Ayurveda is most probably the oldest existing medicinal science in the world- a traditional system of Indian medicine, which has stood the test of time. Ayurveda may be attributed to Dhanvantari, the mythical physician of the gods, who received it from Brahma. Its earliest concepts are recorded in the Atharvaveda. It is based on the principle that the five elements Earth, Water, Energy (Tej), Gas(Vayu), and Space are occupying the body internally and externally. Ayurveda believes that perfect health is that state where mind, body, spirit, senses and emotions are in a state of perfect balance, as nature intended them to be.
In keeping with this holistic definition of health, Ayurveda recognizes a wide range of modalities to heal the whole person and restore balance. To prevent illness, Ayurveda emphasizes on hygiene, exercise, and yoga. To cure ailments, it relies on natural medicinal preparations (animal, vegetable and mineral sources), physiotherapy, and diet. Managing Director of Ayushakti Ayurved Pvt. Ltd Dr.Smita Naram says, 'Ayu means life and Veda means science referring to the science of life. Ayurveda teaches how to live a long and healthy life and it also cures disease by balancing vata (air), pitta (heat) and kapha (plegm). Ayurveda not only saves the body but also the mind and emotions.'
'In India a bachelors degree in Ayurveda can be opted after completion of the 12th standard with a good percentage. The student has to clear the CET (in which the student's knowledge on Biology & Chemistry is tested) with a percentage of more than 88%. The admission will be on centralized basis, the course duration is of 5 & 1/2 years,' says Smita Naram.
The medium is teaching is English / Hindi / regional Indian languages. The course covers: Astanga Samgraha : fundamentals of Ayurveda, Padartha Bigyan: basics of Indian philosophy, basic Sanskrit, Sharir Rachana : anatomy, Sharir Kriya : physiology, Ayurvedic Itihaas : history of Ayurvedic medicine, Dravya guna Bigyan : herbal sources of medicine, Rasa Shastra and Vasajya Kalpana : mineral origin of medicines and the preparation of drugs, Agada Tantra andByahar Ayurved : medical toxicology and medio legal law, Sasta Vritta : preventive and social medicine, Charak Sangita : the study of an authentic Ayurvedic text , Rog Vigyan and Bikriti Vigyan : pathology, Kaya Chikitsha : Ayurvedic medicine, Salla Tantra : surgery, Salakya Tantra : diseases of the eye, ears, nose and throat, Charak Sangita and Stree Rog : obstetrics and gynecology.
There are many job opportunities both in India and abroad (specially in the US, UK, Germany and Italy). Ayurvedic doctors can work in hospitals and industries engaged in Ayurvedic preparations. They can also opt for research and the teaching profession. Dr.A.K Pal of the J.B.State Ayurvedic Medical College, Kolkata says, 'Ayurvedic drugs do not have medicine resistance and are therefore gaining popularity.' Dr.S.Bhattacharya of the same institute adds, 'Ayurveda is suited to the Indian climate unlike foreign pathies. The founder was after all an Indian scientist.'