Ayurvedic Nutrition for Wellness

Anke Neustadt

Ayurveda is the sister science of yoga and has become increasingly popular in Western Society in recent years. Ayurveda uses nutrition and lifestyle habits to bring balance and wellness to the mind and body.  There are even classes on ayurveda for those who want the three doshas explained, or three ayurvedic archetypes.  

In Sanskrit, the word Ayurveda translates to “the science of life.” In Western medicine, Ayurveda is classified as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).  Believed to be the oldest system of healing on Earth, Ayurveda is distinct in that it tailors preventative wellness, as well as the treatment of acute and chronic conditions, to the unique constitution of the individual. The focus is on bringing the elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether) within the individual’s body back into balance, as it is the imbalance and provocation of the elements that are the cause of any kind of disease.

Ayurvedic medicine is much more than just medicine. This 5,000-year-old practice began in India and has since spread across the world, shaping and improving many lives.  The core of Ayurveda is focused on prevention. It’s based on the concept that general health and wellness rely on a delicate balance between mind, body, and spirit.  If you’ve been searching for a holistic and balanced approach to your overall health, you’re in the right place.

Ayurveda is a science that operates in a cyclical fashion.  For example, there are ayurveda winter remedies and also ayurveda summer practices.  Ayurveda is all about opposing the current condition.  So in the Fall, when everything is crisp and dry, we try to moisturize.  In the Summer, when there is a lot of heat, we bring cooling remedies to oppose that condition.

Ayurveda can improve sleep. Processed snacks, caffeine and alcohol, and ever-present electronics are just some of the modern vices that can disrupt sleep.  Ayurveda’s more balanced, time-tested approach to healthy eating and mindfulness has the potential to get you a good night’s rest. Beyond that, simple practices such as rubbing an Ayurvedic oil like jasmine or coconut on your temples has a calming effect that could lull you to sleep.

Like India herself, the broad collection of knowledge known as Ayurveda has withstood the test of time as well as cultural influence throughout history. Even as India was conquered by outside invaders from the Genghis Khan to the British Raj, Ayurveda continued to be the medicine of choice for most, though at some points had to be practiced in secret. During the British colonial rule, Ayurveda was forbidden beginning in the 1850s. Despite the fact that British botanists unknowingly solidified Vedic knowledge of healing planets through their research, Ayurveda existed only on the peripheral during this time — surviving in underground practices led by family lineages. As India regained independence, Ayurveda was revived in the mainstream and acknowledged by the new government. We are so grateful for all who have kept this ancient wisdom alive. As we share this knowledge you, it’s important for us to take a moment to thank those who have taught us.