Ayurvedic medicine has been in use for many years, originating in India, although there are some reports that it originated in prehistoric times.
Classical Ayurveda texts state that medical knowledge was transmitted from the Gods to the sages and on to human physicians. A number of different techniques are involved which have evolved over at least two thousand years, but typically involved a complex blends of herbal compounds, minerals and metal substances. The ancient texts also taught many surgical techniques including sutures, kidney stone extractions and even rhinoplasty. Ayurvedic techniques are still in use today.
What does an Ayurvedic Treatment Involve?
An Ayurvedic practitioner will devise a treatment plan which can include any of the below practices:
- Dietary changes
- Herbal medicine, including combining herbs with metals, minerals or gems (known as rasha shastra medicines) that can take the form of pellets, tablets and powders of various colours and scents
- Breathing exercises
- Panchakarma (‘five actions’) a specialised treatment consisting of five therapies including emesis (vomiting), enemas and blood-letting, which are meant to detoxify the body and balance the doshas (in Ayurveda, the body’s three vital energies)
- Sound therapy, including the use of mantras
What can Ayurveda be used for?
Ayurveda practitioners believe their approach is effective in treating a range of disorders, including:
- Digestive problems
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol levels
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Read more about this fascinating practice on our dedicated page here