What is Ayurveda?

As natural healing and toxic-free products are becoming more and more popular in the United States, many products labeled as Ayurvedic are showing up on American shelves. Some may assume that this makes the product either from India or more natural than other products, but this is not always the case. More than just an Indian term from natural health, Ayurveda is an entire health system that doesn’t always lend itself as a simple product description.

Ayurveda literally means Life Science. It’s a medical system developed in India thousands of years ago that takes into account the symbiosis between mind and body and the importance of balance in all body/mind systems. Meditation is a healing tool in Ayurveda as is diet and sleep. Ayurvedic practitioners are more concerned with the patients’ actions and life habits than with types of medicines or cures. And although certain herbs are popular in Ayurvedic medicine, the marketing of products based on this ancient system can get a little fuzzy.

It’s important for consumers to avoid the assumption that all Ayurvedic products are healthy or pure. In fact, the FDA does little to regulate the term on labeling of body and beauty products, where you will find it most often. While there are several trustworthy companies that do use these terms correctly on their products, it’s still important to look over ingredient lists on any product that claims to be “Natural,” “Ayurvedic” or “Herbal.”

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