- Navi Gill, a certified Ayurveda practitioner, said celebrities touting the traditional Indian medicine do not seem to have a lifelong commitment to the practice.
- Gill said social media can portray ancestral medicine as a “one size fits all” solution to health problems.
- She recommended people interested in Ayurveda look to practitioners of color, not celebrities, to get their information.
Ayurveda, a traditional medicine practice founded in South Asia, is having a moment with celebrities, as Kourtney Kardashian and Aaron Rodgers recently spoke publicly about following an Ayurvedic cleanse.
But practicing the traditional Indian medicine requires a lifetime commitment, according to Navi Gill, a certified Ayurvedic practitioner and a holistic wellness educator.
Gill has been studying and practicing Ayurveda for 10 years in both India and the US. She has training in classical in numerous Ayurvedic practices, including: Panchakarma, or the study of the body; Marma, a form of massage therapy; Nadi Pariksha, or pulse diagnostics.
Gill said she’s seen an explosion of interest in Ayurveda over the last five years, which she credits to buzz on social media and an imperfect, for-profit healthcare system that makes finding the right kinds of treatments for different health concerns an expensive endeavor.
Though she called increasing interest in Ayurveda a “beautiful thing,” she said misinformation on social media can give people an improper understanding of what the practice is, making ancestral medicine seem like a “one size fits all” solution to health problems.
In reality, Ayurveda is a practice rooted in thousands of years of study, and Gill said it requires consistent work with a practitioner.
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Ayurveda is not a detox, it’s a way of life
NFL star Aaron Rodgers said on the Pat McAfee Show he completed a Panchakarma cleanse that involved abstaining from sugar, sex, and alcohol for 12 days. Rodgers, who did not specify whether he worked with a doctor or is continuing to practice Ayurveda, said the cleanse relieved mental stress and gave him a renewed sense of gratitude.
Kourtney Kardashian, similarly, has spoken about her experience with a Panchakarma cleanse, describing briefly quitting sex and how that stint felt.
Gill, who has also done a Panchakarma cleanse, said it a “very rigorous process” for the mind, body, and spirit that can carry benefits if it is part of a long-term practice, with the appropriate post-cleanse protocol.
Without the right kind of approach, a person can take much longer to recover from a cleanse and could be at risk for digestive problems, Gill said. Risks to an Ayurvedic cleanse can include dehydration, electrolyte deficiencies, and injury to the kidney and liver, according to Healthline.
“People in the west are fascinated with this idea of detox and health, and a lot of the time it’s related to
or fitness” Gill said. “That’s not really what Ayurveda is about. It’s more about being in harmony in your mind, body and spirit and with nature, according to your constitution.”
Gill said people interested in Ayurveda should look to practitioners of color, not celebrities, to get their information.
“For a lot of us this is our life purpose, it’s not just a cleanse, not just a product,” Gill said. “There is deep reverence there.”
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