What to expect from an Ayurvedic consultation

Before discussing what to expect from a consultation, let's briefly consider the aim of Ayurvedic treatment.

According to Ayurveda, the human body comprises three vital elements: doshas, dhatus and malas.

Doshas are the three biological energies (vata, pitta, kapha) that govern physiological activities within the body. Two of the five great elements dominate each dosha: vata (space + air), pitta (fire + water), and kapha (water + earth).

Dhatus are the seven bodily tissues that create the form and structure of the body and comprise rasa (plasma), rakta (blood), mamsa (muscle), medas (lipids), asthi (bone), majja (bone marrow) and sukra (reproductive fluids).

Malas are three types of waste substances formed in the body via metabolic and digestive functions. They include Mutra (urine), Purisa (faeces), and Sveda (sweat).

In addition to the three vital elements, Ayurveda pays close attention to agni (the digestive fire) and srotas (bodily channels).

Agni is a collective word for the digestive enzymes, acids and bile that determine our ability to digest, absorb and assimilate food.

Srotas are the channels within the body through which the dosha, dhātu and mala circulate.

A qualified practitioner will determine the exact nature of the disease with particular reference to each of these aspects involved in its manifestation. They will formulate a bespoke treatment plan to balance the three vital elements, clear any obstructions, and restore a healthy digestive fire.

Chikitsa (treatment)

The starting point of successful treatment is an accurate diagnosis. Ayurvedic medicine uses a wide variety of diagnostic methods, but in general, it consists of the following: observation/looking (darshana), palpitation or touch (sparshana), and questioning (prashana). 

Observation (Darshan) refers to observing the patient. There are numerous key indicators that an Ayurvedic practitioner may observe from the patient's physical appearance and movements to identify the imbalance.

Palpation or touch (Sparsha) means touching or tactile perception and is used to confirm the findings of the visual observation. Other diagnostic methods include sound observation in which breathing and the function of the stomach and bowel, for instance, can be observed.

Questioning (prashana) takes up a large part of the consultation. You will be encouraged to share details about your diet, digestion, elimination, sleep, daily routines, lifestyle habits, relationships, work, medical history, and family medical history.

It can be uncomfortable to share certain aspects of yourself. However, obtaining this information is crucial as it enables the practitioner to piece together a picture, pinpoint the likely cause of the disorder (nidana) and form an accurate Ayurvedic diagnosis.

Ayurveda places great importance on the nidana. It seeks to identify and remove the root cause of the disorder to eliminate the disease effectively rather than act as a band-aid to the symptoms. A simple analogy for this is the stream feeding a pond. We can remove the pond, but unless we remove the stream, the pond will keep reappearing. We, therefore, need to assess what factors could be causing the imbalances and take steps to eliminate them.

Unlike modern medicine's one size fits all approach, Ayurveda recognises the uniqueness of the individual and provides a completely bespoke treatment plan that considers their presenting symptoms, prakriti (constitution), vikruti (current imbalance), and bala (strength of the disorder). A personalised treatment plan will include appropriate dietary and lifestyle advice and, if necessary, supportive herbal medicines and therapies to restore patients to their unique balance.

Early intervention increases the probability of successful treatment. In other words, prevention is better than cure, so it is wise to address any niggling symptoms when they first arise.

What disorders can Ayurveda treat?

Ayurveda treats the patient rather than the disease. In other words, whatever the ailment, Ayurveda can help. Commonly supported conditions include:

  • Skin disorders (Eczema, Acne, Psoriasis, Dermatitis)
  • Gynecological and obstetric disorders (Infertility, PCOS, Endometriosis, Fibroids, Peri-menopause, Menopause)
  • Digestive tract disorders (Indigestion, Food Intolerances, IBS, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn's disease, Coeliac disease, Haemorrhoids)
  • Respiratory disorders (Asthma, Persistent Cough)
  • Musculoskeletal disorders (Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Fibromyalgia, Gout)
  • Nervous system disorders (Migraines, Anxiety, Depression, Alcoholism)
  • Metabolic disorders (Diabetes, Weightloss)

What information do you need from me before the consultation?

You will be asked to complete an intake form with details of your presenting complaints, medical history, family medical history, and current and past medications.

How long does a consultation take?

Expect the initial consultation to take approximately 60-90 minutes to allow adequate time to gather the necessary information.

Follow-up consultations are between 45-60 minutes.

How many follow-up consultations will I need and how far apart are they?

The number of follow-up consultations depends on the severity of the condition and rate of progress but typically a minimum of three is required.

A follow-up consultation usually follows 2-4 weeks after the initial consultation. Your progress will be reviewed and relevant guidance provided.

If further consultations are required, subsequent visits are generally at 4-6 week intervals but will vary depending on the individual case.

How quickly will I see results?

Sometimes, the benefits are evident immediately, and (more often than not) it can take longer. Again, it depends on each case. However, it is safe to say Ayurveda is not a quick fix, especially when treating chronic conditions. If you hope to swallow some herbs or apply a skin cream and symptoms magically disappear, then Ayurveda is probably not for you right now. A certain level of patience, commitment, and dedication will be required, as well as an understanding that Ayurveda is a holistic science that treats the whole person, not just the immediate symptoms.

It can take time for the body to move back to balance, especially if the imbalance has been present for months or even years. However, the results will be much more effective and long-lasting. It is a different approach to Western medicine, which does a great job at band-aiding or suppressing symptoms quickly, but with this, there can be a price to pay in the longer term as symptoms are pushed deeper into the body and root causes remain unresolved.

When will I be able to go back to eating my favourite foods and exercises?

Nothing is off the menu in Ayurveda. There is a right time and place for everything. However, if you are seeking help with a health condition, then it may be that certain foods or lifestyle habits are not suitable for you at this time. It may be a case of eliminating the foods for a short while and slowly re-introducing them after restoring balance, or it may be the case that certain foods are better avoided for an extended period or only eaten occasionally. Again, it all boils down to the individual case.

The purpose of treatment is not only to cure a symptom so you can return to your old ways. It is to support you in developing self-awareness to cultivate a way of life that not only restores health but sustains health.

Ayurveda's underlying premise is that every individual has the power to heal themselves. To accomplish this, we must understand our body's needs and respond to them as they change with our ever-changing external environment and inner emotions. For this, moment-to-moment awareness is necessary. The body has an inherent intelligence that will tell you what you need. By utilising your own insight, perception and observations, you will innately know what foods and exercises are appropriate at any given time. Ultimately, you can become your own physician and healer.  

All that said, once the body moves back into balance, you will most likely find that you will no longer crave the foods and habits that were making you sick in the first place!

Where do the herbs come from? Should I be concerned about their safety?

Quite often, the prescription involves simple kitchen cupboard remedies. Ingredients for these can be purchased by the patient and prepared at home.

Other herbal preparations are time-tested traditional Ayurvedic formulas sourced from Sri Lanka via the Ayurveda Institute UK and processed by HACCP and GMP certification.

Herbal medicine and Ayurveda have a long history of safe and effective use, both from the point of view of folklore medicine, self-medication and in a clinical setting. A qualified practitioner will prescribe herbs with an awareness of the patient's appropriate diagnosis, constitution, digestive strength, age, medication, medical history and comprehensive knowledge of the herbs used to ensure safety and efficacy.

Are herbs always prescribed, and is the cost included in the consultation price?

Ayurvedic herbs are commonly included in a treatment plan to subdue the illness or disease process and 'nudge' the body back to health. However, they are not necessarily always prescribed. It very much depends on the presenting symptoms. Sometimes, a few dietary or lifestyle modifications are sufficient to promote positive results. Again, it all depends on the individual patient, the disorder and the signs and symptoms.  

The consultation fee does not include the cost of the herbs. However, any proposed herbal remedies will be discussed with the patient and only prescribed with their consent.

How much do the herbs cost?

Depending on the imbalance/disorder, you may expect a prescription of around 2-5 herbal remedies. Each prescription typically covers 3-6 weeks.

  • Choornas (powdered preparations) 50g £11.00
  • Tablets/Guggulu (pressed herbal preparations) 60 tablets £16.00
  • Arishtas (herbal tonics) 180ml £13.50    
  • Confitures (medicated jams) 100g £9.00
  • Mediicated oils 100 ml £14.50 | 180ml £23.50
  • Herbal Balms 100ml £42.50                    

My life is busy. I'm unsure how feasible it will be to change my eating and daily habits.

When devising a treatment plan, a good practitioner will always consider the individual's environment and social and lifestyle demands to ensure that it is practical and feasible. Creating a plan that would be stressful and hard work to follow would be counterproductive and a waste of time for all concerned.

That's not to say it will be a walk in the park. Challenges may crop up along the way. You may be encouraged to learn new principles and practices that might feel alien to you initially, and naturally, it may take a little time to adjust. After all, changes to our habitual way of living can not and should not happen overnight.

Patients often have the misconception that they should go into it at full throttle with all guns blazing. Taking this approach misses the true beauty and simplicity of Ayurveda. Ayurveda is not a restrictive fad diet or exercise regime that requires copious amounts of energy and discipline to obtain results. It gently nudges and supports the body back to health naturally and sustainably. A subtle shift in habits here and there is often all it takes to experience a significant and immediate effect on the mind, body and consciousness.

Trust the process and you will find that life no longer feels so overwhelming and busy!

I'm not good at sticking to diet plans and always fail at the first hurdle. 

Ayurveda is an accomodating science. Unlike some of the extreme or restrictive diet and exercise programmes popular today, Ayurveda never imposes force or punitive measures against the body.

While it recommends some guidelines to bring the body back to balance, it is flexible and more focused on finding the right balance of foods and lifestyle choices to gently steer the body back towards health rather than rigidly following a predefined set of rules. It does not evaluate anything as good or bad, just what is necessary at the time.

Will instructions be provided after the consultation?

Following the consultation, you will receive:

  • A comprehensive food sheet (where appropriate) advising all types of food you should favour, avoid or eat in moderation based on doshic imbalances and nutritional requirements.
  • A summary of the diet and lifestyle recommendations provided during the consultation.
  • A herbal remedy prescription (where necessary).
  • Recipe suggestions (as needed) to accommodate the individuals work and life commitments.
  • Continued support between sessions via email.
  • Long term support provided when dealing with chronic disease.

“Ayurveda is a system of individualised healing that treats the whole person. Modern medicine analyses statistical observations and considers that which is common amongst a hundred people as the normal value or state. Based upon that normal value, modern medicine tries to judge every individual. However, Ayurvedic medicine says that normality varies from person to person, because every individual is a unique phenomenon”.  

- Dr Vasant Lad (2007) Textbook of Ayurveda Fundamental principles


It has been so interesting and helpful to discover Ayurveda with Rachel. The guidelines and advice all make sense and gave me a sense of taking control and doing the best for my (ageing) body. It is a journey and not a quick fix but I have felt healthier and lost weight. Rachel is very knowledgeable. She listens carefully to understand lifestyle, ailments and what you want to achieve and checks whether her advice is workable for you. I really appreciate her responsiveness and willingness to engage between consultations.



I met Rachel via a recommendation. I am a menopausal lady 56 years old and was having problems with skin itching. My skin has never been an issue before. Rachel put me back on track with dietary recommendations and Ayavadic herbs. I feel so much better and my skin rashes have calmed down. Thankyou Rachel for all of your guidance and help.


I consulted Rachel concernimg a growing issue with my digestive system. I have known about Ayurvedic Medicine for over 25 years, and felt comfortable seeing Rachel. She is profèsional, charming, thorough, and effective. The new diet needed full commitment from me: it most certainly worked. Rebalancing my digestion, and learning how to better manage it was well worth the whole consultation process.


Wow, wow, wow, what a wonderful stroke of luck to meet Rachel and discover Ayurveda.

I’ve had an interest in health, diet and alternative medicines for many years, so when the opportunity to work with Rachel came along, I was so excited.  

I presented Rachel with quite a challenge, from skin issues, sleepless nights, palpitations, brain fog, dizziness, and my recent diagnosis of type 1 diabetes.

I’m so grateful to Rachel for her professional, soft approach, her patience and many hours of dedication to find the best diet plan, herbal products, topical treatments and lifestyle adjustments to suit me.  

I would say to anyone, ‘don’t suffer’ try Ayurveda, it will change your life!


I was struggling with a really painful, itchy skin condition, which made me bad-tempered and miserable. Rachel’s holistic approach started the healing process, gently restoring me to balance with an individualised programme of herbs, balms, and diet and lifestyle advice. She is a really good listener and I felt in safe hands from the start.