| Ayurveda literally means "SCIENCE OF LIFE AND LONGEVITY” and is considered to be the ancient system of medicine of India. It is the oldest health care system in the world given by lord Bhrama to the king Indra and then after it reached to the beautiful earth by different Rishis.
Ayurveda is a Sanskrit term, made up of the words "ayus" and "veda." "Ayus" means life and "Veda" means knowledge or science. The term "Ayurveda" thus means 'the knowledge of life' or 'the science of life'. According to the ancient Ayurvedic scholar Charaka, "ayu" comprises the mind, body, senses and the soul.
Its evolution takes place long back when the life came into existence and since that time till today Ayurveda is serving the humanity. Recently in past few years Ayurveda is gaining its popularity in western culture and people from there are coming to reveal the hidden secrets of Ayurveda in India and started adopting the daily regimens described by the ancient acharayas.
Aims of Ayurveda
"Swasthyasya swasthya rakshanam Aturasya vikar prashamanamcha"
Ayurveda probably the first of its kind system of medicine whose aim is to promote good health in healthy and manages the ill health in event of illness.
Branches of Ayurveda
Ayurveda being the vast science of medicine is divided into eight branches likewise the speciality in modern medicine the masters of Ayurveda becomes the specialist in that branch. Ayurveda is probably the first of its medicine type to classify Rasayana chikitsa as a separate branch to deal with the rejuvenation of body particularly in the old age. In the colleges of ancient India, students could choose a specialty from eight branches of medicine i.e.
"Kaaya baala graha urdhvaanga shalya damshtra jara vrshan Ashtau angaani tasyaahuh chikitsa yeshu samsthitaah."
Kayachikitsa -Internal Medicine
Shalya chikitsa -Surgery
Bala chikitsa -Pediatrics
Graha chikitsa- Bhoot Vidya -Psychiatry
Urdhvanga chikitsa -Treatment of eyes, ears, nose, throat and head
Damstra chikitsa- Agad Tantra -Toxicology
Jara chikitsa- Rasayana -Gerentorology
Vrishya chikitsa- Vajikarana -Aphrodisiacs or Sexology
Basic principles of Ayurveda
Pancha Mahabhuta/strong> Theory:Five elements-The building blocks of life
1 . Pṛithvi- earth
2 . Jala- water
3 . Agni- fire
4 . Vayu<- air
5. Akash- ether
All the living beings are made up of these basic five elements and these elements are the subtlest aspects of human life, finer than the molecular, atomic, or subatomic levels. This helps the Vaidya to treat every patient individually according to its own elemental constitution.
Due to these five elements, three humours i.e. Vatadosha, Pitta dosha, kapha dosha are formed in the body and they form prakarti of human at the time of birth.
Vata regulates movement and is represented by the nervous system.
Pitta is the principle of biotransformation and is the cause of all metabolic processes in the body.
Kapha is the principle of cohesion and functions through the body fluids.
The balance of these three humours in the human body is very vital as when these are in the normal proportion the human will not suffer with any illness but when there is any variation then normal the person become unhealthy in various ways.
The root derivation of dhatu is "do - dharana poshanayoh ".
The dhatus help in the maintenance, sustenance, growth and nourishment of the human body.There are seven dhatus, they are:
Mala ( Waste Product)
Rakta – Haemoglobin/blood
Mamsa – Muscles
Meda< – Fats
Asthi – Bones
Majja – Bone marrow
Shukra– Reproductive essence.
Mala are the substances or waste matter to be thrown out of the body. They are actually by products formed as a result of various physiological activities going on in the body. Purish (stool), Mutra (urine) and Sweda (sweat) are considered as main excretory product of the body. These are also known as Dushya as these tend to be influenced to cause pathology or disease by imbalanced doshas.
According to Ayurveda, the only balanced condition of doshas, dhatus and malas is Aarogya (good health or disease free condition) and their imbalance causes ill health or disease.
Diagnosis of disease:
In the Ayurvedic system of medicine there are different types of parikshas to diagnose the root cause of the disease like dwividh pariksha, trividh pariksha, chaturvidh pariksha, panchvidh pariksha etc. Nadi pariksha is one among the most common which everyone is know with in which the Vaidya feels the pulse of diseased person and diagnose the disease.
It includes different therapies like
Shaman Chikitsa - Alleviating the disease with internal medicines.
Shodhan Chikitsa -Detoxify the body by different procedures according to the predominance of dosha and the site where dosha is reciding. These include 5 proedures which collectively are known as Panchakarma therapies i.e.
1.Basti -Enema therapy :- It is best for vata imbalance.
Satwavjaya Chikitsa: In this the person is asked to undergo worship of lord and asked to do some Havan and yagya to get over the illness. It’s conducted by Pujaris and Saints.
2.Virechan -Purgation therapy :- It is best for pitta imbalance.
3.Vaman -Emesis therapy :- It is Best for kapha imbalance.
4.Nasya -Nasal drops :- For all diseases above the neck.
5.Raktamokshan - Blood letting :- Best for removing blood impurities.
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