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What is Ayurveda?

herbs used in Ayurvedic medicines

Ayurveda history, philosophy and diagnosis

Ayurveda is perhaps the oldest and most comprehensive medical system available in the world. It was originated in India more than 5000 years ago.

The Rik Veda -the oldest book in the world talks about ‘Sankhya’ which forms the basis of both Ayurveda and Yoga. It contains verses on the nature of health and disease, pathogenesis and principles of treatment. There is mention of three doshas in the Rik Veda namely Vayu. Pitta and Kapha. Then, it suggests remedy for them..

Many people from different parts of world has come India to learn Ayurveda and its medication system. Ayurvedic texts were translated in Arabic and under physicians such as Avicenna and Razi Sempion, both of whom quoted Indian Ayurvedic texts.

Charak and Sushrut laid foundation of this ancient healing system and other major treatise on Ayurveda is Ashtanga Hridaya which is abridged version of Charak and Sushrut. , which is a concise version of the works of Charak and Sushrut., Sushrut Samhita and the Ashtangha Hridaya Samhita are more than 1000 years old.

It is Atharva Veda that contains many descriptions about various herbs. There are lot of mantras to counter jaundice and other hereditary diseases among others.

Ayurvedic treatment and diagnosis process

Ayurveda presents a six-stage procedure for diagnosis known as Kriya. The first 4 stages being unique to Ayurveda in that they permit recognition and elimination of the disease before it start its clinical systems. Understanding the various stages of pathogenesis accumulation (sanchaya), provocation (prakopa) spread or migration (prasara), deposition or augmentation (sthana samshaya), manifestation (vyakti) and the differentiation (bheda) is can work as a physician in Ayurveda.

Examination of the pulse( Nadi Parikshan): The leading clinical skill in ayurvedic diagnosis it can provide unlimited insights into the history of the patient. The ideal time for pulse examination is early morning in empty stomach. But in case of emergency, it can be examined at any time of the day or night. An experienced ayurvedic physician can assess your body’s nature (prakriti), pathological state (vikruti), and imbalances of body type, very subtle observations & even prognosis of disease through the pulse.

Examination of the tongue: A vata affected tongue is dry, rough & cracked. Pitta suffered tongue is red with a burning sensation and kapha influenced it is wet, slimy and coated.

Examination of skin: It can tell many things about disease, state of organs and palpation. Vata affected skin is rough and temperature is below normal. Pitta affected one has quite high temperature and kapha effected is cold and wet.

Principles of Ayurveda

Spirit and mind reflected as body are derived from the five (Pancha) great (maha) eternal elements (bhutas) and they are known as Panchamahabhutas. The body becoming the vehicle of mind and instrument of gratification.

Ayurveda is a comprehensive care that stresses on balancing energies in order to achieve optimum health and well being.

Panchakarma and Ayurvedic Treatment Massage

There are techniques in Ayurveda that can purge your body from toxins. Panchkarma is very popular process. It comprises short-term nutritional prescription, massage, herbs, and might include purgatives, sweat baths, medicated enemas, and nasal cleansing.

Current scenario-Ayurveda Remedies

At the beginning of 20th century, Ayurvedic physicians started organizing themselves into professional associations for recognition and funding. It is now a statutory and recognized medical system of health care like the other medical systems that exist in India. The Central Council of Indian Medicine policy making body for the research and development of the system. Kerala is the state in India that promotes research and practices Ayurveda the most.

There are concerns too. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association confirmed high levels of toxic heavy metals such as lead, mercury and arsenic in almost one-fourth of Ayurvedic preparations. Study in India has also corroborated these findings. However, Ayurveda practitioners claim that heavy metals are important for some formulations and are in vogue from centuries and they have been used safely.

The Ayurveda has started gaining popularity due to its strengths and defective lifestyle. Allopathic system has not presented complete cure for the various ailments. But, Ayurveda cures the problem from its root.

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