What is Ayurveda?

A Brief History of Ayurveda

For thousands of years in antiquity, remains a science that is today gaining wide acceptance and popularity. It is a system of medicine with natural remedies that can treat most of the so called incurable diseases.

The science, the mystery, that is “Ayurveda” was preached and practiced in ancient times by the omniscient sages, as revealed to them in their spiritual pursuit. It evolved into a complete health-care system over many millenia. Although modern medicine has put this science in the shade, albeit temporarily. the failure of modern medicine to counter ailments without side effects has again brought this science into the limelight.

The name Ayurveda is derived from two Sanskrit words, Ayur meaning life and longevity, and Veda meaning knowledge or science. In other words Ayurveda means “the Science of Life”that teaches us to live life in a true and natural balance. It is the traditional natural healing system of India, being practiced here for over 5000 years.

The overall treatment outlook of Ayurveda is broadly classified into two:

Preventive Therapy (Swasthasya swasthya samrakshanam)

Ayurveda believes that “Prevention is better than cure”. A person who maintains his health will not be afflicted by diseases. A number of measures have been explained for this purpose.

1. Rasayana Chikitsa (Rejuvenative Therapy)
2. Ajikarana Chikitsa (Aphrodisiac)

3. Dinacharya (Daily routines to be practiced)
4. Rithucharya (Seasonal regimes to be practiced)

Curative Therapy (Athurasya vikara prasamanam)

Mainly two methods have been explained for curing the diseases.

a. Samana Chikitsa (Pacificatory therapy)

By using medicines and other measures, the imbalanced and
vitiated humors such as”Vatha”, “Pitha” and “Kapha” (Doshas)
are brought to a balanced state, thus curing the disease.

b. Sodhana Chikitsa-Panchakarma Therapy (Purificatory therapy)

The increased and vitiated doshas are expelled from the body by means of various Panchakarma
therapies. These therapies are very significant as with these treatments not only the disease is
cured but also prevent relapse.

There is no complete treatment in other systems of medicines like allopathy for diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteo-arthritis, frozen shoulder, slip disc, sciatica, cervical and lumbar spondylitis, paralysis, obesity, depression, stress related and other psycho-somatic problems, insomnia, migraine, sinusitis, asthma, piles, a number of skin diseases like psoriasis, eczema etc.

A number of procedures are available in Ayurveda namely Uzhichil, Pizhichil, Kizhi, Njavarakizhi,
Udhwarthanam, Sirodhara, Sirovasthi, Tharpanam, Vamanam, Virechanam, Vasthi, Nasyam, etc. for treating these problems.

Hari Raval