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Ayurveda is one of the oldest traditional systems of health care in the country. It has got its own great history, scientific validity and authenticity of traditional seers. It has got medicines which are primarily from herbal sources and methods of prevention and management of disease conditions.
Ayurveda is considered by many scholars to be the oldest healing science. In Sanskrit, Ayurveda means “The Science of Life.” Ayurvedic knowledge originated in India more than 5,000 years ago and is often called the “Mother of All Healing Systems.” It stems from the ancient Vedic culture and was taught for many thousands of years in an oral tradition from accomplished masters to their disciples. The principles of many of the natural healing systems now familiar in the West have their roots in Ayurveda.
Life in Ayurveda is conceived as the union of body, mind and soul. The living man is a conglomeration of three humors (vata, pitta & kapha), seven basic tissues (rasa, rakta, mamsa, medha, asthi, majja & shukra) and the waste products of the body i.e. mala, mutra & sweda. Thus, the total body matrix of body is the humors, the tissues and the waste products of the body. The growth & decay of this body matrix and its constituents revolve around food, which gets processed into humors, tissues and wastes. Indigestion, digestion, absorption and metabolism of food have interlinked in health & disease which are significantly affected by psychological mechanisms as well as bio-fire (agni). Health & sickness depends on the presence or absence of a balanced state of the body matrix including the balance between its different constituents. Both the intrinsic and extrinsic factors can cause disturbance in the natural equilibrium giving rise to disease condition. This loss of equilibrium can happen by faulty dietary habits, undesirable habits and non-observance of rules of healthy living. Seasonal abnormalities, improper exercise or wrong use of sense organs and incompatible actions of the body and mind can also result in bringing disturbance of existing balance. The treatment consists of restoring the balance of disturbed body-mind matrix by having proper diet and correcting lifestyle & behavior, administration of drugs and resorting to preventive Panchakarma and Rasayana therapy.
In a nut shell, Ayurveda places great emphasis on prevention and encourages the maintenance of health through close attention to balance in one’s life, right thinking, diet, lifestyle and the use of herbs. Knowledge of Ayurveda enables one to understand how to create this balance of body, mind and consciousness according to one’s own individual constitution and how to make lifestyle changes to bring about and maintain this balance.