Can Ayurveda Reduce Medical Costs for Cardiovascular Disease, Stress and Chronic Disorders?

Ayurveda, the traditional health care system of India, is the world’s oldest and most comprehensive system of medicine. Through the use of time-tested modalities that are natural and free of harmful side effects, Ayurveda works to prevent disease at its source, rather than working at the level of symptoms after health problems have arisen.


In 1997, the American Journal of Managed Care published an eleven-year study on Maharishi Ayurveda, a systematized revival of Ayurveda. The study used Blue Cross/Blue Shield data to analyze medical utilization patterns of individuals participating in a number of components of Maharishi Ayurveda, compared with matched control groups and normative data.

The study found significant reductions in medical care utilization in those using the natural system of medicine:


Overall medical expenditure was 63 percent lower, with 80 percent fewer hospital admissions and 55 percent fewer out-patient doctors’ office visits.


Those over the age of 45 had 88 percent fewer hospital days than the control groups.

Analysis by disease categories showed that hospital admission rates were 92 percent lower for immune, endocrine, and metabolic disorders; 92 percent lower for cardiovascular disease; 92 percent lower for mental health and substance abuse, and 94 percent lower for musculoskeletal disorders.

Components of the Ayurveda approach to health included:


Panchakarma treatments (traditional detoxification treatments):

Research has found that these highly effective purification treatments help remove stress and impurities and stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities. A customized program is designed for each person to address specific imbalances.

Individual recommendations for diet, exercise and optimal daily routine:

Modern researchers have made great progress in understanding the molecular sequences and patterns that determine which genes get expressed. This area of study is called epigenetics. Studies show that certain “triggers”- which can range from a small exposure to toxins to various factors in one’s diet, behavior or surroundings- can actually affect the software of our genes that determine which genes get turned on or turned off.

This can affect not only the individual’s body and brain for life, but also the body and brain of their offspring. What these triggers are and what genes are affected differs from individual to individual. This personalized approach to health is actually a specialty of Ayurveda.

Herbal preparations:

Research at the Ohio State University College of Medicine indicates that certain Ayurveda herbal compounds scavenge free radicals 1,000 times more effectively that the popular anti-oxidants vitamin C and E and the much researched Probucol (Pharmocology, Biochemistry, and Behavior, December 1992). Some researchers link free radicals with at least 80% of all diseases.

Many critics complain that medical costs today are so high because our modern health care system is actually a “sickness care” system. The research on Ayurveda shows that it is possible to compliment modern medical approaches with effective health promoting techniques that help prevent disease. The best way to cut the costs of health care is simply to keep people healthy.

Ayurveda provides an integrated mind-body approach to restore balance within and among the various physiological systems in the body, thereby producing good physical and mental health, and a long vigorous life.


Learn more about Ayurveda treatments and programs for cardiovascular disease, stress and chronic disorders at The Raj, America’s Premier Ayurveda Health Center:


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