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Ayurveda: Ancient Indian Medicine

History, Philosophy, Causes, & Treatment
by

Amber Massey

on 29 July 2014

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Transcript of Ayurveda: Ancient Indian Medicine

Ayurveda
Doshas
Five Elements:
Gunas
Vata
Composition
: Ether & Air
Characteristics
: light, dry, cold, rough, subtle, and mobile
Pitta
Composition
: Fire & Water
Characteristics
: light, hot, sharp, oily, mobile, and liquid
Kapha
Composition
: Water & Earth
Characteristics
: heavy, cold, moist, dull, soft, sitcky, and static
Akasha / Ether
Qualities
: light, smooth soft, inactive, clear, minute, neither hot nor cold
Direction
: no movement in any direction
Taste: has no taste
Sense/sense organ
: sound/ears
Body association
: empty body cavities and organs such as the thorax, abdomen, nostrils, mouth, stomach & intestines
Foods
: popcorn
Vaya / Air
Qualities
: light, rough, clear, minute, atomic, neither hot nor cold, active movement
Direction
: centrifugal like movement or direction
Taste
: astringent
Sense/sense organ
: touch/skin
Body association
: present in all cavities as gases, especially in the lungs and intestines, but also in the muscles and cells
Foods
: air and oxygen
Tejas / Fire
Qualities
: light, rough, sharp, clear, minute, atomic, hot, dry, luminous, high speeds
Direction
: upwards
Taste
: pungent
Sense/sense organ
: vision/eyes
Body association
: all parts of the body - heat and lustre
Foods
: spices like ginger, pepper, and garlic
Jala / Water
Qualities
: heavy, fluid, soft, inactive, slimy, cold, dense, large molecules, viscous, wet
Direction
: downwards - moves with gravity
Taste
: sweet
Sense/sense organ
: taste/tongue
Body association
: all fluids of the body - blood, urine, stool, perspiration, saliva, semen
Foods
: milk and fruits
Sattva
* Cannot be out of balance or found to be excessive as it is the highest state of mind and is considered to be pure.
Rajas
Characteristics
: motion and stimulation
Tamas
Characteristics
: heaviness and resistance
Presented by: Amber Massey
Ancient Indian Medicine
Introduction:
Ayurveda Origins:
(Kshirsagar & Magno, 2011)
From the
Indus Valley
in India
Oldest
complete
medical system
in the world
Dates to
3500 BC
~ 5000-6000 years of practice
Holistic System
- mind, body, spirit, and relieves symptoms of disease
Prevention is the principle of ayurveda.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda
is derived from the Sanskrit language; it is made up of two words, "ayu" and "veda." Ayu means life, while veda means science or knowledge; translating to the
science or knowledge of life
.
(Warrier, 2013)
(Warrier, 2013)
History:
Philosophy:
References
Hope-Murray, A. (2013).
Ayurveda for dummies.
Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Kshirasagar, M., & Magno, A. (2011).
Ayurveda: A quick reference handbook.
Twin Lakes, WI: Lotus Press.
McIntyre, A. (2012).
The Ayurveda bible: The definite guide to Ayurvedic healing.
Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books Ltd.
Ninivaggi, F. (2008).
Ayurveda: A comprehensive guide to traditional indian medicine for the west.
Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Warrier, G. (2013).
Ayurveda: The ancient indian medical system, focusing on the prevention of disease through diet, lifestyle, and herbalism.
(Reprint ed.). London: Carlton Books Limited.
Prithvi / Earth
Qualities
: heavy, rough, hard, slow, inactive, steady, firm, neither hot nor cold, clear, dense, large, bulky
Direction
: downwards
Taste
: sweet
Sense/sense organ
: smell/nose
Body association
: all solid organs and solid parts of the body - nails, bones, tendons, teeth, muscles, skin, hair, spinal cord
Foods
: rice, wheat, salt, carrots, and beets
Ayurvedic Influences:
Originated as a medical and philosophical tradition of prophets - known as
Rishis
Rishis' wisdom is said to come from the ritualistic practice of Ayurveda, yoga, and meditation.
Orally passed down
from prophet to disciple
foundation of Indian culture and religion -
Hinduism
Rishis
Budda was born around 550 BC - he practiced Ayurveda.
With the spread of Buddhism by monks, Ayurveda has influenced medical systems in many different areas of the world, including:
Greece
this Western medicine was influenced by the close trade industry and the exchange of goods (often plants and herbs)
China
(Traditional Chinese Medicine)
Tibet

Islamic nations
(Unani Tibb)
Mongolia
Korea
Sri Lanka
(McIntryre, 2012)
800 BC -
Punarvasu Atreya
's written treatises influenced
Charaka
in 700 BC
Charaka wrote
Charaka Samhiti
- considered the '
main authority
' and is still referenced in teaching and practice
Susruta
wrote
Sasruta Samhiti
in 600 BC - the
book of surgery
Early Physicians and Texts:
Charaka defined the
8 branches of Ayurveda
1)
Kayachikitsa - internal medicine
2)
Salakya tantra - ears, nose, throat, eyes, and teeth
3)
Salya tantra - surgery
4)
Agada tantra - toxicology
5)
Bhuta vidya - psychiatry
6)
Bala tantra - paediatrics
7)
Rasayana tantra -
rejuvenation
8)
vajikarana tantra -
aphrodisiacs
(McIntyre, 2012)
(Warrier, 2013)
Both the gods and demons were weakened by old age and illness. Together they asked Vishnu, the god of preservation for guidance. Vishnu informed the gods and demons they would have to invoke Dhanvantari, the god of Ayurveda, by sacrificing herbs into the ocean. They did not pray to Lord Ganapathy, the god that removes obstacles, prior to the sacrifice and things went very wrong. The gods and demons were now left unprotected and the serpent, Vasuki, threatened to spit his venom which would kill everything living on the earth. The gods prayed and asked Shiva to sallow the poison, he did. Shiva's wife, Parvati ran to him and squeezed his throat to prevent the venom from flowing through him. The venom stayed in Shiva's throat, coloring it blue. Now that the venom was no longer a threat
Mythology:
Vishnu
Dhanvantari
Lord Ganapathy
The struggle in the ocean.
Lakshmi
Shiva
Parvati
Vishnu instructed the gods and demons to pray to Lord Ganapathy for protection. They were then able to churn the ocean with the sacrificed herbs once again. The sacrifice was successful and many treasures came out of the ocean: beautiful gems, elephants, trees, and Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. The demons stole the elixir of life from the gods, Vishnu was able to retrieve it and give it back to the gods, at which time they drank the elixir and regained their radiance.
This story is an example of the effort it requires to maintain and restore balance to the body.
(Warrier, 2013)
The principle of Ayurveda is to live a healthy life incorporating Ayurveda, meditation, diet, yoga, massage, detoxification, herbs and oils to prevent long-term illness instead of waiting for illness to arise. All living things in the universe consist of the 5 elements, 3 doshas, and 3 gunas. The elements, doshas, and gunas rely, interact, and affect one another.
(Warrier, 2013; Hope-Murray,2013; and Kshirsagar & Magno, 2011)
Each element has specific qualities, a direction of movement, taste, sense organ with associated sense, body association, and foods.
(Warrier, 2013)
Individually the five elements are the "elemental substances that compose matter"; each element builds on the others, starting with ether, air, fire, water, ending with earth (Ninivaggi, 2008, p. 53).
(Warrier, 2013)
(Warrier, 2013)
(Warrier, 2013)
(Warrier, 2013)
(Warrier, 2013)
Doshas can be referred to as the golden triangle of Ayurveda. The 5 elements combine to create the biological energy of each human. Each dosha is present in each of us in varying combinations to give uniqueness to each being.
Generally one dosha is dominate in a person with the other two dosha following suit. This unique combination is what makes each individual unique because how the doshas are combined defines a person's biological constitution.
When doshas are out of balance one may be unhealthy, but when in balance the mind, body, and spirit will be well.
(Hope-Murray, 2013)
(Kshirsaga & Magno, 2011)
(Kshirsaga & Magno, 2011)
(Kshirsaga & Magno, 2011)
Traits:
Thin frame and lanky
Underweight
Dry skin and hair
Erratic routines and memory
Creative
Intuitive
Lively
Anxious and fearful
Impulsive
Light sleeper - insomnia
Active and restless
Excitable
Fast thinker
Fast talker
Bursts of energy
Intense feelings
Earns and spends quickly
Cold
Running and falling dreams
Spacey and ungrounded
Prone to:
constipation, bloating, headaches, joint pain, muscle tension and/or spasm, cramping with menstrual periods, infertility, anxiety, arrhythmias, dry coughs, insomnia, and exhaustion
(McIntryre, 2012)
Vata derives from the sanskrit root va, meaning wind - to move or control our life force.
Pitta derives from the sanskrit root tap, meaning heat or transform - governs chemical and metabolic conversion to create energy and heat.
Traits:
Medium build and weight
Well proportioned
Oily skin and hair
Sensitive skin
Bright eyes
Strong appetite
Prone of greying or baldness
Good digestion
Body odor
Sharp and intelligent
Irritable and impatient
Perfectionist
Assertive
Leader
Fear of failure
Romantic and passionate
Depression
Jealous
Dreams of fire and competition
Night owl
Prone to:
inflammatory issues, heat and burning symptoms, rashes, infections, fevers, heartburn, ulcers, diarrhea, soreness, irritated eyes, poor vision, anemia, liver and gall bladder problems
(McIntyre, 2012)
Kapha drives from the sankrit root ka, meaning water and pha, meaning to flourish - responsible for nourishment and makes up the mass of out structure
Traits:
Prone to:
colds, congestion, asthma, tiredness, minimal motivation, depression, obese, allergies, high cholesterol, diabetes
(McIntyre, 2012)
Large frame
Husky
Thick oily hair
Large eyes and lips
Strong immune system
Endurance
Oversleep - lazy
Inactive
Slow metabolism
Slow digestion
Feeling heavy
Overwight
Calm
Graceful movements
Resistant to change
Slow to learn and forget
Greedy
Hard to wake in the morning
Dreams of nature
Self-centered
Doshas comprise living beings of their physical constitution while gunas make up our psychological constitution.
A person's gunas are not completely dependent on genetics as doshas are. Through religion and spiritual regimens anyone can overcome temperaments and become an ideal person.
Through practice one can strive for balance of the 3 gunas and with harmony may be able to achieve a healthy balanced mental state.
(Warrier, 2013)
(Warrier, 2013)
Characteristics:
consciousness, clarity, pleasure, lightness
Positive and respectful
Religious
Self-control
Seek truthfulness
Mature
Egotistical
Rule others
Friendly only to those that are helpful to them
Anger, jealousy
Emotional outbursts
Hardworking, but lack in planning
* Psychiatric illness may result when rajas is imbalanced or overcomes sattva
(Warrier, 2013)
Less intelligent
Slow state of mind
Lazy and apathetic
Sleeps during the daytime
Greedy
Irritable
No consideration for others
May hurt others for personal gain
May eat or drink too much
May indulge in sex and drugs
* Excess tamas will cloud perception
(Warrier, 2013)
Pathways of Disease
The Six Stages of Disease
2: Aggravation
1: Accumulation
3: Overflow
4: Relocation
5: Manifestation
6: Diversification
Causes of Disease:
To be well the 3 doshas and 5 elements must be in balance as they are at birth - meaning in the same proportion for each individuals constitution.
When in proportion we are able to maintain well-being, when out of proportion we become unwell.
Impaired doshas lead to disturbances in digestive fire, then to formation of toxins, which then affects the nourishment and wellness of tissues.
Diseases pass through six stages, the first five can be addressed and halted with proper treatment.
Veta
Pitta
Kapha
This picture presents where symptoms may be noted when referenced in the six stages.
Vata
in the pelvic and low abdomen.
Pitta
in the mid-abdomen, stomach, small intestine, and liver. And
Kapha
in the epigastric area and respiratory system.
Increased accumulation slowing of dosha over their designated sites.
An awareness of increased dosha may be noted as such:
Vata - bloating
Pitta - heartburn or indigestion
Kapha - increased mucous production in the airways
Doshas become more exacerbated by Western lifestyles of stress, food, activity and seasonal changes.
As imbalanced doshas continue to accumulate they begin to overflow and can affect other areas of the body that have an affinity to the imbalanced dosha.
Vata - anxiety, insomnia, joint pain
Pitta - irritability, perfectionism, skin problems
Kapha - sluggish digestion, lack of appetite, lethargy
Symptoms are now starting to present at this stage from accumulated overflow.
specific areas of the body depending on the disturbed dosha
Imbalance of the dosha is reversible at this stage with diet and lifestyle changes and the use of herbs.
Symptoms are now full blown and the dosha can be localized at where it has settled
Joints in arthritis
Head in migraine
This is the stage at which an acute or sub-acute disease becomes chronic or incurable.
Diet and lifestyle changes, along with herbal administration may alleviate symptoms, but the disease or imbalance of the doshas will never completely be well.
Inner Path
Outer Path
Middle Path
The inner path involves the first two stages of disease: accumulation and aggravation.
Includes the digestive tract from mouth to anus.
Doshas first present in this path when disturbed.
Diet and lifestyle changes along with herbs may help balance the doshas.
In this path doshas are still able to be effectively balanced and the path is brought back to wellness.
The outer path involves the third stage of disease: overflow.
Includes the peripheral part of the body, such as the skin, plasma, blood, and other bodily tissues.
Warm oil massages, steam, and fomentation, along with the use of herbs will bring the doshas back to the inner path where toxins may be excreted through the bowels.
The middle path involves the fourth, fifth, and sixth stages of disease: relocation, manifestation, and diversification.
Includes the vital organs: brain, heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and reproductive organs, along with muscle, fat, bone, nervous, and reproductive tissue.
When the toxins reach this level, treatment from an Ayurvedic practitioner or a visit to a Panchakarma clinic is adivised.
Panchakarma - five types of treatment for ridding excess doshas and toxins.
(McIntyre, 2012)
Treatment: Panchakarma
Yoga
Meditation
Diet regulation
Massage
Steam therapy
Ancillary Treatments
Daily lifestyle choices
Seasonal routines
Rejuvenation therapy
Virilification therapy
Gem therapy
Collaboratively, these therapies will assist in balancing the doshas and bring them back to their origin for elimination of ama. When these therapies do not work on their own is when an Ayurvedica practitioner will turn to Panchakarma.
(Warrier, 2013)
Derives from the sanskrit words
pancha
, meaning five and
karma
, meaning actions.
Emesis therapy, purgation therapy, enema therapy, nasal therapy, and bloodletting
Actions are healing treatments used to balance doshas and cleanse toxins, known as ama, out of the body
Implementation requires guidance by a highly trained Ayurvedic practitioner, most commonly at an in-patient Ayurvedic therapy center. There are a few in the UK, USA, and Europe, but are plentiful in India and Sri Lanka.
Three phases: purvakarma, pradhanakarma, and rasayanas
Emesis Therapy
Indications:
Kapha related disorders
Pitta headache, dizziness and nausea
Blocked emotions
Respiratory congestion
Bronchitis
Chronic cold
Sinus congestion
Kapha-type asthma
Purgation Therapy
Indications:
Allergic rashes
Skin inflammation
Acne, eczema
Chronic fever
Ascites
Biliary vomiting
Jaundice
Urinary disorders
Spleen enlargement
Internal worms
Burning of the eyes
Conjunctivitis
Gout
Enema Therapy
Indications:
Constipation
Low back pain
Gout
Sciatica
Arthritis
Nervous disorders
Vata headache
Emaciation
Muscular atrophy

Nasal Therapy
Nasal passage is considered to be the passage to the brain and the doorway to the consciousness
Commonly used for disorders of prana - considered to be life energy or the breath of life centered in the brain
Prana maintains sensory and motor functions
6 main types of nasal therapy, called
nasya
:
cleansing, nutrition, sedative, decoction, ghee or oil, daily oil
Bloodletting
Indications:
Urticaria
Rash
Acne
Eczema
Scabies
Leukoderma
Chronic itching
Hives
Enlarged live or spleen
Gout
Padhanakarma - phase 2
Purvakarma - phase 1
the 5 principle procedures of panchkarma
Relax the body and mind
Improve energy flow to the pathways to prepare the body to eliminate toxins
4-14 days of light fasting, prescribed herbal remedies, massage with hot oils, and steam therapy
Moves the doshas to the original sites of origin to the GI tract, where ama can then be flushed by one of the 5 actions
Rasayanas - phase 3
post-detoxification
one of the 8 main branches of Ayurveda - rejuvenation
Increases the life force within individuals
Slows down the aging process
Helps the body to fight off disease by activating the immune system
Contraindications:
Age <12 or >65
Menstruation
Pregnancy
Emaciation
Hypoglycemia
Vata diseases
Heart disease
During vate season
Acute fever
Diarrhea
Obesity
Three to four glasses of liquorice or salt water are given to drink, then the gag reflex is stimulated by rubbing the tongue to induce vomiting. This therapy should start early in the morning when kapha is dominant.
Success is measured by the amount vomited and the number of times the client vomits.
Rest, fasting, and smoking certain herbal cigarettes is recommended after treatment.
(McIntyre, 2012)
(McIntyre, 2012)
(Warrier, 2013)
Contraindications:
Low digestive fire
Acute fever
Diarrhea
Severe constipation
Bleeding from rectum or lung cavities
Foreign object in stomach
Following emema
Emaciation or weakness
Prolapsed rectum
Alcoholism
Dehyration
Childhood or oldage
Ulcerative colitis
Different substances such as senna, prunes, bran, flaxseed husk, dandelion root, psyllium seed, milk, salt, castor oil, raisins, mango juice, and tiphala can be used individually or combined to induce a laxative effect.
The laxative should be taken at night.
Each individual will require specific substances to induce purgation based on their individual constitution.
(Warrier, 2013)
Contraindications:
Diarrhea
Rectal bleeding
Chronic indigestion
Shortness of breath
Diabetes
Fever
Severe anemia
TB
Age <7 and the elderly
There are also other contraindications that should be considered with individuals constitutions and the specific emema

Considered to be the most important treatment of Panchakarma
Clears accumulated toxins of all three doshas through the bowel
Very effective for Vata rooted problems; Vata is the main causative factor of many diseases.
8 main types of enemas, called
bastis:
oil, decoction, urethral or vaginal, daily oil, karma, kala, yoga, and nutritional
(Warrier, 2013)
(Warrier, 2013)
Indications:
Stress
Emotional imbalances
Stiffness in neck and shoulders
Dryness of nose
Sinus congestion
Hoarseness
Migraine
Convulsions
Contraindications:
Sinus infections
Pregnancy
Menstruation
Following sex, bathing, eating, or drinking alcohol
Age < 7 or > 80
Contraindications:
Anemia
Edema
Weakness
Young children and the elderly
Menstruation
(Warrier, 2013)
Ama in the GI tract is absorbed into the bloodstream, which can cause repeated infections.
Most commonly used for disorders of pitta, as pitta is produced from disintegrated red blood cells in the liver.
Releases a small amount of pressure created by toxins
Stimulates the spleen to produce antitoxic substances that boost the immune system.
Illegal in the United States.
(McIntyre, 2012)
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