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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

When we have cold, cough, or fever we are often prescribed antibiotics. The truth is that the body increases its temperature when it encounters an infection in order to make itself inhospitable to the germs. Just as we boil water in order to kill any bacteria, our body increases its temperature so that the offending organism cannot multiply. When we take medicines to bring down the fever it only makes matters worse. Now the bacteria are free to multiply and we may have to take antibiotics.

Antibiotics not only kill the bad bacteria, they also kill good bacteria in our gut. This is why when we take antibiotics we lose our appetite, experience indigestion and sometimes even get diarrhoea. Now our body must recover not just from the infection, but also from the antibiotics.

Antibiotics are wonder drugs when used judiciously, but unfortunately they have been abused and we are suffering the consequences. 18th to 24th Nov is World Antibiotic Awareness Week. This is aimed at increasing the awareness of global antibiotic resistance and to encourage best practices to avoid further emergence and spread of the same.

Salads build immunity which is the need of the hour. Learn all about them in our very popular FREE event – The Salad Revolution this weekend! It is the last edition of this year, so don’t miss the opportunity if you haven’t still attended. And if you have attended and benefitted, then do spread the word as we build a culture of health together. For details, click here.

Our Delhi-based facilitator Seema Bali shares how her relationship with antibiotics changed over the years…

My family and I used to frequently visit the doctor since someone would catch a flu at least once in two months.

Over many visits and realising that the doctor was giving the same medicines each time, we started stocking up on those in the house and each time we saw symptoms of a cold or a cough or fever we would have antibiotics, anti allergics and other medicines! The same happened after I got married and had kids. I had become such an expert, kind of a self-proclaimed doctor prescribing which antibiotic is to be taken for which condition to my friends and relatives too!

We were not aware that antibiotics weaken the immune system and we were doing more damage than any good. The side results were repeated chest congestion, prolonged cough, cold and ear infections. Over time we needed more and more antibiotics due to the resistance building up in the body.

All this changed when I switched to the whole food plant based diet. It’s been six years that my family and I haven’t seen these medicines again. Recently when my father was almost unconscious due to some health issues and was not allowed to go to hospital due to the covid situation, my brother gave him only  whole food plant based meals and within a month my father was again walking and talking!

Our body heals itself and we get good nutrients from the food which helps our body handle the sickness with its own mechanisms. Now I don’t even keep a painkiller in my house. And we are free from medicines. It is a huge money saver and a huge relief for my entire family.

I am in all gratitude to SHARAN  which has transformed mine and my entire family’s life.   I am still a  self proclaimed doctor but now my prescription holds lots of fruits, vegetables and my WFPB cooking classes.

Carrot Beetroot Kanji  

Check out this simple Probiotic recipe, which will keep you wanting for more!


  • 1 cup carrots cut into 1 inch sticks
  • 1 cup beetroot cut into 1 inch sticks
  • 2 tbsp ground mustard powder
  • ½ tsp kashmiri chili powder
  • 4 – 5 cups of water


Put all the ingredients into a big glass jar. Cover with a lid or a muslin cloth and keep the jar in the sun for 3-4 days. Stir the contents of the jar, with a wooden spoon everyday. Kanji is ready to drink when it tastes sour. Fermentation might take longer in winter so you may need to leave the jar in the sun longer.

It has a sour pungent taste.

Serves 4-5

Food for the mind


If you love Facebook, then join us to be supported on your plant based journey. We are offering two possibilities

1. SHARAN India is SHARAN’s main Facebook page which you can like and follow for getting useful daily updates and news from the plant based health world. You will also get news about the latest SHARAN events, see testimonials, and more.

2. SHARAN’s Vegan Support Group is an open support group to know more about vegan/plant-based lifestyle. Here you can ask questions and share inspiring stories, tips, recipes, etc.

All our doctors and presenters will be here to answer your questions and give you tips. If you have attended our events join this group to be a part of our family.

Please like the main SHARAN page and join the group(s) applicable to you.

Antibiotic resistance and its causes, consequences, and solutions

These days antibiotic resistance is rampant and there are fewer new antibiotics to compensate for this. Let’s learn more about this and what we can do about it.


Antibiotics are often prescribed without doing a sensitivity test. This means that the antibiotic that you are taking may not actually work against the infection that you have because the bacteria may already be resistant to it. This means the antibiotic will not have the intended results, but will still have the unintended side effects. Avoid taking antibiotics until a culture and sensitivity test is done.

2. ​

80% of the antibiotics produced in the world are fed to animals in our food chain. These animals are kept in close confinement and often get infections from each other. To avoid this, animal feed is supplemented with antibiotics. This means when you consume meat or dairy you are inadvertently consuming the antibiotics that the animal had been given. This constant dose of antibiotics in the human population through the food that they eat is one of the biggest causes of antibiotic resistance. Avoid all animal products to avoid inadvertently taking antibiotics with your meals.


When you are prescribed an antibiotic, the duration of the prescription ensures that the bacteria for which it has been prescribed are completely eliminated. But because the antibiotics have so many side effects, patients stop taking them as soon as they begin to feel better. This allows the bacteria that are still present, to develop resistance to that particular antibiotic. If you start a course of antibiotics, you should complete the course.


Antibiotics are often prescribed for viral infections. Antibiotics cannot kill viruses so this is a misuse of antibiotics. Get a diagnosis before you start the antibiotic.


Antibiotics are often prescribed to prevent a possible infection. This is misuse.  An antibiotic should never be prescribed unless absolutely required.


Hospitals harbour germs. This is why most patients admitted in the hospital are routinely given antibiotics. Take charge of your health, minimise hospitalisation.

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This newsletter was compiled by SHARAN Head of Mumbai, Reyna K Rupani, She facilitates the Six Weeks to Health Gain & Weight Loss program and also conducts health talks for schools, groups, corporates and more.

Edited by Deepa Ballal, a freelance writer based in Dubai.

Sanctuary for Health and Re-connection to Animals and Nature (SHARAN) is a social enterprise with the goal of spreading awareness about holistic health and an ecologically sustainable compassionate lifestyle.
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