Ayurveda is the ancient system for health care, practiced in India for more than 5,000 years. Its name comes from Sanskrit and literally means the science of life.

Ayurveda involves the practice of a healthy lifestyle, with emphasis on the following aspects:

– The hygiene of the body and mind, within a holistic vision of the human being that contemplates a sober and harmonic behavior with nature.
– Health Care.
– Dietary regulations.
– The prevention and treatment of diseases.
– The incorporation of care practices.
– The use of medicinal preparations derived from plants, among other aspects.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized Ayurveda as an organized traditional medicine system, with clearly defined goals and objectives for the prevention and treatment of different pathologies. Likewise, the Center for Alternative and Complementary Medicines (NCCAM), dependent on the United States Health Institute, also recognizes it within the context of complementary medicine.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia uses approximately 1,250 medicinal plants in therapeutic formulations. In recent years, efforts have been made to find the concordance between Ayurveda, pharmacology, pharmacognosy, medicinal chemistry and evidence-based medicine. The findings have been of extraordinary value; research has confirmed many therapeutic properties that have traditionally been attributed to a variety of medicinal plants and preparations used by this millennial health system and have led to the development of medicines of great use to humanity.

Some of the plants used by Ayurveda that have been the subject of studies, and in which their pharmacological activity has been corroborated, include the Adhatoda zeylanica of bronchodilator activity, the well-known Azadirachta indica with its wide variety of biological activities, the Curcuma longa L. with its powerful curcuminoids, the Boswellia serrata that produces the antiarthritic boswellic acids, the Bacopa monneri with its baccosides that improve the memory, the also known Centella asiatica with its asiaticósidos of healing properties and for diseases of the skin, the Commiphora wightti that contains the hypoglycemic and anticancer guggulu guggulsterone; the Holarrhena antidysenterica containing the conesin with antidisenteric activity; and many others with proven pharmacological activity.
However, their uses as well as medications or nutraceuticals should be the subject of medical guidance, since many natural products can interact with conventional medicines.