Ayurveda, over 5000 years old, can provide a multitude of insights and data to contribute to the scientific advancement of the field of medicine. Yes, the ancient traditional medicine system from India is proving to enhance modern medicine and scientific invention.
Ayurveda contributes an enormous library and tracked history of the effectiveness of herbal remedies – roots and herbs alike. This is leading to modern medicine being able to investigate and integrate these substances into modern medicinal development – think of the instant rise of the ashwagandha root and how many modern medicines now include ashwagandha prolifically in their ranges of products. Ayurvedic roots and herbs are contributing to new compounds and scientific extraction processes for medicine largely thanks to the system’s well-documented history of preparation of these herbs and roots, and their various effects.
Moreover, Ayurveda’s significant emphasis on individualising care based on one’s unique makeup, called Prakriti, as well as imbalances, called Vikriti, aligns perfectly with the modern trends of individualisation. Modern medicine is replicating the effective centuries-old practices to great success.
In Ayurvedic medicine you will often find references to the mind and the body – and the connection and balance that must be nurtured at all times – not only when ill. This resonates deeply with modern psychosomatic medicine where studies have shown the influence of mental and emotional factors on physical health.
Ethnobotany and Ethnopharmacology – is Ayurveda leading the field?
Ayurveda’s use of indigenous plants and traditional knowledge about their medicinal properties contributes to the fields of ethnobotany and ethnopharmacology. These distinct disciplines explore the relationship between plants and human cultures and can lead to the discovery of novel compounds and sustainable approaches to healthcare when combined with modern scientific research.
It is always important that Ayurveda and modern scientific research co-exist in balance with each other – complementing for a better future of treatment on all conditions. Scientific research, when conducted using rigorous methodology and randomised trials, can serve to improve the relevance of Ayurveda as well as the development of new modern medicine.