The Ayurvedic Approach to Wellness

 
What is Ayurveda?

Considered by many scholars to be the oldest healing science, Ayurveda is a holistic approach to health designed to help people live long, healthy, balanced lives. The term Ayurveda is taken from the Sanskrit words ayus, meaning life or lifespan, and veda, meaning knowledge. It has been practiced in India for at least 5,000 years, and has recently become popular in Western cultures. The basic principle of Ayurveda is to prevent and treat illness by maintaining balance in the body, mind, and consciousness through proper drinking, diet, and lifestyle, as well as herbal remedies.

There are two main types of Ayurveda: traditional and Maharishi. Maharishi is a version of traditional Ayurveda based on translations from the classical texts by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Both types of Ayurvedic practitioners:Prescribe herbs Believe that disease results from an imbalance in the doshas (basic energy types)Use many of the same remedies for treating illness
Maharishi Ayurveda emphasizes the role of supreme consciousness in maintaining good health and promotes transcendental meditation (TM) as a way to experience the pure consciousness of the universe. It also highlights the expression of positive emotions and the need to attune your life to the natural rhythms of your body.





Ayurveda

Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of a daily routine or "Dinacharya" that aligns with your dosha to maintain balance and harmony. Your daily routine may include practices like oil pulling, tongue scraping, and meditation. These practices help cleanse the body, calm the mind, and promote overall well-being.

Ayurvedic Diet and Nutrition

Diet plays a pivotal role in Ayurveda. It's believed that food is not just sustenance but also medicine. Ayurvedic dietary principles are tailored to your dosha. For example:Vata types benefit from warm, nourishing foods and should avoid cold and dry foods.Pitta types thrive on cooling foods like cucumbers and melons, while spicy and oily foods should be limited.Kapha types require light, warming foods and should avoid heavy, oily meals.Herbs and spices are also integral to Ayurvedic cuisine. Turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon are among the many herbs used for their therapeutic properties.

Ayurvedic Herbs and Remedies

Ayurveda harnesses the healing power of numerous herbs and plants. Here are a few commonly used Ayurvedic herbs and their benefits:

Ashwagandha: Known as an adaptogen, ashwagandha helps the body adapt to stress and supports overall vitality.

Turmeric: Renowned for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, turmeric is used to alleviate a range of ailments.

Triphala: A blend of three fruits, triphala aids digestion, detoxifies the body, and supports healthy bowel movements.

Neem: Neem is a potent antimicrobial herb used for skin issues and oral health.

 
Ayurveda



Ayurveda and Mental Health

Ayurveda recognizes the deep connection between the mind and the body. It offers holistic approaches to address mental health concerns, including yoga, meditation, and Pranayama (breathing exercises). These practices help reduce stress, anxiety, and promote mental clarity.

  

In addition to lifestyle and dietary adjustments, Ayurveda offers a wide array of treatments and therapies. These may include:

Panchakarma: A comprehensive detoxification and rejuvenation program that involves therapies like oil massages, herbal steam baths, and enemas.

Abhyanga: A traditional Ayurvedic oil massage that promotes relaxation and balances the doshas.

Shirodhara: A therapy in which warm oil is poured onto the forehead, calming the nervous system and enhancing mental clarity.


Three doshas

According to Ayurvedic philosophy, each person’s constitution is made up of three doshas: vata, pitta and kapha. You can think of doshas as energy types: each of these doshas is believed to dictate your emotional strengths and weaknesses, the foods your body needs and wants, the exercises that might work the best for you and more. Ayurvedic practitioners seek to help you find a balance among all three doshas. When the doshas are out of balance, illness occurs. The Ayurvedic practitioner uses nutrition, stress management, exercise and sometimes herbs to help a person regain health and balance.

Here’s what you need to know about each dosha.

Vata dosha

According to Ayurveda philosophy, vata controls the flow of movement in your body and mind. Vata determines your flexibility, the movement of your muscles and joints, your blood flow and the way you breathe.

If you’re dominant in vata, you’re creative, flexible and quick to action. As you’re snappy, you also have the downside of worrying or feeling anxious when you have too much vata. For someone with excessive vata, an Ayurvedic practitioner may suggest grounding techniques like sticking to a regular sleep-eat schedule, meditation, rest and relaxation. “A walking meditation is a lovely meditation for someone that feels like they can’t sit still, especially if it’s in the morning as the sun is coming up,” says Warren.

Pitta dosha

Pitta is loosely translated as “fire,” so think of this energy type as something that consumes other things. Pitta, in Ayurvedic theory, is responsible for controlling digestion, hormones and metabolism.
If you’re dominant in pitta, you tend to be dominant in leadership, competitive, strong-willed, confident and focused. In Ayurveda, when your pitta is off balance, you might be quick to anger or excitement, make rash decisions or participate in self-destructive behavior. Pitta imbalance also presents itself in inflammation, rashes, skin conditions like eczema or acne, and digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea and more. To balance pitta, Ayurvedic practitioners might suggest participating in cool, calming activities. Eating cooler foods or a Mediterranean diet that helps with inflammation are also possible suggestions.

Kapha dosha

Kapha is the element that holds everything together, from your cells to your muscles, bones and ligaments. The densest of the three doshas, kapha is known for endurance and lubrication.If you’re dominant in kapha, you may be comfortable sticking to a routine. Emotionally, you like to set expectations and hold to them. Kapha-dominant individuals are loyal, nurturing and dependent on others. But when imbalanced, kapha can cause excessive fatigue, weight gain, swelling, disinterest in new activities and inability to let things go. To combat an imbalance of kapha, essential oils may be helpful. Individuals are steered away from comfort foods to lighter fare like fruits and vegetables in smaller portions throughout the day. Increasing physical activity to get blood flowing is also a good practice.

What is Ayurveda good for?

The goal of Ayurvedic medicine is to prevent diseases. Studies have suggested that Ayurveda may be effective at reducing the risk of heart disease. For example, one study found that Ayurveda helped reduce plaque and reverse the thickening of artery walls known as atherosclerosis in both healthy adults, as well as adults at high risk for heart disease. Atherosclerosis is a slow, complex disease in which cholesterol, fats, and other substances build up in the inner lining of an artery. This buildup, known as plaque, can lead to heart attack and stroke.

Combining yoga with certain Ayurvedic herbal remedies may reduce pain and disability in people with chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis and fibromyalgia.A number of Ayurvedic herbal remedies have been examined, though high-quality studies are lacking. For example, guggul (Commiphora mukul), a traditional Ayurvedic medication used to treat high cholesterol, is widely used in India. It appears to block production of cholesterol in the liver, lowering cholesterol levels. Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum) seeds can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides (fats in the blood), and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Its effects seem to come from its ability to lower the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine, and may be related to the high fiber content of the seed. The high fiber content of fenugreek seeds may also help control blood sugar if you have diabetes.

Other Ayurvedic herbs are being studied as treatments for many health conditions, including:


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Dementia
  • Dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation)
  • Herpes
  • High blood pressure
  • Parkinson disease
  • Perimenopausal problems
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Ayurvedic herbs combined with conventional medications may also be helpful for:

  • Acne
  • Chronic constipation
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Obesity
  • Uterine fibroids
Are there any risks?


Most Ayurvedic therapies, such as pranayama and rasayana, are unlikely to have negative side effects in people who are psychologically healthy. People with serious mental health issues may benefit from these therapies. But they should only pursue them under the guidance of a knowledgeable psychiatrist or psychologist.

Ayurvedic herbs may interact with medications. Like all herbs, they are not right for every person. So speak with your physician. In addition, heavy metals such as lead and mercury have contaminated some Ayurvedic herb supplements. Ask your health care provider about choosing quality supplements for you and your family. Be sure to talk to your doctor before trying Ayurveda, especially if you take medicines or have to eat a special diet (to control diabetes, for example).



Thank you for your time and blessings 🙏...

@Puja Singh...




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