Ayurveda traditional healing system originating in India. No particular treatment is offered for any specific symptom. Ayuvedic practitioner will evaluate each client individually before offering treatments from a wide range of techniques including diet, herbal remedies, exercise, spiritual practices, and various healing modalities to bring a person into balance.
Ayurvedic medicine is also called Ayurveda. It is a system of medicine that originated in India several thousand years ago. The term Ayurveda combines two Sanskrit words--ayur, which means life, and veda, which means science or knowledge. Ayurveda means "the science of life."
Ayurvedic medicines are of plant origin, time tested, and toxin free and totally safe. Unlike medicines of other systems, both healthy as well as diseased persons can take Ayurvedic medicines. In healthy persons it acts as a tonic, and in diseased it has medicinal actions.
Ayurveda aims to integrate and balance the body, mind, and spirit (thus, some view it as "holistic"). This balance is believed to lead to contentment and health, and to help prevent illness. However, Ayurveda also proposes treatments for specific health problems, whether they are physical or mental.
Derived from philosophical theories propounded in India over 2,000 years ago, the principles of Ayurvedic Medicine have never been substantiated by contemporary medical science-and no medical conditions have been proven to respond to Ayurvedic treatments. Certain Ayurvedic exercises, such as the meditation and gentle stretching exercises of yoga, afford people relief from tension and stress. However, any impact these exercises have on chronic conditions such as high blood pressure appears to be momentary, and cant be considered a lasting remedy.
A chief aim of Ayurvedic practices is to cleanse the body of substances that can cause disease, and this is believed to help re-establish harmony and balance. Ayurvedic Medicine encompasses a wide range of treatments and lifestyle measures, including dietary recommendations, massage, medicinal herbs, and the meditation and breathing techniques of yoga. Some practitioners also recommend intestinal "cleansing" through the use of laxatives or enemas. Depending on your specific ailments and condition, you could be prescribed any or all of these various modes of therapy.
Much like traditional Oriental medicine, the Ayurvedic system aims not just to treat diseases, but to maintain and balance the energy and health of both mind and body. It emphasizes avoidance of stress and a moderate, balanced lifestyle. The version of Ayurvedic medicine commercialized in the United States is a relatively recent "reconstruction" of ancient Indian medical practices, refined and tailored to meet Western expectations and tastes. In India itself, Western-style medicine is replacing many of the older practices.
History of Ayurvedic Medicine
Ayurveda is based on ideas from Hinduism, one of the worlds oldest and largest religions. Some Ayurvedic ideas also evolved from ancient Persian thoughts about health and healing.
Many Ayurvedic practices were handed down by word of mouth and were used before there were written records. Two ancient books, written in Sanskrit on palm leaves more than 2,000 years ago, are thought to be the first texts on Ayurveda--Charaka Samhita and Susruta Samhita. They cover many topics, including:
- Pathology (the causes of illness)
- Surgery (this is no longer part of standard Ayurvedic practice)
- How to care for children
- Advice for practitioners, including medical ethics
Ayurveda has long been the main system of health care in India, although conventional (Western) medicine is becoming more widespread there, especially in urban areas. About 70 percent of India`s population lives in rural areas; about two-thirds of rural people still use Ayurveda and medicinal plants to meet their primary health care needs. In addition, most major cities have an Ayurvedic college and hospital. Ayurveda and variations of it have also been practiced for centuries in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Tibet.