Ayurvedic medicine originated in the Vedic culture of India. It’s a system of natural healing based on the belief that disease and illness originates from an imbalance in the three energies in the body, called doshas. Doshas are also linked to personality types. Ayurvedic medicine focuses on healing that doesn’t involve prescription drugs or complicated surgeries. 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 has shown that benefits of Ayurvedic medicine include the ability to treat conditions such as asthma, anxiety, depression, dementia, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
The 3 Doshas of Ayurvedic Medicine
- Vata: Vata energy is in charge of mobility, motion, circulation and breathing. When they’re in balance, vata personality types are known as creative and energetic. When they are out of balance, vata types can become fearful, stress 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. 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
Benefits of Ayurvedic medicine include the ability to lower stress and reduce anxiety. 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. Studies have shown that a form of Ayurvedic transcendental meditation, called Maharishi, can lower symptoms of anxiety and help treat depression when practiced regularly. (1)
2. Lowers Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
Benefits of Ayurvedic medicine include the ability to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol. Research has shown that relaxation techniques help lower inflammation and reduce the buildup of plaque in the arteries. Benefits of Ayurvedic medicine also include the ability to reverse atherosclerosis and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
3. Helps With Recovery From Injuries and Illnesses
Benefits of Ayurvedic medicine include the ability to help with recovery. Ayurvedic medicine targets inflammation, which is often at the core of disease. It can 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 recommend herbs like holy basil or ashwagandha. (2)
4. Promotes a Nutrient-Dense Diet
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. Ayurvedic medicine promotes foods that are easy to digest and foods that help detoxify the body, like fermented foods.
5. Helps With Weight Loss
Benefits of Ayurvedic medicine include the ability to help boost metabolism and aid in weight loss. In a 2009 study, researchers found that adjusting a healthy diet to take into account individual preferences and needs can help effectively increase weight loss. Ayurvedic medicine promotes a balanced, healthy diet based on an individual’s dosha type. (3)
6. Lowers Inflammation
Benefits of Ayurvedic medicine include the ability to lower inflammation in the body. It focuses on the assumption that poor digestion, and unhealthy diet and a lack of sleep causes inflammation and oxidative stress, which leads to an imbalance. 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. (4)
7. Helps With Hormonal Balance
Benefits of Ayurvedic medicine include the ability to help balance hormones using a healthy diet, herbs and essential oils. Studies show that essential oils that balance hormones include thyme, clary sage, sandalwood, lavender and basil oil, among others. Ayurvedic medicine can help fight thinning hair, irregular periods, acne, PMS and other symptoms related to hormonal imbalance.