Dr Neema Jose –
In Sanskrit, ‘Ayu’ means life and ‘Veda’ means science or knowledge. Thus Ayurveda means Science of Life.
The Science of Medicine explains preventive and curative aspects of diseases, what to eat and how to behave, daily and seasonal routine that a normal and diseased person should adopt.
Ayurveda believes in three main principles, including the Panchabhoota Sidhanta, the Tridosha Sidhanta and the Triguna Sidhanta.
According to the teachings of Ayurveda, our body and the entire matter in the universe are made up of five major constituents, namely Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. These are called ‘Panchabhoota.’
For example, muscles in our human body signify Earth, fluids can be compared with Water and the bile secretion or acids in stomach as part of Fire.
Vata, Pita and Kapha are the ‘Tridoshas,’ which are also the ‘Trigunas, namely Satwa, Rajas and Tamas. Balanced condition of the Trigunas and Tridoshas lead to good health.
Any variation in their level leads to diseases and imbalances.
Ayurveda aims more on the preventive side of diseases.
Therefore, to maintain health along with the right food, procedures such as Abhyanga (oil massage), Nasya (nasal medication), Karnapurana (oil application of ear canal), Dhooma (fumigation), Udwarthana (powder massage), Anjana (eyeliner), Taila Gandusa (filling the mouth with oil), Danda Davana (brushing the teeth) and Snana (bath) are all mentioned.
Apart from body cleanliness, environmental hygiene is also important.
According to Ayurveda, the concept of health includes not only the human body but also a satisfied mind and soul.
Therefore, activities such as sports, spending time with friends, listening to music, practicing yoga postures or breathing exercises are included under preventive measures of diseases.
Treatment of diseases as per Ayurveda can be done in two main forms, namely, Sodhana or purification of body by using Panchakarma and Samana or pacify the aggravated Doshas using internal medicines.
During Sodhana, aggravated doshas are eliminated from the body through Vamana, Vasti, Virechana, Nasya or Rakta Moksha.
Internal as well as external medicines are used for the Samana mode of treatment.
Rejuvenation activities follows after the treatment of an ailment.
External or internal administration of medicated oil, ghee, jaggery or honey comes under the concept of ‘Rasayanam’ or rejuvenation. During treatment, the body gets tired and loses its vigour, to regain which this form of treatment is considered important.
Ayurveda not only treats disorder but also provides for after-care treatment.
Dr Neema Jose is a qualified Ayurvedic Practitioner and Director of ‘Ayurcare New Zealand.’