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Word Meaning of Ayurveda:


The name Ayurveda is derived from two Sanskrit words, “Ayur” meaning span of life or longevity, and “Veda” meaning knowledge or Science. In other words Ayurveda means “Science of Life” or “The Knowledge of Life” that teaches us to live life in a true and natural balance.



What is Kerala Ayurveda?


Ayurveda is the time tested ancient system of medicine which helps to maintain healthy body and mind. It is a science that not only addresses to bodily infirmity but encourages social, spiritual, emotional and psychological well being. Thus it is the system that not only cures the diseases, but also works to help people arrive at perfect health. It is the HOLISTIC healing system of medicine, practiced in India for more than 5000 year

The Kerala specialty Ayurvedic therapies have unique history of evolution and offer many exceptional methods for total body detoxification & rejuvenation which can cure many chronic ailments. The failure of modern medicine in offering side-effect-free treatments for certain ailments like Arthritis, Spondylitis, Lumbago, Slip Disc, Frozen Shoulder, Stress & Strain, Sciatica, Sinusitis, Depression etc. has increased the demand for these time tested, side effect-free therapies not only in India but also in the Western world.


History of  Ayurveda:


Ayurveda  is  the oldest system of health- care, which traces its roots to the Vedas .
Ayurveda is an ancient system of life (ayur) knowledge (veda) arising in India thousands of years ago.  Ayurveda theory evolved from a deep understanding of creation. The great Rishis or seers of ancient India came to understand creation through deep meditation and other spiritual practices. The Rishis sought to reveal the deepest truths of human physiology and health. They observed the fundamentals of life, organized them into an elaborate system, and compiled India’s philosophical and spiritual texts, called Veda of knowledge.

The wisdom of Ayurveda is recorded in Sanskrit, the ancient language of India that reflects the philosophy behind Ayurveda and the depth within it.

The origin of Ayurveda is attributed to Atharva Veda where mention is made several diseases with their treatments. Later, from the 6th Century BC to 7th Century AD there was systematic development of the science and it is called Samhita period, when a number of classical works were produced by several authors and during this period there is evidence of organized medical care.

In the ancient times, the knowledge of  Ayurveda  was carried forward orally through a lineage of sages. Finally around 5000 years ago, the knowledge of  Ayurveda was collected and put together in texts such as Charak Samhita,  Sushruta Samhita & the Astang Hrudaya.

It is the most practical and sensible preventive system in the world that is being practiced intact even in today’s technology-driven world. It is the traditional natural healing system of India, being practiced here for over 5000 years.


Fundamentals or Basic Principles of Ayurveda


Ayurveda is based on “Panchamahabhutha” and “Tridosha” theories. This unique living system considers that a human being is a balanced composition of body, mind and soul. Life styles which are based on the true principles of Ayurveda will resist diseases, arrest premature ageing and retain youthfulness for a long time.


A: Panchmahabhoot:


Ayurveda is based on the premise that the universe is made up of five elements. These are:
1- Akash (Ether),
2 – Vayu (Air),
3 – Agni (Fire),
4 – Jala (Water),
5 – Prithavi (Earth).



The basic constituents of human body are also the same “Pancha Maha Bhootas.” Each and every cell, system and organ is made up of these 5 constituents. The proportion of five “Pancha Maha Bhootas” is different in different systems and organs, based on their involvement, the qualities and functions are also different.

The individual human being is the miniature replica of the universe. The individual (Purusha) and the universe (Loka) stay in constant interaction with each other and also derive and draw materials from each other in order to maintain their normalcy and homeostasis. This interaction and exchange continues in a normal way such as by breathing the air, eating foods available in nature, etc.


So long as this interaction is wholesome and optimum, the man is in optimum health.  When any of the doshas accumulate in the body beyond the desirable limit, the body loses its balance.Hence in Ayurveda the main principle of treatment will be to restore the harmonious exchange between Purusha (individual) and Loka (universe).
Ancient Ayurvedic Experts have conceived this “Pancha Maha Bhootas” theory into “Tri Dosha” theory for their easy diagnosis and treatment.

These 5 elements are represented in humans by three “doshas”, or energies: Vata,  Pitta and Kapha.


B: TRIDOSHA – Ayurveda Dosha Theory


The “Dosha” theory is one of the basic theories of Ayurveda. The word “Dosha” is a Sanskrit word whose expansion is “Dooshayati iti Dosha” i.e. that which gets easily vitiated is “Dosha.”
Tridosha is the main concept of Ayurvedic medical science. The equilibrium of these doshas provide complete health and imbalance of these doshas lead to various disorders.


The three doshas, or bio-energies found in our body are:

1:  Vata:


Vata is the most important part of Tridosha concept.
Vata governs all movements of the body, all catabolic activities, all nervous functions, the mind, the heart, the sensory organs, the breathing, the speech and the elimination of stool. This energy is generally seen as the force, which directs nerve impulses, circulation, respiration and elimination.



2: Pitta:


All the digestive activities of body are controlled by “Pitta.”  Digestive activity means not only the digestion of food occurring in the intestine but the hormonal, chemical and metabolic changes (eg. the transformation of foods into nutrients) are attributed to “Pitta”.
The body warmth, the knowledge, the intelligence, taste, vision, appetite, skin complexion, intelligence, bravery are all qualities attributed to “Pitta”.



3: Kapha:


All the anabolic activities of body are maintained by “Kapha.” Kapha is responsible for growth and protection. It provides the structures and lubrication in the body.  The mucosal lining of the stomach and the cerebral-spinal fluid that protects the brain and spinal column are examples of Kapha.
It is responsible for the body fluids and liquids, stability of the body, strength and sexual power. It nourishes all sense organs, lubricates the joints and moistens all aliments touching the tongue. Kapha relates to produce healthy offspring, prevent excessive friction from occurring between the various parts of the body, perform strength of physical body and maintain stability of mind.  Lungs, throat, head, joints, fat, nose, tongue, taste and mainly thoracic region associate with Kapha.

By analyzing these symptoms the physician can come to a conclusion that this “Dosha” is vitiated and based on that treatment can be decided. 
Balanced Tridosha Ensures Healthy Life



What is Ayurvedic Treatment?


Ayurvedic  treatment is Holistic & it consists of a strict & wholesome Regime of :
1-Nidan Parivarjan (Non intake of disease causing factors)
2-Detoxification through Panchkarma to remove toxins from body
3-To pacify dosha through Herbal Medicines.
4-Suitable Diet
5-Practice of Yoga & Life Style management.



Method of treatment in Ayurveda or Disease Management in Ayurveda

The overall treatment outlook of Ayurveda is broadly classified into two.

1.Preventive Therapy:


(Swasthasya swasthya samrakshanam) –
Ayurveda believes that “Prevention is better than cure”. A person who maintains his health will not be afflicted by diseases. A number of measures have been explained for this purpose.
A. Dinacharya (Daily routines to be practiced)
B. Rithucharya (Seasonal regimes to be practiced)
C. Rasayana Chikitsa (Rejuvenative Therapy)
D. Vajikarana Chikitsa (Aphrodisiac)

2.Curative Therapy :


(Athurasya vikara prasamanam) –
Mainly two methods have been explained for curing the diseases.



A.Sodhana Chikitsa – Panchakarma Therapy (Purificatory therapy):
The increased and vitiated doshas are expelled from the body by means of various Panchakarma therapies. These therapies are very significant as with these treatments not only the disease is cured but also prevent relapse.

 B. Samana Chikitsa (Pacificatory therapy)
By using medicines and other measures, the imbalanced and vitiated humors such as “Vatha”, “Pitha” and “Kapha” (Doshas) are brought to a balanced state, thus curing the disease.
This is specially done after the sodhana therapy and in less vitiation. Herbal medicines are used internally and externally to correct the derangement of functions of Doshas, Dhatus, Malas and Agni and also to increase the Immunity. The restoration of normality is brought about without any elimination.

Uniqueness of Ayurveda:


Ayurvedic treatment is unique of its approach to health and disease. Instead of suppressing the main symptoms, the root cause is eliminated and thus gives permanent relief.
The system of Ayurveda medicine evolved over thousands of years through processes of experience, observation, experimentation and intuition. It is the most practical and sensible preventive system in the world. It is practiced intact even in today’s technology-driven world.


Treatment given is for the individual as a whole, not just the body alone, but also mind and soul.  Again, treatment is not to treat the affected part only, but to correct the origin and balance the equilibrium.  The Mind – Body relation is well explained in Ayurveda.  Mental aberrations can lead to physical ill-health and vice versa.
Ayurveda offers health solutions that deal with the methods to help bring a person into a state of complete balance. These solutions are not restricted to sophisticated formulas or medicine but goes to the extent of prescribing a personalized life style for each individual. Ayurvedic system of medicine prescribes time tested and trusted methods to improve one’s physical and mental activities.

Ayurveda believes that a ‘healthy mind can exist only in a healthy body’.  It is essentially knowledge of the Art and Science of Living which man needs, as long as there is life on earth.  It maintains the tradition of using only plants, vegetables etc. which are available in nature.  In other words, no artificial substance is used in Ayurveda.


Why Ayurveda?

Completely natural, Ayurveda perhaps is the safest medical system on Earth.
Ayurvedic Treatment varies from person to person.  It is not the same for the same illness, for all.  It is based on the age, sex, strength, constitution, condition of the disease etc, of the patient.  Great emphasis is laid on the principles of proper diet, proper exercise, proper breathing, proper relaxation, proper thinking and proper meditation.


The Ayurvedic approach treats the whole person- mentally, physically, socially, emotionally  & spiritually while in modern (western) medicine, after extensive diagnostics, often the disease or cluster of symptoms is isolated, and the disease becomes the sole area of concern of the traditional physician. Since Ayurveda is a natural therapy, it has no or very few side effects or almost no complications whereas other there is lots of side effects and several complications in other systems of medicine.

Ayurveda offers health solutions that deal with the methods to help bring a person into a state of complete balance. These solutions are not restricted to sophisticated formulas or medicine but goes to the extent of prescribing a personalized life style for each individual. Ayurvedic system of medicine prescribes time tested and trusted methods to improve one’s physical and mental activities.

Ayurveda believes that a ‘healthy mind can exist only in a healthy body’.  It is essentially knowledge of the Art and Science of Living which man needs, as long as there is life on earth.  It maintains the tradition of using only plants, vegetables etc. which are available in nature.  In other words, no artificial substance is used in Ayurveda.
Ayurveda prescribes the social norms for an individual.  This helps in maintaining spiritual health and elaborates on daily routines, according to the region of the habitat, age of the person etc.

Ayurveda believes that man is influenced very much by his environment, which affects his health status too.  The routines include diets, habits and attitude to life.  These are to be changed according to age, sex, living conditions, environment etc., these changes are required to maintain the natural resistance of the body to diseases.
Despite being an ancient system of Medicine, Ayurveda is as much relevant and essential now as ever before as it banks on bestowing us with the knowledge and awareness of disease prevention & elimination of its root cause rather than disease management.


Branches of Ayurveda:


Aurveda is devided in 8 branches.
1: Kayachikitsa (Internal Medicine)-  Kaya chikitsa deals with the treatment of general ailments, such as fever, diarrhea and cough, by treating Agni (digestive fire).

2: Baala chikitsa (Treatment of Children / Pediatrics) -This deals in treating children

3:  Graha chikitsa (Demonology / Psychology) – This branch of Ayurveda deals with diseases like insanity, epilepsy and diseases caused by affliction of external factors such as evil sprits and ghosts. In other words it may be known as the branch that deals with the treatment of psychosomatic diseases.

4:Urdhvanga chikitsa (Treatment of disease above the clavicle) – This branch of Ayurveda deals with the treatment of diseases of the organs above the clavicle. It includes the treatment of eyes, ears, nose, throat, mouth, teeth and head.

5:  Shalya chikitsa (Surgery) – It deals with treatment of diseases caused by foreign bodies and diseases that need surgical therapies. It is carried out only for diseases, which cannot be cured by medicines.

6:  Visha chikitsa (Toxicology) – This form of treatment deals with the treatment of poisoning from animals, such as snakes, insects, spiders, scorpions and also of plants, metals and minerals.

7:  Rasayana chikitsa (Geriatrics, Rejuvenation) – It deals in rejuvenation and restoring the youthfulness of an individual and deals with various therapies and herbs that have to be taken to restore the youth & vitality.

8:  Vajikarana  chikitsa (Aphrodisiac therapy) – This branch of Ayurveda deals with treatment that helps to get good progeny. It provides various medicines and therapies to improve the virility and the sexual prower of a person to help him to get a good progeny.



What is  Prakruti  or  Ayurvedic  Body constitution?


Ayurveda, states that the basic constitution of a human being is determined at the time of conception. This constitution is called Prakruti. The term Prakruti is derived from Sanskrit word that means, ‘nature’, ‘creativity’ or the first creation’. Prakruti is the physical and psychological constitution of the individual, which is determined on the basis of three doshas.



Prakriti is defined as the natural characteristics of individuals. It is responsible for the development of the three gunas in the individuals. These gunas include Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Ayurveda defines prakriti as the mental and physical composition of the individuals. Whenever the balanced state among the three gunas occurs, the body deviates from the healthy state.


Instead, the individuals face a lot of difficulties, illness and sickness. It is transferred to the offspring from their parents right during the period of union if ovum and the sperm in the mother’s womb. This prakriti portrays the physical traits and mental characteristics. The various individuals have various combinations of the doshas, gunas. And, thus, the individuals have distinguishing prakriti, which is unique in nature. This prakriti cannot be changed frequently. It, most of the times, remains constant all throughout the life of the individuals. Various physical disorders, diseases etc. depend on the prakriti of the individuals. Thus, it becomes highly important to maintain a balance of the various attributes of the iividual’s life. es take place in individuals. This concept of Prakriti is derived from the Ayurvedic view of Saankhya.


Importance of Prakruti


Knowing our prakruti is helpful as it not only helps us know our self better but also helps us in getting rid of diseases. It helps in understanding certain important physical and mental characteristics. Prakruti is an important decisive factor for evaluating an individual’s status of physical constitution as well.


Factors Determining Prakruti


•Sukra-Shonit Prakruti (Condition of sperm-ovum)
• Kala-garbhasaya Prakruti (Condition of uterus)
• Matu-ahar Prakruti (Food regimen adopted by mother, during pregnancy)



Types of Prakruti


Basically, according to Ayurveda, there are seven body types. Every individual has a unique combination of these three doshas.
• Mono types (vata, pitta or kapha predominant)
• Dual types (vata-pitta, pitta-kapha or, kapha-vata)
 Equal types (vata, pitta and kapha in equal proportions)