Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional healing system from India, has been known to offer a holistic approach to health by focusing on the mind, body, and spirit.
Tired of conventional health and beauty treatments that only provide temporary relief? Look no further than Ayurveda, an ancient alternative medicine system that has been practiced for over two millennia on the Indian subcontinent. Ayurveda takes a holistic approach to wellness, focusing on the balance of mind, body, and spirit. It offers a wide range of therapies, including herbal medicines, special diets, meditation, yoga, and massage, that are tailored to treat the root cause of an ailment rather than just its symptoms. What sets Ayurvedic medicine apart is its emphasis on natural remedies and self-care practices, providing a refreshing alternative to Western medicine. With its growing popularity, it’s clear that more and more people are turning to Ayurvedic medicine for long-term healing and overall well-being.
How Does Ayurvedic Medicine Work?
Ayurvedic medicine has gained lots of popularity for its promising results in treating chronic conditions. Typically, patients begin taking conventional medication as soon as they are diagnosed, so ayurvedic treatments are often used alongside or after conventional approaches. To fully understand the potential influence of food, spices, and medicinal plants, it is necessary to have a comprehensive understanding of their effects. Although the use of ayurvedic plants and Indian spices in society is common and without adverse effects, the use of concentrated products made from a single plant, such as teas or tablets, is more concerning. The actions of polyherbal drugs and their extracts differ in many ways from those of single substances or synthetic drugs. Despite ayurvedic medicines being based on natural herbal materials, their safety depends on their method of administration, considering the needs of individuals and their specific medical conditions.
According to Ayurvedic medicine, the human body is made up of tissues, waste, and humoral biomaterials known as doshas. The body is divided into seven dhatus (the seven building blocks of the physical body), and bodily substances are classified into five classical elements, notably earth, water, fire, air, and ether. Twenty gunas, which are inherent qualities or characteristics, are found in all matter, and they are arranged in ten pairs. The three doshas, vata, pitta, and kapha, are postulated elemental bodily humors. Vata is associated with air and the nervous system; pitta with bile and fire; and kapha with phlegm or earth and water. Some critics argue that doshas are not real and are a fictional concept.
But in the ayurvedic doctrine, doshas can also impact mental health, and each has unique attributes and roles in the body and mind. A person’s physical constitution and personality are explained by the natural predominance of one or more doshas. Ayurvedic tradition posits that imbalances among the bodily and mental doshas are a significant cause of disease. Practitioners of Ayurveda must determine a person’s bodily and mental dosha makeup. The doshas should be balanced, and each person should adjust their behavior or environment to increase or decrease the doshas and maintain their natural state.
Related: What Are the Doshas of Ayurveda?
Ayurvedic Diagnosis and Treatments
The Ayurvedic system employs a variety of techniques to diagnose illnesses, with Naadi Pariksha and Ashtavidha Pariksha being the most common. Naadi Pariksha involves checking the pulse, while the more elaborate Ashtavidha Pariksha checks the pulse, urine, feces, tongue, voice, skin, eyes, and overall body appearance. Through these methods, a skilled Ayurvedic practitioner can determine the underlying condition and understand an individual’s physiological and psychological makeup, providing insight into dosha imbalances.
Once diagnosed, the Ayurvedic practitioner will tailor a treatment plan based on the symptoms, Nadi Pariksha, dominant dosha, and overall constitution. This personalized plan may include herbal remedies, dietary adjustments, exercise, and lifestyle changes to initiate the healing process and promote positive changes in the body.
Unlike other medications that simply treat the symptoms, Ayurvedic remedies aim to tackle the root cause of the problem. And while this approach may take a bit of time, it ensures that the body heals itself in the most natural way possible. But let’s be clear: if an individual is dealing with a serious illness that requires immediate attention, it is important to consult with a medical professional right away. Ayurvedic remedies can be a wonderful complement to conventional medicine, but they’re not always the right solution for every situation.
Related: HOW TO FIND MY DOSHA TYPE?
Some Ayurvedic Treatments
Panchakarma is an ancient Ayurvedic treatment that’s all about eliminating accumulated impurities from mind-body physiology. It’s a detox program that’s designed to help one achieve optimal health and wellness. The term pancha means “five” in Sanskrit, and karma means “action.” So, panchakarma refers to five different purifying and rejuvenating procedures that are aimed at clearing out toxins from the body. Even though this treatment was designed thousands of years ago when there were fewer causes for unhealthy accumulations in the body, it’s still a sophisticated detox program that can help one stay healthy in today’s world.
Although the body has its own detoxification system, panchakarma helps to gently clear the channels of elimination in the body so that everything runs smoothly and efficiently, just like a well-oiled machine. Think of it like maintaining a car: when we give it the attention it needs, it runs smoothly and efficiently for years to come. Similarly, with conscious effort, panchakarma can help one achieve optimal health and energy.
Panchakarma not only cleanses the body but also has a positive impact on mental and emotional well-being. According to Ayurveda, the mind and body are intricately connected, and what we do to one affects the other. Therefore, by cleansing our body, we’re also facilitating a deep-rooted release of stress that may have been stored for years.
Panchakarma treatments include:
- Herbal oil massages
- Steam baths
- Cleansing enemas
- Nasal administration
- Gentle laxatives
- Specialized diet
Shirodhara is an ancient Ayurvedic therapy that originated in India and is still widely practiced today. In this therapy, warm herbal oil is poured in a continuous stream onto the forehead of the patient in a rhythmic and gentle manner. The oil is often infused with herbs that are selected based on the individual’s needs and can promote relaxation, stress relief, and mental clarity. Shirodhara is believed to help balance the body and mind, promote relaxation, and enhance overall well-being. It is typically administered as part of a larger Ayurvedic treatment plan that considers the patient’s unique constitution and health goals.
To enhance the effects of Shirodhara, it’s often combined with a body, scalp, or head massage. And there are different types of Shirodhara, each using different main ingredients, such as milk, buttermilk, decoctions made from various herbs, and even coconut water.
Abhyanga is a full-body Ayurvedic massage that involves the use of warm herbal oils. The therapist uses long, flowing strokes to apply the oil, which is believed to penetrate the skin and nourish the tissues, muscles, and joints. Abhyanga is known for its ability to calm the nervous system, promote better sleep, and improve circulation. It’s also believed to help with lymphatic drainage, which can help the body rid itself of toxins. During an Abhyanga session, the therapist will typically use a combination of oils tailored to your specific needs. They may also incorporate other Ayurvedic techniques, such as marma point therapy or Shirodhara, to enhance the effects of the massage.
Nasya is an Ayurvedic therapy that involves the application of herbal oils or powders to nasal passages. This therapy is believed to help with a variety of conditions, including sinus congestion, headaches, and allergies. During a Nasya session, the therapist will typically administer a small amount of warm herbal oil or powder into each nostril. Followed by inhalation, which will allow either the oil or powder to penetrate the sinuses.
Nasya is believed to help improve respiratory health, enhance mental clarity, and promote overall well-being. It may also help with stress and anxiety, as the scent of the herbs used in Nasya is known for its calming effects.
Read More About Ayurvedic Medicines:
The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not intended to replace the advice of a healthcare professional. Before making any significant changes to your diet, lifestyle, or healthcare regimen, please consult with your healthcare provider.
Ignite your personal growth journey with our handpicked collection of inspiring content. Sign up now for a life-changing dose of motivation and wellness.