Epigenetics in the medicine Ayurveda

Tempo de Leitura: 2 minutos

The drug Ayurveda is a comprehensive and natural health system. Epigenetics refers to the external modification of DNA that activates and inactivates genes, affecting gene expression, which occurs without changes in the basic structure of DNA. This gene expression can have transgenerational effects. In this context, the main factors that cause epigenetic changes are lifestyle, behavior, diet, digestion, stress and environmental factors. The ayurveda addresses these factors, thus affecting the Deha (body), Prakriti (psychophysiological constitution), which corresponds to the phenotype, and indirectly the Janma (birth), which corresponds to the genotype. Below, learn more about the epigenetics applied to the medicine Ayurveda.


Epigenetics refers to the external modification of DNA that activates and deactivates genes. This process produces a change in phenotype without a change in genotype. In summary, DNA methylation, histona modification, chromatin remodeling and micro RNA (miRNA) are involved in modifying DNA expression.

DNA methylation is a process in which methyl groups are added to the DNA molecule, this process alters DNA activity. Histonas are proteins that DNA wraps in the nucleus, forming chromatin and this process condenses DNA into a more compact form and protects DNA. Chromatin can condense or relax, thus altering dna expression. Histonas play an important role in the condensation and relaxation of chromatin and therefore affect DNA expression MicroRNA refers to small non-coding RNA that “silence” or stop the functioning of mRNA.

It is estimated that epigenetics controls 90% of life. That is, the changes in gene expression caused by what someone does in life. Whatever is done to the phenotype or is transmitted back to DNA, which changes its expression accordingly. Thus, the process of epigenetics represents action (Karma – the Sanskrit word for “action”) at the level of cells.

Ayurveda and epigenetics

Factors that cause epigenetic changes affect DNA expression and this can also be transmitted to offspring. There are four main factors that affect a person’s life. These factors, addressed in the Ayurveda, maintain health and prevent diseases. They are lifestyle and behavior, diet and digestion, stress and environmental factors.

Therefore, if an individual’s actions are positive, Deha Prakriti remains balanced and health remains. If the actions are not positive, Deha Prakriti becomes unbalanced, creating Vikriti, and the disease manifests itself. This process occurs through the mechanism of epigenetics. However, it is worth mentioning that these epigenetic changes can be reversed.

Ayurveda addresses the factors that cause epigenetic changes and therefore affects both the phenotype and genotype expression in a positive way. Thus, it is proposed that epigenetics is an important mechanism of Ayurveda. Another correlation between epigenetics and Ayurveda refers to the personalized nature of the epigenetics process and the Ayurveda health system.

Each individual keeps his health in his own hands. Through the epigenetics process, its actions directly affect their health, assisting in the prevention of diseases. However, the Ayurveda is a preventive guidance of the health care system. Therefore, it provides detailed personalized recommendations for each individual based on their unique Prakriti and Vikriti.


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Article: Ayurveda and epigenetics

Sharma H, Keith Wallace R. Ayurveda and Epigenetics. Medicine (Kaunas)

. 2020;56(12):687. Published 2020 Dec 11. Doi:10.3390/Medicina56120687

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