The present day diverse culture of India has its roots in the prehistoric times. The ancient civilizations that flourished here have nurtured the soul of this land. Art and Science have both found equal appreciation and love from time immemorial.
For centuries, Indians have pursued Life Sciences with extensive efforts. The ancient and yet one such science that Indians have indulged into is the Science of Life, Ayurved.
Ayurved is the science of life. (Ayu - Life and Ved - Science) It is considered to be the Upaved of Atharvaved. Vedas are the sacred Sankrit literatures that have long been considered to be the source of knowledge. Ayurved primarily addresses two concerns, Maintenance of Health and Treatment of Diseases.
There are EIGHT branches of Ayurved:
- Kaya Chikitsa: Treatment of digestive fire, mainly to treat bodily diseases.
- Bala Chikitsa: Treatment of children's diseases.
- Graha Chikitsa: Treatment of diseases caused by supernatural powers.
- Shalya Tantra: Surgical procedures.
- Shalakya Tantra: Treatment of diseases concerning eyes, ears and nose.
- Visha Chikitsa: Treatment of poisoning.
- Rasayan Chikitsa: Anti-ageing / Rejuvenation Therapy.
- Vajikarana Chikitsa: Aphrodisiac (Practiced for healthy progeny).
Ayurved mentions some basic principles which are useful in all eras. One such principle is of Tridosh Principle: Vata, Pitta and Kapha are three doshas (elements) in human body resembling wind, fire and water in the Universe. The balance of these doshas results in health and diseases are nothing but the imbalance in the same.
Health, according to Ayurved, is defined as the equilibrium of doshas, dhatu (body tissues), mala (waste products), their normal functions and healthy soul and mind. Another important factor of health is concept of Agni (digestive fire). As it is said, you are what you eat. Whatever we eat needs to be digested and absorbed well and then transformed into body tissues. Flawless functioning of Agni is thus extremely important for this entire process.
Process of disease formation:
- Improper life style / Psychological factors
- Imbalance in doshas
- Weakness in body tissues
To maintain balance of the doshas, Ayurved emphasises on Life-style (proper diet, daily and seasonal routines, proper exercise, adequate sleep etc).