Ayurveda – The Allure of Ayurvedic Medicine in the Western World
Ayurveda is an ancient medical practice from India that has spread to the western world over the past three decades. While there is an obvious attraction to Ayurvedic medicine in the western world, one can always find skeptics who wouldn’t even consider doing some research on the subject before jumping to conclusions.
Is Ayurveda a Medical Practice?
no Ayurveda is not a medical practice, contrary to what is commonly believed in the West. Ayurveda is related to “herbalism”. Herbalism is the ancient practice of finding natural cures for human ailments, dating back 60,000 years to when Neanderthals relied on nature’s herbs to cure human ailments and care for the health of their animals.
As civilizations began to develop in China, Greece and India, the inhabitants began to follow various forms of herbalism, now known in India as “Ayurveda”.
Isn’t Ayurveda based on science?
It is a common misconception in the western world that since Ayurveda is considered an alternative medicine, it is not scientific. Ayurveda is often viewed as an exotic practice to be enjoyed in health spas. The Sanskrit word Ayurveda is made up of two words: Ayur means life and Veda means knowledge. In other words, Ayurveda is a logical and systematic arrangement of herbal knowledge; It is the science of life, encompassing body, mind and spirit.
Ayurvedic Medicine in the Western World
As mentioned above, Ayurvedic medicine has become popular in the western world in the last two or three decades. Many universities now offer courses in alternative medical practice, and many people have started treating it as a general career option.
The attraction of Ayurveda lies mainly in the way it is treated. There are two main goals of Ayurvedic medicine:
“It treats the symptoms of a disease and helps individuals boost their immune system. Ayurveda treats a person’s body, mind and spirit as a whole and works on the basis that mind and body can influence each other and together overcome diseases”.
In other words, Ayurvedic medicine believes in holistic healing. Unlike conventional or western medicine, which only begins treatment when a human body suffers from an illness, Ayurveda begins healing before any illnesses appear. This is preventive medicine in its purest form.
Ayurvedic herbs can be found in almost every household in India. Thus, from the very beginning, children are surrounded by the preventive nature of herbs, which reduces the intensity of contracting diseases. Let’s take a small example: In any Western country, it is likely that someone suffering from a common cold will rush to the doctor or the nearest medical center for treatment. In Asian countries, you will rarely find people coming to the clinic just to treat the same condition. The Ayurvedic remedies for the same condition are: a pinch of turmeric mixed with a glass of milk, a teaspoon of honey and a few drops of lime juice.
Although people in Asian countries also suffer from major health problems, the focus here is always on holistic healing and not on short-term solutions from Western medicine. The preventative nature of Ayurveda, or rather its curative nature, is the main reason Western researchers are increasingly drawn to Ayurveda.
Ancient and modern Ayurveda
Ayurveda is a transnational phenomenon of the 21st century whose broad perspective includes economic, socio-political, anthropological, philosophical, pharmacological and biomedical answers.
In the recent past, a dichotomy has been created between classical (ancient) and modern Ayurveda. Ayurveda experts, practitioners and researchers classify the “old” Ayurvedic wisdom as the original. For them, “modern” Ayurveda is the same knowledge that was exported from the East to the West and modified there. reinterpreted and then reimported to the eastern countries.
However, there are still many who believe that this is simply an ideological difference. Some would argue that the western world, so attuned to giving importance to things on the basis of their “provable” value backed by scientific research, is also trying to modernize Ayurveda for the same reasons.
For any Ayurveda practitioner, this is an unwarranted and unimportant addition to Ayurvedic medicine, as a healing system based on the natural healing processes instituted by Mother Nature herself cannot be limited to scientific proportions.
However, the fascination with Ayurveda for its natural and preventive healing methods remains a predominant factor in its acceptance in the western world.
Thanks to D. More