Ayurveda (Sanskrit Āyurveda आयुर्वेद, “life-knowledge”; English pronunciation /ˌaɪ.ərˈveɪdə/) or Ayurvedic medicine is a system of traditional medicine native to the Indian subcontinent and a form of alternative medicine. The oldest known Ayurvedic texts are the Suśrutha Saṃhitā and the Charaka Saṃhitā. These Classical Sanskrit texts are among the foundational and formally compiled works of Ayurveda.
Charak By the medieval period, Ayurvedic practitioners developed a number of medicinal preparations and surgical procedures for the treatment of various ailments. Practices that are derived from Ayurvedic medicine are regarded as part of complementary and alternative medicine, and along with Siddha Medicine and Traditional Chinese medicine, forms the basis for systems medicine.
Concerns have been raised about Ayurvedic products; US studies showed that up to 20% of Ayurvedic U.S. and Indian-manufactured patent medicines sold via internet contained toxic levels of heavy metals such as lead, mercury and arsenic. Other concerns include the use of medication containing toxic compounds and the lack of quality control in Ayurvedic facilities.
In classical Sanskrit literature, Ayurveda was called “the science of eight components” (Sanskrit aṣṭāṅga अष्टांग), a classification that became canonical for Ayurveda:
- (General medicine) – Kāya-chikitsā: “cure of diseases affecting the body”
- (Pediatrics) – Kaumāra-bhṛtya: “treatment of children”
- (Surgery) – Śhalya-chikitsā: “removal of any substance which has entered the body (as extraction of darts, of splinters, etc.)”
- (Ophthalmology / ENT/Dentistry) – Śālākya-tantra: “cure of diseases of the teeth, eye or ear etc. by sharp instruments”[dubious – discuss]
- (Demonology / exorcism / psychiatry) – Bhoot (ghost)-vidyā: “treatment of mental diseases”
- (Toxicology) – Agada-tantra:Gada means Poison. “doctrine of antidotes”
- (Anti Ageings) – Rasayana-tantra: “doctrine of Rasayana”
- (Aphrodisiacs) – Vājīkaraṇa tantra
Every human being is born with a unique proportion of biologic principles (doshas) – vata, pitta, kapha (in Tibet – wind, bile and phlegm), representing the individual genetic code which takes part in the forming of our mental and physical characteristics. During the course of life, the dosha proportions deviate (vikrti) from its original state (prakrti) for various reasons and subsequently, it has an impact on our mental and physical health condition. Psychic consciousness, thoughts, emotions, relationships, diet, daily rhythm, lifestyle, season and our environment, all influence the balance or imbalance of the doshas. These three primary life principles cannot be perceived separately and independently. Their functions are mutually linked and complementary. To know the method or way of operating of each one of these doshas enables us to correctly recognize their manifestations in combined constitutions, which represent most frequent psychosomatic types.
- Sleep from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m., in tune with the earth’s natural rhythms.
- Eat food that is locally in season, as it provides nutrients that are essential during each time of year.
- Don’t drink water with meals, as it dilutes stomach acids that are essential for good digestion.
- Don’t eat fruit or sugary foods with meals, as sugar interferes with digestion.
- When eating, avoid distractions such as watching television or using electronic devices.
- Share meals with people whose company you enjoy.
- Walk regularly, as walking is the most therapeutic form of exercise throughout life.
- Maintain a regular schedule.
- Perform daily abhyanga (self oil massage)
- Drink warm beverages.
- Include plenty of healthy fats in your diet
- Eat 3 meals a day at regularly scheduled times.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Spend time in nature.
- Keep an erratic schedule.
- Skip meals.
- Over-schedule yourself.
- Drink cold and iced foods and drinks.
- Go on raw foods diet.
- Sign up for a marathon.
- Travel frequently, especially by air.
- Eat on the run.