Find answers to the most commonly and frequently asked questions about Ayurveda. In this page we have tired to answer all the commonly/frequently asked questions related to Ayurveda, but if you have any specific question about Ayurveda, the treatments, about our ayurveda retreat center in Goa, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Hari Om Tat Sat
Put simply, Ayurveda (a Sanskrit word meaning the ‘science’ or ‘wisdom of life’) is an ancient philosophy based on a deep under standing of eternal truths about the human body, mind and sprit. Unlike orthodox medicine, it is not based on the frequently changing finding of specific research projects, but rather on permanent, wise eternal principles of living.
The Central principle of Ayurveda is that each human being is unique having a distinct individual constitution, genetic inheritance and predisposition to certain diseases, and a distinct spiritual makeup.
Modern medicine tries to treat and remove the condition, rather than treating the patient suffering from it. This is stemmed from a view that all the people are more or less the same as opposed to the Ayurvedic principle. Ayurveda makes it special contribution by addressing the uniqueness of each patient and by helping body to heal itself.
Ayurveda approaches the problem from different angles.
Panchakarma (Five cleansing procedures) and Ayurvedic messages are effective in flushing out toxins already in the body and internal system down to the last cell. The body is tuned up by massage, oil bath and other procedures.
Herbal food supplements and health care products builds up the immune system in a natural way. There are specific drugs to strengthen each system of the body, and arrest aging process
Ayurveda prevents toxins entering into the body by making people keep a watch on their food habits and food
- Internal medicine (Kaya Chikitsa)
- Pediatries and gynachology (Balaroga Chikitsa)
- Surgery (Shalya Chikitsa)
- E.N.T- ear,nose throat and surgery (Shalakya Chikitsa)
- Toxicology (Agadatantra)
- Rejuvanation ((Rasyana)
- Study of sexual function and reproduction(Vajikarana chikitsa)
- Psychiatry (Manasroga chikitsa)
The science of Ayurveda has simplified the organizational layout of the human body into three basic components, Dosha (Fault), Dhatu (Tissue) and Mala (Impurities).
The entire science of Ayurveda is based on “five great elements” (Pancha Mahabhootha) theory. The five elements are Earth (Prathvi), Water (Jal), Fire (Agni or Tej), Air (Vayu) and Ether or Space (Akash). All matter in the universe is made up of these elements. Earth represents the solid state, water the liquid state, air the gaseous state, fire transforming force and ether is simultaneously the source of all matter and the space in which it exists
Vata, Pitta and Kapha are the names of Tridoshas. Vata(air), Pitta(bile) and Kapha (phlegm). Doshas are basically three different forms of energy. The three doshas contain two of the five elements as any other matter. The Doshas work as a team in a natural healthy individual. Perfect balance of these three Doshas(energies) is the basis of well being. These constituents give specific properties to Doshas with each Dosha having one property particular to itself and two opposite to others. Hence the character of Doshas is influenced mainly by what is eaten as also by temperature, season, mental state etc. In most persons either one or combination of Doshas would be dominant. This defines the constitution of the person.
If ‘Doshas’ are dynamic energies, ‘Vata dosha’ is the kinetic energy. Word ‘Vata’ means ‘which moves’. Vata dosha is initiator of all forms of activity. It is important in the communication network of the body ; from sense organ to brain and consciousness, from tissue to tissue and cell to cell. ‘Vata’ is responsible for perception (that includes pain), assimilation and reaction. It brings a thought from memory to consciousness and transfers current experience into memories. It inspires speech and is the base of laughter and exaltation. At the level of physical body it is responsible for micro and macro movement. ‘Vata’ is more cerebral. Stress vitiates ‘vata’ which in turn alters ‘Pitta’ or ‘Kapha’ leading to wide variety of symptoms. Lack of sleep, excessive physical activity and long hours of fasting also vitiate ‘ Vata’.
‘Pitta dosha’ is responsible for all types of transformations in the body. Pitta controls digestion of food as well as conversion of light rays falling on the retina to electric impulses. In the brain there is a local ‘Pitta Dosha’, responsible for comprehension and analysis of data received. A person with pre determined ‘pitta dosha’ is highly intelligent, quick to process sensory inputs and able to reach decisions promptly. Pitta controls emotion like anger, fear and bravado. Pitta controls digestion of food, it is responsible for hunger, appetite and thirst. It gives shine to the skin. In contrast to Vata, Pitta is more physical.
‘Kapha Dosha’, the third angle of ‘Doshas’ is also termed as phlegm. It is the cohesive energy in the body, it smoothes out problems, lubricates and provides support when needed. If ‘Vata’ is kinetic energy then ‘Kapha’ is potential energy. ‘Kapha’ is very close to tissues and like ‘Pitta’ has greater physical form than ‘vata’. It shares many of the properties of tissue it influences. It is anti thesis of ‘Pitta’ and is protective in nature. Its main property is stability. In contrast of ‘Pitta’, ‘Kapha’ denotes loyalty, compassion and love. A predominance of this ‘Dosha’ makes a person forgiving in nature free from envy and endowed with patience. It gives mental strength and resistance to diseases. It gives firmness to joints while keeping them lubricated. It also enhances sexual potency.
Ayurveda finds its foundation in the ancient classical texts of Charaka Samhitha, Susrutha Samhitah, Ashtanaga Samgraham, Ashanga Hridayam, Sargadhara Samhitha, Bhishaga Ratnavali etc., which are the treasury of effective practices and formulations and these form the basis of Ayurvedic pharmaceuticals. Recent scientific research has proved the efficacy of herbs used and also the formulations. Number of Ayurvedic research institutes in different parts of the country as well as the world have taken up scientific research into these health care products.
a). Fermented preparation (Asavarishta)
b). Medicated Ghee (Ghrita)
c). Paste (Lehya)
d). Incinerated metals & minerals (Bhasma)
e). Fine powder (Choorna)
f). Coarse powder for decoction (Kashaya Choorna)
g). Decoction (Kashaya)
h). Pills (Gulika)
i). Ophthalmic preparation (Rasakriya)
These are basically therapeutic measures taken either to prevent diseases or cure them. Thus Ayurvedic procedures are done either to detoxify the body or as a prelude to strengthening the immune system. ‘Panchakrama’ or five procedures is the most sought after anti aging, detoxification therapy.
The pre-procedures are called ‘Poorva Krama’ and consists of digestion (Pachana), oleation (Senehan), fomentation (Swedan). Basic objective of “Panchakrama” (Five internal detoxification procedures) is to remove the excessive accumulated toxins, which causes the vitiation of ‘Dosha’ (fault). If any ‘dosha’ is imbalanced, either due to environment or dietary factors it is often difficult to be normalized with diet and drugs alone. Actual ‘Panchakrama’ procedures are always preceded and succeeded with specialized procedures. If used as therapeutic measure they can be done at any time of the year, i.e., at the time the disease occurs. If one uses it as a preventive measure, it should be used at the appropriate time for each ‘Dosha’.
Vaman : Vomiting (Vaman) is intended to the removal of ‘Kapha dosha’. It is not to be adopted for ‘Kapha’ only but necessarily in case of “kapha’s” conjunction with one or both ‘Doshas’. Vaman is essential for in the case of food poisoning or other type of poisoning. Vaman employs certain emetic drugs that induce a severe spell of vomiting to clean the upper gut. Bronchial asthma is prevented by periodically inducing ‘Vaman’.
Virechan :Purging is a purifactory treatment as important as emesis or vomiting. ‘Virachan’ concentrates on the lower part of the gut and uses purgatives to clean the bowel. This procedure helps get rid of all three Doshas, though Pitta and Kapha benefit the most. To cure piles, boils, discoloration of face, jaundice, chronic fever, spleen enlargement cataract, intestinal disorders, ailments of the womb, arthritis, haemothermia, constipation, diabetes, skin diseases, tumors, asthma cough, ailments in the head and many other diseases in the Ayurvedic way, purging is essential
Basti: The classical Text ‘Ashtanga Hridaya’ says, “A purge properly carried out leads to clarity of intellect, power to the organs, elemental stability and glow to digestive fire and it delays aging”. Medical enema ‘Basti’ predominates in the five course of treatment (Panchakrama). This is prescribed for ‘Vata’ dominated patients and helps to overcome all diseases, revives vital force, and rejuvenates body. The rectal lining is very permeable and the drug reaches the circulation directly without passing through liver. Ayurveda offers ‘Basti’ as a therapy for several indications. These are digestive, evacuative, rejuvenate and health promotive ‘Bastis’. In general ‘Bastis’ tackle ‘Vata dosha’ the best way. The fluid for ‘Basti’ is either medicinal decoction or herbal oil to suit the ailment. ‘Basti’ for the head gives extra ordinary relief for all ailments connected with ‘Vata’ in the head, ear ache, humming in the year, deafness, numbness of the head and all ailments based on the cranical nerves. This procedure is usually done for 7 days.
Raktomokshana : Blood letting (Raktamochana) is a therapy advised by Ayurveda to treat heart conditions and varicose veins. Ayurveda advocates the use of leeches’ applied over alternate day to reduce venomous congestion. The digestive fire is low after the ‘panchakrama’. So the diet first should be liquid followed by solids.
Ayurveda emphasis the all-important value of good diet as it create good quality nourishment. (Rasa) which in turn will nourish blood (rakta) and subsequently influence the skin. Ayurveda says that skin diseases occur primarily due to sluggish lever function which leads to ‘pitta’ and ‘kapha’ dosha dysfunction. Another vital factor that contributes to healthy appearance is the clean bowel. Hence the need for regular and complete bowel evacuation. The hair is the metabolic end product of bone and marrow. This if diet falls, short of nourishing bones, the quantity of hair is affected. Similarly stress and worry leads to unhealthy hair. Wholesome diet is what is necessary for good skin and hair. Ayurvedic skin and hair care products are formulated with this fact in view.