The Return of Ayurveda

The limitation of modern medical science once again highlights the inability of the conventional system of medicine to cure various new diseases. To a large extent infectious diseases like small pox, chicken pox, measles etc that were caused by bacteria and viruses etc have been brought under control. There is an increase in life expectancy. But on the other side the number of people suffering from degenerative and neoplastic diseases like cancer, stroke, heart disease is on the increase. To quote The India Times of 28 December 2008, there has been a six-fold increase in the number of diabetic patients, 200% increase in breast cancer patients. Obesity is on the rise too. Drugs developed to treat these conditions enter the market with much fanfare only to be banned after a couple of years for their worse side effects, only useful in fattening the purses of the multibillion dollar drug companies in the process. The deterioration of medical ethics, along with the limitations of modern scientific medicine in curing many diseases has prompted many westerners to seek alternative in the Eastern traditional methods. Ayurvedic therapies and Chinese techniques have become increasingly popular in the Western societies.

The eastern therapies adopt a more humane approach to illnesses and treat the person as a whole. The treatment prescribed brings the patient closer to nature. Herbs and plants, seasonal do’s and don’ts, emphasis on change in lifestyle etc gives him/her a closeness to nature which was lost long back. Thus Ayurveda endeavors to establish in human beings the harmony present in nature.

Ayurveda is a way of life based on ones constitution. And a person’s constitution is determined on the preponderance or lack of three humors namely Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Based on ones constitution his/her diet, life-style, do’s and don’ts are prescribed. Herbs, plants, salts, metals etc are used in preparation of medicines. Massage, panchakarma etc are some of the therapies for cleansing. My subsequent posts will brief these processes (even though they are beyond the scope of home remedies).

I wish all my readers a happy and healthy New Year.

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