Over the years Ayurveda has gained in popularity and a big fan following, but yet many people still don’t take it seriously. In this post, we bust the various myths about Ayurveda so that you can give this holistic science a shot!
20 Myths About Ayurveda You Need To Forget
20. Ayurveda outside South East Asia is not authentic
Ayurveda is not just limited to South-East Asia. There are Ayurveda clinics, institutes, councils and associations in various countries. It is also recognized as traditional and alternative medicine by WHO.
19. You can teach yourself Ayurveda and advise others
Practicing Ayurveda with incomplete knowledge and advising others about it can backfire and create complications for the patient. A diagnosis by an Ayurvedic doctor is based on the person’s dosha or unique bodily constitution, the proportion/combination of their doshas and stage of their disease. So, please don’t play doctor!
18. Any healer can be an Ayurvedic doctor
In India, the wisdom of healing was safeguarded and passed down from one generation to another in some families. These families act as traditional healers who know Ayurveda and their cures are often kept secret. It is important to remember that these healers may not be qualified/certified Ayurvedic doctors.
We recommend that you get in touch with an Ayurvedic specialist who knows what Ayurveda is.
17. Ayurvedic treatments are expensive
The rise of Ayurveda worldwide has led to its commercialization, leading to several spas and retreat centres offer Ayurvedic therapies where no expense is spared.
The truth is that Ayurvedic treatment does not cost a lot as most of the ingredients come from nature.
Ayurvedic medicines may cost more if they have precious ingredients and rare herbs or are customized just for you, but that’s the be expected.
16. Ayurveda can only be used as a ‘side’ therapy
Ayurvedic treatment is more than a side therapy, and has been used as the main treatment for diseases like bronchitis, paralysis, arthritis, asthma, ulcers to name a few. It can also treat illnesses which have no satisfactory cures in modern medicine.
15. No Ayurvedic treatment is complete without a massage
One of the popular myths about Ayurveda is that it always involves abhyanga or Ayurvedic self-massage. Massage is used in Ayurveda to open up channels in the body. However, it is used for only certain conditions and is not necessarily a part of each and every treatment.
14. A Panchakarma treatment is just a body massage
A Panchakarma treatment is a basic detoxification and purification treatment which involves massaging the body with oils but also includes enemas, nasal cleansing and a special detox diet.
13. Ayurveda uses only herbs
One of the many myths about Ayurveda is that its purely herbal. There are some powerful Ayurvedic herbs out there but Ayurveda also uses a variety of other natural ingredients. The use of dairy products like milk and ghee (clarified butter) is common. Minerals, rock salts, oils, molasses and honey are also used. You’ll be surprised to find out that even ashes, bones and gallstones are used in some medicinal preparations!
12. Ayurvedic remedies have no-side effects
Taking Ayurvedic medication without a doctor’s advice means you run the risk of facing varying side effects. This can happen if you take a wrong dose or combine it with other medicines or food that are prohibited. Also, taking it at the wrong time can cause trouble.
If you still don’t fully understand Ayurveda or Ayurvedic medicine, listen to this podcast:
11. Ayurvedic medication never expire
‘Ayurvedic drugs never expire’ is by far the one of the worst myths about Ayurveda. The shelf life of Ayurvedic medicines may vary but they last only for a specific period of time. For instance, some pills are okay to use for 1 year as compared to other pills which expire after 3 years. Always read the label of each bottle or package containing the medicine to ensure it has not expired.
10. Some Ayurvedic drugs have toxic heavy metals
Ayurvedic medical formulations can be either herbal or mineral or a combination of both. Some mineral formulations are prepared with with gold, silver, mercury, lead, copper (metal), and sulfur and arsenic (non-metals).
It is essential to use these substances in very small quantities. They undergo detoxification and purification to eliminate their harmful effects. Stay clear of non-certified medicines as they might have toxins in higher concentration!
9. You can safely use Ayurvedic medicines over the counter
No Ayurvedic drug should be taken over the counter unless a qualified doctor prescribes it. Each individual’s constitution differs and all medicines are not a good fit everyone. There may also be contraindications which other medicines you may be taking.
What may have worked for someone else may not work for you, so make sure your treatment is personalised.
8. Ayurvedic remedies taste horrible
Some people complain that Ayurvedic medicines taste awful. That’s because many herbs found in nature are bitter and their taste affects the remedies. But there are also flavorful remedies especially the ones given to kids like churna (powdered form), ghrita (made from ghee), avaleha (candy-like) and rasayana (tonics).
7. Ayurvedic meds increase heat in your body
The ratio and combination of vata, pitta and kapha in our bodies creates either balance or imbalance. Ayurvedic cures do not manipulate the heat in your body. In fact, they often restore the balance of hot and cold elements in one’s body. Not everyone feels increased heat during treatment. Sometimes it can be due to a metabolic process and is temporary while one is recovering.
Still not sure what your dosha is? Take the test now.
6. Onion and garlic are a strict no-no
Ayurveda does advise against eating onions and garlic but only to those who’re following a strict spiritual path and celibacy because these root vegetables stimulate sexual energy.
Many Ayurvedic doctors recommend eating onion and garlic for their medicinal properties. Garlic cures colds, relieves pain, purifies the blood, fights arthritis, lowers cholesterol and inflammation. Onions relieve nausea, nose bleeding, sunstroke, congestion, cough and cleanse breast milk.
5. Only vegetarians can follow Ayurveda
A widespread false notion about Ayurveda is only vegetarians can follow it. What people don’t know is that Ayurveda does prescribe meat to increase iron levels, strengthen the body, and combat tuberculosis. Bone broth is recommended to patients with dislocated joints and fractures.
Meat is considered heavy and more suitable as a winter food. So meat eaters are advised to eat small portions of goat meat cooked with garlic, onion, ginger, black pepper, turmeric.
4. Ayurveda can cure terminal illnesses like cancer
Cancer and its many types are mentioned in Ayurvedic texts. They are categorized as curable (only a few), hard to cure and fatal. The ones that can be cured use surgical procedures.
One can use Ayurveda to help prevent breast cancer. Herbs like neem, turmeric and brahma rasayana can fight cancer. Ayurvedic drugs like tinospora cordifolia can enhance your immunity levels. There needs to be more research to find out whether Ayurveda can eliminate cancer.
3. There are no clinical tests and standardization of Ayurvedic medicines
Ayurvedic medicines are tested in labs just like regular medicines. In India, there are laws and regulations in place requiring manufacturers to follow specific procedures, guidelines and standards.
Similarly, in Sri Lanka, there are policies to regulate Ayurvedic products, clinics, doctors and research bodies. If you’re buying Ayurvedic products online, make sure you do your research!
2. Ayurveda results are slow
If you believe that Ayurvedic medicine tends to heal slowly, then here’s the fact – Ayurvedic treatments can be both short and long depending on the nature of the disease and the patient’s immunity level. Ayurveda aims to remove diseases from their very root instead of fixing their symptoms.
Practitioners need time to investigate, diagnose and prescribe cures for chronic illnesses instead of asking you to pop pills right away!
1. Ayurveda is not a real science
One of the biggest myths about Ayurveda is that it is old, outdated and unreliable. Ayurveda originated in the Indian subcontinent and is believed to be 5,000 years old.
It is the first documented medical system known to humanity. It displays a rich knowledge of human body, anatomy, diseases, cures, surgery, herbs, minerals and healing foods. The best thing about Ayurveda is that it not only prescribes treatment for illnesses but also teaches us how to prevent them.
So there you go! Now we’ve throughly broken down the main myths about Ayurveda, if you’re ready to create an amazing Ayurveda morning routine read this post.
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