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Understanding Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy, and Naturopathy

Though there are many medical systems that are practiced in the world today. But the primary ones are Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy, Chinese, and Naturopathy. These are practiced around the world. In this post, we’ll discuss major systems of medicine in India and the world.


Ayurveda is the holistic traditional medicine system of India. It has a history of at least 5300 years, first mentioned in Mahabharata.


Yoga is a system of allied medicine that deals with the physical, mental, and spiritual state of an individual.

Though the Yoga darshan of Patanjali is less about bodily health and more about mental and spiritual well-being. But what most people think about Yoga is Hatha Yoga and the most authoritative works are Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Shiva Samhita, and Gheranda Samhita.

Through its therapies and diagnosis based on pulse and analysis of the Tridosha state of an individual, it suggests meditative exercises and lifestyle management to obtain tranquility and improve health. The Asanas (postures) of Yoga are applied in various clinical and nonclinical conditions for curing various physical and emotional conditions.


It was the system of medicine that originated in Greece and the Middle East. It was introduced to India by the Arabs and it grew stronger when some scholars and physicians of the Unani system fled to India after the invasion of Persia by the Mongols.

Since then, this system of medicine has made a firm footing in India and is recognized by the Indian government for clinical practice and research funding. The plant’s based formulations like oils, tinctures, powders, and ointments are used in treatment.


The Siddha system of medicine is based on principles that are quite similar to Ayurveda. It can be understood as Ayurveda with Southern connotations.

Perception is a commonly used determinant for the treatment of psychosomatic systems with the help of minerals, metals, and to a lesser extent some plant products. Siddha system uses many preparations of plant and mineral origin in powder form, prepared through various procedures including calculations.

Read our post which discusses the similarities and differences between Siddha and Ayurveda.


Homeopathy was brought into practice by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, who was a German physician in the mid-17th and 18th centuries. Homeopathy is based upon the laws of “immunological memory” and “memory of water” and the similarities in the pharmacological aspects of the drug and the disease.

It utilizes medicines that produce symptoms similar to that of the disease for treatment of the pathological condition initially by producing or aggravating the pathological conditions and then treating it. For more than a century this system is been practiced in India and has formed an integral part of the Indian traditional system of medicine.

It is recognized by the government of India and there are various institutions, research centers, and regulatory bodies that help the propagation of this system. In homeopathy, the mother tinctures or aqueous extracts of the drugs (plants, animal origin substances, venoms, and minerals) are diluted and succussed (specific method of mixing or shaking) as per Pharmacopeial methods to prepare the formulations of very low potencies.


Naturopathy, also termed naturopathic medicine originated in Germany in the 19th century and today it is practiced in several countries. It evolved from hydrotherapy. It is not an ancient system of medicine but some practitioners who practice traditional medicine sometimes use Naturopathy in combination with the major system.

The Naturopathic system is based upon using the curative power of nature in combination with traditional and modern techniques to help restore good health. Homeopathy, herbal formulations, and hydrotherapy are some of the treatment methods used by this system.

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