For those of you who may not know what Ayurveda is, here is an over view.
Ayurveda is the knowledge or science, Veda, of life or longevity, ayur. It is the medical aspect of Vedic science, (regarded as an Upaveda or secondary Vedic system). Today it is perhaps the most commonly known of the Vedic sciences. In the Vedic and Yogic system health is seen as a basis for creative and spiritual growth, not as an end in itself. The goal of life is not just to live but to find the meaning of life. Hence we should use the time and energy our health provides for developing our higher nature. Thus Ayurveda naturally leads to the other and deeper aspects of Vedic knowledge.
Ayurveda is an aspect of Yoga and most allied most with Hatha Yoga, the Yoga of the physical body, with which it can be combined. While Hatha Yoga provides us the exercises for physical health, flexibility and the dissolution of tension, Ayurveda gives the knowledge of how to care for our body in terms of diet and medicine. Both serve as means of harmonizing the physical body so that the powers of our inner consciousness can come into action through it.
While the body is not the goal of the spiritual or creative life, it is the foundation. Without health we cannot do anything in life. Hence Ayurveda is of importance to all.
Ayurveda is the medicine of nature, the medicine of life. It does not give us a set of theoretical principles to impose upon our biological functioning. Rather it seeks to present to the human mind the principles and powers of Nature herself. It teaches us to put into practice Nature's great principles of health and natural living. For this reason it employs the language of nature; an energetic system of the elements and biological humors, a simple yet profound system of correspondences, not a complex scientific, materialistic or biochemical terminology.
It considers that it is more important to know what aspect of nature is working within us, for example, if there is too much or too little heat in our system, rather than to be able to describe this dysfunction in terms of pathogens or biochemical malfunctions.
Its terms, therefore, the biological humors, the elements and their qualities, do not originate from conceptual thought or scientific experiments but through direct observation of Nature herself. They represent the powers of Nature working within us, the great Gods or cosmic powers of the vital or life-plane to whom we must do homage (i.e. respect and follow their laws). Just as we have the powers of water, fire and wind working in the environment around us, so they work on a biological level within us. Just as allowing a fire to get too close will burn us externally, so allowing our inner fire to burn too highly will damage our internal organs.
Ayurveda is a form of naturalistic medicine or naturopathy. According to its wisdom it is Nature herself that heals. All we can do is assist in her process by attuning ourselves to her movements. Therefore, Ayurveda emphasizes the balancing of the life-force within us as the basis of all treatment. Ayurveda is based on diet and herbs for its treatment but uses many specially prepared mineral substances as well. It provides us with a complete life-regime through an integrated science of life-style counseling that deals with body and mind, and with both the individual and society. Its goal is not to suppress our symptoms but to give us the tools to understand our nature and live in harmony with it.
If anyone have any qusetions about ayurveda or health issues, feel free to ask