Ayurveda is defined
as ayuh + veda. Ayuh means life and Veda signifies knowledge. Therefore by
its definition Ayurveda lifts itself beyond the realms of diseases and
treatments. It treats life as a single composite phenomenon. Ayurveda in Sanskrit
means "the science of Life". It is an ancient,
unfailing system of treatment based on medicines prepared from herbal
plants found in abundance in India. Ayurveda is an integral part of the
people of India. This ancient knowledge system of medicine has gained
global acceptance especially for alternative ways of preventive, curative
and rejuvenative processes making life a more pleasurable experience. This
has a holistic approach and it helps maintain the balance of the
physiological systems and plays a vital role in preventing diseases and
revitalising the entire life system body, mind and soul.
The knowledge of ayurveda dates back to
the epoch of Rig Veda. This knowledge is said to have been passed down
generations by sages and wise men. Charak and Sushrut played a major role
in shaping the present day ayurveda.
The Ayurveda treats the human body as a
part and parcel of nature. According to it, the nature has five
predominant elements :
Space / ether (Akash)
Fire / Light (Agni /Tejas)
Earth ( Prithvi)
The human body also has significant
proportions of the above five elements. Some of these combine with one
another to produce a certain effect on the body.
Ether and air combine to form the
Fire and water combine to form the Pitta dosha.
The Water and Earth elements combine to form what is known in Ayurveda as
the Kapha dosha.
Every individual is made up of unique
proportions of Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The ratios of the doshas vary in
each individual and thus each person is treated as a unique case by
The "Ayuh" in ayurveda comprises
four components - mind, body, senses and soul. Any interaction with
society or nature that has an impact on either of these four components
results in disturbing the natural balance. This
disturbance reflects itself in disorder of Vata, Pitta and Kapha balance,
thereby resulting in various diseases. The primary objective of Ayurveda
is to restore that order and thus cure the diseases.