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13 things you may not know about Ayurveda

  • Ayurveda, the 'Science of Life', is a natural system of medicine with roots in India, that dates back more than 3,000 years. Based on the idea that good health can only be achieved if an individual’s three energies, or doshas, are in balance, Ayurveda promotes lifestyle changes and natural therapies that use herbs, oils, massage, meditation and yoga to regain a balance between the body, mind, spirit, and the environment.

1. What is Ayurveda?

Traditional Indian medicine that dates back more than 3,000 years. Learn more

2. Can Ayurveda help couples with infertility issues conceive?

Yes, say these three women. Learn more
Hong Kong-based Ayurveda practitioner Vinod Sharma doing a chakra clearing for a patient. He says he has helped many couples become pregnant and overcome complications with fertility. Photo: Courtesy of Vinod Sharma

3. How does Ayurveda differ from Western medicine?

Ayurveda treats the individual rather than the disease. The Ayurvedic doctors asks is ‘who’ is my patient, not what is my patient’s ailment. Learn more
Sumit Nanda (left) and Dr Ratheesh.

4. What is 'mixopathy'?

India's plan to mix modern and Ayurvedic medicine. Learn more
A Facebook protest by the Medical Students Network of the Indian Medical Association in Uttar Pradesh, India. Photo: Facebook

5. How can Ayurvedic medicine help cancer fighters?

They learn yoga, new ways to breathe, and to eat more healthily. Learn more
The infinity pool, overlooking the sea, at the Pema Wellness centre in Andhra Pradesh, India.

6. Which tree is known as the Miracle Tree or Tree of Life?

Moringa - with the highest nutritional value among 120 foods studied. Learn more
Ayurvedic medicine uses herbs, spices and foods to treat ailments and improve health. Photo: Alamy

7. Why eat lotus seeds and fox nuts?

Lotus seeds help prevent cancer, boost immunity and relieve depression, stress and anxiety. Fox nuts are a high-protein, low-fat popcorn alternative. Learn more
Lotus seeds are a super food long used in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine. Photo: Getty Images

8. What foods are good for boosting our immune system?

Gooseberries, neem, giloy, sprouted grains and broccoli sprouts. Learn more
Gooseberries have 20 times more vitamin C than lemon juice, and in Indian Ayurvedic medicine they are made into a dietary supplement called chyawanprash, a cooked mixture of sugar, honey, ghee, Indian gooseberry, sesame oil, berries, herbs and spices. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

9. What is vetiver?

A tall grass that’s cultivated for the oil distilled from its roots, used in fragrances and to alleviate stress. Learn more
Vetiver oil has antioxidant properties and is used in skin creams to relieve inflammation. It also helps firm and tighten the skin and protect it from environmental stressors. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

10. What is ashwaganda?

Super herb that helps you look younger and live longer - and may improve your sex life. Learn more
Ashwagandha may reduce anxiety levels, fight Covid-19 – and, according to the Kama Sutra, is also a potent sexual stimulant. Photo: Shutterstock

11. Ayurveda was one of the tools which actress used to beat blood cancer?

Indian Canadian Lisa Ray. Learn more
Actress Lisa Ray is a blood cancer survivor. Photo: Xiaomei Chen

12. What can you expect from an Ayurvedic spa?

Head to foot massages with oils, steam baths, healthy food. Learn more
The Ayurvedic treatment package at Kairali in Kerala, India includes massages, yoga, vegetarian meals and meditation. Photo: Rathina Sankari

13. Can Ayurveda cure baldness?

Woman who used it to do just that now helps others save their manes. Learn more
Veena Dansinghani, hair and nutritional consultant at Naveda, used Ayurveda to cure her hair loss. Photo: May Tse