Posted On : 12 May, 2020
If you have heard about Ayurveda, a traditional medicine science from India, you may have heard some famous quotes that usually go with it, for instance; “Ayurveda is all natural”, “Ayurveda does not have side effects” or “Ayurvedic medicine does not cause side effects” etc. It may make you want to truly enquire, “Does Ayurvedic Medicine cause any side effects?” or “Is Ayurvedic Medicine Safe? We are here to help you understand Ayurvedic medicine and answer your questions and put your worries at ease.
Firstly, one should understand that Ayurveda medicine although mainly derived from plants, but sometimes may contain animal products like milk and milk products, depending on its formulation. It sometimes also uses bee wax or honey. In some products, purified heavy metals like, copper, lead, mercury is also used in the formulations of Ayurvedic medicine. Heavy metals used in Ayurvedic Medicine have sometimes been associated with increased level of metal in the person’s body. This should not be ignored, as it may sometimes lead to toxicity.
Australians should find peace in knowing that Ayurvedic medicine containing any heavy metal is not allowed in Australia. Under the TGA Act 1989, Australia has been strictly monitoring and controlling the type of Ayurvedic medicine that can be prescribed to Australian population by an Ayurvedic Doctor or practitioner.
Does that mean Plant based Ayurvedic medicine does not have side effects? Well the answer is not as simple as yes or no. Plant based Ayurvedic medicine is generally considered safe, but may exhibit adverse reaction or side effects on some occasions, but it is important to understand why a person gets any side effect from an Ayurvedic medicine and what those side effects might be.
When using Ayurvedic medicine, one should be very clear in mind that Ayurvedic medicine is not a Home Remedy or Grandma’s Magic Remedy. It is also not just a Kitchen Medicine or Kitchen Science. Any Ayurvedic medicine when taken by someone is going to have an effect. Ayurvedic medicine is not a Placebo. Wether that effect is going to be positive or negative, but will have an effect.
Now this is where we need to put further emphasis on the question about side effects of Ayurvedic medicine. If a person has taken an Ayurvedic medicine under the guidance and supervision of an Ayurvedic Expert like an Ayurvedic Doctor or Ayurvedic Practitioner, one may experience barely minimal or no side effects. As an Ayurvedic Doctor will consider multiple factors before prescribing any medicine to you.
An Ayurvedic Practitioner will consider factors like the Person’s natural Ayurvedic Doshas, imbalance of those Doshas, person’s physical and mental/emotional strength, person’s level of immunity, person’s digestive fire strength, any allergy, intolerance towards specific food, level of sleep, exercise, family health tendencies and other current or past medicines taken by the person etc.
An Ayurveda medicine prescribed after careful consideration of these factors is usually safe and may not exhibit any side effects. In Contrast, if a person chooses to buy an Ayurvedic medicine over the counter or online or try a friend’s dose of Ayurvedic medicine, as the friend has shown positive results, then that person may experience adverse reaction or side effects, as that Ayurvedic medicine might be carefully prescribed to your friend by an Ayurvedic Practitioner, but may be too strong for you as your body strength, immunity or digestive fire might be different from your friend.
For instance, a simple Ayurvedic medicine named Triphala, a dry powder of three berries, that is considered a Rasayana, a general health rejuvinating powder in Ayurveda, has been used by millions everyday around the world, but this simple Ayurvedic medicine can sometimes cause side effects like abdominal discomfort, diarrhoea, skin rashes etc, despite the same dose for two people with same age group, as those two people may have different digestive strength etc.
Some Ayurvedic medicine may show drug interactions with conventional allopathic medicine. For example, Boswellia, one of the Ayurvedic Medicine used as natural pain relief in arthritis, may interact with allopathic blood thinner medicine called warfarin.
It is very important to inform your Ayurveda Doctor of any other medicine that you may be taking, so he or she can carefully choose the Ayurvedic medicine for you and it is also suggested that one should inform any complementary medicine to their GP.
Extra caution is warranted in the advanced internet era, where one can buy anything from anywhere around the world. People in Australia should be vigilant, when planning to take an online consult from an Ayurveda Practitioner, sitting in overseas (outside Australia), who might although be treating you based on true Ayurveda Principles, but might be completely unaware of the legislation related to the cetegory of Ayurvedic herbal medicine allowed in Australia. That overseas Practitioner can unknowingly send the restricted Ayurvedic herbs or Ayurvedic medicine to you in Australia. For safety reasons, this type of ordering of Ayurvedic medicine from overseas should not be encouraged. There is a reason why Australia has restricted and categoried certain type of Ayurvedic Medicine in Australia and that reason is to keep Australians safe and avoid any harmful effects.
If you are using any ayurvedic products, with name or its ingredient’s name ending with Ras, Rasa or Bhasma, then you should immediately stop using them (as it may contain heavy metal), and you should consult Ayurveda doctor or practitioner in Australia to seek the right alternative.
So in nutshell, an Ayurveda Medicine when taken after a detailed Ayurveda consultation with an Ayurveda Practitioner in Australia and closely monitored by the same Ayurvedic expert, is generally considered safe and free from side effects, but contrast can be seen in cases, who like to experiment with their Ayurvedic medicine without proper expert Ayurvedic supervision.
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