Ayurveda is a therapeutic approach that originated in India more than 3000 years ago and viewed life as the union of the body, senses, mind, and soul. According to Banerjee (2020), “ayurveda is an Indian-origin traditional medicinal system, which is one of the best choices as natural treatments with no such contraindications relatively quite affordable to all” (p. 21). This medical approach uses such therapeutic measures as food, behavior, aphrodisiac, and others. A great emphasis is made on six primary nutrients which can be gained from different food: carbohydrates, protein, fat, minerals, vitamins, and water (Banerjee, 2020). Ayurveda is based on some established beliefs of the Indian population.
Origins of the Health Beliefs
One can outline different origins of the health beliefs, leading to the introduction of nontraditional approaches to treatment. For instance, there is a significant role of indigenous in India, the traditional knowledge consisting of the various cultures, languages, wearing, and foods, which stands for the cultural origin of health beliefs. (Banerjee, 2020). Moreover, traditional Indian knowledge defines the environment as a cosmological knowledge system, proverbs, and taboos aiming at protecting biodiversity, which stands for the spiritual origin of nontraditional treatment (Banerjee, 2020). Overall, Ayurveda’s focus on the physical, mental and spiritual plane of health is closely tied with spiritual beliefs, for instance, in the soul (Rana & Mahto, 2019). Thus, nontraditional treatment originating from spiritual and cultural beliefs aims at improving the emotional, physical, and moral sides of a human’s health.
Potential Health Implications of Beliefs
As Ayurveda emphasizes the union of the body, mind, and soul, it tries to help people to cope with stressors by acquiring immunity through the strength of the mind. Moreover, according to Golechha (2020), such health beliefs, as lying in the foundation of Ayurveda, “may be useful in improving psychological quality of life, and reducing the risk of infection” (p. 130). Thus, one can claim that by encouraging people to take care of their mind and soul, health beliefs may truly improve mental health and potentially strengthen immunity. Moreover, Rana and Mahto (2019) conducted a case study and revealed that Ayurveda could become a mainstream way of treating diabetes because of the traditional medications prescribed to a studied patient. There can also be a belief that AYUSH, standing for Ayurveda, yoga, Unani, Siddha, and homeopathy, which are nontraditional treatments, may harm patients; however, one can hardly find any data proving this. It should be kept in mind that Ayurveda can improve the quality of life through therapeutic measures, but it cannot heal some severe diseases where traditional medical intervention is needed.
Banerjee, S. (2020). The essence of Indian indigenous knowledge in the perspective of ayurveda, nutrition, and yoga. Environment, 1(2).
Golechha, M. (2020). Time to realise the true potential of Ayurveda against COVID-19. Brain, behavior, and immunity, 87. 130-131.
Rana, R. T., & Mahto, R. R. (2019). Ayurveda: A world where diabetes can do no harm. Curr Med Drug Res, 3(1).