Alternative Medicine or the Original?

Welcome to the first edition of Brewing Good Health, where we will be taking you on an educational journey understanding all things Ayurveda. With every Brewing Good Health issue, you can expect that we will be dropping some knowledge, sharing a toolkit of resources, and supporting you in your journey to a healthier you.

Did you know?

Ayurveda is India’s ancient traditional medicine system practiced over 5,000 years. It is actually one of the oldest sciences! In fact, the original Ayurvedic doctrines were rooted in 4 main types of evidence, including observational evidence, logical analysis, experiential wisdom and tactical analysis [1]. Ayurveda means “science of life,” and thus focuses on treating mind, body, and spirit.

Is it alternative or the original?

The Ayurvedic sciences still prevalent today date back to texts witten from 300-600 CE, India's Golden Age, a period of scientific, artistic, and literary prosperity [2]. The invasion of India hundreds of years later led to the destruction of many of these ancient bodies of knowledge. During the beginning stages of colonization, the British East India Company actually relied on Indian medicinal knowledge to treat the new, unfamiliar diseases they encountered. British Botanists began to compile texts detailing Indian medicinal herbs. In fact, information about these herbs were shared with  British colonies in other parts of the world as well [3]. However, as the British settled into India, they began to disregard and undermine the knowledge of these practices. Eventually, British laws were established to stifle Indian traditional medicine and Ayurvedic practices, yet unsuccessfully so, since today Ayurveda is practiced by over 80% of India and growing numbers in the Western world.

Caption: British compilations of Indian herbs and their properties [3]

The Wisdom that persists

Have you noticed that Western medicine now wants to treat you as a “whole person”? Well, Ayurveda has been doing this for thousands of years. Ayurveda acknowledges the connection between mind, body, and spirit, and seeks to maintain balance between the three. Essentially, it treats the whole person.

Your breath gives you life

We each hold a life force. You might have heard “chi”  in Chinese medicine, which refers to a similar concept of life force. In Ayurveda, your life-giving force due to your breath is known as your prana. Prana is a force that pulsates both through your body and the world around you. It is what keeps your body alive and working in unison. Thus, Ayurveda views disease as the result of decreased or stagnant prana in your body.

Interested in learning more on how to increase your prana? Tune in for our next issue as we dive deeper in Ayurveda and holistic healing.

Until then, may the prana (life force) be with you!


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