What is Ayurveda
Christen Craig
What is Ayurveda

Ayurveda is a holistic treatment practice that focuses on prevention and maintenance in different aspects of human life by balancing medicinal herbs, diet, and positive thinking. For more than 5,000 years, this practice has been widely used in India, and has been adopted worldwide more recently.

The word Ayurveda is Sanskrit for “science of life — “ayu” means “life” or “daily living,” and “veda” means “knowing.” This practice’s philosophy is unique to the individual; each person has their own set of environmental and emotional habits that can imbalance the body. 

“Once these factors are understood, one can take appropriate actions to nullify or minimize their effects or eliminate the causes of imbalance and re-establish one’s original constitution. Balance is the natural order; imbalance is disorder. Health is order; the disease is disorder. Within the body, there is a constant interaction between order and disorder. When one understands the nature and structure of disorder, one can re-establish order.” —Vasant Lad, MASc, and The Ayurvedic Institute

Here are a few of the most popular Ayurvedic herbs:

  • Ashwagandha: Increases vitality, balances stress hormones, helps with adrenal fatigue, and increases energy. It is an adaptogen, meaning it adapts to what your body needs.

  • Brahmi: The ultimate brain tonic. Brahmi is known to increase short-term and long-term memory, and improve concentration, mental performance, and cognitive function.

  • Cardamom: Cardamom has a warming and calming quality, along with a sweet and savory taste. According to Ayurveda, the buildup of toxins blocks circulation in the body, reducing energy levels and leading to illness and disease. Cardamom can help reduce the accumulation of toxins in the body and maintain health. 

  • Cumin: Excellent for digestion, and can help get rid of bloating, gas, constipation, anxiety, and insomnia. It’s great for skin and hair too.

  • Turmeric: An excellent detoxifier, antimicrobial, immunomodulator, liver function regulator, anti-arthritic, and antioxidant. Turmeric enhances complexion by increasing blood circulation and sending nutrients to the skin. 

  • Neem: Neem leaves have antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Neem is a potent blood purifier and detoxifier and works well to treat acne, eczema, skin diseases, skin damage, and wounds. 

  • Shatavari: Shatavari is an adaptogenic herb that promotes fertility and supports the female reproductive system. Shatavari is called the queen of herbs. It is high in saponins and antioxidants.

Remember, following Ayurveda is a personal journey. Change can be gradual, and you should be patient with your progress. 


Vasant Lad, MASc, and The Ayurvedic Institute. “AYURVEDA: A BRIEF INTRODUCTION AND GUIDE.” The Ayurveda Institute, 2006, https://www.ayurveda.com/resources/articles/ayurveda-a-brief-introduction-and-guide. Accessed Nov. 16, 2020.

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