Ayurveda, as one of the oldest medical systems known to humankind, is attracting more and more attention in today's world. Its roots go deep into the past and keep revealing wealth of knowledge, not only about health and treatment, but also about achieving longevity. Authors of Ayurvedic texts, some of which are more than 2000 years old, observed life surrounding them, the environment in which life arises and grows, the changing seasons, life cycles of nature and they came to the universal knowledge whose basic principles have not changed to this day. Based on these findings, and through hundreds of years of studying healing methods, habits and differences in every body, the science of life, known as Ayurveda, came into being.
The system of Ayurveda is not tied exclusively to health and medicine. It is a philosophical system which aims to awaken your own intelligence and ability to preserve health. Ayurveda helps us to discern what is good for the preservation of health and what distorts health. Healthy and long-lived people have a better basis for achieving their life goals and for realizing their own being on both the material and spiritual planes. Guided by this knowledge, Ayurvedic sages have designed a comprehensive system that teaches us how to live, how to be healthy, how to restore vitality and to regain lost health. They left us a handful of knowledge about the impact of climate, environment, seasons and habits on creating good health. It is hard to find an area of life that is not addressed by Ayurveda; diet, health, sexuality and personal hygiene, spirituality, the role of an individual within their family and society and so on.
Ayurveda is not a system we should believe in. It is an intelligent and rational science of living. Moreover, the results of practicing Ayurvedic methods provide more than tangible results in a very short time. The principles of Ayurveda are logical and anyone who studies them with an open mind will find a logical and rational explanation of how the system works. By studying ayurveda we realize why some tastes suit us while others do not, why we prefer one of the seasons or why we are inclined to a certain kind of emotion. Ayurveda explains the fundamental differences in people's constitution and it leads an individual in understanding how to successfully deal with weaknesses in their own system and how to prevent the deterioration of health.
Today there is more and more talk about prevention, and this is an area where Ayurveda offers a wealth of knowledge. We are witnessing new methods of treatment, thinking, losing weight, exercise and so on. New methods appear almost on daily basis. Many nutritionists, therapists, coaches, doctors and others are trying to find the ideal diet for health maintenance, but Ayurveda realized a long time ago that there is no such universal approach nor can it be applicable to every individual because of their unique qualities. Thus Ayurveda does not offer a model of diet or exercise, nor does it offer only one approach to solve the same problem. What Ayurveda offers are universal principles. It is a network of information that we need to learn to use. Based on these principles we can create our own programme to maintain health. In Ayurveda, we say that one person’s cure is another person's poison, and this applies not only to food but to all aspects of life.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Ayurveda as traditional medicine (TRM). Definition of Traditional Medicine (TRM) to the World Health Organization is as follows:
"Traditional medicine is the knowledge, skills and practices of holistic health care, recognized and accepted in their role of maintaining health and treating disease. It is based on indigenous theories, beliefs and experiences that are passed on from generation to generation."
It is important to say that today a large number of scientific studies are conducted on Ayurvedic preparations and protocols, both in India and in the Western world. Ayurvedic schools and educational programs are becoming increasingly common outside the borders of India, and in some Western countries standards for practicing Ayurveda have been set.