The word Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word (आयुर्वेद) that evolves from combination of two words, “Ayush” (आयुस्) meaning life and “veda” (वेदः) meaning knowledge. Ayurveda means “Knowledge about Life” Ayurveda is a 3000 year old science that originated in India.
Present region of North Indian, Pakistan, Nepal, Barma, Tibet and East-Northern places of Bangladesh. The components and concept of Ayurveda is rooted in Vedas. Ayurveda considered as the one of the Upveda of ‘Adharvaveda’.
Ayurveda is an ancient medical science which was developed in India thousands of years ago. Believed to have been passed on to humans from the Gods themselves.
God ‘Dhwanathiri’ considered as the god who gives ayurveda to mankind for his health. In ayurveda literature it says that ayurveda not created, it sates ‘BRAMHA SMRITHWA AYURVEDA ‘.
ie God Brahma recollected or compiled ayurveda science. It is believed that early a samhita named ‘BramhaSamhita’ was present. All other samhita’s used content Bramhasamhita to write new samhita for easy understanding and usage.
Ayurvedic Medicine is the world’s oldest comprehensive health care system and is indigenous to India where it is widely practiced.
“This ancient art of healing asserts that the science, philosophy and spirituality are all necessary aspects of healthy living.
” Thus Ayurveda is not only a comprehensive medical system but also a way of living and the very concept of “mind, body and spirit” originates from Ayurveda.
Ayurveda originated in vedic time, ancient universities like was ‘Nalantha’ and ‘Takshashila’ was the main hub off education in ‘Hindustan’.
They promoted ayurveda. Due to ‘Buddhism’ and ‘Jainism’ ayurvedaspred all over the world, ‘Buddhist’ saints spread the ayurveda to South India, Srilanka, Indonesia etc.
But I want to mention one thing that due to principle in ‘Ahimsa’ in ‘Buddhism’, surgical information in the Ayurveda almost lost they give more impotents to herbal and treatment procedure. Still we can see the influence of Buddhism in ayurveda classical text book.
Why Ayurveda Originated ?
In vedic time people are preferred ‘yaga’ or ‘Homa’ for a purpose like to get blessing from god, nature etc. To get cure from a disease, ‘Yaga’ is prescribed.
Sir, you can simply guess what will be the cost for a ‘yaga’ like procedure, naturally that will not affordable by people, many families became poor due to this.
Also more important thing is there, in ancient time ‘ChaturVarnya’ based community life style is adapted.
All are not rich to involve in Yaga and all are not allowed. This situation lead a necessary situation to design a treatment protocol like ayurveda which is effective also cost effective system, even ordinary people can use.
Our ‘Acharya’ are considered as ‘Apta’, which simply means they free from all the negative energy from the earth, no intention to cheat others, not want to get any profit from anyone.
They saw all the people as one, not based on community system. I believe that due to this Ayurveda is still exists, due to their kindness and truthfulness in heart, not me and any of other ayurveda doctors.
Eight Branches In Ayurveda
The Branches in Ayurveda are derived from classical Sanskrit literature, in which Ayurveda was called “the science
- Kayachikitsa (general medicine): “cure of diseases affecting the body”.
- Kaumāra-bhṛtya and BalaRoga: deals with the treatment of children.
- Shalyatantra deals with surgical techniques.
- Śālākya-tantra – deals with diseases of the teeth, eye, nose, ear etc.
- Bhuta-vidya deals with the causes, which are not directly visible and not directly explained by tridosha ,pertaining to micro-organisms or spirits.
- Agada-Tantra deals with antidotes to poison.
- Rasayana-Tantra (Geriatrics)/(Anti Agings) : deals with rejuvenation.
- Vajikaranatantra (aphrodisiacs) deals with healthy and desired progeny.
About Ayurveda Treatments (Upakrama)
Two types of Treatments (Upakrama)
Langhana Therapy further divided in two
Saman therapy further divided in to
Sothana Therapy (PanchaKarma ) Divided in to –
According to susrutha
1.Vaman (Therapeutic vomiting or emesis)
3.Basti (Enema using medicine)
4.Nasya ( Application of medicine in Nose)
5.Rakta moksha (Bloodletting or detoxification of the blood)
According To Charaka
1.Vaman (Therapeutic vomiting or emesis)
3.Nasya ( Application of medicine in Nose)
4.MatraVasthi (Enema Using tail / Gritam)
5.KashayaVasthi (Enema using Kashaya / decotion)
Ayurveda recognizes that all living and non-living things are composed of panchamahabhut or five basic elements of the entire creation. One branch of Indian philosophy—Sankhya, states that there are 24 elements in all, of which five are the foundation of the gross world: earth, water, fire, air and ether.
According to ayurveda these five elements in different combinations constitute the three body types/doshas—vata (air and space), pitta (fire) and kapha (earth and water). These two theories are the guiding factors of ayurveda as a therapeutic science.
Ayurveda advises undergoing panchakarma at the seasonal changes to both keep the metabolism strong and keep toxins from accumulating in the body as well as the mind. The process finds the way to the root cause of the problem and corrects the essential balance of mind, body, and emotions.
It is considered extremely effective to go through the process of panchakarma prior to any rejuvenation treatment (rasayana/herbal medicines), for it cleanses the body, improves the digestion, the metabolic processes of the body and cleanse the thought process as well.
Basically, panchakarma is meant to make an individual most receptive to the curative process of ayurveda by removing accumulated waste in body and mind.
This eliminates the toxic or waste matters from the intestine. It also cures pitta or pitta-dominated diseases. Poorvakarma or initial process of cleansing like vamana is suggested here. About 20 purges may be seen in this process depending on the patient’s health.
A mild form of virechana without the poorvakarma, is an integral part of ayurvedic therapy. It is also used for prevention of diseases.
It is a process of therapeutic vomiting (induced), which helps eliminate the toxic or waste matters from the stomach and thoracic cavity. Kapha dominant diseases like severe skin diseases (psoriasis, urticaria); bronchial asthma, mental disorders etc. are selected for this treatment procedure.
This process is not suggested for expecting mothers. Normally eight bouts of emesis are followed. The vomiting is stopped when yellow coloration is seen. Then, dhoomapana—inhalation of medicated fumes—is done through a special process. Finally, certain rules have to be followed called paschatkarma that basically implies strict diet regimen.
The entire treatment takes 15 days, and requires good attention as well as skilled assistance.
The process of vasti or therapeutic enema is resorted to eliminate toxins from colon, and strengthens the tissues. Two kinds of vastis are followed in ayurveda. Snehavasti is the vasti where medicated oils are used. This is not advised in patients suffering from diabetes, anemia, diarrhea, and obesity. Poorvakarma is required here.
Forkashayavasti, honey, rock salt, sneham (oils), paste of medicines are required and mixed one by one in the above order. This concoction is taken in an empty stomach. After the process the patient is allowed to take a bath.
Diseases like hemiplegia, and disease due to vata are treated by this process. Medicines are selected as per disease and stage.
Nasya is instillation of medicine through nose. It is an important procedure of ayurveda for the treatment of sirorogas or diseases affecting head area. Nasya helps cleanse the head and sinuses. The process is contraindicated in various psychological diseases, asthma and cough.
Here, the patient is to inhale lightly warmed oil. Warmed oil is massaged in the patient’s neck, shoulder, palm, face and sole before and after the process of nasya. Different timings are indicated for different dosha types. Morning time is prescribed for kapha diseases, noon in pitta diseases and evening in vata diseases.
Susruta gave stress to Raktamoksha (blood-letting) as one of the panchakarma, taking two of the vastis as a single karma (here, procedure). The process of letting out the vitiated blood is termed raktamoksha. In this procedure localized impurity or poison from the blood is removed through various methods. Often leech is used to suck out the impure blood from the affected area.
Blood-letting is also done to eliminate toxins from the blood stream causing various chronic skin disorders like urticaria, eczema, scabies and leucoderma etc. The method was also effectively used to cure enlarged liver and spleen.
The sodhana treatment / chikitsa known as pancha karma therapy. Most of the Ayurveda therapy centre give imports only for pancha karma therapy, But according to ayurvedasodhana and samana both have equal important. So I never say pancha karma is a superior treatment. I think most of time that is not good, because according to literature in ayurveda so many people and disease condition not recommend for pancha treatments. Unfortunately treatment centers want to promote it because it is more profitable business. For preparing a person for pancha karma, a lot of other procedure are need to be do.
Like application of oil in different ways like massage , Dhara etc. You must remembered that our Acharyas I mentioned who is considered as ‘Apta’ not prescribed any oil massage therapy. I always feel bad thiking about that. One of the intentions to write this article that now a day’s most of people thought that it is only an ‘Oil Massage’ therapy not a science.
Major Ayurvedic Text Books- Tantra (Brhattrayi)hutrayi)
This surgical text, which dates back to approximately 700 BC, contains seminal content such as the Ayurvedic definition of health, information on blood, and the description of five sub-doshas of Pitta and the marma points.
This volume also includes pioneering techniques in skin grafting and reconstructive surgery.
CharakSamhita, which dates back to approximately 800 BC, is a major compendium of Ayurvedic medical theory and practice that Charaka, an internist at the University of Taxila, compiled in Sanskrit. Presented as poetry, Samhita contains more than 8,400 verses in its 120 chapters.
Actual content in the Charakasamhita wrote by AcharyaAgnivesha. But AcharyaCharaka modified it. Some missing chapters are added by Acharya‘ Dridabala’.
AshtangaSangraha and AshtangaHridayam, dating back to approximately 400 BC, were written by an Ayurvedic physician from the Sindh region of India.
The Sangraha is primarily written in prose, while The Hridayam is presented as poetry.
These texts define the five subdoshas of Kapha and emphasize the material value of life.
This text was written in the 13th century AD, and is valued for its explanation of the Ayurvedic concept of materiamedica, as well as for its pharmacological formulations. It is also considered the foremost text on pulse diagnosis.
This 16th century text contains approximately 10,278 verses of varying meters and focuses on herbal descriptions, food, the therapeutic use of trace metals, and rejuvenation therapies. Information on sexually transmitted diseases, particularly syphilis, is also included.
This text was written between 700 AD and 1100 AD, and is valued for its precise classification of diseases and disease etiology, particularly in the fields of pediatrics and toxicology. MadhavaNidan is considered the Bible for Ayurvedic clinical diagnosis.
Types Of Medicine In Ayurveda
According to origin
- Herbal Medicine – Medicine prepared using medicinal Plants
- Mineral Medicine– Medicine prepared using heavy metals like mercury, arsenic, sulphur, siver,gold etc.
- Herbo-mineral combined medicine
According to Preparation
- Basma / kshara
- Malahara – Lepana