The name ‘Ayurveda’ comprises of ‘Ayur’ that means life and ‘Veda’ meaning knowledge. Its systematic approach to health comprises proper diet, exercise, and seasonal lifestyle practices for a preventive and healthy way of living.
Ayurved can be said to be an amalgamation of Science and Philosophy as it aims at balancing the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of healthy living.
There are eight broad divisions of treatments in Ayurveda that deal with different diseases.
- Kaya chikitsa (General Medicine)
- Bala chikitsa (Pediatrics)
- Urndhanga chikitsa (ENT & eye diseases treatment)
- Grahachikitsa (Psychiatry),
- Shalya chikitsa (Surgical procedures)
- Visha chikitsa or Agad Tantra (Toxicology)
- Rasayana chikitsa (Geriatrics).
- Vajeekarana chikitsa (Aphrodisiac treatment)
Ayurvedic therapy comprises of various preventive aspects like daily and seasonal regimens, curative and purification process using herbal preparations such as juice of wet herbs, medicated oil massage, herbal pastes (kalka) or decoctions namely Kashayams, medicated oils, fermented preparations called Arishtams, medicated butter and ghee preparation, etc.
Related: Home Remedies In Ayurveda
Panchakarma is a purification therapy in Ayurveda. It is the process of cleaning the body to purify it internally. It is meant for healthy males and is used to cure diseases as well as prevent further occurrence.
The five steps followed in Panchakarma are Snehana, Swedana, Vamana, Virechana, and Nasya.
Some of the special Ayurvedic procedures followed in treatments of diseases are explained below:
Vashpaswedanam: This is a part of Panchakarma treatment. In this procedure, the body is treated to the steam produced by boiling medicinal leaves. This helps to remove the toxins and impurities from the body, removing fat from the body and in relief from skin diseases.
Abhyanga: This is a type of oil massage done in varying strokes depending upon the disease and the patient’s condition. It is usually given for 45 minutes a day for 14 days. The body gets nourished and nerves get revitalized and resulting in improved sleep. Due to the calming effect of this procedure, the person overcomes fatigue and gains confidence through improved physical appearance.
Dhara: This procedure involves pouring some special herbal oils and medicated buttermilk on the forehead of the patient in a certain way for about 45 minutes a day for a period of 7 to 21 days. This treatment is useful in curing Vata dosha diseases such as insomnia, mental tension, hair fall, and graying, and certain skin diseases.
Pizhichil: This is a process where 2 to 4 trained therapists rhythmically apply warm medicated herbal oils all over the body of the patient for 60 to 90 minutes daily for 7 to 21days depending upon the need. This is followed by a hot water bath. This process is used in treating rheumatic arthritis, hemiplegia, paralysis, nervous and sexual disorders. This rejuvenating procedure provides relaxation to both body and mind.
Kizhi: This process involves applying herbs, leaves, and herbal powders all over the body in boluses along with medicated oils for 45 minutes a day for about 7 to 14 days. This is effective in relieving arthritis with swelling, Osteoarthritis, Spondylosis, body pain and sports injuries, and the like.
Specially prepared warm medicated oil is made to stay on the lower back with an herbal paste boundary. This treatment is given for 45 to 60 minutes. This procedure is useful in back pain and also in spinal disorders.
This is a fomentation therapy using medicated cow’s milk. This treatment is effective in treating facial paralysis, bells palsy, nervous disorders of the face, and speech disorders.
Related: Ayurveda Prakriti Self Body Test
This is a process in which herbal juices and medicated oils are dropped through each nostril for about 7 to 14 days. This is highly effective in treating certain kinds of headaches, mental disorders, some types of skin disease, paralysis, Cervical Spondylosis, and hair fall.
A mixture of herbal powders and medicated oils are applied on the top of the head for about 20 to 45 minutes. This treatment is given to patients suffering from ENT problems, migraine, and insomnia.
Udhwarthanam is a specialized Ayurvedic massage. Herbal powders are rubbed all over the body by therapists in a special manner in order to expel excess fat from the body. This process exfoliates the skin and keeps the skin smooth and glowing. This treatment is also given to treat paralysis, hemiplegia, and a few rheumatic ailments.