Ayurveda and Elderly Health: A Detailed Analysis


Ayurveda is a charming and divine system of healing human beings. It states that aging is a natural process and with the help of Ayurveda, aging can always be a healthy aging making elderly people independent rather than depending others for fulfilling their routine tasks. Health is a comprehensive and of course a complicated term. According to Ayurveda, health is not just physical health or a body that is free of diseases, instead real health is the functioning of a healthy mind in a healthy body paving way for a healthy environment. Ayurvedic system of treating elderly health is termed as ‘Vridhopacharaneeyam’. The Sanskrit term ‘Geeryadi’ meaning degenerated has a close connection with the term Greek ‘Geriatric’ meaning elderly care (Geri- old age & latrics- care).

Ayurveda for the Senior citizens: Ayurveda pays special attention to the aged people as it aims in healthy aging and not mere longevity or extended life expectancy lacking robustness. Old age is known as Vardhakya in Ayurveda and one among the eight comprehensive branches that deals with the health of elderly people is known as Jara Chikitsa or Rasayana (also known as Geriatrics or Gerontology). This branch deals with stimulating, vitalizing, rejuvenating, fortifying and preventing the human body from aging symptoms. The basic objective of this Ayurvedic treatment is to improve quality of life rather than just extending the ‘quantitative number of years’. For this, Ayurveda recommends the use of powerful herbal medications, meditation, simple physical exercises, yoga, Ayurvedic essential oils and other natural remedies for improving the mental stability, physical strength, psychological power and supports a healthy skin.

Reasons behind the loss of strength during old age: Each individual has a unique body set up (dhatus or the constituents of human body according to Ayurveda) and his/her health depends upon the balance between the Ayurvedic body types or Doshas namely vata, pitta and kapha and the condition of Saptadhatu (seven dhatus). With aging, the vata constituent gets aggravated due to stress, strain, psychological weakness, imbalanced nutrition etc. Vata aggravation leads to inappropriate functioning of metabolism, respiration, digestion and the process of excretion, leading to health problems like heart disorders, musculoskeletal ailments, diabetes, hypertension, rheumatic illness, Parkinson’s disease, cardiac disabilities, Alzheimer’s syndrome, depression and much more.

Ayurvedic treatment for healthy aging: Ayurveda advises on a firm Ayurvedic routine, a nutritious diet, meditation, Rasayana treatment, utmost care, yoga, expert counseling and boundless love to grow old, hale and heartily with a strong immune system. Rasayana therapy is proven to revitalize the system of the aged person and gradually contribute to the progress of their mental and physical health. This treatment strengthens the immunity and increases the potential to tussle against diseases, interrupting its onset, trim down its rigorousness, speedup the period of recovery and fight against other symptoms and problems of aging. This effective Ayurvedic treatment along with Shirodhara, Abhyanga and Padabhyanga with Ayurvedic essential oils will recharge the aged individual and restore their lost energy due to aging. A renowned research article has proved that Ayurveda and Yoga has positive influence on self-rated sleep in geriatric population.

It is the most appropriate time to recollect a time-valued principle that says ‘Age is not a constant factor’ or you can never remain at Sweet 16 forever…………so love the elderly community and get ready as your 16 might soon turn 61 even before you realize it. As a symbol of your love for your aged Parents or your Grandparents, introduce them to the holistic world of Ayurveda for a healthy, happy and harmonized aging.

Thoughts for the day:

The old are in a second childhood. By Aristophanes

I truly believe that age — if you’re healthy — age is just a number. By Hugh Hefner

You may wonder that it is always ‘Thought for the day’ and why it is ‘Thoughts for the day’ today? It’s all because to signify that the elderly people need that extra care and love to keep them going on and on. Aging generally brings with it certain unavoidable things like loss of energy, loss of ability of the body for its regular functioning and a feel of insecurity and diffidence that life and the world needs them no more. Loving people above 60 is a great feeling and I’m sure that you will ‘live a perfect day’ by boosting their confidence to live for an extra day.

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Ayurveda Encyclopedia: Natural Secrets to Healing, Prevention, & Longevity by Swami Sadashiva Tirtha
  2. Aging & Blood Stasis: A New TCM Approach to Geriatrics
    By Yan De-Xin
  3. The Aromatherapy Companion: Medicinal Uses/Ayurvedic Healing/Body-Care Blends/Perfumes & Scents/Emotional Health & Well-Being (Herbal Body) by Victoria H. Edwards

Reference Links:

  1. Rasayana by Maharshi Charak Ayurveda
  2. Influence of Yoga & Ayurveda on self-rated sleep in a geriatric population.
  3. Ayurveda for Geriatric Care by Internaturalhealth