Glimpse of Ayurveda

09 Sep

Ayurveda derives from two Sanskrit words, “Ayur” means life and “Veda” meaning knowledge or science, therefore, the meaning of Ayurveda is the science of life. Charak, an ayurvedic physician during 300BC added his own easy to understand anthology to Agnivesa  Samhita which is now known as Charak Samhita and which is why he is referred to as the father of Ayurveda.  

Ayurveda is not only used to treat diseases or to cure something naturally, but it is also used to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Ayurveda is not only used to maintain the body physically but mentally too.

Ayurveda can be traced back to 5000 years. The three most important concepts in Ayurveda are “Charak Samitha”, “Sushruta Samitha” and “Ashtang Sangraha”. There are a total of 8 classifications in Ayurveda.

Charak Samitha: it is believed to rise in 400-200 BCE, it is believed to be one of the oldest and authoritative writings on Ayurveda. The language of Charak is Sanskrit and it’s in the form of poetry and melody. It concentrates on the branch of Ayurveda called kayachikitsa meaning internal medicine 

Sushruta Samitha: it is believed to arise in the same time period of Charak Samhita, it deals with practise and theory of surgery also known as shalya in ayurvedic language. It is in both poetry and prose form but mostly poetry.

Ashtang sangraha: it is a work by a person called Vagbhata, it is believed that it has risen slightly after the Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita. It is in the form of poetry and prose. It mainly focuses on dealing with the body.  

  1. Kayachikitsa (Internal medicine)
  2. Kaumar-Bhritya (paediatrics)
  3.  Shalyatantra (surgery)
  4. Shalakya Tantra (ophthalmology, OPT)
  5. Bhuta Vidya (Spiritual therapy)
  6. Visha tantra (Toxicology)
  7. Rasayana (rejuvenation therapy)
  8. Vajikarana (vilification therapy)

Ayurveda believes that everything on earth including man is made up of 5 elements,

  1. Prithvi
  2. Water
  3. Fire
  4. Air
  5. Space

These five elements unite in their biological form in our body, to form different biological humoures. These humours are also known as “dosha” and are responsible for influencing the mind and body too. There are a total of three doshas hence they are also known as tridoshas. In Sanskrit the are called Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.

Let’s talk about some other basic principles of Ayurveda:

Dhatus: tissues which maintain and nourishes our body, they are total 7  in number named, rasa, rakta, mamsa, meda, asthi, majja, Shukra.

Mala:  The glands which will mainly deal with urine, faeces, and sweat, etc. these are the glands that produce waste materials that are generated due to various metabolic activities in the body. Poor elimination of waste from the body can cause many diseases in the body.

Srotas: there are various channels which are responsible to transport the saptadhatu and mala. Obstruction or malnutrition can cause various problems in the body.

Agni: these are the type of enzymes that are responsible for digestion and transforming one material to another.

All these basic principles should perform their tasks properly to have a fit and healthy body. All of them are connected to each other and are responsible to maintain the equilibrium of tridosha.

Let us now talk about “Panchkarma”, it is a therapeutic method of eliminating toxins from the body which are produced from various metabolic activities. There are five methods known as Vanam, Virechana, Basti, Nasya, and Rakhtamosna. Apart from these five procedures, there are many other methods like Dhara, tarpana, kaval etc which are used to treat many local diseases and problems. 

Ayurvedic altogether has many natural ways of treating several problems in our body. But before trying any Ayurvedic way to treat your problem you should always consider a herbal physician. Ayurveda can be used to attain peace of soul and mind, it is a combination of preventive healthcare, healing, and philosophy of life. In the world where everything very fast, it is very important for an individual to maintain spiritual and physical balance in their lives.

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