Frequently Asked Questions
Ensure good health for all. Good health can be achieved by following specific regimens related to daily conduct, seasonal regimens.
Are based upon the five elements or panchmahabhutas - Space (Akasha), Air (Vayu), Fire (Tejas), Water (Aap) & Earth (Prithvi).
Earth is made up of these five elements. According to Ayurveda all living beings in the world are also made up of these five elements.
The word 'Mala' means excretory products. Ayurveda has a unique concept of Malas. Sustenance of Mala in appropriate limits, sustain the life e.g., excess urination may cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
Healthy' is termed as 'Swasthya' in Ayurveda - one who stays in his 'sva' (self). This 'sva' involves the total personality of man including consciousness (atman), body (sharira) and mind (manas). "sva' also denotes “Prakriti’ or constitutional normalcy -which makes the concept of sva different from person to person. This is quite different from the world of ideal blood counts, ideal height -weight ratios, ideal heart rate etc.
Prakrithi means innate nature, character, physical constitution or disposition of a person. According to Ayurveda, from birth to death, doshas influence the health status and physical constitution of a human being, either positively or negatively. The concentration levels and preponderance of each dosha in an individual is believed to be genetically determined. Therefore, doshas in different permutations and combinations constitute the very nature/disposition of a man. This is known as Prakriti / ShariraPrakriti. Ayurveda understand the each person’s Prakrithi and treats accordingly.
Doshas are classified as Tri Doshas which are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The balance among the Doshas represents health while imbalance leads to the disease. Every Dosha has definite place/location in our anatomy and influences the functions in our body. Doshas and Prakrithi are connected
Balance of the Doshas, Dhatus, Malas and Agni in the body leads to excellent health. Disharmony in any of these factors due to food, behavior and environment lead to diseases. Objective of Ayurveda is to maintain or restore this balance.
The individual will be either short or tall with a thin body frame, mostly on the lower half of the body. At times under weight. Skin can be dark and or dry with cracks. Nails- hard and brittle, Appetite will be erratic, mostly constipated. Sleep - Less but varies every day. The person will easily remember easily and forget easily. Such individuals will be very active but will find it difficult to develop and maintain a routine
The individual will have medium body frame. Their skin will be delicate, light in color and more prone to sunburn. Sweating will be excessive. Nails - are soft, strong. Such individuals will have good appetite. Will exhibit good memory and they will be more organized in their work.
The individual will have medium to broad body frame . Weight gain is varying easy. Skin will be smooth, thick and slightly oily. Sweating will be moderate. Nails are strong, large and symmetrical. Appetite will be moderate Sleep will be good. Such individuals will always appear as calm and quiet and will be stable in nature. Takes time to memorize but remembers for a longer period.
Panchakarma has three steps
1) Poorvakarma (Preparatory procedures)
a. During this process, a person is subject to internal medicines to correct ones digestive system and also to swedanakriyas (which will help a person to sweat)
2) Pradhanarma (Main procedures)
a. Vamanam: In this procedure patients are induced to vomit. This treatment is for purifying your chest and stomach. This treatment is a cure for chronic respiratory problems and allergic skin disorders. etc.
b. Virechanam: It is purgation process, which concentrates on purifying your entire body along with vascular system. This method also helps us to get rid of various skin related problem
c. Vasthi: are classified as (a). Kashayavasthi. During this procedure patients are subjected to medicated enema using time tested Ayurvedic formulations. The aim of this process is to solve any rheumatic and neurological problems in the body. Obesity is another problem which vasthi has proved to be the remedy.(b). Thailavasthi - Medicated oil is used for enema, Very effective for back pain due to variety of reasons.
d. Nasyam: In this medicated oils are poured into nostrils. This is used in treating headaches including migraine, cervical spondylosis, facial palsy, periarthritis, sinusitis, frozen shoulder etc.
e. Rakthamoksham: It is the best remedy for all ailments caused by impure blood. During this procedure, thrust is given on treatments developed for purifying the blood in the body. Obviously, this process is the best cure for skin eruptions, psoriasis etc. Done very rarely and only under expert supervision.
3) Paschat Karma (Post Therapeutic procedures)
a. Internal medicines, diet and daily regime to be followed is prescribed by the physician
Yes, and very successfully. Obesity is caused mainly due to a misbalance in the Kaphadosha. Ayurveda helps to gain insight into why and how they are created and reasons for their Kapha imbalance (manifesting as obesity). They can now learn to control their increasing Kapha. Understand about Kapha balancing foods, specialized Kapha reducing exercises, essential oils, massage, gentle detoxification, herbs and colors. The over-expressed Kapha can linger on due to certain ‘heavy’ thought patterns also. Hence a total paradigm shift is brought about in the living and thinking of an obese person. When the recommendations are followed sincerely, one can expect to lose weight.
Certainly Ayurveda has herbs, specialized massages for mind/body therapies (such as Pancha Karma, Shirodhara, meditation, Yoga, mantra therapy, etc) which are time-tested.
Effectiveness depend on various considerations, including the age and state of health of the individual. Since an Ayurvedic regimen is very individualized, the results depend on individual factors as well, and on follow-up treatments.
Ayurveda recommends a return to nature, to what is simple and intrinsic to man's life, and provides information to make responsible choices which promote good physical and mental health. Unlike all other branches of medicine, ayurveda observes a patient in entirety - on physical, mental and spiritual levels - while treating diseases. It is well established by modern science that mind has a strong influence on the body. The Kerala approach to Ayurveda lays emphasis on learning all aspects of the system (AshtangaHridya) and treating an ailment with natural ingredients alone.
The combination of both work together in Ayurveda as essential components for longevity with a holistic approach. It is easier for one to influence the energetic forces inside our body to stay energized and feel young. Apart from Panchakarma, one needs to adopt a healthy lifestyle and make necessary dietary changes for physical and emotional detoxification.
There are six seasons and each of two months duration.
Sishira - Mid Jan to Mid Mar – Cold/ Dewy ,Vasanta - Mid Mar To Mid May – Spring, Grishma - Mid May to Mid July - Summer, Varsha – Mid July to Mid Sep – Rainy, Sarat - Mid Sep to Mid Nov - Autumn, Hemanta – Mid Nov to Mid Jan - Winter.
The year can be divided into two being Adana Kala &Visarga Kala. The seasons will fall under these two categories.
1. Adana Kala - Shishira, Vasanta, Grishma.
2. Visarga Kala – Varsha, Sarat, Hemanta
During Adana kala (uttarayana) northern solastice sun is moving towards north and is more powerful, taking away the strength of the people. During this period vatha is the dominating dosha. The other being Visargakala (dakshinayana) southern solastice sun moving towards south. Ones strength is more during this period and kapha is the dominant dosha.
Yes, Ayurveda has specific recommendations for various seasons.
Shishira – Tikta (Bitter), Vasanta - pungent, Grishma - astringent, Varsha – Sour, Sharat – Salty, Hemanta - Sweet
Understanding of our Prakrithi is very important while choosing the diet and routine for a particular season.
Yes, Ayurveda does suggest various food habits to be adopted according to seasons. The way we consume, eat and prepare our food definitely will influence the ways in which the body and brain uses it. E.g. consuming more fats can slow the absorption of sugars by the human system and in the process can lead to diabetics. Cooking certain types of starches can be much like pre-digesting them. Consuming these starch leads to the unloading of sugars into the blood at a much quicker rate than usual, which is generally not good.
General medicine (Kayachikitsa), Peadeatrics (Bala), Psychiatry (Graha), ENT(Urdhwanga), Surgery (Shalya), Toxicology(Damstra), Geriatics (Jara), Aphrodisiac (Vrusha)
Ayurveda interprets the uniqueness (Prakrithi) of each patient for diagnosis moreover Ayurveda is also a way of life. Ayurveda teaches us to cure disease and promote longevity & treats human being as a “whole” – which is a combination of body, mind and soul.