What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is the most ancient wing of medicine that co-exists with other significant branches of medicine even today and that too with the same intensity in India. The word ”Ayurveda” is a Sanskrit word comprised of two words – ”ayu” means life and ”veda” means knowledge or science. Putting it together, Ayurveda is the ”science of life”. The branch of Ayurveda medicine is known as the Indian Herbo-Mineral System. It is a science that came into practice more than 5000 years ago. However, it continues to hold a strong place in the medical field even in recent times.
Ayurveda as per mythology
Going by the Hindu mythology, lord Brahma was the first one to perceive the science of ayurveda. He then passed it to lord Indra. In the book Shurshrut Samhita, it is mentioned that Lord Dhanvantri learnt the science of ayurveda from lord Indra and then taught the same to other scholars namely Kashyap, Vashishta, Atreya, Bhardwaj, Nimi and Bhrugu. Further the scholars further passed the knowledge to their disciples and this is how ayurveda science was spread as per the Hindu mythology.
The concept of Ayurveda from expert viewpoints
“The fundamental concept of Ayurveda is to maintain health. Ayurveda does not look at the disease. It looks at the host and an individual’s vulnerability.”
”Ayurveda is a consciousness based approach to health, a spiritual medicine recognizing the phenomenal intelligence in every grain, in every seed of life and every living thing.”
Basic Principles of Ayurveda
If we talk abstract, Ayurveda is based on a very simple principle, that is to say “Every person has his/her own individual body and his/her own individual constitution of elements.” The body responds to the diseases and treatments according to this constitution
Basic Principles of Ayurveda comprise of:
- Tri Gunas (Three types of qualities)
Satva, Rajas and Tama
- Pancha Mahabhutas(Five types of elements)
Akasha (Space),Vayu (Air),Teja or Agni (Fire),Jala (Water)and Prithvi (Earth)
- Tri Dosas(Three types of body constituents)
Vata, Pitta and Kapha
- Sapta Dhatus(Seven body tissues)
Rasa (fluid) Dhatu, Rakta (blood) Dhatu, Mamsa Dhatu, Meda(fat)Dhatu, Asthi Dhatu, Majja Dhatu and Sukra Dhatu
- Trayodosa Agni(Thirteen types of digestive fires)
Jatharagni (gastric fire), Sapta Dhatvagni and Pancha Bhutagni
- Tri Malas(Three types of body wastes)
Purisa (faeces), Mutra (urine) and Sveda (sweat)
Ingredients of Ayurveda
As we understood previously, Ayurveda is the science of life. Ayurvedic medicines are very much deeply rooted into our foods and herbs. In other words, Ayurvedic medicines are prepared from natural ingredients. Simple things that we see around. For example, milk, honey, ghee, molasses, ashes, rock salts and so on. In addition to this, herbs are very essential part of ayurvedic medicines.
In ancient India, the rishis used herbs for medicinal purpose. Herbs were mixed with herbs and used for curing a number of diseases. A unique mixture was created from these herbs and doses were recommended accordingly.
Benefits of Ayurvedic Herbs
– helps in strengthening the immune system
– helps in cleansing the body from within
– eradicates all toxic imbalances from the body
– gives natural resistance to diseases
– cures diseases in a natural way
– does not create any side effects
– kills the host of the disease rather than the disease itself
Let us have a look at some examples of herbs which are helpful in curing some common diseases.
|No.||Name of the herbs||Helpful in curing the diseases|
|1||ashwagandha||Arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, etc.|
|2||basil||Eye disorders, stress, asthma, diabetes, etc.|
|3||cardamom||Indigestion, naysea, vomiting, kidney stones, stomach pain, etc.|
|4||ginger||Arthritis, diabetes, motion sickness, cough and cold, bronchitis etc.|
|5||guggul||Weight loss, siatica, paralysis, skin diseases, hyperacidity, leprosy etc.|
|6||Aloe vera||Dermatitis, skin disorders, jaundice, amenorrhoea, piles, ulcer, blisters, conjunctivitis, warts, etc.|
|7||Marigold||Ulcers, menstrual problems, eye infection, inflammation, sprains, wounds, fever, constipation, vericose vein etc.|
|8||Pudina||Headache, cough, sore throat, vomiting, dizziness, pain in joints and muscles etc.|
|9||sandalwood||Dysentery, fever, headache, pimples, prickly heat etc.|
|10||shankhpushpi||Brain, memory loss, hypertension, anxiety, stress, cholesterol, weight gain etc.|
Over and above the herbs enlisted here, there are thousand other types of herbs which are prescribed as medicine. These herbs are mixed with other herbs or substances and prescribed as medicine in ayurveda.
Ayurveda and Science
It has always been a question of debate when we perceive something scientifically and otherwise. Medical science has given many branches among which ayurveda holds a significant position even in the recent times. Not only this, the ayurvedic science has achieved many remarkable milestones in the field of medicine and created miracles to the peak.
It is also considered as a science, the science of health or as said earlier, the science of life. Along with allopathy, naturopathy, homeopathy and many more medical branches, science has accepted ayurveda with open arms. The concept of ayurveda is linked with the ancient science of health and it is for this reason that ayurveda has attained acceptance at large.
Ayurveda for all
The most distinctive factor of Ayurveda is that it is meant for all – the diseased one and the non-diseased one. It is just like doing meditation or having healthy eating habits. In other words, Ayurveda is intended to keep a person healthy overall and not only curing him/her from a particular disease. For example, eating a tulsi leaf everyday keeps one immune to common cold and cough during the seasonal changes. Similarly, applying aloe vera on face everyday keeps your skin healthy and clean. If we look at the diseased ones, special herbs are used for joint pains, inflammation, etc. in the different parts of the body. Thus, it can be concluded clearly that ayurveda is meant for all. It increases the healthiness of a person who is not suffering from any disease. And it cures it if a person is suffering from the same.
In the present times, it has even proved its worth in curing a stubborn disease like cancer to an extent. To conclude, Ayurveda is for living a healthy life even before the disease actually attacks one’s body and it is useful even after the disease has occurred. Thus, ayurvedic medicines are both, prevention as well as cure.
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