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Ayurveda, the ancient healing system of India, is one of the great healing traditions of the world. Like traditional Chinese medicine, with which it has many historical connections, Ayurveda is a holistic medical system grounded in a comprehensive philosophical/spiritual view of life.
Ayurvedic treatment is highly individualized and incorporates a wide range of methods, including dietary changes, herbal therapy, exercise, massage, meditation, and numerous special procedures such as cleansing of the nasal passages. Although the scientific base for Ayurveda is not yet strong, some of its methods have undergone meaningful scientific evaluation, and worldwide interest continues to increase.
Ayurvedic therapy presents numerous potential safety concerns. One serious problem is that many Ayurvedic herbs have never undergone a formal safety evaluation, and those that have been evaluated have not necessarily been proven harmless. For more information on safety risks with individual Ayurvedic herbs, see the following articles: andrographis , ashwagandha , boswellia , Coleus forskohlii, dandelion , fenugreek , garlic , ginger , gotu kola , guggul , gymnema , neem , phyllanthus , turmeric , and tylophora .
Most of the proprietary herbal formulas described in this article have undergone a certain amount of safety testing by the manufacturer and were found...