Why should you opt for an Ayurvedic treatment ?
Being a healing science, Ayurveda does not need to have any additional benefits for one to be curious about it. However, an Ayurvedic treatment has several benefits that give it an upper hand over any other healing system. Let us have a look at them:
Unlike conventional medicine, Ayurvedic treatment heals an individual on all levels of existence- body, mind and soul. An Ayurvedic practitioner can help you understand your own body constitution so you would know exactly what kind of diet and lifestyle is best for you. You’ll also be more aware of the ways to maintain an optimum balance between your mind and body. So, goodbye stress and anxiety.
Ayurvedic treatment uses natural herbs and medicines, which do not have any side effects when taken with the guidance of an experienced doctor.
Ayurveda is one of the oldest healing sciences. Most of the ayurvedic remedies are being used for thousands of years. In fact, there are some diseases which don’t have a particular treatment in modern medicine but are known to be manageable in Ayurveda, for instance, eczema.
Trisutra: The three basic objectives of Ayurveda
The most important aim of Ayurveda is to maintain a disease free state so that a person can enjoy optimal health. This falls under the category of prevention. In case of disease, various therapies and treatments are given for the management and alleviation of disease symptoms. To achieve both these objectives, Ayurveda uses the concept of trisutra. These include:
Hetu (cause): This comprises the etiological and causative factors, the presence or absence of which determines the health of an individual. The causative factors include sensory perceptions, intellect, elements etc and the etiological factors comprise of over or under-utilisation of substances or foods.
Linga (symptoms): Linga refers to symptoms of a disease or a health condition along with the traits that mark good health.
Aushadha (drug): Aushadha refers to the various measures that are employed to maintain health and prevent diseases. It also includes all the therapeutic measures used for disease management.
Four different measures are used for disease prevention in Ayurveda. These are:
Dincharya: The day to day lifestyle and habits of an individual. This includes timely meals, proper rest, exercise/ yoga and avoiding overworking and stress.
Rittucharya: Rittucharya involves changes in diet and lifestyle depending on the change in seasons and weather to prevent seasonal infections and diseases.
Rasayana: This includes rejuvenation therapies which retard ageing, reduce the risk of disease while at the same time increasing lifespan.
Vajikarna: Vajikarna promotes and maintains sexual health, helps in the management of sexual disorders and deals with the health of the progeny.
Disease management is the next step in aushada. This involves various treatments and therapies that provide relief from disease symptoms and help in balancing tridoshas. Various therapies that are used in disease management include:
Devavyapashraya chikitsa: This method involves the usage of mantras, hymns and rituals to connect a person to spirituality and nature. Though the exact reason for its efficacy is unknown, this treatment is widely used not just in Ayurveda but various other traditional healing systems.
Sattvavajaya: Sattva means pure; sattvavajaya aims at maintaining a positive mindset and avoidance of negativity or negative feelings that are believed to have a deteriorating impact on a person’s health. This is achieved through meditation and yoga.
Yuktivyapashraya chikitsa: This involves 3 types of therapies:
Nidana parivarjana: Avoidance of the causative factors of disease. For example, avoiding cold foods in case of kapha imbalance or warm foods in case of pitta imbalance.
Samsodhana: This involves procedures such as senahana (oleation), vamana (emesis), virechana (purgation), swedana (sudation), Basti (enema), and nasya or the panchakarmas for the expulsion of toxins from the body and balancing the vitiated doshas.
Samsamana: These therapies are used in people where samsodhana is not recommended or they are used after the samsodhana procedures. Samsamana includes- Ahara (food), vihara (physical activities) and aushada (herbs and medicines).
Ayurvedic medicines are being used for thousands of years for the treatment of various diseases. But how safe are they? And can they be taken for long term? What are the side effects? Well, it has been scientifically proven that most ayurvedic medicines and herbs are effective in providing symptomatic relief from various conditions and have been found to be effective in preventing disease relapse by promoting health and improving immunity. In fact, potency and safety of ayurvedic medicines have been proven where conventional medicine has shown side effects for example in the improvement of certain type of cancer and prevention of age-related degenerative diseases.
Preparation and mode of administration of Ayurvedic medicines
Ayurvedic medicines are made from natural products. It combines various herbs, minerals and natural products such as corals, and shells.
Elements such as arsenic and mercury also make an important part of some of the famous ayurvedic formulations.
However, they are prepared with a specified procedure, and every ingredient is added in a pre-decided amount to achieve a standardised formulation that is effective in treating diseases when given in a particular dosage, determined by individual prakriti and dosha.
For the ease of administration, they are now available in the form of powders, syrups, decoctions, dried and fresh herbs and also as tea, extracts and infusions.
Side effects of Ayurvedic medicines
Even though ayurvedic medicines are considered to be safe and have been found to be useful in treating a wide range of diseases. Selfmedication and unsupervised consumption of ayurvedic medicines may have some side effects.
Ayurvedic medicines which contain arsenic may cause arsenic poisoning.
Research studies have revealed an increased amount of mercury and high blood pressure in some people after taking certain ayurvedic preparations.
Ayurvedic preparations which contain some metals, gems and minerals have been listed as potentially unsafe by the Food and Drug Administration.
Not all medicines, herbs and treatments are considered to be safe for all individuals especially in case of pregnant and lactating women.