Ayurveda – An Age-Old Saga of Herbal Wisdom
You might have seen many advertisements about real authentic Ayurveda, treatments like Panchakarma and about pure Ayurvedic herbs. These colorful images have lured your attention also many a times. Ever thought more about knowing the real Ayurveda?
What is Ayurveda in reality? An exotic herbal wisdom or a complete ancient lifestyle guide? The answer is both. Ayurveda originated from the words Ayus and Veda, meaning wisdom giving prolonged longevity. Ayurvedic beauty secrets also have roots extending to ancient Vedic civilization in the Indian subcontinent.
Famous Ayurvedic proponents in history
Ayurveda narration started from lord Brahma in Indian mythology and it is considered to be eternal which had existence even before his time. Lord brahma passed on the knowledge to Daksa Prajapati and divine twin physicians Ashwini kumaras and this lineage spread to many sages and their numerous disciples as a sacred knowledge river. Then came, most famous proponents and their treatises.
Ancient Indian history denotes names of Acharyas like Vagbhata , Charaka and Sushruta connected with Ayurvedic healing system. The word Charaka itself means he who wanders in search of medicine or to treat people. Acharya Charaka has redacted a grand treatise known as Agnivesa Samhita and named it Charaka Sanhita which is one of the famous internal medicine texts in Ayurveda. Acharya Sushruta is a surgery expert and is known as the father of surgery even among foreign surgical experts. Thanks to his significant contributions in Rhinoplasty like operations and notable Para surgical procedures like ksarakarma using medicated herbal ash and varicose vein treatment in Ayurveda . Interesting, right?
Acharya Vagbhata had the knowledge of both these branches and has written the most common Ayurvedic text even revered by millions aiming to learn Ayurveda – The Ashtanga Hridaya. What are these ashtanga? Let's see.
Astangas of Ayurveda – the eight branches
These are classified on the basis of ease to practice, these are Kayachikitsa (internal medicine), Balachiktsa (Kaumarabhrtya – pediatrics), Graha chikitsa (psychiatry), Salakya tantra (Ophthalmology and ENT), Salya tantra (surgery), Agada tantra (forensic medicine and toxicology), Rasayana chikitsa (rejuvenation therapy), Vajikarana chikitsa (Aphrodisiac therapy).
Apart from these, branches like Dravya Guna vijanana(Ayurvedic pharmacology), Bhaishajya Kalpana vijanana (Ayurvedic medicinal preparation like Murivenna oil and hair oil , skin oil) etc. are also present and are taught and practiced. So, now you know that Ayurveda also contains surgery like branches. This might be a new piece of information for you. Just jot it down.
Vision and mission of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is a preventive and curative medicinal system. Ayurveda comes under AYUSH medicinal systems approved to be practiced and propagated.
Today, it is being taught and practiced globally and Ayurvedic principles are made to be part of life. Imbibing Ayurvedic principles of daily and seasonal regimen and adopting that Satvik lifestyle gives you a healthy existence. Ayurvedic formulations developed by Ayurvedic stalwarts like Bipha ayurveda are also part of revolutionizing Ayurveda to reach the masses. Quality Ayurvedic healthcare is the need of the hour and giants in this field are there to help you get real Authentic Ayurveda. Real Ayurveda has been formulated to spread medicinal wisdom and a holistic view of positivity to enhance your lives.
Ayurveda – only herbs?
Ayurvedic medicines contain not only herbs, but also important minerals and purified Calcium sources like pearls, animal products like musk etc. Ayurvedic medicines are prepared on the basis of ancient medicinal formulas with more than 10 herbs in most cases. You have even heard of famous Ayurvedic immunity boosters like Chyawanaprasham with multitude of ingredients and benefits, right? There are specific texts like Sahasra Yogam to mention what a medicine contains, how to formulate it and what are its medicinal benefits. You know oils with coconut oil for hair ? Ayurvedic best hair oil like Neelibhringadi oil is revered owing to its multitude of trusted ingredients like milk, amla, Neeli etc. . That’s why it is considered even now as the best Ayurvedic hair oil for hair growth .
The Three doshas – vital energies
Vata governs all motions in the body. An animate force which governs processes like respiration, excretion etc. Vata is of 5 types as per Ayurvedic classics. Even during your death, 5 prana vayus – the vitality wind energies go out of your body as per ancient Indian philosophy.
Characteristics of Vata prakriti
A Vata dominant person is quick to think and act, even impulsiveness can be a feature. Dry nature of skin and hair is also a nature. They are talkative and fast moving like the wind, and can be of lean nature too. They are tending to get constipation; care must be given to balance this dryness by applying oil and having oily and sweet food more in diet.
This can make them feel grounded and active. They are prone to Vata diseases like diseases related to musculoskeletal system often with pain and lack of lubrication or brittleness in associated body parts.
Diet and lifestyle for Vata
Vata people like astringent foods like raw veggies. For balancing their prakriti, warm, cooked foods and sweet, sour and salty tastes are ideal. Vata makes the skin dry and exhibits signs of wrinkling etc. when affected adversely.
Vata gets disturbed due to excessive travel, especially in jerky vehicles, loud noises, and excess exposure to cold foods and drinks. If you are having a Vata predominance, have more of warm, moist, slightly oily, heavy foods. Legumes are difficult to digest and should be consumed in limited quantity. Cooking legumes with a little oil and spices like turmeric, pepper etc. is advisable.
Lifestyle advice includes daily practice of yoga, meditation etc. for more relaxation. They can apply Ayurvedic moisturizer and have Ayurvedic medicine for constipation daily to prevent dryness in the body.
Remember to stay grounded, calm, and have routine with ample rest also. Avoid too much cold, frozen foods and have a warm easily digestible diet.
Characteristics of Pitta prakriti
A pitta prakriti person emanates heart energy more in actions and their body also shows symptoms like pimples, acidity. Mentally they have having hot temper also in most cases. They have to reduce their heat energy for balancing.
Pitta types have warm skin, reddish with freckles, moles etc. and hair which is silky and proves to be premature graying or hair loss. They have a good appetite and metabolism. They like hot, spicy food, but need to balance it by having food with sweet, bitter and astringent tastes.
Diet and lifestyle for Pitta
It is better to avoid heat increasing foods and adopt Barley, rice, oats wheat like grains for pitta dominant individuals. All legumes except red and yellow lentils are good and black lentils, chickpeas and mung beans are the most suitable for them.
Coconut, olive and sunflower oils are also good for pitta. Sweet dairy products and Yogurt can be used if it is blended with spices, and water.
However, they should avoid hot spices like pepper in more amounts in diet. Coffee, alcohol and tobacco should be avoided. Black tea with a little milk and a pinch of cardamom can be useful occasionally. They can apply Ayurvedic face cream during summer and Ayurvedic cream for glowing skin daily to protect their skin.
Characteristics of Kapha prakriti
Kapha types have strength, endurance and stamina. Considered to be slow and peaceful generally, their skin is oily and smooth. They are obese prone as they usually dislike much physical activity or exercise. Kapha types like sweet, salty and oily foods need help of bitter, astringent and pungent tastes to keep balance. They are more likely to have diseases connected to water energy and mucus. Sluggishness in actions, excess weight gain, diabetes, are also found.
Diet and lifestyle for Kapha
Roasted or dry cooked grains like millet barley, rice and corn are best for them. They can have leafy greens and vegetables grown above ground more than root vegetables. Generally, kapha people can eat raw vegetables, giving preference to steamed or slightly fried dishes. They can have astringent and dry fruits such as apples, apricots, mangoes, pears etc. more than sweet and sour fruits. Black beans, mung beans, and red lentils are also useful for the kapha nature.
Almond, corn, safflower or sunflower oils can be used in small amounts as well. Kapha people should maximum reduce taking dairy products due to the heavy, cooling, sweet qualities of dairy. A little ghee for cooking and some consumption of goat’s milk is good for Kapha people.
They can have spices in plenty. Tea, coffee like beverages can also be added judiciously to the routine. Say no to heavy food, drinks which are too cold and contain more fat content. Avoid taking too much fire, oily food and lifestyle advice, the first thing to be considered is avoid day sleep. This really aggravates the Kapha energy if you already have a kapha predominance in your body. They should also use daily facewash for oily skin .
Ayurveda – mode of action
Ayurveda envisages specific concepts like tridoshas – the three vital energies in the body. Agni – the metabolic fire in the body and Ama – the metabolic toxin accumulation in the body due to unhealthy diet and lifestyle etc. While considering diet, lifestyle and medicines, the concept of Pathya – that is conducive to the body is considered.
For example, if you are having an increase in heat energy pitta in the body, you will experience more sweating, reddish acne etc. In such cases, you can have a diet which is cool, watery like cucumber and lifestyle with mediation, pranayama like sheetali to get relaxed breath. You can apply creams containing Aloe vera or even Aloe vera all-purpose gel to get relief. Sandalwood aka Chandana is also a good option. Ayurvedic creams like Ojaswini marayoor sandalwood cream of Bipha Ayurveda can be applied as daily cream. Pathya here will be to adopt watery, easy to digest food and to avoid excess hiot , spicy diet. Ayurveda in general promotes easily digestible light food and practices which are moderate and easy to mind and body alike.
Daily usable dietary articles
You can take green gram, Indian gooseberry, buttermilk and rock salt in your diet which is good to adopt in your routine as per Ayurveda.
Ayurveda and Panchakarma
Ayurveda has a wonderful detoxification therapy package which is even a full-fledged therapeutic practice. The five purificatory therapies, Panchakarma. Vamana or emesis, the inducing of therapeutic vomiting so as to reduce increased kapha energy in the body. Vamana is useful to expel excess kapha out of the body and especially in skin diseases.
Virechana , the therapeutic purgation which is able to bring heat energy pitta to balance. Ayurvedic supplements like triphaal capsules of bipha aAyurveda are having this laxative property. Virechana cleans the whole gastro intestinal tract and helps to eliminate accumulated metabolic wastes along with aggravated doshas out of the body.
Nasya, the nasal drop instilling which is good for diseases above the neck, especially the sense organs and head. This is useful when you have sinusitis, migraines etc. Ayurvedic formulations like Kumkumadi Taila of Bipha ayurveda are good for maintaining glow of skin when used as nasal drops and as face serum.
Rakta Mokshana - therapeutic bloodletting to treat impure blood. Application of medicinal leaches is also a separate procedure coming under Rakta Mokshana. Today, this procedure is used even to treat various veins like conditions.
Vasti or Basti – therapeutic enema which is helpful mainly to bring the Vata wind energy to balance. Vasti is the most important treatment among the Panchakarmas and is considered to constitute the entire half of treatment as per Ayurvedic texts.
Ayurvedic novel forms of medicine
In the earlier era, Ayurvedic medicines used to be in common form slike decoction (Kashaya), Fermented arista, gutikas or tablets and Tailams or oils. Nowadays after revolutionary pharmaceutical innovations, kasayam tablet was introduced by Bipha ayurveda. These kinds of medicine are used even as Ayurvedic medicine for diabetes type 2 and are also available as Ayurvedic medicine online.
Later, modified versions like liniments, gels, creams, Ayurvedic cough syrup etc. were also introduced into the markets and thus Ayurveda became innovated with medicinal form suited for the modern era, easy to consume and effective in disease management. Now, it seems more relatable to you as an Ayurvedic enthusiast and consumer too, just be there supporting Ayurveda!
As we say, prevention is better than cure. If you need long lasting health, focus on yourself and your life purpose. Adopt Ayurvedic principles in your life which say do the right things at the right time in the right way. If the path is clear, you will reach your destination. Ayurveda can guide you towards better health and positivity for sure. Clear vision of Ayurveda helps you to get your mission of life also cleared. Be a better version of yourself through the eternal Ayurvedic wisdom.