What is Ayurveda

What is ‘Ayurveda’…..?

The word Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that evolves from combination of two words, “Ayush” meaning life and “veda” meaning knowledge. Ayurveda means “Knowledge about Life” Ayurveda is a 3000 year old science that originated in India. Present region of North Indian, Pakistan, Nepal, Barma, Tibet and East-Northern places of Bangladesh. The components and concept of Ayurveda is rooted in Vedas. Ayurveda considered as the one of the Upveda of Atharva veda.

Ayurveda is an ancient medical science which was developed in India thousands of years ago. Believed to have been passed on to humans from the Gods themselves.God Dhwanathiri considered as the god who gives ayurveda to mankind for his health. In ayurveda literature it says that ayurveda not created, it sates BRAMHA SMRITHWA AYURVEDA. ie God Brahma recollected or compiled ayurveda science. It is believed that early a samhita named Bramha Samhita was present. All other samhita used content Bramha samhita to write new samhita for easy understanding and usage.

Ayurvedic Medicine is the world’s oldest comprehensive health care system and is indigenous to India where it is widely practiced. This ancient art of healing asserts that the science, philosophy and spirituality are all necessary aspects of healthy living. Thus Ayurveda is not only a comprehensive medical system but also a way of living and the very concept of mind, body and spirit originates from Ayurveda.

Ayurveda originated in vedic time, ancient universities like was Nalantha and Takshashila was the main hub off education in Hindustan. They promoted ayurveda. Due to Buddhism and Jainism ayurveda spred all over the world, Buddhist saints spread the ayurveda to South India, Srilanka, Indonesia etc. But I want to mention one thing that due to principle in Ahimsa in Buddhism, surgical information in the Ayurveda almost lost they give more impotents to herbal and treatment procedure. Still we can see the influence of Buddhism in ayurveda classical text book.


The Branches in Ayurveda are derived from classical Sanskrit literature, in which Ayurveda was
called “the science of eight branches”.
The components are:

1.Kayachikitsa (general medicine): “cure of diseases affecting the body”.
2.Kaumara-bh?tya and Bala Roga: deals with the treatment of children.
3.Shalya tantra deals with surgical techniques.
4.Salakya-tantra – deals with diseases of the teeth, eye, nose, ear etc.
5.Bhuta-vidya deals with the causes, which are not directly visible and not directly explained
by tridosha ,pertaining to micro-organisms or spirits.
6.Agada-tantra deals with antidotes to poison.
7.Rasayana-tantra (Geriatrics)/(Anti Agings) : deals with rejuvenation.
8.Vajikarana tantra (aphrodisiacs) deals with healthy and desired progeny.

Eight Branches In Ayurveda

Basic Principles of Ayurveda:

Tridosha, Pancha Maha-bootha , Saptha dathu , Agni, concept of Srothos

Vata pertains to air and ether elements. This energy is generally seen as the force, which directs nerve impulses, circulation, respiration, and elimination.
Kapha pertains to water and earth elements. Kapha is responsible for growth and protection. The mucousal lining of the stomach, and the cerebral-spinal fluid that protects the brain and spinal column are examples of kapha.
Pitta pertains to fire and water elements. This dosha governs metabolism, e.g., the transformation of foods into nutrients. Pitta is also responsible for metabolism in the organ and tissue systems.

Pancha Maha-bootha concept:

Ayurveda is based on the premise that the universe is made up of five elements:
    1. Pradvi : earth
    2. Aap : water
    3. Tejus : Fire
    4. Vayu : Air
    5. Akash : Space

These elements are represented in humans by three “doshas”, or energies: Vata, Pitta
and Kapha. When any of the doshas accumulate in the body beyond the desirable limit, the body loses its balance. Every individual has a distinct balance, and our health and well-being depend on getting a right balance of the three doshas (“tridoshas”). Ayurveda suggests specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines to help individuals reduce the excess dosha.


Ayurvedic Approach to Health and Wellness:

To maintain the health of a healthy person (swastha vritha) and cure the disease of a diseased.
Preventive Medicine: Creates and maintains health and longevity of an individual by maintaining balance of a person’s prakturi (or constitution) by creating daily and periodic regimens. These health routines focus on diet and exercise, herbals, massage, meditation, and social behavior and positive relationships.
Curative Medicine: Treatments to cure the disease by one or combination of the following approaches:
Internal measures, including shodhana (detoxification) and shamana (methods used to improve quality of life via palliative care).
External measures, including snehana (oil treatments), svedana (steam therapy using herbal steam), and use of herbal pastes.
Surgical methods, including removal of tissues, organs, and harmful growths.
Mental and spiritual therapies or daivya chikitsa.
Herbal therapy, including astute pharmacology.


About Ayurveda Treatments (Upakrama)

Two types of Treatments (Upakrama):
1.Langhana 2. Brimhna

Langhana Therapy further divided in two
1.Sodhana 2.Samana

Saman therapy further divided in to
1.pachana 2.Dipana 3.khuth 4.Vyayama
5. Thritt 6.Athapha 7.Maarutha



Sodhana Therapy (Pancha Karma ) Divided in two Parts:

According to susrutha:

  1. Vaman (Therapeutic vomiting or emesis)
  2. Virechan (Purgation)
  3. Basti (Enema using medicine)
  4. Nasya ( Application of medicine in Nose)
  5. Rakta moksha (Bloodletting or detoxification of the blood)

According To Charaka:

  1. Vaman (Therapeutic vomiting or emesis)
  2. Virechan (Purgation)
  3. Nasya ( Application of medicine in Nose)
  4. Matra Vasthi (Enema Using tail / Gritam)
  5. Kashaya Vasthi (Enema using Kashaya / decotion)


Types Of Medicine In Ayurveda:
According to origin:

  1. Herbal Medicine: Medicine prepared using medicinal Plants
  2. Mineral Medicine: Medicine prepared using heavy metals like mercury, arsenic, sulphur, siver,gold etc.
  3. Herbo-mineral combined medicine

According to Preparation:

  1. Kashaya
  2. Arishta
  3. Asava
  4. Churna
  5. Lehya
  6. Gritha
  7. Gulika
  8. Arka
  9. Basma : kshara
  10. Malahara: Lepana


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