Though Ayurveda has existed for more than 5,000 years, there are still some common myths and misconceptions about this traditional and holistic science of healing.
Below, you will find answers to some frequently asked questions that you may have regarding Ayurvedic treatment. We believe this will help you make an informed decision, whether you are undergoing Ayurvedic treatment or plan to go for one in the near future.
Will Ayurveda take a long time to improve or cure my problem?
One of the fundamental principles of Ayurveda is to treat a patient on a holistic level. Instead of just providing relief from symptoms, it identifies the root cause of the disease and aims to give you a permanent cure, wherever possible. Instead of a short-term cure and instant relief, Ayurveda focuses on giving you long-term health and well-being, which is bound to take some time.
Similar to any type of treatment, the time taken for improvement or cure of your disease in Ayurveda depends upon the severity and type of your disease. The stage at which you go for Ayurvedic treatment makes a huge difference. If you have been living it for the last 5-10 years, you can't expect to see improvements in a few weeks. The longer you wait to go for Ayurvedic treatment, the longer it will take to get relief and treat the condition. However, if you sincerely follow the diet and lifestyle advice given to you by your Ayurvedic doctor, and take your medicines regularly on time, Ayurvedic treatment is sure to show improvements in a relatively shorter period of time.
Do I have to follow many food restrictions while undergoing Ayurvedic treatment?
An Ayurvedic doctor will advise food restrictions depending upon the stage, severity and the type(s) of disease you are suffering from. There are some food restrictions in Ayurveda because while a particular food can be beneficial for a specific disease or problem, the same food can worsen another disease or aggravate the symptoms. As such, diet plans are carefully designed by your Ayurvedic doctor so that the food you take works as medicine provided you take them as per instructions.
The doctor may ask you to avoid certain foods because they have the capacity to aggravate symptoms, while others are recommended because they have the capacity to not only alleviate symptoms, but aid in making the treatment more effective. If you follow dietary restrictions and a proper diet plan, you can avoid further deterioration of the disease and take a step closer to healing. This is regardless of whether you are taking Ayurvedic or some other types of treatment.
Do Ayurvedic medicines contain toxic metals?
Most Ayurvedic preparations contain only herbal ingredients while a few of them contain minerals. Preparations with minerals are fast-acting and the ingredients are thoroughly purified before being added to the medicine.
Do Ayurvedic medicines have side effects?
Ayurvedic medicines are made from natural ingredients such as herbs and minerals. Often, herbal juices are mixed to make them more potent. The manufacturing process, which is supervised by expert Vaidyas, is designed to clean, purify and enhance the potency of the formula. Secondly, both the dosage of the medicine as well as the time it is consumed is very important. If taken according to the instructions of your Ayurvedic doctor, these medicines are safe and do not have side effects.
If you do not follow the diet prescribed by the doctor, you may develop some problems. You may think these as side effects of the medicine, but in reality, it will be because of your faulty diet and lifestyle. Make sure that you inform the doctor if you are allergic to any particular food or herb to avoid any complications during the treatment.
Are Ayurvedic medicines heating in nature?
Not all Ayurvedic medicines are heating in nature. The potency of the medicine can vary greatly depending on the herbs being used - some increase heat, while others have a cooling effect on the body. These medicines are prescribed based on the prakriti (constitution) of the patient and the condition of the disease. Thus, it would be wrong to assume that all Ayurvedic medicines are heating in nature.
People tell me that Ayurvedic medicines have a bitter or pungent taste. What do I do about that?
Not all Ayurvedic medicines taste or smell bad. There are plenty of formulations that are not bitter but have a specific herbal taste, like sweet, pungent, tangy, and sour. The final taste of the medicine will depend upon the ingredients used to make it.
For instance, we prescribe blood purifiers for skin diseases, which tend to be bitter. But that is only because the body and skin need a bitter/pungent tasting herb to effectively facilitate the cleansing process. In such cases, the doctor will suggest a medium like honey to make the medicine more palatable.
It is important to remember that these medicines are formulated to get rid of your chronic disorders. While taking the medicines, you should be thinking about the relief you will get from the disease, and how it is bringing you closer to good health rather than being worried about its taste. After all, medicines are not manufactured for delighting your taste buds, they are meant to be effective in curing a disease or disorder.
Can I take Ayurvedic medicines along with my regular allopathic medicines?
We generally don't advise to immediately discontinue allopathic medicines if you are under treatment for conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, neurological disorders, arthritis, mental disorders and heart diseases. Besides, there is no harm in taking both types of medicines as long as you keep your Ayurvedic doctor informed. However, it is important to maintain at least an hour's gap between the two types of medications. In due course of time, depending on your progress, the Ayurvedic doctor may reduce the dose of the allopathic medicines. Make sure that you follow any advice or recommendation given by your Ayurvedic doctor regarding this process.