AYURVEDA” is made up of two words- Ayur and Veda. Ayur means life and Veda means knowledge or science. Thus “AYURVEDA” in totality means ‘Science of life’. It incorporates all aspects of life physical, psychological, spiritual and social. It differs from conventional medicine in the basic principles of investigation and assigning causes to processes rather than specific areas of physiology.
There is no harm in taking other medicines along with Ayurvedic medicines. As there is no drug-interaction between Ayurvedic medicines and medicines of other systems, so they can be taken according to the need or as directed by the physician.
Yes, Ayurvedic medicines are very safe as they are made from the rich herbs of the nature. Since herbs and plants are used for making these medicines, the side effects are nil.
Universe as well as human body is made up of five basic elements collectively called ‘Panch Mahabhootas’. These are Aakash (Ether), Vayu (Air), Agni (Fire), Aapa (Water) and Prithvi (Earth). The sixth mandatory component of life is Atma (life spirit) without which life ceases. The human body is made up of Doshas (Bio-humors), Dhatus (Body matrix) and Malas (excretal products). Vita, Pita and Kappa, known as Tridoshs are physiological entities of the body which are responsible for carrying out all the functions of the body. Dhatus are the structural entities of the body. These are Rasa (Plasma), Rakta (Blood cells), Mamsa (Muscular tissue), Meda (Fatty tissue), Asthi (Bony tissue), Majja (Bone marrow) and Shukra (Hormonal and other secretions of genital). Agni (Metabolic fire) is in thirteen different forms and carries out the whole metabolism of the body.
The waste products of the body which are excretal are produced in the body as bye-products of metabolism.
These are known as malas which include pureesh (faeces), Sweda (sweat) and Mutra (urine). All biotransformation within the body occur through Srotases (body channels) which are the sites for action of agni.
As per Ayurveda, ‘Health’ is a state of equilibrium of normal functions of doshas, Dhatus, malas and Agni with delighted body, mind and soul. It means that when Dosh-Dhatu-Malas and Agni are constantly in a state of functional equilibrium, then the health is maintained. Otherwise distortion of the equilibrium results into diseases. Erratic lifestyle is believed to be one of the basic causes behind the failure of mechanism of maintaining equilibrium. Treatment either with or without drugs and application of specific rules of diet, activity and mental status as described, disease wise, brings back the state of equilibrium i.e. health.
There exists eight divisions of Ayurvedic therapeutics, namely Kayachikitsa (Internal medicine), Shalya (Surgery), Shalkya (Otorhinolaryngology and Ophthalmology), Kaumr Bhritya (Paediatrics, Gynecology and Obstetrics) Agad tantra (Toxicology), Rasayana (Gerentorology), Vajikaran (Aphrodisiacs) and Bhoot Vidya (Psychiatry).The principles of treatment are Shodhan (purificatory), Shaman (palliative and conservative), Nidan parivarjan (avoidance of causative and prescipitating factors of disease) and Pathya Vyavastha (do’s and don’ts regarding diets lifestyle). Shodhan therapy includes Vamana (medically induced emesis), Virechana (medically induced laxation), Vasti (medicated enema), shirovirechana (administration of medicines through nose) and Raktmokshan (Blood letting). These therapeutic procedures are collectively known as Panchkarma. Before executing Panch karma treatment Snehan (oelation) and Swedan (getting perspiration) are too employed first.
Ayurveda has a wide scope as far as the prevention of disease; promotion of health and its preservation are concerned. Lifestyle rules mentioned in Ayurvedic texts if applied rigorously give definite results. Lifestyle related diseases, drug abuse, degenerative diseases, auto immune diseases and certain metabolic and allergic disorders are well manageable with Ayurvedic techniques and medicaments.
About 20 years back, W.H.O. adopted Traditional Medicine programme in conjunction with the goal of health for all with the adoption of primary health care approach. W.H.O. has an open mind on Traditional Medicine. However, it endorses only that therapy which has solid scientific evidence with no toxicity. In view of this Ayurveda is duly recognized by W.H.O.