What is Ayurveda?
It is the ancient Indian system of living and maintaining health, and is both an ART AND and SCIENCE, and is an example of a complementary treatment for IBS as well as one of the irritable bowel syndrome natural treatments. It is one of the oldest systems of Medicine and Wellness, yet is still the main system used in India today! Entire hospitals that only practice Ayurvedic medicine are common still today in India, especially in areas where the local residents cannot afford expensive western medical treatments. So while Ayruveda is considered by the Western world to be a complementary treatment for IBS, in India this system is considered quite ‘mainstream’ as an approach to treating many chronic illnesses.
One of the central Principles of Ayurveda is food digestion, absorption, and elimination. If the digestive ‘fire’ (called Agni) is too low, digestive issues result. Because of it’s focus on digestion health, Ayurveda is often a good system to use in IBS treatment. Ayruvedic principles can be used to increase Digestive Power, or as it is called in Ayurveda, ‘Agni Fire.’ Digestive Power or the Agni Fire is often low in people with IBS, leading to the common IBS symptoms.
Ayurvedic herbs are being used more and more by Integrative and Holistic docs for IBS and a few have been studied and found to be effective in IBS. An ayurvedic herb used for improving digestive symptoms and constipation in particular is Triphala, which is a combo of the extracts from three different tress native to India. It is very effective for constipation symptoms in IBS and is safe to use over a long period of time, unlike many laxatives that can cause the gut to get dependant on them.
How does the Ayurvedic practitioner figure out what herbs are right for me?
It usually starts with the practitioner determining your Dosha, which is your constitutional type. This is simply a way of classifying certain physical and mental traits that seem to go together in people and is merely a starting point for looking at what treatments may be right for you. There are 3 basic doshas, but most people are a mix of all three, yet have one dosha that is stronger than the other two.
Your treatment plan in Ayurveda wouldl typically include a specific diet, herbs, yoga, massage with certain oils, as well as other ‘cleansing’ practices.