About Ayurveda

Dhanwantari is Doctor of Gods and God of doctors.

Dhanwantari

This painting (1984) is oil on canvas by Mr. V. S. Kulkarni (Pune, India)

 

Ayurveda (Knowledge of Life), ancient health care system of India, aims at promoting health, preventing diseases and restore life. A large survey indicated that Ayurveda is a preferred by 18.7% people for common ailments. 13.8% cases attending Ayurveda dispensaries are those of arthritis. 28% patients of rheumatoid arthritis use Ayurveda drugs. Department of AYUSH (Ministry of Health) aims at growth and development of Ayurveda and other Indian medical systems and their integration into health care delivery. Indian Government is implementing good manufacturing practices in Ayurveda pharmacies. Central councils conduct and support various aspects of research in Ayurveda. There is increasing global interest in traditional systems of medicine. Rich biodiverse phytopharmacological leads in Ayurveda offer immense chance for new drug development. Evidence based practice can easily be implemented with more research and scientific approach. Integrated functioning Ayurveda and modern medicine can then be practiced for health promotion and disease management.

Basic principles
The Universe is made up of 5 basic elements viz. Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. Human body, too, is made up of mind and spirit in addition to these 5 elements. Vata, Pitta and Kapha are 3 vital biological forces (Dosha) that govern every living body. Vata controls body movements and functions, Pitta controls biotransformation and metabolism whereas Kapha manifests as cohesiveness of body constituents. Imbalance of these Doshas leads to disease state. Human body is constituted of 7 body tissues (Dhatu). Quantitative and qualitative optimization of these is desirable for maintainance of health and longevity. Mala are waste products excreted out of the system.
Agni implies capacity for digestion (Jatharagni), metabolism (Bhootagni) and assimilation (Dhatwagni) of food substances. The process of biotransformation and transportation takes place in various body channels (Srotas). Hypofunctioning of Agni and derangement of Srotas are major contributors in development of disease state. Aam, a toxic substance, is generated in human body due inappropriate digestion and inadequate biotransformation of foods, inefficient clearance of waste products and inadvertently ingested or formed non food substances. Aam can be correlated with antigen-antibody complexes responsible for many autoimmune rheumatic diseases.
Vata, the most important Dosha, is responsible for pain in rheumatological and other conditions. The main sites of Vata activity are pelvis, bones, thighs, ears and skin. Vata tends to increase due to various factors including bitter, pungent, astringent, stale and stored foods, hectic lifestyle and frequent traveling, cool and dry climate and advancing age.
Avoidance of causative and precipitating factors, forced expulsion of vitiated Dosha, drug therapy, modification of diet and behavior and Rasayana (therapy for repair and rejuvenation) are important constituents of Ayurveda therapy.

Dhanwantari Aarti Dhanwantari Prarthana Dhanwantari Stawan
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