What Is Ayurveda? Ayurvedic Medicine Benefits, Doshas, Treatment & More

November 10, 2021

People living in India have relied on traditional Ayurvedic medicine practices to help heal everything from infertility to digestive issues for centuries. Luckily, in recent years — as complementary and alternative health practices have become more popular across the world — Ayurveda has been enjoying a major worldwide resurgence.

What is the aim of Ayurvedic treatment? The main goal of Ayurvedic medicine is to help people live long, healthy and balanced lives without the need for prescription drugs, complicated surgeries or suffering through painful diseases.

In fact, the very word Ayurveda means something in Sanskrit similar to “life span build on knowledge” or “science of life.”

What Is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old system of natural healing that’s truly stood the test of time. First originating in the Vedic culture of India, it’s actually considered by many to be the oldest healing science there is.

What is meant by “Ayurvedic medicine”? This system is based on the premise that there are three doshas:

Vata
Pitta
Kapha

Another core belief of Ayurveda is that disease and illness originate from an imbalance in the three energies and a disconnect from nature.

What is your Ayurvedic body type? It depends on things like your body composition, metabolism, digestion and other factors.

According to a report published by University of Maryland Medical Center, Ayurvedic medicine and an appropriate Ayurvedic diet can help treat inflammatory, hormonal, digestive and autoimmune problems, including:

Anxiety or depression
Asthma
Certain types of cancer
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
Dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation)
Herpes
High blood pressure or cholesterol
Parkinson’s disease
Perimenopausal problems
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and cramps
Ayurvedic herbs, practices and recommendations have also been shown to be helpful in:
treating acne
relieving chronic constipation or irritable bowel syndrome
fighting chronic fatigue syndrome
reducing pain
lowering obesity risk

How Does Ayurvedic Medicine Work?

One of the core principles of Ayurveda, and what makes it stand apart from Western medicine, is that it takes into account “bio-individuality” and a patient’s entire body-mind-spirit connection.

Rather than treating symptoms with drugs and ignoring the underlying problems, this system aims to look at the root causes of diseases and how they are related to a person’s thoughts, beliefs and lifestyle — in other words, a person’s “vital energy.”

What’s especially of interest to researchers studying traditional healing symptoms like Ayurveda is the power of the mind and its connection to the body. Since various studies have acknowledged that beliefs surely have the ability to change someone’s health, even after controlling for placebos, new health models are beginning to focus more on including the mind and its interaction with the body as a primary lever of curing diseases.

Better controlling stress seems to be one of the primary benefits of Ayurveda, according to a Western medical viewpoint. We know that chronic stress can ruin your quality of life, and lower stress levels are correlated with better health, longevity, weight management and overall happiness.

Other things that play a role in healing with Ayurvedic medicine include:

nutrition
natural herbs
better sleep
massage
exercise

Doshas

Ayurvedic practitioners use a well-balanced diet, lifestyle changes, stress relief and various herbal remedies to heal all sorts of conditions by helping bring the body back into balance.

The overall belief is that disease and suffering result from an imbalance in the three doshas, which are ways of categorizing the body’s three basic energy types: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

According to Ayurvedic medicine, everyone is unique in terms of his or her individual balance between these three energy (or personality) types. Everyone has some Vata, Pitta and Kapha to her or his personality, but usually one or two of the doshas are more dominant in a particular person — and this ultimately governs body type, appetite, energy levels, moods and tendencies.

Unlike the one-size-fits-all approach to Western medical treatment that fails to address the huge diversity among patients, Ayurveda takes into account individuality when prescribing holistic treatments.

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