Ayurveda is becoming a famous household name and an increasing demand on Sri Lanka tours, with the fast growing interest in “alternative medicine”. Part transcendental and part therapeutic, it is an ancient system of medicine developed in Sri Lanka over 5000 years ago. The name is derived from two conjoined words in the ancient holy language of Sanskrit; ‘Ayuh’ which means life and ‘Veda’ which means science or knowledge. So Ayurveda is the science of healthy living. It has two aims to preserve health and to cure a body afflicted by disease.
The three Vital Forces, ‘Vayu’, ‘Pita’ and ‘Kapha’ are the fundamental beliefs of Ayurveda. They translate directly to Wind, Bile and Phlegm. Vayu is interpreted as the transmission of energy within the body; such as within nerve impulses, muscle contraction and hormonal activity. Pita signifies the whole scope of metabolism and internal heat production. And Kapha indicates mucus which is an antibody containing liquid which coats and protects internal linings of the body.
Ayurveda is more than a system of herbal medicine. It is a way to a healthy and long life and can complement modern medicine. It has two main aims, it treats the symptoms of a disease and it helps strengthen the immune system. Ayurveda treats the mind, body and soul and looks at an individual as a whole entity, and works on the basis that the mind and body affect each other, and work together to overcome disease. Fragrant herbs and warm oils together with healing massages to stimulate nerves and senses are the essentials of Ayurveda. Total relaxation overcomes the body and mind as they heal as one.