THE BASIC OF STAYING HEALTHY WITH AYURVEDA
Ayurveda, ‘science of life’ is a holistic health system of medicine in India, also known as ‘the wisdom for living’. Ayurveda is an old healthcare system which promotes the body and offers a lot of benefits that brings happiness to life, and treats what is harmful for the body like disease, stress and unhappy states of life. In other words, Ayurvedic system of medicine creates an important environment and gives value to the well-being of a patient.
Ayurveda was derived from Artharva Veda and Vedic era is considered to be the time when Ayueveda flourished as a science. It is estimated that around 1000 B.C., two major principle texts of Ayurveda, Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita were written. Ayurveda is based on peculiar fundamental principles like Tridosha (three humours vata, pitta and kapha) theory, and Panch-mahabhuta (five elements ether, air, fire, water and earth) theory. Imbalance of the three humours is considered to be the root cause of the disease.
Diagnosis of a disease is based on pulse examination. The diagnostic parameters of Ayurveda were established ways back are still valid today. An expert Ayurvedic physician is in a position to tell about the disease process by examining the pulse. The aim of the treatment is in correcting the imbalance of the biological humours.
In addition to formulations derived from medicinal herbs, therapies have been described in Ayurveda to optimal health. Langhana (therapeutic fast), is a procedure to detoxify the digestive system. Pachana (use of appetite stimulating drugs) is another method still practiced by Ayurvedic doctors. In Ayurveda, ama (a toxin resulting from poor digestion) is considered to be the root cause of all diseases and the therapies are directed at correcting the ama.
The Pancha-karma is a seasonal procedure for purification of the body. It is done under the supervision of an expert. Before the Pancha-karma, two preliminary steps are carried out.
- Snehana (oleation therapy)
- Svedana (fomention therapy)
The Actual Procedure of Pancha-karma Involves Five Steps:
- Vamana (therapeutic vomiting)
- Virechana (therapeutic purgation)
- Asthapana-vasti (type of enema)
- Niruha-vasti (another type of enema)
- Nasya (nasal administration of the drugs)
Vamana helps in purification of upper digestive and respiratory systems; Virechena removes toxins from lower digestive system. Shiro-virechana and Shiro-dhara are two methods described in Ayurveda for alleviating nervous system disorders. In the former method, the medicinal herbs are tied around the head and the patient is put in a room for calculated period of time. In the later method, medicated oils are used for tonic action.
The basics of keeping the body in perfect state of health according to Ayurvedic point of view, is that we should be much concerned about the digestive system. Ayurveda clearly mention that biological fire (Agni) is main source of life. Ayurveda has defined six testes and it is important to consume these in diet on daily basis. In order to keep vata in equilibrium, intake of sweet, sour and sour food is recommended.
If you are not hungry don’t eat, because you will not gain the benefits and may end-up with toxic by-products.
If you are hungry make sure you eat, because your digestive flame is roaring looking for food, and you will get the benefits.
Tonics (rasayans) are eminent drugs mentioned in ancient texts. Regular consumption of Brahama Rasayana and Chyawanprash avleha is highly recommended to counteract effects of free radicals, which are blamed to be responsible for increasing incidence of lifestyle diseases.
Following Ritucharya and Dincharya as described in Ayurveda are wonderful ways to alleviate majority of the diseases. Brain tonics, more precisely known as Medya Rasayana like brahami, guduchi, yastimadhu and atibala are effective in busting stress and nullifying effects of modern rat-race. As primary focus of Ayurveda is a preventive approach in management of diseases, regular massage is considered to be the best remedy for toning the mind and the body.