Ayurveda, the oldest medical system in the world,
believes in the body’s intelligence and the healing power within. Its aim is to
assist the natural wisdom of the body to heal itself.
health as a balance of body, mind, and spirit—a balance that includes being in
harmony with one’s environment and the cosmos. The goal of Ayurveda is to
achieve this balance so that one lives life to its fullest. When imbalance
occurs, ones outlook and approach to life suffers. And, illness can result. To
restore balance, Ayurveda combines natural therapies with a highly
individualized regimen. As we are all unique, Ayurveda’s approach is to
evaluate the whole person to uncover and treat the cause of the health concern,
not just symptom.
whether an imbalance is present, Ayurveda uses the patient’s body constitution
(dosha) to make an assessment. In Ayurveda our dosha is composed of the
five universal elements: space, air, water, fire and earth. Space and air is
called Vata, fire and water is Pitta, earth and water is Kapha.
Each person contains elements of all three doshas in a unique balance with one
various aspects of the body’s functioning. Vata governs movements such
as nerve impulses, circulation, respiration, elimination. Pitta governs
metabolism, digestion and absorption. Kapha is responsible for growth
and the immune system. The seat of all doshas is in the gastro-intestinal
tract. Therefore, an imbalance in any of the doshas will impact digestion and
can result in illness or disease. Western medicine now realizes the connection
of the gastro-intestinal system to illness and often refers to it as “the
By observing the
tongue, eyes and posture, and feeling the pulse and skin, an Ayurvedic practitioner
can determine if the doshas are out of balance, with one excessive or depleted.
This, along with a discussion about lifestyle, environment, stressors, work,
relationships, etc., will determine how to correct the imbalance. The healing
process is supported in three ways: first – purifying the body by excreting
waste products (digestive or metabolic); second – calming the excessive dosha
so that the disease process ceases and/or providing rejuvenation herbal therapy
to compensate for dosha depletion; third – reinforcing the power of the mind
and body so that a healthy state is maintained.
Ayurveda has been
used successfully to treat major health conditions such as hypertension, high
cholesterol, arthritis, and diabetes, as well as anxiety, allergies, asthma,
chronic fatigue, depression, insomnia, migraines, male/female issues, skin
disorders, ulcers, and many more.
Treatment also takes into account the fact that Vata,
Pitta and Kapha are present in the food we eat and our
environment. And so, a healing regimen might include specific lifestyle and
nutritional guidelines, vitamin/ mineral supplements, herbs and homeopathy and
a detox or cleansing program. Breathing techniques, yoga exercises and
meditation might also be suggested. When back in balance, and with health
restored, one’s outlook is in sync with life and the well-ordered universe.
Ayurveda is a healing
regimen as well as a health maintenance program. And, since imbalances can be detected before the manifestation of illness, Ayurveda is an effective prevention program as well. Overall,
Ayurveda is a way of life—a path to fulfillment, health, happiness, harmony, and
It is important
to remember that to avoid any complications from self-medicating, a qualified
Ayurvedic practitioner should be consulted when embarking on any health or
Some herbs used in Ayurveda:
These herbs are anti-inflammatory, anti-biotic,
anti-septic, anti-microbial, anti-allergenic, anti-mutagenic and assist with
digestive, immune, and cardiac function.