Ayurveda is the science of life. The English word for it is Biology. It is a pure science and has got nothing to do with a religion. Yoga is a part of Ayurveda.
In a living organism there are three forms of life energies (Dosha):
They are formed from the 5 elements:
Every human being was born with a unique combination of those three Energies (Constitution).
If the actual distribution of those Dosha matches the constitution then the person is healthy. Age, season, time of the day affect this balance. By living correctly and eating the right food one can maintain this balance or one can destroy this balance by wrong food and an unhealthy lifestyle. Every long lasting imbalance leads to symptoms and in the end to disease. Accordingly, it is implicit that there is no single way of life or diet that is right for every person. Changes even occur with the time of day, season and age.
Similar symptoms can have a completely different cause in different people. For this reason the therapy has to be prescribed on the basis of the constitution and balance of the dosha. Bacteriae and viruses play only a minor role in the disease process. A treatment that is good for one patient can harm another one.
One of the most important cleansing therapies in Ayurveda is the Pancha Karma (literally translated: "the 5 duties") which is comprised of ALL of the following:
1. Induced vomiting - Vamana (to reduce elevated Kapha)
2. Giving a strong laxative - Virechana (to reduce elevated Pitta)
3. Oil enema - Basthi (to reduce elevated Vata)
4. Cleaning of the nose - Nascea
5. Blood letting - Rakta Mokshana
In order to avoid harming the body whilst using these cleansing procedures, it is necessary to properly prepare the patient through the Pourva Karma which entails drinking ghee and having oil massages.
Unfortunately the Pourva Karma and part of the Pancha Karma are often presented as the standard treatment protocol, neglecting the other two often vital treatments "Induced Vomiting" or "Blood Letting". This errant protocol can at times lead to severe aggravations or completely different symptoms after many weeks or even months.
It is also not permitted to do those treatment as a routine, as this can again lead to other, seemingly unrelated, health problems. This applies, in particular, if the excreted Dosha is not elevated or if the treatment is untertaken in the wrong season.
For all the aforementioned reasons, Ayurvedic treatments should only be prescribed by well trained doctors in order to avoid the more unfortunate results that ultimately give the method a bad reputation. To be a member of a certain organisation or to be of Indian origin obviously means nothing at all when it comes to inferring competence.
Contrary to so called conventional medicine there are no unexplainable (idiopathic) diseases in Ayurveda. It is possible to explain every symptom and a certain treatment leads to predictable results. To suppress symtoms or to continue to live a wrong lifestyle leads to predictable problems, even if they only manifest themselves after many years.
Ayurveda, a 5000 years old science based upon the Indian philosophical, psychological and medicinal understanding, is recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as an own independent system of medicine. The length of medical training required to become a Doctor of Ayurvedic medicine is equal to that of an Allopathic Doctor namely, at least 6 years of university studies.