Ayurveda FAQ (Frequently Asked Qustions)

Part I. The Healthcare system
1. What is Ayurveda?
2. Ayurveda is said to be eternal. Why?
3. What is the central principle of Ayurveda?
4. How is Ayurveda different from modern medicines?
5. What are the salient features of the Ayurveda Health care system?
6. In one sentence, what is the message of Ayurveda to the present-day human being?
7. What is the action plan of Ayurveda for a ‘toxin free body and electrical mind’?
8. Why is Ayurveda becoming more and more popular in the western world?
9. What is the contribution of Buddhism in Ayurveda?
10.What are the eight branches of Ayurveda?

Part II. Basic principles of Ayurveda

11.What is the Ayurvedic view of the organizational layout of the body?
12.What are the main pillars of the human organism, according to Ayurveda ? How are they related?
13.What is the relationship between the vital energy (Dosha), tissue (Dhathu) and impurities?
14.What is the tridosha theory? Why is the tridosha considered the central point around which the philosophy of Ayurveda is woven?
15.What is the effect of three doshas?

Part III. Ayurvedic healthcare products and procedures.

16.Are all Ayurvedic products of natural origin?
17.Which are the authentic texts on which these health care products are based?
18.What are the popular pharmaceutical forms of Ayurvedic medicines?
19.What are the diseases for which treatment is available in Ayurveda?
20.What is the importance of Ayurvedic procedures?
21.What is Panchakarma?
22.How is Panchakarma therapy performed ?
23.What is the Ayurvedic view of skin and hair care ?


16.Are all Ayurvedic products of natural origin ?

Ayurveda favors administration of natural health care products (of plant, animal, mineral origin) and their preparations. Generally Ayurvedic medicare products cause no toxic or side effects, and hence are totally safe.

These are time-tested preparations, which have been used by many generations.

There is no question of tolerance, resistance or addiction with Ayurvedic health care products.

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17.Which are the authentic texts, on which these health care products are based ?

Ancient classical texts of Ayurveda Charaka Samhitha, Susrutha Samhitah, Ashtanaga Samgraham, Ashanga Hridayam, Sargadhara Samhitha, Bhishaga Ratnavali etc. are the treatises of effective practices and formulations and these form the basis of Ayurvedic pharmaceuticals.

Recent scientific research has proved the efficacy of herbs used and also the formulations.

A number of Ayurvedic research institutes around the world has taken up scientific research into these health care products.

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18.What are popular pharmaceutical forms of Ayurvedic medicines ?

a). Fermented preparation (Asavarishta)
b). Medicated Ghee (Ghrita)
c). Paste (Lehya)
d). Incinerated metals and minerals (Bhasma)
e). Fine powder (Choorna)
f). Coarse powder for decoction (Kashaya Choorna)
g). Decoction (Kashaya)
h). Pills (Gulika)
i). Ophthalmic preparation (Rasakriya)

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19.What are the diseases for which treatment is available in Ayurveda ?

Ayurveda has effective treatment for diseases of all systems of the body, of persons of all age groups. There are special treatment for the diseases of elderly, women and children.

Disorders of nervous system, respiratory system, digestive system, circulatory system, diseases of urinary tract, water metabolism disorders of reproductive system, fibril and infectious diseases, mental disorders and many more illnesses are successfully treated with herb and plant based Ayurvedic procedures.

The Southern most state of India, Kerala, is known as the 'heart land of Ayurveda' and this is where ayurveda gains most of its recognition from.

"Panchakrama" detoxification, and rejuvenation therapy was perfected in Kerala, the mountains of which are rich in medicinal herbs.

Ayurvedic medical system is being upgraded all over India now to meet the needs of present day. Research institutions and Ayurvedic medical colleges in India are engaged in research and development which has resulted in bringing to light the efficacy of many age old formulations. New drugs which can cure killer diseases in a natural way are being formulated.

Well-documented studies in many parts of India confirm the breakthroughs in this field, through scientific research studies, Ayurvedic doctors have unequivocally proved their claims of having cured cancer.

Effective herbal remedies to control diabetes are also formulated.

Many diseases for which modern medicine has no effective cure are successfully treated by Ayurveda.

Treatment of arthritis has been perfected by Ayurvedic system, which is sought by many from all over the world.

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20.What is the importance of Ayurvedic procedures ?

These are basically therapeutic measures taken either to prevent diseases or cure them. Thus Ayurvedic procedures are done either to detoxify the body or as a prelude to strengthening the immune system. ‘Panchakarma’ or 'five procedures', is the most sought after anti aging, detoxification therapy.

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21.What is Panchakarma ?

Basic objective of "Panchakarma" (Five internal detoxification procedures) is to remove the excessive accumulated toxin, which causes the vitiation of ‘dosha’ (fault).

If any ‘dosha’ is upset due either to environment or dietary factors it is often difficult to be normalised with diet and drugs alone.

In many cases, diet regulation and drug regime may take too long.Actual ‘Panchakarma’ procedures are always preceded and succeeded with specialised procedures.

The pre-procedures are called ‘Poorva Karma’ and consists of digestion (Pachana), oleation (senehan), fomentation (swedan).

Thus ‘digestion’ relies on the use of drugs to digest any ‘ama’ (undigested or unripe substance) that present in digestive system.

‘Sneham’ consists of administration of ghee, oil, or bone marrow over a period of days.

Usually the vitiated ‘toxins’ tends to accumulate in the gut. This then gets absorbed with food and blocks the channels of tissues.

The ghee eaten in measured quantities during oleation eranters it and helps to open the channels.

Then there may be hot fomentation, which gives a feeling of well being. Hot fomentation opens up the channels to tissues, which already has been worked on by oleation.

Then follows the ‘clean up’ (Shodhan) procedures which are of five types known as ‘Panchakarma’.

If used as therapeutic measure they can be done at any time of the year, i.e. at the time of disease occurs.

If one use it as a preventive measure, it should be used at the appropriate time for each ‘dosha’

There are five procedures in ‘Panchakarma’ therapy. These are:
1) Forced vomiting (Vaman)
2) Purging (Virechan)
3) Medical enema (Vasti)
4) Nasal administration of substances (Nasya) and
5) Blood letting (Raktomokshana).

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22.How is Panchakarma therapy performed ?

Vomiting (Vaman) is intended to the removal of ‘kapha dosha’. It is not to be adopted for ‘kapha’ only but necessarily in case of "kapha’s" conjunction with one or both ‘doshas’.

Vaman is essential in the case of food poisoning or other type of poisoning.

Vaman employs certain emetic drugs that induce a severe spell of vomiting to clean the upper gut.

Bronchital asthma is prevented by periodically inducing ‘Vaman’.

Purging is a purifactory treatment as important as emisis or vomiting.

‘Verachan’ concentrates on the lower part of the gut and uses purgatives to clean the bowel. This procedure helps get rid of all three doshas, though pitta and kapha benefit the most.

To cure piles, boils, discolouration of face, jaundice, chronic fever, spleen enlargement cataract, intenstinal disorders, ailments of the womb, arthritis, haemothermia, constipation, diabetes, skin diseases, tumors, asthma cough, ailments in the head and many other diseases in the Ayurvedic way, purging is essential.

The classical Text ‘Ashtanga Hridaya’ says, "A purge properly carried out leads to clarity of intellect, power to the organs, elemental stability and glow to digestive fire and it delays aging".

Medical enema ‘Vasti’ predominates in the five course of treatment (Panchakarma). This is prescribed for ‘vata’ dominated patients and helps to overcome all diseases, revives vital force, and rejuvenates body.

The rectal lining is very permeable and the drug reaches the circulation directly without passing through liver.

Ayurveda offers ‘Vasti’ as a therapy for several indications. These are digestive, evacuative, rejuvenative and health promotive ‘Vastis’.

In general ‘vastis’ tackle ‘Vata dosha’ the best way.

The fluid for ‘vasti’ is either medicinal decoction or herbal oil to suit the ailment.

‘Vasthi’ for the head gives extraordinary relief for all ailments connected with ‘vata’ in the head, ear ache, humming in the ear, deafness, numbness of the head and all ailments based on the cranical nerves.

This procedure is usually done for 7 days.

‘Nasya’ (Nasal administration of substances) is essential for almost all the ailments above the neck. This is effective for many diseases like facial paralysis.

‘Nasya’ is of three types, purgative, nourishing and palliative.

For each ailment a substance that gives diserable result is selected. By this procedure shoulders, neck and face will become firm, the skin soft.

All organs become firm and hair will not gray.

Blood letting (Raktamochana) is a therapy advised by Ayurveda to treat heart conditions and varicose veins. Ayurveda advocates the use of leeches applied ever alternate day to reduce venomous congestion.

The digestive fire is low after the ‘panchakarma’. So the diet first should be liquid followed by solids.

IMPORTANT: the above is only for information purposes and not intended as a guidline for anytype of therapy. The actual practice of panchakarma may vary in different clinics. The above is in by no means the definite way in which our clinic practices it. This is because the treatments we offer at our clinic may vary between individuals, since ayurvedic therapy is always at a personal level and cannot be fully generalised in practice. If you are interested in getting panchakarma, you should get in contact with a well qualified, reputed and well-experienced (preferably several years) ayurvedic physician for more information. For a free consultation, you can contact us, and we will be more than happy to answer your needs.

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23.What is the Ayurvedic view of skin and hair care ?

Ayurveda emphasis the all important value of good diet as it creates good quality nourishment. (Rasa) which in turn will nourish blood (rakta) and subsequently influence the skin. Ayurveda says that skin diseases occur primarily due to sluggish liver function which leads to ‘pitta’ and ‘kapha’ dosha dysfunction. Another vital factor that contributes to healthy appearance is the clean bowel. Hence the need for regular and complete bowel evacuation.The hair is the metabolic end product of bone and marrow. Thus if thediet falls short of nourishing bones, the quantity of hair is affected. Similarly stress and worry leads to unhealthy hair. Wholesome diet is necessary for good skin and hair. Ayurvedic skin and hair care products are formulated with this fact in view.

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IMPORTANT: all of the above is only for information purposes and not intended as a guidline for anytype of therapy. The actual practice of ayurvedic therapy may vary in different clinics. The treatments we offer at our clinic may vary between individuals, since ayurvedic therapy is always at a personal level and cannot be fully generalised in practice. If you are interested in getting ayurvedic treatment, you should get in contact with a well qualified, reputed and well-experienced (preferably several years) ayurvedic physician for more information. For a free consultation, you can contact us, and we will be more than happy to answer your needs.

DISCLAIMER: all of the above is written in the author's views and opinions and may or may not represent the views of this clinic. However, all material is written in good faith and the intent is for informative purposes.