7 books for Ayurveda students

The ancient science of Ayurveda is a vast and fascinating topic. If you're looking to take your study of it further, these recommended books are great resources to turn to.

Whether you’re just getting started in your exploration into Ayurveda, or you know your dosha inside out, these books give both great introductions and deeper insights into the world of Ayurveda and how to apply it to everyday life. 

Ayurveda: The Science of Self Healing by Dr.Vasant Lad

Vasant Lad is probably the most well known Ayurvedic author in both the East and the West. He has been a practitioner and professor of Ayurvedic medicine for more than 15 years, and for the past four years, has conducted the only full-time programme of study on Ayurveda in the USA.
This is a great book to start with if you’re new to the concept of Ayurveda. The principles are introduced clearly, and there are lots of examples of different ways to recognise balance and imbalance within the body.

You’ll find lots of practical advice for bringing yourself into balance, as well as a detailed chart of which different foods and spices may or may not be beneficial for your personal dosha. Tastes, elements, treatments and therapies are discussed in an accessible and easy-to-understand way.

Ayurveda and the Mind by Dr. David Frawley

After Vasant Lad, David Frawley is seen as one of the most knowledgeable Western experts on Ayurveda. This book takes a more in-depth look at Ayurveda and focuses on the physical, mental and emotional elements of it.

Adding a deeper layer of understanding to the workings of the mind from an Ayurvedic point of view, there are also different tests for determining physical and mental constitutions (or ‘body and mind types’). Recommended for those who have a little knowledge on Ayurveda, as you’ll be able to dive deeper into Ayurvedic psychology with this book.  

The Chopra Centre: Herbal Handbook by Deepak Chopra & David Simon

Combining Eastern wisdom and Ayurvedic knowledge with Western science, this is a book for those who wish to learn about the uses and effects of different herbs. Everything from Aloe Vera to Gurmar, to Boswellia and Tea Tree, with a whole host of herbs both familiar and unusual is covered. The book gives practical tips, cautions and how the herb is considered from an Ayurvedic perspective.  

Ayurveda and Marma Therapy: Energy Points in Yogic Healing by Dr. David Frawley, Dr. Subhash Ranade and Dr. Avinash Lele

For those who have a background in massage or acupuncture, or a strong interest in how the body responds to physical touch, this is a wonderful book to use for self-care and also when helping others.

The many different points are explained with their relation to Ayurvedic body types, elements, anatomical structures, and subtle energy. Useful for relieving physical discomfort, promoting relaxation, and also as points of focus for meditation, this is more like a reference guide than a book to read in its entirety, so some understanding of Ayurveda, meridian lines, or energy points is useful.

Ayurveda For Women by Robert Svoboda

A lovely, accessible book by a wonderfully poetic author. Robert Svoboda has many interesting lectures online and has written other insightful books such as Aghora At The Left Hand of God, and The Hidden Secret of Ayurveda. An expert in his field, Svoboda has written this book as a way to guide women towards listening to their intuition and caring for their divine nature. 
Focussing on the progressive chapters of a woman’s life, there are plenty of useful and practical pieces of advice too. Suitable for those with a little or a lot of Ayurvedic knowledge, this is both an accessible and enjoyable read.

The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook by Kate O’Donnell

There are a growing number of Ayurvedic recipe books available these days, and this one is particularly easy to follow and understand, as it has a strong Western influence. 

Kate O’Donnell is an Ashtanga yoga teacher, a nationally certified Ayurvedic practitioner and an Ayurvedic yoga specialist. Her book offers recipes, lifestyle guidelines and advice, all linked to the seasons. Diet is a huge aspect of Ayurveda and this is a great book to start with if you’re interested in Ayurvedic cooking. 

The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies: A Comprehensive Guide To The Ancient Healing of India by Vasant Lad

A detailed and thorough book, including diet and lifestyle guidelines, as well as seasonal advice. Tips are given to suit each person’s dosha (mind and body type), and a large portion of the book is dedicated to the Illnesses and Remedies A-Z section. Great for anyone interested in natural health and healing and an altogether fascinating read. Useful for having and keeping as a reference you’ll be able to turn to throughout life.   

We'd love to know your recommendations too. Let us know in the comments below.

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