Ayurveda

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What is it?

Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine that uses a wide variety of methods for diagnosing and treating many different medical conditions. Treatments commonly used in Ayurveda include meditation with controlled breathing, exercise, diet, herbs, and massage or bodywork.

Like traditional Chinese medicine herbal products, Ayurvedic herbal products have suffered from poor quality. Some Ayurvedic products have been contaminated with prescription drugs including corticosteroids and NSAIDs. Other products have been contaminated with high concentrations of heavy metals including mercury, arsenic, and lead.

It is effective?
Natural Medicines rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

Insufficient Evidence to Make a Determination for …

  • Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine that uses a variety of treatments including herbs, specific combinations of herbal ingredients, meditation, yoga, and bodywork. See specific therapies for effectiveness information.

How does it work?
Ayurveda literally means “the science of life.” It was developed in India over 3000 years ago. The foundations of Ayurveda were established by the originators of Indian meditation and yoga. Similar to yoga, Ayurveda teaches that vital energy, referred to as “prana,” is the basis of all life and healing. Prana is thought to be governed by the five elements: earth, air, fire, water, and ether.

Ayurveda parallels traditional Chinese medicine in many respects. The focus of treatment is on the whole person, and balancing or harmonizing body, mind, and spirit.

In Ayurveda there are three bodily “humors” (doshas) that regulate bodily function. Practitioners of Ayurveda believe disease occurs when there is imbalance in the doshas. Kapha is the dosha that governs structure, cohesion, and lubrication. Pitta is the dosha that governs energy. Vata is the dosha that governs movement and mind.

Like traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda uses herbs or specific combinations of herbal ingredients to help balance bodily processes. Many of the herbs commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine are used in Ayurveda. Ayurveda also uses diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, and bodywork to treat illness.

Is there concern for the safety of its use?
Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine that uses a variety of treatments including herbs, specific combinations of herbal ingredients, meditation, yoga, and bodywork. Some of these are safe while others may not be. See specific therapies for safety information.

Are there any drug interactions?
See specific therapies for information about interactions with medications.

Are there any interactions with herbs and supplements?
There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Are there any interactions with food?
There are no known interactions with foods.

What dose is used?
The appropriate or safe use of Ayurveda depends on several factors such as the condition being treated or the person administering the treatment. Be sure to seek and follow relevant directions from your physician or other healthcare professional before using this treatment.

By what other names is the product known?
Ayurvéda, Ayurvedic Medicine, Médecine Ayurvédique, Médecine Traditionnelle Asiatique, Médecine Traditionnelle Indienne, TAM, TIM, Traditional Asian Medicine, Traditional Indian Medicine.

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