According to WebMd, Ayurvedic medicine -- also known as Ayurveda -- is one of the world's oldest holistic healing systems. It was developed thousands of years ago in India.
It is named for the Sanskrit word Ayurveda, meaning the "science of life." It is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance among the mind, body, and spirit.
Ayurveda has evolved over the years and is now integrated with other traditional practices, including yoga and herbal medicines.
Written on Umm.edu, Ayurvedic practitioners also believe there are three basic energy types called doshas, present in every person:
- Vata: Energy that controls bodily functions associated with motion, including blood circulation, breathing, blinking, and heartbeat.
- Pitta: Energy that controls the body's metabolic systems, including digestion, absorption, nutrition, and temperature.
- Kapha: Energy that controls growth in the body. It supplies water to all body parts, moisturizes the skin, and maintains the immune system.
Everyone has vata, pitta, and kapha. But usually one or two are dominant in a particular person.
More than 90 percent of the continent's population use some form of Ayurvedic therapy, including following its dietary principles, practicing traditional or "grandma's medicine," or seeking professional help from trained Ayurvedic practitioners. Its concepts about health and disease promote the use of herbal compounds, special diets, and other unique health practices. According to the original texts, the goal of Ayurveda is prevention as well as promotion of the body's own capacity for maintenance and balance. Ayurvedic treatment is non-invasive and non-toxic, so it can be used safely as an alternative therapy or along-side conventional therapies. Many Ayurvedic treatments — like meditation and individualized diets — are therefore aimed at keeping a person healthy, not curing them of disease. Although, a number of Ayurvedic herbal remedies have been examined, high-quality studies are lacking. But throughout the years, many people will report promising results.
If you're considering an Ayurvedic treatment, or any other alternative therapies, be sure to speak with your primary care physician or other health care professional.