1. What is Ayurveda?

In Sanskrit, the word ayurveda consists of the words āyus, meaning "longevity", and veda, meaning "related to knowledge" or "science". Ayurved, originated in India, is an ancient healing system. Ayurved originated as part of ‘Vedic Science’. The fundamentals of Ayurved can be found in all the Vedic scriptures viz. Rugveda, Atharvaveda, Yajurved and Samaved. This is an integral spiritual science devised to give a comprehensive understanding of the entire universe and universal laws. Ayurveda can be defined as a system, which uses the inherent principles of nature, to help maintain health in a person by keeping the individual's body, mind and spirit in perfect equilibrium with nature.

2. What are the Basic Principles of Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is based on the premise that the universe is made up of five elements: air, fire, water, earth and ether. These elements are represented in humans by three "doshas", or energies: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. When any of the doshas accumulate in the body beyond the desirable limit, the body loses its balance. Every individual has a distinct balance, and our health and well-being depend on getting a right balance of the three doshas("tridoshas"). Ayurveda suggests specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines to help individuals reduce the excess dosha.A healthy person, as defined in Sushrut Samhita, one of the primary works on Ayurveda, is "he whose doshas are in balance, appetite is good, all tissues of the body and all natural urges are functioning properly, and whose mind, body and spirit are cheerful..."

3. How is Ayurvedic medicine different from Allopathic medicine?

Ayurvedic medicine is based on the Pancha Bhutha principle. Treatment is done to eliminate the root cause and not for the symptoms alone, which are targeted by the allopathic medicine. Ayurvedic medicine is complete it is not a fractional cure. In case of the allopathic treatment it is fractional it is only targeted to the symptoms for this reason we encounter many side effects in the course of allopathic treatment.

4. Can Ayurveda treat chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma, arthritis, skin diseases etc?

Ayurveda can provide better solution for chronic diseases like asthma, arthritis, skin diseases than many current allopathic treatments available today.. Correct use of ayurvedic medicine can provide symptomatic as well as long-term benefits in such diseases. If used judiciously, ayurvedic medicine does not produce any side effect and are very safe for long-term use. In fact in such cases allopathic medicines have to be used in increasing dosage and may have undesirable side effects.

5. Do I have to continue ayurvedic treatment for a very long time?

Not necessarily. The duration of treatment, like modern medicine, depends on various factors like type of disease, duration of disease, age of the patient, type of medicines used, nutritional status of patient etc.

6. I am a housewife, reaching menopause, I have a lot of problems and feel very tired.What is the treatment for this?

It is good to take more fruits and juices. You can take Satavari-1 tablet three times a day with milk. This will help during menopause.

7. What are Vata, Pitta and Kapha?

The five elements described above form three biological humors (Doshas) - Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Every living being is a balance of the three doshas in different and unique proportions and manifestations. Vata dosha is responsible for movement and communication, and it represents all neurological activities in the body. Pitta dosha is responsible for the transformation, digestion and metabolism of food and nutrients, and governs all hormonal and enzymatic actions. Kapha dosha is responsible for structure, cohesion, binding and lubrication, and governs all immunological activities and structural functions.

8. Do I have to be a certain religion to incorporate Ayurvedic principles into my life?

No, not at all. Ayurvedic principles are simple, natural and universal, and anybody can incorporate them into his or her daily life. There is no need to become religious in order to adopt the principles of Ayurveda.

9. Do I have to be a vegetarian to follow an Ayurvedic lifestyle?

Classical Ayurvedic texts describe three types of foods - Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic. Sattvic foods consist of fresh, energizing foods such as leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, milk, yogurt, butter, honey and others. According to Ayurveda, Sattvic foods are recommended for everyone. Rajasic foods consist of hot and pungent foods such as meat, beans, chilies and more. A diet which includes more Rajasic foods is considered suitable only for those who engage in heavy physical work. Finally, a Tamasic diet includes fermented and highly processed foods, stale or old foods, and alcoholic drinks. A Tamasic diet is considered to be harmful to health and is not recommended for anyone. Ayurveda lays emphasis on diet and lifestyle routines for optimum health, and therefore, Sattvic food, moderate physical exercise, exposure to fresh air and sunlight are all recommended.

10. Can Ayurveda help me lose weight?

Overweight and obesity are caused by a variety of factors, including but not limited to a poor diet, overeating, lack of physical activity, and hormonal imbalances. Ayurveda considers obesity to be an excess accumulation of Kapha in the body. Ayurveda addresses the need to correct imbalances in the physiology through natural means such as dietary changes, exercise, self-massage, gentle detoxification procedures, intake of herbal food supplements and meditation. If the recommended principles and procedures are followed sincerely, one can expect to lose weight.

11. Can Ayurvedic herbal supplements help improve my health?

Ayurvedic herbal supplements may help to improve one's overall health, however, it is extremely important that they be taken in their compatible and complementary combinations, and that one also follows the necessary dietary and daily and seasonal recommendations for his or her particular constitution and health concerns. Recently, JAMA conducted a study which found that guggulipid had no effect on lowering cholesterol in a population of mostly Western men on a traditional Western diet. Ayurvedic doctors traditionally have never recommended that guggulu be taken alone for the reduction of cholesterol, but have always taught that it must be purified and taken with other detoxifying herbs and foods. In order to get results using Ayurvedic herbal supplements, it is best to consult a professional first.

12. Can Ayurveda help me prevent acute and chronic diseases?

Please remember that Ayurveda does not claim to treat, prevent or cure diseases, but only to restore balance to the physiology. When balance is restored, many diseases and disorders are often automatically prevented.

13. Can health professionals incorporate Ayurvedic medical science into their practice?

Yes, the principles and theories of Ayurveda are natural. Health professionals have a greater understanding of anatomy and physiology and can easily incorporate the principles of Ayurveda into their practice. They can provide their patients and clients with lifestyle recommendations, exercises, herbal food supplements and dietary advice based on individual mind-body types and imbalances pertaining to various health conditions. By incorporating the principles of Ayurvedic medicine, health professionals can address the root causes of disorders and bring about greater and faster natural relief in their patients and clients.

14. Generally it is said that herbal medicines take a long time to take effect in the body. Is this true? Can I take herbal medicines for acute conditions?

It is a just a myth that herbal medicines take a long time to take effect. Depending on the nature and seriousness of the condition, herbal medicines provide effective, progressive relief. Herbal medicines can be taken for any type of acute condition, including infections, inflammations, bleeding, injuries, or temporary stresses.

15. If a particular health condition or disease has already progressed a lot, can taking herbal medication help?

The optimal goal of herbal medicine is complete reversal of the condition. If the disease is chronic, then herbal medicines can slow the progression of the disease. In less advanced cases, herbs can stop the disease from worsening. When cure is not possible, herbs can help alleviate distress associated with the condition.

16. Can herbs and herbal medicines help for psychological conditions?

Herbs are nature’s tranquilizers and are amply suited to depression, anxiety and hyperactivity. Some herbs work as effectively as well-established drugs, without the associated addictive tendencies. Herbs are known to work well with psychotherapy because they often sharpen cognition.

17. I have heard that herbs play a huge role in anti-aging. How does this work?

It is true that herbs play an important role in anti-aging, but it is important to take them with the appropriate vitamins and minerals. There are dozens of herbs with special rejuvenating properties and a long tradition of promoting longevity. With anti-oxidant protection, improved circulation, enhanced immunity and increased neurological function, a reversal of age-related degeneration is a realizable goal.

18. How do herbs and herbal medicines work to strengthen the immune?

Immune health has been recognized as the cornerstone of our health - it is the body’s defense system that holds the key to longevity and freedom from infection and chronic illnesses. Herbs possess unique abilities to augment and maintain immune health.

19. What does it mean when an herb has anti-inflammatory properties?

Inflammation is one of the primary defense systems of the body and part of a majority of disease syndromes. Herbs work in complex and comprehensive ways to block inflammation. They produce better clinical effects with much fewer side effects.

20. Herbal medicines are available in several different forms. Is taking them as tablets better than taking them as capsules, for instance?

Regardless of whether they are consumed in tablet or capsule form, herbal medicines provide progressive, long-term benefits. Capsules containing dried herbs represent the majority of herbal products sold today. They may also contain solid extracts or liquids. There are some advantages to consuming herbal medicines as capsules instead of tablets, just as there are some benefits to tablets over capsules. Tablets, for instance, have advantages similar to capsules, but because they require binders and stabilizing agents, they are less absorbable by the body.