The disadvantages of ayurvedic medicine have long been discussed. As one of the most traditional forms of holistic healing, Ayurveda has always sparked conversation. Is it safe and does it work?
Many people swear by the effects of Ayurveda, and for most, it is not only a holistic treatment but a way of life. Well, considering it has been around for roughly 5,000 years, it must have its advantages!
Ayurvedic medicine is centred around the belief that a healthy mind and body will keep illness at bay. That the balancing of our inner energy system is the root of sickness and ill-health.
Of course, there are certainly advantages to practising Ayurvedic medicine. But what are the disadvantages?
Well, we’re going to take a closer look at this ancient alternative medicine. And discuss the possible disadvantages of Ayurvedic medicine!
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurvedic medicine originates in India and is one of the oldest forms of alternative medicine in the world. Ayurveda in Sanskrit literally translates to Sacred knowledge of life; Ayur meaning life and Veda meaning knowledge.
But what exactly is Ayurveda?
Well, the theory of Ayurveda is based on three principles, all of which interlink to form holistic treatment.
The first principle is based around the five elements that form the universe. These are:
- Vayu – air
- Jala – water
- Prithvi – earth
- Akash – space
- Teja – fire
The ayurvedic theory is that these 5 elements also come together to form the human body. Each of us is made up of a proportion of these elements. All of which form our personal energy!
These energies are in the form of doshas. There are three doshas that combine two of each element. Each of us has a dominant dosha, which contributes to our healing through ayurvedic medicine.
The second principle of ayurvedic medicine is that physical and mental states are connected, leading on to the third principle. In ayurvedic medicine, the final and most important principle is that we have the capability to heal ourselves. Not only physically, but also mentally. We can do this by keeping our doshas balanced.
So, how do we balance our doshas?
Well, this is done through ayurvedic eating principles, exercise, sleep, and natural medicine. All of which are based on our individual doshas.
Of course, there is a lot more to learn about our dominant doshas, but that is a whole other subject!
So, now we know what Ayurveda is, but how exactly does Ayurvedic medicine work? Well, let’s find out a bit more!
Ayurvedic Medicine: How Does it Work?
Before we can understand the disadvantages of Ayurvedic medicine, we need to know about it works!
The methods of Ayurvedic medicine vary depending on your dominant dosha. Of course, Ayurveda itself is considered a lifestyle. This is in the sense that if you can keep your dosha balanced, you will remain healthy and well.
So, let’s take a quick look at the three doshas in Ayurveda:
- Vata (air and space) – you may suffer from anxiety, digestive issues, or tiredness when out of balance. Associated with slim body types, and with creative, outgoing, and lively individuals.
- Pitta (fire and water) – you may suffer from high blood pressure and indigestion when out of balance. Associated with medium those with a medium build, who are frequently intelligent, decisive, and happy individuals.
- Kapha (earth and water) – you may suffer from weight gain, depression or asthma when out of balance. Associated with larger body types, who are calm, centred, and loving individuals.
The key to Ayurvedic medicine is to find your dominant dosha. Once you know which one – or sometimes two – you resonate with most, you can start to practice Ayurveda. This is done by following the eating principles most suited to your dosha. This involves eating certain foods and avoiding certain foods and habits.
Of course, if your dosha becomes imbalanced, or you suffer from sickness, that’s where ayurvedic medicine comes in!
When it comes to treating illness, ayurvedic medicine relies on herbs and minerals. The use of oils, massage and yoga are common too. The aim of the treatment is to restore balance within your body again, through the clearing of the digestive system and purifying the body as a whole.
But what are the disadvantages of using alternative medicine like Ayurveda, over traditional medicine?
Well, let’s take a look at the disadvantages of Ayurvedic medicine!
Disadvantages of Ayurvedic Medicine
When it comes to alternative medicine, including Ayurvedic medicine, the main disadvantage is whether the methods are safe. Of course, traditional medicine administered through GP’s and pharmacies, all go through specific safety checks and trials. When it comes to Ayurvedic medicine, this is not the case.
Traditionally, Ayurvedic medicine included properties derived from certain metals. Although this is done rarely nowadays. Most common in Ayurvedic medicine is the use of herbs administered through teas, tonics, capsules, or topical creams.
But can this still be unsafe?
Generally, Ayurvedic medicine is passed from generation to generation. Those that use Ayurvedic medicine, will visit a practitioner for herbal medicine recommendations. Unfortunately, even in these settings, there are rarely guidelines to follow. So, this means that treatments and doses can vary widely. Whilst this is usually not an issue, for some, long-term use of herbal medicines can cause unwanted side-effects.
This brings us to another disadvantage of Ayurvedic medicine – the risks surrounding side-effects. Due to the fact that these are often home-made, herbal remedies, the side-effects are unknown. In fact, when Ayurvedic medicine is administered, there is little to no information on how you or your body will react.
Ayurvedic Medicine: An Overview
Of course, whilst the medicinal side of Ayurveda may be riskier than traditional medicine, there are plenty of people who will swear by its benefits.
There is an element of risk involved if we use alternative medicine. However, there is still much to be said for other elements of Ayurveda.
For example, the Ayurvedic diet can provide many health benefits to those that practice. As can the use of mindfulness and self-care. However, with any form of holistic healing, you need to use your best judgement and go into practice with full knowledge of the treatments you are undertaking.
With that in mind, many of us use alternative medicines daily without even realising. Did you know that Manuka honey is a popular natural medicine? Well, it is! In fact, we can use Manuka honey to heal cuts, grazes and even for skincare!