and gifts family members and friends bring into hospital, to ensure that no conflicts arise with medication or prescribed diets.