Indigineous traditional medicine and healing techniques have persevered and evolved through generations and centuries. One such, originated in the Indian subcontinent more than 3000 years ago is Ayurveda ( Ayur- life Veda- knowledge or science). It exemplifies the science of life, to experience and restore holistic wellness through the foundational principle of interlinking of universe and the individual- body’s constitution(Prakriti) and life forces or energies(Doshas), inclusive of internal purification through organic nutritional diet, remedies and medication, massage therapy, yogic and meditation form of lifestyle(Dinacharya).
Prevalent in the era of digitization, Ayurveda has made its mark in the 21st century. Time itself being a storyteller here, let’s have a glimpse at the journey of Ayurveda:
- During the Indus valley civilization, a source of nutritional diet, traditional herbs and medicines for early settlers and ancestors revolved around- you grow what you sow. Respective of the seasonal fruits and vegetables being beneficial for your gut health and metabolism, medicinal plants and substances were also sown and grown as agriculture was of core importance. They also laid emphasis on hygiene and water sanitization for utmost healthcare.
- Vedic texts drafted by migrant Aryan tribes are suggestive of effectiveness of indigineous medicinal herbs, rituals, charms, mantras and surgical intervention for treating physical and mental ailments that existed during that era.
- The vedic Aryan influence eventually travelled the entire subcontinent, during the social cultural exchange between diverse kingdoms and varied regions, awareness for health, wellness and lifestyle had generated which led to development and establishment of religions such as Buddhism and Jainism. As per the Buddhist and Jain texts, while these establishments were shaping, their extensive time and belief sustained across enquiry and experimentation across all fields of knowledge, majorly medicine and humanistic values for core holistic wellbeing.
- Healing practices were a pivotal part of the Buddhist monastic tradition and rituals, exemplary of the well known fact that Buddha himself was known as a Healing Guru. Buddhist monks propagated Indian indigineous medical knowledge westwards to Persia, China, south-east Asia and southern parts of Indian subcontinent such as Sri lanka. Trade and exchange of traditional herbs and medicines along with knowledge from practitioners from Persia and neighbouring regions travelled to Indian subcontinent influencing local healers and ayurvedic practitioners.
- Other forms of traditional and indigineous medicine- Unani, Rasashastra, Siddha and Sarigpa, from across the globe travelled to Indian subcontinent to make some successful extensive contributions and exchange indiginous elements of Ayurveda. This eventually resulted in their evolution, sustainability and preservation to inhabit the native land of Ayurveda.
- In the Indo gangetic and lower himalayan regions, tribal and wandering healers, learned physicians, austere traditions such as Buddhism and Jainism, philosophical schools contributed to the development and establishment of science of life- Ayurveda.
- These fundamental concepts and healing practices continued to be compiled in elaborated manner in texts such as Caraka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, Ashtangahrudayam, Ashtangasamgraha, Bhela Samhita and Kashyapa Samhita, inclusive of therapeutic principles, methods and moral guidelines for medical practitioners and physicists during the early centuries of C.E(Common Era).
- Although during the colonial period, traditional roots of Indian medicine- Ayurveda suffered decline as a secondary medical source while modern biomedicine earned the status of primary source. Post Independence, Indian government ensured prime status and recognition to be granted to Ayurveda and other traditional forms of medicine that coexisted in contemporary India such as Siddha and Unani. In 1964, a government body for setting norms and regulations for the manufacture and control for the preparations of traditional medicine was solely dedicated. Government created institutions such as AYUSH( Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) to support research and development of traditional medicine, pharmaceutical companies and organizations dedicated their considerable efforts to sustaining and redeveloping Ayurveda alongside biomedical form of education and research, to ensure effective and progressive healing and cure.
Ayurveda has diffused and made remarkable contributions to different sectors and industries globally. It has ventured into pharmaceutical, beauty and wellness and hospitality- luxury, leisure and wellness. As a conventional healer advocated globally, Ayurveda’s way of curating your routine lifestyle(Dinacharya), serves the whole purpose of spiritual healing and holistic wellbeing , through traditional ways leading to self immersion and detoxification to de-stress your mind, body and spirit by devotees of New Age Culture.
Dharana Wellness Centre, a wellness retreat near Mumbai, focuses on holistic health which includes physical, mental and spiritual balance. One of the key ideologies of this eco wellness retreat lies in the holistic approach. As an Ayurvedic healing center in India, Dharana combines the use of an integrative, modern approach for holistic health with Modern diagnostics with traditional practices like Yoga and Ayurveda to ensure a sustainable wellness journey.