Ayurveda is believed to be one of the oldest systems of healing, It is more than 5000 years old. Ayurveda is described, in Charak Samhita, which is believed to be of period 400 – 200 BCE and is considered as one of the oldest books of Ayurveda.
Charaka defines Ayurveda as “That science is designated as Ayurveda which deals with advantage and disadvantage as well as happy and unhappy states of life along with what is good and bad for life, its measurement and the life itself” (Charak sutra 1-4).
In Ayurveda, it is believed, That there is a delicate balance between mind, body and spirit in maintaining health and wellness. The main purpose of Ayurveda is to promote good health along with prevention and treatment of illness through lifestyle practises as ( massage, meditation, yoga and dietary changes) and use of herbs.
In Ayurveda, the cause of the disease is believed to be, due to lack of proper cellular function, which is due to excess or deficiency of Vatta, Pitta or Kapha the three doshas. ( For details about three doshas, please visit our post – Ayurveda – Caring health Globally). The disease can also be caused by the presence of toxins in the body.
As per Ayurveda body, mind and consciousness work together in maintaining the balance between the life energies or doshas. Balance of energies is considered as good health. whereas imbalance between energies is called ill health. The pattern of energies in every individual varies. While providing treatment these energy patterns are taken into consideration and accordingly, treatment is advised, suggesting required changes in lifestyle, using herbs.
Scope of Ayurveda is very vast, it is for all the living beings, human or non-human. It is divided into three branches as:-
- Nara Ayurveda – It deals with human life.
- Satva Ayurveda – It deals with animal life and its diseases.
- Vriksha Ayurveda- It deals with plant life, its growth and diseases.
Ayurveda not only treats diseases but is a complete philosophy, that encourages a healthy lifestyle.
In modern times, Ayurveda is playing an important role in taking care of global health.
Demand for Ayurveda is increasing globally. The rise in demand is due to various factors as:-
- The resurgence of lifestyle disorders and failure of conventional medicine system to offer control.
- Increasing adverse effect menace of modern medicines.
- Growing understanding of fundamental principles of Ayurveda.
- The growing demand for the traditional way of life.
- Growing health care cost.
Ayurveda – one of the oldest healing systems is equally effective in modern times as it is not merely a system of medicine but a complete guide to good health, with the additional advantage of spiritual attainments.