A brief history of Ayurveda

January 11, 2017

A brief history of Ayurveda

Ayurveda is one of the traditional healing modalities of the Vedic culture which originated in India. This modality is said to be between 2000 to 5000 years old, an ancient tradition that has stood the test of time. Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word which translates as “the wisdom of life” or "science of life".

Dhanvantari - Progenitor of Ayurvedic Medicine

 Ayurveda views health as a full lifestyle approach. The saints and sages from our past, intuitively understood the physiology and workings of the mind-body-spirit connection long  modern medicine came to be.

Ayurvedic medicine was originally a tradition, passed on by oral transmission and taught directly from teacher to student, who would learn and work side by side as an apprentice .

The oldest written assemblance of Ayurvedic principles is found in the Rig Veda. The fundamental principles are then described in several major treatises, including the texts from Charaka, Sushruta, and Vaghbhat. There are other works, written over time to explain the various branches of Ayurveda, which include disciplines like general medicine, pediatrics, surgery, toxicology, fertility, and rejuvenation. The beauty in the way these have been explained is that they rely on basic principles which can be applied practically in any day and stage of life.

Churning of the Milk Ocean (Samudra Mantan)

Ayurveda has been passed down through the centuries as a complete, whole life healing system, evolving to meet the needs of the time, place, and circumstance, yet remaining committed to its core principles. Various cultures have drawn upon the ideas of Ayurvedic medicine, and it continues to thrive in both the East and West. In India, an Ayurvedic physician must undergo at least a 5 year post-graduate degree program (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery) to become qualified. In the West, Ayurveda is recognized as a Complementary and Alternative Health System by the National Institutes of Health, and is blossoming in various educational institutions.