is considered by most medical historians to be the world’s
oldest system of Natural medicine, originating many thousands
of years ago in Ancient India. Many of the other systems
of Natural medicine such as Egyptian, Chinese,
Persian and Greek are believed to have their
roots in Ayurveda. It is a complete science of healthy,
balanced living, a genuinely holistic outlook encompassing the whole range
of life, inner and outer.
The healing tradition of Ayurveda
is strongly rooted in the culture of the Indian subcontinent.
There are 4 main types of Vedas – Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva.
Ayurveda is a derivative of mainly Atharva Veda, though
many Ayurvedic principles are referred to even in the
means Life and “Veda”
means Knowledge or Science. Therefore Ayurveda
means Knowledge or Science of Life. This ancient science of holistic
healing was practiced by the great sages or seers of ancient India many
thousands of years ago.
the principles of Ayurveda were taught orally by the
“Guru” (master) to his disciples (followers).
Only around 1000 B.C., a famous sage and Ayurvedic physician by
the name of “Charaka” compiled the principles of
Ayurveda and recorded them in a written form in his book entitled “Charaka
Samhita”, in the form of poetical verses called “sutras”
in Sanskrit. Sanskrit is further believed to be the origin
of all languages.
Similarly there were other
Ayurvedic physicians who also compiled the teachings
of Ayurveda in their books such as “Sushruta”
who wrote the “Sushruta Samhita”; Sharangdhara who
wrote the “Sharangdhara Samhita and there were
several others in their lineage.
At present many of the
Ayurvedic physicians use Ashtanga Hrdayam which is a concise
form of the earlier texts, developed over 1000 years ago.
of Health Assessment
According to Ayurveda,
an individual’s health problems are to be treated by considering
the individual as a whole. Ayurveda treats individuals as whole
units, and the different body parts and organs as fragmental
parts of the individuals. On a larger scale, even individuals are also
considered as fragmental parts of the whole universal creation.
For example, when an individual
experiences indigestion, an astute Ayurvedic practitioner will
not only consider his physical abdominal ailment, but
will also examine his emotional, psychological, mental and spiritual
attitudes and behaviour. Further, the diagnosis will include
how the weather, environment, seasons etc. are affecting
Ayurvedic principles dictate that an individual’s
good health is sustained by three main pillars i.e. Vata,
Pitta and Kapha. These three pillars are in turn made up of five
elements – Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. To
enjoy good health, it is imperative to maintain a balance amongst these
five elements. Any disturbance to the delicate harmony of these five elements
is the primary cause of ill-health and disease.
By taking advantage of the ancient Indian practice of pulse diagnosis
and having the pulse checked by an experienced practitioner, one can identify
one’s primary bodily constitution i.e. whether it is predominantly
Vata, Pitta or Kapha.
Then one can work on pacifying the aggravated elements and boosting the
weak elements in the body, simply by following the right diet for one’s
body type. Many diseases can be prevented and even cured in this
way, without the use of medication
The 3 principles of Naturopathy
1. Toxins – cause of disease
2. Disease – a vital process
3. Healing – from within
In a healthy individual,
waste matter is expelled from the body in the form of faeces,
urine, sweat etc. However, the unnatural lifestyle of
modern man, combined with the consumption of over-refined
foods, lack of exercise and a polluted environment, affect the
efficiency of the excretory system within the body. As a result, waste
matter & toxins accumulate in the body, and the result is disease.
Disease is Nature’s
way of correcting what is wrong within the body. For example,
when we catch a cold or cough, the body is trying to cleanse the respiratory
system. Similarly, when excessive wastes have accumulated, the body uses
extra energy to throw them out. This often causes the body heat to increase,
resulting in a fever.
We are blessed by Mother
Nature with tremendous self healing and self constructing powers.
If maintained well, the body is powerful enough to cure and preserve itself.
If disease does occur, naturopathy simply assists the
body in dispelling the toxins and healing itself. Naturopathy
aids the body to cure itself by nature cure treatments like fasting, water
therapies, diet, exercise, yoga and other alternative methods.