Allopathy v/s Ayurveda: A Brief Analysis
When we talk about the ways or the systems of medicines being practiced in the world, two major names come to our mind, i.e., Allopathy and Ayurveda. Then, an immediate question arises in our head as to what the best way is out of the two? We shall analyze the differences between both the systems as the article proceeds.
First, let’s examine the meaning of both the systems of medicine. Allopathy or western medicinesystem recommends science-based modern drugs which treat the symptoms. The term allopathy was coined by a German physician Samuel Hahnemann in the early 19th century. Allopathy word isa combination of two Greek words “Allos,” meaning “opposite” and “pathos,” meaning “suffering.” So,the literal meaning of the term is- “a medicinal system producing effects different from those of thedisease.” Allopathic physicians use drugs to cure diseases.
Whereas, Ayurveda is a medicinal practice that has been in use for many centuries now. It is“science of life” sometimes referred to as “science of the sages” since it had been introduced by theseers and sages who lived in deep forests, hilltops, and remote areas thousand years from now. Ayurveda believes in the shloka-
स्वस्थस्य स्वास््य रक्षणं आतरु स्य ववकार प्रशमनं च|
It means, the health of a healthy person should be restored in every possible way, but if anyhow the
complications occur, he should be treated.
They intended to cure people of their common ailments. They cared about the wellbeing of humankind. The sages wandered in search of herbal plants, seeds, and fruits to cure common menof their illnesses. These seers weren’t like modern scientists or researchers who used chemicals,but they had in-depth knowledge with which they identified the plants which could cure any disease, permanently.
Difference between Allopathy and Ayurveda
Style of Treatment- Allopathic way of treatment is sometimes referred to as “conventional system of medicine.” Allopathic is a disease care system, and its idea is to manage the disease. When a patient comes to a doctor’s office, he, after checking blood pressure and temperature, asks him about his symptoms and writes a prescription. The prescription is not to cure the disease but to
suppress the symptoms with the usage of drugs. So, to say allopathic medicines keep on suppressing the signs and symptoms alone and do not aim at curing the root cause of a disease.
Western medicine, through scientific advancement and money power, has become a mainstream medicine and has managed to drag mainstream medicine to the status of Alternative Medicine. It has become a vital tool for trauma and emergency medical situations.
Ayurveda, on the other hand, is based on the philosophy of 25 elements, i.e., 5 Tanmantaras, 5 Mahabhootas (basic elements), 11 sense organs, Mahan, Ahankaar (ego) and Aatma (soul). These elements make a healthy man. There are three Doshas found in everything in existence be it human or an atom. The motive of Ayurvedic medicine is to strike a perfect balance between the Doshas so that people lead mentally, physically, and spiritually healthy life. The disharmony of the Doshas causes a disturbance in life. According to the concept of five-elements (Panch Mahabhootas), all the existence is made up of five elements, i.e., Air, Water, Fire, Earth, and Ether. It suggests that the treatment of diseases is possible through nature as every substance in the environment has the potential to be a medicine. So, despite the use of harsh chemicals as are used in Allopathy, Ayurveda uses natural medicinal substances that are safer for the human body. Ayurveda believesin ‘defensive strategy’ rather than ‘offensive strategy.’ It improves the immunity of the host body tofight against ailments and targets lifestyle related activities like breathing, eating, memory and sleep, digestion, and thoughts by understanding the origin of the disease. It also works at the mental level and is, therefore, able to motivate the patient, which is critical for improving treatment results in drug dependence and lifestyle disorders like diabetes, insomnia, hypertension, and acid peptic diseases. Despite many technological advancements in the pharmaceutical sector, the world has seen a risingtrend in global conditions these past few years. It’s an alarm that should make us aware ofincompetency, incomplete action, and the inability of Allopathic medicines to reach to the root cause of diseases. But Ayurvedic medicine rips the condition out root and stem.
Time is taken to Cure the Disease- Allopathic medicine is known for its phenomenal time of action. It provides relief to the patient within a few minutes. Allopathic drugs are ideal for emergencies.
The general perception of people towards Ayurvedic medicines is that it takes time to heal the person of his condition, which is not valid for all the cases. There is a mention of the miraculous property of an Ayurvedic herb named Sehdevi in a shloka-
ज्वरं हन्तत शशरोबद्धा सहदेवीजटा यथा|
In simple words, in the condition of fever, if Sehdevi is tied to the head of the patient like hair, the
fever is cured within a matter of a few hours.
Ayurvedic medicine is very reliable as it penetrates the deep into the cells or organs, causing illness and eliminates it from its roots.
Side Effects- Allopathy, as the name suggests, is a system of many side effects. It uses specific chemicals or drugs to treat diseases which trips the balance of the body. This condition of disequilibrium creates harmful effects. Thus, we can say it cures one disease and, in the process, it raises many others. Modern medicines are successful neither in curing the illness nor in preventing. They have irreversible side effects on the human body.
Though Ayurveda is concerned more with lifestyle and diet, it provides medicines compiled from the naturally available plants and herbs and treats disease without suppressing its symptoms. These herbs balance the side effects of any harsh chemical rendering it safer for human consumption. Hence, we can say Ayurvedic medicines are side-effect free (if taken as directed by ayurvedic physician) and repair body without disturbing any vital composition.
Evidence- Allopathy is considered a proven medical science, but it doesn’t seem to be accurateas of the rate at which allopathic physicians launch and withdraw the medicines is very high.
Besides, it is first tested on animals to study their effects. Hence the results of the medicine’s intakeare bound to carry side-effects on both animal and man.
Whereas Ayurveda follows nature, which means it follows some natural wisdom and universal truth, which need not be launched and withdrawn. It is not tested on animals. It is reason enough for Ayurvedic Scholars to emphasize that Ayurveda has no end and no beginning. Its physician need not launch and withdraw any medicine.
Allopathy and Ayurveda have many fundamental differences which set them apart from each other and establish them as independent practices. Allopathy provides comfort to people who are in urgent need of it while Ayurveda eliminates ailments and causes from their roots. It is clear from the above analysis that Ayurveda has the upper hand when it comes to the holistic wellbeing of humankind. It has zero side-effects because it balances the effects of harsh chemicals with herbal supplements. Wisdom of ancient Rishis has proved itself beneficial for many centuries as it has
been playing a pivotal role in the mental, physical, and spiritual development of contemporary masses.