The Art and Science of vibrant health
Ayurveda is an age old Indian system of medicine. Ayurvedic medicines originated in India and have been used from our ancient times. In second millennium BC, Ayurveda was found in the Rigveda and the Atharveda. The main goal of Ayurveda is prevention as well as promotion of the body’s own capacity for maintenance and balance.
Ayurveda speaks of the elementary concepts of –
- Contact with nature
- We are what we eat
Ayurvedic medicines aim to integrate and balance the body, mind and spirit. This balance is believed to lead to happiness and health and to help prevent illness. The term Ayurveda combines the Sanskrit words ayur (life) and Veda (Science or knowledge). Thus, Ayurveda means the science of life. In Ayurvedic medicine, health is defined as the soundness of sarira (body), manas (mind) and atman (self). Each of these must be nurtured if an individual is to have good health.
Definition of Health
Definition of Health by WHO
- Health is state of Physical, Mental, Social, Spiritual well being and not merely a state free from disease.
Definition of Health by Ayurveda
- Ayurveda has also defined health as equilibrium of the three biological units (Doshas) and body tissues (Dhathus) and a state of pleasure or happiness of the soul, sense and the mind and this leads to the social and spiritual well being of an individual.
This is very much in conformity with the above definition of health as stated by WHO. Hence the Ayurvedic Treatment is relevant in modern time as well.
Objective of Ayurveda:-
- To maintain and promote positive health and cure the disease, through Medicine, dietary restriction and regulated life style.
Branches of ayurveda
There are 8 Branches (ASHTANGA AYURVEDA) of Ayurveda-
- Kayachikitsa (internal medicine)
- Shalakya – tantra (the science of special organ diseases e.g. ear, nose, throat etc.)
- Shalya tantra (surgery)
- Agad tantra (toxicology)
- Bhuta Vidya (psychiatry)
- Kaumarbhrutya (pediatrics, gynae, obstetrics)
- Rasayana (rejuvenation)
- Vajikarna (pleasure of sex act)
Basic Principles of Ayurveda
- According to Ayurveda body is composed of DHOSHAS, DHATUS, AND MALAS.
- Vata, pitta and kapha are three doshas and are known as Tridoshas.
- Tridosha theory is the back bone of ayurveda. The diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of every disease are based on Tridosha concept.
- In fact, vata, pitta and kapha are analogus to wind, fire and water of the natural world. Body in essence is the miniature copy of the universe (i.e. nature). Hence, Ayurvedic principles of treatment are based on natural laws.
- Vata: – Responsible for all voluntary and involuntary movements in the human body.
- Pitta: – Pitta is responsible for all digestive and metabolic activities.
- Kafa: – kafa provides the static energy for holding body tissues together. It also provides lubricants at the various points of friction.
Dhatus are seven in number and are structural units of the body.
- RASA – lymph, serum
- RAKTA – blood cells
- MANSA – flesh, muscles
- MEDA – adipose tissue
- ASTHI – bone, cartilage
- MAJJA – bone marrow
- SHUKRA – responsible for reproduction (sperms & ova)
- Excretory products of body eg. Faeces, urine, sweat etc.
- IMBALANCE OF DOSHAS IS KNOWN AS DISEASE AND BALANCE OF DOSHAS IS KNOWN AS HEALTH.
- One whose doshas, body and excretory functions are harmonious and whose self, mind and senses are cheerful is said to be healthy.
- To attain the balanced state of doshas is the ultimate aim of treatment.
- It is said that, medicine when well administered, becomes an equalizer of increased and diminished elements at the same time.
- It brings down the excessive element and increases the deficient one.
Types of medicine
- ‘ Shodhana and Shamana’ are the two types of medicines.
- Shodhna means purification of the body through Vamana (induced vomitting), Virechna (purgation), Basti (enema), Shiro- Virechna (nasal medication) and Rakta-mokshna (blood letting).
- It is called ‘Panch-Karma’ or five fold line of treatment.
- Shamana means subsidence of disease. In Shamana treatment, doshas are not removed outside the body as is done in Shodhna treatment.
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