Ayus+Veda or Ayurveda in Sanskrit literally means the science of life. It is also called the mother of all medicines and originated in India over 5000 years ago. The aim of ayurveda is to integrate and balance the body, mind and spirit. This helps to prevent illness and promote wellness.
Ayurveda considers people, health and universe to be related. Health problems occur when these relationships are out of balance. Herbs, metals, massage and other products and techniques are used to restore the balance and cleanse the body. In the United States, ayurveda is considered as complimentary or alternative medicine (CAM) and constitutes a medical system. Many therapies used in ayurveda are also used on their own as CAM-for example, herbs, massage and yoga.
History of Ayurveda medicine
Many of these Ayurveda practices were handed down from generation to generation either orally or through inscriptions in books called Vedas- Books of Knowledge. Charaka Samhita and Susruta Samhita were the earliest treatise on ayurveda and were written over 2000 years ago. These cover a wide range of topics including those on Pathology, diagnosis, treatment, surgery, how to care for children, life style, advise for practitioners including medical ethics and philosophy.
Ayurveda has wide acceptance in India and has been its mainstay from early times. Over two thirds of the rural people still use ayurveda and medicinal plants to meet their primary health care needs. Most cities, besides, have ayurveda colleges and hospitals. Apart from India, nations that practiced ayurveda system of medicine from ancient times include: Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Tibet. In the United States, however, professional practice of ayurveda began to grow and gained acceptance in the late 20 th century.
Ayurveda teaches us how to achieve and maintain perfect health. The aim of Ayurveda is to create emotional, spiritual & physical health in an individual and to cure diseases. Ayurveda views the cause of disease as the natural result of living out of harmony with its environment.
Ayurveda believes that each human being is constituted of three basic elements called Tridoshas: they are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha and each dosha is made up of one or two of the five basic elements: space, air, water, fire and earth. The ideal balance of all these three doshas constitutes the perfect health of an individual. When there is an imbalance in any of the three tridoshas disease sets in.
Ayurveda seeks to promote the overall health of each and every human being by living in perfect harmony with nature. It seeks to ensure in the process, the perfect health of the individual, his family and the society at large.
How it differs from modern medicine?
The Western world, fully aware of the immense benefits that Ayurveda offers vis-à-vis the conventional system of medicine is taking to this system with renewed interest. Even Paracelsus, considered the father of modern western medicine, had borrowed heavily from Ayurveda.
The great drawback inherent in allopathic medicines is that it does not differentiate between patients. Moreover, all allopathic medicines are manufactured on a mass scale and prescribed for all who manifest certain symptoms. The treatments meted out in the Ayurvedic system of medicine, however, are based on the principle that the needs of each patient are different. All treatments are thus specific to the patient in Ayurveda