If you're looking through our online store, you might notice the term “Ayurvedic medicine” keeps showing up. It's an ancient healing system that originated in India, and several products we sell have been a core part of that system for thousands of years. Most Westerners aren't all that familiar with Ayurvedic concepts, though, so I thought it'd be a good idea to take a blog post and go over the basics.
Ayurvedic HistoryAyurvedic medicine, also called “Ayurveda,” is one of the world's oldest medical systems. It's a holistic (whole-body) healing system developed in India more than 3,000 years ago. The term “Ayurveda” comes from two Sanskrit words: ayur (life) and veda (science or knowledge). Many Ayurvedic practices predate written records and the system was originally handed down by word-of-mouth. The written records date from about 2,000 years ago. The three main texts of Ayurvedic medicine are the Caraka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, and Astanga Hridaya.
Basic PrinciplesBalance rests at the center of Ayurvedic healing. Ayurvedic medicine teaches that good health depends on balancing mind, body, and spirit. Much of the focus is preventative, though certain treatments do target specific health problems. Ayurvedic medicine teaches that there are three life forces, or dosha, in the body which must be kept in balance to maintain good health. Treatment in Ayurvedic medicine often involves a combination of herbs, medical oils, massage, lifestyle change, and cleansing techniques.
Herbs and ExtractsIf you were to see an Ayurvedic medical practitioner, they would work with you to find the right balance of supplements, lifestyle changes, and other remedies to help keep you in good health. Here's a brief sample of some of the ingredients used in Ayurvedic healing:
- Adaptogens – adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha and holy basil help the body regulate stress. They also have additional benefits. Ashwagandha helps treat anxiety and calm inflammation, while holy basil helps relieve respiratory problems from cold, flu, asthma and allergies.
- Biotic Extracts – we derive these extracts from living organisms. Sources include things like elk antler velvet, colostrum, and pearls. They deliver specialty nutrients that are anti-aging, promote strength, repair the body after physical stress, and maintain healthy stress levels.
- Curcumin – this chemical compound is naturally found in turmeric, and it's responsible for that herb's numerous health benefits. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, mood enhancing, immune boosting, and anti-aging.