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About Ayurveda

Basic Principles of Ayurveda
Ayurveda stands on the principles of three energies, which govern the entire physical, mental, and spiritual dimensions of an individual’s life they are

1. Vata (Air energy): responsible for all movements such as blood circulation, respiration, elimination and movement of thought processes.

2. Pitta (Heat energy): responsible for all metabolic activities such as digestion, transformation of one type of body tissue to another, secretion of enzymes and hormones, absorption of nutrition, interpretation of thoughts, synthesis of Knowledge and individual judgmental abilities.

3. Kapha (Liquid energy): also called binding energy responsible for lubricate substances in the body such as synovial fluids in the joints, cerebrospinal fluids in the central nervous system, mucous secreting glands in the digestive and respiratory tracts, plasma and emotional stability in the mind.
These three energies are also known as Tridoshas. Any Ayurvedic physician should be capable of assessing whether these energies are in balance or out of balance because Ayurveda says the balanced state of these energies is health and imbalance – disease. Maintaining them in balance is the study and practice of Ayurveda. This is important because imbalances could affect an individual’s physical, mental and spiritual aspects of life.
Two factors – external and internal could cause an imbalance in these energies. Consumption of contaminated food and water, exposure to extreme weathers, natural disasters, stress, strain, irregular food habits and activity, bacterial and viral infections are considered to be external factors. Inherited diseases caused by genetic factors are considered internal.
The imbalances of these energies exhibit certain signs and symptoms in the individual’s body and mind depending upon the type of impact. This has to be assessed by the physician by examining the patient in detail and arrive at a proper diagnosis.
Ayurvedic treatments are again two fold –external and internal which aim in balancing these energies by using special herbal preparations such as medicated oils, herbal decoctions and powders. Using medicated oils in Ayurvedic massages (Abhyanga) is one of the time tested curative and therapeutic treatments of Ayurveda. There are other multi farios treatments in Ayurveda specific to individual health need. These treatments in contrast to the modern medicine aim in curing the disease process from the root level by effectively bringing the three energies back to balance by either pacifying (shamana) or detoxifying (Shodhana or Panchakarmas) through elimination. Rejuvenative therapies that help to maintain invigorating health on a daily basis is equally important as a preventive measure.
Constitution or Parkruti
Prakruti means an Individual’s original constitution at birth, determined by the genetic and tridosha factors. This permutation and combination is specific to each individual which reminds us of the famous proverb “what looks similar will never be the same.” The prakruti determines one’s physical and psychological behaviors and one’s resistance and susceptibility to various health ailments. The prakruti of an individual could be vata, pitta or kapha predominant or in any combinations. Any deviation from this original prakruti is known as vikruti (imbalance). This can be diagnosed by pulse reading, which is an ancient art. Administration and acceptance of medicine thereby differs from person to person.


Pancha means five and karma means treatment. Five types of classical therapeutics, which are mainly used for purification, and elimination of toxins are known as Panchakarma. Purification or eliminations is a natural instinct of the body and our body has its own wisdom for clearing out the impurities, which are produced by physiological functions. However, there are certain situations when this wisdom or immunity becomes impaired and does not perform its function properly and so physicians have to help to re- establish this natural mechanism otherwise the toxins start accumulating in the body which leads to serious imbalances of the tridoshas and cause damage to normal bodily functions leading to various diseases.
The principle of Panchakarma is to trail the path of toxins in the body, reach the target and bind it. After binding with the toxins, it is gently pulled or eliminated from the body through the following gentle procedures. Each procedure is specific for a particular dosha imbalance or a combination of them. The selection of a particular procedure is based on the individual’s age, sex and medical situation. This is decided after a detailed consultation, examination and investigations as required and the physician will recommend the most appropriate Panchakarma or a course of rejuvenate therapies.
1. Vamana: this procedure involves the induction of emesis for removing kapha toxins. This is specifically indicated in chronic allergic asthma and other respiratory diseases.
2. Virechana: involves induction of purgation for removing pitta toxins specifically indicated in digestive problems, liver problems, constipation, obesity, skin and metabolic disorders.
3. Basthi: medicated herbal enema mainly for removing vatha toxins. It is also beneficial in removing pitta and kapha toxins. Basthi could also be used as a rejuvenative procedure in extremely debilitated persons where special rejuvenative herbal preparations are administered as retention enemas. Basthi is specially indicated in high blood pressure, arthritis, anxiety, stress and vatha related problems.
4. Nasya: involves nasal administration of medicated oil. This is beneficial in removing kapha toxins from the head and neck regions. An excellent treatment in chronic head aches; migraines, sinusitis, rhinitis, thyroid and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) related problems.
5. Rakta mokshana: specific quantity of blood is removed from an affected skin area either by vene puncture or using leaches. Highly effective in diabetic wounds, abscesses and chronic non-healing external ulcers.
Vamana and Virechana treatments are accompanied by a pre-procedure administration of medicated ghee/ oil for three to four days in order to bind the accumulated toxins at end tissue levels. When the binding is complete it is eliminated either through vamana or virechana. Equally important are the post-procedures, which involve regimented diet and activities for two to three days. The above treatments are administered based on individual’s health condition. Not all these treatments may be recommended to one individual.
The healthy feeling one gets after a proper Panchakarma is an amazing experience. Ayurveda recommends Panchakarma to all individuals periodically to maintain good health and youthfulness. The duration of these Panchakarma treatments would range from a minimum of eight days to twenty-eight days. Panchakarma is not suited for those who are in a hurry or to those who cannot control their indulgences in diet and activities.


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