Ayurveda vs. Modern Medicine: Alternative or Complementary?
By Chahna Tailor
Happy February! Hope this finds you in good health!
Speaking of health, what field of medicine do you use as your main form of treatment? Modern medicine or natural medicine? Most of us are likely to choose modern medicine. And why wouldn’t we?
Any illness, disease, or sickness you can think about, there is a pharmaceutical treatment/cure for it and everywhere you go, there are billboards, commercials, and ads that show you a cure for what you or a loved one may be suffering from.
Its impact on our health is so pronounced in our daily lives that we forget the old way of doing things.
How many times have you used turmeric as an antiseptic and as a blood clotter when you hurt yourself? (And, let’s be honest, how many of us still do it? – I know I do!)
When you had nausea, how quick were you to put a few cloves in your mouth and let its juices do the job? Or put asafoetida in your belly button to get rid of bloating, indigestion, and stomach pain?
Before Neosporin, anti-nausea capsules, and Tums, we used what nature gave us. As of 2017, Ayurveda, India’s science of life, was still being used by 77% of Indian households, according to a report by the Confederation of Indian Industry and PricewaterhouseCoopers. This number has definitely increased since then but can we say the same for those of us that have moved abroad?
We are used to the modern way of doing things. Modern medicine is quick and convenient but may come with a long list of side effects. How often have you seen a commercial where the side effects outweigh the benefits?
Natural substances, on the other hand, take a little longer for results to manifest – but the benefit is that the product you are putting in your body is natural, treatment is catered to your specific body composition and elemental makeup, and is less likely to have side effects.
But, the debate seems to be – do we go all in on one mode of treatment? Well, I have a counter question for you – why do we have to pick? Why can’t we use both as complementary treatments?
Ayurveda is used as a preventive medical system. According to Ayurveda, there is a prognosis of disease:
– Easy to cure
– Difficult to cure
– Incurable, but in which the symptoms are manageable
– Incurable and symptoms cannot be managed
After a certain point, Ayurveda can only be used for palliative care whereas there may be further steps that can be taken with modern medicine; there are surgeries and treatments that have saved lives in miraculous ways.
Before we get to an incurable stage, consider Ayurveda as a method of prevention.
After all, health is wealth.
About the Author
Chahna Tailor, a certified yoga instructor, has a background in occupational therapy and health science & administration. Chahna deepened her yoga practice by training in Rishikesh, India, where she studied the science behind yoga as a whole. Chahna provides yoga, pranayama, and meditation services through her company Namaskar To You. A volunteer for Ekal Vidyalaya and Hindu American Foundation, Chahna also contributes to Desh-Videsh magazine and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Ayurvedic Medicine while continuing her self-studies in yoga.