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Ayurveda - “the science of life” is one of the oldest and powerful holistic forms of treatments practised in India since many centuries. Ayurveda considers that every living being is made from the combination of Panchamahabhutas, i.e. the 5 basic external substances or elements - Prthvi (Solid), Jala (Liquid), Tejas or Agni (Energy as heat and light), Vayu (Dynamic energy state of matter), Akasha (the time space entity) and the soul. Similarly, the universe and everything contained within it is made of the Panchamahabhutas and the universal consciousness. Ayurveda is not just a form of treatment but it is about the perfect harmony of the body with nature.
Ayurvedic treatment can be broadly divided into two:
• Shamana Chikilsa (Alleviating Therapy)
• Sodhana Chikilsa (Purification Therapy)
Shamana Chikilsa is a mild treatment procedure and is used to treat minor ailments or problems and correct slight imbalance in the Doshas, Dhatus, Malas and Agni. Intake of medicines forms the main treatment method in this therapy. In this process there is no elimination of toxic byproducts and the effect of the treatment is of shorter duration than Sodhana Chikilsa.
Sodhana Chikilsa is a stronger treatment procedure and involves the elimination of harmful materials deposited in the body. There are primarily five procedures in this therapy, collectively called Panchakarma (See the Panchakarma for more details). Through this procedure, which is considered to be superior to Shamana Chikilsa, the root cause of diseases is removed and the imbalance in Tridoshas is eliminated. Accordingly the results of this treatment last longer.
As a result of the metabolic processes happening inside the body, several toxic bi-products are formed regularly. Even though the body’s excretory system eliminates them naturally, some toxic elements may get deposited in the body. This could affect the normal functioning of the various organs and systems.
Panchakarma (‘Pancha’ means five) is basically carried out to eliminate these toxic materials deposited in the body and to restore equilibrium. It is one of the most important treatment procedures in Ayurveda and is essentially a three step process:
• Poorva Karma (Poorva=Pre)
• Pradhana Karma (Pradhana=Main)
• Pashchat Karma (Pashchat=Post)
The benefits of Ayurveda are many:
  1. The Ayurvedic approach to an illness is holistic and therefore after an Ayurvedic treatment a person will find an improvement in their physical, mental and psychological conditions.
  2. The ingredients used in Ayurvedic medicines are mostly derived from herbs, plants, flowers, fruits etc. making it a remedy close to nature.
  3. There are practically no side effects for Ayurvedic medicine.
  4. Ayurveda has been found to be an effective cure for many chronic diseases.
  5. An Ayurveda treatment can bring about wellness to the entire body and will be in effect for a longer time than Allopathic treatment.
  6. Ayurveda not only helps in treating diseases but also in preventing the occurrence of diseases.
  7. Ayurveda gives guidelines on how to keep away diseases by means of simple dietary and lifestyle changes.
  8. Ayurvedic medicines are good even for healthy people since they are restorative in nature and helps in nourishing the body and enhancing mental ability.
  9. Ayurvedic treatment and medicines are comparatively cheaper than other systems of medicine.
  10. Ayurveda recommends readily available herbs and spices for minor ailments.
  11. Ayurvedic therapies can give relief from stress and rejuvenating the body.
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