A well-respected system of medicine today, Ayurveda evolved in India thousands of years ago. The term “Ayurveda” consists of two parts: Ayur, meaning “life,” and veda, meaning “knowledge.” The men who developed and recorded this body of knowledge came from India’s highest intellectual and spiritual circles, and the original texts demonstrate bountiful knowledge of human physiology; diseases and symptoms; and the toxicity and therapeutic value of botanicals and drugs. These texts are collectively known as the Vedas — the earliest Hindu scriptures — and contain medical instruction in the form of prayers, as well as philosophy and rituals.
Today, practitioners rely primarily on three of the Vedas, containing the original and complete knowledge of Ayurveda. They teach that your state of health results from the interconnectedness between mind, body, and spirit. Furthermore, everybody has a unique mind-body type, a certain combination of the three major energies, or doshas. These are vata, the energy of movement, pitta, the energy of digestion, and kapha, the energy of physical structure and lubrication. Several factors coalesce at birth to determine your optimal combination, and it does not change; instead, physical and emotional stresses act on the body over the course of a lifetime and can derail you from maintaining this optimal balance. Health, then, becomes a matter of developing a diet and lifestyle that supports your vata, pitta, and kapha.
The Ayurvedic menthod stands the test of time as a preventative and complementary form of medicine.