Ayurveda, literally meaning science of life (“ayur means “life”, “veda” means ” knowledge”) is an ancient medical system developed by the sages of India thousands of years ago. The Vedic literature of Ayurveda rightfully explains the process of treating illness through medical herbs, massages, therapies and yoga.
Believed to be developed among the Hindu Gods themselves, Ayurveda is considered to be one of the oldest medical systems of spiritual and physical treatments.
Kerala, God’s own country has established a mainstream position in Ayurveda. For many years, the Vaidyas(practitioners) of Kerala were the only source of mind and body healing for people in need of curing.
Beautiful lush green hills, with an abundance of dense rainforests, sufficient air moisture, and other climatic factors make Kerala the best suitable place for practicing Ayurveda. The rainforests house vast number of natural medicinal plants and herbs. The climatic conditions help in the potent growth of these plants. The mystical beauty of Kerala encapsulates the pure essence of Ayurveda.
The Vaidyas who were proficient in all eight branches of Ayurveda were known as Ashtavaidyas (ashta=eight). The legacy of the eight families of Ashtavaidyas with their immense skill and knowledge treated people for hundreds of years.
An Ayurveda practitioner named Vagbhata traveled to Kerala in search of obtaining medicinal plants and herbs. Ashtanghridayam, the fruitful work of Vagbhata is extensively used in Kerala as compared to other places. The Vaidyas is Kerala were the first to concentrate on the antioxidant properties of Abhyangam, a full body massage helpful in conditioning the body.
A great number of skilful Vaidyas and birth of a great amount of Ayurvedic resorts and spas have rightfully earned Kerala the name of “The Land of Ayurveda”.
By Asad Shaikh