What is Ayurveda?
Firstly we need to learn about Ayurveda, So basically Ayurveda is a traditional system of health care that is considered to be originated in the Vedic times of India. Its main emphasis is on the prevention of disease as well as the maintenance of our health. It provides good treatment for diseases. Ayurveda can be translated as ‘Science of life’ and it shows all aspects of life where we include consciousness, mind, physiology, behavior, and environment.
Ayurveda defines health as the equilibrium of three biological dashas which are (Vata, pitta and kapha), seven dhatus, Agni and a state of pleasure of the soul, mind and the senses. In Ayurveda, Pramcha is described in most of the available classics.
Ayurveda specifies that all seasons leave a profound effect on our health and each season affects people differently. Ayurveda is concerned to protect ‘ayus’ which means healthy living with therapeutic measures which relate to our physical, mental, spiritual and social harmony. Nowadays, there are less of Ayurveda practitioner ‘(vaid)’ in western countries but the popularity of more holistic approaches to health is rapidly increasing. In Ayurveda’s treatment, every patient is considered unique and treated individually.
Branches of Ayurveda
Kaaya is ‘Agni’ – It is the digestive fire in the body. It is helpful in the treatment of a complete body because of its holistic approach to medicine. The word kaaya chikitsa is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘chin chayane’ that means to collect. Kaaya chikitsa helps in metabolism and food digestion. It also deals with the treatment of some other diseases as cold, fever, cough, and some others through balancing Agni in the body.
There can be internal and external treatments in kaaya chikitsa.
In this treatment, medicines are given orally. There are five procedures of Panchkarma. Vamana (Emesis), Virechana (Purgation), Basti (Enema), Narya (Nasal medications) and Raktamokshna (Bloodletting).
It includes the application of creams (lepan) ointments and lotions.
It is also known as Kaumara Britya. Baala chikitsa is related to the treatment of children. In this chikitsa Ayurveda deals with diseases of children, causes of vitiated of mother’s breast milk, diseases caused by vitiated milk and any infection found in children.
Three things to remember for treating children:
- Children can’t tell their problems
- Medicines must be palatable
- Dose regimen is different
Principles of Ayurveda
The word ‘ayurveda’ means knowledge of life and longevity.
Ayurveda consists seven basic tissues (dhatu), which are Plasma (rasa), muscles (mamsa), blood (rakta), bone (asthi), marrow (majja) and semen (shukra).
Ayurveda has been divided into five classical elements (Pancha mahabhuta) i.e., earth, water, fire, air, and vacuum (ether).
There are twenty gunas which are organized in ten pairs: heavy/light, cold/hot, unctuous/dry, dull/sharp, stable/mobile, soft/hard, non-slimy/slimy, smooth/coarse, minute/gross and viscous/liquid.
‘Ama’ refers to uncocked or undigested which exists in a state of incomplete transformation. Ayurveda also includes three elemental body doshas which are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. It is clearly stated in Ayurveda that a balance of doshas results in health while an imbalance results in disease. According to the ayurvedic view, doshas are balanced if they are equal to each other.
On the other hand, every human being possesses a unique combination of doshas that define a person’s characteristics and temperament. In this way, Ayurveda employs the maintenance and restoration of health.
By understanding of everyone’s Prakruti, there can be decided everything regarding their personal diet, exercise patterns, medicinal herbs and supplements, cleansing and rebuilding therapies, which are right for them.
In Ayurveda, the doctor’s approach to disease diagnosis and patient diagnosis is used to find out the root cause of the problem and its treatment selection. An interpretation is included through an understanding of various factors like “body humor” (doshas), body tissues (dhatus), excretory products (mala-s), digestive power (Agni) and body channels (srota-s). Moreover, Ayurveda also includes into account pathogenic factors, season as well as a patient’s complete course of action of drug, diet, and regimen compatible with the constitution, for the diagnosis of disease. A clinical ayurvedic examination includes three diagnostic ways (trividha, Pariksha) which are inspection, interrogation, and palpation.
Observation of skin, hair, eyes, and tongue involved in Inspection.
Physiological and psychological characteristics, comprehensive understanding of previous medical history and symptoms are the part of Interrogation.
Palpation includes observation of pulse and palpation of body parts (abdominal palpation, skin, etc,.)
The ancient ayurvedic texts charak Samhita and sushruta Samhita simply explain how to identify dosha’s properties through symptoms that are leading to a manifestation of Prakriti and diseases.
There are seven types of Prakriti described in Ayurveda Vataja, Pittaja, Kaphaja, vatapittaja, vtakaphaja, pittakaphaja and vatapittakaphaja. The analysis of prakriti helps in prioritizing any preventive, nurturing and curative regimen specific to any individual. The visual inspection of the tongue’s color, shape and coating helps to assess the status of digestion. So, the overall assessment of pulse, tongue, and Prakriti is an integral part of an ayurvedic diagnosis.
Panchakarma 5 therapies are included
- Basti – Herbalised oil enemas
- Narya – Nasal
- Vamana – Therapeutic vomiting
- Virechana – Purgation
- Raktamokshana – Bloodletting
The main purpose of panchakarma is ‘sodhna’ which is purification. According to Charaka Samhita, if a disease is treated with panchakarma, it does not recur. So, in Ayurveda, Panchakarma is the only way to rebalance and heal the body.
Benefits of Panchakarma
- Balanced doshas
- Cleared toxins from the complete system
- Healed digestive system
- Enhanced immunity
- Decrease stress
- Improve skin luster
- Weight loss
- Deep relaxation
- Enhanced mindfulness
- A proper and strict, balanced diet will only increase the effects of panchakarma in your body.
- Do not drink coffee, green juice or anything besides tea.
- Do not eat salad and green uncooked vegetables as they are light for the system.
- You can not eat meat, bread, and sugar as they are too heavy for the system.
- And yes, if you continue eating pizza, burger, sandwiches and other junk food, there will be no effect of Panchakarma therapy.