the eternal Vedic science of life, the traditional natural healing system of
India. Today, Ayurveda is at the forefront of mind-body medicines. Ayurveda
has spread far beyond its traditional base and is gaining attention
throughout the world. Ayurveda with its understanding of life and
consciousness becomes the medicine of the future.
Ayurveda literally means knowledge of life. Its basic principles are
believed to be remembered by Brahma, the Creator himself. This wisdom in
turn was handed down through mythological figures to the great seers. The
written text of Ayurveda date back to many millennia and the incredibly
complex and advanced concepts that embody them still form the basis of
various medical systems of today. As a science of life Ayurveda attempts to
set out good and bad practices of life by outlining the cause of happy and
unhappy life, what is wholesome and unwholesome. It also elaborates
guidelines for providing a balance to often hectic and unhealthy lifestyles
of modern world.
Ayurvedic medicines are based on the principle that every individual has a
unique constitution that related to his vital energies translated into
Ayurvedic nosology as dosha or humors. The equilibrium of these humors
depends on a variety of factors. The objective of Ayurveda is to reestablish
the equilibrium when we are ill and to maintain that equilibrium in order to
keep us healthy. Ayurveda explores how to heal our minds on all levels from
the subconscious to super conscious along with the role of diet, exercise
and many other methods to create wholeness.
Ayurveda mainly comprises of eight clinical specialties. They are: - General
medicine ( Kaaya cikitsaa), Pediatrics (Baala cikitsaa), Psychiatry (Bhoota
vidyaa), Treatment of head and neck (S`aalakya tantra), Surgery (S`alya
tantra), Toxicology (Agada tantra), Rejuvenation therapy (Rasayana tantra)
and Reproductive medicine (Vajeekarana cikitsaa).
Rasaayana and vajeekarana therapies have special relevance in the modern
era. As the life has been polluted and distorted in the sphere of our daily
existence every natural blessings are far away from us. The line of
treatment proposed as Rasaayana finds a favorable viable solution to health
problems especially from a psychosomatic perspective. It cleanses the body
totally, regains the active mind to its best possible working level, giving
a feeling of rejuvenation. One may easily surrender oneself to the exotic
divinity of the treatment.
Vajeekarana therapy is an important treatment to pull out the latent energy
to create a new lineage of life. The medicines of Ayurveda touches strongly
to alleviate the existing or possible hindrances whether rooted in the mind
Ayurveda paved the way for surgical innovations including organ
transplantation. Classical ayurvedic treatises provide us authentic
descriptions of operative surgery and of the blunt and sharp instruments
used for it. Sus`ruta, the author of Sus`ruta samhitaa, is hailed as the
father of plastic surgery. His compendium stresses the need of keenness and
observation to carry out various procedures on human body.
Caraka Samhitaa, Sus`ruta Samhitaa, Asht`aan'ga sangraha and Asht`aan'ga
Hr`daya are renowned Ayurvedic treatises. Madhava Nidaana, Bhaavaprakaas`a,
S`aarn'gadhara Samhitaa etc. also command popularity among physicians. Of
these Maadhava Nidaana is a handbook of pathology while all the others are
encyclopedic works on medicine and surgery. Books like Cakradatta, Yoga
Ratnaakara and Bhaishajya Ratnavali are mainly books dealing exclusively
with therapeutics. All these books are written in Sanskrit and various
commentaries and translations of these books are also available. There is an
array of books written in vernacular too.
Panchakarma is the essence of Ayurvedic treatment. It became popular due to
the magical results it can bring out even on otherwise incurable diseases.
Purifying the body and regaining the normal rhythm through a healthy line of
treatment stipulated by regimens, that attends on the body as a whole is a
rare concept of medication and that is the main strength of Panchakarma.
Emesis, Purgation, Oil enema, Decoction enema and Errhines form the five
operative procedures of Panchakarma.
Kerala has modulated many special treatments to suit the needs of patients
and to cure diseases. They include various irrigation therapies and
fomentation combined with synchronized massage. Pizhiccil, Navara kizhi and
S`iro dhaara, some of the Kerala specialties, constitute major tools in
rejuvenation therapy and in providing relaxation to the stressed and
India, the land of Ayurveda, strictly adopts a scientific academic method to
teach Ayurveda. The Central Council of Indian Medicine, constituted by the
Government of India, monitors the quality and standard of Ayurvedic
education and practice.
To conclude, it may be noted that Ayurveda is not a mere science of
treatment; it is a style of healthy life.