This article is from the Alternative Medicine Therapies guide.
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medical practice that encompasses a range of treatments including medicinal herbs, changes in diet, meditation, massage, and yoga to maintain or restore health. The word Ayurveda is Sanskrit, meaning "science (or knowledge) of life." Perhaps the oldest continually practiced health-care system in the world (the tradition has been handed down from masters to pupils in India for more than 5,000 years), Ayurveda is rooted in the belief that health results from harmony between mind, body, and spirit. Ayurvedic practitioners in India receive state-recognized training on par with that of Western medical specialists.
Although the principles of Ayurvedic medicine have never been substantiated by contemporary medical science, and only a few rigorous studies can attest to its effect on specific diseases, certain Ayurvedic practices such as yoga are believed to increase strength and vitality. Moreover, Ayurvedic herbal preparations are currently being studied in many countries for their apparent therapeutic effects.