What is Ayurveda
Ayurveda is an ancient knowledge cultivated by the sages of India. It has been developed from various treatises and manuscripts and has made its way to becoming one of the ancient most but modern health care techniques. ‘Ayur’ means life and ‘Veda’ means science. Thus, the term ‘Ayurveda’ means ‘science of life’. The theories and notions of Ayurveda have been practiced for the past 5000 years. It recommends methods for appropriate living and longevity. It includes instructions to maintain good health as well as dealing with illness through yoga, treatments, herbal medicines, correct diet, and lifestyle changes.
List of Ayurvedic Treatments
The Ayurvedic Treatment Philosophy
According to Ayurveda, it is possible for you to live a long and healthy life through intelligent co-ordination of your body (sharira), mind (mana), senses (indriya), and soul (Atma).
Ayurvedic science revolves around the five elements (panchmahabhoot) i.e. earth (Prithvi), water (Jal), fire (Agni), air (Vayu), ether (Aakash) that goes into the making of the three physical energies – Vata, Pitta, Kapha, and the three mental energies – Satwa, Rajas, and Tamas which in turn determines the constitution (Prakriti). Ayurveda thus offers a unique blend of science and philosophy that balances the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual components necessary for holistic health.
Science of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is not just an Ancient Indian Medical system, but a complete guide to healthy living. It has been around for several thousands of years and has stood through the test of time. Ayurvedic physicians were doing surgeries and other complex medical procedures long back– while in modern science it’s a very recent phenomenon. The Vedic philosophy believes that the entire universe is one – whether it is human beings, animals, plans, or non-animated objects. Hence, there is interdependence on each other. Ayurveda believes in creating the harmony of the human body-mind-soul with the surrounding and nature. Hence, the focus of Ayurveda extends far beyond healing physical ailments but to mental and spiritual realms of helping a person attain the highest self-realization.
Body types as per Ayurveda
Ayurveda believes that each individual has his own unique body constitution like the thumbprint. It is a blend of three body types that include mental, physical, and emotional aspects. These are known as ‘doshas’ in Ayurvedic scriptures. These Doshas are further classified as Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
- Vata represents space and air. It governs all physiological movements like breathing, talking, circulation, assimilation of food, urination, menstruation, etc. People who possess this dosha have fast body movement and quick thought process. Vata dosha gives force to the other two Doshas.
- Pitta represents fire and water. It is the biological energy that functions through organic acids, hormones, enzymes, and bile. Physiologically, Pitta controls aggression, joy, willpower, and mental perception.
- Kapha represents water and earth. An individual dominated by this dosha is ruled by emotions like love, greed, patience, forgiveness, and attachment. It is this dosha that provides the body its physical form and structure.
Ayurvedic herbs are extracted from different parts of the plant – leaves, nuts, seeds, bark, roots, and so on. There are thousands of such herbs and their combinations that are available as medicines. The method of processing & extraction also varies greatly – while some are extracted by boiling in water, some are used to make herbal wines, and others are used directly for ingestion. A combination of herbs that are described in Ayurvedic scriptures is called “classical medicines” while those which have been formulated by pharmaceutical companies are called “proprietary medicines”. It is advisable to consult an Ayurvedic Doctor before starting any medication.
7 Advantages of Ayurveda
There are several advantages of Ayurveda over other available systems of medicine. We are highlighting seven such benefits below –
- Ayurveda is the science of life – it is not meant just for curing diseases but also for living a healthy life
- It has been in existence for several thousand years and the philosophy has remained unchanged, unlike modern medicine, where the fundamental premise changes every few years, or other alternative systems of medicines, which have not been around for a long period of time
- It heals holistically and does not cure only the symptom
- It recommends correct food habits & lifestyle as per the Prakriti of a person
- The medicines used in Ayurveda are natural and hence have minimal to no side effects
- It is not very expensive
- Ayurveda helps build immunity, lower stress & fight other lifestyle ailments, for which there are no solution available in many other forms of medication
Ayurvedic diet is prescribed as per the Prakriti (body constitution) and vikruti (imbalance in the body) of a person. Hence, Ayurvedic diet recommendations vary from person to person. Some examples of the Ayurvedic diet are given below
Food to Have: Favour foods that are warm, heavy, and oily.
Food to Avoid: Cold, dry, spicy, bitter, astringent, etc
Food to Have Foods that are cool, refreshing, and liquid. Vegetables and fresh organic fruits.
Food to Avoid: Spicy, salty or sour foods.
Food to Have: Foods that are spicy, bitter, and astringent.
Food to Avoid: Sweet, salty, and sour.
5 Advantages of Ayurveda Over Modern Medicine
Ayurvedic treatment is used by approximately 80% of people in India. Recently the western countries have also started accepting alternative or natural therapies such as Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Yoga, and Meditation.
What is the Basic principle of Ayurvedic Therapies?
Ayurvedic treatments are holistic in nature. This means Ayurveda considers humans as a part of the environment and believes that true health can be achieved through a holistic approach that targets physical, mental, and social well-being.
The success and acceptance of Ayurvedic treatments lies in its basic principles,
The five elements: All living and non‑living things, in this universe are made up of five basic elements and therefore every substance in nature has the potential to be a medicine.
The Tridosha: The Ayurveda works by the concept of tridosha (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) which are actually the physiobiological properties. Any imbalance caused in tridoshas can lead to disease and thus a balanced state has been considered as a basic target for therapeutics in Ayurveda.
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दोषा एव हि सर्वेषां रोगाणामेककारणम्।
Means – The philosophy behind Ayurveda is that all disease is caused by an imbalance of energy in the body.
Renowned Consulting Ayurveda Panchakarma Physician, Dermatologist & Sexologist: Dr. Shivram Sinwar
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