Ayurveda - Ayurvedic medicine (also called Ayurveda) is one of the world's oldest medical systems. It originated in India and has evolved there over thousands of years. In the United States, Ayurvedic medicine is considered a CAM whole medical system. Many therapies used in Ayurvedic medicine are also used on their own as CAM - for example, herbs, massage, and specialized diets.
Ayurveda is the Sanskrit work meaning "knowledge of life" and Ayurvedic Medicine is an alternative form of medicine. It is a traditional Indian medicine which scholars are still not sure about when it actually began, but the general consensus is that it began between 4,000 to 5,000 years ago. In fact scholars are now saying that Ayurvedic Medicine is the oldest form of medicine around and were influenced by both Greek and Traditional Chinese medicine.
Because of this claim Ayurvedic Medicine has become labeled the "Mother of all Healing". It is the art of balance and longevity for the human body.
Understanding Ayurvedic Medicine in the beginning is difficult because of all the "strange terminologies" that are associated with it. But once someone has got used to these it does become much easier to understand.
Ayurveda has it roots in an ancient religion and that religion is Hinduism.
In the beginning and for many years the practices of Ayurveda were passed down by word of mouth. When people first began to write down the practices of Ayurveda it was written on to palm leaves and then later on people began to write it down on to manuscripts. These medical manuals are known as the "Charaka Samhita" and the "Sushruta Samhita" and are rooted in early Vedic culture. The Vedic culture is inherently spiritual and focuses on love, philosophy and "Universal Truths".
In Ayurveda a person is not just seen as a body and mind but rather as an entity that includes a spiritual dimension and if you wish to live in harmony with the cosmic law you will live the Ayurvedic way of life.
As far as Ayurvedic Medicine is concerned we are all created by the cosmos as either a male energy (Purusha) or a female energy (Prakruti). Whilst the Purusha is passive awareness the Prakruti is an active consciousness. Ayurvedic Medicine is holistic in its concepts as it tries to maintain the balance between the body, mind and spirit of a person. This can be done though the person having the right thoughts, diet and lifestyle. According to Ayurvedic Medicine the body is composed of 5 basic elements which are called the Panchamahabhootas and this is then divided as follows Space - Akasha, Air - Vayu, Water - Apa, Fire - Tejas and Earth - Prithvi.
Where Ayurvedic Medicine is concerned it is imperative that you understand what brings about the balance and what causes an unbalance in a person.
It is not just physically, mentally and socially that we have to be in harmony but also spiritually as well. Whether there is an increase or decrease in any of the qualities of the Doshas will cause an imbalance. An imbalance can be caused due to time or age (although they do not cause many problems) these problems can be easily rectified. Whilst in the case of an unnatural imbalance and where the problems may be more serious then more attention will need to be applied to achieve the right balance. Such imbalances may be caused due to an inappropriate diet or lifestyle or a traumatic experience or a virus that you have caught.
Ayurvedic Medicine consists of many different components which help to bring the doshas back into balance and some such treatments may include meditation, herbal preparation, diet, pulse diagnosis and yoga.
Ayurvedic Medicine is made from herbs or a mixture of herbs and will be a combination of one or more of the following:
Though Ayurvedic Medicine is still being looked at with some skepticism when practiced in the West it has been said to be rather successful when dealing with digestive disorders, skin problems, gynecological problems and alleviating problems related to congested sinuses and stress.