What is Ayurveda : myths and facts
Ayurveda is gaining popularity, acceptance and momentum in the 21st century through new research. More and more people are now turning towards Ayurveda & natural herbal treatment. People are following Ayurveda knowing that it is not just a science to cure diseases but it’s a healthy lifestyle and a healthy way of life.
"प्रयोजनंच अस्य स्वस्थस्य स्वास्थ्य रक्षणं आतुरस्य व्याधी प्रशमनंच ।"
In Ayurveda texts, Prevention of disease is as important as cure of any disease. Ayurveda has given equal importance to both. And for that healthy lifestyle, Ritucharya, dos and don’ts for healthy body functions has been mentioned thoroughly. Ayurvedic medicines have been successfully used and tested since ages. Such time proven ayurvedic medicines are still more efficient and safe than any other medicine system, all that is required is to use the right medicine according to the condition of the disease.
There are many misconceptions about Ayurveda in the minds of people nowadays.
Some of the misconceptions-
1. Ayurvedic medicines have no side effects??-
This is one of the biggest and most dangerous misconceptions and many people think that Ayurvedic medicines are herbal and do not have adverse effects on the body. But where there is an effect, there will be side effects if the medicine is used improperly. Taking the right medicine with the advice of the right doctor will definitely not have any side effects but the medicines taken in the wrong dose and in the wrong way will definitely harm the body.
Just like guggulu tablets / Asava, Arishta medicines are if taken on an empty stomach and in high doses, once can experience hyper-acidity, stomach upset, burning in abdomen etc.
There are some poisonous herbs which are used in ayurvedic medicines after purification. But excess or wrong use of such herbs like Jaipal / Dhattur / Vatsnabh / Afu, can be harmful to the body. Toxins are produced in the body and other diseases are produced. There are many ayurvedic medicines which are more beneficial when used with the advice of a proper doctor.
Improperly prepared bhasma medicine contains hazardous substances like heavy-metal so it affects the kidneys / liver / heart so it should be used only after making sure that these bhasma medicines are prepared authentically by standard pharmacy or ayurvedic doctor.
2. Ayurvedic medicines do not expire -??
It is a big misconception among the people that Ayurveda medicines do not have an expiry date, but the fact is that all Ayurveda medicines also have an expiry date and this time period has been already mentioned in ancient Ayurveda text books. Churna (Powders), kashay (extracts), tablets etc. all medicines have an expiration of a certain number of months / years.
In modern period this can be extended to 3 to 5 years by adding preservatives.
Generally, powder / extract have expiry date after 1 year, gutika / vati(tablet)- 2 years, avaleh- 3 years, guggulu containing tablets- 5 years, oil and ghee- 2 years, these medicines are good for this period, with the exception of Bhasma medicines and asava/ arishta medicines.
Asava –Arishta and bhasma are more better if they are older. But recently, according to the new rules, Asav Arishta has also been given an expiry of 10 years.
3. The Ayurvedic medicines takes more time to show results on body.-
Ayurvedic medicines are fast acting and more effective, if used with the right advice and in the right way. In Ayurvedic medicine, some medicines (Asav-Arishta / Vish Kalpa / Matra) are mixed in the blood quickly and start working and show results as fast as Allopathic medicine. Medications that show immediate effects also include laxatives. Some medications used for purgation are effective as soon as diarrhea starts within 1 hour.
4. There are many dietary restrictions in Ayurveda Treatment-
This misconception is becoming more and more prevalent in today's fast food eaters fast lifestyle, but Ayurveda gives as much importance on proper diet as it does on medicines. Because the root cause of many ailments and diseases is wrong eating habits, so it is just as important to abstain from the diet that has caused the ailment and it is the first step in treatment, which is called 'Nidan Parivarjan' in Ayurveda.
The dietary science described in Ayurveda is still 100% accurate and advanced science. If allopathic medicines are taken for acid reflux and alongwith that acid or bile-enhancing substances are taken in the diet , it is opposite to each other and such treatment is only a temporary treatment for the symptoms. But in Ayurveda, the treatment of acid reflux is done from the root.