Ayurvedic Medicine dates as far back as the 2nd millennium BC, with its theoretical and applied principals being organized and written around 1500 BC.The seminal text, Atharvaveda, is a work of sacred poetry and one of the four most ancient books of Indian Wisdom. Its origins reach deep into the recesses of history and the mystery of the ancient world with some authors attributing its origin to Brahma Himself, the universal father. This work contains 114 hymns in and from which ayurvedic medicine began its long and impressive history as one of the first and most extensive organized systems of medicine. These hymns are formulations for the treatment of a wide variety of ailments ranging from a common fever to chronic diseases such as diabetes and leprosy. The science of life, ayur – life; veda – knowledge, which was inaugurated with this work is a tradition of true wisdom and continues to have much to teach western medicine to this day.
Ayurvedic medicine approaches the patient as whole being and seeks holistic health through the care of the body, the balance of the mind, and the refinement of the spirit. Not one of these can be neglected if one is to be healthy, for health is the fullness of life, and life is the union of mind, body, and spirit. Thus, ayurvedic medicine will often treat ailments by changing habits of diet and exercise of the mind, body, and spirit all in conjunction with eachother. Health and the diagnosis of disease are understood through the balance, or imbalance, of the three doshas which are present in various proportions in every human being. Every person being naturally different has a different natural proportion of each of these doshas and ayurvedic medicine uses herbs, oils, and other products as treatments to help restore the balance of one’s natural proportion.
The three Doshas in the science of ayurvedic medicine are Vata, Pita, and Kapha, corresponding to the three elements Air, Fire, and Water. Each person has a natural predominance of one of these yet all three are present in everyone. A persons unique predominance determines such predispositions such as body structure, appetites, mental and emotional habits and predispositions, and other aspect of one’s life. It is helpful to know one’s particular disposition for the understanding of their individual dietary and habitual inclinations and in particular which of these are more and less beneficial. Throughout its 4000 year history Ayurvedic Medicine has organized and catalogued in a comprehensive theory the particular qualities and affects which foods, herbs, and actions, have on the body, mind, and spirit. As such, ayurvedic treatment can be specially tailored for each individual and each particular ailment, and pursues the precision of treatment which each individual situation demands. Ayurvedic medicine is truly the science of Life!
In a world filled to the gills with oil-based synthetic pharmaceutical products made from plants and animals which have died many millennia ago, ayurvedic medicine continues to sing the song of life which it has been for over a thousand generations by using only natural and fresh harvested plants in its products. When doubts are rising to the surface of our oceans and climate because of unsustainable business and political habits the world begs us to see it as a whole, just as Ayurvedic Medicine proposes we see ourselves. Perhaps now, this Science of Life, Ayurveda, has more wisdom to offer us than ever before.