Because Ayurveda had been outside the Western scientific system
for years, research in the United States is new. Another difficulty
in documentation arises because Ayurvedic treatment is very individualized;
two people with the same disease but different dosha patterns
might be treated differently. Much more scientific research has
been conducted over the past several decades in India. Much research
in the United States is being supported by the Maharishi Ayur-Ved
organization, which studies the Ayurvedic products it sells and
its clinical practices.
In 2002, India took steps to make some of its most important
Ayurvedic knowledge more widely available. Many outside groups
had begun to exploit the ancient holistic practice’s remedies
and companies were duplicating processes and formulas, while calling
them their own. The Indian government appointed a task force in
January 2000 to promote and develop traditional medicines and
to prevent piracy of the country’s traditional medical knowledge.
The task force developed a digital library with international
and Indian languages describing about 35,000 ayurvedic herbal
processes and formulations to cure all kinds of diseases. The
library became available in early 2003 on the Internet.
Some Ayurvedic herbal mixtures have been proven to have high
antioxidant properties, much stronger than vitamins A, C, and
E, and some have also been shown in laboratory tests to reduce
or eliminate tumors in mice and to inhibit cancer growth in human
lung tumor cells. In a 1987 study at MIT, an Ayurvedic herbal
remedy was shown to significantly reduce colon cancer in rats.
Another study was performed in the Netherlands with Maharishi
Ayur-Ved products. A group of patients with chronic illnesses,
including asthma, chronic bronchitis, hypertension, eczema, psoriasis,
constipation, rheumatoid arthritis, headaches, and non-insulin
dependent diabetes mellitus, were given Ayurvedic treatment. Strong
results were observed, with nearly 80% of the patients improving
and some chronic conditions being completely cured.
Other studies have shown that Ayurvedic therapies can significantly
lower cholesterol and blood pressure in stress-related problems.
Diabetes, acne, and allergies have also been successfully treated
with Ayurvedic remedies. Ayurvedic products have been shown to
increase short-term memory and reduce headaches. Also, Ayurvedic
remedies have been used successfully to support the healing process
of patients undergoing chemotherapy, as these remedies have been
demonstrated to increase immune system activity. The herb gotu
kola has been reported to relieve anxiety and enhance memory.
Ayurvedic Training & Certification
In the United States, there is no standardized program for the
certification of Ayurvedic practitioners. Many practitioners have
primary degrees, either as M.D.s, homeopaths, or naturopathic
physicians, with additional training in Ayurveda.
Ayurvedic Medicine Facts Index