Ayurveda, also known as the healing science, is a combination of two words, ‘Ayuh’ and ‘Veda.’ Ayuh means life, and Veda means knowledge or science. So in literal terms, Ayurveda can be justified as the science of life. Ayurveda science is not only related to the traditional perceptions of treatment of diseases and maintaining well-being. Instead, Ayurveda science deals with an overall approach to balance our body – physically, mentally and socially. People who study Ayurveda know that it balances our physical fitness, mental peace and also integrates a spiritual consciousness in one’s life.
Ayurveda science is not merely a holistic approach towards the treatment and cure of diseases but a naturopathic system that has been established since the time humans came into existence. The Ayurveda basics are built on the premise of extensive exposure of humans to nature. People used to live in the heart of nature, in sustainable homes and whenever there were times of any illness and diseases, people used to cure themselves using the natural resources, in the purest forms which were provided by mother nature. Ayurveda science has successfully sustained human history despite various modern establishments and methods to cure people. Natural Ayurveda treatments are considered at par with the allopathic treatments provided at hospitals and other treatment homes. Hence, it would be perfect to say that Ayurveda science is the purest and natural method to cure people and maintain their healthy well-being.
What Does Ayurveda Mean?
Ayurveda is a method of healing and curing people of illness by using natural resources. The introduction of Ayurveda persists since the existence of humans in history ,i.e. more than 5000 years ago. Ayurveda is considered a successful way to achieve physical fitness and internal peace. The classic Ayurveda, as recognized by ‘rishis’ or Indian sages, existed to create a balance between body, mind and soul. They used to practice Ayurveda every day to live a sterling life. The fundamentals of classic Ayurveda deals with the elimination of foreign substances which have been manipulated by people. Classic Ayurveda persists with acceptance of natural resources as a prime medium to achieve well-being.
Ashtanga Ayurveda is also known as the eight limbs of Ayurveda. Let’s see what these eight branches of ashtanga Ayurveda:
- Kaya: One can treat metabolic and systemic disorders from it.
- Bala: It is used for health care or problems in children.
- Graha Chikitsa: It is well known for the treatment of infections; it even cures psycho-somatic diseases.
- Urdhwanga Chikitsa: It is well known for the treatment of diseases occurring in sense organs as well as ENT, Ophthalmology.
- Shalya Tantra: Includes any kind of surgery that uses excision, incision or sharp instruments.
- Damshtra Chikitsa: Treats the diseases which are caused due to stings or bites of animals as well as insects.
- Jara Chikitsa: This type includes the treatment of old age people.
- Vrisha: It helps to increase sexual capabilities, potency as well as virility.
Body Ayurveda Type
According to basic Ayurveda, every individual has a unique composition of three Ayurveda elements – physical, mental and spiritual Ayurveda wellness. These three elements are known as doshas in the classic Ayurveda, which are further divided into three branches – ‘Kapha’ (earth and water), ‘Pitta’ (fire and water) and ‘Vata’ (air and space). Ayurveda Vata pitta predominantly rules an individual’s body. The unique characteristics of these doshas are as follows:
- Ayurveda Kapha (earth and water) – Kapha dosha supervises the structure and functioning of the mind and body. The element is considered to maintain weight, growth and flexibility in an individual. It also helps in holding the tissue cells together and developing good levels of stamina in the body. Earth and water are a symbol of nature and purity. In natural Ayurveda, the persons with characteristics of Kapha are generally calm, composed and grounded. Those with an imbalance of Kapha face physical as well as mental disorders. The person may become overweight, lethargic and might be prone to problems such as diabetes, asthma and mental depression.
- Pitta Ayurveda (fire and water) – According to the basic Ayurveda, Pitta Ayurveda dosha governs the digestion, metabolism and energy production in the body of an individual. The fundamental function of Pitta is a mental and physical transformation. The positive growth and transformation of existing capacity and efficiency of body and mind is the ruling aim of Pitta. The people who possess the characteristics of Pitta are fiery with abundant energy. This stamina helps a person to be hard-working, intelligent and ambitious towards accomplishing their life goals. The Pitta dosha or Pitta imbalance might cause extensive body heat, short-temper and chances of indigestion. Individuals might also suffer from heart diseases in some cases.
- Ayurveda Vata (air and space) – According to the historical introduction of Ayurveda, Vata means full of air and space. The Vata element governs internal as well as external body movements. From blood circulation to elimination of foreign particles from the body, to proper breathing to muscle and tissue movements, The Vata element primarily works to reduce stress levels and nurture creativity within our body. A person of Vata characteristics is profound of an energetic and enthusiastic personality. A person suffering from an imbalance of Vata might face the consequences such as a thin and light body frame, digestive issues, hypertension, anxiety and restlessness.
Ayurveda Healing Techniques
All the internal and external imbalances of the body can be treated with everyday Ayurveda practices and natural treatments that exist in modern Ayurveda. There have been notable advancements in Ayurveda science that have shown significant results from the traditional classic Ayurveda. There are a lot of treatments and curing methods available in the modern Ayurveda to heal people from numerous illnesses, diseases and body disorders. The various healing techniques available in modern Ayurveda are as follows:
- Ayurvedic Herbs: Ayurveda herbs have been part of natural Ayurveda since the time of its existence. In the ancient Ayurveda, the rishis and sages conducted various healing procedures with natural herbs to treat various body disorders, illnesses and mental anxiety. The herbs are also being used as an effective method of boosting the metabolism and immune system, treating the skin and hair of individuals. The role of natural Ayurveda is not only focused on curing a particular disease for which a person is taking treatment; rather, it helps to revitalize the whole body of the person. Ayurveda herbs are also known as successful treatments to balance the doshas and provide a remedy for existing internal imbalances. Numerous Ayurveda herbs are being used as a cure for the patients. The most popularly known herbs in natural Ayurveda include:
- Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is a conventional natural Vedic Ayurveda herb used for collective uses. The herb can be found in India and Africa. The name Ashwagandha is derived from the Sanskrit language wherein ‘Ashwa’ means horse and ‘Gandha’ means smell. As per the derivation of the name, the herb is believed to cure the patient and provide him with strength and stamina like a horse. The other benefits of the herb are improving the functioning of reproductive organs, integrating healthy sleep patterns, enhancing the ability of the mind to process things efficiently and also helps in reducing stress levels. Generally, the root part of the plant is used for ayurvedic treatments.
- Neem: Neem is a widely popular herb since the birth of classic Ayurveda. The word neem is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Nimba’, which refers to a tree ‘Azadirachta Indica whose fruits and leaves are used as an ailment for curing people. Neem is considered a magic herb that is used to cure various health problems. According to classic and modern-day Ayurveda, neem is an integral part of almost 75% of the ayurvedic remedies and ailments. Neem is used in treatments for curing acne and skin diseases. It is also used to enrich oral hygiene by preventing dental caries and strengthening the gums. According to the theory of Ayurveda balance, blood purification is significantly important to boost metabolism and neem is enriched with natural antioxidants, which helps in achieving the same. Problems of dandruff, hair fall and under-nourished scalp can also be treated with the help of neem. Ayurveda science acknowledges the use of neem as ‘Panacea for all the body diseases.’ It is the only herb in which all the parts of a plant are useful for curing diseases – leaves, flowers, seeds, fruits, bark and roots.
- Brahmi: Also known as Bacopa Monnieri or traditionally ‘Brahmi’ is a natural herb that is used specifically for the treatment of problems related to the nervous system. Brahmi is a well-known herb that is used to enhance the memory power and brain functioning of individuals. The natural herb works on the growth and development of learning and retaining the capacity of the brain. The herb is also believed to have cooling properties that help in calming the brain, which results in sound sleep and also relaxes nervous cells. Brahmi is also known for treating skin and hair problems. The leaves and the fruit are the most efficient parts of the medicinal herb which are used for ailments.
- Ayurvedic Treatments: Ayurvedic treatments are a combination of natural products – herbs and plants followed with a well planned balanced diet with exercises that are to be practised in daily routine. Unlike the allopathic treatments that are targeted towards specific treatment of particular diseases or illnesses, Ayurvedic basics include treatments that are focused on rejuvenating the whole body of an individual. The aim of everyday Ayurveda focuses on deep-rooting the natural antioxidants by intake of natural herbs and a comprehensive balanced diet which help to cleanse the body, purify the blood, and rebalance the functioning of vital internal organs. The natural Ayurveda treatments focus on eliminating the pre-existing diseases and infections of the body along with preventing the occurrence of such diseases in future. The introduction to Ayurveda treatments with everyday Ayurveda practice has conjointly helped to nullify the severe health risks among many individuals who believe in the natural treatment process. The most popular ayurvedic treatments are as follows:
- Greeva Basti: The word Greeva Basti is derived from two Sanskrit words ‘Greeva’ means neck and ‘Basti’ means to retain. Hence, Greeva Basti is an ayurvedic treatment focused on ailing acute and severe neck conditions. This modern Ayurveda treatment is most beneficial for youngsters and adults who have to sit in front for long durations in front of computer screens, which generally causes neck pain, back pain and other imbalances such as hypertension, anxiety and many more. Greeva Basti is an authentic classic Ayurveda treatment that is aimed at providing relief from body pain, primarily painful neck conditions, with long term benefits. The treatment comprises a soothing and relaxing neck therapy with the help of herbal oils retained on the neck to eliminate the pain and stiffness. The rejuvenating oils allow the body cells and tissues to relax and cool down by penetration into the body, which further helps in revitalizing the ligaments. Other benefits of this natural Ayurveda therapy is that it helps in improving muscle flexibility and lubrication of joints by softening the rigidity of nerves. Greeva Basti is also successful in treating fractures and frozen shoulders. The Ayurveda treatment also helps in boosting the blood circulation around the neck and also works to cure and ailments related to spines.
- Soundarya: The most delicate part of the body is the skin. We know that the health of our skin plays a vital role in protecting our body from pollution, foreign impurities and also from the harmful UV rays of the sun. Hence, it is important to take really good care of our skin cells and make sure they are properly nourished. Soundarya ayurvedic therapy works for exfoliating and removing the dead cells from the skin, thereby allowing fresh and healthy cells to nurture and get essential vitamins from the body. The higher the number of healthy skin cells would be present, the more attractive an individual would look. The natural Ayurveda treatment of Soundarya involves the application of nourishing herbal face packs, herbal masks and rejuvenating oils. Facial massages using natural products activates healthy skin cells, reflex points and facial oxygen and blood circulation. This process soothes the stress and tensions from all parts of the body and makes an individual look attractive. A prerequisite for this Ayurveda treatment is that patients shall quit the intake of excessive fats, oily foods and aerated beverages to gain the maximum result.
- Ayurveda Panchakarma: Panchakarma is one of the body purification processes which is used for cleansing the impurities and detoxifying the body with the help of naturally medicated oils. This classic Ayurveda treatment is also part of Vedic paurans and originated from Kerala, India. Ayurveda Panchakarma includes five natural techniques of body purification, which helps in removing all the impurities and foreign particles and also helps in balancing the three doshas – Kapha, Pitta and Vata. The Five Ayurveda basics of this treatment include:
A balanced diet is an integral and vital part of this treatment. The patient is advised to have a proper nutritional diet before and after the process of Panchakarma. Initially, the patient is advised to take Khichdi (mixed veg meal) for 3-4 days with gradually increasing the variety of meals such as – soups, Daliya, Pulses, etc. Another important aspect of the treatment is appropriate to rest. The patient needs to take ample rest so that the body can actively work on the detoxification process. It is advised to take a minimum of 8 hours of sleep for the patient during the ayurvedic treatment.
What is Ayurveda Diet?
Ayurveda is an essential traditional approach that is focused on creating a conventional balance between our body and mind. There are various Ayurveda medicines, herbs and treatments to cure the imbalances of our body, but these medicines and natural procedures only work in partnership with the Ayurveda diet.
Practising everyday Ayurveda is an essential part of getting a natural Ayurveda treatment. This consists of proper intake of a healthy and balanced diet with regular exercises and Ayurveda yoga. Yoga and Ayurveda both make a complete personality of a person. Ayurveda diet is a type of eating plan that justifies the quantity and composition of our meal based on our doshas. The various restrictions in Ayurveda diet according to doshas is as follows:
- Kapha Dosha: As individuals who face imbalances due to Kapha dosha might be vulnerable to conditions such as improper digestion and being overweight; hence, the Ayurveda diet limits the intake of heavy foods such as nuts, seeds, oils and favours intake of fruits and vegetables.
- Pitta Dosha: The main focus of Pitta dosha is to calm down the stress and anxiety in an individual and energize the functioning of the brain. Hence, in the Ayurveda diet, foods such as spices, nuts and seeds are restricted as they may generate heat in our body which would compromise the efficiency of Ayurveda treatment.
- Vata Dosha: As individuals who suffer from body imbalances of Vata dosha are lethargic and undernourished, the Ayurveda diet prescribes an eating plan with warm and moist foods and restricts the intake of dried fruits, raw veggies and herbs to rebalance the shortcomings of Vata dosha.
If an individual follows proper Ayurveda diets, there are numerous health benefits that a person could attain, such as:
- Healthy balanced diet: The Ayurveda diet closely follows a balanced diet along with about additional requirements of every dosha. The diet focuses on the intake of whole foods such as – fruits, vegetables, legumes which have high fibre and nutritional values. The eating plan prohibits the intake of fine processed and unhealthy food which might lead to severe health problems.
- Promotes weight loss: A proper intake of balanced vitamins and minerals would eventually result in the transformation of individuals with proper body posture and attractive looks. The nutrient-rich foods that are part of the Ayurveda diet eliminate the excess fat from the body, thus resulting in weight loss.
- Proper body functioning: Following a constructive Ayurveda diet plan provides the body with all essential nutrients and, most importantly, in adequate quantities. This helps in the production of healthy cells, which therefore work for the seamless functioning of body organs.