What Is Ayurveda? Benefits & Risks

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What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine that evolved in India more than 5000 years ago. The term Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit words ‘ayus’ which means life or lifespan, and ‘Veda’, meaning knowledge or science. Ayurveda therapy and medicine utilizes detoxification, diet and purification methods, herbal and mineral remedies, yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, and massage treatment as holistic healing techniques. It’s said in the Vedas, the ancient philosophical and religious texts which are the earliest surviving literature from the Earth, making Ayurvedic medicine the earliest surviving therapeutic system.

According to the ancient texts, Ayurveda was conceived by educated wise men as a method of living harmoniously and keeping the body, spirit, and mental consciousness in unison. Medical historians think that Ayurvedic ideas were taken from ancient India to China and have been instrumental in the evolution of Chinese medicine. Over the last few years, India has established a renewed focus on Ayurveda through a dedicated ministry called Ayush that promotes education, research, and establishes guidelines and regulations around this ancient science.

See: Ayurvedic herbs for digestion & gut health

What is Ayurveda’s Philosophy?

According to this science, every individual has a specific constitution, or ‘Prakriti’, that determines his or her physical, physiological, and mental character along with a vulnerability to certain diseases.

Ayurveda further states that every person is made up of five basic elements or the ‘Pancha Mahabhuta’ – which includes; air, earth, fire, water, and space (ether). These elements combine with each other to form three life forces or energies, called ‘doshas’. 


What are Ayurveda Benefits?

Ayurveda revolves around the principle of prevention and treatment of diseases by maintaining the right harmony between the body, mind, and soul through factors like dietary changes, use of herbal medications, massage, yoga, Panchkarma, and meditation. All these factors in combination:

• balance the body with the mind, 

• decrease stress, 

• increase blood circulation

• prevent and also cure diseases

According to the original texts, the objective of Ayurveda is avoidance in addition to marketing of their human body’s own capacity for upkeep and equilibrium. Cosmetic therapy is noninvasive and nontoxic, so that it may be used strictly as an alternative treatment or alongside traditional treatments. Ayurvedic physicians assert that their approaches may also help stress-related, metabolic, and chronic ailments. Food, air, water, etc., are just the media whereby the “prana is performed”.

In Ayurveda, there are five primary components which include prana: earth, fire, water, air, and ether. These components interact and are further arranged from your body as three major classes or basic physiological principles within the human anatomy which governs all bodily functions called the doshas. Every individual has a unique mix of the three doshas, called the individual’s Prakriti, and that’s the reason why cosmetic treatment is always individualized. In Ayurveda, the disorder is regarded as a condition of imbalance in one or more of an individual’s doshas, and also an Ayurvedic doctor strives to correct and balance them using an assortment of techniques.

Vata dosha Vata dosha people are usually thin and mild, dry-skinned, and incredibly lively and emotionally stressed. If Vata is out of equilibrium, there are frequently anxious difficulties, hyperactivity, insomnia, lower backaches, and headaches. Pitta is related to water and fire. Within the body, it’s responsible for digestion and metabolism. Pitta features are medium-built bodies, fair skin, powerful digestion, and great mental attention.

Pitta dosha imbalances appear as aggression and anger and anxiety-related ailments such as gastritis, ulcers, liver issues, and hypertension.

The Kapha dosha is connected with water and ground. Individuals characterized as Kapha are usually heavy or large with much more oily complexions. They have a tendency to be slow, serene, and tranquil. Diagnosis in regenerative medicine, the disease is obviously viewed as an imbalance from the dosha procedure, therefore the diagnostic procedure attempts to ascertain that doshas are underactive or overactive in an individual body.

Diagnosis is frequently taken over a span of days for your Ayurvedic doctor to most accurately determine exactly what regions of the human body are being influenced. To diagnose issues, holistic physicians frequently use long interviews and surveys to ascertain an individual’s dosha routines and physical and mental histories. Some Ayurvedic doctors also use lab tests to help out with the diagnosis.

See: Ayurvedic herbs for immune system

What conditions can Ayurveda treat?

Ayurveda is known to treat almost every disease condition prevalent in these times. It can be beneficial in the treatment against acne, allergies, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, colds, constipation, colitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, flu, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, insomnia, inflammation, immune problems, Parkinson’s disease, skin problems, nervous disorders, obesity, and ulcers. Learn more about how Ayurvedic integrative therapy treatments and wellness plans can help you with the following conditions:


Preparations for Ayurvedic treatment

Ayurveda is a mind/body method of health that includes some thoughts foreign to the Western scientific model. Also, because Ayurveda is the whole body system of healing and health, patience and discipline are helpful, as some conditions and diseases are thought to be brought on by years of bad health habits and require time and effort to correct.

Finally, the Ayurvedic philosophy considers that each person has the ability to heal themselves, so people considering Ayurveda should be well prepared to bring accountability and involvement to the treatment. To understand Ayurvedic therapy, it’s essential to have a notion of how the Ayurvedic system views your system.

The simple life force within the human body is prana, which can be found from the components and is like how the Chinese thought of chi. It’s in water, food, and in sunlight, nevertheless, it isn’t vitamin, warmth, or light treatment entails some type of cleansing and detoxification of the entire body, from the belief that gathered toxins have to be removed prior to any other procedures or therapy, will be successful.

Many Ayurvedic clinics unite all these cleansing techniques to intensive sessions called Panchakarma. Panchakarma may take a few days or weeks and they’re more than removal therapies. In addition, they contain herbalized oil massage along with herbalized heating treatments. After purification, Ayurvedic doctors utilize mineral and herbal remedies to balance the human body too. Ayurvedic medicine includes a huge understanding of using herbs for certain health issues. Ayurvedic medicine also highlights how folks live their own lives from day to day, presuming that appropriate lifestyles and patterns accentuate balance, relaxation, diet, and avoidance.

Ayurveda recommends yoga as a sort of exercise to construct strength in health and additionally recommends massage treatment and self-massage as methods for increasing flow and reducing anxiety. Yogic breathing methods and meditation can also be part of a healthful Ayurvedic regimen, to decrease stress and enhance mental energy. Of all remedies, however, diet is among the most fundamental and widely used treatments from the Ayurvedic system. An Ayurvedic diet could be a well planned and individualized routine. Particular tastes and meals may calm or aggravate a specific dosha. For example, sour, sweet, and salty reduction Vata issues and raise Kapha. After an Ayurvedic doctor determines an individual’s dosha profile, then he or she’ll recommend a particular diet to fix imbalances and boost wellbeing. 

The Ayurvedic diet highlights primarily vegetarian foods of top quality and freshness, tailored to the season and time of day. Cooling foods are consumed in the heating and summer ones in the winter, always within an individual’s dosha requirements. In daily routine, the heaviest meal of the day ought to be lunch, and dinner should be eaten before bedtime, to allow for digestion. Also, eating meals in a calm way with proper chewing and state of mind is vital, as is blending foods properly and preventing overeating.

See: Ayurveda Vata Diet – Vata Pacifying Diet

Precautions for Ayurvedic treatment

You should never try to take Ayurvedic herbal preparation, without consulting an Ayurvedic practitioner. A major concern with respect to herbal preparations is that they can contain high amounts of lead or arsenic, leading to metallic poisoning in the body.  Care needs to be taken to make sure that a trained
practitioner prepares individualized remedies. Throughout Ayurvedic detoxification
programs, some people report fatigue, muscle soreness, and general sickness.
Additionally, as Ayurveda seeks to release mental stresses and mental issues
from the patient, some people are able to experience mental disturbances and
depression during treatment and psychological counseling may be part of a
sound program. 

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What side effects are with Ayurveda?

This form of treatment mainly comprises of powders, extracts, and oils, that are prepared from herbs, plants, and minerals. Since these medicines are naturally found, they have no side effects and only provide relief to the patient. 

However, some people report fatigue, malaise, or muscular soreness during Ayurvedic programs. Some people also experience disturbing thoughts and depression, while cleansing their body of negative thoughts.


Science & Research in Ayurveda

Ayurveda has shown promising results in providing pain relief in patients suffering from ALS, a rapidly degenerating and ultimately fatal disease. (Carter et al., 2014).  In India, over 400,000 registered Ayurvedic doctors at more than 250 government-accredited universities or schools form a significant source for carrying out clinical trials associated with the field. However, a recent review of 225 original research published in Indian Ayurveda journals concluded that non-satisfactory investigations and inconclusive outcomes being used in almost 90 percent of the published studies. Experts indicate that Ayurvedic medicine needs more rigorous scientific research for assessing safety, efficacy, and quality to be appropriate to the scientific communities.[3].

On the other hand, Ayurveda faces some problems with respect to its wide acceptance in society. One of the major problems is the different classification used for the same herbal drug, which can lead to confusion (Gokaran and Gokaran, 2014). Also, adulteration, lack of knowledge and improper research can harm this great science in a big way.


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