Indian Ayurvedic Medicine is the part of Ayurveda that can still be the foundation for the principles of holistic medicine. We can see below how much attention the ancient ayurvedists had paid while describing so minutely the features of disease management in Ayurveda.
We can see how the concept of synergy and balance of bodily tissues and humors is reflected and still of central importance in Modern medicine and Physiology.
Sanskrit Etymology Of ‘Chikitsa’ Or Treatment:
‘Kit Rogapnayane’ is the basic root. (Sidhantakaumudi)
Kit + Kit + San + A = Chikitsa
This Sanskrit root is used to remove the disease, to prevent disorders. The management of the disease is also called Treatment. The word treatment in Indian ayurvedic medicine doesn’t imply simply giving medicine, it covers the entire planned management of the condition.
Sanskrit Synonyms Of Treatment In Indian Ayurvedic Medicine:
Sanskrit is a very rich language and there are many different tones of the word treatment. These synonyms are quite informing about the various aspects of treatment. Indian Ayurvedic Medicine harbors the concept of Total Quality Medicine right from ancient times. Its detailed planning is reflected in the various terms that are used for treatment.
- Bhesaj: The material or process that helps to conquer the fear of disease.
- Oushadham: The management of a disease by combining different herbs in Indian ayurvedic medicine.
- Bhisajya: That which helps to conquer the fear of disease.
- Agada: Using which disease is banished from the body.
- Jayu: One that conquers the disease. (Amarkosha, Ramashrami 2/6/50)
- Chikitsita: The process of Treatment.
- Vyadhihara: Destroying the disease.
- Pathya: Helpful in removing the disease by clearing the channels of body and mind.
- Sadhana: The tools of managing the disease.
- Prayashchita: The role of disease as balancing the karmic debts. The points toward the role of effectts of past life and present life actions in producing the disease process. This is necessary to neutralize the effects of impressions of past actions.
- Prashamana: Pacifying the disease.
- Prakritisthapana: Normalizing the natural state or healthy state of body and mind. This refers to maintaining the stage of physiological homeostatis.
- Hita: Beneficial for body and mind. (Charaka Samhita, Chikitsa Section 1/1/3, Commentary By Chakrapani)
- Kriya: The procedures that are involved in the process of treatment or management of disease.
- Upaya: The means or tools and planning that are used in the treatment.
- Karma: The actions or disease management protocol adopted during treatment.
- Chesta: The planned and intentioned efforts for the treatment. (Amarkosha, 3/3/156-157)
- Pravriti: Being inclined in and starting the treatment. (Charaka Samhita, Vimana Section, 8/77)
- Karana: the herbs or other products used to treat the disorders. (Charaka Samhita, Vimana Section, 8/87)
- Pratikarma: The planning of treatment to counteract the disease process. (Charaka Samhita, Vimana Section, 8/133)
- Upakrama: The action or management protocol for the disease.(Charka Samhita, Sutra Section, 22/42)
- Bhisagjita: Meeting of the four pillars of treatment – physician, patient, herbs, nurse. (Charaka Samhita, Sutra Section, 9/27)
- Upachara: The treatment. (Charaka Samhita, Sharira Section, 4/57)
- Nigraha: The suppression of the disease. (Charaka Samhita, Vimana Section, 7/34)
- Vaidyakarma: The actions taken by the herbalist to treat the disease.
- Bhisagkarma: The act of treatment by an ayurvedist.
- Ullaghana: Getting beyond the disease toward health. (Amarkosha 2/6/57)
Indian Ayurveda defines the health as the balance and synergy of bodily tissues and functions. The concept of quality medicine had been present in Ayurvedic Medicine from ancient times. Know the guidelines and concepts of Ayurveda treatment. What is the relationship among the four who are involved in Ayurvedic treatment?
Defining The Treatment:
According to Bhavaprakasha, the treatment comprises of those actions that removes the disease process and harmonizes the body tissues and their functions. (Bhavaprakasha, Purva Section, Misc. 11)
Charaka defined Ayurvedic medicine as those actions that harmonize and balance the humors, tissues and their functions to the normal state. (Charaka Samhita, Sutra Section, 16/34)
Charaka again explained Ayurvedic medicine with more clarity as the activity of physician, patient, medicine and nurse quadrant for balancing and normalizing the humors and tissues and their functions. (Charaka Samhita, Sutra Section, 9/5)
The Quality Of Good Medical Treatment:
Whatever mode of therapy or treatment modalities we adopt, it should possess some qualities that can render it safe and effective. Ayurvedists right from the ancient times had been conscious of this aspect of Medicine that is why they described quality medicine.
- The treatment should pacify the disease and the disease process.
- The treatment should not cause any other disease as the result of the process of treatment. It includes the adverse effects, toxicities, side effects and drub allergies.
Guidelines In Ayurvedic Medicine Before Starting Treatment:
- Pay attention to the prognosis of the disease before commencing the treatment. Various disease possesses different prognosis and the same disease might have good or worse prognosis. Prognosis means prediction of course and end of disease and the estimate of chance of recovery. It is the assessment of severity of the disease and the chances of its recovery.
- The diseases with good prognosis also requires proper treatment. With good treatment, the patient will be in good health earlier and won’t develop any complications.
- Simple disease can progress to complicated one or sometimes incurable stage so it is better to start the adequate treatment.
- Even in patients with poor prognosis, the doctor should continue the treatment. One should get proper treatment until one is breathing.
Concepts, Purpose & Characteristics
Indian Ayurvedic Medicine places the central place to health. Whatever be our pursuits and lifestyle, we need good and sound health as foundational in our life. Health is the best ornament and luxury we can and should have.
Ayurveda maintains the practical theory of four kinds of pursuits addressing the integral need of our body, mind and soul. All of them are dependent on our health. Helping people to get rid of disease and remaining in better and healthy condition is one of the best service to mankind.
In Astanga Sangraha (Uttar Section, 50), the author enumerated the benefits of treating the patients for the doctor. Some patients offer money, some extend friendship, we reap good action, sometimes fame or at least the physician gains expertise in his work. Mostly we get all the above benefits.
Relationship Quadrant Of Ayurveda:
Introducing the relationship quadrant is essential for the authenticity and importance of any subject. These four together gives the brief intro of any subject.
- Subject: The study of health, diseases, their diagnosis and management, the right food, exercises and lifestyle is the subject of Ayurvedic Medicine.
- Who Should Study & Practice: The student who is disciplined, interested in learning ayurvedic medicine, with good intellect, with serviceful heart, with serving attitude should go on to take the study of Ayurveda.
- Relationship: The subject of health and disease is dependent on Ayurveda.
- Purpose: The purpose of ayurvedic medicine is to keep the body healthy and to help in removing the disease.
Ayurvedic Medicine Overview
Ayurveda medicine comprise of remedies with medicinal herbs, organic or animal derived products and natural mineral substances. However the most important aspect of ayurvedic formulation is their balance, integrity and synergy in relation to human body and to triple humors – Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
The processing of ayurvedic herbal formulations is specific and noteworthy. Medicinal herbs and minerals are processed in about two hundred different preparations that are suitable to various body types, different patient compliance factor, strengths or potency of preparation and varying states of disorders.
Some of the toxic and poisonous herbs as well as most of minerals are purified, processed with herbs and calcined in a strategic way to render them harmless, enhance their bioavailability and potency. These pharmaceuticals procedures were developed thousands of year before at a time when sophisticated chemical laboratories were absent. These procedures are still a marvel for the most profound alchemist or chemist!
Most of these ayurvedic formulations have dual roles in supporting and enhancing health and in curing various disorders. They can be used for supporting various physiological systems specifically and overall body and mind generally. e.g Triphala is good herbal formulation that can be taken round the year as herbal detox and rejuvenative aid and it can be used in many disorders like constipation, eye disorders, skin disorders.