Ayurveda is the traditional natural healing system of India. Ayurveda is an ancient philosophy based on a deep understanding of eternal truths about the human body, mind and spirit, which is rapidly growing in popularity in the West. It offers advice about how to keep ourselves healthy and to rebalance ourselves when we become unwell. In the West, our medical profession focuses on body parts, and Ayurvedic practice focuses on the person as a whole being. All advice given on this website is printed on the understanding that the author will not be responsible for any medical condition a person has that is adversely affected by Ayurvedic principles. If in doubt, you should seek the advice of a registered health practitioner.
Ayurveda is gleaned from the Sanskrit word ayur meaning ‘life’ or ‘longevity’. The word Veda means ‘knowledge’, ‘wisdom’ or ‘spiritual science’. So Ayurveda is a complete body of knowledge and absolute wisdom about how to live to achieve health and longevity through a union of physical, emotional and spiritual balance to attain Moksha (enlightenment). Ayurvedic knowledge originated in India more than 5,000 years ago.
Around 800 BCE, a famous physician called Punarvasu Attreya founded the first Ayurvedic medical school. Attreya and his pupils recorded medical knowledge in articles that would influence Charaka, a scholar who lived and taught around 700 BCE. His writings, the Charaka Samhita, describe 1,500 plants, identifying 350 as valuable medicines. This primary text is still considered the central authority of Ayurveda. It is continuously referred to in both the teaching and practice of Ayurveda today.
Ayurveda is the traditional natural healing system of India that uses five states of energy
Ayurveda states that everything in the universe is composed of energy, and this energy exists in five different states of density, giving rise to five elements, namely:
- Fire/radiant energy
- Water/cohesive factor
These five elements are not to be interpreted literally but rather as metaphors that help us understand the universe. They represent five qualities of energy that we can recognise as we experience them daily in our physical, mental and emotional lives.
Ayurveda natural healing principles
Ayurveda places great emphasis on prevention and encourages the maintenance of health through close attention to balance in life, correct thoughts, nourishment, and daily habits together with the use of herbs. Knowledge of Ayurveda enables one to understand how to create this balance of body, mind, and awareness according to one’s physical condition and make lifestyle changes to maintain this balance. Before a person becomes ill, they would have been out of balance, leading to the illness. Awareness of not being in balance each day and then rebalancing is the way of staying healthy.
Our bodies are continuously moving in and out of balance. By accepting this as a natural occurrence, we can avoid becoming ill.
The only real cure for the prevention of disease is knowledge of the Self. Humans are continually interacting with the universe and its elements, and vice versa. We fill space, which gives us a place to live and function in a multitude of ways; we breathe the air, drink water, keep ourselves warm with heat and light, and eat food provided by the earth. As long as our relationship with the universe is healthy and wholesome, we can be in optimum health. According to Ayurveda, when this harmonious interaction breaks down, it pre-disposes us of dysfunction and disease.
Body Type according to Ayurvedic principle
The elements of the earth are within each of us to varying degrees. Ayurvedic principles work because we exist in three major body types called dosha, which means mind/body principle.
The three body types are;
- – Vata – movement dosha
- – Pitta – transformational dosha.
- – Kapha – structure dosha.
Each one of us consists of all three doshas in varying degrees. You can determine the dosha you are by answering questions about your mind-body nature. These questions are in the free digital download book.
Six Stages of Disease
According to Ayurvedic teaching, the first stages of the disease are entirely consciousness-based. Only the final three stages include any physical signs or symptoms. By learning to recognise the disease process in its earliest forms, you can restore internal balance with minimum discomfort.
- Accumulation – An imbalance caused by toxicity begins to accumulate somewhere inside the body.
- Aggravation – As the accumulation progresses, it may be barely noticeable as tiredness or vague discomfort.
- Propagation – When the imbalance continues and no longer becomes contained. There may be more persistent fatigue or difficulty in focusing attention.
- Localisation – Specific symptoms begin to appear, such as stiffness or other discomforts. An apparent dysfunction occurs, such as single joint arthritis, an angina episode, or the early stages of infection.
- Disruption – When efforts to reverse the process are not instituted, a full-blown disease occurs.