What is Ayurveda? All You Need To Know About Ayurveda

What is Ayurveda? There are thousands of definitions to this ancient science and even if you are confused and thinking ‘Why am I focusing on this historical healing methodology, when the world is going digital and moving at a rapid pace while leaving its impact in every passing micro second?’ There are plenty of historical books, modern writings, journals, publishing; research studies and millions of websites that compete with each other in explaining Ayurveda and its impact on mankind. Most of the books and websites forget about one essential factor that ‘Not all of us knew Sanskrit’. Yes! The ancient Ayurvedic texts have originally been written in Sanskrit and have its roots deeply vested with the Indian mythology. Let’s explore what Ayurveda is actually about and why this age-old healing practice has gained so much of importance in the west in recent times?

The ancient wisdom of healing:

Ayurveda is the primordial system of treating human illness and aims at absolute human wellness. Think, if something is not working as it is said or is just an eye wash, can it survive even for a year? Decisively a big NO! Right???? Then think of Ayurveda in these terms. This spiritual science of healing has been in existence for a huge number of 5000 successful years. Yes! This is the power that makes me blindly trust that Ayurveda is the real knowledge of life meant to live a hale, hearty and a meaningful life in the pink. It is considered as an integral part of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

Why is it called as a holistic treatment?

When someone says holistic, they mean everything. Since Ayurveda has realistic remedies for all kinds of human illnesses, it is rightly known as the holistic remedy and the mother of all healing sciences. It respects human beings as individuals and not just as a mere assembly of organs with a soul in it. Ayurveda understands the individual constitution by means of the unique combination of the five essential elements of life, namely earth, water, air, space and fire. This helps in knowing what is good for our individual body type ranging from your food to your daily exercises.

With this thorough understanding, Ayurvedic treatment has a strong reason to justify that a particular disease has resulted due to your discord with nature. Ayurveda never stops with just treating your physical illness but looks beyond it and treats you psychologically, emotionally and spiritually to breathe the air of liberal health. Dr. Vasant Lad, the celebrated Ayurvedic Physician rightly said in his ‘Textbook of Ayurveda’ that ‘Ayurveda treats the whole person, not just the organ or system involved’.

What does Ayurveda actually do to you?

You will be astounded to know that Ayurveda acts as a relationship bridge between Mother Nature and its children, none other than human beings. Many a times when adverse health effects hit us, this realistic science helps us realize that we or our habits have moved away from the natural rhythm. With its natural medications like herbs, Ayurvedic essential oils, surgical treatments and other comprehensive branches of Ayurvedic treatment along with Ayurvedic massage therapy, meditation, good eating habits, yoga, doable physical exercises and an energizing Ayurvedic routine, Ayurveda supports you in reconnecting with nature, which means it guides you to a healthy state of living.

Not just an aid for treatment but a ubiquitous lead for betterment:

Ayurveda can be called as an all-in-one or a one-best-solution for all your health concerns throughout the journey of your life from your first stay in your mother’s womb till the end of your life. It is not like your contemporary treatment that gives you an injection and prescribes antibiotics to treat your fever and wait till these medications fight against the harmful organisms or recall you for a second visit to treat the illness. Whereas an Ayurvedic therapy doesn’t stop with treating your sickness but helps you lead a better life with a healthy lifestyle.

Ayurveda is indeed a positive energy and practicing this in our daily lives aid us in leading a harmonious life with our near and dear ones. It has the power to revitalize your life by inculcating spiritual, humane and peaceful values that can change your way of living completely and mold your personality to a greater extent. This is the authentic reason behind its growing importance in the West, where life is often mechanical.

Thought for the day:

Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open. -B.K.S. Iyengar

Suggested Reading:

  1. Textbook of Ayurveda, Volume One: Fundamental Principles by Vasant Lad
  2. Ayurvedic Medicine: The Principles of Traditional Practice by Sebastian Pole
  3. Ayurveda: A Comprehensive Guide to Traditional Indian Medicine for the West by Frank John, M.D. Ninivaggi

Reference Links:

  1. Ayurveda by Wikipedia
  2. The Ayurveda Encyclopedia: Natural Secrets to Healing, Prevention and Longevity
  3. Ayurveda Overview by University of Maryland Medical Center

Ayurvedic Body Types: Determining The Real ‘YOU’

Ayurveda is an interesting science of life guiding us to learn more about ourselves. It throws light into our unique system and aids us in exploring who we are, what suits us the best and how to live a holistic and comprehensive life?

Ayurveda trusts that the entire Universe inclusive of the human body is made up of 5 predominant elements known as Devanagari, popularly known as ‘Panch Booth, where Panch indicates 5 and Booth stands for the chief elements of the universe namely:

  1. Water called as Jala
  2. Earth called as Prthvi
  3. Air known as Vayu
  4. Sky called as Akasa
  5. Fire known as Agni

According to Ayurveda the human body constitutes of 7 primary elements known as ‘Saptadhatu’ and they are:

  1. Rasa dhatu defines Plasma or Chyle
  2. Rakta dhatu indicates Blood
  3. Mamsa dhatu means Flesh
  4. Medha dhatu stands for Fat
  5. Asthi dhatu means Bone
  6. Majja dhatu stands for Marrow
  7. Sukra dhatu denotes female reproductive tissue or semen

Based upon these elements and its constituents, human body is classified and expressed as the equilibrium of 3 fundamental energies (Dosha) also known as humors or principles of mind and body. Ayurveda uses the 5 primary elements of the Universe to define human body types as a combination of these five elements namely air, water, fire, ether and earth in different proportions within the humors. The Ayurvedic science says that every individual is made up of a unique combination of 3 body and mind principles, creating our explicit physical and mental personality. The 3 major Doshas are:

Vata Dosha: Vata Dosha is a representative of wind and is a combination of air and space (ether) where air dominates. It can be called as the controlling authority of the power vested with our body and it directs the other two doshas. This humor regulates the circulation, function of the nervous system, and the movements of our body along with emotional and bodily development.

Predominant characteristics: When an individual has a chief composition of Vata, he/she will look lean, act faster and stay flexible while being creative, conversational, visionary, artistic and fervent with full of energy. Imbalance of this energy can cause loss of memory, restlessness, anxiety, insomnia, fear, dry skin, bloating and few other digestive disorders like indigestion, intestinal gas and constipation.

Pitta Dosha: Pitta Dosha is a blend of fire and water and it signifies bile. With fire being the superior element, Pitta is responsible for all kinds of corporeal actions concerning heat like digestion, creation of energy with the help of hormones and takes care of metabolism, body temperature and absorption.

Predominant characteristics: A proper balance of Pitta upholds intelligence, confidence, competitiveness, glowing complexion and leadership capabilities with a sizzling temper. Pitta disparity can cause jealously, anger, annoyance, disgust and other bodily problems like ulcer, high blood pressure, skin irritation, heartburn and soreness.

Kapha Dosha: With water as the overriding element, Kapha or phlegm is an arrangement of water and earth responsible for connecting bones, tissues, muscles and tendons. It is wholly in charge for the structure of the body by supplying fluid strength to all parts of the body while maintaining consistency, stability, solidity, skin health and proper lubrication of joints.

Predominant characteristics: Kapha balance aids in exhibiting tranquil, trustworthy, lovable and compassionate personalities, generally with hefty body structure. The unevenness of this type will lead to obesity, congestion, lethargic attitude and slow digestion.

Ayurvedic discipline states that the human body is said to be healthy when it strikes a balance between these 3 energy elements and when there is discrepancy, the body tends to become unwholesome and turns detrimental.

Reference Links:

  1. Ayurveda by Wikipedia
  2. Ayurvedic Body Type: Find Your Dosha by The Dr.OZ Show
  3. Ayurvedic Principles For Mind-Body Balance by Ayurvedic Talk

Importance of Ayurveda in Today’s Lifeless Living

None of us can articulate a statement such as, ‘We are healthy, happy, resonate and can bounce back at any worst situation of our life’. This assertion does not exhibit the lack of self-confidence in you but pinpoints the negative environmental force and the turbulent lifestyle that dominates mankind and staying responsible for the decrease in the average life expectancy of human beings. Every man and woman is unique. Just as the lines in our palms, we are distinct and is the way of treating our health as well. Such a unique science of healing is called as Ayurveda, the intense knowledge of life and the right choice for harmonious living.

Why Ayurveda in today’s digital epoch? You may even wonder about choosing Ayurveda, the age old remedial practice for treating your illness and prevent you from forthcoming health discrepancies. This is the world of fast food items, instant cures, on the spot solutions and there’s an app for everything, which makes you even lethargic and reduces your life expectancy. Shocked??? Don’t get panic, I’m not saying that mobile apps are detrimental but they have actually complicated our life in the name of ‘simplifying it’. For example, but for a mobile app for online banking, you would have walked down to your nearby bank and the energetic physical exercise has been deserted. On the other hand, Ayurveda insists on meditation, physical exercises and yoga for hale and hearty living along with the ideal medication.

No more ‘ONE SIZE FITS ALL’: Human life is not a minimalist web design where one-size-fits-all concept triumphs in making excellent websites. This concept is followed in the modern medicinal system, where Ibuprofen is recommended for fever, pain and certain other discomforts for all. This may reduce the pain for time being but according to a 2010 based research, the habitual use of NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs) was coupled with raise in hearing impairments and lead to other adverse effects like dizziness, nausea, constipation, dyspepsia, hypertension, gastrointestinal bleeding and much more. This is because the contemporary system of curing fails to analyze the unique system of an individual.

Ayurveda, in turn traces out the special Ayurvedic body types also known as Dosha, namely Vata, Pitta and Kapha after which it focuses on treating the root cause of the illness. This holistic way of healing grants you the perfect diet, appropriate medication, regular meditation, unfailing physical exercises and pertinent yoga for a healthy, youthful, systematic and a balanced life based on your physical, emotional, social, environmental and mental attributes.

Ayurvedic therapy does not insist on swallowing pills blindly but proffers various remedies in the form of natural herbs, decoction, powder, tonic, medicated oils and Ayurvedic essential oils for curative massage and other treatment measures. It also trusts in the popular adage which says, ‘Food is medicine’ depicting that a balanced diet with all the essential nutrients can prevent you from health calamities and that is why Hippocrates rightly said ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’.

Reference Links:

  1. Ibuprofen by Wikipedia
  2. Principles of Minimalist Web Design By Smashing Magazine
  3. Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) by MedicineNet.Com