Why was Sachin Tendulkar mostly an opening batsman in the ODI cricket? You know the answer – well begun is half done. Sachin would take advantage of fielding restrictions and then build long innings thereby almost guaranteeing India’s victory.

In the same way Ayurveda, the holistic healing therapy will ensure your long-lasting good health and well-being if it is used as an opening batsman of your life. Ayurveda would help to build your immunity right from birth so that you are fit to ace the game of life.

In this article, we will be separating facts from myths on Ayurveda so that you can make an informed decision towards your wellness.

Myth #1 Ayurveda is just another form of medical treatment

Fact: No, it’s not. The combination of Ayush – life and Veda – science makes Ayurveda the science of life which was developed in the ancient India 5000 years ago.

The other forms of medical treatments are oriented towards treating illnesses. But Ayurveda is different. It fosters those essential prerequisites in the body which will help the practitioner achieve wellness. In this form of treatment the mind, body, and soul are in complete synergy. The focus is on the elimination of accumulated physical and mental toxins from the body through therapies, yoga, meditation, and exercise.

Myth#2 If it is herbal, it is Ayurveda!

Fact: Yes, ayurvedic medicines are mostly natural and plant-based. But, there are other ingredients like minerals, ghee, honey, milk, metals and rock salt in these medicines. Ayurveda recruits the ancient system of learning to prepare its medicines. So, remember anything herbal is not Ayurveda and do not get misled by it.

Myth#3 Ayurveda takes a long time to cure

Ayurveda treats a ‘dis-ease’ as a state of disharmony (or imbalance of energy flow) between body, mind, and soul. Hence, Ayurveda will not suppress the symptoms rather it will treat the root of the problem-factoring in how the medicines will affect the person.

Moreover, by the time you approach Ayurveda, the disease has already become chronic, which means treating it will take longer. Choose Ayurveda as the first line of treatment and not as the last hope.

Myth#4 Ayurveda is Shirodhara and Panchkarma.

Fact: An ayurvedic treatment uses diet, yoga, detoxification and rejuvenation therapies like Shirodhara and Panchkarma, along with medicines for treatment.

True to its name, Panchkarma involves five procedures of purification-  Vamana (Emesis), Virechana (Purgation), Niroohavasti (Decoction enema), Nasya (Administration of medicine through nostrils), and Anuvasanavasti (Oil enema).

In Shirodhara – a stream of oil is poured on the patient’s head for a long time to de-stress her.  In the recent times, they have been in the limelight for tourism marketing, but the curriculum of Ayurveda goes beyond these two terms.

Myth #5  Ayurvedic doctors are quacks

Fact: No, it takes someone to study 5 ½ years to get the degree of a Bachelor of Ayurveda Medicine and Surgery and 2 years more to do the masters. Before you reach out to an ayurvedic doctor you need to ensure the credibility of the doctor. Also, there are certain traditional families who have been practicing the ancient form of Ayurveda for generations. Before approaching an Ayurveda practitioner you need to ascertain his/ her credibility and qualifications.

Myth#6 The medicines used in Ayurveda contain heavy metals.

Fact: The medicines in Ayurveda are prepared according to the tenets of Rasa Shastra. For the preparation of bhasma (a byproduct of metal), Rasa Shastra prescribes almost 100 cooling and heating cycles of the metal to purify it. This process has the way of transmuting the properties of the metal into beneficial one for the purpose of treating certain conditions. Later, herbs are added to improve the potency of the medicines.

If you suspect your medicine may have metal you should inquire the practitioner. You could also ask the practitioner for only herbal medicines. Since bhasma making is outsourced mostly you should only buy medicines from renowned Ayurveda brands.

Myth#7 Ayurveda is not suited for infectious and contagious diseases.

In Ayurveda disease reflects an altered state of the doshas in the body. The ancient texts of Susruta and Charaka elaborate on the role of body’s immunity and the invasion of contagious diseases like tuberculosis, leprosy and infectious diseases and the role of microorganisms in spreading those. Ayurveda emphasizes building immunity through a healthy diet, lifestyle modifications in preventing and controlling contagious diseases.

Myth #8 Ayurveda goes against the anatomical definition of the body.

Anyone who has studied biology may find the whole system of doshas – the premise of Ayurveda –  a bit unscientific but it is rooted in a deep understanding of the five elements of which your body is made. According to Ayurveda – there are three dosha types – vata, pitta, and kapha.   A person who is of a particular dosha has unique characteristics. The dominance of one of the doshas affects your temperament, body type and even governs your food preferences and reaction to stress. The three doshas also tell the practitioner what ailments you are likely to suffer from. If right from the childhood you know about your body type you can tailor make your lifestyle, diet, and habits for maximum health and well-being. Ayurveda is, in fact, a very personalized system of medicine that gives you treatment as per your unique condition.

Myth#9 For stress Ayurveda does not have any therapy.

On the contrary, Ayurveda accepts any disease as an outcome of stress. The most affected organ due to stress is our gastrointestinal tract and adrenal glands. Stress results in inflammation and slow digestion, which leads to creating ama and hence diseases and imbalances. Ayurveda is very effective in treating stress and depression.

Myth#10 Following Ayurveda is difficult, as there are too many restrictions.

The practitioner of Ayurveda does not view a disease in isolation. When the body goes out of balance and the doshas are vitiated diseases occur. Food (Pathya) is used as a medicine in Ayurveda and certain foods may help the healing process whereas others may aggravate the existing condition. In many sorts of illness, the diet works better than the medicine. Modern medicine by just treating the symptoms can give the semblance of a cure with least inconveniences but this approach creates trouble for future as the root causes remain unaddressed.

Ayurveda goes beyond the symptomatic relief provided by allopathic medicines. It delves into the root cause of the disease and addresses those issues. Ayurveda works as a comprehensive and effective treatment of any disease. It may take a bit longer but the end result is worth the effort.