Ayurveda using Herbs, Diet, Panchakarma, and other Therapeutics
Posted on 9th Aug 2014
The Indian system of medicine called Ayurveda uses many different techniques or modalities which are sometimes similar to the Western medicine or is sometimes very unique from it. Here are thirteen of these including Ayurvedic diet/nutrition, herbs, panchakarma, and more.
- This is the main therapy of Ayurveda.
- There are 80 important Ayurvedic herbs that are listed in Tirtha’s Encyclopedia (1) some of which are ginger, pepper, saffron, garlic, neem, aloe vera, and gotu kola.
- It is best to take in herbs when they are fresh but they could also be taken in the form of “decoctions, infusions, teas, powders, and pills”. Pills are said to have the longest potency but has the least power.
- This is the secondary therapeutic modality of Ayurveda.
- This is eating whole, fresh, and as much as possible organic foods.
- It is recommended for us to consume whole cane sugar instead of white sugar which shocks the body because it enters the bloodstream too fast thereby producing insulin that triggers baser conditions like aggression, drive for food, etc.
- These are cleansing techniques that reduce the body’s strength and should be done only when the person is strong.
- It is a preventive medicine and can be used as yearly maintenance of the body’s health.
- The five Pancha Karma cleansing techniques are emesis (vomiting therapy), purgation, toxic bloodletting, medicated enemas, and medicated nasal oils.
- This is the use of incenses, flower essences, or essential oils.
- The accepted ratio of base oil to essential oil is 25 ml or 12-13 drops of essential oil to 1 fluid ounce of base oil.
5. Hatha Yoga
- This is a type of yoga which is forceful and works in building the physical and mental strength.
- Yoga means union with the body and mind.
- It is the proper breathing exercises done during yoga.
- When translated from Sanskrit it means “extension of the prana/life force/breath.”
- This is a practice of clearing or emptying the mind, which in the long run teaches focus, attention, and learning the trait in focus like compassion.
8. Sound therapy (Mantras, Chakras, and Music)
- Mantras are spoken prayers repeated in many times. Chakras refer to the energy points running along the spine.
- Music could be healing as well especially the relaxing and meditative ones using Tibetan singing bowls for example.
9. Color therapy
- Warm or cold colours have a corresponding effect on the moods of people; hence, this could be therapeutic as well.
10. Gem therapy
- This is the use of stones, gems, and crystals especially corresponding to each chakra.
- This is similar to Hatha Yoga, but could be as simple as walking or stretching.
12. Lifestyle Counseling
- An Ayurvedic doctor could teach you the lifestyle changes you might need to change in order to have the best health you could have.
13. Psychological & Spiritual Counseling
- This is the closest to psychology and psychiatry divisions of Western medicine.
(1) Tirtha, S. (2007). The Ayurveda Encyclopedia: Natural Secrets to Healing, Prevention, and Longevity. New York: Ayurveda Holistic Center Press.