Skip to content

Health & Balance

Select An Article

Ayurvedic Medicine

Font Size

Ayurvedic medicine -- also known as Ayurveda -- is one of the world's oldest holistic (whole-body) healing systems. It was developed thousands of years ago in India.

It is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. The primary focus of Ayurvedic medicine is to promote good health, rather than fight disease. But treatments may be recommended for specific health problems.

Recommended Related to Mind, Body, Spirit

The Simple Secret to a Happier Life

By Charlotte Latvala In the immortal words of the Rolling Stones, you can't always get what you want. And you know what? That's really okay. Discover how letting go of impossible (and draining) dreams puts you on the path to peace. In the 37th week of my third pregnancy, I was cruising right along with no major health problems until — bam — I developed Bell's palsy, a partial paralysis of the left side of my face. I couldn't close my eye, I drooled when I ate, and, worst of all,...

Read the The Simple Secret to a Happier Life article > >

In the U.S., Ayurveda is considered a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

Ayurveda Concepts

According to Ayurvedic theory, everything in the universe -- living or not -- is connected. Good health is achieved when your mind, body, and spirit are in harmony with the universe. A disruption of this harmony can lead to poor health and sickness.

For followers of Ayurveda, anything that affects your physical, spiritual, or emotional well-being can cause you to be out of balance with the universe. Some things that can cause a disruption include:

  • Genetic or birth defects
  • Injuries
  • Climate and seasonal changes
  • Age
  • Emotions

How your body works to keep you healthy and your unique physical and psychological characteristics combine to form your body's constitution, or prakriti. Your prakriti is believed to stay the same for your entire life. However, how you digest food and eliminate waste can influence it.

Every person is made of a combination of five basic elements found in the universe:

  • Space
  • Air
  • Fire
  • Water
  • Earth

These elements combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies, called doshas. They control how your body works. The three doshas are:

  • Vata dosha (space and air)
  • Pitta dosha (fire and water)
  • Kapha dosha (water and earth)

Everyone inherits a unique mix of the three doshas. One dosha is usually more dominant. Each dosha controls a different body function. It is believed that your chances of getting sick are linked to the balance of your doshas.

Next Article:

Today on WebMD

woman in yoga class
6 health benefits of yoga.
beautiful girl lying down of grass
10 relaxation techniques to try.
 
mature woman with glass of water
Do you really need to drink 8 glasses of water a day?
coffee beans in shape of mug
Get the facts.
 
jet plane landing at sunset
Slideshow
poinsettias
Quiz
 
Hungover man
Slideshow
Welcome mat and wellington boots
Slideshow
 
Woman worn out on couch
Article
Happy and sad faces
Quiz
 
Fingertip with string tied in a bow
Article
laughing family
Quiz