The word "Ayurveda" translates to "The Science of Life". Ayurveda is the worlds oldest medicine and the basis for all alopathic medicine and traditional chinese medicine. Ayurveda can address symptoms in the same way that Western medicine does, but more that that, Ayurveda is a preventative healthcare system. Ayurveda awknowledges a person and their unique and individual nature and offers lifestyle recommendations accordingly. Vedic texts tell us that ancient Rishis, or holy men of india, aquired the knowledge of Ayurveda through deep mediation and observing nature and our interactions with it and each other. Their hope was to end the suffering that they had witnessed so much of within their communities. The practice of Ayurveda was kept alive through oral tradition. Ayurveda predates written word so we arent exactly sure how long it has existed, however Ayurveda was documented in Vedic texts so we know it to be atleast 5,000 years old.
Ayurveda is based off of elemental principles. Everything within us and outside of us breaks down elementally. Ayurveda awknowledges the elements of Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth as the foundation of all of life and the natural world in which we live. Ether being the most subtle, and Earth being the most dense. Ayurveda paired the elements off into three categories called the Doshas. Either and Air forming the dosha of Vata, Fire and Water forming the dosha of Pitta, Water and Earth forming the last dosha of Kapha.
According to Ayurvedic philosophy, we came into this world with a particular combination of elements/and or dosha's that are more prominent, and its this combination that defines our origional nature, also called Prakriti. Our Prakriti is our origional nature, however as soon as we are born, we are influenced by things all the time that can slowly or quickly take us out out of balance. Things like environment, food, time of day, relationships and even our stage of life can influence us. Our current state of balance or imbalance is called vikruti. Ayurveda helps us to establish our origional nature, Prakriti, and our current state, Vikriti, so that we can take the nececary steps moving forward to acheive balance.
Ayurveda utalizes the practices of food, yoga, meditation, gemstones, herbs, colors and essential oils to help us find balance. Ayurveda believes that small changes, and right choices daily, add up to big change over time. Ayurveda is a practice and it can take time to adopt an entirely new lifestyle, however Ayurveda supports you and whatever you are able to take on. One step forward is still a step forward.