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E-Zine / July 2010 / Ayurveda – Tomorrow’s Science

Ayurveda – Tomorrow’s Science

I have lived all my 45 years in an ayurvedic family and so that experience gives me the courage to write this article. I have no background of formal ayurveda other than that I was born to an ayurvedic family. My thoughts may be too raw for an ardent ayurvaid but I have to express myself for the sake of the other ayurvedically non-enlightened souls who do not have an idea about this science. I hope I do justice and I hope the experts forgive me for my daring venture.

To quote about my family, my father was an ayurvedic Physician, having worked for Arya Vaidya Sala, Kottakkal for 40 years. My maternal grandfather was a physician who had completed his education from Kottakkal too. Two of my maternal uncles are also Physicians. Two of my cousins are physicians and one of them has married a physician. Should I name more. Yes. I married a girl who was also from an ayurvedic family of repute. She is the grand daughter of late S.Varier of Kottakkal. One of her uncles is also a physician. Two of her cousins are studying ayurveda. Finally if all this has not bored you, I have just put my son into an ayurveda college.

As I told you earlier, I was born into an ayurvedic family with all the classical Sanskrit names around me and in me. I was not very inclined to this science till about 12 years back. I was familiar with the medications though. As a child I had ingested a lot of those classical ayurvedic medicines that were for internal consumption and applied many of those oils for external application. I grew up using quite a few of them on regular and seasonal basis. I have no idea about the rationale behind the drugs given and I never was inquisitive. The only thing I was sure was that I was not very comfortable taking them. The kashayams were bitter and the lehyams never moved down the throat. The pills were awful and the choornams not made for me at least. I never wanted them. But I was not very aware of another field of medicine. So I had to put up with the difficulties.

That was a long introduction. Now coming to the point, I wanted to tell you about what I learnt about ayurveda. It may be taken as a layman’s view. I shall try to make it short.

The Beauty of the Science: Ayurveda is a holistic science, meaning that it looks at the human body as a whole inseparable being. It considers that one part is irremovably connected with the other and so something happening to one part does have an impact on the other. The connection is such that the common man is bewildered at times by the intriguing diagnoses of the physicians. You might go to a physician with a pain in the arm. You might get diagnosed with digestive disturbance. This is the way the science works. The physicians know what they do. The depth of the Science is unfathomable and I believe one cannot say that he has learnt all of Ayurveda in his lifetime of study.

The Depth of the Concept: The concept is clear. Illness is natural and so the corrective measure should and will be the most natural. The methodology is very much in tune with our daily routine and seasonal routine. The concept is absolutely scientific and appeals to common logic. The events may not be documented as required by Modern Science but one cannot dispute the strong roots the Science has cultivated. The Science is based on Experience rather than Experiment. So the time-tested nature is explained emphatically. The Concept connects the body with the natural elements such as Air, Water, Ether, Earth and Fire. It also talks about three humours which define these natural elements, such as Vaatha, Pithha and Kapha. Ayurveda explains Health in Sanskrit as “Samadosha Samagnischa Samadhathu Malakriyah Prasannathmendriyamanah Svastha Ithyabhidheeyathe”. This means a person can be called healthy if Samadosha – all his Doshas or Humors are in equalibrium, Samagnischa – his digestive fire is normal, Samadhathu – all his dhathus are in equalibrium, Malakriyah – his excretory functions are normal, and Prasanna aatha indriya manah – he is having a normal behavioral temperament. The idea is the upkeep of the Health more than the treatment of diseases. So the emphasis is on prevention than cure.

The Medicines: Ayurvedic medicines are prepared just like we prepare our daily food. The activities are the same except the combinations. The ingredients are more or less those we add to our diet. Only, they are more concentrated than food and they are not polished with tastemakers. The medicines are cooked in very neat and healthy environs and the packing is quite clean. The medicines have metamorphosed in the long run to better forms for the ease of consumption. Better dosage forms have evolved making the medicines more patient-friendly. I would not say here that they are the nicest things in the world to consume. Many institutions are working towards better product presentations, dosages and palatability. Products have become more standardized and appealing to the modern scientific you and me.

The Vaidya or the Doctor: The Doctor has also evolved from the olden times to more sophisticated selves. They have learnt to keep their premises more appealing to the new era. They also are equipped with the latest of the diagnostic tools in medicine. They are more learned academically. Indeed any form of medicine needs Experience as the backbone for effective practice. The Doctor is more at-home with the terminologies used in modern medicine.

You and me: We generally have a formed belief about Ayurveda as follows.

I have been in an ayurvedic medicine manufacturing company for more than a decade and the experience has opened my eyes to the Goodness of the Science. So I would recommend Ayurveda to any person who wishes to upkeep his health and who wishes to have a long term healthy status.

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E-Zine / July 2010 / Ayurveda – Tomorrow’s Science