Definition of Ayurveda
Ayurveda can be defined as a system, which uses the inherent principles of nature, to help maintain health in a person by keeping the individual’s body, mind and spirit in perfect equilibrium with nature. Ayurveda is a 5000 years old Indian health care system, widely practiced, in time with the times. “Ayur” is Sanskrit word means “life”, “Veda” means “science”. Knowledge of Ayurveda has been recorded in two of the vedic texts: the Atharva veda, and the Rigveda.
What does Ayurveda do?
The aim of this system is to prevent illness, heal the sick and preserve life. This can be summed up as – To protect health and prolong life (“Swasthyas swasthya rakshanam”).
To eliminate diseases and dysfunctions of the body (“Aturasya vikar prashamanamcha”)
Basic Principles of Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is based on the premise that the universe is made up of five elements: air, fire, water, earth and ether.
These elements are represented in humans by three “doshas”, or energies: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
When any of the doshas accumulate in the body beyond the desirable limit, the body loses its balance. Every individual has a distinct balance, and our health and well-being depend on getting a right balance of the three doshas (“tridoshas”).
Ayurveda suggests specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines to help individuals reduce the excess dosha.
‘Tridosha’ -Theory of Bio-energies.
Vata pertains to air and ether elements. This energy is generally seen as the force, which directs nerve impulses, circulation, respiration, and elimination.
Kapha pertains to water and earth elements. Kapha is responsible for growth and protection. The muscosal lining of the stomach and the cerebral-spinal fluid that protects the brain and spinal column are examples of kapha.
Pitta pertains to fire and water elements. This dosha governs metabolism, e.g., the transformation of foods into nutrients. Pitta is also responsible for metabolism in the organ and tissue systems.