Ayurveda – centuries old traditional Indian system of medicine carries the heritage of one of the oldest civilizations on the earth. Rulers and sages of oriental countries contributed and propagated this system for the benefit of the society. Charaka* – the master physician and Susruta** – the father of surgery nourished this divine medical system by authoring books in their specialized fields. Till the invasion of India by the westerners AYURVEDA was going through its golden time.
With the western rulers came the western medicine. Efficiency of modern medicine to provide quick relief and emergency care and the advancement of surgery made them popular and Ayurveda brought down to the back stage. Moreover modern system became more organized and disciplined where as Ayurveda continued to depend on its traditional course.
In the modern India, Ayurveda also started adopting benefits from the advantages of technological development. Ayurvedic education became formal with establishment of Ayurvedic colleges. Decoctions and concoctions gave way for tablets, capsules and syrups. Today an Ayurvedic doctor is well versed and studied like a modern medical physician.
On the other hand, worldwide people started realizing the long term hazards of chemical drugs and recognizing alternate systems of medicine. As Ayurveda is the most scientific and authentic of all other alternate medicines, the western world also got attracted to it. Today Ayurveda is spreading its popularity and slowly conquering the western world. Most of the European countries have recognized the benefits of Ayurveda and some of them even started Ayurvedic educational institutes.
Like YOGA conquered the world with in the last two decades, now it is the turn of Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is based on the principles of nature. It believes that the rules govern the nature are the same that governs all living organisms too. Like the universe got a rhythm – the sun rises and sets, the wind blows, periodically climates comes and goes automatically with out interference. Similarly human body also got a natural rhythm – like with out our consent or effort, we breathe, heart pumps, brain recognizes and realizes senses, digestion, assimilation and excretion happens.
Both our body and the nature have got a natural rhythm which balances all the functions of our system and coordinates body, mind and spirit. This balance of body, mind and spirit is very essential for a healthy and peaceful living. Like when you abuse nature by excessive mining, emission of dangerous chemicals, deforestation etc etc it retaliates by changes in the natural climates, floods and earthquakes, volcano eruptions and tsunamis. Similarly when we abuse our body with excessive physical and mental stress, wrong food habits and lifestyle it comes out with aches, pains, tumors, inflammations, swellings, fever and creates diseases in the system.
In the modern fast life we are going away from nature. We depend on fast foods, chemically preserved food ingredients, chemically made beverages, depend on refrigerators and microwaves. Fresh food and pure water is a scarcity in the modern house hold. We need to go to gymnasiums to exercise; life has become sedentary but fast.
Ayurveda unlike other systems of medicines not only explains about diseases and treatments, but also suggests methods to prevent them, suggests tips for healthy living and balancing the body with mind and spirit. Ayurveda is the science of life, hence getting more popular and acceptance.
In precise Ayurveda explains ways to live close to the nature. The more close you live to the nature you become healthy and the more you live away from nature you become unhealthy and diseased.
Ayurveda is becoming very popular in South Africa as well – especially as patients see that Ayurveda is able to treat some ailments more effectively than main stream medicines. Given below are ailments that Ayurveda has made maximum impact so far in the few years I have been practising:
- Acidity/Gastric Reflux
- Back Pain/Sciatica/Spondylosis
- Depression/Anxiety/Panic disorder/Stress/insomnia
- Gynaec Disorders
- Knee pain/Osteo arthritis
- Menopause/Menstrual Diseases
- Vericose Veins
DR SAJITH VARMA is a qualified Ayurved doctor, well known for his morning program from a local radio station. He has his own practise from a number of clinics based in Durban.