When we suffer from fever, what’s the first thing that elderly people in our home do?
Their first call is to prepare a traditional recipe of herbs known as Kadha. Those authentic herbs help in quick recovery of the body and strengthen the immune system to fight against viral infection. This herbal remedy is also used in cold, cough, weakness, fatigue, etc. But the question arises, from where does this recipe originate?
The answer can be quite simple. The usage of every herb in medicine is mentioned in Ayurveda. A combination of these herbs to cure a disease like fever was adopted from antiquity.
Furthermore, when we suffer from cough or congestion in the throat, we opt to have ginger extract with honey. All these home remedies serve as a better alternative to allopathic drugs, and show immediate action to cure.
Ayurveda, being the oldest science of life, focuses on cure of a disease in a holistic form. It focuses on life in between the physical and emotional being of a human. One of the important beliefs in Ayurveda is, our wellbeing is affected by the food that we eat. Our energy and vitality is entirely dependent on what we put into our bodies. This is known as the Sattvic approach.
The word Sattvic refers to pure essences. A sattvic diet is based on the food which is recommended in Ayurveda and is one of the purest diet forms which supports the best of one’s self. This diet nurtures the entire human including body, mind and soul. This Sattvic diet is supported by yoga and meditation which inturn supports the wellbeing of the entire human system.
According to Ayurveda, a human body is composed of five basic elements – Space , air, fire, water and earth. These elements combine and form three components known as Doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha; which are responsible for optimal health of an individual.
Vata Dosha is composed of air and space. It controls muscle movements, breathing and heartbeat. It has control over anxiety, fear, pain, and other emotions of CNS.
Pitta Dosha is composed of fire and water. It controls the metabolic, digestive functions of the body. It has control over emotions like anger, jealousy and hatred.
Kapha Dosha is composed of earth and water. It governs the physical structure and immunity of the body. It has control over emotions like calmness, forgiveness, love and greed.
These three Doshas determine the personality and a person’s physical makeup. If there is any imbalance in Doshas, it results in illness. The ayurvedic treatment mainly focuses on rebalancing these disturbed Doshas by including different diet, herbal remedies and exercise. But the question is, how to balance these Doshas in a holistic way?
A medicine strategy report by WHO states that, “For millions of people, ayurvedic medicines, traditional treatments, and traditional practitioners are the main source of health care, and sometimes the only source of care. This is care that is close to homes, accessible and affordable. While the affordability of this method of treatment might stand out, they are also a great way of coping with the relentless rise of chronic non-communicable diseases.”
In Ayurveda, we speak about the overall health of an individual, so a combined therapy is suggested. Along with the combination of herbs, a change in lifestyle with specific diet, the Doshas are rebalanced; thus leading to harmony of body, mind and soul.
Most of the home remedial herbs and spices like clove, cinnamon, black pepper, cumin, fennel, rock salt, turmeric, ginger, honey, garlic, onion, basil, mint, etc. work against diseases in following ways:
1.They kill microorganisms
2.Prevent their multiplication
3.Create a medium to block the growth of microorganisms
4.Boost the immune system and strengthen the body to fight against microorganisms.
There are five ways of preparation of herbal medicines:
1.Svarasa: It is the juicy extract of the herbal plant. It is extracted by grinding the herb and then
2.Kalka: It is the pulp form of the herb. It is extracted by crushing the herbs and making it thick
3.Kathva: It is prepared by boiling herbs in water.
4.Phanta: It is prepared by infusion of herbs in hot water.
5.Hima: It is prepared by soaking herbs in water overnight.
When we include sattvic diet, some herbs, and exercise in our regimen; it helps to promote life in various ways:
1.We are encouraged to love ourselves: It promotes self love and self attention by understanding the body type and pleasing ourselves in different ways. This helps to keep our soul satisfied and calm our mind.
2.Offers a natural way to stay healthy: Ayurveda is all about balancing ourselves with nature. If both are balanced i.e. environment inside and outside the body, it leads to optimum health.
3.We acquire an understanding of our place in life: As nature is composed of five elements – air, space, water, fire, earth; we are also composed of the same. This implies that we are a part of nature. Understanding which element is dominant within us, gives better
understanding of Dosha type and thus a natural cure of a disease.
4.We learn to clear up energy: Change in lifestyle and relaxation processes, help to bring out the purest form of energy in the body.
5.It provides deeper philosophy: Ayurveda speaks about the universe inside our body and it’s functions. This positively impacts on the strength of the body and mind.
6.It promotes better health at cellular level.
7.It removes toxins from the body.
8.Strengthens the digestion process.
Looking at the entire process in Ayurveda, it’s first priority is to understand the body. A good knowledge of that, helps in healing and treatment of the imbalances in the body. Ayurveda not only cures the imbalances, but promotes a healthy lifestyle.