History of Ayurveda
A comprehensive understanding of Ayurveda requires a detailed look at its long history, from its source to the various interpretations it has been subjected to, through the centuries. The original verses of Ayurveda are said to be derived from the consciousness of Lord Brahma the Creator, and carefully internalized by his disciples. These were passed down among the Gods, until they eventually reached the three Great Sages – Dhanwantari (in his Divodasa avatar), Bharadwaja, and Kashyapa – who setup different schools of treatment and thought on Earth.
In the course of time, Ayurveda branched out into three categories, namely Shalya Chikitsa – Surgery, Kaya Chikitsa – General Medicine, and Kaumarabhritya – Paediatrics. These had a huge influence on the way diseases and ailments were approached and treated, as the Sages sought this knowledge in times of great plague and pestilence.
The third important phase of early Ayurvedic history is marked by the composition of the first medical literature on the subject that was invaluable in disseminating Ayurvedic philosophies and treatments across the world.
The legendary Rasayana Chikitsa, or Rejuvenation Therapy, is often considered synonymous with rebirth, for it completely revitalizes the body, eliminating the ill-effects of all previous disorders. Its cleansing effect gives a second lease of life by completely decontaminating the body, mind, and spirit.
Rasayana is derived from two separate Sanskrit words: Rasa meaning the “basic essence that nourishes the body,” and Ayana meaning “path”. Hence, Rasayana stands for a nourishing pathway. Rasayana Chikitsa is a holistic revitalization therapy aimed at treating nutrient deficiencies, with a focus on the constituent elements of the body.
Panchakarma is a rejuvenation therapy in Ayurveda. The Pancha (Five) Karma (Action) approach to disease prevention is a combination of five tried-and-tested treatment techniques that revitalizes patients by restoring their physical and mental equilibrium.
Panchakarma’s value lies in the herbal and organic medicines used, which exempts it from the risks of side effects, common to many modern-day drugs. The concept behind it is that a majority of sicknesses are caused by consumed foods and environmental toxins. Panchakarma treatment is unique since it ensures both short-term and long-term well-being of the individual. It scrupulously avoids the instant gratification approach. Shamana and Shodhana are the two categories of rejuvenation therapies practised.
Ayurveda offers a plethora of unique treatment techniques that can relieve any specific organ-related issues. Raktamokshana is recommended for patients suffering from build-up of toxins in their blood stream. Leeches (Hirudo medicinalis) are used in leeching procedure to draw out impure blood through a specially-made incision. This helps treat blood-related deficiencies in the system.
Netravasti deals with eye-based disorders. Karnapoorana is a treatment for ear problems and Talapotichil is recommended for hypertension and anxiety issues. Each treatment follows a unique treatment methodology.