Ayurvedic Remedies – Modern and Other Medicines Embrace Ayurveda

Ayurvedic Remedies as an holistic approach

Ayurvedic Remedies come from ancient traditions that have been widely used in India for 3,500 years. In its purest form Ayurveda involves an entire approach to life, not merely a formulary of treatments for illness. Ayurvedic medicine accentuates disease prevention within the framework of one of civilization’s oldest ways of life.

Ayurveda means “longevity through knowledge” in Sanskrit. The concepts guiding ayurvedic medicine involve a five-element view of nature. The five elements include earth, air, fire, and water like ancient Greek science. Ether, Ayurveda’s fifth element, actually counts as the first: the essence of emptiness or the luck of evidence of the existence of other elements in that emptiness/space defines ether’s place.

In Ayurvedic medicine these elements are combined variously into three doshas, or biological energies:

• Vata – combines air with ether.

• Pitta – mixes fire with water.

• Kapha – blends water with earth.

In Ayurveda each individual has uniquely mingled doshas. In balance they make you healthy, but out of balance they wreak havoc on you. Applying ayurvedic therapy means applying different treatments and exercises designed to restore balance to your doshas. This subsequently restores your health.

For maximum effectiveness Ayurvedic doctors study you personally, identifying your unique ideal dosha balance. Full ayurvedic treatment means integrating combinations of massage, meditation, yoga, diet, natural cleansing, herbal remedies and breathing exercises into your lifestyle. Purists only accept a full Ayurvedic treatment regimen, but you can still benefit from Ayurvedic medicine even if you value modern science over ancient wisdom.

Consider something western medicine calls NETI, an acronym for Nasoendotrachial Irrigation. Modern western medicine recognizes NETI as valid symptomatic treatment for conditions such as upper respiratory infections, allergies and sinusitis. Simply put, NETI means preparing a salt and water solution, snorting it through your nose, and spitting it out without swallowing. Singers use NETI for obstructed nasal channels. It clears them out, restoring optimal tone to their voices.

This illustrates that whether or not you believe that snorting salty water up your nose restores your dosha balance, it still restores your breathing.

Ayurveda always treated head colds and some breathing maladies this way, just as Western medicine eventually learned to. However Ayurveda might include different infusions of herbs or oils, breathing exercises, heat treatment or massages, depending on specific symptoms and body type.

In cases when the prescribed treatment fails to cure the condition permanently, an Ayurvedic doctor might argue that neglecting part of the program limits overall effectiveness. Most Western doctors would say the same thing about a regimen of antibiotics, fluids, and bed rest. Leaving one out, they argue, diminishes results.

Ayurvedic treatments take a comprehensive, holistic, approach when treating patient. The physical emotional and spiritual aspects are all taken into consideration when treating the sick. To address these aspects of the patient, Ayurvedic remedies, such as herbs, oil and herb massages, breathing exercises and meditation are prescribed. In Western Medicine there are some doctors who include meditative practices mimicking Ayurveda to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Autism.

Patients with ADHD or Autism may, however, need medications before such methods can be added. Ayurveda, in such cases, would not likely use meditation alone either. It would include Ayurvedic remedies such as herbal therapy combined with some or all the other means mentioned above

A qualified therapist, when treating such persons, might add relaxation techniques, especially to those who are prone to stress. She or he will instruct you, the patient, to sit or lay down, close your eyes, and, instead of focusing on whatever vexes you, focus on your toes or fingers. Imagine, they might suggest, a calming wave flowing through your distal limbs. They then extend that calming image centrally, drawing it ever closer towards the solar plexus. Eventually you calm down completely.

Some other ancient cultures had discovered Ayurvedic remedies on their own. The classical Ayurvedic treatment for substance abuse, for example, includes steam baths. Native American’s therapy for treating alcoholism and drug addiction includes sweat lodge rituals that proved to be very effective. Some physicians, assigned to work within these communities, do not even understand how and why sweat lodges achieve the results that they do, but they cannot argue with their success.

Modern science decides validity by what it cannot prove wrong. Failing to prove something wrong requires experimentation, and ayurvedic medicine doesn’t bother itself with it. Ayurvedic therapy of modern days relies on over 3,500 years worth of trial and error to know what works and what does not. Even so, when they clearly do no harm, Western medicine is now ever more open, ever more ready to accepts Ayurvedic Remedies to augment “scientific” treatment, even without understanding how these Ayurvedic Remedies actually work.