Ayurveda is a traditional Hindu system of medicine practised in India and parts of the Far East based on balance in bodily systems and placing emphasis on diet, herbal treatment and yogic breathing. Within the Ayurvedic system, there are complex concepts of the physiology of the body which are believed to help equate health and balance. It is believed that the five elements - ether, wind, water, fire and earth - are the elements that make up life including the three humours and the seven components of the body. Optimal working of the body comes from a balance of the humours and illness from an excess or deficiency of them. Food is used as a means of reducing excess humours and there are 'heat-producing' foods and foods that are 'cooling'. Humoral theory, also known as the hot/cold theory, suggests that health is balanced by the effect of hot and cold on the body. These symbolic powers, not actual temperatures, are believed to be present in food, herbs and medicines, and health returns once the internal temperature balance is re-established.
Although Ayurvedic medicine is more common in the USA than in the UK, it is possible that a herbal prescription could precipitate a flare-up of diverticular disease in a susceptible person using a powerful bowel-cleansing routine. When there is a flare-up of diverticular disease causing abdominal pain and discomfort, Ayurvedic practitioners recommend massaging sesame seed oil into the skin over the stomach and bowel area in the morning and evening.
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