“Ayurveda” is made of two words – ‘Ayu’ which means life and ‘Veda’ which means knowledge. So Ayurveda means ‘science of life’. Even though Ayurveda is an ancient science. It has proven to be one step ahead of modern medicines in terms of both preventive and curative measures.
One can find a cure for less problematic problems like cough and cold to serious heredity as well as hormonal diseases like thyroid in Ayurveda.
Ayurveda not only focuses on the treatment of diseases with potent medicines but also through lifestyle and dietary changes. One can adopt daily regimen mentioned in Ayurveda texts to lead a long, happy and disease-free life. This article focuses on the basics or Ayurveda.
Basic principles or Siddhantas of ayurveda
Panchmahabhutas- the five elements of nature ( space, air, fire, water and earth). The belief is that every compound on earth is consists of one or more of these five basic elements. Also the medicines we consume consists of these elements.
Tridoshas or three body humour ( Vata, pitta and Kapha ). There is belief that vitiation of any one or more of these doshas can lead to the origin of a disease. So in order to maintain one’s health the level of these doshas should be in balance.
Sapta Dhatus- the seven body tissues. These are rasa, rakhta, mamsa, meda, asthi, majja and shukra which mean lymph, blood, muscle, adipose tissue, bones, marrow and semen respectively. There are mentions that when food or medicine enters our body it first nourishes the rasa dhatu. Then the rakta dhatu and proceeds in the same order and finally nourishes shukra dhatu.
Ayurveda focuses on treatment with herb and herbo-mineral compounds. No chemicals are used in the preparation of the medicines. Doing this side effects are greatly minimized. So you can continue Ayurveda treatment for a long time without any major side effects.
Also, Ayurveda focuses on the holistic treatment of a disease rather than working merely on symptomatic relief which prevents the recurrence of the disease and helps to lead a disease-free life.
This concludes the article on the basics of Ayurveda. The next article will focus on the in-depth effects of Ayurveda.
BAMS Student, Doon Institute of Medical Sciences
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