Ayurveda is an intricate system of healing that originated in India thousands of years ago. We can find historical evidence of Ayurveda in the ancient books of wisdom known as the Vedas. In the Rig Veda, over 60 preparatison were mentioned that could be used to assist an individual in overcoming various ailments. The Rig Veda was written over 6,000 years ago, but really Ayurveda has been around even longer than that.
What we see is that Ayurveda is more than just a medical system. It is a Science of Life. We are all part and parcel of nature. Just as the animals and plants live in harmony with nature and utilize the Laws of Nature to create health and balance within their beings, we, too, adhere to these very same principles.
Therefore, it is fair to say that Ayurveda is a system that helps maintain health in a person by using the inherent principles of nature to bring the individual back into equilibrium with their true self. In essence Ayurveda has been in existence since the beginning of time because we have always been governed by nature's laws.
Ayurveda is made up of two Sanskrit words: Ayu which means life and Veda which means the knowledge of. To know about life is Ayurveda. However, to fully comprehend the vast scope of Ayurveda let us first define "Ayu" or life. According to the ancient Ayurvedic scholar, "ayu" is comprised of four essential parts. The combination of mind, body, senses and the soul.
It understands that there are energetic forces that influence nature and human beings. These forces are called the Tridoshas.
How it works ?
Ayurveda is based on the principles of three doshas. Doshas are the energies that make up every individual, which perform different physiological functions in the body:
The 3 Dosha types:
1. Vata Dosha -- Energy that controls bodily functions associated with motion, including blood circulation, breathing, blinking, and your heartbeat.
• In balance: There is creativity and vitality.
• Out of balance: Can produce fear and anxiety.
2. Pitta Dosha -- Energy that controls the body's metabolic systems, including digestion, absorption, nutrition, and your body's temperature.
• In balance: Leads to contentment and intelligence.
• Out of balance: Can cause ulcers and anger.
3. Kapha Dosha -- Energy that controls growth in the body. It supplies water to all body parts, moisturizes the skin, and maintains the immune system.
• In balance: Expressed as love and forgiveness.
• Out of balance: Can lead to insecurity and envy.
Each person has all three Doshas, but usually one or two dominate. Various Dosha proportions determine one's physiological and personality traits, as well as general likes and dislikes. For example Vata types will prefer hot weather to cold and Kapha types are more likely to crave spicy foods than other types.
Ayurveda v/s others
- Prevention is key. Ayurveda focuses on providing specific advice and guidance on how to maintain physical and emotional health.
- Food and lifestyle routines are considered the most important medicine. If you come to an Ayurvedic doctor with a complaint, you are more likely to leave with a recipe than with a prescription for pills.
Benefits of Ayurveda
Promotes a Nutrient-Dense, Antioxidant-Rich Diet
Can Help with Weight Loss or Maintenance
Helps with Hormonal Balance
This can be summed up as follows:
• To protect health and prolong life ("Swasthyas swasthya rakshanam")
• To eliminate diseases and dysfunctions of the body ("Aturasya vikar prashamanamcha")