About Ayurveda – A Historical Look
Ayurveda is possibly the oldest system of traditional healing still practiced today. The practice originated in India 5000 years ago and has become popular all over the world. If you have doubts regarding what is Ayurveda , read on to know more on the topic.
Ayurveda is based on bringing the mind, body and soul in balance and a life style incorporating appropriate diet, exercise and spiritual practices like meditation and mantras is prescribed to bring about harmony in life.
History of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is possibly the greatest gift of physical and spiritual healing given by India to the world. It is thought to be divine in origin and taught to Acharya Ved Vyas by Lord Brahma.
The oral traditions in Ayurveda were gradually penned by seers and sages in treatises, some of the foremost of which are the Atharva Veda, Sushruta Samhita and Charaka Samhita. Ayurveda evolved into the Athreya School for Physicians and The Sushruta School for Surgeons covering eight branches of medicine.
The Basic Tenets of Ayurveda
Ayurveda propounds that there are five elements in nature: Akash (space), Prithvi (Earth), Vayu (air), Jal (Water) and Fire (Agni). The five elements combine in the human body in various proportions to reflect as Doshas – the three doshas Pitta, Vata and Kapha reflect in different people in different strengths and the predominant dosha is the deciding factor in the line of treatment. The treatment serves to bring the doshas in balance.
Vatta Dosha controls the joints and muscles, heart, respiratory system and those parts of central nervous system controlling fear, pain and anxiety.
Kapha Dosha affects the physiognomy, immunity levels and the emotional tendencies of greed, forgiveness, love and calm.
Pitta Dosha controls the digestive system, rate of metabolism, intelligence and the emotional tendencies of jealousy, anger, intelligence and understanding.
How Ayurveda Works
Ayurveda works on the principle that toxins accumulate in the body and cause an imbalance of doshas. The three toxins in Ayurveda are:
* Ama: This is sticky sludge formed as food gets digested. It is a waste product and must be eliminated to keep the digestive system efficient.
* Amavisha: Ama if not eliminated, turns into its more toxic form, Amavisha. Amavisha makes the excretory system sluggish and the toxins further aggravate the imbalances in the body.
* Garavisha: External toxins in the form of harmful microorganisms, trace metals and impure air harm the body. These fall under this category.
Diet and Ayurveda
Yoga works on the principle that you are what you eat. As per the dosha of the patient being treated, an appropriate diet may be prescribed.
* Diet for Vata Dosha: Cereals, clarified butter, whole grains, onions, garlic, okra, turnips, all sweet fruits
* Diet for Pitta Dosha: All fruits and vegetables, sprouts
* Diet for Kapha Dosha: Dry food cooked without oil, salads, and dried fruits.
Perception about Ayurveda varies – there are many cases where Ayurvedic treatments have been very effective and there are critics who are against such unconfirmed medical practices. That being said, Ayurveda has been around for ages, and this medical practice is a key part of India's heritage.