The ayurveda or aiur-veda is an ancient system of traditional medicine originated in India. [one]


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  • 1 Etymology
  • 2 Aiurvedic texts
    • 1 Authors
    • 2 Dating
  • 3 Doctrinal basis of aiurvedic medicine
    • 1 The three doshas
  • 4 Aiurvedic treatments
    • 1 Medicinal plants
    • 2 Abhiangam massage
  • 5 Ayurvedic medicine today
    • 1 In India
    • 2 In the West
  • 6 Source


  • āyurveda, in the AITS system (international alphabet of transliteration of the Sanskrit language).
  • आयुर्वेद, in Devanagari script of Sanskrit.

The term Sanskrit aiur-closure is a Purusha tat (compound terms) formed by āyuḥ [áiuj]: ‘life expectancy ‘ and Veda ‘true knowledge’. According to Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization, aiurvedic medicine is together with traditional Chinese medicine one of the oldest existing medical systems in the world.

Aiurvedic texts

There is no text called Ayurveda . The three ancient texts considered the basis of aiurvedic medicine are:

  • the Sushruta Samhita, attributed to Súshruta .

Súsruta made acceptable descriptions of malaria, tuberculosis, and diabetes mellitus. He also wrote about henbane (Hyoscyamus) to induce anesthesia, including specific antidotes and treatments for poisonous snake bites. This treatise describes an ancient Hindu drug derived from the root of the Indian plant Rauwolfia serpentina , which was the source of the first tranquilizer and antihypertensive. The work explains some surgeries. Identify vital points in the body (marmas) that are related to the different organs and noted that external trauma to them can be extremely serious or fatal.

  • the Cháraka-samjita, attributed to Cháraka (around the 2nd century AD ), during the reign of King Kaniska .
  • Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita, attributed to Vagbhata , who was possibly a Buddhist monk who resided in Sindh .


It is not known how long aiurveda medicine has been practiced in the Indian subcontinent. In the four Vedas, Rig-veda, Sama-veda, Iayur-veda and Atharva-veda, very ancient epic and mythological texts from the middle to the end of the second millennium BC, no medicine is mentioned. In the Atharva-veda 14 prayers are mentioned to ask the gods to cure diseases, which could indicate that a traditional Indian medicine did not yet exist. The aiurvedic texts collect the medical doctrines of the Vedic period after the 7th century, they are of diverse authorship: from the mythical god [[Dhanwan Tari (the avatar of medicine) to the barely known.


Some sites on the internet claim that Ayurvedic medicine existed since the Indus Valley culture but do not provide proof of this. Medicinal herbs such as shilajit that are currently used in aiurvedic medicine were found at the Pakistani archaeological site of Mohenjo-Daro. If that were true, it would only prove that medicinal herbs were used in Mohenjo-Daro, but it would not prove that the full system of Ayurveda medicine already existed at that time.

Doctrinal basis of aiurvedic medicine

Aiurvedic medicine describes the five “fundamental elements:

  1. bhumi(‘earth’).
  2. yala(‘water’).
  3. agní(‘fire’).
  4. vaiú(‘air’).
  5. akasha(‘ ether ‘).

The three doshas

One of the bases of aiurvedic medicine is the Sanskrit word doshas that means vital moods or airs, although since the end of the 20th century it is preferred to translate with terms of more scientific appearance: ‘temperaments’,’ biotypes’, ‘energies’,’ forces ‘or’ metabolic principles’). Aiurveda medicine classifies three humors, in relation to those generated by the treatment:

  • vāta(‘air’ in Sanskrit) represents the union of air and ether. It controls functions that are related to movement, such as blood circulation and breathing.
  • pitta(‘ bile ‘ in Sanskrit) represents the union of fire and water. It controls metabolic processes such as digestion, but is also related to the balance of body temperature.
  • kapha(doctrine of the four humors in Sanskrit) represents the union of water and earth. It controls the growth of the body.

In the West, possibly in an effort to give more importance to aiurveda and make it acceptable to the common people, there is a consensus among several authors that in the original Sanskrit language these words would not mean ‘air’, ‘bile’ and ‘phlegm’, but would have broader or deeper meanings. Each person identifies with a main dosha, taking into account their constitution and physical characteristics. In this way, it is determined that people with fair complexions and sensitive skin, with dry hair and a thin complexion belong to the vatta dosha. They tend to have a thin anatomy with a tendency to lose weight, very pronounced veins and a reduced bone structure. On the other hand, the people of the pitta dosha are characterized by having oily skin and translucent veins, fine hair of soft tones and a medium bone set. They can be as easy to gain weight as to lose it, as well as to suffer from nervous and tension problems. While to the dosha kapha belong those individuals with large complexions and physiques, with a great tendency to gain weight and possess greater physical strength. Skin and hair are usually greasy, as well as thick and dark in the case of the latter. His character is predominantly peaceful and very calm.

Aiurvedic treatments

Aiurveda medicine includes diet and herbal medicines and emphasizes the use of the body, mind and spirit in the [[prevention (medicine) and treatment of disease. It is what is called a mind-body medicine, whose premise is to awaken the natural balance of the mind-body system to hypothetically heal itself. Two studies conducted in the United States concluded that up to 20% of the aiurvedic preparations examined contained toxic levels of heavy metal such as lead , mercury or arsenic. In addition, these studies also warned of the non-existent quality controls or the use of herbs that contain other harmful substances

  • Indian doctors are believed to be the first to perform skin transplantation and plastic nose surgery.
  • They perfected reconstruction techniques for broken bones for those who used nails.
  • They also studied the autopsy.

Medicinal plants

The remedies, mainly plants, are chosen for their ability to harmonize the balance between the patient and the basic influences of life, such as diet, work and family life. Ayurvedic medicine describes 2700 different medicinal plants. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia produced by the Indian Ministry of Health is contained in 5 volumes and includes official monographs of 418 medicinal plants.

Some medicinal plants of great importance within Ayurvedic medicine and that can also be easily obtained are: cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeilanicum), cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) and black pepper (Piper nigrum). But also gotu kola (Centella asiatica) and sandalwood (Santalum album) are required.

Abhiangam massage

One of its fundamental tools is the abhiangam massage, which – in the case of some doshas it is performed with natural oils specially prescribed by the doctor and, in other cases, it is performed dry. One of the basic treatments of aiurvedic medicine is śirodhara , which consists of pouring a warm mixture of oils and herbs on the forehead for 40 minutes.

Ayurvedic medicine today

In India

Ayurveda is the most important traditional medical system in India. Administratively, aiurvedic medicine is included within one of the three most important divisions of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and is part of the AYUSH Department (acronym for ayurveda, yoga , unani , siddha and homeopathy ). The term ayush is also a play on words, since in several Indian languages ​​(such as Sanskrit and Hindi), áyush or áiush means ‘longevity’, and it is precisely the etymological origin of the word aiurveda. To graduate as an Ayurvedic doctor you have to study for 5 and a half years. The career is studied in 256 colleges (university colleges), many of which depend on universities. In 2010, 13,037 students were admitted. There are 64 postgraduate institutions where 1,110 students are admitted each year, to specialize in some of the 16 branches of Ayurveda. In the last census carried out in 2010, there were 478 registered; 750 professionals. There are 2458 aiurvedic hospitals with an installed capacity of 44; 820 beds. The most recognized aiurvedic institutions in India are:

  • The Institute of Post Graduate Teaching & Research in Ayurveda Postgraduate Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine Teaching and Research in [[Jamnagar State of Gujarat .
  • The Gujarat Ayurved University (Gujarat Ayurvedic University) in Yamnagar (Gujarat state).
  • The National Institute of Ayurveda in Jaipur , Gujarat

In the west

In [[the West, aiurveda functions as an alternative and complementary medical system to evidence-based medicine. Currently there is a greater interest in aiurvedic medicine, since its followers believe that it gives a complete vision of the imbalances of the human being when considering aspects of the internal and external nature of the same.


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