Ayurveda: the science of life

About ayurveda

          Ayurveda 'the Science of Life' is a holistic system of medicine from India, which evolved from Brahma sages of Ancient India some 3000-5000 years ago. The principles and philosophy of Ayurveda view man as a complex whole, including our external and internal environments. The principles are derived from universal laws of nature that have changed little through time. With subjective, objective, and intuitive approaches to gaining knowledge, incorporated with a deep understanding of the unseen intelligence of the universe. The practices of Ayurveda have withstood the test of time.

        The word Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that evolves from combination of two words,
"Ayuh" meaning life and "veda" meaning knowledge.

              Ayurveda defines life 'Ayuh' as the intelligent coordination of our four parts, the soul,the mind, the senses, and the body, with the totality of nature and the cosmos.Health is not just a state of the body. We interact with the seasons, planetary changes of the earth, and moon, other planets, as well as orbiting relationships within our lives, our loved ones and friends, co-workers etc. We affect and are affected by every other animate and inanimate thing in existence. Bringing all of this into balance is the key to living healthy.
             Ayurvedic Medicine is the world's oldest comprehensive health care system and is indigenous to India where it is widely practiced. "This ancient art of healing asserts that the science, philosophy and spirituality are all necessary aspects of healthy living."

Thus Ayurveda is not only a comprehensive medical system but also a way of living and the very concept of "mind, body and spirit" originates from Ayurveda.

It is now one of the most recognized and widely practiced disciplines of alternative medicine in the world.

         Some of the popular practices of Ayurveda are Meditation, Yoga, chanting, breathing exercises, Panchakarma and Herbs.
        Ayurvedic Definition of Health Adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO)

Sam dosha, samagni, samdhatu malakriyah
Prasannatma, indriyas manah swath abhidayate.
- Sushruta stru 24/41

       Health is in balance when all three doshas (bioenergy) and agni (metabolic process) are in balance, and excretions are in proper order. When atman (soul), senses, manah (intellect) are in harmony with internal peace, the svastha (optimal health) is achieved.

     Ayurveda is different from all other approaches to health care in the following way:
      It emphasize on treating the person as a whole rather than treating his symptoms or disease alone. Therefore, it is focused on the rectification of the imbalances created or occurred in the body and try to eradicate the cause.
       It recommends different regimens for different types of people as it recognizes the unique constitutional differences of all individuals Although two people might be suffering from the same disease but their treatment would vary depending on their unique constitution.
The ultimate aim of Ayurveda is to create a state of perfect health for the individual.

The 8 Branches of Ayurveda:
1. Kayachikitsa: General Medicine
2. Balachikitsa: Paediatrics
3. Shalya Chikitsa: Surgery
4. Shalakya Chikitsa: Eye Diseases, ENT and Cephalic Diseases
5. Graha Chikitsa: Psychiatry
6. Agada Tantra: Toxicology
7. Rasayana: Rejuvenation Therapy
8. Vajeekarana: Aphrodisiac treatment

             Besides these 8 branches, Ayurveda also brings diseases affecting plants and animals into its ambit of consideration.
- Vrukshayurvedam: Agriculture
- Mrugayurvedam: Veterinary Science