Ayurveda - The Science of Life


          Ayurveda: the "Science of life", is a system of traditional medicine native to the Indian subcontinent and practiced in other parts of the world as a form of alternative medicine . In Sanskrit, the word Ayurveda consists of the words ayus , meaning "life", and veda , meaning "related to knowledge" or "science" . Evolving throughout its history, Ayurveda remains an influential system of medicine in South Asia. The earliest literature of Ayurveda appeared during the Vedic period in India . The Sushruta Samhita and the Charaka Samhita were influential works on traditional medicine during this era. Ayurvedic practitioners have also identified a number of medicinal preparations and surgical procedures for curing various ailments and diseases.

         Ayurveda is considered to be a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in the western world, where several of its methods, such as the use of herbs, massage, and yoga, are applied on their own as a form of CAM treatment..

         Ayurveda is grounded in a metaphysics of the "five great elements" earth, water, fire, air and ether — all of which compose the Universe, including the human body. Chyle or plasma (called rasa dhatu), blood (rakta dhatu), flesh (mamsa dhatu), fat (medha dhatu), bone (asthi dhatu), marrow (majja dhatu), and semen or female reproductive tissue (shukra dhatu) are held to be the seven primary constituent elements of the body. Ayurveda deals elaborately with measures of healthful living during the entire span of life and its various phases. Ayurveda stresses a balance of three elemental energies or humors: vata (air in space – "wind"), pitta (fire in water – "bile") and kapha (water in earth – "phlegm"). According to ayurveda, these three regulatory principles— Doshas — are important for health, because when they are in balanced state, the body is healthy, and when imbalanced, the body has diseases. Ayurveda holds that each human possesses a unique combination of Doshas. In ayurveda, the human body perceives attributes of experiences as 20 Guna meaning qualities. There are Eight disciplines of ayurveda treatment, called ashtangas :
  • Internal medicine (Kaaya-chikitsa)
  • Paediatrics (Kaumarabhrtyam)
  • Surgery (Shalya-chikitsa)
  • Treatment of diseases above the clavicle (Salakyam)
  • Demonic possession (Bhuta vidya)
  • Toxicology (Agadatantram)
  • Prevention diseases and improving immunity and rejuvenation (rasayana)
  • Aphrodisiacs and improving health of progeny (Vajikaranam)