The wisdom of life.
Ayurveda means knowledge of life in Sanskrit - AYUR meaning life and VEDA meaning knowledge. Ayurveda is an intricate system of healing, indigenous to India and Kerala in particular. It was a secret revealed to the sages by Brahma, The Creator. It employs naturalistic methods based on 'Panchakarma' to prevent and treat diseases and also to slow - down the ageing process. The cultural heritage of Kerala and Ayurveda are closely interwoven.
Ayurveda physicians believe that they can promote perfect health of body, mind and soul by administrering drugs and treatments based exclusively on herbs, leaves, bark and roots and even stems of certain shrubs. Also included in the list of ingredients that go into ayurveda medicines are spices and occasionally precious metals like silver and gold in purified powdered form. These drugs complemented by a strict diet and daily medicated oil massages, have been known to lead to complete cures, some quite miraculous. Ayurveda treats the root cause of the disease, eradicates it and enhances immunity.
In ayurveda every individual is uniquely made up of five elements. These elements are Ether (space), Air, Fire, Water and Earth. They combine to create all physiological functions also called three doshas - Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Vata is the combination of ether and air. It is seen as a force that directs nerve impulses, circulation, respiration and elimination.Pitta is the equilibrium between fire and water. It controls the process of transformation or metabolism for example, digestion. Kapha is the combination of water and earth elements. It is responsible for growth and offers protection. Any imbalance among these three will lead to health disorders.
The proportion of Vata, Pitta and Kapha varies from person to person. Ayurveda is thus a customized and holistic mode of treatment. Every individual has a different constitution and thus it designs treatment protocols that specifically address a person's health challenges. Ayurveda will suggest a specific lifestyle with nutritional guidelines to assist the individual in reducing the doshas (vata, pitta and kapha) that have become excessive.
Herbal supplements are suggested to speed up the healing process. If toxins are abundant then a cleansing process is recommended to eliminate the toxins.