Leviticus 17:12 KJV

Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood.

Various passages prohibit consuming blood. Does this also apply to a person consuming or swallowing their own blood?

For instance, a person gets a cut in their mouth, or has a bloody nose, or a tooth falls out. They naturally swallow blood during these incidents.

  • 1
    I’d consider moving this to Mi Yodea Commented Jun 30 at 19:41
  • I think the view of Judaism is that it's okay to suck blood from a cut, but blood that has bled and been exposed to air is not okay. Commented Jun 30 at 21:33
  • An interesting parallel is with consuming human milk (since people meat isn't kosher). I don't know the answer though. Commented Jun 30 at 21:34

3 Answers 3


Human blood is permitted Biblically (Keritut 20b), but God gave the chain of Sages of the Mesora permission and encouragement to put guardrails and fences around the Torah, to prevent Jews from coming close to sin as well, and in that capacity the Sages forbade eating human blood because of how similar it is to animal blood (Ketuvot 60a, see Rashi there). God commanded us to listen to them, so there is a logical identity between their law and Biblical law in this regard (see Sefer HaChinuch 495).

They only forbade it once it is outside and removed from the body, so in other cases such as when one's gums are bleeding, one may consume the blood so long as it is still in one's mouth (SA YD 66:10) If it is on one's food, one should remove it/wash it before consuming (see Yad Yehuda YD 96:5).

The case of sucking a bleeding* cut on one's finger is also of note, and it is debatable among the sages if one may swallow (see Darkei Teshuvah 66:68). There are other interesting cases dealt with by our generational Sages over the last 3000 years in halacha, thanks for the question!

Thanks to Rabbi Neustadt for collecting the main sources here.

* when the bleeding stops, one must stop. See Kaf HaChaim 66:48


If the blood becomes the food for dietary reasons or the action of religious reasons; then yes it would be a violation of the Law of Moses to eat it. Also, the blood from another living creature cannot be a medical cure for oneself. The blood must be spit out of the mouth.

The Law however does not forbid the eating of any fruit that contains seed. The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden did not have seed. Therefore it was forbidden to eat.

People are not fruit. Do not eat people.

If you are wounded in battle and are bleeding to death then you will surely die. If you drank your own blood in order to preserve your loss of blood but still died, it was not because you drank your own blood that you died as being punishment for violating the law. To try and save yourself from death is not a sin.


Acts 15:20, 29 were a clear prohibition of blood not only for Israelites but also for Gentiles, a plain command that if violated means that you sin. In 1 John 3:4, sin is defined as transgression of the law.

  • 1
    Yes, but does it apply to one's own blood, and even when not intentionally consuming it? If I jab my finger on a rose prickle and reflexively put it into my mouth, have I violated the prohibition? Commented Jul 2 at 13:05
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    Commented Jul 2 at 13:53