Myths and Facts about Ayurveda

From Chakrapani Ayurveda. . .

Editor’s Note
Dear Readers,

Ayurveda has been widely recognized as a system of natural healthcare congenial to the health needs of the modern world. However, despite its increasing popularity across the globe, many people are often hesitant in approaching Ayurveda. The main reasons could be that Ayurveda is associated with handful of myths and misconceptions. Though the treatment therapies of Ayurveda are widely sought around the world, people tend to have more delusions than proper awareness about this ancient treatment. In this article we will see about the popular myths and facts about Ayurveda.

We welcome your suggestions and submissions.

Enjoy reading and get benefited with Ayurveda.

Vaidya Lakshmi Anoop

Myths and Facts about Ayurveda

1. Ayurveda – a vegetarian therapy

Ayurveda is not totally vegetarian. Though medicinal plants and herbs are predominantly used for preparation of Ayurveda medicines, there are several preparations in which non-vegetarian ingredients are also used.

For treatment of extreme exhaustion and emaciation, Ayurveda medicines, prepared with ‘Mamsarasa’- meat soup- as an ingredient, are prescribed. These are advised as the best medicines for strength, skin quality, immunity etc.

Ayurveda does not insist that one has to follow strict vegetarianism. For people who are spiritually inclined, vegetarianism is recommended, as they are averse to killing of living beings. The concept of vegetarian diet did not exist in India in the ancient period. In Vedas and Puranas, and in Ayurveda texts, there are references to non-vegetarian food and its qualities.

2. Homemade and lack clinical testing

Ayurveda treatments are believed as ‘homemade’ practices and also the medicines are not clinically tested. This is a fallacy. Any medicine whether Allopathy or Ayurveda is offered to the public only after laboratory tests and certification process. Ayurveda is time tested medicine which is also scientifically proved.

Ayurvedic Medicine is regulated through Drugs & Cosmetic act, 1940, under which pharmacopoeia standards including Standard Operating Procedures and Good Manufacturing Practices are mandatory to be followed.It is true that few Ayurveda medicines lack clinical testing but not all. There are many difficulties with clinical testing of Ayurvedic medicines, inspite of which many medicines are standardized. One cannot readily apply the typical modern pharmaceutical Pharmacopoeia standards for standardization of Ayurveda medicines. Since Ayurveda medicine is prepared from a combination of many herbs, the concept of active markers in the process of standardization needs a flexible approach in favor of the complex nature of these herbal materials.

3. Ayurveda : Expensive medication

Ayurveda is not expensive when compared to present day modern medicine which has become prohibitively expensive. And not all Ayurveda medicines are expensive. Some medicinal formulations contain expensive ingredients like gold and silver which are generally prescribed only in case of chronic or severe form of disease. Also, due to non-saving and overuse of resources some herbs have become endangered in recent years, so the demand has increased and hence are little expensive.

4. Too many dietary restrictions with treatment

This is a misconception. There is no hard-and-fast rule on following a diet according to Ayurveda, like many people think. For a diabetic patient, a physician, whether Allopathy or Ayurveda along with suitable medications recommends a sugar – free diet which is conducive to treatment. Ayurveda treatments are aimed at restoring health by treating the root cause. It is the digestive system which is the ultimate cause of sicknesses and diseases in the body. And the basic norms of Ayurvedic treatment comprise changes in the diet which aid in both mental and physical health. An Ayurveda diet has all the necessary nutrients needed for good health of the body, yet tasty. Ayurveda emphasizes on intake of freshly prepared warm food. Naturally grown and fresh food articles are rich in ‘prana’ or the life force and food, freshly cooked, is always rich in prana.

5. Ayurveda medicine is difficult to take

This is true to certain extent. Some classical Ayurveda medicines are non-palatable. But that is required for the body for recovery from illness and for maintaining health. If the patient is unable to take a particular product, the physician would definitely suggest a combination medium like honey or cane sugar. In the present scenario, majority of the pharmaceutical companies have come out with effective patent drugs in easy tablets and capsules form. These contain herbal ingredients or fortified herbs which are quite effective.

6. Ayurveda medicine is less effective

Since Ayurveda medicine does not show immediate symptomatic relief, there is a misconception that Ayurveda medicines are less effective. Actually, there is lot of research works available to substantiate the fact that Ayurveda is really safe, effective and beneficial when compared to Allopathy system of medicine. People think that Ayurveda medicines are less effective since they don’t show immediate improvement. Ayurveda medicines aim at correcting the disease from its root cause and prevent recurrence. Ayurveda medicines take time for giving a symptomatic relief, but they are curative. Patience and endurance are very much necessary from patient’s side. Also its full effectiveness will depend on various considerations, including age and state of health, how much effort one is willing to put into making the necessary changes toward better health, and how disciplined one is with taking one’s formulas and following the recommended guidelines.
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