Ayurveda is the oldest surviving holistic medical system in the world. It offers a rich, comprehensive outlook to a healthy life; its origin is in the Vedas which are known to be more than 5000 years old. Ayurveda describes the Vedic wisdom of how to live a healthy and peaceful life. Together with Yoga it gives a detailed blue print for a fulfilled enlightened life.
Purpose of Ayurveda treatments
The aim of this system is to prevent illness, heal the sick and preserve life. This can be summed up as follows:
- To protect health and prolong life (“Swasthyaya swasthya rakshanam“)
- To eliminate diseases and dysfunctions of the body (“Aturasya vikar prashamanamcha“)
Ayurveda tells us that the root cause of all diseases is seeded in the past karma (Karmic imprints) during the sojourn of the soul. When the bad karma is unfolding, it manifests in various forms of ill health. To cure and pacify the disease, one needs to do one or more of the following:
- Medication use
- Do charitable donations
- Do various Japas (constant repetition of a mantra, Jap perform)
- Perform Homam/Yajna (offering to various planets and deities through fire)
- Worship deities
Basic Principles of Ayurveda:
Ayurveda is based on the premise that the universe is made up of five elements: air, fire, water, earth and ether. These elements are represented in humans by three “doshas“, or energies: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. When any of the doshas accumulate in the body beyond the desirable limit, the body loses its balance. Every individual has a distinct balance, and our health and well-being depend on getting a right balance of the three doshas (“tridoshas“). Ayurveda suggests specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines to help individuals reduce the excess dosha.
Clinical Research in Ayurveda:
Ashwini Mathur apty states that “reported lack of efficacy of Ayurvedic treatments in clinical trialsis often not due to inefficacy of the treatments itself, but arises from inadequacies of trial design. Ayurvedic interventions should exclusively use its multi-component, individualized and inherently holistic approach and that general guidelines for rigorously reporting such clinical trials should be developed.”