About Ayurveda

Sprouted in the pristine land of India some 5000 years ago, Ayurveda, the science of life and longevity, is the oldest healthcare system in the world and it combines the profound thoughts of medicine and philosophy. Since then Ayurveda has stood for the wholesome physical, mental and spiritual growth of humanity around the world. Today, it's a unique, indispensable branch of medicine, a complete naturalistic system that depends on the diagnosis of your body's humours - vata, pitta and kapha - to achieve the right balance.

Ayurveda is not just about good physical health. It is a therapy that promises holistic healthcare. The natural herbs and oils used in the therapy are of great medicinal value as is said in the Vedic literature on Ayurveda. The history of Ayurveda which can be traced back to the Vedic Ages clearly lays out instructions to maintain health as well as fighting illnesses through therapies such as massages, herbal medicines, diet control and exercise. Elimination of toxic elements from the body is the primary function of this curing remedy.

The system gets purified when the poisonous elements are removed from the body. As a result, the chances of falling ill are largely zeroed down which makes one feel tension-free. It rejuvenates the mind, body and soul.  Charaka Samhitha (Treatise on Medicine), Susrutha Samhitha (Treatise on Surgery) and Ashtanga Samgraha (Treatise on the basic principles) are the three major treatises in Ayurveda. These treatises tell us that every individual has a unique constitution. Every organ or system has an energy related to it and there has to be equilibrium between them. The balance generally gets affected when we fall ill. The objective of Ayurveda is to reestablish this equilibrium in order to maintain good health.

If that sounds like an all-encompassing definition, it is. Ayurvedic medicine is entirely holistic. Its adherents strive to create harmony between the body, mind, and spirit, maintaining that this balance prevents illness, treats acute conditions, and contributes to a long and healthy life.

Ayurveda is not a "one-size-fits-all" system. Instead, its regimens are tailored to each person's unique prakruti (Ayurvedic constitution), taking into account his or her needs for nutrition, exercise, personal hygiene, social interaction, and other lifestyle elements.

Daily routines, called dincharya, and seasonal regimens, called ritucharya, are recommended. Following these individualized plans help users of Ayurveda attain robust physical health, as well as mental and spiritual harmony.

Ayurvedic theory states that all areas of life impact one's health, so it follows that the Vedas cover a wide variety of topics, including health and healthcare techniques, astrology, spirituality, government and politics, art, and human behavior.

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Ayurvedic approach to health and healing

To maintain the health of a healthy person and cure the disease of a diseased

Preventive Medicine – Creates and maintains health and longevity of an individual by maintaining balance of a person’s prakturi (or constitution) by creating daily and periodic regimens. These health routines focus on diet and exercise, herbals, massage, meditation, and social behavior and positive relationships.

Curative Medicine – Treatments to cure the disease by one or combination of the following approaches:

  • Internal measure, including Shodhana (detoxification) and shaman (methods used to improve quality of life via palliative care).
  • External measures, including snehana (oil treatments), svedana (steam therapy using herbal steam), and use of herbal pastes.
  • Mental and spiritual therapies or daivya chikitsa
  • Herbal therapy, including astute pharmacology

Ayurvedic Specialties

Ayurvedic medicine features the following eight specialty branches.

  • Internal Medicine (Kaya-Chikitsa), which focuses on doshic, imbalance, metabolic function, and digestion.
  • Surgery (Shalya Chititsa)
  • Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat (Salakya Chikitsa)
  • Obstetrics / Gynecology (Prasuti and Stri-Rog)
  • Pediatrics (Bala Chikitsa / Kaumarbhritya)
  • Psychology and Psychiatry (Bhuta-vidya or Graha-Chikitsa), which includes spirituality
  • Toxicology (Agadha-tantra), which focuses on poisons ranging from insect bites to heavy metals and plants, and includes a medical jurisprudence role in which practitioners address cause of injury, death, and other medical ethics.
  • Rejuvenation / Geriatrics (Rasayana) and Virilification / Sexology (Vajikaran)

Basic Concepts of Ayurveda

Ayurveda has its roots in Vedic scriptures. According to Ayurveda, everything in the universe -- living or not -- is closely linked. Healing and health are achieved when your mind, body, and spirit are in harmony with the universe. Poor health and sickness are the outcome of any kind disruption in this harmony. Few things that can cause a disruption include: genetic or birth defects, injuries, climate and seasonal changes, age, emotions. `Prakriti` refers to your body's constitution. I.e., the way in which your body works to keep you healthy and your unique physical and psychological attributes combine to form a unique body structure. It`s believed that your prakriti stay the same for your entire life. However, certain thingshow you digest food and eliminate waste can influence it.

What are Tridhoshas?

With the unique concept of Tridoshas, Ayurveda provides us with a greater insight about ourselves and offers an individualized approach for prevention and management of diseases. Every person is made of a combination of five basic elements, known as panchabhuthas in Sanskrit, found in the universe: Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. These elements combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies, called doshas. They control how your body works. The three doshas are:

  • Vata dosha (space and air)
  • Pitta dosha (fire and water)
  • Kapha dosha (water and earth)

Everyone inherits a unique mix of the three doshas. One dosha is usually more dominant. Each dosha controls a different body function. It is believed that your chances of getting sick are connected to the balance of your doshas.

Vata dosha (space and air) is thought to be the most important and powerful of all three doshas. It controls very basic body functions, such as how cells divide. It also controls your:

  • Mind
  • Breathing
  • Blood flow
  • Heart function
  • Ability to get rid of body waste through the intestines

Things that can disrupt this dosha are:

  • Eating dry fruit
  • Eating too soon after a previous meal
  • Fear
  • Grief
  • Staying up too late

If vata dosha is your main life force, you are more likely to develop:

  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Heart disease
  • Nervous system disorders
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Skin problems

The pitta dosha (fire and water) controls:

  • Digestion
  • Ability to break down foods (metabolism)
  • Certain hormones linked to appetite

Things that can disrupt this dosha are:

  • Eating sour foods
  • Eating spicy foods
  • Fatigue
  • Spending too much time in the sun

If pitta dosha is your main life force, you are more likely to develop:

  • Anger and negative emotions
  • Crohn's disease
  • Heart disease
  • Heartburn a few hours after eating
  • High blood pressure
  • Infections

The Kapha dosha (water and earth) controls:

  • Muscle growth
  • Body strength and stability
  • Weight
  • Immune system

Things that can disrupt this dosha are:

  • Daytime sleeping
  • Eating after your stomach is full
  • Eating or drinking items that have too much salt or water
  • Eating too many sweet foods
  • Greed

If kapha dosha is your main life force, you are more likely to develop:

  • Asthma and other breathing disorders
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Nausea after eating
  • Obesity