Thursday, 18 July 2013

About Ayurveda

“Ayurveda can be defined as a system, which uses the inherent principles of nature, to help maintain health in a person by keeping the individual's body, mind and spirit in perfect equilibrium with nature.”

What is the Meaning of Ayurveda?:

The word Ayurveda originated from the words “ayus” meaning life and “Veda” meaning knowledge or science. Thus the term “ayurveda” means ‘the knowledge of life or the science of life. According to the ancient Ayurvedic scholar Charaka, "ayu" comprises the mind, body, senses and the soul.

What is the Origin of Ayurveda?

Ayurveda originated in India years ago and is regarded as the oldest form of health care. The Hindu scripture “Vedas” which is considered the ancient book of wisdom has mentioned about the fundamentals of Ayurveda. The Rig Veda, which was written over 6,000 years ago, contains a series of prescriptions that can help humans overcome various ailments.

Ayurveda assumes that the universe is made up of five elements viz. air, fire, water, earth and ether. These elements are represented in humans by three "doshas", or energies: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The body loses balance when any of the doshas accumulate in the body beyond the desirable limit. Thus our health depends on the right balancing of these three doshas (tridoshas). Ayurveda has specific lifestyle and a nutritional guideline that helps individuals live happily.

The three doshas, or bio-energies are:

  • Vata pertains to air and ether elements. This energy is generally seen as the force, which directs nerve impulses, circulation, respiration, and elimination.
  • ·
  • Pitta pertains to fire and water elements. This dosha governs metabolism, e.g., the transformation of foods into nutrients. Pitta is also responsible for metabolism in the organ and tissue systems.
  • ·
  • Kapha pertains to water and earth elements. Kapha is responsible for growth and protection. The mucousal lining of the stomach, and the cerebral-spinal fluid that protects the brain and spinal column are examples of kapha.
  • Sushrut Samhita, one of the primary works on Ayurveda, describes a health person as whose doshas are in balance, body and spirit are cheerful, appetite is good, all tissues of the body and natural urges are functioning properly are considered a healthy person.
The 'Panchakarma' or the Therapy of Purification?:

Panchakarma is recommended to purge the unwanted toxins in the body. This fivefold purification therapy is a classical form of treatment in ayurveda. These specialized procedures consist of the following:
  • Therapeutic vomiting or emesis (Vaman)
  • Purgation (Virechan)
  • Enema (Basti)
  • Elimination of toxins through the nose (Nasya)
  • Bloodletting or detoxification of the blood (Rakta moksha