Western cultures have been embracing holistic medicine or treating the whole patient -- mind, body and spirit -- in recent decades, but as many as 80 percent of people in India have been doing the same for about 3,000 years. Ayurvedic medicine, or Ayurveda, has its roots in the Hindu religion and focuses on both prevention and cures by looking at how well the body is balanced. Using three systems, or doshas -- the nervous (Vata), arterial (Kapha) and venous (Pitta) -- practitioners of Ayurveda help people keep their insides and outsides in check with the physical and spiritual world.
As many as 70 percent of individuals in India use only Ayurveda for health care, but most in the West and some in India and other parts of Asia combine it with more traditional medicine and physicians. Combining the best of both is often called complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM.
Translated as the "knowledge of life" or the "science of life," Ayurveda can help improve both physical, measurable health and the overall quality of life. We'll take a look at five benefits of using Ayurvedic treatments.