Ayurveda is more than the Indian version of wellness: The millennia-old medicine can help children with stomach problems, migraines or poor sleep – with massages and herbs.
If you are interested in wellness, you know the forehead shower: oil runs over your face, you relax, the stress goes away, the blood flow to the skin increases. But Ayurveda is more than just relaxing in the spa: literally translated it means “science of life”. The complex, ancient health teachings from India also include a sophisticated system of medicinal products and a theory of nutrition and movement.
If your child has occasional gastrointestinal problems , migraines , sleeps poorly or is depressed , Ayurvedic medicine can possibly do well. In any case, ask your pediatrician beforehand whether he has any concerns.
That’s behind it:
Ayurveda has been practiced in India for around 5000 years. According to the ideas of this doctrine, human health depends on the three so-called doshas, the central regulatory systems of the body: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Kapha is responsible for everything solid in the body, i.e. bones , teeth and nails. Pitta regulates the interaction of biochemical substances: metabolism and hormonal balance. Vata decides on movement sequences and activity. The interplay of the doshas determines a person’s body structure and temperament. Whether you gain or lose weight, for example, when you are under stress, whether you sleep deeply or restlessly , whether you have dry or oily skin has, according to this teaching, depends on how your three life energies mix.
Preventive treatments are designed to keep the doshas in balance; in the case of an acute illness, the aim is to rebalance the doshas. That is why every therapy is tailored to the individual. Herbs, diets, enemas, oil massages and meditation exercises are available. Some traditional Ayurvedic schools assume that there are special conditions for the interaction of the doshas in children. That is why they only assign children to a certain type from the age of eight.
This is how it works:
There are some scientific studies that prove Ayurveda’s success. However, the studies have not yet addressed every single element of this Indian medicine. The oil massage has been proven to be effective in treating stress and circulatory disorders. Certain Ayurvedic medicines are well suited for acne , diabetes, constipation and obesity .
However, experts advise caution: some Ayurvedic remedies consist of a mixture of more than 100 different substances. Some contain problematic levels of toxic heavy metals such as mercury. The herb mixtures can contain residues of pesticides.
This is what the expert says:
Edzard Ernst is Head of Complementary Medicine at Exeter University in the UK. He has long been concerned with the effectiveness of alternative healing methods and has tested many procedures.
His verdict: Ayurvedic health is a complex system that is difficult to verify. The research carried out so far shows that a few elements have been shown to work, while most either have not been adequately verified or, like some herbal medicines, can even be harmful to health.