Popular in India, Ayurvedic Medicine is the traditional medicine native to India. In the United States and Western Medicine, Ayurveda is considered complementary and alternative medicine.
Ayurvedic Medicine has been evolving for over five thousand years and includes to use of herbs, massage, and specialized diets to promote wellness. Considered a holistic medicine that just doesn’t treat illness and disease but encourages the fullest from the body/mind potential.
Ayurveda has eight components:
1. Internal medicine
4. Eye & ENT
Ayurvedic also referred to as Ayurveda, Ayurvedic is typically given to complement a traditional treatment, rather than replace it. In India, there are more than 150 undergraduate and 30 postgraduate colleges that specialize in Ayurvedic medicine. While the United States has no formal colleges or certification for Ayurvedic medicine.
Medical tourism for Ayurvedic medicine is growing, in 2007 the National Health Interview Survey concluded that 200,000 U.S. adults had used Ayurvedic Medicine in the previous year. With increased awareness and interest, Ayurvedic medicine acceptance in the U.S. will continue to grow.
According to ayurvedic medical theory, there is a balance of three elemental energies: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha (water & earth) that are important for health. When these three substances exist in equal quantities, the body will be healthy, and when they are not, the body will be unhealthy in various ways. Ayurvedic treatments aim to eliminate impurities, reduce or eliminate symptoms, increase resistance to disease, and reduce personal worries.
- Eliminating Impurities – Unwanted and harmful undigested food that sticks to tissues interferes with normal functioning and can lead to diseases. Ayurvedic medicine, through the use of enemas, massages, medical oils, and other forms, aims to reduce the impurities one encounters.
- Reduce or Eliminate Symptoms – To reduce symptoms of a particular ailment, a practitioner can include a regimen of physical exercises, stretching, breathing exercises, mediation, massages, lying in the sun, dietary changes, herbs, and metal/mineral preparations.
- Increase Resistance to Disease – Herbs, proteins, minerals, and vitamins may be added to one’s diet to increase one’s resistance.
- Reducing Personal Worries – Meditation, mental nurturing and spiritual healing may increase one’s harmony.
History and Background
Ayurveda can be loosely translated to mean the “science of living.” Concentrated into five principles:
- akash (space)
- vayu (air)
- teja (fire)
- jala (water)
- prithvi (earth)
All living things can be explained in whole or permutations of these five elements (doshas). They believe in three different doshas, each responsible for particular physiological functions.
- Pitta dosha
- Vata dosha
- Kapha dosha
Done throughout India for five thousand years, western medicine thought the techniques were unscientific and declared it alternative. But Ayurveda medicine continued to practice and has grown to what it is today.
Ayurvedic diet is an eating plan based on your body type for your specific dosha with an emphasis on mindfulness. It promotes eating whole foods which are rich in fiber and nutrients.
Ayurvedic diet can be hard to follow as there are rules for each dosha as well as the time of the year.
The Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle are effective in weight loss and better health.