Basic Ayurvedic Concepts
•According to ayurveda the ancient
Indian medical science 'health is an indication of normal biological processes which would help maintain mental and physical alertness and happiness'
• Disease could develop from body and mind due to exogenous and natural intrinsic causes.
• Treatment of diseases means use of drugs, control of diet and involves practices for recovery of health.
It is amazing to find how even in the ancient times, the Indian Material medical could classify drugs based on their physiological actions and specify the details of the habitat of
different plants, the parts to be used and the proper time for their collection, method of storage etc. It is thus abundantly clear that the users of the ayurvedic system were fully
aware of the important factors regulating the yield of active principles and the efficacy of the drug preparation. It is equally interesting to note that during that period chemistry
of natural products isolated both from flora and fauna was also developed.
Thus organic compounds were divided into two broad classes, vegetable and animal The former includes fermented oral liquids, juices of plants, fruits and plant tissues while honey,
milk, curd, butter, etc. were the animal substances. The major interest was however centered around the applications of these vegetable and animal compour ds in the manufacture of
It is no wonder that the reputation of the system of healing science spread far and wide and attracted the attention of the contemporary civilized nations. In the Greek and Roman
medicine. For instance, many herbal remedies, e.g. smoking of datura it cases of asthma, use of nux vomica in paralysis, application of opium in diarrh lea etc. found prominent
place in the works of these medicinal systems.
• Dosha —
According to ayurveda the entire biological process of the livinflf organism is governed by three essential factors viz., vata, pitta and sleshnfl which are singularly
called dosha and grouped together as tridosraisJ Abnormalities or maladies are considered to be the effects of imbalance in the! tridoshas.
1. Vata: It explains all the biological phenomena which are controlled by functions of the central and autonomic nervous systems. The malfimcti: m vata is the major factor in
developing diseases either by itself or coup1" with other functional disorders due to pitta and kapha.
2. Pitta: It is the manifestation of energy (Tejas) in the living organisms helps digestion, assimilation, tissue building, heat production Mai pigmentation, activeness of the
endocrine glands and so on.
3. Kapha (sleshma): It implies the functions of thermostasis or heat regulation and also formation of various preservative fluids e.g.- mucus, synovial etc. The main function of
kapha is to provide nutrition to body-tissues, to bring about co-ordination of body-systems and regulation of all biological processes.