HISTORY OF AYURVEDA
- Ayurvedic knowledge originated in India more than 5000 years ago and is often called the “mother of all healing”.
- The word "Ayurveda" is a compound of the word āyus meaning "life" or "life principle", and the word veda, which refers to a system of "knowledge".
- The traditional Hindu system of medicine (incorporated in Atharva Veda, the last of the four Vedas), which is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and uses diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing.
- Ayurveda was first recorded in the Veda, the world's oldest existing literature.
- The three most important Veda texts containing the original and complete knowledge of Ayurveda, believed to be over 1200 years old, is still in use today.
- These Ayurvedic teachings were customarily passed on orally from teacher to student for over 1000 years. The wisdom of Ayurveda is recorded in Sanskrit, the ancient language of India that reflects the philosophy behind Ayurveda and the depth within it.
- Ayurveda greatly influenced health care practices in the east and the west. By 400 AD Ayurvedic works were translated into Chinese; by 700 AD Chinese scholars were studying medicine in India at Nalanda University.
- Having passed the test of experience it remains essentially the same now as at its inception, although numerous commentators over the centuries have added insight with their analysis.
- The philosophy of Ayurveda teaches a series of conceptual systems characterized by balance and disorder, health and disease. Disease/health results from the interconnectedness between the self, personality, and everything that occurs in the mental, emotional, and spiritual being. To be healthy, harmony must exist between the purpose for healing, thoughts, feelings and physical action.
How does Ayurveda work?
Ayurveda is based on the principles of three doshas. Doshas are the energies that make up every individual, which perform different physiological functions in the body:
The 3 Dosha types:
1.Vata Dosha - Energy that controls bodily functions associated with motion, including blood circulation, breathing, blinking, and your heartbeat.
In balance: There is creativity and vitality.
Out of balance: Can produce fear and anxiety.
2.Pitta Dosha - Energy that controls the body's metabolic systems, including digestion, absorption, nutrition, and your body's temperature.
In balance: Leads to contentment and intelligence.
Out of balance: Can cause ulcers and anger.
3.Kapha Dosha - Energy that controls growth in the body. It supplies water to all body parts, moisturizes the skin, and maintains the immune system.
In balance: Expressed as love and forgiveness.
Out of balance: Can lead to insecurity and envy.
Concepts of Ayurveda in Hair Care
Cover all aspects of hair health – growth promotion, natural color management and prevention of hair fall.
Ayurvedic classical literature emphasizes the utility of various herbal compounds in hair care.
Hair in Ayurveda:
Defined as a sub tissue of Asthi (bone tissue) ; some consider it as the mala (by product/waste derivative) of reproductive system.
The word ‘keshya’ is suggestive of ‘keshaaya hitam yat tat’. It means that which is good for hair. So the goodness of hair can be understood by three perspectives like-
1.Kesha sanjanana-that which helps in the origin of hair for which much nutrition is essential and there is need of a balanced diet too.
2.Kehsha vardhana-that which promotes hair growth or which makes hair dense and thick.
Following herbs promote hair growth –
- Tender buts /aerial roots of vata-Ficus bengalensis
- Jasminum grandiflorum
- Aloe vera
- Coconut pulp/milk
- Phyllanthus indica and many other
- The above herbs are helpful in arresting the thinning of hair, splitting of the hair, burning of the scalp, premature greying of hair, hair fall etc.
3.Kesha ranjana –that which gives dark black colour to the hair. Imparting good colour is possible by the substances which promote pigmenting units derived from the Pitta -as per Ayurveda.
- Astringent and bitter herbal ingredients contribute this health benefit.
- Few of the herbal drugs possessing this nature are-
Bhringraj - Eclipta alba / Prostrata
b. Henna - Lawsonia inermis
c. Neeli - Indigofera tinctoria
d. Sharapunkha - Tephrosia purpuria
e.Amalaki-Amla - Emblica officinalis
f. Emblica myrobalan - Haritaki
These kind of medicaments are helpful in preventing the premature greying of hair, curling of hair, reddening of hair etc.