Ayurveda: Oldest science of healing

Ayurveda: Oldest science of healing

The doshas must be in equilibrium, the digestive fire must be balanced and the dhatus (tissues) and malas (wastes) must work in a normal state

Avishek MishraUpdated: Saturday, August 19, 2023, 09:29 PM IST
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What is health?

“Samadosha, samagnischa samadhatumala kriyaha prasanna atmenindriya manaha swasthya ityabhidheeyate”

The doshas must be in equilibrium, the digestive fire must be balanced and the dhatus (tissues) and malas (wastes) must work in a normal state. The sensory and motor organs, and mind and atma must be in a pleasant state. Such a person is called a healthy person or swastha. These beautiful lines are from the ancient system of medicine called Ayurveda.

The literal meaning of Ayurveda is science of life and it originated in India over 5000 years ago. Mother of all healing sciences, ayurveda places a great emphasis on prevention and maintenance of health through proper food, lifestyle and herbs.

According to Ayurveda philosophy there are three vital energies called tridosha namely vata dosha, pitta dosha and kapha dosha. Tridoshas are the functional form of panchmahabhutas the five basic elements namely ether, air, fire, water and earth. During the process of conception in mother’s womb, depending on the dominance of these doshas, we get a personality or character called prakruti. This prakruti determines an individual’s body type, likes-dislikes, health, etc.

Understanding tridosha

Vata (Ether +air elements) is the subtle energy of movement responsible for neuron function to gross body movements.

Pitta (fire +water) is responsible for digestion and metabolism, provides vision, colour and complexion.

Kapha (water+ earth) provides lubrication and structure to organs and body parts.

Individually we all dominate one of these doshas that reflects on our body, mind, and emotions.

Vata prakruti: Emotionally sensitive but dynamic, thin body built, weak digestive system, low immunity, intolerance to cold and heat, dry skin, fear, anxiety, etc.

Pitta prakruti: Good metabolism, prone to get acidity and inflammation, sensitive skin, intolerance to heat, easy to react, controlling and dominating in nature, anger, agitation, etc.

Kapha prakruti: Healthy built, stable and patient. Slow metabolism, easy to gain weight, cholesterol, diabetes, respiratory problems, etc.

How to balance

Vata dosha: Eat warm, cooked, easy to digest food. Consume small meals many times a day. Regular sesame oil massage to lubricate and strengthen joints is advised along with meditation and yoga. Dancing, singing and playing musical instruments keeps one motivated.

Pitta dosha: Eat more alkaline foods like fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water, coconut water, etc. Use coconut oil and olive oil for cooking.

Kapha dosha: Consume fibre-rich food like vegetables, salad, whole grains, white meat like fish, chicken, etc. Avoid over-eating, red meat, dairy products, sugar, fatty foods, etc.

Observing fast regulates kapha dosha. Regular cardio exercises aids healthy blood circulation and lymphatic circulation.

(The writer is a qualified internationally renowned Ayurveda consultant, expert in pulse diagnosis, holds 15 years of experience)

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