Importance of Ayurveda in the West

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Modern world has gifted us with enormous innovative tools and techniques that have made life easier to live. But an explicit insight on the pros and cons of this massive technological development instinctively fills our mind with a wide range of chaos! The more the world progresses technically, the more the human life steps ahead in stress, ailments and an innate mechanical progress. Thus life becomes so insensible that one is always deemed with worries and stress. What could be the apt antidote to this malady? Ayurveda stands distinct as the most holistic remedy to end this mechanical life and mark the start of a natural way of living filled with eternal bliss! This is the reason why Ayurveda is widely recognized in the west in recent times.

Ayurveda serves as the root for Traditional European Medicine (TEM), Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Unani – a natural system of healing of the Middle Eastern world. This is the strong reason why Ayurveda is rightly called as the ‘Mother of Natural Healing’. With its genesis in ancient India, the essence of Ayurveda spread to the west with the advent of many foreigners who translated the Ayurvedic encyclopedias namely Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita to Arabic, Latin, German and English.

It is a well known fact that the first major plastic surgery in the western world was performed in 1815 by Carpue who spent 20 years in India to study the Ayurvedic surgery methods. Amazing right!!! This is just a single piece of information that is known to the world and there are much more Ayurvedic secrets to be revealed and relived.

Importance of Ayurveda in the West: Western Culture is more secured with massive man-made technologies that are strong enough to weaken the resources of nature of which human resource forms a major part. Decrease in physical efforts makes life more involuntary thus increasing the mental stress. Apart from this, the modern medical system deals only with the ailments rather than their root causes, resulting in a temporary relief with more side effects that make the ailments permanent and vulnerable. Thus, people are drawn towards the most dependable holistic approach that has a unique gift of a meaningful, mentally strong life with eternal peace for every individual.

To add more life to the fact that Ayurveda has found its place in the west, down comes the sturdy list of causes that has made the western world to feel the importance of Ayurveda.

  • Self-Realization for a Divine Living: Ayurvedic healing methodology includes a wide range of techniques of which Yoga, Meditation and Rejuvenation of the body and mind with effective Ayurvedic oils have gained wide attention in the West. These forms of practice leads to self-realization thus making one to realize the true purpose of living, paving way to eternal satisfaction and ecstasy of leading a meaningful life. Ayurveda serves its sole purpose of making one to realize self and live in harmony with self and nature thus giving comprehensiveness to human existence.
  • Good for All: Unlike modern medical system, Ayurveda is good for all individuals irrespective of their status of health. With its elegant regime, Ayurveda dignifies the diseased and strengthens the stronger ones leading to health and longevity.

Apart from this, Ayurveda remains as the most natural, less expensive medical system with homemade remedies of defensive nature. Effective utilization of Ayurvedic natural herbs, spices, vegetables and natural Ayurvedic Essential oils in your day to day living will support longevity and help you in the long run.

Ayurveda can be made more efficacious if its real essence is absorbed and utilized effectively. Studies have proved that Ayurveda is effective in the treatment of acute chronic diseases like diabetes and the integration of Ayurvedic Healing system with Modern therapy can pave way for finding a solution for some of the life threatening diseases like cancer.

One final yet valid reason that makes the West fascinated towards Ayurveda is its approach towards the patients that is lifted high with a sense of personal touch and care that is often missing in the western medical system.

As a true believer and benefiter of Ayurveda, I take this opportunity to thank all those strenuous efforts of the invaluable immortals who strived a lot in  bringing the knowledge of Ayurveda to the west that has served numerous people in the past and will continue to serve in the future as well!!!

Thought for the day:

“Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease.” –Hippocrates

Suggested Reading:

  1. Ayurveda: A Comprehensive Guide to Traditional Indian Medicine for the West by Frank John, M.D. Ninivaggi
  2. Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life: Achieving Optimal Health and Wellness through Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, and Western Science by Claudia Welch
  3. Ayurvedic Cooking for Westerners: Familiar Western Food Prepared with Ayurvedic Principles by Amadea Morningstar

Reference Links:

  1. Ayurveda by Wikipedia
  2. Meditation by National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  3. Differences between Ayurveda and Modern Medicine (Allopathy) by LuzySalud

History of Ayurveda: The Ancient Wisdom Of Healing

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History, when explored is always a key to unlock even the most unsolvable mystery. Let us spend some of our dear time in taking a trek through one such historic voyage, where each of our paces will provide us with a stack of treasure pacifying our soul. Let me tell you the name of such an estimable treasure island where I’m going to take you through!!! Yes, AYURVEDA is that one spectacular vicinity of more than 5000 years old, where we are going to fix our vision for the next few minutes. Let’s get started for this notable remark of our journey of life!!!!

Ayurveda – Name & Fame: Ayurveda‘ is composed of two Sanskrit words, Ayus meaning life and Veda meaning knowledge. According to Hinduism, there are 4 major Vedas or the holy books namely Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda and Ayurveda is considered as a subdivision of Atharva Veda. As the name implies, Ayurveda is a true knowledge of life that helps in leading a cultured and civilized life.

This age old spiritual science of holistic healing, which dates back to about 5000 years is still fresh in the world as a newborn pride, the main reason being its efficiency and effectiveness over all sorts of ailing illness. Few reliable sources state that Ayurveda’s basic principles got standardized around 1500 BC but there is no real evidence for the exact beginning of Ayurveda and no one exactly knows when this miraculous science had its birth as it is ageless like Mother Earth.

Ayurveda & Mother India : With its roots being deeply set in ancient India, Ayurveda is still considered to be the only existing form of holistic traditional medicinal treatment of body, mind and soul, which when blended together forms an ideal human system. India is a land of holistic traditional cultures and values, where you can find its eminence in each one of its remnants and Ayurveda, the established epic is not an exception at all.

Ayurveda – Spiritual Methodology of the Eternal Master:  A wise and a knowledgeable Master is often the reason behind any successful system in this world. Ayurveda, the miraculous medicinal approach is believed to have the Master of All Masters as its Mother. Yes, as per the Hindu mythology, Ayurveda is believed to be a boon granted by Brahma – The Lord of Creation to Dhanvantari who was crowned as the God of Medicine.

Ayurveda – Sources & Resources: The main sources of Ayurveda rest in three invaluable texts contributed by the most renowned Ayurvedic practitioners of ancient India- Charaka, Sushruta and Vaghbata. Their contributions include Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and a compilation of a set of major texts called Ashtanga Hridaya & Ashtanga Sangraha.

  • Charaka – The Esteemed Curator: Charaka is a man of mystical and legendary values. He is believed to have been in the court of Kanishka, an age old ruler of the Kushana Dynasty in India. Perfect preaching & practice of medicine together with ‘Privacy of Patient’s Confidentiality‘, one of the golden tenets of a tactful curator meant a lot to this man of values. Charaka’s literary exertion has Kaya-Chikitsa (Internal Medicine) – ‘The diagnosis and treatment of ailments through internal and external application of medicine’ as its core content.
  • Sushruta – The Skilled Surgeon: Sushruta is said to have served in the court of Gupta Dynasty as a surgeon. He is the man who took a giant pace in the field of surgery namely plastic, cosmetic and prosthetic surgery along with cesarean section and handling of compound fractures. Sushruta Samhita dealt with Shalya Tantra (Surgery) to a great extent.
  • Vaghbata – The Versatile Compiler: Vaghbata is believed to have existed in the 5th century AD, who took strenuous efforts in perfectly expressing the essence of Ayurveda in rhythmic verse which is found to be very essential by all the students of Ayurveda who commit to memorize these verses, which is the basis of Ayurvedic study of healing.

Hope this brief journey through Ayurveda proved to be inspiring and informative for you, which will certainly clad your thoughts & actions in an Ayurvedic way!!! Happy Health to You!!!

Thought for the day:

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. By Marcus Garvey

Suggested Reading:

  1. Textbook of Ayurveda, Volume One: Fundamental Principles by Vasant Lad
  2. An English translation of the Sushruta Samhita, based on original Sanskrit text, volume 1: Sutrasthanam by Susruta Susruta
  3. The Ayurveda Encyclopedia: Natural Secrets to Healing, Prevention, & Longevity by Swami Sadashiva Tirtha

Reference Links:

  1. Ayurveda by Wikipedia
  2. Brief History of Ayurveda by Healing Sphere
  3. History of Ayurveda by Professor Dr. P.H. Kulkarni

Ayurvedic Essential Oils For Pregnant Women

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Ways to enlighten your senses and let your mind develop with your fetus with these sweet-smelling essential oils.

Pregnancy is always special in a number of ways and if it is going to be your first pregnancy then trust me you’ll be greeted with a red carpet wherever you go. You’ll become the angel of your family and for your husband, you’ll be the ‘apple of his eye’. Ayurveda considers a pregnant woman as a divine symphony where ‘The God’s Gift (Baby)’ is growing within her. According to Sushruta Samhita, ‘A pregnant lady should stay happy, be hygienic, wear clean outfits, take part in meditation, prayers, put on accessories (like bangles, anklets etc, the melodious sound of which is trusted to enrich the baby’s harmonious growth) and simple exercises. The loving science of Ayurveda suggests plenty of natural herbs, nutritious food items, fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables and the use of Ayurvedic essential oils to make your pregnancy unforgettable, leading to a safe and easy childbirth along with a happy post-pregnancy period with your little one.

Ayurvedic essential oils for pregnant women: Ayurveda has a magic in it to treat the extremely sensitive pregnant woman with healing and harmonizing essential oils.  It is for more than ever to make her comfortable with the changes in her body while tackling mental stress, depression, mood fluctuations and the fear about her labor. Such healing essential oils that can make your pregnancy phase a real ‘Sweet Dream’ forever are mentioned below according to your trimester:

  1. First trimester: This is the initial period for the development of your fetus where it starts developing head, limbs, heartbeat, reproductive organs, ears and other sensory faculties. This is the most challenging period of pregnancy for most women as they struggle with morning sickness, nausea, headache, acidity, heartburn and more. The safe essential oils during your first trimester are citrus oils like Tangerine essential oil, Orange essential oil and Neroli essential oil. You can also use Grapefruit essential oil and Lavender essential oil to lift your senses and reduce the difficulties during the first three months of pregnancy.
  2. Second trimester: The baby at this stage starts building up muscles, blood, all the five senses, skin, hair, fingers, veins, nails, teeth, bones, eyelids, mind and he/she becomes even stronger at this stage. At this juncture you may face challenges like constipation, itchy skin, stretch marks, anxiety, nervousness, nightmares and few more. Essential oils that can help you overcome these impediments during your second trimester are Sandalwood essential oil, Lavender essential oil, Frankincense essential oil, Palo Santo essential oil and Grapefruit essential oil. Gently massage your abdomen using Lavender oil with jojoba oil or sweet almond oil to get rid of stretch marks and stay gifted with mark-free skin even after pregnancy.
  3. Third trimester: You will be extremely eager to meet your baby and now that you’ve started to feel the movements of your baby. You may even see the impressions of your baby’s hands or feet on your abdomen externally. By the end of the third trimester your baby attains its full growth and becomes even stronger. It is at this phase you’ll start experiencing insomnia, difficulties in sleeping, fatigue, swollen ankles, lower back ache and other complexities in your day to day living.

The best essential oils at this stage are Frankincense essential oil, Ylang Ylang essential oil, Mandarin essential oil, Lavender essential oil, Lemon essential oil and Bergamot essential oil. Smooth massage with these essential oils either as a blend or taken individually with carrier oils, as a diffuser or in a warm bath tub can enrich your senses, relieve your stress and fatigue while soothing your painful muscles.

Pregnancy takes you to a wonderful world filled with fun, fantasy, fear, fragility and ultimate fascination. This time better you take pregnancy to a soothing, serene, calming, energizing, rejuvenating and reviving world with these Ayurvedic essential oils.

It is always good to avoid certain essential oils that are emmenagogue, skin sensitizing, irritant and toxic in nature during your pregnancy. Few such oils are Aniseed, Angelica, Clary Sage, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Cedarwood, Basil, Elecampane, Jasmine, Ginger, Fennel, Thyme, Marjoram, Lemon Grass, Peppermint, Sage, Pennyroyal, Juniper, Melissa, Wintergreen, Sassafras, Wormwood, Thuja and certain other essential oils due to their tendency to harm either the mother or the fetus.

Note: Be precautious while using essential oils as they can directly affect the nervous system. Never use it directly as it is highly concentrated and dilute it in safe carrier oils. Use a minimal amount or 2 to 3 drops and strictly avoid ingesting any of the essential oils during any stage of your pregnancy.

Thought for the day:

A mother’s joy begins when new life is stirring inside… when a tiny heartbeat is heard for the very first time, and a playful kick reminds her that she is never alone.Unknown

Reference links:

  1. Sushruta Samhita by Wikipedia
  2. Divine Delivery by Ayurveda Elements
  3. The Second Trimester: Your Baby’s Growth and Development in Middle Pregnancy by WebMD