Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world’s oldest medical systems. It originated in India more than 3,000 years ago and remains one of the country’s traditional and main health care systems. Its concepts about health and disease promote the use of herbal compounds, special diets, and other unique health practices. The term “Ayurveda” combines the Sanskrit words ayur (life) and veda (science or knowledge).
Key concepts of Ayurveda include universal interconnectedness (among people, their health, and the universe), the body’s constitution (prakriti), and life forces (dosha), which are often compared to the biologic humors of the ancient Greek system. Using these concepts, Ayurvedic physicians prescribe individualised treatments, including compounds of herbs, cleansing techniques, diet, exercise, and lifestyle recommendations.
The key to Ayurveda is the holistic or “whole life” approach.