Ayurveda is India’s traditional medicine derived from nature and has been practiced since time immemorial. Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that can be literally translated as “the natural science of life”. Ayurveda was the method of health care practised by the followers of the Vedic culture, especially the sages who meditate on mountains and don’t have any contact with the world. For many generations, this science was passed on orally through disciple succession, or from teacher to student. Nowadays, Ayurveda has gained popularity in the modern world, among rich and poor alike, in different corners of the planet.
Ayurveda teaches the prevention of disease, provides formulas for the rejuvenation of our bodily parts, and of course longevity. Ayurveda guarantees that through certain ways of living, not only can we prevent heart disease, but we can also better know ourselves and see the world around us in a proper perspective, live a long healthy life in balance and harmony, reach our maximum potential, and reveal our true inner nature.
The main concept of Ayurvedic medicine is the theory that health exists when there is a harmony among the three fundamental bodily humours or doshas known as Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
– Vata has to do with the function of the nervous system.
– Pitta is the energy and it has to do with the digestive and venous system
– Kapha is the body fluid principle which relates to mucous, lubrication and the carrier of nutrients into the arterial system.
All Ayurvedic physicians believe that these ancient ideas, based on the vedic scriptures, exist in harmony with the physical reality. These Ayurvedic concepts allow practitioners to examine the homeostasis of the whole system. One dosha is predominant in everyone, but all doshas are contaminated by the remaining two.
Ayurveda states that the tastes of foods or plants have specific physiological effects. Those tastes that transform during and after digestion are very powerful.
The following are the different ayurvedic tastes:
Madhura, or sweet: Sweet foods are in goodness. They nourish, cool, moisten, oil, and increase the body weight.
Amla, or sour: Sour foods are in passion. They warm, oil, and increase body weight too.
Lavan, or salty: Salty foods are in passion. They heat, dissolve, invigorate, soften, oil, and increase body weight.
Katu, or bitter: Bitter foods are in passion as well. They cool, dry, purify and reduce body weight.
Tikta, or pungent: Pungent foods are also in passion. They warm, dry, stimulate, and reduce body weight.
Kasaya, or astringent: Astringent foods are in passion. They cool, dry, reduce stickiness.
Panchakarma and Ayurvedic massage
Panchakarma is the five actions or modalities. It is a collection of purification processes that Ayurveda recommends for some diseases and for periodic cleaning of the body. A treatment of Pancharkarma normally includes a short-term dietary prescription, massage, herbs, at times purgatives also, sweat baths, medicated enemas, and nasal cleansing.
Treatment such as Ayurvedic massage is for various age and use to cure other common disorders. Some of the advantages are pain relief, improved blood circulation, stress relief, better sleep, flexibility, sports performance and emotional wellbeing. Massage therapy can soothe pain, relax tense muscles, and decrease the swelling that accompanies arthritis. Studies claim that, with ayurvedic massage, deep-rooted toxins between the joints and tissues are slackened and released into the body for elimination through natural toxin-release processes. There are different types of ayurvedic treatments such as panchakarma and marma massage. Ayurvedic massage is especially developed in South India, in the state of Kerala and Sri Lanka.