Also known as Ayurveda, Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world’s oldest holistic treatment methods. A system developed thousands of years ago in India, the system is based on the belief that health and wellness are dictated by the delicate balance of the mind, body and spirit. The focus of Ayurvedic medicine is to stimulate good health rather than simply fight disease; however, specific treatments are often suggested for health problems.
What Is Ayurvedic Medicine?
Considered a form of alternative medicine, Ayurveda is based on the theory that everything in the universe is connected and that good health is achieved as the mind, body and spirit are maintained in harmony with the universe. Accompanying this concept is the belief that poor health and sickness are the result of a disruption in this harmony. As such, a number of factors can contribute to this disruption including genetic defects, injuries, climate and seasonal changes, age and emotions.
In any case, the practice generally relies on basic health practices to maintain balance and promote good health. Herbal treatments are among these practices and are typically taken to maintain good health and to correct basic health problems. Ayurvedic herbs are used for a variety of reasons including to support mental focus and clarity, to reduce anxiety, to improve digestion, to detox the body and to support mental clarity.
Common Herbs Used in Ayurveda
A common concept of Ayurvedic medicine is that what heals also prevents. As such, herbs that have been identified to restore health are often taken to prevent disease as well. As a traditional practice, Ayurvedic medicine relies on “classical” herbs that have proven effective over time. Three of the most common Ayurvedic herbs include turmeric, holy basil and bitter melon. These herbs are effective for treating and preventing a wide range of conditions including cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammation and fatigue.
The main components of turmeric include curcuminoids and curcumin – compounds that have proven to possess diverse health benefits. This warm spice is effective at maintaining brain function, regulating inflammation and preventing cancer. Turmeric is also an active antioxidant.
The key compounds of holy basil are eugenol and caryophyllene. As such, this herb is an anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and anesthetic. It is also effective for relieving infection and removing pathogens from the body.
An edible gourd, bitter melon is considered a “go-to” treatment. The gourd’s main function is to regulate sugar glucose in individuals. The treatment also reduces cardiovascular risk and improves metabolic function.
A time-tested practice, Ayurvedic medicine relies on historically-used herbs and natural treatments to promote good health and prevent as well as treat disease.