Ayurveda is a system of traditional alternative medicine native to India. The name Ayurveda is derived from Sanskrit language where āyus, means "longevity", and veda, means "related to knowledge" or "science". Therefore, Ayurveda is commonly mentioned as the science of life. Ayurveda is complementary form of medicine that focuses rather on prevention than curing of the disease. This discipline has been practiced in India for at least 5,000 years, and it has recently become popular all over the world for its diverse benefits.
Principles of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is grounded on the theory of five elements: earth, fire, air, water and ether. All things in universe, including the human body, are made from combination of these elements. To live healthy is to keep these elements well balanced. The goal of Ayurveda is to treat and prevent illnesses through well balanced diet, drinking, lifestyle, practices and herbal remedies. However, it doesn’t only work on the body, but also balances the mind and consciousness. According to Ayurveda, disease results from an imbalance in the doshas. Doshas are regulatory principles and each human being possesses unique combination of doshas. Therefore, the proper treatment is tailored for each patient individually, paying a lot of attention to every single detail.
Doshas in Ayurveda
According to Ayurveda, each individual is completely different from the rest of the humanity. Each person has a specific and distinct combination of various characteristics, including mental, physical and emotional. However, a rough classification is possible, since there are three general types of doshas, present in every person.
Vata is named after a Hindi deity, the Lord of the winds. This is the air principle and one of the five great elements. Vata is energy that flows across the body, often associated with motion, blood circulation, heartbeat, and also with breathing. When vata is out of balance, people typically feel anxious and frightened.
Pitta refers to the energy that controls body’s metabolic system. It is associated with body temperature, absorption of nutrients, digestion, and all other vital processes. When this dosha is out of balance, a patient is usually very angry and may suffer from different types of ulcers.Kapha relates to the water principle and it controls the growth of the body, hydration of the tissues and working of the immune system. If this dosha is well balanced, a person will be calm, full of love and understanding. However, if kapha is out of balance people will feel insecure and may start suffering from envy.