Ayurveda is an holistic system of medicine that seeks to help people achieve and maintain balance of mind, body and spirit.
It originated in India more than 3,000 years ago and remains one of the country's traditional health care systems.
Its concepts about health and disease promote the use of herbal compounds, special diets, and other unique health practices.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
'Key concepts of Ayurvedic medicine include universal interconnectedness (among people, their health, and the universe), the body's constitution (prakriti), and life forces (dosha), which are often compared to the biologic humors of the ancient Greek system. Using these concepts, Ayurvedic physicians prescribe individualized treatments, including compounds of herbs or proprietary ingredients, and diet, exercise, and lifestyle recommendations'
According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine,
"Ayurvedic medicine uses a variety of products and practices. Some of these products - which may contain herbs, minerals, or metals - may be harmful, particularly if used improperly or without the direction of a trained practitioner. For example, some herbs can cause side effects or interact with conventional medicines. Also, ingesting some metals, such as lead, can be poisonous.
"Studies have examined Ayurvedic medicine, including herbal products, for specific conditions. However, there are not enough well-controlled clinical trials and systematic research reviews - the gold standard for Western medical research - to prove that the approaches are beneficial."