One of the most well-known ancient medical systems that has endured and thrived for decades is ayurveda. The vast knowledge of nature-based medicine, the relationship between the structure and function of the human body and nature, and the elements of the cosmos that interact and have an impact on living things ensure that this system will continue to thrive for centuries to come. The field’s researchers, practitioners, and experts, who are charged with preserving and fostering the future development of traditional systems of medicine (TSMs), still have a lot of opportunities to investigate.
However, there is a gap in the sharing of information from systems around the world because of numerous hurdles, including a lack of literary sources in other languages and a lack of knowledge about the fundamental ideas and histories of systems from various ethnic origins. When accompanied by the collaborative work of researchers from various countries, knowledge of systems from various ethnic origins would promote knowledge exchange and increase understanding of various systems, and this could ultimately contribute to integration and advancement of herbal drug research.
When one learns about the systems, the principles, and the histories, and tries to strengthen the qualities that are shared by the numerous TSMs, these futuristic goals can be achieved. To support the aforementioned viewpoints, it has been attempted to present the foundational concept and history of Ayurveda in this review.
There have been several reviews of Ayurveda to date. However, very few studies go into great length into the fundamental ideas and background of Ayurveda.
The history of Ayurveda dates back to the second century BC. The ancient schools of Hindu philosophy known as Vaisheshika and the school of logic known as Nyaya formed the groundwork for ayurveda. It was founded at the same time as the Nyaya and Vaisheshika schools of thought, and it is connected to the manifestation framework known as Samkhya.
The Vaisheshika School advocated drawing conclusions and forming opinions on a patient’s pathological condition in order to guide treatment. As opposed to this, Nyaya School taught that before beginning treatment, one should have a thorough understanding of the patient’s condition as well as the state of the disease.
Basic Doctrines of Ayurveda
According to Ayurveda, the five elements Vayu (Air), Jala (Water), Aakash (Space or ether), Prithvi (Earth), and Teja make up the entirety of the cosmos (Fire). In different combinations, these five elements—known in Ayurveda as Pancha Mahabhoota—are said to make up the three primary humors of the human body. The Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas—collectively known as the “Tridoshas”—are the three humors that govern the body’s fundamental physiological processes. Each of the three doshas also has five subdoshas.
According to Ayurveda, the body is made up of the Sapta Dhatus (seven tissues), Rasa (tissue fluids), Meda (fat and connective tissue), Rakta (blood), Asthi (bones), Majja (marrow), Mamsa (muscle), and Shukra (semen), as well as three Malas (body waste products), Purisha (feces), Mutra (urine), and Sweda (sweat). Dryness intensifies the effects of the vata dosha, which regulates cellular transport, electrolyte balance, and waste product disposal. Body temperature, synchronization of the visual nerves, and control of appetite and thirst are all governed by the Pitta dosha. Pitta is made worse by heat conditions in the body.
Sweet and fatty foods enhance kapha dosha and lubricate the joints to ensure proper joint function. It is claimed that Vata controls the body’s catabolism, Pitta controls its metabolism, and Kapha controls its anabolism. Maintaining a balance between the three doshas and other elements is necessary for good health. Any unbalance between the three results in a diseased or unhealthy state. According to Ayurveda, a healthy condition of living can be achieved by adhering to the precepts of divine wisdom and maintaining a perfect balance between the elements of nature and the Tridoshas of the human body. The term “Sapta Dhatus” refers to the seven different types of tissues that make up the human body.
The efficient physiological operation of the human body depends on the cooperation of these seven tissues. The Rakta Dhatu, which resembles blood, controls the movement of blood cells and the delivery of blood constituents to the body. The Mamsa Dhatu (muscular tissue) gives the Meda Dhatu support in the form of skeletal muscles (adipose fat). The Majja Dhatu is made up of the bone marrow and fluids necessary for the oleation of the bones and their proper function, whereas the Asthi Dhatu is made up of the body’s bones. The reproductive systems of the body are operated by the Shukra Dhatu.
The Tri Malas and Trayo Dosa Agni are two additional significant aspects taken into account in the concept of Ayurveda in addition to the Doshas and Dhatus. The three different forms of waste products known as Tri Malas are produced by the body’s metabolic and digestive processes. The Mutra (urine), Purisa (feces), and Sveda make up this group (sweat). According to Ayurveda, if the equilibrium between the Tridoshas is not preserved, the body’s waste products are not adequately eliminated, and this results in further difficulties such as diarrhea, constipation, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and other issues. Urinary tract infections, cystitis, and stomach pain can result from not getting the Mutra Mala (urine) out of the body.
Skin irritability issues and an incorrect fluid balance can result from the body’s failure to remove the Sveda Mala. According to Ayurvedic teachings, the biological fire that powers the body’s entire metabolic process is referred to as “Agni.” The digestive fire category, known as Jatharagni, is the most significant of the thirteen kinds of agni found in a human body. Jatharagni is closely related to the body’s Pitta and, ultimately, Vatta. Pitta levels will rise along with any associated symptoms if the body’s digestive fire is aggravated by conditions when there is an increase in acidity. The control of regular microbiota, healthy digestive processes, and the delivery of energy to the entire body depend on digestive fire. Any changes to its equilibrium cause the gastrointestinal system discomfort and lead to pathological consequences such as ulcers, diarrhea, and constipation. Ayurveda offers a variety of therapeutic options for boosting health in individuals by taking into account a person’s physical makeup, pathological history, dosha traits, lifestyle, and environmental factors in their daily lives.
Current Status of Ayurveda
Ayurveda has undergone a dramatic paradigm shift in recent decades, and scholars’ perspectives on its uses have also changed significantly. Ayurvedic medicinal ideas emphasize prakriti and tridoshas, which explain that each person has a distinct constitution known as prakriti. Prakriti ascertains how each person typically reacts to drugs, environmental circumstances, and nutritional considerations. The recently developed field of research known as “Ayurgenomics” fills this gap between genomics and ayurveda and helps to understand how different individuals respond differently to treatments for various diseases. It places a special emphasis on examining inter-individual differences in patients with similar racial backgrounds. The necessity for personalized medicines, probable side effects, and a lack of desired therapeutic efficacy are some of the limitations of western medicine that TSMs are increasingly being looked to as a viable remedy for. It can be made more widely accepted globally by combining knowledge of contemporary analytical techniques with a larger viewpoint on applications of Ayurvedic principles. To preserve this ancient, very effective system of medicine as a living tradition in the future, there is an increasing need to demonstrate and advance the scientific foundation of its tenets. When it comes to companies that utilize this rich philosophical knowledge of medicine, look no further than Nourish Mantra.
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Ayurveda, thus, means “knowledge of life.” Ayurveda promotes specific lifestyle interventions and natural remedies to restore harmony between the body, mind, spirit, and environment because it bases its theory on the notion that disease results from an imbalance or stress in a person’s consciousness. An internal cleansing procedure is the first step in an Ayurvedic treatment regimen, which is then followed by a particular diet, herbal treatments, massage therapy, yoga, and meditation.
The fundamental tenets of ayurveda medicine are the ideas of universal connection, bodily constitution (prakriti), and life forces (doshas). The person benefits from treatment when pollutants are removed, symptoms are decreased, illness resistance is increased, worry is decreased, and life harmony is increased. Ayurvedic medicine makes considerable use of oils, spices, and other plants, including herbs.
Understanding that being “healthy” is your natural state is central to ayurveda. A balanced state results from when you and your surroundings are in equilibrium; if the contrary happens, nature is out of balance. For instance, it is just a matter of being out of balance whether you experience anxiety or have health problems like constipation or generalized lethargic behavior.