Science of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is surely the answer today for all the acute and chronic maladies turning up and creating doubt as regards the complete heath scenario.
The derivation of the word “Ayurveda” is from the words “AYUS” meaning life and “VEDA” meaning science. Ayurveda is therefore the science of life more than the science of either medicine or treatment.
Three points of difference are noticeable between the modern system of medicine and Ayurveda. Firstly, the modern medicine aims at instant suppression of the disease and its symptoms. Sooner or later the disease therefore emerges as a relapse or even as a new ailment. However in Ayurveda the very first principle in treating a disease as given in Charak Sanhita is “the right treatment of a disease is to do away with the cause of the basic cause of the disease, and also no new ailment should emerge in the pretext”. Therefore a disease is eradicated from its roots in Ayurveda.
Secondly, unlike the modern system, Ayurveda insists that medicine be to be centered at the patient, rather on the disease. Mind body and soul are considered as a tripod and the entire world is sustained by their combination.
Thirdly, as Ayurveda deals with the preparations only from herbs and natural resources, it is basically harmless pathy with least or no side effects. And precisely, this is the demand of our times.
There are a number of benefits of Ayurvedic treatment:
Fever and throat infections are common and when people gulp down a number of antibiotics, it is the right time to ingest a few leaves of Tulsi (Holy Basil). It not only helps in the anti-pyretic treatment but also acts as a safe prophylactic for the reason.
Similarly, turmeric is useful as an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory therapy. It has proved its action in immunizing and defense mechanism of the body and is being widely researched to conquer medical calamities like Cancer and AIDS.
Research has proved Neem to be useful in Malaria, Jaundice and Leprosy and so its antiseptic properties are being employed in surgery lately.
Ashwagandha has proved its unique action in physical and mental fatigue.
The techniques of Panchkarma and Bajikarna are being practiced widely.
Also there are a number of Rasayans, which can be safely administered for long periods. According to Ayurveda, these not only increase the age limit of an individual and provide freedom from disease, but also virtually aid in delaying the process of aging.
Today, it is the need of the times to become more aware and educated on the health benefits that are sure, long lasting and more safe. It is quite alarming that so many worldwide banned drugs are on sale illegally in our country. There is little or no awareness on their hazardous effects made available to the common man. And all the more, those of us who have the on-going habit of self-medication over the counter are much more vulnerable. On the other hand, our inherent pathies that have been practiced in our country for thousands of years are looked upon with an eye of suspicion. It is a welcome strategy by our government to consider including Ayurveda and Yoga in the MBBS curriculum. This would definitely help in thorough researching, accepting as well as promoting our age-old science.
This article is targeted to clear some of the false notions that I have understood in my years of practice in Ayurveda.
SOME MYTHS AND FACTS:
Ayurveda medicine is difficult to take
This is true to some extent, as the medicine in this field requires to be adjusted to a medium that would enhance its properties. Most of the classical drugs are available in the form of powders, tablets, syrups and chutneys. Yet, these days a majority of pharmaceutical companies have come out with effective patent drugs in easy tablets and capsules form. These are quite effective as these mostly contain extract form of the medicine/herbs.
Ayurveda medicine is non-researched
I would not agree to this false belief because our inherent pathy of Ayurveda is age-old and time tested. Since times immemorial this system of medicine has been in use and has proved to be result oriented and justified. It would be of good concern to ponder over the fact that the same drugs and formulations that had been used hundreds of years ago are still in use. There has been little or no replacements whatsoever.
Ayurveda medicine is too expensive
Not all Ayurvedic medicines are expensive. Though, it is a combination of drugs that make the same less pocket friendly. Yet, there are options and substitutes available. Some medicinal formulations contain expensive ingredients like gold and silver. These are generally prescribed only in case of chronic or severe form of disease.
Ayurveda medicine is offensive in taste and odour
There is no denying of the fact that some medicines like the blood purifiers tend to be bitter. But that is exactly what the patient with a skin disease is missing on. The bitter or pungent taste is required for the body so as to perform the cleansing act effectively. Even then if the patient is unable to take a particular product, the doctor would definitely suggest a combination medium like honey or mishri.
Ayurveda medicine contains steroids
This sort of misconceptions is also prevalent nowadays, especially among the more educated class. Yet, let me avail this chance to absolutely contradict this doubt. The medicines in the Ayurvedic system is either herb based or there are formulations prepared from natural resources or metals that have been thoroughly prepared in accordance with the pharmaceutical and pharmacological evidence available in the Ayurvedic texts. You could escape these doubts when visiting a registered and qualified Ayurvedic practitioner.
Ayurveda medicine is harmful for the kidneys
There have been some instances that have come to knowledge that some metallic preparations have shown to deposit in the kidneys. According to my belief, the only reason could be of taking the drugs that are not prepared under accurate drug standardization and surveillance. Let me state here that it should be of prime concern to purchase the medicine only of standardized pharmaceutical companies.
Ayurveda medicine is slow in showing results
I would once again contradict this statement. The irony lies with the delay from the patient’s side. Most of the patients visiting holistic practitioners take their time in trying the other systems of medicine so as to derive a faster result. This not only delays the effect of the medicine, it also hampers with the working of the drug. This is because the patient has either tried much more complicated and powerful combinations of drugs, the effect of which needs to be neutralized first. Or in the mean time his malady has substantially become deep rooted and taken chronic form. It may at times show to work slowly, but as the fable goes “Slow and steady wins the race.”
Ayurveda medicine is only for long lasting and chronic diseases
Although a number of Ayurvedic medicines have shown effective results especially in case of long lasting ailments, as lies a limitation with many other systems. But, it is equally effective in providing harmless benefits for acute problems like viral fever and common cold.
Ayurveda medicine is for older patients
There is no any known limitation in this form of treatment. It is equally suited to all age groups. I would also state here that Ayurveda could be considered as a boon for the children when their body system is yet tender and in the process of immunity building. The natural products do not interfere with their body resistance and at the same time tend to be more safe and comforting.
Ayurveda medicine has side effects
Any side effect from medicine, be it of any pathy, may result from the misuse of the drug, either in processing or in prescribing. As far as side effect or after effect is concerned, as an Ayurvedic practitioner I believe these time-tested medicines are more safe provided the former two factors are precise.
The safety of Ayurvedic medicine and mode of treatment may be advocated in 3 points.
First, In Ayurveda the very first principle in treating a disease is to do away with the basic cause of the disease, and also to see that no new ailment should emerge as a consequence. A disease is eradicated from its roots.
Second, Ayurveda insists that medicine be centered at the patient, rather on the disease. The mind, body and soul are considered as a tripod and the medicine is prescribed for the overall health augmentation.
Third, as Ayurveda deals with the preparations mainly from herbs and natural resources, it is basically harmless pathy with least or no side effects. And precisely, this is the demand of our times.
Ayurveda medicine is less effective
It is true that this method of treatment calls for more patience and endurance both on the part of the patient as well as the doctor. The effectiveness can be cited by this example. Whenever there is a tear in a cloth or a hole in a pitcher, we intend to rectify it using the similar material that it is made of. Similarly any fault in the human body also calls to be corrected by use of natural resources, as much as possible.
Ayurveda medicine is just an alternate system available
Ayurvedic system of medicine is incorrectly quoted as an alternate therapy as this has always been the most ancient and complete system of medicine. It has been existing long back before the birth of all other pathies. The word Ayurveda is itself derived from ‘Ayush’ which means life, and ‘Veda’ which means science. Therefore, Ayurveda is the complete science of life. The importance of Ayurveda can be acknowledged by the mere fact that a whole Veda has been dedicated to it. Ayurveda is the heritage of our country. It is a treasure yet to be sustained and supplemented so as to provide every individual a life full of health, vigor and vitality.