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Ayurveda: India’s Ancient Medicine

Ayurveda: India’s Ancient Medicine

The name Ayurveda was given to the ancient healing tradition of India. It is derived from the words ayus (life) and veda (knowledge) and is often translated as the “science of life.” It aims to bring about a union of physical, emotional, and spiritual health–a state of harmony with the universe.

Ayurveda has always held the plant kingdom in high esteem. Here, the role of plants is exalted. According to Ayurveda, health is a state of balance between the body, mind, and consciousness.

Ayurveda classifies medicinal plants into multiple groups according to their actions. One of these is the rasayana group. Rasayana herbs are said to slow aging, be revitalizing and restorative and prevent disease. They increase the resistance of the body against stress. They also can be taken over long periods of time without causing side effects.

Ayurvedic medicine has many adaptogenic herbs in its pharmacopoeia that normalize numerous physiological functions, improve vitality and enhance the body’s ability to adapt to stress and heal itself. These herbs can be used generally to help cope with stressful situations, improve compromised immunity and prevent the physiological afflictions of stress. Practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine also recognize the contribution of rejuvenating rasayana herbs to restoring balance to the body’s systems.

Ayurveda had a strong influence during the formation of traditional Chinese medicine, which in turn influenced Ayurveda’s further development. Other systems of medicine such as Tibetan and Islamic (Unani-Tibb) traditions were strongly influenced by Ayurveda as well. The Buddha (who likely lived during the fifth century BCE) was a follower of Ayurveda, and the spread of Buddhism into Tibet was accompanied by an increased practice of Ayurveda there. Translations of Ayurvedic texts also influenced early European medicine.

Read more: Ayurveda, Health

Adapted from Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief, by David Winston and Steven Maimes (Healing Arts Press, 2007).

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.


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6:00AM PDT on Mar 18, 2014

Ayurveda is a primeval treatment in India. In Indian terminology “Ayur’ means life and ’veda’ means science that has been used to treat people from long time. In this treatment, there is a cure for all diseases, even with the sever diseases like cancer. One can easily find their clinics or hospitals in all cities, for that, you can see that has its large information.

2:07AM PDT on Sep 20, 2012

Very interesting, thanks!

8:41AM PDT on Sep 17, 2012


4:16AM PDT on Sep 17, 2012


10:43PM PDT on Sep 16, 2012


8:43PM PDT on Aug 7, 2012


2:32AM PDT on Aug 7, 2012


12:23PM PDT on Aug 6, 2012

Most of the medicines you need are growing wild and in your spice and herb gardens. The other things one needsarebproper diet; exercise and a positive, proactive mindset. You are all of these things and as any good curandero or shamanic healer will tell you when you get sick it is because you are out of balance with yourself and the world at large.

5:09PM PDT on Apr 28, 2012

Thanks, very enlightening. :)

2:06PM PDT on Apr 28, 2012

Thank you

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