AYURVEDA: A BRIEF INTRODUCTION AND GUIDE
Ayurveda is considered by many scholars to be the oldest healing science. In Sanskrit, Ayurveda means “The Science of Life.” Ayurvedic knowledge originated in India more than 5,000 years ago and is often called the “Mother of All Healing.” It stems from the ancient Vedic culture and was taught for many thousands of years in an oral tradition from accomplished masters to their disciples. Some of this knowledge was set to print a few thousand years ago, but much of it is inaccessible. The principles of many of the natural healing systems now familiar in the West have their roots in Ayurveda, including Homeopathy and Polarity Therapy.
The three vital principles of doshas are vata, pitta and kapha, which together regulate and control the catabolic and anabolic metabolism. The main function of the three doshas is to carry the byproduct of digested foods throughout the body, which helps in building up the body tissues. Any malfunction in these doshas causes disease.
Dhatu can be defined as one, which supports the body. There are seven tissue systems in the body. They are as Rasa, Rakta, Mamsa, Meda, Asthi, Mjja and Shukra which represent the plasma, blood, muscle, fat tissue, bone, bone marrow and semen respectively. Dhatus only provide basic nutrition to the body and it helps in the growth and structure of mind.
Mala means waste products or dirty. It is third in the trinity of the body i.e. doshas and dhatu. There are three main types of malas, e.g. stool, urine and sweat. Malas are mainly the waste products of the body so their proper excretion from the body is essential to maintain the proper health of the individual. There are mainly two aspects of mala i.e. mala and kitta. Mala is about waste products of the body whereas kitta is all about the waste products of dhatus.
All kinds of metabolic and digestive activity of the body take place with the help of the biological fire of the body called Agni. Agni can be termed as the various enzymes present in the elementary canal, liver and tissue cells.