The term Ayurveda is derived from two Sanskrit words Ayur (Life) and Veda (Science). Thus, Ayurveda means ” Science of life and longevity”. Ayurveda originated in 10th century B.C. This is a very unique healthcare system that brings the body , mind and soul to a perfect harmony with the nature in a complete naturalistic method .
Kerala is said to be the land of ayurveda where ayurveda is practiced with absolute dedication .Thus almost all contemporary treatment procedures and protocols of ayurveda have evolved in kerala. For example kerala vaidyas ( traditional ayurvedic practitioners) were the first to focus on the antioxident properties of abhyanga,the use of kizhi, pizichil etc.
Ayurvedic philisophy is based on the theories like :_
Panchamahabhuta siddhantha:- i.e. all objects and living bodies are composed of 5 basic elements – earth,water, fire, air and sky.
Thridoshasiddhanta :- ie human body is made up of 3 humours – vata, pitta and kapha. The equilibrium of thridosha makes the perfect healthy body.
In the United States, Ayurvedic medicine is considered Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) – more specially a whole medical system. As with other such systems, it is based on theories of health and illness and on ways to prevent, manage, or treat health problems.
Ayurveda has Eight branches in it hence called “Astana ayurveda”
Kaaya Chikitsa (Internal Medicine),
Baala Chikitsa (Treatment of Children / Pediatrics),
Graha Chikitsa (Psychology),
Urdhvaanga Chikitsa (Treatment of disease above the clavicle)
Shalya Chikitsa (Surgery),
Damstra Chikitsa (Toxicology)
Jara Chikitsa (Geriatrics, Rejuvenation)
Vrsha Chikitsa (Aphrodisiac therapy)
Key Concepts of Ayurvedic system:
AIM OF AYURVEDA
swasthasya swaasthya samrakshanam aathurasya roga nivaranam
The aim of ayurveda is to preserve and rejuvenate the healthy and alleviate the disease of the sick . Ayurvedic treatments aims at balancing the doshas to neutralise the disease. It is not like how western medicine classifies each disease and identifies each pathogens.Treating these pathogens only reduces the symptoms of body temporarily,not the underlying root cause of the disease.The fundamentals of ayurveda tells us a lot of things like life style management and dietary changes to maintain the health and also neutralise the vitiated doshas.
Ayurveda life regimens are simple, non invasive, non traumatic and they generally do not interfere with other forms of treatments.They can often be taken along with allopathic medicine.They can enhance any therapy physical or psychological.Self care methods mainly help in pacifying (shamana) the doshas . For diseases, ayurveda supplements them with elimination ( sodhana) methods like Panchakarma.