Ayurveda – An ancient healthcare system

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian healthcare system comprising natural and holistic medicine. The word Ayurveda literally means the science of life (Ayur = Life, Veda = Science). It was developed in India thousands of years ago. While allopathic medicine tends to focus on the management of disease, Ayurveda provides us with the knowledge of prevention of diseases and elimination of its root cause.


Ayurveda has evolved into what it is today from several ancient treatises, most notably Atharva Veda, which dates back to five thousand years. The ancient Vedic literature by sages has clearly laid out instructions for maintaining health as well as fighting illness through therapies, massages, herbal medicines, diet control and exercise.

The knowledge of Ayurveda was passed on orally through a lineage of sages in India, until it was collated into text more than five thousand years ago. The oldest known texts on Ayurveda are Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtanga Hrudaya.

Ayurveda’s goal is to help individuals re-balance and restore their health. It teaches a proactive approach to avoid illness through fresh food, daily exercise, relaxation/stress reduction and regular cleansing. According to ayurveda, the five elements space, air, fire, water, and earth, manifest in each of us in a unique way to give us our physical and mental qualities. These five basic elements then combine into three constitutions or Doshas: Vata, Kapha and Pitta.

The unique combination of the three doshas in each individual has a specific influence on their physical, mental, and emotional tendencies. Understanding which dosha is dominant can help one to make the right diet and lifestyle choices that will maintain balance and promote health and well-being at all levels.