| To Your Good Health

Ayurvedic Medicine – A Primer

In order to understand what Ayurvedic Medicine does, it is equally important to know what Ayurveda is. We are going to give our readers a primer course on Ayurveda; its roots, its development, and its overall practical approach to natural health and well-being.

Over 5,000 years ago, ancient far eastern civilizations began realizing that, like nature, the human body, was a complex structure of balance that, if that balance faultered, the human body suffered and possibly died. For thousands of years previous to that realization, civilizations used some natural substances to soothe injuries and pain but it was not until the connections were made, that the extent of healing energy available to them was actually studied. Ancient scientists began looking at the human mechanism more closely and its relationship to the natural world around them and began a process of medical discover that, to this day, is unrivaled.

Thus began Ayurvedic Medicine and the study of Ayurveda – the close alignment of body, mind and spirit.

Ayurveda is a system of medicine that originated in India and in its Sanskrit origins loosely translated means the “Science of Life”. Ayurvedic Science is an all-encompassing medical syste, that looks to balance the three main aspects of humanity – the body, the mind, the spirit. The latter aspect or “spirit” is that which is considered Holistic. As the science of Ayurveda advanced, it looked to investigate treatments of specific health problems with known materials typically found in nature. The more the brilliant minds of the day studied these natural ingredients, the quicker they realized that their primary aim should not be treatment but rather maintaining a natural balance within the body and, as a result, Ayurvedic Medicine is often looked to as a preventative medicine with curative force. The essence of Ayurvedic Medicine is to re-establish the harmony and balance that is necessary for optimal health.

Ayurveda has long been the main system of health care in India.  About 70 percent of India’s population lives in rural areas; about two-thirds of rural people use Ayurveda and medicinal plants to meet their primary health care needs.  In addition, most major cities have an Ayurvedic college and hospital.  There are 587,536 registered traditional medical practitioners, 2,860 hospitals providing Ayurvedic treatment, and 22,100 dispensaries for traditional medicine in India.  This allows over 500 million people in India to rely solely on Ayurveda today. Ayurveda and variations of it have also been practiced for centuries in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Tibet.  The professional practice of Ayurveda in the United States began to grow and became more visible in the late 20th century.

According to World Health Organization report, over 80% of the world population relies on plant-based traditional medicine for their primary healthcare needs.

In Ayurveda, the distinction between food and medicine is not as clear as in Western medicine.  Food and diet are important components of Ayurvedic practice, and so there is a heavy reliance on treatments based on herbs and plants, oils (such as sesame oil), common spices (such as turmeric), and other naturally occurring substances.

Currently, some 5,000 products are included in the “pharmacy” of Ayurvedic treatments.  Historically, plant compounds have been grouped into categories according to their effects.  For example, some compounds are thought to heal, promote vitality, or relieve pain.  The compounds are described in many texts prepared through national medical agencies in India.  The following are examples of commonly used herbs:

* The spice turmeric has been used for various diseases and conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and wound healing.
* An extract from the resin from a tropical shrub (Commiphora mukul, or guggul) has been used for a variety of illnesses.  In recent years, there has been research interest in its use to lower cholesterol.
* The essential oil extracted from Holy Basil is used to counteract depression and mental stress.

Clearly, Ayurvedic Medicine and its pharmacology are not quite the same as going to a modern day pharmacy to have a prescription filled. The balanacing of the 5,000 possible ingredients is an onerous task that should be fulfilled by properly qualified doctors of Ayurveda. For maintenance and optimization of your health, there are a wide range of potent pre-manufactured formulations that can be purchased directly through the Ayurvedic Medicinal Pharmacy listed at the right. For more complex requirements it is recommended that you take advantage of an Ayurvedic Medical consultation to get on the path to Natural Health and total balance.

Tags: Ayurveda, Ayurvedic Medicine

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *