Ayurveda and Elderly Health: A Detailed Analysis



Ayurveda is a charming and divine system of healing human beings. It states that aging is a natural process and with the help of Ayurveda, aging can always be a healthy aging making elderly people independent rather than depending others for fulfilling their routine tasks. Health is a comprehensive and of course a complicated term. According to Ayurveda, health is not just physical health or a body that is free of diseases, instead real health is the functioning of a healthy mind in a healthy body paving way for a healthy environment. Ayurvedic system of treating elderly health is termed as ‘Vridhopacharaneeyam’. The Sanskrit term ‘Geeryadi’ meaning degenerated has a close connection with the term Greek ‘Geriatric’ meaning elderly care (Geri- old age & latrics- care).

Ayurveda for the Senior citizens: Ayurveda pays special attention to the aged people as it aims in healthy aging and not mere longevity or extended life expectancy lacking robustness. Old age is known as Vardhakya in Ayurveda and one among the eight comprehensive branches that deals with the health of elderly people is known as Jara Chikitsa or Rasayana (also known as Geriatrics or Gerontology). This branch deals with stimulating, vitalizing, rejuvenating, fortifying and preventing the human body from aging symptoms. The basic objective of this Ayurvedic treatment is to improve quality of life rather than just extending the ‘quantitative number of years’. For this, Ayurveda recommends the use of powerful herbal medications, meditation, simple physical exercises, yoga, Ayurvedic essential oils and other natural remedies for improving the mental stability, physical strength, psychological power and supports a healthy skin.

Reasons behind the loss of strength during old age: Each individual has a unique body set up (dhatus or the constituents of human body according to Ayurveda) and his/her health depends upon the balance between the Ayurvedic body types or Doshas namely vata, pitta and kapha and the condition of Saptadhatu (seven dhatus). With aging, the vata constituent gets aggravated due to stress, strain, psychological weakness, imbalanced nutrition etc. Vata aggravation leads to inappropriate functioning of metabolism, respiration, digestion and the process of excretion, leading to health problems like heart disorders, musculoskeletal ailments, diabetes, hypertension, rheumatic illness, Parkinson’s disease, cardiac disabilities, Alzheimer’s syndrome, depression and much more.

Ayurvedic treatment for healthy aging: Ayurveda advises on a firm Ayurvedic routine, a nutritious diet, meditation, Rasayana treatment, utmost care, yoga, expert counseling and boundless love to grow old, hale and heartily with a strong immune system. Rasayana therapy is proven to revitalize the system of the aged person and gradually contribute to the progress of their mental and physical health. This treatment strengthens the immunity and increases the potential to tussle against diseases, interrupting its onset, trim down its rigorousness, speedup the period of recovery and fight against other symptoms and problems of aging. This effective Ayurvedic treatment along with Shirodhara, Abhyanga and Padabhyanga with Ayurvedic essential oils will recharge the aged individual and restore their lost energy due to aging. A renowned research article has proved that Ayurveda and Yoga has positive influence on self-rated sleep in geriatric population.

It is the most appropriate time to recollect a time-valued principle that says ‘Age is not a constant factor’ or you can never remain at Sweet 16 forever…………so love the elderly community and get ready as your 16 might soon turn 61 even before you realize it. As a symbol of your love for your aged Parents or your Grandparents, introduce them to the holistic world of Ayurveda for a healthy, happy and harmonized aging.

Thoughts for the day:

The old are in a second childhood. By Aristophanes

I truly believe that age — if you’re healthy — age is just a number. By Hugh Hefner

You may wonder that it is always ‘Thought for the day’ and why it is ‘Thoughts for the day’ today? It’s all because to signify that the elderly people need that extra care and love to keep them going on and on. Aging generally brings with it certain unavoidable things like loss of energy, loss of ability of the body for its regular functioning and a feel of insecurity and diffidence that life and the world needs them no more. Loving people above 60 is a great feeling and I’m sure that you will ‘live a perfect day’ by boosting their confidence to live for an extra day.

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Ayurveda Encyclopedia: Natural Secrets to Healing, Prevention, & Longevity by Swami Sadashiva Tirtha
  2. Aging & Blood Stasis: A New TCM Approach to Geriatrics
    By Yan De-Xin
  3. The Aromatherapy Companion: Medicinal Uses/Ayurvedic Healing/Body-Care Blends/Perfumes & Scents/Emotional Health & Well-Being (Herbal Body) by Victoria H. Edwards

Reference Links:

  1. Rasayana by Maharshi Charak Ayurveda
  2. Influence of Yoga & Ayurveda on self-rated sleep in a geriatric population.
  3. Ayurveda for Geriatric Care by Internaturalhealth

8 Branches of Ayurveda: A Comprehensive Analysis



Ayurveda is a comprehensive system of healing with elite therapies and countless remedies for treating everything related to humanity. This extensive science of life is categorized into 8 different branches and is jointly known as Ashtang Ayurveda.   Ayurveda is the only science that treats every human being as a unique individual with exceptional physical and mental set up. It does not recommend the same medicine for different persons and takes the principle of the popular adage that says, ‘One man’s food is another man’s poison’. All the credit goes to Ayurveda for introducing separate branches for surgery, aphrodisiacs and pediatrics as a part of the universal system of medicine. The 8 imperative branches of Ayurveda are:

1. Kayachikitsa (Agni Treatment) or Internal Medicine: The Ayurvedic treatment based on digestive fire known as ‘Agni’ is defined as Kayachikitsa. This branch deals with general medication mainly due to improper functioning of the digestive fire, which is solely responsible for transforming food into the essential elements of energy for the human body.  It takes care of treating many health disorders related to Agni like diarrhea, fever, anemia, nausea and few other general health conditions that mainly occur when there’s a change in an individual’s way of living.

2. Balaroga chikitsa (Child Disease Treatment) or Pediatrics: This branch is also known as Kumaraya Bhritya, deals with the treatment of diseases of children including pregnancy and childbirth. Generally the Ayurvedic medicines according to this branch are not very powerful and low doses are recommended to protect the health mechanism of children.  An extensive range of sickness issues related to children are treated and Ayurveda always recommends quality breast-feeding (without any germs in breast milk) for the complete growth of children.

3. Graharoga chikitsa or Psychiatry: Ancient people trusted that their life was often being affected by Grahas (bhoot) means ‘demons or devils’. This branch deals with treating the psychological problems like psychosis, epilepsy, lunacy and other mental disorders due to the influence of ghosts, evil spirits etc.

4. Urdhvanga Roga chikitsa (Treatment of Disease in Head and Neck) This part specially handles the prediction, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases in the upper part of the body like head and neck. Eyes, ears, nose, throat, head, teeth and mouth related health conditions are treated with an unique tool known as Shalaka, for which this branch of Ayurveda is also known as Shalakaya Tantra.

5. Shalyaroga chikitsa (Treatment of disease caused by a foreign body) Shalyaroga chikitsa can also be called as the surgical science that has been healing human race for thousands of years together.  This branch of Ayurvedic healing was of great use during the wartimes where the warriors were affected by foreign bodies like swords, arrows and other such sharp weapons. It also deals with diseases caused by external sources that need surgical treatment. Piles, urinary stones, abdominal damages, cataract, fistula and accidents are also treated through this system. The ancient physician ‘Sushruta’ is still remembered for his expertise in this field and is celebrated as the father of plastic surgery.

6. Damstra Roga Chikitsa (Treatment of diseases caused by poisons) This division of Ayurveda is also known as Toxicology as it treats the diseases caused by the poisonous insects, reptiles, plants, minerals, metals and certain other toxins.

7. Jara Chikitsa or Gerontology: It is also known as Rasayana for its power of revitalizing and preventing the body from the symptoms of aging. This branch provides special treatment for augmenting the quality of living along with prolonged existence. Geriatrics or Jara chikitsa suggests natural herbs, Ayurvedic oils and other natural medications to retain the texture of the skin, body’s natural shine, enhanced memory power, munificence and improved physical strength as well.       

8. Vrsha Chikitsa or Aphrodisiac treatment: According to the spiritual science of Ayurveda, sex is one among the essential component of human life that enhances his health and grants him the endurance and the power to pave way for his future generations. This branch is also known as Vajikarana and it deals with the aphrodisiacs therapy for being paid with good descendants and virility, proffering remedies for contentment and delight in real sex. It washes away the problems related to infertility in men and women.

Isn’t it really amazing to hear that most of the sophisticated healing therapies of these days were in practice even before Edison threw light on this dark world?!!! This is more than enough to prove the supremacy of this age old medicinal science and its acumen in treating mankind.

Reference Links:

  1. Sushruta Samhita by Wikipedia
  2. Eight Branches Of Ayurveda by Ayurvedamrita
  3. The Eight Branches Of Ayurveda by MED INDIA