Ayurveda is rooted in India's most cherished scriptures known as the Vedas, dating back to 1500 B.C. It is India's contribution to mankind in its quest towards human longevity and well being, developed through millenniums of medical practice and theoretical learning by saints, physicians and general practitioners. It is not only the ancient Indian science of preventive health and healing but also a philosophy of living. Ayurveda comes from "Ayu" (life) + "Veda" (Science). Ayu is defined as combination of body, senses, mind and spirit. It is said a body without the senses and mind without spirit is lifeless.
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While defining health, it is said that one having equilibrium of digestive and metabolic enzymes with proper functioning of "tissues" and "metabolic by-products and excretions," and also possessing "happiness of spirit, senses and the mind" is healthy. Thus Ayurveda treats a person as a whole and not solely his disease. Ayurvedic treatment is based on the principle of reaching to the cause of the disease by finding out facts from the history of the patient, and then treating the imbalance in the body by drug, diet and behavioral changes.
The purpose of Ayurveda is to tell us how our lives can be influenced, shaped, extended, and ultimately controlled without interference form sickness or old age. The guiding principle of Ayurveda is that mind exerts the deepest influence on the body, and freedom from sickness depends upon contacting our own awareness, bringing it into balance, and then extending that balance to the body. This state of balanced awareness, more than any king of physical immunity, creates a higher state of health