Ayurveda- A Complete Science of Life

Welcome to read about the most ancient and traditional science on one
of the most modern systems, the Internet. How can this ancient system of
health care be relevant to people of today, when technological advances have
radically altered our lifestyles, our environment and our medicine?

The principles of Ayurveda are an invaluable link to understanding, in
detail, naturally healthy living. People everywhere are realizing the
importance and benefits of taking personal responsibility for one's own well
being, making Ayurveda the perfect system of health knowledge for today's

Ayurveda is a science of life so to know more about it, we must know
what is life? Life according to Ayurveda is a combination of senses, mind,
body and soul. So it is clear from this definition of life that Ayurveda is
not only limited to body or physical symptoms but also gives a comprehensive
knowledge about spiritual, mental and social health.

The words like soul and spirituality might sound outdated or create a
negative thinking in some of you as they have no place in modern science. As
soon as we hear about these topics, we become uncomfortable. Actually, I
don't feel that it is our fault. No one has ever spoken about these things to
us. We are always trapped in the attractions of outer material world to
become happy and peaceful.

The modern society, education, culture and the television- everything
speaks about materialism. If this was everything why is it so that most us
are unhappy. There is unrest, anxiety, mental tension, fighting and terror
every where despite best efforts being made to stop them. This is because
some part of our body is not being nourished properly.

Be open minded and try to understand. Read further.

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda literally means "science of life and longevity." and is
considered to be the traditional system of medicine of India.

Ayurveda is a science in the sense that it is a complete system. It is
a qualitative, holistic science of health and longevity, a philosophy and
system of healing the whole person, body and mind. Historians have not
pin-pointed the exact time Ayurveda came into being. Most agree that
Ayurvedic classical texts were written in India between 3,500 and 5,000 years
ago. At this time, philosophy and medicine were not separated. Therefore,
philosophical views have strongly influenced the Ayurvedic way of thinking.

What is unique about Ayurveda ?

There are several aspects to Ayurveda that are quite unique:

Ayurveda offers reference points for managing treatment decisions
specific to each case. Ayurvedic theory is profoundly useful in analyzing
individual patient constitution and understanding variations in disease
manifestation. The Ayurvedic framework can be used to structure working
models of the unique state of each patient, and to project a vision or goal
for a whole state of health, again unique to each case.

Ayurveda offers specific recommendations to each individual on
lifestyle, diet, exercise and yoga, herbal therapy, and even spiritual
practices to restore and maintain balance in body and mind. Ayurveda sees a
strong connection between the mind and the body, a huge amount of information
is available regarding this relationship. This understanding that we are all
unique individuals enables Ayurveda to address not only specific health
concerns but also offers explanation as to why one person responds
differently than another.

Physiology of Ayurveda

All matter is thought to he composed of five basic elements
(panchamahabhutas ) which exhibit the properties of earth (prithvi), water
(jala), fire (tejas), wind (vayu) and space (akasha). These elements do not
exist in isolated forms, but always in a combination, in which one or more
elements dominate. According to Ayurveda, the human body is composed of
derivatives of the five basic elements, in the form of doshas, tissues
(dhatus) and waste products (malas).

The most fundamental and characteristic principle of Ayurveda is called
"tridosha" or the Three Humours. Doshas are the physiological factors of the
body. They are to be seen as all pervasive, subtle entities, and are
categorized into vata, pitta and kapha. Vata regulates movement and is
represented by the nervous system. Pitta is the principle of
biotransformation and is the cause of all metabolic processes in the body.
Kapha is the principle of cohesion and functions through the body fluids.
Together, these three doshas determine the physiologic constitution of an
individual. Health is described as a balance of all three doshas(bodily

Dhatus, the tissues are classified into seven categories: plasma, blood
cells, muscular tissue, adipose tissue, bony tissue, bone marrow and the
reproductive tissue.

Malas ,three main waste products are urine, faeces and sweat.

Samprapti, the Disease Process(Pathology)

Under normal conditions, the doshas, dhatus and malas correspond to
certain standards regarding their quantity, quality and function. However,
this situation is not static, and due to several endogenous and exogenous
factors, the doshas may become unbalanced, resulting in disease. Every
disease is related to an imbalance of the doshas. Other coherent factors can
be: the disturbance of the biological factors (agnis), the formation and
accumulation of undigested nutrients (ama), obstruction of the body channels
(shrotorodha), and a disturbed assimilation in the tissues.

Chikitsa, Disease Management(Pharmacology and Treatment)

There are four main classifications of management of disease in Ayurveda:
shodan, or cleansing; shaman or palliation; rasayana, or rejuvenation; and
satvajaya, or mental hygiene.

Ayurveda gives us a model to look at each individual as a unique makeup of
the three doshas (Prakruti) and thereby design treatment protocols that
specifically address a persons health challenges. When any of the doshas (
Vata, Pitta or Kapha ) become imbalance, Ayurveda will suggest specific
lifestyle and nutritional guidelines to assist the individual in reducing or
increasing the doshas that has become imbalance.

The materia medica of the Ayurveda, composed of the five basic elements,
has been categorized according to the derivatives of these elements. They
include: taste (rasa), potency (virya), taste of the digestion product
(vipaka), properties (guna), specific properties (prabhava) and action

The drugs used in Ayurveda are made by several processes from
vegetable and mineral raw materials. Mostly plant alkaloids are the active
ingredients. Obviously barring some chemical changes it is mostly natural
deviates. If toxins in the body are abundant, then a cleansing process known
as "Pancha Karma" is recommended to eliminate these unwanted toxins.This
"panchkarma" or Five internal cleansing methods,is a most profound therapy in

We hope that you will continue to explore Ayurveda to enhance your
health and to gain further insights into this miracle we call life.
Dr.Shashikant Patwardhan [editor@ayurveda-foryou.com]

Author's Bio: 

Dr.Shashikant Patwardhan is practicing as 'Ayurvedic Consultant' for last 25 yearsat the city -Sangli , Maharashtra -India.He has done his graduation in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery [B.A.M&S] and post graduate Fellowship of Faculty of Ayurvedic Medicine [F.F.A.M.] From Tilak Ayurved Mahavidyalaya, Pune University , India.He is a chief editor and Ayurvedic Consultant of a 'Comprehensive website on Ayurveda - http://www.ayurveda-foryou.com He is an author of many books on Ayurveda and is first to publish them in ebook format.Up till now he has written three ebooks - 1. Ayurvedic Cure of Diabetes 2. Home Remediesin Ayurveda and 3. Treat Common Diseases with Ayurveda & Yoga. He regularly writes articles on various topics in Ayurveda in Ayurvedic health magazinesand alternative medicine sites.