Ayurveda – the science of healing
Ayurveda translates into English as the Science of Life (Ayur - life, veda - science). Considered to be the oldest healing science in the world, this ancient medicine is practiced extensively in Sri Lanka and India. This curative art was passed down from time immemorial through an oral tradition, through old masters to their disciples.
Ayurveda is a holistic system of curative and preventive medicine, focusing on the prevention of disease through a deeper connection between the mind and the body. It concentrates on a state of total health based on vigour, energy and balance. The concept of balance is important in Ayurveda - the balance of body, mind and consciousness based on each person's individual constitution.
According to Ayurveda the human body is composed of five elements known as the Panchamahabhuta (Pancha - five, Maha - great, Bhuta - elements). These five elements are apo (water), theejo (fire) vayo (air) patavi (earth) and akasa (space or ether).
The Ayurvedic concept of creation focuses on four interrelated factors. These are Body, Mind, Consciousness (or Soul) and the Panchamahabhuta (or five elements). These four elements blend into three bio-energetic forces that govern the health and determine the physical constitution of living beings. They are called Va (or Vata - air and space), Pith (or Pitta - fire and water) and Sem (or Kapha - water and earth).
Ayurveda refers to three other forces, which control mental and spiritual functions. They are Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Mental disturbances are caused by imbalances of these three properties, in the same way that the five elements influence the body.
The three bio-energetic forces Vata, Pitta and Kapha are present in every human being. Vata is considered to be the energy of movement. Pitta the energy of digestion and Kapha is the energy of lubrication and structure. Although all three forces are found in the human body one is usually prominent.
People with Vata dosha tend to be thin, light and quick in their thoughts and actions. Change is an important aspect of their lives. When Vata is balanced they are creative, flexible, enthusiastic and lively. However, if Vata becomes excessive, we may develop anxiety, insomnia, or irregular digestion.
People with Pitta dosha are vivacious, smart and determined. If Pitta is balanced they tend to be warm, understanding and intelligent. Excessive Pitta can however, create irritability, jealousy and aggressiveness.
Those with Kapha dosha tend to be leisurely and stable. When balanced, Kapha creates calmness, sweetness and loyalty. When excessive, Kapha can result in greed and attachment.
Popular ayurvedic formulations
Herbal medicaments are an amalgamation of various herbs prepared to time tested pharmaceutical procedures recommended by Ayurveda. The curative properties of these herbs have been identified and catalogued by the ancient Rishis (hermits). They are meant to maintain or regain equilibrium of body functions based on the physical and psychic forces mentioned in Ayurvedic Concepts. No synthetic chemicals are used in the preparation of Ayurvedic formulations.