Ayurveda, extensively looked upon as the oldest system of medicine in the world, traces its roots to the Vedic period in ancient India. The essentials of Ayurveda can be discovered in Hindu scriptures called the Vedas — the ancient Indian books of wisdom. We can find a series of prescriptions that can help humans conquer various ailments in Rig Veda, which was written over 6,000 years ago.
Ayurveda is distinct as a system which is firmly based on the ideology of nature and upholds a person's health by keeping the individual's body, mind and spirit in perfect equilibrium with nature. The term Ayurveda is a Sanskrit term and is derived from the words words "ayus" and "veda. "Ayus" means life and "Veda" means knowledge or science. The word "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.
Unlike modern system of medicine which focuses on medical management of diseases, Ayurveda aspires to prevent illness, heal the sick and preserve life. The basic pillars of this ancient system are as follows:
The acquaintance of Ayurveda, earlier which was only passed on through pedigree of sages, was assembled into text only around five thousand years ago. Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, and the Ashtanga Hrudaya are some of the oldest known texts explaining the basics of Ayurveda. They give a detailed knowledge about principles and ideology of Ayurveda and the affect of the affect that the five elements found in the cosmic system - earth, water, air, fire, space – have on our individual system, and give further details about on the importance of keeping these elements balanced for a healthy and happy life.
According to Ayurveda, as a result of a person's prakriti or natural constitutions, he or she is influenced by certain elements. These constitutions are categorized into different doshas:
Each human being has a distinctive balance, and our health and well-being depend on getting a right balance of the three doshas ("tridoshas"). When any of the doshas accumulate in the body beyond the desirable limit, the body loses its balance. The dosha not only impacts just the shape of one's body but also bodily propensity (like food preferences and digestion), and the makeup of one's mind and emotions.
"A cheerful frame of mind, reinforced by relaxation... is the medicine that puts all ghosts of fear on the run."
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Ayurvedic treatment emphasis on balancing between body and mind by physical exercises even with herbal therapy.
Ayurvedic treatment is divided into two types:
Preventive medicine includes prevention of diseases in place of taking action for it.
Aspects in Preventive measures
Curative medicine or curative care refers to cure the diseases or treating their symptoms rather than preventing them.
Curative Treatment includes internal purification or Panchakarma, External Medicine and Surgical medicine.
Panchakarma therapy also known as five cleansing methods of treatment improves the body's metabolic process with the help of herbal medicines. The therapy removes the toxins from the body and balances the doshas.
Panchakarma therapy includes five methods to treat people:
One therapy or a combination of two to three therapies is generally used for the treatment of diseases. In Vamana, Kapha toxins present in the body and respiratory tract are eliminated to cure diseases like Bronchial asthma, allergies, hyperacidity, nasal congestion, obesity, skin disorders etc. Virecana therapy is used to eliminate Pitta toxins from liver and gall bladder and helps cure diabetes, asthma, skin disorders, constipation, psoriasis and gynecological disorders.
Basti cleanses Vata, Pitta and Kapha toxins from colon with the help of medicated oil and herbal decoction. It helps in curing Paraplegia, Cervical Spondylosis, constipation, digestive disorders, backache, obesity and infertility.Nasya therapy is used to remove Kapha toxins from head and neck region. In this therapy, medicated oil is administered through the nose. It helps in improving memory and eye sight, and curing insomnia, headaches, migraine, nasal allergies and sinusitis. Rakta Mokshana is the therapy in which blood is purified. However, it is recommended very rarely as there is a high risk of infection.
In this treatment, powders, syrups, tablets and medicated oils made from natural plants, herbs etc are given for treatment.There are no side-effects in Ayurvedic Treatment because medicines are made up of natural products.
It is believed that Ayurveda is the first system which conducted different types of operations to treat fractures, and plastic surgery.Charaka and Susrutha initiated surgeries.