The book “Ayurveda: The True Way to Restore Your Health and Happiness” by renowned Ayurveda expert Dr. G. G. Gangadharan demystifies the logic behind the science of Ayurveda.
In this book, readers will find the secret to greater happiness through balance and long-lasting health―the idea that healthcare must address the individual as a whole and not just the disease.
The book is about how Ayurveda can keep one healthy and also explains various intricacies of Ayurveda for an inquisitive mind.
Read an excerpt from the book “Ayurveda: The True Way to Restore Your Health and Happiness” below.
Editor’s Note: The following excerpt has been taken from the introduction of the book.
There is no such thing as alternative medicine. If a treatment heals the patient, it is medicinal. If it doesn’t, it is quackery.
The first thing you need to know about this book is that it is not a defence of Ayurveda. A sound, scientific framework of healthcare that has saved countless lives over 5,000 years does not need defenders. It needs champions. It needs to be given wings so that it can reach out to 7.5 billion human beings, most of whom are struggling to avail cost-effective and quality healthcare. This book was born because the world needs it. It is time for the human species to sit up and notice the unique blessings offered by Ayurveda.
The top-level unique boon of Ayurveda is the implicit promise of true restoration. The promise that the body and mind can be restored to the healthy state from which it descended into sickness. Instead of just managing the disease, Ayurveda invites the body–mind to regain its former glory. And no, this is not mythical, like the elixir of youth—it is based on holism, the idea that healthcare must address the individual as a whole instead of focusing on just the disease.
Every chapter in this book reinforces Ayurveda’s founding principle of true restoration.
In the second chapter, ‘The Whole Plant, the Whole Person’, we will learn the benefits of trusting nature’s design. When we use a substance wholly—the way nature designed—we do away with any potential side-effects that a synthesized variation could harbour. Everything we find in nature is potentially medicinal or potentially poisonous, depending on the method and the quantity in which we use it. And since one person’s medicine may be another’s poison, the first step in treating an individual is to ascertain how this individual is unique, so that the approach can be customized. As you can imagine, the benefit of curing the whole human using the whole plant is true restoration.
In the third chapter, ‘Pathogenesis and the Path of Moderation’, we get introduced to the six stages of a disease and how Ayurveda has the ability to detect it at the earliest stage. This gives us the chance to truly restore the body–mind in the quickest possible time.
In the fourth chapter, ‘Prakṛti and the Genome’, we talk about the three doṣas—vāta, pitta and kapha—which together determine the prakṛti, or intrinsic nature, of the individual. We talk about a scientific paper published in Nature, which maps unique genes to each of the doṣas. Ayurveda’s knowledge of how the three doṣas work is integral to its promise of true restoration.
In the fifth chapter, ‘Gut, GIT and Microbiome’, we look at our digestive tract as an intelligent system capable of keeping most diseases at bay. The gut is home to countless bacteria called gut flora that help retain health. That is why Ayurveda rejects the carpet-bombing approach—any medicine administered must eliminate only pathogens and not helpful micro-organisms. So, Ayurveda’s gut-friendly approach allows it to go beyond disease management and become a truly restorative healthcare framework.
In the sixth chapter, ‘Epigenetics’, we explore the impact of lifestyle and the environment on health. And we learn how to diet; daily rituals and periodic cleansing practices can keep the body–mind in prime condition—in other words, in a truly restorative state.
In the seventh chapter, ‘Pillars of Restoration’, we extend the learning gleaned from ‘Epigenetics’. We understand, among other things, the impact of modern consumption habits, and how this impact can be managed. Again, it’s all about restoration and health.
In the eighth chapter, ‘Tailor-Made Healthcare’, we understand how Ayurveda uses the profile of the individual— what makes the person unique—to customize medicines and treatment procedures. Ten factors go into a person’s profile and each has a say in the medicines and procedures administered. Ayurveda has been doing for millennia what modern medicine has now begun to do with the advent of pharmacogenomics.
In the ninth chapter, ‘Limitations of Ayurveda’, we look at the reasons behind Ayurveda’s limited influence on the global healthcare map. If we are honest, we must acknowledge why a truly restorative healthcare framework has neither the reach nor the respect it deserves.
In the tenth chapter, ‘The Summative Approach’, case studies and concepts explain how Ayurveda can be combined with modern medicine to offer the best care to almost anybody. Allopathy, a system that guarantees efficacy and immediacy, need not be at loggerheads with Ayurveda. When the two come together, both short-term demands and long-term needs of the individual can be fulfilled.
In the concluding chapter, ‘The Future’, we look at measures that can be undertaken to bring the restorative power of Ayurveda to the world.
After this, you will be able to read case studies that highlight the uniqueness and efficacy of Ayurveda treatments. The twenty-first century belongs to non-communicable diseases, which are multicausal in nature. Lifestyle, diet, mental wellness and our genetic predispositions together attack us in a modern setting steeped in stress. With so many factors at play, we can no longer even pretend to come up with magic-pill solutions. Our healthcare must now offer sustainable and intelligent solutions. That’s Ayurveda in a nutshell. Perhaps the twenty-first century will belong to Ayurveda.
Excerpted with permission from Ayurveda: The True Way to Restore Your Health and Happiness, Dr. G. G. Gangadharan, Penguin India. Read more about the book here and buy it here.