Ayurveda is an intricate system of healing that originated in India thousands of years ago. We can find historical evidence of Ayurveda in the ancient books of wisdom known as the Vedas. In the Rig Veda, over 60 preparations were mentioned that could be used to assist an individual in overcoming various ailments. The Rig Veda was written over 6,000 years ago, but really Ayurveda has been around even longer than that. What we see is that Ayurveda is more than just a medical system. It is a Science of Life. We are all part and parcel of nature. Just as the animals and plants live in harmony with nature and utilize the Laws of Nature to create health and balance within their beings, we, too, adhere to these very same principles. Therefore, it is fair to say that Ayurveda is a system that helps maintain health in a person by using the inherent principles of nature to bring the individual backs into equilibrium with their true self. In essence Ayurveda has been in existence since the beginning of time because we have always been governed by nature's laws.
Ayurveda, which literally means the science of life (Ayur = Life, Veda = Science), Ayurveda is an ancient medical science which was developed in India thousands of years ago. Believed to have been passed on to humans from the Gods themselves, Ayurveda developed and evolved into what it is today from several ancient treatises, most notably Adharva Veda which dates back to five thousand years. The ancient Vedic literature by sages has clearly laid out instructions to maintain health as well as fighting illness through therapies, massages, herbal medicines, diet control and exercise.
About Ayurveda & Kerala
Ayurveda was the most ancient life science originated in India about 5000 years ago and is practiced all across the world to attain complete health in the four pursuits of human life, Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. Moksha also called Salvation is said to be the ultimate goal of a human being as he or she is then liberated from the cycle of birth and death. Ayurveda, the science of life is all embracing the Nature.
When you think of Kerala, you think of Ayurveda - and when you think of Ayurveda, what comes first to the mind is its glorious past. The Divine gift of the knowledge of Life was bestowed by the Gods for the benefit of mankind. The ancient sages and rishis used this knowledge to prevent and heal illness, and preserved and passed on this wisdom through the Vedic Religion and scriptures, as well as through the myths and legends which add colour and depth to its vibrant history. In Kerala, the Ashtavaidyas were the traditional physicians. According to legend it was Lord Parasuraman himself who assigned 8 of the families in Kerala as physicians, and these families came to be known as Ashtavaidyans, meaning 8 physicians.
Ayurveda went through a period of decline in India during the rule of the British, when Western Medicine became more important. However some Ayurveda and Ayurvedic formula did make it to the west and extreme orient. The most popular one would be the “Amala” and “Aritha” fruits which are used to make “champoo” for hair. This gave birth to modern day “Shampoo”. With the coming of Independence, Ayurveda too broke free of its shackles. European surgeons translated and brought into practice Indian surgery techniques as described in the Sushruta Samhita including the discipline that is plastic surgery today. Many modern medications were derived from plants alluded to in Ayurveda texts. For example Rauwolfia Serpentina was used to treat headache, anxiety and snakebite, and its derivative is used in treating blood pressure today. Since the mid 70’s the popularity of Ayurveda has steadily increased in the developed nations. People from these countries have been coming to India to learn about Ayurvedic herbs and concoctions, its principles of healing and treatment…for they know that it is Ayurveda, with its roots in the past that points the way to future advances in the world of medicine.