Ayurveda – The Science of Life
Ayurveda, the term comprises of two words- AYU and VEDA which literally means the knowledge of life. Though a very big and complex question, let me try to simplify it for you. Ayurveda is not just about use of herbs or a rule-book of diet. Nor is it only about Panchakarma or massage. Ayurveda is a science of life. By definition, Ayurveda is a science which describes or gives knowledge of principles to achieve the goal of healthy living.
Ayurveda deals with its own principle, to achieve a healthy life. It has got principles of 3 doshas- Vaata, Pitta, Kapha (bodily bio-elements), 5 Mahabhutas-The 5 Great Elements, Physiology, Pathogenesis and Treatment Principles. Ayurveda perceives everybody as individuals with a unique constitutional makeup (Prakruti). It also uses the concept of Manas Prakruti (i.e. mental constitutions) while treatment. Concept of Agni (digestive fire), Nidan (importance of causative factor) and Pathya (wholesome diet and habits) makes it stronger in treatment.
A very important aspect of Rasayan (chemistry) has been described in text and used by Ayurvedic practitioners with different motives like, rebuilding the strength of a person or to maintain it and even to enhance it. There are 8 different branches of Ayurveda which can concisely explain the extent of science
Internal Medicine (Káyachikitsá) This is related to the soul, mind & body.
Ears, Nose, and Throat (shálákya Tantra)
Toxicology (Vishagara–vairodh Tantra)
Pediatrics (Kaumára bhritya)
Surgery (Shalyá Tantra)
Psychiatry (Graha Cikitsa)
Aphrodisiacs (Vájikarana) i.e. dealing with Potency issues
One of the aspects of Ayurveda, is to deal with healthy and unhealthy individuals. You might be surprised when I say healthy individuals, but there lies the principle of Ayurveda to treat the unhealthy individual gain his/her health and to maintain health of a healthy person. Thus, Ayurvedic practitioners are never surprised to see a person who approaches them with a wish of healthy lifestyle using the Ayurvedic principles.
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