Ayurvedic medicine is considered to be the world’s oldest healing method. It was created in India roughly 5,000 years ago with origins in the Vedic culture of India and to this day remains India’s primary healthcare system. More than just a system that heals illnesses, Ayurveda is based on the belief that health depends on a holistic balance between the mind, body and spirit. Through this method of healing, Ayurveda is thought to be able to prevent illnesses, treat acute conditions and contribute to overall well being for a healthy life.
Ayurveda is considered to be a science of life, with Ayur meaning life and Veda meaning science. It has grown in popularity around the world, with its roots in Tibetan medicine, early Chinese medicine and even early Greek medicine. In the United States, Ayurveda is considered to be an alternative medicine, which means that it is a medicine that aims to treat and prevent conditions with healing touch, energy as well as herbal medicines.
Ayurvedic beliefs are that everything in the universe is connected. When you are in balance with the universe – mind, body, and spirit wise – then you will find good health. When anything disrupts your physical, spiritual or emotional health then it can cause you to become out of balance with the universe, thus leading to poor health.
Every person is made up of five basic elements found in the universe – space, air, water, fire, and earth. These elements combine in the body to form the life force, dosha.
Each person is born with a mixture of the three doshas. They are: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. While one dosha is typically more dominant, all three controls a different body function. An imbalance in one of the doshas is when illness can occur.
The vata dosha represents space and air. It is considered to be the most powerful dosha and controls basic bodily functions.
The vata dosha controls:
- Blood flow
- Waste removal through intestines
If there is an imbalance in the vata dosha then you may develop asthma, anxiety, skin disorders, heart disease or arthritis.
The pitta dosha represents fire and water.
The pitta dosha controls:
If there is an imbalance in the pitta dosha then you may develop Chron’s disease, heart disease, heartburn, or high blood pressure.
The kapha dosha represents earth and water.
The kapha dosha controls:
- Muscle growth
- Immune system
If there is an imbalance in the kapha dosha then you may develop asthma, diabetes, obesity, or cancer.
What Can Ayurveda Treat?
The main goal of Ayurveda is to prevent illnesses, however through Ayurvedic medicine it is thought that you can treat any illness or condition. Some of the most commonly treated illness and symptoms of ayurvedic medicine are:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Liver disease (find out more about where the liver is located as well as how it effects the entire body here!)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Chron’s Disease
Are there any Risks?
Most Ayurvedic treatments such as massage, breathing exercises and yoga involve little to no risks. There are some treatments, such as diet changes or Ayurvedic herbs that may interact with current medications that you will want to discuss with your doctor before beginning. Ayurvedic herb supplements can also be contaminated by heavy metals such as mercury and lead, so it is vital to choose quality supplements.