“Life science” is what Ayurveda means in Sanskrit. It is derived from the two words ‘Ayu’ meaning life and ‘Veda’ meaning knowledge or science. Ayurveda is not just a preventive health care system; it is a way of life that found its origins in ancient India 5,000 years ago.
According to this system, health is determined by three biological principles, called ‘Doshas’. The three ‘Doshas’ are Vata, Pitta and Kapha, each controlling movement, metabolism and structure.
The body, mind and spirit is free of disease when the ‘Doshas’ are in equilibrium. Disease strikes when there is an imbalance or disequilibrium in even one of these ‘Doshas’. Balance is the key. Improper diet, pollution, unhealthy habits are just some of the reasons that lead to an imbalance.
Ayurveda emphasizes the use of mind, body and spirit to prevent and fight diseases. Thus it strives to restore the innate harmony of the individual. The main thrust of Ayurveda is to synchronize and coordinate the various bodily functions by identifying the imbalance in the body. The underlying principle is that if the roots are watered well, the plant will flourish. Sleep, diet, internal cleansing and lifestyle are given as much or perhaps more importance than herbs and potions.
Ayurveda places a lot of importance on learning. In this method, treatment is based on the physician’s awareness of the world. Insights are gained by seeing, smelling, tasting and listening. Ayurveda seeks to restore a person’s health by bringing him into equilibrium with his true self. Thus the aims of Ayurveda are:
* To maintain the health of healthy people
* To cure diseases of ill people
Ayurveda is rightly enjoying widespread resurgence all over the world. With healthcare becoming exorbitant and fraught with risks, health-conscious individuals are taking more responsibility for their own health and well-being. People have started realizing that alternative holistic health systems like Ayurveda will help them lead a healthy life and prevent diseases even before they occur.
Ayurveda has offered an interesting theory of disease. Effective digestion is crucial to health, and any problems in the digestive system causes toxins to build up within the body and clog the channels in the body. This weakens the physiology and creates the right conditions for disease and infection. Rejuvenation is possible only through cleansing programs like Panchkarma. These programs are designed to flush toxins from the body.
Ayurveda depends a lot on herbs, roots, grass and other natural products. Ayurveda also pioneered the science of herbal combination – a happy blending of a variety of herbs to produce a medication that offers the dual benefits of synergy and balance. Sometimes, an Ayurvedic formulation may contain over twenty or more spices and herbs. The combination of primary herbs, balancing herbs and supporting herbs expedite the healing process.
The ayurvedic approach is rising in popularity because it is comprehensive and gentle. Instant cures through pill-popping are foreign to Ayurveda. Patience and persistence pays because Ayurveda seeks to correct the source of the problem. For those who can commit themselves to the effort Ayurveda offers effective, cumulative health benefits and can lead to a happy, healthy and joyful life.