What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is the most ancient traditional Hindu medicine. This term is made from Ayur (life) and Veda (science).

It’s basically divided into eight parts they are named as:

1. Kaya Chikitsa (General Medicine)

2. Shalakya (E.N.T)

3. Shalya Chikitsa (General Surgery)

4. Visha Chikitsa (Toxicology and Jurisprudence)

5. Bhutavidya (Science of Evil spirits etc.)

6. Kaumarbhritya (Pediatrics)

7. Rasayana (Geriatrics)

8. Vajikarna (Aphrodisiacs)

Among all above Kaya Chikitsa is given prime importance by Acharya Charak.

What is the history of Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is written by Brahma in one lakh shloka. Brahma educated about this ancient science to Daksha Prajapati. Further, it was passed on to Saint Ashwinis who later enlightened this knowledge to Indra. Later it was educated to Saint Bhardwaj. He then delivered this knowledge to his students Charak, Sushruta and all other sages who further wrote Charak Samhita and Sushruta Samhita respectively.

How is Ayurveda different from Modern Science?

Modern medicine and Ayurveda cannot be compared because they are completely different sciences. In Ayurveda, thirteen types of internal body systems/srotas are explained. Every disease is treated on the basis of these systems/srotas like Pranavaha Srotas (Respiratory System) which deals with Shwasa Rogas (Bronchial Asthma) etc. In Modern science, systems like Cardiovascular, Digestive etc. are also explained. But the way of treatment is totally different in both the sciences.

In Modern science, Paracetamol and Antibiotics are given in fever and bacterial infection respectively for everyone. On the other hand, Ayurvedic treatment is not same for all the patients. According to Ayurveda, everybody is unique. Ayurvedic treatment is given on the basis of key concepts like body’s constitution (Prakriti), biological humor (dosha), place, season, agnibala (digestive power), age etc.

Why choose Ayurveda?

It is very well said in Charak Samhita –

“प्रयोजनं चास्य स्वास्थय रक्षणं आतुरस्य विकार प्रशमनं |” 

This means that there are the two main aims of Ayurveda:

  1. To maintain the health of a healthy person.
  2. To cure the disease of the patient.

The first aim here is to maintain health. Regarding that Charak Samhita explains,

  1. Ritucharya (Seasonal Regimens)
  2. Dinacharya (Daily Regimens)
  3. Ratricharya (Night Regimens)

Risk of developing certain diseases can be determined by understanding person’s Prakriti (body’ constitution). For example, like Parkinsonism is found mostly in Vata Prakriti person, Acidity is seen mostly in Pitta Prakriti person and Asthma is mostly in Kapha Prakriti person. Alteration in the diet according to Prakriti and with Ayurvedic treatments, one can keep doshas (biological humor) in balance. Many lifestyle-related diseases can be avoided by following all above regimens.

Is Ayurveda safe?

Ayurveda is a time-tested wisdom. It can be harmful only if the Ayurvedic doctor you visited is not well versed in the concepts of this ancient science or when ayurvedic medicines are not manufactured properly by pharmaceutical companies. There are few ayurvedic medicines prepared with metals like mercury, lead or arsenic etc. These metals are used only in purified form. They can be harmful only if used in the unpurified form. Such medicines are taken only under ayurvedic physician’s prescription and should not be given especially in pregnant women. So if the treatment is taken under good Ayurvedic doctor and with the good pharmacies medicines there can be no harm.