The Ayurvedic system has now firmly established itself within the awareness of the world outside of India as a powerful alternative healthcare method. Although, given it’s antiquity, perhaps we should look at modern Western medicine as the alternative.
Its popularity is in part due to its effectiveness in treating specifics like hair loss and prostate problems, to the health of our whole body, but also because there is a growing appetite for natural methods of healing. Time-tested and easy-to-use ayurvedic remedies like triphala offer a safe alternative to modern pharmaceuticals, and ancient practices such as drinking your own urine and oil pulling have proven effective in treating a range of conditions.
Science of Life
Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word which means Science of Life and some of the main areas of it are the use of food, medicinal herbs, ayurvedic massage, yogic cleansing practices and yoga postures.
The Ayurvedic system attempts to return us to our natural state, which is defined by a peaceful mind, a toxin-free body, emotional balance and happiness, and a healthy digestive and eliminatory system.
Modern living tends to toxify us, with impurities from food, air and water lodging themselves throughout the body. Toxic thoughts and beliefs create disharmony in the body also. Add this to a lifestyle that involves sitting all day in the car, at work and in front of the TV or computer, and we have a recipe for disaster.
For most people the digestive and eliminatory systems don’t function well which means all kinds of harmful waste products are being stored in the colon and bowel. Something as simple as drinking aloe vera juice daily can make a big difference from everything from digestive problems to treating hemorrhoids .
Ayurvedic medicine is truly holistic healthcare ,and aims to bring your body and mind into their perfect healthful state. It is a system which reflects it’s spiritual roots and aims to rekindle the spark of Divinity within the individual.
Doshas – Ayurvedic Body Types
According to the ayurveda there are three basic body types,known as doshas. These are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha dosha.
The relative value each of these has in us determines everything from our skin type, to our body shape and personality. Taking a dosha test (links to free test from India Herbs – click link that says “Know Your Dosha Type”) is one of the first things to do, and from this you can discover which foods and herbs are best suited to bring the doshas into balance within you.
This can have rapid and amazing results. I remember seeing a friend after an absence of three or four years and when she arrived at my door I hardly recognised her. Her hair colour had changed (it was grey before), she had lost loads of weight and her skin and eyes were glowing. Her secret? She was living an ayurvedic lifestyle, eating in accordance with her dosha.
Further Reading: If you wish to investigate the ayurvedic system then Ayurveda: A Practical Guide: The Science of Self Healing by Vasant Lad is a very good starting point. You can pick it up at amazon.com