the treatment method that originated in India about 5000
years is now regaining its past glory through global acclamation.
The word Ayurveda is a combination of two Sanskrit words
– ayur (life) and veda (science) and the word roughly
translates into ‘the science of life’. Ayurveda
principles are based on living in strict harmony with
nature. According to Ayurvedic principles, diseases are
caused when someone loses the balance between nature,
mind, body and soul.
is also known as Ashtanga Veda (science with eight branches)
because Ayurveda is classified into eight different branches
of treatment – Kaya Chikitsa (general medicine)
Kaumara Bhritya (pediatrics), Graha Chikitsa (psychology),
Shalakya Chikitsa (Treatment for diseases of eye, nose,
throat, eye and head), Shalya Tantra (technique of Surgery),
Agada Tantra (Toxicology), Rasayana Chikitsa (Rejuvenation
treatment) and Vajeekarana Chikitsa (Aphrodisiac Treatment).
ascribe divinity to Ayurveda. Dhanwanthari (Dhanvantari,
Dhanwantari, Dhanvathari) , an incarnation of Lord Maha
Vishnu gave the science of life to humans through some
sages. The literature of Ayurveda was recorded in palm
leaves, copper plates and stones. The knowledge was transferred
through generations through word of mouth, through a systematic
educational system called Gurukul (Gurukula) education.
The students live at the ashrams of the sage teachers
and learn the science directly from the mouth of their
main traditions followed in Ayurveda are Charaka (after
Charaka Samhitha by ancient physicist Charaka), Sushrutha
(the founder of surgery) and less known Kashyapa. Education
lasts for many years (usually seven). At the end of education,
the student has to give a Guru Dakshina (an offering)
to his teacher. In one specific instance, the Guru of
Jeevaka (the physician that treated Buddha) asked him
to give him a plant with no medicinal value at all. Jeevaka
searched and searched for years and could not find a plant
with no medicinal value. He then come to see his teacher
empty handed and says: “Guruji, I am not able to
locate a plant with no medicinal value, I could not give
you the Guru Dakshina, Pardon Me”. His guru smiled
and said, this is my Guru Dakshina, and you now know nothing
in this universe is useless or meaningless. Under suitable
conditions, everything (living things, non-living things,
matter and energy in different forms) in this universe
main concept of Ayurveda is that everything is composed
of Panchabhootas (Akash – space, Bhoomi –
earth, Jal – water, vayu – air and agni –
fire). These five bhootas combine to form three doshas
or tridoshas (Vata – akash and vayu, Pitta –
agni and jal and kapha – jal and bhoomi ).
treatment consists of four basic forms – medication,
panchakarma, dietary regulation and lifestyle regulation.
Medication is the application of medicines, dietary regime
includes the control of food habits for proper health,
panchakarma is five different karmas or systems of Ayurvedic
therapy and lifestyle control. They all work as both cure
and prevention methods.
is the most important of all treatment methods. It is
a process of careful expelling of toxins or excess doshas
from the body system. Panchakarma mainly focuses to regain
the natural healing power of body.