Misconceptions about Ayurveda
Misconceptions 1: It takes time to heal
Unfortunately, people who say this, are the ones who turn to Ayurveda when no other option is left for treatment of their disease condition. Thus, it takes atleast 3-4 years to 10 years for them to take this step. Then isn’t it obvious the disease which has not stopped spreading in body or with increased intensity will definitely take time.
But we know exactly opposite cases, where people turn to Ayurvedic medicine when Blood pressure increase is observed and after following simple change in diet, lifestyle and certain medications for short time lead a better life without anti-hypertensive medications or diabetic medication.
Misconceptions 2: It has got herbs, what difference will it make
Yes, Ayurveda uses herbs, different forms of extracts of these herbs, but these is wide spectrum of medicines. There are many types of formulations of same herb and used as and when required by Ayurvedic Practitioners. There is concept of formulation making, which increases potency of herb by either mixing it with other herb or making changes in its original form. That’s the difference between Cumin(Jeera) used in regular tadka or tempering and Cumin(Jeera) used in any digestive tablet. Also, there is use of various purified metals as and when required. (And definitely we need not explain difference of potency of normal herbs when in form of any Asava, Arishta which has self generated alcohol)
Misconception 3: Ayurvedic medicines are without side effects
People who don’t know side effects or who cannot judge the estimated effect tend to say this. Any prescribed medicine which is taken for longer time than the prescribed time or dosage is altered it is bound to show its side effects.
As Side effects is termed as a secondary, typically undesirable effect of a medicine or medical treatment, ayurvedic medicine is bound to show side effects.
Many people don’t know that in Ayurveda sometimes specific diet is introduced or removed from patient’s daily intake if a different medicine of high potency is to be given. This is done obviously to reduce the side effects of highly potent drug.
E.g.: With Shilajatu use of milk is prescribed
Also, the concept of Anupana i.e. the substance with which medicine has to be taken changes with the content of medicine, prakriti of person, system which is to be repaired also decreases the possible side effects.
Misconception 4: High level of metals in medicines
Yes, Ayurveda has use of different metals in its formulations but these are initially purified before using in any formulation. The purification process removes the unwanted part of metal and makes it safe for use.
Moreover, these metals are used in minuscule quantities and so is the dose of these medicines. They are to be used only after prescription by Ayurvedic practitioner and not just as dose of daily food.
Also, they are prescribed for certain span and with diet, lifestyle regulation. Thus, after so many steps the potent question of metal in medicine does not stand strong enough.
Apart from these, we would like to ask why don’t we think so seriously regarding the tinned foods and certain cosmetics which also have tendency of having heavy metals. Also for them use is not prescribed, time span not decided.
Misconception 5: Ayurveda has got many restrictions on us
If eating unhealthy or though healthy but in excessive quantity is the reason for your disease then without stopping or regulating the intake how can you recover?
If person wants a healthy life without medication his/her diet has to be that appropriate and Ayurved just follows same. The issue is, today we have forgotten or we are not realizing what is required for out body beyond mere taste of food.
And as discussed in previous articles, to maintain health of healthy person and make unhealthy, healthy again is aim of Ayurveda. Finally, even nature shows the effects of pollution we cause in air and water then will not the body do the same? If you need to recover you need to stop doing wrong things to your body or it would not take long to pollute your own body and flaring up of diseases.
As a conclusion, I would like to say, no science is complete. Every science has its own benefits and flaws which we need to accept them but considering misconception as flaws is not a sign of good understanding. Some of you might have got a bad experience but I feel blaming science is not a proper idea. I feel all Ayurvedic practitioners who believe in practicing Ayurved would agree to this. These are just some misconceptions which we often see or hear there may-be many but getting them cleared is the only way to move ahead and this is a small step in the way.
Please feel free to ask your queries, I would try to best to solve them.
Vd. Manasi Joshi