‘Ayurveda’ is a Sanskrit term. It has 2 meanings in it. ‘Ayur’ means life and ‘veda’ means knowledge. It can be said that ‘Ayurveda’ is the science of life. Ayurveda exists since 5000 years. It is one of the ancient and traditional forms of medicine.
Ayurveda is a science which deals with remedies and suggestions for both diseased and healthy people. It deals with the physical, mental and social well being of an individual.
Ayurveda assumes that every individual is made up of five elements of nature. These include:
Body is made up of 5 elements of nature. However, the functional system of the body is governed by 3 biological aspects:
Ether and air combine to form the Vata dosha. This dosha governs movement and therefore is considered as the force which directs nerve impulses, circulation, respiration, and elimination.
Fire and water combine to form the Pitta dosha. The Pitta dosha governs transformation or metabolism in the body. Example: Digestion of food. Pitta is also responsible for metabolism in the organ and tissue systems.
Water and ether combine to form the Kapha dosha. Kapha dosha is responsible for the structural integrity and stability of the mind-body. It provides the reserves of physical strength and stamina.
According to Ayurveda, good health is a state of balance between the body, mind and consciousness. Within the body, Ayurveda recognizes the three doshas ( bodily humors) vata, pitta and kapha; seven dhatus(tissues), blood, plasma, fat, muscle, bone, nerve, and reproductive; three malas(wastes), solid waste, urine and sweat; and agni, the energy of metabolism. Disease is a considered as a condition of disharmony in any of these factors mentioned above. The root cause of disease, is an aggravation of dosha, vata-pitta-kapha.
Ayurvedic system of medicine incorporates in it wisdom developed over centuries. The emphasis here is on ways to promote good health rather than just treating diseases. Ayurveda is one of the few systems of medicine which takes physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being into account. All the remedies suggested in this system are totally in conjunction with nature.