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Secrets of Ayurvedic Medicine

J. A. Young

Ancient India's Ayurvedic medicine is considered to be the oldest system of natural medicine. More than three thousand years old, it predates Chinese, Egyptian and Greek medicine. Today, many people have returned to Ayurvedic methods that include herbs, oils, aromas, foods, massage and meditation to achieve a more balanced healthy lifestyle. The following article discusses the main principles of Ayurvedic medicine and how they may be able to help you.

Much of the Ayurvedic method relies on prevention of illness. This means building the immune system's strength through diet, exercise, herbal supplements and even managing stress levels. Ayurvedic methods do address many ailments; however, and employ strategies to manage such maladies with great success. As with any alternative type of medicine, it is always recommended for patients to consult their physician. Nevertheless, many Ayurvedic principles make good sense even to western doctors.

While western medicine essentially seems to attack symptoms of illness, the core of Ayurveda is prevention of illness in the first place. Sounds good in theory, but this system backs up its claims with a long history of good practice. Part of the prevention plan is to eat a balanced diet of the six main tastes: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, astringent. Depending on a person's body type or ailment, they may be encouraged to eat less of one taste group or more of another; the main key is a balance between them though.

Reducing stress is another component of the Ayurvedic system. This may be accomplished through meditation; massage also works for some individuals. High blood pressure and heart disease name stress as a key factor of onset symptoms. Stress may also cause insomnia, anxiety, depression and many other psychological disorders. Some Ayurvedic strategies to deal with stress include getting adequate sleep, listening to relaxing music, avoiding sensory over-stimulation, taking herbal supplements that combat damaging free radicals that damage cells and tissues.

Exercise is another important component of the Ayurvedic system. A workout program suited to your body type should help build up your immune system, should normalize your blood sugar levels and restore healthy brain chemistry. Exercise is much preached in western medicine as well and its benefits have been well-researched. The key, is finding a routine that is right for you and your health and body type.

Herbs are much prescribed in the Ayurvedic arena of medicine. It's interesting to know that many modern medicines are actually derived from plants which have been used throughout history to treat different health-related problems. Consider penicillin - the king of antibiotics which had its inauspicious start as mold on a piece of bread. Many people rely on herbs and common foods to both prevent health problems or relieve them from common maladies.

Some examples of herbal treatments might include sterile rose water for irritated eyes; a mixture of ginger, nutmeg and cumin to stave off diarrhea; a paste of ginger powder for lower back pain; aid digestion by chewing on a clove or some cardamom seeds a few times a day. These are only a few, but there are hundreds of herbs and herbal mixtures that may help treat a variety of ailments with great success.

The Ayurvedic system of medicine is rather vast to be summed up in one article; there are many books on the topic. This article is meant to introduce you to just some of the important principle of Ayurveda. 

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