Ayurveda is the traditional and holistic system of medicine indigenous to India. The word Ayurveda has two Sanskrit components: ‘Ayu’, which means life and ‘Veda’, which means the knowledge; hence it is knowledge of life. This ancient system of medicine has evolved over time, integrating centuries of wisdom derived from practical, philosophical, religious illumination and intensive meditation adding years to life and life to years. It shows how our lives can be influenced, shaped, extended and ultimately controlled without interference from sickness or old age.
Ayurveda being holistic is effective in treating diseases. Its provides individualized treatment and is conducive to socioeconomic conditions of India. With the availability of large number of formulations for any particular disease, use of food items as medicine and lifestyle awareness, Ayurveda enjoys a better place in respect of prevention and cure of the disease in comparison to western medicine system.
If not indicated otherwise by the attending physician, ayurvedic medicines can generally be taken along with allopathic medicines. Moreover, ayurvedic medicines are used as adjuvant to allopathic medicines in many chronic and degenerative diseases. As such there is no harm to consume simple herbal formulations of Ayurveda. However it is always a good practice to take medications with due consultation of the doctor.
Treatment process in Ayurveda is to correct faulty dietary and lifestyle habits. In most cases just by correcting the lifestyle all other corrections are naturally affected and based on the natural vitality of the system , health is regained. However, in people who have practiced a poor lifestyle for many years, vitality becomes weak. This necessitates assistance in the form of cleansing the body with unique detoxifying treatments. In Ayurveda, the therapies or medicines are employed to facilitate the body’s own mechanism of healing.
Accumulation of toxins over time leads to aggravation of of a medical condition making it chronic. During such situations, mere medication may not be sufficient. Panchakarma is the preferred medical treatment to address a chronic medical condition and prevent recurrence.
As Ayurveda drugs are entirely made of natural substances which are bio-compatible, they usually have no side effects. Moreover patients will not become physically and psychologically dependent on them.
Ayurveda focuses on wellness where as modern medicine focuses on illness.
The essential principle of Ayurveda is life in compliance with one’s constitution and with the laws of nature. Ayurveda is a holistic science; it concerns the whole human being. It does not aim at the suppression of symptoms but searches for and cures the cause of illness. It directs itself to the maintenance of energy balance in the body, the most important condition for health. Ayurveda is engaged in details not only in treatment but also in prevention of illness and longevity. The diet, exercise and the whole way of living is individually recommended according to the constitution, race and climatic conditions. The admission of individual distinctness and individual approach to treatment is one of the unique features of Ayurvedic medicine.
Herbs are gentle and natural treatment. They do not have any side effects, because they are compatible with the body’s own chemicals. They are absorbed easily and because of their different characteristics (desiccant/humid, incentive/sedative etc.) it is possible to choose exactly the right herbs which can cure in the given case depending on the illness.
The history of Ayurveda goes back 5,000 years. At present there are more and more physicians from all over the world who are interested in it and who have adapted this medicinal system to our western society. Ayurveda and ayurvedic treatment techniques have been proven effective in many clinical studies. Ayurveda should be the first choice in case of chronic (drawn-out) illness, which can not be treated in a satisfactory manner by conventional medicine. Ayurveda aims not only to treat the sick person, but also to prevent illness in healthy people, who can get ill due to stress, family problems and so on. Therefore it is not possible to call Ayurveda, the science of life, merely as alternative medicine.