Ayurveda was developed more than 3,000 years ago in India. It is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. According to Ayurveda, every person is made of five basic elements found in the universe: space, air, fire, water, and earth. Many people believe that its main goal is to cure diseases but its main goal is actually to promote good health.
The origin of Ayurveda dates back to the Vedic era. Most materials relating to health and diseases are available in Atharva Veda. Historians claim that Ayurveda is a part of Atharva Veda. However, Rigveda which is the earliest Veda also mentions diseases and medicinal plants.
The systematized form of Ayurveda dates back to the prehistoric period of the Rishi Conference which was held in the foothills of Mount Himalaya. The earliest codified document on Ayurveda is Charaka Samhita Sushruta Samhita is another codified document. Sushruta tradition was said to be descended and propagated by Dhanvantari whereas Charaka tradition was descended through Atreya. Sushruta School is dominated by surgical procedures and techniques while Charaka Samhita deals with internal medicine.
History of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is attributed to Dhanvantari, the physician to the gods in Hindu mythology, who received it from Brahma. Its earliest concepts were set out in the portion of the Vedas known as the Atharvaveda. The period of Vedic medicine lasted until about 800 BCE. The Vedas are rich in magical practices for the treatment of diseases and charms for the expulsion of the demons traditionally supposed to cause diseases. The chief conditions mentioned are fever, cough, consumption, diarrhea, abscess, seizures, tumors, and skin diseases. The herbs recommended for treatment are numerous.
The golden age of Indian medicine, from 800 BCE until about 1000 CE, was marked especially by the production of the medical treatises known as the Samhita and Samhita, attributed respectively to Caraka, a physician, and Susruta, a surgeon. Estimates place the Caraka-Samhita in its present form as dating from the 1st century CE, although there were earlier versions. The Susruta-Samhita probably originated in the last centuries BCE and had become fixed in its present form by the 7th century CE. Of somewhat lesser importance are the treatises attributed to Vagbhata. All later writings on Indian medicine were based on these works, which analyze the human body in terms of earth, water, fire, air, and ether as well as the three bodily humors Vata, pitta, and Kapha.
Significance of Ayurveda
Ayurveda or traditional Indian medicine is based on the ancient medical system. It is similar to that of traditional Chinese medicine which originated in the nearby country. Ayurveda has been around in the world for around 5000 years, with a long successful track record in managing the disease. It is made up of three basic principles called doshas Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. It has been derived from 5 elements of Indian Philosophy. The doshas of Ayurveda are the regulatory control factors for the fundamental physiological processes in living systems.
These regulatory factors maintain their identity throughout their history. Vata regulates input/output and motion, Pitta regulates energy and Kapha regulates structure and lubrication.
Factors like stress, climate, food, and activity can destroy or disrupt these functions. Ayurveda is a treatment that helps in regulating and normalize these body functions. This can be done due to different techniques such as proper and guided exercise, food, body purification treatments, and internal herbal preparations.
Ayurveda blends our modern lifestyle and health-oriented habits with the ancient wisdom of using natural substances, medicines, and herbs to help us lead a healthy, happy, stress-free, and disease-free life. The cardinal aim of Ayurveda is to restore the individual balance between mind, body, and spirit.
For most people, Ayurveda is just another way of treating illnesses with medicines that are made up of herbs. Well, for me Ayurveda is much more than that, and today, as my experience in life and my own belief for me Ayurveda is Life, it energy which inspired me.