What is Ayurveda

The Sanskrit word Ayurveda consists of two words- AYUSH and VEDA where Ayush means life and veda means knowledge. The term "ayurveda" thus means 'the knowledge of life' or 'the science of life which ultimately aims for health and longevity of life. It offers a wisdom to help people stay vibrant and healthy while realizing their full human potential. In fact the art and science of wholesome living is Ayurveda. It is complete healing science and the only medical science which considers physical, mental, social and spiritual aspect of life . It stems from ancient Vedic culture. Ayurveda the “science of life ”or longevity is oldest healing science . It originated thousands of years back .It is part of Atharva Veda. Most of Vedic healing verses occur in Atharva Veda which are devoted to varied conditions such as wounds , epilepsy , leprosy , eyes and ear diseases etc.
Since ages, sages and physicians have been rediscovering this timeless health wisdom and today, Ayurveda is practiced by millions of ayurvedic physicians. Sages, physicians/surgeons of the time were the same sages or seers, deeply devoted and highly evolved souls , who saw health as an integral part of spiritual life. It is believed that they acquired the knowledge of the use of the various methods of healing, prevention, longevity through meditation and it was divine revealing. These revelations were transcribed from oral tradition into written form, and finally this ancient wisdom was part of spiritual traditions and Ayurveda is for entire mankind to promote health and longevity of life .
Ayurveda is a living tradition of a health science of India and it is pride of India to promote health worldwide . The first perfect definition of health was given in Sushruta Samhita

Sam dosha, samagni, samdhatu malakriyah
Prasannatma, indriyas manah swath abhidayate.
– Sushruta samhita

Health is in balance when all three doshas (bioenergy), seven dhatus (the bodily tissues ) and agni (metabolic processes) are in balance, and excretions are in proper order. When atman (soul), senses, manah (intellect) are in harmony with internal peace, the svasthya (optimal health) is achieved.

Aim of ayurveda
Main aim of ayurveda is to maintain the health of healthy person and to cure the diseased one . For maintaining health, ayurveda guides us about specific diets nutrition, lifestyles( in different seasons, physiological states) about yoga, pranayama, naturopathy etc . It offers vast scientific description not about physical health but about staying healthy at mind, social and soul level too .
For curing the diseased it has detailed description for cause, diagnosis , entire pathogenesis of disease remedies to cure and prevent its further recurrence . It has vast pharmacopoeia of herbs, rasshastra ,rejuvenatives , aphrodisiacs etc . For curing and preventing disease it does not rely only on medicines it ,has panchkarma (detoxification procedure), yoga , pranayama ,naturopathy, meditation techniques , tonics ,marmas vigyan (specific points )etc .
Basic principles of ayurveda :
A. Pancha Mahabhuta (The five basic elements)
B. Doshas (Biological elements)
C. Dhatus (Basic bodily tissues)
D. Malas (Waste products)
E. Agni (Biological fire).
These form the backbone of ayurveda.

According to ayurveda, body, mind, and soul all have to be in equilibrium to maintain health and live a normal life and life is not merely about how many years we lived. So, Ayurveda is holistic science with measures to protect “ayus” (life) which includes healthy living along with therapeutic measures that relate to physical, mental , social and spiritual harmony.
Ayurvedic physician does not consider patient merely a physical body but it aims at treatment at mind, senses and soul level too. The approach is to diagnose the root cause and eliminate it, not treating merely physical symptoms but also promoting complete health for patient and preventing recurrence of disease.