The Suprising Benefits of Ayurvedic Medicine

by Michelle on March 22, 2018

Ayurvedic medicine (also called Ayurveda) is one of the world’s oldest medical systems.  It originated in India nearly 6,000 years ago and to this day is one of the country’s traditional healthcare systems.  Meaning “science of life” in Sanskrit, Ayurveda is founded upon the belief that all areas of life impact health. According to the practice, we all have a unique mix of three mind and body principals which create our specific mental and physical characteristics.  These three principals, or life forces (energies), are called doshas. These doshas control how your body works and they are Vata (space & air), Pitta (fire & water), and Kapha (water & earth).

There are various resources (books, websites, practitioners, etc.) for delving deeper into what dosha you might be and what that means for following an Ayurvedic lifestyle.  Here is a link to take a “Discover Your Dosha Type” quiz that can help you begin your Ayurvedic health journey: https://shop.chopra.com/dosha-quiz  In general, Ayurveda means not only are you eating or avoiding certain foods for the benefit of your dosha, but you’re also living a lifestyle that is in line with “balancing” your dosha…meditation, exercise, essential oils, etc….all are very important principals in Ayurvedic practice.  

 

Here is some information on the 3 doshas that can help you remain in a physically and emotionally balanced state using the Ayurvedic holistic science of health:

 

Vata Dosha: Vata people tend to be on the thin side, have smaller bones, and don’t put on weight easily.  Vatas are said to be like the wind and this dosha’s energy is primarily associated with mobility, motion, circulation, breathing, and other essential body functions.  Known to be creative and energetic when in balance but fearful, stressed, and “scatter-brained” when out of balance; also might be cold a lot, have a delicate digestive system, and have dry, sensitive skin.

 

Pitta Dosha: Pitta is the energy force that governs most metabolic activity including digestion, absorption of nutrients, body temperature, and energy expenditure.  Pitta types tend to be smart, hard-working, and driven (even competitive) when in balance but can be overly angry and aggressive when out of balance. Pitta’s tend to have a medium build, be athletic, and are versatile in terms of putting on weight or muscle.

 

Kapha Dosha: Kapha controls growth in the body and is considered the nourishing dosha.  It supplies moisture to the cells and organs and helps keep the immune system strong.  Kapha people are known for being grounded, supportive, loving, and forgiving when balanced…almost like a motherly type.  When out of balance they can be lazy, insecure, envious, and sad.

 

There are many benefits of practicing Ayurvedic medicine, here are just a few:

 

  • Helps lower stress and anxiety by rebalancing the body’s hormones or “energy”.  Practicing meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, herbal treatments, skin treatments, visualization or repeating inspirational mantras all play a part in improving stress and anxiety.
  • Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol by following Ayurvedic diet practices and relaxation techniques which helps lower inflammation and can help reduce plaque buildup.
  • Helps with recovery from injuries and illnesses by targeting inflammation, which is the root of most diseases.  Ayurvedic medicine can help lower pain and swelling, improve blood flow, and fight inflammatory conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia.
  • Promotes a nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich diet filled with a variety of real, whole foods.  Included are various fresh herbs, spices, teas, vegetables, healthy fats, high-antioxidant foods, and protein.
  • Can help with weight loss or maintenance by using the various Ayurvedic practices and foods specific to your dosha.  Even essential oils are utilized for weight loss along with specific exercises.
  • Lowers inflammation by focusing on balancing your dosha which involves various ways of reducing inflammation with hopes of regulating the heart and circulatory system, digestive tract, and the means of waste elimination.
  • Helps with hormonal balance by focusing on balancing your dosha; can also incorporate the use of essential oils along with diet and relaxation techniques that specifically target hormonal function.

 

As with everything, moderation is the key to success.  Please review everything with your healthcare professional before making any large-scale changes to your medication, supplements, and your exercise routine or lifestyle.  Use Ayurvedic principles and practices to enhance every aspect of your life and keep up your self-care efforts…you’re worth it!

 

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