The beauty of Ayurveda, nature's medicine

A heads-up on Ayurveda in 330 words! Ayurveda is a system of healthcare, an ancient medical science for curing disease, preventing illness and maintaining the health and balance of body, mind and spirit. It treats all aspects of our being, not just the physical body, working on both a physical and energetic level to remove the cause of the disease and not just the symptoms. It is the science of the five elements, and of how they compose and combine in the body. It’s a simplistic yet also profound concept that is rooted in nature and the observation of nature.

The knowledge of Ayurveda is eternal and not a system devised by a person or people. It's often referred to as Indian, but it's universal. It was perceived by the ancient rishis (sages) of  India, who observed and meditated deeply on the natural world around them, realised the fundamental ways in which nature and everything in it, including us, functions, and passed the knowledge on to humanity.

Everything in the body and in nature is made up of the five elements, in varying proportions, and by understanding these elements we can work with them to maintain health and treat dis-ease. We can understand the composition of the body, how it works, how it goes out of balance, and how to use substances from nature – e.g. foods, oils, plants – both as treatment and to maintain health and harmony. Ayurveda is nature.

It's a Sanskrit word meaning ‘knowledge (or science) of life’. Ayur means life, specifically longevity, and Veda means knowledge, specifically knowledge gained through first-hand experience and not simply read in books or passed down by a teacher. It is a physical science, but is also part of the spiritual science of the Vedas and the spiritual discipline of yoga. Like yoga, it recognises the conscious universe as the underlying factor in all healing. It was perceived by the rishis to allow maximum health, happiness and longevity for the pursuit of yoga.

Gratitude and respect to Mother Earth, always. Jai ma!