Ayurveda

Kumarakom-Ayurveda-HotelAyurveda the science of life is a system of traditional medicine native to the Indian Subcontinent and practiced in other parts of the world as a form of alternative medicine. In Sanskrit, the word Ayurveda consists of the words ‘āyus’ meaning ‘life’ and ‘veda’ meaning ‘related to knowledge’ or ‘science’. Evolving throughout its history, Ayurveda remains an influential system of medicine in South Asia. The earliest literature of Ayurveda appeared during the Vedic period in India. The Sushruta Samhita and the Charaka Samhita were influential works on traditional medicine during this era. Ayurvedic practitioners also identified a number of medicinal preparations and surgical procedures for curing various ailments and diseases. “Ayurveda” is an Upaveda or annexure to the four main vedas (knowledge systems). The famous treaties of Ayurveda are Charaka Samhita by Sage Charaka, which details the prevention and treatment of disease, and Sushruta Samhita of Sage Sushruta, which deals with Ayurvedic surgical procedures. Kerala’s Ayurveda is distinct. ‘Pancha Karma’ is a branch of Ayurveda developed by physicians in ancient Kerala from the ‘Sodhana Chikilsa’. It is a complex yet complete health programme of Ayurveda that promotes fitness primarily through massage with medicated oils.
Ayurveda is grounded in a metaphysics of the ‘five great Elements’ earth, water, fire, air and ether – all of which compose the Universe, including the human body. Chyle (called Rasa dhatu), blood (called Rakta dhatu), flesh (called Mamsa dhatu), fat (called Medha dhatu), bone (called Asthi dhatu), marrow (called Majja dhatu), and semen or female reproductive tissue (called Shukra dhatu) are held to be the seven primary constituent elements of the body. Ayurveda stresses a balance of three Humors or Energies: vata (wind/air), pitta (bile) and kapha (phlegm). According to Ayurveda, ayurveda these three regulatory principles— Doshas are important for health, because when they are in balanced state, the body is healthy, and when imbalanced, the body has diseases. Ayurveda hold that humans possess a unique combination of Doshas. In Ayurveda, the human body perceives attributes of experiences as 20 Guna, meaning qualities). Surgery and surgical instruments are employed. It is believed that building a healthy metabolic system, attaining good digestion, and proper excretion leads to vitality. Ayurveda also focuses on exercise, yoga, meditation, and massage. Thus, body, mind, and spirit/ consciousness need to be addressed both individually and in unison for health to ensue.

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