Tuesday, December 16, 2014

TCM Vs Ayurvedic Medicine (中医与印度医学)

TCM and Indian Ayurvedic medicine are two major traditional medicine systems affecting Asia and Southeast Asia. Traditionally areas influenced by TCM are China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia. And areas influenced by Ayurvedic medicine are: India, Indochina and Southeast Asia. So, Southeast Asia has the best of both systems; in addition to Islamic healing system too.


Traditional Chinese Medicine treats human constituents to as many as 36 elements. This is according to a classic work called ‘Neijing’ (内经). Human body is composed of 5 elements: wood, fire, metal, water and earth. These 5 elements are related to the 5 organs of our body: liver, heart, lungs, kidneys and spleen. All of these 5 elements should ideally be in balance or the person may fall ill.


Ayurvedic medicine thinks that human body is formed by four elements: earth, water, fire and wind. For example bones are categorized into earth element, blood and fluids as water element, heat is the fire element and breaths belong to air element.


Within the four major elementals: each element can cause 110 types of illnesses. For example: flue is said to be caused by imbalance of wind element while cancers are said of earth element. Any types of illnesses may cause death if not treated properly and in time.


Also if one sleeps for a long time and yet he/she feels tired, then this person is said to be suffering from sleeping illness. Likewise, if one sits for a length of time, he/she may also suffer from sitting illnesses. So, everyone will suffer some kind of illnesses at any time.


There are three ‘doshas’ (bio-energy) uniquely only in Ayurvedic medicine:


·         Kapha: sinuses, nostrils, throat etc.

·         Pitta: liver, spleen, gall bladder etc.

·         Vata: intestines


Ideally, these three doshas should be in balance and it is the job of an Ayurvedic doctor to access and to balance the influence any of the imbalance doshas.


In short, both of TCM and Ayurvedic medicine strive to balance the elements in our body to regain health. This is contrary to the modern Western medicine that seeks to suppress and to remove illnesses by symptoms using drug.


It is not fair to say which system is superior as there are times we need to use force and there are times we just have to let our body recover naturally.



  1. Dear Mr. Liew !

    Yes, both systems have to offer quite much ! Since i am a TCM nutrition expert, i am of course more fond of the TCM. But there are 2 more effective and interesting complimentary health systems, which you seem to have overlooked:

    "Siddha Vidya" and "Unani"

    There is a very good and informative site, which explains the 3 systems Unani, Siddha Vidya and Ayurveda very good ! There are also many formularies listed. The site is called "TKDL" (Traditional Knowledge Indian Library". A sort of information and formulary "library"

    To loook into the different sections, use the menu on the left site (blue colour)

    "Ayurveda": http://www.tkdl.res.in/tkdl/langdefault/Ayurveda/Ayu_Home.asp?GL=Eng

    "Unani": http://www.tkdl.res.in/tkdl/langdefault/Unani/Una_Home.asp?GL=Eng

    "Siddha Vidya": http://www.tkdl.res.in/tkdl/langdefault/Siddha/Sid_Home.asp?GL=Eng

    Thank you very much for your very precious time !

    Michael B.

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