is the ancient Indian medical science, the origin of which can be traced
back to more than 5000 years. The source of Ayurveda are the vedas , the
oldest available classics.
Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word, derived from two roots: ayur, which means
life, and veda, which mean knowledge. It is fair to say that Ayurveda is
the science of life.
Ayurveda is a science dealing not only with treatment of some diseases
but is a complete way of life. It is only system of medicine which
incorporates suggestions and remedies for both healthy and diseased
people. Centuries before the World Health Organization recognized that
health is not merely the physical well being and just the absence of
disease, ayurveda was dealing with the mental, physical and social well
being of an individual.
The body :
According to Ayurveda every individual is made up of five elements,
The structural aspect of the body is made up
of these five elements, but the functional aspect of the body is
governed by three biological humors. Ether and air combine to form what
is known in Ayurveda as the Vata dosha. Vata governs the principle of
movement and therefore can be seen as the force which directs nerve
impulses, circulation, respiration, and elimination. Fire and water
combine to form the Pitta dosha. The Pitta dosha governs the process of
transformation or metabolism. The digestion of food in our body is an
example of Pitta function. Pitta is also responsible for metabolism in
the organ and tissue systems as well as cellular metabolism. Finally,
the water and earth combine to form the Kapha dosha
- Prithvi or earth.
- Apa or water.
- Tejas or fire.
- Vayu or air.
- Akash or space.
There are seven body types: mono-types (vata, pitta or kapha
predominant), dual types (vata-pitta, pitta-kapha or, kapha-vata), and
equal types, (vata, pitta and kapha in equal proportions). Every
individual has a unique combination of these three doshas. To understand
the uniqueness of every individual is the very basis of ayurveda.
Ayurveda classifies human temperaments into three basic qualities: satvic, rajasic and tamasic. Satvic qualities imply purity and clarity
of perception which are responsible for goodness and happiness. Rajas is
responsible for all movements, and activities. It leads to the life of
sensual enjoyment, pleasure and pain, effort and restlessness. Tamas is
darkness, inertia, heaviness and materialistic attitudes. There is a
constant interplay of these three gunas (qualities) in the individual
consciousness, but the relative predominance of either satva, rajas, or
tamas is responsible for individual psychological constitution.
The disease process:
According to Ayurveda, health is a state of balance between the body,
mind and consciousness. Within the body, Ayurveda recognizes the three doshas( bodily humors) vata, pitta and kapha; seven
blood, plasma, fat, muscle, bone, nerve, and reproductive; three malas(wastes), feces, urine and sweat; and agni, the energy of
metabolism. Disease is a condition of disharmony in any of these
factors. The root cause of imbalance, or disease, is an aggravation of dosha, vata-pitta-kapha.
Ayurveda is the system of medicine incorporating centuries of wisdom in
it. The emphasis here is on ways to promote health rather than just
treat disease. The beauty of the system is that every individual is
unique rather than being just another case of particular disease. It is
one of the few systems of medicine taking mental, emotional and
spiritual well being into account. All the suggestions and remedies
prescribed are totally in conjunction with nature.