If you are new to the Ayurveda world, 5000 years’ worth of literature on the subject may feel a little intimidating. You Can Start by Checking Out Our List on The Best Ayurveda Books for Beginners
Recent global events have opened up our eyes to the faults and deficiencies of our healthcare system.
Ayurveda provides a much-needed alternative approach to health and wellbeing, based not only on therapy and medications but rather on a holistic view of the person.
If you are new to the Ayurveda world, 5000 years’ worth of literature on the subject may feel a little intimidating.
Don’t you worry, though! We’ve compiled the perfect list for you, featuring the 10 absolutely best books on Ayurveda available for beginners.
The list includes a selection of accessible manuals for laymen written by the Ayurveda foremost authorities in the West, plus some pearls to expand your knowledge on more specific ayurvedic practices, like herbal remedies, cleansing diet, essential oils.
Disclosure: Some of our articles contain affiliate links (as an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases).
Ayurveda: The Science of Self Healing: A Practical Guide
by Vasant Lad, 1985
The best-selling manual was written by the renowned Ayurvedic physician Vasant Lad, one of the founders of modern Ayurveda schools in the west.
This clear and complete handbook condenses in less than 200 pages a wide range of fundamental information about Ayurveda.
It’s a perfect introduction for newbies as it hits all Ayurveda main aspects and it comes always in handy as a reference book thanks to several explanatory charts, an extensive list of foods, and a vast appendix that includes a glossary and index.
The author goes through Ayurveda’s historical and theoretical background before presenting a broad collection of practical tips for self-healing, such as herbal and mineral remedies, yoga positions, and dietary advice.
Ayurvedic Healing: A Comprehensive Guide
by Dr. David Frawley, Dr. Subhash Ranade, et al., 2003
Prolific author David Frawley is one of the most eminent western experts on Ayurveda and Veda studies. His exhaustive guide is an accessible yet comprehensive resource that delves into Ayurveda’s many facets.
It’s remarkable for analyzing 80 diseases and the related ayurvedic treatment methods, which include diet, massage, meditation, yoga, oils, gemstones, and mantra.
It most amazingly gives precise recommendations on herbs’ usage and how it affects the different body constitutions (dosha), with a focus on the American diet.
If you are interested in Ayurveda herbs and herbal formulas and how to use them according to your dosha, check out The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine written together by Frawley and Lad.
The Book of Ayurveda: A Holistic Approach to Health and Longevity
by Judith Morrison, 1995
An excellent primer, it provides a concise, down-to-earth but thorough overview of Ayurveda.
Recommended for its holistic approach, as it aims to give a general idea of this complex knowledge (Ayurveda means literally the “science of life”) rather than a collection of remedies.
It’s well-written and well-organized, with an emphasis on the different doshas and how specific body constitutions are connected.
It contains a dosha assessment test, a complete chart of foods indicating which is most adequate or damaging to your constitution, a number of recipes, and endless advices on exercises, leisure activities, sleeping habits that can help your body type to thrive.
Ayurveda: Life, Health, and Longevity
by Robert Svoboda, 2004
The most lyrical Ayurveda modern writer, Svoboda was the first westerner to be licensed to practice the “science of life” in India.
This book is meant to be an in-depth synopsis of Ayurveda for the uninitiated, in which the main aspects of Ayurveda are presented in a lucid, systematic way to be easily incorporated into everyday life.
The first chapters cover the ayurvedic theory of dosha, healthy daily habits, life cycles, and diet.
The second part examines illnesses’ causes and processes, ayurvedic diagnosis systems, and dosha-based therapies.
In the end, you’ll find an herbal catalog, pharmacological indications on how to prepare plants and minerals, a therapeutical inventory for a number of diseases, and a series of useful tips about nutrition, healing and rejuvenating.
Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/Body Guide
by Deepak Chopra, 2001
Dr. Chopra’s Ayurveda classic has been one of the first books to draw Western interest to Ayurveda wisdom.
It’s the ultimate motivational read that has firstly explained how “perfect health” is the result of perfect harmony between body and mind, and that to heal and prevent illnesses one needs to be conscious of her/his whole being.
Thus, the importance of meditation, breath consciousness, Rasayana wisdom (that is, anything that helps happiness, health, and longevity).
The book offers a rebalancing program that can be adapted to individual needs, based on a wholesome diet, meditation practice, stress-reducing techniques.
The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies: Based on the Timeless Wisdom of India’s 5,000-Year-Old Medical System
by Vasant Lad, 1999
Useful handbook written in a fluent and simple language.
It covers briefly Ayurveda basics and gives some useful lifestyle and dietary guidelines based on main doshas types.
Most of the book is an alphabetically organized list of natural remedies (each for different illnesses or minor ailments) that can be easily sourced and prepared from your kitchen spices cabinet according to ayurvedic principles.
There are also sections illustrating yoga postures, meditation techniques, and recipes for oral concoctions, oils, and ghee.
Modern Ayurveda: Rituals, Recipes, and Remedies for Balance
by Ali Cramer, 2019
Extremely approachable and enjoyable read, it’s an excellent introduction for newbies.
It starts with an overview of the three main doshas and a quick quiz to figure out your own body type.
In the second part, a week-long kickstart plan is suggested to gradually introduce ayurvedic practices into daily life.
The book is chock-full of useful guidelines on diet, morning routines, detailed meal plans, recipes for healing, and detox.
If you are all in for a diet change, check out our list of the best books on Ayurveda cooking and recipes.
The Mindbody Cleanse: A 14-Day Detox and Rejuvenation Program from Ancient Ayurveda
by Ronly Blau, Adrian Nowland, 2016
A methodical vade mecum to the ancient tradition of Ayurvedic seasonal cleanse, Panchakarma.
Well-structured introduction about one of the most effective Ayurvedic practice, it presents a meticulous yet easy-to-follow protocol to guide you in each of the four stages of the cleansing process.
Along with detailed schedules, it proposes yoga exercises, meditation guidance, stress management practices and over 100 recipes to go through your cleanse effortlessly.
Ayurvedic Beauty Care: Ageless Techniques to Invoke Natural Beauty
by Melanie Sachs, 1994
Old and modern ayurvedic secrets for body care are revealed in this precious treatise about ayurvedic philosophy of beauty and self-grooming.
The book offers an inclusive test to assess your dominant dosha, and teaches how to balance individual constitutions through the most appropriate diet, herbs, massage, essential oils and natural remedies to improve our inner and outer beauty.
It focuses particularly on skin and hair care, giving a number of home-made recipes for all-natural facial treatments and shampoos.
Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing
by Light Miller, Bryan Miller and Harvey Diamond, 1996
A practical manual about more than 100 essential oils and their use in ayurvedic medicine according to individual dosha.
This comprehensive guidebook explains how to choose the most suitable essences for your dosha, heal most common ailments, increase sensuality, get rid of detrimental feelings, use ayurvedic aromatherapy for body care, pregnancy, cooking, travelling and house cleansing.
Interested in alternative and traditional medicine?