Ayurveda is the ancient Indian system of natural and holistic medicine that has been in existence for over 6,000 years. Made up of two separate words in Sanskrit: Ayur, meaning longevity or life and Veda, meaning ‘science or knowledge”, together translates to “the science of life” or “life knowledge”.
As a branch of medical learning, Ayurveda provides techniques to help cure various ailments by using herbal medicines, controlled eating regime, massage etc. – in essence, the very epitome of the holistic philosophy of living.
Ayurveda works on the principle that every human being is composed of five basic elements of the cosmic system – earth, water, air, fire and space, though individually, these may be present in different proportions. The purpose of Ayurveda is to help maintain the balance between these elements by diagnosing the three different ‘dosha’:
When these dosha are balanced, good health prevails, but when they are out of balance, the body’s toxicity can result in disease. Hence the importance of keeping these elements balanced for a healthy and happy life. Ayurveda prescribes a cleansing process to remove harmful toxins, as well as using massage, an appropriate diet and the use of various herbs as a way of purifying the body.
In recent years, Kerala, a state in southern India, has become the centre of Ayurveda treatments. As a result of the growing interest in Ayurveda medicine, there are now many excellent resorts that have accredited Ayurveda centers on their property and employ fulltime Ayurveda doctors. Guests are able to have their dosha assessed by these professional experts, and then take part in the suggested purification courses. Courses of treatment range from 3-7 days, though if dealing with chronic doshas, a longer duration of treatment may be recommended.
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