Ayurveda Demystified

April 09, 2008

I just attended a wonderful 2 day workshop organized by Associated Chambers of Commerce, Ayurvedic Drug Manufacturers Association of India and National Medicinal Plants Board. The workshop was about promoting herbs, herbal products and Ayurveda in USA and western countries.

I am taking the first step in my own way to demystify Ayurveda for those who are still wondering….

Some Facts about Ayurveda :

  • Ayurveda is a combination of two Sanskrit words : “Ayu” meaning life, and Veda meaning “Science/Knowledge”. Therefore Ayurveda, literally means Knowledge of Life.
  • Indians believe that Ayurveda originated more than 5000 years ago around the time of Ramayana, the great epic of Indian Gods which itself is several millenia old.
  • Ayurveda was discovered by Lord Dhanwantri, the physician of the Gods.

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  • Ayurveda was brought to the human race by Lord Charaka who wrote the “Veda” or treatise by the name of “Charaka Samhita”
  • Lord Sushruta, later, wrote his own compendium called the “Sushruta Samhita” which has several amendments from that written by Charaka.
  • Ayurveda is a combination of Yoga and Herbal Science, where it delves into medicinal properties of herbs and their effect on the Human body.
  • More than 4000 herbs are manuscripted and detailed in Ayurveda, out of which 1000 are commonly used in modern-day supplements and medicines. Throughout the ages, many different types of poly-herbal formulas have been discovered, tried, tested and perfected.
  • Ayurveda also details different methods of preparation and processing of these herbs, such as – roasting them in ghee (Clarified butter), fermenting them to make wines (Asavas), preparing their concentrated powdered extracts (Qwaths) etc. Some of the Ayurvedic preparations are known as Bhasmas (calcined metal ores), Lehyams (decoctions), Vatis (Tablets), Choornas (Powders), Rasas (Juices) etc.
  • Ayurveda also deals with various naturally-occuring minerals (Dhatus), for example – Shilajit
  • In addition to the herbs it uses, the secret of Ayurveda lies in the therapies …. most importantly, the Panchkarma Therapy. The Panchkarma is a five-part process which aims to detoxify and purify the whole body.
  • Ayurveda tries to define each problem or disorder in terms of imbalance of Doshas or bodily humours. You can find out your Dosha here.

Regards,

Puneet

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