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Written by Dr Ashwini Konnur,
Ayurveda is oldest system of medicine and is better known as the ‘mother of medicine’. Over 5000 years old, Ayurveda is believed to be originated from the Gods and has a Veda dedicated to it. While complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) recognizes Ayurveda , it has not been represented to its full potential. While Ayurvedic treatments are widely pursued around the world, people still have several misconceptions about this ancient science.
Today we shall break some of these common myths about Ayurveda.
Ayurveda does not have scientific basics:
Ayurveda is not just science but goes beyond science. The age-old principles of Ayurveda are all documented and have been followed for years and will be applicable for generations to come. Ayurveda is result oriented and there are evidences which prove that researches and clinical trials were conducted by the ancient sages that helped them increase their knowledge of Ayurveda. Several herbal formulations created hundreds of years ago are still in use.
Human anatomy was well understood and this knowledge was obtained by dissection of the dead bodies. Surgeries were conducted even before any other system of medicine emerged. Acharya Sushruta is considered as Father of Surgery and is one of the pioneers to perform plastic surgery too. Charaka and Sushruta Samhita are the two ancient treatises on Ayurveda that have stood the test of time. Unlike modern medical science Ayurveda treats every person as an individual and thus helps in a better recovery.
Results are slow in Ayurveda:
This is one of the most common reasons why people avoid Ayurveda. Fact is that there are fast-curing medicines in Ayurveda too. unlike modern science, Ayurveda focuses on the root of the disease and tries to uproot the cause instead of treating the symptoms alone. Unfortunately people come looking for a holistic treatment only when the ailment has reached an advanced stage and when other medications have not worked. This automatically slows down the treatment process as it becomes essential to neutralize the effects of all the drugs already consumed. It’s better to opt Ayurveda as the first choice of medicine to get a better result.
Ayurveda can be self-medicated:
Many a time people believe that Ayurveda have no side effects at all and so choose to self-medicate. One has to keep in mind that any medicine, including those made of natural herbs, may have varied impact on one’s body, depending on how it is prescribed. Consuming medicines that have not been prescribed to you or negligence during administration can be dangerous. Inappropriate medicine dosage and timing, potency of medicine, immunity, strength and age of patient, severity of the disease can cause varied side effects.
While Ayurveda used natural herbs and resources, they may contain toxins and thus extra care is taken to purify these herbs before formulating them into medicines. Inappropriate medicine combination could cause disturbance in your body. Only a well-qualified Ayurveda physician is able to prescribe you the right medication with all details. Never self-prescribe any medication/ over-take the medicine.
Ayurveda medicines have no expiry date:
Almost all Ayurvedic medicines DO have an expiry date. Ayurveda classics have mentioned the expiry of the drugs or formulations and they depend on the quality of the herb and nature of preparation. For instance, some churnas (powders) may have an expiry date after 6 months while others may last up to a year. Please keep a watch on manufacture and expiry dates, usually mentioned on the containers.
Yes, it is true that a few medications especially Ras Aushadhis (Mineral formulations) may not have an expiry date but as with its treatments, one rule does not fit all.
Ayurveda is only for the elderly:
While Ayurveda may be an old science of medicine but it is definitely not limited to any age groups. Ayurveda medication works very well for all ages, from infants to the elderly. Ayurveda is a blessing for children when their body is tender and still in the process of developing its immune system.
Kaumarabritya Pediatrics is a branch of medicine which focuses on the maintenance of health and treatment of different types of ailments from birth to adolescents in Ayurveda.
Taking Ayurveda medicine increases body heat:
The three main principles on which Ayurveda works are Vata, Pitta and Kapha dosha. The balance between theses 3 doshas help in normal bodily function and imbalances of these lead to various ailments. Many a times Ayurveda medication helps to balance the imbalances doshas and bring it back to normalcy thus it neither tries to increase or decrease the cold or heat in the body. Any heat-related changes one might experience while taking Ayurveda medicine is due to the metabolic changes that is happening as a response to consuming the medicine and is only temporary. This is also why following a specific diet and making appropriate life style changes are equally important.
Ayurveda has been around since time immemorial with many specializations similar to western medicine. The word Ayurveda itself is derived from ‘Ayush’ which means life, and ‘Veda’ which means science. Therefore, Ayurveda is the complete ‘Science of Life’. Ayurveda has provided courage to the disheartened, life to immensely diseased and has given health and rejuvenation for aspirants. It is not another medical system but an ancient and complete holistic and comprehensive health care system. Break all the myths and walk forward to experience a life full of health and vitality.
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