Ayurvedic Medicine is the most ancient system of medicine known to mankind. It emerges within the Vedic culture that arose on the foothills of Himalayas and along the banks of the great rivers of India. It is based on the Vedic wisdom expounded by the ancient sages. Ayurveda is a science-based healthcare approach that treats illness and promotes wellness by focusing assessment on biochemically unique aspects of each patient, and then individually tailoring interventions to restore psychological, physiological and structural imbalances.
Healthy Living: The Basic Principles of Ayurvedic Medicine
There has been a worldwide surge of interest in Ayurvedic medicine as people seek health and wellbeing. Ayurvedic medicine not only recognizes the uniqueness of the individual but also the oneness of all creation and how this translates into human health on all levels. The basic principles upon which Ayurvedic medicine/healthcare operate are:
• Biochemical individuality based on genetic and environmental uniqueness
• Dynamic balance of internal and external factors
• Web-like interconnections of psycho-physiological processes
• Health as a positive vitality – not merely the absence of disease
• Promotion of organ reserve through psycho-neuro-immunological processes
• Patient-centered rather than disease focused healthcare
Using these principles, Ayurvedic healthcare practitioners focus on understanding the fundamental physiological processes, the environmental inputs, and the genetic predispositions that influence every person’s experience of health and disease.
Healthy Habits: The Three Fundamentals of Ayurveda
A person is considered an integral part of the Universe which is governed by natural laws. Ayurveda works primarily on human constitution called Dosha and Prakruti through lifestyle counselling, herbal preparations, nutrition, massage, yoga and Panchakarma all used to bring about balance and harmony in the body.
A Dosha, according to Ayurveda, is one of three bodily functions that make up one's constitution. The central concept of Ayurvedic medicine is the theory that health exists when there is a balance between three fundamental bodily functions or Doshas called Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
- Vata (wind) is the impulse principle necessary to mobilize the nervous system. It affects flatulence, gout, rheumatism, among other things.
- Pitta is the bilious function, or that secreted between the stomach and bowels and flowing through the liver and permeating spleen, heart, eyes, and skin; its chief quality is heat. It is the energy principle which uses bile to direct digestion and enhance metabolism.
- Kapha is the body fluid principle which relates to mucus, lubrication, and the carrier of nutrients.
Prakṛuti means "nature". It is, according to Hinduism, the basic nature of intelligence by which the Universe exists and functions.
Panchakarma is cleansing of the body according to Ayurveda to eliminate corrupted Doshas from the body.
Dhanvantari is the god of Ayurveda. According to legend, the gods and the demons sought the elixir amrita by churning the milky ocean and Dhanvantari rose out of the waters bearing a cup filled with the elixir.