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Recommended Ayurvedic Resorts in India

You can choose from 7, 14, 21 & 28 days Ayurvedic & Wellness packages, at some of the finest and best known Resorts focused on Ayurveda, the traditional holistic healing system practiced in India

SL # Resort Name Place
1. Somatheeram Ayurvedic Health Resort Kovalam, Kerala
2. Ananda in the Himalayas Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
3. Kairali Ayurvedic Health Resort Pallakad, Kerala
4. Kalari Kovilakom Pallakad, Kerala
5. Swaswara Gokarna, Karnataka
6. Ayurvedagram Heritage Wellness Centre Bangalore, Karnataka
7. Coconut Lagoon Kumarakom, Kerala
8. Spice Village Resort Thekkady, Kerala
9. The Soukya Holistic Health & Ayurvedic Treatment Centre Bangalore, Karnataka
10. Indus Valley Ayurvedic Centre Mysore, Karnataka

About Ayurveda

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In this modern world where fast lifestyles reduce immunity and the mind is clogged with irrelevant thoughts, a method of cure or rather prevention is needed which defy time? Sometimes we need to step across what we think is hip and take refuge in the age-old methodology that our forefathers had embraced with success. An ancient system of health care that is native to the Indian subcontinent, Ayurveda, across the world brings thoughts of natural medicines steeped in mysticism. Presently in daily use by millions of people in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, it was a chief influence on the development of Unani, Chinese and Tibetan Medicine. The word "Ayurveda" is a amalgam of the word ayus meaning \91life\92, \91life principle\92, or \91long life\92 and the word Veda, which refers to a system of \91knowledge\92. Thus \91Ayurveda\92 roughly translates as the "knowledge of life", or "knowledge of a long life". According to old transcripts such as, Charaka Samhita, \91life\92 itself is defined as the \91blend of the body, sense organs, mind and soul, the reason responsible for preventing decay and death, which sustains the body over time, and guides the processes of rebirth." According to this viewpoint, Ayurveda is concerned with measures to defend \91ayus\92, which includes healthy living along with therapeutic measures that relate to physical, mental, social and spiritual accord. Ayurveda is also one among the few long-established systems of medicine to contain a difficult and sophisticated method of surgery (which is referred to as \91salya-chikitsa\92).

Falcon Tours and TravelsIn India almost all that we esteem to be pure has its origins in the ancient scripts. Thus according to \91Ayurvedavatarana\92 which means (the descent of Ayurveda), the source of Ayurveda is affirmed to be a divine revelation of the ancient Indian creator Lord Brahma as he awoke to re-erect the universe.

This information was passed to Daksha Prajapati in the form of shloka (folklore poems) sung by Lord Brahma, and this was in turn passed down through a consecutive chain of divine beings to Lord Indra, the protector of (religion) dharma.

The first human advocate of Ayurveda was Bharadvaja, who learned it directly from Lord Indra. This knowledge was then passed down by Bharadvaja to a group of assembled sages, who then passed down diverse aspects of this to their students. According to practice, Ayurveda was first explained in text form by Agnivesha, in his book, the Agnivesh Tantra. The book was later translated by Charaka, and became known as the Charaka Samhita.

Another premature text of Ayurveda is the Sushruta Samhita, which was compiled by Sushrut, the main pupil of Dhanvantri, sometime around 1000 BC. In Indian Mythology Sushrut is known as the \91Father of Surgery\92, and in the Sushrut Samhita, the teachings and surgical techniques of Dhanvantri are assembled and balanced with extra findings and observations of Sushrut with regards to topics ranging from Obstetrics and Orthopedics to Ophthalmology.

The books Sushrut Samhita together with Charaka Samhita, served as the textual matter within the ancient Universities of Takshashila and Nalanda. These texts are supposed to have been written around the beginning of the Common Era, and are based on a holistic approach rooted in the philosophy of the Vedas and Vedic culture. Holism is central to ayurvedic ideas and an element of holism is found in several aspects of this culture.

Eight Branches (Ashthanga) of Ayurveda

1. Internal Medicine \96 Kayachikitsa
2. Surgery - Shalya Tantra
3. Ears, Eyes, Nose and Throat - Shalakya Tantra
4. Pediatrics - Kaumarabhritya Tantra
5. Toxicology - Agada Tantra|
6. Purification of the Genetic Organs - Bajikarana (or Vajikarana) Tantra
7. Health and Longevity - Rasayana Tantra
8. Spiritual Healing /Psychiatry - Bhuta Vidya

History of Ayurveda

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History is sometimes understood by the trail the present leaves in its wake. Documented references to the exact timing of the genesis of Ayurveda are not available. The era of Ayurveda has been established on the basis of linking the facts with other disciplines as well as circumstantial proof. Ayurveda is supposed to have been first compiled as a text by Agnivesha, in his book Agnivesh Tantra, which was written during Vedic times. The book was later reworked by Charaka, and renamed as Charaka Samhita (encyclopedia of the physician Charaka). Other early texts of Ayurveda include the Charaka Samhita and the Sushruta Samhita. Earlier education happened through chanting of verses by teachers and remembering by students. This is known as Gurukul. Here also the system was to orally transfer via the Gurukul system until a script came into existence.

Understandably the very first scripts would have been written on fragile materials such as Taalpatra and Bhojapatra, which could not be readily preserved. The script was afterward engraved on stone and copper sheets. Verses dealing with Ayurveda are included in the Atharvaveda, which means that some form of Ayurveda is as old as the Vedas. Ayurvedic practices have also evolved over time, and some practices may be considered innovations upon earlier Vedic practices, such as the advances made during the Buddhist period in India. Hindu religion attributes the genesis of Ayurveda to several theories in which the knowledge is said to have been passed on from being to being, at first, through its realization by the divine sages, and gradually into the human sphere by a multifaceted system of mnemonics. Particulars of Ayurvedic traditions differ between writers, as is expected when oral traditions are transcribed from numerous sources. The earliest authors of Ayurvedic manuscripts recorded different forms of the custom.

Historical Evidence
Falcon Tours and TravelsThe record of native Indian medical science is almost certainly as old as the Indus Valley Civilization dating back to 3000 BC. The carefully planned cities of Harappa and Mohenjodaro point not only to India\92s wealthy cultural legacy but also to its superior systems of sanitation and health care. The remnants of deer antler and bitumen found in Harappa give evidence to the existence of a medical science. It was between 1200 and 700 BC, that the four sacred Vedas were composed. References to diseases, herbs and herbal cures can be seen in all the four Vedas particularly in the Rig Veda. The Atharva Veda has numerous hymns lauding herbs. A lot of plants were worshipped as deities and called upon by chants. There were also loads of Mantras (invocations) to battle jaundice, consumption and hereditary diseases among others. The Atharvan hymns recited for the cure of diseases were acknowledged as Bhaishajyams and those for achieving durability and success were called Ayushyams. These hymns, especially the Ayushyams are considered to be the groundwork for progress in later medicine.

Metals were being used extensively when ayurvedic practice was booming during the time of Buddha (around 520 BC), and in this period the Ayurvedic practitioners were frequently using Mercuric-sulphur mixture based medicines. During this period mercury, sulphur and other metals were used in combination in the company of herbs to arrange diverse medications. A significant Ayurvedic practitioner of this period was Nagarjuna, a Buddhist herbologist, famed for inventing various new drugs for the treatment of ailments.

Nagarjuna was with Surananda, Nagbodhi, Yashodhana, Nityanatha, Govinda, Anantdev, Vagbhatta etc. The information of Ayurveda progressed a lot all through this period, including progress of newer and more successful medicines, and is therefore named the Golden Period of Ayurveda. Following victory at Kalinga War, Emperor Ashoka (304 BC-232 BC) prejudiced by Buddhist wisdom, debarred bloodshed in his monarchy in 250 BC. Hence several Ayurveda practitioners, who were involved in surgery alongside medicine, left the surgical intrusion and adopted entirely fresh curative treatments. During this time, Ayurveda for a second time developed and prospered with the creation of new drugs, new methodology and new innovations. The practice of the accompanying surgery slowly died out during this period. Throughout the administration of a famous monarch Chandragupta Maurya (375-415 AD), Ayurveda was part of conventional Indian Therapeutic Techniques, and continued to be so till the colonization by the British. Chakrapani Dutta (Dutta Sharma) was a Vaid Brahman of Bengal who composed books on Ayurveda such as "Chakradutta" and others. Chakrapani Dutta was the Raja Vaidya of Great King Laxman Sen {some says Raj Vaid of King Nayapala (1038 - 1055)}. It is supposed by some practitioners that Chakradutta is the fundamental nature of Ayurveda. The Indians, have for all time conserved Ayurveda as a conventional \91Science of Life\92, regardless of mounting adoption of European medical techniques during the time of British rule. For more than a few decades the standing and skills of the variety of Ayurvedic schools declined noticeably as Western medicine and Western-style hospitals were built. However, in the 1970s, a gradual acknowledgment of the value of Ayurveda returned, and at present Ayurvedic hospitals and practitioners are thriving all across India. At the same time, the production and promotion of Ayurvedic herbal medicines has spectacularly increased, as well as scientific records of benefits. Today, Ayurvedic medicines are obtainable throughout the globe.

Discover of Ayurveda

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Ayurveda is the oldest surviving complete medical system in the world. Derived from its ancient Sanskrit roots - \91ayus' (life) and \91ved' (knowledge) \96 and offering a rich, comprehensive outlook to a healthy life, its origins go back nearly 5000 years. To when it was expounded and practiced by the same spiritual rishis, who laid the foundations of the Vedic civilization in India, by organizing the fundamentals of life into proper systems. The main source of knowledge in this field therefore remain the Vedas, the divine books of knowledge they propounded, and more specifically the fourth of the series, namely Atharvaveda that dates back to around 1000 BC. Of the few other treatises on Ayurveda that have survived from around the same time, the most famous are Charaka Samhita and the Sushruta Samhita which concentrate on internal medicine and surgery respectively. The Astanga Hridayam is a more concise compilation of earlier texts that was created about a thousand years ago. These between them forming a greater part of the knowledge base on Ayurveda as it is practiced today.

The art of Ayurveda had spread around in the 6th century BC to Tibet, China, Mongolia, Korea and Sri Lanka, carried over by the Buddhist monks traveling to those lands. Although not much of it survives in original form, its effects can be seen in the various new age concepts that have originated from there. No philosophy has had greater influence on Ayurveda than Sankhaya\92s philosophy of creation and manifestation. Which professes that behind all creation there is a state of pure existence or awareness, which is beyond time and space, has no beginning or end, and no qualities. Within pure existence, there arises a desire to experience itself, which results in disequilibrium and causes the manifestation of the primordial physical energy. And the two unite to make the "dance of creation" come alive.

Falcon Tours and TravelsImponderable, indescribable and extremely subtle, this primordial energy \96 which and all that flows from it existing only in pure existence \96 is the creative force of all action, a source of form that has qualities. Matter and energy are so closely related that when energy takes form, we tend to think of it in terms of matter only. And much modified, it ultimately leads to the manifestation of our familiar mental and physical worlds. It also gives rise to cosmic consciousness, which is the universal order that pervades all life. Individual intelligence, as distinct from the everyday intellectual mind, is derived from and is part of this consciousness. It is the inner wisdom, the part of individuality that remains unswayed by the demands of daily life, or by Ahamkara, the sense of `I-ness\92.

A Sanskrit word with no exact translation, Ahamkara, is a concept not quite understood by everyone as it is often misleadingly equated to `ego\92. Embracing much more than just that, it is in essence that part of \91me\92 which knows which parts of the universal creation are \91me\92. Since \91I\92 am not separate from the universal consciousness, but \91I\92 has an identity that differentiates and defines the boundaries of `me\92. All creations therefore have Ahamkara, not just human beings.

There arises from Ahamkara a two-fold creation. The first is Satwa, the subjective world, which is able to perceive and manipulate matter. It comprises the subtle body (the mind), the capacity of the five sense organs to hear, feel, see, taste and smell, and for the five organs of action to speak, grasp, move, procreate and excrete. The mind and the subtle organs providing the bridge between the body, the Ahamkara and the inner wisdom, which three together is considered the essential nature of humans. The second is Tamas, the objective world of the five elements of sound, touch, vision, taste and smell \96 the five subtle elements that give rise to the dense elements of ether or space, air, fire, water and the earth \96 from which all matter of the physical world is derived. And it is Rajas, the force or the energy of movement, which brings together parts of these two worlds.

Ayurveda therefore is not simply a health care system but a form of lifestyle adopted to maintain perfect balance and harmony within the human existence, from the most abstract transcendental values to the most concrete physiological expressions. Based on the premise that life represents an intelligent co-ordination of the Atma (Soul), Mana (Mind), Indriya (Senses) and Sharira (Body). That revolves around the five dense elements that go into the making of the constitution of each individual, called Prakriti. Which in turn is determined by the vital balance of the three physical energies - Vata, Pitta, Kapha and the three mental energies - Satwa, Rajas, and Tamas.

Principles of Ayurveda

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According to ayurvedic philosophy an individual bundle of `spirit\92, desirous of expressing itself, uses subjective consciousness or Satwa to manifest sense organs and a mind. Spirit and mind then project themselves into a physical body, created from the five (Pancha) great (maha) eternal elements (bhutas) \96 together called the Panchamahabhutas \96 which arise from Tamas. The sense organs then using Rajas to project from the body into the external world to experience their objects. The body becoming the mind\92s vehicle, its physical instrument for sense gratification.

The Bhutas combine into "tridoshas" or bioenergetics forces that govern and determine our health or physical condition. While the three gunas (Rajas or activity, Tamas or inertia and Satwa, which balances the first two) or psychic forces determine our mental and spiritual health. Ayurveda is thus a holistic system of health care that teaches us to balance these energies in order to achieve optimum health and well being.

The Panchamahabhutas
Falcon Tours and TravelsAccording to Ayurveda everything in life is composed of the Panchamahabhutas \96 Akash (Space), Vayu (Air), Jal (Water), Agni (Fire) and Prithvi (Earth). Omnipresent, they are mixed in an infinite variety of relative proportions such that each form of matter is distinctly unique. Although each element has a range of attributes, only some get evident in particular situations. Constantly changing and interacting with each other, they create a situation of dynamic flux that keeps the world going. Within a simple, single living cell for example the earth element predominates by giving structure to the cell. The water element is present in the cytoplasm or the liquid within the cell membrane. The fire element regulates the metabolic processes regulating the cell. While the air element predominates the gases therein. The space occupied by the cell denoting the last of the elements. In the case of a complex, multi-cellular organism as a human being for instance, Akash corresponds to spaces within the body (mouth, nostrils, abdomen etc.); Vayu denotes the movement (essentially muscular); Agni controls the functioning of enzymes (intelligence, digestive system, metabolism); Jal is in all body fluids (as plasma, saliva, digestive juices); and Prithvi manifests itself in the solid structure of the body (bones, teeth, flesh, hair etc).

The Panchamahabhutas therefore serve as the foundation of all diagnosis & treatment modalities in Ayurveda and has served as a most valuable theory for physicians to detect and treat illness of the body and mind successfully.

The Tridoshas
Falcon Tours and TravelsThe Tridoshas (tri meaning three and doshas being the basic physical energies) are the primary and essential factors of the human body that govern our entire physical structure and function. Derived from the Panchamahabhutas, each doshas\96 which like the elements cannot be detected with our senses but their qualities can be \96 is a combination of any two of the five bhutas with the predominance of one. Called Vata, Pitta and Kapha in Sanskrit, these three are responsible for all the physiological and psychological processes within the body and mind \96 dynamic forces that determine growth and decay. Every physical characteristic, mental capacity and the emotional tendency of a human being can therefore be explained in terms of the tridoshas.

Most of the physical phenomena ascribed to the nervous system by modern physiology for example, can be identified with Vata. Just as the entire chemical process operating in the human body can be attributed to Pitta, including enzymes, hormones and the complete nutritional system. And the activities of the skeletal and the anabolic system, actually the entire physical volume of an organism, can be considered as Kapha.

Diagnosis in Ayurveda

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There are three main methods for diagnosing a Disease and Dosha imbalance in a person. They are:
Darsana Pareeksha
Observing the patient\92s physical appearance and symptoms- colour of Skin, Hair, Eyes, Behaviors & Body condition etc.

Prasna Pareeksha
Asking detailed questions to know about the degree of imbalance of each Dosha.

Sparshana Pareeksha
Includes checking the pulse (Nadi Pareeksha), Palpitation, Percussion and Auscultation of a person.

Also diseases can be diagnosed in either eight steps or ten steps Ashta Sthana Pareeksha (Eight step diagnosis) 1. Nadi (Pulse diagnosis)
2. Jihwa (examination of tongue)
3. Malam (examination of stool)
4. Mootram (examination of urine)
5. Sabdam (examination of voice)
6. Sparsanam (examination of body temperature)
7. Drik (examination of eye ball)
8. Akriti (examination of the physique)

Dasa Visha Pareeksha (Ten step diagnosis)
1. Dooshyam (examination of the seven Dhathus and Doshas)
2. Desam (examination of the surroundings)
3. Balam (examination of the strength)
4. Kalam (examination of season)
5. Analam (examination of Agni)
6. Prakruti (examination of Body Constitution)
7. Vayas (examination of Age)
8. Satwam (examination of Mental Power)
9. Satmyam (examination of Compatibility)
10. Aharam (examination of food habits)

Ayurvedic Treatment

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Ayurvedic treatment can be broadly classified into two:
1. Sodhana Chikilsa (Purification Therapy)
2. Shamana Chikilsa (Alleviating Therapy)

Sodhana Chikilsa
Sodhana Chikilsa involves the removal of toxic byproducts formed in the body through various therapeutic procedures. By undergoing the five procedures involved in the therapy, known as Pancha Karma, the normal tone is brought back to the system and a balance is attained.

1. Vamana (Emesis Therapy)
Internal medicines are administered to induce vomiting

2. Virechana (Purgation Therapy)
Internal medicines are administered to induce purgation

3. Nasyam (Nasal Medication)
Herbal Medicines in the form of oil or powder is administrated through the nostril

4. Vasthy (Medicated enema therapy)
Herbal medicines in the form of decoction or oil is administered through anus.

5. Rakthamoksham (Blood letting therapy)
Impure blood is drained out of the body through Needle Pricking, Venesection, Leaching etc.

Shamana Chikilsa
This therapy is done after Sodhana Chikilsa and involves the usage of herbal medicines, both externally and internally and thus restoring normality without elimination.

Ayurveda also recommends therapies for proper body care. Some of the important body care therapies include

Name of therapy Benefit Procedure
Rasayana Chikilsa (Rejuvenation Therapy) Rejuvenates body systems Body massage with medicated oil or cream
Sodhana Chikilsa (Body Purification Therapy) Gets rid of toxins from the body for a proper balance of Vatha, Pitha and Kapha Snehana Karma, Swedana Karma followed by Pancha Karma
Kayakalpa Chikilsa (Body Immunization/ Longevity Treatment) Stalls ageing process and increases the immunity of the body Body Massage, Snehapnam, Virechanam, Nasyam, Snehavasthi, Dhara, Pizhichil, Njavarakizhi, Tharpanam, Sirovasthi, Karnapooranam, Medicated Steam Bath
Slimming Tones the body Medicated herbal powder massage Medicated herbal oil massage
Beauty care Improves skin complexion, skin tone Herbal Cream Massage, Herbal oil massage, application of herbal face pack
Spine and Neck Care Cures problems related to the spine and neck Special Massages, Kativasthi, Snehavasthi, Kashayavasthi, Pizhichil, Njavarakizhi etc
Manasanthy Stress Management Programme for body, mind and soul Yoga, Meditation, Rejuvenation Massage, Rejuvenation Therapy, Dhara, Njavarakizhi, Thalam, Herbal Steam Bath, Mud pack etc.
Dhoopanam Cleans the ears and avoids diseases related to the ear Medicated fumes subjected to ears
Mukhalepam Removes wrinkles, black heads, sun tan etc. Application of herbal face pack
Marma Massage Stimulates the vital points of the body Body Massage
Rejuvenation Massage Rejuvenates body, Reduces mental tension etc Body Massage with herbal oil or powder
General Massage Improves blood circulation Body Massage with herbal oil or powder
Medicated Steam Bath Eliminates impurities, Improves body tone Body subjected to the steam from boiled leaves and herbs

Preparation of Ayurvedic Medicine

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Ayurvedic medicines are prepared according to the Prakruthi of a person and the therapeutic effect needed. The constituents that make up the medicine are obtained from nature and made ready with great care. The main advantage of Ayurvedic medicine is that they do not contain any harmful ingredients and can be used safely.

In Ayurvedic preparations, the part of an herb is chosen and used depending on where its medicinal value lies and its curative effects on the body. Some examples are listed below

1. Turmeric, Ginger, Velvet Leaf, Rhubarb: Roots
2. Chaste Tree, Coriander, Aloe Vera: Leaves
3. Black Pepper, Gooseberry, Indian Gall Nut: Fruit
4. Neem Tree, Ashoka Tree, Sandalwood: Bark
5. Cardamom, Coriander, Cowhage Plant: Seeds

Different herbs have different healing powers. Here are a few examples:

\BB Aloe Vera, Sandalwood, Turmeric, Shatavari - Antiseptic (Protects against infections)
\BB Turmeric, Echinacea - Antibiotic (Fights against viral and bacterial infections)
\BB Cinnamon, Yarrow, Jasmine, Sandalwood - Astringent (heals tissues)
\BB Cardamom, Coriander - Appetizer (Induces appetite)
\BB Chamomile, Chrysanthemum, Basil, Ginger - Carminative (Helps in proper digestion)

Preparing the Herbs

Falcon Tours and TravelsThere are mainly five types of preparations in Ayurveda, collectively known as Pancha Kashaya Kalpa
1. Svarasa - The juice of the plant, which is the strongest of all, is extracted by pounding or grinding it in a blender.
2. Kalka - The herbs are crushed and made into a pulp form in the required consistency by adding sufficient water.
3. Kvatha - It is prepared by boiling the herbs in water until the preparation is reduced to one-fourth of the original amount.
4. Phant - Hot infusion is obtained by immersing the herbs in hot water for sometime.
5. Hima - The herbs are soaked in cold water overnight for preparing a cold infusion.
6. The herbs are prepared in other forms as well such as Churna (Powders), Guti (Pills) and Vati (Tablets).

Some Familiar Herbs
Here are a few familiar herbs with remarkable medicinal properties:
Ayurveda recommends ginger as a great remedy for indigestion, fever, cold, vomiting, arthritis etc. Ginger can be ingested as juice, infusion, decoction etc.

A common spice used in cooking, turmeric has high antibacterial property and can increase blood circulation. It can be effectively used as a medication for jaundice, diabetes, indigestion, cough, arthritis, acne, insect bites etc.

Black Pepper
Pepper is found to be useful as medication for asthma, fever, cholera, sore throat and so on.

It is a natural antibacterial and antiseptic herb found throughout India. It is used as a medication for coughs, colds, indigestion, skin diseases vomiting, hair loss and much more. It purifies the atmosphere and leads to general wellbeing.

Used to impart sourness in Indian cuisine, tamarind is used as an effective solution for losing weight.

Do\92s and Don\92ts

Ayurveda is a science with close connections to nature. Modern lifestyles and wrong food habits play a huge part in causing many of the diseases and ailments. So the remedy could simply involve changing the lifestyle to a healthy one.

\BB Avoid Viruddha Ahara (Foods that are incompatible)
\BB Maintain regular diet regimen
\BB Include lots of vegetables and fruits in your diet
\BB Exercise regularly
\BB Avoid abuse of sense organs
\BB Avoid suppression of body urges beyond limits
\BB Avoid unhindered exposure to strong emotions and negative thoughts
\BB Stick to a diet best suited for a balanced constitution
\BB Go to bed early
\BB Try waking up at the Brahma Muhurtha (approx. 1 \BD hours before sunrise) for making use of the best time for meditation
\BB Follow the precise diet prescribed by the doctor while undergoing an Ayurvedic treatment for maximum advantage.
\BB Preserve health and maintain body care