How is Ayurveda different from Allopathy?

 Ayurveda and Allopathy


India has been synonymous with a rich ancient culture, spicy food, bright colors, and also Ayurveda. When Ayurveda is mentioned, another word is also bought up for comparison, Allopathy. Ayurveda has its roots in the ancient texts, Vedas and Allopathy is a term that largely refers to modern medicine. One has its origin seated deeply in the east and the other is influenced by the west.

Long before modern medicine found its way to the far reaches of India, Ayurveda was the primary medical treating system. Instead of doctors, there were Vaidyas and Rishis who used the knowledge of the Vedas to treat not just minor but major ailments as well. Then in the 1800s, Allopathy made its appearance and paved the way to the medicine structure we have today.

Beyond the surface level differences between Ayurveda and Allopathy, there is a lot more to explore and understand. The different ways both systems work has been described here below.

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is an alternative holistic medicine system that is one of the oldest of its kind that originated in India. Most modern medicine and treatments find inspiration from Ayurveda. The Ayurvedic system is all-natural and concentrates on the overall well-being of the human body to treat diseases. It is a system of healing bodies and riding them off ailments by keeping ourselves in balance by eating the right foods and exercising.

Ayurveda categories people to be a combination of five elements namely, earth, air, water, space, and fire. These elements work to form three life forces also called Doshas, Vata, Kapha, and pitta. A combination of these doshas and elements determines a person’s personality and disposition. Ayurvedic doctors also rely on them to prescribe treatment plans.

What is Allopathy?

Allopathy is an umbrella term that is used to refer to all modern and scientific medicines and treatments. All medicines that fall under Allopathy have been clinically tested to make sure that there are no adverse side effects when consumed. The goal of the term Allopathy is to treat any particular disease with an appropriate medicine that produces an opposite effect on the patient.

With advancements in Medicine, Allopathy is constantly evolving and changing. The term, Allopathy, is however not used as much anymore.

Differences between Ayurveda and Allopathy

While at first glance, there are many apparent differences between Ayurveda and Allopathy. However, many more that are worth looking into and understanding. The major differences between Ayurveda and Allopathy have been elaborated below.

Also Read:Ayurveda and Allopathy: NEP 2020

Meaning : -

The word Ayurveda is made up of two words. ‘Ayus’ means life and ‘Veda’ means Science or Intelligence making Ayurveda ‘Intelligence or Knowledge of Life’. On the other hand, the word Allopathy has Greek origins. Firstly, ‘állos’ means different and ‘pathos’ means sickness together it means ‘Other than illness’

Focus : -

Ayurveda focuses on naturally curing all diseases of the body. Ayurvedic doctors will focus on not just physical health but mental health too using alternative medicine. However, Allopathy is backed by Science. All medicines and treatments used in Allopathy are clinically tested to cure ailments and diseases.

Approach to treatment : -

The approach to Ayurveda is more holistic. Ayurvedic doctors go to the root cause of the problem and then a plan is created to remove the root cause of the disease. This treatment includes taking care of mental health along with physical health. Thereafter, the approach to Allopathy is not holistic. Allopathy doctors will spot treat diseases and issues. The aim of Allopathy is to provide a quick cure to any given physical disease.

Long-term effect : -

Ayurvedic treatments are more long-term. It is not limited to immediate treating of any disease and providing quick relief. As stated above, the root cause of the problem will be addressed and the overall quality of life of the patient will be better. Allopathy will remove the current problem but the cure is not permanent. If any further issues arise, they will be approached in the same way. One way of understanding this in terms of bacteria. Ayurveda will permanently remove the bacteria from the system while Allopathy will kill the bacteria but traces of it could remain in the system and crop up later.

Cost : -

Another deciding difference between Ayurveda and Allopathy is the cost between both. Ayurveda is significantly lower in cost than Allopathy. One major reason is that Allopathic medicines are Government regulated and prices are kept in check. Ayurvedic medicines, however, do not have much Government control. Manufacturers are free to set their own prices and often they set the prices on the affordable range. The same is for procedures and treatments for Ayurveda and Allopathy. Ayurvedic treatments are much cheaper and one does not have to keep going back for more treatments.

Side Effects and Healing Time : -

Ayurveda is a completely natural method of diagnosing and treating patients. As such the side effects are very minimal and the positive effects last for a longer time. Due to its nature, Ayurveda takes a long time to heal as opposed to Allopathy where the healing time is less and its effects are felt quicker. Additionally, in Allopathy, the side effects could be more adverse as it involves the use of chemical-based medicines.

Courses : -

To work in both Ayurveda and Allopathy, there are dedicated courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. For Ayurveda, popular courses include the BAMS at the bachelor's level and MS or MD in Ayurveda. There are separate colleges for Ayurveda medicine such as MAMC. Allopathy doctors usually pursue regular Medical degrees such as MBBS and MD/ MS at the master's level. For both Ayurveda and Allopathy, there are short term courses like diplomas and certificates too offered at colleges.

Also Read:What will you study in BAMS?

The debate of ‘is Ayurveda better than Allopathy' is multifaceted and cannot be dealt with as easily. Both have their own set of merits, demerits and a loyal follower base. While Ayurveda can naturally help cure diseases while taking into account the mental and physical state of the patient, Allopathy treatments have been tested and have Scientific backing. When both can help meet the end goal, choosing one would depend on the individual’s choices and preferences.