I would like to introduce you to Ayurveda – not just an art and science of life but rather the complete way of life. Taking its origin from: Ayur (LIFE) and Veda (SCIENCE) – Ayurveda is the best natural way of existing healthily.
About 5000 years old, the medicinal science of Ayurveda originated in the Indian subcontinent. The Indian Vedas have mentioned the wonderful and exotic Indian herbs that when prepared and used by Ayurveda back then brought out magnificent results on the human health.
Let us now take a journey into the insights of this pious system of medicine. Ayurveda believes that the human body is composed of five elements, namely; Air, Fire, Space, Water, and Earth. This means that every unique individual has certain composition that contains these five elements in a balanced proportion. (Confused??!!…Now think logically-where does the oxygen you breathe and the food and water you need to live come from? These five elements. There you go!)
So, in simple words any disturbance or imbalance in these five elements would lead to a disturbance in the body of the individual. Ayurvedic principles state that the above five elements combine to form three major energies that govern the human body. Ayurveda names these energies as DOSHAS. The air and space combine to form the VATA DOSHA, the water and fire combine to form the PITTA DOSHA, and the water and earth predominantly combine to form the Kapha dosha.
THE ROLE of THE THREE DOSHAS
1. Vata: AIR + SPACE – Movement
Vata is responsible for all movement related activities in our body. Circulation, respiration, Ingestion, elimination etc are all taken care of by this dosha.
2. PITTA: WATER + FIRE – BREAK DOWN AND DISSOLVE
Pitta is the manager of metabolism in our body. The metabolism at organ, tissue as well as cellular level is all taken care of by the Pitta dosha. The transformation of ingested food into healthy nutrients which are then assimilated in to the body for future use is done by Pitta.
3. KAPHA: WATER + EARTH – NUTRITION and STRENGTH
The Kapha is responsible for growth and protection in our body. It helps us grow by the addition of cells and growth units and protects us by adding protective cells and fluids in our organs and bones.
The logical understanding and interpretation of any science rules out any scope of doubt and explains the science behind its laws.
These three doshas combine differently in each individual which explains the uniqueness in every individual. A harmonious balance of these three doshas as per Ayurveda is the golden rule to a healthy body and a sound mind. Any disturbance in any of these doshas results in turbulence in the body and sets it in a disorderly state where the natural equilibrium of the body as a whole is lost. This is where Ayurveda comes into play.
MANAGEMENT As per Ayurveda
The herbs of the Ayurvedic system of management where initially prepared from indigenous herbs naturally procured from the nature and used in their fresh state. Their decoctions and powder preparations are then applied to the affected areas. With the advent of modern technology these herbal preparations are now available as powders, capsules, and tablets for easy intake and quicker relief.
A few of the many Ayurvedic herbs that have caught the eye of physicians worldwide are:
Ashwagandha (WITHANIA SOMNIFERA)
The ancient Ayurvedic herb Ashwagandha is a multiple benefit herb. It was beneficial effects over the complete human body in a natural way. Ashwagandha helps in cases impotency, stress, constipation, rheumatism and many more chronic ailments. A look at these disorders tells us that they are all related to our life style. The increase in stress and manifold decrease in a healthy diet and lifestyle leads to stress induced disorders including many neurological disorders. People usually complain of stress, fatigue, memory and bodily weakness. Most of us face issues of low stamina and endurance power.
Ashwagandha herb plays a vital role in such cases. It is a great antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to promote overall well-being of the body and nourishes it with strength and immunity.
Brahmi (BACOPA MONNIERI):
This herb is used in preventing memory loss, lack of concentration, forgetfulness. It increases the retention power as well as recollection. It is very useful in many mental illnesses also. Regular use also helps in stress, anxiety, blood pressure, hallucinations and epilepsy. It relaxes the nerves and arteries and helps to keep blood pressure in control and provide strength to the mind.
Arjuna (TERMINALIA ARJUNA)
The bark of the Arjuna tree is used in Ayurveda for management of many heart problems such as angina, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, high cholesterol, and blood pressure. It gives strength to the ailing heart and controls the cholesterol levels. This wonderful herb has cardio protective properties. Its regular usage enhances the pumping capacity of the heart, decreases the LDL cholesterol and maintains HDL cholesterol. Arjuna is used for relieving congestive heart failure. It strengthens the heart muscles. The bark of Arjuna is rich in natural oxidants, saponins, gallic acid, phtosterols and oligomeric proanthocyanidin.
These and many more herbs have claimed their worth throughout the world with their life saving powers and unbelievable effects through a completely healthy, safe, and natural way.
Over hundreds of centuries, Ayurveda has developed as a science and art of relieving. It is now not a science limited to the Asian continent but has far reached continents like Europe and America too. Many practitioners and followers of this system of medicine are working throughout the world to help people avail the benefits of the wonderful art.