Ayurvedic medicine


Ayurvedic medicine

Ayurvedic medicine, or ayurveda, has always been part of the culture of India. The first notions of ayurveda date back to 3000 BC and are mentioned in the Vedas.

Ayurveda means "knowledge of life" in Sanskrit. The doctors who practice it are called vaidyas. Ayurveda is based on the principle of balance between body and mind, and between the different humours that make up a human being. The body is thus made up of three main elements: the dathus, the malas and the doshas.

The dathus govern the formation of the cells of the body. There are 7: rasa (blood plasma), rakta (blood cells), mansa (muscles), ashti (bone), meda (fat), majja (moëlle) and shukra (gametes). The balance between the dathus ensures good health.

Malas is the waste produced by the body. Their natural elimination is therefore indispensable. There are three categories of malas: urine, sweat and stool. Ayurveda considers that a bad evacuation of one or more of these fluids causes the disease.

Doshas relate to the physiology of the body. There are three: vata, pitta and kapha. The vata (wind) concerns everything related to the movement of body fluids (breath, urine, stool, food ...). Pitta (bile) concerns all physico-chemical processes (digestion, perception of the senses ...). The kapha (phlegm) concerns the hydration of the body. The concept of dosha is quite complex since each individual is born with a certain proportion of vata, pitta and kapha. This is prakruti. It is the study of the prakruti of the patient that will help the vaidya to make the diagnosis. Moreover, an individual will develop "preferentially" diseases related to his prakruti. At each dosha is attached a number of adjectives thus characterize the constitution and character of an individual. For example :

  • vata: cold, light, sensitive, enthusiastic ...
  • pitta: hot, oily, concentrated, courageous ...
  • kapha: cold, heavy, slow, relaxed ...

To these physical characteristics are added mental attributes. There are 3: satva, rajas and tamas. As for the doshas, ​​different adjectives refer to each of them.

  • satva: purity, love ...
  • rajas: aggressiveness, power ...
  • tamas: slowness, ignorance, egoism ...

The treatment of diseases is done by a rebalancing of the physical and psychic energies. Medicines of Ayurvedic medicine are made from plants and minerals. Moreover, the vaidya can guide the patient towards a lifestyle more in accord with his prakruti. In order to establish a diagnosis, he palpates the patient, looks at his tongue, observes his skin pigmentation, takes his pulse, removes his urine, etc. There are four main types of treatment: shodan (detoxification), shaman ), rasayana (rejuvenation) and satvajaya (mental hygiene).

Ayurvedic medicine is officially taught in India and spread throughout the world and in the West in particular where this form of natural medicine has some interest.

See also:

Literature of India

History of India

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