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Kerala Ayurveda

Ayurveda (ayus' life and 'ved' knowledge) is considered a practical science of life based on the eternal wisdom of people who acquired knowledge through experience and meditation. The system that is applicable universally is based on celebrated texts that discuss all forms of science like biology, toxicology and subjects like philosophy and theology.

The literal meaning of Ayurveda is 'Science of Life'. The system is passed through traditionally from master to disciples orally. 'Thaliyola', palm leaf, was used for writing medical details. 'Narayam', an iron pin, was used as pen. The disciples used to stay in master's house, which is known a 'Gurukula'.

Now the traditional knowledge has been improved through scientific research and is taught in various Ayurveda Colleges in Kerala. A graduate doctor in Ayurveda, takes 5 years of courses at college besides six months of internship and is considered on par with doctors of modern medicine.

According to Ayurvedic philosophy the entire cosmos is interplay of the energies of the five great elements Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Vata, Pitta and Kapha are combinations and permutations of these five elements that manifest as patterns present in all creation.

To stay healthy, the Tridoshas need to function in harmony with each other, as well as with the five basic elements of the Universe (Air, Water, Fire, Earth and Ether). Most illness arise due to the imbalance in functioning of any one or two of the Tridoshas which leads to malfunction of the internal organs. Although Ayurveda acknowledges that infective diseases are spread by germs, the treatment is based on the theory of Tridoshas. Ayurveda does not 'kill' an infection like antibiotics but instead it strengthens body's immune system to fight disease or infection.

General Cautions For Some Treatment

  • 'Pizhichil' (Oil massage) is not recommended for persons with serious liver and renal problems.

  • Blood parameters should be checked and kept at a safe level before starting any of the intensive treatments.

  • Whole body 'Navarakizhi' is not recommended for patients suffering from diabetes, obesity, serious cardiac, hepatic and renal patients.

  • 'Sirodhara'(Head bath with medicated milk or oil)is not recommended in case of cerebral thrombosis.

  • Intensive Steam baths should be done under the guidance of the physician.

Ayurvedic Culture

In this treatment, lukewarm herbal oils are applied all over the body by two to four trained masseurs in a special rhythmic way for about 60 to 90 minutes per day for a period of 7 to 21 days. This treatment is very useful for Rheumatic diseases like arthritis, paralysis, hemiplegia, paralysis-agitanus, sexual weakness, nervous weakness and nervous disorders etc.

It is a process by which the whole body or any specific part thereof is made to perspire by the application of certain medical puddings externally in the form of boluses tied up in a muslin bag. This is applied by two to four masseurs for about 60 to 90 minutes per day for a period of 14 days. This treatment is for all types rheumatism, pain in the joints, emaciation of limbs, blood pressure, cholesterol and certain kinds of skin diseases.

In this process, some herbal oils, medicated milk, medicated butter milk etc., are poured on the forehead in a special method for about 45 minutes in a day for a period of 7 to 21 days. This treatment is mainly for insomnia, vatha predominated diseases, mental tension and certain skin diseases.

Certain lukewarm herbal oils are poured into a cap fitted on the head for 15 to 60 minutes per day according to the patient’s conditions for a period of 7 days. This treatment is highly effective for facial paralysis, dryness of nostrils, mouth and throat, severe headaches, burning sensation of head and other vatha originated diseases.

Certain herbal oils, herbal extracts etc., are applied through the rectum daily for a period of 5 to 25 days. This treatment is for arthritis, paralysis, hemiplegia, numbness, gastric complaints associated with rheumatism and constant constipation 

UDVARTHANAMThis is a typical massage with herbal powders for about 30 minutes daily for a period of 14 to 28 days. This treatment is for the diseases like hemiplegia, paralysis, obesity (excess fat) and certain rheumatic ailments.

Herbal juices, medicated oils etc., are applied through nose for 7 to 14 days. This treatment is highly effective for certain kinds of headaches, paralysis, mental disorders, certain types of skin diseases etc.

Special type of oil massage in which strokes are given according to the diseases for 45 minutes per day for 14 days. This treatment is very useful for obesity, especially for diabetic Gangrene (a condition due to lack of blood circulation in the extremes of the body) etc.

Medicated ghee is given internally in a proportionally increased quantity for a period of 8 to 12 days. This treatment is for osteo arthritis, sporaris, leukaemia etc.

Herbal leaves and herbs or herbal powders are applied to the whole body in boluses with hot medicated oils for 45 minutes per day for a period of 7 to 14 days. This treatment is for osteo arthritis, arthritis with swelling, spondilosis, sports injuries etc.

Warm herbal liquid is poured all over the body in a rhythmic way through a special vessel for 45 minutes to 1 hour daily. This treatment is very effective for hemiplegia, paralysis, rheumatic complaints etc.

Herbal oils and decoctions are applied through the vaginal route. This treatment is good for gynaecological disorders. It is also a purification process for genital organs.

In this process specially prepared warm medicated oil is kept over the lower back with herbal paste boundary. This treatment lasts for 45 minutes to 1 hour and it is good for any type of back pain and spinal disorders.

Warm medicated oil is kept over the chest for 45 minutes. This is an effective treatment for asthma, other respiratory problems, heart diseases and muscular chest pain.

This is fomentation with medicated cow milk. This treatment is good for facial paralysis, Bell’s palsy, speech disorders and other nervous disorders of the face.

Special powder mixed with medicated oil applying on the top of the head for 20 to 45 minutes. This treatment is helpful for ENT problems, insomnia, migraine etc.

This is a process by which medicated herbal paste is applied on the affected part. This is useful for various types of inflammatory conditions.


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