Ayurveda has very rich history dating back to before 520 BC.
The basis for Ayurveda is Tridosha- Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Vatais the air principle necessary to mobilize the function of the nervous system.
Pitta is the fire principle which uses bile to direct digestion and hence metabolism into the venous system.
Kapha is the water principle which relates to mucous, lubrication and the carrier of nutrients into the arterial system.
It is believed that when these three are well balanced then everything is great with a person's health! Ayurvedic medicines are made from herbs or mixtures of herbs, either alone or in combination with minerals, metals and other ingredients of animal origin. The metals, animals and minerals are purified by individual processes before being used for medicinal purposes. Ayurvedic medicines are in common use in almost every Indian household. There is a general hesitation with the older people in using "English medicine" as opposed to Ayurveda. It is because the side effects if any are very rare.
It is very common to find Ayurvedic soaps, creams, toothpastes etc on a shelf in an Indian house. I don't know if it's an Indian thing or if it's my family, but they hesitate before popping a pill. They would rather use something natural, like basil for a tummy ache or rubbing a balm on their forehead for a headache. I missed my natural meds when I came here and have ended up stocking it when my mom sends parcels, or when she visits !!
Looking forward to writing more posts on Ayurveda and Homeopathy and how it is used!