India’s traditional, natural system of medicine that has been practiced for more than 5,000 years. Ayurveda provides an integrated approach to preventing and treating illness through lifestyle interventions and natural therapies. Ayurvedic theory states that all disease begins with an imbalance or stress in the individual’s consciousness. Lifestyle interventions are a major ayurvedic preventive and therapeutic approach. There are ten ayurveda clinics in North America, including one hospital-based clinic that has served 25,000 patients since 1985. In India, ayurvedic practitioners receive state- recognized, institutionalized training in parallel to their physician counterparts in India’s state-supported systems for conventional Western biomedicine and homeopathic medicine. The research base is growing concerning the physiological effects of meditative techniques and yoga postures in Indian medical literature and Western psychological literature. Published studies have documented reductions in cardiovascular disease risk factors, including blood pressure, cholesterol, and reaction to stress, in individuals who practice Ayurvedic methods. Laboratory and clinical studies on ayurvedic herbal preparations and other therapies have shown them to have a range of potentially beneficial effects for preventing and treating certain cancers, treating infectious disease, promoting health, and treating aging. Mechanisms underlying these effects may include free-radical scavenging effects, immune system modulation, brain neurotransmitter modulation, and hormonal effects.

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Ay·ur·ve·da .ī-yər-'vād-ə, -'ved- n a form of alternative medicine that is the traditional system of medicine of India, that preceded and evolved independently of Western medicine, and that seeks to treat and integrate body, mind, and spirit using a comprehensive holistic approach esp. by emphasizing diet, herbal remedies, exercise, meditation, breathing, and physical therapy
Ay·ur·ve·dic -ik adj
Ay·ur·ve·dist -əst n

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ayur·ve·da (i-yurґved-ə) (i″yər-vaґdə) [Sanskrit "science of life" or "knowledge of living," from ayur life + veda science] the classical system of medicine founded in the Indus valley civilization as oral tradition 5000 years ago and currently practiced in India. It is distinguished by its emphasis on balance with the environment and interpersonal communication and is based on the principles that humans are microcosmic representations of the entire universe and that health is the natural end of living in harmony with the environment. Disease results from disharmony between the person and the environment, and each case of disease is a manifestation of a unique state in a unique individual. Because no two cases of disease are exactly the same, no two cures are exactly alike. The goal of the practitioner is to maintain or restore the balance of the doshas. Therapy includes diet; herbal, color, and sound therapies; aromatherapy; application of medicated oils to the skin and massage; and meditation. Written also Ayurveda. ayurvedic adj

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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