Ayurveda is the oldest and holistic system of medicine with its historical roots from India. The science (VEDA) that deals with the life (AYU) is called Ayurveda. Vedas consider Ayurveda as a gift of Gods to the mankind propounded from Lord “Brahma’’.
Ayurveda is considered as Upaveda (branch or sub-text) of Atharvana Veda. Ayurveda emphasizes that health and wellness of a person depends on the balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Its main goal is to promote and preserve good health (add years to life and life to years), and to completely eradicate disease and dysfunction in the body.
Ayurveda defines Health as :-
“ SAMADOSHAHA SAMAAGNISHCHA SAMADHATU MALAKRIYAHA I
PRASANNAATMENDRIYAMANAHA SWASTHA ITYAABHIDEEYATE II ”
Health is the equilibrium state of Dosha (Bodily energies), Dhatu (Bodily tissue), proper digestion and metabolism (Agni), proper expulsion of Mala (Metabolic waste) with enthusiastic and energetic mind, body and soul. Any disturbance in equilibrium of above components leads to disease.
TRIDOSHA & PANCHA MAHABHUTA
Ayurveda believes that every person and everything in this universe is made up of five basic elements of Earth, water, fire, air & space. These combine in the human body to form three life forces/bodily humor or energies, called doshas. They control how your body works. They are Vata dosha (space and air) Pitta dosha (fire and water) & Kapha dosha (water and earth).
Everyone acquires a unique mix of the three doshas. But one dosha is usually stronger than the other. Each dosha controls a different body function. The chance of getting sick and health issues in body are developed because of the imbalance of these doshas.
Most powerful of all three doshas. It controls very basic body functions like breathing, All the movements in the body, blood flows, functions of heart, and ability to get rid of waste through your intestines,cell divisions, etc., Vata dosha also controls your mind.
This energy controls your digestion, metabolism (how well you break down foods), and certain hormones that are linked to your appetite.
This life force controls muscle growth, body strength and stability, weight, virility and immune system.
These are the seven basic tissues that make up the body and are collectively called as Sapta Dhatus. They are Rasa (Plasma), Rakta (blood), Mamsa (muscle), Medas (Fat), Asthi (bone), Majja (Bone Marrow) and Shukra (Reproductive Tissues).
HOW TO MAINTAIN HEALTH (SWASTHAVRUTTA)
As Ayurveda focuses on the safeguarding positive health, several guidelines have been mentioned in order to prevent from diseases. Some of the main practices include:
How To Maintain Health (SWASTHAVRUTTA)
Health should be maintained by the following practices.
Intake of diet (Ahara) must be done as per the appetite & digestion only. Food should be taken after the digestion of previous meal digested. Food intake must not exceed 2/3rd of the capacity of the stomach. Consume light food only, Avoid Heavy diet all the times. In Ayurveda prime importance hasbeen given to Agni (Digestive fire) which plays a crucial role in the maintenance of health.
Activities done during a day decides our status of health in the future days. Hence strict guidelines have been mentioned by Acharyas like- Waking up 45 min before sunrise in the Brahma Muhurtha, Brushing the teeth using herbal twigs (Avoid bed coffee/tea before brushing), Application of collyrium to the eyes, Gargling with medicated oil (oil pulling), Body massage with oil, Physical exercise up to half of the body strength/energy only, Bathing etc.
The seasonal regimen has to be followed as per the season. This helps in controlling the imbalance of the doshas happening due to the climatic conditions and further prepares us for the challenges in upcoming season.
Due importance has been given to the voluntary and involuntary urges in Ayurveda. Involuntarily urges are Urination, Defaecation, Sneezing, Belching, Hunger, Thirst, Tears, Sleep, Vomiting etc., If these involuntary urges are withheld for longer duration, it produces systemic diseases. In the same manner Acharyas have advised to control the Voluntary urges (DHARANEEYA VEGA) like Greediness(Lobha), Grief (Shoka), Fear (Bhaya), Anger (Krodha), Ego (Ahankar), Envy (Irshya), Passion (Kama), Arrogance (Mada), Anguish (Vishada) etc.,
Three supporting pillars of body for healthy life are
1. Sleep (Nidra)
2. Food (Ahara)
3. Celibacy (Brahmacharya).
Abuse of these three leads to diseases. By practising the above mentioned diet and regimen, one can lead a healthy life, happily.