Is There a Difference Between Ayurveda and Naturopathy?
If you have never heard of Ayurveda, you may wonder how it is different to Naturopathy and what its benefits are. Ayurveda and Naturopathy have many similar principles to each other. By taking a holistic and natural approach to the body and its ailments, Ayurveda and Naturopathy both look to heal the body naturally and in harmony with nature. If you are looking for Naturopathy in Melbourne, Ayurveda and the Ayurclinic can help you.
History of Naturopathy
The word “Naturopathy” comes from the Latin root for birth (“natura”), and the Greek root for suffering (“pathos”). As far back as Ancient Greece in 400BC, Hippocrates, the Ancient Greek “Father of Medicine,” is said to have been the first advocate of naturopathic medicine.
Naturopathy as a form of alternative medicine has its roots in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. Naturopaths considered the practice a broad discipline, focusing on the body’s spirit and holistic health. This included the use of herbal medicine, homeopathy and the elimination of negative food and drink from one’s diet.
Naturopathy is not one particular type of therapy, rather it is a philosophy of life, disease and health. Naturopaths holds the belief that, through the body’s vital energies, it can health itself. The aim of Naturopathy is to prevent illness while avoiding the use of drugs, instead focusing on diet and lifestyle changes, stress reduction and herbal remedies.
History of Ayurveda
While both Naturopathy and Ayurveda enjoy long histories, Ayurveda has been around considerably longer. Ayurveda is an ancient Indian healing system and its historical roots come from the Indian subcontinent. Ayurvedic teachings were first recorded in the Veda, the world’s oldest scripture, dating back to 1700-1100 BC. It is an ancient system focusing on life (ayur) and knowledge (veda). Like Naturopathy, the philosophy of Ayurveda focuses on a balance between life, health, and disease, which are interconnected with one’s physical, emotional and spiritual being. The basis of Ayurveda is that disease is caused by an imbalance of doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha).
You can read more about the Ayurveda as a complete system of healing here.
Comparing The Two
Naturopathy shares many common methods with Ayurveda. Firstly, both offer a complete system of healing. Both Ayurveda and Naturopathy seek to not just treat the symptoms of an illness, but instead treat the underlying cause of the illness. Therefore, taking a whole-body approach to healing. Patients are encouraged to adjust not only their physical, but also their mental, emotional and spiritual health.
Both systems use homeopathy, massage therapy, yoga and meditation, and nutritional changes to bring the body back to a balanced and healthy state. As mentioned, Naturopathy encourages the body’s own self-healing process. When given the opportunity (by removing unnatural toxins in the body), the body will choose to recover through its own abilities. This can be helped through yoga, meditation and massage.
Diet is central to both Naturopathy and Ayurveda. Natural diets help prevent illness and increase energy. While Naturopathy allow for raw vegetables and organic meats, Ayurveda promotes cooked vegetables and a vegetarian lifestyle, which is found to be easier on the digestive system. Both systems agree that healthy diets focus on the idea that the body is best equipped to process foods that are closest to nature. Therefore, avoiding excess sugar and choosing non-processed foods to ensure balance within the body.
Ayurveda has a strong focus on spices. Because poor digestion is often the root of disease and illness, due to a build-up of ama, spices are used to enhance the body’s ability to digest. Spices such as turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon are shown to enhance and cleanse the body and prevent digestive disorders.
Ayurveda is about balance. Naturopathy is about the healing power of nature. Both share the goals of reducing toxins in the body, modifying one’s lifestyle and bringing the body back to its most natural state. There are fewer differences between Naturopathy and Ayurveda than there are similarities. In fact, Naturopathy may be considered to have been birthed from Ayurveda practices.
By changing your lifestyle, and looking at the root cause of the illness, rather than simply treating the symptoms, you can protect yourself from unnecessary disease and illness. If you are considering Naturopathy in Melbourne, Ayurveda is a natural choice to take care of your body’s needs.