The History And Tradition of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is derived from the two words ‘ayu’ (‘age’ or ‘life’) and ‘veda’ (‘science or knowledge).
As is apparent from the word itself, ayurveda centers round a close understanding of life; and in the case of ayurveda, this means an intricate relationship between the many aspects of human life, both physical as well as mental and spiritual.
According to the tenets of ayurveda, the human body comprises of five basic elements- earth, fire, water, air and ether (space). Each of these elements is also present in the atmosphere surrounding humans, and their combination affects the human body and mind. These combinations include vata dosha (ether + air, which affects the nervous system, circulation, elimination and respiration); pitta dosha (fire + water, which governs digestion and metabolism) and kapha dosha (water + earth, responsible for growth as well as for immunity). Ayurveda bases itself on these three doshas, using the premise that each individual is a unique combination of the doshas, and any imbalance in this combination is the ultimate cause of all diseases. The cure for these diseases, then, lies in a customized cleansing process, tailor-made specifically for the affected individual. The TREATMENT is known as ‘panchakarma‘ and it aims to treat the disease by eliminating accumulated toxins from the body. panchakarma can take many different forms, ranging from special diets and oil massages to therapeutic vomiting and purgation.