AYURVEDA


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Origin

Ayurveda is an intricate system of healing that originated in India Thousands of years ago. We can find historical evidence of Ayurveda in the ancient books of wisdom known as the Vedas. In the Rig Veda, over 60 preparations were mentioned that could be used to assist an individual in overcoming various ailments.

The Rig Veda was written over 6,000 years ago, but really Ayurveda has been around even longer than that. What we see is that Ayurveda is more than just a medical system. It is a Science of Life. We are all part and parcel of nature. Just as the animals and plants live in harmony with nature and utilize the Laws of Nature to create health and balance within their beings we too adhere to these very same principles. Therefore, it is fair to say that Ayurveda is a system that helps maintain health in a person by using the inherent principles of nature to bring the individual backs into equilibrium with their true self. In essence Ayurveda has been in existence since the beginning of time because we have always been governed by nature's laws.

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Meaning

Ayurveda is made up of two Sanskrit words " Ayu " which means life and " Veda" which means the knowledge of. To know about life is Ayurveda. However, to fully comprehend the vast scope of Ayurveda let us first define "Ayu" or life. According to the ancientAyurvedic scholar Charka, "Ayu" is comprised of four essential parts. The combination of mind, body, senses and the soul

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Mind, Body And Senses

We tend to identify most with our physical bodies; yet in actuality there is more to us then what meets the eye. We can see that underlying our physical structure is the mind, which not only controls our thought processes but helps assist us in carrying out day-to-day activities such as respiration, circulation, digestion and elimination. The mind and the body work in conjunction with one another to regulate our physiology. In order for the mind to act appropriately to assist the physical body, we must use our senses as information gatherers. We can think of the mind as a computer and the senses as the data which gets entered into the computer. Smell and taste are two important senses at aid in the digestive process. When the mind registers that a particular food is entering the gastrointestinal tract, it directs the body to act accordingly by releasing various digestive enzymes. However, if we overindulge the taste buds with too much of a certain taste, such as sweet, we may find that the ability of the mind to perceive the sweet taste is impairedand thereby the body becomes challenged in its ability to process sweet foods. Maintaining the clarity of our senses is an essential part in allowing the mind and body to integrate their functions and help in keeping us healthy and happy individuals.

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Soul

Ayurveda also sees that before we exist in physical form with the help of the mind and senses that we exist in a more subtle form known as the soul. The ancient seers of India believed that we were comprised of a certain energetic essence that precluded the inhabitance of our physical entity. In fact, they hypothesized that we may indeed occupy many physical bodies throughout the course of time but that our underlying self or soul remains unchanged. What we see to help illustrate this concept is what transpires at the time of death. When the individual nears the time to leave the physical body, many of his/her desires will cease to be present. As the soul no longer identifies with the body, the desire to eat food or indulge in a particular activity that used to be a great source of satisfaction for that person drops by the wayside. In fact, many individuals have been documented to experience the sensation of being "out of their bodies."These are just a few examples of how we are made up of these four components that we call life.

Principles

Now that we have a better understanding of what comprises life, let's look at some of the principles of Ayurveda and how they might affect us.In Ayurveda we view a person as a unique individual made up of five primary elements. The elements are ether (space), air, fire, water, and earth. Just as in nature, we too have these five elements in us. When any of these elements are present in the environment, they will in turn have an influence on us. The foods we eat and the weather are just two examples of the presence of these elements. While we are a composite of these five primary elements, certain elements are seen to have an ability to combine to create various physiological functions. Ether and air combine to form what is known in Ayurveda as the Vata dosha. Vata governs the principle of movement and therefore can be seen as the force which directs nerve impulses, circulation, respiration, and elimination. Fire and water are the elements that combine to form the Pitta dosha. The Pitta dosha is the process of transformation or metabolism. The transformation of foods into nutrients that our bodies can assimilate is an example of a pitta function. Pitta is also responsible for metabolism in the organ and tissue systems as well as cellular metabolism. Finally, it is predominantly the water and earth elements which combine to form the Kapha dosha. Kapha is what is responsible for growth, adding structure unit by unit. Another function of the Kapha dosha is to offer protection. Cerebral-spinal fluid protects the brain and spinal column and is a type of Kapha found in the body. The mucosal lining of the stomach is another example of the Kapha dosha protecting the tissues. We are all made up of unique proportions of Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These ratios of the doshas vary in each individual and because of this, Ayurveda sees each person as a special mixture that accounts for our diversity.Ayurveda gives us a model to look at each individual as a unique makeup of the three doshas and to thereby design treatment protocols that specifically address a person's health challenges. When any of the doshas (Vata, Pitta or Kapha) become accumulated, Ayurveda will suggest specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines to assist the individual in reducing the dosha that has become excessive. We may also suggest certain herbal supplements to hasten the healing process. If toxins in the body are abundant, then a cleansing process known as Pancha Karma is recommended to eliminate these unwanted toxins.

Merits

Ayurveda is the only natural solution for healthy living. Ayurveda is one of the oldest forms of medicine available today. It helps to live a life full of happiness and health. Other forms of medicine see treatment as the only solution for wellness but Ayurveda believes in not only treating the symptoms of any disease but provide solutions for the overall well being. Ayurveda helps to unite our spirit with Universal power i.e., God. A healthy body and mind is like a temple. Ayurveda is based on the principle that, our well being is a result of association of five elements called air, water, earth, fire and ether. These elements combine together to form three doshas called Vatha, Kapha and Pitha. Ether and air combine to form Vatha. A combination of earth and water is Kapha. Fire and water combine and form Pitha. A person is considered to possess perfect health if these three doshas are present in perfect balance. Imbalance of these doshas may cause an illness or disease. Ayurveda works by analyzing the function of body and prevent any disease resulting from it. It understands the relationship of mind and body and treats the illness resulting from bad synchronization of two. Each and every individual has different body types and Ayurveda treats the ailment according to the body type of individual.Ayurveda is a perfect stress buster and tries to reduce it as much as possible. It creates a perfect balance between body and mind. Ayurveda provides energy by the following activities:

  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Massage
  • Various breathing exercises

How to use

Ayurveda is a holistic medicine that promotes a natural lifestyle. It uses natural products to treat and prevent problems like headaches, muscle cramps and

  • high cholesterol. Ayurveda remedies can be purchased or easily made with items you may already have in your kitchen. Follow these steps to find out how.
  • They can be used for diseases of the nervous system, lymphatic system, respiratory system, digestive system and circulatory system. They can also be used to treat skin diseases.
  • Know these popular herbs often used in Ayuverdic remedies: Amalaki, Arjuna, Ashwagandha, Bala, Bibhitaki, Brahmi, Dashmula, Guduchi, Guggul, Haritaki, Jatamansi, Mandukarparni, Manjistha, Nimba, Pippali, Punarnava, Shankapushpi, Shatavari, Shilajit, Triphala and Tulasi. Understand that the herbs are obtained from the leaves, barks and roots of trees found in Asia.
  • Learn how to combine herbal remedies for safe and effective use. It isn't recommended to use any of these herbs on their own because they're very potent. You should combine them with other herbs for balance.
  • They can be taken orally, applied on the skin or even inhaled. The method of use depends on the user's intent.

Ayurveda is a holistic medicine that promotes a natural lifestyle. It uses natural products to treat and prevent problems like headaches, muscle cramps and

Conclusion

This understanding that we are all unique individuals enables Ayurveda to address not only specific health concerns but also offers explanation as to why one person responds differently to another. We hope that you will continue to explore Ayurveda to enhance your health and to gain further insights into this miracle we call life.

Contact us

Ashtavaidyan Thaikkatu Moss's Vaidyaraj Oushashashala

Gramaveedhi, Anandapuram, Thrissur - 680 305, Kerala (India)

Ph: 0480 - 3200001, 3209292 Email: Vaidyaraj01@rediffmail.com