Turmeric is not Ayurveda (well, it depends)

by Sandra Radja

Strangely I had 2 people tell me this week they had heard of Ayurveda because of Turmeric. I mean I know the benefits of Turmeric (curcuma long) are excellent for inflammatory conditions, great for the skin both internally and externally, good for boosting the immune system as a natural antibiotic, fast acting for healing wounds, and purifying the channels of the subtle body should you so need.

But's it's not Ayurveda (well, it depends)

Turmeric is endemic to South India, which might make you think it's Ayurvedic but that would be like saying that using a  eucalyptus tincture is practising Aboriginal medicine.  The philosophies themselves have learned to adapt and use the environment at hand but the item of itself does not represent the art of the medicine.

It comes down to the way we see ourselves in disease. Ayurveda treats the client not the disease.  It assesses the elements comprised in the individual, observes where the individual has placed herself ,analyses the excess of any qualities and recommends diet and lifestyle changes to make sure the root cause is alleviated. In the process, herbs may be used, for various lengths of time in various dosages, always watching the doshas to see how they react.

And just when one protocol may be working for awhile, all of a sudden things may change, you may change and therefore the situation will need to be assessed again.

It would be so great if we could take one herb and make everything ok. But now what fun would that be?  It has never been proven that one ingredient can be the panacea that brings optimum health, whilst ignoring other aspects of our lives.  You cannot work 60 hour weeks, take some herbs and be ok.  You cannot sleep in until 10am every morning and not suffer lethargy in your life no matter how much coffee you drink.  I'm afraid to tell you, but you're a total package.

We are dynamic!!! We change.  We have qualities and herbs have qualities and Ayurveda is the meat (or mung dal) in the middle that creates the relationship to change.  It is a wisdom and philosophy that rides alongside you to counteract the effects of nature,both human and environment.  The definition of health in Ayurveda is svastha, which means "established in the self". Ayurveda is your diet, the way you eat, your relationships, exercise, your home, the weather and environment, seasons, times of our lives, rest and meditation, work, and so much more.

Turmeric is a wonderful medicinal spice.  I highly encourage it's use in cooking. But living the Ayurvedic lifestyle means living according to your natural environment. It is wise to use a country as a role model that has refined the practise of living by nature's laws but in essence what it teaches us is to look around and see what's in front of us.  It is the perfect model for being present.