Whether the modern medicine system has let you down, or you’re tired of taking pills that cause side effects, we all know that there are alternatives to modern healthcare.
Usually, that involves going back to bare basics and our roots, ancient times of those before us who had an incredible knowledge of plants, and the mind, body and soul connection.
Ayurveda is one of those holistic medicine options.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is an Indian medicinal practice, whereby the mind, body and soul are protected from diseases through proactive use of Indian herbs, spices, a routine of tasks and a mixture of exercises, to keep all 3 parts of our being (mind, body, soul) balanced and healthy. Ayurveda is a proactive and preventative method of keeping our being and the 3 parts of us healthy and in balance.
Ayurveda is mainly based around various herbs and spices, which have been trialed and tested by scientists, with proven benefits for our bodies.
Ayurveda teaches us that health is a state of being and it means that our body, mind and soul all need to be healthy and balanced, to keep diseases at bay and feel good.
It involves a bit of a routine and lots of self-care/self-love, it’s all about keeping your spirits high and looking after yourself from all 3 aspects.
Ayurveda has been around for 5000 years, originating in the ancient Vedic culture.
There are 3 principles that relate to the energy and proper functioning of our body and mind for complete balance and to achieving true Ayurveda:
- Vata – movement energy
- Pitta – digestion and metabolism energy
- Kapha – lubrication and structural energy
If you know about chakras, Ayurveda is similar – in order to feel good, all 3 areas must be activated and balanced to achieve the ideal Ayurveda theory in practice.
If we’re not addressing one or more of the 3 energy areas of Ayurveda, this is when mental and/or physical diseases can start to creep in. To prevent diseases, our mind, body and soul must remain well looked after, fed, watered and maintained at all times.
If we don’t, that’s when our mind can get a little fuzzy, our body a bit achy, and our soul tired and worn out.
Ayurveda Out of Balance
How do you know if any of your 3 Ayurveda areas are out of balance? Theory suggests that we automatically have 1 stronger principle/Ayurveda area that is already balanced and activated – a bit like having a stronger right/left part of your body.
When the other 2 are out of balance, our mental and physical well-being can start to dip. Each area of Ayurveda if imbalanced, can lead to:
The 2 main contributors to Ayurveda, is diet and lifestyle. It revolves around what we put into our body through food (as food is our greatest medicine), and the daily choices we make when it comes to what we choose to do – exercise, yoga, being creative, meditation, self-care etc.
Ayurveda in a nutshell is making time and conscious decisions about our diet and lifestyle, to balance the 3 Ayurveda aspects.
I’m not one for a routine, it makes me a little bored if I’m honest. However, I do get up every morning, have a coffee and write a blog post before breakfast.
The rest of the day does tend to follow a pattern too – lunch at 1 pm, cook dinner at 5 pm, do a bit of yoga before dinner, maybe a walk about 6 pm, and a bit more blogging in the evening.
Regardless of whether I like or dislike having a routine, I actually have formed a routine for myself.
So why is it good for us to have a routine and why does it matter with Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a health practice and follows certain rules in order for you to feel looked after, healthy – it involves doing certain tasks in the morning, which ultimately becomes a ritual and part of a routine.
The Ayurveda routine means getting up before the sun rises, (which is much easier in the winter when the sun rises about 8 am, right?). The routine is also washing your face and tongue in the morning, drinking a glass of water, exercise and/or yoga – it’s a whole morning routine and is all about starting your day right.
These tasks set you up for the day, and like anything, with repetition daily, you start to notice the benefits. This is why it needs to become your routine and a lifestyle choice, to truly see a difference.
Food is a major part of Ayurveda practice, as it’s about self-care. We all know that we are what we eat – actually, I never liked that saying. We feel how we eat, is a much better expression.
Depending on what you eat, this affects your mood, health and wellbeing. To feel good, you need to eat foods that are packed with nutrients and vitamins – this includes ingredients that are beneficial to your body.
Ayurveda Spices and Herbs
The spices and herbs you need to introduce into your Ayurveda diet, are:
- Licorice root
- Triphala (a remedy made up of 3 fruits: alma, bibhitaki, haritaki)
- Gotu kola
- Bitter melon
Ayurveda – the 3 Energy Types (Doshas)
The ancient Ayurveda practice is based on a belief that there are 3 doshas (dosha means energy) – these 3 energy types, Vata, Pitta and Kapha represent 2 different elements which you’ll already be familiar with – space, air, fire, water and earth.
1. Vatta – space and air
2. Pitta – fire and water
3. Kapha – earth and water
These 3 energies circulate around our body, mind and spirit, with on being particularly dominant.
Can Ayurveda Cure Thyroid?
No, Ayurveda although an effective medical practice and a holistic way of healing the body, cannot cure diseases such as a thyroid. However, Ayurveda is used to prevent diseases from happening, and with medical, modern medicine, Ayurveda can help speed the process of curing diseases when they do actually happen.
Ayurveda should be used alongside medical treatment, as a healthy diet, the right foods and exercise helps the body heal quicker.
To help with thyroid and hormonal imbalance, ashwagandha is an effective ingredient, which forms part of the Ayurveda practice, that helps cure thyroid.
Ayurveda When to Wake Up
According to Ayurveda, you need to wake up an hour before the sun rises. This will be a different time, depending on where you are in the world or what time of the year it is. Waking up before the sun rises is a magickal time of the day – the birds chirping, nature waking up, the earthy smell, the fresh air, the dew sparkling. All these reminders of natural beauty, set you up for the day, raising your positive vibrations and making you feel alert, awake and spiritually ready for the day.
Ayurveda When to Exercise
According to Ayurveda, it is suggested that the best time to exercise is between 6 am and 10 am, and then between 6 pm and 10 pm. This time of the day is ruled by the Kapha dosha (earth and water), which means there is a sense of groundedness and strength around that time of the day, which fuels your exercise, giving a sense of stability too.