Healthy living

What Does Ayurveda Mean and Why You Should Practice It

Ayurveda Definition and Origin

You may have heard the term before but you may have wondered what does Ayurveda means? The word ‘Ayurveda’ means the science of life. It’s a natural healing science that originated from India more than 5000 years ago and it’s still used by 90% of Indians. It was passed down orally in the ancient Vedic for thousands of years and it incorporates a perfect combination of both science and healthy living.

Ayurveda View of Health and Sickness 

Ayurvedic medicine is holistic in that it takes care of the health of both the body and the mind. It emphasizes the principle that to achieve good health, there has to be a balance of the mind, body, and consciousness. To achieve this balance, it employs a combination of lifestyle practices, dietary changes, and herbal medicine to bring good health, prevent, and treat diseases. 

According to Ayurveda, nature has five elements (water, fire, earth, air, and space) which combine into three components (doshas) in the body known as Vatta, Pitta, and Kapha. Each of these components has specific characteristics and functions in the body and mind.  When the doshas are in balance, that’s when you are termed as healthy. When they are out of balance because of factors like stress, dehydration, anxiety, or social conflicts that’s when illness occurs.

It’s the primary component and is represented by air and space. It controls the movement of the joints and muscles, heartbeat, breathing, fear, anxiety, pain, and functions of the nervous system. 

It’s the secondary component and is represented by water and fire. It controls digestion, metabolism, skin color, and intelligence. It also controls some emotions such as jealousy, anger, and hate. 

It’s the least prominent component and is represented by water and earth. It regulates the immune system and the body’s physical structure. The emotions that it controls are love, forgiveness, greed, and calmness.  

The three doshas don’t occur in equal measure. There’s usually one that will be more predominant than the others and it determines the physical makeup and personality of a person. For instance, a person with a mainly Vatta makeup tends to have a small and thin build, one with Pitta makeup has a medium muscular build, and one with a Kapha makeup has a big well-developed body.

The Main Benefits of Ayurveda

Ayurveda is not only for the sick but the healthy as well. Its diets, practices, and herbal treatments offer several health benefits that will improve the quality of your life and increase your longevity. 

Reduces Inflammation
Eating an unhealthy diet, having poor sleeping habits, and bad digestion leads to inflammation. A lot of diseases like cancer, arthritis, neurological disorders, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, pulmonary diseases, and many others all begin with inflammation. 

Ayurveda recommends eating a diet that is in line with your dosha type to strengthen your digestive system and prevent inflammation. It also advises that you eat at the right time to clear toxins from your digestive tract and blood. A popular treatment for inflammations is the combination of turmeric and black pepper. 

Weight Loss and Maintenance
Following a healthy Ayurvedic diet and a change in lifestyle will help you shed excess body weight. A practitioner will help choose the right diet to meet your dosha needs. Eating right also allows you to get rid of toxins and get a toned body. 

Ayurvedic strategies to help you lose weight include eating three proper meals a day, eating a light meal for dinner before 7 p.m., exercising at least thrice in a week, getting enough sleep, and sipping hot water throughout the day. 

Cleanses Your Body
The practice of eliminating toxins from your body is known as panchakarma. It is done through bloodletting, purgation, enemas, oral administrations, and oil massages. Toxins not only interfere with your body’s operations but also cause diseases. 

Common detoxifiers in Ayurveda include cumin, fennel, cardamom, and ginger. They help with indigestion and also prevent bloating. 

Reduces Stress
Practicing yoga, meditation, massages, breathing exercises, and using herbal medicine are the practices in Ayurveda that will help you relax, detoxify, and get rejuvenated. Yoga keeps your mind alert and helps you to be energized all through the day. Breathing exercises, on the other hand, supply abundant oxygen to your cells. 

Lowers Cholesterol Levels and Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases
An Ayurvedic diet, exercises, and relaxation practices will help prevent atherosclerosis, a condition where plaque build-ups cause the formation of fats and cholesterol in the inner lining of your arteries. This condition often leads to strokes and heart attacks because it restricts the smooth flow of blood to vital organs.  
Using Ayurvedic herbs like Gotu kola and ginger also improves blood circulation and prevents vascular clog-ups.  

Gives You Healthy Skin and Hair
Ayurveda has the solution to stop you from spending tonnes of money on products to get enviable hair and skin. Eating healthy balanced meals, doing toning exercises, and taking Ayurvedic supplements will give you glowing skin and a healthy scalp. The dietary recommendations are tea, vegetables, healthy fats, proteins, and anti-oxidant foods. 

Why Should You Practice Ayurveda?

Here we’ll find out why you should choose Ayurvedic medicine above all other alternative and complementary treatments: 

It Encourages You to Love Yourself
Ayurveda is focused on helping you find the treatment that is best suited for your dosha type. It moves you away from comparing yourself from other people and makes you appreciate that you’re unique. It drives you to know yourself, especially when finding what your dosha type is and addressing your needs accordingly. 

It Helps You Understand Your Place in Life
Ayurveda asserts that your part of nature and nature manifests itself in your body and mind. For example, fire manifests as anger or inflammation, air as forgetfulness or high energy, and earth as stubbornness and loyalty. Once you identify which elements are dominant in you, you find out what dosha you belong to and take informed steps towards achieving balance.  

It Heals You from the Inside Out
Ayurveda doesn’t just focus on your physical body. It reminds you that you’re more than just skin and bones – you are also a spirit. It doesn’t just treat your body but it also seeks to heal your mind and soul to find complete balance. If healing comes from within, then you don’t have to worry about the illnesses
coming back.

Keeps You Healthy from the Cellular Level
Ayurveda medicine penetrates right to the cellular level and causes regeneration of new, healthier cells. When this happens, a lot of illnesses can be completely eliminated by the body simply healing itself. 

Provides Clear-Cut Guidelines to Achieve Health
 Ayurveda provides very precise instructions on dietary changes, exercise regimes, and lifestyle changes that have been tested and proven for millennia. If you keep true to them, then you can be assured of a positive and lasting change in your life.

Helps You De-Clutter
Techniques like yoga and meditation help you clear out things that are clogging up your mind and stopping you from moving forward. This creates room for more things in your life that are more helpful. In this way, you are able to achieve inner peace and the health of both the mind and the body. 

Diseases You Can Treat with Ayurveda

Ayurveda can be used to treat a very wide variety of diseases and they include:

Anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress and anticipation of what is coming. There are many natural options that can be effective to treat anxiety. Read more about this from here.

Thyroid disorders
More than 12% of people in the U.S have thyroid issues at some point in their lives. It’s important to have thyroid issues correctly diagnosed and it’s important to know there are many treatment options. Read more about thyroid issues from here.

Brain degeneration
A decline in brain functionality due to old age can be seen through the symptoms like memory loss, difficulty concentrating, difficulty in multitasking, and some others. However, there are people who remain very sharp even in old age. Learn what you can do to be one of them from here.

Other diseases that are often treated with Ayurvedic approach:

  • Arthritis
  • Stress
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Varicose veins
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Eczema
  • Digestive disorders
  • Asthma
  • Psoriasis
  • Celiac diseases
  • Depression
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Sleep disorders

Ayurveda is an approach that has been proven to be effective and some of its aspects like polarity therapy and homeopathy have been incorporated in the Western modern medical fields. Adopting Ayurvedic medicine will be the beginning of your journey towards achieving a holistic healthy regime and the best part is that it’s natural! The next time someone asks you what Ayurveda means, you’ll know exactly what to tell them.