Ayurveda

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Dhanvantari, also spelled Dhanwantari, in Hindu mythology, the physician of the gods. According to legend, the gods and the demons sought the elixir amrita by churning the milky ocean, and Dhanvantari rose out of the waters bearing a cup filled with the elixir. The Ayurveda, a traditional system of medicine, is also attributed to him. The name has also been applied to other semilegendary and historical physicians and to a legendary king. - The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica

Ayurveda (Sanskrit Āyurveda आयुर्वेद, "life-knowledge"; English pronunciation /ˌaɪ.ərˈveɪdə/) or Ayurvedic medicine is a system of Hindu traditional medicine, is native to the Indian subcontinent, and is a form of alternative medicine. The oldest known Ayurvedic texts are the Suśrutha Saṃhitā and the Charaka Saṃhitā. These Classical Sanskrit texts are among the foundational and formally compiled works of Ayurveda.

Quotes[edit]

  • Ayurveda is not a weird diet and the practitioners are not really tree-hugging woo-woos with an extreme affinity for Mother Nature (they're normal people who take really good care of themselves & their communities). Funny how we make-up expectations & judgments about things before we even try them. – Ayurvedic wisdom leads to more profitable and passionate work.
  • If your work is tuned in and based on timeless principles like Ayurveda or yoga, don't try to sell your people on something that will only work once. We're all happier when we're working together in harmony with the highest. It's part of all of our paths.
    • Admin in: "5 wisdoms from Ayurveda that mean business"
  • The principles of Ayurveda can "help you love them 'as is' instead of how you think they should be.
...The most common form of Ayurveda in Kerala is massage, which uses oils and herbs in a course of treatment, either for rejuvenation or as remedies. Ayurveda which aims to eliminate the toxic imbalances that cause the body to become susceptible to ill-health, concentrates on the well-being of the individual as a whole and not just the affected part.
...clinical examination consists of Astha Sthana Pariksha (8-point diagnosis: pulse-diagnosis, urine, stool, tongue, voice and body sound, eye, skin, and total body appearance examinations) and examination of the digestive system and the patient's physical strength....
  • The Ayurvedic route to great health involves two simple steps:
    1. Doing less;
    2. Being more.
    • Shubhra Krishan in: "Essential Ayurveda", p. 3
  • Doing Ayurveda does not require conquering complicated Sanskrit terms, memorizing mantras, mastering body contractions, or struggling with religious beliefs. It requires nothing except that you commit your time and energy to your own supreme well-being. What is more it asks that you do this in as relaxed a manner as you like, step by baby step – a simple, friendly, and yes - fun way to be 100 percent healthy.
    • Shubhra Krishan in: "Essential Ayurveda", p. 3

Ayurveda Revisited[edit]

...the pharmacopeia of Ayurveda is a rich heritage of herbal practices describing medicinal uses of over 600 plants in seventy books containing 8,000 recipes of drug combinations.
Daksha Prajapati - In the pre-Vedic period the Hindu system of medicine is said to have originated from Lord Brahma, the fountainhead of all learning. Brahma passed on this knowledge of life to Indra through Daksha Prajapati and Ashwins. This story is constant in several texts.
...Two great universities in India...the other at Takhshshila in the west on the Jhelum river where medicine was taught under the leadership of Atreya, later taken over by Charaka
The significant growth of Ayurveda during Arsha period is evidenced by the existence of two great universities in India– one at Benares where the head of the medical section was Sushruta...
Humor-The conceptual framework of Ayurveda is based on certain basic doctrines: the Darshana. These visualize the fundamental functional units of the body to be formed by these dosha (humors), seven dhatus (tissues), and mala (metabolic end products) which are in equilibrium during health.
Tridosha - The ancient Ayurvedic tests have characterized the types, sites, sources and qualities of each of the dosha. Attempts have been made in the past to verify the concepts of tridosha by different scholars. Though there is no conclusive proof for the theories, all are in agreement that the dosha control and affect cellular function by altering the milieu interior in a very subtle but intricate manner

Sharadini Arun Dahanukar, Urmila Mukund Thatte in: Ayurveda Revisited, Popular Prakashan, 01 February 2000

  • Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani systems of India appear to be the most formal and organized among traditional medical systems...Unani and Siddha are bracketed with Ayurveda by the Government of India and the general public when referring to Indian or indigenous medical systems...Most scholars put the origin of Ayurveda much before that of Siddha or Unani...the three systems are fundamentally similar in their approach to health and disease.
    • In: P.2
  • Ayurveda as the name implies ('Ayu': "life" and 'Veda':knowledge) is the knowledge of healthy living and is not confined only to treatment of illness. It is widely practiced in India and caters to the needs of nearly 75% percent of the population. The pharmacopeia of Ayurveda is a rich heritage of herbal practices describing medicinal uses of over 600 plants in seventy books containing 8,000 recipes of drug combinations.
    • In: P.2
  • One of the most important features of modern medicine differentiating it from Ayurveda is the method of breaking complex phenomena into their component parts and dealing with each in isolation.
    • In: P.3
  • The samhita (compendia) of Ayurveda are written in Sanskrit...They were propagated through centuries initially by word of mouth through the guru-shishya parampara (teacher–pupil tradition). For making the propagation easy, Ayurveda was written in the form of sutra (stanza) which concise yet precise versions of text, easy to memorize but unfortunately subject to different interpretations. Thus the samhita underwent considerable additions, modifications and editorial revisions from time to time.
    • In: P.6
  • Initially India was predominantly Hindu land. During this time Ayurveda was widely practiced and accepted...When the Moghuls conquered most of India they enforced Unani system of medicine...which was heavily influenced by Ayurvedic practices...British rule prevented the development of Ayurveda or Unani systems of medicine. They introduced the allopathic medical systems.
    • In: p. 5-6
  • The exact origins of Ayurveda are lost in the mists of antiquity and are difficult to pinpoint. They have been placed by scholars of Ayurveda and ancient Indian literature at around 6000 BC...This period of ancient Indian medicine may be divided into three different periods – the pre-Vedic, Vedic and the Arsha period. **In: P.10
  • During the Vedic period, the fourth Veda, i.e., the Atharvaveda, is the first authentic record of the state of medical knowledge. The science of Ayurveda is an upanga (supplement) of Atharvaveda. The eight branches of Ayurveda are mentioned in Atharvaveda...However, the fundamental principles of Ayurveda was not documented during the “Vedic” period. The growth and development occurred during the Arsha period (period of rishis:sages).
    • In: P.11
  • During the Arsha period (period of rishis:sages) systemetized treatises on the subject of Ayurveda were developed – Dhanvantri and Bharadwaja received the knowledge of life from Indra and developed the surgical and medical aspects of Ayurveda separately around the ninth century BC.
    • In: P.11
  • The significant growth of Ayurveda during Arsha period is evidenced by the existence of two great universities in India– one at Benares where the head of the medical section was Sushruta and the other at Takhshshila in the west on the Jhelum river where medicine was taught under the leadership of Atreya, later taken over by Charaka.
    • In: p. 14-15
  • Ayurveda is a holistic science and lays emphasis on preserving and promoting the fitness of healthy individuals besides giving methods for treatment of diseases. Health is defined in Ayurveda as “soundness of body, organs and mind." Thus sharira (the body), manas (the mind) and atma (the soul), “The Tripod of Life” receive equal attention for achievement of sound health’
    • In: p. 39
  • The objective of “preserving and promoting health” in Ayurveda is achieved through different modalities , based on principles within its own conceptual framework. Ayurveda is not a science dealing with drugs. It is more a “way of life” and describes methods for promotion, prolongation and maintenance of positive health. It emphasizes the importance of a specific daily routine dinacharya, and seasonal routine rituacharya along with diet, drugs, physical exercise and good hygiene to achieve physical and mental health.
    • In: P.39
  • Ancient Ayurvedic physicians describe disease as a disequilibrium of these functional units. The objective of any therapeutic measure is therefore primarily to re-achieve a state of equilibrium.
    • In: P.39
  • The ancient Ayurvedic tests have characterized the types, sites, sources and qualities of each of the dosha. Attempts have been made in the past to verify the concepts of tridosha by different scholars. Though there is no conclusive proof for the theories, all are in agreement that the dosha control and affect cellular function by altering the milieu interior in a very subtle but intricate manner.
    • In: P.40
  • Thus the three primary forces: vata (motion), pitta (energy) and kapha (inertia) control all the functions if the human body. They are produced and regulated endogenously. The vata dosha controls the utilization of energy cells as well as the other two dosha, while the pitta dosha gives energy and is responsible for celluar, enzymatic and metabolic functions. Kapha dosha helps in synthesis and preservation of cellular components. They are subject to qualitative and quantitative change due to the influence of factors within or outside the body.
    • In: p. 40

Discovering the True You with Ayurveda: How to Nourish, Rejuvenate and and transform your life[edit]

From its ancient origins in India, Ayurveda has now spread all over the world. Its teaching uses a blend of herbal medicine, massage, nutrition, spiritual insight, practical experience, scientific analysis, and artistic creativity to guide us to a balanced fulfilled life style.

Sebastian Pole in: Discovering the True You with Ayurveda: How to Nourish, Rejuvenate and transform your life, North Atlantic Books, 2013

  • There will be twists and turns along the way [in life], but as you learn to integrate Ayurveda in your daily existence you will be able to take more ownership over your life: your response to what crosses your path will begin to be your choice as opposed to what you feel you “should” do.
    • In: P.8
  • Having developed at a time when cultures were profoundly dependent on their environment, Ayurveda uses language derived from nature as a metaphor to describe and prescribe for our health. According to its teachings, the foundational elements of Ether (or Space), Air (or its most dynamic aspect wind), Fire, Water and Earth are the building blocks that make up our physical world. We use adjectives to describe these elements as they appear in different forms, which Ayurveda depicts as ten pairs of opposing qualities (known as [[w:Gunas|gunas) hot, cold; heavy, light; dry, greasy; sharp, dull; rough, smooth; stable, mobile; soft, hard; liquid, solid; subtle, gross; slimy, non-slimy.
    • In:p.13
  • All of nature has qualities that impact on our own constitutional well-being. For example if we are already a “hot” body type, and we live in a desert and lots of heating food, we will become too hot! This elucidates a fundamental Ayurvedic principle that like increases like, meaning that the qualities of our constitution can be added to by qualities that are similar to it. This principle of “like increasing like” and “opposites balancing opposites” is central to understanding how Ayurvedic treatments work.
    • In: P.14
Ayurveda divides us into three main constitutions types, vata, pitta and kapha, otherwise known as doshas. The doshas are qualities that influence all of the body’s functions; from biological processes to thoughts and feelings...the division between the doshas is the keystone in understanding Ayurveda, helping us determine and manage our genetic constitution or prakriti.
  • Ayurveda divides us into three main constitutions types, vata, pitta and kapha, otherwise known as doshas. The doshas are qualities that influence all of the body’s functions; from biological processes to thoughts and feelings...the division between the doshas is the keystone in understanding Ayurveda, helping us determine and manage our genetic constitution or prakriti.
    • In: P.14
  • Ayurveda spends a lot of its time teaching us how to remain within our threshold, and understanding the three doshas.
    • In: P.14
  • [in genetic language.] Ayurveda is interested in our constitutional phenotypes (the results we can observe when an individual interacts with their environment) rather than our human genotypes (the genetic constitution of the individual).
    • In: P.24
  • Ayurveda recommends integrating your "being" into your “doing,” so that your life is your “practice.” Whether your focus is on health, wealth, joy, or spiritualgrowth, how you lead your life becomes an expression of who you really are.
    • In: p. 29
  • In fact, Ayurveda considers diet to be the most important factor in health and uses food for medicinal purposes as well as for nutritional effects. Herbal remedies, massage, exercise, and spiritual practice can balance and repair the body, but its is a “good diet” that gives us an easy, everyday opportunity to take control of our health.
    • In: p. 41
  • Ayurveda has a theory that anything can be food, medicine, or a poison, depending on who is eating, what is eaten, and how much is eaten. A familiar usage in this context: “One man’s food is another man’s poison”.
    • In: p. 41
  • Ayurveda says that poor digestion leads to every disease, and many insights can be gained from this. Ayurveda thinks of digestion as a fire, which is known as agni in Sanskrit. A warm fire burns well with good-quality, dry wood that is put on the fire at the right time in the proper place, with plenty of air to fan the flames.
    • In: p. 44
  • In Ayurveda there are four types of agni that categorise people’s digestive tendencies. These are: Balanced (regular hunger), irregular (erratic appetite), intense (intense hunger), and weak (low appetite).
    • In: p. 45
  • You have to be on your toes with Ayurveda: There is always an exception to the rule! The sour flavor is associated with Fire, together with a little Earth and Water, and creates both moisture and heat within us. Examples of sour foods are lemon, lime and vinegar.
    • In: P.49
Salt is found in minerals and Ayurveda classifies different types: rock, sea, black, pink, and lake salt. Rock salt is considered the best as it is high in minerals and has fewer negative effects. Salty is the flavor most rarely found in food, but seaweeds and selery are good sources.
Vegetarian foods also contain high amounts of various “super-nutrients," such as protective antioxidants, healingphytochemicals, and essential micronutrients, known to protect from a host of degenerative diseases.
  • Salt is found in minerals and Ayurveda classifies different types: rock, sea, black, pink, and lake salt. Rock salt is considered the best as it is high in minerals and has fewer negative effects. Salty is the flavor most rarely found in food, but seaweeds and selery are good sources.
    • In: P.50
  • Most important in all is a healthy diet. Ensuring that you get the best nutrition means that you start with best ingredients. Fresh, unprocessed, and organically grown. In Ayurveda there are some essentials that should be in every pantry, and a number that, depending on your individual constitution, should be limited.
    • In: P.54
  • Generally speaking, Ayurveda considers the most beneficial foods to be rice, wheat, barley, mung beans, asparagus, grapes, pomegranates, ginger, ghee (clarified butter), unpasteurized milk, and honey. These are all thought to be rejuvenating to the tissues and digestion (provided the food is good quality and there are no intolerances). Ayurveda also recommends avoiding habitual use of “heavy” meats (e.g.beef), cheeses, yogurt, refined salt, processed foods, refined sugar, yeast, coffee, tomatoes, bananas, citrus fruits, and black lentils.
    • In: P.55
  • Because Ayurveda developed in India, where the cow is worshipped as a sacred animal, high quality and properly prepared dairy products have a revered status and are central to its practice.
    • In: P.55
  • In keeping with its holistic view of life, Ayurveda extends the idea of digestion to our emotional as well as nutritional diet.
    • In: P.73
  • To any one practicing natural medicine both the concept and reality of toxins is very clear....difference is because of the language and perspective of each tradition, for example “damp” and “heat” can be thought of as toxins in Ayurveda.
    • In: P.74
  • Remember that Ayurveda is not just about taking appropriate remedies—it is a eat a simple, organic diet (avoid processed foods, sugar, yeast, nonorganic dairy, and reduce strenuous exercise; practice a gentle form of yoga instead have a massage.
    • In: p. 96
  • In the Ayurvedic view immunity is a strength within all of us that resists the causes of diseases and their aggressive tendencies.
    • Chakrapannidatta, a 11th century Aurvedic doctor, in: p. 110
  • In Ayurveda immunity is literally known as “the self avoidance of disease. It considers immunity in terms of both quantity and quality; how much of it you have as well as how effective it is. Its holistic view includes an understanding ob both natural immunity and acquired immunity. This approach is like considering your immunity as a combination of the genetic bank balance you inherit from your ancestors, the savings deposit you make yourself and the interest on your account.
    • In: p. 110
  • From the Ayurvedic perspective, there are many components that build healthy immunity –ojas, the heart, the eyes, digestive strength and tissue health – and there are general princiles we can all follow everyday to achieve optimum health.
    • In: p. 110
  • Ayurveda recommends nourishing yoga practices such as the dynamic salutation (Surya namaskar). Regular relaxation and daily breathing practices can keep everyday stress at bay.
    • In: P.117
  • As an Ayurvedic practitioner I firmly believe that the prevalence of cancer today is because we, as a society, are taking the wrong approach to managing the condition.
    • Sebastian Pole, in: P.118
The Ayurvedic formula triphala is known to be toxic to tumor cells but life-enhancing to healthy cells
One of the best systems for helping us to deal with stress and find a way back to inner peace is yoga, which has a long and interesting relationship with Ayurveda....
  • The Ayurvedic formula triphala is known to be toxic to tumor cells but life-enhancing to healthy cells.
    • In: p. 121
  • The origins of chyavanaprasha - millions of spoons chyawanprasha are eaten every day beacuse of its revered rejuvenating powers. Its main ingredient is amla fruits which is blended with about thirty-five other ingredients and cooked into a paste with honey, sesame oil and jaggery (concentered sugar-cane juice which unique nutritional properties).
    • In: p. 130
  • When the body is healthy and strong it is easier to gain insight into your mind. In Ayurveda this is achieved through diet, exercise, massage, and herbs, with particular attention paid to ideas of balance and the regulation of your own rhythms.
    • In: p. 151
  • One of the best systems for helping us to deal with stress and find a way back to inner peace is yoga, which has a long and interesting relationship with Ayurveda. From their Indian origins yoga and Ayurveda have flourished around the world. Ayurveda also includes lifestyle advice, along with massage, diet and herbal treatments. Its breadth ranges from simply daily routines to deep and sophisticated medical practice, all empowering the individual with greater potential for health.
    • In: p. 152
  • The seeds of yoga and Ayurveda appear to have their origins in ancient Indian Vedic culture, but the direct connection between them does not become clear until the sixteenth century. Around this time we can see that they began to adopt aspects of each others tradition.
    • In: p. 153
  • It is estimated that the Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia includes upwards of 1250 species, with approximately 300 of these in regular demand. Similar figures exist for Chinese, North American, and Western herbal medicine. In India and Sri Lanka most herbs come from the wild: in excess of 90 percent of herbal material used in Ayurveda comes from the forests, mountains, and plains of the Indian subcontinent and is sourced in an unregulated manner.
    • In: p. 187

External links[edit]

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