Ayurveda

Ayurveda History and Basic Principal

 

Ayurveda is a  traditional and most ancient natural health care system of the World.  Ayurveda is made of two words “ Ayur “which means life and “ Veda” which means knowledge. 

By the combination of these two words, we came to know that  Ayurveda gives knowledge about a healthy, happy and harmonious way of living on all levels spiritually physically, and psychologically for individuals and society.  

The knowledge of  Ayurveda has been passed down to us in the form of sutras through verses  Of Vedas, i.e. Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda & Atharvaveda. Ayurveda emerged as a branch of Atharvaveda.   

Over 5000 years of back knowledge of Ayurveda has been  recorded. This knowledge according to tradition, has originated from lord Brahma The  Creator and descended on earth through Various Gods and sages.  

Over 5000 years of back knowledge of Ayurveda has been  recorded. This knowledge according to tradition, has originated from lord Brahma The  Creator and descended on earth through Various Gods and sages.  

The oldest work of Ayurveda is available in three books, and they are Charka Samhita, Susruta  Samhita and Astangsanghraha also know as Brhithtrayees. The Laghutrayeesare also available for advance knowledge of diseases, medicine preparations and plants are  Bhavaprakasha Nighantu, Madhavanidan, Sarangdhara Samhita.

 

Ayurveda is divided into eight branches. According to Astangahridyam are as follows.

  1. Kaya Chikitsa – general medicine 
  2. KaumaraBhrithya – Paediatrics
  3. GrahaChikitsa – Psychiatry and psychosomatic diseases
  4. Shalakya Tantra – Diseases of the eye, ear, head, nose, throat and its surgery
  5. Shalya Tantra – General Surgery
  6. Agada Tantra – Toxicology
  7. Rasayana Chikitsa – Rejuvenation therapy
  8. Vajeekarana Chikitsa – Aphrodisiac therapy

Purpose of Ayurveda is to maintain the health of the healthy person (preventive ) to heal the unhealthy body (curative) 

 

Pancha MahaBhootas

 

According to  Ayurveda, every  living and non-living beings in this universe is a combination of five essential, eternal elements, called  PanchaMahaBhoothas. The human body is also constituted by these five eternal elements in various compositions. Hence it can be conceived that every cell of the body is possessed with all the properties of life. The Only difference between the human body and the external world is the experience of  CHAITANYA or Consciousness or life spark or spirit or soul. 

 The five basic eternal elements are:- 

       1.Earth        2.Water 3.Fire       4. Air 5. Ether

These eternal elements manifest in the Human Body as three basic principles or subtle energies or humour. ( thridosha in Sanskrit)

Thridoshas

The word Dosha means that which maintains and controls the body. They are Vatha, Pitha and  Kapha. 

The Air and Ether elements combine to form the Vatha principle. The fire and water elements constitute Pitha principle. Earth and water elements combine to form a Kapha principle. These three basic Principles govern all biological, physiological and physio-pathological functions of the body,mind and consciousness. These  three Doshas functional intelligence of our body. They act as basic constituents and protective barriers for the body in its normal physiological conditions.

 

Vata Principle

It is considered as the most important among the three as it governs the function of all other doshas.

The Properties of Vata The main Functions of Vata Important sites of Vata
1. Dry 2. Bright 3. Cold 4. Rough 5. Moving 6. Subtle and  minute
  1. Controls Movements
  2. Control Breathing
  3. Anxiety
  4. Tissue  transformation
  5. Motor Function
  1. Sensory Function
  2. controls secretions & excretions
  3. Fear
  4. Impulses
  5. Control natural urge
  1. Large  intestine
  2. Pelvic regions
  1. Thighs
  2. Ears
  3. Skin
  4. Bones
Pitta Principal
The Properties of Pitta The main Functions of Pitta Important sites of Pitta
  1. Slightly Oily
  2. Penetrating
  3. Hot
  4. Light
  5. Unpleasant   Odor
  6. Liquid form
  7. Spreading Nature
1. Navel 2. Stomach and  upper part of small  intestine 3. Sweat 4. Lymph 5. Blood 6. Skin 7. Eye 1.Navel 2.Stomach and  upper part of small  intestine 3.Sweat 4.Lymph 5.Blood 6.Skin 7.Eye
Kapha Prinipal
The Qualities of Kapha
The main Functions of Kapha
Important sites of Kapha

1.Oily

2. Cold  

3.Heavy  

4. Stable etc 

5.Slimmy

6. Soft  

7. Slow acting

  1. It gives  stability and  energy to the  body
  1. Development of the body 
  2. Lubrication
  3. Enthusiasm
  4. Sexual urges
  5. Forgiveness  
  6. Immune  resistance
  7. Attachment     
  8. Holding  
  9. Possessiveness
  10. Greed
  11. Knowledge
  12. Accumulation

1. Chest            

2. Throat

3. Head

4. Trachea

5. Joints

6. Stomach

7. Lymph

8. Fat  tissue

9.Nose & Tongue

Prakruti( Constitutional Nature )

The prakruti or basic constitutional nature of each individual is determined at the time of conception. At this stage the constitution of the individual is determined by the permutations and combinations of the five basic eternal elements that manifest in the parents “SUKRA” and “ARTHAVA” ( Male and Female gametes).

Once birth has genetically made its elemental imprint, we cannot alter to suit our needs. While we may be influenced positively or negatively by our culture, society and environment, our basic nature at birth is established from the interlacing of the five eternal elements, and the combination of these elements present on delivery remains constant. But the combination of elements that go the continuous physiopathological events in the body alters in response to the changes in the environment, food habits and daily routine etc.

According to Ayurveda, there are seven Prakruti or constitutional types
1.Vata type 2. Pita type 3. Kapha type 4. Vata Pitta type 5. Vata Kapha type
6. Pitta Kapha type 7. Vata Pitta Kapha type

Dhatus(tissues): The term means that which supports and gives structure to the body and body functions. These are basic functional tissues of the body. They are seven in number.
1.Rasa (Plasma) 2.Raktha (Blood) 3. Mamsa (Muscle) 4.Medas (Fat) 5.Asthi (Bone) 6. Majja (Bone marrow) 7.Sukra (Semen and Ovum)

Malas:
The word means that which contaminates the body. These are metabolic bi-products formed in the body. These are eliminated as Sweat, Urine and faces. On the whole, the human body depends mainly on the Doshas. Dhatusand Malas are just like a tree depending solely on its roots.

Agni:
The concept of Agni is a unique thing in Ayurvedic science. In the external world, it is observed as the form of solar energy. The representative of this Solar energy in the living organism, which is responsible for all types of metabolism is called Agni. Since the tissues of the living body are not exactly similar to the food we eat, the food should be converted in such a manner so that they are absorbed into the system to reach energy cells of the body for its maintenance. This conversation is brought about by Agni.

Trigunas:
The word means three qualities or three properties. These are three specific properties of the Mind. They are Satwa, Rajas and Tamas. Qualities of these three Gunas are:
Satwa: Cleanliness, faith in God, interested in truth, good morals and intelligence.
Rajas:  Over talking, ego, anger, unhealthy competitions.
Tamas: Fear, Absence of knowledge, inadequate knowledge, abnormal sleep, laziness and depression.

Health in Ayurveda

The objective of Ayurveda is to establish health in every living being, physically, mentally and spiritually. The basic concept and fundamental principles aimed at establishing such a condition through a correct knowledge of healthy living. The living body can function normally only when its Dosha, Dhatu, Mala and Agni are in a state of equilibrium. Trigunas also play a vital role in the maintenance of three-dimensional health. When these factors become either increased or decreased, either partially or totally, the body may either become sick or dead.
“ Health according to Ayurveda can be defined as a state of equilibrium of the actions of Dosha, Dhathu, Mala and Agni accompanied by a sensation of wellbeing(tranquillity) of body and sense organs, mind and soul. Such a person is called Swastha.’’

Diseases and their Causes

The disharmony and imbalance of the Dosha, Dhathu, Mala and Agni in the body is the primary cause of the ill-health. The Dosha can be vitiated mainly in two ways normally and abnormally. The Dosha behaves in different patterns and elicits various signs and symptoms regarding their vitiation, direction of spreading area of localization and manifestation. The normal vitiation is produced by the inevitable and natural factors like seasonal variations, diurnal variations and various stages of digestion.

This type of variation is easy to treat and often it doesn’t require any treatment as the conditions subside automatically. Abnormal vitiation of Dosha is caused by deliberate exposure to specific etiological factors, both external and internal. That is the abuse of functions of sense organs, bad bodily habits, suppression of body urges, harmful food habits, avoidance of seasonal and daily regimens. Incompatible combination of food, lack of body care and preservation of health, constant exposure of mind to bad feelings like greed, jealousy, anger etc.