What is Ayurveda and How Does it Work?

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian health care, with popularity in Nepal, Sri Lanka and even in the West. Ayurveda roughly translated is “knowledge of life”. That life being defined as a combination of the body, mind and soul Ayurveda personifies the spirit of balance and harmony mentally, socially and spiritually.

What this boils down to for you and I is that this is another natural health method and a form of holistic medicine, as it treats the body as a whole. There are eight branches of Ayurveda. They are as follows:

  • Internal Medicine referred to as Kayachikitsa.
  • Surgery referred to as Shalya Tantra.
  • Ears, eyes, nose, throat referred to as Shalakya Tantra.
  • Pediatrics referred to as Kaumarabhritya Tantra.
  • Toxicology referred to as Agada Tantra.
  • Purification of the organs referred to as Bajikarana Tantra.
  • Health and longevity referred to as Rasayana Tantra.
  • Spiritual Healing/Psychiatry referred to as Bhuta Vidya.

Then we come to a term know in Ayurveda as Sapta dhatus. There are seven dhatus: Rasa, Rakta, Mamsa, Meda, Ashti, Majja, and Shukra.

Rasa addresses the concept of what we ingest and digest in our bodies and then which is then absorbed into the blood.

Raka specifically refers to the blood and we know that blood carries nutrients and life-sustaining oxygen to all areas of the body.

Mamsa refers to the muscle tissue and there are three types in the human body: skeletal, smooth and one of the most important of all cardiac muscle.

Meda refers to adipose or ‘fatty’ tissues. It is primarily responsible for lubrication.

Ashti consists of bones and cartilage. Bones of course strengthen and support the body and protect the spine from damage.

Majja refers to the bone marrow, a spongy substance found inside of bones.

Shukra is represented by semen from males and ovum from females, so it relates specifically to powers of reproduction. This differs further from the others in the fact that part of this does not relate to reproduction at all but specifically applies to vigor. This part of Shukra is known as ojas. It is believed that ojas bridges the gap between the spiritual and material aspects of a human being.

The Tridosha system consists of the overall harmony between the three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Vata influences the nervous system. Pitta relates to energy and metabolism. Kapha relates to bodily fluids and how they lubricate, and carry nutrients to the arterial system.

Ayurveda also consists of the concept that certain foods and herbs have physiological effects. Ayurvedic massage is also part of this old health regimen. If you prefer natural methods for cleansing the body of impurities and weight-loss management this is definitely a fascinating approach to treating the body as a whole.

Healthy mind equals healthy body it is believed. Unhappy people are sick frequently. Happy people are not with a few notable exceptions. Positive thinking, healthy diet, plenty of water and rest are all important aspects to natural health and well-being. Combining mental, social and spiritual elements to the physiological aspects is a wonderful way to improve the quality of our lives and our longevity.


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