By now you know that Ayurveda is a native traditional medical system that has gained popularity worldwide mainly due to its holistic approach to health and focus on natural living. Ayurveda focuses on following self-discipline, modest living, a unique set of principles and guidelines on diet and exercise. Vedi Herbals is constantly striving to help you unlock the ways of wellness through Ayurveda through this “Everything you need to know about Ayurveda” series (Read Part 1 here about history, principles and qualities of Ayurveda).
The last part of the series (Part 4) focuses on problem diagnosis in Ayurveda. With this last part, we aim to share knowledge about how Ayurvedic approach is different from modern medicine system and the most popular Ayurvedic treatment called Panchkarma.
Ayurveda is guided by perception, intuition, and observation of an individual. It analyses the balance between the Dosha type and the constitution (Prakriti), determines the “agni” (metabolic fire), and observes the behavior & routine. Ayurveda’s key principle lies in harmoniously restoring that balance.
Ayurveda believes that no two individuals are alike, and therefore each one requires unique advice on diet, exercise, and lifestyle. As we have studied in Everything you want to know about Ayurveda Part-3, the therapeutic approach is based on Dosha balancing.
Ayurveda in Contrast with Modern Medicine
The differences amid the two approaches of treatment are listed below:
- Ayurveda is not a system of medicine, but a science of life and longevity unlike modern medicine, allopathy or Homeopathy which follow a certain system of medicine.
- Ayurveda has a health-oriented approach, while modern medicine has a disease-oriented approach.
- Modern medicine concentrates on the body, treat the symptoms and recover from the disease. Whereas the approach of Ayurveda incorporates body, mind, and soul.
- With this wide and holistic approach, Ayurveda lays emphasis on both the preventive and remedial aspects, giving equal importance, or more to preventive options.
- Modern medicine provides quick relief from symptoms but does not treat the cause while Ayurveda emphasizes on promoting positive health of the body as well as mind.
- Modern medicine always seeks the support of laboratory or imaging investigations, while Ayurvedic physicians use subtle clinical methods to diagnose and monitor therapeutic response.
- Core Ayurvedic philosophy remains unchanged since its existence several thousand years back, unlike modern medicine where the basic fundamentals change every few years.
- Ayurveda recommends correct food and lifestyle habits based on the constitution of a person while there is no such system in modern medicine.
- The medicines used in Ayurveda are natural and therefore have minimal side effects, whereas the side effects of Allopathy medicine are worst, and cause many issues including severe stomach upset.
- Ayurvedic medicine can be taken by healthy people also in order to build immunity, lower stress levels and fight other lifestyle ailments, but there are no such options in modern medicine.
- In modern medicine, due to drug over-use, patients start showing resistance to antibiotics, resulting in treatment failure. In such cases, Ayurvedic treatment is effective against pathogens that show resistance to allopathic drugs.
Ayurvedic treatment is not spontaneous. It is a healing process which aims at understanding the patient, based on the constitution, dosha type, routine, habits, etc. followed by ways to get rid of the disease, preventing its future incidence and safeguarding the overall well-being of the whole body and mind. Nature’s way of Ayurveda leads to the holistic approach and a permanent cure.
The process starts with Dosha balancing, elimination of toxins, strengthening the digestive system or “agni”, opening up blocked channels and rejuvenating the body tissues.
There are certain specific treatments associated with particular diseases. The most popular and powerful method of rejuvenation is Panchakarma. It is a method of detoxification and rejuvenation that improves digestion, evolves energy and mental peace. This method has enormous potency and provides immediate relief. Panchkarma is the true personification of Ayurvedic values. As the name suggests, it is a set of five therapies designed to cleanse the body of toxins. These therapies are-
Vaman: Also termed as therapeutic vomiting or emesis. In this process, vomiting is induced to eliminate toxins from the tissues. It is a very useful technique for Kapha-based illnesses.
Virechanam: Also termed as medicine induced purgation. In this process, toxins of body are removed through the evacuation of the bowels. It is very helpful in the treatment of Pitta-dominated ailments, such as herpes, jaundice, colitis, etc.
Basthi: Also termed as a medicated enema. Enema is tremendously effective in a variety of medical conditions. In this process, herbal solutions made out of oils, ghee, milk and more are administered into the rectum. There are two common types of Basthi, Matra Basthi is the Enema when oil or ghee is used and Kashaya Basthi is the Enema using decoction (Kashaya).
Nasyam: This method uses nasal drops to treat various ailments like different types of headaches (including migraine), hair related problems, respiratory problems, sleep disorders, etc.
Raktmokshanam: It is a blood purification therapy through leech or cuts, a method to neutralize accumulated Pitta toxins. It efficiently treats blood-borne diseases, skin disorders, arthritis, etc.
The hidden potential of Ayurvedic philosophy and medicines still needs to be recognized and converted into the real-life treatment paradigm. So discover Ayurveda and enjoy the benefits of holistic well-being.