Ayurveda, traditional Indian medicine

Ayurveda is Indian traditional medicine. In India, the effect of medicinal plants on diseases has been a constant subject of study for at least 4,500 years. This has led to a vision of diseases and health that still benefits millions of people in the world today. Ayurveda is originally based on ancient Sanskrit texts. Later, new insights were gained through contacts with China and modern Western societies that were added to Ayurveda. It is a system for looking at disease and differs from the Western view, where we are used to scientifically investigating medical effects. This article is intended to be only a brief introduction to Ayurveda for those interested. NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.

Contents:

  • What is Ayurveda?
  • Scientific confirmation of the effectiveness of Ayurveda
  • Vata, pitta and kapha
  • Personal constitution
  • Peace and joy
  • Disease prevention in Ayurveda
  • Ayurveda in the Netherlands
  • Single herbs

 

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda literally means: ‘science of life’. In Ayurveda, man is seen as a being that has energy and a mind. This view is difficult to reconcile with Western medicine, which more or less assumes that man consists only of matter. Ayurveda assumes that diseases start in the mind and then affect the body. By the way, there is at least one Western therapy that is currently in full research that is also based on this idea: biophoton coherence therapy.

Scientific confirmation of the effectiveness of Ayurveda

Ayurveda is not a vague theory based on assumptions and faith, as some people tend to think. Many activities of Ayurvedic herbs have been confirmed by scientific research. Ayurveda can not only be important to achieve a healing process, but Ayurvedic medicinal plants can also have nutritional and cosmetic values that can be an important addition to Western methods.

Vata, pitta and kapha

In Ayurveda, the mind is the director of energy processes, which is also referred to as soul activity. When the energy balance becomes out of balance for a long time, a disease can develop. Healing plants have energies that can restore balance. There are various types of energies that can become out of balance:

  • Vata,
  • Pitta,
  • Kapha.

Everyone has these energies but in different proportions. This is taken into account when prescribing medicinal herbs.

Personal constitution

Vata are the energies that share similarities with ether and air. Pitta are fire and water energies and kapha are the energies related to earth and water. Diseases can arise from an excess or deficiency of a certain energy. Every person has a constitution in which either vata, pitta or kapha plays the leading role. It is therefore important in Ayurveda to first find out whether you are more of a vata, kapha or pitta type. This usually happens in the first consultation. There are also tests available on the internet, but these are not always reliable; Completing a questionnaire alone does not say enough about people.

Peace and joy

In addition to giving medicinal plants that have the right energy, seeking peace and quiet is part of the healing process. Experiencing joy can also initiate or accelerate the healing process. Peace and joy are increasingly seen in Western science as important factors in the healing process. It is now known that many diseases are caused by stress; the opposite of rest. It is also known that people who have a positive outlook on life and therefore experience more joy, heal faster. These works of peace and joy have been scientifically verified.

Disease prevention in Ayurveda

An important part of Ayurveda is disease prevention. Diseases can be prevented by following a number of rules

Diagram of the Ayurveda energies / Source: Krishnavedala, Wikimedia Commons (CC0)

to take:

  1. Regular life,
  2. Eating three meals a day,
  3. Breakfast is the smallest meal, lunch the largest,
  4. Eating from your own region,
  5. Drinking warm water in small sips (instead of drinking a lot of cold water),
  6. Don’t drink alcohol and coffee,
  7. Listen to harmonious, soothing music.
  8. Provide all meals with the flavors sour, sweet, salty, bitter, sharp and astringent or astringent.

By the way, hot peppers and other spicy foods such as ginger and black pepper do not come from Europe and it is therefore better not to eat hot peppers according to Ayurveda. Some people indeed point out that hot peppers are good to eat in the tropics, but do not provide optimal health effects in the Netherlands and other colder countries.

Ayurveda in the Netherlands

There are several Ayurvedic therapists in the Netherlands. It can sometimes be difficult to find a good one. An Ayurvedic treatment does not have to be too expensive. Therefore, beware of overly commercial Ayurvedic practices. Food is the most important medicine. Many Ayurvedic therapists say that using just one or two medicinal plants at a time is sufficient. You can usually take these in the form of capsules. Ayurvedic massage is also an important part of Auyrveda therapy. In addition, Ayurveda doctors start from the personal constitution of a person. This is in contrast to Western medicine where people are treated based on the idea of the greatest common denominator; an average person. Ayurveda doctors, as well as many other doctors of phytotherapy or homeopathy, argue that the average person does not exist and everyone needs a different approach to combating diseases.

Single herbs

Ayurveda doctors state that single herbs work more effectively than herbal mixtures. Single herbs used in Ayurveda are: amalaki, ashwaganda, brahmi, ginger, turmeric, garlic, neem and tulsi. There are also teas for sale based on herbal mixtures. You can buy kapha tea, vata tea and pitta tea. Vata tea contains cinnamon, licorice, cardamom and ginger. Instead of buying the mix, you could also put together a spice mix yourself.

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