HomeHealth articlesayurveda treatmentWhat Are Effects of Ayurvedic Medicines in Sports Therapy?

Ayurvedic medicines exhibit beneficial therapeutic properties in sports. Read this article about various ayurvedic approaches toward injuries related to sports.

Written by

Dr. Janani. R. S

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Abhilasha A

Published At December 13, 2022
Reviewed AtJanuary 10, 2023

Sports therapy is a branch of medicine that focuses on injury prevention and returning patients to their highest levels of functional, occupational, and sport-specific fitness, regardless of age or ability. It incorporates the fundamentals of exercise and sport science, including pathological and physiological processes to prepare the person for work, training, and competition.

Sports therapy aims to prepare athletes for their best mental and physical performance in the field and practice.

What Is Ayurveda?

The term "Ayurveda" is a combination of the Sanskrit words "AYU" for "life" and "VEDA" for "knowledge or science." It is still one of the world's oldest medical systems and is the most popular alternative medicine system with Indian roots. It has a unique and unbeatable philosophy that makes this branch of medicine one of the most valued medical practices in the modern era. Despite recent innovations and the newest therapeutic additions to this field, the principles of Ayurveda remain the same.

The principle of Ayurveda is to treat and prevent a disease or an illness rather than symptom relief. This is executed by bringing balance and harmony between the mind, body, and surroundings.

Does Ayurveda Have a Specialized Branch for Sports Medicine?

Ayurveda does not specifically have a separate branch for sports medicine as it focuses on the condition's root cause and provides treatment. However, warriors in ancient times were treated through ayurvedic medications and were healed. It helped maintain their health and improved the focus of their mind to be ready to engage in their subsequent encounter. Ayurveda was the primary treatment mode for way injuries. Hence, the same principles can be executed in musculoskeletal system injuries related to sports injuries. But, recently, more sports-related injuries or conditions have been encountered by ayurvedic doctors. The athletes do not only encounter musculoskeletal injuries, but other factors like psychological, physiological, social, and economic stress also create an impact. Ultimately, Ayurveda focuses on the prevention, promotion, correction, and rehabilitation of the sportsman.

How Are Sports Injuries Managed With Ayurveda?

  1. Generally, bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles are subjected to injuries while engaging in sports.

  2. Injuries can be acute (swelling, pain, and sprain) and chronic (longstanding muscle tear or pain) and can be treated according to the injury's nature and location.

  3. The main goal of ayurvedic treatment is that it involves holistic treatment rather than a symptomatic approach.

  4. Ayurvedic herbal preparations can be used for various purposes, including pain relief and wound healing.

  5. Medication for injuries can aid in the complete repair of tissues, bones, cartilage, etc.

  6. In addition, injury-based massages and exercises, physiotherapy, lifestyle changes, medicinal packs, pain relief, detoxification, dietary modifications, steam therapy, and rejuvenation are also components of ayurvedic treatment.

  7. Nevertheless, in combination, modern sports and Ayurveda provide more promising outcomes.

  8. Everything, from dincharya (everyday routine) to Achara Rasayana (a distinctive ayurvedic concept that signifies moral, benevolent, and ethical conduct), plays a crucial part in sport science.

  9. The human body is formed and shaped by Sapthadhatu, seven dhatus (body tissues), Rakta (blood), Rasa (plasma), Meda (fat), Mamsa (muscle), Asthi (bone), Majja (bone marrow), and Sukhra (reproductive fluids-seminal fluid and vaginal discharge).

  10. In sports medicine, the main dhatus are Mamsa (muscles), Asthi (bones), Snayu (ligaments), and Kandra (tendons), which deal with sports injuries.

  11. According to the ayurvedic medical philosophy, the bones' primary function is to give our bodies shape and structure. Therefore, Asthi is associated with tendons, muscles, and ligaments.

A Few Ayurvedic Treatments in Sports Therapy:

  • Rasayana Therapy:

    • When it comes to Rasayana (therapeutic actions) therapy in Ayurveda, Dhatu Pachak yoga (accurate tissue maturation) and Bala Vriddhi (strength) are most appropriate and used throughout the training program.

    • It aids in enhancing general health and prevents deterioration and damage to bodily tissues brought on by rigorous athletic exercise.

  • Vyayama:

    • Vyayama means exercise (mainly focuses on yoga), a vital part of sports training, and is strongly advocated by Ayurveda.

    • Ayurveda has numerous Vyayama procedures that enhance muscle tonicity and strength while also strengthening the heart and lungs.

    • According to Charaka (200 BC), the ability to withstand extreme stress is called endurance.

  • Abhyanga:

    • Abhyanga denotes massage. The need for Abhyanga after exercise is emphasized by Ayurveda.

    • These methods can be used for fitness-related training and as a recovery strategy following an injury.

    • The following are a few ayurvedic massage techniques: Latavestana (spiral friction), Harshana (vibration), Praharshana (percussion), Chedyam (hacking), Tadana (slapping), Samputaka (boxing), Mandhana (muscle rolling), Sandhi Chalayan (joint movements), Samdanshika (pulling), and Vadyan (tapping).

    • The use of medicinal oils, powders, pastes, and other massage-related materials has the ability to improve a sports person's physical condition and, undoubtedly, to treat injuries as well.

  • Sweda Karma:

    • Sudation or sweating therapy is quite effective for treating sports-related injuries.

    • The ayurvedic literature, which differs from what is recommended by modern medicine, contains numerous remedies for various forms of sudation.

  • Bhagna (Fracture):

    • Sports that include physical contact and fracture are frequently linked.

    • Ayurvedic fracture treatment, particularly the use of medicinal herbs and minerals, has the potential to transform the way sports fractures are treated.

    • Numerous herbs, including Guggulu (Balsemodendron Mukul), Asthi Shrunkhala (Cissus quadrangularis), Manjistha (Rubia Cordifolia), Chandana (Pterocarpus Santalinus), and Yasthimadhu (Glycyrrhiza Glabra), are recommended by Ayurveda to speed up the healing.

    • Integrating ayurvedic medical-mechanical practices with current mechanical processes and technology would be beneficial and productive.

  • Traditional Therapy:

    • Classic remedies for sports injuries include Vrana Ropana Tailam, Murivenna, Shatavari Tailam, Marma Thailam, Dhanwantaram Tailam, Bala Thailam, Pinda Tailam, Narayana Thailam, Maharajaprasarini Tailam, Mahamasha Tailam, and Ksheerabala Thailam. By externally applying these oils with a mild massage, the medicine can seep deep into the affected area, relieve pain, and promote healing.

    • It has been evident from numerous manuscripts that these medications have been used in Ayurveda for a very long time.

    • By efficiently incorporating the numerous herbal formulations that have undergone clinical testing, modern muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory medications that use formulations with Diclofenac diethylamine as the main ingredient to treat musculoskeletal injuries may be avoided in many people to avoid irritants and allergies.

  • Modern medicine administers anti-inflammatories, analgesics, antibiotics, and barbiturates to athletes as medication. However, these drugs have the potential to harm and impair an athlete's performance. Therefore, ayurvedic medicine substitution might be considered based on the individual.


Ayurveda can be successfully implemented into all aspects of sports, from training to recovery. By incorporating the ayurvedic principles of healthy living into the sports training curriculum, modifications can be made that have a positive impact. As a result, the risk of side effects can be reduced for improved career and performance by using effective approaches and medications from alternative medicine like Ayurveda.

Dr. Abhilasha A
Dr. Abhilasha A

Ayurveda Specialist

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