Originating from the ancient Indian sacred literature, the Vedas, five thousand years ago, Ayurveda (pronounced i-yer-vay-da), emerged as a holistic health care system that encourages equilibrium of mind, body and soul. The word is derived from the Sanskrit root words, “Ayu,” which means “life or vitality” and “Vedas,” meaning “wisdom or science.” Thus translated, Ayurveda means the “science of life.”
While still being allopathic (opposed to homeopathic) in its approach to disease and illness, Ayurveda is also preventive. The system or science provides knowledge on how to keep the body from being affected by antagonistic causes of sickness and also eliminating illness at its core should disease come about. The focus of this 5,000-year old system is to balance the inseparable elements of nature together within a person to bring about a wholeness.
As children of Mother Nature, each human being is different and constitutes a makeup unique from anyone else. Therefore, Ayurveda Medicine as science does not offer a standardized treatment or health care plan. As offspring of nature, there are inherent parts of each person’s being that are modeled after elements of universal design. These being the elements of space or ether, air, fire, water, and earth. These are forces that are uniquely combined within an individual as a blueprint for their body and mind composition.
The fundamentals of Mother Nature are mixed and categorized within the microcosm of a person as three principles called doshas or bio-energies. The tridoshas are:
As a medical system, Ayurveda involves the use of herbal composites, a specialized nutrition plan and a unique, Ayurvedic health practice called Rasta Shasta. Rasta Shasta is translated as the “study of mercury.” It is a form of alchemy. Rasta Shasta is the process of making metals, including but not limited to mercury, and other minerals absorbable in human consumption. According to Dr. Desponde in a lecture at the International Institute of Ayurveda in 2000, in medicinal recommendations, Indian practitioners only use 20 percent purely herbal preparations. 30 percent is mineral preparation such as that produced by Rasta Shasta, and 50 percent of mineral and herbal preparations are administered.
As a system or science, Ayurveda medicine deals with an all-inclusive and holistic approach to health, wellness, and disease treatment by addressing the physical, psychological, demonstrative, and ecological components of a person. Maintaining the harmony of the tridoshas under the care of Ayurveda Medicine constitutes wellness.