Ayurveda is a system of traditional medicine stemming from the Indian subcontinent. In modern practice Ayurvedic traditions are often viewed as complementary or alternative forms of medicine. Up to 80% of people in India have been reported to use traditional medicines, including Ayurveda. As the ideas of wellness, meditation and yoga have become more popular worldwide, Ayurvedic ideas are quickly becoming more widespread.
Ayurveda focuses on exercise and diet, as well as the more traditional practices of yoga and meditation. Often the focus of Ayurveda is to develop a healthy metabolic system and to rely on the natural cycles of waking, sleeping and meditation, to maintain health. Plant based treatments can form part of Ayurvedic medicine and treatments derived from leaves, roots and seeds such as cardamom and cinnamon have been popular.
Ayurvedic understandings of health purport that there are three central elemental substances, or doshas, made up of wind, phlegm and bile. The composition of these within each individual define their characteristics and nature. The idea of balance is vital within Ayurveda. When the doshas are equally balanced a person experiences good health, whereas when they are in a state of inequality, disease follows.