The following are some of the principle theories and practices of Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is divided into eight parts. Hence it is also known as Ashtanga ayurveda.
These are as follows: Kaya, Bal, Graha, Urdhwa, Shalya, Dhanstra, Jara, Vrishan.
- Kaya: The part of ayurveda which mainly related with diseases related with body, related with digestion.
- Bala: It is related with the paediatric age group. It is the treatment for the proper growth and diseases of children.
- Graha: It deals with stars and planets and other mental disorders.
- Urdhwa: The diseases of upper part of the body above the neck. This part is also known as Shalakyatantra. In this part, disorders of ear, nose, throat, eyes, and oral cavity are considered.
- Shalya: This is surgical branch of Ayurveda which is well developed by Sushrut.
- Dhanstra: It is related to the tooth where animal bites, poisoning and its treatment is considered.
- Jara: It is the branch related to geriatrics. It deals with treatment to avoid old age.
- Vrushya: It is the branch related with healthy sex life and treatment related to complaints about intercourse etc.
Prakruti: At the time of conception, the particular dosha dominating is the prakruti of that individual.According to individuals prakruti, he or she is prone to some types of disease. To cure those disorders, some hints related to day to day life "dincharya" and seasonal behavior "Rutucharya"are given.
Panch Mahabhoot Siddhanta: The whole body is considered to be made up of five basic elements such as Prithvi, Aap, Tepa, Vayu and Aakash .When there is disturbance in dosha-dhatu-mala, the individual suffers from disease. Hence they should be treated accordingly.
The treatment part includes Shodhan and Shaman. In Shodhan, the doshas are expelled out of the body with the help of medicines and in Shaman , doshas are suppressed in the body. Shodhan includes five ways of cleansing named as Pancha karma. It includes;
Nasya: medicine administered by nostrils.
Raktamokshan: letting out blood,
Basti: medicated material administered through anus.
Prakruti - The Unique Genetic Code of an Individual
Everyone knows that there are no two fingerprints alike. No two voice modulations and no two genetic codes are exactly alike. What makes anyone think we all have the same liver, lungs, kidneys, or anything else the same as the next person. Therefore to propose that we all eat the same foods, take the same drugs when we are ill, or perform the same exercise is more than ludicrous. It is unscientific! Ayurveda uses a system of historical analysis and physical examination done almost entirely by observation (with the exception of pulse reading), to ascertain one's original nature and current imbalances.
A diet and health plan are given to the individual according to the needs to correct the imbalance. The basis for all other concepts in Ayurveda is Sankhya (the analytical study of the elements that comprise the universe). Although the modern physicist would delineate well over one hundred elements, Sankhya states there are twenty-four, of which five are the foundation of the gross world: Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether.
These five elements, when joined in different combinations, make up the three "doshas" or "biological modes" which are the "Prakruti" or nature of an individual and the nature of all things.
The combination of air and ether gives us Vata or the Kinetic Biological Mode. Vata is that which is electric in the body and causes all movement in and out of the system (breathing, urination, defecation, menstruation, etc.)
The combination of fire and water gives us Pitta or the Transformative Biological Mode. Pitta is that which mutates or transforms the outside elements of the macrocosm into the inside elements of the body (the microcosm). Pitta governs the digestion of physical, mental, and emotional elements.
Finally, the combination of earth and water gives us Kapha or the Structive Biological mode. Kapha is that which makes for both lubrication (mucus, synovial fluid) and structure (bones, muscles, fat, joints, etc). The following are some of the principle theories and practices of Ayurveda.