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What is Ayurveda

Ayurveda at its best

Ayurveda is the science of life and art of healthy living and longevity. Ayurveda restores and preserves health of the whole body and mind. It is the most ancient system of healing science traditionally used in India since 8000 years.
In ayurvedic texts, more than 1500 herbs, their medicinal actions and uses are explained. There are more than 10000 medicinal preparations given in ancient books of ayurveda. Charak Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtanga Sangraha are ancient ayurvedic texts and encyclopaedias in which the basic principles of ayurveda are described.
Ayurveda is the mother of all medical sciences and preventive or hygiene sciences. It is the first known science in which preventive measures are given. Nowadays, Ayurveda is well recognised as alternative medicine by W.H.O.
The aim of ayurveda is to prevents the body and mind from diseases and treat the diseases if person suffers. Furthermore, it has holistic approach to integrate the body, mind and soul. It assists to balance the constitution of the body and qualities of the mind. It promotes wellness and precludes ailments.
Ayurveda and western medicine
In ayurveda, herbal medicines are used in crude form or extracts derived from herbs are given for treating diseases. These natural medicines are human friendly derived from some vegetables, spices, herbs and natural resources so ayurvedic medicines are well tolerable as compared to allopathic medicines.
Western medicines are mostly laboratory compounds, which consist of some dangerous or hazardous chemicals. These chemicals or compounds are not human friendly. Western medicines treat one disease and cause side effects or give rise to other symptoms. Then patient has to suffer from these unwanted symptoms or adverse effects.
Ayurveda has holistic approach to treat patient. Treatment of ayurveda is based on the theory of restoration of health and comfort throughout the body and mind. Ayurveda do not treat only symptoms but it also aids to cut the root causes of a disease so it is permanent cure of an ailment.
Medicines may be different for each individual as per characteristics of body, mind and native place or surrounding environment. This is an established fact in ayurveda. Therefore, practitioner of ayurvedic science prescribes herbal or ayurvedic medicines as per that or according to body and mind constituents.
         Effectiveness of ayurveda   
 Ayurvedic science has variety of herbs and products to detoxify the body. These herbal products aid to restore health and cure diseases. Ayurvedic physicians are using same herbs since the birth of ayurveda. Ayurveda was evolved approximately 8000 years ago. Since ancient times, it is working marvellously and nowadays becomes very popular due to its efficacy.
Western medicines are not old more than a century and development of these medicines are going hand by hand. Still there is no development of perfect medicine.
What is the perfect medicine? Ayurveda has given definition to perfect medicine. Perfect medicine is that which cures a disease and does not have any adverse effects or does not give rise to new disease while curing previous one. This definition cannot apply for modern medicine as they have lot side effects. Person gets cure from a disease and has to suffer new symptoms. He has to face these symptoms due to side effects of allopathic medicines.
Moreover, some pathogens acquire resistance to allopathic medicines and these medicines become non-effective after some times. This is the reason behind why scientists are always engaged to develop medicines that are more effective. Drug resistance is a major problem with western medicines. Effectiveness of ayurveda as They have developed 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation antibiotics due to phenomenon of drug resistance.
Ayurvedic medicines are as much as effective as they were in ancient times. What is the reason behind its efficacy whereas western medicines are failed to develop such a way. Reasons are as follow:

Ayurveda has principle of five elements: It explains about the basic formulation of everything that present in this universe. According to this principle, everything is built up of five elements Vacuum, air, liquids (water), fire and earth. Human body also consists of these five elements. Characteristics of every individual vary as per proportion of these five elements. According to characteristics, medicines will be different for every individual. In ayurveda, medicines are prescribed according to individual’s need not just to treat a disease. Therefore, ayurvedic medicines are much effective as they were in ancient times.

•Ayurveda has another principle. However, it may seem to be similar as principle of five elements but it is basic principle on which every ayurvedic practitioner practice the ayurveda. Three humours are present in every individual. However, five elements are building blocks of these three humours but have their own significance.
According to ayurvedic science, diseases are occurring due to imbalance of these three humours. The imbalance may be due to external environmental factors such as pathogens, dust particles and accidents or may be due to wrong in diet and lifestyle. Due to these reasons, disease occurs in human.
Therefore, ayurvedic physician tries to preserve health by maintaining balance of these three humours. Medicines may be different in each individual for similar disease due to differential analysis of these three humours and representations of symptoms of disease.

•As per above discussion, there is a big difference in the approach of healing method. Ayurveda heals the person as whole whereas allopathic system tries to heal the symptoms. Therefore, allopathic medicines become failed after some time of their potent use.

•However, ayurvedic medicines are same as they were in ancient times but art of practising medicine is different for each individual. Therefore, ayurvedic medicines are still equally effective as they were in ancient times.
   Are ayurvedic medicines safe?   
 We can answer yes. Ayurvedic medicines are safer than allopathic medicines if ayurvedic medicines are taken under supervision of ayurvedic physician or herbalists. Ayurveda is time tested modality of healing science and it was observed since thousands of years that ayurvedic medicines have negligible or very little adverse effects.
Ayurveda has clearly cured billions of people since its birth. Each herb has specific description about their uses, action, type of person in which it should be given, impact over each humour and periods of intake. This helps to physician to select medicine according to individual type. Therefore, there are fewer chances of side effects of ayurvedic medicines.
Western medicines have hazardous adverse effects as compared to ayurveda. For instance, think about paracetamol a medicine used for lowering fever but it has very severe side effects and cause damage to liver. It is the best-evidenced based example.
Ayurvedic herbs, which used to cure fever, are protective to liver and reduce liver toxicity if any present. Furthermore, ayurvedic medicines do not just cure a disease but also provides nutrition to the body and give comfort to the mind.  
 How can I take ayurvedic medicines?
Ayurvedic medicines are available in market in different form and can taken very easily. Types of ayurvedic medicines are given underneath:

•Tablets and Capsules of herbal extracts
•Single herbal capsules
•Herbal powders
•Herbal confections
•Herbal juices
•Ayurvedic teas
•Creams and lotions
Ayurvedic herbal products and herbs can be taken easily as some are available in delicious confection form. Children also like their sweet tastes. Some are capsule and tablet form so can be consumed comfortably.
  Ayurveda can treat hopeless diseases 
  Ayurveda is ancient science and people are still using it for treatment of various diseases. You may have a question in your mind, what are reasons behind its popularity worldwide?
Actually, ayurveda has most effective treatment for chronic diseases such as paralysis, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, Attention deficient disorders, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
People suffering from these diseases are looking for a cure but western medicine is unable to satisfy patients with its chemical agents whereas ayurveda becomes a great hope in these types of diseases.
For instance, Alzheimer’s disease has main symptom of memory loss, moreover it is a degenerative disease of brain. Western medical science has no such medicine, which can prevent the degenerative process of brain in this disease. However, ayurvedic rejuvenation science, a branch of ayurveda, has great results in this disease.
A famous ayurvedic herbal remedy known as Bacopa monnieri has marvellous results in slowing down the degenerative process of the brain and increases retention power of a person. Therefore, it is highly effective medicine for memory loss. A standardized extract of Bacopa monnieri gives results within a month in memory loss.
Furthermore, panchakarma therapy is most famous for detoxification. It removes the disease causative factors/toxins out of the body. This therapy is highly beneficial in skin diseases, abdominal diseases and other neurological problems. Ayurveda is today’s hope for the best alternative to western medicine in chronic diseases where western medicines fail to work.


Author Bio:

Dr. Gurnam Saini has over 15 years’ experience in Ayurvedic naturopathy treatments in Melbourne, Australia. He has completed his bachelor degree in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery from Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, India. He has done MD in Alternative Medicine and certificate courses in Panchakarma Detox, Pulse diagnosis and skin care. In Australia he pursued post graduate degree in mental health from La Trobe University, Melbourne (Australia). He has worked as associated Nurse Unit Management in Eastern Healths, Melbourne for 9 years. He is also a member of the Australasian Association of Ayurveda (AAA). He has won awards for ground-breaking work in Ayurveda globally. Read More

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