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ayurvedic medicineSanskrit combination of ayur (Life) and veda (knowledge). The oldest existing medical system in the world, which is practised primarily in the subcontinent of India, and which is taught in over 100 colleges. Ayurvedic medicine encompasses aromatherapy, diet and nutrition, herbal medicine, massage and vedic astrology; ayurvedic philosophy holds that disease is caused by an imbalance of homeostatic and immune mechanisms related to three physiological principles known as “doshas”.
While a large body of traditional ayurvedic medical literature exists, no peer-reviewed data suggest that it is superior to western medicine.
• Vata dosha (Wind force)—Vata represents fluid and motion; it corresponds to the Western concepts of circulation and neuromuscular activity.
• Pitta dosha (Sun force)—Pitta directs all metabolic activities, energy exchange and digestion.
• Kapha dosha (Moon force)—Kapha represents structure, cohesion and fluid balance and, when deranged, predisposes toward respiratory disease, diabetes, ASHD and tumours.
• Accidental—e.g., typhoon, elephant trampling;
• Mental—e.g., loss of mental harmony;
• Natural—e.g., ageing, childbirth;
• External—e.g., weather, foods and others.
• Diet—Foods should be consumed slowly, in the natural season and in a tranquil surrounding; occasional fasting may promote health.
• Medicine—The primary therapeutic and preventative arsenal is based in herbal remedies, which may be supplemented by homeopathy and conventional (western) or orthodox drugs.
• Practical—Behaviour modification, breathing exercises, mental counseling, enemas, transcendental meditation, yoga and a “healthy” life style.
Diet, mild herbs, mineral preparations and lifestyle adjustments, which are intended to balance life forces and return the body to its normal state of harmony.
Medication and strong herbs, coupled with purification practices—e.g., purging, medicated enemas, therapeutic vomiting, nasal medication, therapeutic bloodletting.