||A Natural Remedy Ayurveda
Ayurvedic Medicine is also
called Ayurveda. It is a system of medicine that originated in India several
thousand years ago. The term Ayurveda combines two Sanskrit words: ayur,
which means life, and veda, which means science or knowledge. Ayurveda
means "the science of life."
Ayurveda is a whole medical
system which integrates and balances the body, mind, and spirit (thus,
it is considered "holistic"). This balance is necessary for contentment
and good health. Ayurveda also proposes treatments for specific health
problems. A primary aim of Ayurvedic medicine is to cleanse the body of
substances that can cause disease. This helps re-establish the harmony
and balance necessary for optimal health.
Ayurveda has long been the
main system of health care in India. About 70 percent of India's population
lives in rural areas; about two-thirds of rural people use Ayurveda and
medicinal plants to meet their primary health care needs. In addition,
most major cities have an Ayurvedic college and hospital. There are 587,536
registered traditional medical practitioners, 2,860 hospitals providing
Ayurvedic treatment, and 22,100 dispensaries for traditional medicine in
India. This allows over 500 million people in India to rely solely on Ayurveda
Ayurveda and variations
of it have also been practiced for centuries in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh,
Sri Lanka, and Tibet. The professional practice of Ayurveda in the United
States began to grow and became more visible in the late 20th century.
Practitioners of Ayurveda
have various types of training. Some are trained in the Western medical
tradition (such as medical or nursing school) and then study Ayurveda.
Others may have training in naturopathic medicine, a whole medical system,
either before or after their Ayurvedic training. Many study in India, where
there are more than 150 undergraduate and more than 30 postgraduate colleges
for Ayurveda. This training can take up to 5 years.
Reliance on Herbs
According to World Health
Organization report, over 80% of the world population relies on plant-based
traditional medicine for their primary healthcare needs.
In Ayurveda, the distinction
between food and medicine is not as clear as in Western medicine. Food
and diet are important components of Ayurvedic practice, and so there is
a heavy reliance on treatments based on herbs and plants, oils (such as
sesame oil), common spices (such as turmeric), and other naturally occurring
Currently, some 5,000 products
are included in the "pharmacy" of Ayurvedic treatments. Historically, plant
compounds have been grouped into categories according to their effects.
For example, some compounds are thought to heal, promote vitality, or relieve
pain. The compounds are described in many texts prepared through national
medical agencies in India. The following are examples of commonly used
• The spice turmeric has
been used for various diseases and conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis,
Alzheimer's disease, and wound healing.
• An extract from the resin
from a tropical shrub (Commiphora mukul, or guggul) has been used for a
variety of illnesses. In recent years, there has been research interest
in its use to lower cholesterol.
• The essential oil extracted
from Holy Basil is used as counteract depression and mental stress.
India has 16 agro-climatic
zones, 45,000 different plant species, and 15,000 medicinal plants. The
Indian Systems of Medicine have identified 1,500 medicinal plants, of which
500 species are mostly used in the preparation of drugs. These medicinal
plants contribute to 80% of the raw materials used in the preparation of
Ayurveda and Yoga are recognized
by the Government of India. The first step in granting this recognition
was the creation of the Central Council of Indian Medicine Act of 1970.
The main mandates of the Central Council are as follows:
• to standardize training
by prescribing minimum standards of education in traditional medicine,
although not all traditional practitioners and homeopaths need to be institutionally
trained to practice;
• to advise the central
Government in matters relating to recognition / withdrawal of medical qualifications
in traditional medicine in India;
• to maintain the central
register of Indian medicine, revise the register from time to time, prescribe
standards of professional conduct and etiquette, and develop a code of
ethics to be observed by practitioners of traditional medicine in India.
All traditional medicine practitioners and homeopaths must be registered
The Indian Government seeks
the active and positive use of traditional medicine in national health
programmes, family welfare programmes, and primary health care.