Ayurveda is a system of medicine with its roots in the Indian Sub-continent. The word Ayur means Life and Veda means Knowledge. The therapies adopted in Ayurveda are based on compositions made from various herbal compounds and mineral substances. Early Ayurveda has also dealt with surgical techniques for rhinoplasty, kidney stone extractions and for sutures.
Dhanvantri, the Hindu God of Ayurveda, is believed to have incarnated himself as a mythical king of Varanasi. He is said to have taught a group of physicians which included Sushruta. The practices according to Ayurveda dates back to 5000BC and the first record of Ayurveda are the texts that evolved from the Vedas.
The main texts of the Ayurveda are mentioned below:
a. Sushruta Samhita – dates to 6 th century BC and was later updated by Buddhist scholar Nagarjuna in the 2 nd century BC
b. Charaka Samhita – written by Charaka and later updated by Dridhabala during the early centuries of the Common Era
c. Bhela Samhita – dates back to 6 th century BC Treatment methodologies
Ayurveda, though considered pseudo-scientific and unproven, is gaining momentum as an alternative medicine because of its inherent ability to use natural sources to treat the human body. Ayurveda considers the human body to be made of the five unique and primary elements of nature. They are:
i. Ether (Space)
The combination of these primary elements makeup the ‘doshas’, which according to the Ayurveda, is the composition in any human body. The Ayurvedic medicine treats the variations or excessiveness in each of the doshas. One such process is Panchakarma, aiming to eliminate toxins in the human body that are abundant and not wanted. Modern Ayurvedic techniques aim to build good and healthy metabolic system and maintain good digestion and excretion. Ayurveda also focuses on Yoga, meditation and physical exercise.
In India, statistics reveal that at least 80% of the population use some form of natural medicine, a category that includes Ayurveda. There is increased support by the Government of India to recognize the practitioners in Ayurveda and also assist in research. Besides India, other countries such as Nepal and Sri Lanka also practice Ayurveda extensively.
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Article Title: An Essay on Ayurveda for Kids, Youth, Children and Students
Article last re-published on January 10, 2017. Original.