Kerala Ayurveda - the Path to Great Health

By: Jessica Shankar

Ayurveda is among the oldest medical and health sciences of the world. The ancient Indian system of healing ailments and diseases is practiced in almost all the regions of India on some scale or the other. However, Kerala is the hotbed of Ayurveda in India and is rampantly popular, especially among foreign tourists. Kerala, in fact, is known among many other things, for its Ayurvedic resorts and centers. Kerala's tropical weather, soothing waters and balmy breezes also help speed up the healing process for many.

Legend has it that at the beginning of the creation of the world, Brahma, the Hindu god of creation, created the vedas along with Ayurveda in a book comprising of 100,000 shlokas. Slowly, Brahma spread the knowledge of Ayurveda. It was then organized into eight branches, which are together known as Ashtang Veda. These branches were:

Internal Medicine - Kayachikitsa Tantra
Surgery - Shalya Tantra
Ears, Eyes, Nose and Throat - Shalakya Tantra
Pediatrics - Kaumarabhritya Tantra
Toxicology - Agada Tantra
Purification of the Genetic Organs - Bajikarana Tantra
Health and Longevity - Rasayana Tantra
Spiritual Healing - Bhuta Vidya

Ayurveda aims to restore health by using natural materials for treatments. No chemicals are used for the host of treatments offered by Ayurveda. Substances such as oil, herbs, and minerals are largely used. Ayurveda asserts that every living and non-living organism in this universe is an amalgam of five eternal elements, called Pancha Maha Bhoothas. These elements are - Air, Fire, Water, Ether, and Earth. These eternal elements reside in the body as three subtle energies that control the body and mind. These energies are called Vatha, Pitha and Kapha.

All diseases stem from absence of harmony between these three energies. Ayurvedic treatments aim to restore this harmony and promote well being, both physical and spiritual.

Kerala Ayurveda has earned a name for itself in the world of Ayurveda. This ancient science continues to be practiced with great dedication here. Kerala is also home to families that have been using and practicing Ayurveda for more than ten generations. This fact alone lends Kerala Ayurveda all the credibility in the world. They surely know what they are doing.

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