Ayurveda: Guide to Ayurveda, The Science & Its Benefits
guide to ayurveda General Health/Immunity
Ayurveda: Guide to Ayurveda, The Science & Its Benefits
SEPTEMBER 8, 2022

Ayurveda - What is it, benefits & Importance in Daily Life

What is Ayurveda

When mother nature put us on this planet, she took care of everything for us - from food and water for nourishment to a plethora of herbs to protect us from diseases.

Ayurveda is born from the belief that mother nature has provided us with everything we need to treat various illnesses and live a healthy, active life.

The fundamental tenet of Ayurveda is that life is balanced on four pillars: body, mind, soul and spirit. Since each pillar is crucial to our health and overall wellness, Ayurveda prescribes a holistic approach to maintaining perfect harmony among these building blocks of life.

Dating back to 5000 years ago, the traditional Ayurveda system utilises herbs present in nature to treat various health concerns and help manifest a disease-free life. That said, the importance of Ayurveda in daily life cannot be undermined.

Science behind it

Ayurveda is more than just a traditional medicine system – it's a way of life.

So, how does ayurveda work?

Ayurvedic healing methods have stood the test of time and survived the dawn and dominance of the modern medicine system.

The underlying aim of Ayurveda is to achieve equilibrium and harmony between humans and the environment they thrive in. Drawing on this belief, Ayurveda helps promote healing and optimum health.

According to the Vedic philosophy, humans are an intrinsic part of their habitat – they are correlated in every aspect of existence. This means that any change in their natural habitat will have a direct or indirect influence on the individual's body and mind.

For instance, lifestyle, diet, and weather changes may cause certain changes in our overall well-being and function.

Therefore, humans must exist in complete harmony with their environment to live a healthy life that is mentally and physically rewarding.

The scope and significance of Ayurveda go way beyond the ideas and conventions of modern science. Ayurveda's approach to healing and well-being factors in multiple variables and touches upon an individual’s physical, mental, spiritual, social, and psychological aspects.

Body types as per Ayurveda

ayurvedic body types

Ayurveda describes the human body as a combination of three principle energies that make up our mental, physical and spiritual existence. Also known as doshas, these principle energies are classified as Kapha (water-earth), Vata (air-ether) and Pitta (fire and water).

However, every individual is built differently, with a unique constitution governed by a predominant dosha. But that's not entirely true, as there could be a permutation and combination of any two predominant doshas governing the overall constitution of the human body.

Ayurveda is founded on the belief that our body comprises three principle energies or doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These doshas are the fundamental energies that regulate our bodily functions. According to Ayurveda, a deficiency or excess of Vata, Pitta and Kapha dosha can disturb the natural balance and cellular functions, leading to the formation of toxins and causing various health concerns.

Ayurveda views overall wellness as a balance between these principle energies or doshas. Ayurveda believes that the body, mind and consciousness must work in close harmony to maintain proper balance and health. Here's what each principal energy or dosha represents:

Vata Dosha

Vata mobilises essential fluids and nutrients throughout the mind and body. Out of the 5 physical elements, Vata is composed of space and air.

Vata governs the blood flow and eliminates waste and toxins from the body. Although an involuntary process, your breathing and thoughts are also controlled by Vata. For you to feel energetic and optimistic about your day-to-day routine, the Vata dosha must be at its optimum level.

On the flip side, if Vata becomes vitiated, you may experience health concerns like constipation, fatigue, hypertension, digestive issues and unwarranted restlessness.

Pitta Dosha

Pitta handles digestion and metabolism. It helps convert the ingested food into energy, which is then mobilised throughout the body by Vata. Pitta's composition includes fire and water; its fundamental function is transformation.

Individuals with a Pitta-dominant constitution are believed to have a fiery tendency that reflects in their nature and actions. They have a glowing complexion and excellent digestion with an enormous appetite.

Vitiated pitta dosha is often characterised by skin rashes, burning sensations in the GI tract, peptic ulcers, heartburn, and acidity.

Kapha Dosha

Kapha ensures proper lubrication and supports the body's overall structure. Kapha is the glue that holds the cells together and makes up the fat, muscle, sinew reproductive tissues, bones, and marrow.

Kapha Dosha governs weight and growth and ensures proper lubrication in the joints and lungs. Kapha is substantive and stabilising in nature, helping build physical stamina. However, when Kapha is not at its optimum level, it can lead to unwanted weight gain, lethargy, and excessive sleep. Prolonged Kapha imbalance may also cause diabetes, asthma, and depression.

Incorporating Ayurveda in daily life

Although Ayurveda has gained popularity within wellness communities in recent decades, incorporating it into daily life may still seem unachievable or irrelevant for busy individuals.

However, that should not be the case.

Ayurveda is an instruction manual for us, humans, to get in sync with nature and make certain lifestyle changes to enhance our overall health and well-being.

Keep reading if you're seeking simple, actionable tips to include the ancient Ayurveda system in your routine.

#1 Align your daily schedule with the rhythms of nature

ayurveda and nature

This means waking up at sunrise and sleeping before midnight, usually by 10 PM. Ayurveda also recommends eating seasonal fruits and vegetables, as it's nature's way of telling you what you should eat at what time of the year.

#2 Strengthen Your Digestive Fire

nutrition & metabolism

According to Ayurveda, your overall health is largely governed by your digestive system. To keep your digestive fire blazing, it is essential to eat well-cooked meals prepared with seasonal, local produce. Include soups and salads in your diet and avoid canned, frozen and processed foods.

#3 Take proper rest

importance of rest in daily life

Your body requires adequate rest to get its energy reserves back to 100%. Ayurveda recommends 7-8 hours of sleep every night and advises against sleeping in the afternoon. You may also consider turning off your electronic gadgets at least 30 minutes before bedtime to allow your eyes and mind to relax.

#4 Meditation and Mindfulness

meditation

A brief meditation session in the morning can help elevate your mental faculties and bring you a sense of calm. Most people use guided meditation to reduce stress and anxiety, but it can also reflect and connect with your inner self.

#5 Explore nature's trove of herbs and spices

benefits of herbs & spices

Ayurveda recommends using herbs and spices in your cooking. Not only do these herbs add flavour to your meals, but they also offer various healing and health benefits. These spices are grounded roots, bark, fruits, flowers, or seeds derived from plants. Some common herbs and spices used in Indian kitchens include turmeric, coriander powder, cumin seeds, ginger, etc.

Ayurvedic herbs/medicines

ayurvedic herbs & medicines

Ayurveda has a rich, long-standing heritage of supporting health and well-being of individuals through time-honoured herbal formulations and holistic healing therapies.

Ayurveda views health as a reflection of an individual living in perfect harmony with nature, and any kind of disconnect may lead to diseases.

Since ancient times, Ayurvedic herbs have been believed to be the solution for a wide range of health concerns. Also, their consistently increasing global appeal can be attributed to herbal medicines having little-to-no side effects.

That's because Ayurvedic medicines contain a calculated blend of herbs, oils and spices known for their excellent healing properties. These herbal formulations are prepared according to the methods prescribed by ancient Ayurveda texts.

Ayurvedic medicines have time and again proven their efficacy in treating various physical and mental health concerns. This has prompted a lot of studies and scientific research being conducted on a global scale to further explore various health benefits of Ayurveda. No wonder Ayurveda has been a long-standing and highly revered tradition in India.

With Ayurvedic medicine benefits, there’s no limit to what you can achieve for your health and well-being. Taking Ayurvedic medicines allows you to strike the perfect balance and harmony in your body, promote detoxification and cleanse the system by eliminating toxins that may have been built up. These herbal formulations often have a profound effect on the body and stimulate healing from within. They are formulated with years of research, experiments and breakthroughs along the way. The working of Ayurvedic remedies is premised on the belief that Ayurvedic medicines help pacify the doshas.

Some popular herbs or spices used to prepare Ayurvedic remedies include holy basil, carom seeds, shilajit, Ashwagandha, Brahmi, etc. Each herb holds a specific benefit for the body and mind, depending on whether you take it orally or use it for external applications.

Kerala Ayurveda has been a part of  rich heritage of Ayurveda for over 75 years, helping individuals across all age groups achieve balance, good health and mental peace.

Ayurvedic Treatments

ayurvedic treatments

Ayurvedic treatment involves the use of products that are primarily obtained from plants. Combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise, Ayurvedic treatments enable your body to heal itself by ensuring all three doshas are at their optimum levels.

Unlike modern treatment methods, which focus on suppressing the symptoms of a disease, Ayurvedic therapies work at a deeper level and treat the problem at the source.

Also read: Everything You Need to Know About Ayurvedic Treatments

The ideology behind Ayurvedic treatments is rooted in the belief that most health concerns result from an imbalance in the digestive system. The undigested food in the digestive tract often leads to the formation of Ama, a kind of toxin that settles in different parts of the body to cause health issues.

To tackle this problem, the ancient Ayurveda system devised a comprehensive treatment known as panchakarma. It's a cleansing therapy that is performed over the course of five days or more in order to remove toxins from the body and balance all three doshas

Panchakarma therapy is performed in an Ayurveda centre under the supervision of a certified practitioner. The therapy is a combination of healing massages, yoga, meditation and positive dietary changes to stimulate natural detox. The recipient may also be given herbal laxatives for the thorough cleansing of the GI tract.

As discussed above, Ayurvedic treatments target the root cause of the problem to prevent its occurrence in the near and far future and promote overall well-being. It does so by pacifying vitiated doshas, which ‌restores the body's natural balance and strengthens the digestive system to eliminate toxins.

Ayurveda has been a long-standing tradition in India and neighbouring countries. In recent times, it has become popular across the western world as well. It wouldn't be wrong to say that western cultures have not only come forward to embrace Ayurveda but have also benefited from it in every aspect of life.

Here's a list of some of the most popular Ayurvedic treatments:

Abhyangam: Traditional Ayurvedic massage performed using warm, medicated oils for relaxation, joint care, and muscle healing.

Shirodhara: A therapeutic treatment that involves dripping medicated oil on the recipient's forehead while they lie on their back.

Kashaya Dhara: Like Shirodhara, Kashaya Dhara involves pouring a herbal decoction over the entire body or a specific area to promote relaxation and ensure perfect harmony between body, mind, and spirit.

Greeva Basti: This treatment is performed by bathing the neck area with a herbal decoction or heated medicated oil. It helps with occasional neck pain,stiffness, and fatigue.

Janu Basti: This treatment is performed by holding warm, medicated oil inside a wheat dough compartment over the knee joints. It helps with knee pain, stiffness, and mobility issues.

Kati Basti: This Ayurvedic treatment is performed by holding warm, medicated oil inside a wheat dough compartment over the lower back to relieve pain and stiffness.

Kizhi: Ayurvedic massage administered using palm-sized bales of raw herbs, rice or sand. The material used in this massage is determined by the health concern you intend to treat.

Mukha Lepam: Ayurvedic facial intended to restore natural glow, improve complexion and prevent skin concerns like pigmentation, dark spots, acne, dry skin, etc.

Netra Tharpanam: This Ayurvedic therapy is devised to relieve dry eye syndrome and itching. Performed by a certified practitioner using medicated ghee, Netra Tharpanam has a cooling effect on the eyes and supports eye muscles.

Padabhyanga: Ayurvedic foot massage performed using medicated herbal oils to stimulate various internal organs and eliminate toxins from the body.

Pizhichil: Full body massage using medicated oils and gentle strokes to help you unwind, release muscle tension and reduce stress.

Ubtan: Ayurvedic face and body mask made of turmeric and other skin-nourishing ingredients. Ideal for both men and women to enhance glow, improve complexion and reduce pigmentation when applied regularly.

Udwarthanam: Deep tissue massage administered using medicated oils and herbal decoction. Suitable for relieving muscle knots, chronic pains, stiffness, and other musculoskeletal issues.

Thalapothichil: This hair-care treatment is administered by a certified practitioner using herbal oils. The oil is applied on the crown to nourish the scalp, support hair growth and prevent issues like dandruff, itching and scalp infections. This treatment is also an excellent stress-buster and mood-booster.

Dincharya: It is the daily routine according to vedas that individuals must follow to ensure all doshas at their optimum levels and live a disease-free life.

Ayurvedic Home Remedies

ayurvedic home remedies

For those who want to treat their underlying health concerns without facing any major side effects, Ayurveda may be the safest course of action for you. Although it's easier to pop a pill and make your pain disappear, it takes commitment and discipline to heal yourself with Ayurveda. The best part is that Ayurveda focuses on treating the problem at the source rather than merely suppressing the symptoms. Aligning yourself with the principles of Ayurveda can help you live a healthy, active life in the long run.

Before we discuss some of the common Ayurvedic home remedies, let's have a look at the advantages of Ayurveda over mainstream medicines:

  • Ayurvedic home remedies are protective, preventive and sometimes curative.
  • There are little-to-no side-effects associated with home remedies since all the ingredients are obtained from nature.
  • These remedies are cost-effective since you can easily find the most ingredients in your kitchen.
  • Home remedies work with certain Ayurveda lifestyle changes for maximum benefits. You will be encouraged to improve your sleep pattern and diet as part of this holistic treatment.

Related Ayurvedic News

Kerala Ayurveda has been on the frontline, promoting Ayurveda across the country and the world for over 75 years. As one of the oldest Ayurveda organisations, Kerala Ayurveda is a name you can trust and recommend to your loved ones without second thoughts.

The company stands behind its wide spectrum of herbal products, prepared using the finest herbs and time-honoured methods prescribed in ancient Ayurveda texts.

Ayurveda is a 5000+ year-old tradition that has given us the knowledge, discipline and the most potent herbal formulations to lead a healthy and active life. We believe Ayurveda is more than just a medicine system; it's the way of life.

Kerala Ayurveda is fully aligned with nature and thus offers solutions for many body constitutions or Prakriti. Our Ayurvedic products and health advice are premised on the fundamental principles of Ayurveda, which state that every illness results from dosha imbalances.

Since Ayurveda is an age-old tradition, the current generation finds it difficult to rearrange their lives around it. As a result, there has been a cultural disconnect, and unfortunately, the gap is widening.

We at Kerala Ayurveda not only carry the rich heritage of Ayurvedicmethodologies, but also consider it our responsibility to touch and transform as many lives as possible. That said, we constantly strive to rethink our product positioning and packaging to resonate with the current generation.

We have recently introduced effervescent tablets that pack the goodness of various medicinal herbs and are easy to consume. Whether you want to improve your skin, boost metabolism, or strengthen immunity, we have effervescent tablets for your unique health and well-being goals.

Here’s our latest product lineup featuring effervescent tablets:

These tablets are available at our official online store with nationwide shipping.

How Effective is Ayurveda?

Unlike the modern medicine system, Ayurveda does not offer quick fixes, which‌ mean temporary relief from the disease. Ayurveda focuses on overall wellness through a holistic approach that treats the problem at the source rather than merely suppressing the symptoms.

Almost every Ayurvedic prescription comes with an undernote of patience and perseverance. You may not see positive results overnight, but that doesn't mean the medicine is not working. It simply means that it takes a bit more time to treat the root cause of the problem and prevent recurrent illnesses so that you can lead an active, balanced and happy life.

Although Ayurveda is preventive and curative, you may require immediate medical attention if the disease is life-threatening. Sometimes, Ayurveda cannot substitute for surgery and other invasive procedures. Therefore, it is essential to manage your expectations before you take Ayurvedic medicines.

Side Effects of Ayurveda

Taking Ayurvedic medicines in the right dosage and duration does not cause any major side effects. However, exceeding the recommended dosage and duration can often cause digestive disorders, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and prolonged abdominal discomfort.

Therefore, it is always recommended to discuss your health concerns and medical history with an Ayurveda practitioner or read the label carefully before taking Ayurvedic medicines

Key Takeaways

  • Ayurveda is an age-old tradition that prescribes certain routines and remedies to help every individual lead an active, healthy life.
  • The core aim of Ayurveda is to ensure a perfect harmony between all three principle energies(doshas) through lifestyle adjustments, diet and herbal formulations.
  • Incorporating Ayurveda in your daily life can help you avoid diseases and live a long, fulfilling life.
  • There’s a variety of Ayurvedic herbs and medicines that can treat physical and mental ailments. These medicines are generally formulated to target the root cause of the disease.
  • Ayurvedic treatments and home remedies have repeatedly shown positive results across all genders and age groups. Although these treatments take time, the long-term benefits are worth the wait.
  • Ayurvedic treatments involve herbal remedies, which have little-to-no side effects. However, a little caution must be taken to avoid any kind of interaction with your ongoing medicines.



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