AYURVEDA KERALA

 

Ayurveda Treatments at Nilayoram

Ayurveda, the Indian System of medicine and treatment has a hoary tradition. Kerala, the southern state of India is well known for its ayurvedic heritage. A balanced, healthy, enjoyable and successful life entails harmony between Mind, Body and Spirit. If any one of these suffers an imbalance, disharmony is immediately evident. Time at Nilayoram is devoted completely to well being. We offer a host of ayurvedic Treatments to enhance, restore and renew your health.

The resort is conceived to become a rendezvous for pleasure and purification. It works wonders in unwinding, while purifying dryer body and soul in harmony with nature. The riverfront facility with lush greenery and tranquil surroundings is the most ideal location to be in and enjoy thoroughly the luxury of being one amongst a very few occupants. 

Upon your arrival at the resort, a team of eminent ayurveda physicians will examine the patient and after panel discussion and consultation, appropriate treatment will be charted. The entire treatment will be supervised by senior doctors and executed by qualified and experienced masseurs. All the external and internal herbs administered are prepared in traditional way and hence unequivocal quality and result are obtained. Wholesome vegetarian food is provided during treatment period

Prime Treatments offered at our Centre are:

  

Therapy

Actions and indications

 

 

Abhyangam

Tones muscle, improves circulation. Balances Vata

Obesity, Especially for Diabetic Gangrene etc.

Pizhichil

Rejuvenate the entire body, esp. neuromuscular system. Balances Vata. Rheumatic diseases like Arthritis, Paralysis, Hemiplegia, Epilepsy, Paralysis-Agitanus and Sexual weakness.

Njavarakizhi

Rejuvenates all tissues. Balances Vata

Weight loss, Rheumatism, Pain in the Joints, Emaciation of limbs, High blood pressure, Cholesterol and certain kinds of skin diseases.

Dhara

Deep relaxation. Brain rejuvenation. Balances Vata

Insomnia, Vata aggravation, Stress related disorders, dermatitis.

Sirovasthi

Brain and neuromuscular tonic. Whole body tonic.

Epilepsy, Facial paralysis, Dryness of nostrils, mouth and throat, Severe headaches, and other Vata originated diseases.

Vasthi

Balances Vata. Tonic. Arthritis, Paralysis, Hemiplegia, Numbness, Gastric complaints associated with Rheumatism and constant constipation

Udvarthanam

Loose weight, improve circulation. Hemiplegia, Paralysis, Obesity and certain Rheumatic ailments

Nasyam

Sinusitis, recurrent respiratory problems.Headaches, Brain disorders, some types of skin disease.

Snehapanam

Internal rejuvenation. Improves immunity. Aids cleansing. Also used in Osteoarthritis, Psoriasis, Leukemia etc.

Kizhi

Anti inflammatory tonic. Gentle, deep cleansing. Osteoarthritis, arthritis with swelling, spondylitis, sports injuries etc.

Yoniprakshalanam

Female reproductive disorders. Endometriosis, cysts and fibroids, tumors, infertility.

Kativasthi

Strong and flexible back. Disc prolapse, Back pain and spinal disorders.

Urovasthi

Tones respiratory system and heart. Asthma, other respiratory problems hearth diseases and muscular chest pain

Ksheeradhoomam

Tones facial nerves and muscles. Facial paralysis, speech disorders and other nervous disorders of the face.

Thalam

Improves sleep. Strengthens eyesight. ENT problems, insomnia, migraine etc. 

 

Kerala Tourism

 

God gifted Kerala invites tourists to experience and cherish the sprawling mansions set in lovely locales-exotic islands, luxuriant game reserves...on hill sides, by beaches, backwaters and so on......

With an array of prime properties set in the finest spots of Kerala's theme destinations, by government and private entrepreneurs, presents exotic ways to experience leisure tours and health tours in Kerala .

Designed to give you a feel of the heritage of hospitality this land is renowned for. Offering you a spectacular view of its natural splendour. And a taste of its spicy richness. With a subtle blend of the traditional and the luxurious, these properties are destinations by themselves
 

Kerala Hill Holidays

Kerala, popularly regarded as 'God's own country', is probably the most beautiful, exotic and picturesque state of India. Flanked by the blue waters of the Arabian Sea in the west and the Western Ghats (mountain ranges) in the east, Kerala abounds in exotic and beautiful Hill stations, lovely beaches and serene and calm backwaters. The unparallel Natural beauty of Kerala attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world round the year. And rightly so, the National Geographic Traveler ranked it as One of the 50 'Paradise Found' on the earth.

The hill stations of Kerala are known for their exotic charm and beauty that can't be defined in words. Located amidst the lush green vegetation with numerous milky waterfalls, ravishing rivulets, splendid springs, lakes and hill-plantations, they provide an enthralling experience to tourists. Sprawling spice and tea plantations on the hill slopes provide you an enchanting sight. The fresh and pristine air filled with the fragrance of cardamom and pepper makes a spellbound effect on your body soul. Amidst such surroundings you feel like as if you are in a paradise. One of the major advantages of holidaying in Kerala hill station is that they are relatively less crowded in comparison to hill stations of north India.

Ayurveda in Kerala

Kerala, the land of spices, is the best place to get to know and experience. Ayurveda, be it Ayurvedic products or service. 
Ayurveda, the 5000-year-old natural herbal health care system has been recognized the world over as the most perfected body-mind health care system. Ayurveda, a holistic system of medicine that is rejuvenative and therapeutic, is widely practiced in India. Kerala, the tropical paradise on the southwest seaboard, is well known as the heart land of Ayurveda.

Kerala, the confluence of different natural herbal systems, enriched and fine-tuned Ayurveda. While the Ayurvedic system was enriched by Siddha and Marma systems in southern Kerala, it joined hands with Kalaripayattu and Kalari Therapy in northern Kerala. This resulted in the emergence of a new stream noted for its special procedures and formulations.

Kerala, situated in the tropical region, has an unparalleled herbal wealth compared to the other parts of India. Though the very same herbs are found in the Himalayas, the herbs of Kerala have a special potency due to its unique geographical position and tropical climate. These aspects made it possible for the healers of Kerala to perfect the preparation of Ayurvedic medicine. Even for classic Ayurvedic preparations, Kerala Ayurveda has evolved its own formulations that are superior in effec

Kerala has an unbroken tradition of Sanskrit (the language of ancient wisdom) learning. This knowledge of Sanskrit enables the healers of Kerala to interpret the Ayurvedic system accurately and get a proper insight. The Namboothiri Brahmins even today follow the Vedic tradition and knowledge systems. They are the only people who can perform the fire sacrifices or yajnas as they were done during the Vedic times and pronounce the Vedic chants the original way. They still practice Ayurveda and contribute to the efficacy of the system. Sanskrit learning has spread to all layers of Kerala society. Ayurveda is a living tradition belonging to people of all socio-cultural groups. 

Legend has it that when Parasuram created Kerala, the southernmost tip of India, it consisted of 18 city-states with 18 kings to rule over them. Each city-state also had a family that practiced Ayurveda and other traditional healing systems in order to look after king and his subjects. These medical practitioners were known as Ashtavaidyans, literally translated to doctors trained in the 8 (ashta means eight) branches of Ayurvedic medicine - kaayam (general medicine, baalam (pediatrics), griham (psychiatry), urdhavangam (including all the organs above the neck - eyes, ears, nose, teeth, throat, etc.), shalyam (surgery), dhamshtra (therapy for poisoning), jara (anti-ageing treatment) and sexual diseases.

Thus, 18 families of Ashtavaidyans existed in the days of yore. They were the torchbearers of the 5000-year-old Ayurvedic healing system in Kerala. However, since they were engaged in surgery and were likely to touch blood, they were not allowed to intermingle with other Brahmin families. This led to a lot of inbreeding within these 18 families and consequently, a decline in their fertility. Thus the Ashtavaidyans came to be reduced to 8 families. Alathur, Chirattamannu, Ilayidathu Thaikkadu, Pazhanellipurathu Thaikkadu, Pulamanthol and Vayaskara are the six families of Ashtavaidyans still practicing today.

Kerala Ayurveda Treatment

 

Reduction therapy has two parts called pacification and purification. Pacification is done with herbs, fasting, exercise, sunbathing and exposure to wind. Purification is a special form of therapy for elimination of the disease causing humors. The power of Ayurvedic elimination therapy is its system for guiding the toxins to their sites for elimination. It consist of five parts - The pancha karmas - cleaning enemas, nasal medication, Purgation, Emesis and blood letting. All these require preliminary Ayurvedic practises of oleation and sweating. Kerala a southern state of India, has developed its own Ayurvedic treatment modalities like Dhara, pizhichil, Navarakizhi, Elakizhi, Sirovasthi, Thalapothichil etc. which are highly effective in a number of diseases which include Motor neuron diseases, Arthritis of various kinds, skin diseases, heart diseases, peptic ulcer, Asthama, Peripheral vascular diseases and Gynecological disorders.

Ayurvedic pharmacology is based upon the concepts of rasa, veerya and vipaka. A vast variety of plants, metals, minerals, animals, birds and even mud and sand are used as medicines in Ayurveda.

Knowledge about Ayurvedic type of medicine is divided into eight branches. The branches are 1. Kaya chikilsa (general medicine), 2. Shalya (surgery), 3. Shalakya (ENT and Ophthalmology), 4. Graha (Psychotherapy), 5. Damshitra (toxicology), 6. Bala (Pediatrics and Gynecology), 7. Jara (rejuvenation) and 8. Vrishya (Aphrodisiacs).

Of the above the seventh one, that is rejuvenation therapy is a unique method which Ayurveda performs. Until death our body is engaged in a continuous struggle against the aging process. Hence the body is called Shareeram - something that degenerates.

Nilayoram Ayurvedic Resorts offers traditional and authentic treatments, with resident doctor, Masseurs, visiting Ayurvedic doctors who are specialists and experts in various fields of Ayurvedic medicine.
 

Ayurveda with Yoga

Ayurveda and yoga are sister Vedic sciences that have been united for thousands of years for the sake of healing body, mind, and consciousness. Generally speaking, Ayurveda deals more with the health of the body, while yoga deals with purifying the mind and consciousness, but in reality they complement and embrace each other.

The ancient rishis (seers) were the original masters of all Vedic sciences. They understood that good health is a great asset on the path toward Self-realization. If the body is neglected it can easily become an obstacle to spiritual practice. Anyone who has practiced meditation for any length of time would agree to how difficult it can be to sit still for long periods of time without feeling discomfort and fatigue. Both yoga and Ayurveda are mutually supportive and offer many ways to prevent and heal various disorders as well as to cleanse and rejuvenate the body.

Besides sharing a philosophical foundation, both systems have many similarities in relation to attitude, nutrition, diet, hygiene, exercise, cleansing practices, as well as spiritual practices. Traditionally, a student of yoga would first live close to and serve the guru for many years, during which time he would learn healthy habits. The basic Ayurvedic principles for health and longevity were past on in the lineage in oral form to serve as a foundation for a life of sadhana (spiritual practice).

Nowadays, the teachings of yoga are easily available to all, and whether prepared or not we can leap headlong into its practice. This has its blessings, in the sense that more people can be turned on to the teachings, although much is often lost without the parampara, or close guidance at the feet of an accomplished master. With this in mind, modern yoga practitioners would most certainly benefit from a basic knowledge of Ayurveda to help establish a healthy daily routine and adjust their practice according to the constitution, dosha imbalance, season, and so on, to prevent disease and promote longevity.

First, let’s take a look at the similarities between yoga and Ayurveda:

* Both are ancient Vedic teachings. Yoga originates in the Yajur Veda, while Ayurveda originates in the Atharva Veda and Rig Veda.

* Both recognize that keeping the body healthy is vital for fulfilling the four aims of life: Dharma (duty), Artha (wealth), Kama (desire), and Moksha (liberation).

* Both recognize that the balance of doshas (humors), dhatus (tissues), and malas (waste products) is essential for maintaining good health.

* Both share virtually the same metaphysical anatomy and physiology, which consists of 72,000 nadis (subtle channels), 7 main chakras (energy centers), 5 bodily sheaths, and the Kundalini Shakti (energy).

* Both advocate the use of diet, herbs, asana, pranayama, meditation, mantra, astrology, prayer, puja, and rituals for healing the entire being.

* Both encourage physical health as a good foundation for mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

* Both share the same view on psychology. Ayurveda embraces all six of the main schools of philosophy including the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and Vedanta (a non-dual philosophical and spiritual path). They both understand that the attachment to the body-mind complex is the root cause of all suffering and that the ultimate state of health is experienced when we abide in our true nature, which is total peace, regardless of the state of the physical body.

* Both use cleansing methods for the body, all of which encourage the removal of waste products and toxins through their natural routes of elimination. Ayurveda has panchakarma (five cleansing actions) and yoga uses Shat Karma (six purification measures).

Ayurvedic approach to asana practice

The use of asana, pranayama, and meditation for healing is known as Yoga Chikitsa, or Yoga Therapy and has been used for thousands of years by Ayurvedic and yogic adepts. In Yoga Chikitsa, a group of yogic exercises are chosen that will best support the individual and are practiced daily. This can be done over an extended period of time in conjunction with an Ayurvedic regime and herbal and dietary therapies. Yoga Chikitsa also plays an integral role in the Ayurvedic cleansing and rejuvenation process known as panchakarma.

For a well balanced personal yoga practice, it is important to take into consideration the individual’s body structure, prakruti (original constitution), and vikruti (present constitutional imbalance). The following are general recommendations according to the predominant dosha.

Vata predominant individuals should remember to focus on calming, grounding, stillness, strengthening, and balancing while doing their practice.

Precautions for vata:

* Vinyasa or flow styles of yoga tend to move too quickly from one pose to the next and can aggravate the hyper-mobile quality of vata over time. Flow sequences can be made to be more vata pacifying if they are not excessively long, the length of time poses are held is extended, and transitions are done slowly and consciously.

* Those with lower back problems may find that bending the knees in standing forward bends can prevent discomfort.

* Back bends should be done slowly, carefully and within one's own limits.

Pitta individuals should maintain a calm, cool, and relaxed intention while doing asanas. Pitta types may benefit from trying to cultivate an attitude of forgiveness, and of surrendering or offering the fruits of their practice to the divine of to those in need of positive healing energy. Because asana practice tends to generate heat in the body, it is best to do them at cooling times of the day, such as dawn or dusk. Also, it is useful to place some emphasis on poses that help to release excess heat from the body, such as poses that compress the solar plexus and poses that open the chest like.

Kapha types tend to be sedentary and often dislike vigorous exercise. For this reason, their practice should be energetic, warming, lightening, and stimulating, providing they are physically capable. Vinyasa or flow style yoga is good for kapha because it is dynamic and moves quickly from one pose to the next, it induces sweating and gets the heart pumping.

Yoga poses that address specific doshic problems can be easily added to an Ayurvedic regime and integrated into an existing yoga routine, or they can be organized as a small session with the help of an Ayurvedic clinician who knows each individual case well and can help set up a well balanced program according to the needs of each client.

Ayurveda also offers Yoga Chikitsa, or Yoga Therapy, for specific doshic disorders. It is advised to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner for an individualized regime.

Ayurvedic Approach to Pranayama (breathing techniques).

The ultimate goal of pranayama is to calm the mind and prepare it for meditation. It also has a therapeutic effect on the physical body as well. It is not essential to do a pranayama practice according to dosha, but knowing its effects on the body is a valuable tool for management of the doshas. Below is a general list of pranayama and bandha exercises according to dosha.

Vata: Nadi Shodhana, Kapala Bhati, Agnisara Dhauti, Ujjayi, Tri Bandha, Maha Mudra.

Pitta: Sheetali or Sitkari, Nadi shodhana.

Kapha: Bastrika, Agnisara Dhauti, Kapala Bhati, Ashvini Mudra (contracting and releasing Mula Bandha), Ashvini Mudra, Ujjayi, Tri Bandha, Maha Mudra.

Furthermore, the Four Purifications taught in our workshops is an ancient method from the Ashtanga Yoga for purifying the gross and subtle body in order to prepare it for more advanced practices. They are tridoshic and safe for everyone, providing they are performed correctly.

Meditation According to Dosha.

These spiritual paths and their meditation techniques can be practiced by anyone, regardless of their prakruti. This list is only intended to give an idea on how dosha can support or influence one’s spiritual practice. Many traditions of yoga blend various aspects of the paths listed here.

* Vata: Kriya Yoga or Ashtanga Yoga and other structured techniques help to keep vata stabilized and focused.

* Pitta: Jnana Yoga and Vedanta are good for pitta types because they often have sharp intellects and have a keen interest in self-study (Atma-vichara).

* Kapha: Bhakti yoga is natural for kapha types because they are often loving and devotional by nature.

Ayurvedic and Yogic Diet.

Ayurveda is more concerned with food being constitutionally balanced, while Yoga promotes a diet that is sattwic (light and pure). A combination of both aspects is the best choice for a yogi or anyone wanting to make real progress on a spiritual path.

Ayurvedic diet:

* According to dosha.

* Primarily vegetarian (meat is used as medicine, mainly for extreme deficiencies).

* Primarily cooked (raw food in moderation, especially for vata types).

* Containing six tastes.

Yogic diet:

* Sattwic vegetarian diet.

* Easy to digest.

* Simple meals (to limit desire).

* Both cooked and raw.

* Foods recommended in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika consist of rejuvenating substances such as wheat, whole grain, white basmati, corn, raw milk, raw sugar, butter, ghee, honey, dried ginger, mung beans, pure water, vegetables.

* Fruits, roots and nuts.

* Avoiding excessive hot, sour, salty, fermented, and fried foods.

* Avoiding tamasic (dulling) foods like meat, onions, garlic and mushrooms as a regular part of the daily diet.

Cleansing in Yoga and Ayurveda.

Ayurveda and Yoga both emphasize cleansing of the body for health and support of spiritual practices. Their methods are similar and work by expelling excess dosha and ama, or toxins, using the body's natural routes of elimination.

The yogic method is known in the Ashtanga tradition as Shat Karma, or six cleansing measures. These are:

1. Neti (nasal cleansing):
Jala neti (salt water flushing of the sinuses).
Sutra neti (nasal cleaning with string).

2. Dhauti (washing the GI tract).
Teeth, tongue, eyes, ears and forehead.
Agnisara Dhauti.
Vamana Dhauti (vomiting salt water).
Vastra Dhauti (washing with a cloth).
Varisara Dhauti (washing with water for purgation).

3. Basti (enema).
4. Trataka (forehead wash, gazing into a candle flame).
5. Nauli (intestinal washing, abdominal rolling).
6. Kapala Bhati (skull shining).

The Ayurvedic method for cleansing and rejuvenation is known as panchakarma (pancha karma), or five cleansing actions. This program is usually done for a week or two, but can also be done for longer periods depending on the case. The five actions of this method are:

1. Basti (Enema).
2. Nasya (Nasal application of herbs and herbal oils).
3. Vamana (Therapeutic vomiting).
4. Virechana (Purgation).
5. Rakta Moksha (Blood letting).

It is obvious that Ayurveda and yoga not only complement each other. Both sciences actually embrace each other as they share similarities and fundamental principles on many levels. Ayurveda and yoga should go hand in hand if we want to achieve optimal health, peace, and longevity.

Ayurveda with Meditation

Meditation is a continuous flow of perception or thought, just like the flow of water in a river." A practice wherein there is constant observation of the mind, meditation brings awareness, harmony and natural order into life. It helps you dig deep into your inner self to discover the wisdom and tranquility that lie within.

Principles of Meditation

The basic points to be kept in mind in practicing meditation are :

  • Have a special place and specific time for meditation. Try doing it daily.

  • Choose a time when your mind is not clouded with worries.

  • Sit up straight with your back, neck and head in one line. Facing north or east.

  • Condition your mind such so as to remain quiet for the duration of your meditation session.

  • Regulate your breathing. Start with 5 minutes of deep breathing. Then gradually slow it down.

  • Follow a rhythmic breathing pattern - inhale and exhale.

  • Initially let your mind wander. It grows more restless if you force to concentrate.

  • Then slowly bring it to rest on the focal point of your choice.

  • Hold your object of concentration at this focal point throughout your session.

  • Meditation happens when you reach a state of pure thought. Even while retaining an awareness of duel self.

Followed diligently you will soon be able to attain a super-conscious state.
 

Tips on Concentration

  • At the outset, it is hard to keep your attention to keep focussed on one object.

  • So it is better to start off by limiting your field of concentration to a category of objects.

  • Choose your objects with care e.g. any four flowers, fruits, trees...etc. You must feel at ease with what you choose.

  • After concentrating on one, you can move on to the next, if & when your mind starts wandering.

This style of meditative exercise will help you control your mind down to a finer focus, teaching you the principle of single point concentration

 

Ayurveda Basics

 

The following are some of the principle theories and practices of Ayurveda. 

Ayurveda is divided into eight parts. Hence it is also known as Ashtanga ayurveda.
These are as follows: Kaya, Bal, Graha, Urdhwa, Shalya, Dhanstra, Jara, Vrishan.
1. Kaya: The part of ayurveda which mainly related with diseases related with body, related with digestion.
2.Bala: It is related with the paediatric age group. It is the treatment for the proper growth and diseases of children. 
3.Graha: It deals with stars and planets and other mental disorders.
4.Urdhwa: The diseases of upper part of the body above the neck. This part is also known as Shalakyatantra. In this part, disorders of ear, nose, throat, eyes, and oral cavity are considered.
5.Shalya: This is surgical branch of Ayurveda which is well developed by Sushrut.
6.Dhanstra: It is related to the tooth where animal bites, poisoning and its treatment is considered.
7.Jara: It is the branch related to geriatrics. It deals with treatment to avoid old age. 
8.Vrushya: It is the branch related with healthy sex life and treatment related to complaints about intercourse etc.
Prakruti: At the time of conception, the particular dosha dominating is the prakruti of that individual.According to individuals prakruti, he or she is prone to some types of disease. To cure those disorders, some hints related to day to day life "dincharya" and seasonal behavior "Rutucharya"are given. 
Panch Mahabhoot Siddhanta: The whole body is considered to be made up of five basic elements such as Prithvi, Aap, Tepa, Vayu and Aakash .When there is disturbance in dosha-dhatu-mala, the individual suffers from disease. Hence they should be treated accordingly. 
The treatment part includes Shodhan and Shaman. In Shodhan, the doshas are expelled out of the body with the help of medicines and in Shaman , doshas are suppressed in the body. Shodhan includes five ways of cleansing named as Pancha karma. It includes;
Vaman: emesis,
Virechan: purgation,
Nasya: medicine administered by nostrils.
Raktamokshan: letting out blood,
Basti: medicated material administered through anus. 
Prakruti - The Unique Genetic Code of an Individual 
Everyone knows that there are no two fingerprints alike. No two voice modulations and no two genetic codes are exactly alike. What makes anyone think we all have the same liver, lungs, kidneys, or anything else the same as the next person. Therefore to propose that we all eat the same foods, take the same drugs when we are ill, or perform the same exercise is more than ludicrous. It is unscientific! Ayurveda uses a system of historical analysis and physical examination done almost entirely by observation (with the exception of pulse reading), to ascertain one's original nature and current imbalances. 
A diet and health plan are given to the individual according to the needs to correct the imbalance. The basis for all other concepts in Ayurveda is Sankhya (the analytical study of the elements that comprise the universe). Although the modern physicist would delineate well over one hundred elements, Sankhya states there are twenty-four, of which five are the foundation of the gross world: Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. 
These five elements, when joined in different combinations, make up the three "doshas" or "biological modes" which are the "Prakruti" or nature of an individual and the nature of all things. 
The combination of air and ether gives us Vata or the Kinetic Biological Mode. Vata is that which is electric in the body and causes all movement in and out of the system (breathing, urination, defecation, menstruation, etc.)
The combination of fire and water gives us Pitta or the Transformative Biological Mode. Pitta is that which mutates or transforms the outside elements of the macrocosm into the inside elements of the body (the microcosm). Pitta governs the digestion of physical, mental, and emotional elements. 
Finally, the combination of earth and water gives us Kapha or the Structive Biological mode. Kapha is that which makes for both lubrication (mucus, synovial fluid) and structure (bones, muscles, fat, joints, etc). 

 

Meaning of Ayurveda

 

A system of self-care that originated in India more than 5000 years ago, Ayurveda is becoming very popular all over the world, with hundreds of healers incorporating it into their practices and thousands of people using its well-tried principles and therapies to improve their well-being.
The Vedic word ayurveda has two root words--ayu and veda. Every root word in the Vedic tradition has its own definition--thus, ayu has its own definition and so does veda. Literally and concisely, ayu means "life" and ved means "science." According to this translation, ayurveda means "the science of life." But the Vedic texts expand on these definitions to offer us a more complete understanding, and our ayurvedic expert Vaidya Rama Kant Mishra has explained some of these expanded statements.

Ayu explained

What is the real meaning of ayu or life according to the fundamental principles of ayurveda? Sharirendriya sattwa atma samyogo ayuhu, goes one verse. Sharir means physical body; indriya means senses. Sattwa refers to the combination of mind and heart--overall psychological strength, and atma means soul or spirit. When all of these--body, senses, heart, mind and spirit--are in proper balance and function in a harmonious, coordinated manner, that is true life--"the living body."

Veda explained

Veda means science: not a science that changes its theories and its findings every few years but ageless, eternal knowledge built on siddhantas, fundamental unchanging principles. Veda refers to guided knowledge: it is not just theory, but also a roadmap for how to derive practical benefit from the knowledge.

A longer definition of ayurveda

Another longer definition of ayurveda goes: ayurhitahitamvyadhe nidaanamshamanam thathaa vidyate yatra vidhwadhihi tatra ayurveda uchyate. This verse takes us to a deeper level to understand what ayurveda is.

Ayurveda provides us with a complete understanding of what is life-sustaining and what is not, not just for the physical body, but also our mind, heart, senses and spirit. This includes descriptions of the kind of diet, lifestyle and behavior that is optimal for well-being, the ideal environment, and the herbal rasayanas that are good or bad for each of these aspects of health. There is great detail on each of these modalities--what to eat, when to eat and how to eat are a part of dietary recommendations, for example. The texts also include recommendations for nurturing relationships and living as part of the human community.

If an individual does not have this knowledge or has the knowledge but does not implement the knowledge, then, say the texts, the person becomes susceptible to imbalance and disorders
 

History of Ayurveda

Five thousand years ago in the magnificent Himalayas, one of the greatest sages of India, Srila Vyasadeva wrote down the Vedas for the first time, this included a branch which is called Ayurveda: "The science of Life" (Ayur means life and Veda means science).

The Vedas came from an oral tradition that reached back into antiquity. Srila Vyasadev entrusted the original copies of the texts with his most erudite and enlightened disciples, who, along with other great sages, inaugurated a very long sacrificial ceremony for hundreds of years for the purification and blessings of the entire world. Remember people lived for one to two thousand years back then. During that time, they studied and discussed these ancient texts with their own disciples, who wrote commentaries, and expanded and developed these original and eternal truths without ever altering them.

During the years after the conclusion of this sacrifice, copies of this perfect Vedic texts were placed in various temples and libraries throughout India. They were written down in the original Sanskrit language for the benefit of the general population. (Sanskrit is the father of Latin and most of the world languages).

As far as the science of life was concerned - Ayurveda - volumes of wisdom poured forth like the rains during the monsoon season. Beside Vyasadeva's information about hundreds of herbal drugs in the Vedas, there were descriptions later on, by other sages like Sushruta, Charaka, etc. on how to perform prosthetic surgery to replace limbs, cosmetic surgery on the nose and elsewhere, caesarean section, and even brain surgery!

Everything was described in great detail and archaeological research has uncovered evidence that proves that some of these operations were performed successfully between 3,000 and 5,000 years ago. The great sage Charaka has given information in Ayurveda about the development of the child within the womb week by week, month by month, limb by limb, from conception to birth, that equals our modern medical texts in accuracy.

There is information about atomic energy, gynecology, pediatrics, surgery, anatomy, herbal drugs, Ayurvedic dieting and nutrition. All are described in the most simple and profound manner so as to make it easy enough for any person to have a basic working knowledge of this great science of life - Ayurveda. I know this sounds incredible and you may be wondering, "How is it possible to have one system embrace all systems" How would it be applied? The answer is simple. The first step is to ascertain the individual's "Biological Mode" , and than to treat the person accordingly.

 

Principles of Ayurveda

According to ayurvedic philosophy an individual bundle of `spirit’, desirious of expressing itself, uses subjective consciousness or Satwa to manifest sense organs and a mind. Spirit and mind then project themselves into a physical body, created from the five (Pancha) great (maha) eternal elements (bhutas) – together called the Panchamahabhutaswhich arise from Tamas. The sense organs then using Rajas to project from the body into the external world to experience their objects. The body becoming the mind’s vehicle, its physical instrument for sense gratification.

The Bhutas combine into "tridoshas" or bioenergetic forces that govern and determine our health or physical condition. While the three gunas (Rajas or activity, Tamas or inertia and Satwa, which balances the first two) or psychic forces determine our mental and spiritual health. Ayurveda is thus a holistic system of health care that teaches us to balance these energies in order to achieve optimum health and well being.

 

Diagnosis in Ayurveda

Indian medicine names three main causes of disease – 'overuse', 'disuse' or 'misuse’ of faculties; 'errors in judgement'; and influence of seasonal changes. According to Ayurveda all human diseases can be classified into the seven broad categories, namely :


1. Genetic (Adibalapravritta)

  • Consists of ailments as obstinate skin diseases, hemorrhoids, diabetes, tuberculosis and asthma that arise primarily due to defects in the sperm (sukra) of the father – when it is called pitrija or the ovum (sonita) of the mother – when it is termed matrja.

  • Undigested food, abnormal behaviour, addiction of any type and stressful situations affect the reproductive elements of both the male and female, resulting in a defective foetus.

2. Congenital (Janmabalapravritta)

  • Caused essentially due to nutritional disorder (rasakrita) and unfulfilled cravings of the mother during pregnancy (dauhrdya)

  • If diet and / or conduct of the mother aggravates vata, the foetus might end up with deformities as kyphosis (hunchback), blindness and dwarfism; increased pitta may cause alopecia and yellowish pigmentation of skin; and enhanced kapha might result in albinism.

3. Constitutional (Doshabalapravritta)

  • Arise out of any dietary or behavioural disturbance brought about by an imbalance in any one of the three vital physical energies (Tridoshas) or the three vital mental energies (Trigunas).

  • Thus constitutional disorders are of two types : somatic (Sharirika) & psychic (Manasika).

4. Traumatic (Sanghatabalapravritta)

  • Undergoing any trauma causing experience – external or internal – leads to this.

  • External trauma is induced by injuries inflicted by sharp instruments and bites of animals or venomous insects.

  • Stress and overstrain lead to internal trauma.

5. Seasonal (Klabalapravritta)

  • Brought about by changes in the nuances of seasonality.

  • Sometimes the body fails to adjust itself to the sudden and abnormal climatic changes – extreme cold might lead to frostbite and rheumatic disease. While extreme heat may cause sunstroke or fever.

6. Infectious and Spiritual (Daivabalapravritta)

  • Either born out of natural calamities as lightning, earthquakes, floods and the invisible, malignant forces of nature.

  • Or contacted through sexual & physical intimacy and sharing of food, plates, bed, clothes, towels and cosmetics with effected friends & relatives.

  • Or as a result of sheer jealousy.

7. Natural (Swabhavbalapravritta)

  • Even the healthiest of people are struck by hunger, thirst, sleep, death or senility.

  • Brought about by functional, organic and natural changes in the body.

In Ayurveda, physicians try to assess the symptoms of these diseases as much as the nature of ailment and its root causes (nidana). This is of utmost importance in ensuring correct choice of remedial & preventive measures for treatment of the disease. For otherwise, even after therapy, one might not get the desired response and there would remain a chance of recurrence.

The early signs and symptoms (purvaroopa) provide useful warnings and the opportunity for taking necessary action before a disease can assume dangerous magnitudes. The main signs and symptoms (roopa) reflect the true nature and intensity of the disease. Another oft used method of diagnosis is exploratory therapy (upasaya) which uses diet, medicines and routines to detect diseases otherwise difficult to diagnose. Acting either against the cause of disease or the disease itself or producing relief. For example a swelling that is alleviated by an oily & hot massage, is obviously caused by an imbalance of vata.

Examination Process

To confirm, evaluate and treat a disease, physicians need to perform clinical examinations of patients – wherein textual knowledge (aptopadesa), direct perception (pratyaksha) and inference (anumana) are all very important components. The examination of patients can be carried out in the following manners:

Three (Tri) fold (Bidha) Examination (Pariksha)

Covers a general examination of the patient.

Involves:

  1. Visual observation (Darshan)
  2. Tactile perception (Sparsha)
  3. Questioning (Prashna)

 

Scope of Ayurveda

 

Ayurveda is a holistic system of healing which evolved among the Brahmin sages of ancient India some 3000-5000 years ago. There are several aspects of this system of medicine which distinguish it from other approaches to health care:

    1. It focuses on establishing and maintaining balance of the life energies within us, rather than focusing on individual symptoms.

    2. It recognizes the unique constitutional differences of all individuals and therefore recommends different regimens for different types of people. Although two people may appear to have the same outward symptoms, their energetic constitutions may be very different and therefore call for very different remedies.

    3. Ayurveda is a complete medical system which recognizes that ultimately all intelligence and wisdom flows from one Absolute source (Paramatman). Health manifests by the grace of the Absolute acting through the laws of Nature (Prakriti). Ayurveda assists Nature by promoting harmony between the individual and Nature by living a life of balance according to her laws.

    4. Ayurveda describes three fundamental universal energies which regulate all natural processes on both the macrocosmic and microcosmic levels. That is, the same energies which produce effects in the various galaxies and star systems are operating at the level of the human physiology--in your own physiology. These three universal energies are known as the Tridosha.

    5. Finally, the ancient Ayurvedic physicians realized the need for preserving the alliance of the mind and body and offers mankind tools for remembering and nurturing the subtler aspects of our humanity. Ayurveda seeks to heal the fragmentation and disorder of the mind-body complex and restore wholeness and harmony to all people.
     

Scope Of Ayurvedic Medicine

Classically, Ayurvedic Medicine was conceptualized and practiced as eight major clinical subspecialties of medicine in addition to numerous adjunctive specialties. The eight major subspecialties continue to be taught today and they include:

  1. Internal Medicine (Kayachikitsa)

  2. General Surgery (Shalya Tantra)

  3. Otorhinolaryngology (Shalakya)

  4. Pediatrics and Obstetric/Gynecology (Kaumarabhrtya)

  5. Psychiatry (Bhutavidya)

  6. Toxicology (Agada Tantra)

  7. Nutrition, Detoxification and Rejuvenation (Rasayana Tantra)

  8. Fertility and Virility (Vajikarana)

For every disease, there is information about: definition, etiology, prodrome, clinical symptoms, pathophysiology, prognosis, principles of treatment, medicines, diet, lifestyle recommendations, and even etymology. This approach is strikingly similar to that of modern medicine and even more comprehensive.

Over the last century, Ayurvedic Medicine has experienced a rebirth and has continued to evolve its holistic approach to health in accordance with modern needs and scientific advances of the day. Today, modern Ayurveda also includes:

  1. Kulam Svastyam Kutumbakam: Principles of Preventative Healthcare For the Entire Family

  2. Sangakara Chikitsa: Treatment of Addictions. Includes strategies for defeating addictions to alcohol, tobacco, sexual behavior, and food.

  3. Panchakarma Chikitsa: Purification and Rejuvenation Treatments. Prescribed with respect to one's individual nature, work, social circumstance, age, and season.

  4. Sthaulya Chikitsa: This discipline covers practical and effective approaches to maintain a healthy weight through constitutionally-determined diet, exercise, herbs, spices, teas, breathing, and psychological aids.

  5. Vatavyadhi Chikitsa: Specific treatment plans for the diseases of Vata origin which affect the musculoskeletal system and nervous system (joints, bones, muscles, nerves) Examples include but are not limited to: osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, osteopenia, multiple sclerosis, spondylosis, sciatica, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

  6. Svabhaavoparamavaada: Promotion of self-healing and resistance to disease (i.e. immunity) as per your age, sex, occupation, nature, daily routine, medical history, mental status, season, and region.

  7. Vajikarana: Specific remedies for Male infertility and impotence as well as Female infertility.

  8. Saundarya Sadhana: Beauty and cosmetic treatments for men and women, including skin, hair, eyes, posture, body odor, and general appearance

 

Ayurveda Herbs

Amalaki* is used to rebuild and maintain new tissues and increases red blood cell count. It is considered helpful in cleansing the mouth, strengthening teeth, nourishing the bones and is the highest natural source of vitamin C. It reduces pitta without aggravating vata or kapha.It is a one of three herbs used in triphala, the primary Ayurvedic tonic for maintaining health.

Arjuna* is a famous cardiac tonic used in Ayurveda for a variety of heart conditions. Used to lower blood pressure and heart rate. Traditionally given to support circulation and oxygenation of all tissues. Often combined with ashwagandha, brahmi and guggul in heart formulas.

Ashoka is used in Ayurveda as a tonic for the uterus and is believed to help maintain proper function of the female reproductive system.

Ashwagandha* has been traditionally used for general debility, sexual debility and nerve exhaustion. It also is said to regenerate the hormonal system, promote healing of tissues, and support sound sleep. It is considered the primary adaptogenic Ayurvedic herb for its ability to build reserves for handling stressful conditions.

Bacopa* assists in heightening mental acuity and supports the body's ability to relax. It is used in formulas for mental exertion.

Bhringaraj* is considered helpful in premature graying of hair, balding , alopecia, loss of teeth, enlargement of liver or spleen, chronic hepatitis, anemia and skin diseases. It is a rejuvenative for pitta. Also available in oil form.

Bibitaki* is used as a laxative to cleanse the bowels. It is also used as a gargle for sore throats because of its heating and soothing properties. It is a one of three herbs used in triphala, the primary Ayurvedic tonic for maintaing health. It is considered a powerful tonic for excess kapha.

Bitter Melon has been shown to regulate the body's ability to process sugars by suppressing the neutral response to the stimuli of sweet tastes. For control of blood sugar levels also see shardunika ( gymnema) and chandraprabha.

Boswellia* has been used extensively in Ayurveda for joint support. Along with its cousin guggul, it offers broad health and immunomodulating benefits for arthritis sufferers.

Brahmi* has been traditionally used for nervous disorders, epilepsy, senility, premature aging, hair loss, obstinate skin conditions and venereal diseases. It is considered the primary Ayurvedic nerve and cardiac tonic. It pacifies high vata or pitta. Also available in oil form.

Chyavanprash is a famous herbal jam made from amalaki fruit, one of the highest sources of vitamin C. It is fortified with over 20 herbs to rejuvenate and strengthen the immune system.

Gokshura* is a rejuvenating herb used in Ayurveda to support proper function of the urinary tract and prostate.

Guduchi* is a considered a bitter tonic and powerful immuno-modulator. It is regarded as a blood purifier and liver protector. It is considered helpful in eye disorders and promotes mental clarity. It balances high pitta conditions.

Guggul (aka guggulu)* A gum resin, historically used for its antiseptic and deep penetrating actions in the treatment of elevated blood cholesterol and arthritis. Often used as a carrier and combined with other herbs to treat specfic conditions (see Kaishore Guggulu, Yograj Guggulu, Goksuradi Guggulu and Triphala Guggulu).

Gymnema* is commonly referred to as "Gurmar, the destroyer of sugar". It is traditionally used in formulas to control blood sugar levels in the body.

Haritaki* is used for coughs, asthma, abdominal distention, tumors and itching. It is a one of three herbs used in triphala, the primary Ayurvedic tonic for maintaing health. It is a rejuvenative for vata.

Kutki* a bitter and pungent herb used by Ayurvedic practitioners to support proper function of the liver and spleen.

Holy Basil offers a wide rage of health benefits, principally supporting the respiratory system.

Manjista* is considered one of the best blood purifying herbs in Ayurveda. It is said to cool and detoxify the blood, dissolve obstructions in blood flow, and clear stagnant blood from the system. It clears high pitta from the system.

Neem* is considered one of the best healing and disinfectant agents for skin diseases and anti-inflamatory for joint and muscle pain.It balances high pitta conditions. Also available in oil form.

Shatavari* is traditionally used to support the female organs, prevent sexual debility, help menopausal conditions, stomach ulcers, inflamation and chronic fevers. It is also a primary rejuvenative for pitta

 

Glossary of Ayurvedic Terms

Aap: Water element.

Abhyanga: oil masssage.

Acne: An inflammatory eruption occurring usually on the face and neck.

Agni: digestive fire, synonymous with properly balanced cell metabolism in Western medicine.

Ajna chakra: Centre of command,the" third eye".

Akasha: Ether or space.

Alambusha nadi: Yogic nadi, channel.

Alochaka pitta: Form of pitta governing vision.

Ama: residual impurities deposited in the cells as the result of improper digestion. Also mental ama, impure or negative thoughts and moods.

Anaemia: A below-normal level in the number of red blood cells.

Analgesic: A substance that relieves pain.

Anna:Food.

Annamaya kosha: Physical or gross body.

Apana vayu: Downward moving vayu.

Arishta: Symptom suggestive of death.

Aromatic: Taste which stimulates the gastrointestinal tract.

Artava: Menstrual Blood.

Artavaha srotas : Menstrual channels.

Arthritis: An inflammatory condition of the joints.

Asana: Posture, third stage of yoga.

Ascites: An excessive accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity.

Ashvini mudra: Yogic practise of contracting anal sphinctor muscles.

Asthi: Bone.

Asthidhara kala: Special membrane for bone.

Asthma: A respiratory disorder in which there is breathlessness wheezing and cough (dry or with mucus expectoration).

Atrophy: A wasting or diminution of size or physiological activity of a part of the body.

Attributes: The inherent qualities or properties of a substance.

Avalambaka Kapha: Form of Kapha in chest.

Avasthapaka: Primary phase of digestion.

Basti : enema

Betel leaf: A leaf eaten after a meal to assist digestion

Bhajani: A mixture of roasted cereals

Bhajiyas: Fried items of onion and other vegetables

Bharta: A mashed preparation (of aubergines)

Bhasma: Residue after incineration

Bhutagni : digestive fire governing element.

Bile: A bitter fluid secreted by the liver which flows into the small intestine, which is stored in the gallbladder. It helps to metabolize fat

Chandan: Sandalwood (Santalum album)

Chapati: A type of Indian bread

Charak: Great Ayurvedic profounder who has written one of the classic Ayurvedic text Charak Samhita.

Charaka samhita: One of the oldest Ayurvedic text

Cholesterol: A fatty substance in crystalized form found in all animal fats, oils, milk, egg yolks, bile, blood, brain tissue, liver, kidney and adrenal glands.

Churna: Powder of medicine

Chyavanprash: A formualtion based on honey, amla and other 45 ingredients.

Colitis: A chronic disease characterized by the inflamation of colon

Compress: A pad of folded linen applied so as to create pressure upon exterior parts of the body

Conjunctivitis: A painful and infectious illness in the eyes which makes them red and makes the eyelids swollen and sticky

Cosmic energy: The all-pervading energy in the universe

Dermatitis: An inflammatory condition of the skin. characterized by redness. pain and itching

Dhatu: one of the body's seven basic constituents

Diabetes: A clinical condition characterized by the excessive secretion of urine and increased blood-sugar level

Dinacharya: daily routine

Diuretic: A substance that increases the secretion of urine

Dosha: three basic metabolic principles connecting the mind and body and biological humour.

Dosha vaishmya: pathological condition of dosha

Drava: type of attribute liquid

Eczema: Acute or chronic skin inflammation

Emetic: Medicine that produces vomiting

Expectorant: A substance that promotes the ejection of mucus.

Flora: Healthful bacteria which are present in various parts of the body, list of plants of a particular place

Fomentation: Treatment by warm and moist application to skin

Gati : quality of the pulse

Gonorrhoea: A common venereal disease most often affecting the genitourinary tract

Gout: Metabolic disease marked by acute arthritis and inflammation of the joints

Grahani : Chronic diarrhoea, malabsorption syndrome in the small intestine

Gulma : Any tumor, lump or diverticulosis

Guna: fundamental natural quality (e.g., dry, moist, hot, cold, etc.). Also applied to sattva, rajas, and tamas, the "three gunas"

Guru: type of attribute, heavy, spiritual teacher, Grishma, Summer, Teacher

Halasana : Plough posture

Hath Yoga : Yoga of physical postures

Hemant: Early winter

Hemoptysis: Coughing up of blood from the respiratory tract

Hemostatic: A substance that checks the flow of blood

Hima : Type of attribute, cold

Hing: Asafoetida

Hrid roga : Heart disease

Hives: Eruptions of very itchy skin caused by an allergic substance

Jala neti : Yogic cleansing of nasal passages by water

Japa : Repetation of mantras

Jatharagni : Digestive fire, responsible for the digestion and transformation of food material

Jaundice : A condition characterized by yellowness of the skin and elevated level of bilirubin

Kapalabhati: Kriya and pranayama that cleanses respiratory tract

Kapha:the dosha responsible for bodily structure

Kathina: Type of attribute, hard

Katu: Pungent or spicy

Khara: Type of attribute, rough to touch

Kleda: Subtle waste product

Kledaka kapha: form of kapha governing digestion

Kuhu: Nadi in yoga

Kundalini: Potential energy lying dormant at the base of the spine.

Kurma: Type of vata in yoga

Laghu: type of attribute, light

Langhana: fasting, reducing therapy

Leucoderma: Localized loss of skin pigment

Leucorrhea: A condition that causes a whitish, viscid discharge from the vagina and uterine cavity

Lohita: second layer of skin

Lymphadenitis: Inflammatory condition of the lymph nodes

Macrocosm: The universe itself; a system regarded as an entity containing subsystems

Madhyama marga: Middle pathway, (deep tissue)

Mahabhuta: Basic five elements (space, air, fire, water and earth)

Mahamarma: One of the three major marma

Majja: Nerve tissue and bone marrow

Mala: Metabolic end-products

Malabsorption syndrome: A condition in which there is no proper digestion, absorption and assimilation of food in the gastro intestinal tract

Mamsadhatu: Muscle tissue

Manda: Type of attribute, slow pachaka pitta, form of pitt chakra

Mandagni: Diminished digestive capacity

Manomaya kosha: Mental sheath

Mantra: Sacred sounds

Manusmriti: Compendia, Marga -pathway or tract

Marga: Path or tract

Marma: A junction point between consciousness and matter or weak Vital points.

Matsyendrasana: Yoga posture with spinal twist

Mayurasana: Yoga posture like peacock

Meda: Fat tissue

Microcosm: A diminutive representative world; a system more or less analogous to a much larger system

Moong: A type of pulse

Mridu: Type of attribute, soft

Muladhara chakra: First chakra

Mutra: Urine

Mutravaha srotas: Urinary system

Nadi pariksha: Pulse examination

Nadi vigyana: Pulse diagnosis

Nag: Type of vata in yoga

Nasya: Nasal administration of therapy

Nauli: Action like pitching of boat in stormy sea

Nauli chalana: A process in which the abdominal muscles are made to move vertically and laterally in surging motion

Nidana: Etiological factor or diagnosis of disease

Nidana panchaka: Five ways to diagnose a disease

Nirama: Without ama or toxic substance

Ojas: The purest expression of metabolism; the final end product of correct digestion and assimilation of food

Om : Seed mantra

Palpation: The act of feeling with the hand; the application of the fingers with light pressure to the surface of the body for the purpose of determining the consistancy of the parts beneath

Panchakrama: The five cleansing (purification) methods to get rid of excess Doshas.

Paneer: Cheese

Papad: Made from dried lentils; eaten fried or roasted

Parkinsonism: A neurologic disorder characterized by tremors, muscle rigidity and slow movements

Parpati: medicinal preperation of sulphur and mercury

Paschimotanasana: head to knee yoga posture

Pavanamuktasana: knee to chest yoga posture

Percussion: The act of striking a bodily part with short, sharp blows as a diagnostic aid that reveals the condition of that area of the body

Peristalsis: Rhythmic contraction of smooth muscle that forces food through the digestive tract

Pharyngitis: Inflammation of the throat

Physiognomy: The study of facial features

Pichila: type of attribute, slimy

Pingala: carries solar energy, right nostril

Pippali: herb / Piper longum

Pitta: the dosha responsible for metabolism (closely identified with agni, the body's vital heat)

Poorvakarma: Procedures done prior

Poultice: A soft moist substance applied hot to the surface of the body for the purpose of supplying heat and moisture

Pradhana: main, prominent

Pragya aparadh: the "mistake of the intellect" (i.e., identifying with the part and losing the whole)

Prajny aparadh: volitional transgression

Prakriti: primal nature, natural state, constitution

Prakriti-nature: referring either to one's individual nature (body type) or to Nature as a whole

Prana: It is vital energy (life-energy) which activates the body and mind. Prana is responsible for the higher cerebral functions, the motor and sensory activities. The prana located in the head is the vital prana, while prana which is present in the cosmic air is nutrient prana. There is a constant exchange of energy between vital prana and nutrient prana through respiration. During inspiration, the nutrient prana enters the system and nourishes the vital prana. During expiration, subtle waste products are expelled.

Pranavaha srotas: respiratory system

Pranayama : respiratory exercise, also called "balanced breathing"

Prapaka: primary stage of digestion

Prashama: alliviation of dosha

Prithvi: element earth

Psoriasis: A disease in which areas of skin turn red and are covered with small dry pieces of skin

Psychosomatic: Pertaining to the mind-body relationship: an illness caused by anxiety and worry

Ptosis: An abnormal condition of one or both upper eyelids in which the eyelid droops.

Purisha: stool, faeces

Purvarupa: predormal symptoms

Rajas: the intermediate principle of energy among the three qualities of nature

Rajasic: having the nature of Rajas (Kings)

Raktadhatu: blood

Raktamokshana: blood-letting (type of panchakarma)

Raktavaha srotas: circulatory system

Ranjaka pitta: form of pitta colouring the blood

Rasa: plasma, taste

Rasayana: Traditional Ayurvedic herbal or mineral preparation for longivity and rejuvenation

Rheumatism: Any of a large number of inflammatory conditions of the joints, ligaments or muscles, characterised by pain or limitation of movement

Rhinitis: Inflammation of the mucus membrane of the nose

Rigveda: type of veda

Ritucharya: seasonal behaviour

Roga: disease

Roopa: symptom

Ruksha: type of attribute, dry

Sadhaka pitta: type of pitta governing the brain

Sama: with ama or toxins

Samadhi: A state of equilibrium; supreme joy and bliss

Samana vata: equalising form of five vata types

Sammurchana: amalgamation between viliated dosha and dushya

Samprapti: pathogenes

Samsarga: duel vitiation of dosha.

Sandra: type of attribute, dense

Sattva: the higher principle of harmony of three qualities of nature or trigunas

Scabies: A contagious skin disease characterized by itching and peeling of the skin

Sciatica: Inflammation of the sciatic nerve characterized by lower back pain which radiates down the leg

Shakha: four limbs

Shakha marga: external disease tract

Shishir: winter

Shita: type of attribute, cold

Shlakshna: type of attribute, smooth

Shleshaka: form of kapha

Shleshaka: form of kapha lubricating joints

Shodhana: purification, detoxification

Shukra: reproductive tissue

Shukradhara kala: special membrane for reproductive system

Sira: blood vessel

Snehan: fomentation

Snehana: oleation therapy

Soma: bliss of pleasure, principle at work behind the mind and senses

Spondylosis: A condition of the spine characterized by fixation or stiffness of a vertebral joint

Sthana saushraya: localisation, stage of pathogenesis

Sthira: type of attribute, stable

Sthoola: type of attribute, gross

Sukshma: type of attribute, subtle

Surya Namaskara: the "sun salute,"

Sushruta: author of Sushruta Samhita, ancient Ayurvedic surgeon

Sweda: sweat

Swedavaha srotas: system for sweat

Syphilis: A venereal infection transmitted through sexual contact

Tamaka shwasa: bronchial asthma

Tamas: the lower principle of inertia of omni substances

Tamasic: having the nature of tamas

Tapas: self discipline

Tarpaka: form of kapha governing brain and nerves

Teja: premordial element, fire

Tejas: mental fire

Tikta: bitter

Tikshna: form of attribute, penetrating

Trataka: steady gazing

Tridosha: The three bodily organizations -Vata (air). pitta (fire) and Kapha (water) -which govern the psychosomatic activity of daily living

Udakavaha srotas: -system of water metabolism

Udanavata: upward moving type of vata

Udara: abdomen

Upadhatu: offshoots of tissues

Upadrava: complication

Upashama: symptoms getting relieved after treatment

Undhiya: A mixed vegetable preparation favourite among the Gujaratis

Urticaria: A blood reaction of the skin. marked by the transient appearance of smooth. slightly-elevated patches which are redder or paler than the surrounding skin. This condition often is attended by severe itching.

Ushma: Hot

Vamana: medicated emesis

Varsha: monsoon

Vasa: fact of the muscles

Vasant: Spring

Vata: the dosha responsible for all movement in the body, biological air humor.

Vata vyadhi: diseases due to aggravation of vatas

Vataj: due to vata

Vayu: another name for vat

Vedas: ancient books of knowledge presenting the spiritual signs of awareness

Vijnyana: intelligence

Vipaka: metabolised part of drug, the after taste of food in the body

Virechan: Purgation

Vishesh: Special

Yakrit : Liver

Yashasvati : Type of nadi in Yoga

Yoga: psycho physical practices aimed at self knowledge

 

Ayurveda Therapies

 

The principle of treatment in Ayurveda focuses on bringing back the normalcy of functions of systems by various methods. The method is a process of changing the condition through different steps and there by establish the equilibrium of doshas (humours). In fact treatment is directed to perform a well-planned re-arrangement in the subtle plane according to Ayurveda.

There are eight divisions of treatments in Ayurveda

(1) Kaya chikitsa (General treatment)
(2) Bala chikitsa (Pediatrics)
(3) Urndhanga chikitsa (ENT & eye diseases treatment),
(4) Grahachikitsa (Psychiatry),
(5) Salya chikitsa (Surgical procedures),
(6) Visha chikitsa (Toxicology),
(7) Rasayana chikitsa (Geriatrics).
(8) Vajeekarana chikitsa (Aphrodisiac treatment).

Treatments includes various types of therapies like medicated oil massage, preventive aspects like daily and seasonal regimens, curative /curative purification process using herbal preparations like juice of wet herbs, herbal pastes (kalka), kashayams (herbal decotions) medicated oils, medicated butter and ghee preparation, Arishtams (fermented preparations) etc.

Among the various therapies, Panchakarma (purification therapy) is the specialty of Ayurveda treatments that consists of Snehana (oleation), Swedana (sudation), Vamana (inducing emesis), Virechana (inducing purgation), Nasya (medication through nostrils), Kashaya Vasti (enema using medicated decoction) and Snehavasti (enema using medicated oils). These treatments help cleanse the systems to maintain perfect health. The inconsistency developed and lodged in Dhatus (tissue spaces) due to the vitiation of doshas (humours) gets eliminated by the panchakarma therapy.

Ayrvedic pharmacology is based on a sophisticated indigenous knowledge category called ' DRAVYAGUNA SASTRA' consisting of the study of a drug in relation to its Rasa (tastes), Guna (properties), Veerya (potency), Vipaka (biotransformation) and Prabhava (special therapeutic action).

Ayurveda takes into serious consideration the Prakruti (body constitution- see chart), Agni (digestive fire), Ahara (food habits), Ritu (seasonal changes) etc. while selecting the drug and therapy for the particular disease. Ayurvedic pharmacology considers the overall systemic effect of any plant in terns of its effect on physiological balance (equilibrium of doshas), body tissues (dhatus) and the excretory system (malas).
 

Ayurveda Tips

Beneficial Daily Routines

  • Rise before the sunrise.
  • Drink a full glass (8 oz.) of room temperature or warm water.
  • Clean your face, mouth and nasal passages and gargle with salt water.
  • Do some light yoga or stretching exercises.
  • Meditate for 20 minutes.
  • Take a walk or run for hour, 3–4 times per week.
  • Have a nutritional breakfast according to your body type.
  • Have a relaxing or complete meal at lunchtime. 11–2 pm.
  • Relax for hour after lunch.
  • Meditate in late afternoon before evening meal for 20 minutes.
  • Eat dinner between 5:00 and 7:00 pm. This should not be a heavy meal.
  • Allow two hours after your dinner before going to bed.
  • Bedtime 10:00–11:00 pm.
  • Give thanks.

Daily Ayurvedic Regimens

Our bodies naturally work on clearing excess toxins out of our body during the nighttime hours. These toxins are deposited in our colon and skin. That is why it is important to take care of personal hygiene first thing in the morning. We must remove these toxins from the body by bathing and eliminating to prevent them from backing up and becoming reabsorbed by the body

Ayurvedic Beauty

 

But Ayurveda delves deeper. Besides the skin texture, hair type and body quality, Ayurveda lays accent on the way we move and carry ourselves, the lifestyle we follow, the freshness we emanate etc. Ayurveda does not see beauty as a cosmetic affair. Ayurveda calls for self care and also development of positive routines and rituals that will help bring out the best in us.

 

Empty Bowl Meditation

Sit comfortably and quietly with palms up and open, placed on knees, like empty bowls. Open the mouth slightly and touch the tongue to the roof of the mouth, behind the front teeth. Pay attention to the breath. Let the lungs breathe with no effort on your part. Breath is object of awareness. Simply watch the movement of breath. As you are watching the movement of your breath, pay attention to the tip of your nose. Just be aware of the touch of air going into the nose. Cool air going in, warm air coming out. Sit this way, quietly, observing breath, for about 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, follow the breath. Go with the air into the nose, throat, heart, diaphragm, deep down into the belly behind the belly button, where you will experience a natural stop. Stay in this stop for a fraction of a second, then follow the breath on exhalation, as it reverses its course up from the belly behind the diaphragm, heart, throat, out through the nose. and out of the body to about 9" in front of the nose to a second stop.

The first stop is behind the belly button, the second stop is outside the body in space. At these two stops, breath stops. At these two stops, time stops. Movement of breath is time. In these two stops, only existence is present. In these two stops you are surrounded by peace and love. In these stops, God is present. In these stops you become like an empty bowl. The moment you become like an empty bowl, the divine lips can touch you. God will seek you and pour benediction into you. Let the lungs breathe and you become the empty bowl. Practice this meditation for 15 minutes in the morning and in the evening. As you practice this meditation, over the days, weeks, months, you will find your time in the stops naturally prolonging until eventually inner and outer will merge at the 3rd eye and everything will happen within you.

You may also practice this meditation in a prone position

Agni Tea Recipes

The first definition of agni is the element of Fire, the second of the five elements in the body. It also denotes the digestive fire which regulates temperature, performs digestion, absorption, and assimilation of ingested food, and transforms food into energy or consciousness.

 Agni Tea is a simple beverage that helps to regulate and stimulate your digestive capacity, improving all the functions of digestive agni 

Ingredients: 

1 quart                                     Water

1 pinch                                     Cayenne

2 handfuls                                 Minced gihger root

2 Tbs.                                      Sucanat or other sweetener

1 to 2 tsp.                                 Rock salt 

 

Preparation: 

 

Bring all of the above ingredients to a boil. Boil for 20 minutes.

Take the pot off the burner and cool for a few minutes

Add the juice of 1/2 lime. Do not boil the lime juice.

Pour into a thermos and enjoy throughout the day

 

An Introduction to Panchakarma

 

In Ayurveda treatment consists of four basic forms, namely - medicine or drug therapy, pancha (five) karma (actions/ systems), dietary regime and regulation of lifestyle. And works in two fundamental ways - cure and prevention.

The preventive aspect of treatment is further subdivided into swastha varta (personal hygiene) - consisting of dinacharya (daily routine), ritucharya (seasonal corrections) and sadachara (appropriate behaviour) - rasayana & vajikarana (rejuvenation & virlification) and yoga. The curative aspect consists of three parts antati parimaijana (internal medicine) - consisting of samsodhana (internal purification through panchkarma) and samsamana (curative action) - external medicine as massage, use of pastes & powders and finally surgical treatment.

The deep cleansing process, unique to Ayurveda, that enables the body to release excess doshas and toxins from its cells and expel them is called Panchakarma, which basically denotes detoxification or elimination of toxins from the body. Although the human body is considered as a great, intelligent, natural healing system capable of rejuvenating itself, the formation of toxins reduces that natural capacity. It is then that Panchakarma plays a crucial role in that correction.
 

Ayurveda & Astrology

 

Eternally fascinated by the uncertainty of the future, man has been equally engrossed in various studies that allow a peek into the same. Amongst the more significant ones is Astrology, a significant branch of Ayurveda, that scientifically studies planetary movements and their effect on human constitutions and lives.

Astrology is based on the concept that each planet is intrinsically related to a specific body tissue and that the various planetary movements and their positions in relation to time exert powerful influences on your mind, body and consciousness, directly affecting your physical and mental health. It is to be noted that sun, rahu & ketu are nodal points exactly opposite each other and are given the status of planets according to the Indian system of Astrology. They are important indicators of spiritual and / or materialistic tendencies
 

Deeper Ayurveda

 

A thorough understanding of Ayurveda reveals that it is not merely a medical system dealing with physical symptoms, but a wonderful science that teaches one to attain self realization and attain a permanent state of joy and happiness. This treatment system can cure even diseases for which modern medicine or allopathy doesn't have remedies. For those who have recently been introduced to Ayurveda, this section helps to build a strong base for understanding Ayurveda in its original form.
And for those who have been studying Ayurveda for sometime and have always wondered about its scope, this section provides the answers they have been seeking. But this section is not the end. The entire scope of Ayurveda is much wider and there is a lot more to be learnt and practiced.

       In ancient times, Ayurveda was taught orally by the guru to his disciple, from one generation to the next. It was centuries later that all this intellectual tradition got collated together into written texts.

      The comprehensive health solutions offered by Ayurveda has made it popular all over the world. Unfortunately, Ayurveda too has suffered because of modernization, commercialization and materialization of its pure concepts.

      This section tries to provide information on the original Ayurvedic principles. These principles may prove a little difficult to understand initially, but they are the key to understanding Ayurveda.