Ayurveda is one of the oldest healing systems ageing back to 3000 years ago. The ancient medical system originated in the Indian subcontinent and is practised worldwide. Much as its popularity, many people still have several questions about the Ayurveda system and not clear about the basics.
This post intends to demystify the most common questions that you might have about the fascinating science of Ayurveda.
1. What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda (Ayur= life; Veda= knowledge) is an ancient healing system that originated in India, and its roots can be traced back to the Vedic period, which is around 5000 years ago. The knowledge was passed down orally from master to disciple for generations. The medical system can not only treat illnesses but also helps you to stay energetic and healthy.
2. What types of diseases can the ancient medicine system treat?
Ayurveda can effectively treat various types of diseases. Some of them are gastrointestinal diseases, respiratory diseases, cardiac disorders, joint problems, diseases of the excretory system, dermatological diseases, fertility issues of men and women, psychological disorders, and movement disorders.
Ayurveda treats diseases by identifying the underlying imbalances in the body that caused the issue. Hence, the treatments not only treat the existing health problems but also prevent any problems that might arise in the future.
3. Is it necessary to follow any food restrictions while taking Ayurvedic medicines?
Food is one of the important aspects of Ayurvedic treatments. Hence, you need to follow certain food restrictions while taking Ayurveda medicines. This would include generic restrictions such as avoiding processed foods, foods with artificial preservatives, and genetically modified foods. It is also necessary to avoid alcohol, caffeine, and carbonated soft drinks.
Furthermore, depending on the treatment plan, the doctor will recommend modifications to your diet. Strictly adhering to the diet is crucial to correct your body’s imbalances and achieve the necessary health goals.
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4. What are the types of treatments that you can expect?
Treatments are always specific to an individual. The physical and emotional characteristics of an individual are assessed along with identifying the predominant dosha. Ayurveda identifies three types of doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha; every person has one dominant dosha among the three. Based on the assessment and the kind of illness, your physician proposes a treatment plan.
The treatment can either be one or a combination of Diet modification, Massage therapy, Ayurveda therapies such as Panchakarma, Nasya, etc. and Ayurvedic medicines.
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5. What are Ayurvedic medicines made out of?
Ayurveda medicines are prepared predominantly from plants but may also comprise a combination of animal matter, minerals, metals and other materials.
Plant-based preparations may include various parts of a plant such as leaves, bark, seeds, flowers and fruit. And there are references to nearly 380 different animal products such as milk, bones, and other animal matter derived from various animals such as cow, buffalo, elephant, camel, etc.
Similarly, many minerals and metals, including precious metals such as gold, could go into preparing Ayurveda medicines.
6. Do the treatments have any side effects?
Ayurveda medicines are generally safe. However, like any other treatment methods, Ayurveda treatments too may have contraindications. In such cases, the Ayurveda doctor will educate you about the potential adverse effects and advise necessary precautions. Thus, if you adhere to the treatment guidelines properly, you will be safe.
7. Is taking over the counter Ayurvedic medicines advisable?
Improper use of Ayurveda medicines can be dangerous to the health as the medicines tend to be powerful. Therefore, you should avoid taking over the counter Ayurveda medicines. You should always consult an Ayurveda physician when you want to opt for Ayurvedic treatment.
8. Can you take Ayurvedic medicines alongside allopathic medication?
While some Ayurveda medicines can be taken along with allopathic medication, others might result in drug interaction. Therefore, you must consult a healthcare professional or your general physician before taking Ayurveda medicines alongside allopathic medicines.
9. What can you expect when you visit an Ayurveda physician?
When you consult an Ayurveda physician, you can expect to answer a wide range of questions regarding your lifestyle. Then, there will be a comprehensive physical examination; even subtle factors such as the colour of your eyes and quality of hair will be noted.
Since Ayurveda is a holistic medicine system, the physician will consider all aspects of your life, including genetic and environmental factors, to formulate a treatment plan that is best suited for you as an individual.
10. Can Ayurveda treat only chronic ailments?
It is a common misconception that traditional medicine systems like Ayurveda can only treat chronic ailments. Ayurveda can effectively handle acute and emergency medical situations, and there are references to even surgical interventions in Ayurveda literature.
We have covered the essential basics of Ayurveda through these ten questions and their answers. Should you have more questions, please post them in the comment section.