By: Soham Shah
July 6 2023
Ayurvedic humoral remedies do not make alcohol consumption safe or prevent harmful effects of alcohol on the human body.
A reel on Instagram titled “How to consume alcohol according to Ayurveda” has gained over 69,000 likes. The video explains how to consume alcohol according to Ayurvedic dosha theory. The channel has other videos related to alcohol, titled “Positive qualities of alcohol as per Ayurveda” and “Ayurvedic view on alcohol.”
Ayurveda is an alternative system of medicine popular in India. Ayurvedic theory claims that the human body has three doshas, or humors, the imbalance of which can cause diseases and health problems. However, there is no scientific validity to these theories.
Humorism was a system of medicine popular worldwide until the 19th century. Western humorism describes four humors (blood, phlegm, yellow bile, black bile) that impact the human body, while Ayurvedic theory describes three humors (Vata, Pita, Kapha). Humorism was disproved after the development of germ theory.
The video starts by saying that alcohol consumption is harmful to the body. Then it adds, “Charak Samita Chapter 24 has described how to consume alcohol so that there are no negative effects on your body.” Further, the video provides various methods before consuming alcohol for people with different dosha problems, supposedly preventing alcohol from causing negative effects.
However, no alcohol consumption is considered safe, and no scientific basis exists for these claims.
On 4 January 2023, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that no level of alcohol consumption is safe for human health. WHO said, “When it comes to alcohol consumption, there is no safe amount that does not affect health.” It also mentioned that alcohol is a group one carcinogen capable of causing cancer in living tissue, along with substances like tobacco and asbestos.
The United States Centre for Disease Control (U.S. CDC) states on its website, “There is strong scientific evidence that drinking alcohol increases the risk for cancer, including cancers of the mouth and throat, liver, breast (in women) and colon and rectum, and for some types of cancer, the risk increases even at low levels of alcohol consumption (less than 1 drink in a day).”
Logically Facts contacted Dr. Sudeep Khanna, senior consultant gastroenterologist at Apollo Indraprastha Hospital, New Delhi, about the claim in the video. He said, “There is no validity to these claims. Everyone wants an easy way out, so they’ll watch and believe this video. People making these videos will get loads of money from platforms, and the common people will be left to die.”
Debunking the claim on Twitter, Dr. Abby Philips, who goes by the account @theliverdr, wrote that the humoral theory of Vata, Pita, and Kapha is “philosophical and unscientific.” He added, “There is no safe level of alcohol and no healthy or safe way of drinking it.”
He also made similar comments about content creators, “normalizing and glorifying ‘healthy alcohol consumption’ seems to be the biggest social media tool that young content makers are cashing in from an ill-informed public.”
Harriet Hall, a retired Air Force physician and flight surgeon, said about Ayurvedic dosha theory in the blog Skeptical Inquirer, “This dosha stuff sounds pretty much like a horoscope and is just as reliable.”
Logically Facts also reached out to the user who posted the reel. This story will be updated if and when we receive a reply.
We have marked this claim as false, as there is no evidence that Ayurvedic humoral remedies prevent the harmful effects of alcohol on the human body. No level of alcohol consumption is considered safe.