In the United States, Ayurveda is considered a ‘complementary health approach’ by the National Institute of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).

Ayurveda is not currently licensed in any of the 50 states. However the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA) is working on changing that. NAMA represents the Ayurvedic profession in the USA.

To find out where licensure of Ayurveda stands in the USA, we reached out to NAMA president Gwen Nagano who directed us to Standards Committee Chair Hilary Garivaltis.

Here’s her reply.

Is Ayurveda A Licensed Profession?

Ayurveda is not currently licensed in any of the 50 states.

This is a state by state process. The National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA) has been working on establishing the profession in such a way that we will be able to apply for licensure in any of the states.

Licensure is a big process. The profession needs to establish its own standards first of all and set the Scope of Practice, competency guidelines to follow and finally a National credentialing exam.

It has taken NAMA over 10 years to get the first two pieces done and we are currently in the process of creating a National Exam.

Most likely California will be the first state to approach its legislature in the effort to get Ayurveda licensed. The California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine is working toward that goal and NAMA is in support of their efforts.

There are many states that have passed Health Freedom or Safe Harbor laws that allow practitioners of unlicensed professions such as Ayurveda, Herbalists, Aromatherapists, Yoga Therapists, Homeopaths to name a few to practice within the law and not be prosecuted unfairly.

There are currently 8 states that provide this law and more that are working on legislation right now. This is a good option for Ayurveda while we work toward licensure.

Hilary Garivaltis
Standards Committee Chair, National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA)

Photo: Logan Adermatt,