Ayurveda is defined as a Science (Veda) of Life (Ayu). It is not merely a medical science but shows how perfectly a life is to be lived with health, peace in harmony with nature. Ayurveda is a discipline of the upaveda or "auxiliary knowledge". It describes qualitative aspect of health in major. Ayurveda places great importance on one's pathya, or lifestyle (eating habits or daily routine). Ayurveda also provides guidance on how to adjust our lifestyle based on change in seasons. Hygiene is a central practice of ayurvedic medicine. Ayurveda has stood for the wholesome physical, mental and spiritual growth of humanity around the world. According to some sources up to 80% of people in India use some form of traditional medicines, a category which includes Ayurveda.
Ayurveda treats illness at its source, rather than at a level of symptoms, and helps an individual to take responsibility for their own health and well-being.
Ayurveda is grounded in metaphysics if the "five great elements" (Prithvi-earth, Aap-water, Tej-fire, Vaayu-air and Akash-Ether)- all of which compose the universe, including the human body. Chyle or plasma (called rasa dhatu), blood (rakta dhatu), flesh (mamsa dhatu), fat (medha dhatu), bone (asthi dhatu), marrow (majja dhatu), and semen or female reproductive tissue (shukra dhatu) are held to be the seven primary constituent elements- saptadhatu of the body. Ayurveda deals elaborately with measures of healthful living during the entire span of life and its various phases. Ayurveda stresses a balance of three elemental energies or humours: vata (air & space- "wind"), pitta (fire & water- "bile") and kapha (water & earth- "phlegm"). According to ayurveda, these three regulatory principles- doshas (literally which deteriorates) are important for health, because when they are in a balanced state, the body will function to its fullest, and when imbalanced, the body will be affected negatively in certain ways. Ayurveda holds that each human possesses a unique combination of doshas. In ayurveda, the human body perceives attributes of experiences as 20 Guna (meaning qualities). Surgery and surgical instruments are employed. It is believed that building a healthy metabolic system, attaining good digestion and proper excretion leads to vitality. Ayurveda also focuses on exercise, yoga, meditation, and massage. Thus body, mind, and spirit/ consciousness need to be addressed both individually and in unison for health to ensue.
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