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Difference between Ayurvedic medicine and herbal treatment


Herbal medicine or herbalism is the use of plants for achieving better health and restoring back one’s health to normalcy in case of disease. Plants are used for this purpose and this traditional system of medicine is also termed as “herbology”. Ayurvedic medicine is an age old form of therapeutic science and a system of Hindu medicine. Ayurvedic system is also an alternative system of medicine.

Difference in philosophy

Ayurvedic form of medicine involves the use of tablets made from naturally occurring plants with inclusion of metals, plants, oils as well as massages, aromatherapy and rasayana. Ayurvedic system also uses bhasmas and oral syrups for this purpose. Ayurvedic system of medicine strongly believes in few constitutions which rule the human body like “kapha” (phelgm), “pitha” (water) and “vaata” (air). If these are balanced well in the body, the person does not tend to fall sick but if anyone of these qualities increase or decrease in the body, then there will sickness. ‘Rasa shastra’ is also a part of Ayurveda in which there is a practice of adding metals, minerals and certain gem stones to medicines for their medicinal properties.

Herbalism consists of using extracts from plants for the purpose of curing certain deviations from health. They are absolutely natural and devoid of side effects. Usually, herbal medicine is given in the form of extracts and can be continued for life, e.g. herbal green tea for digestion and weight loss. Herbal medicine can also be given in the form of extracts, tablets, powders, tea etc.

Difference in methods

Herbal medicine will never approve of massages whereas Ayurveda has a special branch of body massages which according to them helps cure certain symptoms. Ayurveda believes that if the body is massaged by application of oils on certain pressure points, it releases the tension and cures away the ailments. Sesame oil is preferred rather than mustard oil. Panchkarma is another important part of Ayurvedic medicine in which there is application of massage to the painful parts of the body. Ayurveda emphasizes on the maintenance of perfect balance of the three energies. Long term Ayurvedic medicine intake involves the use of metal intoxications and hence monitoring from a qualified doctor is necessary.

Herbal medicine emphasizes the use of herbs like garlic, onions to prevent recurrent cold and cough. Garlic also helps in preventing hypertension and cardiac disorders. Aloe juice is suggested for the use of acne and skin ailments. Herbal medicine does not use heavy metals and hence their use is harmless. Home remedies also constitute herbal medicine. Turmeric for the use of clotting blood and as an anti-inflammatory is another example of herbal medicine. They are easily available at home. Wheat grass therapy used in thalessemia patients is application of knowledge of herbs for the purpose of cure. It ameliorates the complaint and reduces the blood transfusions.

Herbal medicine is also called as phytomedicine or botanical science and it involves the use of seeds and powder form of medicinal plants. The bark of cinchona tree contains anti-malarial properties and hence is widely used in many countries where the more expensive anti-malarial drugs cannot be afforded.


Herbal medicine is science of medicine that uses plants and their extracts for curing ailments whereas ayurveda is a centuries old Hindu science of therapeutics that involves the use of medicinal plant extracts along with metal extractions, massages, etc. Herbal medicine does not use massages and metals. Herbal medicine has heavy influence from China and manyother countries while Ayurveda has its roots in India alone.

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  1. which is best? ayurveda or hartal

  2. Nice difference shown but why the herbal medicine is not recognised by
    Govt.Modiflex for joints is very useful
    but govt.is not authorised it.Reason
    may please be explained and thanks.

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