Ayurveda, the ‘science of life’ is a system of traditional medicine native to India, and practiced in other parts of the world as a form of alternative medicine used to heal both physical and mental health. In Sanskrit, the word Ayurveda comprises the words āyus, meaning ‘life’ and veda, meaning ‘science’.
Evolving throughout its history, Ayurveda remains an influential system of medicine in South Asia. The earliest literature of Ayurveda appeared during the Vedic period in India. Ayurvedic practitioners also identified a number of medicinal preparations and surgical procedures for curing various ailments and diseases.
Ayurveda is considered to be a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for health care and nutirtion within the western world, where several of its methods—such as herbs, massage, and Yoga as exercise or alternative medicine—are applied on their own as a form of CAM treatment.
Ayurveda is a science dealing not only with treatment of some diseases but is a complete way of life. It is only system of medicine which incorporates suggestions and remedies for both healthy and diseased people. Centuries before the World Health Organization recognized that health is not merely the physical well being and just the absence of disease, ayurveda was dealing with the mental health , physical health and social well being of an individual.
How Ayurveda aids in both health care and health nutrition
Ayurveda believes in ‘five great elements’ – earth, water, fire, air and space forming the universe, including the human body. Ayurveda stresses a balance of three substances: wind/spirit/air, phlegm, and bile, each representing divine forces.
According to Ayurvedic beliefs, the doctrine of these three Doshas ie.- vata (wind/spirit/air), pitta (bile), kapha (phlegm)—is important.
Traditional beliefs hold that humans possess a unique constellation of Doshas. Surgery and surgical instruments are employed. It is believed that building a healthy metabolic system, attaining good digestion, and proper excretion leads to vitality. Ayurveda also focuses on exercise, yoga, meditation, and massage.