Ayurveda, the ancient system of Indian Medicine had its origin, long ago, about 5000 years back. Diseases are caused by the imbalance of Doshas, vata, pitha and kapha which represent the three components that control the world, air, fire and water. Unhealthy food and activities create an imbalance of these doshas which, in turn precipitates diseases. Moderation in the activities of the mind and body are the key factors for the successful completion of healthy life. The main difference between Ayurveda and Modern Medicine is that for the same disease, for each individual, the medicines prescribed differ in Ayurveda and it is not so in Modern Medicine. The constitution of individuals plays a decisive role in the diagnosis and treatment. Thus medicines are customized for every patient.
India is the birthplace of Ayurveda, but in different parts of our country, it is practiced differently based on different schools of thought. Southern parts of India, especially Kerala has contributed significantly in the treatment aspect, thereby reducing the duration of hospital stay. Vitiated doshas create an imbalance in the body causing disease. These doshas, when accumulated and retained by the tissues give rise to chronic ailments. They are brought back to the alimentary canal by the process of external and internal application of oil and subsequent sudation. These two therapies are coupled in the Kerala style of Ayurvedic therapy.
Panchakarma or the five purification therapies are done to eliminate vitiated doshas from the body. It includes anal administration of medicated kashaya (nirooha) induction of emesis (vamana), purgation (kayareka) siroreka (administration of nasal medication (nasya) and asravisruthi (bloodletting). Some schools of thought consider anal administration of medicated oil (anuvasana) in place of bloodletting.
Among the eight divisions of Ayurveda, purification treatment and rejuvenation therapy are widely accepted all over the world.