Inquiring Minds: Does Ayurvedic medicine work?

Q. What is Ayurvedic medicine?  Does it work?

A. According to the National Institutes for Health, Ayurvedic medicine is a traditional healing system based on herbal compounds, special dietary measures and other health remedies. Developed in India over 3000 years ago, Ayurvedic medicine remains widely used in that country’s health care framework. The Indian government promotes research and support of the Ayurveda, as it is also known, but in the West it is considered an adjunct health care methodology, and it is rarely incorporated into conventional care.

A rare clinical trial of the Ayurvedic herbal treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, which was sponsored in part by the National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, found that it was as effective as a conventional Western approach.

Persons who contemplate trying Ayurvedic medicine are advised that certain herbs and other substances have the potential to be toxic when used in inappropriate doses. Like any medicine, Ayurvedic products should only be used under the guidance of a trained practitioner.  

(Website of the National Institutes of Health https:/ /

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