We derive the term “Ayurveda” from two words. The term “Ayu” in Sanskrit means life and the term “Veda” means science. We derive the term “Ayurveda” from the Sanskrit language. We also call it the “Science of Life”. It expresses health knowledge and other aspects by which someone might get a disease. It also shows separate ways in which a doctor treats a patient. Ayurveda has a very holistic approach to treatment.
It includes everything that our life depends upon. It is food, a well-balanced diet, yoga, a proper lifestyle, exercise, various health conditions, and cures for these diseases. Ayurveda is the mother of living which includes details of living a long and healthy life. It explains theories and lifestyle specifications. These principles include good and bad specifications which lead to four distinct types of ayu. These are Hitayu, Ahitayu, Sukhayu, and Dukhayu. All these are related to different conditions of a diseased or healthy life.
Period of Origin
This is the most ancient science in human history. It has rich content that includes disease, treatment, and lifestyle rules. The period of Veda is from 4000 B.C. to 6000 B.C. We call the Golden Period the flourishing period of Ayurveda. It is the period of Gautam Buddha 483 B.C. He was the main promoter of Ayurveda all over the world. Charaka Sanhita is one of the most important books written in the history of Ayurveda. Agnivesha wrote a particularly important treatise on Ayurvedic medicine. A few of the significant writers are Sushrut, Charaka, Bharadwaj, Kashyap. They are the pillars of Ayurveda who carried out decent work.
Ayurveda has been there for more than 5000 years. It offers treatment depending on various elements which make up the body. Three doshas add up to form the body of a human being. However, everybody pertains to one specific dosha. Also, it has become more popular in recent ages. Many Ayurvedic formulations are widely used as an alternative medicine for various health conditions. Ayurvedic medicines like Triphala decoction, giloy, ghana Vati, ashokarishta, etc are popular amongst alternative medicine users. They are used for health conditions like cough, cold, digestion problems, heart ailments, etc. The five elements influence the well-being of the working of the human body.
The Five Elements
According to Ayurveda, the body is made up of five specific elements or Mahabhutas. These are the building blocks of nature. These constitutes of the human body are:
Earth or Prithvi
It is the solid-state of matter. Prithvi makes up the bones, nails, teeth, tissues, and other hard tissues of a human being. It is connected to the nose hence helping in sense smell. It brings more heaviness to the body. Prithvi constitutes about 30 percent of the body weight. It also helps in removing all the solid waste material from the body.
Water or Ap
It stands for the liquid state of matter. Water makes up the blood, lymph, and other fluids in the human body. It forms an energy sheath of a human being. Ap also connects with the tongue. Hence, it helps in sensing taste. It provides nutrition to the body. Ap constitutes about 60 percent of the body weight. It helps in removing all the liquid waste, which is sweat and urine from the body.
Air or Vayu
It stands for the gaseous state of matter. Within the human body, it helps in the formation of the respiratory system and the nervous system in the body. Air also helps in perceiving touch sensation. Vayu stands for the smartness and the wisdom of a particular person. It also helps in the locomotion of the body. Vayu is responsible for all the exchanges done inside the body.
Fire or Tejas
Fire does not have a proper form. Nevertheless, it helps to change the state of any substance. In our body, it helps in digestion and body temperature regulation. Also, it connects with the eyes to help in vision. It mainly functions in the gastric region and the duodenal region. Hence it is the major component in the digestion of food. Also, it helps in the growth of bacterial flora in the intestinal region.
Earth or Akash
It is correlated with the space where all things exist. Within the human body, it makes up all the hollow and empty spaces. It creates the much-required vacuum in the human body. This is between cells like pores and channels. Also, it is connected to the ears and helps in perceiving sound. It helps in providing a proper shape and structure to the bones and organs of the body.
The Seven Dhatus
Dhatus are tissue-like structures that make up the various organs and systems. It forms the human body. They are categorized into seven divisions:
- Rasa– It is plasma and lymph in the human body. It helps in the nutrition of every cell of the body.
- Rakta– It is blood in the human body. It handles transporting gases to and from every cell.
- Mamsa– Muscles and flesh of the human body are called mamsa. It helps in the locomotion of our limbs and other organs.
- Meda– The adipose tissue with brown fat and white fat of the body is termed as Meda.
- Asthi– Bones and other hard tissues of the body are Asthi. Asthi supplies a structural framework for the body.
- Majja– Fat content present inside the bones is bone marrow. It helps in blood formation in adults.
- Shukra– It is the male reproductive tissue of the body. It handles the fertilization of the ovum.
Treatment in Ayurveda
Ayurveda believes that there is a connection between the body as well as the mind. Hence all diseases are psychosomatic. This is now accepted globally by all pathies. Hence Ayurveda aims at treating both the body as well as the mind. Now we know, Ayurveda treats not only the disease but the patient in a holistic manner. In Ayurveda, the basis of any treatment of any pathological state is the assessment of the doshas. The Ayurvedic basic line of treatment includes the following:
- Inhibiting the exposure to the causative factors
- Increasing the dosha decreased
- Decreasing the doshas increased
- Maintaining the doshas in equilibrium
The 3 elements are Vaata Pitta and Kapha. They collectively form the Tridoshas. The understanding and assessment of the Tridoshas are incredibly significant. They help in understanding the diagnosis and treatment aspect of Ayurveda.
- Vaata – It is equivalent to all the gaseous substances in the body.
- Pitta – It is equivalent to the digestive processes in the body.
- Kapha – We can correlate it with all the fluid substances in the body.
Accepting the Best Alternative!
Ayurveda is not just an alternative form of medicine. It treats the body via holistic healing. It is over five thousand years old. Ayurveda taught us to perceive the world with the elements also known as doshas. These doshas are Vaata, pitta, and Kapha. There are some approved Ayurveda medicine schools in the U.S. However, there is no national standard training for those who practice this as alternative medicine. The FDA does not review Ayurvedic medicines. Also, the FDA has banned certain medicines from entering the country since 2007. Moreover, the major concern is the presence of toxic metals in Ayurvedic medicines. These can be lead, mercury, or arsenic. These metals cause life-threatening illnesses. They are especially hazardous in children. Please consult your doctor before you try any alternative medical treatment.