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What is Ayurveda? Advantages and disadvantages

Ayurvedic medicine is a holistic traditional treatment that has been practiced for the past 5000 years. It is the oldest form of alternative medicine today. Ayurveda and Ayurvedic medicine come with their advantages and disadvantages. But when something has been practiced for so long it is going to have its fair share of both positive and negatives traits.



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What is Ayurveda?

Before we get into the pros and cons of ayurvedic medicine, let’s talk about the definition of Ayurveda.

As mentioned before people have been treated with Ayurvedic medicine for the past 5000 years. It is a natural holistic treatment that originated from India. Ayurveda inspires lifestyle changes to create a balance between the body, mind and spirit. The belief in Ayurvedic practice is that a healthy mind and body will keep sickness in check. Also, that unbalanced inner energy is the main reason for sickness.

The core values of Ayurveda place an emphasis on total wellness. Its aim is to harmonize our internal and external world. Ayurveda is based on 3 principles which are all connected to form this holistic practice.


How does Ayurveda work?

5 Elements Principal

The first principle is the theory of the five elements. This theory states that there are 5 elements that combine to form the human body. Furthermore, we are made of a proportion of each element. In addition, these 5 elements have a connection to the five natural senses. They serve as the primary portal to the internal and external realms. These elements are :

Vayu- Air

Jala -Water

Prithvi – Earth

Akash – Space

Teja – Fire

3 Forms of Energy

In Ayurveda, these 5 elements are grouped into 3 forms of energy or dosha. The theory states that these elements are present in everything and in everyone. To effectively practice Ayurveda you have to understand the energy forms first before moving to the next phase of knowing the advantages and disadvantages of Ayurvedic medicine. These energy forms or dosha are known by their Sanskrit name.

Vata: It is toned-down energy that deals with movement. Vata controls blinking, breathing and muscle movements. Additionally, it controls the beating of the heart and all the movements in the cell membrane. It helps to increase flexibility and creativity. When this is out of balance you experience fear, anxiety, digestive problems and tiredness. 

Pitta: Pitta rules the metabolic system of the body like digestion, metabolism and body temperature. In a balanced state Pitta helps to increase intelligence and understanding. However, when there is no balance it brings out jealousy, anger, frustration and hatred. This can possibly lead to high blood pressure.

Kapha: Kapha acts as the binding agent that holds the entire body. This includes the muscles, bones and tendons. It helps supply water to all the bodily parts and keeps our natural immunity strong. When there is balance you see calmness and love. Whereas, out of alignment it gives rise to greed and envy. People without a balanced Kapha suffer from weight gain and depression.

Understanding your dominant energy element or dosha is the key to effectively practicing Ayurveda. When you figure out the dominant dosha that you resonate with the most, you can begin to follow best practices to have balance in your life.

The third and final principle in Ayurveda is that the human body is capable of healing both physically and mentally if the energy or dosha is balanced.


What is your ayurvedic body type?



Is Ayurvedic Medicine safe

When dealing with illnesses the main ingredients of Ayurvedic medicine that aid in the healing process are things like honey, butter, milk, rock salts, and ghee. Herbs are most commonly administered through teas, tonics, capsules and topical creams. Although these home remedies that are used in Ayurvedic medicine have their advantages and disadvantages, in general, Ayurveda is safe. However, to avoid side effect you shouldn’t overdo with herbal medicine.

So far from this article, you have seen that Ayurveda promotes a holistic way of living life. It isn’t just a medicine you take but a lifestyle you practice. This is done by following guidelines that are closely related to your energy or dosha and avoiding bad habits that will mess with that balance.

However, in situations where you do get sick, Ayurvedic medicine will help regain that balance. That way you will be back to normal health and even stronger afterward. When you look at Ayurvedic medicine from this perspective it is a safe lifestyle to practice to ensure you are in good overall health.


Is Ayurvedic Medicine effective

So, we come to the most important question in this article. Is Ayurvedic medicine really effective? That is a quick and easy yes. First of all, we have to note that the Ayurvedic practice is more effective when you look at it as a lifestyle than a quick fix to any illness. Ayurvedic medicine is an effective treatment option, although it won’t work as fast as allopathic drugs.

Additionally, Ayurvedic medicine is good for shedding excess body weight by having a well thought out diet plan. A good ayurvedic diet plan is also a great way to get rid of toxins in the body. Just remember to let your doctor know what ayurvedic medicine you are using if you ever have to use allopathic drugs for any reason. Alternative drugs do not always mix well with western medicine.


Advantages of Ayurvedic medicine

One of the basic advantages of Ayurveda, which also distinguishes it from Western medicine, is that it takes into account the individuality and the patient’s overall connection of body, mind and spirit. Instead of treating the symptoms with medication and ignoring the underlying problems, Ayurvedic medicine aims to cure the root of the disease and how it is related to a person’s thoughts, beliefs and lifestyle. In other words, a person’s “vital energy” (life energy).

What is particularly interesting for researchers studying traditional healing symptoms such as Ayurveda is the power of the mind and its connection to the body. As various studies have recognized that beliefs certainly have the ability to change one’s health, even after placebo control, new health models are beginning to increasingly focus on involving the mind and its interactions with the body as the primary lever for treating disease.

Better stress management is one of the main benefits of Ayurveda, according to Western medical view. We know that chronic stress can ruin your quality of life. Lower stress levels are associated with better health, longevity, weight management and overall happiness.

A healthier diet, natural herbs, better sleep and improved hormonal balance also play a role in Ayurvedic healing.

Helps reduce stress and anxiety

Because stress is related to almost every aspect of overall health, an Ayurvedic doctor uses a variety of ways to naturally treat anxiety and depression, reduce cortisol, and rebalance the body’s hormones or “energy”. These may include breathing exercises, herbal treatments, skin brushing, visualizations, or repetition of inspirational mantras.

Research has found that transcendental meditation, a component of one branch of Ayurveda called Maharishi, helps reduce anxiety symptoms through regular practice. Pranayama is a series of different targeted breathing exercises that also helps calm our nervous system and results in better energy, restful sleep and improved hormonal function. People usually associate Ayurveda with some kind of yoga practice. Yoga is not always necessarily included in someone’s recovery plan, it also offers well-documented benefits for reducing stress and anxiety.

Over the past few decades, people were researching to find nonpharmacological therapies to relieve stress and anxiety. Yoga has proven to be a simple, inexpensive and effective option for many people. One major audit conducted by St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Massachusetts found that after reviewing more than 35 trials investigating the effects of yoga, results from 25 trials showed significant improvements in the signs and symptoms of stress and anxiety. Fourteen of the 35 studies also reported biochemical and physiological improvements in various markers of stress and anxiety.

Other research shows that regular yoga practice can improve autonomic nerve functions by triggering neurohormonal mechanisms and suppressing sympathetic activity or body responses. Several reports even suggest that yoga is beneficial to the physical health of cancer patients and can effectively fight free radicals.

It lowers blood pressure and cholesterol

Research has shown that Ayurvedic diets and relaxation techniques can reduce inflammation and help reduce plaque pollution. It can even reverse the thickening of arterial walls known as atherosclerosis in both healthy adults and people at higher risk of heart disease.

Atherosclerosis is a slow, complex disease in which cholesterol, fats and other substances accumulate in the inner lining of the artery. This buildup, known as plaque, can lead to heart attack and stroke. Fortunately, Ayurvedic techniques lower cholesterol naturally and naturally lower blood pressure.

Helps in recovery from injuries and illnesses

Research supports the idea of ​​the Ayurvedic concept of “immune modulation” and healing. By targeting inflammation, which is the root of most diseases, Ayurvedic medicine can help reduce pain and swelling, improve blood flow, and fight inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia.

A study is published in The Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, which compared classical Ayurveda, prescription drug treatment with methotrexate (MTX) and a combination of the two groups in a double-blind, randomized trial. All groups were comparable in symptoms for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in adults over a period of 36 weeks. Adverse effects were also smaller in the group that used only Ayurveda, had significant improvements, without any side effects or drug interactions.

Ayurveda is also particularly useful in detoxifying the body. It’s using a variety of herbs, teas, healthy foods and lots of rest. Certain practices also increase circulation and liver function. For example, “Abhyanga” is the practice of rubbing the skin with vegetable or essential oils to increase blood flow and help remove toxins from the body through the skin.

Ayurvedic practitioners can also prescribe various herbs that help lower cortisol, such as basil or ashwagandha.

It promotes foods rich in nutrients, a diet rich in antioxidants

Ayurvedic medicine encourages mainly a plant-based diet filled with variety, “whole” food according to the constitutional type of person. While each person’s diet depends on the type and needs of his body, the Ayurvedic diet for three different types of doshas includes fresh herbs, spices, teas, vegetables, healthy fats, highly antioxidant foods and proteins.

The general dietary guidelines of ayurveda emphasize consuming fresh, hot and easily digestible food, taking into account several variations that depend on one’s origin, customs and traditions. For example, Ayurvedic experts consider social, geographical, and climatic variables as long as they prescribe a diet to balance the “dosha”.

In coastal areas, cooling and detoxification of fermented foods are common. For example, foods rich in probiotics are prescribed, which helps digestion and regulates temperature. In other regions, and during the colder parts of the year, healthy fats and hot foods are emphasized more to warm the body and encourage better circulation.

It can help with weight loss or weight maintenance

While rapid weight loss is not necessarily the primary goal, Ayurvedic medicine can help someone reduce excess weight naturally by using a healthy diet, reducing stress and even essential oils for weight loss. A 2009 study conducted by the NutriHealth Systems Center (New Delhi, India) found that adjusting one’s healthy diet to take into account individual preferences and food needs helped participants lose weight effectively.

This is probably because Ayurveda promotes compliance and believes that the diet must be balanced, practical and easily digestible.

Among the 200 respondents, 27.5% were “vata” of the constitutional body type, 41.5% were “pitta”, and 31% were “kapha” (of the constitutional body type).

In the beginning, “kapha” and “pitta” people weighed more than watt people. After three months of therapy, the “pitta” group lost the most weight. The reduction in all measurements was greater in pitta and kapha people than in vata-type individuals. A diet based on the Ayurvedic constitution of the body proved useful in promoting weight loss to those in need.

Reduces inflammation

Ayurvedic medicine is based on the fact that the combination of poor diet, indigestion, insufficient rest or sleep and insufficient air (vaayu) by inhalation causes oxidative stress and inflammation. This results in an imbalance in metabolism – or in other words – an imbalance.

The focus of Ayurvedic healing looks at different ways to reduce inflammation with the purpose of regulating the cardiovascular system, digestive tract and colon. People are prescribed a combination of herbal treatments, antioxidants to remove free radicals, exercise that is gentle but stimulates metabolism and circulation, and a combination of phytochemicals from natural plants. By addressing many factors, including stress, individual food intolerances, overstimulation, and nutrient deficiencies, many people have significantly lower levels of inflammation and increased life energy, and ultimately healing.

Researchers have discovered that one Ayurvedic belief is that one herb or just one medicine cannot cure a dosha imbalance for all of them correctly. Therefore, in most cases Ayurvedic practitioners recommend a combination of herbs and herbs or staple foods for various inflammatory therapies. A good example is an ancient recommendation for example: turmeric combined with fresh black pepper.

Studies have found that this blend together increases biodegradability, reduces toxicity and accelerates healing.

It helps with hormonal balance

People have turned to Ayurveda to naturally balance hormones, have a healthy natural pregnancy or menstrual cycle for thousands of years.

Studies have even shown that the various effects of Ayurveda are useful in treating reduced fertility. For instance, frequent endocrine disorders in women of reproductive age as a result of insulin resistance and hormonal imbalance.

A 2010 study conducted by the Institute of Indigenous Medicine (at Colombo University in Sri Lanka) found that using a variety of essential oils to balance hormones, herbal treatments and lifestyle changes on a daily basis over a six-month period resulted in successfully overcoming the problem. in 85% of women.

Ayurvedic treatments have also helped women overcome the absence of menstruation (amenorrhea) or infrequent menstruation for centuries. We can add to this irregular periods, infrequent or no ovulation, multiple immature follicles, increased levels of male hormones, thinning hair, various symptoms of PMS, including acne and oily skin.


Disadvantages of Ayurvedic medicine

Ayurveda sounds like a great holistic way to live. But everything good has its downsides as well. Here are some disadvantages and risks of Ayurveda as alternative homeopathic medicine.

Ayurveda is a pseudoscience

First, Ayurveda sounds like a great way to live. But there isn’t enough documentation to show that you can completely trust it when you are sick. Ayurvedic medicine passes down from generation to generation. Because of that there are no strict guidelines of best practices. And there is a lot open to chance.

Some herbs produce side effects

This is the biggest disadvantage of Ayurveda. Because there are no guidelines to follow due to the fact that most of the medicine are homemade herbal remedies. For that reason the side effects of Ayurvedic medicine are unknown. Also, there have been cases where there are high levels of toxic metals in the herbs which could lead to poisoning or more serious health issues later on.

Good for prevention, not cure

Ayurvedic medicine is still best for prevention rather than curing illnesses. So it’s still best to get a doctor’s opinion. And also make sure that your doctor knows what herbs you are taking so they can best help you through your illness.


How long does it take for Ayuverdic medicine to work?

It is very important that the client is willing to listen to the instructions. The success of the therapy depends on it. In Ayurveda, except for some very minor disorders, there is no very rapid progress. For example, if there are minor disturbances in the digestive tract, a person can see the results over a month or two months anyway. If it is a more serious problem then it takes three to six months, or more, to get a concrete result, which does not mean that a person does not see certain improvements much sooner.

Good results are achieved with most chronic and metabolic diseases, including some autoimmune diseases. Anything that lasts longer and is chronic type here ayurveda gives good results, if something is acute it is best to go to emergency medicine. Ayurveda takes time, will and the client’s decision to change their lifestyle and diet and then fantastic results can be achieved.


Conclusion

There is currently a general acceptance of Ayurveda in the world that has been quite depressed for a while. Today, awareness of healthy eating and its impact on health as well as a healthy lifestyle has grown significantly. The best advertising is the results. When someone is satisfied with what they have achieved, then, of course, they recommend it to their friends and relatives.

There are plenty of people out there who believe in all the benefits and practice Ayurveda consistently. Even with some of the unknowns to this practice the benefits of making this a lifestyle can’t be glossed by. For instance, following the Ayurveda diet guidelines and minimizing destructive habits will enhance your overall health. The advantages of following and balancing Ayurveda principles far outweigh the disadvantages of Ayurvedic medicine. 



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