Ayurveda medicine

Traditional medicine native to the Indian subcontinent

Ayurveda incorporates eight healing categories ranging from treatment of diseases to aphrodisiacs. David Goding finds out more...

 The history
Ayurveda is a complex system of traditional medicine native to the Indian subcontinent that has roots stretching back 5000 years. Much of the philosophy behind ayurveda can be found in two classical Sanskrit encyclopaedias of medicine thought to be produced in the third or fourth century BC. The name itself means ‘life-knowledge’ in Sanskrit. In India today, ayurvedic medicine practitioners work side by side with orthodox doctors.

Ayurveda incorporates eight healing categories ranging from treatment of diseases to aphrodisiacs. It also classifies five different bodily substances as belonging to fire, earth, water, air and aether (or essence) and stresses the need to balance the three elemental substances of vata (wind), pitta (bile) and kapha (phlegm).

The benefits
“The goal of ayurveda is to maintain the health of a healthy person and heal the illness of a sick person,” says Dr Vasant Lad, a master in ayurvedic science and author of The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies.

“As a science of self-healing, ayurveda encompasses diet and nutrition, lifestyle, exercise, rest and relaxation, meditation, breathing exercises, and medicinal herbs, along with cleansing and rejuvenation programs for healing body, mind and spirit.” 

What to expect

With prevention held so highly in ayurvedic medicine, it’s common for people to be treated before showing signs of illness. For this reason, a patient often keeps in regular touch with their Ayurvedic practitioner, who monitors their diet, physical activity, hobbies, sex life, personal habits and domestic life, then makes suggestions where they see fit. The practitioner may also examine your urine, stool sample, skin, nails or tongue.

When illness occurs the practitioner draws from a wide variety of remedies and techniques, including around 8000 different healing medicines. Treatment methods can vary considerably from one practitioner to another, with many combining modern methods with the traditional. Some naturopaths may also be skilled in the area of ayurveda.
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The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read our Medical Notice.