Widely regarded as the oldest form of health care in the world, Ayurveda is an intricate holistic medical system, lifestyle and philosophy that originated in India and Sri Lanka some 5,000 to 7,000 years ago.
Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word, consisting of two different words – Ayu and Veda, the literal translation of which is Knowledge of Life. Ayurveda is a part of the Atharva Veda, one of the four Vedas in Hindu Philosophy, and is also known as Asthanga Veda.
Some people may be concerned that you need to become religious in order to adopt the principles of Ayurveda, but this is not the case.
The principles of Ayurveda are an invaluable link to understanding, in detail, naturally healthy living.
Every medical science has some basic principles on which the structure of the science is built and fabricated. The principles of Ayurveda are based on nature and the Vedic philosophy of healthy living, and are very simple to understand.
Following the principles of Ayurveda brings about a profound understanding of the inner ability to have sound body, mind and spirit. The basic principles of Ayurveda state that the world of matter arises from an underlying non-material field known as consciousness.
Ayurveda sees everything in the universe, including human beings, as being composed of five basic elements: space, air, fire, water and earth. Any part of the body, however minuscule, is an inseparable combination of these principles.
The principles of Ayurveda are based on the concept of Tridosha, or the system of three Doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Proper understanding of Tridosha is the basis of Ayurveda knowledge.
Dosha types are the classifications used in the practice and study of Ayurveda to categorize the primary body-mind personalities. Dosha means “that which changes”.
While every individual has aspects of each Dosha in their constitution, Ayurveda determines the influence of each of these on a numeric scale. Every person has a different mixture of Doshas; usually, one Dosha is predominant, and another is secondary.
Generally Vata is the controlling Dosha, Pitta is the changing Dosha, and Kapha is the making Dosha.
Discovering your Dosha is the first and most important step you can take on a personal health care program. We must determine our Dosha, or combination of Doshas, in order to determine which foods, drinks, and lifestyle patterns best fit our constitution.
The best way to accurately determine your Dosha is to consult an Ayurvedic doctor, but there are other, easier ways to get a good idea of what Dosha you are.
Firstly, you could use one of many free online Dosha tests. Secondly, you could use PC software such as the Ayurveda Almanac, which provides a much more thorough assessment, with recommendations for diet, as well as providing you with a means to identify early signs of many diseases.
Ayurvedic medicine provides a clear, concise, cohesive regimen to enhance the health of your mind and body in a natural, holistic way. Ayurvedic texts emphasize ahara (proper diet) as vital for promoting health and happiness.
Diagnosis according to Ayurveda is to find out the root cause of a disease, and diseases reflect the predominant Dosha that produces them.
Negative health may arise from an imbalance in the three Doshas – and the science of Ayurveda is used to bring back this essential harmony. Each herb, food, drink and even environment contains Dosha characteristics so using the opposite to balance out an individual is done in Ayurveda.
But for subtler imbalances, the principles of Ayurveda can help you respond in simple ways to restore balance sooner rather than later.
Ayurveda is a journey to perfect health, peace of mind and, ultimately, to enlightenment, and is merely about making healthy choices in daily life. It is a science that teaches you how to live in a true and natural balance.
Ayurveda is one of many Alternative Medicines that are being used today. Ayurveda is considered a complete, holistic way of life, rather than just a medical science. In fact, Ayurveda is the healing side of Yoga, and Yoga is the spiritual side of Ayurveda. It must be emphasized that Ayurveda is not a substitute for Western allopathic medicine. Ayurveda is not only a system of medicine but also a way of healthy living.