Ayurveda is one of the oldest medical systems in the world. It was derived from its ancient Sanskrit roots – ‘ayus’ (life) and ‘ved’ (knowledge) over 5000 years ago. It is India’s traditional health care system. The main source of knowledge is the Vedas, more specifically ‘Atharvaveda’, the fourth of the series which dates back to 1000 B.C. Of all the treatises the famous ones that survived extinction are ‘Charaka Samhita’ and the Sushruta Samhita’ - internal medicine and surgery respectively.
Ayurveda spreads to Tibet, China, magnolia, Korea and Sri Lanka carries over by Buddhist Monks. Ayurveda is not solely a health care system but a form of lifestyle espoused to preserve perfect balance and harmony of the three physical energies – Vata, Pita, Kapha and the three mental energies – Satwa, Raja, Tamas.
Ashtanga Hridayam – heart of all the eight branches of Ayurveda is the concise compilation of earlier Ayurvedic texts. AH is written by Vaghbata is in poetic form in Sanskrit. Ashtanga in Sanskrit means Eight components that represent Internal medicine, surgery, Gynecology and Pediatrics, rejuvenation therapy, aphrodisiac therapy, toxicology, psychiatry or spiritual healing and ENT. It continues to serve as a root of Ayurvedic philosophy and protocol. Sushruta – one of the earliest surgeons, Charaka a medical genius and Vaghbata are considered to be “ the trinity” of Ayurvedic knowledge.
The science of life as the word meaning denotes is not just a traditional system of healing instead it’s a definite way to wellbeing. The science is divided into SWASATHAVRITHA and ATHURAVRITHA. Swasathavritha deals with means and methods to healthy longevity and Athuravritha deals with diseases and its holistic management.
All the matters in the universe is made up of five elements such as Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and space or void or either. Earth represents the solid heavy state; water represents the free-flowing liquid state. Since the body is also an object, it is also made up of five elements. The health is preserved only when these five elements comprising our body are in homogeneous state and equilibrium. Our food and lifestyle has an impact on this delicate balance of five elements. However, these foodstuffs and lifestyles have effects on the body.