WHAT IS AYURVEDA MEDICINE?
The term “Ayurveda” combines the Sanskrit words ayur (life) and veda (science or knowledge). Ayurvedic medicine, as practiced in India, is one of the oldest systems of medicine in the world, developed 3,000 years ago in India. Many Ayurvedic practices predate written records and were handed down by word of mouth. Three ancient books known as the Great Trilogy were written in Sanskrit more than 2,000 years ago and are considered the main texts on Ayurvedic medicine—Caraka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, and Astanga Hridaya. Key concepts of Ayurvedic medicine include universal interconnectedness (among people, their health, and the universe), the body’s constitution (prakriti), and life forces (dosha), which are often compared to the biologic humors of the ancient Greek system. Using these concepts, Ayurvedic physicians prescribe individualized treatments, including compounds of herbs or proprietary ingredients, and diet, exercise, and lifestyle recommendations. The majority of India’s population uses Ayurvedic medicine exclusively or combined with conventional Western medicine, and it’s practiced in varying forms in Southeast Asia. It’s based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Its main goal is to promote good health, not fight disease. But treatments may be geared toward specific health problems.