Ayurvedic Medicine – Benefits

Ayurvedic Medicine is an ancient system based medicine, which evolved among the Brahmin sages of ancient India. Ayurveda is from the roots “ayur” meaning life and “veda” meaning knowledge. Ancient Vedic texts indicate the system is the oldest being practiced prior to 4000 B.C. and some believe it is even 8000 years old. Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are very similar being based on universal natural bi-polar concepts that matter and energy are one. There are several aspects of this system of medicine which distinguish it from other approaches to health care:

o The focus of Ayurveda is to integrate and balance the body, mind, and spirit, rather than focusing on individual symptoms. This is believed to help prevent illness and promote wellness by balancing the three subtle energies known as Doshas – individually they are Vatha, Pitta and Kapha.

o Ayurveda philosophy posits people, their health, and the universe are related. It is believed that health problems can result when these relationships are out of balance.

o Ayurveda, herbs, metals, massage, and other products and techniques are used with the intent of cleansing the body and restoring balance. Some of these products may be harmful when used on their own or when used with conventional medicines.

o Ayurveda recognizes the unique constitutional differences of all individuals and therefore recommends different regimens for different types of people. Although two people may appear to have the same outward symptoms, their energetic constitutions may be very different and therefore call for different remedies.

o Ayurveda is a complete medical system which recognizes that ultimately all intelligence and wisdom flows from one Absolute source (Paramatman). Health manifests by the grace of the Absolute acting through the laws of Nature (Prakriti). Ayurveda assists Nature by promoting harmony between the individual and Nature by living a life of balance according to her laws.

o Ayurveda describes three fundamental universal energies which regulate all natural processes on both the macrocosmic and microcosmic levels. That is, the same energies which produce effects in the various galaxies and star systems are operating at the level of the human physiology–in your own physiology. These three universal energies are known as the Tridosha.

o The ancient Ayurveda physicians realized the need for preserving the alliance of the mind and body and offers mankind tools for remembering and nurturing the subtler aspects of our humanity. Ayurveda seeks to heal the fragmentation and disorder of the mind-body complex and restore wholeness and harmony to all people.

Unlike Traditional Western Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine is non-invasive and focuses on the individual’s needs and prevention versus treating symptoms as one-size-fits all. Taking OTC and presecription drugs for symptoms that might have a different source than someone else makes as much sense as buying a hat sized for someone else.

o Is your Liver receiving the Nutritional Support it Needs?

o Are you Taking the Right Antioxidants in the Right Quantities?

o Does Your Body Metabolize proteins effectively or poorly?

o Does Your Body Metabolize Fats or Carbohydrates effectively or poorly?

o Are Hidden Food Sensativities or Allergies Making you Ill?

During the last century, Ayurveda Medicine has completed a rebirth and continues to evolve its holistic approach to health in accordance with modern needs and scientific advances of the day.

Established in 1982 by Scott Gerson, M.D., PhD, who is the nation’s only medical doctor to hold degrees in both Ayurveda and allopathic medicine, the National Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine (NIAM) is recognized as the largest and most authentic resource of information on Ayurveda in the United States.

Ayurveda Medicine conceptualizes and practices eight major subspecialties of medicine in addition to numerous adjunctive specialties. The eight major subspecialties continue to be taught today include:

1. Internal Medicine (Kayachikitsa)

2. General Surgery (Shalya Tantra)

3. Otorhinolaryngology (Shalakya)

4. Pediatrics and Obstetric/Gynecology (Kaumarabhrtya)

5. Psychiatry (Bhutavidya)

6. Toxicology (Agada Tantra)

7. Nutrition, Detoxification and Rejuvenation (Rasayana Tantra)

8. Fertility and Virility (Vajikarana)

For every disease, there is information about: definition, etiology, prodrome, clinical symptoms, pathophysiology, prognosis, principles of treatment, medicines, diet, lifestyle recommendations, and even etymology. This approach is similar to modern western medicine and even more comprehensive.

Resources:

o Barnes PM, Powell-Griner E, McFann K, Nahin RL. Complementary and alternative medicine use among adults: United States, 2002. CDC Advance Data Report #343. 2004.

o Bhatt AD. Clinical research on Ayurvedic therapies: myths, realities, and challenges. Journal of the Associated Physicians of India. 2001;49:558-562.

o Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lead poisoning associated with Ayurvedic medications–five states, 2000-2003. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2004;53(26):582-584.

o Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Lead Toxicity: Physiologic Effects. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Web site. Accessed on September 1, 2005.

o Chopra A, Doiphode VV. Ayurvedic medicine–core-concept, therapeutic principles, and current relevance. Medical Clinics of North America. 2002;86(1):75-88.

o Courson WA. State licensure and Ayurvedic practice: planning for the future, managing the present. Newsletter of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association [online journal]. Autumn 2003. Accessed on February 22, 2005.

o Dodds JA. Know your CAM provider. Bulletin of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons/American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons [online journal]. December 2002. Accessed on September 12, 2005.

o Fugh-Berman A. Herb-drug interactions. Lancet. 2000;355(9198):134-138.

Gogtay NJ, Bhatt HA, Dalvi SS, et al. The use and safety of non-allopathic Indian medicines. Drug Safety. 2002;25(14):1005-1019.

o Lodha R, Bagga A. Traditional Indian systems of medicine. Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore. 2000;29(1):37-41.

o Mishra L, Singh BB, Dagenais S. Healthcare and disease management in Ayurveda. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. 2001;7(2):44-50.

o Saper RB, Kales SN, Paquin J, et al. Heavy metal content of Ayurvedic herbal medicine products. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2004;292(23):2868-2873.

o Shankar K, Liao LP. Traditional systems of medicine. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America. 2004;15:725-747.

o Subbarayappa BV. The roots of ancient medicine: an historical outline. Journal of Bioscience. 2001;26(2):135-144.

o Szapary PO, Wolfe ML, Bloedon LT, et al. Guggulipid for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2003;290(6):765-772.

o Thompson Coon J, Ernst E. Herbs for serum cholesterol reduction: a systematic review. Journal of Family Practice. 2003;52(6):468-478.

o World Health Organization Regional Office for South-East Asia. Health and Behaviours Facts and Figures–Conquering Depression. World Health Organization Regional Office for South-East Asia Web site. Accessed on February 16, 2005.

Probiotics – How It Can Be of Help to You?

You always hear this word for drinks – saying that it can improve your digestion and help your body system. What is it really, and how does it help your body in maintaining an overall healthy status?

Probiotics are live microorganisms administered to the host in right amounts to give health benefits. Usually, they call this the “friendly bacteria” or “good bacteria”. It is said to help in mitigation of chronic intestinal inflammatory diseases, prevention and treatment of pathogen-induced diarrhea, and maintaining the intestinal microbial balance. Looking into its etymology, the word is a combination of the Latin prepositions “pro” meaning for, and Greek adjective “biotic”, meaning life. It has been used since ancient times, present in fermented milk, and soy beverages.

Aside from drinks (like yogurt, fermented milk, etc), it can be found in food and dietary supplements where it either resides there naturally, or have been added. In reality, this administered Probiotics is the same with the one present in our gut. We have a lot of probiotics in our gut – heavier than our brain and outnumber our body cells by 10 times. So why is it that we still need to add more of it if we have a lot of it to start with?

Simply because, this great number has a tendency to be outbalanced in 2 ways: a.) Antibiotics – from the word itself, which act opposite to probiotics, it kills both friendly and unfriendly bacteria, therefore causing a decrease on the total number of good bacteria, and b.) Unfriendly microorganisms like the disease-causing strains. We have to consider that we live in a world full of bacteria-in our skin, hair, teeth, and environment. You have to be careful not to encounter the dangerous ones. In the end, a person needs to restore the balance and consume more Probiotics, to be in a state of good health.

So, can these friendly bacteria really help you? Answer is Yes, and this science is still growing. It has proven to treat diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, pouchitis, prevention and treatment of Urinary tract infection, and even prevention and management of Atopic dermatitis ( Eczema).

Negative effects that are proven to cause damage to humans? Answer is No. There are only mild effects that are manageable by nature like bloating. Also, if you are lactose intolerant, you may have problems in consuming the products containing this, since almost all are in milk forms.

Overall, Probiotics are used as CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) – meaning you must still use it with conventional medicine to achieve full effects. Nevertheless, a lot of studies have been made that it is effective and will not just be an added expenditure. This is greatly shown with breast-fed babies, showing to be healthier because tons of probiotics are loaded in their bodies via the mother’s milk. Surely, it can serve its full potential upon continued and long-term usage for both children and adults. So next time you visit the grocery to buy items, make sure to avail Probiotics to enliven your life.