Principles of Ayurveda

Tridosha System

The central concept of Ayurvedic medicine is the theory that health exists when there is a balance between three fundamental bodily humours or doshas called Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Vata is the impulse principle necessary to mobilize the function of the nervous system Pitta is the energy principle which uses bile to direct digestion and hence metabolism into the venous system. Kapha is the body fluid principle which relates to mucous, lubrication and the carrier of nutrients into the arterial system. All Ayurvedic physicians believe that these ancient ideas, based in the knowledge discovered by the Rishis and Munis, exist in harmony with physical reality. These Ayurvedic concepts allow physicians to examine the homeostasis of the whole system. People may be of a predominant dosha or constitution, but all doshas have the basic elements within them.

The Philosophy of Ayurveda

The philosophy of Ayurveda The emergence of different schools of Sanskrit philosophy like Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Sankhya, Yoga, Vedanta and Mimamsa was another landmark in the history of Indian medicine. The principles expounded in these philosophies facilitated the development within Ayurveda of its theory of humoral pathology which propounds that the human body is composed of Tridoshas, the three humors – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. When these are in equilibrium they are called the Tridhatus. The body in which these three humors are in a state of equilibrium enjoys perfect health; their disequilibrium causes ill health.

Disease Management in Ayurveda

Disease management in Ayurveda The principles of Ayurvedic pharmacology are fundamentally different from those of other systems of medicine, especially evidence-based medicine. Most Ayurvedic medicines are prepared from herbs. Shamana and Shodhana are the two concepts of disease management in Ayurveda. Shamana means alleviation. Shamana methods mitigate the disease and its symptoms. Shodhana means elimination and Shodhana methods aim at the elimination of the basic cause of disease.

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