Stress has become an uninvited guest that lurks in the shadows of various minor diseases, waiting for a chance to strike as an unannounced chronic illness. The claws of stress penetrate deep into the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of our health. In current times, when stress relief has become more of a buzzword, Ayurveda is transforming people’s lives with its holistic healthcare approach. Ayurveda literally translates into “ayur” (life) and “Veda” (knowledge), meaning the knowledge of life. It is an old and traditional medicinal system comprising self-care practices through yoga, meditation, and healthy eating habits.
Ayurveda is guided by a few principles, that describe the underlying causes behind all the illnesses. As per Ayurveda, stress is the result of an imbalance caused in the mind and body by disrupting the flow of energy and vitality. The disharmony of energy throws three doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha off balance and leads to problems like stress, anxiety, depression, and other illnesses in the body. Understanding the three doshas and their impact on well-being helps to manage stress and lead a healthy and joyful life. Let’s dig deeper into Ayurveda and learn how you can bring Ayurvedic principles into use and lead a happy and fulfilled life.
Ayurveda is based on three fundamental doshas which are different combinations of the five elements known as fire, space, water, earth, and air. These doshas control various physiological and psychological functions and disturbance in any of the three doshas causes imbalance resulting in diseases. Let’s discuss these doshas in detail:
Vata – Vata is governed by space and air elements. It is responsible for movements, circulation, nerve impulses, and elimination. The dosha is associated with cognition, creativity, and enthusiasm. Excessive Vata or any imbalance is responsible for causing digestive issues, restlessness, and anxiety.
Pitta – Pitta is controlled by fire and water. Its main characteristics are sharp, oily, light, and hot. The dosha is responsible for maintaining digestion, metabolism, and transformation in the body. It is also associated with intelligence, ambition, and decision-making. The disharmony in Pitta can cause anger, inflammation, heartburn, skin rashes, and irritability.
Kapha – Earth and water govern this dosha and are characterized by heavy, cold, stable, and slow. Its main function is to provide lubrication and stability in the body. Any imbalance in Kapha can lead to lethargy, weight gain, and congestion.
Each person has a dominant dosha and a unique combination of these doshas known as the Prakriti. To maintain the balance of all three doshas, it is essential to adopt practices that keep our the body in harmony.
Ayurveda fosters plant and food-based medicines to promote general well-being. There are many herbs that have been used for ages to enhance the mental and emotional aspects of health and keep stress in control. Some prominent herbs used for this purpose are:
1. Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri): Brahmi has been known to support mental clarity and cognitive function. It calms the mind and enhances memory, focus, and overall brain health. It is also useful in reducing anxiety and stress.
2. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): Ashwagandha has been widely used as a stress reliever globally. It is an adaptogenic herb that helps the body to adapt stress. It also promotes relaxation and supports a calm mind.
3. Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus): The herb is traditionally used to enhance vitality and nourish the nervous system. It is known as rejuvenating herb for overall health. It is also known to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety.
However, it is imperative to know that all these herbs do not give positive effects and may react differently in all users. Therefore, it is mandatory to take these herbs under the guidance of a medical practitioner having extensive knowledge of herbs and their possible side effects on the body.
Unlike modern medicine, Ayurveda believes in changing the lifestyle of a person. With these small changes, a person’s health dramatically transforms and becomes healthier. However, this can only be achieved under the guidance of an Ayurvedic medical professional, who has a vast knowledge of doshas, yoga, meditation, and medicinal herbs. In this fast-paced world, Ayurveda has become a preferred choice to tackle daily stress and diseases.