Five Great Books on Ayurveda

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Often referred to as the "Mother of all healing," Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medical system that has found great relevance in today's stressful world. Its principles originated in the ancient Indian subcontinent, and it focuses on a holistic approach to overall health.

Though somewhat controversial and regarded as pseudoscientific by some,  Ayurveda has been widely incorporated into modern Western philosophies of general well-being and have also influenced some aspects of the health-care industry.

Here's a selection of good books on Ayurveda, suitable for all concerned with well-being.

The Complete Illustrated Guide To Ayurveda

At a time when more and more people are turning to Ayurveda to stay healthy, this book (by Gopi Warrier, Elements Books, 2000) is a must for reference. But unlike many reference books on the topic, this one is quite engaging and enjoyable. Written by two experts, this book is true to its name--a complete guide that is easy to follow, lucidly illustrated and authoritative

Practical Ayurveda 

Written by Atreya and published by Weiser Books (1998), this book demystifies Ayurveda in fourteen chapters. It claims to teach you "how to recognize your own body type and what you can do to maintain healthy balance in your life." It also discusses weight loss, beauty care, Pranic healing, psychology and meditation and various methods of sexual rejuvenation.

Ayurveda--A Life of Balance: The Complete Guid

This book is famous for being written by a cancer patient.

The author, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer took up Ayurveda, which cured her completely. Apart from dealing with all the fundamentals of the system, here she helps you identify your "body type" through questionnaires and charts and recommends menus and vegetarian recipes.

Ayurveda: Science of Self-Healing: A Practical Guide

Here's a book on the principles and practical application of Ayurveda by a well-known professor and practitioner of ayurvedic medicine, Vasant Lad (Lotus Press, 1985).

 Numerous charts, diagrams, and tables help you understand the oldest healing techniques. However, some prescriptions given here may be hazardous if not handles with utmost care.

Ayurveda for Women: A Guide to Vitality and Health

This book by Robert Svabodaby (Motilal Badaradass, 2002)  proves how an age-old medical tradition can help the modern woman keep healthy. Today's women can benefit from Ayurveda's practical advice on exercise, diet, beauty care, massage, sleep, sex, childcare, and menopause. This book is suitable for women of any age, from childhood to old age.