Q: Why should I go for Ayurveda instead of other systems of medicine?
A: Ayurveda is not just a system of medicine; rather it is a lifestyle that promotes balance between the body, mind and the environment. Most other systems of medicine merely treat the symptoms while Ayurveda digs deep into the root cause of the disease. Also, Ayurveda is a natural therapy with no side effects or complications as opposed to other medicinal therapies.
Natural healing is the cornerstone of this ancient medical system that encourages attuning yourself to the inner rhythms of your body. Also, Ayurveda encourages being in sync with nature and its recurring patterns.
- The highlights of Ayurveda:
- Strong preventive measures
- Establishing daily and seasonal routine
- Diet plans designed for individual lifestyle
- Using natural materials, no side effects
- Detox (Panchakarma) treatments
Q. How does Ayurveda work?
A: Ayurveda goes by the principle – prevention is better than cure. It primarily gets to the root of the problem, trying to eradicate it and heal the system. Ayurveda continues treatment long after the signs and symptoms disappear, but takes measures to restore the natural balance in your body. Also, it takes steps to improve the immunity so that the disease cannot attack you again.
Just like any other system of medicine, an Ayurvedic practitioner will base their diagnosis on examination of the pulse, blood, urine, stool, tongue, extremities, skin, etc.
Q: What are the three doshas or Tridoshas (biological humors)?
A: ‘Tri’ means three and Dosha’ represents humor (bio-entity). Thus, the word ‘Tridosha’ denotes the three humors i.e. Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The state of balance of the doshas represents health while imbalance is the cause of disease. Every dosha has a definite place/location and functions in our body.
Q. Does Ayurveda work?
A: It is important to state that Ayurveda does not offer instant results. You cannot take an herb prescribed by the doctor today, and expect to be fit and fine the very next day. Commitment is very essential while following Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurveda advocates a holistic, healthy lifestyle that includes your diet, exercise habits and spiritual practices. In fact, some of the practices might seem bizarre or even counter-intuitive at first. However, if you follow your doctor’s instructions to the tee and continue with diligence you will find that Ayurveda can become a lifestyle that heals you at the core level. There is a reason that Ayurveda has stood the test of time. Give it time and you will see results.
Q: What are Ayurvedic products? How are they any different from what I can buy at my local drugstore?
A: Ayurvedic products are made with pure and all-natural organic ingredients that benefit you on a holistic level. They are made using herbs and minerals that are processed according to classical Ayurvedic methods. Mainstream products are usually made using synthetic chemicals and harmful ingredients that can affect your health negatively.
The AYUSH Ministry has introduced voluntary quality certification systems in accordance with World Health Organisation (WHO) Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) guidelines and Quality Council of India (QCI) scheme to certify Ayurvedic medicines with the Ayush Premium Mark. This mark is the regulatory requirement for the export of Ayurvedic medicine. In India, Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 and Drugs and Cosmetic Rules 1945 regulate the manufacture of herbal products.
Q: Is Ayurvedic medicine safe or are there side effects?
A: Like any other branch of medicine, Ayurvedic therapies may also have side effects or contraindications. This may happen when therapies are used incorrectly, administered improperly or are prescribed by unqualified practitioners.
Ensure that you only consult qualified Ayurvedic doctors and check their certifications and experience. You should also clearly communicate all the therapies you are using to your Ayurvedic and conventional practitioner to avoid interactions.
Q: What are the different modes of Ayurvedic treatment?
A: There exist eight divisions of Ayurvedic therapeutics: Kayachikitsa (Internal medicine), Shalya Tantram (Surgery), Shalakya Tantram (Otorhinolaryngology and Opthalmology), Kaumara Bhritya (Paediatrics, Gynaecology and Obstetrics), Agada Tantram (Toxicology), Rasayana Tantram (Gerentorology), Vajikarana Tantram (Aphrodisiacs) and Graha Chikitsaa(Psychiatry).
Q: What is Panchakarma?
A: The five principles of treatment are collectively known as Panchakarma. These therapeutic principles include Vamana (medically induced emesis), Virechana (medically induced laxation), Vasti (medicated enema), Shirovirechana (administration of medicines through nose) and Raktmokshan (Bloodletting). Before executing Panchakarma treatment Snehana(olation) and Swedana (perspiration) are employed first.
Q: Is Ayurveda vegetarian? Does taking Ayurvedic treatment means you have to eat only vegetarian?
A: These days, Ayurveda is commonly/wrongly associated with spirituality rather than a lifestyle or even a medical system. This has led many people to believe in the notion that Ayurveda promotes vegetarianism. In ancient India, there was no concept of total vegetarianism. Mamsarasa or meat soup is explained in classical texts as the best medicine for strength building due to Pitta imbalance. Ayurvedic medicines such as Aswagandhadi leham contain meat as an ingredient.
One of the reasons why a vegetarian diet is encouraged is because meat increases Tamas.