Redirected from Ayurvedic medicine
Ayurvedic medicine is an "alternative" medical practice that claims it is the traditional medicine of India. Ayurveda is based on two Sanskrit terms: ayu meaning life and veda meaning knowledge or science. Since the practice is said to be some 5,000 years old, what it considers to be knowledge or science may not coincide with the most updated information available to Western medicine. In any case, most of the ancient treatments are not recorded and what is called traditional Indian medicine is, for the most part, something developed in the 1980s by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (Barrett) who brought Transcendental Meditation to the western world.
Ayurvedic treatments are primarily dietary and herbal. Patients are classified by body types, or prakriti, which are determined by proportions of the three doshas. The doshas allegedly regulate mind-body harmony. Illness and disease are considered to be a matter of imbalance in the doshas. Treatment is aimed at restoring harmony or balance to the mind-body system. Vata, composed of air and space, allegedly governs all movement in the mind and body and must be kept in good balance. Too much vata leads to "worries, insomnia, cramps and constipation....Vata controls blood flow, elimination of wastes, breathing and the movement of thoughts across the mind." Vata also controls the other two principles, Pitta and Kapha. Pitta is said to be composed of fire and water; it allegedly governs "all heat, metabolism and transformation in the mind and body. It controls how we digest food, how we metabolize our sensory perceptions, and how we discriminate between right and wrong." Pitta must be kept in balance, too. "Too much [Pitta] can lead to anger, criticism, ulcers, rashes and thinning hair." Kapha consists of earth and water. "Kapha cements the elements in the body, providing the material for physical structure. This dosha maintains body resistance....Kapha lubricates the joints; provides moisture to the skin; helps to heal wounds; fills the spaces in the body; gives biological strength, vigor and stability; supports memory retention; gives energy to the heart and lungs and maintains immunity...Kapha is responsible for emotions of attachment, greed and long-standing envy; it is also expressed in tendencies toward calmness, forgiveness and love." Too much Kapha leads to lethargy and weight gain, as well as congestion and allergies.
On the basis of the above metaphysical[?] physiology, Ayurveda recommends such things as: to pacify Kapha eat spicy foods and avoid sweet foods, except for honey but don't heat the honey. Avoid tomatoes and nuts. Turkey is fine but avoid rabbit and pheasant. If you've got too much Pitta then try this: eat sweet foods and avoid the spicy. Eat nuts. To reduce Vata: eat sweet, sour and salty foods; avoid spicy foods. Nuts are good and so are dairy products.
How any of the above is known, or how anyone could possibly test such claims, is apparently of little concern to Ayurvedic advocates.