The Origin Story of Ayurveda

Ayurvedic Herbs

Modern science is increasingly finding success when it incorporates complementary practices derived from ancient and alternative medicine. Ayurveda is one form of ancient wisdom that is being embraced by more health practitioners and people around the world. But what is this traditional form of healing? We’ll explore the origin of Ayurveda and highlight the role the ancient type of medicine plays in modern-day health and wellness. 

Origin of Ayurveda

First things first, where did Ayurveda originate?

Ayurveda is an Indian natural system of medicine that originated more than 3,000 years ago. Stemming from the Sanskrit words for life (ayur) and science (veda), Ayurveda translates to knowledge of life

With the ultimate goal to restore balance between mind, body, spirit, and the environment, Ayurveda makes use of natural therapies and certain lifestyles. Everything is designed with the idea that disease is a result of imbalances or stressors that influence someone’s consciousness. 

As such, Ayurveda centers around internal purification. To rid the body of toxins and other impurities, practices like massage therapy, yoga, diet, herbal remedies, and meditation are utilized. In doing so, the elimination of impurities is thought to minimize symptoms, boost disease resistance, eliminate stress and worries, and ultimately increase feelings of harmony and balance. 

How Traditional Ayurvedic Science is used in Modern-Day Practices

Even in modern-day India, Ayurveda is one of the primary forms of medical care, much like conventional Western medicine is practiced in countries like the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. In fact, Indian Ayurvedic practitioners are licensed following state-recognized training. 

Around the world, Ayurveda has influenced many health and wellness practices. While American practitioners aren’t licensed, they do use practices, concepts, and principles that date back to the 2nd Century BC

In fact, if you recognize the words  Pitta, Kapha, and Vata, you have Ayurvedic science to thank. These Ayurveda body types are some of the basic doctrine principles of Ayurveda, and are still being incorporated into many of today’s healing modalities. 

Doshas

The Tridoshas can be understood in the following way (blends between the three are also possible): 

  • Vata: Influenced by ether and air elements, people with vata body types may have lower body weights, brittle hair and nails, and dry skin. Responsible for the maintenance of cellular transport and electrolyte balance, vata doshas may find cold climates uncomfortable. They may be prone to joint pain, flatulence, constipation, and irregular bowel movements. 
  • Pitta: Pitta people, on the other hand, contain more of the fire element, blended with water. They’re known to be perfectionists, intelligent, active, short tempered, and good looking. As regulators of hunger, thirst, and body temperature, an unbalanced pitta may result in weakness, anger, excessive thirst and hunger, bad breath, hot flashes, and burning sensations. 
  • Kapha: The kapha dosha is where earth meets water. Those with kapha constitutions are generally cheerful, cool, calm, and sometimes lazy. Considered to support joint functioning, the kapha dosha is also associated with a preference for fatty or sweet foods. 

  • For optimal health, Ayurveda suggests a balance between all three doshas. When they’re not properly maintained—as a result of diet, stress, environmental conditions, or lifestyle practices—an imbalance may occur. This could lead to illness or disease. 

    In addition to Ayurveda yoga, the doshas are sometimes considered in alternative medicine practices focusing on whole-body healing. An ayurvedic practitioner may “prescribe”certain exercise, food, or lifestyle practices to restore balance between the three. 

    Ayurveda-inspired routines

    Insight from Ayurveda’s history and origin can also be used to jump-start your day. As balance and harmony are such essential components of the ancient healing system, Ayurvedic practitioners also recommend aligning oneself with the cycles of the sun. 

    In fact, our daily routines, or dinacharya, are important parts of maintaining good health. Not only is it important to regulate our circadian rhythm, or sleep-wake cycle, but our daily routines can also help to support our nervous system by decreasing stress and reducing inflammation. 

    A balanced morning routine (inspired by Ayurveda) may look like:

    • Waking with the sun (ideally 10-15 minutes before sunrise)
    • Drinking warm water with lemon early in the morning to restore hydration and stimulate digestion to loosen—and expel—toxins
    • Flushing toxins out by showering, practicing tongue scraping and oil pulling, and using a Neti pot 

    Blending Modern Medicine and Ayurvedic Practices

    This consideration of whole-body healing is also found in the traditional Ayurvedic practice of oil pulling. As something that’s been done for thousands of years, ingredients like coconut oil and herbs like neem were used to eliminate toxins from the body—and Terra & Co. continues to embrace this wisdom today!

    Ayurvedic Toothpaste

    Similarly, Ayurvedic toothpaste has a long history in Ayurvedic practices. As an example, our Brilliant Black toothpaste is crafted with Ayurveda-inspired ingredients like coconut oil and essential oils. These work to rid the mouth of dangerous bacteria - which holistically helps the entire body - while protecting the natural oral microbiome.

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