Ayurveda: A Sustainable Tradition Of Holistic Wellness
18th Apr 2023
Ayurveda is inherently sustainable, a centuries-old life science centered around principles that aim to sustain life in every form and express the deep, symbiotic relationship between people and the planet. Ayurveda views man as a microcosm of the universe at large and considers our environment a reflection of ourselves.
The Link Between Ayurveda and Nature
Ayurveda and nature are inextricably connected and interdependent, teaching us to live in harmony with nature to achieve optimal health. Through this lens, when Mother Nature suffers, so does our health.
The journey of caring for yourself also means caring for the environment. Sustainability and environmental awareness are basic tenets of Ayurvedic philosophy that lie at the core of health and well-being.
The key to health is a rising awareness of our individual and collective connection with nature. Man and the environment are not considered separate entities, but counterparts of one ecosystem. The science of Ayurveda inherently reconnects humanity to nature for the greater good of all living beings.
Ayurveda embodies principles of living closely with the Earth, and within the means and needs of a community. When this connection is severed, the impacts can be devastating to both man and the environment, and nature can often no longer provide essentials to sustain life due to over-harvesting and endangered resources.
When individuals live responsibly, awareness of their connection to nature, behaviors, and lifestyles directly affects our ability to sustain our own health alongside natural resources season after season.
An Ethos of Sustainability
Traditional systems of medicine are sustainable by their very nature. In fact, the most ancient recordings of Ayurvedic texts specifically outline sustainability as a guiding principle of Ayurveda’s healing system.
From planting to harvesting, these practices and ancient rituals have been passed down to modern-day practitioners through the Vedas to uphold the world’s oldest known healing tradition. While modern medicine may not always consider environmental consequences, Ayurveda recognizes that human welfare and environmental protection go hand-in-hand.
At the deepest part of its ethos, Ayurveda imbues this understanding into every guideline and practice for harvesting and farming sustainable ingredients. From seed to shelf, ancient texts provide guidelines on how the seeds are planted, harvested, and decocted into formulations.
For every action we take in the natural world, the effect returns to us in our daily lives, even when we may not see it. This cause and effect taught by Ayurvedic philosophy teach that by nourishing plants, animals, and all living organisms, we will receive nourishment in return.
Ayurveda is a science that harnesses the healing benefits of nature by sustaining and protecting the world around us.
Sustainability, Awareness, and Lifestyle Choices
Environmental issues are not all created equal, leaving many of the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems at risk. The delicate nature of these regions highlights why sustainability is a global concern and can help protect vulnerable areas which are home to many of the diverse life forms that provide the world with medicinal plants.
By nurturing a closer relationship with the land and consciously caring for ourselves and the environment, we can establish a precedent for sustaining threatened species and ecosystems.
How Kerala Ayurveda is Addressing Eco Concerns
Modern society is often faced with the challenge of being disconnected from the source of consumer products. Beyond trending environmental concerns and knowing if a product is labeled “eco-friendly”, many people today may be unaware of the negative impacts different products can have on both human health and the environment.
At Kerala Ayurveda, sustainability and conscious care don't cause us support. They’re deeply rooted in our ethos and who we are. Adherence to traditional sustainability guidelines gives us the opportunity to show a positive example of living with the land and giving nature just as much as it gives us.
Our seed-to-shelf remedies follow the planting, harvesting, decoction, and delivery methods of ancient Ayurvedic healers.
Many challenges come with addressing ecological concerns. When a natural resource begins to grow in popularity and demand exceeds supply, it places great stress on a region’s native resources.
Preservation of land and ethical farming and foraging practices can help supply the world with important Ayurvedic medicines. Together, we can strive to sustain the future of regions, cultures, and natural resources for the greater good of the world and provide an opportunity for people to connect to the source of their healing, nurture greater respect for the environment, and help individuals everywhere make better decisions at every step of the consumer journey.
A Philosophy of Purity
Many of the principles outlined in Ayurvedic texts aim to align individuals with nature, fostering a greater connection with the elements and the natural world. At Kerala, we refuse to compromise on quality at any stage of production and encourage people to know where their herbs come from and how they were harvested.
Maintaining transparency of the sources of all our formulations ensures the quality of the final products. For purity, efficacy, and sustainability, products must be sourced and harvested in an ethical manner, without the influence of GMOs or inorganic methods.
The healing tradition of Ayurveda formulates products with your mind, body, and soul health in mind. Formulations are sourced from ingredients that are pure, fresh, and harvested within the native environment. That is why we focus on spreading the philosophy of Ayurveda through traditional recipes, ancient wisdom, and sustainable methods.
Our seed-to-shelf values allow us to bring you the most traditional ingredients and blends for maximum potency and purity. We believe by connecting consumers closely with the source of each ingredient, people will see and feel for themselves what difference sustainable practices make in the environment and in their personal wellness journey.
Also Read: Rasayana: A Practice In Longevity & Rejuvenation
Organic, Ethical Harvesting, and Farming
At Kerala Ayurveda, we ensure every ingredient used to create our many blends of oils, single herbal supplements, and traditional formulations are equitable to the ecosystem. This means the sourced ingredient is either organically farmed and extracted with help of small family farms, or ethically wild-harvested in a way that ensures the sustained health and exuberance of the natural world.
For example, herbs such as Ashwagandha and Shatavari grow in the Kerala region of India and are harvested organically. Ayurveda is not limited to botanicals as medicine; honey is also an important part of the native ecosystem.
The lush Indian forests must remain as pure and untouched as possible, with sustainable harvesting practices that never take more than what is available.
Ancient Traditional Recipes
At Kerala Ayurveda, we follow traditional recipes passed down from the Vedic texts. We are honored and grateful for the opportunity to share this wisdom with the modern world and bring awareness to native practices, regions, and cultures.
We formulate each of our blends according to the ancient Vedic texts from centuries prior, using the same ingredients and techniques whenever possible. This allows us to closely follow ancient Ayurvedic practices of sustainability.
Circular Production, Not Linear
Sustainability may be a hotspot concern today, but it is not a new concept. Even in the ancient Ayurvedic texts, there are guidelines for a circular approach to growing, harvesting, and co-existing within the native ecosystem.
As a part of Ayurvedic philosophy, the importance of living within our means as a species and society is paramount along with the responsibility of nurturing the ecosystems that nurture us in return.
Circular production systems operate on the principle of renewal, reuse, and the sharing of resources. This not only minimizes or eliminates social and ecological costs, but it creates a sustainable model of co-existence. Even with modern technology at our disposal, we strive to maintain this eco-responsibility and sustainability passed down from centuries past.
We are still a part of these traditions and follow the Vedic principles in every facet of the growing Kerala Ayurveda business.
Much of the world today operates on a linear production scale which is harmful to native ecosystems. Monocultures, industrial farming, pesticide pollution, and many other modern production tactics are responsible for much of the environmental turmoil we are all beginning to experience today.
This is all part of linear production systems, which follow a “take, make, and dispose of” plan that turns raw materials into products. These products or supplements have a short lifespan before they are disposed of as trash.
Ayurveda Goes Beyond Medicine
Ayurveda is not just a system of holistic medicine, but a way of life that supports health, happiness, and longevity.
Ayurveda provides a philosophy for almost all areas of life, from lifestyle choices to values such as health, wellness, and shared prosperity for all. At Kerala Ayurveda, we aim for balance and sustainability, not just in the formulations we produce, but in the ways, we recognize the health of the ecosystem. We know that when we take care of nature, it will provide us with everything we need.
Addressing Waste with Ayurvedic Supplements
When addressing waste, there are logistics to consider in every modern business model. When products are destined for shelves across the globe, it’s easy for a company to cut corners and produce waste to expedite and maximize profit.
At Kerala Ayurveda, we strive to address waste and maintain sustainable practices that closely align with traditional Ayurvedic principles. Ayurvedic philosophy and medicine are highly valued to heal mankind and coexist peacefully with all life on Earth. Social and environmental good is superior to economic profit in Kerala.
All of our products must be made with the least amount of waste possible during production, and they must also follow the principle of circular production. All bottles and packaging are recyclable so that they can be reused. The waste that is generated from our products is entirely biodegradable, unlike many products from today’s medical and healthcare sectors.
Modern pharmaceutical manufacturers produce synthetic waste that ends up in bodies of water and on land, polluting the earth with unsustainable and unnecessary by-products. This waste stunts the wildlife populations that consume it, even four or five steps down the food chain.
Any waste that comes through Ayurvedic manufacturing centers is biodegradable and does not impact the food chain in the same way as these natural raw materials break down quickly with help from natural processes. Additionally, this biodegradable waste is often recycled into other products for sustainable usage.