Ayurveda, one of the greatest gifts given by the ancient Indian sages to mankind, is not only a system of medicine but also a way of life that teaches us how to protect and maintain mental and physical health to achieve longevity.
The word Ayu means all aspects of life from birth till death.
The word Veda means knowledge or learning.
Hence Ayurveda is the science, which gives the meaning of life or knowledge of longevity. It describes the diet, behavior and rules or regulations that are beneficial or harmful for life.
With the aims of take along a healthy society by spreading the knowledge of Ayurveda and help the all. We at Vedarjana help students to gain this rich knowledge of life science so that they can help themselves and others to live a happy and healthy life. They will be taught the holistic approach to heal the body, mind and soul so as to attain complete health and wellness.
The purpose of life is : –
आयु: कामायमानेन धर्मार्थ सुखसाधनम् ।
आयुर्वेदोपदेशेषु विधेय: परमादर: ॥
To achieve this purpose of life, one should concentrate on having a long life througt ayurveda . To learn the science of Ayurveda, which explains how to achieve this purpose, ‘obedience’ (Vidheya) is the most important quality.
- Dharma – following the path of righteousness.
- Artha – earning money in a legal way
- Kama – fulfilling our desire.
- Moksha – achieving Salvation.
From the knowledge assembled and nurtured over century’s two major schools and eight specializations got evolved. One was the school of physicians called as “DHANWANTRI SAMPRADAYA” and the second school of surgeons known as “ATREYA SAMPRADAYA”. These schools had their respective representatives’ compilations – CHARAKA SAMHITA for the school of medicine and SUSHRUTA SAMHITA for the school of surgery.
A perusal of its several classical treatises indicates presence of two schools of Physicians and Surgeons and eight specialties. These eight disciplines are generally called “Ashtanga Ayurveda” and are: –
- Kaya chikitsa (General medicine)
- Shalya tantra (surgery)
- Shalakya (ENT & ophthalmology)
- Kaumar Bhritya (Pediatrics)
- Graha chikitsa / Bhoot Vidhya (Psychiatry)
- Agad Tantra (Toxicology)
- Rasayana (Geriatrics)
- Vajikarana (Aphrodisiacs)
Panchamahabhutas (Five elements)
According to Ayurveda, all the physical matter of the universe including human body are composed of five basic elements with predominance of one of the other elements. Predominant element will determine the character of the matter and are classified on the basic of predominance of elements.
These elements are:
- Akasha (ether element) – promotes softness, porosity & lightness
- Vayu (air element) – lightness, movement and non-sliminess
- Agni (fire element) – responsible for color. Complexion, luster to the skin, heat generator, digestion power
- Jala (water element)
- Prithvi (Earth element) – promotes compactness, heaviness and stability
Tri-dosha (Three Bio-energies)
Doshas are structural and fucntional units of human body . Three doshas present in the body are; Vata, Pitta & Kapha. Whole Ayurvedic science is based on the tri-dosha theory. The factors, which pollute the body themselves and start to pollute certain other factors, are called doshas. These 3 doshas also maintains the health of an individual by controlling the physiological factors in the body.
Due to wrong adaptation of daily regime, seasonal regime and ethical code of conduct, 3 doshas gets imbalance and disturb the physiological functioning of the body to initiate the process of onset, of disease.
Doshas are classified into two groups:
Sharirika doshas – at physical level, pollutes the physical body. They are called, Vata, Pitta and Kapha
Mansika doshas – at psychic level, called rajas and tamas, these two are capable of vitiating sattva guna of the mind to produce mental disorders.
All the elements on this earth including tri-dosha are formed from five basic elements. Vata (akasha + vayu) Vata is the propulsive principle of the body and is very important & strongest dosha. Vata is the factor which always moves in the body and transmits the nerve impulses from the periphery of the body towards brain and vice-versa.
Pitta (Agni + jala) : Pitta is the thermo genetic principle of the body. In all living organisms the degeneration & decay are going on so to control it and for the existence of life, one has to take nutritious food. After consuming food, water etc. from universe, it should be transformed in to useful form i.e. tissue similar qualities with the help of metabolic activity. This transformation, digestion and metabolism is done by Pitta.
Kapha = Jala + prithvi It is the cohesive principle of the body. Kapha dosha helps in the maintenance of structural and functional integrity of the body.
Dhatus / Tissues
Elementary tissues, which bears and nourish the body, they are seven in number.
- Rasa (plasma/lymph)
- Rakta (blood)
- Mamsa (muscles)
- Meda (adipose tissue/fat)
- Asthi (bone)
- Majja (bone marrow)
- Shukra (reproductive tissue)
Mala (waste material)
These are the waste materials produced as a result of various metabolic activities in the body.
They are also the components of the body like dosha and dhatu. They bear and support the body for some extent, their production & elimination is very important, because they can’t stay and nourish the body and on contrary pollute the body.
Prakriti (body type)
The nature or swabhava of a person is called as Prakriti. Prakriti is a group of characteristics inherited by an individual formed at the time of conception. Dominant dosha at the time of conception is responsible for the physical as well as mental and behavioral characteristics of the person.
Being human is the only similarity but every human is different from other in many aspects. Prakriti plays the major role in the maintenance of health, by knowing our prakriti (body type), it is easy to adopt the right diet and life style habits as per body needs to balance it.
These are different types of channels which are responsible for transportation of food, dhatus, malas and doshas. Proper functioning of strotas is essential for transporting different materials to the site of their requirement. Blockage of strotas causes many diseases.
AGNI: Different types of enzymes responsible for digestion and transformation of complex molecular structure into simple soluble structures.
In Ayurveda diagnosis is always done of the patient as a whole. The physician takes a careful note of the patient’s internal physiological characteristics and mental disposition.
Diagnosis of the patient consists of three steps:
- DARSANA (inspection) – seeing the patient gives a rough idea about the disease the patient might be Suffering
- SPARSHANA (palpation) – more details of the disease will come after doctor touch the patient.
- PRASHANA (questioning / interrogation) – asking questions about the disease can also help in making a correct diagnosis.
Diagnoses of the disease consist of five steps:
- Nidana – The cause of the disease
- Pragrupa – the prodromal symptoms, which occur during the beginning of the disease
- Lakshana – symptoms of the disease
- Upashaya & Anupshaya – relieving & aggravating factor of the symptoms
- Samprapti – the pathology or full route of the disease
The treatment of disease can broadly be categorized as
- SHODHANA THERAPY (Purification Treatment)
- SHAMANA THERAPY (Palliative Treatment)
- PATHYA VYAVASTHA (diet and activity)
- NIDAN PARIVARJAN (Avoiding causative and aggravating factors)
- SATVAVAJAYA (Psychotherapy)
- RASAYANA THERAPY (use of immune modulators and rejuvenation medicines)
Shodhana chikitsa is a purification process, which is used to detoxify the whole body. There are five procedures of internal purification of the body. Such purification allows the natural system to return to balance and to rejuvenate quickly. It involves the use of the following five types of cleansing techniques:
Vamana (Vomiting Therapy)
Vamana treatment is design to expel increased Kapha Dosha out of the body.
Virechana (Purgation Therapy)
Virechana treatment is designed to expel increased Pitta Dosha out of the body.
Basti (Enema Therapy)
Procedure in which the herbal liquid decoctions/oils are administered through the anal route
Basti therapy is the best for dealing with Vata related disorders.
Nasya (Nasal Administration)
Nasal administration of medicated oils/decoctions/powders etc. is recommended for an excess of toxins accumulated in the sinuses, throat, nose or head areas. They are eliminated through the nearest possible opening – the nose.
It is the blood cleansing and purification therapy. The blood is expelled out from the body to reduce the quantity of toxic substances in the blood borne disorders.
Shamana therapy means suppression of imbalanced doshas. The process by which disturbed doshas subsides or returns to normal without creating imbalance of other doshas is known as shamana chikitsa.
Different types of herbal powders, tablets, decoctions, medicated oils or ghee are used in this type of treatment. In shaman therapies medicines are not always the way to cure but sometimes simple diet or a physical activity can help to alleviate the aggravated doshas.
This type of therapy involves following types of activities to cure the patient.
- Exposure to sun or air
Pathya Vyavastha comprises do’s and don’ts in respect of diet, activity, habits and emotional status.
Avoid the known disease causing factors in diet and lifestyle of the patient. It also includes the idea to refrain from aggravating factors of the disease.
Satvavajaya chikitsa concerns mainly with mental disturbances. This includes restraining the mind from desires for unpleasant substances and cultivation of courage, memory and concentration.
The studies of psychology and psychiatry have been developed widely in Ayurveda and have wide range of methodologies in the treatment of mental disorders.
Rasayana chikitsa deals with promotion of strength and vitality. Promotion of memory, intelligence, immunity against the disease, the preservation of youthfulness, luster & complexion and maintenance of ideal strength of the body and senses are benefits rasayana chikitsa.