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What is the Basic Concept Behind Ayurveda?

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  • What is the Basic Concept Behind Ayurveda?


    Ayurveda Treatment describes the process of life as a highly dynamic one where the different functions in the body are harmoniously integrated.

    This harmony has to be preserved for a person to be healthy and requires some basic factors like proper diet, proper balance of mental and physical rest and activity, adaptations to changes in the environment etc. Even in spite of taking care of all these factors, certain factors like the genetic make-up of a person, micro-organisms, exposure to harmful and poisonous substances in-advertently or otherwise, and aging etc tend to skew the equilibrium disrupting certain functions in the body.

    Any disturbance to any function also disturbs the other functions. For example, when a person’s digestion is not proper, he may not have a proper bowel movement, which will make him feel heavy, and bloated, which could then precipitate a headache, it could disturb his sleep which in turn could aggravate his digestive process and so on creating vicious circles leading to more and more chronic diseases.

    The body of a healthy person in the meanwhile tries to re-establish the harmony with some support from the person. Like, if the person doesn’t over feed himself on feeling heavy, the body gets over the initial problem and thereby prevents the chain of events.

    When the harmony is upset in a number of functions and particularly with growing age, the ability of the body to bounce back to normalcy gets hampered. With more and more functions getting upset the problems get into more complications and become irreversible or not fully curable.

    If the tissues are damaged beyond repair and likely to be the cause of problem to other tissue in the body, surgical removal of the diseased tissue is recommended.

    Ayurveda has a very holistic concept comprising of various approaches to help the body re-establish the harmony by addressing the problem at the different levels.


    For minor disruptions in health, the approach comprises of identifying the type of functional aberration and using appropriate interventions to re-establish normalcy.
    Ayurveda Treatment recommends a number of safe and effective herbal combinations , dietary modifications and lifestyle changes which help bring back the functions to normalcy. This approach is called samana. This approach is helpful in curing mild to moderate diseases and in palliative care of chronic diseases. Therapies and medications to control specific diseases and those meant to correct specific functions also come under this form of therapy.


    Where the disease process involves the production of toxic chemicals – Ama (free radicals) in the body, in the most chronic diseases and as routine procedure, Ayurveda Treatment recommends a systematic process of detoxification as a first and foremost step in the therapeutic intervention.
    If the level of toxicity is mild, fasting or restricted food and giving rest to the body will help to achieve the objective.
    If the level of toxicity is moderate, fasting / restricted food, rest and administration of herbal combinations that aid the natural detoxification mechanism ( Paachanam) is the approach of choice.
    If the level of toxicity if high as with chronic diseases, Ayurveda Treatment recommends a thorough detoxification (Sodhanam ) through the use of Panchakarma – The five therapeutic forms of detoxification. They are Emesis (Vamana), Purgation ( Virechana), Medicated Hyper tonic enema ( Nirooha), Medicated oil enema ( Anuvasana) and Nasal cleansing (Nasyam).
    Preceding the administration of detoxification therapies, preparatory therapies like oil saturation (Snehenam) and induced sweating (Swedanam) are used to mobilise the toxicity from all parts of the body to the Gastrointestinal tract to help the system eliminate them.


    Chronic diseases debilitate and destroy the tissues in the body and so Ayurveda Treatment describes a very specialised form of therapy to prevent and reverse the damage to tissues in the body caused by various diseases. These are called as Rasayanam – Tissue repair therapy. Many herbs and herbal preparations have been described in Ayurveda to combat the harmful effects of different types of diseases affecting different tissues.
    Food Medicine & Poison – for Treatment

    If the diseases process is very mild, appropriate interventions in food itself could be adequate to correct the disease. Eg, an attack of Diarrhoea can very well be treated by avoiding heavy, oily and spicy food and administering buttermilk.
    If the disease is of moderate intensity it may be necessary to also use specific herbal combinations Nutraceuticals (Most Ayurvedic medicines come under this category) which are extremely safe but more effective than food.
    If the disease process is severe or life threatening, Ayurveda Treatment recommends the use of substances that are not generally safe or even poisonous (They are unfit for consumption by normal people) but are powerful enough to control the disease are to be used. Most allopathic medicines come under this category. The idea is to control the disease and then try to switch over to the milder form of therapy once the acute phase is overcome.

    AVN Arogya Ayurvedic Hospital,

  • #2
    Wow, nice information AvnArogya. Its helpful for everyone.
    Last edited by ayurvedic; 07-13-2017, 08:24 AM.
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    • #3
      Very useful info about ayurvedic medicines..thank you dude..
      Last edited by ayurvedic; 07-13-2017, 08:24 AM.
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      • #4
        Ayurveda means ‘Science of Life’. It deals with each and every aspect of human life. It’s first objective is to maintain the health and happiness while the next is to manage and restore the status of health and productive state of mind. Ayurveda offers wonderful tools for better life style. It gives equal importance to our body, mind and soul ; therefore works with holistic approach.

        The Body Matrix

        Life in Ayurveda is conceived as the union of body, senses, mind and soul. The living man is a conglomeration of three humours
        (Vata, Pitta &Kapha), seven basic tissues (Rasa, Rakta, Mansa, Meda, Asthi, Majja & Shukra) and the waste products(Mala) of the body such as faeces, urine and sweat. Thus the total body matrix comprises of the humours, the tissues and the waste products of the body. The growth and decay of this body matrix and its constituents revolve around food which gets processed into humours, tissues and wastes. Ingestion, digestion, absorption, assimilation and metabolism of food have an interplay in health and disease which are significantly affected by psychological mechanisms as well as by bio- fire(Agni).


        The Five Basic Elements

        According to Ayurveda all objects in the universe including human body are composed of five basic elements (Panchamahabhutas) namely, Akash (Ether), Vayu (Air), Agni (Fire), Jala (Water) and Prithvi (Earth). There is a balanced condensation of these elements in different proportions to suit the needs and requirements of different structures and functions of the body matrix and its parts. The growth and development of the body matrix depends on its nutrition, i.e. on food. The food, in turn, is composed of the above five elements, which replenish or nourish the like elements of the body after the action of bio-fire (Agni). The tissues of the body are the structural whereas humours are physiological entities, derived from different combinations and permutations of Panchamahabhutas.

        Health and Sickness

        Health or sickness depends on the presence or absence of a balanced state of the total body matrix including the balance between its different constituents. Both the intrinsic and extrinsic factors can cause disturbance in the natural equilibrium giving rise to disease. This loss of equilibrium can happen by dietary indiscrimination, undesirable habits and non-observance of rules of healthy living. Seasonal abnormalities, improper exercise or erratic application of sense organs and incompatible actions of the body and mind can also result in creating disturbance of the existing normal balance. The treatment consists of restoring the balance of disturbed body-mind matrix through regulating diet, correcting life-routine and behaviour, administration of drugs and resorting to preventive Panchkarma and Rasayana therapy.

        Diagnostic Methodology

        Ayuvedic approach of diagnosis is very unique and different from conventional medicine. An Ayurveda physician examines patient and disease both for confirming the diagnosis and status of disease.. The physician takes a careful note of the patient’s internal physiological characteristics and mental disposition. He also studies such other factors as the affected bodily tissues, humours, the site at which the disease is located, patient’s resistance and vitality, his daily routine, dietary habits, the gravity of clinical conditions, condition of digestion and details of personal, social, economic and environmental situation of the patient. The diagnosis also involves various other examinations, like- Pulse examination,: Urine examination, Tongue examination etc.
        Preventive Approach Based on the Concepts ofAetio-Pathogenesis
        Ayurveda has developed a very vivid analytical description of the stages and events that take place since the causative factors commence to operate till the final manifestation of disease. This gives this system an additional advantage of knowing that possible onset of disease much before the latent symptoms become apparent. This very much enhances the preventive role of this system of medicine by making it possible to take proper and effective steps in advance, to arrest further progress in pathogenesis or to take suitable therapeutic measures to curb the disease in its earliest stage of onset.

        Treatment Approach

        The basic therapeutic approach is, ‘that alone is the right treatment which makes for health and he alone is the best doctor who frees one from disease’. This sums up the principal objectives of Ayurveda, i.e. maintenance and promotion of health, prevention of disease and cure of sickness. Treatment of the disease consists in avoiding causative factors responsible for disequilibrium of the body matrix or of any of its constituent parts through the use of Panchkarma procedures, medicines, suitable diet, activity and regimen for restoring the balance and strengthening the body mechanisms to prevent or minimize future occurrence of the disease.
        Normally treatment measures involve use of medicines, specific diet and prescribed activity routine. Use of these three measures is done in two ways. In one approach of treatment the three measures antagonize the disease by counteracting the etiological factors and various manifestations of the disease. In the second approach the same three measures of medicine,
        diet and activity are targeted to exert effects similar to the etiological factors and manifestations of the disease process. These two types of therapeutic approaches are respectively known as Vipreeta and Vipreetarthkari treatments.

        For successful administration of a treatment four things are essential. These are- physician medicaments, nursing personnel and the patient. The physician comes first in order of importance. He must possess technical skill, scientific knowledge, purity and human understanding. The physician should use his knowledge with humility, wisdom and in the service of humanity.
        Next in importance comes food and drugs. These are supposed to be of high quality, wide application, grown and prepared following approved procedures and should be available adequately. The third component of every successful treatment is the role of nursing personnel who should have good knowledge of nursing, must know the skills of their art and be affectionate, sympathetic, intelligent, neat & clean and resourceful. The fourth component is the patient himself who should be cooperative and obedient to follow instructions of the physician, able to describe ailments and ready to provide all that may be needed for treatment.

        Types of Treatment: The treatment of disease can broadly be classified as:

        a.Shodhana therapy (Purification Treatment)

        b.Shamana therapy (Palliative Treatment)

        c.Pathya Vyavastha (Prescription of diet and activity)

        d.Nidan Parivarjan (Avoidance of disease causing and aggravating factors)


        f.Rasayana therapy(use of immunomodulators and rejuvenation medicines)

        (a) Shodhana treatment aims at removal of the causative factors of somatic and psychosomatic diseases. The process involves internal and external purification. The usual practices involved are Panchkarma (medically induced Emesis, Purgation, Oil Enema, Decoction enema and Nasal administration of medicines), Pre-panchkarma procedures (external and internal oleation and induced sweating). Panchkarma treatment focuses on metabolic management. It provides needed purificatory effect, besides conferring therapeutic benefits. This treatment is especially helpful in neurological disorders, musculo-skeletal disease conditions, certain vascular or neuro-vascular states, respiratory diseases, metabolic and degenerative disorders.

        (b) Shamana therapy involves suppression of vitiated humours (doshas). The process by which disturbed humour subsides or returns to normal without creating imbalance of other humours is known as shamana. This treatment is achieved by use of appetisers, digestives, exercise and exposure to sun, fresh air etc. In this form of treatment, palliatives and sedatives are used.

        (c) Pathya Vyavastha comprises indications and contraindications in respect of diet, activity, habits and emotional status. This is done with a view to enhance the effects of therapeutic measures and to impede the pathogenetic processes. Emphasis on do’s and don’ts of diet etc is laid with the aim to stimulate Agni and optimize digestion and assimilation of food in order to ensure strength of tissues.

        (d) Nidan Parivarjan is to avoid the known disease causing factors in diet and lifestyle of the patient. It also encompasses the idea to refrain from precipitating or aggravating factors of the disease.

        (e) Satvavajaya concerns mainly with the area of mental disturbances. This includes restraining the mind from desires for unwholesome objects and cultivation of courage, memory and concentration. The study of psychology and psychiatry have been developed extensively in Ayurveda and have wide range of approaches in the treatment of mental disorders.

        (f) Rasayana therapy deals with promotion of strength and vitality. The integrity of body matrix, promotion of memory, intelligence, immunity against the disease, the preservation of youth, luster and complexion and maintenance of optimum strength of the body and senses are some of the positive benefits credited to this treatment. Prevention of premature bear and tear of body tissues and promotion of total health content of an individual are the roles that Rasayana therapy plays.

        Importance of Diet in Ayurvedic Treatment In Ayurveda, regulation of diet as therapy has great importance. This is because it considers human body as the product of food. An individual’s mental and spiritual development as well as his temperament is influenced by the quality of food consumed by him. Food in human body is transformed first into Rasa and then successive processes involve its conversion into rakta (blood), mamsa (muscle), meda (fat), asthi (bone), majja (bone-marrow), shukra (reproductiveelements) and ojas. Thus, food is basic to all the metabolic transformations and life activities. The concept of compatibility and incompatibility of food ingredients also offers unique opportunity for the selection of food for better health.

        Prakriti: The Unique Identity of Individuals :The concept of prakriti offers an individualized approach for prevention and management of diseases. It is an essential tool of Ayurveda which helps to plan and live healthy life style. It provides information about physical and mental constitution of an individual.

        Strength of Ayurveda

        Ayurveda offers effective and safe solution for various health problems like Life Style disorders, degenerative conditions, neuro-muscular disorders, allergies etc. Prakriti-based counseling helps to enjoy happy and healthy life. Immuno-modulator approach helps to boost the immunity for prevention of various infections, especially in children.

        Courtesy - National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur India.


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