Guide to ayurvedic treatment in Kerala

Ayurvedic Treatment for Diseases


Ayurvedic Treatment for Diseases: Top 10 questions from patients

Who can take ayurvedic treatments?

Patients in medically stable conditions who do not require constant medical monitoring may seek ayurvedic treatments. The chronicity and stage of the disease determine if it can be cured or alleviated and managed. After studying the patient’s constitution and the stage to which the disease has progressed, the physician decides on the appropriate treatment goal i.e. whether the treatment should be aimed at relieving symptoms (palliative treatment/shamana chikitsa) or eliminating the cause of the disease (curative treatment/shodhana chikitsa).

How are ayurvedic treatments done?

Most patients with chronic health problems will need inpatient treatment; patients stay at the treatment centre for the prescribed duration of the treatment. Treatments begin with a detailed assessment of the patient’s condition by a physician where the constitution of the patient, the imbalance in the doshas and stage of the disease are determined.  Based on the assessment, the treatment plan – a combination of external treatment procedures like abhyangam, kizhi, uzhichil etc., medicines for intake and diet modifications – for the patient is decided. Therapeutic yoga and meditation too may be a part of the treatment plan. In most cases, the patient has daily medicines and two procedures a day – one in the morning and one in the afternoon/evening administered by therapists. During the in-between time, patient will be advised to be restful or engage in light activities that do not cause stress to the body or mind. Physicians review progress regularly and make changes to the treatment plan as necessary. 

How does ayurveda treat diseases?

Ayurveda uses two modalities to treat diseases - palliative (shamana) and curative (shodhana). The physician first assesses the patient’s natural body constitution, its state of equilibrium and the imbalance that has happened due to the disease process. Based on her assessment, she decides on the appropriate treatment modality for the patient - to alleviate the symptoms and manage the disease or to eliminate the cause of the disease. Treatment procedures like panchakarma and medicines are prescribed accordingly.
Ayurveda believes that the physician and the medicines merely facilitate and enable the body’s own healing process. A patient with a disease in its early stages may be able to come back to a state of equilibrium with a single course of treatment while a more seriously ill person with a severe state of disequilibrium may require multiple courses of treatment. In people with long standing chronic illnesses, their natural state of equilibrium may not be achieved; in such cases, the treatment will be aimed at aiding better management of the disease and increasing the quality of life.  

How do I know if my disease can be treated successfully?

You may share your medical history and reports with a physician through our help desk services. Looking at a person’s medical history and indicators of the body’s constitution, experienced ayurveda physicians are usually able to say if an ayurvedic treatment could help them and in what way. In cases of serious imbalances and damage, which the physician thinks cannot be corrected with treatment, it is shared with the patient or caretakers and palliative measures may be suggested.

Is there ayurvedic treatment for cancer?

There is ayurvedic treatment for cancer. Some patients decide to take ayurvedic treatment for destroying cancer cells while some others use ayurvedic treatments after chemotherapy to increase their immunity and reduce chances of its recurrence. However, it is not yet proven through modern scientific methods that cancer can be cured with ayurvedic treatments. 

Ayurvedic physicians treating cancer have observed during the course of their practice that certain kinds of cancers respond well to ayurvedic treatments especially if it is Grade 1 or Grade 2. Depending on the condition of the patient, an integrative approach (where ayurvedic medicines are taken along with chemotherapy) or an exclusive approach (where only ayurvedic treatment is used) may be recommended. In advanced cases of cancer, treatment may be aimed at improving the patient’s quality of life by reducing pain and increasing the lifespan.

How will my treatment be decided?

When you send us your enquiry, we’ll get in touch with you to collect your medical history and get basic information on your body constitution. We share it with physicians for a preliminary assessment and revert to you with their treatment advice including the required time and cost. On your arrival at the treatment centre, the physician will decide the exact details of your treatment after an in person consultation and a detailed examination. 

Will I need to stop my current medications during the ayurvedic treatment?

Usually not. The physician may advise you to bring along all your current medicines and continue them as usual. As you begin to respond positively to the ayurvedic treatment, tapering of medications may be recommended.

Do I need to bring a caretaker with me?

If you are independent in performing your daily activities and don’t need a caretaker at home, you probably don’t need to bring anyone. In fact, a lot of patients come for treatments alone. Staff at ayurvedic centres take good care of you and you will be alright. You may also have the company of other patients in the dining and other common areas, so staying alone is usually just fine. If you are unable to take care of yourself and need support for moving around or your daily activities, you may want to bring along a caretaker.
If you prefer to bring your family or friends, either for treatment or as companions, you are welcome to do that as well. You will need to inform us at the time of planning and booking so that we can recommend centres that have suites or cottages for groups and all necessary arrangements may be made.

What would my diet be like during the treatment period?

Healthy, tasty, vegetarian food prepared in their kitchen by ayurvedic chefs as per doctor’s instructions. Diet is a part of ayurvedic treatment, so the physician will make diet recommendations based on your body’s constitution and you will need to abide by it. Many centres grow their own vegetables to ensure their organic quality. You will most likely enjoy the food.

Caretakers and companions may order food at the in house restaurants or eat out. If you would like a kitchen in your room, please tell us when we plan your treatment; we’ll find a centre that has suites with kitchenettes.

I do not speak the local language. How will I communicate with my doctor and others?

Ayurveda hospitals and resorts receive patients from different parts of the world. Staff at most ayurveda hospitals can speak multiple Indian languages and English. There are also hospitals employing physicians who speak Russian, Arabic, French, German, Japanese and Italian. Translators services may be employed in some situations.