Ayurveda

 

Ayurveda is a truly holistic and integral medical system that treats human beings as a 'whole' which is a combination of body, mind and soul.

"AYU" means all aspects of life from conception to death and "VEDA" means knowledge of learning. It is a way of life that describes the diet, medicine and behaviour that are beneficial or detrimental for your life or lifestyle.

Ayurveda is one of the oldest (approximately 6000 years old) scientific medical systems in the world, with a long record of clinical experience. It is one of the great gifts of the Gods of ancient India to mankind. It is not just a system of medicine in the common sense of curing disease. It is also a way of life which teaches us how to maintain and protect our health. According to the four main vedas (Rig, Yajur, Sama, Atharva), they stated that when the God Brahma created the universe with human life, human beings started to feel sick, not doing all Karmas properly as they were supposed to. So the creator of the universe, Brahma wrote Ayurveda which some people call as a fifth veda.

The Rig veda is the foundation stone of the other vedas, being the oldest of the four and contains concepts of Ayurveda. Its three great Gods - Indra, Agni and Soma - related to the three doshas (body type) of Ayurveda - Vata, Pitta or Kapha.

In Atharva we find references to anatomical and physiological factors, the disease process, treatment of specific diseases and other systematic knowledge about Ayurveda. All the material about the science of life is compiled together in the so called as a fifth veda, Ayurveda and all those compilations are called "Samhitas".

Due to invasion of different cultures in ancient India, many of these Samhitas have been lost or burnt, but three main Samhitas are available: Charaka-Medicine Veda; Sushruta-Surgery Veda; Ashtanga Hridaya-Lifestyle Management.

Ayurveda is not only medicine but is also a way of life.
 

How to determine your constitution


Select one of the three options below to determine which description fits you best. Make a note to which type your choice belongs. If you feel two or all options fit, jot down each type. If you are unsure about a choice, just leave it. Tally up how many times each type has been chosen. As each person is a combination of all three types, you are likely to have numbers for all three. The type with the highest number is your dominant constitutional type.
 
The Vata Type The Pitta Type The Kapha Type

Usually low body weight and light bone structure. Enthusiastic and sensitive. Prone to illnesses like : rheumatism, anxiety, infertility, impotence, heart trouble. Like a warm environment. Prolonged intellectual concentration can affect their health.

Like physical activity. Metabolism works well, muscle & bone structure are moderately developed. Intellectually alert & methodical. They make good leaders, scientists or technicians. Impatient & aggressive. Prone to high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, skin cancer, herpes & inflammations.

Usually heavily built. Do not like to rush, take their time. Strong and enduring. Prudent, confident, reliable, calm under pressure. Good business sense. Can become greedy or lethargic. Prone to digestive problems, poor blood circulation, colds, bronchitis, lung and breast cancer.


The following table can help you identify your body type better-
Physical Attributes-Body Type


Vata Pitta Kapha
SKIN thin, dry, cool, fairly dark, tans easily

pale, lustrous, freckles, rashes, sunburns easily

thick, whitish, oily, cold

 

MOUTH

small or large, gums receding

medium size

large

NECK

thin, scrawny, very long, very short

average, in proportion to body

solid, like a tree trunk

HAIR

thin, dark, dry, curly, coarse, kinky, frizzy

fine, soft, fair, reddish

thick, plenty, wavy, shiny, brown

NOSE

small, narrow, long, crooked, asymmetrical

pointed, average size

large, rounded, oily

LIPS

thin, narrow, tight, dry, unbalanced

medium, well proportioned, soft, red

big, full, smooth, oily

FACE

long, angular, small chin

heartshaped, pointed chin

large, round, full

EYES

small, narrow, sunken, dark, brown, grey

average, hazel, light blue, grey, intense lustre

large, attractive, blue, light brown

TEETH

irregular, big, crooked, little

medium size, soft gums, yellowish

strong, white, healthy gums

SIZE at birth

thin, small

average

large

HEIGHT

very short, very tall

medium

tall, sturdy, short, stocky

WEIGHT

low, hard to put on weight

moderate, easy to put on or take off weight

heavy, tends to overweight

FRAME
BONES

light, delicate, narrow hips, shoulders

medium

large shoulders, hips are broad

MUSCLES

underdeveloped, prominent tendons

firm, well developed

solid, strong

JOINTS

prominent, dry, tend to crack, knobbly

normal, in proportion to limbs

large, healthy, well lubricated

SWEAT

very little, often little smell

a lot when hot, strong, sour smell

moderate, a little sweat present

ACTIVITY
LEVEL

busy, involved, fidgety

moderate

slow, lethargic, heavy

SEXUAL
ACTIVITY

intense, passionate, fantasies

solid, capable, sensous

slow to arouse, maintains passion

FERTILITY

low

average

high

TEMPERATURE

prefers warmer environment

prefers cooler environment

hates coldness

STOOL

dry, hard, irregular, constipated

soft, oily, loose, regular

slow, oily, thick, heavy, plenty

SLEEP

fitful, scanty, interrupted, not restful

not long, but very sound

very deep, prolonged, likes plenty

SPEECH

fast, not lost for words

sharp, clear, cutting, precise

slow, monotonous

MEMORY

good short term, poor long term

good, rapid recall

slow, very good long term


 

Personality


THINKING

superficial, theorises, few actions

logical, precise, plans well ahead

slow, refuses to be rushed

BELIEFS

few deep beliefs, changeable

strong, fanatical

deep, steady, does not change

EMOTIONS

fearful, unpredictable, anxious

aggressive, judgemental

calm, greedy, possesive

 

Way of Life


Work Preference

creative, imaginative

intellectual

caring

Money

spender, unwise, poor

moderate, likes luxuries

saves, prudent, rich

Lifestyle

fast, erratic, no plans

plans ahead, ambitious, busy

steady, does not change, regular



A Food & Diet Guide for the Three Ayurvedic Types


Food should be natural. Cooking, freezing, etc. changes the natural quality of food. How foods can be combined, how much food should be eaten, the environmental history of food growing, seasonal effects on the food, eating habits and manners, how a person's attitude can affect food are all factors to be considered for a proper guide. Buttermilk is very good, balancing all three doshas.

Vata Reducing Diet - VATA, a combination of the elements of ETHER and AIR requires sweet, sour, salty and moistening foods. Avoid eating when stressed, anxious or nervous. Try to develop regular eating habits. Drink milk, spice or herb tea. Avoid dried fruit, apples, melons. Eat sweet fruits, avocado, banana, brown rice or red cabbage.

Pitta Reducing Diet - The element of Pitta is predominantly FIRE. Pitta people benefit from foods that have a cooling effect. Avoid fatty and spicy foods including: sour fruits, peanut butter, oranges, banana, tomatoes or garlic. Don't drink much alcohol. Concentrate on raw fruits and vegetables. Try to eat in an atmosphere of calm and order. Take time when eating. Drink lots of cool water, fruit juices and tea.

Kapha Reducing Diet - As WATER and EARTH are the elements of KAPHA, avoid foods that are sweet, sour and salty. Concentrate on food that is bitter, spicy and tangy. Eat light, warm meals. Avoid overeating, do not eat between meals and do not let emotional disturbances make you eat more. Never sleep after a meal as this will increase weight. Drink as little as possible, especially avoiding cold drinks.
 
Ideal Food Guide for your constitution - Download

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