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ayurveda
Ayurveda - The Science of Self Healing

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About Ayurveda

Ayur is a Sanskrit word meaning life. Veda means knowledge, as in systematized knowledge. This term connotes the knowledge or science of living beings. It is an eternal knowledge but probably understood and practiced in its present theoretical form for around 3500 years. The ancient seers declared that life is the manifestation of a spiritual reality. Although this spiritual reality is not apprehensible by the senses it nevertheless exists and is responsible for the creation, maintenance, and destruction of all things in the creation. It is probably the “stuff” of dark energy and dark matter that physicists write about. Interesting, the physiology of all living things can be included in this science.

One important point about Ayurveda is that it sees everything created as composed of three fundamentally different kinds of matter or substance, each with unique properties or qualities, that in the context of interactions with one another modify the way substances are experienced. In fact there are 20 unique qualities which can describe how all substances can be perceived. But the 20 qualities are understood best in three fundamental groupings of substance: things that move or animate themselves and other substances (called vata substances), things that transform substances (called pitta substances), and things that construct, support, and lubricate (called kapha substances). Everything in the creation is made of varying proportions of these substances, and everything ultimately is governed by these three entities.

In the universe vata accounts for the vacuum of space or the atmosphere and wind and various gaseous substances. In the body vata is the gas or “empty” space in the GI-tract , in joints, and in pores and cavities in bones. It promotes coldness, dryness, lightness, mobility, roughness, subtlety, clarity. These substances promote circulation, elimination, respiration, sensation, communication, cheerfulness, and all nervous activity.

The universe has a lot of electromagnetic radiation (all forms of light–x-rays, infra-red, ultra-violet, radio, micro, cosmic waves and so on)–these and fire, are the natural forms of pitta outside the body. In the body pitta substances include digestive enzymes, co-enzymes, bile, hydrochloric acid, hormones and so on. These substances promote warmth, liquidity, oiliness, movement, sharpness or intensity, and lightness. As a group they are responsible for digestion, absorption, assimilation, intellection or discrimination, body warmth, color, courage, vision, luster, and enthusiasm.

All of the supporting matter of the stars and planets are kapha and in the body they are the liquids that lubricate and include the bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, hair, nails, teeth, and so on. They promote stability, hardness, coldness, liquidity, oiliness, softness, density, heaviness, dullness, smoothness, stickiness, grossness, etc. They are responsible for themes of support, memory, power, contentment, capacity, and so on.

Ayurveda says that the proportion of genes that govern in a vata way, when dominant, give rise to a constitutional expression called a vata body type. These types are lean, thin, light, agile, inquisitive, creative, quick to act, to speak, to understand and are generally the thin-short or thin-tall people around us. When out of balance mentally/emotionally they tend to worry, fear, anxiety, instability, indecisiveness, and start but don't finish many projects. Physically, they tend to dry skin, constipation, underweight, cold extremities, and so on.

When pitta genes dominate the physiology the build is more moderate, oily, hot, expressing color as in red hair and skin. Hair is generally fine and sparse. Strength is more than vata and intellect and digestion are maximal in these persons. They are more visual persons and seek it out more in nature than others. They are courageous but tend to be combative, argumentative, impatient, aggressive, competitive, hateful, and envious mentally/emotionally when out of balance. Physical signs of imbalance include excess thirst, diarrhea, skin rash, bleeding and bruising.

The kapha persons are the stout, big, muscular, slightly more fatty people. They are strongest and generally most healthy and long-lived. They are affable, compassionate, affectionate, and steady but prone to depression, greed, avarice, attachment, resistant to change and so on. Physically they may tend to over weight, lethargy, inactivity, dullness, and so on.

There is an important maxim regarding causation: all things always promote their nature upon contact with other things. In short–like increases like or similar's coming together increase the expression of their qualities; opposites reduce or diminish the expressions of their inherent nature. For example, heat plus heat means more heat but hot mixed with cold means only warmth–neither hot nor cold. The import of this law is that no matter what we experience in our life, whether we are aware of it or not, want it or not, the nature of the things we come in contact with (including our thoughts) increases that style of functioning of the body. The body is governed by DNA tendencies but these genes express differently upon contact with different substances. Thus it is that how we live, eat, and feel are all important to how the body works. Ayurveda does not try to micromanage the bio-chemistry of things but rather tries to manage the vata, pitta, kapha of things. These three principles govern the bio-chemistry directly and we manage them (vata, pitta, kapha) with our diet, lifestyle, feelings, and so on.

As a health paradigm Ayurveda also emphasizes spiritual law–the law of karma as another aspect of cause and effect. This law states that as you sew so shall you reap. The meaning of this includes all matters of experience–moral and non-moral. It is a reflection of the fundamental cause of things gone wrong–called prajnaparadha or mistake of the intellect. It points to the fact that the intellect fails to make the right choices because, mainly, of the weakness of the senses to perceive properly, which causes the intellect to misjudge cause and effect relationships. Further, the intellect may not be capable of restraining the individual to what it may know to be right and sometimes it can't remember the cause and effect of experience. Sometimes we do the right thing but at the wrong time. And sometimes we use the senses too much, too little, or in a perverted manner. Thus it is that health and the matter and manner of living may give expression to actions of another time, place, and incarnation.

Ayurveda is rather unique for its characterization of disease. There appear to be 6 types of causes or models of disease: vata, pitta, kapha (humoral), infectious, toxic (ama), mental/emotional, spiritual, and nutritional. Each of these is declared by the ancient seers to be treated in an unique way. Therefore, one must make a fundamental discrimination as to what type of disease one has. Briefly, humoral diseases are treated with palliation and elimination; infection is treated with elimination, palliation, and avoidance; toxicity with digestives and burning drugs and activities; mental/emotional disorders are treated with knowledge–especially of Self. Spiritual disorders are treated with mantra, yajnas, gems, and other spiritual themes. Nutritional causes are treated with proper nutrition.

The general theme of medical (non-surgical) treatment of disease is given in four strategies: 1) avoidance of the cause, without which no cure obtains, 2) palliation with opposites, 3) elimination or cleansing regimes (panchakarma), and 4) rejuvenation.

Ayurveda aims to perfect the life and its components by maintaining a healthy body and happy mind. When one is happy and physically healthy one's purpose is fulfilled, one gets compensation for this and one enjoys these benefits. Further, Self-realization is possible when all these happen because of perfection of mind and body.

To view recently published articles by NIH on CAM and Ayurveda click on URL1 and URL2 and URL3–you'll need Adobe Reader.

See this online movie on Ayurveda made about 10 years ago:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4697724121661222905

Fair Use Source: http://ayurveda-florida.com/about_ayurveda_science_of_life_healing_with_panchakarma_diet_lifestyle.htm

For a Video of the Wikipedia article, see also: http://www.qwiki.com/q/Ayurveda

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Fundamentals of Ayurveda | Three Doshas | Vata | Pitta | Kapha

Ayurvedic Constitutions | Vata-Pitta | Pitta-Kapha | Kapha-Vata

Balancing Vata | Balancing Pitta | Balancing Kapha

Vata Diet | Pitta Diet Kapha Diet

Vata-Pitta Diet | Pitta-Kapha Diet | Tridoshic Diet

Ten Pairs of Attributes | Five Elements

Six Tastes | Ama | Agni | Ojas | Tejas | Prana

Organs and Ayurveda | Dhatus


Ayurvedic Practitioners | Ayurvedic Consultations

Ayurvedic Clinics | Ayurveda Free Clinics

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Ayurvedic Authors | Suggested Ayurveda Books | Ayurvedic Books

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Ayurvedic Articles | Selected Ayurvedic Readings | Ayurvedic Research


Legality of Ayurveda | Religion Freedom and Ayurveda

National Ayurvedic Medical Associations | Ayurvedic Standards Bodies

American Herbalists Guild | Master Ayurvedic Herbalist

Ayurvedic Pastoral Counselor | Ayurvedic Health Educator

Ayurvedic Medical Ethics | Buddhist Ethics | Vedic Ethics | Ayurvedic Scams


Ayurvedic Herbs | Top Ten Ayurvedic Herbs | Ayurvedic Material Medica

Amalaki | Shilajit | Guggulu | Ashwagandha | Brahmi | Musta

Organic Ayurveda | Ayurvedic Herb Suppliers

Growth - Manufacture - Quality | Heavy Metals in Ayurveda | Safety and Regulation

Ayurvedic Herbal Products | Ayurvedic Formulas | Custom Ayurvedic Formulas

Herbal Actions and Interactions | Language of Herbs | Ayurvedic Sanskrit

Herbal Traditions: Traditional Chinese Medicine

Tibetan Medicine | Ayurvedic Medicine | Western Herbs


Ayurvedic Glossary | Dharma Glossary

Ayurvedic Encyclopedia | Ayurvedic Herbal Database


Ayurvedic Nutrition | Ayurvedic Diets | Ayurvedic Food Lists |

Ayurvedic Cookbook | Ayurvedic Recipes | Ayurvedic Cooking

Ayurvedic Spices | Turmeric

Ayurvedic Vegetarian | Ayurvedic Vegan

Ayurvedic Food Therapy compared to Chinese | Energies of Foods

Environmental Toxins | Toxins and Ayurveda - Ama

Ayurvedic Digestion - Agni

Constipation and Ayurveda - Triphala

Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Ayurveda IBS - Avipattikar

Food Supplements | Food Additives |

Ayurveda and Vitamins | Nutraceuticals

Obesity and Ayurveda | Anorexia and Ayurveda

Immunity and Ayurveda | Immune Deficiency and Ayurveda


Exercise and Ayurveda | Muscle and Ayurveda | Fat and Ayurveda

Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy


Sex and Ayurveda | AIDS and Ayurveda | STDs and Ayurveda

Erectile Dysfunction and Ayurveda | Low Libido and Ayurveda


Ayurvedic Psychology | Sattva Rasas Tamas

Ayurvedic Meditation Guidelines | Vipassana and Ayurveda

Anxiety and Ayurveda | Anger and Ayurveda | Depression and Ayurveda

ADD and Ayurveda | Manic-Depression and Ayurveda | Overeating and Ayurveda

Technology and Ayurveda

Ayurvedic Mantras | Ayurvedic Yoga

Ayurvedic Spirituality | Nagarjuna Bodhisattva | Medicine Buddha

Medicine King Bodhisattva | Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva - Great Vows

Avalokiteshvara BodhisattvaGreat Compassion | Tara | Great Compassion Mantra

Manjushri Bodhisattva - Great Wisdom | Samantabhadra Bodhisattva - Great Practice

Maitreya Bodhisattva - Great Patience | Vajrapani Bodhisattva - Great Protection

Cause and Effect in Ayurveda | Dependent Origination | Ten Perfections

Five Precepts | Bodhisattva Precepts - Benefit Others More than Your Self

Ayurveda and the Bodhisattva Way


Ayurvedic Treatments | Ayurvedic Diseases | Ayurvedic Pathology

Ayurvedic Home Remedies | Chinese Medicine Home Remedies

Heart Disease and Ayurveda | Cancer and Ayurveda | Stroke and Ayurveda

Asthma and Ayurveda | Diabetes and Ayurveda | Alzheimers and Ayurveda

Arthritis and Ayurveda | Chronic Fatigue and Ayurveda

Insomnia and Ayurveda | Stress and Ayurveda


Pancha Karma | Ayurvedic Detox | Nasya Therapy | Donating Blood

Ayurvedic Enemas | Dashamula Tea | Sesame Oil

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Ayurvedic Body Therapy | Ayurvedic Massage Oils

Ayurvedic Sound Therapy | Ayurvedic Aromatherapy

Ayurvedic ChromotherapyColor Therapy and Ayurveda


Ayurvedic Womans Health

Irregular Menstruation and Ayurveda | Painful Menstruation and Ayurveda

Yeast Infections and Ayurveda | Menopause and Ayurveda

Pregnancy and Ayurveda | Ayurvedic OBGYN |

Ayurvedic Gynecology | Children and Ayurveda


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ayurveda.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/26 18:10 (external edit)