Hisa Ayurveda

About Ayurveda

Ayurveda is a traditional medicine system originating in India, and is also practiced in other parts of the world as a form of complementary and alternative medicine. In Sanskrit, the word Ayurveda is composed of the word āyus meaning "life" and "science", which means "knowledge" or "science". Ayurveda or in translation, knowledge of life covers four aspects of man: soul, mind, emotions and body. This means that a person is treated comprehensively, teaches him how to live in harmony with nature, and helps him to live healthy. It covers all aspects of health as it promotes physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Explain how our thoughts, diet and lifestyle influence our physical state.

Ayurveda is a traditional medicine system originating in India, and is also practiced in other parts of the world as a form of complementary and alternative medicine. In Sanskrit, the word Ayurveda is composed of the word āyus meaning "life" and "science", which means "knowledge" or "science". Ayurveda or in translation, knowledge of life covers four aspects of man: soul, mind, emotions and body. This means that a person is treated comprehensively, teaches him how to live in harmony with nature, and helps him to live healthy. It covers all aspects of health as it promotes physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Explain how our thoughts, diet and lifestyle influence our physical state.

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History of Ayurveda


Ayurveda, “Ayur” means Life “Veda” means Science. Ayurveda, the science of life, prevention and longevity is the oldest and most holistic medical system available on the planet today. It was placed in written form over 5,000 years ago in India, it was said to be a world medicine dealing with both body and the spirit. It is understood by many scholars that knowledge of Ayurveda spread out from India and influenced the ancient Chinese system of medicine, Unani medicine, and the humoral medicine practiced by Hippocrates in Greece. For this reason, Ayurveda is often referred to as the "Mother of all healing."

Before the advent of writing, the ancient wisdom of this healing system was a part of the spiritual tradition of the Sanatana Dharma (Universal Religion), or Vedic Religion.There were originally four main books of spirituality, which included among other topics, health, astrology, spiritual business, government, army, poetry and spiritual living and behaviour. These books are known as the four Vedas; Rik Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda.

In this Ayurveda was a sub section attached to the Atharva Veda. The Atharva Veda lists the eight divisions of Ayurveda: Internal Medicine, Surgery of Head and Neck, Ophthalmology and Otorinolaryngology, Surgery, Toxicology, Psychiatry, Paediatrics, Gerontology or Science of Rejuvenation, and the Science of Fertility. All the secrets of life were revealed in the first Veda i.e. Rig Veda. Rig Veda shows the discussions on the Tri doshas (Metabolic Energy of Body):-vatta (Air), pitta (Fire) and kapha (Wazer) and the use of various herbs to cure the diseases. It also included the five elements of creation, namely, the earth, water, fire, air and ether that forms the basis of all forms of life. It consists of three aspects of Ayurvedic knowledge known as the (Tri-Sutras) that includes cause of illness, symptoms and treatments of the disease. These tri-sutras (Three aspects of Ayurvedicknowledge ) were further elaborated in eight divisions of Ayurveda and were listed down in Atharva Veda.

Written in Sanskrit the hymns, the mantras and the medical information contained in the Vedas were contributions of Rishis and munis or sages, over a period of time. The knowledge of Ayurveda is believed to be of Divine origin and was communicated to the saints and sages of India who received its wisdom through deep meditation. Ayurvedic knowledge was passed down orally through the generations and then written down in the Vedas, the sacred texts of India believed to be the oldest writings in the world.

The most fascinating aspect of ayurveda is it was using almost all methods of healing like lifestyle regimen, yoga, aroma, meditation, gems, amulets, herbs, diet, jyotishi (astrology), colour and surgery etc. in treating patients. Though ayurveda came into being as an independent upaveda of Atharva Veda, it has close links with other Vedas also. The Yajur Veda, which recommends rituals to pacify the panchamahabhuts (Five Elements) in a view to heal both the Cosmic Being and the individual soul, is related to ayurveda in its principles and regulations of lifestyle. The upaveda called Dhanur Veda or the martial arts and ayurveda both refer to each other in the treatment of marmas or vital points in the body.

People from numerous countries came to Indian Ayurvedic schools to learn about this world medicine and the religious scriptures it sprang from. Learned men from China, Tibet, the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Afghanistan’s, Persians, and more travelled to learn the complete wisdom and bring it back to their own countries. Ayurvedic texts were translated in Arabic and under physicians such as Avicenna and RaziSempion, both of whom quoted Indian Ayurvedic texts, established Islamic medicine. This style became popular in Europe, and helped to form the foundation of the European tradition in medicine.

In 16th Century Europe, Paracelsus, who is known as the father of modem Western medicine, practiced and propagated a system of medicine which borrowed heavily from Ayurveda.

Around 1500 BC ayurveda was delineated into two distinct schools: Atreya—The School of Physicians, and Dhanvantari—The School of Surgeons. This made ayurveda a more systematically classified medical science, hereafter. Dhanvantari, who is considered to be a reincarnation of God Vishnu, was the guiding sage of ayurvedaaslo know as Lord of Ayurveda. He made this science of health and longevity popular and widely acceptable.


BASIC PRINCIPLES OF AYURVEDA:

The aim of Ayurveda is the attainment of Moksha or liberation which is the last of the four Purushaarthas, the other three being Dharma, Artha and Kaama. A healthy body is the basic requirement for the attainment of Purushaarthas. Ayurveda guides man to keep the body and mind fit to attain the Purushaarthas.

  • Ayurveda relies on two basic siddhaantas(Theories) namely
    • The PaanchabhautikaSiddhaanta (The theory of the five elements) and
    • The TridoshaSiddhaanta (The theory of the three vital physical energies)

1) THE PAANCHABHAUTIKA SIDDHAANTA (The Theory of Five Elements)

The five basic elements of this universe are Prthvi (earth), Ap (water), Tejas (fire), Vaayu (air) and Aakaasa (ether). They pervade the universe both in their gross and subtle forms in all living and non-living things. This means humans and the cosmos, though different in many aspects, are yet similar in their basic constitution. The difference lies only in the composition of the five elements that make up an object. For instance, chick pea or channa is predominant of vaayubhuta, cow’s milk is predominant of prthvi and ap.

Just as in nature, we too have these five elements in us. When any of these elements are imbalanced in the environment, they will in turn have an influence on us. The foods we eat and the weather are just two examples of the influence of these elements. While we are a composite of these five primary elements, certain elements are seen to have an ability to combine to create various physiological functions.

The elements combine with Ether and Air in dominance to form what is known in Ayurveda as VataDosha. Vata governs the principle of movement and therefore can be seen as the force which directs nerve impulses, circulation, respiration and elimination etc.,

The elements with Fire and Water in dominance combine to form the Pitta Dosha . The Pitta Dosha is responsible for the process of transformation or metabolism. The transformation of foods into nutrients that our bodies can assimilate is an example of a Pitta function. Pitta is also responsible for metabolism in the organ and tissue systems as well as cellular metabolism.

Finally, it is predominantly the water and earth elements which combine to form the KaphaDosha. Kapha is responsible for growth, adding structure unit by unit. It also offers protection, for example, in form of the cerebral-spinal fluid, which protects the brain and spinal column. The mucosal lining of the stomach is another example of the function of KaphaDosha protecting the tissues.

We are all made up of unique proportions of Vata,Pitta and Kapha. These ratios of the Doshas vary in each individual and because of this Ayurveda see each person as a special mixture that accounts for our diversity.

Ayurveda gives us a model to look at each individual as a unique makeup of the three doshas and to thereby design treatment protocols that specifically address a person’s health challenges. When any of the doshas become accumulated, Ayurveda will suggest specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines to assist the individual in reducing the dosha that has become excessive. Also herbal medicines will be suggested, to cure the imbalance and the disease.

Understanding this main principle of Ayurveda, it offers us an explanation as to why one person responds differently to a treatment or diet than another and why persons with the same disease might yet require different treatments and medications.


2) THE TRIDOSHA SIDDHANTA (The Theory of The Three Humors)

The word “Dosha” in Sanskrit means “that which vitiates or aggravates”. Vaata, Pitta and Kapha are the three doshas that make up our body physically and physiologically and are the cause for our health and disease. Vaata is predominant of vaayu(Air) and aakaasa (Ether) bhutas. Pitta is made up of tejas (Fire) and a little ap(Water). Kapha is predominant of prthvi (Earth) and ap (Water). When these three doshas are in equilibrium in our body, they bring about health and when out of balance, cause disease. Our daily routine, the diet we take, our activities and above all the environment we live in - all account for the balance and imbalance of the doshas in our body. The daily and seasonal routines, diets and regimen told in Ayurveda maintain the harmony of the three doshas.

The ayurvedic principles believes that the structural aspect of the body is made up of five elements, but the functional aspect of the body is governed by three biological humours.

Ether and air together constitute vata; fire and water, pitta; and water and earth, kapha. Vata, pitta and kapha are the three biological humor that are the three biological components of the organism. They govern psycho- biological changes in the body and physio- pathological changes too. Vata-pitta-kapha are present in every cell, tissue and organ.Everyone has the three humors or doshas present in their constitutional makeup, but in unique combinations and any imbalance in this constitution may lead to diseases.

For example, excess Vata can manifest as dry skin and insomnia; excess Pitta as heart burn, a skin rash, acne and peptic ulcers and excess kapha can cause such as respiratory congestion involving phlegm, obesity, sinusitis and asthma.

There are many external and internal factors which may result into the variation of the three doshas.Emotional factors like excessive fears and anxieties can aggravate the Vata humor. Excessive anger and aggression can disturb the Pitta dosha. Excessive emotional clinging or possessiveness and general lethargic attitudes are said to cause a disturbance in the Kapha humor. The diet that we primarily follow has a powerful impact on the balance of the three Doshas, as well. Too much light and dry food can cause Vata (air) to go out of balance, too much hot and spicy food can aggravate Pitta (fire) and excessive heavy and oily food can cause Kapha (water) to go out of balance.

EIGHT BRANCHES OF AYURVEDA (ASHTANAGA AYURVEDA):

Ayurveda, being a vast science is divided into eight branches, which are collectively called as Ashtanga Ayurveda. Like any other modern medicinal therapies, Ayurveda believes in specialized treatment for different body parts. Thus, the medicinal art have been categorized under branches that deal with psychiatry, internal medicine, treatment of eyes, ears, nose, throat and head, toxicology and gerentorology separately. Ayurveda is the first ever medicine system to categorize pediatrics, aphrodisiacs and surgery as the branches of any medicinal science.

  • List Of The Eight Branches are:
    • KAYA CHIKITSA - (General Medicine)
    • BALA CHIKITSA - (Pediatrics)
    • GRAHA CHIKITSA - (Psychiatry)
    • URDHVANGA CHIKITSA OR SHALAKYA TANTRA- (ENT and Eye Diseases)
    • SHALYA CHIKITSA- (Surgery)
    • DAMSTRA CHIKITSA OR AGADA TANTRA- (Toxicology)
    • RASYANA CHIKITSA- (Rejuvenation Therapy)
    • VAJEEKARANA CHIKITSA- (Aphrodisiac Therapy)
1. KAYA CHIKITSA-(General Medicine):

It is one of the eight specialized branches of Ayurveda and the most important among them. It deals with matters relating to general Medicine. It deals with causes, condition, symptoms, progress of the disease, cure of ailments affecting the body and it also deals with diagnosis and prognosis as well as the therapeutics and dietetics. 'Kaya' means 'whole body', so literally it means diseases affecting the body in general, but technically it represents 'Agni' or the pitta that carries out the changes including metabolic ones in our body. The derangement of this tenet 'Agni' is the root cause of disease. So treatment in general means correction of Agni, and so Kayachikitsa is nothing but the correction of Agni or keeping the function of Agni in optimum. The school of Kayachikitsa or School of Medicine led by PunarvasuAtreya is known as AtreyaSampradaya. Charaka states with emphasis that success in treatment depends not only on the efforts of the physician, but on the optimum qualities of the Physician, Drug, Nursing Care and Patient. These are the quadruple (four-fold) aspects of chikitsa(Treatment).

2. BALA CHIKITSA -(Pediatrics):

This branch, equivalent to pediatrics, deals with prenatal and postnatal baby care as well as the care of a woman before and during pregnancy. It also covers various diseases of children and their treatment.

Topics include methods of conception, choosing the child’s gender, intelligence, and constitution, and childhood diseases and midwifery.

3. GRAHA CHIKITSA -(Psychiatry) :

This Ayurvedic branch is the same as Psychiatry in modern medicine. It focuses on the detection and effective treatment of mental disorders. It also treats psychosomatic disorders.

This is also a very developed branch, which deals with various psychopathic disorders. This takes the vedic and tantric mantras along with Ayurvedic medicines. Usually done by saintly people. Besides herbs and diet, yogic therapies (breathing, mantras, etc.) are employed.

4. URDHVANGA CHIKITSA OR SHALAKYA TANTRA-(ENT and Eye Diseases):

This branch of Ayurveda diagnoses and treats diseases affecting organs like the ear, nose and head.

Salakya, as a branch of the art of healing, which does not find mention in the Vedas. Their reference we receive is with dhanvantariyas or the surgeons. Both Dhanwanthiri school (SURGICAL) and Agnivesa school (Medical) gives due respect and regards to this branch. Dalhana, the commentator on the Sushrutha Samhita text elaborates it and states that it deals with the diseases of supraclavicular region such as those of ear, eye, nose and mouth etc., as well as their treatment. Panchakarma associated with this branch of Ayurveda is Nasya (application of medicine through nasal orifices). Both Charaka and Sushruta schools has mentioned this and later on authorities added a lot of curative and prophylactic nasyas also.

Surgeon Sushruta reveals approximately 72 eye diseases, surgical procedures for all eye disorders (e.g., cataracts, eyelid diseases), and for diseases of the ears, nose, and throat.

5. SHALYA CHIKITSA-(Surgery):

The great Maharishi, Susruta was the inventor of this branch of Ayurveda. He even wrote a book on surgery titled 'SalyaChikitsa'. This book describes various surgical operations and the devices associated with them.

Term Salya means foreign body. This branch deals with the removal of the foreign matter. Along with the school of Medicine in India, the school surgery also existed which is popularly called as DhanwantariyaSampradaya or Dhanvanthiri's school. The compendium of Sushruta, Sushruta Samhita is the magnum opus of ancient Indian surgery; it narrates the theory and practice of that time in detail. In fact, Sushrutha can be rightly called the father of Surgery. He narrates for the first time, description of human cadaver for proper anatomical understanding. ThorwaldJurgeon of Germany in his work of Science and Secrets of Medicine observes as follows - Certainly this was (Sushruta's) the oldest term in dissection known to history.

Sushruta explains one hundred and one ------- instruments or Yantras for the surgery. He narrates eight kinds of surgical techniques or sastrakarma. We can find surgical treatment for diseases like Hemorrhoids, Fistula in ano, Urinary calculi, Hernia, Intestinal obstruction, Tumors , Benign tumors, and Obstructed labour etc. Which was perfomed by him before 2000 years.

6. DAMSTRA CHIKITSA OR AGADA TANTRA-(Toxicology):

Agadatantra or toxicology is a branch of Ashtang Ayurveda, which includes the science of poisons. The tradition of Agadatantra practice is very ancient. It originated from the school of toxicology, which was founded and run by Kashyapa, the great saint and medical practioner.

Damstra or Vishachikitsa, as the Aganda Tantra is popularly known, deals with various methods of cleaning the poisons out of the body as well as recommends antidotes for particular poisons. It deals with a wide range of natural toxins originating from wild lives like animals, birds, insects etc., plants including herbs ,vegetables, minerals (leads, mercury, arsenal etc.) and artificial poisons prepared from poisonous drugs. This branch also deals with air and water pollution, which are basically the causes of various dangerous epidemics.

7. RASYANA CHIKITSA-(Rejuvenation Therapy):

RasayanaChikitsa is the branch of Ayurvedic science, which deals with various aspects of preventive health care. This branch aims at achieving a long and healthy life. It includes longevity, improved memory, health, youthfulness, glow, complexion, generosity, strength of body and senses. Rasayana improves the metabolic activities and results in best possible bio-transformation. Rasayanachikitsais the rejuvenating therapy, which promotes rejuvenation in a healthy person and cures the disease of an unhealthy person.

  • There are 2 times of RasayanaChikitsa:
    • VatatapikaRasayana: This type of RasayanaChikitsa is mainly for people, who cannot dedicate long hours and are short of both enthusiasm and effort. Such types of patients are given a short package of rasayana, so that they continue their routine life simultaneously. In the process, patients generally undergo a dietary change and also a change in their regular lifestyle. The medicines, given in the therapy, are carefully chosen, bearing in mind, the patient’s age, sex, prakruti (constitution), habits, living conditions and diseases acquired in the past and also present state of the body.
    • KutipraveshikaRasayana: This second type is a more complicated process and involves total reformation of the body. In such a therapy, the patient is isolated from his/her routine life and is kept in a kuti (hut)-(In Patient), which is specially designed for rasayana-chikitsa, under the observation of an ayurvedic specialist. The whole lifestyle of the person is continuously monitored. It is believed that when the person comes out of the kuti, his/her body is completely rejuvenated. All the old tissues are replaced by new and lively tissues. The therapy can be termed as the reincarnation and reinvigoration of the soul.
8. VAJEEKARANA CHIKITSA-(Aphrodisiac Therapy):

VajeekaranaChtikitsa is a branch of Ayurveda that explains the art of producing healthy progeny for the creation of a better society. It deals with various diseases like infertility and conditions relating to weak shukradhatu or the vital reproductive fluids of the body. Vajeekarana means the medicine or therapy by which a man becomes capable of copulating with a woman. VajeekaranaChtikitsa also helps in nourishing the body of the person. Apart from prescribing a lot of effective formulations to provide nutrition to enhance the quality of these vital body fluids, it has been specifically emphasized to lead a highly disciplined life. Charaka, in his great Ayurvedic classic writing Charaka Samhita, states the use of aphrodisiacs as mentioned in ayurvedic therapies enhance one's potency.

As per the VajeekaranaChtikitsa, celibacy is essential for good health. It helps increase the will power, intellect and memory, in addition to a healthy body. The shukradhatu has a direct link with ojas or the immunity of the body. Hence, in VajeekarnaChtikitsaprescribed the therapeutic use of various aphrodisiacs and tonic preparations for enhancing the vigor and reproductive capabilities of men that also strengthens other body tissues (dhatus) like muscles, fats, bones and blood. Vajikarana is mainly concerned with therapies concerning specific remedies for male infertility and impotence as well as female infertility. Apart from being good aphrodisiacs, these induce an immediate sense of pleasurable excitement, along with increased fertile seminal secretions, even in an ageing person.

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