Ayurveda also known as Ayurvedic Medicine has been practiced in India for thousands of years. Ayurveda originated from three ancient texts: Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Bheda Samhita, which were written between the 3rd and 5th century and are still in use today (Wikipedia).
Literally translated as “life-knowledge,” it is based on the balance between the mind, body and spirit.
Sickness is caused by the disruption of harmony between the mind, body and spirit. “Every person is made up of the five basic elements: space, air, fire, water, earth” (WebMD). From these elements three energies derive called Dosha; vata (air), pitta (fire), and kapha (earth).
Doshas may extend outside the body and may influence one’s behavior. Doshas control bodily functions and it is said that for every person, one to two doshas predominates (Canadian Living). Vata Dosha controls the mind, breathing, blood flow and heart function to name a few. Pitta Dosha manages the digestion, metabolism, and hormones linked to the appetite. Kapha Dosha controls muscle growth, body strength and stability, weight, and the immune system (WebMD).
Ayurvedic Medicine is used as a complementary or alternative treatment in North America (Wikipedia, WebMD). According to Ayurvedic Medicine, when there is disharmony within the doshas, one can restore balance by practicing
- breathing exercises,
- and yoga
in conjunction to dietary changes and the use of particular herbs.
One particular procedure in Ayurveda called oil pulling (called kavala or gandusha found in the Charaka Samhita text) can cure oral and systemic diseases including headaches, migraines, diabetes and asthma (Journal of Ayurveda). This therapy uses plant based oils, such as coconut, sesame or sunflower. It is then swished in the mouth for a period of time.
Oil pulling helps prevent decay, oral malodor, bleeding gums, dryness of throat, cracked lips and for strengthening teeth, gums and the jaw (Journal of Ayurveda).
Ayurveda’s goal is to maintain optimal health and well-being. The same goes with Dentistry and Medicine. “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” Mahatma Gandhi