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The Science Behind Ayurveda

Is Ayurveda based on scientific evidence? How effective Ayurveda can be? Do Ayurveda doctors have medical training? Is Ayurvedic medicine effective and safe? These and other questions are often asked before choosing to consult an Ayurvedic doctor.

Ayurveda is a very logical science based on basic scientific principles. The science of Ayurveda depends not only on the symptoms with which the patient is concerned, but also believes in a comprehensive examination to discover the root cause of the disease. Not only is the disease treated but a special emphasis is given to the host of the disease.

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is a system of holistic medicine and science that originated in ancient India. The word Ayurveda translates to “The Science of Life”. It is a form of naturopathic healthcare that is over 3000 years old. The science behind Ayurveda preaches the principle of holistic wellness. This means that wellness depends on the balance of physical, mental, and spiritual health. The primary goal of ayurvedic science is to ensure good health by preventing disease rather than just treating it. 

Ayurveda is based on the fact that man is a part of nature rather than apart from nature. The belief is hinged on the knowledge that when ancient man used to fall ill, he used to cure himself using the resources provided by nature. For thousands of years, Ayurvedic science has researched these natural remedies and aims to use them with the intent of creating a balance between the body and our environment.

Alternative medicine and science have always had a tenuous relationship. Ayurveda, however, is different since it follows a scientific method. Ayurvedic science first appeared in the Vedas. It has since been refined over thousands of years by sage scientists who researched the causes of ailments, herbal treatments, and much more. This research was compiled into books known as Samhitas. Each subsequent generation of sages reviewed the knowledge compiled by the previous generation. In this way, the evolution of Ayurvedic medicine has followed the scientific process by using a form of peer review between sages.

Difference Between Ayurveda and Allopathy

While Ayurveda is a form of holistic medicine and science, there are significant distinctions between Ayurvedic medicine and modern medicine. These are based primarily on the fundamental difference in objectives of both systems of medicine. Ayurvedic science focuses on the prevention of disease. It aims at bringing balance to the body spirit and mind to prevent a disease from manifesting in the first place. Modern medicine on the other hand aims at curing diseases. This can often be challenging as a cure for each disease has to be developed independently. The following are some additional differences between both systems of medicine. 

Ayurveda believes that health is governed by certain mind-body elements known as Doshas. There are three Doshas present in the body, namely, Vata, Pitha, and Kapha. The belief is that each individual has a unique constitution of Doshas in their body and any imbalance in this constitution can lead to illness. Modern medicine on the other hand believes that diseases are caused by external pathogens which take hold of the body when immunity is low. Ayurveda helps the body raise its immunity to ensure that these pathogens cannot gain a hold on the body. 

Ayurvedic medicine is a proactive form of medicine whereas modern medicine is reactive. Ayurvedic practitioners study your doshas and use treatments to bring back balance to the body. In comparison, western doctors treat the body to cure ailments. 

Another vital difference between ayurvedic science and modern medicine is the types of treatments used. Ayurveda primarily relies on natural herbs and remedies which help bring balance to a person’s body. Western medicine uses chemicals and formulations to treat diseases. Although effective in the short term, these medicines can lead to adverse side effects that cause suffering in the future. Ayurvedic herbs rarely cause such side effects. 

In essence, both these systems of medicine are most beneficial when used in tandem – Modern medicine to cure diseases and Ayurveda to bring holistic health to the body.

How effective Ayurveda can be? 

Ayurvedic medicine has the potential to be extremely effective. People may imply Ayurveda and science are opposites, but Ayurveda follows tried and tested methods to meet the patients’ needs the same way modern medicine does. This is why there are several Ayurvedic treatments with an efficacy rate higher than even modern medicines.

A clinical trial conducted in 2013 concluded that certain Ayurvedic treatments for osteoarthritis have efficacy as good as certain types of allopathic osteoarthritis medications. These can help patients manage pain effectively without causing any bothersome side effects. While modern medicine treats the symptoms of the ailment, Ayurveda prescribes lifestyle changes including dietary changes, herbal medication, exercise, and blood purification therapies.

Another study verified Ayurveda’s effectiveness in helping patients manage the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. They used a formulation of five Ayurvedic herbs to arrive at the most effective results for treatment. Turmeric is used frequently in Ayurvedic preparations. Two studies published in the early 2000s suggested that it may help patients with ulcerative colitis.

Another illness Ayurveda is great at treating is psoriasis. While allopathy has no known cure for psoriasis, by addressing the root cause of the problem, Ayurveda can treat it. They use a treatment called panchakarma, which includes herbal remedies and dietary changes used to detox the body.

While Ayurveda has proven its effectiveness time and time again, there is a severe lack of funding for modern scientific research into these miraculous treatments. In the last decade, there has been a heavy push for more research into alternative medicine and science to take advantage of their age-old knowledge. 

Is Ayurveda medicine safe?

As with any form of healthcare, Ayurvedic science is not without its risks. Ayurveda aims to bring the body mind and spirit into balance, however, improper use of Ayurvedic treatments can cause more harm than good. Self-prescribed treatments may have adverse effects on the body. The doshas can be thrown completely out of balance which will lead to more illness. Even the dosage Ayurvedic treatments must be taken needs to be informed and precise. 

Avoid harming your health by taking Ayurvedic treatments only under the supervision of an experienced Ayurvedic practitioner. Unfortunately for most people outside of India, doctors practicing holistic medicine and science are scarce. If available, they are extremely expensive. Luckily Alveda has you covered. It is a platform that partners with hundreds of experienced, verified Ayurvedic doctors to treat patients all over the world. All you need to do is sign up for an online consultation using their website. Start your health journey with Ayurvedic science using Alveda today.

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