- What is Ayurveda?
- What can Ayurveda cure?
- What about Side Effects?
- An Internationally Recognized System.
- What is the history of herbal medicine?
- How do herbs work?
- How are herbs used?
- What happens during a visit to an herbalist?
- How can I choose the herbal product that is right for me?
- Should I tell my Doctor that I’m using herbs?
It is a very old system prevailing in India from the last five thousand years which cure the total body system through
herbs & diet.
Ayurveda sees health and disease in various terms. It links the microcosm of the individual with the cosmos.
It takes into account the relationship between energy and matter. This system of healing believes in treatment
of not just the part affected by disease but the individual as a whole. It emphasizes on the harmony of mind, spirit
and body to cure diseases. It believes on prevention more than cure.
Ayurveda aims to improve the overall wellbeing. This form of alternative healing
is considered effective in curing a number of diseases, even chronic in nature. Its time-tested methods cure a
variety of ailments like hyper-acidity, asthma, constipation,diabetes gastritis, hypertension, female disorders, heart
burns, liver ailments and cholesterol problems.
It has multitude advantage without any side effects because these are based on natural cure. It cleans the body and thus increases the inner power of the body.
Because the environment is polluted to the extent of 90% and food is effected because of chemicals. Thus the use
of herbal is widely acknowledged in the world today.
The effectiveness of this health care system is being recognized the world over. With no distressing side effects, Ayurveda
has become an internationally acclaimed form of healing, rejuvenation and healthy living.
Plants had been used for medicinal purposes long before recorded history. For example, ancient Chinese and Egyptian papyrus
writings describe medicinal plant uses. Indigenous cultures (e.g., African and Native American) used herbs in their
healing rituals, while others developed traditional medical systems (e.g., Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine)
in which herbal therapies were used systematically. Scientists found that people is different parts of the globe tended
to use the same or similar plants for the same purposes.
In the early 19th century, when methods of chemical analysis first became available, scientists began extracting and modifying the active ingredients from plants. Later, chemists began making their own version of plant compounds, beginning the transition from raw herbs to synthetic pharmaceuticals.
Over time, the use of herbal medicines declined in favor of pharmaceuticals.
Recently,the World Health Organization estimated that 80% of people worldwide rely on herbal medicines for some aspect of
their primary healthcare. In the last twenty years in the United States, increasing public dissatisfaction with
the cost of prescription medications, combined with an interest in returning to natural or organic remedies,
has led to an increase in the use of herbal medicines. In Germany, roughly 600 to 700 plant-based medicines are
available and are prescribed by approximately 70% of German physicians.
For most herbs, the specific ingredient that causes a therapeutic effect is not known. Whole herbs contain many ingredients,
and it is likely that they work together to produce the desired medicinal effect. Many factors affect how effective
an herb will be. For example, the type of environment (climate, bugs, soil quality) in which a plant grew will
affect its components, as will how and when it was harvested and processed.
the reasons described in the previous section, herbalists prefer using whole plants rather than extracting single
components from them. Whole plant extracts have many components.
These components work together to produce therapeutic effects and also to lessen the chances of side effects
from any one component. Several herbs are often used together to enhance effectiveness and synergistic actions and to
reduce toxicity. Herbalists must take many things into account when prescribing herbs. For example, the species and variety of the plant, the plant’s habitat, how it was stored and processed, and whether or not there are contaminants.
When you visit an herbalist, the treatment goals are often more broad than stopping a single complaint. Herbalists
aim to correct imbalances, resolve patterns of dysfunction,and treat the underlying cause of your complaint. Specific
symptoms may also be treated if necessary.A session with an herbalist typically lasts one hour. You may be physically
examined and asked about your medical history and your general well-being (that is, how well you sleep, what
you eat, if you have a good appetite, good digestion and elimination, how often you exercise, and what you do to
relax). The herbalist might recommend one or more herbs,dietary changes, and lifestyle modifications. Because
herbal medicines are slower acting than pharmaceuticals,you might be asked to return for a follow-up in two to
Single herb or combination product? Capsule, tablet, extract or tea? Which brand? Standardized or not? Sometimes it
seems that there are just too many choices!! Some of these choices are ultimately matters of personal choice. The
issue of product form is one example – are you attracted to the rich history of herbal extracts and decoctions?
…or do you have trouble swallowing tablets and capsules? Then you may want to try a liquid extract or tea product.
On the other hand, if you can’t bear the taste of valerian or echinacea, or if you like the convenience of non-liquid
forms, you might choose a tablet or capsule. Similarly, there are separate values attached to both single herb
products and to herbal formulas. You might appreciate the experience and knowledge that many manufacturers have
brought to designing combination products, with a goal toward attaining a higher synergy for the intended use.
Multi-ingredient formulas have been the standard in Asian and Indian herbal traditions for centuries. Then again,
you might prefer the simplicity of taking only one herb at a time, an approach that has more historical acceptance
in the West.
Finally, if you have purchased a product that works for you and that provides the promised benefits, stick with it, whether it’s a tablet, tincture or tea, whether a single herb or a complex formulation of several herbs. And remember – a brand that is remarkably less expensive than other products with the same or similar ingredients is not always the best bargain.
Of course you should! And because your doctor is, ideally, your primary partner in managing your health, you should
insist that your doctor, no matter their degree of training in herbs, receive that information respectfully. In telling
your doctor of your decision to use an herbal product, however, don’t be surprised to find that your knowledge
of herbs is more advanced than theirs. You might suggest (again, respectfully) that they expand their education
by using some of the internet resources listed below, or by purchasing and studying some of the written references
identified there. At the same time, remember that your prescribing physician has a responsibility to safely oversee
your use of any prescription drugs. If your doctor is concerned that a pharmaceutical substance might interact
with an herbal product, it is prudent to accept such advice.