Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halocho #915 - Must medicine be Kosher?

In order to save a life, one must take medicine even if it's not Kosher. One must also transgress any other Mitzva needed to save one's life, with the exception of murder, adultery and idolatry.

In non-life threatening situations:
- One should not take non-Kosher medicine, if there's a Kosher alternative readily available.
- If only non-Kosher medicine is available, it may be used. However, if it has a pleasant taste, then one should spoil its taste, for example by adding something bitter to it, or wrapping it in tissue paper.
- If the medicine is a mixture of meat and milk, a Rabbi should be consulted, since normally meat and milk mixtures cannot be used as medicine. The same applies to Kil'ay Hakerem; grains and grapes that grew in close proximity.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 192:5, 6, 7

- Danny
Tuesday, 4 Marchesvan 5772

1 comment:

  1. Reb Schoemann,
    Most commercial medicines today are derived from their chemical components. Even those that are food-based have been broken down into their component parts and lost the label "food".
    The issue with medicines are the fillers in the pills like corn starch in tablets, or the capsules with glycerin. However there is the consideration of "achsheveih" which means that since I am taking a pill for medicinal purposes with no intention of enjoying it as food it is therefore not food and not subject to the rules of kashrus. Therefore even in relatively minor situations most non-flavoured pills and capsules, along with unflavoured or foul-tasting liquids, are fine.