Ayurveda

Ayurveda (Sanskrit: Āyurveda आयुर्वेद, "life-knowledge"; or Ayurvedic medicine is a system of Hindu traditional medicine native to the Indian subcontinent. Practices derived from Ayurvedic traditions are a type of alternative medicine. Ayurveda is a discipline of the upaveda or "auxiliary knowledge" in Vedic tradition. The origins of Ayurveda are also found in the Atharvaveda, which contains 114 hymns and incantations described as magical cures for disease. There are also various legendary accounts of the origin of Ayurveda, e.g., that it was received by Dhanvantari from Brahma. Ayurvedic practices include the use of herbal medicines, mineral or metal supplementation (rasa shastra), surgical techniques, opium, and application of oil by massages.

Ayurveda is the ancient Indian system of natural and holistic medicine means the science of life.While allopathic medicine tends to focus the management of disease,Ayurveda provide us with the knowledge of how to prevent disease and how to eliminate its root cause if it does occur.

Originated in prehistoric times, some of the concepts of Ayurveda have been discovered since the times of Indus Valley Civilization and earlier. Ayurveda significantly developed during the Vedic period and later some of the non-Vedic systems such as Buddhism and Jainism also incorporated in the system. Balance is emphasized, and suppressing natural urges is considered unhealthy and claimed to lead to illness. Ayurveda names three elemental substances, the doshas (called Vata, Pitta and Kapha), and states that a balance of the doshas results in health, while imbalance results in disease. Ayurveda has eight canonical components, which are derived from classical Sanskrit literature. Some of the oldest known Ayurvedic texts include the Suśrutha Saṃhitā and Charaka Saṃhitā, which are written in Sanskrit. Ayurvedic practitioners had developed various medicinal preparations and surgical procedures by the medieval period.

The eight components of Ayurveda

The canonical components of Ayurveda are derived from classical Sanskrit literature, in which Ayurveda was called "the science of eight components" (Sanskrit aṣṭāṅga अष्टांग). T he components are:
  • • Kayachikitsa (general medicine): "cure of diseases affecting the body".
  • • Kaumāra-bhṛtya and Bala Roga: deals with the treatment of children.
  • • Shalya tantra deals with surgical techniques.
  • • Śālākya-tantra (ophthalmology) deals with diseases of the teeth, eye, nose, ear etc.
  • • Bhuta-vidya deals with the causes, which are not directly visible and not directly explained by tridosha,[22] pertaining to micro- organisms or spirits.[23][24]
  • • Agada-tantra deals with antidotes to poison.
  • • Rasayana-tantra (Geriatrics)/(Anti Agings) : deals with rejuvenation.
  • • Vajikarana tantra (aphrodisiacs) deals with healthy and desired progeny.

Principles and terminology

The three doṣhas and the five elements from which they are composed. The central ideas of Ayurveda are primarily derived from Vedic philosophy, although some concepts were later borrowed from similar non-Vedic systems such as Buddhism and Jainism. Balance is emphasized, and suppressing natural urges is considered unhealthy and claimed to lead to illness. For example, to suppress sneezing is said to potentially give rise to shoulder pain. However, people are also cautioned to stay within the limits of reasonable balance and measure when following nature's urges. For example, emphasis is placed on moderation of food intake, sleep, and sexual intercourse.

Ayurveda names seven basic tissues (dhatu), which are plasma (rasa), blood (rakta), muscles (māmsa), fat (meda), bone (asthi), marrow (majja), and semen (shukra). Like the medicine of classical antiquity, Ayurveda has historically divided bodily substances into five classical elements (Sanskrit [maha]panchabhuta, viz. earth, water, fire, air and ether. There are also twenty gunas (qualities or characteristics) which are considered to be inherent in all substances. These are organized in ten pairs of antonyms: heavy/light, cold/hot, unctuous/dry, dull/sharp, stable/mobile, soft/hard, non-slimy/slimy, smooth/coarse, minute/gross, and viscous/liquid.

Ayurveda also names three elemental substances, the doshas (called Vata, Pitta and Kapha), and states that a balance of the doshas results in health, while imbalance results in disease. One Ayurvedic view is that a the doshas are balanced when they are equal to each other, while another view is that each human possesses a unique combination of the doshas which define this person's temperament and characteristics. In either case, it says that each person should modulate their behavior or environment to increase or decrease the doshas and maintain their natural state.

Practice

Ayurvedic doctors regard physical existence, mental existence, and personality as a unit, with each element being able to influence the others.This is a holistic approach used during diagnosis and therapy, and is a fundamental aspect of Ayurveda. Another part of Ayurvedic treatment says that there are channels (srotas) which transport fluids, and that the channels can be opened up by massage treatment using oils and Swedana (fomentation). Unhealthy channels are thought to cause disease.

Diagnosis

Ayurveda has eight ways to diagnose illness, called Nadi (pulse), Mootra (urine), Mala (stool), Jihva (tongue), Shabda (speech), Sparsha (touch), Druk (vision), and Aakruti (appearance). Ayurvedic practitioners approach diagnosis by using the five senses. For example, hearing is used to observe the condition of breathing and speech. The study of the lethal points or marmaTreatment and prevention

Two of the eight branches of classical Ayurveda deal with surgery (Śalya-cikitsā and Śālākya-tantra), but contemporary Ayurveda tends to emphasise attaining vitality by building a healthy metabolic system and maintaining good digestion and excretion. Ayurveda also focuses on exercise, yoga, and meditation. One type of prescription is a Sattvic diet. Ayurveda follows the concept of Dinacharya, which says that natural cycles (waking, sleeping, working, meditation etc.) are important for health. Hygiene, including regular bathing, cleaning of teeth, skin care, and eye washing, is also a central practice.