Etymology of ayurvedaThe word ayurveda is a sanskrit term and is basically formed of two wordsAyu – lifeVeda - scienceThus ayurveda is the science of life.It is defined as the mode of assessing the various forms of life like -:Hitayu ( healthy life)Ahitayu (unhealthy life)Sukhayu (happy life)Dukhayu ( unhappy life)
Principles of ayurvedAyurved believes that the five natural forces called the Panchamahabhuta i.e. the earth, water, fire, air and the vacuum are invariably involved in forming the body constituents. The body constituents include the dosha and dhatu whose balanced condition in the body is essential for prevention of disease. Dosha Dhatu
Dosha – they are 3 in no. formed by the combination of the five mahabhuta’s . These are Dosha Mahabhuta Description Vata Air + Vacum Vata governs the principle of movement in our body Pitta Fire + Water The Pitta Dosha is responsible for the process of metabolism. Kapha Water + Earth Kapha is responsible for growth and stability
Dosha Properties FunctionsVata dry, cold, light, mobile, It promotes movement, clear, rough, subtle respiration , circulation, conducting nerve impulses, delivery of nutrients to the cells and the excretion of waste products.Pitta slightly oily, hot, intense, It promotes digestion, light,, free flowing, foul metabolism, vision, smelling, fluid maintains body temperature, intellectual aspects etc.Kapha Soft, oily, cold, heavy, It gives strength and stable, viscid, smooth, stability, both physically and psychologically. It enhances resistance to disease and promotes the healing process.
Predominant period of doshasThese 3 doshas are predominant during their respectivetime period as follows Time period Predominant dosha 6 am –10 am Kapha 10 am – 2 pm Pitta 2 pm – 6 pm Vata 6 pm – 10 pm Kapha 10 pm – 2 am Pitta 2 am – 6 am Vata
Dhatu’s are 7 in no. and form the entire anatomical and physiological network of body . Proper amount of each dhatu and their balanced function is very important for good health. Together these dosha and dhatu regulate every physiological and psychological characteristic from basic cellular processes to the most complex biological functions. When these forces are in a state of natural balance the defense mechanism of the body works efficiently. But when this balance is disturbed due to an incompatible diet, lifestyle, lack or excess of exercise or mental stress, then the bodys immunity can be affected leading to accumulation of various toxins and leading to formation of disease.
How to maintain this balanceFor prevention of a disease Daily regimen Dietic rules Seasonal rules Mental well-being
For treating a disease Shaman (palliative treatment) Shodhan (purificatory treatment)Shaman is the process by which the imbalanced dosha and dhatu are brought back to normalcy by adopting various methods .Shodhan comprises of five purificatory methods called as the “Panchakarma”- Vamana (emesis) Virechan (purgation) Basti (medicated enema) Nasya (nasal drops) Raktamokshan (blood-letting)By adopting Panchakarma we can detoxify our body and can get permanently cured from a disease by destroying it from it’s roots.
Why Detox? The causes leading to imbalance in dosha’s and dhatu’s are-: Consumption of junk food Irregular timings of meals Taking excess mental stress Inadequate sleep Exposure to pollution Due to all these causes various toxins get accumulated in our body and tend to cause various disease pathologies These toxins can be expelled out of the body by the ayurvedic boon called Panchakarma(Detoxification)
Three Steps in Panchakarma Poorvakarma – theses are the preliminary steps done before undertaking the detoxification therapy -: Dipan – it ignites the digestive fire which has weakened in the disease process Pachan – it tries to digest the accumulated toxins Snehan – it involves oil application externally and it’s consumption as well. Swedan – it is steam induced sweating for toxin clearance.
Snehan and SwedanSnehan and swedan provides lubrication and strength to the body forthe upcoming detox therapy.Snehan helps in loosening the toxins from their sites which are thendislodged by swedanThese dislodged toxins are then easily expelled out of the body by thedetox therapy.
Diet in poorvakarmaThe poorvakarma should be started 5-7 days before undertaking the actual detox therapy. Following dietic rules must be followed during this period Avoid having non – veg food like fish , meat etc. Have 2-3 glass of warm water daily Food containing less oil and spices Cold beverages should be completely given up Light to digest food like vegetable soups, fruit juices, brown bread, sprouted green gram is preferred.A day before detox therapy, food that will aggravate the respective dosha is given. This aggravated dosha is then expelled out easily by the corresponding detox therapyFor e.g. a day before conducting the vaman , preparations of black gram are given which is known to aggravate kapha , which is then expelled.
2. Pradhan karma – this includes the five methods of purification for removal of accumulated toxins.• Virechan- It is induction of purgation by giving certain medicines for removal of excess Pitta.
Basti- It is used for cleansing the intestine by administering medicated oils and decoctions for pacifying the excess Vata. Hridaya basti is an important type of this therapy where medicated oils are pooled over heart region.
Nasya- It involves administration of medicated oil through the nose to cleanse accumulated dosha’s from the head and neck region.
Raktamokshan- Raktamokshana is procedure to cleanse the blood and remove toxins from the same.
3. Paschat karma – helps in regaining the normal functioning of body This includes various rules to be followed after having Panchakarma. dietic behavioural physical psychological rules The diet after completion of detox therapy should be light to digest and may include Soup made with rice with or without some herbs Rice cooked with green gram Vegetable soup Clear meat soup The routine diet can be started after 3, 5, or 7 days depending upon the grade of detox you have undergone. This is the last step of detoxification therapy after which we can start the proposed ayurvedic treatment.
Correct Detox Process Hence shodhan followed by shaman is the correct approach in starting ayurvedic treatment and should be implemented in every patient because an ayurvedic drug can act effectively only on the body which has been detoxified properly. Also a disease which has been treated in this way has probably no chance of recurrence. Shodhan Shaman Permanent cure of disease