Ayurveda Medicine for Chronic Pain and Illnesses

Reviewed by: Dr. Tummala (who is from India), owner of Trinergy Center for Integrative Psychiatry an Integrative Psychaitry clinic that combines modern psychiatric science with Ayurveda and Functional Medicine.

Ayurveda MedicineIt is a type of natural, holistic (whole body) healing system, focused on balancing the mind, body, spirit, and environment. Ayurveda treatments are customized to the individual. Treatments may include herbs, aromatherapy, massage, specialized diets, detoxes, and exercise. Ayurveda is used not only to fight off illnesses or diseases, but also in promoting good health to prevent future illnesses.

 

Ayurveda is still today the traditional health care system in India, that is practiced alongside western medicine. Ayurveda was suppressed (even vilified by the British during their colonial occupation of India. But since India’s independence in 1947, and under the auspices of the newly formed Indian Government, Ayurveda has enjoyed a renaissance not just in India but also in the Western world. This is mainly because of its holistic, root cause science, which is the only answer to modern illnesses which are chronic and the result of poor diet and lifestyle, and environmental toxicity.

 

NIH (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)/Ayurvedic Medicine: In Depth. (2019, January 14). Retrieved from: https://nccih.nih.gov/health/ayurveda/introduction.htm

Wong, Cathy. (2019 March 19). verywellhealth/Overivew of Ayurveda Healing. Retrieved from: https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-is-ayurveda-88174


JOHN HOPKINS MEDICINE/Ayurveda. Retrived from: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/complementary_and_alternative_medicine/ayurveda_85,P00173


PENNSTATE HERSHEY: Milton S. Hershey Medical Center/Ayurveda. (2015 November 6). Retrieved from: http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=107&pid=33&gid=000348

 

Kiefer MD, David. (2016 November 1). WebMD/What is Ayurveda? Retrieved from: https://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/ayurvedic-treatments#1

Understanding the Doshas

Chronic Pain ResourcesAyurveda teaches us that every person is made up of the five basic elements found in the universe: space, air, fire, water, and earth. The three doshas are the energies or life forces that make up these elements, and each plays an important role in how the body function. There three doshas are Vata (space and air), Pitta (fire and water), Kapha (water and earth). Ayurveda teaches us that when you get sick there is an imbalance of the doshas. Also, the imbalance of the specific dosha is linked to the health issue you develop. Everyone has different dosha strengths, but typically one or two is more dominant than the others. The dominant dosha will determine a person’s body type, appetite, energy levels, moods, and other individual differences. Imbalances can occur from a variety of things such as poor diet, chemicals, toxins, genetic/birth defects, injuries, seasonal changes, age, physical/mental exertion, thoughts and emotions.

  • Vata Dosha
    Vata is said to be the most powerful of all the doshas, according to those who participate in Ayurveda medicine. It controls essential body functions from how cells divide, to breathing, the mind, blinking, blood flow, circulation, heart function, mobility, motion, and removing waste from the intestines. It is said to resemble the wind, being mobile and dynamic, along with the moving force of both pitta and kapha. It is also responsible for regulating the central nervous system. Vata is present in the large intestine, bones, skin, ears, thighs, and pelvis. This dosha can become out of balance from things such as fear, grief, staying up late, and eating too soon after a meal. This can cause fear, stress, being “scatter-brained” or anxious. When in balance, vata energy allows for a healthy balance between thought and emotion, improved creativity, activity, a focused mind, and liveliness.

Every person is said to have a dosha energy that is stronger than all the rest. People with vata dosha when balanced have many of the following characteristics:

    • Imaginative and creative
    • Energetic
    • Thinner, smaller bones, don’t put on weight easily
    • Think quickly
    • Are colder than most people
    • Have a fragile digestive system
    • Dry and sensitive skin
    • Spontaneous
    • Changeable
    • Quick physically or mentally
    • Subtle
    • Sensitive

 When imbalanced, these people are more likely to struggle with low energy, dehydration, constipation, confusion, dizziness or exaggerated movement and speech. If out of balance too long, vata people are susceptive to health conditions such as anxiety, asthma, heart disease, skin problems, and rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Pitta Dosha

Chronic Pain ResourcesPitta is the energy force that governs most metabolic activity, including digestion, absorption of nutrients, body temperature and energy expenditure (Dr. Axe, 2019). Pitta is considered to be like the sun or a combination of fire and water because it is the source of energy. It controls the digestive system, hormones linked to appetite, chemical, and other metabolic processes. Pitta is present in the small intestines, stomach, skin, blood, sweat glands, and eyes. Not only does Pitta manage our ability to digest food, but also digesting information on how we view the world. Eating sour foods, spicy foods, or spending too much time in the sun, are some of the ways pitta can become out of balance. When pitta is in balance people are intelligence and complacent.     

People with pitta as their strongest dosha when balanced are described as:

    • Medium build, oily skin, athletic, versatile in putting on weight and muscle
    • Fiery personality
    • Smart
    • Hard-working and driven (even competitive)
    • Sharp intellect
    • Hot
    • Articulate
    • Good sense of judgement/critical thinking
    • Decisive
    • Organized
    • Efficient

 When unbalanced they may become aggressive and extremely angry, or develop an annoying rash or acidic stomach. They are more susceptible to Crohn’s disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, stomach ulcers, infections, inflammation, heartburn, and arthritis. 

  • Kapha Dosha

Kapha is the dosha responsible for supplying water to body parts, moisturizing the skin, muscle growth, body strength, stability, weight, and the immune system. Kapha is present in the lungs, chest, and spinal fluid. It helps bring moisture to the cells and organs, along with promoting a strong immune system. Kapha is represented by both earth and water because of endurance, physical and psychological strength, and stability. Kapha is believed to be responsible for strength, immunity, and growth (verywell health, 2019). Kapha can become out of balance by eating too many sweet foods, consuming foods or drinks with too much salt or water, or sleeping during the day. When balanced kapha allows for love and forgiveness. 

When balanced, people who have a dominant Kapha energy are described as:

    • Solid body frame, strong, heavy, soft but firm
    • Grounded
    • Calm
    • Patient
    • Compassionate and understanding
    • Loyal, loving, supportive (steady nature)
    • Forgiving
    • Wise
    • Long memory
    • Stored energy

This state of being out of balance may cause: insecurity, envy, laziness, or sadness. They are susceptible to asthma, breathing problems, cancer, diabetes, gallbladder problems, nausea from food, obesity, and sinus congestion.

Balance of Doshas: Prakruti

People are all born with a specific prakruti, the inherent balance of all three doshas within a person’s body. Everyone has Vata, Pitta, and Kapha in them, and the percentage of each one makes up a person’s prakruti. The prakruti, established at conception, is viewed as a unique combination of physical and psychological characteristics that affect the way each person functions (UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA: Taking Charge of your Health & Wellbeing). A person’s prakruti never changes, but is influenced by a variety of internal and external factors throughout life.

 

Dr. Kern, Deb. (2013 January 15). YouTube/Introduction to Ayurveda by Dr. Deb Kern. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WA7arYa-leE&t=1671s

 

JOHN HOPKINS MEDICINE/Ayurveda. Retrived from: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/complementary_and_alternative_medicine/ayurveda_85,P00173


COPPER H20/Ayurvedic Medicine Origin, History and Principles. Retrieved from: https://www.copperh2o.com/blogs/blog/ayurvedic-medicine-origin-history-and-principles

 

Kiefer MD, David. (2016 November 1). WebMD/What is Ayurveda? Retrieved from: https://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/ayurvedic-treatments#1


Axe DC DMN CNS, Josh. (2019 April 10). Dr. Axe FOOD IS MEDICINE/Ayurvedic Medicine Benefits Include Lowering Stress and Blood Pressure. https://draxe.com/ayurvedic-medicine/


Guha PhD MPH MA, Amala. UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA: TAKING CHARGE of your HEALTH & WELLBEING/Is Ayurvedic Medicine Safe?/Where Can I Find an Ayurvedic Practioner?/What Happens in a Visit to an
Ayurvedic Practitioner?/ What is the Philosophy of Ayurvedice Medicine? Retrieved from: https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/ayurvedic-medicine/-ayurvedic-medicine-safe-0


COPPER H20/Ayurvedic Medicine Origin, History and Principles. Retrieved from: https://www.copperh2o.com/blogs/blog/ayurvedic-medicine-origin-history-and-principles


PENNSTATE HERSHEY: Milton S. Hershey Medical Center/Ayurveda. (2015 November 6). Retrieved from: http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=107&pid=33&gid=000348

Chronic Pain ResourcesDr Tummala, owner of Trinergy Center for Integrative Psychiatry an Ayurveda clinic (who is from India), says there isn’t any health conditions she is afraid to work with. She says her business is able to work with a wide range of illnesses and disease because Ayurveda treats the person and their specific imbalances. It is not disease focused as what has become the bane of modern medicine. So there is no antacid, no antihypertensive, no antidepressants, etc. Each individual person’s symptoms are understood on the basis of their dosha imbalance, and treatment is geared towards bringing the dosha’s back into balance. Although symptomatic treatments (relief of pain, etc.) are also used, it is always implemented within the context of also removing the underlying root causes. For example, two people with a diagnosis of Major Depression can have the same qualifying symptoms: sadness and loss of interest. But in one person, the underlying root cause can be a Vata imbalance and so this person will also have constipation, anxiety, terminal insomnia, etc; while the other person may have Pitta imbalance with diarrhea, chest pain, obsessiveness, early insomnia, etc. So the first person will receive Vata balancing treatments, and the second person will receive Pitta balancing treatments.

Ayurveda health practitioners can help with diagnosis of all kinds such as ADHD, Anxiety, Arthritis, Asthma, Autism, Depression, Digestive problems, Dementia, Cancer, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Stress, Eczema, Fibromyalgia, High blood pressure, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Rheumatoid arthritis and so on…

Ayurveda medicine addresses all the imbalances of energy in a person’s body, instead of focusing on just one thing, or only treating the symptoms of the illness or disease. When addressing an illness whether it is a mental illness like depression or a physical illness like cancer, the person’s physical, mental, emotional, environmental, and spiritual health, must all be looked at. Depression may have occurred due to a physical illness, just the same as cancer may have begun with a mental health issue.

Some examples of patients Dr. Tummala, owner of Trinergy Center for Integrative Psychiatry an Ayurveda clinic (who is from India) has helped are:

A male patient had constipation issues since the 1st grade, which over time led to allergies, asthma, eczema, anxiety, and later depression lasting for over 17 years. Trinergy Center helped him with Ayurveda medicine and psychiatry, and after 18 months he made a complete recovery. He no longer suffers from any of those health issues, and is no longer being treated.  

Another patient was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in her early 30’s and also suffered from bipolar mood disorder. After trying many different treatments and medication she went to Trinergy Center for Integrative Psychiatry. With Ayurveda treatment and psychiatry, she went into remission and her mood stabilized after a year and a half. She no longer seeks treatment nor is in need of any medications.

Tummala, Aruna MD ABIHM. (2018, April 3). Trinergy Center For Integrative Psychiatry. Personal Interview. https://trinergyhealth.com/

Axe DC DMN CNS, Josh. (2019 April 10). Dr. Axe FOOD IS MEDICINE/Ayurvedic Medicine Benefits Include Lowering Stress and Blood Pressure. https://draxe.com/ayurvedic-medicine/


BetterHealth Chanel/Ayurveda. (2012 May). Retrieved from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/ayurveda

PENNSTATE HERSHEY: Milton S. Hershey Medical Center/Ayurveda. (2015 November 6). Retrieved from: http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=107&pid=33&gid=000348

Chronic Pain ResourcesTreatments are created for the individual person, because even if two people suffer from the same disease, their bodies are not the same. Symptoms can manifest differently in the physical body, the mind, emotions, and so on. Treatments will take into account: what disease a person has, what symptoms they are experiencing, along with what primary life force (dosha) a person has, and the balance of their other doshas. Ayurveda states that disease and suffering result from an imbalance in the three doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha). So by balancing the body’s energies, the body can heal from the illness or disease.

The primary treatments for Ayurveda medicine are a combination of: diet, exercise and lifestyle changes, herbal supplements, the Ayurveda detox, and massage. Ayurveda will address multiple health issues such as food intolerances, a lack of nutrients, or chronic stress, in order to reduce inflammation and increase energy and healing.

Treatments Explained

  • Diet

Ayurveda encourages people to eat more plant-based foods and real whole foods. A recommended diet may include specific foods that help to balance a person’s doshas. Here is a list of ayurvedic foods based on doshas. While each person’s diet depends on body type and needs, Ayurvedic diets for the three different dosha types all include various fresh herbs, spices, teas, vegetables, healthy fats, high-antioxidant foods and protein (Dr. Axe, 2019). Ayurveda also states there are six forms of taste: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent. Each one has a specific purpose: astringent (increasing absorption of minerals), sour (improving digestion), salty (maintains water electrolyte balance), bitter (stimulate other tastes), sweet (promotes strength and nourishes all tissues), and pungent (digestion and absorption).

  • Exercise

Recommended exercises will be gentle, and help with boosting metabolism and circulation.

  • Herbal Supplements

This is a key component of Ayurveda medicine. This is considered a precise science. An Ayurveda practitioner must have an in-depth knowledge of plants and how they will affect a person’s biochemistry, psychology, and human physiology. Every herb can have a different effect based on virya (active potency), vipak (post-digestive effect), and ras (taste). Some popular ayurvedic herbs and spices include ashwaghanda, boswellia, gotu kola, guggul, turmeric, and triphala. There are also specific herbal teas for all three doshas to help balance them. 

  • Ayurveda Detox
    The Ayurveda detox is called Panchakarma. It is said to be one of the world’s most comprehensive cleansing detoxes. Dr. Tummala, owner of Trinergy Center for Integrative Psychiatry an Ayurveda clinic (who is from India), says the idea behind the cleanse is to remove “Ama” which is the byproduct of undigested food in the gut. This “Ama” initially accumulates in the gut, but eventually will spill over and be transferred to other tissues where it can exert its damaging effects causing illness. The Ama is the main toxin that is eliminated in PK. In modern medicine terms, Ama loosely translates to the inflammation byproducts that are first formed in the gut due to leaky gut and undigested food particles, which then travels to other organs and tissues.

Chronic Pain ResourcesThe Ayurveda detox releases toxins from deep within tissues, and this helps restore doshas to their proper place in the body. It helps to reduce symptoms and balance the dosha energies in the body. The cleanse may include fasting, diet, enemas, herbs, oil based laxatives, inhaling medicine, or body treatments.

  • Ayurveda Massage

This type of massage is not only focused on relaxation, but also stress release and letting go of emotional blockages. It helps to create a balance of mind, body, and spirit.

Ayurveda is heavy on the use of essential oils and they are often infused with herbs. There are different types kneading, strokes, and pressures, which can help with the process of balancing the doshas. One type of Ayurvedic massage therapy is Marna, which focuses on stimulating the flow of life energy (prana) by kneading different points and channels of the body (Copper H20). It is different from the typical Swedish massage because of the heavy use of oils, and focus on energy points rather than manipulating muscles.

There is also a type of treatment called Shirodhara, where warm herb-infused oils are poured over the forehead in a rhythmic, smooth flow. Dr. Tummala, owner of Trinergy Center for Integrative Psychiatry an Ayurveda clinic (who is from India), says this procedure stimulates the “third eye center,” also called the “Ajna Chakra” or the pineal gland, and is thought to enhance relaxation and relieve insomnia through the hypothesized release of melatonin. Shirodhara can also enhance one’s sense of intuition through its stimulation of the “Ajna Chakra”

  • Transcendental Meditation

This is also called “Maharishi” which means to develop a state of enlightenment. It helps in creating calmness no matter how busy you are. It was developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the late 1950s. This technique of meditation uses mantras (a thought or sound which one focuses on). Meditation actually originates from India.

  • Breathing Exercises

They are also called Pranayama. They will help with calming nerves for better energy, sleep, and hormone function.

  • Chronic Pain ResourcesYoga

Yoga originates from India, so it makes sense for it to be included. It can help reduce stress and improve anxiety. Yoga represents the “Vihara” or the exercise arm of therapeutic intervention in Ayurveda. The 3 main pillars of therapeutic intervention in Ayurveda are: “Ahara” or diet, “Vihara” or exercise and “Aushadhi” or medicine.

  • Aromatherapy

Essential oils are used for not only massage, but also inhaling.

  • Sound Treatment

Sound treatments include mantras, music, toning, or using bells, gongs, or bowls. It is believed that vibrations and frequencies can create harmony that are needed to bring balance to the body and the universe (Copper H2O).

Tummala, Aruna MD ABIHM. (2018, April 3). Trinergy Center For Integrative Psychiatry. Personal Interview. https://trinergyhealth.com/

Wong, Cathy. (2019 March 19). verywellhealth/Overivew of Ayurveda Healing. Retrieved from: https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-is-ayurveda-88174

BetterHealth Chanel/Ayurveda. (2012 May). Retrieved from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/ayurveda


ELLE/So, What Exactly Is Ayurvedic Massage. (2019, February 18). Retrieved from: https://www.elle.com/beauty/health-fitness/a26255676/ayurvedic-massage/

 

COPPER H20/Ayurvedic Medicine Origin, History and Principles. Retrieved from: https://www.copperh2o.com/blogs/blog/ayurvedic-medicine-origin-history-and-principles

Kiefer MD, David. (2016 November 1). WebMD/What is Ayurveda? Retrieved from: https://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/ayurvedic-treatments#1


Guha PhD MPH MA, Amala. UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA: TAKING CHARGE of your HEALTH & WELLBEING/Is Ayurvedic Medicine Safe?/Where Can I Find an Ayurvedic Practioner?/What Happens in a Visit to an Ayurvedic Practitioner?/ What is the Philosophy of Ayurvedice Medicine? Retrieved from: https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/ayurvedic-medicine/-ayurvedic-medicine-safe-0

Axe DC DMN CNS, Josh. (2019 April 10). Dr. Axe FOOD IS MEDICINE/Ayurvedic Medicine Benefits Include Lowering Stress and Blood Pressure. https://draxe.com/ayurvedic-medicine/

Chronic Pain ResourcesTreatment aims to get rid of impurities, reduce symptoms, increase disease resistance, reduce stress, and create more harmony in life (JOHN HOPKINS MEDICINE). Ayurveda medicine practitioners want people to live long, happy, healthy, and balanced lives, without complicated surgeries, ongoing prescription drugs, or painful health conditions.

Researchers agree that another benefit of Ayurveda, is the principle that one drug, herb, or diet change is not going to fix the imbalance of doshas for everyone. There is a different treatment combination for each person, even if two people are suffering from the same condition.


According to Dr Tummala (who is from India), owner of Trinergy Center for Integrative Psychiatry an Integrative Psychaitry clinic that combines modern psychiatric science with Ayurveda and Functional Medicine, the benefits of Ayurveda medicine include

  • Personal empowerment (having health in your hands)
  • Diet/lifestyle foundation
  • Natural, safe, effective, and generally side effect free medicines
  • Works with each individual’s mind-body system to bring them back into balance vs beating it into submission
  • Individualized and customized, we do not treat disease, we treat the person with the disease

Along with Ayurveda helping with various health conditions, it can also help with: detoxing, stress, improving circulation, improving liver function, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, weight loss or maintenance, balancing hormones, lowering inflammation, reducing acne and oily skin, reducing plaque, slowing thickening of artery walls (atherosclerosis), and speeding up recovery from an injury.


Tummala, Aruna MD ABIHM. (2018, April 3). Trinergy Center For Integrative Psychiatry. Personal Interview. https://trinergyhealth.com/


Axe DC DMN CNS, Josh. (2019 April 10). Dr. Axe FOOD IS MEDICINE/Ayurvedic Medicine Benefits Include Lowering Stress and Blood Pressure. Retrieved from: https://draxe.com/ayurvedic-medicine/


JOHN HOPKINS MEDICINE/Ayurveda. Retrieved from: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/complementary_and_alternative_medicine/ayurveda_85,P00173

Although there is not a large body of clinical research on Ayurveda, many of the system’s principles and practices are now recognized and used in conventional medical settings (University of Minnesota: Taking Charge of your Health & Wellbeing). For example, many people acknowledge the health benefits of yoga, massage, and meditation. Many of the popular herbs used in Ayurveda medicine like turmeric and ginger are being recognized lately as benefiting heart health and as antioxidant-boosters. Additionally, the Ayurveda principles of psychological and physical impact that season changes have on people has created research on SAD (seasonal affective disorder).


Chronic Pain ResourcesNo Regulations on Ayurveda Medicine in the United States


In the United States, there are no regulations for Ayurveda medicine. The FDA doesn’t review or approve any products for safety or effectiveness, just the same as dietary supplements. However, the demand for Ayurveda medicine has increased, because it is typically safer than synthetic drugs with a lot less chance of side effects. Westerners are only beginning to learn and understand Ayurveda, so a lot of skepticism still exists.


Use of Metals in Ayurveda Medicine


There are a lot of warnings across the web about the use of metals in Ayurveda treatments. However, when the metals are processed safely, the correct Ayurveda way, they are not harmful. This process is called Bhasma. A Bhasma means an ash obtained through incineration; the starter material undergoes an elaborate process of purification and this process is followed by the reaction phase, which involves incorporation of some other minerals and/or herbal extract (NCBI, 2014). You can read more about the benefits and process of Bhasma in the Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research.

 

Metals are Prohibited from Being Used in Any Medicine or Supplement in America

Metals are banned from being used in Ayurveda products within the U.S, including lead, mercury, and arsenic, because they can cause life threatening illnesses. However, many products can still be purchased online, and test results have revealed that high amounts of metals have been found in online products. In fact, research from 2008 found that one in five online products contained dangerous amounts of toxic metals or arsenic. So it is advised to avoid online purchasing, and obtain products from a knowledgeable Ayurveda doctor. Additionally, an Ayurveda doctor has the knowledge and experience to choose products that work best for your health condition and your body. But also take note of ingredients in herbal medicines. Other potential concerns include the safety of emesis and blood cleaning, because they are controversial in the U.S. However, these treatments are not practiced in the US, but are still practiced in established Ayurvedic hospitals in India. Just make sure you do your own research, or ask questions concerning the safety of these treatments.

Consult Your Doctor

Consult your primary care doctor before trying Ayurveda for any health concerns. Don’t delay treatment for any serious health conditions. This is especially important for woman who are pregnant/breastfeeding, treating a child, a chronic health condition, the health of an older adult, or if you are taking prescription medications. Make sure you consult all your doctors before taking any prescribed herbal supplements with any other prescription medications in case they do not interact well.

Guha PhD MPH MA, Amala. UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA: TAKING CHARGE of your HEALTH & WELLBEING/Is Ayurvedic Medicine Safe?/Where Can I Find an Ayurvedic Practioner?/What Happens in a Visit to an

Ayurvedic Practitioner?/ What is the Philosophy of Ayurvedice Medicine? Retrieved from: https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/ayurvedic-medicine/-ayurvedic-medicine-safe-0


Kiefer MD, David. (2016 November 1). WebMD/What is Ayurveda? Retrieved from: https://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/ayurvedic-treatments#1


Pal, Dilipkumar, Sahu, Chandan Kumar, Haldar, Arindam. (2014). NCBI/Bhasma: The ancient Indian nanomedicine. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3960793/

 

NIH (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)/Ayurvedic Medicine: In Depth. (2019, January 14). Retrieved from: https://nccih.nih.gov/health/ayurveda/introduction.htm


Wong, Cathy. (2019 March 19). verywellhealth/Overivew of Ayurveda Healing. Retrieved from: https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-is-ayurveda-88174

JOHN HOPKINS MEDICINE/Ayurveda. Retrived from: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/complementary_and_alternative_medicine/ayurveda_85,P00173


BetterHealth Chanel/Ayurveda. (2012 May). Retrieved from:

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/ayurveda

Then, there is plenty of information passed down from teacher to student on its effectiveness. There are some case studies showing its effectiveness, but not a great deal of significant scientific evidence. Due to Ayurveda being customized to the specific patient, it is hard to create double-blind placebo experiments, simply because it does not fit with Ayurveda principles. In addition, Ayurveda involves many health concepts that can’t be measured using modern science. It is rather difficult to produce accurate results.

Arthritis and Fibromyalgia

Research supports the idea of the Ayurvedic concept of immune-modulation and healing. Ayurveda treatments aim to fight inflammation, which is known to be the root of most diseases. Therefore, it makes sense that it can reduce pain, improve swelling, increase blood flow, and battle health conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia. A double-blind randomized trial that compared Ayurveda to prescription drug treatment showed less side effects. It actually showed no side effects and also significant improvements over a 36-week period. This was published in 2011 in The Journal of Clinical Rheumatology.

Hormone Imbalances


For thousands of years, people have been relying on Ayurveda to safely balance hormones, conceive, overcome absent or infrequent periods, ovulation issues, increase male hormones, thinning hair, PMS, have a natural pregnancy, or improved menstrual cycle. A 2010 study done by the Institute of Indigenous Medicine at The University of Colombo in Sri Lanka found that using various essential oils to balance hormones, herbal treatments and lifestyle changes daily for a six-month period resulted in 85 percent of the female patients successfully overcoming Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and 75 percent of the patients being able to naturally conceive (Dr. Axe, 2019).


Weight Loss


A 2009 study done in India by the NutriHealth Systems Center, showed diet adjustments that take into account a person’s food preferences led to successful weight loss. Other treatments included stress reducing techniques and essential oils, along with a healthy diet.


Here are some other scientific studies to view:


Management of Parkinson's disease in Ayurveda: Medicinal plants and adjuvant measures.

Efficacy of an Ayurvedic Formulation for Mild-to-moderate Osteoarthritis: A Phase 3, Randomized Controlled Study.


Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial.


A Prospective Trial of Ayurveda for Coronary Heart Disease: A Pilot Study.


Evaluation of the influence of ayurvedic formulation (Ayushman-15) on psychopathology, heart rate variability and stress hormonal level in major depression (Vishada).


An Ayurvedic Herbal Approach To A Healthy Liver

 

Effects of a standardized Ayurvedic formulation on diabetes control in newly diagnosed Type-2 diabetics; a randomized active controlled clinical study.

 

Resources:

COPPER H20/Ayurvedic Medicine Origin, History and Principles. Retrieved from: https://www.copperh2o.com/blogs/blog/ayurvedic-medicine-origin-history-and-principles


Axe DC DMN CNS, Josh. (2019 April 10). Dr. Axe FOOD IS MEDICINE/Ayurvedic Medicine Benefits Include Lowering Stress and Blood Pressure. https://draxe.com/ayurvedic-medicine/


Guha PhD MPH MA, Amala. UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA: TAKING CHARGE of your HEALTH & WELLBEING/Is Ayurvedic Medicine Safe?/Where Can I Find an Ayurvedic Practioner?/What Happens in a Visit to an
Ayurvedic Practitioner?/ What is the Philosophy of Ayurvedice Medicine? Retrieved from: https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/ayurvedic-medicine/-ayurvedic-medicine-safe-0


Reinagel MS LD/N CNS, Monica. (2016 October 11). Quick and Dirty Tips/Does Science Support Ayurveda? Retrieved from: https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/healthy-eating/ask-the-diva/does-science-support-ayurveda?page=1

Ayurveda is the medical system of India, equivalent to Western medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, naturopathic, and homeopathic medicine.

The Creation of the Oldest Healing Science: Ayurveda


Chronic Pain ResourcesAyurveda is the oldest healing science in the world dating back 3,000 to 5,000 years ago, older than traditional Chinese Medicine. It is still largely practiced as a primary form of medicine in India to this day. Ayurveda is actually made up of two words ‘ayu’ means life and ‘veda’ meaning knowledge. This translates to science of life or knowledge of life. Ayurveda has both mythical origins, as well as a historical beginning.


The story is that Ayurveda was a gift given to the people by the Hindu gods. The Hindu god Brahma was responsible for creating Ayurveda and he passed it down to his son, who passed it to other gods, and it continued to be passed down from gods to sages. It is also theorized that it was passed down through meditation. The information was first recorded in 500 to 1000 BCE by Veda Vyasa, a sage of India. The writings were called “Vedas.” The Vedas contain health topics and types of herbs to cure various diseases. The Vedas are considered the world’s oldest pieces of literature. The Ayurvedic texts are composed of two halves, the Great Three Classics Of Ayurveda and the Lesser Three Classics Of Ayurveda (NAMA).


Threats to Ayurveda Medicine


Ayurveda was threatened in 1200 CE with the invasion of Islamic forces from Afghanistan and Turkey. Muslim culture and traditions took over the Indian lifestyle and Ayurveda saw a significant decline. These Islamic invaders waged anti-Buddhist and anti-Hindu crusades and destroyed most of Indian culture and literature (Copper H2O). This led to a new form of medicine Unani a mix of both Arabic medicine and Ayurveda.


Ayurveda continued to be the primary form of medicine, until the 15th century when the British came disguising themselves as traders called the East Indian Company. The British Crown directly ruled over the Indians from 1858 to 1947. The British believed their way of civilization was superior, and the rulers prohibited Ayurveda pushing Western Medicine. Many of Ayurveda texts, teachings, and techniques were not allowed. The British did however bring about a few positive changes. They organized knowledge of Indian medicinal plants into scholarly books and botanical gardens. Ayurveda continued to survive in rural areas outside of traditional society. As India regained independence, Ayurveda, along with Unani and Siddha medicinal systems were revived and acknowledged by the newly formed government (NAMA).


Growth of Ayurveda Medicine


In 1500 B.C., Ayurveda became very popular as a treatment for many different diseases, and eight branches of Ayurveda medicine were formed. They also created a school for surgeons and a school for physicians. The word about Ayurveda spread with Afghanistanis, Chinese, Egyptians, Romans, Tibetans, Persians, and Greeks coming to India in order to learn about Ayurveda treatments and principles. Greek medicine was greatly influenced by the teachings of Ayurveda. Ayurveda also grew in Europe, and formed the foundation of the European tradition in medicine. Paracelsus, the father of modern Western medicine (1600 AD), also adopted from Ayurveda (in the system of medicine that he practiced) (Only My Health, 2011).


Ayurveda Reaches the United States


It wasn’t until the early 1980s that Ayurveda teachings reached the United States. Dr. Vasant Lad, David Frawley, and Dr. Robert Svoboda spread Ayurveda across the U.S. Its popularity grew with the writing by Deepka Chopra “Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/body Guide.” This gave rise to the organization NAMA with members, schools, and clinics across the country.

Worldwide Growth


Ayurveda’s principles are growing and being recognized around the world, along with spas offering Ayurveda massages. The practices of both meditation and yoga also originate from India and have become popular worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognized Ayurveda’s relevance and importance to the modern medical field within the context of India during the International Conference on Primary Health Care (also known as the Alma-Ata Declaration of 1978) (Copper H2O). They continue to support Ayurveda medicine, and the preservation of every country’s traditional medicine. Interestingly, WHO actually modified its formal definition of health after learning about Ayurveda medicine principles.

COPPER H20/Ayurvedic Medicine Origin, History and Principles. Retrieved from: https://www.copperh2o.com/blogs/blog/ayurvedic-medicine-origin-history-and-principles


JOHN HOPKINS MEDICINE/Ayurveda. Retrived from: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/complementary_and_alternative_medicine/ayurveda_85,P00173


Guha PhD MPH MA, Amala. UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA: TAKING CHARGE of your HEALTH & WELLBEING/Is Ayurvedic Medicine Safe?/Where Can I Find an Ayurvedic Practioner?/What Happens in a Visit to an Ayurvedic Practitioner?/ What is the Philosophy of Ayurvedice Medicine? Retrieved from: https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/ayurvedic-medicine/-ayurvedic-medicine-safe-0


NAMA (National Ayurvedic Medical Association)/What is Ayurveda?/NAMA Recognized Ayurvedic Practitioner Programs/Being an Ayurvedic Doctor in the United States. Retrieved from: https://www.ayurvedanama.org/what-is-ayurveda/


Dr. Sachdev, Poonam. (2011 June 27). Only My Health/History of Ayurveda in India. Retrieved from: https://www.onlymyhealth.com/history-ayurveda-in-india-1302688983

 

  1. Kaayachikitsa – Internal Medicine (Focuses on overall treatment of a person’s body both digestive and metabolism) Chronic Pain Resources

  2. Baalachikitsa – Pediatrics (Focuses on diseases and sicknesses common for children, along with pre and postnatal care)

  3. Bhuta Vidya or Graha Chikitsa – Psychiatry (Focuses on mental problems which may include herbs, diet changes, yoga, deep breathing, and mantras)

  4. Shalakya Tantra or Urdhyaanga Chikitsa– Upper Body (Focuses on health issues with the head including ear, nose and throat)

  5. Shalya Tantra or Shalyaroga Chikitsa– Surgical Procedures (not practiced in the United States today)

  6. Vishagara Vairodh Tantra or Damstra Chikitsa – Toxicology (Studying and treating toxins and poisons in the body, food and environment)

  7. Jarachikitsa/Rasayana or Jara Chikitsa  – Geriatrics and Rejuvenation (Caring for the elderly with a focus on illnesses and diseases that happen with age. Therapies focus on rejuvenation, longevity, memory, and strength (Copper H2O).)

  8. Vajikarana Chikitsa — Reproductive Health (aphrodisiac therapy, fertility, insufficiency of essential fluids, and conception)

NAMA (National Ayurvedic Medical Association)/What is Ayurveda?/NAMA Recognized Ayurvedic Practitioner Programs/Being an Ayurvedic Doctor in the United States. Retrieved from: https://www.ayurvedanama.org/what-is-ayurveda/


COPPER H20/Ayurvedic Medicine Origin, History and Principles. Retrieved from: https://www.copperh2o.com/blogs/blog/ayurvedic-medicine-origin-history-and-principles

It consists of five and a half years of intense study of Ayurvedic and western medical principles, including anatomy, physiology, pathology, clinical methodology, diagnostic methods etc. (One World Ayurveda). It takes an additional three years to obtain a MD, and then the government offers PhD courses for Ayurveda post gradates, as well. Such authentic training is only available in India at this time.

Chronic Pain ResourcesAyurveda Education Requirements Outside of India


According to ISAH (International Society for Ayurveda and Health) to find a well-qualified practitioner, it is recommended to find a practitioner with a MD, PhD, or PhysD and completed training from a Ayurvedic Medical School, along with clinical experience. Dr. Tummala, owner of Trinergy Center for Integrative Psychiatry an Ayurveda clinic (who is also from India), has stated that the education system for Ayurveda medicine in America is not equivalent, or nearly as good as the educational system in India. If you find a practitioner who has received a 4-year Bachelor Degree in Ayurveda Training from India and 1 year of clinical training (an internship) supervised by an Ayurveda doctor, that would be the best. Otherwise, they should at the very least have the Bachelor Degree in Ayurveda and a year of internship experience. It is not necessary to be a licensed medical professional, but an undergraduate degree is a requirement. Education will likely include an understanding of the doshas, herbal treatment, healthy nutrition, and yoga techniques.

 

Ayurveda Requirements for the U.S.


In the United States there is no significant regulations on Ayurveda education or practices. There are also no requirements for Ayurveda practitioners to have licenses. So it is important to do your research to find a well-qualified practitioner.


Although none of the 50 states offer a license to practice Ayurveda, there are several institutions across the U.S. that have educational programs, including The California College of Ayurveda in Grass Valley, California, and the Kerala Ayurveda Academy in Foster City, California. (Pennstate Hershey, 2015). The schools do issue certificates as Clinical Ayurvedic Specialists. It is difficult for U.S. students to get the training and experience they need to practice with so few Ayurveda clinics. So many U.S. schools are offering training in India, in order for U.S. practitioners to get the experience and training they need within a reasonable time frame.


Finding an Ayurveda Practitioner


You can search for a practitioner on NAMA (National Ayurvedic Medical Association)

You can contact: National Institute of Ayurveda or ISAH (International Society for Ayurveda and Health) The ISAH actually works with Ayurvedic Medical Schools of India for on their education and training.


Also take a look at Oneworld Ayurveda a healing resort located in Indonesia. You can stay and receive treatments to just improve your health, or improve a chronic health condition.


Resources:

 

One World Ayurveda/FACTS ABOUT AYURVEDA. Retrieved from: https://www.oneworldayurveda.com/is-ayurveda-an-evidence-based-science/


NIH (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)/Ayurvedic Medicine: In Depth. (2019, January 14). Retrieved from: https://nccih.nih.gov/health/ayurveda/introduction.htm


Guha PhD MPH MA, Amala. UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA: TAKING CHARGE of your HEALTH & WELLBEING/Is Ayurvedic Medicine Safe?/Where Can I Find an Ayurvedic Practioner?/What Happens in a Visit to an
Ayurvedic Practitioner?/ What is the Philosophy of Ayurvedice Medicine? Retrieved from: https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/ayurvedic-medicine/-ayurvedic-medicine-safe-0


Tummala, Aruna MD ABIHM. (2018, April 3). Trinergy Center For Integrative Psychiatry. Personal Interview. https://trinergyhealth.com/

 

COPPER H20/Ayurvedic Medicine Origin, History and Principles. Retrieved from: https://www.copperh2o.com/blogs/blog/ayurvedic-medicine-origin-history-and-principles


PENNSTATE HERSHEY: Milton S. Hershey Medical Center/Ayurveda. (2015 November 6). Retrieved from: http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=107&pid=33&gid=000348

They will determine how well your doshas are balanced, and which one is the strongest. To understand your imbalances, they may examine your tongue, skin, lips, nails, and eyes. They may also look at vital signs (pulse, reflexes), body movements, and examine the inside of your mouth viewing the gums.

After observing the client’s physical condition through observation, they may then use touch to examine how well your body is functioning. This could be pressing down on parts of the body, listening to sounds made by internal organs, and tapping areas of the body. All of these things help the practitioner to make an individualized diagnosis specific to the person, not based on the illness or disease. The Ayurveda practitioner will provide treatments that will help a person’s body to call upon its own energy to heal.


Six Stages of Disease Formation


An Ayurveda practitioner will also determine what stage of a disease a person is in. They have a system of 6 stages of disease formation. A person could actually be in one stage for a very long time, or quickly move from one stage to the next. Stage 1 is the easiest to treat, Stage 2 is more difficult, Stage 3 is more complicated than Stage 2, and so on. The number of systems in the body that are involved (affected) by the illness or disease, the higher the stage.


Tummala, Aruna MD ABIHM. (2018, April 3). Trinergy Center For Integrative Psychiatry. Personal Interview. https://trinergyhealth.com/

 

Axe DC DMN CNS, Josh. (2019 April 10). Dr. Axe FOOD IS MEDICINE/Ayurvedic Medicine Benefits Include Lowering Stress and Blood Pressure. https://draxe.com/ayurvedic-medicine/


Guha PhD MPH MA, Amala. UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA: TAKING CHARGE of your HEALTH & WELLBEING/Is Ayurvedic Medicine Safe?/Where Can I Find an Ayurvedic Practioner?/What Happens in a Visit to an
Ayurvedic Practitioner?/ What is the Philosophy of Ayurvedice Medicine? Retrieved from: https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/ayurvedic-medicine/-ayurvedic-medicine-safe-0


Wong, Cathy. (2019 March 19). verywellhealth/Overivew of Ayurveda Healing. Retrieved from: https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-is-ayurveda-88174

Tummala, Aruna MD ABIHM. (2018, April 3). Trinergy Center For Integrative Psychiatry. Personal Interview. https://trinergyhealth.com/

 

Kiefer MD, David. (2016 November 1). WebMD/What is Ayurveda? Retrieved from: https://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/ayurvedic-treatments#1


NIH (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)/Ayurvedic Medicine: In Depth. (2019, January 14). Retrieved from: https://nccih.nih.gov/health/ayurveda/introduction.htm


NAMA (National Ayurvedic Medical Association)/What is Ayurveda?/NAMA Recognized Ayurvedic Practitioner Programs/Being an Ayurvedic Doctor in the United States. Retrieved from: https://www.ayurvedanama.org/what-is-ayurveda/


Wong, Cathy. (2019 March 19). verywellhealth/Overivew of Ayurveda Healing. Retrieved from: https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-is-ayurveda-88174


JOHN HOPKINS MEDICINE/Ayurveda. Retrived from: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/complementary_and_alternative_medicine/ayurveda_85,P00173


Axe DC DMN CNS, Josh. (2019 April 10). Dr. Axe FOOD IS MEDICINE/Ayurvedic Medicine Benefits Include Lowering Stress and Blood Pressure. https://draxe.com/ayurvedic-medicine/


Guha PhD MPH MA, Amala. UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA: TAKING CHARGE of your HEALTH & WELLBEING/Is Ayurvedic Medicine Safe?/Where Can I Find an Ayurvedic Practioner?/What Happens in a Visit to an Ayurvedic Practitioner?/ What is the Philosophy of Ayurvedice Medicine? Retrieved from: https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/ayurvedic-medicine/-ayurvedic-medicine-safe-0


COPPER H20/Ayurvedic Medicine Origin, History and Principles. Retrieved from: https://www.copperh2o.com/blogs/blog/ayurvedic-medicine-origin-history-and-principles


PENNSTATE HERSHEY: Milton S. Hershey Medical Center/Ayurveda. (2015 November 6). Retrieved from: http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=107&pid=33&gid=000348

 

Reinagel MS LD/N CNS, Monica. (2016 October 11). Quick and Dirty Tips/Does Science Support Ayurveda? Retrieved from: https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/healthy-eating/ask-the-diva/does-science-support-ayurveda?page=1

 

BetterHealth Chanel/Ayurveda. (2012 May). Retrieved from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/ayurveda

 

Dr. Kern, Deb. (2013 January 15). YouTube/Introduction to Ayurveda by Dr. Deb Kern. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WA7arYa-leE&t=1671s

 

Pal, Dilipkumar, Sahu, Chandan Kumar, Haldar, Arindam. (2014). NCBI/Bhasma: The ancient Indian nanomedicine. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3960793/


Dr. Sachdev, Poonam. (2011 June 27). Only My Health/History of Ayurveda in India. Retrieved from: https://www.onlymyhealth.com/history-ayurveda-in-india-1302688983