What is Ayurveda?

what-is-ayurveda

Ayurveda is known to be the earliest medicinal therapy that has been practiced in India. In Ayurveda, perfect health is an equilibrium between body, mind, spirit and social well being. The distortion of balance results in the diseases.

The word Ayurveda is originated from the Sanskrit language where 'Ayuh' means longevity or life and 'Veda' means science or sacred knowledge. Therefore, Ayurveda means the science of longevity or the sacred knowledge of life that helps you to understand the uniqueness of your body.

The Vedas i.e the historical sacred text documented Ayurveda many centuries ago is still evolving and now also has also been integrated with yoga.

Philosophy of Ayurveda

Ayurveda is a practical amalgamation of Vedic philosophical systems; Sankhaya, Yoga, Nyaya, and Vaisheshika integrated with exceptional measures of holistic health care.

According to Ayurveda, each one of us has a body and mind that uniquely differs from every being. We all are different from each other in every respect, even the identical twins are uniquely different from each other.

The philosophy of Ayurveda in the first place helps us in understanding why we all are different and to accept it. The well being of an individual is related to the wellbeing of the society, of the living space and the entire universe.

The Ayurveda philosophy is based on the theory of macrocosm and microcosm. Every matter in the universe is composed of 5 elements and the existence of a matter is attributed to Kala (time), Dik (space) and Atma (mind).

When we make harmony with nature, it creates an equilibrium between the five elements of our body and nature which eventually maintains the harmony of our holistic health.

History of Ayurveda

Originating in the Indian subcontinent, approximately 6000 years ago, Ayurveda is the oldest among all the holistic health systems. The Ayurveda has its traces in Rig Veda and Atharva Veda. To understand the basics of Ayurvedic learning and practices, you can read Caraka Samhita, Susruta Samhita and Astanga Hrdaya Strotra of Vaghbhata. All three Samhitas are the most popular and important, which are compiled roughly around 1500 BC and 500 AD.

During the 3rd century, the origin of Rasashastra brings a huge revolution in the field of Ayurveda. To enhance the effectiveness of treatment, mercury and several other minerals have been added to the medicines after certain processing. The medicines were fast and safe, shown phenomenal results in difficult health conditions.

The establishment of British rule and the influence of western culture, medicine and science faded the charm of Ayurveda to a huge extent. In the latter days of Britisher's rule, Ayurveda had gained the attention of many scholars from all around the globe.

Today, not only India but also Europe especially the German-speaking countries are well known worldwide for their exceptional higher studies in Ayurveda.

Owing to its influence on the origin of Homeopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda is also known as the 'Mother of all healings'.

Principle of Ayurveda

All the material including the body is composed of Pancamahabhutas or five essential elements i.e. Prithvi or Bhumi (earth), Jal or Ap (water), Agni or Tejas (fire), Vayu or Pawan ( Air) and Akash or Byom (ether). Ayurveda, the art of healing concentrates on harmonizing internal balance with the outer world. To serve this purpose these five plays a vital role.

According to science, each individual has a specific constitution that will determine which element is dominant in their body. Further, these elements will determine physiology, intellectual character and susceptibility to diseases.

When these subtle elements are in balance, we remain in our highest human level. All 5 elements constitute different functional and structural constituents of the body.

  • Space (represents the quality of expansion)
  • Air (represents the quality of gaseousness, mobility, and lack of form)
  • Fire (represents the quality of transformation, heat, and fire)
  • Water (represents the quality of liquidity and instability)
  • Earth (represents the quality of solidity and stability)

Benefits of Ayurveda


  • Encourages you to know yourself better:

    Ayurveda helps you to understand your body better and not comparing to others. It encourages you to learn about your uniqueness which leads you to grow, balance and heal yourself.

  • A healthy approach to balance the body & mind:

    Ayurveda makes you aware that to be healthy and balanced is your natural state. If you are in equilibrium with your surroundings, that’s known as optimum health. Stress, anxiety, laziness or attachments are a matter of being out of balance. Imbalance in the body takes time, these do not occur overnight. When you understand what is the reason for your worries, you can refer to a certain diet or food to eat or avoid.

  • Discover the ways to cleanse your energy:

    In today’s hectic life, we often need to reset our mental and physical settings. It is important to understand what is working for you and what is not. Clear up your system with an Ayurvedic diet, and clearing up the mind with postures, breathing techniques and meditation on a regular basis.

  • Reminds you that you are more than bones and muscles:

    Ayurveda explains to you that your body is not only constituents of bones and muscles but also consists of the five essentials elements. It makes you more mindful of your body, mind, and spirit and maintains the balance within them. You will begin to believe that healing starts from within, beginning with the food you put in your body.

  • Optimum health at the tissue level:

    Many studies have proved that Ayurveda aids in improving cellular health. It has been noted that Ayurveda has the immense power to regenerate cells, which shows that we have the potential to start self-healing of several ailments.

  • Flushes the toxins from the body:

    According to Ayurveda, we have three types of toxins in our body. Ama is one of the waste products, it is build up in the alimentary tract that builds up from having the wrong diet. If not cleansed, it accumulates over time and starts to move throughout the body, which imbalances the health. Ayurveda recommends eating your largest meal between 12 PM and 2 PM when the sun is at its peak and the digestive fire is strongest which prevents the formation of toxins.

  • Decreases Anxiety and Improves Overall Well-Being:

    Food influences your feelings and mood and if you have a weak digestive fire, you will be inactive and lethargic. As a result, it creates negative emotions and affects your day to day life. By following a diet that exclusively meets your needs, you can start to find clarity in your thoughts and actions.

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