Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word, derived from two roots: ayur, which means life, and veda, knowledge. This is an Indian alternative healing method with principles based on various energies generated by the body. In Ayurveda, the movement of the energy is vital because it nourishes the cells and allows the body to function. And to keep the body healthy, you have to use herbal compounds, tonics, and special diets to restore harmony within the body and spirit.
Ayurveda and the Five Elements of the Universe
The energy of the body comes in three different types: vata, pitta, and kapha. Vata is the energy of movement while pittais is the energy of digestion. Khapa is described as the energy of structure and lubrication. Each one of us has the qualities of first energies, but some use one while others generated the third or second energy. If there is an excess or deficiency of any of these energies, it leads to chronic diseases. To heal diseases and purge toxins, the mind, body and consciousness should work together in conjunction with herbal remedies.
According to Ayurveda, the entire cosmos is comprised of an interplay of energies from the five great elements: Space, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. And the three energies from the body are a manifestation of these elements.
Common Ayurveda Treatments
Turmeric or Haridra
Turmeric contains natural astringent, antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. It can heal a wide range of infections and inflammatory diseases including eye problems, dysentery, and parasites. In Ayurveda, turmeric is used to treat everything from lupus to diabetes, hemorrhoids to conjunctivitis. It’s also regarded as an effective remedy for breast cancer, colon cancer, and lung cancer.
Indian Gooseberry or Amla
Amla is a sour fruit that contains antiviral, antimicrobial, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory and anti-anemia properties. For centuries, this fruit has been used to treat a variety of health maladies including diabetes, ulcer, anemia, and hyperacidity. It’s also used to protect the organs – such as the heart, kidney, and nerves – from cancer.
Indian Gotu or Brahmi
Indian gotu is a type of creeping herb with a bitter taste. It’s often used in Ayurvedic treatments as a tonic. This herb is renowned for its anticancer properties. It can also boost memory; promote higher cognitive and neurological functions. It’s used in Ayurveda as a treatment for asthma, arthritis, rheumatism, digestive problems, depression, autism and all types of skin problems.
Red Madder Root or Manjistha
Manjistha is prized for its astringent, antibacterial and diuretic properties in Ayurveda. It’s often used to treat skin disease, chronic diarrhea, bleeding disorders and intestinal problems. Red madder root is also used as a treatment for intestinal ulcer gallstones and stones of the urinary tract and tuberculosis.
Safety and Side Effects of Ayurvedic Medicine
Although Ayurveda has been used for 5,000 years, modern medicine does not regard it as an effective treatment because of the lack of scientific information about the practice. Some health experts warn that combination of herbs, minerals and metals may be toxic to the health. Also, doctors warn that using the treatments improperly or without the directions of a trained practitioner may lead to severe side-effects.