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What is Ayurveda Medicine?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated Feb 27, 2024
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Ayurveda medicine is an ancient complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) which is native to India. The basis of this type of alternative medicine is the understanding that true health is only present when a state of physical, emotional or mental, and spiritual harmony has been attained. To that end, Ayurveda medicine seeks to bring about this harmony and thus restore individuals to perfect balance and health.

There are four basic premises or pillars associated with Ayurveda medicine. First, cleansing the body of all toxins is key to bringing about physical health. Palliation continues the process by replacing the negative with the positive. Rejuvenation comes next and signals the physical rebirth that is about to take place. Finally, mental and spiritual cleansing completes the process. When used properly, this four pronged approach to life leads to physical health, mental clarity and alertness and a spiritual sense of being one with all of creation.

The basis for Ayurveda medicine is found in the Vedas, important religious writings that have the status of scripture for many people today. Within the text, the concept of Panchakarma is addressed, identifying the five different tasks or procedures that must be followed in order to purify the body and initiate the healing. The purification is necessary in order to cleanse the constitution, or dosha, of all impurities or toxins, making it possible for the body to function at full efficiency.

When a practitioner of Ayurveda medicine consults with a new patient, the process is usually very detailed. Since the basis for the treatment involves addressing the physical, mental, and spiritual status of the individual, the practitioner will require not only information related to past medical history, but also delve into the personal history of the individual. This approach is said to provide important details that may help identify an ailment that is manifesting physically but is emotional or spiritual in origin.

Ayurvedic medicine utilizes a number of different treatments to bring about healing. Counseling on nutrition is often key to ridding the body of toxins and maintaining optimal health. Yoga, meditation, and massage may be employed to help calm the body and the mind. Herbs may be used to help in the purification process, providing the body and mind with essential nutrients that help to rid the body of toxins that are causing distress. There are even breathing exercises that the patient can learn to use daily in order to help maintain a healthy balance.

In recent years, Ayurveda medicine has received more attention worldwide. Thanks in part to the easy online access to information about Ayurveda medical approaches, people all over the world have gained an interest in this form of medical care. Even people who tend to rely on traditional medicine for the bulk of their health care needs may find the underlying philosophy of Ayurveda healing to be helpful, especially in terms of understanding the connection between body, mind, and spirit.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
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Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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