Ayurveda has its historical roots in India from over 5000 years and this tradition has sustained through the centuries. It is the oldest healthcare system in the world. Historical scholars have found that some of the concepts of Ayurveda have been originated since the Indus Valley Civilization and developed during the Vedic Period. The word Ayurveda is comprised of two Sanskrit words Ayu and Veda. Ayu means ‘Life’ and Veda means ‘Knowledge’ or ‘Science’. Hence the word Ayurveda literally translates to ‘Science of Life’.
This ancient medical science is not merely a doctrine, but a way of a holistic healing that treats the body mind and soul. It has gained popularity thanks to its natural and non-invasive approach, which has helped rejuvenate and heal the body of various ailments. For centuries, traditional practitioners of Ayurveda also known as ‘Ayurveda Vaidyas’, were the only solution to people seeking relief from any kinds of ailments. This medicinal system had been kept alive, and even today unlike other states in India, Ayurveda is a mainstream form of healthcare treatment in Kerala.
Kerala’s geographical location and climate makes it perfectly suited for Ayurveda. The abundance of natural forests, cool monsoons and overall equable climate are the right setting for Ayurveda. Kerala climate consistently hovers between 24-28 degrees in the monsoons. Kerala’s otherwise humid climate helps open the pores in the body and it absorbs the medicinal oils well, which makes the treatment more effective. Kerala is abundant in natural wealth; Kerala’s forests house more than 900 medicinal plants and herbs. The herbs available in Kerala are more potent than anywhere else in the world and adding to it is the rich alkaline content of the soil. Every year the same herbs are available with the same potency. This ensures that there is a continuum and consistency of herbs available, which are necessary for effective working of the Ayurveda treatment.
According to Ayurveda, there are 3 humors (also known as doshas) – Vata, Pitta and Kapha, which are the energy/ life force that sustain the body. The balance of these humors results in good health, while their depletion or imbalance causes the body to lose immunity and succumb to illness. Unlike modern medicine, Ayurveda does not just treat the symptoms, but believes in addressing the root cause of the ailment.
The most common method of treatment in Ayurveda is massage with medicinal oils. Ayurveda is said to be very effective in the treatment of chronic diseases as well. Conditions such as slipped disc, spondilytis, bone and joint problems, sports injuries, back injuries, as well as stress is effectively cured with Ayurveda. It is also used for beauty therapy- to revitalize the skin tone as well as for weight loss. Shirodhara, Swedana, Podikizhi , Pizhichil, Pachakizhi, Elakizhi, Vasthi, Udhwarthanam, Thalapothichil, Abhayanga and Navarakizhi are some of the popular and special Ayurvedic procedures done in Kerala. In Kerala Ayurveda is an established branch of treatment and one can find many Ayurvedic Ashrams and Resorts, which have licensed Ayurvedic practitioners. Kerala is the only state in India and the world that follows Ayurveda with absolute dedication.