Ayurveda, the ancient system of medicine practiced over thousands of years, literally means "Life Science" or "Knowledge of Life".
It has stood the test of time and is perhaps the oldest system of medicine and holistic health in the world. Ayurveda traces its origins to
the upavedas ( auxillary knowledge) of the Rig Veda. The Atharva Veda is supposed to be the prime source of this knowledge.The
oldest known texts of Ayurveda are the Charaka Samhita , Susrutha Samitha and Bheda Samitha
Ayurveda addresses all aspects of "swaastha", which includes physical, mental,sensory and social health. Ayurveda helps to eliminate disease, prevent dysfunction and restore optimal health.Ayurveda can restore ill health to good health and convert good health to better health.
The eight branches of Ayurveda include Internal medicine ( Kaya Chikitsa),Surgery ( Shalya Chikitsa),Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Paediatrics ( Bala Chikitsa ) , Psychology and Psychiatry ( Graha Chikitsa), Toxicology ( Agadha - tantra), Rejuvenation / Geriatrics ( Rasayana) and Virilification ( Vajikarna ).
Ayurveda believes that all bodily substances are made up of the five elements representing earth, water, fire, air and ether. According to Ayurveda the bodily tissues are composed of Plasma ( rasa), blood ( raktha), muscles ( mamsa), fat ( meda), bone ( asthi), marrow ( majja) and semen ( shukra).
Ayurvedic treatment for any individual is based on the that individuals's Prakritti or nature, which is composed of the three Gunas, known as Sattva,Rajas ( preservation), and Tamas ( destruction). Theses Gunas, as they pertain to human physiology is manifested as Doshas or energies,which are called Kapha, Pitta and Vata.
In all individuals all the three doshas are present, with one dosha usually more dominant than the other two. The ratio of doshas or combination of doshas ( i.e vatta, kapha , pitta ratio) determines the lifelong Prakritti of the person. Ayurveda believes that the balance between the doshas represents good health and imbalance leads to ill health. Ayurvedic treatments aim to restore the original healthy state of balance between the doshas.
Diagnosis in ayurveda is based on examination of some or a combination of a) Nadi ( Pulse) , b) Mootra c) Mala (stool) d) Jiva ( tongue) e) Shabda ( speech) f) Sparsha ( touch) g) Druk ( vision) and h) Akruti ( vision).