In the wake of the Corona Virus crisis, human beings have understood one important thing. There is no alternative to going back to nature and using herbs for medicine. If you are interested in herbal medicine, perhaps, you would want to know about Ayurveda. Ayurveda is a complete natural medicinal system from India that only uses herbs and natural methods.
Ayurveda is one of the oldest medicinal systems used even today. Some other medicinal systems are Greek medicine (founded by Hippocrates in 4th century BCE), and Egyptian Medicine (one of the oldest documented medicinal system, believed to be at least 6000 years old, the oldest document related to Egyptian medicine is dated 2900 BC). Chinese medicine is also one of the oldest medical systems. Texts on Chinese medicinal practices discovered dates back to 14th through 11th century BCE. Likewise, the history of Ayurveda is traced back to 6000 BCE.
The roots of Ayurveda lies in Atharva Veda, one of the four Vedas, and most importantly, the first Veda. However, Ayurveda does appear in the main portion of Atharva, instead, it is a part of upveda, or minor veda. There are 114 verses in Atharva related to Auyrvea which describes diseases and their cures. Atharva is believed to be at least 5000 years old and Ayurveda is still practiced in India, Nepal, and world over.
The main thesis behind Ayurveda is keeping the mind, body, and soul at equilibrium. In order to maintain the balance, Ayurveda uses botanicals, metal, and animal parts as medicines. Ayurveda also uses essential oils, minerals for correcting doshas in human bodies. Doshas are physical, mental, and emotional conditions that make people unwell. Ayurveda implies that human bodies are basically three types, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The imbalance between these three creates doshas.
- Vata: The Vata bodies have the properties of air and space.
- Pitta: The Pitta bodies have the properties of fire and water.
- Kapha: The kapha bodies have the properties of water and earth.
In Ayurveda, there are 8 major treatment methods.
- Kaya-chikitsa: Kaya means body and chikitsa means treatment, thus kaya chikitsa is the study of the treatment of body
- Bal roga nad kaumara-bhatya: This branch of Ayurveda specifically studies ailments in kids
- Bhuta vidya: This branch of ayurveda atudies about the conditions created by bad energy and micro-organism
- Salankya tantra: The branch of Auyrveda studies eyes, nose, ear, throat, and teeth
- Shailya tantra: Shailya means surgery, therefore, shailya tantra is study of surgery techniques.
- Vajikarna tantra (aphrodisiacs): This branch of Ayurveda is related to the fertility and reproduction issues.
- Agada tantra: Ayurveda also studies poisons and their antidotes.
- Rasayana tantra: The study of anti-aging and long life
Ayurveda uses botanicals for the treatment and cure of various diseases. Ayurveda also uses nature-based healing techniques such as naturopathy extensively. Ayurveda is also known to use massage for healing mind, body, and soul. panchakarma is one interesting healing method that uses massage and naturopathy techniques for healing. Panchakarma literally means 5 techniques, thus panchakarma according to Ayurveda is mind, body, and emotion healing method that uses 5 different techniques. The techniques involved in panchakarma are similar to massage techniques used for mind, body, and emotional rejuvenation.
Even though Ayurveda is an ancient medicinal system, it is an evidence-based healing system. The ancient Ayurveda practitioners not only studied the human body and the diseases but also how compounds on herbs react with various diseases. While modern medicine discovered diseases like cancer much later, cancer has been well studied in ancient Ayurveda. Therefore, Ayurveda is a gift to mankind. Ayurveda’s herbal medicines have been studied by modern science and the benefits and effectivity have been well established. sadly, a lot of people believe Ayurveda is just an obscure treatment that does not have enough evidence.
Ayurveda is nature-based treatment system and this is the right time to go back to nature because the modern medicinal system has given us diseases like CoronaVirus. Herbal based medicine like Ayurveda has been overlooked for a long time, and the modern people should understand the boon the ancient people have given us.