Ayurveda is the most ancient and traditional system of medicine in India. The Ayurvedic system of medication is based on many centuries of experience in medical practice handed down through generations. Ayurvedic medicine originated in the early civilizations of India some 3,000-5,000 years ago making Ayurvedic medicine the oldest surviving healing system in the world.
According to The word Ayurveda is formed by the combination of two words - "Ayu" meaning life, and "Veda" meaning knowledge. Ayurveda is regarded as "The Science of Life" and the practice involves the care of physical, mental and spiritual health of human beings.
Life according to Ayurveda is a combination of senses, mind, body and soul. Ayurveda is not only limited to body or physical symptoms but also gives a comprehensive knowledge bout spiritual, mental and social health. Thus ayurveda is a qualitative, holistic science of health and longevity, a philosophy and system of healing the whole person, body and mind.
The real meaning of "Ayu" or life according to the fundamental principles of ayurveda is Sharirendriya sattwa atma samyogo ayuhu, goes one verse. Sharir means physical body; indriya means senses. Sattwa refers to the combination of mind and heart--overall psychological strength, and atma means soul or spirit. When all of these--body, senses, heart, mind and spirit--are in proper balance and function in a harmonious, coordinated manner that is true life--"the living body."
"Veda" means science, not a science that changes its theories and its findings every few years but ageless, eternal knowledge built on siddhantas, fundamental unchanging principles. Veda refers to guided knowledge: it is not just theory, but also a roadmap for how to derive practical benefit from the knowledge.
The two principle objectives of Ayurveda are:
- To prolong life and promote perfect health
- To eradicate the disease and dysfunction of the body.
Another goal of ayurveda is to achieve "Nirvana" or liberation from all kinds of "Wants". This is primarily achieved through good health, which is regarded as the supreme foundation of life.
According to Ayurveda, all matter is thought to he composed of five basic elements known as the Panchamahabhuthas - Earth (Prithvi), Water (Jala), Fire (Tejas), Wind (Vayu) and Space (Akasha).These elements interact and exists in combination, in which one or more elements dominate. The human body is composed of derivatives of these five basic elements, in the form of doshas, tissues (dhatus) and waste products (malas). The Panchmahabhutas therefore serve as the foundation of all diagnosis and treatment modalities in Ayurveda.
|Basic Function||Governs bodily functions |
concerned with movement.
|Governs bodily functions concerned with heat,|
metabolism, and energy production
|Governs bodily functions concerned with physical structure, and fluid balance.|
|Qualities||Moving quick, light , cold, minutes, rough dry, leads the order doshas.||Hot, sharp, light, acidic, slightly, oily.||Heavy, oily, slow, cold, steady, solid, dull.|
|Results of Balance||Mental alertness Proper formation of body tissues Normal alimentation Strong immunity Sound sleep Sense of exhilaration||Normal heat and thirst mechanism Strong digestion Sharp intellect Lustrous complexion contentment||Muscular strength Strong immunity Affection, enerosity ,courage, dignity Healthy, Normal, Joints Vitality and stamina Stability of mind|
|Results of Imbalance||Dry or Rough Skin Constipation Common fatigue ( non-specific cause ) Tension headaches Underweight Insomnia Intolerance of cold Anxiety, worry||Rashes, skin inflammations Heartburn Premature graying, baldness Hostility, irritability Visual problems Excessive body heat||Oily skin Sinus congestion Obesity Slow digestion Nasal allergies Lethargy, dullness|
Ayurveda has eight specialized branches:
- Internal medicine.
- Management of diseases of Eye & ENT.
- Psycho-therapy including Seizures by evil spirits.
- Science of aphrodisiacs.