Ayurvedic Medicine, or Ayurveda, is a practice that originated in India more than 5,000 years ago. Translating to "the science of life", Ayurveda is a holistic approach that strives to create harmony and balance between the body and mind in order to promote healing, prevent illness and disease, and improve overall well-being. Today, it is used and relied on not only in India, but by many people throughout the entire world.
One of the fundamental teachings of Ayurvedic medicine is that the five elements of nature - space, air, water, fire, and earth - make up three components, or "doshas", within the human body. These doshas are called Vatta, Pitta, and Kapha, and they are believed to contribute to a person's physical traits, as well as their personality.
But is Ayurveda truly effective? Some may argue that no, it is not up to par with conventional medicine in terms of effectiveness; However, others argue that there are studies which show otherwise. For example, a 2011 preliminary study funded in part by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health compared conventional treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (the drug methotrexate) to Ayurvedic treatment (a natural medicine consisting of 40 herbal compounds), and the results showed that both treatments had very similar, if not the same, effects to one another. Additionally, many other Ayurvedic herbal compounds are currently being studied worldwide for their potential to treat problems such as Alzheimer's, anxiety, asthma, cancer, dementia, menstrual cramps, obesity, constipation, high blood pressure, Parkinson's disease, and acne.
While it cannot be said that Ayurveda is the right medicinal approach for everyone, it should not be completely dismissed or disregarded. Everyone's body is unique and may react differently to various medicines, herbs, and physical exercises. Severity of illness also differentiates between individuals, so it is always best to consult with a physician before taking any sort of medical approaches into your own hands.