Overview of Áyurveda

Ayurveda, the “science of life,” or longevity, is the holistic alternative science from India, and is more than 5,000 years old. It is believed to be the oldest healing science in existence, forming the foundation of all others. Buddhism, Taoism, Tibetan, and other cultural medicines have many similar parallels to Áyurveda. The secret of Áyurveda’s individualized healing method was preserved in India, whereas it has been lost or superseded in other cultures. The First World Medicine Áyurveda (pronounced Aa-yer-vay-da), said to be a world medicine, is the most holistic or … Continue reading

Consitutions and Diseases

  Ayurveda, according to Charak Saåhitá, was a scientific and logical interpretation, in which tridoßha theory was enumerated along with man- agement of Váyu, Pitta, and Kapha. Nature was seen as uniform, and rational knowledge was em- phasized over the supernatural. Symposia were held for practitioners to express opinions and to arrive at an accepted view of truth. Lord Átreya presided over the talks.

Three Mental Qualities: Sattwa, Rajas, Tamas

The three guòas, sattwa, rajas, and tamas are found in nature and in the mind, paralleling the three doßhas of the body. Sattwa, or purity, is the preferred mental state because a person with this quality is calm, alert, kind, and thoughtful. A per- son whose mind is predominantly rajasic (too ac- tive) is always seeking diversions (incessant ac- tivity). The tamasic-predominant mind is a dull, lethargic mind.

The Human Universe

The Vedic scriptures say that there is an inextricable link between humans and the universe. The very elements of human life exist outside in the cosmos as well. As the poet Walt Whitman said, “I believe a blade of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.” In or- der to understand the universe and environmental situations, and to understand human health con- cerns, one needs to appreciate the common link between them: the elements of creation.

Underlying Causes of Health: Agni, Áma and Ojas

The main cause of illness is a poor digestive system. If the digestive fire (agni) does not burn strongly enough, foods do not get digested. If food is not digested, nutrients cannot be absorbed. When foods do not get digested, they sit and accumulate in the colon, becoming a breeding ground for yeast infections, toxins, gas, and constipation. Undi- gested foods are called áma. Áma is the root cause of most problems in the body, resulting from ex- cess Váyu or Kapha (or both). If the agni burns too much, … Continue reading