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Ayurveda > An Introduction to the Ancient Indian Medical System

By Dr. Satish Kulkarni

Bios means life. Logos means studies. Therefore, biology is the study of life. Likewise, Ayu means life and Veda signifies the ancient Indian form of preserving knowledge. Therefore, Ayurveda is a collection of studies related to life. This collection is in Sanskrit and in an ancient Indian poetic form known as the shlokas. Ayurveda evolved around 600 BC in India. At the time, printing technology was nowhere in the picture and therefore this knowledge about life was preserved in the form of the shlokas which are two lined poems, rhythmic in nature. For the teacher (guru) this form was easy to teach and for the student (shishya) this form was easy to remember for a lifetime.

Then came printing technology. At this stage, different people grouped different shlokas into sanhitas. Sanhitas can be defined as knowledge banks. They are big books, which contain information on the arts, the sciences and commerce, all related to life. They talk about health as well as about disease.

There were different schools of thought in Ayurveda. Each school interpreted Ayurveda in their own way and with their own view. Charak, Sushrut and Vagbhat are a few examples of these schools. Each school prepared its own sanhita and tried to reach out to the masses for the promotion of health. Nevertheless, they shared a few common central ideas like ‘what you eat is what you are’ or ‘health comes from within’ or ‘health is a miraculous gift which comes from nature’. Generations after generations learnt the shlokas by heart and followed this tradition (parampara) for treating all kinds of physical and mental troubles including diseases.

The speciality of Ayurveda is that it not only treats diseases but constantly promotes the thought that one should live healthy rather than fall sick and then look for a cure. This thought of ‘how to remain healthy throughout one’s life’ is called swasthavrutta. Swasthavrutta includes rules and regulations for the healthy life of a healthy individual. These rules and regulations are to be followed with faith. Swasthavrutta assures that one will not fall sick if one follows these rules properly. The central theme of swasthavrutta delves on the questions of diet, clothing and housing according to the season, in order that we live a healthy and long life. This is where Ayurveda is different from all of the other medical sciences. This thought of health is important and applicable to our lives today too.
 
Today, Ayurveda is a unique, indispensable branch of medicine, a complete naturalistic system that depends on the diagnosis of one’s basic body constitution (prakruti). Ayurveda believes in the treatment of not just the affected part of the body, but of the individual as a whole. Ayurveda insists on finding natural ways to refresh oneself, thereby eliminating all toxic imbalances from the body and thus regaining resistance and good health. Ayurveda gives that knowledge of life which not only cures diseases, but also teaches us how to achieve perfect health. Treatments





 

Index
Introduction
Medicines
Ayurvedic Milestones
Ayurvedic Thought
 Vaat, Pitta, Kafa, Dosh
 Dhatu, Mala, Fire
Pathology - Ama
Treatments
 Shaman
 Ashtang Ayurved
 Agad Tantra
 Bhut-vidya
 Kayachikitsa
 Kaumar Bhrutya Tantra
 Purva-karma
 Panch-karma
 Vaman
 Virechan
 Basti
 Nasya
 Rakta-moksha
 Shaman
 Shalya Tantra
 Shalakya tantra
 Rasayana-Chikitsa
 Vajikaran-Chikitsa

Actual Case Notes
 Asthmatic Bronchitis
 Bleeding per anum
 Constipation
 Diarrhea
 Hair Loss
 Infections
 Libido
 Osteoarthritis
 Psychiatry
 Pregnancy Care
 Senile Debility
 Solution To Baldness
 Vaat Related Fever

Academic References
Ayurvedic Herbs
NCCAM

 
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ęCopyright 2014 The Health Information Network