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Ayurveda

Introduction

The main classical Ayurveda texts begin with accounts of the transmission of medical knowledge from the Gods to sages, and then to human physicians. In Sushruta Samhita (Sushruta's Compendium), Sushruta wrote that Dhanvantari, Hindu god of Ayurveda, incarnated himself as a king of Varanasi and taught medicine to a group of physicians, including Sushruta. Ayurveda therapies have varied and evolved over more than two millennia. Therapies are typically based on complex herbal compounds, minerals and metal substances (perhaps under the influence of early Indian alchemy or rasa shastra). Ancient Ayurveda texts also taught surgical techniques, including rhinoplasty, kidney stone extractions, sutures, and the extraction of foreign objects.

Philosophy

In Ayurveda, perfect health is defined as "a balance between body, mind, spirit, and social wellbeing." In fact, the twin concepts of balance and connectedness echo throughout Ayurvedic texts, thought, and practice. Like all holistic health systems, Ayurveda emphasizes the unshakable connections between the body, mind, and spirit. However, Ayurveda's connectedness extends far beyond the individual, reaching into the universal.

Nature of treatment

In essence, Ayurveda explains the laws of nature that cause health or disease. The first cause of illness is said to be the loss of faith in the Divine or experiencing a spiritual emptiness. From here illness develops due to internal conditions (e.g., foods and liquids) or external conditions (e.g., seasons, lifestyle). The main factors that cause poor health (also described as imbalance) are Poor digestion and Weak immune systems. When food is not properly digested it sits in the body. Nutrients are not absorbed and the food decays and forms toxins. These toxins cause most diseases in the body. Therefore, it is important to have good digestion.

Side Effects of Ayurveda

Many of the undesirable side effects that can arise from Ayurvedic supplements are the result of improper use. Many Ayurvedic herbs are available over the counter, which can result in side effects in people who self-medicate without fully understanding the risks and recommendations. For example, the herbal jam chyavanprash is often used by Ayurvedic practitioners as a tonic for vitality and immune system support. Pharmacologists at the Seth GS Medical Hospital in Bombay, India, point out that one of chyavanprash’s main ingredients, the sweet fruit amla, can promote tooth decay; however, this can easily be avoided by brushing your teeth after consuming the jam. The most commonly reported side effects of Ayurvedic medicines and supplements are gastrointestinal upset and headaches.

Advantages

According to a 2015 report published by University of Maryland Medical Center, Ayurvedic medicine can help treat inflammatory, hormonal, digestive and autoimmune conditions, including:

Disadvantages

There are also a few drawbacks of these medicines. The first drawback that most people point out is that the effects these medicines have on people can vary from person to person. So there is no scientific basis that proves that a medicine is benefiting one and worsening the other's condition.
Ayurvedic medicines can hardly help in these situations and it has been seen that consumption of these medicines has worsened the condition of the patient.
Ayurvedic medicines have a slow and gradual effect on the body generally.

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