Ayurveda is a system of medicine with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent. Globalized and modernized practices derived from Ayurveda traditions are a type of complementary or alternative medicine. In countries beyond India, Ayurveda therapies and practices have been integrated in general wellness applications and in some cases in medical use.
Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old system of natural healing that has its origins in the Vedic culture of India. Although suppressed during years of foreign occupation, Ayurveda has been enjoying a major resurgence in both its native land and throughout the world. Tibetan medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine both have their roots in Ayurveda. Early Greek medicine also embraced many concepts originally described in the classical ayurvedic medical texts dating back several thousands of years.
The main classical Ayurveda texts begin with accounts of the transmission of medical knowledge from the Gods to sages, and then to human physicians. In Sushruta Samhita (Sushruta’s Compendium), Sushruta wrote that Dhanvantari, Hindu god of Ayurveda, incarnated himself as a king of Varanasi and taught medicine to a group of physicians, including Sushruta. Ayurveda therapies have varied and evolved over more than two millennia.
Therapies are typically based on complex herbal compounds, minerals and metal substances (perhaps under the influence of early Indian alchemy or rasa shastra). Ancient Ayurveda texts also taught surgical techniques, including rhinoplasty, kidney stone extractions, sutures, and the extraction of foreign objects.
Ayurveda’ is generally understood as ‘Science of life’ translating ‘Ayuh (r)’as life and ‘Veda’ as science. Ayurveda is an ancient system of life and also the oldest surviving medical system in the world. Dating back almost 5000 years, it is also considered to be an ancient science of healing that enhances longevity. It has evolved from the quest to have a happy life, through a deep understanding of creation and its maintenance, perceived and conceived by the rishis or seers of ancient India. Ayurveda emphasizes upon life in general with bit more emphasis on human life.
Its influence can be found in many ancient traditional methods of healing including Tibetan, Greek, and Chinese medicines thus making it the ‘mother of healing.’
Ayurveda is the ancient Indian system of natural and holistic medicine. When translated from Sanskrit, Ayurveda means “the science of life” (the Sanskrit root ayur means “longevity” or “life” and veda means “science”).
While allopathic medicine tends to focus on the management of disease, Ayurveda provides us with the knowledge of how to prevent disease and how to eliminate its root cause if it does occur.
The fundamentals on which the Ayurvedic system is based are essentially true for all ages and so can be easily adopted time after time, century after century. The philosophy of Ayurveda teaches a series of conceptual systems characterized by balance and disorder, health and disease. It teaches that a person’s mental, emotional and spiritual being are all interconnected and any kind of imbalance between them results in health disorder and diseases.
Therefore, to be healthy, harmony must exist between the purpose for healing, thoughts, feelings and physical action.
Health and disease are defined in a very special way in Ayurveda. Ayurveda’s central tenant is that life is a manifestation of mind, body, soul and spirit. Body and mind are prone to suffering while the spirit is free of any such trappings of life. Thus to remain healthy and happy, efforts are required to be made in the direction of maintaining harmony among all these elements and only then can one get closer to the goal of longevity and disease free life.
Although laboratory experiments suggest it is possible that some substances used in Ayurveda might be developed into effective treatments, there is no evidence that any are effective as currently practiced. Ayurveda medicine is considered pseudoscientific. Other researchers consider it a protoscience, or trans-science system instead. In a 2008 study, close to 21% of Ayurveda U.S. and Indian-manufactured patent medicines sold through the Internet were found to contain toxic levels of heavy metals, specifically lead, mercury, and arsenic. The public health implications of such metallic contaminants in India are unknown.
Some scholars assert that Ayurveda originated in prehistoric times, and that some of the concepts of Ayurveda have existed from the time of the Indus Valley Civilization or even earlier. Ayurveda developed significantly during the Vedic period and later some of the non-Vedic systems such as Buddhism and Jainism also developed medical concepts and practices that appear in the classical Ayurveda texts. Humoral balance is emphasized, and suppressing natural urges is considered unhealthy and claimed to lead to illness.
Ayurveda treatises describe three elemental substances, the humours (Sanskrit doṣas), wind (Sanskrit vāta), bile (pitta) and phlegm (kapha), and state that equality (Skt. sāmyatva) of the doṣas results in health, while inequality (viṣamatva) results in disease. Ayurveda treatises divide medicine into eight canonical components. Ayurveda practitioners had developed various medicinal preparations and surgical procedures from at least the beginning of the common era.
History of Ayurveda
Understood to be the oldest and most holistic medical system in the world, Ayurveda was developed around 3,000 BCE. The wisdom of this healing method was passed down through ancient Indian spiritual texts, called the “Vedas.” There are four major Vedas, each of which describes, in some parts, the principles of health, disease, and treatment. One of these texts, the “Rig Veda” (also known as “Rik Veda” or “Rigveda”), is one of the oldest known books of any Indo-European language.
The Rig Veda contains philosophical verses on the nature of existence, as well as information on the three basic human constitutions (see “The Doshas” below). It discusses the use of herbs to heal the mind and body, and to keep oneself young. Another Veda, the “Atharva Veda,” contains information on everything from internal medicine and surgery, to infertility and psychiatry. The “physicians” at the time of the Vedas were “rishis” sages or seers, holy people who viewed health as an overall integration between mind, body, and spirit.
Knowledge of Ayurveda spread from India, influencing other ancient systems, including Chinese medicine and the ancient Greek medicine practiced by Hippocrates. Because of its influence, Ayurveda is known as the “Mother of all healing.”
In the 1970s, Ayurvedic teachers from India began traveling to the United States and Europe, sharing their teachings of holistic health. Today, there are Ayurvedic colleges all over the world.
Science of Ayurveda
Ayurvedic science is not merely a traditional Indian form of medicine but a perennial naturopathic system of healthcare that has survived the test of time as well as onslaught of modern science and methods of treatments. Based on wisdom acquired through the centuries, the main aim of Ayurvedic science is to achieve perfect health by creating an equilibrium of perfect harmony between human body and the environment it habitats.
Ayurveda is also known as the science of living a healthy and disease free life. It is built on the premise that in olden days, man used to live close to nature and whenever he got exposed to some disease, he used to cure himself using resources and material provided by the Mother Nature. It therefore would not be wrong to say that Ayurveda charts out a health patter based on nature and its natural resources.
The Vedic philosophy believes that human beings are all a part of nature. Just as animals and plants are interdependent on each other to create balance within their beings, there is a concurrent and inherent connection between the universe and human beings. The complex world that the human beings reside in, is perpetually exposed to environmental changes. Any amount of change in weather, lifestyle, diet, work, emotions and relationships can easily tip the balance and negatively influence an individual’s state of mind, body and soul.
Ayurveda calls for a complete harmony of human body with the elements of nature and the surrounding environment for a stress free and healthy life. The Ayurvedic science does not merely deal with medical science but its scope goes much beyond the universe of the conventional science. It also includes factors like herbal medicine, body works, and surgery apart from social, psychological, ethical, spiritual and intellectual life of human beings.
Ayurvedic Body Types
According to Ayurveda, each one of us has a unique mix of three body principals that constitutes our mental, physical and spiritual well-being. These three principals are known as doshas, which are further classified as Vatta (air-ether), Kapha (water-earth) and Pitta (water).But each individual has its own unique constitution that is usually governed by one or two of the doshas predominantly. It means that that our Ayurvedic constitution is mainly be either of these doshas or a mixed constitution of two doshas like Vatta & Kapa, Kapa & Pitta or Vatta & Pitta.
Each of us has a unique proportion of these three forces that shapes our nature. If Vata is dominant in our Ayurvedic Consultation system, we tend to be thin, light, enthusiastic, energetic, and changeable. If Pitta predominates in our nature, we tend to be intense, intelligent, and goal-oriented and we have a strong appetite for life. When Kapha prevails, we tend to be easy-going, methodical, and nurturing. Although each of us has all three forces, most people have one or two elements that predominate.
For each element, there is a balanced and imbalance expression. When Vata is balanced, a person is lively and creative, but when there is too much movement in the system, a person tends to experience anxiety, insomnia, dry skin, constipation, and difficulty focusing. When Pitta is functioning in a balanced manner, a person is warm, friendly, disciplined, a good leader, and a good speaker. When Pitta is out of balance, a person tends to be compulsive and irritable and may suffer from indigestion or an inflammatory condition. When Kapha is balanced, a person is sweet, supportive, and stable but when Kapha is out of balance, a person may experience sluggishness, weight gain, and sinus congestion.
The Three Doshas
Then there are the three doshas (bodily humors): vata, pitta, and kapha. Each of them embodies a particular combination of elements and qualities to create a functional entity—an energetic force of nature. The doshas, or some combination of them, can be identified in various seasons, climates, landscapes, activities, plants, and animals. In the context of our bodies, all three doshas are necessary to facilitate important physiological functions. But if they accumulate beyond healthy limits (those determined by one’s constitution), the doshas can also wreak havoc on our health.
|Primary Elements||Air + Ether||Fire + Water||Water + Earth|
All three doshas are present in everyone, but the ratio between them varies a great deal from one person to the next. We will get to that in a moment, but first, here is an overview of the essential nature of each dosha.
Vata is the energy of air and ether, movement and impulse, creativity and connection. This dosha governs breathing, the pulsation of the heart, muscle movement in general, nerve impulses, sensory perception, communication, and our capacity to experience flexibility, joy, and expansive consciousness.
In excess, vata can cause fear, anxiety, physical and emotional constriction, ungroundedness, poor circulation, constipation, dry skin, cracking joints, emaciation, insomnia, twitches, tremors, and other abnormal movements.
The Vata dosha is a combination of air and space. In general, Vata people are creative, active, and changeable. They’re the ones who are always on the go! They may take on many different activities, but they tire easily and require much sleep. They are typically slim, angular, and long-limbed, with dry skin. They may sometimes forget to eat. Vata people are “idea people,” coming up with many imaginative, unique solutions to problems. However, they may lack the follow-through to successfully realize all of their ventures. A Vata imbalance can result in excess nervous energy, fear, mental confusion, and anxiety. The physical results are gas, constipation, poor circulation, and insomnia.
Pitta is the energy of fire and water, digestion and transformation. This dosha governs appetite, digestion, absorption, assimilation, intelligence, charisma, courage, and ambition.
In excess, pitta can cause anger, jealousy, inflammation, excessive heat, heartburn, loose stools, migraines, rashes, bruising, bleeding disorders, sharp hunger, an overactive metabolism, and difficulty sleeping.
The Pitta dosha is a combination of fire and water. Pitta people are competitive, driven, and perfectionists, traits that can be desired qualities in a teammate! However, they can also become overly aggressive, jealous, and critical. They usually have a medium build with well-defined muscles, and strong, warm hands. They also have hearty, dependable appetites. Because of the fire quality in this dosha, Pitta people tend to have higher body temperatures, and they are very sensitive to direct sunlight and heat. Excessive Pitta can cause anger and overblown tempers. The physical results of Pitta imbalance are ulcers, indigestion, and skin irritations, such as cold sores or acne.
Kapha is the energy of water and earth, structure and cohesiveness, grounding and stability. This dosha governs nourishment, growth, lubrication, regeneration, fluid balance, fat regulation, strength, stamina, memory, and our ability to feel compassion and contentment.
In excess, kapha can cause attachment, greed, resistance to change, lack of motivation, heaviness in the mind and body, excessive sleep, depression, a sluggish metabolism, congestion, water retention, hardening of the arteries, and the formation of masses and tumors.
The Kapha dosha is a combination of water and earth. Overall, Kapha people are calm, kind, and loving. They’re the ones who are always baking cookies or offering a warm hug. However, their patient natures can also lead to laziness and over-attachment. Though they may learn and move slowly, they have excellent memories and follow-through. Kapha people tend to be big-boned and amply built, with large, soft eyes and cool hands. They love to eat, but they can go for long periods between meals. Imbalances in Kapha can cause withdrawal, depression, and reclusive tendencies. Physically, this can lead to weight gain, lethargy, and excess mucus — resulting in coughs, sinus infections, and other congestion-related disorders.
Now that we have a better understanding of what comprises life, let’s look at some of the principles of Ayurveda and how they might affect us.
In Ayurveda we view a person as a unique individual made up of five primary elements. The elements are ether (space), air, fire, water, and earth. Just as in nature, we too have these five elements in us. When any of these elements are present in the environment, they will in turn have an influence on us. The foods we eat and the weather are just two examples of the presence of these elements.
While we are a composite of these five primar y elements, certain elements are seen to have an ability to combine to create various physiological functions. Ether and air combine to form what is known in Ayurveda as the Vata dosha. Vata governs the principle of movement and therefore can be seen as the force which directs nerve impulses, circulation, respiration, and elimination. Fire and water are the elements that combine to form the Pitta dosha. The Pitta dosha is the process of transf ormation or metabolism. The transformation of foods into nutrients that our bodies can assimilate is an example of a pitta function. Pitta is also responsible for metabolism in the organ and tissue systems as well as cellular metabolism.
Finally, it is pr edominantly the water and earth elements which combine to form the Kapha dosha. Kapha is what is responsible for growth, adding structure unit by unit. Another function of the Kapha dosha is to offer protection. Cerebral-sp inal fluid protects the brain and spinal column and is a type of Kapha found in the body.
Also, the mucousal lining of the stomach is another example of the Kapha dosha protecting the tissues. We are all made up of unique proportions of Vata, Pitta and Ka pha. These ratios of the doshas vary in each individual; and because of this, Ayurveda sees each person as a special mixture that accounts for our diversity.
Ayurveda gives us a model to look at each individual as a unique makeup of the three doshas and to thereby design treatment protocols that specifically address a persons health challenges. When any of the doshas ( Vata, Pitta or Kapha ) become accumulated, Ayurveda will suggest specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines to assist the individual in reducing the dosha that has become excessive.
We may also suggest certain herbal supplemen ts to hasten the healing process. If toxins in the body are abundant, then a cleansing process known as Pancha Karma is recommended to eliminate these unwanted toxins.
The aim of every healing system is to provide relief and cure from diseases, but not all systems of healing is targeted at prevention of diseases and to provide overall well-being.
Each system has its own approach and limitations. Yet Ayurveda, with its holistic approach and natural methods aims at prevention and management, and helps in getting rid of disease from its roots. Wherever possible, it works towards providing a permanent cure.
Though it’s a more than 5,000-year-old healing science, Ayurveda is extremely logical and clear in its approach. This ancient science underlines the need to live in tune with nature and aims to boost the body’s immunity, thus aiding in preventing and fighting against all types of diseases. Ayurveda treatment involves a coordinated effort between the doctor and the patient for the prevention, management and healing of diseases.
Ayurveda places great importance on one’s pathya, or lifestyle (eating habits and daily routine). Ayurveda also provides guidance on how to adjust our lifestyle based on the change of seasons.
Different Ayurvedic Therapies
Ayurvedic Treatment can grossly be divided into Shodhana and Shamana i.e. purificatory and palliative therapy respectively.
The shodhana therapy includes procedures that eradicate the vitiated humors from the body. eg.vamana (emesis), virechana (purgation), vasti (enema), nasya (nasal errhines).
The shaman procedure comprises techniques that pacify the doshas or bring them back to normalcy e.g. deepana (carminative), pachana (digestive), upavasa (fasting) etc.
Some of the therapies include:
- Marma Therapy
- Facial Marma
- Meru Chikitsa
- Snehana / Snehapana
- Swedana (Sweat Therapy)
- Paada Abhyanga (Foot Massage)
- Pinda Sweda
- Talapothichil (Shirolepa)
An Ayurvedic Lifestyle
Dosha imbalances are often the result of poor diet and unhealthy lifestyle habits. Ayurveda seeks to restore equanimity by treating the whole person, not just the symptom of the imbalance. A typical Ayurvedic lifestyle plan includes:
Recommendations are based on each person’s individual temperament and the season. Certain foods will balance or create imbalance. Fresh vegetables, whole grains, and certain legumes, nuts, and dairy products can provide healthy stabilization for each dosha.
In general, though, the recommendations to prevent imbalances for each dosha are:
- Vata: Limit cold, crunchy, and salty foods and carbonated and caffeinated drinks.
- Pitta: Limit spicy, fried, and meaty foods and excessive alcohol.
- Kapha: Limit creamy, sweet, and overly heavy foods and drinks.
Regular exercise is vital for overall health and well-being. In Ayurveda, the type, intensity, and amount of physical activity required are determined on an individual basis.
Yoga & Meditation
Calming the mind and learning to listen to one’s body are essential techniques for becoming more in tune with nature. Practicing yoga and meditation helps all doshas become more balanced.
Internal cleansing is often done through fasting and diets, though some practitioners also include enemas. External cleansing is done on a daily basis, typically using oils, a natural-bristle body brush, and tepid water.
Massage and self-massage are not just luxuries in Ayurveda, but essential parts of daily life! A soothing touch nourishes the emotions and spirit, while physically encouraging healthy circulation and the release of toxins.
Herbs are an important part of Ayurveda, used in everything from cooking, tea, and medicine, to aromatherapy. Examples of Ayurvedic herbs include Triphala, Ashwaganda, and Gotu Kola.
Finding Balance in Everyday Life
Holistic health is available to everyone! Integrating yoga and Ayurveda into your everyday life can result in peace and well-being in your mind, body, and spirit.
Be sure to talk with your doctor if you are considering Ayurveda for a health condition. Ayurvedic practices should complement conventional care, not replace it. Consult a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner before treating yourself with Ayurvedic techniques. For more information, be sure to check out the iSport guides, How to Determine Your Dosha and Yoga and Ayurveda.
Sex and Ayurveda
Sex has always been an issue of much contradiction. While social structures in India are quite strict on this, the study of sex from both a physical and psychological perspectives has been practiced here from ancient times.
Maharishi Vatsayana’s Kamasutra is still the most comprehensive documentation in the world on the practice of sex. Unfortunately, its classic treatment of the act and the art has often been misrepresented. The ancient Ayurvedic text of Charaka Samhita provided complete sexual solutions over 3,000 years ago. The timeless, erotic sculptures in the temples at Khajuraho and Konark leave millions of visitors utterly awestruck by their sheer beauty, elegance and variety—an eternal testimony to how intrinsic sex was to the daily lives of people in ancient India.
The Do’s, Don’ts, and Workings of Sex
Sex is an integral part of our daily habit (Dinacharya). The importance of sex in our lives has remained unchanged. The crucial points to be kept in mind in relation to this are:
1.Timing is key
According to Ayurveda, the best time to have sex is during the full moon, after 10 p.m. and at least 2 hours after a meal. The ideal timeframe for sex is between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. This is because this particular time is when our stamina and passion are at their peak.
2.Digestion for distinction
As mentioned before, you need to wait at least 2 hours if you have a full stomach before your body is ready to roll. Having sex before that big meal is digested will create conflict in your mind and body. It’s best to direct energy and blood towards digestion, as both of these are required for optimum performance.
3. Tick all the right boxes
Are you sick, tired, angry, stressed, thirsty or hungry? If you’ve said “yes” to any of these conditions then it’s best to wait for the right time to be in the mood for sex. If you have sex in these conditions you can suffer from issues like lightheadedness, headache, bloating, gastritis, etc. Ayurveda says that we must abstain from sex if we are not fully present in the moment as we will not be able to seek pleasure from the act. Having sex when you are physically fatigued or mentally elsewhere can only make matters worse!
4. Prep for it
Sex is much more than just a physical act and we are sure you are aware of this. Prepare for the experience by making sure that it is a treat for the senses. Music, candles and fragrant flowers can help create a romantic atmosphere. The best foods to eat before sex are light, sweet dishes. A refreshing bath and sensuous lingerie are highly recommended to set the right mood!
5. Moderation and frequency
Yes, we can have too much of a good thing. Ayurveda believes that a lot of our vital energy called Ojas gets discharged during orgasm. Ojas is responsible for our immune powers so people who have high Ojas don’t fall sick as often. The important thing is to strike the right balance in the amount and intensity of sex to be healthy and happy.
6. Seasonal sessions
The body is at its prime during winters so you can indulge in this pleasurable act every day during winter.
In spring (vasanta ritu) and autumn (sharad ritu) our stamina is moderate so sexual frequency should also take the middle road – once every three days.
In rainy (varsha ritu) and summer (nidagha ritu) our strength is at its lowest so it’s best to reduce sexual frequency to once every 15 days.
Why should you go for Ayurvedic treatment?
Ayurveda is witnessing a great revival worldwide with thousands of people looking for a holistic, sustainable, safe and effective form of treatment. India, being the birthplace of Ayurveda, has a lot to offer to the world in the treatment of various types of disease – even those labelled incurable by modern science. There are several advantages of going for Ayurvedic treatment, some of them are explained below.
Works at the root cause
Ayurveda is not a system of healing that provides only relief from symptoms. It aims to restore health by working on the underlying causes of the disease. So, you will hear a lot about detoxification, cleansing, strengthening and rejuvenation in Ayurveda. It’s a simple science based on a common sense approach, a rare commodity in today’s world.
For instance, when a patient complains of headache, burning in the eyes, acidity and fungal infection on skin, for him they are four different problems. But for an Ayurvedic doctor, they all indicate impairment of pitta dosha. In such a case, the patient cannot become fully healthy unless impaired pitta dosha is brought under control, which will help to treat and provide a cure to all the four problems.
Ayurveda always aims to attack the root cause of the disease – its objective is not to suppress a particular symptom but to restore harmony and balance. It tries to accomplish this by balancing of impaired doshas (vata, pitta and kapha), digestion and elimination of toxins, strengthening of digestive fire, opening up of channels, and rejuvenation of dhatus (tissues). Thus, detoxification and cleansing is an integral part of Ayurveda science. These cleansing is not only done through medications or Panchakarma therapies, but also through a well-planned diet and the right lifestyle.
Safe and natural
Ayurveda is a science that does not believe in suppressing symptoms to provide relief. It focuses on curing a disease without creating a new one. Unlike allopathic medicines, it does not cause fatal or irreversible damage to the human body in the form of side effects. Side effects are rare in Ayurveda. Even if it occurs it might be due to your body’s intolerance to some types of herbs and minerals, or if you are not following the diet and lifestyle advice as per instructions.
Ayurveda works by triggering your natural healing mechanism and uses the gift of nature (herbs, oils, minerals, fruits, spices etc.) to create a natural balance in the body. It not only works on a particular disease but aims to restore and maintain overall health and well-being.
Unlike many other health systems, Ayurveda looks at an individual holistically. It doesn’t treat any disease just by giving some tablets or capsules, but puts a lot of emphasis on food regimen, lifestyle, mental and spiritual approach, and conduct of the individual. Ayurveda moves beyond the one-size-fits-all approach for deciding a line of treatment. Rather, it takes into consideration several factors such as,
- The state of an individual’s doshas (vata/ pitta/ kapha)
- The state of the dhatus (tissues) (blood/muscles etc.)
- The state of malas or excreta (stool/ urine)
- The state of mahabhootas or elements (fire/ water etc.)
- The state of the srotas or body channles
- The state of the mind
- Behavioural signs
- Primary and secondary symptoms
Impairment of the doshas, dhatus and other factors can differ in patients even when they may have the same disease. Since Ayurveda aims at balancing the imbalanced factors and restore the impaired factors, Ayurvedic treatment differs from patient to patient and is customized according to different individuals. Not just the form of medicines, even the recommended lifestyle, food regimen, type of exercises, nature of tonics and timings of taking medicines can differ from patient to patient.
Works on all levels
Ayurveda considers a human being to an amalgamation of the body, mind and soul. So, a patient’s approach, attitude and conduct are often responsible for causing him health problems. The fact that a negative attitude or negative thoughts can affect mental as well as physical health was well known to Ayurveda even thousands of years ago. Also, it was well known that overindulgence or deprivation from sex, overeating or excess fasting, and lack of activity and over exertion was all harmful for the body and led to disharmony and disease. Therefore, practice of Yoga, meditation and attention towards one’s conduct are an integral part of Ayurvedic treatment.
Ayurveda understands health as a reflection of a man living in harmony with nature and disease arises when this harmony gets disturbed. In the ancient times, rishis and sages believed in Ayurvedic herbs as the solution to cure a number of health problems and diseases. The conducted thorough studies and experimented with these herbs before arriving at any conclusion regarding the accuracy of the medicinal values of these herbs and their effectiveness in treating various ailments and diseases. Due to their natural Ayurvedic herbs are considered to be free of any side effects and thus enjoy a global appeal.
Ayurvedic medicines are mostly formulated using a mix of herbs and other plants, including oils and common spices. By combining several kinds of plants and herbs to get benefit of the drug or therapeutic value, Ayurveda has proven itself capable of overcoming various health problems that occurs in the human body. Today, Ayurveda is being widely used in modern medicine systems. This was triggered by a number of research-conducted by scientific research and has proved how effective and positive the role of plants or herbs can be on human health.
Herbs play a vital role in the Ayurvedic system and a small herb is known to dissolve stones in the kidney, bladder and gall-bladder easily and effectively. Apart from timely cure, Ayurvedic herbs are also know to provide permanent relief from a disease by removing the metabolic toxins from the body. Know more about the various Medicinal Plants and Their Uses.
Ayurvedic Home Remedies
Ayurvedic home remedies are considered safe as they are natural and herbal in nature, therefore, free from any side effects. They have an advantage over other methods of treatment as Ayurvedic remedies are known to cure the disease form the root, effectively. Treating an ailment or a disease using Ayurvedic remedies will not only help you get rid from it permanently but also aid you in leading a healthy life in the long run.
Some of the major benefits of using homemade Ayurvedic remedies include:
- Ayurvedic remedies are preventive as well as protective and curative in nature.
- As the emphasis is on using herbal and natural ingredients or things that can be easily found in the kitchen, it does not pose any danger of being toxic.
- These remedies are free of any side-effect and provide long term or permanent cure from the disease
- The remedies also emphasize on the need for a lifestyle change with modification required in one’s diet, sleep pattern and other basic everyday activity. Therefore, the holistic approach towards the overall well-being of a person is much effective as compared to other conventional forms of modern day science.
At the heart of the Ayurvedic approach to wellness is the idea that like increases like and that opposites balance. So whether we are attempting to mitigate the effects of certain innate vulnerabilities, or trying to correct an active imbalance, we can apply the energy of opposites in order to steer our bodies in the right direction. The twenty qualities mentioned above provide the most straight-forward illustration of how the concept works, and their grouping into ten pairs of opposites makes for a fairly intuitive grasp of how this wisdom can be applied in practical terms.
A person with aggravated pitta can invite a return to balance by minimizing exposure to the qualities that provoke pitta (hot, sharp, light, liquid, spreading, and oily) and by increasing contact with the cool, slow, heavy, dense, stable, and dry qualities that balance pitta. And when we know which qualities, in particular, are aggravated, we can be even more precise in our treatment strategies. For instance, if this same person were suffering from acid indigestion and a short temper, we could focus on balancing the hot, sharp qualities with cooling, calming foods and herbs while cultivating more slow, relaxed experiences throughout each day.
The beauty of the Ayurvedic approach is that it is as elegant and intuitive to the novice as it is the seasoned Ayurvedic practitioner. For those relatively new to Ayurveda—especially those willing to cultivate enhanced self-awareness around their habits, strengths, and vulnerabilities—the tradition offers a clear path to improved wellness and vitality. The same set of fundamental principles guides the skilled practitioner of Ayurveda in directing potent remedies to specific organs, tissues, and channels throughout the physical and energetic bodies.
There are, of course, some universals in Ayurveda: practices that are generally understood to be beneficial for all of us, regardless of constitution or current state of balance. These include things like eating whole foods, proper food combining, and following a traditional Ayurvedic Daily Routine—which might involve cleaning your tongue upon waking, practicing some yoga or meditation daily, and soothing your system periodically with a loving oil massage. But if you follow only general principles, you may inadvertently limit Ayurveda’s extraordinary ability to specifically support you and your changing needs.
Harnessing the Power of Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, there are three basic types of energy, universal principles known as the doshas. In many ways, the doshas vata, pitta, and kapha are the building blocks of the material world. All three of them can be found in everyone and everything, but in different proportions.
Ayurveda recognizes seven basic constitutional types and then classifies imbalances according to which doshas are increased above and beyond their normal ratio in your constitution. Knowing your Ayurvedic constitution and your current state of balance amplifies your capacity to benefit from the wisdom of Ayurveda. It offers insights that can help you better understand yourself, your natural tendencies, as well as your habitual and current vulnerabilities. It also provides an important context for learning the core principles that make Ayurveda such a timeless art and science.
In essence, self-awareness increases Ayurveda’s relevance in your life and can anchor your study of the tradition in personal experience. Beyond that, this knowledge will allow you to tailor any general strategies according to your personal needs, magnifying their impact. Once you know your constitutional make-up and your current state of balance, you can tweak the most basic components of your day like how you exercise, or when you eat to better support your overall well-being. As a result, these two pieces of information can be a dramatic catalyst in propelling you toward ideal health.
Remember, your constitution reflects the ideal ratio of vata, pitta, and kapha in your system. However, if any of the doshas are out of balance (and for most of us, at least one of them is), your constitution is not the entire story. Your current state of balance may actually be more important because it highlights which doshas you need to pacify in order to return to balance, and can help you identify the most effective treatment strategies for your particular situation.
Fortunately, Banyan has developed an assessment tool explicitly for the purpose of establishing your Ayurvedic Profile™. It is a simple questionnaire that, within just a few minutes, helps you to establish both your constitution and your current state of balance. Perhaps even more significantly, your results will generate a personalized set of recommendations and an extensive library of helpful resources tailored to your specific needs. Your Ayurvedic Profile is intended to be a celebration of who you are from an Ayurvedic perspective, and ultimately, it is designed to support you in your pursuit of optimal health.
In closing, we would like to offer you a warm-hearted welcome as you begin to explore the world of Ayurveda. We hope that you find it as inspiring as we do, and that we can support and serve you in your process of discovery.
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