Ayurveda () is an alternative medicine system with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent

The theory and practice of Ayurveda is pseudoscientific

The Indian Medical Association describes Ayurvedic practitioners who claim to practice medicine as quacks

Ayurveda is heavily practiced in India and Nepal, where around 80% of the population report using it

Ayurveda therapies have varied and evolved over more than two millennia

Therapies include herbal medicines, special diets, meditation, yoga, massage, laxatives, enemas, and medical oils

Ayurvedic preparations are typically based on complex herbal compounds, minerals, and metal substances (perhaps under the influence of early Indian alchemy or rasashastra)

Ancient Ayurveda texts also taught surgical techniques, including rhinoplasty, kidney stone extractions, sutures, and the extraction of foreign objects

The main classical Ayurveda texts begin with accounts of the transmission of medical knowledge from the gods to sages, and then to human physicians

In Sushruta Samhita (Sushruta’s Compendium), Sushruta wrote that Dhanvantari, Hindu god of Ayurveda, incarnated himself as a king of Varanasi and taught medicine to a group of physicians, including Sushruta

Ayurveda has been adapted for Western consumption, notably by Baba Hari Dass in the 1970s and Maharishi Ayurveda in the 1980s

Some scholars assert that Ayurveda originated in prehistoric times

Ayurveda developed significantly during the Vedic period and later some of the non-Vedic systems such as Buddhism and Jainism also developed medical concepts and practices that appear in the classical Ayurveda texts

In Ayurveda texts, Doṣa balance is emphasized, and suppressing natural urges is considered unhealthy and claimed to lead to illness

Ayurveda treatises describe three elemental doṣas viz

vāta, pitta and kapha, and state that balance (Skt

sāmyatva) of the doṣas results in health, while imbalance (viṣamatva) results in disease

Ayurveda treatises divide medicine into eight canonical components

Ayurveda practitioners had developed various medicinal preparations and surgical procedures from at least the beginning of the common era

There is no good evidence that Ayurveda is effective for treating any disease

Some Ayurvedic preparations have been found to contain lead, mercury, and arsenic, substances known to be harmful to humans

A 2008 study found the three substances in close to 21% of U


and Indian-manufactured patent Ayurvedic medicines sold through the Internet

The public health implications of such metallic contaminants in India are unknown