Basic elements of Ayurvedic Medicine
Basic elements of Ayurvedic Medicine
Ayurvedic medicine with its roots in India, originated during the Vedic period. As a medicinal theory that complements the concept of allopathic medicine; Ayurvedic medicine is geared to the principle of five elements. According to its basic premise not only the universe but the human body which is a part of the universe is constituted by five essential elements of earth, air, water, fire and ether.
The medicinal theory of Ayurveda, which has human body in its prime focus, enshrines the composing units of human body in the following manner. According to it human body is constituted by
• rasa dhatu or plasma
• rakta dhatu or blood
• mamal dhatu or flesh
• medha dhatu or fat
• majja dhatu or marrow and
• sukra dhatu which include semen and female reproductive organs.
Similar to the Elizabethan concept of ‘humors’ as necessary tools of balance in the human body, Ayurvedic medicine dwells on the proper balance of wind, bile and phlegm. According to the century’s ancient Oriental medical practice, imbalance in the mentioned elements of wind, bile and phlegm; gave rise to defects or ‘dosas’ in human body and that a healthy metabolic system rests on a rightful balance of these elements which existed in equal measures in the human body.
In keeping with the concept that there are twenty essential qualities or ‘guna’ typical of each and every substance of the universe, Ayurvedic medicine upholds the application of the remedial measures when any of the fundamental qualities are disturbed on account of the imbalance in the ‘vatas’ of wind or air; bile or pitta and ‘khapa’ or phlegm. Its therapeutic regimen rests on the devices of exercise, meditation and massage. It dwells on the belief that by way of the mentioned regimens of exercise, meditation and massage imbalance in the physiological system can be rectified. Besides that, a healthy system striking the right balance between its composing humors; thrives on healthy digestion and required excretion of toxic elements.
Ever since the later Vedic age; the medicinal system of Ayurveda was classified into eight separate disciplines. Involving different regimens of treatments seeking to cater to different organic system of human physiology, there are areas catering to internal medication, pediatric, psychiatry, surgery, toxicology, child bearing capacities, revitalization of the immunity, and that serving to rectify the disorders in eye, ear, nose and throat.
As a medicinal concept holistic in purpose; it not only upholds the maintenance of proper balance; but also emphasizes a moderate expression of instinctive urges and desire with sleep, food consumption, sexual and other activities being carried out in proportional measures. ‘Charaka Samhita’ throws significant light on the diagnostic procedures of Ayurvedic medicine. The tenfold method of disease diagnoses involves the examination of patient’s build up or constitution with accurate measurement of his height, weight and structure, assessing the nature and essence of his abnormality; recognition of factors which may lead to stability. It also involves an assessment of his diet peculiarities and necessary correction to be made therein. The vital factors of his age, stamina, digestive and psychiatric capabilities are also kept in mind while deducing the cause, origin and the nature of disease.
Similar to the allopathic mode of treatment, another of the fundamental tenets of Ayurvedic medicine involves the study and analysis of symptoms and pathogenic development of a disease. The therapeutic measure also bears in mind the factors of effects and side effects; whether it has been able to get rid of the original factor and the symptomatic factors exhibited by the disease it seeks to rectify.
The medicines used as part of Ayurvedic therapy are made of herbs and various aspects of the natural flora. For the remedial procedure of certain diseases animal and alcoholic elements are also made use of. Extracts of plants and animals are used in forms of tar, oil and paste meant for topical application. Emphasizing basically on external application and massage, there are those meant for oral consumption as well.
Modern time has witnessed a steady revival in the popularity of Ayurvedic medicine as holistic and alternative mode of treatment.