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Understanding Ayurveda

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Knowledge of life. Dive into the depths of "Understanding Ayurveda".

AyurvedaAyur-Veda is a Sanskrit word, Ayu defines the span of life and Veda means Knowledge or Science. Ayur-Veda is a section of the Atharva-Veda. The Vedic scholars ("Rishis") wrote the scripts in Sanskrit and this Veda was practiced through generations. The root of Ayur-Veda is more that 5000 years old, and during this time span, the section of Veda has aged and enriched in a direction, where this Veda has gained parallel status to our modern medicine. These two disciplines fall back to each other to get the maximum benefits of the both schools. Ayur-Veda while considering the body symptoms, further blends with some environmental and cosmic theology. It covers wholeness of life, the on manifest and the manifest aspect of it.

Ayur-Veda a way of living
Ayurveda is the knowledge of life and tells us how to live a healthy life. The Great Ayurveda physician says “The mind, soul and body form the tree pillars, on which not only a human being’s existence rests, but also that of the world”. Sushruta, the first surgeon of the world has given a unique definition of health. He says “Balance Dosha , healthy Agni, a good state of tissues and their metabolic end-products lead to a balance state of the senses, mind and spirit, all to which lead to health” These quotation’s emphasizes the role of mental health in maintaining physical health. Today, we agree that there is an intimate correlation between the mind and the body. Within the frame work of psycho-neuro-immunology, we can re-interpret the ancient stanzas (hymns) of Ayurveda and contribute new knowledge to the science of medicine.

The Basic Principles of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is based on the premise that the universe is made up of five elements: air, fire, water, earth and ether. These elements are represented in humans by three "doshas", or energies: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. When any of the doshas accumulate in the body beyond the desirable limit, the body loses its balance.

Ether Air Fire Water Earth
Pancha Mahabhuta (water, earth, air, akash (ether) & fire)

Every individual has a distinct balance, and our health and well-being depend on getting a right balance of the three doshas ("tridoshas"). Ayurveda suggests specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines to help individuals reduce the excess dosha. A healthy person, as defined in Sushrut Samhita, one of the primary works on Ayurveda, is "he whose doshas are in balance, appetite is good, all tissues of the body and all natural urges are functioning properly, and whose mind, body and spirit are cheerful..."

What is 'Tridosha' or the Theory of Bio-energies?
The three doshas, or bio-energies found in our body are:

  • Vata pertains to air and ether elements. This energy is generally seen as the force, which directs nerve impulses, circulation, respiration, and elimination.
  • Kapha pertains to water and earth elements. Kapha is responsible for growth and protection. The mucosal lining of the stomach, and the cerebral-spinal fluid that protects the brain and spinal column are examples of kapha.
  • 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.

What is 'Panchakarma' or the Therapy of Purification?
If toxins in the body are abundant, then a cleansing process known as panchakarma is recommended to purge these unwanted toxins. 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)