What is Ayurvedic medicine?

Ayurveda is the traditional medicine practiced in India. It is a therapeutic system based on the respect of the organism’s capacity to regenerate by itself and which does not only take into account the physical part but also considers that our mental health is closely linked to the illnesses from which our body suffers. Ayurvedic doctors consider that the patient’s body, psyche, and soul are connected and have a direct influence on others, which is why we can consider it to be a holistic method. It is impossible to heal the body if the mind and soul are not in balance.

Ayurveda is, therefore, a methodology oriented towards the treatment of the body, mind, and spirit, and which wants to promote a healthier lifestyle, because this millennia-old system considers it indispensable to prevent the appearance of diseases.

This system is based on very ancient care techniques that generally use plants and plant products such as neem or cannabis. Ayurveda considers that people are dominated by three elements: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The balance between these three elements is fundamental to maintain health because an imbalance of these elements, therefore, implies the appearance of diseases.

Cannabis in Ayurveda

Cannabis already appeared in documents on Ayurvedic medicine dating back to the 15th century. This plant was known as “Vijaya” or “siddhi”, therefore , had a long history in Ayurvedic medicine. However, this method considers cannabis to be a toxic and highly narcotic substance, which is why its use must be taken in the doses prescribed by the doctor and always momentarily since Ayurvedic medicine considers the prolonged abuse of cannabis to be a stain on the soul.

As mentioned above, Ayurvedic medicine considers cannabis to be a narcotic substance, especially its resin, with which a kind of hashish called “charas” is made. However, this is not the only part of the plant used in this traditional method, as the leaves and stems are used to make medicinal recipes to stimulate digestion, act as an analgesic, sedative, antispasmodic or aphrodisiac.

Cannabis effects

Basically in Ayurvedic medicine, cannabis is (mixed with other elements) to treat various diseases. For each disease, cannabis is prepared and administered differently in order to enhance its effects:

  • Hypertension: Bhang (a cannabis drink) to treat problems of high blood pressure. However, this remedy should only be used on an occasional basis, because for long-term treatment, Ayurvedic medicine has other possibilities that are not based on cannabis.
  • Cannabis as a healing agent :Powder made from crushed dry leaves may heal cuts.
  • Glaucoma: Bhang is again useful to reduce intraocular pressure besides to temporarily stimulate the nervous system.  
  • Cannabis acts as a diuretic: Cannabis juice may reduce inflammation of the bladder , also to contribute to kidney stones.
  • Skin infections: Sheets of fresh cannabis leaves can treat various skin infections and certain disorders such as rashes, irritations, herpes and to reduce pain and itching.
  • Cannabis to stimulate appetite and digestion: combined with digestive herbs, bhang is useful in order to stimulate and improve the functioning of the gastric system.
  • Sexual disorders: combined with other aphrodisiac herbs and certain foods (almonds, sesame seeds, …) Bhang is a powerful aphrodisiac, sometimes young brides use it during their wedding night. Ayurvedic medicine also warns of the importance of using cannabis in small doses and not regularly, at the risk of seeing the opposite happen.
  • Mental illnesses: Cannabis is in fact helpful for the temporary treatment of psychiatric disorders. Charas” may also treat insomnia. 
Adapted use of cannabis in Ayurvedic medicine

Traditional Indian medicine considers that although cannabis can help in the treatment of many diseases, inappropriate or abusive use leads to the deterioration of body and soul. According to Ayurvedic medicine, the prolonged use of cannabis produces an imbalance of the 3 basic forces that dominate the body and mind: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. As a result of this imbalance, the cannabis user may suffer from digestive problems, depression, lack of sexual appetite or great fatigue. In fact , it is quite curious to see how this traditional medicine already claimed several hundred years ago what some scientific studies in turn claim.

Ayurvedic medicine regards cannabis as a toxic product for the body and mind that should not be used for recreational purposes, but only as a curative element present in many remedies. So, it should, in their view, never be usable alone and always in combination with other herbs and compounds. Moreover , the amount and frequency of cannabis use should be under an Ayurvedic doctor prescription .

According to this age-old method, any medicinal substance correctly usable becomes a curative element, and conversely, if it is not it could turn it into a real poison.

Cannabis and intellectual confusion

Intellectual confusion, or “Pragya aparadh”, seems like the source of all the illnesses that our organism can suffer from, that is, an imbalance of the psyche translating into physical discomfort. According to Ayurvedic knowledge, when the intellect is in a state of confusion, an imbalance in the state of ‘pure consciousness’ occurs in our body, resulting in the onset of disease. Besides, according to this theory, the prolonged use of cannabis can lead to “intellectual confusion”.

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