Ayurveda

Ayurveda vs Allopathy: A comparative study to find out which one is better for health

The Ayurveda VS Allopathy debate has been going on for a while now. It is important to have a proper discussion on the topic as this is about our health & ultimately our well-being. Both Ayurveda and Allopathy are systems of managing, treating & curing diseases. They differ from each other majorly in their perspective of looking towards disease, health & life itself.

In this article, we are going deep into the subject to understand both systems better and help one decide which one to choose for managing diseases. Grab yourself a cup of your health drink as this will be a long read.

 

Definition

What is Allopathy?

Allopathy is another term for conventional western medicine. It is a system of medicine that focuses on the use of drugs, radiation, or surgery to treat disease. Allopathy is based on the belief that diseases are caused by specific agents, and that these agents can be identified and treated with drugs or surgery.

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is more than a system of medicine. It is a science of life that takes a holistic approach to health and well-being. Ayurveda is based on the principle that all life is interrelated and that our health and well-being are directly affected by our environment, lifestyle, and diet.

Etymology

History and origins of Allopathy

The term “allopathic” is derived from the Greek words “allos” (opposite) and “pathos” (to suffer). German physician Samuel Hahnemann first used this term in the 1800s. It basically means treating a problem with its opposite, which is typically done in conventional medicine. Common allopathic treatments include antibiotics for bacterial infections, chemotherapy for cancer, and surgery for injuries or diseases that cannot be treated with drugs.

History and origins of Ayurveda

The term “Ayurveda” is derived from the Sanskrit words “Ayur” (life) and “Veda” (knowledge). We find the earliest origins of Ayurvedic medicine in Vedic scriptures. It is around 5000 years old, making it one of the oldest holistic (whole-body) healing systems in the world. Ayurveda practitioners use a variety of techniques to restore balance within an individual, including diet, massage, yoga, and meditation.

Philosophy of Ayurveda vs Allopathy

Philosophy of Allopathy

Allopathy follows a reductionistic approach to look towards disease and health. It believes that it can understand the disease by breaking it into parts. The allopathic approach to health and medicine focuses heavily on treating symptoms rather than root causes.

Philosophy of Ayurveda

Ayurveda follows a holistic approach to look towards disease and health. The philosophy of Ayurveda is based on the principle of balance in the universe. This is reflected in the three doshas, Vata, Pitta & Kapha which represent different aspects of elemental energies in the body and universe at large. Ayurveda focuses on finding out the root cause of disease and thereby removing it. Also, the Ayurvedic approach is a lot more preventive in nature which enables us to not have disease in the first place.

Healing methodology in Ayurveda vs Allopathy

Allopathy

  • Allopathic drugs are generally synthetic chemicals that work by killing bacteria or viruses.
  • Allopathic treatments are more generalized and less personalized. Often people’s individual Prakriti and vikriti are not taken into consideration in allopathy.

 

Ayurveda

  • Ayurvedic medicine can be as simple as using natural herbal remedies or taking a walk in nature to as complex as lifestyle & dietary shifts, and massage therapies such as Panchkarma, and Abhyanga. 
  • Ayurveda also talks about Dincharya and Ritucharya to bring us into sync with nature.
  • Ayurvedic treatment is more personalized and less generalized. It is because each individual has a different body type and similar symptoms do not always indicate similar treatment. 

 

Goal

The goal of allopathy is to provide relief from symptoms of diseases and to improve the quality of life for patients.

The goal of Ayurveda is to bring health and balance to the individual and assist them toward self-realization.

Ayurveda vs Allopathy doctors

Allopathic doctors study just modern medicine whereas Ayurvedic doctors study both modern medicine & ancient texts. In Allopathy, the students are imparted with the knowledge of modern medical practices and are also given a brief overview of ancient practices. However, in Ayurveda, students learn about both ayurvedic and allopathic practices in detail. This gives them a better understanding of the human body and helps them treat patients more effectively.

Drawbacks

Drawbacks of Allopathic medicine

The drawbacks of allopathy are many and varied. One of the biggest is the exploitation of animals in the name of science. Animals are often used in tests and experiments to see if a new drug or treatment is safe for humans. This can be cruel and inhumane, and sometimes the animals are not treated properly.

Another major drawback is that Allopathy doesn’t have a full understanding of diseases and hence it many times leads to negative side effects. In some cases, allopathic treatments have been known to cause more harm than good.

Lastly, some doctors and pharmaceutical companies raise prices arbitrarily, without any regard for the needs of patients. This leaves many people without access to essential medicines.

Drawbacks of Ayurvedic medicine

One major drawback of Ayurvedic medicine is that it takes a longer time to heal and does not provide instant relief. Other is that there is a lack of acceptance of Ayurveda among the general public.

Lastly, there are malpractices in the field of Ayurveda too as some people can sell inauthentic medicine in the name of Ayurveda which can lead to health complications. Thus it is important that one takes these medicines from trusted sources that are GMP and AYUSH-certified.

Ayurveda Vs Allopathy: which one is better?

From studying the above information one can clearly discern for oneself which one of the systems is better for one’s health & well-being. Ayurveda stands out as a clear winner because of the following reasons –

  1. Ayurvedic understanding of the human body, disease & health is more accurate than that of Allopathy.
  2. Ayurveda has been practiced for much longer as compared to Allopathy.
  3. Ayurvedic remedies are safer than Allopathic ones given that they are natural and herbal.
  4. Ayurveda focuses on long-term health and well-being rather than short-term relief.
  5. Ayurveda is more than a system of medicine as it educates us on different aspects of living a healthy and fulfilled life.
  6. Ayurveda ensures no harm to animals, unlike Allopathy.
  7. Ayurvedic treatment is more cost-effective as it solves the problems from its roots and prevents diseases from arising.

Ayurvedic alternatives to Allopathy for different diseases

Ayurveda vs Allopathy for Diabetes

The approach to fighting diabetes in Ayurveda is pretty unique— it is a chronic disease that can’t be cured easily within a short span. However, it cannot be cured only by prescribing drugs but by pacing up with other diabetes-control approaches such as taking herbal remedies, proper diet, exercise, and panchakarma (bio-purification procedures). Kadwa Amrit & Dybit Amrit are two powerful herbal remedies to deal with diabetes that not only manage people’s blood glucose levels but also work on blood purification and improving pancreatic health. Smartveda Diabetes combo is proving to be a potential cure for diabetes.

diabetes combo banner

 

Ayurvedic alternative to increase vitality

Chyawanprash has been a part of Indian culture for a long time. The concept of popping pills for increasing energy is only a recent practice. Prash Amrit Chyawanprash is an Ayurvedic blend of 40+ herbs for the brain, heart, lungs, liver, and kidney. It is an Ayurvedic wonder for organ vitality.

Prash Amrit benefits

Ayurvedic alternative for Gut-Health

Tri Amrit Triphala is a potent Rasayana and a traditional blend of Harad, Baheda, and Amla. It has the efficacy to balance the Tridoshas and is widely accepted and used for curing digestion, skin, hair, diabetes, blood pressure, appetite, liver, and vision-related issues.

 

The benefits of Tri Amrit

 

Some more facts about Ayurveda

  1. Ayurveda takes into account a lot of factors when curing disease such as:
  • Three Dosha: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha – are the fundamental physiological governing regulators of the body
  • Agni: the metabolic and digestive processes
  • Dhatu: principles that uphold the formation of body tissues
  • Mala: bodily wastes produced that are either reutilized or excreted
  • The Indriya, Mana, and Atma: Sense organs, mind, and soul

2. Ayurvedic approach doesn’t involve out-of-the-world medicine. In Ayurveda, we say that food is the best medicine and our kitchen is the best clinic.

3. People in the west especially in Europe are recognizing Ayurveda’s healing potential and it has become a booming field of study there.

4. Ayurvedic texts have about 300,000 formulations for addressing health.

5. Ayurvedic doctors have been permitted to perform surgery too.

 

Conclusion

Ayurveda is a holistic system of approaching health that has been a part of India for thousands of years. Its popularity has grown in recent years as more people are looking for natural ways to improve their health and well-being. It addresses physical, mental, emotional, and social aspects of well-being, unlike Allopathy which only treats the physical body. The allopathic system is primarily an excellent disease-care system with a reductionistic view of human health.

Ayurveda is leagues ahead of Allopathy in terms of understanding, healing diseases & promoting health. It is a way of life and not just a system of medicine.

 

Further readings

  1. Understanding Ayurveda
  2. Time for evidence-based Ayurveda: A clarion call for action

Smartveda mission

Smartveda is a humble attempt to revive the “science of life” that we call Ayurveda which is the foundation for a holistic approach to leading a healthy life. We take sincere pride in our heritage, rich culture, and deep-rooted concepts and Smartveda is an effort to spread this knowledge and empower one and all to lead healthier lives.

Faqs

  1. Can we take allopathic and ayurvedic medicine together?  

Yes, you can take allopathic and ayurvedic medicine together. The body doesn’t easily adapt to a new medicine as it has homeostasis at play. Hence, it is wise to have both forms of medicine at the start and eventually stick to one.

2. Why did many people shift from Ayurveda to Allopathy?

– It is at the time of independence that modern medicine’s influence got over Indian populations. Also, a lesser amount of research in the Ayurvedic field stopped its growth. However today evidence-based Ayurveda is being accepted worldwide and numerous research is being made.

3. But allopathic is scientific and Ayurveda is not?

– The problem here is in how the term “scientific” is being used. The criteria of something being scientific should not be whether something is written in modern textbooks or ancient textbooks. Rather the effectiveness and accuracy of the techniques used. If Ayurveda is not scientific how come we know Sushruta as the founding father of surgery?

4. Why can’t we follow an integrated approach to medicine?

– We can. It is wise to take the best from both systems and use them according to one’s needs. The goal is to heal and attain peak states of health by whichever means possible.

5. Has Ayurveda something to do with the Hindu religion?

– Not in the sense that you mean. It has origins in Hinduism but its science has nothing to do with which religion one belongs. It is like asking-  is Einstein’s theory of relativity Jewish?

 

 

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