Ayurveda has been widely recognized as a system of natural healthcare congenial to the health needs of the modern world.
However, despite its increasing popularity across the globe, many people (especially the youth) are often hesitant in approaching Ayurveda. The reasons could be manifold – lack of awareness about this ancient science, easy availability of modern medicine, and the youth’s obsession with so-called quick-fix solutions, among others. More than anything else, what has hampered Ayurveda’s reach among the youth is the many misconceptions that engulf its existence.
Let’s try and find out some realities about Ayurveda:
The youth believes: Pills provide instant relief; Ayurveda takes time.
The reality is: There are both slow acting and fast-acting Ayurvedic medicines. It all depends on the underlying cause of the disease. Unlike modern medicines, Ayurveda doesn’t just treat the symptoms; it attacks the root cause of disease. And, if that cause is formidable, Ayurvedic cure takes time in overcoming it. Also, many patients seek Ayurveda only after trying all other forms of treatment. And by then, their disease often becomes chronic in nature. Unfortunately, in such cases, many people don’t have the patience to allow Ayurvedic medicines to show their effect. When they see no immediate improvement, they quickly switch to other alternatives. It is important to realize that Ayurveda can be highly effective if the patient approaches it in early stages and gives it time to heal their body.
The youth believes: Ayurveda is nothing more than grandma’s home remedies
The reality is: Ayurveda is not just a form of treatment; it is a way of life. Yes, it is a lot about herbs and home remedies, but, that’s not all to it. If adapted in their entirety, Ayurvedic principles can be extremely beneficial in making your life more balanced, healthy and productive. Moreover, Ayurvedic medicines are formulations made of herbs, minerals, oils, and other natural ingredients that are customized to suit an individual’s Prakriti (‘nature’ as defined by body-mind combination). Also, because the root cause of disease is highly stressed upon, the medication cannot be as universally applicable as ‘grandma’s home remedies’.
The youth believes: Ayurveda is only meant for people with chronic ailments.
The reality is: Most people do not approach Ayurveda in the initial stages of their problem as they believe it is only meant for those ‘major’ diseases. Agreed, it has been proven effective in treating chronic disorders – especially diabetes, arthritis, asthma, obesity, skin diseases, etc. – but it is also beneficial for people suffering from common ailments like indigestion, headache, cold & cough, fever, etc. Herbal medicines, Panchakarma therapies and customized diet and lifestyle plan are recommended to each patient in Ayurveda, irrespective of the severity of disease.
The youth believes: Ayurvedic principles are not in tune with modern science.
The reality is: Despite being the oldest science of healing in the world, Ayurveda is pretty much in tune with modern science. According to Ayurveda, each individual’s body constitution is defined by his combination of doshas or humors, viz. Vata, Pitta and Kapha. An imbalance of these elemental combinations is the direct cause of physical disease. Though invisible, they are responsible for functions like providing energy, motility, circulation, digestion, and metabolism, among others. For decades now, modern science has made several attempts to map the tridosha theory to knowledge about the human physiology. In fact, a recent article in the New York Times indicated that scientists have found ‘three kinds of ecosystems’ in human beings, which could help classify people into distinct categories and lead to medical applications of its own. Who knows, this could be just another step in establishing Ayurveda’s role in influencing modern science!