By now, most people have heard of Ayurvedic medicine, or Ayurveda. But you may not know that this system of natural healing originated in the Vedic culture of India. Specifically, it’s based on the belief that disease and illness originate from an imbalance in the three energies in the body, called doshas. Doshas are also linked to personality types. And this is part of the wonder of the benefits of Ayurvedic Medicine.
You see, Ayurvedic medicine focuses on healing that doesn’t involve prescription drugs or complicated surgeries. Instead, practitioners use a healthy diet, lifestyle changes, herbal remedies, and natural forms of stress relief to help heal the body and keep the doshas balanced. Research shows that benefits of Ayurvedic medicine include the ability to treat conditions such as asthma, anxiety, depression, dementia, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. So, you see, Ayurveda helps with many of today’s chronic health concerns. But before we look into the seven benefits of Ayurvedic medicine, let’s look at the three doshas. (1)
The 3 Doshas of Ayurvedic Medicine
- Vata: Vata energy is in charge of mobility, motion, circulation, and breathing. When those are in balance, vata personality types are known as creative and energetic. However, when they are out of balance, vata types can become fearful, stressed, and scatter-brained.
- Pitta: Pitta energy is responsible for metabolic activity, including body temperature, digestion, energy levels, and the absorption of nutrients. Pitta personality types are hard-working and driven when they are balanced. On the other hand, an imbalance can cause anger and aggression.
- Kapha: Kapha is known as the nourishing dosha. It moisturizes the cells and organs to help support a strong, healthy immune system. Kapha personality types tend to be grounded, supportive, and loving when they’re in balance. An imbalance can cause a kapha to become lazy, insecure, envious, and depressed.
Benefits of Ayurvedic Medicine
1. Helps Lower Stress and Anxiety
First, the benefits of Ayurvedic medicine include the ability to lower stress and reduce anxiety. In fact, this one improvement may have a cascade of benefits throughout the body. How does Ayurveda do this? Well, to lower cortisol levels and re-balance the body’s energy, an Ayurvedic medicine practitioner may use meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, herbal treatments, and other forms of natural healing. For example, on-going studies are investigating meditation, including Ayurveda Maharishi, which may lower symptoms of anxiety and help treat depression when practiced regularly. (2)
2. Lowers Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
Lowering stress has far-reaching benefits. However, the benefits of Ayurvedic medicine go beyond meditation and view conditions like hypertension in other ways. While Ayurveda may help lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol, practitioners focus on prevention rather than treatment. For example, lifestyle habits and food choices affect blood pressure and cholesterol, and Ayurveda encourages improving these. In addition, the benefits of Ayurvedic medicine also include the ability to reverse atherosclerosis and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. (3, 4)
3. Helps With Recovery From Injuries and Illnesses
Ayurveda helps not only with prevention, but also with recovery. The beauty of this paradigm is in its comprehensive approach to care. For example, the benefits of Ayurvedic medicine come from many areas of life. Exercise and meditation from yoga, as well as food choices and fasting all combine to help with recovery. Yes, Ayurveda targets inflammation, which is often at the core of disease. But it can also help improve blood flow and reduce pain and swelling to fight inflammatory conditions like arthritis. Ayurveda can also help detox the body with different herbs, teas and healthy foods. To help lower cortisol levels, a practitioner may also recommend classic Ayurvedic medicine herbs like ashwagandha. (5, 6)
4. Promotes a Nutrient-Dense Diet
And where would we be without better food choices? The benefits of Ayurvedic medicine include the ability to promote a nutrient-dense and antioxidant-rich diet. Diets for all three doshas include fresh herbs, teas, spices, vegetables, and healthy fats. But when you eat is also important. In addition, Ayurvedic medicine promotes foods that are easy to digest and foods that help detoxify the body, like fermented foods. (7)
5. Helps With Weight Loss
As you may have guessed, the benefits of Ayurvedic medicine include the ability to help boost metabolism and aid in weight loss. In a recent 2019 study, researchers found that the whole-body approach offered by Ayurveda can help effectively increase weight loss. Though the test group was small, the benefits of Ayurvedic medicine were significant. Ayurvedic medicine promotes a balanced, healthy diet based on an individual’s dosha type. (8)
6. Lowers Inflammation
As we’ve already seen, the benefits of Ayurvedic medicine include the ability to lower inflammation in the body. You see, Ayurveda focuses on the assumption that poor digestion, unhealthy diet, and a lack of sleep cause inflammation and oxidative stress, which lead to imbalances in the body. Ayurvedic medicine helps to lower inflammation and improve digestion using natural, herbal treatments and antioxidant-rich foods. Practitioners often recommend turmeric and black pepper to help fight inflammation and speed healing. (9)
7. Helps With Hormonal Balance
That wonderful feeling of health may come about when your hormones are in balance and acting properly (for you!). The benefits of Ayurvedic medicine include the ability to help balance hormones using a healthy diet, herbs and essential oils. For example, studies show that essential oils that balance hormones include thyme, clary sage, sandalwood, lavender, and basil oil, among others. Ayurveda can help fight thinning hair, irregular periods, acne, PMS, and other symptoms related to hormonal imbalance. (10)