Health tips from the EBTs?

I’ve been recently been on a health kick lately (mainly focusing on eating better and also throwing in a little light fasting here and there) and that has gotten me thinking about what the EBTs say about how to stay (physically) healthy.

I know the Buddha says we should eat mindfully and with moderation (no extreme asceticism but no overeating) and that "when a person is mindful and thus knows moderation in eating, his ailments diminish, he ages gently and he protects his life "(SN 3.13). He also said not eating after noon has health benefits: “I do not eat in the evening and thus am free from illness and affliction and enjoy health, strength and ease” (MN 70).

He also emphasizes how health is important for practice, and sickness makes it difficult to practice: “Furthermore, a mendicant reflects: Currently, I’m rarely ill or unwell. My stomach digests well, being neither too hot nor too cold, but just right, and fit for meditation. But there will come a time when this body is struck with sickness. When you’re sick, overcome by sickness, it’s not easy to focus on the instructions of the Buddhas, and it’s not easy to frequent remote lodgings in the wilderness and the forest.” (an5.78)

This is all great, but I was wondering if anyone knew of any other sources from the EBTs that talk about health and wellness and what else the Buddha had to say about it. I think the Vinaya includes a lot of stuff but I haven’t had the opportunity to delve into it myself so I was wondering if anyone here with more in depth knowledge of the vinaya (and just ebts in general) had any further ebt citations for health tips from the Buddha.

Thanks in advance and stay healthy!


Walking meditation helps you stay healthy! :slight_smile:

“Bhikkhus, there are these five benefits of walking meditation. What five? One becomes capable of journeys; one becomes capable of striving; one becomes healthy; what one has eaten, drunk, consumed, and tasted is properly digested; the concentration attained through walking meditation is long lasting. These are the five benefits of walking meditation.”

AN 5.29


The benefits of eating porridge:

AN5.207:1.1-5: “Mendicants, there are these five benefits of porridge. What five? It wards off hunger, quenches thirst, settles the wind, cleans the bladder, and helps digestion. These are the five benefits of porridge.”

Metta meditation for a good sleep:

AN11.15: “Mendicants, you can expect eleven benefits when the heart’s release by love has been cultivated, developed, and practiced, made a vehicle and a basis, kept up, consolidated, and properly implemented.

What eleven?

You sleep at ease. You wake happily. You don’t have bad dreams. Humans love you. Non-humans love you. Deities protect you. You can’t be harmed by fire, poison, or blade. Your mind quickly enters immersion. Your face is clear and bright. You don’t feel lost when you die. If you don’t penetrate any higher, you’ll be reborn in a Brahmā realm. You can expect eleven benefits when the heart’s release by love has been cultivated, developed, and practiced, made a vehicle and a basis, kept up, consolidated, and properly implemented.”


Tooth hygiene:

AN5.208:2.1-4: "There are these five benefits of using chew sticks. What five? It’s good for your eyes, you don’t get bad breath, your taste-buds are cleaned, bile and phlegm don’t cover your food, and food agrees with you. These are the five benefits of using chew sticks.”

A simple tooth brush can’t keep up with that!


"Chew sticks are twigs or roots of certain plants that are chewed until one end is frayed. This end can be used to brush against the teeth,[2] while the other end can be used as a toothpick.[3] The earliest chew sticks have been dated to Babylonia in 3500 BC[3] and an Egyptian tomb from 3000 BC;[2] they are mentioned in Chinese records dating from 1600 BC[3] In the Ayurvedas around 4th century BC and in Tipitaka, in the Buddhist Canon around the 5th century BC in India.[4][5]

"The Indian way of using tooth wood for brushing is presented by the Chinese Monk Yijing (635–713 CE) when he describes the rules for Monks in his book:[6] "Every day in the morning, a monk must chew a piece of tooth wood to brush his teeth and scrape his tongue, and this must be done in the proper way. Only after one has washed one’s hands and mouth may one make salutations. Otherwise both the saluter and the saluted are at fault.

“In Sanskrit, the tooth wood is known as the dantakastha—danta meaning tooth, and kastha, a piece of wood. It is twelve finger-widths in length. The shortest is not less than eight finger-widths long, resembling the little finger in size. Chew one end of the wood well for a long while and then brush the teeth with it.” A wide variety of plants can be used as dantakastha.[7]

In South India, neem is used as a teeth cleaning twig. Neem, in full bloom, can aid in healing by keeping the area clean and disinfected."—Wikipedia



Buddha recognized the medicinal value of cannabis and he recommended it as a cure for rheumatism. The patient should be placed, he said, in a small room filled with steam from a tub of boiling water and cannabis leaves ( bhaïgodaka ), and inhale the steam and rub it on the limbs (Vin.I,205).

From A-Z Buddhism

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Exactly what was porridge then? :man_shrugging:

Sharmans and tribal medicine ritual chiefs in the amazon ect dont use canabis they use large leaves or sap off a herbal medicinal tree to cleanse n purge demons out of the mind n body for cleansing ? Never heard canabis usage there ? Hence more opium opiates ect in hallucination state usage for consciousness stages ? How is this anything to do with the buddha ? Concerned :woozy_face:

To answer your question, you may find this info about Buddha’s physician Jīvaka training to be a doctor helpful:

Wikipedia, Jīvaka:

" In the Pāli and Chinese version of the story, Ātreya then sent Jīvaka and his fellow pupils to look for any plant in the forest that did not have medicinal qualities. Jīvaka returned disappointed, however, telling Ātreya that he could not find a single plant of which he did not recognise its medicinal qualities. When Ātreya was satisfied with this progress, he gave Jīvaka a bit of money and sent him off, but not before acknowledging him as his next successor."

You may also find these teaching of Buddha to Jīvaka useful to answer your question: MN 55 and AN 8.26.

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By my speculation cannabis came from India ? But it seems medical science is finding it has come from japan and china which is a new theory in reviews so thats why I returned the information off my mind a conclusion off hand to upasaka dhammasara as a reply yes Dana Im here to learn from others not just with speculations as we are all not perfect here on all assumptions being heard of and viewed …cant copy n paste on my phone not a feature on here for me to use yet I will figure things out along the way just as you remark has suggested here and everywhere else about misinformation and hearings …and what is being reported …

Lea. It’s not saying you should go use cannabis. So you don’t need to worry so much also because it mentions for a disease. This is more like saying a middle way. Herbs for bodily illness only.

There is also the next one.

Certain herbs were burned and the smoke sniffed in through a small metal tube ( dhåmanetti ). The Buddha subscribed to this kind of smoke therapy and allowed monks and nuns to have smoking tubes (Vin.I,204), although some people apparently considered them to be a luxury (Ja.IV,363).

Which isn’t saying which herb. But seeing Saddhus today you might understand the long Tradition. Maybe Sangha was the same


Thanks everyone, these are all fascinating.

Wasn’t there something about a kind of steam bath cure or something similar to a sweat lodge in the Vinaya? If memory serves me right anyways?

Edit:, found something !


This is really interesting and looks different than I expected. The neem stick naturally splits into “bristles”, and the motion is very much like someone using a modern toothbrush.

I guess I was expecting something smaller for gently scraping the teeth, but this is real brushing. I’m impressed that people in India had such a good method over 2000 years ago.

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EBT Buddhists have a romanticized view of the Buddha generally, and unfortunately this results in an overly mental practice, avoiding the physical aspect of impermanence. For example non-self has a great attraction without the causal factor of anicca.

:pray:t2:Thankyou for your reply