As we draw on Indian tradition in our clothing, we also have a deep curiosity in another Indian tradition: Ayurveda. Simply put, Ayurveda is an ancient medicine that relies on balance of mind, body and environmental factors in order to achieve optimal health. In America, Ayurveda is gaining popularity as a supplemental form of healthcare, but it’s estimated that 90% of Indians use Ayurvedic recipes or practices, either alone or in conjunction with modern healthcare practices.
Ayurveda has been documented in texts from the 6th century BCE, though some research suggests it could date back as far as The Indus Valley Civilization (3300-1300 BCE). Essentially, before modern medicine, Ayurveda was the primary practice for good health, and is still being used by many people today.
he word Ayurveda comes from the Sanskrit words ayur, meaning life, and veda, meaning knowledge.
Ayurveda is Individualized Medicine, meaning that treatment is based on the patient’s individual constitution. There are three types of doshas, or mind-body types: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each individual is determined to have one or two dominant dosha types, that will help determine which health problems they are prone to, and how to better customize their treatment and lifestyle. These overarching mind-body types are thought to influence everything from appearance, personality and internal health.
Diagnosis is determined in eight ways: Nadi (pulse), Mootra (urine), Mala (stool), Jivha (tongue), Shabda (speech), Sparsha (touch), Druk (vision), and Aakruti (appearance).
Ayurvedic health remedies include herbal recipes, dietary restrictions, massage, yoga, meditation and breathing exercises. These treatments are all based on the individual’s dosha type and imbalances.
There are also Ayurvedic beauty remedies that can be tailored to one’s dosha type. For example, someone who is primarily Vata, may often have dry skin, and therefore can benefit from a mask recipe that is hydrating. Other beauty recipes include massage and hydration oils, exfoliants, and relaxing bath soaks