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Ayurveda: what is it?

Ayurveda or Ayurvedic medicine is a traditional medicine from the India, also practiced in other parts of the world, especially in Asia.
In sanskrit, the word 'ayurveda' is a combination of the words: ayur meaning 'life' and veda which means 'science', thus "ayurveda" means 'science of life '.
Ayurveda draws its sources in the Veda, all sacred texts of ancient India, and its principles are those of what is today called the "natural medicine".
In this case, it is an approach of Vedic culture, Hinduism is loosely based. Ayurveda remains a form of traditional medicine still perennial in South Asia.
The earliest literature on ayurveda appeared in India in the Vedic period, at the beginning of the Christian era, but it is estimated the origins of this medicine about 1000 years before our era.
Its medical value is recognized by the World Health Organization.

Ayurveda: General principles

The use of the word veda, which means knowledge, indicates the importance of ayurveda in India. Ayurveda offers a sustainable well-being in life, both individual and social and family. It replace human dimension to both physical and spiritual. It considers that all diseases at the same time affect the body, soul and spirit. It does therefore never one without the other two.
Ayurveda believes in the existence of the five great elements (Earth, water, fire, air and space), forming the universe, including the human body.

Ayurveda believes in the balance of three humors or dosha:
  • Vata (space/air),
  • Pitta (fire/Earth),
  • Kapha (Earth/water).

These elements are present to varying degrees in each individual. This doctrine of the three dosha, is paramount. (S) dosha (s) dominant in the individual determines (nt) trends, weaknesses and recommends a lifestyle, including a scheme that it is beneficial, harmonizing it with the universe.
Ayurveda also focuses on exercise, yoga, meditation and massage.
The concept of Panchakarma, Sanskrit Pancha: five and Karma: action, is one of Ayurvedic treatments whose purpose is to cleanse the body by causing the elimination of toxic elements from the body. 

The Ayurvedic diagnosis

To make a diagnosis, the Ayurvedic doctor examines the patient through a set of techniques such as observation, querying, palpation (including taking the pulse) by which it deduced present imbalances, before prescribing care or medicines.
The qualities that should be evaluated are: the constitution, anomalies, gasoline, stability, body measurements, power, psychic force, digestion, physical capabilities and age. The diagnosis of hearing to assess respiratory function and speech. 

Ayurvedic dietetics

Ayurveda incorporates a system of nutrition recommendations.
The Ayurvedic diet is determined according to the majority of each dosha (Vata, Pitta or Kapha) and takes into account the natural rhythms.
Foods are classified according to their characteristics (bitter, acidic, spicy, sweet, salty and astringent) and their positive or negative impact on the dosha to be combined in the best and thus ensure the well-being of everyone. Thus, for example, the Vata dosha is more prone to tastes salty, acidic and sweet, Pitta prefers tastes sweet, bitter, astringent and Kapha pungent, bitter and astringent taste.

Ayurvedic massage

Massage abhyanga, based mainly on oil, is practiced on the external body, but is not a therapy with a power comparable to Panchakarma techniques, unlike the common misconception currently in the West. It is intended to drain toxins to the digestive system and therefore to promote the elimination to allow Panchakarma techniques to deploy all their effects. 

Massage and Ayurvedic treatments is intended, originally, not a relaxing but healing. Like plants, they are designed to rebalance a field to feed or dessaturer to remove tensions, to relax the mind...

All Ayurvedic treatments work on the principle of dermal absorption of raw materials applied to the body. A massage or Ayurvedic treatment, it is above all a raw material adapted to the profile, pathology and the patient's symptoms. It must be of quality to give real benefits. These raw materials may be:
  • Oil: sesame, Castor, coconut, mustard, neem, sweet almond, apricot kernels or nursing with plants such as Chandanbala lakshadi (Woodburning sandalwood), Dashamoula tail or Mahanarayan.
  • Ghee (clarified butter): pure or safe such as dadima, triphala, mahatikta ghrouta.
  • Powders: spices or plants, salt, chick pea flour
  • Preparations: medical milk, rice cooked in milk, butter-milk
  • Hot pads: containing plants, spices
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Preparation
Françoise Calvel
calvel@Ayurveda-Inde.com

Coordination
Eric Dujoncquoy
Eric@Ayurveda-Inde.com

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