The History of Ayurvedic Medicine

December 25, 2012 by  
Filed under Ayurvedic Medicine

In the far distant past in the majestic Himalayas, the healing science of Ayrveda began a long evolution over the course of 5,000 years. A synergistic system which combines science, religion and philosophy, Ayurvedic medicine was originally practiced by the prophets known as rishis. Their wisdom formed the oral traditions that later became the Vedas, the most treasured of all Indian writings.

The first Ayurvedic medical school was founded in 800BC by Punarvarsu Atreya, now viewed by many as the founder of Ayurvedic health practices. Atreya’s writings describe a grand total of 1,500 plants. Of these, he recommends 350 different plants as valuable sources of herbal medicine.

Ayurvedic medicine postulates a system of five fundamental types of energy manifest as fire, air, water, earth and ether. These five energies combine to form the three doshas: vata, pitta and kapha. These three principles correspond in many ways to the European theory of the four humors. Ayurvedic diagnosis, on the other hand, has more in common with Chinese and Tibetan medicine.

The Ayurvedic doctor first takes a case history of the patient. From here the diagnostic approaches of the East and West diverge. Rather than ordering blood tests and x-rays, the Ayurvedic practitioner then examines the face, skin, hair, hands and other external characteristics of the patient to ascertain the fundamental constitution and the current condition of the body. Rather than recommending as assortment of prescriptions, the Ayurvedic doctor advises an appropriate dietary regimen, behavioral modifications and the use of different types of herbal medicines.

Kathleen Karlsen, MA is a professional artist, a freelance writer and marketing consultant residing in Bozeman, Montana. For an in-depth article on flower meanings, see http://www.livingartsoriginals.com/infoflowermeaning.htm For information about color symbolism, color meanings and color psychology, please visit http://www.livingartsoriginals.com/infocolorsymbolism.htm


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Ayurveda, a Sanskrit word, denotes the Traditional Medicine of India. Translated as the science of life, the term more accurately implies the wisdom in living. Several thousand years old, its ancient roots produced an integrated body of enduring knowledge and practice incorporating medicine, psychology, aesthetics, philosophy, the humanities, and spirituality. Yet, it goes beyond only immediate care of health symptoms and illnesses by suggesting principles and practices for overall self-developm

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