Ayurveda: An ancient solution to modern health problems

Ayurveda Treatment

Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word, which means knowledge of life and longevity. It is one of the upveda of Atharva Ved and is a compilation of proven ways to live a better and holistic life. It won’t be wrong to say that Ayurveda is an ancient solution to modern health problems. A plethora of ailments like lower backache, cervical issues, cancer, high diabetes, or any other lifestyle ailment, were never heard of before, can be cured with Ayurveda. Though it might require some time, Ayurveda does cure the ailments from its root cause. Unlike the mostly opted for treatments, Ayurveda never suppresses the symptoms, it believes in curing the root cause of a symptom.

हिताहितं सुखं दुःखं आयुस्तस्य हिताहितम्|
मानं च तच्च यत्रोक्तं आयुर्वेदः स उच्यते ॥ च.सू.३.४१॥

अर्थात् हितायु, अहितायु, सुखायु एवं दुःखायु; इस प्रकार चतुर्विध जो आयु है उस आयु के हित तथा अहित अर्थात् पथ्य और अपथ्य आयु का प्रमाण एवं उस आयु का स्वरूप जिसमें कहा गया हो, वह आर्युवेद कहा जाता है।

Ayurveda is an ancient and natural system of medicine that is believed to be originated in the Indian subcontinent. Globalized and modernized practices procured from Ayurveda traditions are a part of alternative medicine. Several Ayurvedic therapies and practices find their use in prevalent wellness applications and in some cases, they are used for medical purposes. The main classical Ayurveda texts start with accounts of the dissemination of medical knowledge from God to sages, and then to human physicians.

Acharya Atrey had this wonderful opportunity of learning Ayurveda from God then he further disseminated it to many of his students. Atreya had his Ayurvedic education under Bharadwaja. He was the first sage who gave a detailed description of diseases, their causes, and cures. Charaka, Sushruta, Vagbhata and other ancient Ayurveda practitioners received the basics from Atreya Acharya.

Atreya Acharya also contributed to the cornerstone Tridosha concept of Ayurveda. The text hence created, has been used for various Ayurveda diagnosis, treatment & therapies as base Granthas of Ayurveda

Ayurveda an ancient solution and its purpose

प्रयोजनं चास्य स्वस्थस्य स्वास्थ्यरक्षणमातुरस्य विकारप्रशमनं च। 

“इस आयुर्वेद का प्रयोजन स्वस्थ व्यक्ति के स्वास्थ्य की रक्षा करना और रोगी व्यक्ति के रोग को दूर करना है।”

The purpose of Ayurveda is to protect the health of the healthy and alleviate disorders in the diseased. It has also been indicated as the science of the protection of your age (Ayu). Not only that, most of the issues that mankind faces today, can be completely eliminated if we start adapting to the Ayurvedic lifestyle. 

Ayurveda Pariksha 

The word Pariksha is used for the examination in Ayurveda. Various types of parikshas are mentioned in Ayurveda to observe different characteristics of 3 main components of the human body viz Dosha, Dhatu & Mala. There are many mentioned methodologies of Ayurveda examination that are described in the classical ayurvedic text such as:

1 Dwividha Pariksha02 fold examination
2Trividha Pariksha03 fold examination
3Panchvidha Pariksha05 fold examination
4Shadvidha Pariksha06 fold examination
5Ashtavidha Pariksha08 fold examination
6Dashavidha Pariksha10 fold examination

It has been tested over the aeon, the natural way of healing using Ayurveda an ancient solution, has taught us that presence of any disease in our body is an indication of an imbalance in our doshas. The key to curing and keeping our body in good health is to balance the doshas and bring back balance to the body system. Ayurveda follows the natural ways to diagnose diseases and bring back balance to the body.

In Ayurveda, 50% of medicine is correct diagnosis itself. The treatment of diseases becomes easy if the patient is diagnosed properly. Proper clinical examination facilitates correct diagnosis hence proper clinical examination is of utmost importance. Diagnosis and treatment of diseases are based on the information derived from two areas: 

  1. Examination of the Patient (Rogi pariksha)
  2. Examination of the Disease (Roga pariksha)

Different methods of an Ayurvedic Examination

  1. Dividha Pariksha (2-fold examination)    

    1. Prathyaksha (direct perception)
    2. Anumana (inferential knowledge)
  2. Trividha Pariksha

    1. Darsana Pariksha – Examination by observations
    2. Sparsana Pariksha – Examination by touch
    3. Prasna Pariksha – Examination by interrogation or asking questions
  3. Panchvidha Pariksha

    1. Shabda – Examination of voice
    2. Sparsha – Examination of touch
    3. Rup – Examination of the structure
    4. Ras – Examination of taste
    5. Gandha – Examination of smell
  4. Sadvidha Pariksha (6-fold examination)

    1. Sparshendriya (Organs of touch) – Here, the physicians tries to understand the symptoms after touching the body of a person like dryness, warmth, swelling, etc.
    2. Shrotendriya (Organs of hearing) – The physician hears different voices from body organs like breathing with difficulties in asthma.
    3. Chakshuendriya (Organs of sight) – Carried out to note the change in colour of skin
    4. Rasnendriya (Organs of taste) – Here the physicians use inference. For example, observing ants gathered around the urine of the patient, it can suggest the condition of diabetes.
    5. Ghranendriya (Organs of smell) – In this pariksha, the vaidya can get an idea about the metabolic disorders as they generate a peculiar smell in the body.
    6. Prasna (History Taking) – Here, the information about the disease is obtained by interrogating the patients.
  5. Ashtasthana Pariksha (8-fold examination)

    1. Naadi Pariksha (Pulse)
    2. Mootra Pariksha (Urine)
    3. Mala Pariksha (Stool)
    4. Jiwha Pariksha (Tongue)
    5. Shabda Pariksha (Voice and speech of the patient)
    6. Sparsha Pariksha (Touch, skin, and tactile sense)
    7. Druk Pariksha (Eyes and Vision)
    8. Akriti Pariksha (General body build)
  6. Dashavidha Pariksha (10-fold examination)

    1. Sara – Sara refers to the essence of sapta dhatus (Seven body tissues)
    2. Samhanana – It refers to the physique of the person. An individual with a compact body usually suggests that he is in good shape. Too much lean or obese body are considered as unhealthy.
    3. Vikriti – It is the vitiation of Prakriti. The state of Vikriti is identified by closely examining the dhaatu, mala, and the emotional condition of an individual.
    4. Prakriti – It refers to the inherent characteristic of an individual. It gives an idea about the natural state of the physical and emotional body condition of a person.
    5. Pramana – Examining body proportion involves assessing the relationship between the lengths of spread out arms and height of the person.
    6. Vyayama Shakti – Vyayama Shakti is determined by the capacity of a person for doing work.
    7. Satmya or adaptability measurement – It is a process of measuring the capabilities of the person to physically or mentally adapt to changing conditions. 
    8. Sattva – Sattva is mind and in generally examined by checking mental balance. 
    9. Ahara Shakti – It is the power of digestion/metabolic capacity.
    10. Vaya – It refers to the actual age of the person with hir or her apparent age.       
      Natural healing
      Ayurveda is a natural way to heal various diseases
        

Ashtavidha Pariksha / Ashtasthana Pariksha 

Acharya Yogratnakara has advocated Eightfold Examination -Ashtavidha Pariksha of a patient. The eightfold examination of the patient includes the following:

1. Nadi (pulse)

  • Nadi Pariksha refers to the ancient ayurvedic technique where the diagnosis of a patient is done through the pulse. 
  • It can precisely diagnose physical, mental and emotional imbalances as well as diseases. 
  • It is a non- invasive science that allows us to know the root cause of health issues rather than just addressing the symptoms.
  • The strength, rhythm, speed, and quality of the pulse are examined to reach the conclusion. The Vata pulse is fast, irregular, and moves like a snake. The Pitta pulse is throbbing, forceful, rich and elevated in the middle. It can be compared to the jumping frog. Whereas, the Kapha pulse is slow, steady and somewhat heavy. It can be compared to the movement of a crane.
  • Ayurveda usually emphasizes on the diagnosis of the Nadi Pariksha of every patient.

 2. Mutra(Urine)

  • Here, the urine is examined for- Quantity, Colour, Consistency and Density, Odor, Character of deposits.
  • In Tailbindu Pariksha urine collection, oil drop instillation and evaluation is done
  • Evaluation of the disease is done by observing colour, appearance, consistency and pattern of the oil drop which is slowly dropped over the surface of urine without causing disturbance under sunlight.
  • In today’s modern medical practices, the diagnosis of urine for detecting various diseases is costly. This put a financial burden over an individual. Therefore, using Tailabindu Pariksha for urine examination is the best way for diagnosis. It is not only economical but also a time-tested and scientifically proven method.

3. Mala (Stool) 

  • Direct examination of the faecal matter by the naked eye can tell a lot about the digestive state of the body. The colour, consistency, floating nature, smell, presence of blood or mucus in stool gives a lot of information about various dosha imbalances or diseases.
  • The consistency of the stool reveals a lot about the health of an individual.  If digestion and absorption of food are poor, the stool carries a foul odour and sinks in water. If the stool is hard, dry and grey/ash in colour then you might have some problem. Excess Pitta makes the stool green/yellow in colour and liquid in form and a lot of mucus in stool indicates the effect of Kapha dosha.
  • Besides this, a specialized technique of stool examination, i.e., Jala Nimajjana Purisha Pariksha is conducted to detect the presence of Ama thereby inferring the status of Agni in the body.
  • If stool sinks in water it has ama dosha and if not then it is normal. 
  • Based on the colour of stool like red/yellow/white etc Vaidya’s can diagnose the vitiated dosha in the human body.

4. Jihwa (tongue)

  1. The colour, shape, coating of a tongue can be indicative of many digestive abnormalities.
  2. Variation in sense of taste is also an important factor to identify dosha imbalance.
  3. The examination of the tongue reveals the state of Agni and digestive tract as well as the condition of doshas in the body. Hence tongue is called the mirror of digestion. 
  4. By examining the tongue, one can infer not only the state of doshas but certain conditions about the tissues and the organs also, along with the presence of ama.
  5. While examining the tongue following points should be noted – size, shape, colour, margins, character and surface.

A normal tongue is fresh pink in colour and is medium-sized in relation to overall body size with a thin and moist coating without any markings or whitish patch.

Speech Problems
Treatment of speech disorders in Ayurveda

5. Shabda (Voice and speech of the patient) 

  • An individual’s ability or strength to speak, continuity, hoarseness etc, can hint about many underlying disease processes.
  • The voice will be healthy and natural when the doshas are in a balanced state.
  • The voice will be heavy and deep when aggravated by Kapha, broken but cracking under Pitta effect and hoarse and rough when dominated by Vata dosha.A normal tongue is fresh pink in colour and is medium-sized in relation to overall body size with a thin and moist coating without any markings or whitish patch. 

6. Sparsha(Touch, skin and tactile sense)

  • With the sense of touch, skin and tactile sense are used to test the development of the disease.
  • Touch examination in healthy and diseased states should be carried out with naked hands.
  • Cold, hot, smooth, rough, soft, hard perceptions, fever, oedema etc. should be examined through tactile perception.
  • In Kapha diseases, you will find the skin moist/wet, in Pittaja the skin is Hot and in Vataja disorders skin texture is rough and cold in touch.

7. Drika (Eyes & Vision)

  • The colour of the sclera, conjunctiva, size of eyeball, shape, and the area around the eyes give insight into various serious metabolic diseases.
  • Different types of eye features may reflect the personality of a person as well as the state of his health.
  • If your body is dominated by the Vata then the eyes look sunken, dry and smoky.
  • On aggravation of Pitta, eyes appear red or yellow in colour and the patient suffers from photophobia and burning sensations.
  • Kapha predominance eyes appear wet, lusterless and watery and a patient may feel heaviness in the eyelids.
  • Prominent/bulging eyes can be a symptom of thyrotoxicosis, yellow conjunctiva can be seen in case of weak liver or jaundice, prominent white ring around iris represents joint degeneration with a probability of arthritis

8. Akriti (appearance)

  • The overall physique is indicative of the amount of strength, stamina and life condition.
  • Diagnosis of hair, nails and other body organs can reveal many signs which point towards different diseases.
  • The Doshic influences that are reflected on the face of the patient enable the physicians to know the nature of the disease.
  • Kapha personalities have oily skin, well-built body and joints, tolerance to hunger, thirst, hardship, hot sun.
  • Pittaja personalities have strong appetite and thirst, fair complexion, they are brave, bold and egoistic and less hair.
  • Vataj personalities are prone to many diseases and have split hairs and dry skin with Dhusara Varna, and they dislike cold things and atmosphere.

All the above-mentioned methods help us to observe the characteristics of various Doshas to evaluate their proportionate imbalance. This can help in the early diagnosis of the illness and prevent further serious health problems. 

Thus, we can say that Ayurveda has a lot to offer to humans. And it is a very well known fact that if followed regularly the ayurvedic practices can bring a lot of change in the overall health of a person. So, why not we just give it a try and follow a good dincharya to avoid various health problems that hinder us from living a life full of health and happiness.

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