Sushruta and other sages from one generation to the next in the form of approached Dhanvantari, the god of Ayurveda. Dhanvantari imparted to them the wisdom of There are four Vedas, the oldest of which is the Ayurveda for the betterment of mankind and to Rig Veda, which refers to three great beings help rid it of the suffering of disease. These in turn become cultures closer to home in the West that Apollo what are known as the doshas, which govern gave us from Greece and Thoth from Egypt.
You can become If you want to delve deeper into the origins of acquainted with your own unique balance of Ayurveda, the three very important texts that these forces by referring to Chapter 4. As Sushruta, a physician in the sixth century BC informs us, you are only considered healthy when your appetite is strong, your tissues dhatus are functioning normally, your humours the doshas: vata, pitta and kapha are in balance, bodily wastes are eliminated well, and your mind and senses experience joy.
If these Sanskrit terms pique your interest, head to Chapter 3 for an explanation of the dhatus and Chapter 2 for the basics about the doshas. An extensive body of knowledge describes the therapeutic use of minerals and plants in Ayurveda. Throughout this book, I recommend different herbal remedies for different ailments or as rejuvenating tonics. Chapter 1: Introducing Ayurveda: The Science of Life 11 Ayurveda places great emphasis on the effects of the different seasons and your diet on the equilibrium of the body.
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Different doshas, or attributes, are prevalent at different times of the day, and during the seasons these cause physiological changes in your body. I discuss these cadences of time and what you can do to ensure optimum health throughout the seasons in Chapter 9. Talking of the environment, Ayurveda recognises the importance of the environment to your health: in Ayurveda, everything is part of the same consciousness.
How can we be truly healthy when the environment is being brutalised by development, forests are being cleared on a massive scale and farming practices are employed that disrespect the lives of sentient beings?
The food that we eat has often been packaged, chilled and reheated until it contains very little vital force. Your immune system operates at top capacity when your fuel is so poor. Health is really moment-to-moment awareness, and this can be obtained through meditation. Details on how you can put this life-changing practice into action are provided in Chapter 6. Surveying the Scope of Ayurveda Within the practice of Ayurveda are specialities — just like in Western systems.
Sanskrit is a sister of Greek for healing. Its beautiful resonances, which and Latin and one of the Indo-European group you can experience without even having to of languages. More epics, core of your being. All languages vibrate the sagas and scriptures are written in Sanskrit being, but Sanskrit somehow enables you to than in any other language, including English. In fact, Sanskrit is so rigorous throughout the book. The process of perfecting the language has taken thousands In some places in India, medicines are still of years.
The forte of the approach of mainstream medicine is in diagnosis and acute medical conditions such as trauma.
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If a bus knocks you down, you need to be in the accident and emergency room at your local hospital. However, in the management of deep-seated chronic ailments, mainstream medicine sometimes lacks the sophistication of Ayurveda, which always takes the underlying causes of pathology into consideration. Ayurvedic interventions can deeply purify your body and eliminate toxins from your system.
Iatrogenic diseases — those that are unintentionally caused by medical treatment — are on the increase and were estimated as being the third-largest cause of death in a study by Starfield in in the United States. But as long as your doctor is happy for you to follow the remedies in this book, Ayurvedic treatment can be very effective. This book gives you the tools to stay well throughout your life. In Chapter 6, I give you very simple lifestyle recommendations called dinacharya, which keep your diet, digestion and sleep — considered the pillars of your health — in good order.
Locating the Practice and the Evidence Ayurveda has been the only system of medicine in some rural parts of India for thousands of years.
Under the rule of the British, Ayurveda was undermined in the belief that the more mechanistic Western medicine was more efficacious. Thankfully for us, the poor continued to use the tried-and-tested native treatments for their ailments, and Ayurveda survived underground until This is when India became a free nation and Ayurveda received full recognition as a medical system. In the past 20 years, Ayurveda has undergone a resurgence. Qualified Ayurvedic physicians are medical practitioners, and many hospitals treat patients using solely Ayurvedic tenets, without causing any of the adverse reactions of modern treatment.
To find a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner near you, see Appendix C. A wellspring of research is available for those of you who are interested in the science and efficacy of Ayurveda. Over and over again, studies have validated the efficacy of this system using the stringency of Western approaches to research and statistical analysis. To get you started, visit: www. Because you are formed of the same substance This idea was mirrored in the West by the Greek as the creation, you are truly a microcosm of philosophers in the phrase panta re, which the universe.
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I explain the heart of Ayurveda — the five elements, which you see and experience by using your five senses — and how these five elements make up the world. Forget your school science lessons and embrace the science of Ayurveda. Fixing on the Three States of Energy and the Five Elements Samkhya philosophy, one of the oldest philosophical systems and the philosophy that underlies Ayurveda, holds that the creation of the universe enabled three states of energy, or pure consciousness, to come into play.
Which of these states predominate in your mind contributes to determining your psychological constitution you can discover your constitution in Chapter 4. Predominantly sattwic people are calm, spiritually minded, quiet, intelligent and health conscious. Rajas guna, is best described as kinetic energy that results in activity.
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A predominantly rajasic person is ambitious, driven, egotistical and perfectionist. Predominantly tamasic people tend to be lazy, attached to things and bad humoured. The interaction of these three forces creates a unique and harmonious flow of creation, maintenance and destruction. Together, the gunas form the five elements that compose the building blocks, or proto-elements, from which everything in the material world is constructed. The next sections talk about each element in turn. Each element contains the one before it, so each of the five elements contains ether, and earth holds all the elements — ether, air, fire and water.
Each element is connected to a taste. Taste is extremely important in Ayurveda, and I explain it further in Chapter As gunas descend into matter, they manifest as the finest substance, or ether. Gunas become denser and denser until they form earth. Take sound waves as an example: by virtue of ether, sound waves are able to expand and resonate so that we can hear them. Molecules and atoms need space in which to operate, and ether provides that environment throughout your body. Ether inhabits the alveoli of your lungs so that you continue to breathe.
Within your colon, where absorption and assimilation takes place, ether maintains the integrity of the process. Chapter 2: Focusing on the Fundamental Principles 17 When combined with the air element, ether produces a bitter taste. As an element, ether has no dimension, because its atomic particles are very loosely put together.
Its characteristics are fine, soft and light. Ether is the equivalent of nuclear energy, which is the power released when minute atomic particles are split. You can think of air as atoms of oxygen floating in the ether. You can easily see the effects of air when you put your washing on the line; air is dry, light, rough, cold and fine.
All the hollow spaces of your body, such as in your throat and bones, contain air. Air serves to activate and stimulate essential processes in your body, such as respiration and the exchange of gases at a cellular level. Air is the equivalent of electrical energy in modern terms. All the enzyme functions that take place in your body are related to fire, and fire controls your metabolic rate as well. Fire governs all transformative processes in your body, from your digestive process to your thought process.
Combined with air, fire gives a pungent taste, and allied to earth, it results in a sour flavour. In Western terms, agni is thermal energy, where two substances come together and create friction, which in turn produces heat. Water In Sanskrit, the water element is known as ap or jala, meaning watery. Its qualities are slow, cold, oily, soft and liquid.
Water is found in all the cellular fluids in your tissues, and in your spinal and brain fluids. Synovial fluid, which lubricates your joints and provides the moisture in your lungs that prevents them from drying out and sticking to the inside of your rib cage when you breathe, also contains water. Because water embraces all that comes in its path, it has a cohesive effect on the tissues of your body.
Along with this, water has a moistening and dissolving effect, which you see, for example, when water prevents the surface of your skin from drying up. Tears have a solvent effect if you get something in your eye. Combined with earth, water produces a sweet taste, and with fire it produces a salty taste.
In terms of modern chemistry, water would be allied to chemical energy. This type of power is generated when a substance undergoes transformation by the breaking of chemical bonds, such as when you chew your food, releasing nutrients into your body.
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