What is Ayurvedic medicine? Traditional Ayurvedic practice has a 3,000-year history of supporting the management of disease.
Ayurvedic medicine, commonly known as Ayurveda, is a traditional medicine with Indian roots. Ayurveda has increasingly become popular in the U.S. and most of Europe. Like traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda relies significantly on a traditional medical approach. Ayurvedic practice is around 3,000 years old, with a long history of supporting the management of disease.
The term Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit words ayur (life) and veda (science or knowledge) — knowledge of life. Ayurveda is based on the idea that disease is due to an imbalance or stress. As a result, Ayurveda encourages certain lifestyle practices and natural therapies to regain a balance between the body, the mind, the spirit, and the environment.
The concepts of universal interconnectedness, the body’s constitution (prakriti), and life forces (doshas — kapha, pitta, and vata) are the primary basis of Ayurvedic medicine. For instance, vata focuses on regulating input and output processes, including motion; pitta regulates energy; and kapha regulates the body’s structure and storage functions.
Conventional Medicine + Ayurvedic Medicine
Ayurvedic medicine has of a long history of support for disease management. Foods, daily activities, stress, and climate may alter the body’s functions. Ayurvedic medicine aims to normalize these altered functions through lifestyle modification and herbal preparations. In some cases, Ayurveda may help reduce cortisone and analgesic usage and thus enhance quality of life.
Many people who take conventional medications for chronic conditions also take Ayurvedic herbal medicine as support. In some cases, people take Ayurvedic herbal medicine after they have tried a number of unsuccessful conventional medical approaches. Ayurveda can often have positive effects when used as a complementary therapy in combination with standard, conventional medical care.
Ayurvedic Medicine: Our Big Three Extracts
Although there are over 10,000 herbal plants in the Asian continent, only 1,500 plants are recognized for use in the Ayurvedic pharmacopeia. Over 90% of Ayurvedic medicines are extracted from plants that may help to reverse and stabilize altered physiological functions. These are our three favorites.
Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) extract supports digestive health, intestinal motility, and toxin elimination in the gut. It also supports joint health and may reduce joint stiffness, pain, and inflammation. Read the Haritaki FAQ.
Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum, Holy Basil) is the Queen of Herbs. Tulsi extract can’t magically change your mood, but it can moderate cortisol to help protect your body systems during stressful times. Read the Tulsi FAQ.
Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi) is the plant of universal consciousness. The extract provides support for memory, meditation, and mental clarity. Ancient Vedic scholars used it to help memorize sacred texts. Read the Bacopa FAQ.
Learn More About Haritaki, Tulsi, and Bacopa
Ayurvedic medicine has been popular for some time now, but with that popularity comes spurious claims of miracle treatments and magic cures. It’s important to know what you’re buying and from whom you’re buying.
Statements made about the health potential of Ayurvedic medicine, along with herbal teas, extracts, capsules, and tinctures, should be based on published, peer-reviewed scientific research. A great place to start is with our Haritaki FAQ, Tulsi FAQ, and Bacopa FAQ, all of which include links to studies published in scientific journals.