Ayurveda has been in India since ancient times but it was only brought over to the western world in the 1970s. Indians setting down in America or UK usually brought some of their home traditions with them. The New Age movement really cemented Ayurveda in the modern times because it claimed that the only way to enter the new world is to be healthy and mentally well. Ayurveda, of course, can help us do both. Nowadays, Ayurvedic practices or medicines are so common and are usually thought of alongside many things like Chakra-balance or Reiki which are not even parts of the original Ayurveda (Click here to know more).
Vasant Lad’s Ayurveda: The Science of Self-Healing published in 1984, was one of the first Ayurvedic books written in the modern world, in English, no less. Baba Hari Das popularized Ayurveda even more by combining it with other schools of medicine and well-being like Patanjali Yoga and Samkhya Ayurveda.
Another factor in popularizing Ayurveda is Yoga. People find yoga very helpful as it gives them a balance between mind, body, and spirit. Many people swear by the breathing exercises that we do in Yoga like Pranayama. People have understood its beneficial effects and actually practice it along with a more traditional approach of getting fitter i.e. going to the gym.
The main reason Ayurveda is making its apparent come-back and is taking over the western world is how strikingly unique it is from our modern culture of medicine. Allopathy and modern medicine, as we know focus on the cure for the illness or evident symptoms. Ayurveda, on the other hand, helps us not only prevent many illnesses but it also detects underlying problems.
As we know, the cause of diseases is not only due to physical problems but also due to stress or the stressful environment. Ayurveda, not only looks at the problem very broadly taking into account every aspect of the person’s life but also, can customize treatment as per individual’s condition.
In comparison to this, when doctors prescribe the same pills to hordes of people, well, it just seems myopic at this point. Also, the medicines or churnas used in Ayurveda do not have any harmful side-effects like allopathic pills do.
In India, companies Himalaya or Patanjali have really spearheaded the popularity of Ayurvedic living. Everything from medicines to face washes to biscuits and milk supplements is becoming “ayurvedic” products. The swadeshi or natural produce movement also helped popularize this.
To the rest of the world, Ayurveda has not only given a healthy alternative lifestyle but also it makes the entire Indian style of living, eating and breathing, quite literally, attractive. So, we have a lot the thank Ayurveda for- a healthy living, impressive medicines, fitness style and some tourism as well.