Ayurveda, a natural system of medicine, originated in India more than 5,000 years ago. The term Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit words ayur (life) and veda (science or knowledge). Thus, Ayurveda translates to knowledge of life. Based on the idea that disease is due to an imbalance or stress in a person's consciousness, Ayurveda encourages certain lifestyle interventions and natural therapies to regain a balance between the body, mind, spirit, and the environment.Ayurveda treatment includes diet, herbal remedies, massage therapy, yoga, and meditation.

The concepts of universal interconnectedness, the body's constitution (prakriti), and life elements (doshas) are the primary basis of ayurvedic medicine. Goals of treatment aid the person by eliminating impurities, reducing symptoms, increasing resistance to disease, reducing worry, and increasing harmony in life. Herbs and other plants, including oils and common spices, are used extensively in Ayurvedic treatment.In India, Ayurveda is considered a form of medical care, equal to conventional Western medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, naturopathic medicine, and homeopathic medicine. Practitioners of Ayurveda in India undergo state-recognized, institutionalized training. Currently, Ayurvedic practitioners are not licensed in the United States, however, NAMA's (National Ayurvedic Medical Association) aim is to set the national standard for Ayurvedic training, certification as well as working toward Licensing.Ayurveda can have positive effects when used as a complementary therapy in combination with standard, conventional medical care.It's important to discuss any Ayurvedic treatments that you use with your doctor. Women who are pregnant or nursing, or people who are thinking of using Ayurvedic therapy to treat a child, should consult their healthcare provider. It is important to make sure that any diagnosis of a disease or condition has been made by a healthcare provider who has substantial conventional medical training and experience with managing that disease or condition. While Ayurveda can have positive effects when used as a complementary therapy in combination with standard, conventional medical care, it should not replace standard, conventional medical care, especially when treating serious conditions.

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