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Ayurveda- The science
When I hear people saying Ayurveda means dry herbs, decoctions, bitter medicines and that too for longer periods as they are slow acting; a question arises in my mind – do these people really know Ayurveda? Ayurveda is an ancient Indian health care system having its origin in Vedic culture and yet we come across such statements from our very own community! Sadly, Ayurveda is now a days considered an “Alternative medicine”. After the British reign, there is a need to educate society about our own science. Listening to such public statements and being an Ayurvedic physician myself, I feel it is my duty to promote awareness about Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is a medical science. Science means a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge. Scientific knowledge is always based on principles and these principles are established after experimentation. Things like time and locality may change, but principles never change. Ayurveda means knowledge of life and longevity (Ayur- life, Veda-knowledge). This science aims at ensuring that, everybody is in his or her own optimal state of wellness and if at all any health problem occurs, Ayurveda will cure it so that individual can regain health. It is not a mere system of treating diseases but offers happy, healthy long lives. It has a very broad spectrum.
For being well, we should take care of our body. Ayurveda has Swasthavritta for heathy people. Our day to day things like diet, behavior, thoughts etc. all come under this Swasthavritta. To know how these things should be, you have to go through this-
Dinacharya- right from the time you get up from bed till the time you sleep, what you are supposed to do, when and by which sequence – all of this covered in Dinacharya. Eg. You should exercise daily; but then of which type, how much, when etc.
Rutucharya- seasonal changes in the climate affect our body too. Hence, we need to take food according to season, our behavior should be favorable. Seasonal Panchakarma treatment should be taken to remove vitiated Doshas (the three biological humors – Vata, Pitta, Kapha) from body. Eg. in rainy season we should have light (easy to digest), hot food. Should not drink dirty or contaminated water and get Basti (Panchkarma) done to avoid disorders of vitiated Vata dosha.
Aahara- you should know which food has what impact on body and then eat the things that suit your Prakruti (the constitution), avoiding the troublesome. Ayurveda mentions which food items must be consumed, in what quantity, at what time and in what manner. Similarly, when, in what quantity and; which kind of drinks or water must you have?
Things to be avoided- sleep, thirst, hunger, sneeze, urine – motion urge etc. are some natural tendencies which you should never neglect. If you do so frequently, it harms.
If we fail to follow these basic principles, it reflects in our body and this is how health problems arise. According to Ayurveda disorders are of two type viz.- nija and aagantu. Nija means those caused by ourselves and aagantu are due to external factors. For eg. If a person had too much of Basundi and he gets loose motions with abdominal discomfort, then it is a nija disease. On the other hand, a person sincerely following all health precautions got a jerk by some roadside vehicle, he felt and had a wound then it is an aagantu disease. If we list up different types of health problems, majority are nija only. Diseases emerge as a result of reasons which are caused by ourselves.
Ayurveda deals with a disease in three ways, viz. causes, symptoms and treatment. It is very important to find out specific reasons and stop them immediately; otherwise patient suffers with the same for longer period or on and off frequently as the reasons continue. That’s why Ayurveda treats illness at its source, rather than at the level of symptoms. The disease is diagnosed accurately on the basis of it’s symptoms. Patient is examined by Darshana (by direct observation), Sparshana (by touching), Prashna (by asking related questions). Nadi (pulse), tongue, urine, stools, prakruti of the diseased, which doshas (vata, pitta, kapha) are vitiated, whom (rakta, mansa, mootra etc. bodily tissues) they have vitiated, all these things are examined. Exact pathological process of that disease in that particular patient is looked for by interlinking all these. Then the certain drug is chosen as per the disorder and considering the factors like age of the patient, prakruti of patient, body build, power, habits, mental status etc. That’s the reason why Ayurveda never suggests same medicine for ten people carrying the same disease. Each patient is considered separately and then treated accordingly. Ayurveda believes in the treatment of not just the affected part, but the individual as a whole.
In short, if we start following the diet, lifestyle which suits our individual prakruti, our immunity will grow. We can enjoy life being healthy throughout. It is difficult to follow everything every time because of our fast and busy life schedules which ultimately leads to health issues. To get out of this and to achieve own optimal health back, Ayurveda is the only option which finds the root cause and corrects with natural medications.
Vd. Sonal Darekar- Sahane
Satmya Ayurveda And Panchkarma Clinic