What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda – the ancient science of health, coming from the East

The mystical and exotic Indian system for healthy, happy and long life Ayurveda is gaining more and more popularity in the Western world.

Many people turn to it for the prevention of general health, and others – for the treatment of diseases.

The reason for the emergence of Ayurveda more than five millennia ago is simple – the desire of every human being for a long life in pursuit of goals.

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Ayurveda and Purusharti (puruṣārthas)

Hinduism defines four key goals in human life (purushartis):


the leading goal in people who follow the path of justice and debt. In India, this is the caste of kshatriyas (kshatriya) or military units that protect society during war or rulers in peacetime.


the leading goal for people engaged in financial activities and striving for economic prosperity. It is decisive for the vaishya caste – entrepreneurs, merchants, landowners, etc.


the leading goal in people who are devoted to pleasures, love thrills and emotional experiences. They form the caste of employees by performing various types of services.


the leading goal for people seeking the spiritual manifestations of life, including those who are engaged in scientific activity. They form the Brahmin caste.
Regardless of which of the four groups you recognize, the main role of Ayurveda is to provide you with a healthy and happy life for at least 120 years.

History of the origin and development of Ayurveda

Ayurveda combines historical facts and mythology in a unique way.
The mythological account refers the origin of the doctrine to the god Brahma.

The sages in India were afflicted with disease and premature death, although they lived in the Himalayas.

This led them to seek help from the god Indra, also called the King of the gods.

  • Indra turned to the god Brahma for help.
  • Brahma passed on the knowledge of Ayurveda to the god Prajapathi, who is responsible for protecting people.
  • Prajapathi for his part, passed on the knowledge to the healers of the gods, the Kumaras twins.
  • The healers sent him to the god Indra.
  • And Indra – to the sage Atreus, leader of the Himalayan sages.
  • Atreus passed it on to Agnivesa, who in turn passed it on to the other sages …
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Thus Ayurveda gradually began to spread throughout India.

During the centuries of Ayurveda, many sages recorded their own theories in sutras with interpretations of the original texts.

In Ayurvedic literature, the mornings are united and form the basic concept of Eastern science and Ayurvedic philosophy.

The main deity in Ayurveda and its eight branches

The leading deity worshiped by Indian Ayurvedic healers is Lord Divodas Dhanavantari.

He received the knowledge from the god Indra and passed it on to the sage Sushruta, dividing Ayurveda into eight branches (Ashtanga Ayurveda):

1. Kaya Chikitsa

treatment of all kinds of diseases related to our physical body and the processes in it. Analogue of internal medicine or general medicine.

2. Bala Chiktsa

treatment according to the specific physiological needs of children up to 16 years, ie pediatrics, also known as Kaumarabhritya.

3. Graha Chikitsa

studying and influencing the changes in the mental state, which can cause disease changes in the functions of the body. An analogue of psychiatry.

4. Urdhvanga Chikitsa

studying and influencing diseases that affect the areas above the neck – including the eyes, nose, ears and throat. This title is also known as Shalakya Tantra.

5. Shalya Chikitsa

various surgical methods related to the removal of formations that cause the development or underlie the disease process.

6. Damshrta Chikitsa

is the leading teaching of Ayurveda to counteract the poisonous substances that have entered the body. Analogue of Western toxicology.

7. Jara Chikitsa

geriatrics or approaches to rejuvenate the internal organs of Kayakalpa by using herbal products such as chavanprasham or brahma rasayanam.

8. Vrushya Chikitsa

reproductive medicine or methods for improving the quality of reproductive cells in the male and female body (sperm and eggs).
As can be seen, Ayurveda is a collective term, and its meaning is embedded in its name: ayu ‘life’ and veda ‘knowledge, science, awareness’ – the science of life.

According to ancient Hindu teachings, the existence of every human being has one main purpose. This Moksha – complete freedom from the limitations of earthly life.

Ayurveda serves to achieve the highest goal through prevention and treatment.

The axioms of Ayurveda

Like any serious science, Ayurveda has its leading and enduring axioms, without which its philosophy could not be understood.

They are based on:

  1. The doctrine of Panchamahabuta, or the Five Elements;
  2. The doctrine of the three doshas: Vata, Pitta, Kapha.
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According to the Eastern philosophy of life, the universe and everything visible around us is made up of the eternally existing 5 elements (Panchamahabuta):

  • Space (Akash) – connects to free, empty space;
  • Air (Vayu) – it is associated with the characteristics of movement and activity;
  • Fire (Tejas) – its main characteristic is the transformation from one form to another;
  • Water (Jala) – it is determined by qualities such as connectivity, humidity, liquid nature, penetration and softness;
  • Earth (Prithvi) – its leading qualities are solidity, density and shape formation.

The idea of creating the human body according to Ayurveda

According to Ayurveda, the idea of creating the human body puts into practice the doctrine of the five elements:
There must be enough free space in the future mother’s uterus and there must be no restrictions on the fertilization pathways of the ovum.
In order for fertilization to be possible, there must be a movement (air element) of the sperm towards the egg.
When the sperm connects with the egg, the two cells must be transformed into one (fire element) that combines male and female information.
When dividing, the new cells must be connected to each other, not disintegrate (water element).
Thus connected cells begin to form a form that at some point we will call an embryo, and later – a human fetus (earth element).
When these elements unite in the human body, they are distributed into three types of energy:

Vata (space and air)

dry, cold, light and dynamic energy, responsible for all motor activities performed in the body.

Pitta (fire and water)

warm and passive energy, responsible for the processes of transformation in individual organs and tissues.

Kapha (water and earth)

moist, cold, completely passive energy associated with the density and formation of tissues and organs in the body.
Every human being carries within him these three energies, representing the five eternal elements.

They can be manifested to varying degrees, but they must be available and coded for the rest of a person’s life.

Ayurveda explains all aspects of health, as well as the causes of diseases, using the teachings of the five elements and the three doshas.

What do the terms health and disease mean according to Ayurveda?

When the energies of Vata, Pitta and Kapha are in balance, one enjoys a feeling of lightness, happiness and energy – this is defined as health.

When one, two or all the energies are out of balance, Ayurveda defines this condition as a disease.

In the presence of disease symptoms, it is desirable to visit an Ayurvedic doctor to determine the energy imbalance.

For this purpose, there are used methods such as:

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Rogi Pariksha
It is performed in three directions:

  • Darshana – the doctor observes the patient, recording his age, body structure and appearance;
  • Sparshana – the doctor palpates, listens, and examines the patient by touch;
  • Prashna – the doctor asks targeted questions to determine the patient’s symptoms.
Dasavidha Pariksha
Includes tracking of 10 health-related factors:

  • Dooshyam – structural and physiological disorders of the body;
  • Balam – physical force;
  • Analam – condition of the digestive system;
  • Prakriti – dominant dosha;
  • Vayas – age of the patient;
  • Satvam – mental endurance;
  • Sathmyam – the patient’s lifestyle: habits and rules to follow;
  • Aharam – type and quality of the food he/she consumes;
  • Desham – climatic features of the place where the patient lives;
  • Kalam – seasonal and climate change.
Ashtavidha Pariksa
Includes tracking of 8 health-related factors:

  • Nadi – pulse diagnostics;
  • Moothram – urine test;
  • Malam – faecal test;
  • Jihwa – tongue review – shape, color, presence / absence of deposits;
  • Sabdam – volume of the voice and features of the patient’s speech;
  • Sparsham – skin / tactile sensitivity;
  • Drik – eyes and vision;
  • Akrithi – body shape.

Result of the examination

After the examination is completed, the doctor gives the patient prescriptions related to:

  • Intake of water and fluids;
  • Diet and physical activity;
  • Intake of Ayurvedic herbal products;
  • Recommended lifestyle changes.

The Ayurvedic doctor also recommends recipes related to the intake of various Ayurvedic herbal products.

Ayurvedic herbal products

Types of Ayurvedic products include:
Arishta and Asava – fermented extracts with alcohol content and aqueous extracts;
Bhasma – calcined powder of minerals or metals;
Churnam – different types of herbal powders;
Ghritham – purified cow’s Ghee oil with medicinal herbs;
Kashayam – decoctions of herbs;
Kashayam tablets – decoctions of herbs in tablet form;
Leham – a mixture of herbs and spices in honey or unrefined sugar;
Tailam – herbal oils;
Gulika – herbal tablets.
Ayurveda also has a wide range of therapeutic effects that are prescribed by a doctor.

The most famous are the two systems Purvakarma and Panchakarma.


Purvakarma is a set of preparatory therapies that aim to collect toxins from the periphery of the central part of the body – the digestive system.

Purvakarma is used in two varieties:

  • Snehana – body oiling;
  • Svedana – body sweating.

Snehana, on the other hand, is subdivided into two types:

  • Bahya – external oiling of the body with various healing herbal oils;
  • And Abhyantar – internal oiling of the body by drinking, gnawing or placing in the nose or ears of herbal oil or Ghee.


Panchakarma includes five therapies that remove toxins accumulated in the body:

  • Vamana – induced vomiting, which balances Kapha’s energy and expels toxins from the upper body.
  • Virecana – induced laxative effect that balances Pitta energy and expels toxins from the digestive system.
  • Vasti – healing enema therapy that balances Vata energy, removes accumulated toxins and improves colon function.
  • Nasya or Sirovirecana – application of healing oil in the nose to clear toxins from the scalp.
  • Raktamoksana – methods of bloodletting.

After the end of the effect with Panchakarma, associated with the application in a certain sequence of different therapies, a lifestyle called Pascatakarma is prescribed, and a special diet -Samsarjana-Krama.

Ayurveda in the modern world

Although long out of the limited notions of mysticism, Ayurveda in the Western world is still shrouded in misunderstanding.

It is difficult for modern man, whose health culture is based on classical medical theory, to understand the effect of these methods, as well as their effect on all levels of the human being – from the roughest to the finest.

Despite the differences with the Western tradition, Ayurveda is a full-blooded system that can offer a complete alternative to the medicine we know, especially in the field of prevention and treatment of chronic diseases.

At Ayurveda Clinic Bansko you can learn about the power of Ayurveda with the help of qualified Indian doctors, authentic Ayurvedic therapies and local Indian herbs, supplied specifically for the purposes of our programs.

Here you can make your reservation