What is Ayurveda Meaning?

According to Ayurveda definition, "Ayurveda is a traditional Hindu method of medicine focused on the concept of bodily system equilibrium and uses diet, herbal therapy, and yogic breathing," according to the Atharva Veda, the last of the four Vedas.

Ayurvedic spelling is derived from the Sanskrit terms 'ayus', which means 'life,' and ‘veda,' which means 'science,' so Ayurveda literally means 'science of life.'

Over the course of two centuries, Ayurvedic treatments have changed and developed medicines, special diets, meditation, yoga, relaxation, laxatives, enemas, and medical oils. Complex herbal ingredients, minerals, and metal substances are widely used in the preparation of ayurvedic medicines. Surgical procedures such as rhinoplasty, kidney stone extractions, sutures, and foreign object extraction were also taught in ancient Ayurvedic texts.


Who Invented Ayurveda?

Dhanvantari was the founder of Ayurveda. Dhanvantari, the Hindu god of medicine and former king of Varanasi, is a manifestation of Lord Vishnu. In the Puranas, he is referred to as the Ayurvedic god. He emerged from the Ocean of Milk with the nectar of life during the Samudra Manthan. According to these legends, India was the Ayurveda country of origin.


History of Ayurveda

In this section, we will learn about the history of Ayurveda in India and how its roots spread to different countries.

  • The history of Ayurveda can be traced back to about 6,000 BCE, when it started as an oral practice, according to modern Ayurvedic sources.

  • Some elements of Ayurveda have been around since the Indus Valley Civilization.

  • The Vedas gave rise to the first known forms of ancient Ayurveda as medical texts. In Vedic tradition, Ayurveda is an upaveda or auxiliary knowledge discipline.

  • The origins of Ayurveda can also be found in the Atharvaveda, a series of 114 hymns and incantations that are identified as miraculous cures for diseases. There are various legends about how Ayurveda came to be, including that it was given to Dhanvantari (or Divodasa) by Brahma.

  • The key classical Ayurvedic texts begin with accounts of medical knowledge being passed down from gods to sages, and then to human doctors.

  • Dhanvantari the founder of Ayurveda and the Hindu god of Ayurveda, incarnated himself as a king of Varanasi and taught medicine to a community of physicians, including Sushruta, according to the Sushruta Samhita.

  • Some scholars claim that Ayurveda dates back to ancient times and that some Ayurvedic ideas date back to the Indus Valley Civilization or even earlier.

  • During the Vedic period, Ayurveda developed dramatically, and later non-Vedic systems such as Buddhism and Jainism developed medical principles and practises that appear in the classical Ayurveda texts.

  • Baba Hari Dass in the 1970s and Maharishi Ayurveda in the 1980s adapted Ayurveda for Western practice.

  • Aspirants from the West started to migrate to India in the mid to late twentieth century. A generation frustrated with the reductionism and materialism that had come to define Western thought rediscovered the teachings of Yoga and Ayurveda, sparking an explosion of interest that has lasted to this day.

  • Dr Vasant Lad, Dr Robert Svoboda, and David Frawley were spreading Ayurveda teachings throughout the United States by the early 1980s.

  • Ayurveda, which has its origins in ancient India and has survived and evolved through the vicissitudes of time, now has a bright future in India, the United States, and around the world.


Principles and Terminology associated with Ayurvedic System of Medicine

  • Medicine is divided into eight components in the earliest classical Sanskrit works on Ayurveda. This summary of the physician's art, medicine with eight components, first appears in the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata, written around the fourth century BCE.

  • Kayachikitsa is used as general medicine, body medicine

  • Prenatal and postnatal treatment of the baby and mother, methods of childbirth, choosing the child's gender, intelligence, and constitution, childhood diseases, and midwifery are all discussed in Kaumara-bhtya (Pediatrics).

  • Surgical procedures and the removal of foreign objects are taught in Salyatantra.

  • Shalakyatantra is used to treat illnesses of the ears, eyes, nose, and mouth, among other items (ENT)

  • Bhutavidya is used to pacify possessed spirits as well as people whose minds have been influenced by such possession.

  • The Agadatantra/Vishagara-vairodh Tantra (Toxicology) covers epidemics, animal poisons, vegetables, and minerals. It also includes keys for identifying anomalies and their antidotes.

  • Rasayantantra is used as rejuvenation and tonic to help people live longer, have more wisdom, and have more power.

  • Vajikaraatantra is a combination of aphrodisiacs and therapies for enhancing the volume and viability of sperm as well as sexual pleasure. It also tackles infertility concerns and spiritual growth.

  • The human body is made up of tissues (dhatus), waste (malas), and biomaterials (doshas), according to Ayurveda.

  • Plasma (rasa), blood (rakta), muscles (mamsa), fat (meda), bone (asthi), marrow (majja), and semen(shukra) are the seven dhatus.

  • Ayurveda has traditionally divided bodily substances into five classical elements, called Panchamahabhuta in Sanskrit: earth, water, fire, air, and ether, similar to classical antiquity's medicine.

  • There are also twenty gunas (qualities or characteristics) that all matter is said to possess. Heavy/light, cold/hot, unctuous/dry, dull/sharp, stable/mobile, soft/hard, non-slimy/slimy, smooth/coarse, minute/gross, and viscous/liquid are the ten groups of gunas.

  • According to Ayurveda, there are three essential forms of energy or functional concepts that exist in everyone and everything. We use the original Sanskrit words Vata, Pitta, and Kapha because there are no single words in English that express these concepts. These concepts can be attributed to the body's fundamental biology.

  • Body, mind, and consciousness all work together in Ayurveda to maintain equilibrium. They are seen as various parts of one's personality. Understanding how Vata, Pitta, and Kapha interact is important for learning how to regulate the body, mind, and consciousness.

  • The entire universe, according to Ayurvedic philosophy, is an interplay of the five great elements energies - Space, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. Vata, Pitta, and Kapha are variations and permutations of these five elements that appear as patterns in the universe. Vata is the subtle energy of movement in the human body, Pitta is the energy of digestion and metabolism, and Kapha is the energy that shapes the body's structure.

  • Vata is the subtle energy of movement that is made up of Space and Air. It regulates breathing, blinking, muscle and tissue contraction, heart pulsation, and all cytoplasmic and cell membrane movements. Vata, when balanced, encourages innovation and versatility. Vata, when out of control, causes fear and anxiety.

  • Pitta is the body's metabolic system, which is made up of Fire and Water. Digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism, and body temperature are all regulated by it. Pitta, when healthy, encourages knowledge and comprehension. Pitta, when out of control, triggers anger, hate, and envy.

  • Kapha is the Earth and Water-based energy that shapes the body's structure, including bones, muscles, and tendons, and also the "glue" that binds the cells together. Both bodily parts and systems get their water from Kapha. It moisturises the skin, lubricates joints, and boosts immunity. When Kapha is balanced, it manifests as compassion, calmness, and forgiveness. When it's out of control at times, it can lead to attachment, greed, and envy.

  • Ama is a Sanskrit word that means "uncooked" or "undigested," and it refers to everything that is still in the process of being transformed. It is believed to be a harmful byproduct of insufficient or incomplete digestion in terms of oral hygiene.

  • Ayurveda is graded as a subsidiary Veda in mediaeval taxonomies of Sanskrit information systems (upaveda). In later Ayurvedic literature, some medicinal plant names from the Atharvaveda and other Vedas can be found. The earliest known theoretical claims regarding Ayurveda's canonical disease models can be found in the Buddhist Canon.


Diagnosis and Treatment by Ayurvedic System of Medicine 

  • Physical life, mental existence, and personality are all considered distinct units by Ayurvedic practitioners, with each aspect having the potential to influence the others. This is a fundamental aspect of Ayurveda, and it is a holistic approach used during diagnosis and therapy.

  • Another aspect of Ayurvedic treatment is the belief that there are channels (srotas) that transport fluids and that these channels can be opened up by using oils and Swedana to massage the channels (fomentation). The disease is believed to be caused by unhealthy or blocked channels.

  • Ayurvedic diagnostic procedures are two-fold: the first is to determine the state and form of pathology, and the second is to determine the mode of treatment to be used. 

  • The first form involves testing the patient and performing numerous tests in order to assess the disease entity. The primary forms of physical examination are inspection, palpation, percussion, and questioning.

  • The second form of assessment is to determine the individual's strength and physical condition so that the appropriate management can be prepared. Prakriti (Body constitution), Saar (Tissue quality), Samhnan (Physique), Satva (Mental strength), Satamya (specific adaptability), Aaharshakti (diet intake capacity), Vyayaam shakti (exercise capacity), and Vaya (age) are all examined during this process. Based on the results of this test, the person is graded as having Pravar bal (excellent strength), Madhyam bal (moderate strength), or Heen bal (moderate strength) (low strength).

  • Two of classical Ayurveda's eight branches, Salya-cikitsa and Salakya-tantra, deal with surgery, but contemporary Ayurveda emphasises achieving vitality through a stable metabolic system and good digestion and excretion.

  • Ayurveda also emphasises physical activity, yoga, and meditation. A Sattvic diet is one form of prescription.

  • Ayurveda adheres to the Dinacharya theory, which states that normal cycles such as waking, sleeping, working, and meditation are beneficial to one's well being.

  • Daily bathing, oral hygiene, oil pulling, tongue scraping, skincare, and eye washing are also important hygiene practices according to Ayurveda.


Substances used in Ayurvedic System of Medicine

  • Ayurvedic treatments may come from the roots, leaves, fruits, bark, or seeds of plants like cardamom and cinnamon.

  • Milk, bones, and gallstones are examples of animal products used in Ayurveda. Furthermore, fats are recommended for both internal and external use.

  • Mineral use, such as sulphur, arsenic, lead, copper sulphate, and gold, is also recommended.

  • Rasa shastra is the addition of minerals to herbal medicine.

  • Madya, an alcoholic beverage used in Ayurveda, is said to balance the doshas by increasing Pitta and decreasing Vatta and Kapha.

  • Madya wines are divided into five groups based on the raw material and fermentation process: sugar-based, fruit-based, cereal-based, cereal-based with herbs, fermented with vinegar, and tonic wines.

  • Purgation, enhanced digestion or taste, dryness, and joint loosening are some of the potential outcomes. Madya is defined as non-viscid and fast-acting in Ayurvedic texts, and it is said to reach and clean minute pores in the body.

  • In Ayurveda, opium's sedative and pain-relieving properties are considered. Purified opium is used in eight Ayurvedic preparations and is said to balance the Vata, Kapha doshas while increasing the Pitta dosha. It is used to treat diarrhoea and dysentery, as well as increase sexual and muscular capacity and affect the brain.

  • According to Ayurveda, traumatic bleeding can be prevented using four different methods: ligation of the blood vessel, cauterisation by heat, use of preparations to promote clotting, and use of preparations to constrict the blood vessels.

  • Normal ingestion, anointing, smearing, head massage, application to affected areas, and oil pulling are all examples of how oils are used. Shirodhara is a procedure in which liquids are poured on the patient's forehead.


Interesting Ayurveda Facts

  • Yoga and Ayurveda are intertwined in Vedic understanding and function as stress relievers.

  • Ayurveda will help you lose weight without compromising your physical or emotional well-being.

  • Ayurveda helps to regulate hormones, resulting in a healthy menstrual cycle and problems linked to pregnancy.

  • Ayurveda is a system of herbal medicine that is used to treat severe inflammation. Turmeric, ashwagandha, Boswellia, and ginger are some of the herbs that are used in combination to minimise inflammation.

  • Ayurveda purifies the mind, body, and spirit. Toxins that interfere with the body's normal functioning are eliminated using an Ayurvedic procedure called "Panchakarma."

  • Ayurveda is an ancient form of medicine that focuses on the person rather than the disease. All that matters in Ayurvedic therapies are finding the cause of the disease and taking preventative steps to avoid it from harming the body. Furthermore, it is beneficial to the body both internally and externally.


Advantages of Ayurveda

  • Ayurveda puts a heavy focus on prevention and helps people to improve their wellbeing by paying careful attention to life balance, correct thought, diet, lifestyle, and herb use. 

  • Ayurveda knowledge helps one to understand how to achieve and sustain this harmony of body, mind, and consciousness based on one's own unique constitution and how to make lifestyle adjustments to achieve and maintain it. 

  • Ayurvedic diets and relaxation methods, according to researchers, may help minimise plaque accumulation. Plaque is the product of cholesterol and fats occurring in the inner lining of arteries. This is known as atherosclerosis, and it is the root cause of heart attacks and strokes.

  • Herbs, vitamins, minerals, and proteins are all present in Ayurvedic medicine. To prevent and treat immunity-related disorders, these are combined at an adequate dose and given at the right time.

  • Ayurvedic herbs and essential oils aid in blood flow, circulation, and the removal of toxins from the body through the skin.

  • Ayurvedic therapies are also well-known for preventing cancer. A mixture of turmeric and black pepper is the best example of a herbal Ayurvedic formulation.


In this article, we learned about Ayurveda meaning, the history of Ayurveda, principles and treatments of ayurvedic medicine, diagnosis of Ayurveda and finally advantages of ayurvedic treatments and therapies.


Conclusion

Many scholars consider Ayurveda to be the oldest healing science. Ayurveda means "Science of Life" in Sanskrit. Ayurvedic awareness dates back over 5,000 years in India and is known as the "Mother of All Healing." It has its roots in ancient Vedic culture and has been passed down through the generations in an oral tradition from experienced masters to their students. Although some of this information was written down a few thousand years ago, much of it is still inaccessible. Many of the natural healing systems that are now common in the West, such as Homeopathy and Polarity Therapy, have their origins in Ayurveda.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is Ayurveda?

Ans: Ayurveda, also known as Ayurvedic medicine, is an ancient Indian medical system. Ayurvedic medicine is a well-organized form of conventional health care that is commonly practised in Asia, both preventative and curative. Ayurveda has a long history, with roots in India probably dating back over 3,000 years. It is still a common type of healthcare in many parts of the Eastern world, especially in India, where it is used exclusively or in combination with modern medicine by a large percentage of the population.

2. Who Invented Ayurveda?

Ans: Dhanvantari was the founder of Ayurveda. Dhanvantari, the Hindu god of medicine and former king of Varanasi, is a manifestation of Lord Vishnu. In the Puranas, he is referred to as the Ayurvedic god.

3. How Effective is Ayurvedic Medicine?

Ans: While several scientific publications have described Ayurvedic medicine and its components, only a few clinical trials using these methods have been published in Western medical journals. A few studies indicate that Ayurvedic preparations can help manage symptoms in people with type 2 diabetes and reduce pain and increase function in people with osteoarthritis, but the majority of these trials are small or poorly planned. There isn't any scientific evidence that Ayurveda can help with other health problems.