Ayurveda as the Future Global Healthcare System

Akshi Khandelwal Bhutani, Founder & Director, Butterfly Ayurveda Butterfly Ayurveda is a provider of the highest quality ayurvedic medicines & health products, which blends the wisdom of traditional knowledge of ayurveda and use of modern technology.

Ayurveda is one of the most promising healthcare systems across the globe. With its foundations deeply rooted in ancient Indian wisdom, it surpasses western medical approach and methods of treatments. ‘Ayur’ means life, and ‘Veda’ means science or knowledge. Ayurveda is the science of life. It brings in harmony the physical, mental and spiritual well being of humankind. In case of treatment, Ayurveda takes the entire body as a whole, whereas, the western approach is symptomatic, i.e., it only treats the symptoms.

According to Ayurveda, our body is made up of the five elements (Panchamahabhoota), just like the universe is. These are - Fire (Agni), Earth (Prithvi), Water (Jala), Air (Vayu) and Space (Akash). These elements further form the three kinds of ‘doshas’ or bioentities that operate throughout our body. These doshas are Vata Dosha (which consists of Air & Space), Pitta Dosha (Fire & Water), and Kapha Dosha (Water & Earth).

Vata Dosha: This dosha is responsible for movement and proper functioning of the nervous system. An imbalance in Vata Dosha is associated with issues of gas, flatulence, bloating, asthma, hip joint fractures, arthritis, and many others. A balanced Vata person tends to be artistic, free flowing, and agile. However, vata people have sudden spurts of energy and quickly burnout; they also find it hard to focus on one thing at a time.

Pitta Dosha: This dosha is primarily responsible for digestion, and metabolism in the body. An imbalanced Pitta indicates burning sensation in the stomach, aggressive behavior, oily skin, acidity, and others. While in balance, pitta people make great leaders, eloquent speakers, are super energetic and intellectual.

Kapha Dosha: This dosha is responsible for the structure of the body; its stability and lubrication. An imbalance of Kapha Dosha leads to drowsiness or laziness, water retention, gallbladder stone formation, proneness to diseases like diabetes, fatty liver, and many others. A well- balanced kapha person is loving, caring, exudes strength and stamina.
These doshas are present in varying permutations & combinations in every person’s body; and this proportion of vata, pitta, and kapha determines each individual’s unique body constitution, which is his/her prakriti. A good balance in one’s prakriti can lead to prevention of diseases and maintenance of good health.

"Ayurveda treatments and methods are most effective since they take into consideration the concerned person’s prakriti, which delineates the root cause of an existing health problem"

An individual’s prakriti is usually a combination of his/her mother and father’s prakritis’. This prakriti cannot be changed; however, if understood well, then one can take decisions about his life with more awareness and make appropriate adjustments to lead a healthy and fulfilling life.

Ayurveda treatments and methods are most effective since they take into consideration the concerned person’s prakriti, which delineates the root cause of an existing health problem. In due course of time, Ayurveda has the power to eliminate the health ailment from its very root. It is at the discretion of a well-qualified Ayurveda doctor & practitioner to recommend the suited medicines & lifestyle modifications to the patient, in the particular situation.

Moreover, with the increasing stress that is so characteristic of modern lifestyles, it is imperative to focus on mental health. ‘Mano Swasthya,’i.e., Mental health, and ‘Manochikitsa, ’i.e.,Ayurvedic Psychotherapy or Ancient Psychiatry have also been mentioned in detail in Ayurveda. Practices such as Meditation, Yoga, Qi gong, Tai Chi have far greater effect on the body, mind & spirit and can help even transform our DNA. Yoga - the union of the mind & body - also comes from Ayurveda.

Despite the immense potential Ayurveda holds for the future of global healthcare, and its present upwardly growth in the market place, it faces profound challenges. Some of these are– First, the presence of distorted information on ayurveda and herbal products circulating through multimedia platforms. Especially with the onset of the digital era, bombardment of misleading ads on social media websites & superfluous technology-driven applications. Although, these platforms have drastically helped in shaping a better understanding of the subject, they tend to influence people to resort to self treatment. It is important to seek professional advice before a particular type of medication or practice is adhered to. Qualified Ayurveda professionals must be encouraged to participate through online forums, video chats & on call consultation to avoid the ‘self-treatment’ route.

Second, modern ayurvedic product formulations are being developed without any clinical research. Also, ayurvedic products are being manufactured and marketed without adherence to quality and preclinical testing parameters. This has led to the prevalence of ineffective and low-quality ayurvedic products in the market. Moreover, there are a number of unqualified professionals developing formulations and launching ‘herbal’ products under various brand names in the market without undergoing licensing procedures. This makes the consumption of such products very risky. Third, there is a dire need for better qualified ayurveda doctors & professionals who can open centers for their practices, and provide genuine counsel to consumers & producers.

It is important that the aforementioned factors are controlled through stringent regulations. Conscious communication to customers is the key. Marketing campaigns led by companies have deep impact on customers and have the power to create a lasting change in their understanding of health & ayurveda. Technology carries a huge responsibility and must be used efficiently. Investment in infrastructure such as Ayurveda hospitals, institutes, and research & development laboratories needs to be boosted & best manufacturing practices need to be established.