What is Ayurveda?

According to the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world’s oldest medical systems, a holistic approach to healthcare that started in the ancient Vedic times of India. Ayurveda (“the science of life”) is a natural, prevention-oriented system that includes:

  • Diet and nutrition
  • A healthy lifestyle and daily routine
  • Stress management, including meditation
  • Herbs and dietary supplements
  • Detoxification
  • Breathing exercises (Pranayama)
  • Rejuvenation therapy (Rasayana)
  • Self-massage (Abhyanga)
  • Yoga postures

What are the benefits of Ayurveda?

Ayurveda’s purpose is to prevent disease, maintain optimal health and manage chronic disorders to restore a healthy balance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does an Ayurveda consultation include?

At your appointment, you will fill out a questionnaire to help determine your constitution (your physical and psychological tendencies and the way your body works to stay healthy) and system imbalances. The doctor will examine you, do pulse diagnosis and then give you a personalized management plan that may include one or more Ayurvedic approaches.

What are the Ayurvedic dietary recommendations?

In Ayurveda, dietary recommendations are personalized to your individual constitution and any imbalances in your system.

What is “Pranayama” (breathing exercises)?

Prana is considered the vital force of life. Pranayama includes breathing practices that aim to balance or increase your life force. These exercises are personalized to suit different people. Pranayama helps your health and all aspects of life by enhancing your vital force.

What is “Spontaneous Meditation”?

Hari Sharma, MD, of the Ohio State Integrative Medicine teaches Spontaneous Meditation, which helps you get in touch with your inner Self. You do not need to change your behavior, diet, religion or belief system to practice Spontaneous Meditation, which aims to strengthen and support both the mind and body to enhance health and wellbeing.

What are the side effects of Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is extremely safe when provided and supervised by an experienced practitioner.

Will insurance cover Ayurveda services?

More health plans are paying for Ayurvedic care when a licensed physician provides it. The Ohio State University employee health plan, for instance, covers Dr. Hari Sharma’s office visits. Check with your insurer to find out your coverage and if you need a referral from your doctor.

Why Choose Ohio State?

Why choose Ayurveda services at Ohio State?

It’s rare to find a doctor in the West who practices Ayurvedic medicine and even rarer to find those services offered side by side with medical doctors and other health professionals in a multi-practice, comprehensive and convenient setting. On staff at the OSU Integrative Medicine Clinic is Hari Sharma, MD, one of the nation’s foremost Ayurvedic doctors. Dr. Sharma has written several books on the practice and been published in respected medical journals and textbooks. At Ohio State, we also offer:

  • Other health services in the same location, including acupuncture, chiropractic and massage
  • The highest quality of Ayurvedic healthcare, supported by research and education
  • Seminars and classes related to meditation, mindfulness, tai chi and more
  • Free and convenient parking

Our Practitioner


Hari Sharma, MD, DABIHM, FACN

Specialties: Ayurveda, Mind-Body Therapies, Spontaneous Meditation, Pranayama (breathing exercises)

I specialize in Ayurveda, a comprehensive multi-strategy, prevention-oriented system of healthcare that originated in India. Formerly the director of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Natural Products Research at Ohio State, I’ve been practicing Ayurveda at the OSU Integrative Medicine Clinic since its inception in 2005 and have published more than 150 research papers and five books. I also teach Spontaneous Meditation and Pranayama (breathing exercises).

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