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Ayurveda is an ancient system that uses the inherent principles of nature to help maintain health in individual. It works on a principle of balance and keeps the individual's body, mind and spirit in perfect equilibrium with nature.
Meaning of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is a Sanskrit term. Made up of the words 'Ayus', means life and 'Veda' means knowledge or science. Thus, the term 'Ayurveda' stands for the 'Knowledge of life'.
Origin of Ayurveda
Widely practiced as the oldest form of health care, Ayurveda is an intricate medical system, originated in India thousands of years ago. It finds its mention in the ancient Hindu sculptures, called Vedas. Written over 6,000 years ago, Rig Veda includes a series of prescriptions that can aid humans overcome various diseases.
Basic Principles of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is based on the premise, which says that the universe is made up of five elements- air, fire, earth, water and ether. All these elements are represented in individuals by three 'Doshas' or energies, called Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
When any of the doshas gather in the body beyond the limit, the body loses its balance. Our health depends on getting a correct balance of the three doshas (tridoshas). Ayurveda recommends specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines to enable individuals reduce the excess dosha.
In Sushrut Samhita, the ancient Hindu literature, the health of a person primarily depends on Ayurveda. It says, “ 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..."
Concept of Tridosha
The three doshas are also known as 'Tridosha' or bio-energies, These are found in our body in the form of:
It belongs to air and ether elements. This energy is usually seen as the force that directs nerve impulses, respiration, circulation and elimination.
It pertains to water as well as earth elements. Kapha is mainly responsible for growth and protection. The cerebral-spinal fluid, which protects the brain and spinal column is an example of Kapha.
Pertaining to fire and water elements, Pitta govers metabolism, which means the transformation of foods into nutrients. It is also responsible for metabolism in both the organ as well as the tissue systems.
In a nutshell, Ayurveda is the system of medicine that incorporates wisdom. It emphasizes on the ways to promote health instead of just treating ailments. The distinguishing fact is that every individual is unique and therefore, it requires different treatment.
Ayurveda is one of the best ways to achieve physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.