Ayurveda is 3000 years old Indian system of medicine prescribes, time tested and trusted methods to improve physical and mental activity measurably using botanical preparation. The world health Organisation recognises it as an alternate system of medicine. Ayurveda is the worlds most eco-friendly system of medicine, since it does not use any material unfriendly to the eco-system and is the safest system of medicine as it is practically free from side effects.
Ayurveda, which literally means the knowledge and wisdom of life, is the traditional healing system of India. Often called the mother of all healing, it originated in India over 5000 years ago.
Ayurveda views health and disease as the end result of how we interact with the world, in terms of our beliefs, perceptions, thoughts, and feelings, which then ultimately determine our actions. Actions in harmony with our inner nature create health, while those dis-harmonious with our inner nature create disease. Ayurveda is the science of developing greater harmony with our environment through all of our senses.
Ayurveda assists the body in journeying back to optimal health by balancing the five elements in the body and mind through the use of herbs, diet, colors, aromas, lifestyle changes, yoga, and meditation along with other five sense therapies. The rejuvenative and cleansing therapies (Pancha Karma) described within help nourish our bodies while calming our minds from the stresses of modern daily life.
Recently, Ayurveda has had a profound impact upon the world of health care. Popular books by Deepak Chopra, M.D., and others have called attention to the potential of this ancient healing system. Along with the potential to heal chronic diseases, Ayurveda promises to improve health and increase longevity.
Ayurveda is considered the healing side of Yoga. Likewise, Yoga is the spiritual side of Ayurveda. Both Ayurveda and Yoga strive to help a person re-connect to their true nature through direct experience. Together, they encompass a complete approach to the well being of the body, the mind, and the spirit.
Ayurveda dates back an estimated 5,000-10,000 years and is widely considered to be the oldest form of health care in the world. Many scholars understand that knowledge of Ayurveda spread out from India and influenced the ancient Chinese system of medicine, Unani medicine, and the humoral medicine practiced by Hippocrates in Greece. For this reason, Ayurveda is often referred to as the "Mother of all healing." The knowledge of Ayurveda is believed to be of Divine origin and was communicated to the saints and sages of India who received its wisdom through deep meditation. Ayurvedic knowledge was passed down orally through the generations and then written down in the Vedas, the sacred texts of India believed to be the oldest writings in the world. Written in Sanskrit, the Vedas cover a vast number of subjects from grammar to health care. The Vedas were written approximately 2500 BC or earlier.
Current knowledge about Ayurveda is mostly drawn from relatively later writings, primarily the Caraka Samhita (approximately 1500 BC), the Ashtang Hrdyam (approximately 500 AD), and the Sushrut Samhita (300-400 AD). These three classics describe the basic principles and theories from which Ayurveda has evolved. They also contain vast clinical information on the management of a multitude of diseases expanded upon by later writings and research.
Before Ayurveda began its recent renewal in the West, it went through a period of decline in India when Western medical education became dominant during the era of British rule. Ayurveda became a second-class option used primarily by traditional spiritual practitioners and the poor. After India gained its independence in 1947, Ayurveda gained ground and new schools began to be established. Today more than five hundred Ayurvedic companies and hospitals have opened in the last ten years, and several hundred schools have been established. Although Ayurveda remains a secondary system of health care in India, the trend toward complementary care is emerging, and Western and Ayurvedic physicians often work side by side.
Interest in Ayurveda in the West began in the mid 1970s as Ayurvedic teachers from India began visiting the United States and Europe. By sharing their knowledge they have inspired a vast movement toward body-mind-spirit medicine. Today Ayurvedic colleges are opening throughout Europe, Australia, and the United States.