Ayurvedic medicine may be something you've heard about but haven't done much research into unless you are a professional in the field of herbal vitamins and supplements.
As one of the hottest new health and wellness trends, incorporating Ayurvedic medicine into your supplement brand may be profitable for you.
Here's what you need to know about this ancient Indian medicine and how to best create supplements that open your client base to those who are interested in Ayurveda.
What Is Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment?
Ayurveda is thousands of years old and was developed by Indian sages well before Western medicine proved the powerful link between the mind and body.
Like some forms of Eastern medicine, Ayurveda does not solely focus on curing illness, but rather, promoting total health and wellness.
The primary principles that guide Ayurvedic medicine are that the mind and body are inexplicably connected and there is nothing with more power than the mind to heal ailments of the body.
Two secondary principles of Ayurveda are the importance of quality sleep and the use of food as medicine. Food should be nourishing, bright, and colorful, but today's diets are often lacking all three.
Benefits of Ayurveda
In 2015, the University of Maryland Medical Center published a report on the benefits of Ayurvedic medicine on the mind and body.
Ayurvedic practices and herbs can help improve symptoms of:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Alzheimer's disease
- Painful menstruation
- Parkinson's disease
- Chronic fatigue
- Chronic pain
Ayurvedic herbal treatment works to reduce the symptoms of the above conditions by balancing the three energies of the body,or doshas.
The belief behind Ayurveda is that in balancing the three doshas -- which is different for each person -- disease can be eliminated and true health, wellness, and vitality can be achieved.
Supplements Used in Ayurvedic Medicine
There are a number of vitamins and supplements that are incorporated into Ayurvedic medicine to help balance the body's energies.
Ashwaganda is a relatively new herbal supplement on the market, but has been shown to have promising effects.
It is a shrub root that can help decrease insomnia and anxiety, and can reduce changes to dopamine receptors in the brain induced by stress.
Its most well known effect is the ability to increase stamina and energy without stimulation of the heart, unlike other types of energy supplements, including caffeine.
Considered sacred in India, holy basil possesses a rich, pungent fragrance that is said to open up the respiratory system.
Similar to oregano, holy basil's properties allow for the reduction of inflammation. It also is considered antipyretic and an analgesic, as well as having strong antifungal and antimicrobial properties. These factors make holy basil supplements a great addition to your supplement line.
Trikatu means "three peppers" and is a combination of ginger, black pepper, and Indian long pepper.
Trikatu primarily works in the upper GI tract, including the stomach and the esophagus, and increases the "digestive fire" that is considered necessary in Ayurvedic beliefs to properly break down and absorb nutrients in foods.
It is said to help stimulate proper gastric emptying and can reduce cravings for poor quality and unhealthy foods.
Additionally, Trikatu has been found to reduce triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels in rabbits, while promoting a healthy increase of HDL cholesterol, which can protect the heart.
Bitter melon is often considered a go-to supplement for pre-diabetic or diabetic individuals because of its ability to decrease blood glucose levels.
Additionally, it increases insulin production by the pancreas and contains polypeptide-P -- a compound that mimics insulin.
Like Trikatu, bitter melon decreases triglyceride levels, which can be helpful for individuals battling both obesity and diabetes.
However, individuals who take medications to control blood glucose may need an adjustment in their prescriptions due to the efficacy of bitter melon.
Triphala means "three fruits" and is very complimentary to Trikatu. The three compounds in Triphala include Belleric myrobalan, Emblica officinalis, and Chebulic myrobalan.
These work to detoxify the digestive system and improve digestion, especially in the lower GI tract. Individuals who experience bloating, slow digestion, and tiredness after eating.
Triphala has also been said to aid in weight loss.
Turmeric, when used in Ayurvedic medicine, is more than just a spice used for foods.
The main components of turmeric -- curcumin and curcuminoids -- are said to be powerful antioxidants that can preserve brain health, reduce inflammatory processes in conditions like arthritis, and may even prevent cell mutation that leads to cancer.
An interesting side note on turmeric is that studies have revealed that blood plasma levels of vitamin E have markedly increased after 90 days of consecutive consumption.
Are Ayurvedic Herbal Supplements Right for Your Brand?
Many people struggle every day with health issues that cannot be adequately treated with today's prescription or over the counter drugs.
Ayurvedic pills and herbs, on the other hand, can provide relief for many conditions with few -- if any -- side effects. This factor has lead to the increase in the popularity ayurvedic herbal treatment
If you offer a wide variety of single supplements and vitamins in your supplement brand, offering the above herbs can appeal to a wide variety of individuals who may or may not have studied the benefits of Ayurveda.
However, combining these herbs together in certain formulas requires a deeper understanding of Ayurveda, the three different types of doshas or energies, and which supplements are best for which type of dosha.
Things can become even more complicated when you consider that many individuals have dual doshas. For example, Trikatu may be detrimental for a person with what is called a Pitta dosha, because their bodies are already very acidic and sensitive to hot foods.
Pitta doshas may benefit more from Ashwaganda or even Triphala. If you decide that you want to offer an Ayurvedic-centric supplement brand that offers combined supplements for certain types of doshas, it is recommended that you consult with a practitioner well versed in Ayurvedic medicine to ensure that you're using the right supplements in combination with each other.
Opening your supplement brand to herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine can help you boost sales by targeting an entirely new demographic, taking your brand to a whole new level. Natural supplements are on the rise!