Ayurveda in Sri Lanka.

“Ayurveda” is not only a form of medication – it is a total way of life know to generations of Sri Lankan for over 3000 years. It is a gentle method of treating the root causes of illness in both mind and body.

The health conscious today are searching for effective alternatives to the spiraling costs and side effects that at times result from the use of modern medicine. In Sri Lanka, we have had for the last couple of millennia a “user-friendly “ traditional medicine – Ayurveda” which over 75% of the island’s population depend on because of its reliance on natural plants, herbs and oils. Nature’s way to good health, the efficacy of “Ayurveda” has been proved by 3,000 years of successful caring and curing… What is Ayurveda? It is an ancient system of medicine developed in our part of the world, long before the “father of medicine”, Hippocrates, was even born. The name comes from two conjoined Sanskrit words “Ayuh” (life) and “Veda” (science or knowledge). Basically a science of healthy living, Ayurveda has two aims – to preserve health and to cure a body afflicted by disease. One of the fundamentals beliefs of Ayurveda is the doctrine of “Tri Dosha” or the Three Vital Forces – Vayu, Pita and Kapha. Generally translated into Wind, Bile and Phlegm, a more accurate interpretation of Vayu is the transmission of energy within the body; in modern medical terms, nerve impulses, muscle contraction and hormonal activity.

Pita may not be confined to bile but signifies the whole scope of metabolism and internal heat production while Kapha means mucus, often described as “The Protective Fluid”. The modern concept of mucus as an antibody containing liquid which coats and protects internal linings of the body, seems to fit in with Ayurvedic thinking. When the three, “Doshas” are balanced, the body is in good health. When this equilibrium is disturbed and the balance of these complementary forces become unbalanced and upset, then illness results.

Ayurvedic practitioners study the patient as a whole with the object of restoring balance, getting to the root of the problem and treating it. Local folk have been known to say that while western medicine classifieds germs and attempts to destroy them, Ayurveda classifies human beings and attempts to save them.

The dive-pronged evacuative therapy – “Pancha Karma” is designed to rid the body of toxins and is achieved by special diets and herbal decoctions. The five elements of medical herbs: leaves, flowers, barks, roots and berries are used to cleanse the blood and the body of impurities. The preparation of Ayurvedic medications is usually a long process with ingredients being ground in a pestle for a prescribed period of time. Juices and extracts of plants are simmered until they are reduced to a fraction of their original volume. Besides decoctions, wines, pills and powders for internal use, Ayurveda also uses poultices, pastes, ointments and oils for external application. Massage with herbal oils, steam baths and bathing in herbal waters are said to be particularly beneficial to patients with migraine, insomnia and arthritis. Methods of treatment vary – while one might have herbal oil dripping from a suspended clay pot onto a patient’s head, another would place the patient in a steam bath like an ancient wooden chest with perforations, in which he or she lies relaxed, benefiting from the vapours of various steamed herbs wafting up from underneath. Herbal teas are now available and gaining in popularity worldwide. Their ingredients vary. While some might invigorate and energize, others would relax and calm both mind and body. The preventative aspects of Ayurveda recommend codes for healthy living which include dietary and social-cultural norms. Certain foods are considered good while partaking of others such as red meat is discouraged. Vegetarianism and the consumption of dairy products such as milk and curd are smiled upon while drinking alcohol and smoking are frowned on.
“Ayurveda” is a cure for a lifetime and a way of life; after all, generations of Sri Lankan have been using these age-old remedies, and obtaining relief from their illness, living to a ripe old age in excellent physical condition. It is a gentle and relaxed treatment for both mind and body, one that leaves you feeling light, tranquil, yet filled with the zest and energy that our ancestors experienced and benefited from.
“Ayurveda” is nature’s way of caring and curing for a lifetime… Ayurveda Sri Lanka is a excellent resource for Ayurveda treatments in Sri Lanka
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Ayurveda Highlights

The history of Ayurveda and ayurvedic practice in Sri Lanka

Buddhism influenced the advent of Ayurveda in Sri Lanka in the 3rd century BC. The ancient Kings of Sri Lanka contributed to the development of Ayurveda. e.g. King Pandukabaya set up ayurveda hospitals in Ritigala.

King Buddhadasa was an eminent ayurvedic physician himself and was famed for treating soldiers, horses and Elephants. King Kasyappa constructed ayurveda hospitals in Anuradhapura. King Parakramabahu constructed irrigation works and the Royal Hospital. Even to day the ruins of ayurveda hospitals and medicinal troughs (9th century BC) known as 'Beheth Oruwa' can be seen Mihintale.

Ayurveda tries to balance the three vital body functions 'vata' (air). 'Pitta' (bile) and 'Kapha' (phlegm) as well as the harmony between body and soul. Ayurveda is a complete healing system. It therefore promotes general well being as well as curing illnesses.
The history of Ayurveda and ayurvedic practice in Sri Lanka

Panchakarma

The "Panchakarma" treatment is 5 major internal cleansing methods with oil treatments, massages, and sedation therapies.This treatment is of prime importance as it clears toxins from the body, balances the distribution of body energy, and strengthens the immune system.Complete body and mind harmony, promotes health & beauty. It is advisable to take a course of Panchakarama Treatment at least once a year.
Panchakarma

Genaral Treatments in Ayurveda

Herbal Inhalation

A mixture of fresh herbs is boiled producing steam for you to inhale. This inhalation looses mucous deposits in the lungs and thus purifying the respiratory tract.


Shirodhara (Herbal oil theraphy - Head)

For this therapy, the person lies flat, face up on a special wooden bed. A pot with a hole in the base filled with herbal oil is suspended above the person's forehead, and a thin flow of warm herbal oil is directed onto a spot between the eyebrows.

The oil is then gently stroked down the hair for 30-40 minutes to permeate the skin. Sometimes the therapist will massage it in to the scalp for extra potency. It can have dramatic healing effects. It is highly effective in the treatment of insomnia, migraine, epilepsy and amnesia.


Special Herbal Oil Treatment (Energizing of vital forces)

A special Ayurvedic herbal oil treatment using a special rhythmic technique to pacify mental and physical vital forces in the body. Herbal oil is applied all over the body in a form of a milk bolus of pounded medicines, tied up in a muslin bag, by two trained therapists. It is a process of purifying the whole body to attain a proper balance of VATA, PITA and KAPHA.

It also promotes the excretion of toxic waste products and develops the immunity of the body. The medically potent components of the sectret mixture of medicinal herbs which is contained in the oil are absorbed through the skin by osmotic pressure as well as the activity of the nerves and the vascular system. This treatment is for all types of rheumatism, pain in the joints, blood pressure, cholesterol and certain kinds of skin diseases.


Thaila Vimardana (Herbal oil body massage)

Relaxing and energizing oil massage for the whole body, hed and foot with herbal medicated oil. The massage is done according to traditional ayurvedic techniques.

This is good to reduce stress and fatigue and also improves blood and lymph circulation.


Abhyanga (Special full body oil treatment)

Very special ayurvedic oil treatment using a rhythmic technique of pacifying mental and physical vital forces in the body. It also promotes the excretion of toxic waste products and develops the immunity of the body.


Shirsha Thaila Vimardana(Head Massage)

The Head and Neck are given a relaxing massage with a special herbal oil, increasing blood supply to the scalp, relieving nervous tension and encouraging hair growth.


Biji Pindu Sveda (Herbal Seed Therapy)

In this treatment the body is rhythmically massaged with a bolus of pounded medicine. This treatment is a method of increasing sweat. Hence it will help the excretion of toxic waste products.


Vashpa Sveda (Medicated Steam Bath)

Medicated steam bath is specially recommended for certain skin diseases, to eliminate impurities from the body and to reduce fat. Herbal roots heat the body thoroughly in a traditional Margosa (Azandiracta Indica) wooden box.

The head stays outside the box and thus remains cool. The curative effects of the herb viperous penetrate the skin, while waste products are excreted with the sweat.


Avagaha Sveda (Herbal Bath)

Fresh herbal leaves are boiled and the resulting liquid added to a warm bath. Capillaries and the spaces between tissues are dilated and create a general sense of well being.


Vaktra Vimardana(Facial treatment with Massage)

Depending on your skin type a special oil or herbal Cleansing cream is gently massaged in to your face. This treatment vitalizes and tones the facial skin and creates a soothing effect on the nerve paths.
Genaral Treatments in Ayurveda

Ola Leaf Manuscript

Indigenous wisdom of Sri Lanka written on ola leaves.
Ola Leaf Manuscript

Herbal Ayurveda Tomb

Herbal Ayurveda Tomb
Herbal Ayurveda Tomb

Ayurveda Garden

Ayurveda Garden Arrangements
Ayurveda Garden

Nachtisch

Nachtisch - Ayurveda in Sri Lanka
Nachtisch

Mittagessen

Mittagessen - Ayurveda in Sri Lanka
Mittagessen
References
http://www.srilankatourism.org/lang/en/traveller/culture_ayurveda.php

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