Using Ayurveda as a Natural Remedy to Stay Healthy

Ayurvedic medicine, commonly referred to as "ayurveda," is one of the world's oldest yet most enduring holistic health systems. Designed to keep the whole body system of body/mind/spirit in balance, ayurveda seeks first maintenance of good health with a secondary focus on fighting off infection and disease.

Where Ayurveda Fits Into Modern Medicine

In first world countries, ayurveda is considered one of many "complementary" or alternative health systems that can serve as a valuable adjunct to modern Westernized medicine. Ayurveda uses herbs as homeopathic remedies for everything from pain relief to disease protection.

Using Ayurveda to Maintain Good Health

According to Andrew Weil, M.D., ayurveda can be especially beneficial in maintaining good health for individuals prone to developing asthma, digestive issues, diabetes, coronary disease, arthritis and autoimmune disorders. While ayurveda is an ancient health discipline (dating back over 5,000 years), many of its remedies are remarkably simple.

Here are some simple wellness tips from ayurvedic medicine:

1. Drink warm water with fresh lemon juice in the morning: Not only will this assist with regularity, but it will help flush out toxins.

2. Scrape your tongue in the morning: You can use a tongue scraper or the edge of a spoon (stainless steel is best) to scrape off toxins that have accumulated during the night.

3. Massage your skin with oil before bathing: Coconut, olive, almond, sesame and sunflower oil are all great choices, so long as they are both organic and cold-pressed. Just massage into skin gently for a detoxifying and nourishing effect.

4. Exercise each day: Yoga is especially recommended for its ability to both strengthen and stretch the muscles. The "sun salutation series" offers a comprehensive workout that takes just a few minutes in the morning and evening.

5. Breathe deeply and meditate: Meditation - focusing the mind towards a state of calm - and deep breathing both have the same goal and often work quite well together. Both can support you through stressful times and enhance your ability to hear your inner intuition speaking (another ayurvedic practice).

6. Sleep well: Getting good sleep - and enough sleep - is critical to permitting the senses to switch off so your body can fight off disease. How much sleep you need will change with age, so honoring your body's signals is key to ensure you get enough sleep.

Ayurveda Alone is Not Enough to Keep You Healthy

Ayurveda didn't survive for 5,000 years into this era of modern medicine for no reason. Ayurveda's whole-system approach to health comes with a great deal of simple, easily digestible wisdom for people of all ages.

However, practicing ayurveda alone will likely never be enough to help you stay healthy, especially with all the toxins present in the world today. You will also need to do your best to make sure you are breathing the cleanest possible air, living in a clean and sanitized home environment and taking every precaution to prevent germs and toxins from entering your body.

Changing air filters frequently and using an air purifier at home and at work can keep your air clean. Floor and carpet cleaners can remove bacteria, germs and toxins from floors and surface cleaners can sanitize areas where you cook, bathe and work. Simply washing your hands thoroughly, brushing and flossing after each meal or snack and staying at home when you feel less than 100 percent can also protect your body from taking in germs, bacteria or toxins that can impact your health.

By combining the ancient medical science of ayurveda with simple practices to keep your workplace, home environment and body clean, you can boost your chances of staying healthy even in high risk time periods such as the winter cold-and-flu season and the spring allergy season.