What indeed is Ayurveda?
What is this ecosystem which facilitated the health and well-being long before the world even had an idea of what those two adjectives meant?
What is this ancient yet relevant art form that is practiced to maximum efficacy even today and relieves people not just in India but around the world of ailments which even modern allopathic drugs and a rampaging medical science put together sometimes struggles to diagnose let alone treat and cure?
Ayurveda is India’s gift to the world long before there was even an India. It is imbibed by holistic practices and practiced using ingredients and techniques that are indigenous to time and humankind and not just to one geographical region. And that is why, while we as Indians can be most proud of its distinguishing heritage, it is a practice that must be shared with the entire world.
Ayurveda or Ayurvedic medicine is a healthy-lifestyle system that emphasizes the importance of good health. Its primary focus is on the prevention and treatment of illness through simple and sustainable lifestyle practices and transformations. It looks at art forms such as massages, meditation, yoga, and dietary changes complemented with the use of herbal and naturally induced remedies.
Ayurvedic medicine is holistic and views both the human body and mind as one whole being. This is why Ayurvedic practices do not just treat physical ailments in human beings, but also help to strengthen the mind and to maintain or improve health and well-being in general.
5 Natural Elements and 3 Doshas
Ayurveda is linked closely with the elements of nature namely; space, air, fire, water and earth and they combine these elements with three doshas known as Vatta, Pitta, and Kapha. These doshas relate closely to the basic elements of nature and specific functions of the body. To gain optimal mental & physical health, a balance of all these doshas is required and imperative as per ancient teachings.
- Vatta is represented by air and space. It controls muscle & joint movement, breathing and heartbeat. Vatta is also the controlling source of mental stimuli like anxiety, fear, pain, and other functions of the nervous system.
- Pitta is represented by fire and water and controls bodily functions like digestion, metabolism, intelligence, and skin tone. The emotions of anger, hate, and jealousy are regulated by Pitta.
- Kapha is the source of Earth and water. The physical structure of the body and immune system is governed by this dosha. Kapha also controls emotional responses like calmness, forgiveness, love, and greed.
Ayurveda strongly believes that these doshas need to be in perfect harmony with the 5 elements of nature for a human being to have a balanced and healthy demeanour while taking on the rigours of life. This stems from ancient day philosophy where we assume that there was less stress for mankind but a lot more physical labour and the life expectancy rate was relatively lower then what it has become today.
What Are Ayurvedic Practices?
Ayurvedic practices help to maintain health, keep stress to a minimum, and also improve the flexibility, strength, and stamina in human beings. Yoga and meditational practices – both stem from Ayurvedic culture – are also known to be helpful for patients suffering from a varied gamut of ailments such as asthma, high blood pressure, and arthritis.
The learnings of healthy eating and the basis of most sustainable diets are also rooted in Ayurvedic culture. Ayurvedic practices stress upon a proper, balanced diet to maintain good health and also for treating various diseases. Ayurveda believes in the maintaining of a balance and that is why, ayurvedic inspired dietary practices will always ensure that you are consuming the most healthy and important food groups but within a quantified reasonable proportion.
Safety and Contemporary Relevance
It is safe to assume that when one falls sick today, the most common practice is to rush to a medical facility or professional to get treated. However, more often than not, allopathic treatment tends to suppresses the ailment or illness in the body but does not eradicate it or neutralise it.
Ayurvedic practices will most certainly take the body longer to deal with the illness or ailment. However, ayurvedic remedies will cure the illness once and for all without any side-effects.
A long term illness can be treated effectively by combining the powers of conventional medical treatment along with the holistic practices of Ayurveda. However, do remember that while taking any Ayurvedic or herbal medicine, you must consult an expert, your physician or any other healthcare professional who know and understands your symptoms and body well.
To sum up;
So this brief but ready reckoner on Ayurveda will help bring you up to speed on its many good effects and ancient remedies that have helped humankind for ages long before the medical profession as we know it today even came about.