Ayurveda (Sanskrit: Ayurveda, “the complete knowledge for long life”) or ayurvedic medicine is a system of traditional medicine native to Indiand practiced in other parts of the world as a form of alternative medicine. In Sanskrit, the word ayurveda consists of the words ayus, meaning “longevity”, and Veda, meaning “related to knowledge” or “science”. Evolving throughout its history, ayurveda remains an influential system of medicine in South Asia. The earliest literature on Indian medical practice appeared during the Vedic period in India. The Susruta Sa?hita and the Charaka Sa?hita were influential works on traditional medicine during this era. Over the following centuries, ayurvedic practitioners developed a number of medicinal preparations and surgical procedures for the treatment of various ailments.
Ayurveda is grounded in the physics of the “five elements” (Devanagari: [Prithvi- (earth), AP (water)-(water), Tej (fire), Vaayu (air) and Akasha (ether)) — all of which compose the Universe, including the human body. Chyle or plasma (called rasa dhatu), blood (rakta dhatu), flesh (mamsa dhatu), fat (medha dhatu), bone (asthi dhatu), marrow (majja dhatu), and semen or female reproductive tissue (shukra dhatu) are held to be the seven primary constituent elements – saptadhatu (Devanagari:) of the body. Ayurveda deals elaborately with measures of healthful living during the entire span of life and its various phases. Ayurveda stresses a balance of three elemental energies or humors: vata (air & space – “wind”), pittha (fire & water – “bile”) and kapha (water & earth – “phlegm”). According to ayurveda, these three regulatory principles— doshas (literally that which deteriorates – Devanagari)—are important for health, because when they are in a more balanced state, the body will function to its fullest, and when imbalanced, the body will be affected negatively in certain ways. Ayurveda holds that each human possesses a unique combination of doshas. In ayurveda, the human body perceives attributes of experiences as 20 Guna (Devanagari meaning qualities). Surgery and surgical instruments are employed. It is believed that building a healthy metabolic system, attaining good digestion, and proper excretion leads to vitality. Ayurveda also focuses on exercise, yoga, meditation, and massage. Thus, body, mind, and spirit/consciousness need to be addressed both individually and in unison for health to ensue.
- Eight disciplines of ayurveda treatment, called ashtangas (Devanagari), are given below:
- Internal medicine (Kaaya-chikitsa)
- Paediatrics (Kaumarabhrtyam)
- Surgery (Shalya-chikitsa)
- Eye and ENT (Shalakya tantra)
- Demonic possession (Bhuta vidya): Bhuta vidya has been called psychiatry.
- Toxicology (Agadatantram)
- Prevention diseases and improving immunity and rejuvenation (rasayana)
- Aphrodisiacs and improving health of progeny (Vajikaranam)
- In Hindu mythology, the origin of ayurvedic medicine is attributed to the physician of the gods, Dhanvantari.
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery:
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S) is a medical degree in India, conferred to those who have studied the integrated system of modern medicine and traditional ayurveda. The degree is of five and half year’s duration, including 1 year internship. Exams are held after every 3 terms.3 Exams in 4and half years. The person having a BAMS degree can practice anywhere in India. There is also teaching of modern anatomy, physiology, principles of medicine, social and preventive medicine, pharmacology, toxicology, forensic medicine, botany, ENT, principles of surgery, etc. along with ayurvedic topics. A B.A.M.S.graduate can practice allopathic medicine in the state of Maharashtra. There are post graduate courses available after BAMS degree, such as 3-year program MD (Ayurveda) / MS (Ayurveda) and 2 years PhD (Ayurveda) Program at various universities.
Ayurvedacharya recognition is given to the recipient of a Bachelor Degree of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) by an accredited University, and recipients are permitted to use the title Vaidya or Doctor before their name (abbreviated to Vr or Dr.).