Sunday, September 21, 2014

Ayurveda treatment: Your queries, our answers!

Ayurveda treatment: Your queries, our answers!
Q. 1. Is Ayurvedic treatment expensive?
Answer:  Yes and no both are true. Yes in the sense that only some preparations like those containing Gold, Diamond etc. are costly. However, most Ayurvedic medicines are not so expensive to become out of reach of common man. There are many people, who are actually cheating and looting people and earning money in the name of Ayurveda. Such people are doing only business and they have to do nothing regarding the original purpose of Ayurveda; in fact many of them have never studied any book or have even the basic knowledge or qualification of Ayurveda.
Ayurvedic treatment is not more expensive than Western medicine (Allopath). There are many medicines in Allopath which are so expensive to be out of reach of common man.
Here, the role of Ayurveda physicians becomes very important. They can provide economical therapy to the people, based on their knowledge and skills.
Q. 2. Do Ayurvedic medicines work slower than those of any other system of medicine?
Answer: Every system of medicine is enriched with both types of medicines; slow acting as well as fast acting. Few people consider Homeopathy as slow system which is not correct. Allopathic medicines are generally considered to be fast-acting but sometimes they too take very much time to cure the disease.
In Ayurveda too, there are many medicines which are very fast-acting; sometimes even within a few minutes.
The patient has been termed as ‘aatur’ and the hospital as ‘aaturalaya’. The word ‘aatur’literally means ‘a panic individual’. He is suffering from some disease and want to get rid from his pain and suffering as soon as possible. He will always be inclined towards a person, who can reassure him and promise a fast cure. There are many Ayurveda physicians who generally tend to ignore this fact. They often say patient; “treatment will be very long and you have to take medicines for a long period to get relief.” Such statements of physician will indeed harm the patient. It will increase his fear and the effect of medicines may also be delayed.
Thus, it’s physician knowledge and skills, which can lead to a successful and fast treatment leading to a healthy individual.
Q.3. How is ayurveda different from modern medicine?
Answer: The Allopathic system of medicine is basically designed to alleviate the symptoms, it uses synthetically engineered products that are quick in action. On the other hand Ayurveda is based upon Mind-Body – Soul theory, is holistic , and takes use of natural products with less side- effects, and is targetted to eliminate root cause by establishing balance in body physiology. It also recommends diet and life style modifications for alleviating diseases.
Q. 4. Are Ayurvedic medicines are free from side-effects?
Answer: I’ll not keep this myth among the people that Ayurvedic medicines are completely free from side-effects.
When the food we eat daily, if not taken in proper way, can lead to undesirable side-effects; how can any medicine be free from side-effects. For example, milk has been given a status of ‘Amrit’ in texts, can sometimes lead to abdominal pain, distension, loose motion etc. Like other system’s medicines have side-effects, Ayurvedic medicines too have side-effects, not only ordinary but sometimes even life-threatening. Many Ayurvedic medicines are prepared from the purification of poisonous substances.
Actually there are many reasons behind the side-effects. One among them is ‘lack of assessment of patient’s tolerability’ by the physician. In Ayurvedic treatment the physician has to analyze the drugs’ and patient’s ‘strength’ (Bal) and ‘constitution’ (Prakriti). Being human, a physician can sometimes lead to error in his assessment and analysis, which can lead to side-effect of the drugs. Still, Ayurvedic medicines have fewer side-effects than Western medicines (allopath).
Q. 5. Which Ayurvedic medicines’ preparations are good; tablets/capsules or Avlehas or something else?
Answer: In Ayurveda there are many different types of preparations based on individual patient’s need and palatability. Some people can easily take ‘churna’ (medicine powder), some can take tablets or capsules, some may like ‘Avlehas’ (paste like chyawanpraash) and still some may need ‘kwath’ (decoction of herbs), syrup and/or ‘Asavas’ and ‘Aristas’ (Fermented decoction). Each kind of preparation has its own indication and importance.
Q. 6. Is Ayurvedic treatment different from Home-remedies?
Answer: Home remedies can be useful or harmful for an individual. It is seen in our society that Home-remedies are used and advised blindly by people. Remedy which is useful for the person, who advised it for you, may actually be useful or sometimes even harmful for you.
Ayurvedic treatment taken under the supervision of a qualified physician is based on many parameters of patient as well as the disease. So, it should not be compared to Home-remedies. Better way is that you should ask your physician about a particular remedy to be used or not.
Q. 7. What are the raw materials used to prepare Ayurvedic medicines?
Answer: Most of Ayurveda medicines are prepared using different parts of herbal plants and/or their extracts. Besides plants/herbal origin, some Ayurvedic medicines are prepared using minerals, salts, asphalt, alkalis, metals like gold, silver, mercury (after purification in compound form). Sometimes animal products are also used like; stag horn, sea-shells, pearls etc.
Q. 8. Does Pulse (Naadi) is the only way to diagnose diseases in Ayurveda?
Answer: No. Pulse is one of the several methods of diagnosis in Ayurveda. Importance of pulse has been well accepted in almost all the systems of medicines but in Ayurveda many other methods are also used like; colour of eyes, tongue, nails etc., shape of chest, movements. Here, I would like to specially mention the ‘Astavidha rogi pareeksha’ (Eight methods to examine a patient) which includes; Naadi (Pulse), Mutra (Urine), Mala (stool), Shabda (voice), Sparsha (Touch), Drik (Eyes) and Aakriti (body shape).
Besides these, many other methods to diagnose have been explained in the Ayurvedic texts.
Sometimes, a physician may need some laboratory investigations to confirm the diagnosis.
Thanks for patiently reading this article. I hope people will be more familiar to Ayurveda after reading this article. If however, you still have any query/doubt regarding your disease, you can e-mail us at
Author: Dr. Hemant Adhikari
Consultant Ayurveda Physician and Kshara sutra specialist

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing information
    Ayurveda therapies when applied with skill and care work on both the physical and psychological levels to invigorate, relax and ease pain or tension from stiff aching muscles, boost circulation and alleviate mental stress, soothing the soul and fostering balance and serenity.