What is ayurvedic health care and how is it applicable to the Modern Day?
Ayurveda is the world?s oldest recorded system of health care and it is still being practiced today.
It has influenced many other systems of medicine within and outside India, such as Traditional
Chinese Medicine, Siddha, Unani and various types of massage therapy. India, the birthplace
of Ayurveda, is experiencing a renaissance of this ancient system of health promotion, disease
prevention and treatment, partly as people outside of India show interest in the resurgence of
indigenous knowledge that has transformative potential to heal mental and physical ailments.
This paper seeks to understand the philosophical worldview of ayurvedic medicine and its
relevance to health promotion and disease prevention with an aim to illustrate its depth of
understanding of the human mind and body. Ayurveda is a Hindu system of medicine with its
roots in India. It is 5000-6000 years old and is thought to have originated by rishis?wise, ancient
people. Ayurvedic health care concentrates on the health and well-being of the individual as a
whole, and as a member of society. Principles of health promotion and disease prevention are
discussed in this paper. Part of the paper focuses on nutrition, a central aspect of Ayurveda. The
kitchen is the pharmacy and the pharmacy is the kitchen?is a well-known tenet of Ayurveda and
it is explained here. Overall, Ayurveda has great potential to be revived for modern applications
all over the world, particularly if more research is done on it.
Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word which literally translates as: ayus or ayur meaning life, and veda
meaning science or knowledge, further, uncreated knowledge, knowing, super-sensuous wisdom,
and secondarily it refers to the books called the Vedas. Knowledge has a two-fold meaning.
"The first is derived from the sense-organs and corroborated by varied evidence based upon the
experiences of the sense-organs". From this knowledge comes the physical sciences. The second
type of knowledge is "transcendent and is realized through the mental and spiritual discipline of
yoga". The latter is the subject of the Vedas. Ayurveda is thus a science of life, a system of health
and medicine which aims to assist people in living a healthy life. It provides knowledge of how
to live (naturally).
Most distinct about ayurvedic medicine is its roots in peaceful, spiritual concepts which connect
it to a larger philosophy and way of life. The history of ayurvedic medicine is quite different from
the history of other systems of medicine, which are rooted in early capitalism and war. Ayurveda
is considered to be 5000-6000 years old. Archaeological findings at Mohenjadaro in Sindh and
at Harappa in Punjab (approximately 3000 years old) reveal a high level of social sanitation,
hygiene and various therapeutic ayurvedic substances that were used by people in these areas.
Author(s): Farah M Shroff