Top 7 Myths about Ayurveda Busted

Ayurveda has evolved since thousands of years. The traditional touch of Ayurveda often gives room for myths. Here is a collection of top 7 myths and clarifications about Ayurveda. 

Ayurveda - Truth Vs Myth

1. Principles of Ayurveda are not as genuine as that of modern science

The principles of Ayurveda are quite different from the modern science. It is because the tools and techniques used in the previous times were quite different from those available now. According to Ayurveda, diseases occur due to the vitiation of ‘Tri-doshas’ viz. Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These three elements cannot be seen as such in any part of the human body, but exist throughout the body.

They are responsible for functions like

  • power, motility, oxygen transport etc (Vata),
  • digestion, metabolism etc (Pitta) and
  • body structuring, immunity, sustenance etc (Kapha).

There have been several inspired attempts to map tridosha theory to knowledge about the body, as we know from modern medicine. The tridosha theory was evolved thousands of years ago, in BC, as a simple way of understanding both human physiology and disease pathology. Some doctors are successfully practising Ayurveda purely based on the principles such as Tridosha while some others practice Ayurveda by integrating the classical Ayurvedic principles with modern diagnostic tools and techniques.

2. Ayurvedic medicines are slow in curing

It is not true. This wrong perception arose because most of the Ayurvedic remedies are targeted towards chronic (long standing) disorders like Asthma, Arthritis, liver disorders etc. Ayurvedic medicines are effective even in some acute conditions like cold, cough, etc

3. One can learn Ayurveda on his own and can advice it very easily to anyone.

Ayurveda is not just the knowledge about some herbs and their medicinal properties. It is a medical science involving detailed study of human beings, the detailed study of diseases and their treatment using natural resources. Self medication with Ayurvedic formulations or carelessly advising any Ayurvedic or herbal formulation without being a qualified Ayurvedic doctor might lead to severe complications like occurrence of side effects by the herbal medicine or misuse of medicines leading to further worsening of a disease. According to Ayurveda, different people have different physiological constitutions- what Ayurveda refers to as one’s Prakriti. A medicinal preparation, prescribed for a person for a disease can not be declared as the common treatment for that particular disease. So, the choice of the medicine depends upon the body constitution of the patient, the stage of the disease, the intensity and proportion of Doshas involved in the disease and the assessment made by the qualified Ayurvedic doctor.

4. Ayurveda is not a science.

Ayurveda has a rich history of more than 2000 years. The principles adopted in this system are evaluated thoroughly over the centuries. There is a systemic order in description of anatomy, physiology, disease pathology, treatment and medicines. Though at present Ayurveda lacks sufficient clinical documentation, the fact that it has survived over such a long period itself proves the scientific basement upon which it stands high, even today.

5. Ayurveda can only be used as a supportive therapy.

Ayurveda is highly effective as a mainstream medicinal system. Many diseases like Asthma, Paralysis, arthritis, etc can be effectively treated with Ayurvedic treatment and procedures.

In fact there are certain conditions where in Ayurveda has effective remedies, but allopathy doesn’t. Example: renal calculi, liver disorders etc

6. Ayruvedic medicines do not have expiry date.

It is not at all true. The expiry date of all the medicines have been clearly mentioned in text books. Herbs have their own chemical constituents, which have medicinal properties. These chemical constituents are bound to be affected with time and due to environmental factors. So, its a big myth about Ayurvedic medicines. Learn more about expiration date of Ayurvedic medicines.

7. Ayurvedic Medicines can cure cancer or AIDS.

Many of the herbs such as Turmeric, Neem, Brahma rasayana, etc have shown some significant anti cancerous activity. But still, it will be premature to claim that Ayurveda has a remedy for cancer. Likewise, there are many immune enhancer and immuno-modulator drugs in Ayurveda such as Tinospora cordifolia. But still, a lot of research is needed before we go and claim that Ayurveda has a CURE for these diseases.

9 thoughts on “Top 7 Myths about Ayurveda Busted”

  1. People underestimate Ayurveda. But now I think people are understanding it more. (there are hour long commercials about ayurvedic products in TV 🙂 ). Actually if we look, lot of alternative medicine systems- base can be found in Ayurveda. Or even big doctors theory or solutions- based on ayurvedic principles.

    Reply
    • I am regularly posting videos and articles regarding home remedies. Just select the one which suits you the most and continue it. regards.

      Reply
  2. I recently wrote an article for the local newspaper and had suggested “limiting raw cold foods during the cold winter months”.

    A reader responded to the editor, discrediting me for making such a recommendation. He went on to list studies that documented the findings of heavy metal traces in ayurvedic herbs.

    Totally unrelated to Ayurvedic herbs, my article was about digestion and mental health.

    There’s always someone ready to discredit those who believe in the ancient philosophy and practice of ayurveda but unwilling to inform themselves on any of it….

    Just thought I’d share ..:)

    Reply
  3. A very useful article. By my own experience, I have come to have a lot of faith in ayurveda. I always believed that ayurveda had a cure for everything. Thanks for the insight into cancer and aids.

    There is a doubt which I always had. When it comes to diagnosing diseases, allopathy relies on a lot of testing methods such as scans, endoscopies, urine tests, blood tests etc. When we go to an ayurvedic doctor, can he diagnose diseases by the symptoms alone or will it be better if the patient goes to an allopathic doctor first for diagnosis and then goes to an ayurvedic doctor for treatment? Can you please enlighten me on this?

    Reply
    • Now a days, many Ayurvedic doctors are also using these lab tests to analyze. Ayurvedic doctor, while studies anatomy, physiology and pathology on par with the allopathic system of education. We (Ayurvedic doctors) do body dissections, urine and blood tests, study scanned images while doing BAMS (5.5 years Ayurveda course – Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine And Surgery).

      Reply
  4. i definitely think that ayurvedic treatments will have a much more significant role to play in the coming years than it has in the past. i also hope that funding for research in ayurveda in significantly increased both from government sources and other sources.
    future looks bright.

    Reply

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