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An Overview of Ayurveda

July 22nd, 2009

ayurveda-herbs-overview.jpgAyurveda is a type of medicine that has been practiced for thousands of years. It originated in India, and it is still practiced today. Practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine stress the importance of the mind/body balance, and believe in treating the whole body. Natural herbs, meditation, and other relaxation techniques are key parts of this ancient practice. One of the main goals of Ayurveda is to keep the body balanced, therefore preventing illness and disease before they have a chance to start. Maintaining a healthy immune system is obviously a very important thing to many people, and Ayurvedic practices often center around this fact as well.

In the Western Hemisphere, Ayurveda is considered a complementary and alternative medicine. It is often used in conjunction with other medical practices. Both practitioners and patients alike are active participants in Ayurvedic medicine. Each patient has an Ayurvedic plan that is tailored specifically for their lifestyles and treatment goals. The plan is formulated after a thorough examination. A patient’s physical lifestyle is examined, along with the mind and spirit. Since Ayurvedic medicine is all about achieving balance between emotional, spiritual, and physical standpoints, it ascertains that illness occurs due to imbalances between those connections.

Eliminating toxins from a person’s environment and therefore their body is a major tenet of this practice. These toxins can take the form of food, drugs, or even emotions. It is believed that eating too much or too little of certain foods can lead to imbalances. So can unhealthy situations and distasteful relationships. Even a person’s sexual well-being is taken into effect with Ayurveda. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is all about maintaining a healthy balance of food and other things that are ingested into the body, along with exercise and relaxation. Massage and yoga are an integral part of Ayurveda, as they can relax and energize the mind and body.

Ayurvedic medicine has been used in many settings. Obstetrics, pediatrics, and even surgical practices are part of Ayurveda. Practitioners are trained in a wide variety of areas. Just like in Western medicine, paying close attention to drugs and their subsequent interactions is important. Herbs and plants are a major part of Ayurvedic medicine. They can be ingested or used topically, depending on what they are made of and what they are being used for. Oils and even certain minerals can also be used. There are a number of formulas that make up the Ayurvedic pharmacy, and many have been used for over 2000 years to treat patients and their various illnesses. For example, a formulation using ginger along with some other herbs is prescribed to patients with arthritis. There is even evidence that Ayurvedic medicine mixtures can help with the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

There are a few schools in the United States that provide Ayurvedic training. Most of the well-known schools are in India, where this practice is still used predominantly even today. This medicine is truly an art form that can be widely used for many types of people and illnesses. Achieving balance in all areas of life is the mainstay of this practice and holistically treating the whole body is the top priority of Ayurveda.


Lisa Bishop is a Constant Content author who has produced three articles and one sale.


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