Ayurveda in Mauritius: Our top choices

Here is our selection of the best ayurveda retreats, ayurveda holidays and ayurveda teacher trainings in Mauritius

Mauritius is an island nation situated in the Indian Ocean about 2,000km off the south-east African coast. It is notorious for its mountainous landscape with rainforests, waterfalls, hiking trails and exquisite wildlife. It is also famous for its crystal clear blue waters for diving and snorkeling. The climate here is fairly constant all year round. There are two main seasons: hot (November to April), which shows a warmer and humid summer and cool (May to October), which exhibits a cooler and drier winter. May marks the beginning of winter in Mauritius and October is one of the drier months with plenty of sunshine. The months of December to May are considered the best months to visit Mauritius as the weather is mild and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 18 to 24 degrees Celsius.

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Mauritius was long uninhabited until the Dutch arrived and tried to take over rule between 1598-1710 and called it Mauritius after the governor Maurice of Nassau. After losing their attempts to over run the island, they then abandoned it and left it to pirates. In 1721, the French East India Company occupied the island and called it Ile de France. Forty years later the French Crown took over administration, bringing with them African slaves to work on sugar plantations - the main industry. In 1810, the British captured the island, but British sovereignty was confirmed by the Treaty of Paris. The name Mauritius was restored, however, customs, laws and language remained French. Slavery ended in 1835, but slaves were replaced by Indian labourers and by the time this immigration ended, almost half a million Indian labourers had come from India to work on sugar plantations. People of Indian origin now amount to over 70% of the population (I.), which has a strong influence on modern Mauritian culture.

Mauritius promotes and celebrates Indian culture and festivals due to this strong influence from people of Indian origin dating back to the relocation of Indian labourers to Mauritius. The knowledge of Ayurveda made its way to Mauritius with the Indian labourers around the 19th century, subsequently integrating itself into the culture. Currently, there are over forty Ayurvedic spas, massage centres, medical centres, wellness centres, doctors and pharmaceutical manufacturers dotted around the island. There are also many Ayurvedic medicine dispensaries on the island. For a small island of
2,040 km², Ayurvedic centres are plenty. This indicates that this practice is deep within their tradition and culture. The Government also sponsors students to travel and study traditional Ayurveda in India, to help maintain the proper practice and application of Ayurvedic therapies.

The Mauritian government established Mahatma Ghandi Ayurveda Charitable Hospital to offer free Ayurvedic services (as medical care is free in Mauritius) and has four service centres situated around the island. It is running successfully with Government recognition. The main services include daily consultations, dispensing medicine, massage therapy, oil massage, steam bath, shirodhara, nasya, netra basti, facial massage, yoga, meditation and advice for specific diseases upon request.

Ayurvedic medicine is traditionally used by Mauritians and its practice is considered legal as per Mauritian law. A significant percentage of the Mauritian population has adopted the Ayurvedic system as a first-line healthcare system. Mauritian President, Rajkeswar Purryag, said that Ayurveda is “emerging as an alternative medical treatment and will exist side by side with modern medicine” (II.).

In the study (Elaheebocus, N., Mahomoodally, F., (2017)) (III.), “Ayurvedic medicine in Mauritius: Profile of Ayurvedic outlet, use, sale, distribution, regulation and importation”, 16 different Ayurvedic outlets were investigated. Out of the 16 outlets; 6 outlets dispensed Ayurvedic Medicine (AM) on prescription-only basis after consultation with registered Ayurvedic Practitioner; 7 outlets offered AM both on prescription and over the counter; remaining 3 outlets, where no Ayurvedic Practitioner was employed, dispensed AM over the counter most of the time. Some of these outlets do not have a legal framework present to regulate the sale of Ayurvedic medicines. However, there is a regulatory body who requires Ayurvedic practitioners to be registered in order to practice in Mauritius.

References
I. India. High Level Committee on the Indian Diaspora (2001). Report of the High Level Committee on the Indian Diaspora. New Delhi: Indian Council of World Affairs. pp. xvi. Available online at: [https://www.mea.gov.in/images/pdf/1-executive-summary.pdf].

II. No mentioned author, (2014). ‘Ayurveda emerging as alternative medical
treatment: Rajkeswar Purryag, Mauritius President’. The Economic Times.
[online]. Available at: https://m.economictimes.com/industry/healthcare/biotech/healthcare/Ayurveda-emerging-as-alternative-medical-treatment-Rajkeswar-Purryag-Mauritius-President/articleshow/30745528.cms?from=desktop.
[Accessed 14/09/2020].

III. Elaheebocus, N., Mahomoodally, F.,(2017). ‘Ayurvedic medicine in Mauritius: Profile of Ayurvedic outlet, use, sale, distribution, regulation and importation’,Journal of Ethnopharmacology. Volume 197, pp. 195-210. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874116304548. [Accessed 14/09/2020].

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Curated with love and care

  1. Shanti Maurice Resort & Spa

    Chemin Grenier, Mauritius Shanti Maurice Resort & Spa

    • Panchakarma (Detox) cure
    • Massages/rejuvenation/wellness
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