Ayurveda or the “science of life” originated in the 10th century BC, but its current form took shape between the 5th century BC and the 5th century AD. Ayurvedic philosophy is attached to sacred texts of the Vedas, and based on the theory of Panchmahabhutas — all objects and living bodies are composed of the five basic elements: earth, water, fire, air, and sky. These elements also represent Tridoshas in human body – vata, pitta, kapha. Ether represents the sky. Similarly, there is a fundamental harmony between the environment and individuals, which is perceived as a macrocosm and microcosm relationship. As such, acting on one influences the other.
Ayurveda is not only a system of medicine, but also a way of living. It is used to both prevent and cure diseases. It encompasses a wide range of techniques to treat illness and encourage general wellbeing, including:
Unlike the animals, humans live in a more complicated nature where they are perpetually exposed to environment change: weather, society and economy, lifestyle, diet, work, financial status, emotions and relationships. Any of these external changes can easily tip the balance and jeopardize the individual’s state of mind, body and soul. Hence, the meaning of Ayurveda; two Sanskrit words: Ayu which means life and Veda which means the knowledge of. To know about life is Ayurveda and according to the ancient Ayurvedic scholar Charaka, "ayu" is comprised of four essential parts: the combination of mind, body, senses and the soul. With Ayurveda healing, the purpose is not just to bring remedy to an ailment but also to bring harmony.
In Ayurveda, when the body dosha balance of vata-pitta-Kapha is agitated or in disorder, or if any of these types are accumulated, the individual may become unwell. Doshas and toxins accumulate in the body as a result of an improper diet and lifestyle. The seasonal accumulation of doshas is also described in Ayurveda. Panchkarma, a purifying therapy to enhance the metabolic process through food and herbal medicines, is used in treatment of chronic diseases as well as seasonal imbalance of the tridoshas. It restores the balance of the doshas and flushes out the accumulated toxins from the body.
A set of preliminary detoxification and (toxin) reducing methods are followed for a period of a week or more. These are known as the ‘PurvaKarma’ which consists of the following steps; Snehan (oleation therapy).
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